Sales Strategies for Start-Ups


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Choosing the right go-to-market sales strategy for your Start -Up can be a make or break decision. What do you do when you are just starting a business and need to build a customer base? This is the situation thousands of new entrepreneurs find themselves in.

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Sales Strategies for Start-Ups

  1. 1. Sales Strategies for Start-ups<br />Kishore is co-founder and CEO of PK4 Software. He has over 25 years of experience building technology product and service companies. As CEO of PK4 , he is deeply involved in strategy , sales and technology direction for Impel CRM our flagship product. He’s a regular speaker in the areas of Cloud Computing, SaaS, CRM and Emerging Businesses at various forums like NASSCOM and TiE.<br />@nmandyam<br />
  2. 2. Sales Strategies for Start-Ups<br />Narasimhan (Kishore) Mandyam, 23 Feb. 2011<br />
  3. 3. Agenda<br />Assumptions!<br />Start-ups vs. Later-stage – what’s different?<br />Defining your sales model<br />Focusing your Sales Efforts<br />Building a Sales Team<br />Building Partnerships<br />
  4. 4. I assume…<br />I’m talking to a “lean” start-up<br />Lots of passion, very little money<br />We’re talking India market – largely<br />Some techniques may work elsewhere, but…<br />You (think you) know what you’re good at<br />And what you’re not!<br />You want a scalable sales model<br />Referrals work well, but only to a point<br />
  5. 5. Start-ups vs. Later-stage<br />Market-space somewhat clear<br />Sales techniques unclear<br />Very small team – 5 to 25 people<br />Multi-skilled people<br />Founders sell, few others do<br />Market-space very clear<br />Sales model clear and established<br />Team has some specialization<br />Focused teams<br />Founders market, others sell<br />
  6. 6. The sales model<br />Product or service – differentiators<br />What are you good at? What not?<br />Customer demographics<br />Who’s your ideal prospect? Who would never buy?<br />Positioning <br />What words work best to describe benefits?<br />Lead generation<br />Where will you get your Leads from?<br />Pricing<br />What’s the basis for your pricing?<br />
  7. 7. Some sales techniques<br />Build Lead-flow<br />Market online, advertise, whatever<br />Target decision-makers<br />But talking to the CEO may NOT help!<br />Build a series of interactions<br />Call, email, SMS – all BEFORE you meet!<br />Sell a Story, not a Reference<br />References work well for bigger companies<br />
  8. 8. Focus your sales efforts<br />Analyze<br />Figure out what went right or wrong in each Lead<br />Role-play <br />Develop reasoning to handle customer objections<br />Replicate<br />Prospects in areas you’ve sold in – will that work?<br />Iterate<br />Refine demo slides, pitch, product descriptions…<br />
  9. 9. Grow your sales<br />Research prospects before you target them<br />Use non-evangelical market positions<br />Pitch your product but sell a solution<br />Talk the prospect’s language, not yours<br />Leverage your first Customers unabashedly<br />Track Leads all the way to closure or rejection<br />Tweak pricing, but only to a degree<br />Look around for Partners<br />
  10. 10. Build a Sales Team<br />Hire when sales are predictable or stable<br />Today’s funnel should predict next month’s sales<br />Build effective – but simple – comp model<br />Be generous, be flexible<br />Strengthen Lead generation<br />Don’t look at Lead generation as a Sales function<br />Hire for adaptability, not for brand<br />Lots of experience may not be a good thing!<br />
  11. 11. Build Partnerships<br />Think about who can bring you sales<br />Partners bring sales, not resources<br />Write up a clear Partnership model<br />Domains, areas, percentages…<br />Toot your horn<br />Success brings Partner queries<br />Deliver Leads to Partners<br />Partners love success – their own!<br />Track Partners like you do your salespeople<br />Make them part of your CRM model<br />
  12. 12. Contact Info<br />PK4 Software Technologies Pvt. Ltd. <br />Website:<br />Email:<br />Phone: +91-80-3008-0000<br />Twitter: @impelcrm<br />All the best!<br />