Working on sales in a startup can be a challenging process. Specifically, I think sales is harder in product based companies because sometimes the product hasn’t been finished yet or it is changing rapidly.
At times it can be a game of hurry up and wait, meaning you make a sale only to be told that the product is not quite ready yet to bring on customers.
Other times, sales can fall through because of resource allocation. Meaning you line up an opportunity, only to find out that the company doesn’t have the resources to service that type of customer. Potentially because of a focus on a different size or different type of customer.
Sales, among many other things will always be a battle within a growing organization. How many resources should we devote to it? How do we deal with sales cycles? How can we get more customers and meet our sales projections?
I’ve found the best approach to sales in a startup is to treat the process like an experiment. Treat potential customers as a discovery process, finding what pain points they have and how they view the solution you are providing them. Ask them for feedback and try and learn what messages and details work best to close new business.
Also experiment with different strategies along the process. From the marketing strategies that may produce sales leads to the way you handle emails and web demos for potential customers.
Treat it all like a process and try and learn along the way.
What other things should startups consider when beginning the selling process?