What do most people not know about startup sales?

Quora_logo.svgJag läser det här på Quora och rodnar. Det är så på pricken beskrivet vad jag vet at jag borde göra och ändå inte gör (tillräckligt bra). Jag är precis den där personen som hellre mejlar och hoppas än ringer och tar kontakt. Lyckligtvis fungerar det ibland. Jag fick kontakt med Sven Rollenhagen på det viset. Men jag mejlad Dreamhack och kom inte in.

Jag springer förbi en massa möjligheter som jag inte tar för jag är inte tillräckligt på med att sälja. Det var ett av skälen att jag startade tankesatt. Jag gick en kurs i entreprenörskap där man skulle jobba fram idéer. Idéer är jag bra på, det vet jag. Med genomförandet är det sämre. Därför bestämde jag mig för att verkligen göra något av den idé som låg bakom tankesatt.

Andra skälet var förstås att jag ser att datorspelandet är problematiskt för ungdomarna som jag möter i skolan. Så med tankesatt vill jag undersöka problemet och finna lösningar.

De två skälen hänger ihop. Om tankesatt ska lyckas lösa några problem måste den bli använd och attrahera besökare. Och om den lockar besökare kan det bli ett framgångsrikt projekt. Eller om man vänder på det. Framgång för en sajt mäts bland annat i antalet besökare och deras interaktion på sajten. Om tankesatt får mycket interaktivitet så kommer det att hända saker. Däribland förhoppningsvis något som hjälper datorspelande ungdomar.

Så nu säger jag till er som läser detta. Be några datorspelande ungdomar att gå in och läsa, ställa frågor eller besvara frågor om datorspelande. Jag kommer att bättra mig och verkligen sälja in tankesatt nu.

En blogpost är inte mycket bättre än ett mejl. Men måndag morgon börjar jag sälja på allvar.  

 

Answer by Scott Sambucci:

1. That you have to sell.

In the b2c world, selling means sitting at Starbucks and asking the person next to you to download your app. It means asking your 12-year-nephew to find three friends use your app for a week. It means setting up at the local Farmer’s Market and handing out free samples of your “world’s best” salsa, then asking someone to buy a second jar for a friend.

In the b2b world, selling means dedicating time every single day to identifying specific people in large companies that are capable of making purchasing decisions, then leading them through the discovery process of exactly how your product solves their business problem.

Selling means:

  • Knowing exactly what problem you’re out to solve, and articulating that problem in the terms of the customer.
  • Identifying exactly who to sell to… the industries and target companies, then finding which people at these companies are your real buyers.
  • Communicating to your prospective customer exactly why they should buy your product in the terms of their problem.
  • Showing them how to buy your product with a implementation plan by giving them a view of the future with your company from the moment they say “go!”

And selling means…

  • Asking for help from anyone you think can introduce you to a key executive at your target company.
  • Picking up the phone and taking action to push to the next step of the sales process instead emailing and hoping.
  • Accepting that everyone at the startup, from the CEO to the newest engineer is responsible for selling.
  • Not leaving anything to chance.

2. That narrow is better.

You’re out to be the next Amazon or Zenefits or Facebook and that’s awesome. Start today by selling a single feature to a single customer for at least $1.

3. That there’s a 1) Sales process, 2) Buying process, and a 3) Purchasing process.

Swapping cards with a Big Company VP at an industry conference is not prospecting. Jamming people into a one-hour product demo is not selling. Emailing that your slide deck so that he can share it with his team is not closing.

The sales process for your product in your market means:

  • how you move from an initial introduction to needs assessment conversation to a product demo to a purchasing decision.
  • how you retain control of the next steps in the process.
  • how you separate motivated, capable buyers from vampires that just want to have interesting conversations.
  • how you establish urgency.
  • how you deliver an implementation plan for your product.

The buying process is:

  • how the customer migrates from problem identification and acceptance.
  • how the customer takes action to solve the problem in a specified time period.
  • how the customer gains internal support and approvals to make a purchase.
  • how the customer that your product is the right one to solve their problem.

The purchasing process is:

  • how a company approves a business team’s desire to make a purchase of a product or service.
  • how a company vets purchases from a legal, info security, risk, compliance, and vendor management perspective.
  • how the company conducts the due diligence designed to de-risk decisions.

4. That you need to sell before you have a product.

Startups should be selling 3, 6, or even 12 months ahead of their present product state.

A startup exists because they have identified a gap in the market and they believe they can fill that gap. By definition, a startup is a new company without an established product.

Even with keen awareness of the problem you’re solving, until you’ve tried to sell your product to paying customers for money, it’s nearly impossible to know exactly how you will add value, or how to build your product for your customers to use every day to solve the problem.

It’s one thing to do customer development interviews to discovery a market’s needs. It’s completely different to engage a conversation in which you are asking a company to trust your company and product to solve their problems and to actually pay you money to do that.

What do most people not know about startup sales?

Posted in Datorspelsberoende, Entreprenörskap, Om tankesatt, Utveckla sig själv.

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