Too many start-ups don’t plan their sales properly or sell hard enough.
Photo: Louise Kennerley
Start-ups can fail for any number of reasons and chief among them is an inability to sell the products they’re working so hard to get off the ground.
Via TechCrunch comes some advice from ElasticSales founder Steli Efti who suggests there are several deadly sales sins many start-ups commit.
- Not understanding your customer – Don’t generalise. Take the time to find out the specific needs of prospective customers and target those.
- Not selling – Seems obvious, right? But according to Efti, many start-ups pitch the bells and whistles of their products but fail to explain how they’ll solve whatever problem it is the customer hopes to tackle. “A prospective customer needs to be sold on the 2-3 benefits your product provides to them, rather than the 100 features you’re planning to build into the product in the future”.
- Pitching too late – Get out and get to know prospective customers early. Their feedback could help you develop a more desirable product.
- Not following up – Don’t be shy, Efti says. “Start-up founders are not shameless enough. They worry too much about intruding on the prospect’s time or being too persistent”. Efti also notes that some start-ups fall at the final hurdle because they’re too shy to flat out ask for the sale. “Sometimes simply asking for the sale makes the process move forward in the direction that you want”.
- Poor processes for managing sales – “Start-ups today have access to a vast amount of data but fail to track some basic metrics for their sales funnel”.
- Picking the wrong price point – Cheaper is not always better when it comes to pricing your products. Start-ups should sell their product based on what it’s value is, not its price.