By - Sudarshan Narayan, Managing Director, Amplifi SaaS Accelerator (Cranking up SaaS in Asia)
The most important thing in B2B sales is to profile your ideal or typical customer and build detailed user personas. Define the characteristics of the ideal customer and go into details while building user persona of the decision maker / makers in your target company. By doing so you do not dilute your efforts and increase your chances of conversion.
A startup does not have the luxury of having rockstar sales VPs in the team nor huge marketing budgets so the startup founders have to get innovative and sales-hack. That’s why understanding your customer is so important – it also helps figuring out the best and most cost-effective way to reach him or her.
Once you have done this, it is important to have a tight sales process. Build the top of the funnel with as much relevant data as possible (based on the user person and customer profile) – use LinkedIn and internet research and use pipeline building tools to populate the top of the funnel. From the top of the funnel (just contacts), you need to slowly trickle down to customers. The next step is to work the contacts and convert them to leads (initial contact and some survey of interest). Here is where I advice founders to be very precise and ruthless about qualifying leads or you can land up wasting precious time chasing the wrong customer (s). It’s important here to use the right communication and be right on top of those hot leads in a timely fashion – to convert them to prospects and then to closed deals.
The best way for startup founders to become consummate salesmen or women is to make sure they use the best of today’s technology tools to automate a lot of the sales process and make themselves as productive as they can get – focusing on the sale rather then the sales operations. Of course, they still need to make the sales pitch themselves. So the age old method of picking up the phone or making that killer sales pitch in person isn’t about to be taken over by “bots”.