[Friday Learning] Beg a Sale to Bag a Sale


The article highlights importance of "What Start-Up Entrepreneur should be doing to bag a deal".

A sale is the act of selling a product or service in return for money or equivalent. The primary function of any Start-up is doing sales for revenue generation. It is the only function which brings in revenue, rest of all the functions within a business are cost centre's. Start-up Entrepreneur should be well aware of what a sales opportunity is! It must be ‘Discovered or Created consistently.It should be won more often than lost. Being in a sales process is very similar to be in sports or being in a war where specific sequence of events are not predictable. Even with this unpredictable nature, sales require the right strategy & planning before the team is on the field. Successful start-up entrepreneurs are great sales people, also the most disciplined. An Start-up Entrepreneur himself can be the most skilled presenter and take deals to a closure. The entire sales team also needs to be disciplined to deliver the message consistently and accurately to customers for success. When we say "selling" we are referring to technology, process, rigor, discipline. "Sale" on the other hand is about deal, closure, talent, inspiration.

To move from beg a sale to bag a sale, an start-up entrepreneur needs to train their young sales team on process orientation & second is gut based action with opportunity. First learn to apply specific sales process based on the customer profile. Second is to show situational alertness to pick up verbal cues & come up with creative ways to meet prospect requirements. Sales team supplied with quickly processed information will be able to paint the right vision of a sales pitch to the prospects.Broadly, selling is the “what has to be done,” and sale is the “how well does it gets done.” It takes time, repetition, analysis, rehearsal, and a good deal of experience to create bagging sales pitch. Sales team constantly are seen rushing to demos and meetings, or doing proposals as a key selling event with little knowledge of the key strategic initiatives, priorities or needs of the prospects.Establish parameters for working only on selected opportunities & marshalling your team towards bagging more orders.

Consider the task for selling BI & Analytics software to a FMCG firm; whom does the sales team need to focus on? CEO for strategy benefits, CMO for how the solution will increase sales & reduce marketing costs, CIO for the technology platform & CFO which has the corporate budgets & is focused on the ROI. Four top stakeholders in this FMCG firm: four different requirements. Not able to satisfy each of them can result in a “NO” decision. And even if you do score on all the points, if a rival company does so more effectively & with better panache, they can walk away with the prized order. Sales process is about knowing what needs to be completed in each stage before you move on to the next. Right balance of data, technology, process and talent is the foundation of a bagging sales team. Entrepreneurs, who have managed sales teams for a long time, begin to accumulate the knowledge of the warning signs that a sales process is either ineffective or non existent. In its essence, selling is an engagement between the salesperson and the prospect. Start-up Entrepreneur should ensure that sales team is trained at listening, better they will be at sales. They tend to then come up with unique ways of seeing a problem and solving it. Prospects should know that your sales team is constantly thinking of them. Make sales team learn what to say, how and when to say it to engage the prospect and compel them to buy. Streamlining sales process should not be an over-engineered process that prescribes robotic step by step activities. The art of selling still plays a key role in situations when nuances of the deal and the customer require skills unique to the domain.

Do any of these indicators look familiar to you as an Start-up entrepreneur? Take a moment to reflect on how your team bag deals and manage their sales cycles. It’s possible you’ll need a sales process that will help you establish a framework for more accurate sales forecasting and achieving your goals to bag more sales.

Follow Sanjay Mehta on twitter @mehtasanjay


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