5 Quick Steps to Setting Up a Sales Process for Your Startup

I think of sales as a process. It can be flow charted and optimised. It's not just about the sales person, it's the entire company process. I think the idea of sales and marketing is dead; It's more about demand generation and lead conversion and this is a seamless process that you just iterate and improve over time with the team.

  1. How do I find customer who has the problem you solve? i.e. how do you generate demand / interest (this is whole post on its own).
  2. When you find them, how do you illicit that problem out of them? First, you need rapport, then think - what questions can you ask that make them realise or think of the problem in the most intense way? This course is pretty good for those that have little sales experience:  Persuasive Selling Skills For Sales Professionals
  3. Understand its' a process. Get little commitments out of them to move them through the process.
  4. Don't send them lots of information via email. If you have a lot of information to convey, firstly try and simplify it. Chunk it down into single paragraphs and send a series of emails with just a few lines at most per paragraph. Always include your phone number so that if they are interested in finding out more they can call you.
  5. When the series has finished, ideally check whether they have opened the email and call them then to secure a meeting, or maybe try and close them over the phone. Mailchimp integrated with capsule of saleforce.com will tell you this.

The process continues, and you continually optimize by getting feedback from your sales people. Share best practice of how people overcame objections, listen to calls and use technology to systemise the process so it can be measured and improved, then ultimately remove the required number of warm bodies you need to hire to sell.

This process must be real people in the beginning, but your goal is not to hire more people to sell more, it's to get better at selling so you don't need to hire more people but can still grow.

Further Reading.

This book is pretty good too:

Predictable Revenue Book | How to Generate Scalable Leads

Demand generation systems like Marketo are good, but expensive:

Marketing Automation Software - Easy. Powerful. Complete. – Marketo

When it comes to managing sales people:

SalesDogs