Scale your business in 2020 with a proven startup sales strategy. Learn about the top strategies B2B startups are using today.
Early sales are critical for any B2B startup. They can also be the rockiest because you’re developing and refining your sales process. To help streamline your efforts, take a look at the top startup sales strategies that tech entrepreneurs are using today. These are effective strategies that you can apply to your sales process and help your brand grow.
- For startups, it’s often the early-stage founders out there getting those early sales.
- The B2B sales cycle can take months, so use a smart startup sales strategy to make your efforts worthwhile.
- Ultimately, you won’t use just one technique, but a combination of the most effective strategies used today.
How Long Is the B2B Sales Cycle?
As a B2B tech startup, your approach to sales will be a little different than the sales process for more established businesses.
It’s important to keep in mind when developing a startup sales strategy:
- You need to research your buyer before making contact and introducing yourself.
- You also need to educate your market so they understand how your product will benefit them.
Because there is a lot of learning, nurturing, and information-gathering involved throughout the sales process, the B2B sales cycle length can be quite long.
According to data from CSO Insights, nearly 75 percent of sales leaders say it takes over four months to sell to a new customer. Over 18 percent say that the sales cycle takes longer than 12 months.
Make your efforts pay dividends. Use a sales strategy that you know will help your startup grow.
B2B Startup Sales Strategies That Work
You know your solution will solve a problem for your market better than anyone else. You’ve validated product-market fit with your early adopters. Now, it’s time to ramp up your sales with proven B2B sales strategies for startups. Here are five you can start using right away.
1. Target a Small Niche Market
One of the biggest mistakes you can make when selling early on is trying to connect with a broad target market.
The problem with this approach: you could spend a lot of time on cold outreach and not get anywhere. Also, you risk wasting months trying to nurture leads that aren’t excited about your product.
For startups, building early momentum is important. Speed up your sales efforts by focusing on a small niche market.
Look at your market data and your buyer personas. Which groups within your target market are more likely to convert?
Maybe your small niche will be buyers in a specific geographic region, buyers with an urgent set of pain points, or an industry-specific group like health care or insurance companies.
Get as granular as you need to. Then focus on selling to the people that are most likely to need your product now.
2. Offer a Solution, Not Another Tool
Your B2B customers don’t want to purchase more technology "stuff" to clutter their workflows.
They will spend money on solutions that will unravel problems, simplify their workflows, and make their business more efficient. When pitching your product, lead with a clear explanation of what it can do for them.
Whether it’s going to save them money or make it easier for them to reach their business goals, your sales strategy should focus on what’s in it for them. Let them know you understand their problem and you’re here to help. You can talk about promotions, packages, innovative features, and other details later. Right now, the focus should be on them.
3. Use Personalized Messaging
Take the time to learn as much as you can about your sales contacts. Dig deep into their organization. Make a point to know about their operations, organizational culture, and underlying business goals.
This can help you personalize emails, phone scripts, and other messaging. You’ll know which tone to use, which communication channels your prospect prefers, and how to position your messaging to suit your contact and their organization.
The more personalized your message, the more likely your efforts will get a response — and the more fruitful your conversations will be when you get the chance to present your solution to them.
4. Take a Team Approach
Communicate with prospects as a team. If you’re a new startup, this can mean you and one of your partners.
Once you’ve qualified a contact, work together as a team and give your prospect more attention. When holding sales calls or virtual meetings, making presentations, and developing proposals, make it a collaborative effort.
According to Sandler Training, with this "hunting in packs" approach, almost 45 percent of salespeople say they are able to achieve effective communications across the selling team. Sales collaboration can also lead to more impactful presentations and conversations because your contacts have more than one personality to resonate with.
5. Listen to What Your Buyers Have to Say
When selling, it’s your job to convey a lot of information. So, naturally, you’re going to do a lot of the talking.
You should also be listening. If you want to build strong customer relationships, which are critical in the B2B tech industry, you need to know what your customers are dealing with.
What are they up against? What are their goals?
When you make listening a part of your sales strategy, you are letting your prospect know that you truly care about their problems. You also are armed with the information you need to improve your solution and your sales process to better meet their needs.
Don’t just sell. Ask questions. Pay attention to verbal and tonal cues. Make knowing your customer a priority and you’ll be able to continually optimize your startup sales strategy. This is the key to achieving accelerated growth.
Keep Developing Your Sales Strategy
These startup sales strategies are going to help you scale. Combine the strategies that are the best fit for your business and for your market. Then keep refining your process as you learn more about your customers.