Growth Accelerator Blog

Tools, tips, strategies and solutions for startups and scaleups.

No hassle, no hubris. Just stuff that works. 

  • Startup growth strategy

  • Sensible marketing methods

  • Setup, simplify and scale sales 

Sellerant. Building better startups and emerging growth companies since 2007. 

Sales Tactics for Early-Stage B2B Startup Founders

Posted by Sellerant August 10, 2020 11:22:47 AM CDT

You must develop your audience engagement strategy as soon as possible. If you become a true expert on engaging your buyers in early growth stages, you can train your future sales team far more effectively.

#1 8.6.2020 Executing Sales as a Founder


Early-stage startup founders assume various roles: leader, marketer, accountant, product manager, and — last but not least — sales. You know your new business will not survive without sales, but where to start? 

You must develop your audience engagement strategy as soon as possible. If you become a true expert on engaging your buyers in early growth stages, you can train your future sales team far more effectively. Here are some tips to get you started. 

Build and Hone Your Self-Confidence

Some people enjoy natural self-confidence, while others must develop this attribute. We all have to practice it as a skill, or like a muscle, our ability to project self-confidence can atrophy. Salespeople who lack self-confidence almost universally underperform. 

Take an inventory of your strengths and weaknesses when engaging prospects and customers. Have you memorized a compelling value proposition for your product or service? Do you really understand your market and how your product solves challenges? Do you simply get a bit nervous when talking with strangers?

Draw from your strengths to overcome your weaknesses. If you have a thorough understanding of the challenges your prospects face, let that drive your conversations with them. Business owners tend to trust people who can clearly articulate the problems they have and offer a solution. When your prospects and customers trust you, it will boost your self-confidence and help overcome any natural nervousness.

Are you still learning about how your product or service fits within the context of your market and buyers? Be exceptionally personable and drive conversations towards letting your prospects talk about their business challenges and their initial perceptions of your product or service offering. In this way, you can leverage superior people skills to remedy knowledge gaps — and use engagements with prospects and customers to cover those gaps.

Using Self-Confidence to Drive Valuable Engagements

Once you’ve developed and honed your ability to project self-confidence, use this asset to drive strategic, valuable engagements with your prospects and customers. Confidence alone will not ensure your buyer conversations yield the data you need to develop superior sales tactics.

Enter each engagement with a critical eye towards your own potential biases. Startup founders are no more immune to information biases than anyone else. If you let a bias fester and infect your buyer conversations, you will almost inevitably slide backwards in developing better sales tactics.

Conquer availability bias by considering as many data points as possible — not just the examples that most easily come to mind. Conquer confirmation bias by taking the hardest look at data points that undermine your business hypothesis. Conquer belief perseverance simply by letting the data — not inertia — drive tactics and decisions.

With self-confidence in hand, product/service knowledge at the ready, and biases in check, you’re ready to conduct an ongoing series of problem interviews and other valuable conversations. Backed by a careful engagement strategy, this activity will generate invaluable qualitative data about your product-market fit and help you boost sales accordingly.

Learn More Field-Tested Sales Tactics

Building self-confidence and planning valuable buyer engagements are just two pieces of the startup sales puzzle. Once you develop a complete toolbox of sales tactics, you will find yourself in a position to drive considerable sales growth. Not only will your own buyer engagements improve substantially, you will also develop the all-important training framework for your future sales team.

Ready to have a larger conversation about startup sales tactics? Let’s talk!

Topics: Sales Strategy, Sales Enablement

Recent Posts