Start-ups need money to grow and in the case of most businesses this means that they need to increase their sales. So, how do you go about doing this?
Well, we’ve compiled a list of 5 different ways that start-ups can increase their sales and grow their businesses to new levels – see below.
Sort, rank and follow up with your sales leads
One major mistake that many small businesses and start-up companies make is not having a good way of ranking and tracking their sales leads on a consistent basis.
Large sales organizations tend to use a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system for keeping track of critical information on every prospective customer over time. These types of systems allow companies to keep notes on prospective customers, evaluate sales leads based on their likelihood to make a purchase, and prompts follow-ups at certain intervals throughout the entire sales process.
However, even if you are operating a small company that doesn’t have a big enough budget for running a large CRM system, sorting and ranking sales leads is still possible. You can do this sorting and ranking process by simply tracking your sales leads on a spreadsheet and prioritizing them based on most promising or highest potential. After your sales leads are all sorted and ranked, you will then want to “nurture” them. This isn’t done by just making one cold call to them, but involves having a series of contacts with them over time in order to build a close relationship with them and provide value to them along the way, even when it doesn’t lead to a sale immediately.
Over time, follow up with prospective buyers- keep notes from each conversation that you have, including what questions they ask you, and why you believe this prospect fits in well with what you are selling. Repeat the process whenever necessary.
Pre Sales Support Can Reveal Lost Sales Patterns
Everybody seems to believe that their website copy and sales funnel are great. However, realistically speaking, it all comes down to not really knowing what you aren’t aware of. There could very well be usage patterns that may confuse prospective buyers of your products that you really couldn’t have ever anticipated. By having a solid pre-sales support system in place, you can start to recognize patterns into what is causing lost sales. Some of the best ways of discovering these issues is implementing a basic pre-sales FAQ, a telephone system such as Grasshopper, or a live chat system such as Olark.
Build your credibility
Trust is the basis of all good sales relationships. However, if you are a new company without a lot of existing clients, how can you build trust and demonstrate that you are here for the long haul?
One aspect to building credibility may include sharing some of the details regarding the industry experience that your executive team has. Think about whether you have any advisors on your company’s board that are well connected and highly respected within your industry. Or if there are any venture capital investors with major ties that are willing to provide your company with public support. Additionally, having a central office in a reputable location available can help too – a quality mail forwarding service or virtual office service can help with this.
These are the kinds of stories that you need to be willing to discuss as part of your company’s overall sales process. The sales process for a start-up company not only involves selling the value of your products to prospective customers, but also demonstrating that your product fits within a broader context and is respected and trusted by individuals who your buyers respect and trust. A reputation management business can help with this.
There are so many ways that a brand can improve their business and thus their sales through the use of new technology. One great way to do so is to introduce a POS system. These systems create a smoother and faster ordering process, create a great first impression among customers and also reduce mistakes, increasing customer satisfaction. Many such as those offered by Revel Systems use the attractive iPad as a POS device and they can be used to help anything from single location to multi-location businesses to succeed.
You will be repeatedly asked about your ROI. However, to truly get ahead of the curve, you should be thinking about what risks are involved with ignoring certain opportunities. Keep in mind that when social media first began to steal advertising dollars from television and print, that many CFOs kicked and screamed about it.
Sales is a human process. You need to be in the forefront of your prospective and current customer’s minds. Your champion attending a prospective buyer’s meeting might only have a one hour meeting with her or his CEO later that day. Will your company be discussed 5th or 1st?
Your sales process needs to be managed. Otherwise, all you will end up with is one “good” meeting after another without every actually getting anywhere. Many founders make this mistake. Sales is actually what takes place in between meetings.
These five ways can change the way a start-up does business and help increase sales no-end – helping them grow and succeed.