Driving sales growth is key to any businesses success. Getting to a point of driving solid growth takes effort, investment and a lot of hard work. We work with a wide variety of companies ranging from pre-revenue startups to large corporations and a few of the factors that we have found led to the best long-term sales success include:
Understanding What Business Pain Your Product or Service is Solving
One of the things we speak to our customers about when exploring whether the product or service they have has a high probability of sales success is whether the particular product meets one or more of these four criteria:
- Assists in driving revenue
- Reduces expenses
- Improves efficiencies
- Mitigates a risk
The value proposition you develop should hit on one or more of the four key points. If possible it should have a quantitative component to it as numbers sell. As an example, what would excite you more as a buyer Our solution can help reduce your energy expenses by 60% or Our solution can help you reduce your energy expenses. Clearly, the one indicating 60% is more compelling.
Choose a vertical
Selling horizontal is tough – it can be done, but it is more challenging. To help drive sales growth faster we often recommend firms choose a vertical or two to specialize in. As an example, mining, financial or industrial. Choosing a vertical allows you to develop a strong value proposition in that particular market segment and more quickly build reference customers. One of the things that helps build confidence in a company’s product or service is a history of selling to similar firms.
To be successful selling, price is a major consideration in any clients buying decision. Deciding how to price whether you are running a software company or providing an ongoing industrial service or building, installing and maintaining a piece of equipment can be difficult. You need to understand your buyers budget cycle, how the purchase would be categorized as, the number of influential parties involved in the decision making process and corporate priorities. Take some time to understand the various options available to you and consider what your competitors are doing.
The Competitive Landscape
Positioning against your competitors is important. Know as much as you can about how they are positioning their product, pricing their solution, supporting installations post sale. The more you know about your competitors, the better you can position yourself accordingly. One of the best ways to learn about your competition can be through a mystery shopper exercise or by asking customers and prospects.
Sales Process – Time
Give yourself time to build a sales funnel and close business. Success is B2B sales is not found in a few months, rather it happens over the course of many months and years. It takes time to build a solid sales funnel and when you consider most B2B sales processes take six to 18 months to run their course. You need patience and a persistent effort to see those opportunities through and continue to bring in new ones.
Sell Your Product or Services Yourself for a While
We recommend whether you be a senior leader in a larger company or a CEO of a startup, you should have some experience selling your solution. This experience will allow you to better understand the sales process, what customers are looking for, what the value proposition should consist of and so forth.
If you are in need of assistance from a sales and marketing perspective feel free to contact me. I would be happy to see if we can help. Alternatively, if you are simply looking for a source of excellent sales and marketing information, please feel free to sign-up for our newsletter or follow us on Twitter.