Helping entrepreneurs sales efforts is core to what we do at VA Partners. We have helped hundreds of entrepreneurs sales efforts since our founding in 2006. There are many things that entrepreneurs can do to increase their comfort and effectiveness when it comes to sales. At the start of the business, they don’t have a sale team. It is often their responsibility, and they may be lucky to share it with others on the leadership team. In the absence of revenue, there can be no profit. Sales is key to a successful business. Here are a few of the things that I have seen work to helping entrepreneurs sales success.
Many entrepreneurs are subject matter experts, and technical, or operational leaders. Very few of them have much sales experience. One of the ways to get started is to learn about sales. This can take many forms and it is often good to mix in a few different sources. There are lots of webinars, podcasts, and online resources available. One of my favourite sources is HubSpot, they have lots of great blogs, templates, and free courses through the HubSpot Academy. There are also local Sales P2Ps that allow for interactive learning. I help to organize the Communitech Sales Leaders P2P. There are also more structured live courses like the Sales Bootcamp we run with the Innovation Factory. There are lots of options around learning entrepreneur’s sales, find the ones that work for you.
Get a plan
A sales plan will help significantly with an entrepreneur’s sales efforts. At VA Partners we use the structure of our Sales and Marketing Fast Start Plan. Creating a plan does take some time, but it will significantly speed up the execution using the right tactics and messaging.
Make the time
People often work on the things they like and delay the things they don’t want to do. I see this with entrepreneurs sales all the time. They often run out of time doing the other things they need to do. I suggest scheduling time in their calendars at optimal sales times. They can also set targets for things like meetings, proposals, and other significant sales targets to measure how they are progressing.
One of the hardest things to do is to have a sales call, meeting, or presentation with a customer if you are not used to it. Dealing with different types pf people and organizations makes sales challenging. It can be nerve racking for an entrepreneur. One of the best ways to feel more comfortable is to practice. You can role play sales calls or run through a presentation. Use a team member, friend, or a partner. The more you practice the better you will feel when you are in front of a customer or prospect.
Get some help
Find a company or individual who can help with your sales efforts. This could mean working on the plan, providing mentoring, or helping with coaching. This could be a short-term engagement to help get the most out of your time in sales.
If you are interested talking about how VA Partners can help with your own entrepreneurs sales contact me.