Founder sales is necessary for most startups. I would suggest that founder sales would continue for the life of the business, with the founder you can modify their role over time. Founder sales can be challenging for entrepreneurs as they have so many things to do as well as take care of the other tasks involved with running their business. Here are a few founder sales tips
Create a Plan:
Without a sales plan it is hard to know where you are going and it is hard to get there. A plan will create a framework for your efforts as it serves as a great tool for the other members of the team. Some common elements could include sales goals, ideal customer profile, buyer persona, steps in the sales process, and more.
Use a CRM:
Many entrepreneurs may not be that familiar with a CRM, or haven’t had a good experience. We work with many entrepreneurs that use excel or google sheets to manage their sales company, contact, and deal status information. This is not a sustainable way to manage sales. Using a CRM, like HubSpot, is scalable and allows for a great platform for growth.
Like planning documents, creating scripts can take time but will make your sales efforts more efficient. Email templates can be integrated into your CRM so it adds the contact/company variable data to the email. I would also recommend creating a telephone call script with objections. This can be practiced before the founder makes their sales. The call script will eventually become a security blanket, but it is a great way to start.
Leverage your Connections:
Often the startups initial sales are from their connections. These are typically faster sales as you can get a yes or no more quickly. I would suggest that founder sales targets can be expanded by using LinkedIn. By being active on LinkedIn and connecting with customers, prospects, former colleagues, and people you meet along the way you can grow your network. You can then see if your 1st connections are linked to good 2nd connections. You can ask for an introduction or reference them in your LinkedIn messaging.
There are many different sales education options for entrepreneurs. This could include Peer2Peer groups, taking sales education through a local RIC Centre, joining an accelerator, or even checking in with the VA Partners team to see how we can help with founders sales training. If you would like some help with your founder sales, connect with me today.