- Posted by Steve Gruber
- On July 3, 2012
- 0 Comments
Building sustainable sales success both corporate wide and even in a particular customer is not a game of hitting home runs but rather a game of hitting continuous singles and doubles that leads to a lot of runs scored.
Often times when working with start-up organizations we encounter a number of misperceptions related to sales, a couple of which include:
- They believe the sales cycle will only take 3 to 6 months (see our blog)
- They just need to land one major account
What people need to understand is very rarely do you ever land the “home run” account all in one shot. Nor do you do it in a few short months, nor are you able to sustain that level of success. You may get lucky once or twice but generally these wins are not enough to build a sustainable business on.
Rather, sustainable sales success is really more of a methodical process of continuously closing targeted opportunities both with new clients and existing clients. My colleague Mark Elliott recently did a blog that discusses how to effectively target accounts.
In many cases, it is a continuous stream of ever larger deals that happen over time as you build traction and trust in a customer or in an industry. For one client, as an example, we won a contract with a firm for products and services relating to their Ontario division (our client’s customer is one of the top 3 players in their space in North America).
This then has set the table for us to look at opportunities across the rest of Canada; if we can manage that successfully will lead us to the US market. Just to win the Ontario business took us over 1 year. We are now in year 2 and just looking at the rest of Canada. The reason I highlight this is that it will probably have taken close to 24 months to win and grow this account to just cover Canada, let alone the US.
Particularly for those individuals reading this that may be in a start-up, be sure to leave yourself with enough cash to manage a sustained sales effort over as long a time as possible. Your product doesn’t have to have all the bells and whistles completed nor does it have to solve all the customers’ business pains. It does have to work and be reliable. If yours is reliable, get started selling, be hyper focussed on your initial target markets and work to build and keep your sales funnel full.