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Start-ups

Long Sales Cycle? That is NOT OK.

I recently sent a note to an entrepreneur friend of mine whose company is doing well, but I heard thru the grapevine that he needed some help in the sales department – that things just weren’t moving along as fast as he would like them to.  So I reached out and let him know that I had some cycles available if he wanted some help putting together a sales plan, and figuring out how to accelerate his growth.

He very quickly, and politely replied that the type of sales planning and assistance that I do at QuotaCrush really wasn’t applicable because, “his product has long sales cycles and long lasting relationships.”

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The 21st Century Rolodex: The Sales Network

I wrote a while ago about how I think the value of the rolodex is gone, yet still so many people hiring sales people want to know about your Rolodex.  Who do you know at their target companies, and who do you know in a particular industry.

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More math = less sales

A sales person that used to work for me called me last week to get my opinion on a new position he was considering.  We chatted for a while about the position and the opportunity, and I was very excited for him.  Its a great company, a great product, a great team – and I think it will afford him quite a bit of opportunity to advance his career.

Then we started to figure out if the comp was right for him.

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Sales Lessons from the Grand Bazaar

One of the nicest things about being in sales is getting to travel to interesting places that you probably wouldn’t go to normally.  In my career, I’ve seen nearly the entire US and several countries.  Last week, I got the opportunity to travel to Istanbul and it was an amazing experience.  I am very intriqued by historic sites, and in particular the events that shaped the world we live in today, but actually planning a trip to Turkey wasn’t high on my list.  My family would much rather travel to more relaxed and vacation sites that require less thinking.  And… as a salesperson that travels, we are often at the mercy of where our families want to go when we do get fun travel.

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Don’t Declare Sales Victory Too Early

Sales is hard.

Anyone who has done sales in a start-up can attest to that fact.  Great salespeople make it look easy – or at least hide the struggle well from non-salespeople.   Once a great salesperson builds their pipeline, gets down their pitch and starts rolling with it, they can easily bring companies on the pipeline, and move them through, and can often do it with, what looks like, ease and finesse – and often with amazing predictability.

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The Murder Board

The essential but horrible sounding named murder board.  Every time I bring it up with a new person, I get confused stares – yet I think its an essential tool for both salespeople and entrepreneurs.

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Your start-up sales strategy must include an up-sell

Up-selling, despite what some people believe, is not a sneaky or dishonest sales strategy.  In fact is is an essential strategy for start-ups.  I do, however, understand, how many people can see it this way.

At the bagel store near my house, a bagel costs $0.49.  Yet, order that bagel with $0.03 worth of butter, and the bagel is suddenly $1.69.  Why does the store do this?  Because its great to advertise bagels that cost only $0.49, but who comes into the store and only orders 1 bagel with nothing on it?  The upsell is the critical method of driving profit into the store.

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'Tis the Season for Sandbagging

Its worth repeating my post from last December about the December Sales Problem.

December is a hard sales month for companies for several reasons:  The month is really only 2.5 weeks long before your prospects shut down.  Budgets are often used up.  Vacations make it hard to get deals done.  Prospects are more focused on their Holiday party then they are on your solution, etc.  The list is long, and very intuitive why its hard to get sales done.  However, as I’ve posted before, December can actually be an amazing month for sales.

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