In this two minute video clip I describe how to think about your marketing and sales effort.
A transcript of my comments follows.
I think it’s most important to think of sales as a process, and something that you can design and manage. I think a sales process should be systematic, persistent, incremental, and iterative. Each of those describe designing process, and then adjusting it and developing it as you learn how effective you’re being in the market.
If you think of persistent, that’s really important because is hard work. You don’t pay salespeople large amounts of money because you want to; you pay it because they have to, they’ve got a very difficult job to do. A lot of that job is a numbers game; the sales funnel and filling it at the top, and there’s a lot of truth to the fact that you have to work things to get them through the funnel and down to a deal.
With an early-stage company, it’s really important, actually in all aspects, not to go out and boil the ocean, not to try to do it all at once. It’s much better to beta test the way you sell in a market, a vertical, or with a particular title. Learn from that experience, and then incrementally grow out from there. That incremental process can be fast, but rather than do it all at once, you want to do it one step at a time.
Iterative really relates to that looping back, checking how well you’re doing, redoing it if it’s successful, tweaking it if it’s not. It is important to understand that you’ll be going this for a while, so you want to design a process that you can iterate on a number of times.
I think traditionally, sales has been seen as kind of a black box, where you’ve got a star that makes the sales. You don’t know how he did it, or she did, but she does. I think I like to move my clients away from that and think about, much like the way they design their products.