The original long form blog post appeared on our Sales and Marketing Jam blog here.
This post is based on a webinar with Daniel Barber, VP of Revenue at Node.io, who shares some valuable insights on the fundamentals of sales process and sales strategy.
According to Daniel, a successful sales strategy is one that finds the best possible way to distribute a product or service to the market. The sales process is all about finding the right people and systems to actually execute that strategy.
When developing a good strategy, it’s important to have three key questions in mind:
- Are you selling directly to a business?
- Are you selling directly to a consumer?
- Are you selling through an indirect channel?
Once you can answer that question, you’ll be able to narrow down your target audience and choose the right business model. Daniel says there are essentially four types of models that all tech businesses are based on:
- The charge per user model, where your revenue depends on the number of users: more users equal more revenue.
- The usage model, where your revenue depends on the total usage of your product or service.
- The revenue share model, where you charge customers a percentage of the revenue that your product or service generates for them.
- The flat-price model, where you charge a flat rate for your product or service.
Once you know which business model you’d like to use, you can finalize your sales strategy and get to work pitching your business to potential customers.
When it’s time to put your sales process into motion, you should look at three aspects: inbound sales, outbound sales, and closing sales. According to Daniel, in the early stages of a company, it’s important for founders to be able to close the first few deals.
After some growth has happened, Daniel recommends that the first people hired are “sales closers” who can keep the ball rolling. He says it’s best to “treat hiring sales professionals the same way you’d treat qualifying customer leads.”
He also notes that the key to successfully closing a deal is bringing in a customer success representative long before the deal actually closes and working with the account executives to really understand the customer’s needs before you get to work pitching your product or service. You should think, “Who’s actually good at sales?” and use them strategically.
When it comes to success, timing is also important. Daniel recommends avoiding hiring in pairs, and instead to hire sequentially. That way the reps who start first are in a position to help the new ones that start later, ultimately reinforcing the knowledge and carrying on proven techniques (and helping them avoid mistakes, too).
It’s also a good idea to set up an office location near the people you want to hire. For example, if you want engineers, plant your office near a top-tier engineering college and snag up talent as soon as you find it.
Basically, having a great sales strategy comes down to a few things: asking the right questions, choosing the right model for your market, and hiring a great team that will lay the foundation for success. Daniel notes that it’s good to re-evaluate at every stage and let your sales strategy grow organically, too.
Catch the recap here: