Starting a B2B business today – First vital sales steps that matter: Vinay Parakala
Vinaya Prakhala is the Founder & President of Sales Enablement Society, India Chapter. He is also the VP of Deskerra, which is a suite of various business enablement solutions. He comes with over two decades of experience in sales across the globe. He is a great speaker and mentor.
Here, he shares a glimpse of what got him going in his 25 years of a long career. Through his experiences, he shares why individual startups fail to perform in sales and why certain startups perform exceptionally well in sales.
He shares his six steps to building a sales strategy for any organization, either struggling with or trying to improve their sales. They are:
- What is the product or service?
- Your primary offering, what is it? Have you clearly defined your product? Are you communicating with your customers? Do both of you and your customers have the same understanding of the product?
- How well have you packaged it? Is it logical? Does your packaging of products or services make sense to your customer? Take feedback from customers.
- What’s the asking price? Pricing is crucial, assign value to your package. Is it free, or freemium, or premium?
- What are they willing to pay?
Be clear, complete, concrete, concise, and correct.
- Where is it being sold, and to whom is it being sold? Understand your target audience and define the target market, Outline your total addressable market (TAM), Potential addressable market (PAM), Serviceable addressable market (SAM), and Serviceable obtainable market (SOM). What is it? I wish to get out of the market? Set goals for the market. These goals help you define your SOM and find the right direction to approach that market.
- How is it being sold? Find your GTM strategy, ideal customer vertical, and an ideal buyer persona. List all the individuals you are going to pitch (create an emotional story, not a product feature list). At this stage, you decide if you will base your marketing strategy on inbound or outbound, after which set up your sales process to reach your customers effectively. Based on the outcome of the tasks performed till now, decide if you would go the ABM way right out of the bat.
- When are you going to sell the product? Timing is everything in sales. Define your call timing (When you will you call the customer), social selling (put the right message and content across in the right time), ABM timing (Time when you will upsell, cross-sell, down sell to specific account so that they keep buying from you), and Budget (Define what is the maximum time and resources you are going to spend after a lead till you choose to give up on pursuing the lead)
- Why will anyone buy it? Find your niche and answer what differentiates you from your competitors. List down everything that separates you from logo and messaging to every inch of your product and brand. Don’t hard sell; be kind to your customers. These customers will be your product evangelists.
The other critical strategies for building your sales structure for a startup are:
- Objection handling
- Lead qualification
- Lead to LOGO: Mql to SAL to SQL to LOGO
- Sales technology used
- Outsourcing Sales
He later lays down the guide to increase your sales exponentially, the Dos and Don’ts of sales for startups, build a sales team, and various other vital questions.