How To Get Your Startup Ready To Sell
We at Allied Legal specialise in helping startups sell. Our startup focussed sales-as-a-service and sales coaching packages are informed by decades of experience in selling B2B and B2C in the innovative tech space. In this article, we explore some essential steps for you to take prior to commencing sales that will “kick” your startup into sales-mode.
1. Have Your Sales Plan Ready To Go
While it sounds obvious, making sure you establish your sales plan in advance will go a long way in maximising your startup’s sales potential. Even if you have a well formulated plan in your mind, or one that has arisen from table conversations with your team, having a well written, structured sales plan can make all the difference. To start with, it makes you accountable.
Your sales plan should cover:
- Time to market. Your sales plan should outline your timeline from now to your first sale. It should detail all steps required to get you there.
- Channels to market. Your channel to market is the road your startup needs to walk to reach its customer base. You should have already identified some pathways to selling your product. Write down your ideal channels, then have at least three more as alternatives.
- Marketing and promotional material. While a sales plan isn’t the same as your marketing plan, you should address at least the bare bones of what is needed to kick off your marketing. Maybe that means developing your marketing assets, or maybe it means engaging a marketing consultant. Either way, it should be planned in advance (and budgeted for).
- Administrative steps. This should include all the housekeeping that needs to be completed before you start selling, for example legal and accounting steps that need to be taken.
- Budget. Clearly set out the budget required to implement your sales plan. This will help you plan in advance, and also ensure that you don’t ruin your profit margin with unplanned expenditures.
2. Begin Building Relationships
While you may not be ready to sell yet, you should start looking for key relationships that will help you get your sales off the ground. For example, if your startup operates in the health space, you should start talking to health organisations, hospitals, and other channels to market to let them know you exist. This sort of support can be a great source of leads down the line.
You should also look to connect with potential customers for casual meetings with a “getting to know you” objective. This will yield a number of benefits. First of all, it’s a great source of validation of your startup’s offering. You might receive feedback that inspires you to modify, improve or update your offering. Not only that, but it may create dialogue within the market you are looking to penetrate. If you impress a potential client with your offering, they are likely to talk to others. These simple steps to build relationships can give you a competitive edge when you are ready to start selling.
3. Handle Your Spring Cleaning
By the time you go to market, you don’t want loose ends. There is nothing more frustrating than your sales plan stalling because you haven’t dealt with your internal administration. Do you have the necessary facilities to begin taking payment? Do you have contracts prepared to engage customers? Are your accounting books in order? Is your team complete, happy and ready to go? Even something as simple as auditing and organising your files into a neat, structured digital folder can make all the difference when you are entering a potentially chaotic market.
4. Prepare Your Hit List
As a startup entering the market, you can’t afford to take a passive or disorganised approach to sales. No matter how good your product or service is, you need to be prepared to reach out to your ideal client base to start making sales. A well-researched, robust hit list will go a long way. You should know who you are reaching out to, how to contact them, why they would be interested in your product and when you are planning to initiate first contact. For more about reaching out to potential customers, read our article Growing your Startup – building your client base here.
Ready To Go To Market? Give Us A Call
At Allied Legal we offer sales coaching and sales-as-a-service packages for startups. Our startup sales team knows the best techniques to help you make your next sale. If you want to know more about how to get your sales off the ground, give us a call on 03 8638 0888 or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.