I’d like to use word Business Development People rather than Sales People, as it isn’t just about the pitch anymore it about the story you tell your prospect to inspire and getting them on board.
So, I decided to classify 7 skills needed by any Startup in their Sales team
1. Don’t urge to sell, try helping them.
(We hear it left and right, “The times have changed.” — says someone on EARTH)
But it’s TRUE. Customers nowadays can sniff out a salesperson like never before. But people are not injurious to having a passionate and educated adviser listen to them and point them in the right direction. People are so packed up with there schedules now-a-day that anyone who can help them along the way is truly seen as valuable.
Yes, you may be selling products or services, but one needs to forget about that it when we’re on the phone or skype call. Com’on, be the human-o-Wikipedia in your space and give people real advice and help. Your prospects need help getting their job done that why they are talking with you, and if we can provide that help, they’ll be interested.
2. Willing to learn every single day.
I Don’t think that needs any explanation, I realized that working in start-up sales means learning constantly. You’ve been selling for years. You’ve been told you’re a natural salesman, and you got this in the bag, now you need to level up. You have to know your product or service inside out and make sure use multiple ways to express it to your prospect.
3. The desire to make a real difference (Building something big)
Everyone loves making money, at least every start-up does, I do love making money. But the best start-up (which eventually made a hell lot of money) actually have a mission to change something big, do something new to the world. So having a job in the business team of a start-up means you are a part of something big and each close deal can be an opportunity to make a real difference in customers lives.
4. Inspire people to speak with you
When you’re on a mission to make difference and change something big, you need to brush up on your persuasion skills first. How can you convince someone if you are not..? In start-up sales, we need to be able to truly inspire someone, and that can only be done once you are inspired first towards it.
5. Connect with Right people.
Most sales guy jump right for the c-level executives, I don’t like that anyway. But these executives don’t just accept unsolicited messages, email and LinkedIn invites from anyone. You need to be really strategic — try finding out an influencer, the insiders, the mutual connections, who you can give value to in exchange for getting to the top.
6. Differentiate from the pack.
I really don’t care how “innovative “ or “passionate” you are, because that differentiates point of every sales guy or start-up out there. More likely than not, there are other companies who do something similar, or possibly the exact same thing, that your company does. Think critically about why your differentiation. Part of being in a start-up sales role is building your own playbook — a sales handbook won’t be handed to you during training (if training even exists).
7. Have tough negotiation chops.
It’s generally understood that tech start-ups are looking to grow at any price, so be ready to negotiate. But this doesn’t mean lower the price and crack the deal if you are doing this that means you are not even a Business guy but moreover like a customer care executive who says “Thanks for being with us Have a nice day” even if you shout on them. You better need to learn to hold our ground to grow the start-up. Don’t be desperate to sell or to make incentives because the market won’t be same always.