How To Win More Sales.
One of the most common challenges I see when mentoring new startup entrepreneurs is their lack of focus and clarity on what’s really important to take they businesses forward and win more sales.
With that in mind, here is a simple Startup pro framework for quickly resetting your clarity, vision and purpose. Being clear and exact about what you do, how you do it and why it matters will quickly help you focus your thoughts and actions on winning more sales.
What problem you are solving? – The holy grail for the Startup Entrepreneur. Being able to clearly identify the problem you are solving with fine granularity is not only important for developing and delivering the ideal solution, it’s also paramount for helping to define the correct target audience.
What does your ideal customer look like? – Seems simple enough, but you would be amazed at how many entrepreneurs cannot articulate who their ideal customer is, and are therefore committing all of their effort, focus and resources on unvalidated assumptions. Do you really know the avatar of your perfect customer, why your product or service matters to them and how it improves their condition? Validate this quickly and correctly and you will be well on your way to startup success.
What’s your strategy? – Your overarching “end game” strategies should be crystal clear and include defined measurable success criteria for your key objectives, outcomes reached and results delivered.
What is Your proposition, exactly? – Being crystal clear on your proposition, what it is, how it’s delivered who it’s for and the problem it solves is imperative if you want to increase your customers propensity to buy. Your proposition should be concise, easy to explain and understand with the value provided being blindingly obvious from the outset. Having your potential customers trying to figure out what your value is and where it fits for them, might suggest that your offering does not solve the problem you thought it did, is overly complicated or that you may be targeting the wrong audience.
Your Pricing model – At first glance your financial model and pricing structure may be obvious, but many overlook this area as one with the potential to provide important market differentiation. I have used disruptive industry financial models on several occasions and to great effect. What you charge, how and when can have a significant impact upon your sustainability as well as your customers propensity to buy, so make sure it works as well for them as it does for you. Don’t be tempted to automatically follow the crowd. The crowd rarely gets it right.
Marketing – Many new entrepreneurs make the mistake of listening to everyone who has an opinion when it comes to marketing. The challenge here is that the advice of others can, and so often is based upon nothing more than anecdote and theory. The nuances of your marketing strategy and approach will likely be as unique as your business in many ways and whilst experienced advice from others can be useful for general direction and “lessons learned” it should not be relied upon as a cast iron blueprint. The bottom line here is that you are going to need to spend some time, effort and possibly money to experiment and figure out where your marketing sweet spot is. Once again please resist the temptation to blindly imitate what everyone else is doing without validation. This approach makes the critical assumption that those you are following or worse still copying are getting it right and are actually producing the desired results. Due to the uniqueness of businesses, what works for one organisation, even if it’s within the same or similar industry sector may produce very different outcomes when applied for others. True marketing success is about defining a process driven approach that’s monitored, measured and iteratively improved over time, based upon the successes of your own marketing campaigns and efforts and not that of others.
Sales – Unlike marketing that increases exposure awareness and trust, your sales stratagies should focus on the process of customer creation and closing the sale. Plenty of small businesses and solo entrepreneurs are great at marketing but are constantly chasing revenue because they have failed to develop the strategies and processes needed to make the sale. Can you clearly define your sales process right now? I don’t mean your marketing efforts, or prospect qualification methods, I mean the actual step by step process of making the sale and transitioning a qualified prospect to a happy customer. Most businesses with low revenues have significant gaps in this area. Successful businesses on the other hand can describe in granular detail their turnkey processes for making and closing a sale.