Sales & Marketing


I’m going to increase my writing about sales & marketing in the near future.  I put a few posts up front that I have already covered in the Startup Series.  But I will soon begin a discussion about sales methodologies.  Stay tuned.

10 Marketing Tips for Startups

Some Other Thoughts on Sales & Marketing

1. The Burning Platform – There are 3 steps you need to solve to effectively sell your products. 1) Why buy anything? 2) Why buy mine? and 3) Why buy now? The first two are easy – it’s the third that drives faster sales conversions. This post covers the three questions of sales.

2. Elephant, Deer and Rabbits - Many companies make the mistakes that I made in trying to serve multiple customer segments early in your company’s existence.  In this post I argue that most companies should be Deer Hunters but at a minimum narrow your range and hunt in one segment.

3. Embrace Losing – I hate losing.  I really hate losing.  But you need to embrace losing if you want to learn.  Channel your negative energy.  Revisit why you lost.  Ask for real and honest feedback.  Don’t be defensive about it – try to really understand it.  But also look beyond it to the hidden reasons you lost.  And channel the lessons to your next competition.

4. You’re Most Vulnerable Just After You Win a Deal – Competitors have nothing to lose.  Internal enemies at your client play their cards more openly.  Thing can get ugly.  Never celebrate until the ink on the contract is dry and the check is in the bank.

5. Save Your Spin for Someone Who Cares – How should you best use your PR with VCs or business development partners?  This post covers the topic of why PR is so important but so often misplayed.

6. How to present at big meetings without going down a rat hole.  Big meetings are hard to manage.  Unless you have a sponsor to help you manage the process and know how to deal with detail merchants, naysayers and silent partners you’ll find yourself in big trouble.

7. How to not suck at giving group presentations to large audiences. Many people treat stage presentations as extensions of small room conversations.  They’re not.  You need to understand this dynamic and practice, practice, practice.  This post covers the basics.

8. Beware of crocodile sales.  You know, big mouth and small ears!

9. Be careful not to become a conference ho – Many young startup CEO’s feel the need to be at every conference.  This is a telltale sign of immaturity.  Here’s the low-down on what everybody is saying about this person.

Sales Methodology (PUCCKA)

Why a methodology in the first place?

1. Pain

2. Unique Selling Proposition

3. Compelling Event

4. Champion

5. Key Players

6. Aligned Purchasing Process

More Thoughts on Sales

1. Evanglical sales – why hiring seasoned sales reps at a startup may not help.

2. Scaling Sales: Arming & Aiming – A’s, B’s and C’s – as you grow you need to segment your deals better and focus sales reps on A deals while getting marketing to pick up C deals.

3. Scaling Sales: Arming & Aiming – Objection Handling

4. Get the Need Agreed

5. Neutralize Enemies

6. Journeymen, Mavericks and Superstars – Understanding startup sales people

7. Forecasting