First, Make Something Customers Want.

By February 14, 2018 No Comments

Want to know how to make selling easier? Make something your customers want.

Sounds obvious, right?

But I often hear from founders that “prospects just don’t get it.” Or, that every single sales person they’ve hired has failed – despite a solid onboarding process and a track record of success everywhere else they’ve ever worked.

If this sounds like you, it’s time to look in the mirror.

What’s critical to sales success is selling something that customers actually want, or need.

Before criticizing the performance of your sales team or process, take a long, cold, hard look at your products and services.

Your product or service has to solve a problem for a clear market segment, in which the impact of the problem is big enough that it’s worth the cost, risk and effort to make an organizational change. It has to be much (MUCH!) better than how they are solving the problem today. It has to be priced in line with the value it creates. Next to putting in the hard work of selling, one of the more common challenges I see is a lack of a compelling value proposition.

Your team can’t sell their way around no compelling reason for your target buyer to buy.

That’s why a solid business model is your strong foundation for sales success.

I’m a big fan of Lean Canvas by Ash Maurya for early-stage companies, and Business Model Canvas (BMC) for everyone else.

If you haven’t already completed one, or haven’t reviewed yours in a while, that’s the place I’d start. Update your BMC. Revisit your assumptions. And rethink whether you actually have a sales problem… or whether you need to get out of the office and do some discovery and customer development instead.

Having a solid business model and being great at selling are both critical for startups. But one comes first.

This post first appeared on the Start Alberta website.