How to build a sales strategy for startups and scaleups

Having a clear sales strategy for startups and scaleups is essential to helping ramp up your revenues and moving you to the next level. But what are the areas you’ll need to focus on to get your sales strategy right?

Sales strategies for startups

Lead generation
At an earlier-stage startup, the focus is on building your experience and learning how to generate and, most importantly, convert leads. This stage is particularly important if you don’t come from a sales background. Testing and learning will play a key role here, as you understand the best way to generate leads and turn them into paying customers.

It’s worth noting down the different platforms at your disposal for finding leads, whether it’s social media, creating content for your website or reaching for the phone. You’ll likely try a bit of everything in the beginning as you search for the sweet spot and a process that brings results.

Keeping it founder-led
Startups tend to perform better when they centre the first strategy around founders. The time will come for hiring marketers and senior sales people who can put together something on a larger scale. But for now, you are the most vital component of the business and should will need to be the connector between the product team, clients and sales.

That’s not to say collaboration from other stakeholders isn’t welcome. Yet, it would be best if you focused on the founder element while gaining experience as a business finding its way in its industry.

More synergy across teams
Having synergy between teams supports communications, from sales to product. Everyone needs to be reading from the same page, which is why there should always be transparency and clarity across the board.

Teams don’t tend to be the biggest in early-stage startups, but that doesn’t mean everyone can’t become misaligned as they focus on their own tasks. Having employees in sync allows your team to understand each other’s pain points. The product team should feed into sales, and there should be a focus on feedback from the sales team, especially as they’re the ones picking up real-life customer data in daily conversations.

Proposition, people, process
When drafting your strategy, consider the three Ps: proposition, people and process. By truly understanding your proposition, you’ll be able to differentiate your product or service from competitors. It will underpin your sales strategy and inform you about who the business needs to hire.

​​Once you have the people in place, you can start working out the process. This will help you see how lead gen looks in your business and the best way to convert. With the three Ps, startups can establish their strategic approach and find the right balance.

Sales strategies for scaleups
Optimisation and alignment
By now, you’ll likely have a team in place. With that in mind, this part of the strategy is about optimisation and how you can get the best results out of your team across each department. Align people with different experiences and levels within the business.

Doing so will again provide more clarity and a better understanding of who does what in their roles. From sales and marketing to product and finance, aligning your teams can work together to achieve better outcomes.

Implementing a RevOps model
A RevOps model can be highly effective as it creates that much-needed synergy between teams and focuses on driving revenue. RevOps breaks down the silos between sales, marketing, customer success and even finance departments.

What you get as a result is a unified commercial engine. RevOps is responsible for software, systems, processes and data. These approaches provide scaleups with more information that allows them to make more informed decisions across the business.

Learn more about RevOps

Data and metrics
As more data becomes available, you’ll start to have a better picture of what needs to be done to achieve success. It will essentially allow you to review and reset so you can see what you might need to remove from your processes, such as tools used by the team.

As a result, you’ll be able to make better decisions about what’s needed going forward. You can tap into the data and metrics to see what works in your strategy, what needs improving and what hasn’t been successful. You’ll come out the other side more confident and agile in your setup.

Expanding the team
Now is the stage where the strategy focuses on expansion. You’re scaling up, and demand is increasing. It’s time to think about different roles within your team. That may involve hiring more specialists for the marketing department or bringing a data specialist on board.

Whichever route you go down, you’ll likely need to build on the team you already have as the company grows. This presents an exciting opportunity to be aggressive in your approach to winning more businesses.

The right B2B sales strategy for startups and scaleups
Having a sales strategy for startups and scaleups in place gives you a better understanding of your setups and helps to make smarter decisions about building the business and increasing revenue. The best companies succeed because they have a well-thought-out strategy designed to get the right results.

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