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1 – Revenue Acquisition Portfolio
Check out the latest Startup Selling podcast episode in which I cover this topic.
Time is your most scarce resource, which means that you have earn the right risk-adjusted return on your time investment when it comes to customer and revenue acquisition strategies.
Just like an investment portfolio, you should neither rely solely on one investment nor spread yourself too thinly across too many investments.
Figure out the “portfolio” that’s right for your business.
2 – Stop pretending that “following up” and “circling back” is selling.
I really hate this. Have a real reason to get back in touch. Or better… the next time your prospect asks you to “check back” in a couple weeks –
First, schedule a time right then and there for the next call – “Great. Let’s book a time right now two weeks out.”
Second, give your customer a homework assignment. “Now that we have the call booked, let’s both agree to a homework assignment. On my end, I’ll put together the case examples that you asked about. On your side, would you be able to put me in touch with your IT lead so I can learn more about how they handle integrations?”
The outcome here is to vet whether or not you have a real sales opportunity, or someone that’s telling you to “follow up” with the intention of blowing you off and avoiding your call in a couple weeks.
3 – Team Selling
Look for a way to involve your team in the sale. No customer expects you to have all of the answers to their questions. Even if you do, take a couple of the customer questions, especially technical ones, “back to the team.”
Use the unanswered questions as an opportunity to set up a follow up call with your head of engineering, CTO, cofounder, or anyone else in your company that you can cast as a technical expert.
Then say – “I’m bringing my VP of Engineering to the next call. Would you mind have 1-2 technical folks on your side join us as well?”
I remember my first sales manager when I was selling textbooks in North Carolina – a guy named Butch Porter.
He told me to make sure that everyone at the home office knew about my bigger deals. This way I’d get the home office support plus make the customers feel special for all of attention from the marketing managers, editors, and SMEs that would come down on work trips.
He said – “Don’t be a hero. Never go down alone. If the ship sinks, bring everyone down with you.
Same goes with your early sales efforts. Get the team involved so you win together and lose together.
4 – Spin a communication web
Once you get your team involved, now you’re adding communication nodes between your company and the target company. Every node strengthens the relationship and provides an opportunity to learn more about the other side.