Revenue is the lifeblood for any start-up with ambitious plans to grow. It’s the fuel that enables founders to build teams, fund go-to-market plans and develop those next killer product features. However, creating early sale momentum is one of the most difficult things to achieve for any start-up. Customers aren’t aware of your product. They don’t understand the value it can deliver and you have few case studies to support the sale. To make things even more difficult, your competitors seem to have endless marketing and sales resources to wow customers!
In this article, I propose two solutions to help start-ups get ahead of the competition. It will require breaking with some traditional ways of working, but for those who take the leap, I believe it lays the foundation for sustained revenue growth over the longer term.
How you sell is more important than what you sell.
Your product may be infinitely better, but as a start-up, customers see you as a risky proposition. To win, you need to overcome those fears and create compelling reasons to buy. If product value alone is failing to win, you need to find other ways to influence customer thinking and steer them towards your solution. The question is how?
Customer Purchase Experience (CPX)
In a recent study, 81% of customers said they view the customer experience as a competitive differentiator. Customers are much more likely to do business with a company if they offer personalised experiences. How you sell has become more important than what you sell. Customer expectations are higher than ever. Suppliers must be highly responsive to their needs. They want new insights, tailored content and help making key decisions along the way. It’s a tall order for any team, but that’s the new reality for most. However, there is good news. When teams operate in this way, studies show they can outperform others by as much as 80%, which for any start-up is a potential game changer. If the strength of your product alone is not enough, then bolster its value with superior purchase experiences that remove any customer doubt. Turn every interaction into another compelling reason to buy.
How to build a culture of sales innovation?
You need to create the right conditions where cross-functional team members can come together to deliver this kind of superior purchase experience. Your team know your customers, the market and competitors better than anyone else. Together, they have the ability to deliver the high value, tailored experiences that customers now demand. Ensure they have the space to work on customer strategies and planning. Allow them to explore different sales tactics – to test, reflect and learn. Create a culture of creativity and sales innovation. Share best-practices and scale across teams as you grow. In this model, people are empowered and thrive with a common sense of purpose and alignment.