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Friday, August 13, 2010

Sales Strategy...Solutions v. Products

I see a lot of startups and more seasoned companies that are trying to cold sell their product. Cold selling a product is hard.

What I mean by cold selling is that they have a product (could be a service too) they like/love and they think just about everyone else will too, if they knew about it. This attitude is often characterized by statements like:

- "Everyone is a potential customer"
- "Sales are not a problem if I just had some more money"
- "I'm not worried about sales"

****Newsflash - Everyone should be worried about is the lifeblood of the company****

And there is help available.

Sales are indeed a process. In fact there are any number of websites that will be happy to show them to you. One simple flowchart is from :

This type of chart is a good start toward a real sales strategy because it is simple enough to be flexible for a variety of companies, but segmented enough to build a legitimate strategy outline.

Each step in the process should have a defined solution and in really great sales organizations there are numerous solutions to each step.

Nonetheless, the heart of the process will almost always be the solution. The solution has to have a compelling value proposition to the customer, or inertia and the noise of life/business will makes sales much more difficult. If a company has a solution with a compelling value proposition then most of the remaining process is simply communication.

To validate or formulate a value proposition is critical and there are also any number of websites that will talk about that process as well. Blue Ocean Strategy is probably my favorite, but the simplest one is something I have heard many times around the house:

1. The easiest thing to sell is something that "makes" money,
2. the next easiest thing to sell is something that "saves" money, and
3. the hardest thing to sell is something that "cost" money.

Whatever they choose to use, if a company wants to have better sales, they probably need to look at their overall sales strategy because it can (and usually will) drive the success of a company.

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