Trinamo believes that why people buy from you and how you sell to them changes as your business evolves. What you need to do to be successful when you are a “start-up” is different to when you are an established brand, with a large customer base and market reputation.
We believe there are three life stages when selling into any market; Each stage has its own characteristics and challenges. As a start-up you might be in one life stage, moving to another. As a more mature business, you might have a variety of life stages. In either case, knowing what life stages you are in and what you need for sales success is key to achieving manageable business growth
So what are these life stages?
Search – Looking for your first few customers.
Typically, this is the early stage of a tech start up or when you move into a new region where you have little brand reputation.
For a start-up, you are selling to the “early adopters”, often known to the founders in some way. The founders are instrumental in everything; product development, pre-sales, sales, customer support. The most important activity is to get the first customers signed up and then turn them into references. By the end of this life stage, you have a proven capability… that now needs focus!
For a more mature business, many leaders forget that moving to a new region is like moving back to “search”. The HQ will be doing well but setting up outside your home territory is hard; the market might not know you and you won’t have local references.
Focus – Proving that the MVP can start to dominate
This stage of a tech business has proved the value proposition, has received first or second round funding and is looking to expand the team and the revenue. Investors will be expecting their money to support the rapid expansion within a market.
To deliver this expansion, sales wins need to become systematic. This means the founding team needs to expand. This first serious foray into recruitment can be a mine field. For example, many companies mistakenly recruit sales ‘farmers’ when they should be identifying sales ‘hunters’. They also tend to hire people who have connections to other sales prospects… but what happens when those connections are exhausted?
One question often not asked is this; “Has this person any proven experience of successfully taking new, unknown brands, products and services to market and systematically growing sales?”
Scale – Becoming the market leader, led by Key Accounts
At this stage a tech business has a strong established revenue stream and maybe looking for additional funding with a view to further expansion. This creates different challenges.
At the ‘scale’ stage, a business is more complex. There are likely to be multiple products/services being sold into multiple regions, This means a global sales and marketing function that straddles a variety of life stages:
At this point, predictable sales growth comes from knowing which life stage each part of your business is at and the aligning the sales approach to meet the buying needs at that life stage. This requires commonality at a process level to deliver efficiencies but different sales and marketing skills; key account management is very different to opening a new territory with new products (may be as a result of acquisition).
It is not uncommon for one sales leader to have to manage a team spanning all three life stages. At Trinamo, we believe business success is a product of systematic, disciplined activity over time where people, processes and organisations align to drive success. If at any time people, processes and organisation misalign it will have a direct impact on the ability to drive revenue.
Depending upon the stage of a business there are different challenges that need to be overcome. Regardless of your life stage, we offer a range of services to help you deal with these challenges.
- Coaching / mentoring: an affordable, practical approach to support founders, leaders and managers overcome marketing and sales constraints and help prevent critical mistakes
- Constraint analysis & planning: a rapid, pragmatic and proven capability to help you identify the key marketing and sales constraints in your business and an action plan to fix those constraints
- Interim support: implementation of an agreed action plan to address skills / bandwidth constraints across marketing and / or sales.
- Hiring / recruitment hiring: work with sales people to help manage the complete recruitment process from vetting candidates to on boarding them and developing processes to help with sales management.
This can mean different things for different stages:
For a start-up, this might be about helping deliver a digital marketing plan or providing a senior sales professional for 2 days a week to help navigate through complex negotiations and closing sales efforts
For a focus business this is often about helping the founding team hire remove bandwidth and skills contraints; implement good sales enablement processes that codifies the knowledge of a founder, help with that crucial first sales hire and implement marketing techniques to build the pipeline
For a scale stage business Trinamo can provide extra bandwidth and expertise to help larger businesses introduce ‘search’ stage strategies without de focusing from the core business activity whilst growing additional revenue streams.
To find out more call +44 (0) 207 801 6309 or to book a free marketing and sales growth consultation click below.