It isn’t news that in the startup world, it is often a badge of honor to fly the airplane while fixing it. Startups need to have people involved who have an “all hands on deck” mentality and are comfortable wearing multiple hats. In order to succeed, flexibility must be embraced.
Startups are made of unique individuals that have specific skills. It’s impossible to be great in all the areas that must be considered when building a business from the ground up. Often, the areas that are not the founder’s strengths are the ones that can fall behind. Some of the top areas that come to mind are: vision, investors, funding, finance, operations, development, technology, and sales.
Startups by nature are created through great ideas with talented people behind them, but I have seen time and time again that these individuals don’t carefully consider the path to revenue generation. No matter how great a product or service is, a business must put the strategy and process in place for successful sales. Yet, on average 9 of 10 companies admit they don’t have a sales strategy or structure in place. Without these fundamentals, it’s difficult to know where to begin to make adjustments when the sales either aren’t closing as wins or are getting stuck somewhere in the process.
If this applies to your business, you are not alone. According to a 2020 analysis by Sales Xceleration, assessing over 1,600 current and past clients in a wide variety of industries, business owners and executives rated themselves as poor or below average in the following:
- 88% for Sales Strategy: Positioning, competitors, and value proposition
- 89% in Sales Analysis: Goals, quotas, metrics, and compensation
- 93% in Sales Methodology: Territory, coverage, processes, and CRM
- 88% in Sales Organization: Hiring, staffing, having defined roles, onboarding, and training
Having a solid sales infrastructure as a foundation is critical to producing consistent, repeatable results. When revenue or sales sputters, having a sales process in place will help you identify where the issues are and enable you to address those issues quickly and efficiently.