5 Sales Hacks For Early Stage Entrepreneurs

“You always, always need to put your customers first. They are of the utmost priority, and your startup is primarily dependant on them. Give the customer what they want, not what you want to give them.” says Niraj, Co-founder, CEO of Hiver. At Hiver Niraj hired first sales person after reaching $1mn ARR.

While delivering speaking at “Sales For Startups”,  Niraj  shares five sales hacks with fellow entrepreneurs. 

1. Don’t look for customers, look for the right product-market fit.  

It’s not about finding a few customers that’ll pay a lot of money, but finding a problem and a market with potentially many customers. Instead of focusing on finding customers, focus on finding a product that will solve the problems of a large segment of population. This approach may not be a ‘traditional sales approach’, but it works. The no customizations, product roadmap first approach is a healthy way to build a good scalable SaaS business.  

2. The No Sales sales mantra:

Sales doesn’t always have to involve ‘selling’.  Not a salesman? You don’t have to be! Let your engineering skills grab the wheel. Just concentrate on product optimization, and customers will automatically flock to you.

Another no sales tactic you can use is to pivot your energy towards high customer quality service. Make sure to be virtually available to customers around the clock. In fact, one of your primary duties should involve customer support.

3. The visibility magic spell: SEO

Wondering what your center of attention should be during your company’s initial years? SEO, Marketplace Presence, and more SEO. This strategy can help create a bridge between you and customers who were looking for solutions your company is providing.

The next step should be to make it as easy as possible for potential customers, who found you and came on your site, to sign up. But it’s not over yet. In order to turn your sign ups into customers, make sure to meticulously track the post sign up activity of potential customers; and follow their journey from sign up; to using the product successfully; to payment.

Along with this, it is essential to remember there’s no SEO without good quality content. No time is ever spent enough on content optimization. From every word to every sentence length, the content has to be deeply optimized using multiple tools to ensure customer conversion.  

4. Move Forward

After securing your first 10 customers, don’t stop there. Applying the following basic tenets of selling can help you move forward in your climb to success:

  • Inbound lead generation – Be a magnet. When it comes to sales, use the ‘Don’t push, but pull’ policy.  
  • Inside sales – Have a strong inside sales or customer hunting strategy to maximize customer conversions.
  • Customer success – After selling to customers, ask yourself, how do you make sure they buy more from you? Your focus should be on customer satisfaction and success.

5. The Hybrid Approach

Niraj Ranjan Rout concluded his insightful presentation with a retrospection of his experience of sales as an entrepreneur over the years. Even though his company was constrained by the fact that all the Co- Founders were engineers and not salespersons, he recommends startups to build a hybrid sales approach. A small yet efficient sales team working directly with customers; along with the above suggested sales hacks can do wonders for your startup.

 

Try out these sales hacks for yourself and let us know your experience.

“Sales For Startups” is a part of “ForStartups” series conducted by NSRCEL @ IIMB. “ForStarups” event happens on the every first Saturday of the month. For more information please check www.4startups.in or www.nsrcel.org

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