Sales Strategy Framework to Win Net New Business for Startups
If you are a tech startup that is targeting net new customers in B2B complex sales cycle, you can use this framework to establish a strong channel driven business and revenue growth to win new logos and customers.
I have worked with lot of established organization in tech industry and also handful of startups in my career. If you are in B2B indirect channel sales and want to acquire new customers, you cannot succeed unless you have a clearly defined strategy framework in place which adds value to your business.
Having a strategy document by itself is not going to solve anything for you. Sales strategy should be baked into day to day operations of the business and all employee, even none-sales people, should be trained and understand what exactly business is trying to achieve.
The strategy framework should empower your business and channel partners to drive growth and address the business triggers of your industry. These triggers, will result end users and partners to connect to each other and seek solutions and potentially make some changes in the way business works. For example, if you are a startup in cybersecurity space, having a security breach or data breach in an organization, will trigger a buying process for new security solutions which is the perfect time for you and your partner to be engaged and win net new business.
If you are in application industry, having application outage will trigger purchase cycle for an organization to go through new solutions in the market. For example, if the internet banking service of a major bank goes down, the bank highly likely will seek new and more effective and reliable application solutions to strengthen their application infrastructure.
Start with the benefits
Give your partners compelling reasons why they need to engage. Bring clear Return On Investment (ROI) statistics and numbers on what it means for end users and partners to use your products and services. These are normally the key business metrics which organizations are already tracking and ideally improving.
Metrics such as customer retention rate, customer loyalty, yearly or quarterly sales and revenue growth, market positioning and other key customer faced metrics will help partner understand why they should be engaged with you.
Growth is number one challenge of every organization and if you can make it clear and give your partners enough reasons to interact with you, you will have their attention.
Do not forget that you need to wow your partners. Driving 100% growth, meaning doubling their business will be a great achievement and no partners can ignore this result.
Training will be very important and key initiative for partners to deliver the results. This is a combination of on demand online and in-person training. This is sales, pre sales, technical, services, and post sales services in dept training which cover all aspects of the solution. Certification tracks and special discounts will help get everybody certified as well.
Pitch book and product road map will help sales and pre sales resources to properly transfer the messaging and maximizing their value.
Market insight videos, product innovation, sales tools and industry trends will be key enabler to equip partners with the newest tools to hunt net new business.
Also, monthly technical updates, programs, updates and demos will help tech resources to be on top of the industry and play thought leader role during sales cycle.
Nothing beats incentives for partner salesforce. Financial incentives drives activity and gives sales yet another reason to do what needs to be done. Having multi levels of incentives to lock discovery meetings, presentations, demos, proof of concepts and closing deals can encourage sales people to drive growth very quick.
please make sure you have an incentive calculator in your partner portal so sales people can calculate end to end incentives they receive to book all above activities. If it is not clear enough for them, they may go and push the products that have a more clear incentive programs.
Marketing campaigns and tools
Be responsible. Create all the marketing documents and tools so your partner spend no time on admin and basic tasks.
How to guides, brochures, what’s new documents, dummy guides, event invitation templates, webinars, infographics, road shows, step by step informative guides and etc.
Provide all the demo and trials, hands on experience workshops at partner finger tip. These can be used for net new customer and existing customers for upsell and cross sell opportunity as ultimate sales gun in your arsenal to get peoples hand dirty with product training and exposure. Plus, if implemented close to customer production environment, can give customers insight on what is going on in their environment and see tangible results.
Call out days
Provide call out days and mix of scenarios for partner sales team to run their own show. Give them a mix of scripts so they can run events and campagines without your direct involvement. Get them excited to sell your product and services.
Encourage your partners to have fun achieving their goal and prize the champions.
Always communicate with your partners on what is coming. Even if it is winter!
Houman Asefi is world authority and visionary on technology sales and startups, award finalist blogger (http://www.houmanasefi.com/) focusing on building and scaling sales strategy and making sure companies achieve their targeted revenue.