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  • Startup qualification – Are you ready to scale up your business?

    4/29/2016

    This time we spent the day with the sales guru Scott Sambucci from Salesqualia.

    Another intensive day of training and a fantastic experience to add to our TINC adventure. This time we spent the day with the sales guru Scott Sambucci from Salesqualia. It was very obvious that Scott has a vast experience from sales and from supporting startups. Scott understands the pain that all of us in the TINC group are going through.

    What is important to know when working in a startup is this definition of “startup qualification”:

    • 1 customer proves existence of a problem.
    • 10 customers give proof of the product.
    • With 100 customers you have proof of your company.

    But bear in mind that the customer has to be a paying customer and not a testing client. Before you can start scaling your business you need to have over 100 paying customers, this is the momentum you need.

    What we can learn from US startups

    As a sales person, you have universal position to sell yourself. And the word of the day was – CONFIDENCE. To be honest, we fully agree because once you start doing “cold calls”, confidence is exactly what you need to start convincing people about your fantastic product. This is where US startups often differs from European counterparts. In the US they know how to be confident and how to sell their product, sometimes even before it´s ready to launch.

    3 actionable advice that we took from Scott Sambucci:

    1. It´s important to block-out at least two time slots for prospecting per week. Doing this, every week will continuously generate new leads. After 1 month you will have generated 40 new leads. Once again we totally agree that selling is most important as well as follow up with clients.
    2. Scott was also very clear about WHEN the best time of the week for the weekly sales meeting is. It´s on Thursday morning because you would have the possibility to create actions that are achievable. This sounds logical. At IAMIP we use to have our weekly meeting on Monday mornings. Scott said that this is probably the worst time next to Friday afternoon. We decided on the spot to move our regular weekly sales meetings to Thursday as suggested by our guru…
    3. Maybe the most interesting take for us was the issue of identifying PERSONA of the buyer types. Whenever you are prospecting, make sure you identify all 4 buyer types of your prospect:
      1. Product champion – usually the person that the open the door for you.
      2. User buyer – the person that will use your product.
      3. Economic buyer – The person that will pay for the product.
      4. Technical buyer – Usually the person that always says no, the “IT-person”.

    The importance of complete buyer identification

    Once you have identified these 4 persons, you are one step ahead in your prospecting. Missing out on one can cause you to needlessly fail a beautiful business opportunity. Let us put it in context:

    Assume that you are almost done with a deal that you have been working on for the last 9 months. The client is about to sign the contract when you get a last question from your prospect; “we assume that your product is compatible with Internet explorer 7.0 right?” but unfortunately your product does not support such an old web browser! That´s when the whole deal is cancelled. Such risks must be identified early, and if you have identified all types of buyers in the company, you can eliminate this risk very early.

    It´s highly recommended to always do an inventory very early in your prospecting stage to make sure that you have identified the 4 types of buyers in the company and engage them early.

    Thanks Scott for this great day of learning! We will tell you if Thursday was a good day for us to take our weekly sales meetings…

    Say hello to Scott here!

    /Dimitris & Falah

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The blog will share business insights based on our experience about how to manage intellectual property assets and rights in a smart way. We will also share best practice from working with the world's most innovative companies. Get to know IamIP better by following our key events from our entrepreneurial journey aiming at revolutionising the intellectual property world.

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