Think Like A Startup.
Peter Drucker said it best, “The purpose of a company is to create a customer.”
When you’ve worked inside of—and for—as many startups as we have you see the genius in “Thinking Like A Startup.” It’s how serial entrepreneurs avoid the typical trappings of growth (formal reporting structures, top-heavy bureaucracy, unhappy shareholders, bean counters and reserved parking spaces) as they lead their companies to sustained profitability.
Unfortunately, by the time most companies grow to any size, they all too often forget their purpose in “life.” Startups don’t have this problem.
In a startup, each and every customer counts. There’s an unquenched thirst to win, to put points on the board as fast and as early as you can. Sometimes, it feels like your next breath is in the customer’s hand. (and if not your next breath, certainly your next meal.)
Every company says, “Customers matter,” but startups succeed because EVERY customer matters. Deals must close. Success is celebrated by everyone because everyone contributes (not just the sales department).
On the flipside, failure is often catastrophic. Bad-fit customers waste valuable resources and time, so prospects must be chosen wisely.
Startups listen. Each customer relationship is mined for important clues and inferences about the marketplace and the true dollar-value the startup brings. Otherwise, the startup may be settling for less, cheapening its worth and negatively impacting profits.
With a “tweak later” mentality, startups continually iterate their sales and marketing, doubling down on what works and quickly eliminating what doesn’t.
But the secret to a startup’s success isn’t secret. With the right leadership any company can surpass its competitors by adopting the same strategies, focus, drive and passion successful entrepreneurs have honed so well.
It’s just a matter of making a decision to Think (and lead) like a Startup.
Core and The Challenger Sale
If you were to peal down all the layers in your current sales and marketing process, you should get to the same core event that spawns everything else.
We call it The Pivotal Moment of Truth. It’s when you meet a qualified decision-maker with the single objective to move the conversation to a critical, go/no-go choice.
And it’s not just about winning a customer; it’s about winning them fast. Startups don’t have any time to waste. And neither do you!
So how does a startup do this with such efficiency? They do it mostly by delivering a “commercial insight” to the client. As CEB defines it, “A commercial insight is an insight about the customer’s business that re-frames the way customers assign value to the areas where the supplier outperforms competitors.”
It literally disrupts the customer’s status quo and current mode of operation to such a point they’re willing to consider alternatives.
Having worked with startups for so long we take it for granted all salespeople sell like Challengers. Typically armed with little more than simple (yet powerful) marketing materials and the stuff between their two ears, startup sales people (aka business developers) unconsciously win fast.
The marketing at this stage is limited to only those things that directly aid the BD/sales outreach team to win fast in their one-on-one meetings with qualified decision-makers. Often, these are sales enablement tools like configuration guides, one-page cheatsheets and Springboard documents that (true to The Challenger Sale model’s New Sales Playbook) disrupt the customer and compel them to re-examine status quo.
Your Sales Funnel – Our Methodology
What I’ve just described is the core—the heart—of the sales funnel. When there’s a strong heartbeat, you’ve got a very healthy patient.
If yours is covered in layers of fat… we can help you avoid the heart attack headed your way. We’ll work with you to select the right, lean marketing and sales strategies to drive your best prospects into and through your sales funnel and to support your sales team (as well as your Channel Partner sales reps) sell faster at the Pivotal Moment of Truth.