September 10, 2010

Sales for Startups - 10 Useful Tips

Vikram of Tenmiles has a nice post on the topic. Extracts (emphasis mine):
6. Do your best to stay within the window of opportunity
From the time a customer expresses his/her interest in your product (either via the web or by signing up for a free trial), you can rest assured of swinging a deal in your favor IF you’re able to make a convincing pitch within the critical window of opportunity.

By visiting your website and signing up for a trial, your customer has clearly indicated he/she is interested in your product. The next and crucial step is to sustain the customer’s interest level, before it begins to waiver. This typically happens when customer’s are evaluating multiple products or are just unable to see how your product responds to their needs. The difficult part here is establishing how long the window of opportunity is open for, so do your best to seal the customer’s interest right from the beginning.

...8. Always remember to follow through
Responses to expressions of interest from your customers (especially sales queries initiated via the web) shouldn’t just include the information they’re asking for and a quotation of what you’re offering. Delivering an impressive sales pitch is just half the process. The other half is the manner in which you respond, by asking the right questions relating to the need for the product and thereby leading the customer to enter into a series of communications that lead to a definitive sale.

Arun Natarajan is the Founder & CEO of Venture Intelligence, the leading provider of data and analysis on private equity, venture capital and M&A deals in India. Request free samples of Venture Intelligence newsletters and reports.