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Sales & Business Development Strategies That Work: A Startup Grind Workshop

Sales & Business Development Strategies That Work: A Startup Grind Workshop

Entrepreneurs, sales teams and business development professionals are all tasked with selling a brand, product or service to diverse audiences. The sales pitch could be in front of an investor for funding, or a potential client to purchase your product or use your service. As a result, the message, approach and strategy all need to be tailored, depending on who is listening.

BDD’s team covered the startup grind workshop, delivered by Samer Bawab (SB), Business Developer at Carpolo, to uncover sales strategies that work.

BDD: What are the top sales strategies that entrepreneurs should use?

SB: The focus should firstly be on defining your company’s value proposition and ensuring it is delivered in the language of your customer. The message needs to be tailored, based on the problem you are solving and results you will create for them. 

Ask yourself questions such as:

  • How will your customers’ situation materially improve by using your product or service?
  • What are the alternative solutions for this problem? Can anyone else provide them?
  • If so, what makes your solution a better choice than the alternative?
  • Why does your client need to hire your product / service?

Then utilize the tools that are available to you. Linkedin for example, is great to help set up meetings and generate new business. Leverage LinkedIn to identify key decision-makers based on the buyer persona’s you create. This way you can tailor a very laser focused and relevant message to the decision maker you are looking to build the relationship with. 

Share quality content that is relevant to your audience, such as insightful blogs, articles and case studies that will add value. Publishing at least 1-2 times per week is recommended, to ensure you stay top of mind across your target audiences. 

BDD: What are the most effective business development strategies?

SB: There are two main factors that every company needs to have to develop business leads:

  1. An effective 1-pager that includes a high-level overview of your services, and the results you have brought to other clients. The main purpose of this sales collateral is to allow the CEO, Director or high level manager to be able to review and digest your company’s product or service in less than 1 or two minutes.
  2. Define your outreach strategy. The strategy should include what activities you will be carrying out, such as sending emails, making calls, sending LinkedIn InMail’s or even tweets. I like to use the rule of 10 when it comes to touch points, because many sales representatives and business owners stop their efforts after 1 or 2 tries when they do not receive a response and become discouraged.  

Tips:

  • Highest email open rates are on Tuesday and Thursday.  
  • Send emails at 8am, 1 pm and 5 pm for the highest performance. 
  • Best day to make sales calls is Wednesday according to a study by CallHippo. 
  • The best time to call a prospect is between 4:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m

Sources: Campaign Monitor, CallHippo

BDD: How should companies look for new clients?

SB: Knowing your target customer base, and then finding ways to interact with them are key. Here are a few tips:

  • Define which specific vertical you would like to focus on to narrow your search (Banking, Real Estate, Automotive, Manufacturing, Telco, FMCG, etc.)
  • Then build your target list of companies by number of employees, geographical presence, annual revenue etc.
  • Look for trigger events that your target companies or audiences could be experiencing. For example, the opening of a new HQ location, a new CEO, a new promotion, expanding new service offerings etc.  These are important because you can use this information when contacting them to make your messaging more relevant. 
  • Research the company’s website and try to find anything you can use to incorporate in your outreach messaging. 

BDD: How do you identify new markets to venture into?

SB: Entering new markets is based heavily on research, but a lot of experimentation comes into play… sometimes, it’s even luck. To plan to venture into a new market, follow these steps:

- Create experiments and identify 3 target markets you would like to enter.

- Conduct extensive market research on the city or country you are trying to enter.  For example:

  • Are there currently any competitors in the space?
  • Are there any governmental restrictions that would prevent your product or service to be implemented in that region?
  • What is the culture like there?  Will they accept your product or service?
  • Identify the demographic you are looking to target
  • What are the most prevalent and largest sectors within that city or country?  (Financial, manufacturing, telecom, etc.)
  • Find local Facebook groups within that target market and ask questions, request feedback and try to gain as much insight as possible.
  • Check local news platforms and channels to gauge some of the common issues that are being talked about in the news and see if your solution can help tackle some of those challenges.

The most important factor is to differentiate your company’s product or service and effectively relay that to the target customer. And if plans happen to change and lead you in a different direction, pivot.


Business
Technology
Startup in Lebanon
Startup
Digital Innovation
Leadership

on February 19, 2020

by Beirut Digital District