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Each week Sales Babble host Pat Helmers shares selling secrets for non-sellers Pa t interviews sales guests and experts on the power of persuasion focused on a mindset of helping that ensures non-pushy win-win selling process. Fun yet informative, Sales Babble has helped sellers around the world become comfortable and quickly enjoy the role of sales professional 

Jul 17, 2018

Sean Higgins Sales BabbleMaking Sales in Startups with Sean Higgins #225

Sean Higgins is a Residence at Techstars and founder of ilos where he led sales from 0-1Million+ in annual recurring revenue. Sean specializes in helping new companies use outbound sales tactics. The goal is to validate product-market fit and get early traction in the selling process. In this episode we talk about making sales in startups.  Get those first 10 customers today.

Solve a Problem

Ideas are cheap so what’s really needed is problem solving. Successful startups keep this in mind. Sean believes entrepreneurs should address the hardest problem in the room and keep at it.  Too often startups mistakenly focus on hyper viral growth. Most business don’t work that way. Better to find a group of customers that you can serve and grow gradually.

Yes you need to have a long term vision. But focus on what makes your business better NOW.  There are two types of businesses:

  • Traction Based Company – have $10K month revenue
  • Team Based Company – pre revenue raising dependent on a quality proven team

Success is more likely if you validate a business with recurring revenue. VC fund companies who are proven winners. 0-10 customers is where you coalesce your ideas: the value proposition, the pitch, biggest pain points and how you fit in that situation.

Big 3 Questions

Sean has three questions sellers should ask and answer:

Why anything? Explain why your category matters and why prospects should consider a new solution.
Why us? – Explain why people should pick your company. Every founder has an origin story. The story tells why they built the business  and how they differentiate. Tell stories.
Why now? – This is the most difficult challenge for startups. Motivate prospects to buy now by showing how you address a real problem instantly.

When To Pivot

The way to know when it’s time to pivot is to have as many conversations as possible. If there is no interest, you’re chasing failure. Pivot! A pipeline without closed sales is not for real. There are two tiers of sales:

  • 0-10 it’s all about discovery
  • 10-100 – it’s about sales automation, social selling, process and tools.

Connect with as many prospects as you can and ask: why anything, why us, and why now. If people don’t get what you’re saying, you’re not explaining your category, your company, or your value.

Sales Automation Tactic:  FunnelAI social media data scraper for finding leads. It creates the leads when companies share they are being challenged and under stress.

Warning: when content marketing, give 5 contents of value before asking for a sale.

How to Find Sean Higgins

The promo code: SALESBABBLE

Entrepreneurial Mindset

Here are other past episodes digging deeper into startup sales.

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