Coltivare Consulting

Why do 9 out of 10 startups fail? Why do some companies with amazing products struggle to achieve their sales goals while others seem to be knocking it out of the park? The answers may surprise you and it’s definitely not rocket science. So let’s get to it.

#1:  No Onboarding Strategy For New Hires

How salespeople are onboarded is a critical factor when it comes to building sales success. If there is no real plan in place to set your new hires up to succeed from day one, then don’t expect a significant return on your investment.

Because of international competition and new technologies entering the market at a faster pace than ever, it has become increasingly difficult to win by product alone. The way your organization will win is by having a team that is well equipped to do what is expected of them. That  in turn will create value by the way they sell. They need to be a competitive advantage, as well as being able to sell a competitive advantage.

Here are some things to consider when developing your onboarding strategy:

Communicating the Company Mission and Goals:

The reason this is so important to define and communicate with the team is because they will start to work differently. Once they know the goal, they will align their day to day actions to move the needle toward the bigger picture. The sales team will be more confident when speaking to prospects and see themselves as problem solvers and value creators.

This is not only for sales; this is for all departments. By doing this early-on, the natural by- product is a company culture that thrives because everyone is working toward a common goal, instead of each department working in silos.

Product Knowledge:

Believe it or not most startups do not spend enough time getting new employees up to speed on what they are selling. It’s expected that they learn the product on their own time. Usually this is due to a lack of resources within the organization and deciding on who will actually train them.  Having new hires watch an engineer or other team member do a demonstration of the product is not good enough. EVER!

All employees MUST know the product inside out. As well as why it’s better than any perceived competitor, how it solves problems and alleves pain points. Having a well oiled knowledgeable sales team will breed confidence to potential buyers and in turn deliver results for the company.  #Win/Win

#2. No Customer Onboarding Strategy

One of the make or break elements when it comes to the overall success of businesses is a well thought out customer experience strategy.  In order to have a profitable business and year after year growth, it is CRITICAL to have happy satisfied customers. Those are the ones who come back year after year, as well as tell others about how AWESOME a company is.

It takes so much time and resources to attract customers and it’s equally as important to invest in retaining them.

Many startups do not have a well documented post sales strategy. It is usually assumed that people in the organization will know what to do and that’s when the dangerous game of hot potato begins. Don’t make that mistake!

Things businesses should consider when creating a post sales process document:

  1. What happens once the client signs off? Are they then introduced via email to an Account Manager, Accounting Dept, Training department or Project Manager? Maybe all four?
  2. What is the action required by each department once the introduction is made? Schedule training within 24 hours? Set up dashboard within 48 hours? Schedule kick off call within 24 hours? Email invoice within 12 hours?
  3. What needs to be documented in the CRM or system used to store customer information? Copy of the contract? All communication? Contact info?
  4. Does the client know who to contact if they need support or have any questions?
  5. How is the customer notified of any product or software updates?
  6. What is the renewal process? How far in advance of renewing services is a customer notified. Who owns this?

#3: Demonstrating the Wares Too Soon

Too many sales have been lost because a salesperson or business owner jumped on the opportunity to present their goods and talk about their company and technology, without a clear understanding of what the prospects needs were.

We all know what it feels like to be trapped in a bad presentation. Your mind wanders, and it’s impossible to focus on what the presenter is saying. Please – don’t put prospects through that!

The presentation is a moment to shine, wow prospects, and convert them into happy customers.

Here are 3 very important things to keep in mind regarding  a product demonstration:

  1. It’s about them.  Unfortunately it is common practice and witnessed time and time again that the majority of the talking is done by the presenter and most of the information given is about their own company. This is the best way to lose an audience.
  2. Do not show all the product features and focus on the technology. The audience should leave feeling that their pain points were addressed, relevant information was shared based on their needs, and the product is the best choice to help them achieve their objective.
  3. Slow down. What’s the rush? Many presenters seem to rush through a product demo. Instead they should take their time, be engaging, and not sound robotic. It’s also important to check  in with everyone during the presentation, see how they are feeling, and if they have any questions. Have fun with it! The audience will appreciate it and it will make the presentation stand out from other vendors they are vetting to win their business.

Want a step-by-step guide on how to craft the perfect demo? You’ll learn exactly what you need to do to turn your prospects into customers, including how to get the most out of a discovery session, and how to end each demo in a way that ensures a follow-up call.

I put together this free guide specifically for startups, so please take advantage of this free resource and get your own copy now: https://coltivareconsulting.mykajabi.com/p/product-demo

Vaneet Johal

If you would like more information or have any questions, feel free to book a complimentary consultation call. I’m happy to help in your quest to cultivate sales growth for your business. You can schedule a time here https://vaneet.youcanbook.me/ or email me at vaneet@coltivare.ca

One of the make or break elements when it comes to the overall success of your business is your customer experience strategy.  In order to have a profitable business and year after year growth, it is CRITICAL to have happy satisfied customers. Those are the ones who come back year after year, as well as tell others about how AWESOME your company is.

It takes so much time and resources to attract customers to your business and it’s equally as important to invest in retaining them. Knowing you have satisfied customers who will return year after year, will give you visibility into revenue for the following year. THAT’S GOLDEN!

This is known as your “run rate”. Which according to “Investopedia” is: The run rate refers to the financial performance of a company based on using current financial information as a predictor of future performance.

So how do you ensure your customers have a great experience and return year after year? You have a well documented POST SALES PROCESS!

Trust me, do not just expect that once your clients sign the dotted line that everyone in the organization will just know how to delight them and make sure they have a good experience. Everyone will just assume what to do, UNLESS it is documented. Depending on the complexity of your product and delivery the process will vary.

So let’s get to it!

Top things to consider when creating your post sales process document.

  1. What happens once the client signs off? Are they then introduced via email to an Account Manager, Accounting Dept, Training department or Project Manager? Maybe all four?
  2. What is the action required by each department once the introduction is made? Schedule training within 24 hours? Set up dashboard within 48 hours? Schedule kick off call within 24 hours? Email invoice within 12 hours?
  3. Is the CRM or system you are using to store customer information updated with all the relevant contact information, contracts and recent communication?
  4. Does the client know who to contact if they need support or have any questions?
  5. How is the customer notified of any product or software updates?
  6. What is the renewal process? How far in advance of renewing services is a customer notified. Who owns this?

Depending on the nature of your business the steps will vary, but I’m sure you get the point. Have a CLEAR outline of the steps that need to be taken within the organization once you have acquired a new customer.

Doing so will ensure a smooth customer experience which is unique to your company. This will result in happy customers who keep coming back which will add to your bottom line. Woop!

Most startups try to start selling before implementing basic sales strategies. Unlike most sales consultants in the market today, my business takes a more preventative approach. I’m not a fixer. My mission is to help startups develop winning habits right from the start before too much time passes.

This is exactly why I created an online self-study program, specifically for startups engineers and developers who want to give their product the best possible chance of success.

In my program Cultivating Sales Success for Startups, you’ll learn how to arm your team with the right tools to help them win deals and speak to the benefits of your product or service with confidence. Which ultimately will drive sales and increase revenue for your business.

Vaneet Johal

If you would like more information or have any questions, feel free to book a complimentary consultation call. I’m happy to help in your quest to cultivate sales growth for your business. You can schedule a time here https://vaneet.youcanbook.me/ or email me at vaneet@coltivare.ca

Simple. Because intelligent engineers and developers think in an ultra-logical way, and this way of thinking doesn’t work when it comes to creating sales and marketing strategies.

Most startups try to start selling before implementing basic sales strategies. There’s often no plan, no system, and a “wing it” mindset has taken over. Don’t assume your product will speak for itself. It won’t. Without carefully crafting a sales strategy that resonates with your potential customers you’ll miss a lot of revenue opportunities.

Unlike most management consultants and sales consultants in the market today, my business takes a more preventative approach. I’m not a fixer. My mission is to help startups develop winning habits right from the start before too much time passes.

It kills me to see so many startups with incredible products fail because of simple mistakes which are easily avoidable.

I get it, not everyone can justify hiring a sales consultant in the early phases of their business. This is exactly why I created an online self- study program specifically for startups engineers and developers who want to give their product the best possible chance of success.

In my online program “Cultivating Sales Success for Startups”, you’ll learn the best way to effectively communicate the value of your products, and how to avoid the rookie mistakes SO MANY startups make in the early stages of business.

Most of the clients I work with have engineering backgrounds, but hardly any of them have sales backgrounds. This course will give you the tools and resources you need to develop and implement your own sales strategies and systems so you can confidently grow your business, even if you have zero sales experience. This will give you the best chance of being part of the 10% of startups that actually succeed.

Are you up for the challenge?

Click here to find out more.

Vaneet Johal

If you would like more information or have any questions, feel free to book a complimentary consultation call. I’m happy to help in your quest to cultivate sales growth for your business. You can schedule a time here https://vaneet.youcanbook.me/ or email me at vaneet@coltivare.ca

Take a minute and remember why you started your business. Now take a look at your website and marketing materials and ask yourself;

“Is the WHY explained?”

In my experience whether it’s companies I’ve worked for, or clients I consult, there is a reoccurring issue when it comes to presenting the product, and explaining the services to the market.

Can you guess what it is?

Features dump! Now, I get it. You are extremely proud of what you’ve created, and want to talk about all the amazing features your software, service or product has to offer. Feature, after feature after feature. Oh glorious features! Well guess what, NO ONE CARES ABOUT THE FEATURES OR TECHNOLOGY YOU ARE SELLING.

I don’t mean to be harsh here but this is the reality, and my job is to drop a few truth bombs every now and then. If I didn’t, I’m doing you a disservice.

When it comes to selling your wares the most important thing to understand and relay to the market and potential customers is this:

What problem are you solving?
How is your product going to make their life easier?
What pain point have you identified that they can relate to and will no longer have to endure because you are here to save the day?

That is it. That is the secret sauce when it comes to wowing your target market. Not the cool widgets, integrations, shiny coating or whatever other features your solution may have. They just need to see a better tomorrow because of what you have to offer them. Isn’t that why you started your business in the first place?

Vaneet Johal

If you would like more information or have any questions, feel free to book a complimentary consultation call. I’m happy to help in your quest to cultivate sales growth for your business. You can schedule a time here https://vaneet.youcanbook.me/ or email me at vaneet@coltivare.ca

One of the key elements when developing a sales strategy is to clearly define and communicate the vision and goals of the company to your team. The company’s sales goals can be broken down to monthly, quarterly and annually, however the bigger picture goal should always be identified first.

In many companies I have worked in and consulted for, the vision and goals are only known by the founder or maybe a few members of management. It is often assumed that employees are aware or that someone along the way has advised them of the vision.

I’m here to tell you that about 98% of your team doesn’t know the goal, mission or story of your company.

Shocking right? This is something, you as a business owner, think of on a daily basis and likely keeps you up at night. It’s time to share that vision. In companies I have worked in, and with clients I consult with, I like to do a little exercise just to see if one day I will be proven wrong. So far I have not. I will pick about 4-5 people in the organization from different departments and ask them one simple question. What does the company do?

I can tell you that every time I do this, each person has a different answer and some of them aren’t really sure. They know what THEY do, and that’s about it. I’d like to interject here and challenge you or someone in your organization to send a quick survey to some of your employees and ask them what they think the company’s mission is. The answers might surprise you.

The reason this is so important to define and communicate with your team is because your team will start to work differently. Once they know the goal, they will align their day to day actions to move the needle toward the bigger picture. Your sales team will be more confident when speaking to prospects and see themselves as problem solvers and value creators.

This is not only for sales; this is for all departments. By doing this early-on, the natural by- product is that you will create a company culture that thrives because everyone is working toward a common goal, instead of each department working in silos.

Employees want to feel they are part of something bigger than themselves. They will start to communicate the same message when out at events, on the phone or various other scenarios where they are representing your company. That’s powerful stuff!

Vaneet Johal

If you would like more information or have any questions, feel free to book a complimentary consultation call. I’m happy to help in your quest to cultivate sales growth for your business. You can schedule a time here https://vaneet.youcanbook.me/ or email me at vaneet@coltivare.ca