Marketing & Sales technique : The Science of Sales by Donald Doane

 Marketing & Sales technique : The Science of Sales by Donald Doane

Image of Donald Doane
Image of Donald Doane | Image Source : LinkedIn 

Some great discussions today around

developing a business concept making

your product right and I can pick it up

from there and talk about you know once

you have this amazing solution you

developed how to sell it

right how do you monetize it how do you

how do you generate revenues and one of

the common challenges for early-stage

companies is developing or creating a

repeatable scalable sales process that

will take you from concept through

positive profitability and that's what I

like talked about today and so I would

argue that you know after you've found

your your great idea and develop this

amazing product that the very first

thing you should begin to think about is

how you will build a sustainable

business and what that really comes down

to is sales and for most companies lots

of them right so all companies you know

throughout their lifecycle go through a

number of stages in terms of revenue we

all start small we call it you know the

crawl stage right and your base you're

basically taking revenue or getting

business wherever you can and those are

your early adopters clients who invest

in you and your technology and the

revenue at that point is sporadic at

best but at some point it does begin to

look a bit more promising and that

becomes the walk phase right and so your

business gains more adoption and

primarily we're looking at this again

from a revenue standpoint as opposed to

user adoption and from there if you

start to look at your business more

maybe not from a month-to-month but from

a quarterly standpoint you do start to

see more growth but eventually you're

going to hit a run stage right and

you'll reach a steady run rate where

ultimately your business will reach

break-even and then for those

lucky enough you're going to soar to

profitability and so these various

stages for any company are things that

if you put in place again the right

process you can scale and grow and so

when you look at sales a lot of people

think about sales and really focus more

on the art of sales but I would argue

that there's actually a science behind

sales and so oftentimes and we think

about especially as an early-stage

company it's more about the you know the

sales person right it's the the big

personality in the room but as you think

about your business and turning it into

you know that turning it taking from an

idea and turning it into a multi-million

dollar enterprise you can't scale

personality right personnel you only get

you but so far role of rolodex from your

salesperson will only get you but so far

so part of it is understanding you know

what you need to put in place in

addition to the people which are

critical to success of any team but also

the process and for us we actually have

a five stage process that we've built

now your mileage may vary depending on

your solution but typically most

offerings can fall into these five

stages the first is when you're working

with your your target customer in order

to help again build this consistent

level of revenue is to understand or

identify you know what is actually the

opportunity then how do you qualify the

opportunity how will you demonstrate

value to your prospect how do you go

about closing a sale and then growing

that opportunity so the first stage in

the process around identifying the

opportunity really comes down to doing

your homework you know it could be from

the first initial meeting that you have

with a potential customer you know just

doing basic research it might be going

to the company's website or the

university's website

understanding you know in terms of your

solution what sort of challenges they

may be facing today how are they solving

those those challenges maybe some of the

key stakeholders that may be involved in

terms of adopting your solution if

there's any sort of projects that may be

published that you may be able to attach

your your service or product to and then

ultimately are there doing any sort of

strategic initiatives that you can

identify and these are all things again

in terms of preparation that you can do

before even had the first conversation

so oftentimes you know from our

standpoint well actually you know build

out a you know document a number of

these of these items and we'll share

them with everyone who will be at the

meeting just so that we're all on the

same page and the next step in that

process is then understanding you know

is this really an opportunity and the

best way to go about that at least what

we've found is it take more of a

consultative approach more like a doctor

and a patient how can I be of help right

so for me and that's really been sort of

my you know in terms of the companies

I've done in the past you know

ultimately I've developed these products

or services to help people others to

help them save time maybe it's money

maybe it's gain some other sort of

efficiency but ultimately that

conversation is around can you be of

help and in order to understand that you

have to do more listening than talking

so I generally try to put in place at

8020 role 80% of the time you really

should be listening to understand what

are the key challenges they're facing

and is there some way you can be of

assistance and if not through directly

to your company maybe there's some

company or or offering you can refer

them to and so there's a number of

questions you can ask you know to your

again your potential client just

understanding again you know what from

their perspective have you know having

them to describe what they believe is

the problem as opposed to you're telling

them what you believe is a problem

how long has it really been an issue is

this something that you know has been

around it's been an issue for a month a

year longer and it's persisted that long

what are they doing about it and that

that will help you to better understand

again how high a priority this is for

them understanding again what it might

cost them to to to leave this as a

problem not address it maybe it's

nothing and then for you is there any

real value that you can bring to the

table and after you go through the step

if both sides agree that there's a good

fit here that the conversation should

continue and again at this point it's

still a conversation by no means is this

going to be a done deal right you're

still very early in the process the next

stage is to get together and to

demonstrate the value that you have

through your offering now depending on

what your solution is that might be a

presentation it might be a proposal it

might be a product demo right the key is

understanding you know exactly what it

is you have to show the other key factor

and error is understanding who you have

to show it to right your intended

audience we've generally found that

there are sort of three categories when

it comes to these types of presentations

typically you're going to be either

presenting to executives middle

management or operations and all three

groups look at the world in slightly

different ways right so executives tend

to be more visionaries they tend to look

at the future right it's in look at the

overall value of whatever you have to

the entire organization as opposed to

one department right or one team middle

management is a bit more focused on

what's happening today and what sort of

return on investment or ROI will your

solution bring to them or to their their

organization and

operations tends to focus more on the

day-to-day you know the more on the

tactical so they're there they're

concerned really about problems that

already happened you know they're busy

sometimes putting out fires you're

familiar with expression I needed this

yesterday right so they're looking for

that solution right now and primarily a

lot of their decisions are based more on

price so again it's understanding who

you're presenting that to and what you

need to present and if you make it that

far and there is an agreement that you

do have value and that the the client or

prospect wants to move forward with you

at that point that's really when the

work you know the hard work really

begins right because you know once

you've confirmed that you've met all the

expectations now the next thing is

delivering on the value that you

promised and that's key and particularly

in the early stages and we do this

really throughout the lifecycle or I've

done this throughout the lifecycle of my

previous companies is treating each

client or customer as a partner and

really taking time to understand you

know even after you've sold them a

product you know what what is the real

value that they're that they're getting

out of what you have to offer and again

particularly in the early you know the

early stages of your company that's

really important to identify because you

know what you know the feedback they

give you will help you to better target

you know future customers but it will

also help you to improve your product

offering in ways that you may not even

have imagined you'll build a solid

reference which again will help you with

future sales and who knows you know they

may even talk you up to their peers

right so you might you know get future

business through word-of-mouth so all

those things are important to focus on

now once you have that process in place

you know you need to begin to think

about your early adopters and we we

added kind of a second layer to the

process that we call raw and it stands

for ready able willing right so you need

to you know first find those who are

ready for your solution

if you have a disruptive solution not

every potential target prospect may be

ready for what you have they may not be

ready culturally to embrace what you

have it may be a timing issue so you

know you need to go after those or start

to work with those future partners that

are ready to embrace whatever the

solution is that you're bringing to the

market the second piece of that is the

ability to actually fund a purchase

right so even if they're ready but the

funding is not in place there may be a

disconnect so it's a second key piece to

identify and then third the timeframe if

the funding is in place but you know the

time their time frame is next year and

you know your time frame is in one month

then again there's a disconnect so

identifying those three areas on top of

whatever process you have in place will

help you to better understand what is or

what is not an opportunity and again in

the early stages keeping your sales

strategy as simple as possible you know

I like to call it just following the

money you know wherever wherever your

your your your customers or partners

take you in the beginning for the most

part is fine they're going to lead you

in a direction you need to go just

remember in terms of your focus you know

again you for most early-stage companies

you're going to have some limited amount

of runway so in terms of your target

customers being able to identify very

quickly those that you know again are

ready able and willing to partner with

you is going to be key and once you get

those early adopters you know we call

them sometimes the lighthouse accounts

now the trick is going from you know a

handful or a dozen or so of these early

adopters to hundreds thousands or

whatever your benchmark is of potential

and the way to do that is to start to

look at in the early stages for those

early adopters look at the trends you

know what what do these early adopters

all have in common you know you start to

profile your customers and in order to

do that you've got to understand you

know who your customer is you've got it

going back and understand ask them two

questions learn you know oftentimes

people stay learn from your failures

that's absolutely true but in this case

you're actually learning from your

successes right you're profiling your

wins where you were successful and then

figuring out how can I do it again and

again and again for our case we actually

will in places where we failed and one

of my one of my mentors when I started

my first company he encouraged me not to

be afraid to fail just do it quickly and

move on

the key is not to take a long time

failing right and so in your process and

because you have a process you can close

the loop right and so you can take

feedback you know from your team and

incorporate that to make it better the

next time around for everyone so you

know in conclusion you need to have the

right people that's absolutely key but

in addition to the right people need to

make sure you had the right process in

place the other key thing is

understanding that what you have today

in the early stages again you're

eventually going to want to scale so

don't make it all about the personality

always track your successes you know no

one wins right in a game unless you keep

score so you have to you have to monitor

you know how you're progressing and last

but not least listen to your customers I

can't stress this enough in terms of

gaining you know feature adoption again

whatever your product or service is your

customers will will give you the right

direction thank you very much

Who is Donald Doane

As co-founder and current CEO of ConnectYard, Doane speaks from his experiences of beginning a startup. This talk explores a common challenge for many young companies, which is learning how to create a repeatable and scalable sales process that will take their company from concept through profitability.

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