While hiring a sales team seems like the best way to move beyond founder-led sales, it doesn’t always work out that way. Many founders end up supporting more and more meetings as their new sales team takes on prospecting but still needs support to advance and close deals.
You can’t blame your sales team. Who wouldn’t invite a founder to all their meetings if it’s an option? And all too often, new salespeople don’t have the resources or knowledge they need to replace founder-led sales.
So how can you empower them to sell without relying on founders?
5 Ways To Empower Your Sales Team
1. Develop a Unique Selling Proposition (USP) and supporting proof points. A USP is not just a statement on the website. When done correctly it is an argument for why your prospects need your solution and also why it is better than other offerings. Founders can make this argument without much thought, but it is critical to make sure that your salespeople can build the same argument and truly understand it.
2. Create your buyer, evaluator, and user personas with clearly defined pains and then map your value propositions to those pains. Founders innately understand how their solution appeals to to buyers and users, but it takes some work to break down the value proposition for salespeople so that they can deliver the right message to each stakeholder.
3. Define your Ideal Customer Profiles (ICPs) based on target markets and buyer personas. Include a set of qualification criteria that salespeople can use to identify and prioritize potential customers who align with your ICPs. Doing so will help your sales team focus their efforts on the most promising leads and opportunities.
4. Develop a sales playbook and supporting sales tools. No sales process is 100% reproducible, but most follow a similar path to completion. Instead of just building tools, it is important to map the buyer’s journey and align the tools to each step along the way. The more thorough the playbook and toolset, the more independent your salespeople will be.
5. Hire a solutions engineer or you will always be one. An effective sales team needs a product expert to present, demo, and answer product questions during sales meetings. A solutions engineer will help your sales team close more business and reduce the burden on the technical founder and other development staff.
How Can You Do It?
The way to execute this plan is to secure the right marketing resources, whether hired or contracted, to make sure you are getting the most from your new sale team. As I documented in this earlier post, it can be a poor investment to build a sales team without proper marketing support, and freeing founders from sales activities is just another return you will get on your marketing investment.
I’ll be focusing more on the individual marketing strategies to empower a sales team in future posts, so be sure to subscribe in the form below to make sure you don’t miss out.