At a high level, startup strategy is generally the same when securing revenue. There are tons of variations of the startup sales funnel, but generally, they can be classified underneath four activities that help acquire modern customers and build the business:
- Awareness – Marketing team produces the message, crafts, and pushes the content. The sales team is developing business through their own channels.
- Interest – Prospective client consumes Marketing content, and/or responds to Sales call request. The bulk of the education tends to happen here.
- Decision – Prospective client is educated, challenged by the company (read: Challenger Sale), and addresses any questions and concerns. This is typically where the sales professional has an opportunity to not only sell her solution but reframe the decision maker’s thinking – while making her product and organization look great in comparison to the competition.
- Action – The Client consults with their team and makes a final decision by way of a verbal commitment or signature on the dotted line.
Value is heavier towards the bottom of the funnel. Both parties mutually increase their engagement, devote more of their time, and transfer valuable information to one another. This value can exhibit itself in a variety of ways: from the rep educating the business owner, sending out company swag, to mapping out deal plans via sales methodology (ex. MEDDICC) These can be observations that the selling organization has seen or trends.
Usually, new pieces of insight and information the business owner is unaware of. In return, the prospect confesses their problems, struggles, and helps the rep map out how the deal is going to get done. This is where the sales rep has earned the opportunity to showcase his or her knowledge and expertise – and win the trust of the prospect.
Now you have startups flipping the funnel and engaging in more modern processes such as Account Based Marketing/Sales which specifically targets your ideal buyers. The framework above is representative of more traditional b2b SaaS which is the world I live in. The beauty of startups, and why I choose this career path, is that startups are typically freed of “traditional” business practices and methods.
The beauty of startups, and why I choose this career path, is that startups are usually released of “traditional” business practices and methods. Entrepreneurs can play around with the different types of sales processes and methodologies within the funnel that work best for their product, industry, customers, and organization.