The first ever NYC Enterprise Sales Meetup went down recently at Work-Bench’s Union Square headquarters, and it set a great precedent for meetups to come. Organized by Mark Birch and moderated by Jake Dunlap, the meetup focused around a panel discussion on a company’s first five sales and offered the audience five great takeaways.
The panelists were a diverse mix of notable members of the NYC startup scene:
The panel offered a spirited discussion on the ups and downs of pursuing sales for your startup, with useful advice and anecdotes on past decisions.
Singhal stated that his company’s product was originally created for individuals rather than enterprises. Eventually, they were approached about the analytics that they used, and shifted their focus. This helped him understand what his business actually is, and he used that knowledge to find new clients.
According to Cook, a good tactic is to show confidence in your product and get big companies to take a gamble on you. If successful, look back at those successes and figure out what can be done to find more clients. If you did things well, your clients will (in a sense) help sell your company’s products to more potential clients.
Verrillo suggested that the sales process will sometimes take longer than just a few weeks, which can be tough, but can also lead to a large payoff. Attend trade shows in various markets, and keep track of how your product resonates with specific market segments.
Carbone learned from his failures, and out of them came a great bit of advice: never try selling to a whole company: target and sell to a specific person within the company.
- Create an idea of what your ideal buyer would be, and then pursue that type of customer.
- DON’T SEND TEMPLATES OR GENERIC EMAILS! Personalize everything and drill down on a specific persona when pursuing a sale, and depending on who your buyer may have to check with (in terms of higher-ups), you may need to think ahead to the next step and who it is they’d talk to.
- Use your own product to show confidence in it and sell people on it. That’s what resonates with them the most. The presentation of a product to a potential client may shift, depending on what they need from it. However, try to avoid customizing features for certain clients.
- Never stop listening to what your customers have to say, and constantly test your product yourself as the sales process is always evolving.
- Be prepared to fail! Learn from your mistakes and use the knowledge to fuel your next presentation. Don’t be afraid to cut some prospects off, depending on where you can gauge the conversation and if they take too long to gain traction.
Ultimately, don’t give up on anybody – a ‘no’ usually means to just figure out another approach.
Stay informed of the next NYC Enterprise Sales Meetup by joining the meetup here.