Krista Jones on Sales and business development
Krista Jones on sales and business development

You know that odd call from a telemarketer you don’t know who’s trying to get you to buy something? Now think about how many times you actually went about and bought something from them. Scary isn’t it? Good salesmen realize what it’s like to do sales and the enterprise sales presentation by Krista Jones aims to help entrepreneurs in managing their sales process.

The unfortunate reality is that for any start-up, the chances of generating a final sale is one in 25 compared to the industry norm of one in 10. Hence, the need to properly manage your sales funnel and to make sure that every sales call and presentation are key. Managing the sales funnel is fairly reasonable for any dedicated entrepreneur but the hard part is more about how you keep the sales funnel drop-out rate low especially if you’ve never done sales before?

Krista got her team to do three skits to highlight the key points on how to keep the drop-out rates low.

1) Tailoring the pitch and knowing: The skit shows an engineer talking about the product’s technical features to a non-technical purchasing manager.

Key takeaways: Know who you’re meeting with and what they do so you can tailor your presentation to show them exactly how it relates to them and how it benefits their job. Put yourself in the shoes of the person you are trying to sell to and see what is it exactly that they would want hear.

2) Moving the sales discussion forward: The skit shows the entrepreneur is not knowledgeable about the prospect’s buying process and as such constantly runs into new unexpected requirements.

Key takeaways: If you do not know the buying process of the prospective buyer, it is hard for you to know which hurdles to go through and how to get them to agree. Try to understand the buying process so that you can determine what “hidden” requirements there may be in addition to the visible requirements of the customer.

3) Closing the sale: The skit shows the entrepreneur not knowing when to close the sale even when the client wants it.

Key takeaways: It’s hard to land large contracts that entrepreneurs constantly dream of getting. It’s best to close the sales slowly one by one even if it is done piece by piece with different departments until the whole opportunity is closed as opposed to closing them all in one big deal.

While this is far from being a comprehensive sales lesson, adhering to these three lessons will get you a long way into improving your chances of landing one sale for every 25 prospective buyers and hopefully bring it closer to the industry norm.

Downloads and resources

CIBC presents Entrepreneurship 101 2009/10 – Week 27 – Creating a Sales and Business Development Strategy from MaRS Discovery District on Vimeo.

Charles Lim

Charles Lim is on the information and communication technology (ICT) Advisory Services team at MaRS. He provides support and business analysis to technology and energy sector start-ups. See more…