18. Sales


Even if they come, most of them will say “no”

Have you realized that once your company is up and running and profitable, all of the cash required to operate your company will be coming from sales?

Sales is the engine that powers startups. Your idea might be great. Your product might be a wonder to behold. Your company might be written about in every major news source. None of that, however, is worth anything unless it leads to actual sales.

Once you think your minimal viable product is complete, it is time to start your sales effort. Before jumping in with no plan, spend some time thinking through your sales process.

Sales processes can be quite complicated. A sales process is a series of steps in which you look for an unknown potential customer, determine if that person might buy your product in the near future, and ultimately either get that customer to buy your product (“close the sale”) or categorize that customer as a “lead” for a future sales effort.

But sales doesn’t stop there. The sales team is also responsible for keeping customers happy and following up with them to ultimately sell them more.

What is my sales process?

What am I going to do to keep my customers happy, once I have customers?

For far more advice and details on your “sales funnel,” organizing and motivating your sales team, and your overall sales process, see The Next Step: A guide to startup sales and marketing.

Further Reading

The Art of the Start by Guy Kawasaki


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