An Introduction to Sales

Let’s just get down to the nitty gritty. Sales is the lifeblood of every company and the source of every dollar.

However, “sales” is a relatively vague term, as it literally means any activity that is involved in selling a product. Any company looking to generate sales needs to answer some basic questions:

What do we sell?

Who do we sell to?

How do we sell to them?

In this basic introduction to sales, I’m going to address these exact questions to give a basic direction on how a company should build up their initial sales approach.

What do we sell?

Since this blog post is focused on an introduction to building up a sales approach, I’m going to assume that those interested in reading already have a product in place. So with that in mind we are going to be focusing on what we sell pertains to who does the selling.

As simple as this question may sound — surprisingly it’s a bit more complex than just “poofing” a product into existence and expecting somebody to make it the next big thing. The question “what do we sell?” needs to be focused on deeper routes. Rather than looking at the product for what it is, look at the product for what it does. Ask yourself the most important question — what problem does this product or service solve?

Let’s take Racket Reps for example:

Racket is a small outsourcing company. Their service is to provide quality Sales Development Representatives to both small and large companies.

Outsourcing a sales rep solves major issues that clients may face like the large overhead that comes with hiring in-house, the extreme turnover that is associated with sales, and the lack of resources that a team may need to start their own sales team.

Since we know what issues Racket solves, it’s easy to come to the conclusion that outsourced sales reps is not truly what Racket Reps provides. Instead, Racket simply sells or provides a solution to an issue that many companies may face.

Who do we sell to?

The next thing to discover is who the product or service will be sold to. However, now that we know the true product is a solution to an issue, we can simply just work backwards from here.

One of the issues Racket Reps solves is, as mentioned above, that in-house teams have larger overhead costs.

In this specific scenario, take the issue and look for the type of company that may experience this pain point. Start listing these different company personas to get a greater understanding of who may be in the most need for your solution.

For example, below are different personas that could use Racket’s solution.

  • Companies who have a great product, but are strapped for cash experience an issue with high overhead costs.
  • Companies that have established sales teams, but are syncing too much money into commissions due to reps that hitting accelerators.
  • Companies who want to expand into new markets, but don’t have the capital to retrain their reps on a new sales process.

Each of these different personas would be great places to start when the sales team is gearing up to start prospecting.

To make your who even more valuable, the biggest suggestion I have as the CRO of Racket is to start small. Don’t try to sell to every persona at once. Pick a couple and become an expert at delivering your solution to them.

The more logo’s acquired the more personas will expand.

How do we sell to them?

Now that the solution and personas have identified, it’s time to answer the most important question of the three.

How do we sell to our personas?

The reason this is the most important question to answer, is because this is the action question. This is the point where all the research and thought that was put into the new process is executed.

In order to effectively reach out and get the biggest ROI on the effort put into this process, I’d simply recommend doing a bit more research.

Don’t just go hog wild, and ineffectively reach out to the new buyer persona. Instead find out where they spend time on the internet, what ads stick out the most to them, and are they even aware of the issue that the service is trying to solve.

Wrapping it all up

Building a sales team, sales process, or new sales adventure doesn’t have to be complicated.

Essentially find a starting point and work your way back. The more that this process is practiced, the more those “vague” sales activities become extremely specific and effective.