It is unquestionable that ‘sales’ is the lifeline of every business. And in the startup realm, sales is not only more difficult, but also costlier than it is for the established giants (unless you have all the money to sip pinacolada on the Hawaii and oversee your business remotely).
We recently covered a topic on collaboration within the Indian startup kingdom What Indian Startup Ecosystem Needs to Learn from Bihari/Oriya Cooks where we brought out the need for collaboration among startups to lower their overheads.
This time the focus is on Collaborative Sales.
Doing a technology startup is not easy, but selling the product/service afterwards is even tougher.
Too often are we faced with the following question from buyers?
- Who are you?
- What’s the turn over of your company?
- Who else is using your product/service?
- How much are you going to charge for this?
Sometimes some strange breed of people would also ask: “Are you really going to charge for this?” shearing away some crucial blood cells from your vein of survival.
As a sales person I too have faced a lot of problem in selling a simple & must-do idea to a prospective buyer. Simply because most people from the established market reject out the moment they realize that we represent a start-up. It almost feels like “do I even exist” while talking about a startup product.
However, there is a round-about way for start-ups. Like diversity in the full scale industry, startups also have diverse and complimentary nature. And diversity allows for collaboration. What this means is that a T-Shirt design start-up could compliment its visibility with barter from a web 2.0 company like a niche social network which in turn could barter by naming the hosting services company on their home page. And so on …
Why is this important? Because with collaboration, you can answer the following confidently: “Yes, I have a few customers for my product already”. “X, Y Zee people are using my stuff and we are excited about it”. Well you know better how this feels. It is very important for you to explain “converted sales” to the people who can pay you. Simply because: no traction of your product means “no entry” into the mainstream.
So go ahead, release some pressure for your sales through collaboration. It is as important as having excellent coders for your product.
About the author: Arvind Nigam is CEO of Lattice Purple Technologies, Noida based startup.