CEO CHALLENGE - MIGUEL FONSECA, CEO DISPLAX
STARTUPS SALES FOR CEO'S
Sales… that´s the fuel… and it´s not about money. Without SALES how can you prove you have a great product to succeed ? How can you prove your team, your investors, your clients and first of all to yourself that success is about to happen ?
You are not going to win on day one but you also cannot wait for the perfect day with the perfect product. Perfection is build up every day, all day, and never ends. Doesn´t mean all product features of your existing product are the same you will be selling in
You also need to engage yourself with potential and existing customers, get their pains and wow´s so you can go back home and drive your team towards success. At DISPLAX we see ourselves working for next client. How many customers can we win today ? How many I need to win tomorrow and what will make a difference for that to happen? Sales consolidate the investment. It will make sure every hour was a great investment.
Most startups look forward to win in international markets. So, let´s check some things i feel are super important that require the CEO attention.
Sales Focus; is your company focused on selling products ? Or is your company interested in delivering the best product whenever i ´s ready ? Having the dream to build the best of all product leads to failure. First product we sold was kind of a producttype, a mix of product and prototype. The team was hungry to get customers feedback and the market to get their hands in the product. We failed with some customers, but we supported those clients until their deadline and we won way more customers than we lost. We also got feedback and money to build the next product. Most actual customers come from the beginning, cause they know we are always willing to hear from them and improve.
Be sure your products deliver a great experience, otherwise your team will loose the energy. They want to grow themselves, so they will choose not the easiest path but the most rewarding for their lives.
SalesTeam, do they believe in the products they sell ? They need to feel they sell an amazing product and they will fight till the end to win the customer. If they don´t succeed please spend time with them understanding the why not and go back to R&D or Production or Support or Marketing, etc and refine what you need to do so you can sell it “tomorrow”. Do small and objective improvements otherwise it can take too long until your sales team gets confident. They also need to feel you are doing all you can to make them successful.
Salespeople are not only the frontline of the company, but they’re linked to every aspect of the organization. They need to understand marketing in order to know where and how they get their leads. They need to know the product in order to understand how it will benefit the customer. And they must understand what it takes to provide the best service for a customer, ensuring the deal is not only closed, but successfully delivered.
CEOs have also to be great on sales. Not easy, but you need to make it aside with many other efforts… you´re the CEO… yeap.
A great leader who’s also a great salesman is no doubt a plus; if you get to be that CEO in front of a customer, they’re going to buy your stuff and your team will get the example to follow. Knowing how to sell is as important today as it’s ever been. In a space dominated by product engineering, it’s imperative for startup founders to remember: you need a proof of success, a sales order, cause you are always selling.