This post is Part 1 in our series on how to build a repeatable and scalable sales motion. It covers the initial artefacts you’ll want to create, team composition, and how much time you should invest into the artefacts. This series is aimed at companies that have found initial product market fit and are now looking to scale sales.
The building blocks
The first step in building a repeatable sales process is putting in place the basic building blocks to support your sales motion. These are essential components for developing a repeatable process that a salesperson (not a founder) can execute on.
Here’s the list of artefacts you’ll want to put in place. How to create these is covered further down, including links to supporting material.
- Customer definition
- Customer segmentation
- Ideal customer profile
- Target persona(s)
- Sample target account and contact list
- Standardised pricing and packaging for your product
- Initial versions of your sales collateral
- Product landing page on your website
- Slide deck and narrative script
- Demo (if required)
- Sales pipeline configured in a CRM
- Qualification framework and discovery script
One person can create all the artefacts, but it’s not recommended. You’ll be more effective and have a lot more fun if you have a team of two people who can bounce ideas off one another. You’ll also need some support from a designer to produce professional sales collateral.
Ideally your team should contain the following skills and experience:
- Good knowledge of your domain, target customer and product
- Some basic storytelling and copywriting skills so that you can construct a compelling narrative
- Prior experience successfully making sales (this is important for creating useful sales collateral)
Creating the artefacts
Here’s the sequence for developing your building blocks once you have your team in place. Creating the artefacts will initially be based on educated guess work. You’ll field test them when you start selling and refine them as you collect market data.
Understanding and defining your customer
Before you do anything else, you need to get inside your buyer’s head and understand who they are. There are three steps to doing this:
- Segment your market and define your target segment(s)
In the words of Aaron Ross, you want to “Nail your Niche”. The narrower you segment your market and the more clearly you define it, the more focussed and effective your sales efforts can be.
- Develop an ideal customer profile (ICP) and buyer persona(s)
Once you’ve defined your target segment(s), you want to define what your ideal customer looks like and create the buyer personas that you’ll find within your ideal customer organisation.
- Build a sample target account list based off your ICP
Do some basic validation on your ICP and target personas by identifying a few target accounts and target contacts. Use these to check whether they align with your ICP and persona hypothesis. LinkedIn Sales Navigator will make building these lists much easier.
Sales artefacts and collateral
Now that you’ve defined who your customers are, you have a framework for creating buyer-focussed messaging, sales artefacts and collateral.
- Create your product pricing and packaging
Standardised pricing and packaging will make selling much much easier. It provides certainty to you and your customer during the sales process. It will also dramatically reduce your sales friction if you can easily communicate your price point. There are different pricing strategies you can use (here’s one, and here’s another), but you should put in place a value-based pricing model.
- Select a qualification framework
There are lots of great qualification frameworks. Having one in place is essential. BANT is the original qualification framework. More recent frameworks to consider include MEDDIC, CHAMP and RAMPACT.
- Create a qualification and discovery script
Take your qualification framework and make it specific to your ideal customer profile. Work out the relevant qualification and discovery questions based on your product and the problems that you solve for your ICP. You’ll want to put your qualification/discovery questions into a script format so that this is a standard framework that you can systematically use in every sale.
- Sales deal stages in your CRM
If you don’t have a CRM in place yet, now is the time to get one. Pipedrive is an easy to use CRM that visualises your sales pipeline stages in a kanban view. Hubspot and Salesforce are also safe options. Define your sales pipeline stages and configure them within your CRM.
- Product story and sales deck
Start the process of building your sales collateral by writing a narrative for your product, and then creating a Sales Deck as a visual aid for when you deliver your product story.
- Product landing page
A product landing page is something to point people at and will help a lot to make the product “real” in the eyes of your customers. When building this page you want to think about messaging in terms of the benefits to your personas. A common mistake is to build a landing page that’s focussed on features, and doesn’t highlight benefits to your buyer.
- Product demo and script
Get a demo environment set up, and develop a script that you can follow if you need to demo your product to customers.
Initial field testing
A useful sanity check for the artefacts you’ve created is to approach 3-4 friendlies who are loosely within your target market and chat them through your collateral. You should frame this as wanting to test your ideas with them, as this will set up a more informal discussion where you don’t need to be in sales mode. This is particularly useful for your sales deck, demo, pricing and packaging. You’ll get to iron out a lot of the kinks, and also practice your delivery before you go into a “real” sales situation.
Aim to have all of your artefacts completed in no more than 2 weeks. Don’t get too bogged down going into too much detail. You should prioritise speed over quality at this stage. These will be first iteration outputs and likely they will change significantly once you take them into the field and start getting real-world feedback from the market.
This covers Part 1 in our series on building a repeatable sales process. In Part 2 we’ll cover how to go build and refine your repeatable sales motion.
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