A couple of suggestions from breakfast discussions over the last three months
Hiring a sales guy too early is not effective. If you haven’t discovered a successful model for who buys your product based on what needs, it’s unlikely that a sales person will be able to figure it out: they need a clear process and appropriate material in order to find and close business. For example, if they have a huge rolodex, how will they know which customers to target if you don’t know who you are selling to.
An effective approach is to find another company that has a partial solution where you both can target the same customer and offer a complete solution to their needs. This is called a 1+1= 3 strategy.
If you have a champion inside a prospect’s organization who really likes your product, talk to them. They will outline exactly what you need to get the business. They know the decision maker, and will tell you what answers and features you need to get the decision maker to buy.
Can you show them the before and after (what change does your product or service make in their business). What can you tell them about their business that the did not already know? How can you substantiate the benefits of your solution: testimonials, benchmarks, customer success stories, …?
Sean attended an SVASE CXO forum last year and blogged about some practical tips that were presented here: