India is taking big strides to become a Startup Nation. Indian technology startups have seen a gigantic growth since 2010. The country is home to a new breed of startups and has become the third largest base of technology start-ups in the world. The growth of startups should go as far as 2000+ new startups each year by 2020 and job creation due to these startups should be from 65k-75k as of today to 250k-300k by 2020.
The ecosystem is supported by a number of venture capital firms, angel investors and other support organisations such as incubators, accelerators, and academic programmes. The average investment in 2010 was $4.2 Mn. The pioneer of Indian startups, Flipkart, is now valued at $14 Bn.
All this data conclusively proves that startups are here to stay in India.
Importance Of Sales Training
Most startups are selling either a product or a service or both.
The success and failure of startups depends on the quality of their sales and marketing team. This is evident from the fact that some startups succeed while similar startups offering similar products fail. Having a great idea or a product is not enough. You have to go out there and make it known to the targeted customers. This is one of the basic problems plaguing most startups these days.
They have the idea, the capital, but lack the vision and the vigor that is required to get the ball rolling. The most difficult roadblock for entrepreneurs is to become visible to customers.
Most startups face the challenge of hiring salespersons to market and sell their products. Hiring whoever comes along and providing inadequate training to them can kill a startup despite it being backed by the best of VCs. Most startups focus on training and hiring engineers to refine their products but seldom focus on training their salesperson.
If there are no takers for your products, it doesn’t matter how ingenuous or innovative your ideas are. Eventually, you have to shut shop. Therefore in order to maintain long-term sustainability of the company, investing time and resources for hiring and training is absolutely necessary and can pay rich dividends in the long term.
How To Train And Build A Strong Sales Team
Startups are always on a tight budget. Most don’t want to spend any additional funds on hiring and training specialised salesperson, rather delegate these duties to existing employees. Although for small startups whose annual revenues are downwards of INR 5 Cr-INR 6 Cr, this is an acceptable state of affairs.
But after this stage, when organisational activity picks up, there will be an increase in the number of clinet meetings, inbound calls, requests for demos etc. This is the time to hire a sales leader and spend some money on hiring and training a sales team. This will enable you to reach your target customers easily and prevent your competitors from poaching them.
Once you have hired a team, it’s time to train them using techniques tailor-made to suit your organisation. The following tips could be useful for doing so.
Use E-learning To Educate
Your sales team needs to know the product front to back in order to convince potential clients. Startups need to pay more attention to image and brand building. Salespersons are the first representatives that clients get to interact. So they need to be well polished. Salespersons with sufficient product knowledge exuberates confidence. This helps them to identify specific client issues and solve them. Through online videos and modules, salespersons can learn on the go and also track their progress.
Micro-Learning And Short Training Exercises
Short training sessions and micro-learning is preferred over long arduous training schedules. Overtraining can be detrimental for a salesperson. So keep it short and simple.
Reward Specific Achievement And High Performers
It is important to reward specific achievements and high performers in order to motivate the workforce. Rather than opting to reward those who have achieved the highest number of “yes,” it is a better practice to reward those who have accrued the highest number of “no’s”.
This will motivate the team to go out and try harder because behind every “no” lies the potential chance of a “yes.”