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Have you heard the saying – Proof of the pudding lies in the eating.
Same way, Proof of the success of a business(startup) lies in the profit. Do you agree?
Unfortunately, today most of the startups are more focused on funding rather than revenue, and even less on profit. Many times we forget that funding in any form (be it Loan, Angel or Equity) has to be repaid and specially if it is Equity or Angel, it has to be repaid many folds.
The only money a startup or business really owns is the money from a customer (of course after the delivery of the product or service). This brings us to the importance of customer acquisition.
Personally, I have been selling for zillion years, because, I started selling when I was just 10 years old (So, don’t ask me how old I am, I am just Zillion+10 years old). I am excited to say that I am still actively involved in selling. But more than that, I am into helping salespeople to increase their sales. Even more importantly, I enjoy supporting Startups and SMEs to improve their revenue and profit.
Based on my experience, I have noticed that most sales-people are too eager to take the credit for an order, even if they have played very small role in the process. However, when it comes to losing an order, they are convinced that it is not their fault. They blame the competitor, the product, the price, the quality, credit terms, the management etc, etc. It’s almost impossible to make them take the ownership of failure.
Without going into the details of why orders are lost, I prefer to focus on how to make sure that we have better chance next time. Would you agree?
As I mentioned, I have been in selling for ages and even today, I make sales calls not only for my business, but also my clients’ business. With all this experience, I have come to the conclusion that
“Selling Skills play a vital role in Selling. Period.”
One of my favourite quotes is
“An Average product + Great selling skills will always beat A Great product + average selling skills”.
Here is an important question you have to ask yourself – Is your company dependent on Great Product(s) or Highly Skilled sales people? Of course, if you have both, it will be unbeatable.
Remember – it is possible that with proper Training, Skills can be taught to anybody.
Unfortunately, many business owners do not mind paying huge salaries to their sales people, but are hesitant to invest even 10% or 20% of CTC (Cost to Company) for their training. The reason is simple. They don’t understand that money invested on Effective Training gives the highest ROI.
Remember that in today’s competitive market where a product does not have a strong USP, a skilled and well trained sales person can become the USP of the product.
Training your sales Team is not a cost of doing business, but a must for profitable business.
So, if you agree that the success of a business should be measured by profit and if the profit is related to revenue, then you must be focused on sales. And for sales to happen, training sales people is the one and only key in your control.
Do you believe that Idea is the HEART of a Startup?
Will you also agree that every Idea needs to be polished?
If your answer is yes to both the questions, then Why is it that some Great Ideas Fail and some not so great ideas succeed?
Here is one of the main reasons-
Most startups have an Idea, but they rarely go through the process called Idea Validation. Most of the Founders talk to just a few people like their friends, family and relatives. Based on the feedback they get, they decide to continue or drop the idea. They fail to understand the weightage they should give to the suggestions and feedback of these people.
Here is a fact, which is not understood by most Startups. When people give you a feedback, on your idea, their feedback depends less on the idea and more on the following two factors:-
- How much do they like you.
- How much confidence they have in you.
So, their feedback is less about the idea, and more about their liking and confidence.
In other words, using your friends and family for idea validation itself may not be a Valid idea.
- Prospective Customers
The purpose of an Idea is to create a product/service that will be bought by customers. Hence, approval of the idea from prospective customers is most important. Paying customers will assess the product with more seriousness. So the feedback from their point of view is more valuable.
People who are asked to try without payment and/ or Free Trial may not be too specific or critical of the product/Service because they may not want to hurt you
- Competitors, if any
Meeting competitors or those who are into similar product will give you an idea about the challenges that they are facing. Also you may get information on the market scenario, the price point, and other relevant details. This can be very useful in your planning.
- Specialists and Experts
Whenever possible, try to meet Specialists and experts in the field. They will be able to plug the hole in the concept/idea, if any. They can also add value to the idea. They may connect you to the right people in the industry, too.
- Similar Products/ Services
Find out if any other business is working with similar idea. If yes, meet them . Get to know what they are doing. Also meet business owners who are successful and those who are not. I am sure you will agree that we need to learn from the successful businesses is as important as learning from the mistakes of the failed businesses.
Meeting the above people will save a lot of time and effort in your startup journey. Meeting these people will help you to understand and validate your idea. They can also provide answers to those questions you have been asking to yourself. This exercise also may provide clarity leading to course corrections where ever needed.
In conclusion, it will be better to remember that an Idea which is validated by right people is more beneficial rather than just a Great Idea. This is extremely important for any business and specially a Startup.
If you want to know how we can help you in your Startup, please go to Solve YOUR Startup Problems
Please share your feedback and suggestion to MuraliMarg@gmail.com or WhatsApp to +91-88256 38345