Updated: 6 days ago
"You don't have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great." Zig Ziglar, the American author and speaker, emphasizes that getting started with a sales strategy is crucial for achieving greatness in business.
As a startup mentor and advisor I work with entrepreneurs to create their next-level pitch deck. Selling stock of your company is one thing, but the other is selling your product. How to you build sales strategy for a startup when resources are tight?
Building a cost-conscious sales strategy is essential for startups due to limited resources, the need for efficiency, scalability, competitive advantage, sustainable growth, flexibility, and a customer-centric approach. By managing costs effectively, startups can optimize their sales efforts and increase their chances of success in a competitive market.
Take note of these steps your startup could take to build a sales strategy and use your creativity as the examples show:
Define the target market: To avoid spending money on ineffective marketing campaigns, your startup should identify the target market and create customer personas. This will help you focus on your marketing efforts and reduce costs.
Use social media: Social media platforms are an inexpensive way to reach potential customers. Your startup can use social media to create brand awareness, engage with customers, and drive sales.
Leverage email marketing: Email marketing is a cost-effective way to reach out to customers and keep them engaged. Your startup can use email marketing to offer promotions, discounts, and updates on new products or services.
Focus on referrals: Word-of-mouth marketing is one of the most effective forms of marketing. Your startup can encourage existing customers to refer their friends and family by offering incentives or discounts.
Attend trade shows and events selectively: Attending trade shows and events can be expensive, but it can also be a valuable way to generate leads and connect with potential customers. You should carefully select the events they attend and be sure to measure the ROI of each event.
Measure results: To ensure that the sales strategy is effective, you should track and measure the results of your sales efforts. This will help you identify what is working and what is not, and adjust your strategy accordingly.
For your inspiration let's explore a few examples of startups that have embraced cost-conscious sales strategies, enabling them to thrive in their respective industries.
Dollar Shave Club: Dollar Shave Club is a subscription-based razor and personal care product company that gained popularity for its cost-conscious sales strategy. Instead of spending huge amounts on traditional advertising, the company created a humorous and engaging video that went viral, generating millions of views. This approach allowed them to acquire a large customer base at a fraction of the cost of traditional marketing campaigns.
Warby Parker: Warby Parker is an eyewear retailer that disrupted the industry with its affordable and stylish glasses. The company implemented a cost-conscious sales strategy by cutting out middlemen and selling directly to customers. By doing so, they were able to offer high-quality eyewear at lower prices compared to traditional retailers. This approach resonated with cost-conscious consumers and helped them gain market share quickly.
TransferWise: TransferWise is a fintech startup that offers low-cost international money transfers. Instead of relying on traditional banking systems with high fees, TransferWise leverages peer-to-peer technology to match users sending and receiving money in different currencies. This approach allows them to offer competitive exchange rates and lower fees compared to traditional banks. By focusing on cost efficiency, TransferWise has become a leader in the fintech space.
Slack: Slack is a communication and collaboration platform for teams. They adopted a cost-conscious sales strategy by utilizing a freemium model. The free version of Slack offered basic features to users, allowing them to experience the value of the platform. As teams grew and needed advanced features, they could upgrade to a paid subscription. This approach allowed Slack to acquire a large user base and convert them into paying customers efficiently.
Groupon: Groupon revolutionized the coupon and deals industry with its cost-conscious sales strategy. The company negotiates deals with local businesses and offers significant discounts to its subscribers. By aggregating demand and driving large volumes of customers to these businesses, Groupon creates win-win situations where customers get great deals, and businesses gain exposure and new customers. This strategy helped Groupon become a global e-commerce platform.
Casper: Casper is a direct-to-consumer mattress and sleep products company. They disrupted the traditional mattress industry by offering high-quality mattresses at affordable prices. Casper's cost-conscious sales strategy involved cutting out middlemen and selling directly to customers online. By doing so, they eliminated the need for costly physical retail stores and passed the savings onto consumers. This approach allowed them to offer competitive pricing and quickly gain market share.
HelloFresh: HelloFresh is a meal kit delivery service that provides pre-portioned ingredients and recipes to customers. Their cost-conscious sales strategy involved optimizing the supply chain and streamlining operations to reduce costs. By partnering with local suppliers and implementing efficient logistics, HelloFresh was able to offer affordable meal kits with convenient delivery. This strategy attracted price-conscious consumers who wanted the convenience of cooking at home without the hassle of grocery shopping.
Rent the Runway: Rent the Runway is a fashion rental platform that allows customers to rent designer clothing and accessories. Their cost-conscious sales strategy centered around the sharing economy model. By enabling customers to rent instead of purchasing expensive designer items, Rent the Runway made luxury fashion more accessible and affordable. This approach tapped into the growing trend of sustainability and cost-consciousness among fashion-conscious consumers.
CONNECT WITH H. MARK MEIJER
My passion is to elevate entrepreneurs and help bring startup companies to the stars through mentoring, advisory and occasional fractional executive management.
You can connect with me easily on LinkedIn, book a free pitch deck review, or book a service plan for mentoring and beyond