To Build: construct (something, typically something large) by putting parts or material together over a period of time.
synonyms: construct, erect, put up, assemble;
A Sales Builder is someone whose primary role is to identify and assemble the different parts of the sales organization, that need to work together in order to generate revenue. So, as an engineer is tasked with building a product that can scale for tens of thousands of users, a Sales Builder is tasked with building (or productizing) sales in order to scale for hundreds of thousands of dollars. While this role is often played by the Founder/CEO early on, it’s someone who needs to have a deliberate focus on sales repeatability and building your company’s sales playbook. At the very least, this requires shifting the mindset from hustling to get a few clients for the MVP, to making a dedicated effort towards building data-driven sales.
5 Reasons Why You Need a Sales Builder
1. You don’t have a clear idea as to WHO you’re selling to yet
To build your sales playbook, you need to know which companies and roles to target. Whether it’s by company size, industry, revenues, or something totally different, you need to define your ideal customer profile (ICP) and find your niche. Once you’re done that, you need to go one step further and at least try to define a set of buyer personas that you can use throughout the sales process. The benefit here is focus and learning; perhaps your ICP or Buyer Personas are wrong, but at least you’ll have the data and will be able to learn from it.
2. You’ve closed a few deals, but haven’t documented much during the pre-sales process and don’t know WHAT anecdotal data is most important to track either
As you try and crack product/market fit (and even after), every prospect interaction is an opportunity for customer development and learning. What are the use cases that you can solve for today and how do they talk about them? What are the use cases you can’t solve for today, but may want to build for in the future? What does your prospect’s budget approval process look like? How was the lead generated and what steps had to be taken from start to finish to close deal? The list of questions here is endless and while each prospect interaction will be unique, how you document and track some of the anecdotal data shouldn’t need be.
3. You’ve closed a few deals, but don’t know WHY your customers actually bought your product, or which metrics will help you quantify the value of your solution long term
So you’ve seen your MRR shoot up and things are looking good. Sure, it’s great to celebrate a few short term wins, but as a startup you’re looking to grow 10x right? Well, you can’t sustainably grow 10x, if your product isn’t creating 10x value, and the only way to create 10x value is to know the baseline value of “x”. Whether it’s the total time they’re spending doing what they’re doing today or the total cost of their current broken process, it’s your job to uncover this as early as possible. Get a firm handle on what your customers care about, how they define success, and their expectations from your company. It’s the only way you’ll be able make them happy, beat their expectations, and ultimately, turn them into a reference clients in the future.
4. You get excited about the idea of building your "Sales Stack" and trying new sales automation tools, but don’t actually know HOW these tools will work together to support your unique sales process
Over the last 3-4 years, there’s been an explosion of new sales automation tools to help the modern sales professional. While this innovation is truly great for our profession, navigating this new world can be difficult. Knowing which CRM will integrate with your lead enrichment platform, that will also allow you to track emails, and then notify you of key trigger events at your target accounts is a whole other beast. Don’t worry about all of this initially. In the early days, just focus on laying the foundation and getting good data, even if it is somewhat manual to start. It’ll help you learn and then know what to look for when it comes to automating in the future.
5. You have great product that’s creating value for your clients, you continue to close a few deals, but you want predictable revenue and don’t know WHERE to start (despite reading Aaron Ross’ book)
This one is a bit different from the other four I’ve listed above. You’ve likely managed to hack together a sales process, figured out a way to generate some sort of month over month growth, and have some happy clients. First off, congrats to you for making it this far! But now you need to put your sales playbook in place, and don’t know what the different pieces of the puzzle are or how to make this repeatable to scale. That’s okay, dedicate more time to learning about your deals, and pick just 1 part of the process to make repeatable. For example, start with outbound lead generation and see how you can get a consistent set of new prospects into your funnel.
Now, if you're looking for a faster way to build your sales playbook and gain traction, that’s something I can help with. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'd be happy to help!
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