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5 essential steps to establishing a solid sales foundation

Sales efficiency starts out easy when you’re a small business. Things get a little more complicated for a SaaS company that’s scaling. Welcome to a mess of discrepancies and disconnection.

Without the fundamentals in place, there will be friction at every stage of your sales process. No ifs, no buts. You need to commit genuine time and effort to set the foundations and positioning of your business.

The good news is, you can grow faster and make life easier if you focus on the fundamentals. This is no easy task, but we’re here to help.

Thanks to contributions from our experts, this blog will touch upon the important things you need to have in place as you grow.

Let's dive in.


1. Define your audience

The first step to setting the fundamentals is being able to clearly define your audience. Who do you solve problems for? What do they care about? What size of company are you targeting? And crucially what is their buying process like?

You need to identify your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP). You can think of them as your best fit customers. A very common mistake is to target too many verticals and segments. This makes it difficult to create a message that convinces your customers to buy. As long as the segmented market is big enough to meet the goals of your business, you can widen it as you grow.

So, where do you start? Identify the accounts most likely to become your high-value customers using objective measures, such as lifetime value.

The ICP is something everyone in your business should be able to articulate so that your ‘must win’ customers – and what connects them – are obvious.

Get this right and your sales approach will have the jolt of energy and clarity it needs to scale effectively.

“If you don’t know who your competitors are, who you are for, and how you add value – how can you expect your sales process to be efficient?”

Erik Syrén, Managing Director and Operations Lead - Monterro


2. Understand your competitive landscape

So, you’ve got your audience locked down. Now you need to understand where you sit in the market.

Your competitors may not always be the people you think. Are you competing with a company with a similar offering, or are you competing with a different approach?

Your salespeople will also be much better equipped if you’ve got a very clear idea of where you sit in the market. What is your USP? How do you differentiate?

Once you have a clear understanding of the problem your business solves, you need to be able to articulate it in a way that’s easy to understand and communicate.


3. Articulate your value proposition

The third step is translating all of this into a value proposition. Ideally you need one, clear idea.

The answer often lies in linking your value proposition to a business critical process. Frame your offering from your customer’s point of view. Chances are the problem you’re solving isn’t something like ‘better supported data’, but a real issue, like ‘collecting payments online’. 

Then, you can create a repeatable sales pitch. Make it easy to understand and avoid jargon. Test and grade your sales team on it every year to keep things consistent.

The foundation for an efficient sales process is to understand and sell how each of your customers want to buy rather than how you want to sell.”

Urban Bucht, CEO – Hypergene


4. Maintain cross-departmental alignment

It’s one thing to have a strategic approach to sales efficiency, but how do you make sure that translates across the entire company?

If marketing is promoting different use cases of your product than your sales team, prospects will quickly get confused and sales teams frustrated.

Get marketing and sales on the same page. This will give marketing a clearer view of the leads (and their needs), and sales a clear view of the kinds of prospects they should expect. 

And it doesn't stop there. Get your product, development, and customer success teams aligned too. Once your whole business is singing from the same song sheet – based on your positioning – then you’re well placed to reduce friction from your sales process.


5. Stick to your niche

A bad business is all things to all people. It might feel counterintuitive to narrow your message for greater success, but it works.

Once you’ve identified your target customers, and your business critical use case – stick with them.

This does not mean you’re leaving money on the table by missing out on customers – it means they’re not the most valuable customers for your business.

Find your unique niche and build from there. Once you’ve got this nailed, you’ll be able to identify the window of opportunity in your market. Every brand has one. Then when all your ducks are in a row, you’ll be set to scale your sales team – fast.


Key takeaways

IDENTIFY YOUR ICP –  Work out the critical details that link your best customers.

CONNECT YOUR VALUE PROP –  Think about business critical use cases, not just benefits.


GET SPECIFIC - Narrow your focus to attract your ideal customers.


Do you want to learn more on getting an efficient sales process? Download our ebook on the topic here.