Dear Aunty B,
My mates and I are developing a fantastic new product that has a global market. We are now working on a sales and marketing strategy.
The product has applications for the small and big business market. Which should we target first?
And I am not sure if you know this, but do most small businesses sell to other small businesses?
You are a twit – honestly. Next thing you are going to tell me is it is a $1 billion market.
You should have done your marketing and sales strategy right at the start, before you started your product development.
I can’t count the number of times that I have heard of promising start-ups who head back to the drawing back to redesign products and services because they only found out after they got around to doing a sales strategy, or even when they began to sell, that the market wanted their products or services delivered in different ways, different sizes, different times, different colours, different branding and so on.
In fact I would be so bold as to suggest that the sales and marketing strategy is the single Achilles heel for any start-up. And I think the reason is accountants!
They bang on all the time about business plans and facts and figures and demographics and so on, which is all very good. But until you go out and meet with customers and they tell you they cannot possibly buy your software because it costs more than $100,000 and only the CEO can sign off on that, and the CEO is regularly overseas and won’t be back for six months – only then do you truly understand what needs to go into a sales strategy and a marketing strategy.
And that the strategy must be done at the start. And it must involve market intelligence from your industry. (I am sure good accountants will tell you that.)
As to your question on whom sells to whom:
Most small and medium businesses sell to other small and medium businesses and the general public, while most large businesses derive their income from selling to other large businesses and government organisations. No surprise there.