Enterprise Sales Process: How to Build a Startups’ Sales Strategy

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A promising startup has landed its first few big customers and leveraged them to raise seed capital. Now, the company needs to scale up, start marketing and build an enterprise sales process. Oftentimes, this means opening the US from a few thousand miles away.


Building your first enterprise sales process is a challenge. Many entrepreneurs turn to domain expert salespeople and expect them to sell with no process to follow, no targeting, and no marketing. 


Typically, the first startup sales are completed by the CEO, who lives and breathes the brand. It’s only natural to think that your salespeople will have the same success. All the CEO’s needed to do was get in front of buyers, and tell the story of the company, then the buyers would move forward. 


The shift from CEO-driven sales and a full scale marketing and sales approach can be challenging. This is especially true in the current market, where budgets are stricter than ever.


Here are some do’s and don’ts to avoid when building your first enterprise sales process.

enterprise sales process

Charm and Charisma Don’t Scale

Founders typically find it relatively easy to sell their product. In fact, they can even sell it to buyers that don’t fit the buyers persona. Their love for their solution is the major driver of these “hero sales”.


However, just because you can close deals for your own business, doesn’t mean your salespeople will have the same success overnight. Your connections and charisma are a valuable resource, but they aren’t transferable.


Unfortunately, the founder cannot become the entire sales team. It’s important to build clear processes and an effective enterprise sales team for a truly scalable approach to sales and marketing.

Do Test and Quantify Your Assumptions

Begin building your sales process using information that you can rely on. This might require some testing, but you need to have a thorough understanding of your market, buyers persona, and sales and marketing approaches. 


Use your existing buyer information, and information about your market, to make some educated guesses on personas and marketing messages. Run campaigns to test these theories. Not every campaign will be a winner, but these tests should provide you with some clear data on your existing sales process and the market that you’re looking to target. 


Establish who you’re selling to, what problems they face, what solutions you can provide, what industry they are in, and more. You need a thorough picture of the end user, and how you can resonate with them. This will allow you to build a team of sales executives and provide them with the right information to hit the ground running.

Affiliate Marketing as a Launch Platform

Affiliate marketing could be considered the new kid on the block in the B2B marketing industry. However, it’s seen serious success in the DTC space, and modern marketers are looking to optimize the approach for the longer sales cycles in B2B. 


The affiliate and partner approach uses your understanding of your audience and your market, and relies on the relationships that affiliates have built with those that suit your niche. As a startup, it can be challenging to get your name and solution out there. The initial traction is challenging. 


Affiliate marketing provides a ready made audience, allowing you to test your marketing messages and targeting, and potentially giving you the launching pad you need for further marketing and sales efforts. 

Since affiliate marketing relies on trust and relationships with an audience, it shares similar goals with inbound and content marketing. Opening a partner program could provide the boost your content and sales process needs, while your other marketing foundations are established for the future. Consider supporting your sales teams with effective and impactful marketing approaches like this.

Building Your Sales Process with the Right People

There are certain traits that make a good salesperson, including experience and communication. However, all salespeople need a good process to follow. They can only perform with the right information and good leads.


Without this clear process, your best sales people will get lost easily. They’re likely to become frustrated, and even leave the company. Ultimately, this just isn’t an efficient use of time or money in the beginning stages of a business.

enterprise sales process

Hire a Sales Team with Ambition

With the right process in place, your sales team needn’t be “top talent” from the best enterprise business in the world, with years of experience. In fact, in our experience, recruiting ambitious workers from local businesses, like fitness centres for example, can be just as impactful with an efficient onboarding and operating process for sales teams. 


While this may not be the right approach for everyone, the point still remains the same. Ensure that anyone that joins your team has the opportunity to thrive and work towards quality sales. 


A good way to optimize both your sales process and your hiring process is to hire in pairs. For instance, if both new recruits are having issues and underperforming, you need to re-evaluate your recruitment or sales process. If only one is underperforming, you can identify the difference and learn how to narrow down desirables for the next round of hires. 


Building an enterprise sales process isn’t rocket science but there is a science to it. It’s the scientific method of testing and collecting data to build a solid process on which you can scale up your sales organization. At Nituno, we have worked with businesses of all sizes to establish scalable marketing and sales processes to drive towards future growth. Get in touch with us to discuss today.

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