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Startup Selling: Talking Sales with Scott Sambucci

Over the past twenty years, I’ve led three Silicon Valley startups to their first customers and revenue, and sold everything from financial data, enterprise software, and vaporware to cabinet doors, amusement park daily programs, and “would you like fries with that…?” My customers have included the largest financial institutions in the world, top US Universities, cabinet door makers and people that eat at Applebees and go to amusement parks... I’ve learned a lot, and made a few, ahem, well… a lot, of mistakes. Here in The Sales Podcast with Scott Sambucci, I share the lessons learned from my past two decades of selling. In each episode, I discuss a specific topic in selling and sales strategy like how to find new prospective customers, how to manage leads, how to run an effective sales meeting, uncovering customer needs, and developing pricing strategies. Episodes are a mix of guest interviews, observations from the field, and sales techniques that I’m using every single day. And people that care about such things, I’ve written two books, been a TEDx Speaker, been featured on CNBC, The Financial Times and NPR. Oh… I’m also a husband, a dad, and a three-time Ironman triathlete. Build your sales process so that you can have the company you imagine. The Sales Podcast with Scott Sambucci will help you get there.
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Oct 2, 2015

Startup Selling: Talking Sales with Scott Sambucci

SalesCast #5: Setting Up Pilot Programs

This SalesCast is brought to you by, well, SalesQualia!  Improve Sales Performance with:

  1. Self-learning resources, including books on Amazon.com and self-paced online course.

  2. Workshops and Training, hosted at venues across Silicon Valley and the US.

  3. 1:1 Coaching and Consulting for company founders and sales professionsals that want a personalized plan.

In this episode, Scott and Robert discuss how to use pilot projects to sell to big companies as a startup by getting your foot in the door and setting yourself up to understand the logistics of selling to the big boys.  Key areas we cover are:

  1. Using Pilot Projects to control the success metrics that define your product.

  2. How to use pilot programs as a customer evaluation tool.

  3. Selling the "whole pie" versus pushing for smaller pilot program.

  4. Using pilot programs to help you understand the different back office processes necessary for a large company to purchase your product.

  5. How to design pilo projects to avoid letting your product become turned into something that it's not.

We hope you enjoy the podcast and would greatly appreciate feedback!  Any suggestions on future topics you would like to hear covered and/or podcast guests you’d like to hear would be great!  Enjoy!

Podcast Notes

2:00 – Controlling the success of pilot projects by defining the metrics.

4:20 – Using pilot projects on smaller companies.

5:20 – How pilot projects establish you as a vendor at a large company.

6:20 – Pilot projects as a customer evaluation tool.

9:40 – Pilot projects versus selling the whole suite of features your product offers.

11:40 – Phased rollout of product from the pilot stage to aid with a smoother implementation.

13:00 – Avoiding the pitfalls of selling the entirety of an early stage product.

14:00 – Things to beware when piloting a project within a single department at a company.

15:45 – The benefits of a pilot project putting your company through the Master Services Agreement (MSA) process at a large company.

19:20 – How pilot projects help you understand all the necessary back office processes your company must go through to sell to a large company.

22:20 – The positives and negatives of running a pilot program.

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