How to build a sales team ... when you can't afford it

How to build a sales team ... when you can't afford it

Maybe you're a bootstrapping startup, or you're a single founder, or your just burning through your funding so fast that you urgently have to cut expenses... and hiring someone is just completely out of question.

Yet, you need paying customers - and having people actually sell your product is your best bet to get people hand you their money.

So what can you do? Do what entrepreneurs who lacked money have been doing ever since: get creative. Replace money with resourcefulness.

Don't limit yourself to thinking of a sales team as full-time employees. Everyone in your network could become part of your sales team.

Ask yourself who could become part of your extended sales team?

Got customers?

They can be a great source of new sales leads. Not only that, you can also utilize them as last-inning closers - maybe a deal in your pipeline, a prospect on the verge of buying, but not quite convinced yet. Ask a customer of yours for help to close the deal by providing a reference.

The same is true for investors and advisers: ask them for referrals, and bring them into sales conversations to lend some authority and credibility to your scrappy little startup.

When you've invested some time into making a deal happen, and the other party is negotiating down your terms, bring in one of your coworkers to look over the deal and ask some critical questions.

Every single person in your network could be part of your sales team - even if they don't know it! You don't have to make this a formal arrangement, just leverage the few resources you have to accomplish big things.

That's what startups do. They make things happen that most other people couldn't make happen given the same constraints and limitations, the lack of resources. Friends, vendors, partners, family members, colleagues and employers... there's no limit to how far you can take this.

Further reading:

The B2B referral sales system - The magical outbound growth engine most startups never use!
Want more, higher quality customers with a lot less effort than it takes to do cold outbound sales or inbound marketing? Use this simple referral sales system to grow your business starting today.

How to give references that sell
How to give customer references to prospects in your sales process in a way that closes more deals and makes your current customers happy.

The Pair Negotiation Tactic
Once you've invested some time into closing a deal, it's always a good idea to have someone else review the terms. That pair of fresh eyes will often help you to get a better result.

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