I recently had the opportunity to “sit down” with Ramesh Dontha of The Agile Entrepreneur to share with his listeners how Sales Acceleration Group got started, what I think the biggest challenges are with starting your own business and the satisfaction I receive from being able to help so many companies grow and increase their revenue.
2:06 minute mark:
Agile entrepreneur takeaway: Adversities could be the mother of opportunities. Grab them.
Kristie talks about she started her company in 2016 when the venture-backed she was working for decided to put sales group under marketing and disbanded her team. Luckily, a prospective client asked her to train/consult with their sales team giving Kristie an opportunity to start on her own.
5:49 minute mark:
Agile entrepreneur takeaway: Grow your network in a very disciplined manner to grow your business
Kristie talks about the importance of networking and how she realized after some initial LinkedIn network analysis that she needed more local contacts and consciously grew that network. Her first customer as well as initial set of customers who funded her first year with consulting gigs were a direct result of her network.
8:18 minute mark:
Agile entrepreneur takeaway: Pricing can be very challenging but agree on value delivered first before pricing
Kristie talks about the initial challenges especially regarding pricing her services. Her coach Mike Weinberg advised her to stay away from hourly pricing and instead focus on pricing for services and products. She gives us a step by step process of writing SOW, pricing the services at a later point of time and ensuring lining up mutual objectives.
12:41 minute mark:
Agile entrepreneur takeaway: Have a razor focus on the customer segments you want to service
Kristie talks about her focus on privately funded companies, venture capital companies, and tech / SAS companies instead of spreading all over. She also talks about her process for handling multiple clients simultaneously. Her secret is being super organized.
14:51 minute mark:
Agile entrepreneur takeaway: Keep on prospecting for new set of customers to fill the pipeline
Kristie gives advice on power prospecting to fill the top of her sales funnel by engaging in volunteer activities, speaking engagements, CRM system, email marketing.
20:49 minute mark:
Agile entrepreneur takeaway: Always have a mix of services and products to grow your business
Kristie talks about packaging her services into some kind of a product (like training session, book etc.) to max her reach. She is working with a network of other entrepreneurs who have done this successfully. Still, Kristie says she enjoys the one-on-one engagements and the need to balance both.
22:32 minute mark:
Agile entrepreneur takeaway: Network, join meetups, rely on mentors
Kristie gives advice to would be entrepreneurs to (1) first focus on building your network (2) join local meetups/entrepreneurial groups (3) find right mentors.
24:57 minute mark:
Agile entrepreneur takeaway: Be organized in all aspects of your business like prospecting, operations, and staying in touch with your network
Kristie emphasizes the need to stay engaged socially like volunteering, find good networks (in her case prosper for women), find good tools (like Hubspot CRM in her case, and finding support network.