Key take-aways from Entrepreneurial Sales and Marketing class @HarvardHBS

Buyer’s journey

The most important framework I am taking with me is the one regarding the buyer’s journey. Understanding the dynamics from both the buyer and the seller’s standpoints is crucial, and by tackling awareness, consideration and decision-making phases, Sales Managers can identify the various hurdles to the sale process.

Inbound strategies

I also enjoyed @MVolpe’s contributions in class about inbound marketing. First, he explained clearly the mission: educate customers by putting content in their hands. I particularly liked his choice framework, identifying the key considerations that the Marketing Manager needs to decide on to develop a strategy:

choosing the format (webpage, blog, podcast), 
the quality : quantity ratio (buzzFeed vs. a PhD thesis), 
the distribution system (email, search, social media), and 
the tone of the messaging (“10 reasons why…”, Opinion, Research)

I also appreciated that he clearly identified the limit of inbound marketing: “if you have something new or revolutionary, customers won’t use google to find you, so outbound marketing is necessary”.

Building a sales force

Eventually, the Sales hiring exercise was compelling: I will look for attitude (energy, belief in the product), coachability, and results. The exploratory sales process starts with Salespeople understanding product market fit and developing their pitch (first month), then starting prospecting (second month), defining quotas and scheduling appointments (third month), and start closing (by fourth month). All of it requires trust and relationship building: ask behavioral questions when hiring to get sales who are smart on their feet.