Creating a cool product is not enough to ensure sales. You must persuade customers to share in your excitement, and that is much more difficult than it sounds.
Sales work best when they are hidden.
When customers talk to “account executives” or “business developers”, they are actually talking to skilled marketers. This type of “hidden marketing” can create superior sales and distribution, creating a virtual monopoly on its own.
To achieve effective distribution, the “Customer Lifetime Value” must exceed the “Customer Acquisition Cost”.
Thus the more expensive your product, the more you should spend on marketing.
There are various types of sales:
Complex Sales (> $1M): Place heavy emphasis on developing relationships. Do not hire salesmen, but negotiate deals yourself as the CEO. Expect 50% to 100% year-to-year growth.
Personal Sales ($10K – $100K): Hire a modestly-sized sales team that can establish close ties with customers, then build a system in which your sales team can move the product to the widest audience.
Mass Appeal Sales (low-priced products): Marketing works if you can capture the customer’s attention. Do not pay for expensive TV or billboard spots; overspending on ads will cause your CAC to exceed your CLV, leading to bankruptcy.
Viral Sales: If each user leads to 2 new users, this creates exponential growth. Provide incentives to share your product online. Viral marketing must be short, catchy, entertaining, and easily shareable.