Upcoming Events

Startup Sales Fundamentals Series // ISU Startup Factory

Date & Time Friday, April 19 - Friday, July 26 1:00pm-5:00pm
Location ISU Research Park Core Facility - 1805 Collaboration Place, Ames, IA 50010
Contact Hannah Kirkendall

The ISU Startup Factory is proud to present the Startup Sales Fundamentals Series, designed to equip startup founders with essential sales skills. This series, facilitated by Clair Williams-Vavra of Creative Spark Studio, covers a range of topics crucial for startup success, from sales foundations to solution selling for SaaS.

Clair Williams-Vavra of Creative Spark Studio

Clair is an entrepreneur and consultant leading business initiatives related to improving sales, operations, and workforce culture.

These sessions are open to all startup founders, regardless of business model, and are currently offered in person only. No hybrid options are available at this time. Sessions will be held one Friday per month from April to July at the ISU Research Park Core Facility.

For any inquiries, please contact ISU Startup Factory Program Manager Hannah Kirkendall at hkirkend@iastate.edu. Registration is open, and participants have the option to register for individual sessions or the entire series.  No prerequisites are required to attend.

Join us to enhance your understanding of sales and drive your startup’s growth!

Session 1: Sales Foundations for Startups (April 19 | 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.)

Startup companies are constantly navigating new (and often unpredictable) waters to find their niche customer, get their product to market, and scale successfully. Founders must prioritize sales to drive the outcomes they want. This training will cover a wide variety of sales foundations for startups, including how to build and scale a successful sales team, how to foster a sales-centric culture that amplifies collective results, and how to leverage solution selling to improve conversions and earn customer loyalty. Attendees will leave feeling confident that they have the tools needed to build a robust B2B sales function in their startup.

Session 2: Art of Pipeline Development for Startups (May 17 | 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.)

Building a pipeline of qualified leads is often the lifeblood of any startup company, and often one of the biggest pain points to scaling. Defining and attracting potential customers is nuanced and complex, and takes strategic measures to ensure it’s developed right. To attract potential customers, startups need to stand out with content creation, outreach, multi-threading sales touches, and other marketing strategies to ensure their solution is visible and create curiosity. This training will focus on the art of pipeline development in the B2B space and how to track these efforts in your CRM.

Session 3: Solution Selling for SaaS: Art of a Live Demo (June 21 | 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.)

For most SaaS B2B companies, the demo stage of the sales lifecycle can either make or break a deal. How each demo gets prepared for, executed, and follow up on will dictate conversions and individual close rates.

Attendees can expect to leave feeling confident in their ability to lead with curiosity and tailor demos with every prospect, every time. Having a process and structure around this process means it can be replicated. When you start to see conversions improve, you scale faster.

Session 4: Land and Expand: Close Deals and Make Happy Customers Happier (July 26 | 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.)

Objections are almost always about value. Confidence is one of the strongest undercurrents to negotiating successfully. It can show up in areas of communication like the clarity of our ask, the importance of asking the right questions, mirroring/empathizing, and even being mindful of our tone and body language. To gain value alignment, we will train on how to lean into “no” instead of shying away from it.

Attendees can expect to leave feeling empowered, confident in their bargaining power and abilities, and ready to tackle negotiations while selling. This training will also cover the importance of customer experience (CX) post-sale for retention and referral opportunities, and how to grow accounts through strategic wallet expansion.

 

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