Pushy, sleazy, manipulative… these are all words I’ve heard when talking to tech founders about sales. Many of them believe that if you build a great product, then the sales will just come naturally.
Here are a couple of quotes that showcase this mentality in action:
In 2016, Slack CEO Steward Butterfield stated, “I think we can get away without having a sales team in any kind of traditional way probably forever.”
Same story for Palantir’s CEO, Alex Karp. He once said he’d only hire a sales team if investors forced him to. Or if he was “hit by a…
When I first wrote this for OpenView, we were in a place where unemployment was at an all-time low and hiring was top of mind.
My, oh my, how times have changed in such a short amount of time.
Whether your company has paused hiring, is still hiring or will be in the future, having the right people for your business and stage will always be a priority.
Building an effective (and committed) enterprise sales team for the long haul starts with the people you hire. …
Back in the dark ages (when dinosaurs roamed the Earth), I grew up in the enterprise sales world of having to do everything myself:
And while I understand why so many celebrate the ways found to make the sales process more ‘efficient’ through segmentation, we’ve gone too far.
Think I’m wrong? Start talking to your buyers.
Case in point complements of Will Allred via LinkedIn:
I’m a co-founder/host of a community called Thursday Night Sales and this topic came up in a chat I had with one of our members.
They told me their company (SMB focused) has a growing sales team that is currently led by the CEO. They’d tried hiring a Head of Sales, but it turned out to be a bad hire and they had to let that person go.
They specifically asked: what metrics or discussion points can be presented to the CEO to help shift his thinking and build trust to hire for the VP of Sales position again?
COVID-19 is reshaping the market like we’ve never seen before. As the pandemic wears on, leaders must determine which way the wind is blowing and set a course for solid ground. Everyone needs to find their own way.
Your customers, more than anything else, are your compass as you navigate these choppy waters.
The best companies are tweaking sales systems, adjusting their go-to-market strategy and rediscovering customers’ needs as they evolve.
Even if your business is thriving, you can’t do nothing — that’s like saying nothing’s changed. And your customers’ buyers might not be so lucky with a potential painful…
I got off the phone with a brilliant founder last night who has decided to “do enterprise sales” because she had experience working for a mega-brand and recognized a gap in the market as a result.
This process of arriving at or deciding to pursue enterprise sales is pretty common in the startup world.
However, I can say from first-hand experience that building the team you’re thinking of will be different than your expectations. And it will morph again when you have a few clients under your belt and continue to evolve as you get a foothold.
I’ve been fortunate…
“70% of SaaS First VP Sales don’t make it to 12 Months. It’s one of the most common, and also most devastating mishires in startups.” — Jason Lemkin
A bad hiring decision can cost you a TON of money, but for a startup, it could make-or-break your business.
One of the things I hear most often on sales calls and kick-offs with startups who want to hire enterprise salespeople is:
“We didn’t get our last enterprise hire(s) quite right and it hurt. It’s mission-critical for us this time around.”
I wanted to know why this was so common for so many we engage with. So I dug deeper into each of their stories to learn more.
And I found this is most often because startups (self-admittedly) were looking for the wrong things in a strong hire.
I also found that the businesses we worked with who had made…
One thing is certain, recessions will come, and that creates a lot of uncertainty for those of us who love the startup life, where job security is already in question!
Throughout my career, I’ve learned to recession-proof myself, and because of that, I’ve survived several recessions and downturns. The most important thing I learned is that now is the time, while the economy is strong, to start preparing. I’m going to explain what employment security is, and how you can develop it to recession-proof your career in sales.
Though many pundits make it seem like they can predict when the…
I help startups hire sales leaders without the cringe • Founder/CEO • 2X Entrepreneur • Personally closed $100MM+ in revenue (and counting) • LinkedIn Top Sales