First steps to selling as an early stage founder with Mark Roberge
January 22, 2019
What is your favorite sales or leadership book? Spin Selling
Do you have someone that you follow/read for sales/leadership ideas? Gong.IO
Are you available 24/7? Do you have strict personal time boundaries? He worked long days but he would be with his family twice a week in the afternoons. On the weekends, he would not be working while his family was awake.
What is your favorite tool used for sales? Gong.io
What one piece of advice do you have for all the founders/CEOs/VP Sales out there? Learn to fail, then get up again. Learn from it.
When looking to hire a salesperson, to many founders will put too much weight on looking for someone with experience with a similar product to a similar client type. Rather they should be focusing more on the level of salesmanship.
So much of the early stage sale cycle is to ask insightful questions and build rapport. This can only be done effectively with someone who is naturally curious.
Your first hire and tenth hire are completely different. Your first should be more of a project manager. Someone who is able to maintain a lot of different information at once and knows how to pull resources together. The tenth is someone who comes in once the system is set and starts to take action.
Early stage companies should have daily reviews. This is here the whole company will meet for an hour to listen to a recorded call with a prospect. This allows the whole company to learn how the prospect understands the product and how to better market, change or sell it.
How to hire salespeople? How to increase price? These are the kind of questions most early stage companies are asking that however they are not ready for it. They should instead be focused on product market fit.
Product market fit should be where you are on-boarding new clients regularly and after X number of months they are still using the product and finding value in it. To tell if they are finding value, look at what you promised them during the sales process then look for signs of that happening.
Go to market fit is where you are able to generate customer success profitably.
Once you have this, then you are ready to begin scaling. Scaling does not mean hire a lot of reps all at once, it means to hire 1 rep a month for the next 6 months. While doing that, watch your economics and customer success. If able to maintain, keep going; if not, slow down and fix it.
To become a thought leader on social media, you should be reposting other thought leaders content more than your own. You can have someone else manage your social media profiles to comment and be involved in the community on your behalf.
You should be online yourself for about two hours a week managing the social profiles. This way you keep your fingers on the pulse of what is going on in your industry.
Buyer journey; Awareness, consideration, decision, success. Your emails and communication show speak to the prospect as they move through the four stages.