Getting your first clients – Amit Bendov of Gong.IO
April 9, 2019
His first hire was an SDR as they had so many inbound leads coming in. Eventually he had the SDR also take control of the sales cycle for any lead with less than twenty seats.
From the start, Amit wanted to ask for money from the prospects as opposed to giving it away for free for a short time to gain traction. He did this because he wanted to be able to understand why a prospect would or would not want to pay for a product such as theirs.
After gaining their initial clients from their network, they began going outbound to prove that they could sell to companies that do not know you already.
Founders should be doing their own sales initially, even if really bad at sales. If you must hire someone to make the initial sales, you have to get the best there is as the initial sales are extremely hard.
Once you have obtained 10+ out of network customers, you can begin to hire a sales person to help take over that function.
As the founder, it is important to figure out the product market fit as you can not expect a sales person, even a good one, to figure it out on their own.
When hiring, hire the best. Startups are risky, there are a lot of failure points, why would you want to add more potential points of failure?
The best first hire, if you are able to afford it, is a VP sales who is willing to pick up the phone and start selling in order to figure out the sales process and develop the playbook.
Each salesperson is different and have a different way to “pitch.” One is not better than the other, it just has to fit for that salesperson’s personality and style.
What is your favorite sales or leadership book? The New Solution Selling
Do you have someone that you follow/read for sales/leadership ideas? Ray Dalio
Are you available 24/7? Do you have strict personal time boundaries? Always available for emergencies.
What is your favorite tool used for sales? LinkedIn
What one piece of advice do you have for all the founders/CEOs/VP Sales out there? Do the market validation early on.
Amit’s LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/amitbendov/
Adam’s LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/springeradam/