One of the biggest mistakes he sees in new startups is that they get to the sales too late. This means that they take too long before asking for money.
Feedback from non-paying customers can not be taken seriously, so you need to get them to take out their wallet.
Another big problem he sees is founders not being part of the sales process at the beginning. Even if you are a horrible sales person, hire someone but still be part of the process.
As a founder, you need to understand your sales process and numbers completely, if not, you will not be successful.
When putting your go to market strategy together, you need to start with the assumption you already have the product. Then you define who your customer is, enterprise or SMB. How are you going to get them? Are you going to land and expand or start with a full size account, or freemium?
When developing your GTM and looking at your pipeline, you need to focus on three main things; How much time does it take to go down each step? How much am I converting from each step? How much is it costing me to bring in the lead from different sources?
What is more important at the beginning is not bringing in more money, rather to get your funnel correct. This will allow you to see your numbers and to see where the issues are so that you can fix them.
Your first salesperson should be someone that has more of a founder mindset. Someone who is ready to roll in the mud and make it work, not sit and wait for the leads to come in.
Israeli founders are too nice and too much a family. They tend to take too long to fire someone that needs to be fired quickly, losing a lot of time that is precious for early stage startups.
When opening a new go to market, it is preferable to have all the people sitting in the same office so that the learning curve is shortened as much as possible.
In the early stages, all the company should be listening to recorded calls with the clients/prospects from different parts of their life cycle. This way you can quickly learn and make the changes needed.
- What is your favorite sales or leadership book? Likes to speak to people face to face to learn rather than read.
- Do you have someone that you follow/read for sales/leadership ideas? Glenn Fogel – CEO of booking.com
- Are you available 24/7? Do you have strict personal time boundaries? Yes, he takes one day completely off a week and regularly goes on family outings.
- What is your favorite tool used for sales? His tongue, Gong.IO and sitting with his sales team.
- What one piece of advice do you have for all the founders/CEOs/VP Sales out there? Think very well before coming a founder and make sure it is something you really want to do. Build a team around you.
Ariel’s LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/arielfin/
Adam’s LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/springeradam/