Don’t try to hire a sales savior. Just hire to get to the next rung on the Startup Sales Evolution Ladder.
Recently, I spoke with a young entrepreneur about hiring someone to help him grow his company. He was tired. He was awash in things to do, with more tasks being added to his to-do list each day. And he needed help. And I could see he was dreaming of hiring a savior - someone that could do everything he couldn't and more, someone to make all his troubles disappear.
It was at that point I asked him what he needed help most with now. This got the conversation going in a whole new direction. And it helped him look at potential hires in a new light. And I could see that he was no longer dreaming of a savior but of someone who could help him now with specific tasks that would keep his startup moving forward today.
Hire for a purpose, not to be saved.
Like my friend, many startup founders are tired or fearful of the sales process and dream of a sales savior. And many look to employ one in their first sales hire. They want someone to "make sales rain down." Founders look for sales saviors in many places, and they come in different flavors, the outsourced salesperson, the college roommate, or the big company Sales VP.
The startup sales process is challenging. Many founders are not salespeople by trade, so we at the Exponential Group, working with input from other startup CEOs and sales professionals, developed the "Selling Framework for Startup Founders". It is a simple set of actionable ideas that entrepreneurs can refer to when selling that will make them more effective. This podcast digs into this framework.
Click here, to learn more about the Exponential Boot Camp for Startup Sales,
Selling is what makes business happen
By Tim Bates
The company founder plays many roles, the most important is Chief Salesperson. In this role, they're responsible for attracting, enticing, cajoling, strong-arming, badgering, or essentially doing whatever it takes to produce those first company defining deals that launches their firm. If they play this part well, they will move their company forward. Done badly, it is likely their company never gets off the ground.
Now some say that a great product sells itself, so if you have one of these magical gadgets, count yourself extremely lucky. For the other 99.9999 percent of you founders, put your selling hats on and head to the door, because selling your offering is what will turn your little idea into a company.
Moreover, because many founders are not salespeople by trade, the Exponential Group and MESA, working with input from other startup CEO’s and sales professionals, developed the "Selling Framework for Startup Founders”. It is a simple set of actionable ideas that entrepreneurs can refer to when selling that will make them more effective and increase their odds of signing cornerstone deals that will in turn help propel their company to that next rung on the sales growth ladder.
Tim Bates, Dan Kinsella,
Jim Moar & Kent Lillemoe
for the MESA Organisation
A Call to Arms about Cash Management
For many companies, time is money. For early-stage companies, money is time. This framework underscores this brutal reality.
You need loyal customers and super-duper products for startup success. However, they're rendered useless if you don't respect the fact that cash will always be king, and you need it to survive.
A simple truth, cash-flow surprises kill many startups. One out of three startups dies from a cash crisis. Therefore, as an entrepreneur, you need to understand and, more importantly, master cash management basics before mismanagement bites you in the ass or, worse, puts you out of business.
In its simplest form, proper cash management means controlling your inflows and outflows of cash, so you never run out!
Here, we outline seven fundamental concepts of cash management that every startup founder must adhere to to minimize cash-flow crises or an all-out business implosion.