resources for founders
ideal customer profile
You can't do sales without knowing your ideal customer profile. Much has been written about the "ICP" but we're pointing you to TOPO because this framework will help you go beyond just firmagraphic qualities of the ideal prospect and start to think about the behaviors and go-to-market alignment.
We Love this article from Gabe on a few bullets you need to dodge when growing your sales team. Especially #3, hiring builders is key when setting up an early sales team. Of course, you won't always need builders, there will be a day when you need the type of rep who loves repetition more than those who like to build something new everyday.
Check out the article here: Looking to Scale Your Sales? Seven Bullets to Dodge
prospecting & outreach
VIDEO: Ryan gives the basics of how to prospect and do outreach to your first customers in this video. This talk was recorded at 500 Startups at the Open Source Sales Summit in 2016 and is about 40 minutes. You can get out to the YouTube page here.
If its pitches, emails or voicemails, you gotta personalize. In fact, one of the biggest mistakes I see new sellers make is not personalizing their communication. Check out this guide from Dan Smith on how to do personalized email at scale. But remember, most founders need to do outreach for just a few prospects at a time while you search for your first few clients and experiment with your offering for your market. Like any tool, be careful how you use it.
Take a look at this article: The Personalization Lie: 4 Easy Steps to Write Epic Emails
personalize or die
your market might be evolving
One of my favorite things to share with founders who are learning sales is that great video with Aaron Levie at Box. Aaron talks about a ton of stuff here as it was taped at the SaaStr conference in 2015. But the reason I like to share this video is that he talks about how his customer changed from a mid level marketer or IT person and moved to the c-suite. Those of us familiar with Box had watched this evolution as their team upleveled to handle the conversations with CIOs, they grew SDR teams to prepare to break into these conversations and with over $250m ARR, they managed this right for sure. Link out to Vimeo.