1/ Throughout my startup career, I’ve seen many founders have an aversion to sales. This is a mistake that can kill your startup.

2/ Sales is often viewed as either a saving grace or proof that the product isn’t good enough (because it should sell itself). Neither are ever true. Some common mistakes that result in...
3/ Mistake 1: Hire a sales rep before reaching product/market fit to get your initial batch of customers. This is a mistake because founders need to work through their MVP with early adopters to truly understand what it is they’re selling.
4/ Mistake 2: Reach product/market fit, need to scale, and rely entirely on self-serve. For enterprise products that require big commitments and internal shifts, almost no product is self-explanatory enough to sell itself.
5/ Mistake 3: Make a first sales hire who isn’t scrappy enough to help mold the sales process from scratch. Some salespeople are amazing at their jobs, but not cut out to establish the processes that others end up following. This skillset is what @rdedatta calls a “sales ninja”.
6/ At Twitch, we built an advertising sales team. We tried and failed several times before finding the right sales leader who had sold into the market before. The lesson here: if it doesn’t work at first, it might be how you are doing it (not the market’s fault). Keep trying.
7/ When I talk to founders about sales, I tell them that you need to get out there yourself and do your own initial sales to learn what your customers want.
8/ @rdedatta wrote a great piece about how to get first customers and hire a sales ninja: https://t.co/MFoL36DUFI

More from Justin Kan

More from Startups

You May Also Like