SalesFounders - Startup Sales Growth | Venture Capital | Crowdfunding | Sales Strategy |

SalesFounders is a weekly podcast that focuses on sales growth and strategy for startups. We interview VC’s, entrepreneurs, and industry experts to discuss the strategies that will help founders bridge the sales gap and accelerate their most profitable channels of growth.
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SalesFounders - Startup Sales Growth | Venture Capital | Crowdfunding | Sales Strategy |


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Now displaying: March, 2017
Mar 28, 2017

In the world of enterprise software, Clint Carlos is an anomaly. Unlike the majority of startups who take on funding, Clint has mastered the art of bootstrapping. In this episode, we discuss mentorship and 2 key lessons that have defined Clint's approach to entrepreneurship. Then Clint also opens the doors to the enterprise SaaS solution Ampt, and shares the system he's used to organically grow Ampt by 3000% in 3 years.

"No venture is real until somebody sells something."

2 Key Mentor Lessons:

1. No venture is real, until someone in it sells something.  It’s never too early to try and start selling, whatever it is.

2. You just never know what you can actually get until you ask for it.  You may be able to command a much higher value than originally assessed.  Be bold, and take chances.

Approaching Sales:

  • If you look at sales simply as facilitating problem solving and engaging in value exchange to that end, it’ll never be a daunting and foreign thing to you.
  • Funding Strategies: 
    1. Getting customers into a 3 year subscription contract, and incentivizing customers to pay the balance in advance helps to stabilize cash flow and minimize churn.  It allows the company’s sales to be the organic source of growth.
    2. Get creative with customers even if it is a convertible note.
  • Two primary lead sources: 
    1. The strategy of thought leadership and strategic content drives site traffic, from which enhancing conversion rates will spike growth.  
    2. Networking - Many of our early customers came from the first 2 levels of our networks. 
  • Sales Funnel Strategies:
    1. Start with a BDR to give a basic demo.  
    2. Closer comes in for a deeper dive and ROI conversation.  
    3. Constantly find ways to speed up the funnel and sales process.
  • Systems and Tools:
    • CRM of choice -

Episode Quotes

  • “My focus has always been around the ‘science of people’, human mechanics and behavioral economics.  The science of how we go about quantifying what our interactions and relationships mean to us... If someone recognizes you and calls you by name at a bank, how much more wallet share would they then have because of that relationship.”
  • “Every business you start should begin simply as a sales pitch... No naming, logos, or articles of incorporation.  Just the pitch.”
  • “Everything, regardless of how great of a success or failure, has been a learning experience… Have patience in wanting to see traction in your concepts, but when the time is right, run like hell... You’ll always have only yourself to look at in the mirror and know how much of yourself you’ve given.”
Mar 21, 2017

"Good systems and processes are the birthplace of scalability."  

When is the right time to start thinking about sales?… that is the question.  Or at least it should be the pivotal question of all tech startups.  This week Jeremiah Jones, prolific, engineering-minded entrepreneur and CTO consultant/founder of Techuity, joins SalesFounders to discuss the concept of technical debt and the sales challenges facing tech founders.

Technical Debt vs Sales

  • Fledgling tech companies often go one of two ways, the path of over-engineering or under-engineering. Both will lead to failure, but with greater frequency those failures are due to overspending.
  • If you have to go one of two directions, and the search for a “technical co-founder” is stalled, go the route of generating technical debt and building your MVP.  Look to validate your product in the marketplace and make up for it later.  
  • Make all feature requests what the customers want, and not what the engineers want to build.

When to start selling

  • Wherever you’re collecting data in technology is a gold mine.
  • When is too early to get out there with my product and start selling?  As soon as you can get someone to pay, it’s not too early.  Or, even just as soon as you need the feedback (be that at no initial cost), it’s not too early.

A Validated Approach to Selling

  • Go out and establish a wealth of customer development interviews (no less than 30) to hone in on your target audience and possible segments.  
  • Cast a very wide net in your Customer Development Interviews, identify any and all prospective segments, and you’ll begin to informedly validate THAT your model will have traction, and WHERE.
  • Become aware of your model’s weaknesses and learn to fill in the gaps.  Generate a process around how they’ve been filled.  "Good systems and processes are the birthplace of scalability"  
  • Immediately get your customers into the value of the product, keep them engaged and hooked with some level of commitment and use, in the steps towards the close.

Jeremiah is a software entrepreneur and the founder of Techuity, a seed investment firm. He has been involved in many startups as co-founder, consultant, or advisor.  He has two technical degrees and an MBA. A favorite hobby is recording classical piano music where he has had over 36 million downloads of his music.

Mar 9, 2017

What is the difference between startups that succeed vs those that fail? That’s the question of todays podcast. It’s one thing to have a great idea. It’s a completely different thing to systematically prove that your customers agree. There’s a reason that 93% of startups that scale early never reach the 100k per month and  why 74% of prematurely scaled startups will fail. My guest, John Richards, is a wealth of knowledge when it comes to building scalable businesses. In this episode, we discuss the signals of premature scaling, the business model canvas, the surprising differences between grad students and undergrads as entrepreneurs, and the single most important ingredient to a successful startup.

Mar 9, 2017

What would you ask a Venture Capitalist and author who has raised over $1B and directly invested in more than 125 different companies?  How about, “What can I do to kill my startup?”  In this week’s episode we talk with Paul Ahlstrom, the managing director of Alta Ventures and co-author of Nail It Then Scale It, to discuss his wealth of expertise and the 3 startup pitfalls that will guarantee you fail.  

Talk Points:

Three pitfalls that will guarantee you fail:

Launching your product or service without the specific customer in mind.  Don’t just fall in love with your idea and fail to continually think about exactly where it intersects with the customer’s pain you’re trying to resolve.

Going head to head with a market leader for the same customers without being better.  Disruption comes from below, through going after an unserved customer.  Don’t try to innovate and then go after the very same audience as the giants.  It’s much easier to go after non-consumption that consumption.  As that new market grows, it will niche the market above it and create M&A opportunities.  

Scale it before you nail it.  In other words, doing good and obvious things in the improper order.  This will cause an inordinate cash burn rate.  (By the time you get through a certain amount of cash, your company should be worth more than the amount that went in!)  Starve, starve, starve the startup before you nail the PMF.

Key startup hypothesis:  For (name your customer) that have (name your problem) we do (name your solution) unlike (name your competitor) through these benefits (name your benefits).

Big Idea Canvas: "Before you try nailing and scaling a startup of your own, you need to be sure that your idea passes the 'who cares' test."


Mar 9, 2017

The most powerful asset to an entrepreneur is a sales perspective – an understanding of the “sales process” and an ability to infuse that perspective into every facet of the business. At SalesFounders, our mission is to help entrepreneurs leverage proven sales strategies to bridge the startup sales gap and generate scalable sales revenue.

The SalesFounders Podcast interviews VC’s, entrepreneurs, and thought leaders to explore their journey through the sales gap and learn from their experience. Where did they struggle? What did they learn? and how did they ultimately succeed?

Whether you’re an early stage startup or an established company with existing sales, Salesfounders will empower you with actionable content that you can implement immediately to enhance your strategy, generate revenue and scale.