Improving Sales: The Excuse Departement is Closed

Both Sides of the Table

Most technology startups seem to be funded by product people or business people. Specifically what is often not in the DNA of founders are sales skills. The result is a lack of knowledge of the process and of sales people themselves. Sales people: Are motivated by cash.

Sales 340

The Danger of Crocodile Sales

Both Sides of the Table

I’d like to talk about Crocodile Salesmen in 3 scenarios: 1) when YOU are selling (or someone on your team), 2) when you are trying to recruit a sales person. But how to apply “listening&# in a sales meeting? Beware of Crocodile Sales. They are seldom productive.

Sales 337

The Biggest Reason Most Sales Campaigns Don’t Close

Both Sides of the Table

Every sales organization with more than a handful of reps or that is across multiple offices or time zones would benefit from having a sales methodology. I’ve been writing a series on a simple methodology that we used at my first enterprise software company.

Sales 349

Scaling Sales: Arming & Aiming – Objection Handling

Both Sides of the Table

This is part of a series on sales & marketing. I previously covered how early phase sales teams should be “evangelical&# and consultative in nature. Some objections are real and they end up becoming changes to your product, your service plan or your pricing / bundling.

Sales 316

Turning Thoughts into Productivity | The Fetchnotes Story

Tech Zulu Event

Turn on your phone and look at the productivity folder. Something to write your notes, another to set reminders, and one that does both. You’ll be more productive within three weeks time. We discuss productivity, emails, communication, and the dynamics of the team.

Identifying Pain in the First Step in a Sales Process – Here’s How

Both Sides of the Table

In my first enterprise software company we developed a methodology for sales that we called PUCCKA. Having a methodology instead of just going on random sales visits helped force a bit of rigor and honesty amongst team members about how well or not we thought we were doing.

Sales 383

Why Email May Be Draining Your Company’s Productivity

Both Sides of the Table

That great productivity drain that we somehow all buy into. So I ask you – if you’re being reactive to somebody else’s emails are you really being as productive in your company as you could be? You’re writing a freaking blog post! Sales. Email.

Email 338

Some Thoughts about Selling at Startups

Both Sides of the Table

Jeff (also an HBS alum) co-teaches the LTV course with Professor Eisenmann about a student of theirs who had written a blog post about sales taking on some of my previous assertions. My list of excuses includes: product, pricing, competition and lack of sales support.

Course 342

10 Marketing Lessons for Early-Stage Tech Startups

Both Sides of the Table

Because market is such a broad topic, I’m restricting these lessons to PR marketing (as opposed SEO, SEM, product marketing, etc.). My general rule is that it’s good to be stealth in the early days while you’re building your product and testing your market.

When Should You Allow Exclusivity in Deals?

Both Sides of the Table

I must admit I discuss this very frequently with portfolio companies but hadn’t thought to write about it. No carrier in their right mind wanted to cede control of the software but Apple was willing to offer its products exclusive through one carrier in exchange for not having any carrier software on the device. Sales Tech Market Analysis

Think about Performance Before Building a Web Application


We’ve heard this from startup founders, product managers, development team leads, CTOs, and others who see their product gaining traction, but simultaneously see performance falling off a cliff. User experience is suffering and it’s the worst possible time with the product taking off.

Web 328

Announcing Projector?—?A Startup I’ve Been Excited to Tell You About for Years

Both Sides of the Table

We had met previously when Trevor was a product manager at YouTube and Upfront had funded the largest video producer on YouTube, Maker Studios. It is how sales reps talk to prospects about their products & services to try and gain buy-in for a sale.

Slides 223

Transportation Weekly: Uber’s spending habits, Tesla Model Y, scooters and AVs in Austin

TechCrunch LA

Harris writes: “The figures, dating back to 2016, paint a picture of a company desperate to meet over-ambitious autonomy targets and one that is willing to spend freely, even recklessly, to get there.

Interview with Sunil Rajaraman, Scripped


to the business of script writing, and is looking to combine a free online tool for writing scripts with matching those scripts with content producers. Zak had an idea for a screen writing magazine, and was trying to make it as a screenwriter, and found out there was a lack of good resources for people trying to scrap and get to the top. Using this content model, we've made two sales. Are you targeting Hollywood and existing script writing software?

6 Tips for Building Relationships with Journalists

Both Sides of the Table

File this under both Startup Adivce and Sales & Marketing Advice. Here’s my thoughts on improving your relationships with journalists and as a by-product improving the coverage that they afford you: 1. Don’t put in the time to getting coverage until your product rocks.

Tips 331

TechZulu Is Looking For New Blood | Apply For Editorial, Biz Dev and More

Tech Zulu Event

Tech Reporters: These individuals will write and edit informative and practical articles on a range of topics including Startups/Entrepreneurs, Gadgets, Mobile Tech, Tech in Entertainment, Gaming, Apps & Software, productivity, and cover breaking tech news.

My story: Fail locally, one customer at a time.


I was fortunate that I could write software and doubly fortunate that my despair at working for ‘the Man’ – and feeling compelled to strike out on my own – coincided with the dawn of the personal computer era. By Frank Peters.

Custom 245

From Startup Newsletter To Best Selling Book: How This Entrepreneur Pulled It Off


Upon graduation from Wharton, John and Kyle launched a startup based upon a simple, pedestrian product: a computer mouse shaped like the head of a golf driver. Putting their expensive educations to good use, they aptly named their novelty product a "MouseDriver".

How Many Investors Should You Talk to in a VC Fund Raise? And How Do You Prioritize?

Both Sides of the Table

The most important advice I could give you before you set out in fund raising mode is to understand that fund-raising a sales & marketing process and needs to be managed. Somehow many first-time founders equate “sales” with something that is beneath them.

Above all, consider the corporate gate keeper.


Looking for an entrance into a VC, an angel group, a bank, a CxO for a sales opportunity, or any other entity? Every sales person with a bit of street history will resonate with this question.

Ideas 203

Can you finance your company with grants?


I am chairman of a company that, as I write this, is twelve years old and has not yet taken a dollar of outside investment. Grant writing takes skill and immense amounts of time. First, here’s a link to my recent TEDx talk, “Smiling at success; laughing at failure.”

How GoToMyPC Kicked pcAnywhere’s A$$


I hesitate to write about design, as I have never considered myself to be a "color or font" person. Good thing I was never entrusted with product design. In fact, the product''s tagline, “Fast, Easy, Secure,” was an overt rebuke of Symantec’s cumbersome solution.

How to Prepare for a Board Meeting to Make Sure you Crush It

Both Sides of the Table

If you buy into the argument that a strong board can actually help you then this post will lay out how to help you have more productive meetings by preparing properly in advance. You can write this as a narrative in 3–5 key bullet points.

Slides 257

How I Got the Monkey Off My Back – Today Was a Good Day

Both Sides of the Table

As a result I didn’t write my first venture capital check until March 2009 – exactly 5 years ago. I divided success into the phases of venture capital and 18 months into writing my first check here was my view (details on each in the link above).

Downey 401

From Startup Newsletter To Best Selling Book: How This Entrepreneur Pulled It Off


Upon graduation from Wharton, John and Kyle launched a startup based upon a simple, pedestrian product: a computer mouse shaped like the head of a golf driver. Putting their expensive educations to good use, they aptly named their novelty product a "MouseDriver".

Remind Me Why I Love You? (Why “In Person” is Everything)

Both Sides of the Table

Your product demo crushed. Frankly, it’s the life of ANY executives with whom you want to sell product, do a business development deal with, execute M&A, a journalist you want to write about your company?—?anybody. I always tell people that fund raising is a sales process.

IP 393

Non-millennial Bootstrapping – These 50-Something Entrepreneurs Rejected VC $ And Nailed It


Jim Semick: I’ve been launching and managing software products for 15 years now, going back to when you and I worked together at Expertcity before it was acquired by Citrix. I have always worked on early stage products. I’m really proud to be a part of launching those products.

Startup Lessons From Pink Floyd’s Dark Side Of The Moon


By 2012, total sales exceeded 50 million copies and founding band member Roger Waters was cited by Forbes as the second highest paid musician of the year, pulling in $88 million. Pink Floyd recorded DSOTM after a year of writing and performing the material in front of live audiences.

RSS 277

To Sell Anything You Need to Know What Makes You Unique

Both Sides of the Table

In my first enterprise software company we developed a methodology for sales that we called PUCCKA , which I wrote about previously. Having a good sales methodology can help you ensure your company runs more disciplined campaigns and focuses scarce resources on your best opportunities.

Slides 357

Why Successful People Focus on the Bottom End of the Funnel

Both Sides of the Table

Sales people (and website customer acquisition folks) all think in terms of funnels and yet non-sales professionals seldom do. It doesn’t matter if it’s recruiting, business development, shipping product, writing blog posts, networking … it’s all the same.

Why GoToMeeting’s SaaS Playbook Wouldn’t Work Today


It was a decade ago that I led the sale of Expertcity (creator of GoToMeeting) to Citrix. During the early 2000’s, my team grew the company to one of the largest SaaS businesses of its day, with sales of $70 million. A version of this article previously appeared in Forbes.

SaaS 184

Can you profit by serving early adapters?


They keep me at the leading edge of new development as it is productized, even before mass production. They allow me to preview new devices and technologies before release so that I might write about and speak about them in my “Tech Trends” keynotes.

White-label it: Make it ‘YOU’ inside.


Sometimes this is called a white label strategy, because your customers offer your product as their own product, writing in their brand name on the blank label in your underlying offering. This one wants to supply product comparison mechanisms for online merchants.

The Silent Benefits of PR

Both Sides of the Table

When you’re an early-stage business every dollar matters and because many startup teams these days are very product & technology centric they often miscalculate the importance of PR. but didn’t convert to sales.

Press 425

What I’ve Learned About Venture Funding

Both Sides of the Table

We’ve had just one market since then and it could confuse one into thinking: every deal finds downstream investors, every company good or bad finds a home, you know anything at all about brazil, india, china or even saas sales, ecommerce or analytics (you know all these in a bull market).