In every new business, sales is initially done by the founder. The obvious reason why is that someone needs to start bringing money in the door. If you want to spend your time elsewhere or grow the business further, you will reach a point where you need someone to help with sales.

This is going to be a multi-part series. Let’s start with the benefits of having you as your company’s founder and CEO responsible for sales. Initially you own the company and can pay yourself nothing upfront, capturing that value later on. What else?

Credibility

You are able to command the attention of prospective customers easier because people are just more likely to respond to someone who’s running a company than a salesperson. Whether it’s a cold contact on LinkedIn or talking over the phone, you garner more respect.

Knowledge

You know your product and customer better than anyone else in the company. You spend more time thinking about it than anyone else and you have thoroughly considered answers to every objection, know why you started the business, and know what you can do for your customers.

Process

You are managing prospects through LinkedIn, email, phone, or however you communicate with customers. You might be using a CRM or spreadsheet, updating your team, and taking notes, but you’re only updating the team as-needed as you juggle other tasks.

Feedback

You can take feedback from sales conversations and bring it to the delivery team (whether you’re a product or service company). Any single idea that comes from a customer can go into the product road map, without any interference, meaning rapid customer responsiveness.

Accountability

You understand the cash position, revenue and profit goals, delivery capabilities, and the overall health of the business. You are accountable to yourself and bringing in sales for the business. You are comfortable putting in extra time whenever it’s required to keep things on track.

So What’s the Problem?

Unfortunately this initial sales paradigm that you’re operating under does not scale. In my next post I’ll deconstruct the strengths listed above, and how they can also be weaknesses if you want to scale your business.

We’ll answer questions like:

  • What kind of salesperson should I hire?
  • When do I hire my first salesperson?
  • Why do I need a salesperson at all?
  • How do I ensure my first sales hire is successful?
  • Which skills should I look for in my first sales hire?

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