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Startup Selling: Talking Sales with Scott Sambucci

Over the past twenty years, I’ve led three Silicon Valley startups to their first customers and revenue, and sold everything from financial data, enterprise software, and vaporware to cabinet doors, amusement park daily programs, and “would you like fries with that…?” My customers have included the largest financial institutions in the world, top US Universities, cabinet door makers and people that eat at Applebees and go to amusement parks... I’ve learned a lot, and made a few, ahem, well… a lot, of mistakes. Here in The Sales Podcast with Scott Sambucci, I share the lessons learned from my past two decades of selling. In each episode, I discuss a specific topic in selling and sales strategy like how to find new prospective customers, how to manage leads, how to run an effective sales meeting, uncovering customer needs, and developing pricing strategies. Episodes are a mix of guest interviews, observations from the field, and sales techniques that I’m using every single day. And people that care about such things, I’ve written two books, been a TEDx Speaker, been featured on CNBC, The Financial Times and NPR. Oh… I’m also a husband, a dad, and a three-time Ironman triathlete. Build your sales process so that you can have the company you imagine. The Sales Podcast with Scott Sambucci will help you get there.
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Now displaying: 2021
Dec 21, 2021

In this episode of the Startup Selling Podcast, I interviewed Cirrus Insight Co-Founder Brandon Bruce. 

 

Brandon is the Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer at Cirrus Insight. Since founding the company in 2011, Cirrus Insight has been listed in the Inc 5000 ranking for three years in a row — A list of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies.

 

Cirrus Insight is an all-in-one sales productivity platform with world-class Salesforce integration. 250,000 people use Cirrus Insight and its sister products Attach.io and Assistant.to to work faster and smarter from the inbox and calendar. It allows you to Track emails, schedule meetings, set follow-ups, and more, right from your inbox.

 

Brandon grew up in Los Olivos, a small California town of 800 people, and had only one classmate in grade school.

 

He loves endurance sports and raced his bicycle 508 miles across Death Valley in 2002 as part of the Furnace Creek 508 (https://www.the508.net/). He finished in 35 hours and 7 minutes. He also enjoys hiking, camping, and building with Legos. Brandon lives in Knoxville, Tennessee with his wife, Tricia, and their two children, Sonoma and Carson.

 

Brandon’s advice for Entrepreneurs and Founders:

 

“Stay curious.” & “Have the ability to make decisions.”

 

In my conversation with Brandon, we covered a lot of the early days at Cirrus Insight. We focused on how Brandon and his Co-Founder, Ryan Huff, built the company from 0 to +250,000 users.

 

Some of the topics that we covered are:

 

  • Getting their first users.
  • Converting them into paying customers.
  • Pricing in the early days Vs Pricing now.
  • Making their first sales hire.
  • The bottom-up sales strategy.
  • Creating your product roadmap based on feedback.
  • Using partners to sell your product.



Links & Resources: 

 

 



Listen & subscribe to The Startup Selling Show here:

 

BluBrry | Deezer | Amazon | Stitcher | Spotify | iTunes | Soundcloud | SalesQualia

 

Thanks so much for listening! Tell a friend or ten about The Startup Selling Show, and please leave a review wherever you’re listening to the show.

Dec 14, 2021

In this episode of the Startup Selling Podcast, I interviewed John Roberts.

 

John founded Successly in 2016, a company dedicated to helping Customer Success teams make a big impact. John recently moved to Silicon Valley after a successful run guiding his previous startup – Buzz.Report – in North Carolina.

 

3 Key Takeaways from this podcast:

 

  1. Customer Success is a Business Model.
  2. If you have to choose between Customer Success or Sales, choose Customer Success first.
  3. Customer Success should be at the head of the table for every company.

 

 

Customer Success: Definition & Important notes:

 

  • Why every subscription company is only successful when you retain your customers is because the real value is how long you can retain those customers.
  • How can you make Customer Success successful in a way that creates value?
  • Completing 290 Customer Success Interviews with VPs about customer success. 

 

Customer Success & Its Role in the Sales Process. Think about these:

 

  • What are the goals we're striving for over the next year with the product?
  • Should Customer Success teams have veto power over new customer acquisition?
  • Aligning top-line sales growth while avoiding churn and misaligned incentives?
  • How can you make sure the customer success team is compensated Renewals?
  • Casting in the sales process – Sales focuses on education and Customer Success focuses on implementation.
  • Focusing on the “jobs to be done.”
  • Customer Success is the crucible of all communication and activity.
  • Why Customer success should be at the head of the table in product companies.
  • Customer success as a business model.
  • Customer success teams and capturing the voice of the customer. 

 

Organizational Design for Start-up CEOs:

 

  • The case for why Customer success should be the first team to build.
  • Questions to ask: What’s the experience with the customer?  How can we watch the customer use the system or product?  How can we understand every aspect of the customer’s interaction with the product? 

 

Customer Success teams vs Product teams:

 

  • Customer success should focus on what the customers needs.
  • The Product Team should focus on the best features to build in response to the customer success team’s list of problems. 

 

Hiring customer success teams when someone wants to be the sales or the product manager:

 

  • Set expectations very clearly.
  • All other departments relate to customer success.
  • You’ll be seeing is more salespeople in the customer success role in the future. 

 

Links & Resources: 

 

John Roberts on LinkedIn:www.linkedin.com/in/john-roberts-92bb0438

 

Adam O'Donnell on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/adamfodonnell/

 

 

Listen & subscribe to The Startup Selling Show here:

 

BluBrry | Deezer | Amazon | Stitcher | Spotify | iTunes | Soundcloud | SalesQualia

 

Thanks so much for listening! Tell a friend or ten about The Startup Selling Show, and please leave a review wherever you’re listening to the show.

Dec 8, 2021

In this episode of the Startup Selling Podcast, I interviewed Damian Thompson.

 

Damian is the co-founder and Chief Customer Officer at LeadFuze, a company that provides automated lead generation software that helps B2B companies find leads and have more sales conversations automatically. Damian has led sales teams in a dozen countries, coaching 200+ professionals to more than $100 million in sales.

 

Damian walked us through his "Cardinal Rules of Cold Emailing.” 

 

Here are a few we discussed:

 

 

1 - Passive-Aggressive SUCKS (my words…): Sending a second or third or fourth email to someone that read – "I haven’t heard back from you…” is really bad. It’s not the prospect’s fault they haven’t replied – it’s yours. Would you want to receive this email? Would you respond? How do you feel when you get these emails?

 

2 - Brevity: Assume email is read on mobile.  Don’t use wasted words. 

 

Bad: "I found you on Angel List…” or “I know you’re busy so I won’t take much time…”

 

3 - Don’t be apologetic: As Damian said – "if you target your market right, you’re offering something of value… They [your prospects] WANT to work with you.”

 

4 - Start your email with questions, then offer a quick value proposition then close with a call-to-action. 

 

Ask yourself: What are the 1-2 biggest problems/pains of customers? 

 

Reverse engineer biggest objections.

 

4 - Think low friction. The goal of your cold email should be to start a conversation. Don’t ask your prospects to call you or try to book a meeting right away. That’s too much to ask.

 

Be happy with ANY reply. There’s no such thing as a negative reply. If you’re getting NOTHING, that’s the worst outcome. 

 

5 - Subject Lines Matter: Shorter is better. Five (5) words or less is ideal. Using the person’s first name or company name works really well. 

 

It’s okay to be aggressive. Damian’s best-performing email subject line was “You’re doing it wrong,” but be sure to link subject lines to email’s content and ultimately, write emails that match your personality. If you’re just not comfortable being aggressive, do something else.

 

6 - Provide value in every interaction and outreach. Give prospects something quick that’s useful, and offer a few more ideas.

 

Once you nail your message and market, find a way to do it on a scale because, as Damian said “using Lead Generation to validate a market is a disaster."

 

Remember that NO ONE buys for your TECHNICAL SOLUTION. Customers buy to increase revenue, reduce costs, and to get a promotion. There’s some other motivation, so find it and write to it.

 

Finally, we talked about building your sales team. 

 

A few key ideas:

 

  • "If you’re gonna hire one, you’ve gotta hire two.”
  • You cannot hire someone to build your sales process. YOU have to define your sales process, THEN you can bring on your sales team.
  • Once you hire, you’re going to spend more time, not less, doing sales.
  • You cannot hire commission-only salespeople. It sends bad signals to the company.
  • Align metrics and incentives directly to the outcomes you want of that role. For example, paying an SDR based on long-term customer retention is really bad.
  • Before you ask an employee to do something, ask yourself: “Have I done this successfully?”
  • When hiring, it’s not about money for most SDR hires - your middle career salespeople care about money, but arly hires want company and personal growth.

 

People & Mentions from this episode:

 

 

 

 




Listen & subscribe to The Startup Selling Show here:

 

BluBrry | Deezer | Amazon | Stitcher | Spotify | iTunes | Soundcloud | SalesQualia

 

Thanks so much for listening! Tell a friend or ten about The Startup Selling Show, and please leave a review wherever you’re listening to the show.

Nov 30, 2021

In this episode of the Startup Selling Podcast, I interviewed Marylou Tyler.

 

Marylou is the author of Predictable Revenue and Predictable Prospecting. She has worked with a number of co-authors and produced a book that will certainly help any startup company out there. Being one of the best sales enablement strategists, she is an expert when it comes to maximizing your resources and is always willing to share her knowledge to anyone who needs help.

 

This podcast focuses both on the incredible things that a startup business owner can do to improve sales and the common mistakes everyone should avoid. 

 

Some of the key topics and questions that we covered in this podcast are:

 

  • Internalizing Your Competitive Position
  • Six-Factor SWOT Analysis
  • Developing an Ideal Account Profile
  • Compel with ContentTM
  • McKinsey’s MECE model
  • How you can send your emails wisely, and so many more



Links & Resources

 

Marylou Tyler on LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/maryloutyler

 

Marylou’s website & book-related resources: maryloutyler.com/swag

 

Jeremey Donovan on LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/jeremeydonovan

 

(Amazon) Book by Neil Rackham: SPIN Selling

 

(Amazon) Book by Neil Rackham: Major Account Sales Strategy

 

(Amazon) by Marylou Tyler and Jeremey Donovan: “Predictable Prospecting: How to Radically Increase Your B2B Sales Pipeline

 

Listen & subscribe to The Startup Selling Show here:

 

BluBrry | Deezer | Amazon | Stitcher | Spotify | iTunes | Soundcloud | SalesQualia

 

Thanks so much for listening! Tell a friend or ten about The Startup Selling Show, and please leave a review wherever you’re listening to the show.

Nov 24, 2021

In this episode of the Startup Selling Podcast, I interviewed Louis Jonckheere.

 

Louis is Co-founder and Co-CEO of Showpad. Showpad activates millions of pieces of content for over 850 companies around the world, including Johnson & Johnson, Fujifilm, Audi, Intel, and Kimberly-Clark.

 

Some of the key topics and questions that we covered in this podcast are:

 

  • What types of content works best to drive sales prospect engagement?
  • How Showpad uses a 14-day free trial and “Soft Contracts”
  • The importance of video for your sales and communication
  • Company culture and hiring practices
  • Customer engagement and customer success



Links & Resources

 

Showpad Website: www.showpad.com

 

Louis Jonckheere on LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/louisjonckheere

 

Louis Jonckheere on Twitter: www.twitter.com/louisjonckheere



Listen & subscribe to The Startup Selling Show here:

 

BluBrry | Deezer | Amazon | Stitcher | Spotify | iTunes | Soundcloud | SalesQualia

 

Thanks so much for listening! Tell a friend or ten about The Startup Selling Show, and please leave a review wherever you’re listening to the show.

Nov 15, 2021

Days get crazy running your startup – sales, customers, fundraising, hiring, firing, product, managing...

 

At home, we’ve got kids home from school because of quarantines, Veteran’s Day, Thanksgiving.

 

Far away, we’ve got loved ones we haven’t seen in two years.

 

Every day is a reason to be a little anxious. To be a little worried. To go a little nuts.

 

So always, every day, make time for your Self.

 

A midday walk. A three-mile jog. A 15-minute meditation. Cracking open a novel before bed.

 

Make time for your Self. It’ll help you be your best Self for everyone around you.

 

Do More. Be Happy. Surprise Yourself.

 

Check out my post here on LinkedIn.



Listen & subscribe to The Startup Selling Show here:

 

BluBrry | Deezer | Amazon | Stitcher | Spotify | iTunes | Soundcloud | SalesQualia

 

Thanks so much for listening! Tell a friend or ten about The Startup Selling Show, and please leave a review wherever you’re listening to the show.

 

Nov 11, 2021
Mia Paulus is the Founder & CEO of The Admin Center. I’ve worked with Mia over the years and The Admin Center is a critical part of my company’s success and ability to scale. Mia and her teams work with their companies large and small by providing virtual receptionist, bookkeeping, customer support, marketing, social media and almost any else you can think of… 
 
This podcast is just a little bit different… While it’s the typical interview style, this interview was part of my Tuesday Training Series offered exclusively to my Startup Selling Coaching Program clients. Let me explain… Each month, I choose a topic on which to do a deep dive in content and training for my clients. This interview was part of several trainings related to “Recruiting, Hiring and Managing Your Sales Team” - a six-part Tuesday Training block.
 
Because I believe outsourcing and scaling your business is so important, I decided to share this training module with you on the podcast.
 
Enjoy!
 
Websites & Resources mentioned in the podcast:
 
The Admin Center: www.theadmincenter.net/
 
Find Mia Paulus across the interwebs here:
 
Definitely take Mia up on her offer to talk about what projects you might be able to outsource to help your company grow.
 
Mia and her team are based in Boise, ID. If you’ve tried to outsource or hire VAs aboard, you know what a huge pain it can be to manage overseas teams because of language, cultural and time zone differences.  
Nov 1, 2021

David Sandler famously said: 

 

“If you don’t have a process for selling you’re at the mercy of your buyer’s process for buying.” 

 

One of the biggest challenges startups selling to the enterprise have is keeping control and momentum through the sales process.

 

As a startup, when we're selling our new product, knowing our sales process is crucial to landing your next customer.

 

Why? 

 

Because your prospects don’t know how to buy our thing.

 

They’ve never bought anything like it before. They know how to order new laptops and renew their CRM subscription. But they don’t know how to buy YOUR product.

 

Most startups sell products that replace spreadsheets… or manual processes… or Sharepoint… some antiquated system that was installed around the same time as Windows NT…

 

That means that it’s our job as sellers to lead our prospects through the sale, and that starts with the next call. 

 

Remember that your prospects want to be led. This is your opportunity to take control of the sale.

 

This daily dose shows you a framework I developed years ago that works a charm every time, in every sales call. 

 

Yes, really.

 

It’s called Confirm-Ask-Explore.

 

Confirm: Start every call recapping the last conversation or new developments that have come up since the last call. Then confirm the purpose and intended outcome of the meeting.

 

Ask: This is the centerpiece of your meeting — discover new information by asking questions. Showing your product and asking the prospect how they could see themselves using it – how it solves the problems and helps them achieve their business objectives. Ask about their key objectives and priorities. 

 

Explore: Always leave time to talk about next steps — the next meeting with whom and when, how they'll share that sample data file and who’s responsible for getting it to you, and who else should be involved in the process going forward.

 

Leave every meeting with clear next steps - a mutual action plan.

 

Follow this structure and you’ll nail every sale call every time. Yes, really.

 

— 

 

BTW… If you want some help building more structure and repeatability into your startup’s sales process, I’d like to help.

 

Next week, I’m running a FREE Sales Masterclass for B2B startup founders & CEOs.

 

I’ll teach the core frameworks and systems that every B@B startup needs to implement to achieve a repeatable, scalable sales process. 

 

Plus, we’ll do a diagnostic of your startup’s sales process so that you can see exactly where to focus on building repeatable systems in the next 3 months.

 

Here’s the link to our next Sale Masterclass: https://www.salesqualia.com/masterclass

 

Listen & subscribe to The Startup Selling Show here:

 

BluBrry | Deezer | Amazon | Stitcher | Spotify | iTunes | Soundcloud | SalesQualia

 

Thanks so much for listening! Tell a friend or ten about The Startup Selling Show, and please leave a review wherever you’re listening to the show.

Oct 25, 2021

Last month, a friend asked if I was up for a half-marathon in November.

 

I've been taking some down time from heavy training this Fall, but the race is a trail run in the Marin Headlands. Hard to resist a perfect way to stay fit, have some fun, and hang out with a buddy. I was in.

 

As a way to gear up, we agreed we'd each do 100 air squats and 50 burpees every day for 30 days. The numbers aren't huge -- they're a push to stay focused and stay disciplined in our ramp up to race day.

 

Last week he texted me – "I’m having trouble motivating for more bp/squats!"

 

I replied –

 

"Motivation is for suckers and weaklings. Just f&cking do it. Once you get started, you’ll be fine and glad you did."

 

45 minutes later, he texted me back --

 

"50/100 - bring on the Elevator Shaft!"

 

None of us feel motivated to do hard things. Our brains are designed to find the easy path. If we want to do hard things, if we want to achieve big outcomes, hard things are a requirement.

 

We don't feel motivated to do prospecting when it's 9pm and we haven't gotten in our 20 touches for the day...

 

We don't feel motivated to go back and customize the slide deck for tomorrow's product demo...

 

We don't feel like calling our customer to tell them about a price increase...

 

We don't feel motivated to sift through 75 resumes for that next hire, knowing that 74 are going to be crap...

 

We don't feel motivated to sit down with a team member that's been underperforming for the last three months even after coaching and cajoling them...

 

We still need to do those things.

 

Whether we're pushing hard to hit that Q4 number we promised the Board or working to break through to the first $1MM, or scaling to $1MM a month, it's going to be hard. We know that.

 

Sure, sometimes hard stuff IS fun -- it's should be fun – that makes it worth doing.

 

But most of the time it's just hard.

 

And in the end, when you nail that goal you worked so hard to achieve, you won't remember how much the hard work sucked. Instead, you'll feel proud that you did it.

 

Most of all, I know that if I don't reach hit the outcome I set and I DIDN'T put in the work – looking back at those moments when I let a lack of motivation lead to a lack of effort – I WILL remember that I could have and should have just buckled down and did my 20...

 

Let's do this.

 

Do More, Be Happy, Surprise Yourself –

 

---

 

BTW… If you want some help getting some structure, building some discipline into your startup’s sales process, I’d like to help.

 

Later this month, I’m running a completely FREE Sales Masterclass for B2b startup founders & CEOs.

 

Here’s the link to our next Sale Masterclass: https://www.salesqualia.com/masterclass

 

Listen & subscribe to The Startup Selling Show here:

 

BluBrry | Deezer | Amazon | Stitcher | Spotify | iTunes | Soundcloud | SalesQualia

 

Thanks so much for listening! Tell a friend or ten about The Startup Selling Show, and please leave a review wherever you’re listening to the show.

 

Oct 18, 2021

One of the biggest challenges startup founders face is dealing with the daily distractions and all the options available for the business – 

 

Lead gen strategies, pricing models, hiring decisions, product features. It’s nearly an endless list.

 

Often there’s a tendency to keep trying new things – 

 

  • Try running a booth at a conference…
  • Try a little bit of outbound…
  • Try recruiting a Sales VP…
  • Try hiring a marketing agency…
  • Try selling into a new vertical…

 

Trying seems like the quick, fast and cheap approach, but it’s more expensive than committing to a strategy.

 

When we’re ready to commit, it means that we’ve done the research, we’re clear on what the right work is, and what’s required to be successful. 

 

When we commit, we acknowledge and accept the obstacles along the way.

 

But if we only tell ourselves that we’ll “try” something, it’s easy to give up as soon as we hit a bump along the way.

 

Think about someone you know that “tried to go to the gym every day” or “tried to be an early riser.”

 

How often did they make a permanent change, and get to the outcome they want?

 

Probably not too often.

 

Committing creates focus and determination towards outcome. It gears us to measure progress. It removes the decision fatigue of all the distractions around us.

 

Most importantly, if you’re not ready to commit, it’s may mean that you’re not ready — that you know you haven’t done enough research or you’re simply not prepared to put in the work required to be successful on your decision.

 

Commit to a market vertical…

Commit to that new pricing structure…

Commit to hiring, onboarding, and training a salesperson…

 

You’ll save yourself time and make more progress when you do.

 

“Do. Or do not. There is no try.”

 

—–

 

*** If you’re a #startup founder who’s committed to building a repeatable, scalable sales process, I’d like to help.

 

I’m running a FREE Sales Masterclass for B2B founders to show the 9 Core Selling Strategies that every startup needs to build and implement to get a repeatable, scalable sales process. ***

 

Here’s the link to our next Sale Masterclass: https://www.salesqualia.com/masterclass



Listen & subscribe to The Startup Selling Show here:

 

BluBrry | Deezer | Amazon | Stitcher | Spotify | iTunes | Soundcloud | SalesQualia

 

Thanks so much for listening! Tell a friend or ten about The Startup Selling Show, and please leave a review wherever you’re listening to the show.

 

Oct 12, 2021

If you’re a company founder like me, you know it’s time for the big push in Q4 to hit those EOY targets and set ourselves up for an even bigger 2022 and beyond.

 

When we’re out there pushing on our SALES – finding new customers, growing revenue, and jumping to the next level this year – we tell ourselves that we’ll hustle and grind, to do whatever it takes to hit our target. The hustle and hard work are a given – they’re are table stakes for being in the game…

 

But, whether we’re the only one driving sales at our company, or we've got a team around us that’s hustling and grinding, the problem we find is that hustle doesn’t scale. It’s not the way to build a company in the long run.

 

We know it’ll be satisfying (and required) to nail our number, but if we don’t “know how” we got there, or a team member leaves and takes their “know-how” with them, then we’re stuck with “no how” to replicate and build on the result for the years ahead.

 

That’s why building SYSTEMS along the way is critical. While we’re driving hard for every next customer, we also need to think about REPEATABILITY in our SALES PROCESS. 

 

This requires real leadership, a hefty dose of emotional intelligence, focus to be our best SELF – for our customers, for our team, and for our loved ones who are supporting us every day.

 

How are we managing the team and the process? Are we providing the right leadership our company needs? Are we taking care of our SELF first so that we can be at our best every day?

 

When it comes to creating repeatable, scalable growth, today, tomorrow and for the next ten years ahead, the theme of SALES, SYSTEMS & SELF should be front and center every day for all of us. 

 

So that we can all learn and grow together, over the next 3 months, I’m going to focus all of my time and attention on “SALES, SYSTEMS & SELF” – for my own company, with our clients, and with you.

 

On Mondays, look for a tactical SALES tip that you can put to work ASAP that's designed to help you boost your revenue.

 

On Wednesdays, we’ll focus on SYSTEMS – I'll teach about the selling frameworks required to build a startup's repeatable sales process.

 

Friday's focus is on our SELF – I'll share a personal #GoFarther strategy that will help you Do More, Be Happy & Surprise Yourself as a leader and as an individual.

 

I’m excited and grateful to be able to bring this to you.

 

Are you in?

 

Listen & subscribe to The Startup Selling Show here:

 

BluBrry | Deezer | Amazon | Stitcher | Spotify | iTunes | Soundcloud | SalesQualia

 

Thanks so much for listening! Tell a friend or ten about The Startup Selling Show, and please leave a review wherever you’re listening to the show.

Oct 7, 2021

One of the biggest sales mistakes most startups, especially ones selling enterprise solutions and targeting Above-the-Line executives make, is that they don't focus on their prospect's PRIORITIES. 

 

Instead, most startups make their outreach and pitches all about their PRODUCT –

 

“Hi NAME – I'm contacting you because I would like to give you further information about our product called _____…”

 

or

 

"Hi NAME – Our company has a blah-blah platform that does feature this and feature this... Would you like to see a demo?"

 

Ugh. Delete.

 

Occasionally I'll see messaging that's PROBLEM–focused –

 

"Hi NAME – Even with a great sales team, there’s a good chance you’re hurting your growth if your blah-blah-blah is anything less than optimal..."

 

A little better, but even that isn't nearly good enough if you want to sell to ABL executives.

 

Executives get paid the big bucks because their job is to lead their company's strategic initiatives. 

 

When they step into the office every day, they're focused on their PRIORITIES – not the day-to-day problems that crop up.

 

They have people down the chain that are paid to handle the fires. 

 

And they definitely don't care about your product (even if it's AI or Blockchain or automates something or other...).

 

It's your job as a seller to know these priorities and show how you can help those executives get where they want to go.

 

Listen & subscribe to The Startup Selling Show here:

 

BluBrry | Deezer | Amazon | Stitcher | Spotify | iTunes | Soundcloud | SalesQualia

 

Thanks so much for listening! Tell a friend or ten about The Startup Selling Show, and please leave a review wherever you’re listening to the show.

 

Sep 27, 2021

In this episode of the Startup Selling Podcast, I interviewed Stephen Steers.

 

Steers Consulting Group is a global training and consulting company helping Entrepreneurs, successfully tell stories that get customers excited to buy.

 

They don‘t teach you sales in school. They don‘t teach you how to be confident. They don‘t teach you how to be out in the world and how to make a way for yourself. But that’s what Stephen’s here for. 

 

Some of the key topics that we covered in this podcast are:

 

  • 3X3X3 Framework – knowing the three (3) categories of people that you’re telling stories to, what are the three (3) stories that you need to tell, and what are the questions to answer to the three (3) people. 
  • Name it, Tame it, Claim it – How to start to construct a story for yourself and for the people you’re telling the story to.  
  • Founder branding versus company branding.
  • Stephen’s origin story.

 

Links & Resources

 

Website: www.stephensteers.com

Instagram: @stephensteers_

Linkedin: www.linkedin.com/in/stephen-steers



Listen & subscribe to The Startup Selling Show here:

 

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Sep 20, 2021

In this episode of the Startup Selling Podcast, I interviewed Zach Stein.

 

Zach is a multi-time founder and is currently helping lead Carbon Collective, the investment platform that makes climate impact investing = smart investing. 

 

Zach lives in East Bay, CA. 

 

Some of the key topics and questions that we covered in this podcast are:

 

  • Carbon Collective and climate change investing.
  • How did Zach get from Osmo Systems to Carbon Collective?
  • What decisions were made to change to Carbon Collective?
  • Zach’s process for product discovery.
  • Book: The Mom Test.
  • How did Zach build an investment platform – Carbon Collective?



Links & Resources

 

Carbon Collective website: www.carboncollective.co

 

Zach on LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/zach-stein-100



Listen & subscribe to The Startup Selling Show here:

 

BluBrry | Deezer | Amazon | Stitcher | Spotify | iTunes | Soundcloud | SalesQualia

 

Thanks so much for listening! Tell a friend or ten about The Startup Selling Show, and please leave a review wherever you’re listening to the show.

 

Sep 13, 2021

In this episode of the Startup Selling Podcast, I interviewed Jason Bay.

 

Jason is the Chief Prospecting Officer at Blissful Prospecting. He helps reps and sales teams who love landing big meetings with prospects—but hate not getting responses to their cold emails or feeling confident making cold calls. 

 

A few of his clients have included reps and sales teams from companies like Zoom, CBRE, Medallia, Xfinity, Commvault, and many more. 

 

Sales is the only "adult job" he’s ever had. And he’s done everything from selling house painting services door to door, running outbound call centers, to helping thousands of reps master cold outreach.

 

Some of the key topics and questions that we covered in this podcast are:

 

  • What does painting house have to do with outbound?
  • How Jason’s door to door work transitioned into his work and principles of how to set up a meeting with a prospect that directly relates to B2B outbound.
  • Conversation Narcissism – Taking a “me” centric approach versus a “you” centric approach.
  • Permission-based selling – How do you gain permission in your sales process.
  • The importance of “teaching” instead of “taking”
  • The difference and the importance of doing quality first versus mass blast.
  • How to think about outbound if you don’t think that it works anymore, or take a different approach with scaling your Startup. 




Links & Resources

 

Jason Bay on LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/jasondbay

 

Blissful Prospecting: www.blissfulprospecting.com



Listen & subscribe to The Startup Selling Show here:

 

BluBrry | Deezer | Amazon | Stitcher | Spotify | iTunes | Soundcloud | SalesQualia

 

Thanks so much for listening! Tell a friend or ten about The Startup Selling Show, and please leave a review wherever you’re listening to the show.

Sep 6, 2021

When you’re a startup with the latest and greatest new product, there’s no shortage of interesting conversations.

 

Everyone wants to see the new, cool thing you’ve built. 

 

But every demo feels like a fireworks show – everyone’s excited, you get lots of applause when it’s over, then everything goes dark.

 

Getting deals to move through your pipeline feels more like pushing a pig through the python.

 

You send email after email, “Just following up...” and “Just checking in…” 

 

… and nothing.

 

That prospect that showed so much excitement and enthusiasm before the demo now disappeared into the selling abyss. 

 

Sound familiar?

 

This happened to me time after time when I started selling software for my first Silicon Valley startup.

 

I found myself chasing deal after deal, wearing myself out, and almost burning myself out until I finally figured out why this kept happening and how to run my product demos like a boss.

 

And guess what? It has NOTHING to do with your product… 

 

Instead, it’s a 3-step process that, if you follow it, will ensure that you’re always demoing to decision-makers and never find yourself chasing after the next meeting.



Listen & subscribe to The Startup Selling Show here:

 

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Thanks so much for listening! Tell a friend or ten about The Startup Selling Show, and please leave a review wherever you’re listening to the show.

Sep 1, 2021

Monday's are usually a day I'm feeling rested and ready to go for the week.

 

Not today.

 

As I sat there churning out my Morning Pages, I could just see where the day was headed. The coffee tasted bitter. My mind wandering everywhere. My brain felt spongy and dull.

 

Today was supposed to be a day off from training to give my body a little extra break before the next big race in 12 days...

 

I could try to feebly push through the dullness and drabness, or I could change my state.

 

It was 5:45am and I knew I needed to reset and refresh for the day ahead.

 

Today was one of the slowest, shortest runs in months. That didn't matter – it was about getting oxygen in my brain and endorphins running in my veins.

 

It worked. I'm back on track – energized and focused.

 

Not every workout is training – sometimes the exercise is just about putting my Self first.

 

As a startup founder, the days get packed and the weeks fly by. There's constant tension balancing sales, and product, and team, and fund-raising, and customers...

 

Put your Self first. Be an example for your team.

 

Block out 45 minutes a few days this week. Get outside. Go for a three-mile walk. Sign up for the local Turkey Trot that's four months away. Get yourself moving and shaking – you'll be glad you did.

 

Do More. Be Happy. Surprise Yourself –

 

(Disclaimer: Consult your physician before starting any exercise routine... :-)

 

#startups #selfcare #motivation #success

 

Listen & subscribe to The Startup Selling Show here:

 

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Aug 30, 2021

I've got this thing when I'm training called "Headlamp Miles" – it's the miles I knock out in before the sun comes up.

 

This morning, I hit *start* on my Garmin at 4:16am today for a 10-miler.

 

It's not so much that I have to practice #running in the dark (though it does help come race day...).

 

It's more about making the time to train.

 

I'm a husband and a dad. I want to have breakfast with my son and take him to camp. I like hanging out with my wife on the patio in the evening or taking our dog to the park, then watching Mythbusters together before bed.

 

If I don't get in the Headlamp Miles, I won't get in the training I want to do or spend the time with the two most important people in my life.

 

Plus, there's magic in putting those miles...

 

I hear owls in the trees and the first birdsong of the morning. On one stretch through an olive grove, there's a white owl that swoops down over my head through the trees from time to time.

 

I've seen deer, skunks, coyotes, and rabbits because I'm out in nature before the sun rises.

 

On a clear morning, I can see the black night turn gray, then watch the orange morning emerge over the Sierra Nevadas.

 

What are your Headlamp Miles?

 

In our #StartupSelling coaching program, we're running the August #Sales Activity Challenge – clients commit to doing at least 20 touches a day to leads and prospects.

 

Some days are a tough slog if you're a #startup CEO with everything else to do every day. But these become their Headlamp Miles in their growth.

 

I've been doing this myself this week – starting at 4:30 in the afternoon and wrapping up around 6pm. It's a time window when my son has his time playing Minecraft and I can jam on doing my 20 touches – my Headlamp Miles for the business, to lead by example.

 

What magic can you create for business when you make the time and put your Headlamp Miles?

 

Do More, Be Happy, Surprise Yourself.

 

Listen & subscribe to The Startup Selling Show here:

 

BluBrry | Deezer | Amazon | Stitcher | Spotify | iTunes | Soundcloud | SalesQualia

 

Thanks so much for listening! Tell a friend or ten about The Startup Selling Show, and please leave a review wherever you’re listening to the show.

Aug 27, 2021

I don't know about you, but whenever I've got something that seems hard in front of me, I get a little anxious...

 

😳 I worry that I'm not ready...

 

😳 I worry that I won't do well...

 

😳 I worry the thing in front of me will be even tougher than I thought...

 

This past week was like that EVERY DAY as I looked at my training regimen and work schedule.

 

After taking a week off from training, I spent two weeks slowly ramping up my mileage to get to a "peak week" this week – the hardest week of training going into my next race in mid-August – a 100k (62-mile) trek with 15,000' of elevation climb in the Sierra Nevadas.

 

Last week was also my first week back in the office after a couple of weeks of downtime visiting family and hanging out in Portland.

 

While my work calendar wasn't overwhelming, I had lots of hard stuff on the schedule –

 

➡️ Attending a 3-day workshop Monday-Wednesday from 3-7pm to plan out the rest of the year for the business.

➡️ Delivering our Summertime Client Intensive to our Startup Selling Group.

➡️ Working with the team to identify process gaps to fill and systems to build as we continue to grow and scale.

 

Every night, looking ahead to the next day and week ahead, I felt anxious.

 

🔔 When the 4am alarm went off, I felt intimidated by the day ahead – miles to run, hills to climb, family time focus, and responsibilities.

 

How would I do it all?

 

Then I reminded myself – I've been here a hundred times before, a thousand times before...

 

It's normal to feel anxious.

 

Then I told myself – "Dude – you know you'll be fine once you GET STARTED. Just take action. Besides, anxious is GOOD because it means that I CARE."

 

✅ And I did – day-by-day, meeting by meeting, mile by mile. ✅

 

Don't let ANXIETY prevent ACTION. Use the anxiety as ENERGY to fuel your focus and win the day.

 

👊 You got this. 👊 

 

Do More, Be Happy, Surprise Yourself – #GoFarther

 

Listen & subscribe to The Startup Selling Show here:

 

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Thanks so much for listening! Tell a friend or ten about The Startup Selling Show, and please leave a review wherever you’re listening to the show.

Aug 25, 2021

Wednesday means repeats out at Lagoon Valley Park – 1.5 miles and down, three times.

 

I didn't want to go out there today.

 

The 4am alarm came early. I took forever to get out of the house then took a wrong turn driving out to the trail.

 

No power on the uphills. No speed on the downhills.

 

Just a grind from start to finish. It made me doubt how much I really wanted to do this next race in 3 weeks.

 

It's just part of the work. I'm sure I'll feel better later today, and my spirits will lift.

 

It's the same with startups – you're going to have rough patches and bad days and headwinds.

 

You're going to question why you're doing this in the first place or wonder if you'll ever reach where you want to go.

 

Just remember that in the big picture – a dip is just a blip. It's just one day, one week, one data point.

 

It's the way it goes – it's not all puppy dogs and rainbows.

 

There will be rough patches. There will be tough days. There will be dips along the way.

 

Just remember -- the dips are usually just blips.

 

Listen & subscribe to The Startup Selling Show here:

 

BluBrry | Deezer | Amazon | Stitcher | Spotify | iTunes | Soundcloud | SalesQualia

 

Thanks so much for listening! Tell a friend or ten about The Startup Selling Show, and please leave a review wherever you’re listening to the show.

Aug 23, 2021

This is a tough week, a transition week.

 

As of today, I'm 3.5 weeks since the Western States 100 and 3.5 weeks until my next race – the Castle Peak 100k up in Tahoe. I've been running and training the last two weeks, but this is the real week to get back to race preparation mode – early mornings, getting out on the trail, two-a-day workouts, and a strict diet.

 

Plus, yesterday was my first day back in the office after a couple of weeks away – I spent two weeks in Portland visiting family, feasting from food trucks, devouring donuts, and pulling down lattes (and an occasional local brew or two..).🙂

 

It's ALWAYS important to take some downtime after a big win – whether that's landing that big deal you worked for months, nailing down the next funding round, launching your new product, or moving back into the office after a year+ of work-from-home.

 

And It's equally important to get back to the flow of what got you there in the first place.

 

Yes, it's going to suck at first.

 

For me, yesterday was particularly hard – the 4am alarm, two workouts, no carbs in my diet, jumping right into prepping for our Summertime Client Event.

 

By 7pm, I was exhausted. My wife even told me – "Man you look tired!"

 

But... I know to do hard things, to accomplish what I want to do with the business and my Self, to get to the next checkpoint in my personal journey, it comes down to the decision to take the necessary actions that will get me there.

 

Acknowledge that it'll be hard, accept the suck and take small steps along the way – you'll get back in the flow before you know it.

 

Do More. Be Happy. Surprise Yourself.



Listen & subscribe to The Startup Selling Show here:

 

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Thanks so much for listening! Tell a friend or ten about The Startup Selling Show, and please leave a review wherever you’re listening to the show.

Aug 11, 2021

In this episode of the Startup Selling Podcast, I interviewed Jay Webb.

 

Jay runs a search firm that focuses on helping early to mid-stage companies hire sales leaders and enterprise salespeople throughout North America. 

 

He’s also the host of the Over Quota podcast which features in-depth interviews around vision, strategy, and execution with revenue leaders.

 

Some of the key topics and questions that we covered in this podcast are:

 

  • Types of sales leaders that you're looking for based on the stage of your company.
  • The importance of finding the right culture fit just as much as finding the right skill set.
  • Crossover Recruiting – Do you have to hire someone with experience in your vertical or can you go crossover and find someone that has been successful in another vertical? 
  • The three things that the most effective sales leaders have as their as part of their arsenal.
  • How to assess candidates as you're recruiting candidates for your sales roles and your sales leader roles.
  • How to make sure to identify if that person you're recruiting has those three traits.
  • What hiring companies need to do in order to effectively recruit the candidates they want to bring to their company
  • How do you find and create a diverse sales team.



Links and Resources:

 

Over Quota: smarturl.it/2d2yqb

 

Jay Webb on LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/jaydwebb



Listen & subscribe to The Startup Selling Show here:

 

BluBrry | Deezer | Amazon | Stitcher | Spotify | iTunes | Soundcloud | SalesQualia

 

Thanks so much for listening! Tell a friend or ten about The Startup Selling Show, and please leave a review wherever you’re listening to the show.

Aug 2, 2021

Here it is... The 4th and final, installment of my post-race "Startups are Ultramarathons – Lessons from the Trail" from the 2021 Western States 100 Ultramarathon.

 

In the first three installments, I shared these 8 lessons –

 

  1. Find Experts.
  2. Do the [Right] Work.
  3. Preparation, Planning & Visualization.
  4. Focus on Your Locus
  5. Be Confident.
  6. Ask for Help.
  7. Give it Everything.
  8. Run Your Perfect Race.

 

(Be sure to go back and catch the first three post-race installments, as well as 4 pre-race "Startup Lessons from the Trail.")

 

Today, I talk about:

 

  1. "Fall down seven times, get up eight." –Japanese Proverb
  2. Be Happy.

 

BTW... If you're a startup founder and want some help with your journey from idea to impact, there's a chance the team and I here at SalesQualia can help.

 

Shoot me an email to scottsambucci@salesqualia.com with the word "JOURNEY" and we can hop on a call to look at your situation, brainstorm a few ideas and see if or how we can help you ramp up and scale up your sales.

 

Do More, Be Happy, Surprise Yourself –

 

Go Farther.

 

Listen to the full podcast here on LinkedIn: 

 

https://www.linkedin.com/video/live/urn:li:ugcPost:6821527007537487872/

 

Listen & subscribe to The Startup Selling Show here:

 

BluBrry | Deezer | Amazon | Stitcher | Spotify | iTunes | Soundcloud | SalesQualia

 

Thanks so much for listening! Tell a friend or ten about The Startup Selling Show, and please leave a review wherever you’re listening to the show.

Jul 27, 2021

This is the third installment of my post-race "Startups are Ultramarathons – Lessons from the Trail."

 

The first two installments of these Startup Selling Lessons from the Trail included:

 

  1. Find Experts.
  2. Do the [Right] Work.
  3. Preparation, Planning & Visualization.
  4. How to Focus on Your Locus
  5. Act with Confidence.
  6. Getting help along the way.

 

In today's installment, I talk about:

 

- Giving it everything you've got

- Running your perfect race

- "Fall down seven times, get up eight." –Japanese Proverb

 

BTW... If you're a startup founder and want some help with your journey from idea to impact, there's a chance the team and I here at SalesQualia can help.

 

Shoot me an email to scottsambucci@salesqualia.com with the word “JOURNEY” and we can hop on a call to look at your situation, brainstorm a few ideas and see if or how we can help you ramp up and scale up your sales.



Listen to the full podcast here on LinkedIn: 

 

https://www.linkedin.com/video/live/urn:li:ugcPost:6820774473046794240/

 

Listen & subscribe to The Startup Selling Show here:

 

BluBrry | Deezer | Amazon | Stitcher | Spotify | iTunes | Soundcloud | SalesQualia

 

Thanks so much for listening! Tell a friend or ten about The Startup Selling Show, and please leave a review wherever you’re listening to the show.

Jul 22, 2021

This is the second installment of my post-race "Startups are Ultramarathons – Post-Race Lessons from the Trail."

 

The first installment of these Startup Selling Lessons from the Trail, included:

 

- How to leverage experts,

- The single biggest factor in the pursuit of BHAGs, and

- Removing variables from the journey through planning, preparation, and visualization.

 

In this installment, I'll talk about –

 

- How to Focus on Your Locus

- Why you should act with Confidence

– The importance of getting help along the way.

 

BTW... If you're a startup founder and want some help with your journey from idea to impact, there's a chance the team and I here at SalesQualia can help.

 

Shoot me an email to scottsambucci@salesqualia.com with the word "JOURNEY" and we can hop on a call to look at your situation, brainstorm a few ideas and see if or how we can help you ramp up and scale up your sales.

 

#startups #GoFarther #startupselling



Listen & subscribe to The Startup Selling Show here:

 

BluBrry | Deezer | Amazon | Stitcher | Spotify | iTunes | Soundcloud | SalesQualia

 

Thanks so much for listening! Tell a friend or ten about The Startup Selling Show, and please leave a review wherever you’re listening to the show.

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