Hiring a Kickass VP Sales

Hiring a sales leader is challenging, and it’s not uncommon to get it wrong the first time.  I’ve helped several of our companies with a VP Sales hire as of late, so I thought I would pass along some of what I look for during an interview.  Sales leaders come in a lot of different flavors, so it’s important to dig in and understand how their prior experience and success correlates with your own situation and next phase of growth.  One disclaimer - I am just outlining sal... Read more

Accretive vs. Deadweight Customers

In the early stages of scaling a business, it’s perfectly natural to cheer for each new sale with the same enthusiasm as the last. After all, new deals drive growth. Not to mention they put cash in the bank. A strong focus on top-line growth is critical, but it can be all too easy to fall into the “growth at any cost” (aka GAC) trap. (more…)

Turning Conferences into $$

It’s easy to be a cynic when it comes to industry trade shows and conferences, as the formula at most of them is pretty tired and familiar. You can waste both your time and your marketing budget at these events (and I have ended up doing both). But a conference also offers a rare opportunity to catch prospects and industry influencers when they are seeking new information, open to taking meetings, and likely interested in reviewing new solutions. These events can deliver ... Read more

Pipeline or Pipedream

As you might imagine, we see a lot of hockey stick financial models and fluffy sales pipelines in the course of evaluating potential investments.  I was certainly guilty of producing some pretty optimistic projections myself during my time on the other side of the table (I still chuckle when I look back at some of our startup and early stage projections…they were very much reflective of the ‘dot-com bubble’).  To be fair, if you are not optimistic, you are probably no... Read more