When a founder lead initial sales at a startup they can quickly respond to each scenario, positioning, and answering questions. If a sales person is the only person doing initial sales they will need a script and training to do it well. If it’s not going well it’s difficult to tell if there is a problem with the product or a problem with the sales person.
This is why founder led sales are important in the early days because you don’t yet know if you have product market fit.
- The number one job of a startup CEO is finding product market fit
- A sales pitch is the opposite of a VC pitch
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Most early founder-led sales will come from the founder’s personal network. Once you are bootstrapped with a few customers, you should also receive referrals from them (if you are not, that’s a signal that you don’t have something people love). For B2B startups charging high 5 figures, low 6 figures per installation, you should be able to close all of the sales you need (learning and adjusting along the way) to get from seed stage to raising your series A.
A product design partner is an early user and potential customer that provides regular organized feedback about you product. In return, they get a hand in designing the product to fit the needs of their organization, early access to the product, and discounted pricing once it launches.