Article: Sales Leads On A Small Budget

Interesting article on sourcing leads:

But for startups, early stage companies and small/medium businesses, uncovering qualified leads on a tight budget is a very different situation, and one that many organizations struggle to figure out. While I am not suggesting we have discovered the holy grail here at Work Market, I am going to share some of the more effective methods that we have used, and look forward to additional comments on what this readership finds successful.


Article: The One Word That Shouldn’t Exist in an Entrepreneur’s Vocabulary

Another great article from Mark Suster:

I used to ask Deborah to book my travel plans in France and Germany were I went 1-2 times / month. There were online tools to book this stuff but the Internet booking sites were early.

I would tell Deborah: “I found this hotel near the Champs Elysees for 170 Euros. But I don’t want to pay that much. Tell them I’ll stay if they’ll give it to me for 120 Euros."

Her: “What? You want … what? Mark. You can’t do that! You can’t just name your own price.”

Me: “Of course I can."


The key lesson being that if you don't ask, you don't get. This is a common issue with sales. It took me a while to get enough confidence in myself and the value proposition I was offering to be able to ask the simplest question: "If we do this and that, will you buy from us?".

The take away is similar in this post I was reading this morning:

Have you been in meetings where lots of decisions are made but nothing gets done andnobody is held accountable? Unless you finish the meeting with commitments about “who will do what by when,” you’ve just built 90% of a bridge.


Don't be afraid to ask for a commitment. That's how you'll get what you want.

Article: How the Productivity Myth is Killing Your Startup

Interesting article on Medium this week:

Each day is given only 24 hours. Even with the bare minimum of coordination costs, cut down by your tools and your processes and your homegrown blend of agile, whole hours of that day are lost to meetings, status updates, course correction, revision, company chatter, building consensus, setting and measuring, iterating and reporting. Life decimates your team with unerring and unrelenting creativity.


Mark Suster on enterprise startups

Mark Suster has a great series about enterprise startups on his blog. Here are a couple excerpts from the 3 articles he wrote so far. 

One of the Biggest Mistakes Enterprise Startups Make

But the “no sales people” mantra isn’t what I’m here to take on. It’s the second belief system that is even more engrained and even more wrong. Many young startups are being advised not to have a professional services business and in my opinion this is a big mistake.

The line of reasoning goes, “Services businesses are not scalable and the market won’t reward this revenue so make sure that third-parties do your implementation or clients do it themselves. We only want software revenue.”

This is a huge mistake. If you’re an early-stage enterprise startup, services revenue is exactly what you need.


How to Make Sure Professional Services Don’t Take Over Your Software Company

I recently wrote a blog post in which I pointed out that many investors & advisors discourage enterprise startups from having a professional services (PS) business and I think this is a big mistake.

I think it’s important for enterprise startups to layer in professional services into your revenue stream. [...]

BUT! You don’t want to run the risk that having a PS business that takes your eye of off the ball of growing a large software business.


How to Sell Your Roadmap Without Selling Your Soul

When we published our roadmap to our platinum customers we would inevitably get some complaints that some features were coming too many quarters out and they preferred them done sooner.

There was an easy solution to meet their requirements and our own. We would allow them to accelerate some Q3/Q4 initiatives to Q1/Q2 if they would fund the development. Often 2-3 customers would band together to fund an accelerated plan.

Before you think it, this was not prostitution. These were always features we knew we needed to build anyways – we were just willing to accelerate / prioritize them.


I encourage you to go and read all 3 articles in full. They have plenty of useful and actionable advice.