What’s the best way to get more customers for your product?

David Sacks (CEO at Zenefits)
New Sales Models – David Sacks, Founder and CEO of Yammer – YouTube

I believe in the law of successful distribution arbitrage. Successsful distribution techniques are copied until they are no longer unusally effective. That’s why this is such a tough problem. Overtime users get used to techniques and they become less effective. The same techniques that got LinkedIn or Facebook to millions of users would not work today.

What’s the best way to get more leads?

Iris Shoor (Co-Founder, VP Product @ Takipi)
29 B2B Growth Hacks – The ULTIMATE List | Oribi Blog

We postponed adding live chat to our app and website for a long time. My assumption was that in order to benefit from live chat we need to have a 24/7 support group. I was wrong. We started turning on the live chat only for a couple of hours at first. It was enough to talk with some relevant users and schedule some demos.

What’s the best way to do sales?

Tomasz Tunguz (Partner at Redpoint Ventures)
The Innovator’s Solution for SaaS Startups – The Flywheel SaaS Company

There’s another, novel way of building companies that still isn’t very well understood. In this approach, the enterprise sales team is exclusively inbound. They are explicitly denied the option of seeking business outside the customer base, and must gin up business from only existing customers. The enterprise sales team is an up-sell and cross-sell team. In fact, so is the mid-market sales team. Only the SMB marketing team is permitted to acquire… (read more)

What’s the best way to manage your sales team?

David Sacks (CEO at Zenefits)
New Sales Models – David Sacks, Founder and CEO of Yammer – YouTube

Make sure that no territory overlaps. Make sure that this is MECE (mutally exclusive and completely exhaustive). A very simple way to do this is geo. Wherever the headquarters of the client is, is where the lead is.

Danielle Morrill (Co-Founder & CEO at Mattermark)
22 Sales Tips From a First Time SaaS CEO

Have great comp plans post break even. We do 20% for month-to-month, 25% for annual – NO CAP.

Danielle Morrill (Co-Founder & CEO at Mattermark)
22 Sales Tips From a First Time SaaS CEO

Do 40-50 cold calls a day or 8-10 scheduled demos for awhile. Learn what it feels like to struggle with selling, and hit every objection.

Danielle Morrill (Co-Founder & CEO at Mattermark)
22 Sales Tips From a First Time SaaS CEO

Be ruthless about trying/disposing of email tools based on metric/campaign results. I’ve stuck with LeadGenius, PersistIQ and Send With Us.

Danielle Morrill (Co-Founder & CEO at Mattermark)
22 Sales Tips From a First Time SaaS CEO

One account manager per $1M ARR is a good rule of thumb for the first $5M (assuming LTV in the thousands).

Danielle Morrill (Co-Founder & CEO at Mattermark)
22 Sales Tips From a First Time SaaS CEO

Account management is more than glorified support. It should have a revenue expansion quota.

David Sacks (CEO at Zenefits)
New Sales Models – David Sacks, Founder and CEO of Yammer – YouTube

You have to feed the reps with leads. If you don’t give them enough leads your reps will be very unhappy. That’s why the distribution is so important.

What’s the best way to get more leads?

Fred Wilson (Co-Founder and Partner at Union Square Ventures)
MBA Mondays: Sales Leads On A Small Budget – AVC

One of the easiest and most accessible sources for new prospects resides in an all too often untapped source; ­ existing customers. What we have found in our organization is that there are networks and friendships that extend well beyond the walls of competition. If you are doing a sound job of servicing your customers, they will happily (in some instances eagerly) share the success with their peers; even those that work for a competitive organiz… (read more)

Fred Wilson (Co-Founder and Partner at Union Square Ventures)
MBA Mondays: Sales Leads On A Small Budget – AVC

I am not proclaiming that you should create a Facebook page to drive inbound interest
(since this is an obvious solution). But there are a variety of professional tools like LinkedIn and
Twitter that will enable you to find out who your customers are connected to and what their
interests are.

Fred Wilson (Co-Founder and Partner at Union Square Ventures)
MBA Mondays: Sales Leads On A Small Budget – AVC

At Work Market, we strive to educate our customers and prospects on a variety of issues, including product updates and new feature releases, ways to improve and scale contractor business, customer success stories and case studies, as well as industry topics. For example, tax and compliance are of top of mind for organizations that leverage contractors. To address this, we recently ran a series of short newsletters educating our database about the… (read more)

Iris Shoor (Co-Founder, VP Product @ Takipi)
29 B2B Growth Hacks – The ULTIMATE List | Oribi Blog

We postponed adding live chat to our app and website for a long time. My assumption was that in order to benefit from live chat we need to have a 24/7 support group. I was wrong. We started turning on the live chat only for a couple of hours at first. It was enough to talk with some relevant users and schedule some demos.

David Jackson (Founder, Seeking Alpha)
Why you should use live chat to sell — even if you think you’re not ready for it | A Founder’s Notebook

You should use live chat to sell — even if you think you’re not ready for it

What’s the best way to get more customers for your product?

David Jackson (Founder, Seeking Alpha)
The three steps to building a great company, and why most startups fail on the first step | A Founder’s Notebook

Why do we move prematurely from “build a product people love” to growth? (i) It’s easier to measure user or revenue growth than it is to measure how much users love your product. (ii) Since sustainable growth is impossible without a successful product, growth metrics assume product success; so we think we can measure product success by measuring growth. (iii) Growth is the true measure of startup success, and entrepreneurs (and particularly VCs) … (read more)

David Jackson (Founder, Seeking Alpha)
If you have low retention, don’t scale and keep your costs low | A Founder’s Notebook

If you have low 90 day retention, then you don’t have product-market fit. But 90 day retention might not be sufficient on its own to demonstrate product-market fit. Consider also user engagement, your net promoter score, whether your product is liked or loved, and the ease of closing sales.

Fred Wilson (Co-Founder and Partner at Union Square Ventures)
Growth vs Retention – AVC

It’s hard to grow if you are churning your users. You might think you have product market fit and so you scale up your hiring, your marketing, your sales, and your capital raising and spending. But if you can’t retain a healthy percentage of your users past ninety days, you don’t have product market fit yet and all the investment you make in your business is just money down the drain. So focus first on retention, then scale.

Jason Lemkin (Managing Director at Storm Ventures, SaaStr.com)
Jason Lemkin: The Right Metrics For Your SaaS Startup | InsightSquared

Overinvest in customer success – that’s my #1 growth hack. That doesn’t get you to your first 10 or 20 or 100 customers, but that’s the best way to turn those 100 customers into 1,000.

Josh Elman (Partner at Greylock Partners)
Building your growth model and Ladder of Engagement — Medium

Purpose: What is the core purpose of the product? Users: Who will care about that core purpose? Inception: How can I get people to hear about this product for this purpose? Adoption: What does someone need to do to get the product to fulfill this purpose for them? Habit: How frequently should the person use the product, and how can we get them to adopt the habit?

David Jackson (Founder, Seeking Alpha)
Sustainable growth vs. growth hacking | A Founder’s Notebook

Most people think about growth in terms of Acquisition and Activation: “How many signups and activations have we had?” “How can we get more signups and activations?” But they should focus on Retention and Referral: “How can I retain an insanely high percentage of my users?” (= product-market fit); “How can I get them to refer their contacts to my product?” (= virality)

Paul Graham (Co-Founder & Partner at Y Combinator)
Default Alive or Default Dead?

In practice there is surprisingly little connection between how much a startup spends and how fast it grows. When a startup grows fast it’s usually because the product hits a nerve, in the sense of hitting some big need straight on.

David Cancel (CEO, Co-Founder at Drift)
3 Warning Signs That Your Product Sucks

If you repeatedly hear any of the following comments, chances are you are not solving a critical problem [for your customer]: “If you made your app easier to use I would start using it. ” “I’m really busy right now but I’ll start using your app soon. ” “If your app was cheaper I would start using it. “

David Jackson (Founder, Seeking Alpha)
Sustainable growth vs. growth hacking | A Founder’s Notebook

If your growth is all based on hacks, then your growth is a function of how much effort you can keep putting into these hacks. If your growth, which is a derivative of customer base, is itself a function of your customer base, you will grow exponentially. And that growth curve comes without you having to spend money.

Seth Godin (Founder at Yoyodyne Entertainment)
Seth’s Blog: Word of mouse

…at the heart of real growth is a simple idea: People decide to tell other people.

Andy Johns (Current VP of Growth at Wealthfront. Formerly growth at Facebook, Twitter, Quora. Ex-EIR Greylock)
Real Engines Of Growth Have Nothing To Do With Growth Hacking | TechCrunch

Understand where your success is coming from today and double down on what is already working. If these channels are working for you without any real effort on your part, then there are huge opportunities to expand on them.

Andy Johns (Current VP of Growth at Wealthfront. Formerly growth at Facebook, Twitter, Quora. Ex-EIR Greylock)
Real Engines Of Growth Have Nothing To Do With Growth Hacking | TechCrunch

Real growth is about finding and removing friction. The opportunities to eliminate friction are usually huge… they can take years to fully uncover.

David Jackson (Founder, Seeking Alpha)
Andy Johns on how to build a winning product | A Founder’s Notebook

Be clear about your target user. Force yourself to articulate your value proposition. Double down on what’s working by removing frictions.

David Jackson (Founder, Seeking Alpha)
The three steps to building a great company, and why most startups fail on the first step | A Founder’s Notebook

In my experience, the most common fatal error made by entrepreneurs (often encouraged by their VCs) is to focus insufficiently on building a product users love. We move from core product development to growth — prematurely. This is a mistake we’ve made numerous times in Seeking Alpha.

David Sacks (CEO at Zenefits)
New Sales Models – David Sacks, Founder and CEO of Yammer – YouTube

You have to innovate on distribution, not just product. Do you have a viral strategy? Do you have a platform strategy? Do you have an embed strategy? At PayPal, we had a viral strategy for acquisition through email. We bootstrapped off the eBay platform, and we embedded PayPal logos on eBay auctions.

Fred Wilson (Co-Founder and Partner at Union Square Ventures)
Winback Campaigns vs New Customer Acquisition – AVC

As mobile becomes a more difficult environment to grow in (maturing market, more competition, growing dominance of the leaders), we see companies spending more and more money on new customer acquisition. While that is necessary, it is not likely the most capital efficient way to grow. Winning back churned out users can be a lot more cost effective if done right.

Fred Wilson (Co-Founder and Partner at Union Square Ventures)
Retention – AVC

You can email or spam in some other way your inactive users and that might work. But what you do once they come back is way more important. You have to figure out how to make the experience better than it was when they used it previously. Some of that will likely be that the product is much better because your and your team have improved it a lot. But some of that should be an engaging experience that somehow they did not get before.

Fred Wilson (Co-Founder and Partner at Union Square Ventures)
The Fallacy Of Zero Sum Game Thinking – AVC

The cool thing about these marketplaces is that the sellers (or project creators in Kickstarter’s case) are the primary marketing engine. Sellers bring the first time buyers. And then many of them stick around and transact again and again, often with sellers other than the one that brought them in the first place. It is a commons where everyone (or most everyone) benefits from the expansion of the marketplace.

Fred Wilson (Co-Founder and Partner at Union Square Ventures)
Search Vs Social – AVC

At some point, I became convinced that websites would eventually see more acquisition traffic coming from social than they were seeing from search, which was the king dog of Internet traffic at the time. It was a hotly debated issue but, again maybe because of how long we were on Twitter, I was convinced social would be king some day. It’s kind of funny to think that we wondered and debated about such things back in 2008 and 2009. It’s not a deba… (read more)


Fred Wilson (Co-Founder and Partner at Union Square Ventures)
OccupyAppStore – AVC

“”We can’t figure out how to get on the leaderboards. The app stores aren’t working for us as a distribution channel.””
To which I replied “”All the app stores use a leaderboard model which makes the rich richer and everyone else poorer. We are in the 99%, wishing we were in the 1%.””

Seth Godin (Founder at Yoyodyne Entertainment)
Seth’s Blog: “Our biggest problem is awareness”

If your startup, your non-profit or your event is suffering because of a lack of awareness, the solution isn’t to figure out some way to get more hype, more publicity or more traffic. …the solution lies in re-organizing your systems, in re-creating your product or service so that it becomes worth talking about…you can dramatically impact the ‘more awareness’ problem by investing heavily in a funnel that doesn’t leak, in a story that’s worth s… (read more)

Sam Altman (President at Y Combinator)
Startup Playbook

Ask your [power user and really good] customers where you can find more people like them.

Rob Go (Co-Founder and Partner at NextView Ventures)
Very Basic Startup Marketing – ROBGO.ORG

The best marketing is customer success. That’s why I think it’s incredibly important that the functions of product and marketing not be thought of as two silos. The job is not done when you’ve gotten someone to pay. It is done when you have delighted a customer to the point that they can’t help but tell others about you.

Rob Go (Co-Founder and Partner at NextView Ventures)
Ain’t Nothing Like The Real Thing – ROBGO.ORG

I’ve been on a bit of a quiet campaign to meet a bunch of really strong user-acquisition folks at different startups in Boston and New York. One thing that is surprising is that many of these people have limited marketing experience. What they do have is a highly analytical background and a mentality around experimentation. On the flip side, more experienced marketers often enter a startup setting wanting to employ an older playbook to stick to t… (read more)

Sam Altman (President at Y Combinator)
Startup Playbook

Experiment with different user acquisition methods like SEO/SEM, ads, mailings, etc. , but try to repay your customer acquisition cost (CAC) in 3 months.

Avrom Gilbert (COO Seeking Alpha)
Israel’s Subscription Challenge

It’s likely that at some point you will reach a point with your customer acquisition cost where it will be hard to improve it significantly. However, if you keep improving your product then your lifetime user value can keep growing indefinitely, which keeps growing your net lifetime user value. This in turn means that you can choose to increase profit or, more likely, spend more to take more market share (even at the risk of increasing your custo… (read more)

Tomasz Tunguz (Partner at Redpoint Ventures)
How Customer Success Meaningfully Reduces Cost of Customer Acquisition

When discussing customer success for SaaS startups, the conversation focuses mostly on retaining customers and reducing churn. These are two fantastic benefits with meaningful return-on-investment. But great customer success organizations can meaningfully impact another critical part of the customer lifecycle, customer acquisition, by catalyzing evangelists to refer new customers.

Sam Altman (President at Y Combinator)
Premature optimization – Sam Altman

The most sustainable (and cheapest) kind of growth is word-of-mouth growth. It’s dangerous to spend all your mental energy on incremental improvements when what you really need is a step change.

Sam Altman (President at Y Combinator)
Startup Playbook

If you have a free product, don’t plan to grow by buying users. that’s really hard for ad-supported businesses. You need to make something people share with their friends.

Fred Wilson (Co-Founder and Partner at Union Square Ventures)
The Mobile Downturn (continued) – AVC

So if you want to launch a new consumer mobile app, what do you do? The best answer I have heard to that question came at breakfast yesterday with an entrepreneur. He said he plans to build mobile web experiences that can go viral and build adoption of his product and use that as a funnel to drive adoption, over time, to his native apps. I’ve seen that work.

Sachin Rekhi (Group Product Manager at LinkedIn)
How to Find Your Ideal Customer | Sachin Rekhi

Take an inward look at your existing customers, using available customer registration data, your analytics tool’s demographic segmentation capabilities, customer surveys, tools like FullContact, Clearbit, Pipl, ZoomInfo, and MaxMind’s IP Address database, and interviews with sales reps, account managers, and customer service reps.

Sachin Rekhi (Group Product Manager at LinkedIn)
How to Find Your Ideal Customer | Sachin Rekhi

Determine the most meaningful attributes by which you can segment and cluster your candidate customers. Some of the most common segmentation attributes include use case, role, demographics, firm characteristics, and psychographic

Sachin Rekhi (Group Product Manager at LinkedIn)
How to Find Your Ideal Customer | Sachin Rekhi

Evaluate the attractiveness of each of your determined customer segments based on attributes that you’ve developed. Typical evaluation criteria include segment size, resonance with value proposition, willingness to pay, strongest delivered value, acquisition strategy, and strategic fit.

David Jackson (Founder, Seeking Alpha)
Why mobile traction is getting harder, not easier | A Founder’s Notebook

It’s hard to acquire meaningful numbers of new app users from app stores and other marketing channels. In contrast, over 500,000 dedicated users of our website downloaded our app in 2013, and we expect that number to increase in 2014.

David Sacks (CEO at Zenefits)
New Sales Models – David Sacks, Founder and CEO of Yammer – YouTube

I believe in the law of successful distribution arbitrage. Successsful distribution techniques are copied until they are no longer unusally effective. That’s why this is such a tough problem. Overtime users get used to techniques and they become less effective. The same techniques that got LinkedIn or Facebook to millions of users would not work today.

Paul Graham (Co-Founder & Partner at Y Combinator)
Default Alive or Default Dead?

Founders tell themselves they need to hire in order to grow. In fact the large staffs of successful startups are probably more the effect of growth than the cause. And partly because when founders have slow growth they don’t want to face what is usually the real reason: the product is not appealing enough.

Fred Wilson (Co-Founder and Partner at Union Square Ventures)
Bootstrap Your Network With A High Value Niche Use Case – AVC

So if you want to build a peer to peer network, you have to find the use case that is high enough value that some people will do things (like put content into your application) that most people won’t. If you nail that, and win the hearts and minds and activity of that small high value user base, then you will have to opportunity to go mainstream. If you aim for the mainstream users first, you are setting yourself up for failure.

Fred Wilson (Co-Founder and Partner at Union Square Ventures)
Mobile Web Is Top Of Funnel, Mobile App Is Bottom Of Funnel – AVC

Mobile web unique visitor growth is faster than mobile app visitor growth and the lines are diverging. This is because your mobile website is the top of the funnel for your user acquisition on mobile. It is where people land when coming from search, email, social media, text links, etc, etc.
The mobile web scales much better. You can build a large audience on mobile web much more easily than via mobile apps.

What’s the best way to do sales?

David Skok (General Partner at Matrix Partners)
Why Churn is SO critical to success in SaaS | For Entrepreneurs

Getting to negative churn requires that you can do one or more of the following three things: 1) Expand revenue from your current product. This is best done by having a pricing model that increases the pricing according to some usage metric that will grow over time. 2) Up-sell customers to a more highly featured version of your product.
3) Cross-sell customers to purchase additional products or services.

David Jackson (Founder, Seeking Alpha)
With freemium, you know you’re solving a customer’s problem | A Founder’s Notebook

This is the beauty of freemium models. You create the customers’ problem by making them hit the paywall, and your conversion data tells you if the problem is serious enough that customers will pay to solve it.

Jon Miller (CEO and Co-founder of Engagio)
How to Turn Marketing Leads into Sales Leads – Marketo

A five-minute lead response means you’re four times more likely to qualify that lead than a 10 minute response, and a staggering 21 times more likely to convert than after 30-minute wait. SDRs [sales development reps] can focus on this fast response time whereas it will never be a quota-carrying reps top priority to jump on an inbound lead.

Seth Godin (Founder at Yoyodyne Entertainment)
Seth’s Blog: The train is coming

Action means change and change means fear, so of course we shouldn’t be surprised that people (and organizations) are often as motivated by the fear of loss as they are by the desire for gain.

Alen Mayer (President, International Association of NLP Sales Professionals)
Avoiding hype in sales | A Founder’s Notebook

You need to prove your credibility using third-party endorsements, certifications and awards your product or company won. Introverts don’t usually get swept away by a sales pitch, but they can be influenced by objective reviews or media coverage.

Jim Keenan (Founder at HeyBubble)
Demos can win sales if you do them like this | A Founder’s Notebook

The key to a successful demo is to make sure every feature, every function you demonstrate is attached to your buyer’s unique problems and challenges. If it’s not, your not giving a good demo. If you’re showing a feature and are saying; “If you… then this feature will…”, or worse, if you are just whipping features around like they are cars on a car showroom floor by saying “And the next thing I want to show you is”, you are doing it wrong.

Neil Murray (Founding Editor at TheNordicWeb)
Selling online products to offline businesses — Business Tips. — Medium

Rather than wasting your breath meticulously explaining every little feature and detail, all you need to focus on is the most tangible measurement of all: revenue. Tell them exactly how much more revenue they will generate using your solution compared to how they are currently operating. In other words, the goal of a demo is to show how this product enables the customer to achieve her goals.

Peter Nixey (Founder at Copyin)
Peter Nixey – Five techniques that measurably improved our…

Customer development is a very different process to sales though. Sales is about helping your customer to understand the product. Customer development is about helping the product to understand your customer. Don’t try and sell during the initial exploration.

Tomasz Tunguz (Partner at Redpoint Ventures)
The Innovator’s Solution for SaaS Startups – The Flywheel SaaS Company

There’s another, novel way of building companies that still isn’t very well understood. In this approach, the enterprise sales team is exclusively inbound. They are explicitly denied the option of seeking business outside the customer base, and must gin up business from only existing customers. The enterprise sales team is an up-sell and cross-sell team. In fact, so is the mid-market sales team. Only the SMB marketing team is permitted to acquire… (read more)

Mark Suster (Managing Partner at Upfront Ventures)
What Do You Need to Do to Improve Sales? Here’s a Start … | Bothsides of the Table

Many great sales starts with generating inbound marketing leads. If you create content marketing programs and drive traffic to websites where you can measure how long somebody spends reading your materials or downloading your white papers you’ve at least confirmed some level of interest.

Jon Miller (CEO and Co-founder of Engagio)
How to Turn Marketing Leads into Sales Leads – Marketo

The human touch enhances lead nurturing. Whether or not leads are sales-ready, SDRs [sales development reps] can nurture relationships with each interaction. By talking with more leads, you can offer personalized thought leadership and value around a lead’s individual pain points, and cultivate future demand.

Jason Lemkin (Managing Director at Storm Ventures, SaaStr.com)
Jason Lemkin: The Right Metrics For Your SaaS Startup | InsightSquared

There are two metrics aren’t discussed enough. The first is lead velocity rate. What rate are your qualified leads growing month over month? The second metric will help founders get from initial traction to scale: understanding revenue per lead and how that works across your company. Once you have a repeatable set of leads and lead velocity, you want to drive up the revenue per lead.

Ben Horowitz (Co-Founder & Partner @ Andreessen Horowitz)
Little Things – Ben’s Blog

If you are worried about making the quarter, then you should go on a few sales calls and see if you are selling your product in the most effective way possible. Are your sales people properly trained? Do they run a process that puts your product in the very best light and sets appropriate traps for your competitors? Are you selling at the right level in the organization? Is your product truly competitive?

Mark Suster (Managing Partner at Upfront Ventures)
When Should You Allow Exclusivity in Deals? | Bothsides of the Table

To craft exclusivity agreements, make them time bound, and name the competitor who you’re not allowed to sell to. If they won’t name the competitor, specify the industry or geographical region as narrowly as you can. In exchange for exclusivity, you want larger contracts, longer-term contracts, more commitments to success, and funding for accelerated development.

David Sacks (CEO at Zenefits)
New Sales Models – David Sacks, Founder and CEO of Yammer – YouTube

Understand that enterprises don’t operate with a single mind. We talk about companies like they are a person, but its actually not the case. It’s actually a lot of different people with a lot of different incentives.

David Sacks (CEO at Zenefits)
New Sales Models – David Sacks, Founder and CEO of Yammer – YouTube

Do you have a buyer? Do they have budget and authority? What’s the value propisition you are selling to that person AND to the company? Is your value proposition aligned to that buyer?

Danielle Morrill (Co-Founder & CEO at Mattermark)
22 Sales Tips From a First Time SaaS CEO

Cold emailing is actually not very effective. But lukewarm emailing works great for staying top of mind.

Danielle Morrill (Co-Founder & CEO at Mattermark)
22 Sales Tips From a First Time SaaS CEO

Make a playlist of songs to get pumped up, stand up while you do calls, speak loud and proud, no one does calls in a conference room.

Danielle Morrill (Co-Founder & CEO at Mattermark)
22 Sales Tips From a First Time SaaS CEO

Ask for the close. “Can I have your business?” “Let’s get your payment info so you can get started today. ”

Danielle Morrill (Co-Founder & CEO at Mattermark)
22 Sales Tips From a First Time SaaS CEO

Don’t assume “no” means no the first time. Try again, be more creative and focus on benefits not features or pricing.

David Jackson (Founder, Seeking Alpha)
To raise profitability, control tech costs in sales | A Founder’s Notebook

We permanently assign fixed tech resources to sales (a “pod”), and include those resources as part of the sales budget. Sales is then measured on net contribution (sales minus cost of sales).

Duane Sparks (Chairman of Action Selling)
The 5 questions every customer asks themselves before buying from you | A Founder’s Notebook

Do I want to do business with this person? Do I want to do business with this firm? Do I want and need these products and services? Does the value meet my expectations? Is this the right time to make a decision?

Geoffrey James (a contributing editor for Inc.com, is an author of the award-winning blog Sales Source)
10 Things Every Customer Wants | Inc.com

Why does a customer buy from one vendor rather than another? According to research recently conducted by The Rain Group (detailed report here), customers tend to buy from sellers who are superlative at the following tasks: (1) Bring New Perspectives and Ideas (2) Be Willing to Collaborate (3) Have Confidence In Your Ability to Achieve Results (4) Listen, Really Listen, to the Customer (5) Understand ALL the Customer’s Needs (6) Help the Customer … (read more)

Jill Konrath (Jill Konrath is a sales strategist, former Sales at Xerox, Hubspot)
How to Conduct a Premortem to Win More Sales

When I think about all the business I’ve lost over the years, 3 main themes come to mind: 1) I overlooked some critical piece of information. 2) I wasn’t working with the right decision makers. 3) My prospect decided it was easier to stay with the status quo.

Mark Suster (Managing Partner at Upfront Ventures)
What Do You Need to Do to Improve Sales? Here’s a Start … | Bothsides of the Table

If you have a product, knowing who the “typical buyer” by department or title is helps you greatly because you can quickly get to somebody likely to be familiar with the space in which you’re selling.

Mark Suster (Managing Partner at Upfront Ventures)
What Do You Need to Do to Improve Sales? Here’s a Start … | Bothsides of the Table

If you can’t identify a problem that a prospect has that you can quantifiably solve you won’t sell anything.

Nick Mehta (CEO at Gainsight)
The Second-Timers: Nick Mehta, CEO of Gainsight – “Never Stop Hiring Reps” | SaaStr

Success of your customers is hard and critical… Figuring out what your customer means by success, measuring it, helping to drive it and showing the client the results is a constant battle. But it’s a battle you need to win.

Stuart Silverman (‎CEO at SalesRamp)
How to sell your product when it’s vitamin and not a pain-killer

In general, your product falls into one of two categories. Either it is a pain-killer that solves a very critical business pain, need, or crisis for your prospect. Or it is a vitamin that doesn’t really solve any major pain or crisis, but is a nice-to-have and is just a better way of doing something.

Stuart Silverman (‎CEO at SalesRamp)
How to sell your product when it’s vitamin and not a pain-killer

How do we sell a vitamin? 1. Focus on increased revenue 2. Focus on increased budget dollars 3. Show how your product provides a competitive edge 4. Point out that 1-2 of your prospect’s competitors are using your product 5. Tie the sale to your prospect’s boss’s needs 6. Tie the sale to helping your prospect with his/her career 7. Create urgency by using a specific date

David Jackson (Founder, Seeking Alpha)
How exactly to write a cold-call email | A Founder’s Notebook

Flattery. Do you compliment them or stroke their ego a bit? Benefit. How will this benefit them (not just you)? Do you spell it out and is it a real benefit? Credibility. How can YOU be the person the other person would enjoy meeting? Call to action (aka the ask). He didn’t ask for a 60 minute phone call but a digestible request that seemed appropriate. Read it out loud. Read your email out loud with a timer. If it’s a longer than a minute, cut i… (read more)

Sam Altman (President at Y Combinator)
Startup Playbook

Try selling the product yourself first to learn what works. Hacking Sales is a useful book to read.