10 Rules to Being a VP of Sales in a Startup

  1. If you come from a large software company, don’t implement their methodology. It isn’t going to work in a startup. Literally 100% failure rate. Let go of what you know. Listen. Learn. Adapt. And get moving. I went to a startup once where the prior VP of Sales had 13 opportunity stages with an average deal size of 6K. Nope.
  2. Have an open mind around hiring. Hiring folks from Oracle and SAP who do million dollar deals selling 100% into their installed base probably isn’t going to be a fit for you. In a startup, million dollar deals are few and far between. And the amount of time you have to wait for reps to “chase” those deals just isn’t worth it. You need customers. You need revenue. You need to build some repeatability. Hire great talent, not great resumes.

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