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FOUNDER’S GUIDE TO B2B SALES To build a sales organisation you need to understand the difference between artisanal and industrial sales, basic sales roles, staffing ratios, and the idea of a sales model. TOPICS IN BUILDING A SALES ORGANISATION • Selling in the early days • Establishing product-market fit • Core sales roles • Throwing spaghetti at walls • Sales model = roles, goals, and ratios • Territories, compensation, and quotas • Additional sales roles SELLING IN THE EARLY DAYS In the early days, selling is artisanal, not industrial, and is often founder-led. You are searching for the right model, which you can industrialise later. You want smart, creative sellers – a small handful to begin with, including: • People who don’t need or want a lot of support • People who are prepared to execute with only a telephone What’s the most common mistake? Hiring big-company people who want to execute or scale an existing model. The purpose of this phase is discovery – not the industrialisation of the model. Think: if we call on people with at companies of <size> in this <industry> around this <problem>, we find that we can often sell them a deal of <ARR> dollars in <timeframe>. ESTABLISHING PRODUCT-MARKET FIT Early selling is also about establishing product-market fit The Sean Ellis test is one popular way to quantify product-market fit (PMF): • Survey your customers and ask: “How would you feel if you could no longer use our product?” • If 40%+ are very disappointed, then PMF has been attained. The Ellis test sets a high bar and may not be as useful in less end-user-driven markets. While it’s a fun test of PMF, the real essence is about identifying the answers to three questions: • Sell what? • To whom? • To solve what problem? Sometimes you will have several different sets of answers to those questions. In that case, your job is to identify the most strategically promising set to focus on in your early selling. Product/market fit means being in a good market with a product that can satisfy the market. Marc Andreessen SPRING 2023 .12

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