Founding Sales

The Early-Stage Go-To-Market Handbook

by Pete Kazanjy
First-time founders often try to grow sales too fast, which is a quick path to failure. Founders who lean into developing a thoughtful, rigorous approach to the art and science of sales, and get seriously good at selling, will have a key advantage. Founding Sales reflects the best practices from modern sales teams, while avoiding any of the baggage that often accompanies calcified processes from large, established sales organizations. This tactical early-stage go-to-market handbook distills early sales first principles, and teaches innovative, state of the art skills required for going from being a founder to early salesperson, and eventually becoming an early sales leader. Key insights from other sales leaders (from places like LinkedIn and First Round Capital) provide a battle-tested foundation from which new sales leaders can successfully scale.
Courtney NashEditor
$35
  • Digital access to this title in the Holloway Reader
  • Downloadable PDF for personal offline use
Why read on Holloway?
The Details
Edition: e1.0.0
Length: 560 pages
Language: English
ISBN (Holloway.com):
978-1-952120-05-3

Featured Reviews

A successful go to market is key in giving your early stage company the best chance of success. Founders who lean into this and get good at selling will have a key advantage, and Founding Sales is a great resource to help founders do just that.
Josh Kopelman (Founder, First Round Capital and Half.com)
The more people with modern, intelligent, empathetic selling skills, the better. Founding Sales is a wonderful onramp into gaining those skills.
Kyle Porter (Founder and CEO, SalesLoft)
Having gone from founder to seller to sales leader, I know from experience that the struggle is real. Founding Sales truly sets you up for success on that path, so you can eventually graduate to true scale and revenue acceleration!
Mark Roberge (Former CRO, Hubspot and author of The Sales Acceleration Formula)
A key part of the successful B2B SaaS journey is for founders to successfully sell their first handful of customers before professionalizing their sales org. Founding Sales provides the tooling for founders and other early stage executives to do just that.
David Skok (Partner, Matrix Ventures)
You can’t build a revenue house based on outbound selling without a solid foundation. Founding Sales helps founders, and other first time sellers, understand the basics that create that foundation and allows them to successfully scale.
Trish Bertuzzi (Founder, The Bridge Group and author of The Sales Development Playbook)
Modern sales organizations succeed by a thoughtful, rigorous approach to the art and science of sales. Founding Sales introduces founders and other first time sellers to these concepts clearly and comprehensively.
Jeremey Donovan (SVP Sales Strategy and Sales Operations at Salesloft, author of Leading Sales Development)
Predictable Revenue introduced the world to scalable outbound sales. But it won’t work without a solid foundation. Founding Sales helps founders and other first-time sellers go from a dead stop to first gear in sales (the hardest part). Time after time first time founders and sellers try to sell and grow sales too fast, leading to failure. Founding Sales gets you started, building that foundation first so you’re prepared to scale later.
Aaron Ross (author, Predictable Revenue)

About the Author

Pete Kazanjy
Pete Kazanjy is a serial founder, and seasoned early stage SaaS executive, advisor, and investor. Pete founded TalentBin, a category-defining talent search engine and recruiting CRM, which exited to Monster Worldwide in early 2014. Pete currently is the founder of Atrium, a proactive sales performance analysis solution. At TalentBin, Pete went from product and product marketing founder generalist, to first sales rep, first sales manager, first VP of Sales, all the way to leading new product sales for 600+ sales reps at Monster worldwide. Pete also founded and runs the canonical invite-only nationwide sales operations and management peer education community Modern Sales, featuring 13,000+ members from a who’s who of sales operations, enablement, management, and leadership from 5k+ leading sales organization’s. Additionally, Pete is a well known expert in early stage go-to-market and “founder selling”—helping organizations figure out their early critical positioning and selling activities. He has done substantial speaking and writing on the topic, including being a frequent contributor to First Round Review and Saleshacker, and advises a number of enterprise software companies on establishing and optimizing their sales and success motions.

Table of Contents

Part I
Foundations
Sales Narrative and Product Marketing Basics
Early-Stage Sales Materials Basics
Part II
From Lead to Sale
Prospect Outreach and Demo Appointment Setting
Early Inbound Lead Capture and Response
Sales Pitches For Startup Founders
Down Funnel Selling
Part III
Customer Success
Mechanisms for Customer Success
Support Sites and Asynchronous Support Materials
Learning From Your Customer Success Team
Customer Success Role Specialization
Part IV
Scaling Sales at Your Startup
High-Impact Sales Hiring
High-Impact Sales Onboarding and Training
Conclusion: Where Do You Go From Here?

Does this sound like you?

I’ve never sold anything, but we have this B2B product we built, and I need to see if people will buy it.
We’ve sold a couple deals here and there, but how can I methodically scale that up?
I need to hire some sales people to help me sell more. How do I do that?
There’s all these scattered blog posts on ‘How to sell’ or ‘How to scale’—I need something that walks me through it from beginning to end.
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