B2B sales, from first customer to scale.

The proven, in-the-trenches handbook to accelerate success in early-stage sales. A startup sales veteran coaches you with hundreds of hard-won insights for founders and aspiring sales leaders.

  • 560-page online book
  • Digital access to this title in the Holloway Reader
  • Downloadable PDF for personal offline use
Length: 560 pages
Edition: e1.0.0
Last Updated: 2020-07-20
Language: English
ISBN (Holloway.com):
978-1-952120-05-3

Founding Sales

The Early-Stage Go-To-Market Handbook

by Pete Kazanjy

Founding Sales is a practical guide to startup sales for founders and other first-time sales staff, written by Pete Kazanjy, founder of Atrium Sales Analytics and the Modern Sales Leadership and Operations Community.

This book is the distillation of Kazanjy’s experience at TalentBin, where he went from a founder with a product marketing and product management background to early sales guy, early sales manager, and eventual post-acquisition sales leader at Monster Worldwide, in addition to his later experience founding Modern Sales, the nation’s largest sales operations, enablement, and leadership community.

The book’s goal is to accelerate the learning and success of those who find themselves in a similar spot Pete did in early 2011—don’t know much about B2B sales, and need to figure it out in a hurry.

Founding Sales covers all the practical details and mental models you need to know to succeed in sales, including:

  • Mindset changes for first-time sales professionals
  • Product marketing and sales basics
  • Going from 0 to 30 customers
  • Understanding and finding customers
  • Pitching, negotiation, and closing deals
  • Customer success
  • Sales management
  • Scaling
  • Hiring
  • Onboarding and training

The book has been included in business school curriculum at Wharton, purchased by venture funds to share with their portfolio companies, and read by hundreds of devoted fans. Join the Founding Sales community today and get started on your journey to sales success.

Courtney NashEditor
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.

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)

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?

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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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