Top 16 Crimes Founders Are Guilty of When Moving off Founder Led Sales

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wood gavel on a table

Your founder is guilty!

Your founder is guilty!

Your founder is guilty!

All founders are guilty!

16. GUILTY! It will not, not now, and not ever go as fast as you think it should. Your projections are hypotheses at best in early-stage sales.

15. GUILTY! You are not so special that you will prove #16 wrong. Spend that energy elsewhere.

14. GUILTY! Just because you read a sales book over the weekend does not mean you are the expert in sales.

13. GUILTY! Your value prop is wrong because it talks about what you do, not what pains you solve. Speak in use cases and case study stories. Nobody buys words; they buy pictures of pain. Example: When I say “Tylenol”, do you imagine a pill, it’s shape, etc.? Or do you see an image of someone holding their head, and the frontal lobe is red? Did you know that’s the same red as the box and bottle?

12. GUILTY! Your value prop is wrong because it’s what you think it is. How many customers have you asked why they purchased your product or service and then asked them to put that in a value prop?

11. GUILTY! Your value prop is wrong because you are using words like Effective, Efficient, Fast, Easier, Accurate, AI, Analytics, Analyze, World Class, World Leader, ___-first. Remember, your competitors can and probably say the same thing until the prospect asks the “question we pray they won’t ask.”

10. GUILTY! Your value prop is wrong because you don’t follow it up, and this is good because it [insert use case].

9. GUILTY! Building a revenue team is EXPENSIVE, always. (SDR, Sales, Customer Success, Account Management, etc)

8. GUILTY! If you only hire one salesperson at a time, it tells me you’re guilty of most things on this list.

  • It takes the same amount of time and energy to train one person as it does three.
  • When you hire 3, you are not committing to 3 full years of salary. Expect attrition. If they all work out the numbers take care of themselves.

7. GUILTY! You are hiring Ops way too late. Should be first alongside a Head of Sales.

6. GUILTY! If you have more AEs than SDRs, it also tells me you’re guilty of most things on this list.

5. GUILTY! Not allowing new reps to go out and meet with clients to understand the value they bring to the right customer. (Courtesy of my friend John Barrows of JB Sales)

4. GUILTY! If you haven’t documented your stories (not just recorded, but also transcribed on paper), you are probably guilty of most things on this list.

3. GUILTY! You buy into the “we must have someone who’s done it before”. That’s just advice VCs want to give so when it doesn’t work out, they can turn it around on you (more subconscious of them, than conscious). Hire “can do” vs. “has done”. More hustle, more grit, a bigger chip on their shoulder.

2. GUILTY! You think sales reps and sales leaders are expendable commodities. Yet, when product teams miss their release dates, they don’t get fired. When marketing misses lead goals, they don’t get fired.

1. GUILTY! In most cases, your VCs won’t tell you this because they haven’t done it themselves in a long time and don’t know. Not their fault, just the reality.

Agree or disagree, let us know in the comments. If you’re a founder and need training to help you navigate any of these crimes, contact us here.

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