Peter Kazanjy

Co-founder of TalentBin.com (Acquired by Monster.com) - Accidental early stage sales leader with the scars to prove it. Fascinated by revenue acceleration, professional identity, reputation, and recruiting.

Read this first

Early Stage Startup Sales Maturity Health Check Checklist

Cough!
Who’s ready for their health check!?

TL;DR: This is a “Sales Maturity Checklist” I evolved to help me be more efficient and helpful with my interactions with early stage organizations figuring out their go to market. Maybe it can help you with yours!

I end up getting a pretty consistent flow of early stage founders showing up on my doorstep (either themselves, or referred by investors) who want to “pick my brain” on topics of sales, product marketing, go to market, etc.

I’ve found these “brain picking” exercises can often be less than efficient, in that they typically happen synchronously, over coffee or a beer (or maybe a Google Hangout), without a helluva lot of structure, and thus end up ranging all over the map.

Moreover, by waiting until the actual meetings to get the most basic of context, you can end up in a situation where it becomes apparent, mid-meeting, that you actually

Continue reading →


What meetings should my startup be having?

mixed-ethnic-group-business-meeting-21283054.jpg
I tried to find the fugliest stock photo of a meeting. Did I win?

One of the issues I see in early stage startups when they get beyond “two people in a garage” is that they don’t consider how important synchronous information transmission can be for making sure people are on the same page. You’ve got one, two, three folks who largely share a brain, and are constantly sharing information - so why would need to create structure around this sharing, right?

Further, because they’re constantly pushing, and always on, they don’t consider the importance of cadenced checkpoints to measure the progress against their goals, and reevaluate that their previously agreed goals should continue to be their goals. You resist doing this when you have a huge pile of wood to chop, and instead just chop and chop and chop.

Lastly, because “meetings” feel like a big company thing, and man, we ain’t got

Continue reading →


Resources for Founders

Pizzzzza!
Yassss! Thousands of words on arcane enterprise software topics! Just what I wanted!

These are an aggregation of materials produced by, me, Pete Kazanjy (Twitter, Linkedin) to assist early stage founders. So you know I have some standing for this, I founded TalentBin which exited to Monster in 2014, wrote Founding Sales, and founded the Modern Sales Pro community.

These materials are primarily focused on b2b software companies with a direct sales go to market, but also applicable beyond.

Many of the materials are from Founding Sales (Twitter, Website), my book on enterprise sales for founders and other first time sellers, while others are materials made for the companies I advise or have invested in. Many are linked from the invaluable First Round Review, source of other great materials for founders.

Regardless of their source, the aim of publishing them here is to help folks in

Continue reading →


Staffing and scaling a SaaS sales org? I’ve got a model for YOU.

Ferrari or Blue Steel?Did anyone need a model?

About a year ago a founder of one of the companies I invested in and advise was asking me some questions over email about scaling a SaaS sales org.

Specifically she was thinking through the costs, timelines, and outputs of hiring sales staff, whether SDRs or AEs, and how that eventually turned into a growing business. Rather than just email back and forth on the specifics of her organization, I decided it would be best to create an abstracted, basic Google Spreadsheet model that could be used to see the interlocking parts of how that might work for a given organization, based on certain inputs (like their Average Selling Price, win rate, and more.) And that way other organizations might be able to use it.

You can find that model here:
Pete_Kazanjy_-_SaaS_Sales_Staffing_Model_-_Google_Sheets_https___docs_google_com_spreadsheets_d_16NBOjE9Hpm4uexjslpYVDmidp3fIpDwmR3zRKieFgKM_edit_gid_0.png

But then I started tweaking it some. I started out with just one tab, and one AE ramp time (3 months), but then forked the

Continue reading →


Startup Sales Decks for Founders

As you can see, my hair is amazing...And yes, this tie is cornflower blue.
I spent ten minutes looking for the douchiest stock photo of a sales presentation I could find. This was the winner.

So my buddy Rick Nucci asked me to take the Sales Decks chapter from Founding Sales and turn it into…wait for it…a deck to present at the Philly Founder Factory event in December.

It was well received, and has been passed around pretty heavily, so I figured I’d put it up here so folks can refer to it as needed.

The goal of the presentation is to provide a helpful framework and examples of what a beginning sales deck could look like for an early stage B2B offering, along with examples from real life sales decks! OMG.

The observation being that there isn’t a lot of documentation out there to help founders and early sales staff in putting together a killer sales presentation…which often leads to some pretty big opportunity costs and errors.

Of course this information

Continue reading →


Minimum Viable Video Collateral

directing-movie.jpgMy SAAS offering is ready for its closeup, Mr. Eastwood

This is a draft of a section on “minimum viable video collateral” from the “Sales Materials Basics” chapter of Founding Sales (the book I’m writing on sales for founders and other first-time sales staff.)

Like my comments on Demo Scripting, it touches on how best to use video collateral early in your go to market, but without overdoing it.

Enjoy! Hit me with feedback on Twitter at @kazanjy

 Video Overview Collateral

I’m a big fan of video to help accelerate appointment setting in early stage sales.

The accessibility of internet video is a fantastic tool for appointment setting. It provides for a richness of communication that far outstrips email templates or even visual exhibits. And thanks to mobile phones with fast data plans, video collateral can be watched anywhere, at any time at the moment it shows up in the email inbox

Continue reading →


Early Sales Demo Scripting for Founders

6a00e54faaf86b8833017744ad45fd970d.jpg
How’s your dog and pony game?

This is a draft of a section on “demo scripting” from the “Sales Materials Basics” chapter of Founding Sales (the book I’m writing on sales for founders and other first-time sales staff.)

It’s covers a bit on how I like to think about demo scripting, and how they relate to Sales Narratives (as published in First Round Review a while back.)

Enjoy! Hit me with feedback on Twitter at @kazanjy

 Demo Scripts

We’ll talk more about the actual process of giving a combined sales presentation and demo in a later chapter. But before we get into the blocking and tackling of presentation and demo, it’s good to have a concept of the content you want to demonstrate when your prospects agree to a formal sales presentation and demo.

As with the other materials discussed, this should be done with a mind towards your narrative, and, typically because a live demo will

Continue reading →


I’ve Worked with Hundreds of Recruiters - Here’s What I Learned

stack-of-file-folders-300x300.png
“Pllleeeaassseee no moar resumes….”

This post originally ran on First Round Capital’s First Round Review. It was inspired by Nick Soman

Other early stage recruiting posts here

When you run a recruiting software company, you end up fielding a lot of questions from other founders who are just starting to hire. The number one question I get: How can I find a great recruiter?

This is a top priority for good reason. If you’re doing it right, hiring is one of your most time-consuming and energy-depleting tasks. That’s simply how you find the best people at the beginning. But when you hit hyper-growth, or your leadership needs to jam on the product, this isn’t always realistic. It’s easy to fall behind. A well-matched recruiter can not only catch you up, but help propel your startup through massive step changes.

The operative part there is “well-matched.” If you end up working with a

Continue reading →


How to Crush a Raffle Ticket Sale with Pro Sales Techniques

a.jpg
“Wait, are those raffle tickets?”

For the second time in recent memory I was able to help volunteers with no sales experience apply professional sales techniques to transform their raffle ticket sales outcomes. I was fascinated at how easy it was, so wanted to share. Also, the techniques are more broadly applicable than just raffle tickets, but the context is a fun example.

Some background: Last night Tracy took us to SOMArts’ open house down in, you guessed it, SOMA.

I’d walked by there a bunch of times but never really realized what was going on inside, and if you have the chance, you should go by.

The event was a fundraiser, and we had paid for tickets to get us in early, but there were other parts of the fundraising as well, namely, a raffle ticket sale.

As is usually the case, the volunteers were more about arts than sales. This is the common case in pretty much any

Continue reading →


Referral Recruiting Strip Mining: Methodical Network Recruiting for Early Stage Hiring Gold

gold-3-3.png
This ain’t panning in a stream. We’re mechanized here, son.

This post also ran (with less profanity) in First Round Capital’s “First Round Review” [here](firstround.com/article/Mine-Your-Network-for-Early-Stage-Hiring-Gold).

Do you know where your first 10 employees are going to come from?

Your and your staff’s network. You probably already knew that.

But do you know how to go about mining that network in a proactive, intentional, methodical fashion to make the most of it?

Probably not.

 This is how to proactively mine your and your staff’s networks for early stage hiring excellence.

Many, many others have talked about the importance of the first people on your team being high quality because that’s where your next hires will come from. Birds of a feather flock together, etc. etc.

I believe this, and am going to assume for the purpose of this post that you do too.

But those

Continue reading →

ssl yes