Founder-Led Sales: A Design Pattern for Startup Go To Market

I’ve been presenting versions of this deck for about six years, so wanted to give it a more formal home on the internet.

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“Founder Led Sales” or “Founder Selling” was a concept I started to formalize for myself after doing it myself at my first software startup, TalentBin from 2011 through acquisition in 2014.

I started calling it “Founder-Led Sales” to distinguish it from a more common historical pattern of founders hiring sales professionals to sort out an initial sales motion, along with the challenges associated with that. This eventually became my book on Founder-Led Sales, “Founding Sales.”

Whether you call it “Founder Sales”, “Founder Led Selling” or whatever, the key is that the founder is charged with figuring out the initial repeatable sales motion, and hiring and managing the first set of professional sellers.

In this regard, it’s a continuation of the concepts explored in Eric Ries’ “The Lean Startup” (2011) - where the project that is being engaged in as a series of experiments and iterations seeking to find a path to the market that’s repeatable - but in this case, it’s the sale motion, versus a product (The Lean Startup).

Some previews:

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