The last week of April was an exciting time for Betts Recruiting. With The Founder’s Network, we hosted our Tech Sales Innovation Panel: From Product to Monetization. On the night of the 23rd, over 150 people gathered at Rocketspace. They listened to the top Business Development and Sales leaders in the tech sales industry talk about the transition from a mere product to a top venture-backed, money making technology, that people are interested and vested in.
We were joined by Erik Kostlenik, the VP of Sales and Monetization from Identified.com, Suresh Khanna, the VP of Sales at AdRoll (and Kasa Indian Restaurant owner), Steve Patrizi, the Chief Revenue Officer at Bunchball, Jerry Clarno, VP of Major Accounts at Box, and Kevin Zellner, the VP of Business Development at Hearsay Social. TechCrunch writer Anthony Ha served as moderator.
With so many knowledgeable people on the panel, they had a LOT to talk about!
Here are some tidbits of wisdom….
On having a revenue model…
“The sooner you can show there’s a model the sooner that you can prove you can grow this whether its just an extrapolation of a formula you want to create for yourself that they buy that helps you endlessly because now you don’t have to give up so much early on and you can keep more for BC rounds and to share with employees”
On adding advertising…
“It was giving them some sense that “Hey there’s a box here at some point there will be some advertising in this box”, today were using that box for our own promotional purposes but just so it doesn’t feel like a crazy transition when we finally flip that switch. I think a lot of companies have realized that the more painful way, “Wow we had no advertising and then we slammed it on them.”
On free-mium models…
“We just had to be extremely transparent it was all about what are you, if you were to go back in time and we would have charged you this amount for this set of features knowing that the ship has already sailed, how would it have impacted you? You know having those conversations, boiling them into what’s the market telling us, where is the line drawn, and then having the negotiation the crazy late night over beers, arguments about yeah we really, if you guys want this company to scale we really, really need to draw the line here. Its absolutely gonna be there because that’s what were gonna sell on the floor.”
On hiring tech sales people…
“The one thing that resonates to me is “fire fast and hire slow” so when you know something is not going right, especially in sales, especially when its gonna make or break you from a funding perspective make sure that you fire fast and hire slow.”
“I look at cognitives, I want really smart people particularly early on because you’re going to change strategies you’re gonna change product features so they need to be able to assimilate a lot of information quickly and communicate it back internally. I look at sales instincts because when you’re selling vapor you’re gonna get turned down its just like baseball you’re gonna be in the hall of fame if you have a .300 batting average and no job if you have a .200 batting average, so either way you’re getting hung up on 7 or 8 out of 10 times, if not more. So you need someone with that mentality who also has that thick skin.”
Be sure to see all the highlights from the Tech Sales Innovation Panel on the Betts Recruiting YouTube page!