003: Sales Strategy for Tech Startups with Jeremiah Jones
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“I believe that good processes make for scalability. – Jeremiah Jones TWEET THAT
When is the right time to start thinking about sales?… that is the question. Or at least it should be the pivotal question of all tech startups. My guest this week is Jeremiah Jones, a CTO consultant, tech entrepreneur, and founder of Techuity. We discuss the concept of technical debt and the sales challenges facing tech founders.
Technical Debt vs Sales
- Fledgling tech companies often go one of two ways, the path of over-engineering or under-engineering. i.e. Hire a group overseas to “build the world” for $5k, or a guru from Google who promises to be your tech genius for $200k/year. Both will lead to failure, but with greater frequency those failures are due to overspending.
- If you have to go one of two directions, and the search for a “technical co-founder” is stalled, go the route of generating technical debt and building your MVP. Look to validate your product in the marketplace and make up for it later.
- Make all feature requests what the customers want, and not what the engineers want to build.
When to start selling:
- Wherever you’re collecting data in technology is a gold mine.
- When is too early to get out there with my product and start selling? As soon as you can get someone to pay, it’s not too early. Or, even just as soon as you need the feedback (be that at no initial cost), it’s not too early.
A Validated Approach to Selling:
- Go out and establish a wealth of customer development interviews (no less than 30) to hone in on your target audience and possible segments.
- Cast a very wide net in your Customer Development Interviews, identify any and all prospective segments, and you’ll begin to informedly validate THAT your model will have traction, and WHERE.
- Become aware of your model’s weaknesses and learn to fill in the gaps. Generate a process around how they’ve been filled. “Good systems and processes are the birthplace of scalability”
- Immediately get your customers into the value of the product, keep them engaged and hooked with some level of commitment and use, in the steps towards the close.
- Finding great mentors that challenge your assumptions, fill voids you have and see things from an altogether different perspective is crucial to entrepreneurial success.
- Good systems and processes are the birthplace of scalability.
Meet Our Guest
Jeremiah is a software entrepreneur and the founder of Techuity, a seed investment firm. He has been involved in many startups as co-founder, consultant, or advisor. He has two technical degrees and an MBA. A favorite hobby is recording classical piano music where he has had over 36 million downloads of his music.