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Selling at a Startup is probably not for you...

inside sales sales startups Mar 07, 2023

Sales at a startup can seem like an exciting opportunity to build something new and be part of a rocket ship, but it’s not for everyone. Before you jump on board, it’s important to understand what you’re signing up for. While there are certainly benefits to selling at a startup, there are also unique challenges that can make it a difficult job.

Here are five reasons why sales at a tech startup might not be the right fit for you:

  1. Super limited resources At a startup, resources are often scarce. You’ll likely be responsible for writing your own decks, crafting your own email cadences, and doing a lot of work that’s not in your job description. Marketing support may be limited or non-existent. To be successful, you’ll need to be resourceful and comfortable with being self-sufficient.

  2. No defined career path In a startup environment, there’s typically no defined salesperson career path. The company is focused on growing its revenue and doesn’t have the resources to devote to a sales career path. This is a luxury that comes with achieving scale, but it’s not feasible for most startups.

  3. Constant change Building a rocket ship while it’s in flight requires constant pivoting and testing. This means product changes, pitch changes, and even compensation plan changes. If you don’t like change, then startup life may not be for you.

  4. Stuff breaking Startups are all about moving fast and breaking things, and sometimes that means stuff breaks that you need to fix. The person who usually lets you know that something is broken is the customer you just signed, and they’re not happy. If you’re not comfortable with dealing with these kinds of challenges, then startup sales may not be your calling.

  5. Crazy work hours Startups don’t adhere to a 9-to-5 schedule. You’ll likely be working long hours and wearing many hats. You may need to put in extra time and effort to get things done, and there may be little to no work-life balance. If you’re not prepared for this, then startup sales may not be for you.

All that said, if you’re up for the challenge, selling at a startup can be a very rewarding experience. Here are some tips for success:

  1. Be resourceful As mentioned, resources will be limited, so you’ll need to be resourceful and find ways to get things done. This could mean learning new skills or leveraging your network to get the support you need.

  2. Embrace change Change is a constant at a startup. Be flexible and adaptable, and be open to new ideas and ways of doing things. The ability to pivot and adapt quickly is a valuable trait for anyone selling at a startup.

  3. Be customer-focused Customer feedback is essential for startups. You’ll need to be comfortable dealing with unhappy customers and finding ways to address their concerns. By being customer-focused, you can help ensure the success of the startup and your own success as a salesperson.

  4. Take ownership In a startup environment, you can’t rely on others to get things done. You’ll need to take ownership of your role and be accountable for your own success. This means setting ambitious goals, tracking your progress, and continuously improving your skills.

  5. Enjoy the ride Selling at a startup can be a wild ride with lots of ups and downs. Embrace the journey, celebrate your successes, and learn from your failures. By staying positive and keeping a growth mindset, you can thrive in a startup environment.

In conclusion, selling at a tech startup isn’t for everyone. It requires resilience, resourcefulness, and a willingness to embrace change. But if you’re up for the challenge, it can be a very rewarding and exciting career path. Just be prepared...

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