Joining me on this episode of Accelerate! is Sean Sheppard! Sean is one of the founding Partners of GrowthX, which provides seed-stage venture capital and market expertise to a select group of start-ups seeking product market fit and productable revenue. Sean is also Lead Instructor of the Sales and Business Development track at GrowthX Academy. Among the many topics Sean and I discuss on this week’s episode are the 4 key milestones start-ups should use to assess their progress, how to acquire the data to develop an effective customer attraction strategy, how to communicate effectively with buyers by building a message hypothesis and objective and why you should hire “Renaissance” sales reps.
[4:15] Sean talks about the business model of GrowthX.
[5:11] What are the four milestones Sean believes are key in evaluating the progress of a start-up?
[7:10] Sean outlines an important data acquisition strategy with the emphasis being on the conversation with the customer through an attraction framework.
[8:12] Sean explains why instrumentation requires having the right sales and marketing automation tools in place, right now.
[9:56] Sean comments that customers must be qualified early, to determine whether the opportunity is worth pursuing with an investment of time, money, and resources.
[10:14] Andy and Sean discuss Renaissance reps versus Coin-operated reps -- terms introduced by Mark Leslie.
[14:00] Sean says the job of the Renaissance rep is to manage conversations in a way that allows everyone to efficiently and effectively get what they want out of the conversation, including whether or not to move forward.
[16:02] Sean suggests early sales conversations focus on messages about: How can I help you make more money, save more money, create a competitive advantage in your market, or manage compliance and risk?
[16:40] Sean describes how to develop a message hypothesis starting with: “If I can help you do one or more of these things, I would love to have a conversation to know if that is, in fact, the case.”
[17:13] Why the last thing you should do is demonstrate your product.
What’s your most powerful sales attribute?
I want to help people.
Who is your sales role model?
What’s one book that every salesperson should read?
Spin Selling, by Neil Rackham.
What music is on your playlist right now?
Audiobooks (articles by Mark Twain), and Metallica.