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Startup entrepreneurs are often visionaries and dreamers. Champions of their own creations. Deeply in love with their offering. And blind to simple questions such as ‘who and how’ to sell their offering. Having been part of a startup in a pioneering space, there have been many eye- and mind-openers on what we could have done better and what we should not have done the way it was done. Solutions come in hindsight.
The Startup’s Guide to Sales explains lucidly the various aspects that a startup entrepreneur needs to consider for selling their product/ service to the target groups. The book doesn’t use ‘jargons’ which makes it easy for the uninitiated to grasp the idea presented. The choice of channels, the importance of training in sales, the need for reports and their review and lastly but not least, the critical role that the entrepreneur must play as a leader of the sales team. The attention drawn towards the pitfalls is also very useful.
When we started, we were quite confident of one function, as cofounders all of us had started our careers in sales. But, In Paper Boat journey, we have made the maximum mistakes in sales, so I think the subject is relevant.
Ram was heading sales, when I joined Eveready as a noob in 1998. I was reminded of his teachings after reading this book. It was simply explained then with anecdotes and stories, and it is the same in this book. It was invaluable at that stage of my journey, and it remains invaluable.
Once in a while, something comes to us that makes us want to sit up and take notice. Notice the fact that what one is holding in his/ her hands is not ordinary. This is exactly the feeling I had when I went through this amazing experience of reading Roshan and Ram’s book.
In this book, strategy has been blended with simple tools in a userfriendly way that helps reduce complexity. Simplicity is at the core of this book.
The mental make-up needed for a startup is quite different from what is required in more mature organizations. Your competitors always seem to be chasing the same opportunities you chase.
Ram Menon, my sales guru, and Roshan Joseph, my mentor in marketing and team building, have come together to simplify the complex world of sales. I will always remember these words from them: ‘Focus consumer! Always!! Either convince me, or get convinced! Trust people, everyone is out to do their best! Achieve business goals profitably, always work in a process-oriented manner. It is important to tell people BOTH … what should be done to what should not be done! Do the RIGHT things…, do things RIGHT. A treat for both startups and for those who have started and who are padding up to RUN.
This book is a boon for all who are thinking of a startup. Roshan Joseph has been a part of setting a sales team for our Saviesa, a startup in Home Improvement. We started less than two years ago and are happy to see the milestones reached. The book is written in language that is easy to understand and invaluable for the student of sales.
The challenges of selling a new product are enormous. This book provides the reader with a practical step-by-step understanding of how to go about it. Extremely useful for the techpreneur and a great refresher for the experienced.
Roshan’s second book is a bible for startups, especially if you are a technocrat founder who is now suddenly thrust into managing a team and extracting performance. Don’t just read it as a guide to hiring/ planning/building/training a sales team. Any founder/promoter would relate to most of the knowledge. The cross-functional applicability of these learnings is enormous.