Why a startup founder’s main job is VP of Sales

For startup founders who have just finished building their first “sellable” product,

I am often the first to tell them what their real title is. For their primary job.

It’s VP of Sales.

Yes, it’s hard to create software and create new products. That can take all of your time when you are doing it.

But a startup with a product but no customers is not a business. A business has customers who pay you.

A growing business has happy customers who want to keep paying you.

It’s never too early for entrepreneurs, especially tech founders, to embrace their messy and rewarding main job–selling and growing revenue.

  • Who are you actually selling to?
  • Who are you not selling to?
  • What do they really want?
  • Will they actually pay you for your solution?
  • If so, what will they pay?
  • Why would they choose your solution over alternatives?
  • How do you find more who might pay you?
  • How will your customer and revenue acquisition become repeatable?

Building a software product is hard, but it is figureoutable. If you have enough people working on it, you can build a product.

But getting customers, revenue, and growth is not such a straight line.

90% of software companies have “enough” product to sell, but not enough customers, revenue, and growth.

Every software company would grow big if revenue growth were as figuroutable as making software is.

But they don’t. ‘Cause it ain’t.

Selling your first customers and creating consistent growth are the harder challenges for startups after you build a solution you can sell.

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