Your startup as a formula

Sales cycle duration

One way to accelerate revenue is to improve throughput. Don’t overlook the duration of sales cycles because lingering pipeline drains your sales reps’ attention faster than water in a net.

  1. Sales qualified lead
  2. Discovery
  3. Solution validation
  4. Proposal & negotiation
  5. Finalizing & close
  • Time-saved: How many people do this task today, what are their wages, and by what percentage can you reduce the time spent on an activity?
  • Build vs. buy: What would it take to build this product from scratch considering the wages of those involved, the costs to maintain an internally built solution, and the infrastructure needed to produce a home-grown solution?
  • Process automation: What inputs to this process might be eliminated and what are the costs of those inputs in the current process?
  • Risk avoidance: What is the financial impact to the organization if the risk becomes realized?

Ramp faster

Don’t overlook sales enablement as a revenue lever. Salespeople must undergo training before they can successfully sell your product. This training includes deeply understanding the product and positioning, learning about your ecosystem and buyer persona, assimilating the sales methodology and process, familiarizing themselves with your available tools and software, discovering their sales territories, studying the inherited pipeline, and more.

Increase your average contract value (ACV)

Price as a way to increase revenue seems obvious since the price is typically a focal point in every sales negotiation, but I seldom see founders look for opportunities to increase the prices of their products. Peter Reinhardt, co-founder and CEO of Segment, tells a story about how their first sales advisor indicated he’d quit if Peter didn’t increase the price of Segment by 1,000x — instead of $120/yr, the advisor suggested charging $120,000/yr. The deal that prompted the discussion settled at $18,000/yr, an 85% “discount” to the list price and a 150x increase over the previous price point.

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