It’s Time to Reimagine the Sales Playbook | Tech Salescraft with Michelle Pietsch, Founding Partner of Minot Light Consulting

Michelle Pietsch, Founding Partner of Minot Light Consulting, joined James on a recent episode of Tech Salescraft. Her extensive career to date makes for a highly revealing conversation around the dynamic world of start-ups, the increasingly topical nature of data, and what it takes to identify sales excellence in the hiring process. This episode serves to elevate our potential across a plethora of business functions, enabling us to lay strong foundations that future-proofs operations.

“I made that mistake too many times, thinking that because they came from EMC or Oracle they can fit right into a very quick, fast-paced, no process start-up. That’s just not the case.”

Whilst more established brands carry a trusted reputation, and hiring from them may appear a safe option, it is not always the best route for start-up teams to take. The skillsets demanded by a start-up company are distinctive; they require characteristics that thrive in a dynamic, often volatile environment. And you need to ensure your recruitment process can expose these traits. We often discuss the importance of a sales playbook on Tech Salescraft, but Michelle reinvents our understanding of this, exploring why a playbook may not be a strength in the start-up space. Instead, it is something to develop through experience; and hence when you’re hiring, you need to find the people that will be willing to embrace the unconventional and be instrumental in developing the processes of your firm. Michelle shares her use of role plays, references and presentations in the hiring process, and the success each has brought to the start-ups she has worked across.

“To all Tech Founders out there: do not rely on a salesperson to identify your pain points. As a founder, you should be able to articulate these to your sales team; and ensure this responsibility is clear before you begin to build-out your sales function.”

A great product is a solution to a real-world problem. The pain points it addresses should be clearly articulated and truly reflective of your clients needs. This messaging must come from the Founder, the one most aware of the problem, of the solution, of the technology. It should be a key part of the onboarding process for the sales team; enhancing fluency around the issue the technology aims to solve, and imbuing the confidence it takes to sell. A basic playbook will also begin to develop that will play an instrumental role as the company begins to scale beyond the start-up phase. Tech Founders and their ability to articulate the capacity of the product plays an instrumental role in catalysing the sales process; and as stated by Michelle, should be a key part of the induction phase for each sales person.

Thank you Michelle for joining us on Tech Salescraft! This is a fantastic exploration of the start-up world, with a conversation that is derived from years of truly exceptional experience.