Fear of Sales

This post is by Elad Gil from Elad Blog

"Our direct sales and customer success efforts are focused on larger organizations who have a greater number of users and teams and have the potential to increase spend over time... We had 575 Paid Customers >$100,000 of ARR as of January 31, 2019, which accounted for approximately 40% of our revenue in fiscal year 2019." 
-From the Slack S1

We have a unique model that combines viral enthusiasm for our platform with a multipronged go-to-market strategy for optimal efficiency... Our sales model allows us to efficiently turn a single non-paying user into a full enterprise deployment. For the fiscal year ended January 31, 2019, 55% of our 344 customers that contributed more than $100,000 of revenue started with at least one free host prior to subscribing. These 344 customers contributed 30% of revenue in the fiscal year ended January 31, 2019. 
-From the Zoom S1

Two of the most viral, bottoms-up products in the history of enterprise software benefit immensely from direct sales[0]. For Slack, 40% of their revenue comes from just 575 customers (out of 88,000 paying customers and 500,000 total customers!) while for Zoom 344 customers generate 30% of their revenue (up from 22% and 25% in the prior two years). Big customers are growing faster for Zoom versus customers overall. I know Slack started on enterprise sales late, so it is possible this number could have been even larger today.

Many technical or product-centric founders have an innate (and inappropriate) fear of sales[0]. While it is inevitable (Read more...)