This week marks 90 days at The Hustle. In my first two weeks I was tasked with setting up our sales structure. This required everything. From setting up Salesforce to revenue modeling to media decks to establishing post-sales process. Everything. All this had to be executed with a budget of $300/month and a 150% month-over-month revenue growth goal.
I wasn’t fully prepared for this challenge.
My first job was as a 9th grade American Government teacher and then at a nonprofit. Only after that did I get my first experience in digital media. I was never a Salesforce admin or product manager, but I asked questions and listened to those above me on the food chain. Their notes, tips, and my constant eavesdropping gave me the confidence to take on this awesome challenge. With those experiences (combined with a supportive team, hard work, many YouTube videos, and the advice of close friends) I not only enabled The Hustle to achieve all the lofty goals we set these first 90 days, but also set us up for a successful 2017.
For you entrepreneurs looking to get your sales team off the ground, here’s how we did it:
My mindset was the most important tool for the first 90 days. You can have a great team, the best tools, and an amazing product, but the wrong mindset will set your sales team up for failure. Here are 3 mindsets that are crucial to your success.
This is your job. You are leading this team to the promised land. As important as users and a great product are, your company won’t succeed without revenue. So here is what you need to start that process:
These tools will save you time and money, two things you should carefully measure. I also believe in creating processes that sustain. It’s a waste of time to build something that won’t be good when you’re 4X the size in 12 months. Don’t think you’ll be around in 12 months and don’t want to take out 12 month contracts? Then go re-read the fearlessness section above.
As a team, we use Google Apps. It’s the easiest and one of the least costly ways to have email, docs, slides, and storage. In the past I was an Office 365 user and still have it on my Mac to use PowerPoint and Excel.
I love Slack. There are so many integrations that can make it a blast for your team (Who doesn’t love a good gif?). But more than anything, I believe in transparency. Slack enables transparent communication for your team with ease. Also, you can use the free version until you hire some IT guy who tells you you’re about to get hacked and need to upgrade.
Zapier is a life-saver in a lot of ways. I use it for integrations with Salesforce, Asana, and Slack. Zapier is the application that lets different tools talk to each other. This automation saves a ton of time. My favorite Zap brags to the team on my behalf, as “The Money Man” shows up to alert everyone when we win a deal (trigger is “closed win” in Salesforce) and then the information from Salesforce is sent to everyone in our Team Slack channel. Another useful one: When a deal is closed in Salesforce, Zapier will have post-sales tasks set up automatically in Asana. Who doesn’t enjoy a tool that can brag for you and assign tasks automatically?
Example of Zapier integration using information from Salesforce and pushing it to Slack
I know I may get some push back on this, but I love LI Sales Navigator. I use it constantly. Its role in the sales org is to drive top of funnel sales leads and to add worthy contacts. There is also a handy Chrome extension that works well with Gmail.
I’m a Salesforce fanboy. The data, the integrations, and the ease of reporting are all the reasons. I track my quotas, forecasting, and billing information in Salesforce. My suggestion is to to get the Professional edition and then Salesforce IQ (awesome Gmail integration to add contacts). We later upgraded to the Professional version + API for $125/month for some other needs with Bill.com. I watched a ton of YouTube videos on how to learn this, but have some good tips to get you going. I’m happy to do a write up on how to set up Salesforce, comment below if you’re interested to learn more.
There are lots of options to use instead of Docusign, like Echosign. Personally, I love the Salesforce integration and the ease of Docusign. It saves so much time for a sales team to automate this process. My tip is to pay by user at first, but once you cross 2-3 sales people upgrade to the 500 envelopes and negotiate. You can save some major cash by negotiating with their sales team.
The Hustle’s account manager is also wearing the hat of account receivables (thank you Kera). BillCom helps us send/collect invoices with ease. We later added an integration into Salesforce which automated the entire process. This integration saved a ton of time for an additional $50/month.
All teams need a public project management tool. Asana is free (can be upgraded) tool that allows you to assign tasks, projects, subtasks, and create teams. It is awesome and has allowed our team to have complete transparency on what each team is working on.
This was originally posted on The Hustle on February 10, 2017