This week we were thankful to have our good friend Will Freiberg join us on the Bowery Capital Startup Sales Podcast to discuss “Building The Open Source Sales Machine.” Will is currently the Chief Business Officer at Mesosphere and was the first business hire into the company almost 2 years ago. He was highly influential in setting up the the sales, partnerships, and operations infrastructure teams and today heads up all of those efforts for the company. For those that don’t know, Mesosphere is an awesome next generation operating system that is dedicated to helping enterprises unlock the next generation of datacenter scale, efficiency, and automation with Apache Mesos. Mesosphere’s commercial product is the Mesosphere Datacenter Operating System (DCOS), a new kind of operating system that spans the entire datacenter and pools datacenter resources and automates IT operations. We’ve talked a bunch about open source software on the podcast but never around building your initial sales scale within the category. Will came on this week to help the next generation of SaaS winners think about this topic.
We first dug in to the history of Mesosphere and how Will initially came to the company. We then chatted through how any founder should be thinking about building the open source sales machine and what Mesosphere did from the beginning to ensure success. We covered most of the set up areas like the sales process, the community, the pricing and unit structure, the ideal profile of your early customers, and how to think about your existing user base in the context of building the open source sales machine. Will then gives the listeners some insight into the early customer wins at Mesosphere including Twitter, AirBnB, and Verizon. We walked through these three case studies and Will really talked through the tactics and tips of how they were able to win the business and keep it. With such a technical and specific product it is incredible to hear how they succeeded early on and how much the leverage of the existing community mattered. Following the history, the sales foundations, and some of the early customer wins we then covered some of the early sales hires that Will brought on board. As they’ve grown Will has obviously had to grow the team to build out the open source sales machine. Specifically we talked through what to look for and how these hires tend to be a bit different than your average AE in a SaaS company. We closed out the discussion with some general tips and tricks that Will has learned over the years and Will gave listeners some unique insight into some of the failings or missteps along the way. For any entrepreneur that is in the open source world this was another great podcast. We hope you listen and enjoy it.
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