Launching the East Coast Outpost: How Valley Startup GoodData Built its NY Sales Ops

Launching the East Coast Outpost: How Valley Startup GoodData Built its NY Sales Ops

April 13, 2015
Michael Brown Headshot
Michael Brown Managing Partner

Once a month at the Bowery office we host what is called a Spark Session, these sessions allow entrepreneurs and fellow VCs to hear from distinguished leaders focused on the enterprise software world. The discussions are meant to be educational, yet informal and generally focus around revenue initiatives such as sales, business development, and customer growth. This Wednesday, we had Brian Reynolds, Regional Sales Director of GoodData, join us for our monthly Bowery Spark Session. Brian recently launched GoodData’s Sales team here in NYC and offered a few pointers on how to start, build and manage great sales teams here in the Big Apple. Below are a few key points of Brian’s wisdom for those unable to join.

GoodData_2Know Your Market
Transplanting sales teams from Boston or San Francisco into New York isn’t easy. The people, culture and client base are inexplicably different and sales team need to adapt and evolve to find their product-market fit for the client. Sometimes, this means finding new customer bases. If you’re selling a cloud-based service here in New York, chances are the financial community is going to be a tough sell given the security concerns. Instead of focusing there, focus on where the local value proposition is strongest and use that as the base for your sales organization.

Location, Location, Location
It’s great to have a core team in key geographies like NYC and Silicon Valley, but sales leaders shouldn’t shy away from having teams in less traditional sales outposts either. Being in non-core geographies can give an edge on cost, but also longevity, as sales reps are less likely to use your company as a resume builder before jumping to another “hot” company six months later. Ultimately, this can enable better and more cost-effective results.

Spray-and-Pray to Lay a Foundation
At some point, your startup needs to extend beyond solely prospecting and nascent sales teams shouldn’t be afraid of using mass email and/or Salesforce to generate leads. Conversion may be low, but these methods can help create brand cognizance that will lead to sales further down the line. These tactics should be supplemented with industry events and outbound marketing, to help get your name out into the market and better enable your sales outpost to scale within the geography.

The Da Vinci Code
Sometimes the best sales reps are those that don’t have any prior sales experience, but rather are hardworking, entrepreneurial minded folks who have great instinct – otherwise known as ‘Renaissance Reps’. These individuals generally aren’t afraid to shake it up a bit and are comfortable with the ambiguity of being part of a new sales function in an early-stage company. Look for the folks who can walk away from deals that they know won’t close and prefer the company’s success (i.e. equity) overcompensation to find those that will be most successful.

Related Blogs

Navigating the C-Suite

I was fortunate to be joined on this week’s Bowery Capital Startup Sales Podcast by Jake Dunlap from Skaled who came in to discuss the challenges that arise when you are trying to get ahold of a C-Suite decision maker. Prior to Skaled, Jake helped…

April 12, 2015 Read More

Excelling at High Velocity Sales

I got to take over the studio this past week with Adam Liebman from SinglePlatform who came in to discuss smb sales in a podcast we entitled “Excelling at High Velocity Sales.” Adam was the first sales hire at SinglePlatform and was tasked with figuring…

April 12, 2015 Read More

Sales Hiring Formulas In SaaS Businesses

We had a very special podcast this past week on sales hiring with my good friend Mark Roberge joining us to promote the launch of his new book. Mark was the first sales hire at Hubspot in 2007 and is one of the only folks…

April 12, 2015 Read More