Could we be entering into a new phase where we don’t need sales people? If we look at slack for instance, 500k new customers and no known salespeople.

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JASON LEMKIN

Sigh. No.

Slack has PLENTY of salespeople and is hiring plenty more. GitHub has PLENTY of salespeople. Twilio has PLENTY of salespeople. Intercom has PLENTY of salespeople.

Even companies without traditional salespeople, still have plenty of sales helpers. Atlassian has lots of people helping close deals. And has plenty of quota-carrying salesfolks in its channel partners. These aren’t employees, but they are salespeople that drive a lot of Atlassian’s revenue.

And companies that didn’t start with salespeople, like NewRelic, add them as the deals get bigger and the deals scale.

And companies that never wanted salespeople at all, like DropBox, add them as they go upmarket.

Self-service is great. We love freemium, too. But it’s very, very, very hard to build a $100m+ business on self-service alone. Bigger deals need salespeople, for the most part. Building a $100m business on top of $5/month subscriptions is tough, folks.

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Published on May 14, 2016
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