Dear SaaStr: I’m Pretty Hands Off on the Sales Team.  What Will I Learn Getting More Involved in Sales?

The most important thing that you will learn is how businesses truly scale on the revenue side.

You may think you know this intuitively, but you don’t:

  • You may think sales organizations magically create revenue. They don’t. They maximize revenue opportunities.
  • You may think sales organizations are a cost center, some sort of necessary but second-tier part of a company. That’s true in the case of many mediocre sales teams and in Very Large Companies to some extent. But once you’ve actually worked with a great one, and you’ll see it’s one of the epic value creators in a fast-growing B2B/SaaS company.
  • You may not understand how critical it is to optimize a sales organization. Imagine you are growing 80% YoY organically. What if improvements to the sales org could increase that to 100% YoY? A modest improvement in Year 1. But SaaS compounds. An epic improvement out in Year 3.
  • You may think you don’t need to understand how sales really works at a technical / detailed level as a process and a function — just like you don’t think you really need to understand how to code. Maybe you don’t have to understand this if you are growing like DropBox. But if you have to do it the Box way instead — you better learn.

The bottom line is, if you understand how a B2B sales organization really works, I think you can grow 20-30% faster as you try to scale, and maybe epically faster (3-5x faster) in the first year or two.

And you won’t make terrible hiring mistakes here that can almost sink the company.

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