Does a startup CEO need to have sales skill?

Yes, if you have customers.

Possibly no, if you only have “users” and/or are a freemium + no-touch model. If you build Dropbox or Github, maybe you don’t have to be great at sales. But if you build Box, you have to get good at it. Aaron Levie became very, very good at sales as Box tilted from a freemium product to an enterprise product. Customers love Aaron Levie. Love him.

And … you can learn sales skills as a CEO. It’s OK to be mediocre when you start. What matters is that you get off the computer, and put yourself out there. Customers will be OK if the CEO simply shows up. You don’t have to be a great salesperson to start. But you do need to go there. Like anything, you’ll get better with time.

Prospects always appreciate meeting the CEO. Even if you start off bad at sales, you’ll know the product and the use cases and the solution to customers’ problems better than anyone on the planet.

View original question on quora

Published on June 12, 2018

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