February 5, 2007

Say What?

Seth Levine recently posted on his irritation with people who do not speak in clear, direct terms.
It's a major pet peeve of mine and so prevalent I'm losing my ability to be nice about it. Perhaps it's a result of being a kinder, gentler society or maybe it's just because we've all sat through too many PowerPoint presentations or maybe we're all testing our political-speak skills, but whatever it is the result is the absolutely maddening trend of people not saying directly what they mean and forcing the rest of us to play 20 questions to tease it out of them.
Amen, Seth. Amen.

Focus on Sales

The best thing that happened to us at FundingUniverse was our renewed drive to focus on Sales & Marketing. About 3 months ago, we were facing a very difficult situation where cash was low and we were needing to get our subscription model launched. During the previous 4-6 months, our company was very focused on research & development. We spent quality time planning and developing a compelling membership subscription, but it was time to get the product to market.

At the time (3 months ago), our team came together and made some very difficult decisions and sacrifices with the ultimate decision being that we would work harder, stay up later, and give more. What happened next was clearly remarkable: office doors began to shut (less distractions), the daily ritual of the office basketball break was soon forgotten, and the team got on the phones. It was a spectacular phenomenon: the team was taking home less yet giving more.

The decision: Focus on Sales & Marketing.

It was the best thing that ever happened to our company. Jeff and the team started rocking on the phones. We brought in a Rockstar named Jerry Khemraj. Jerry knows his stuff and helped to get things off the ground.

Results: 1. December was a record month of revenue. 2. January doubled December’s revenue. :)

    The past couple of months have been a fantastic learning experience for my team and me. You always hear that the most successful companies are focused on sales, but it often takes some tough trials to have it really sink in. Most entrepreneurs (including me) often think that they have to have the next best mouse trap. They spend most of their time going in circles trying to make a perfect product. Don’t get me wrong — it’s important to have a solid product/service, but it’s more important to focus on sales.