Goin' Fishin' ⇒

It took me a while1 to find the perfect job, but I did it.

My challenge was finding a (reasonable) local company that sold something complicated that I could get interested in. I found many companies selling cool things and many non-local selling complicated things. As an additional challenge was that I would prefer a company were I could work from home several days of the week.

Finding a company like this was much harder than I thought. And finding this company is a neat little story on its own.

When I left InTouch I contemplated starting up my own sales consulting firm for startups. I quickly figured out that while startups do need help selling, there isn't really a market for consulting there2. Instead, I began the Vancouver Sales Meetup, a monthly meeting where folks could come and discuss their sales challenges and get help from their peers.

The fine folks at Brewhouse, especially Kalv, offered to host. After I had run a few of these, I got an email from Kalv introducing me to Peter. Peter wanted to connect with great sales people in Vancouver and Kalv very kindly thought of me. Turns out that Peter and I are very similar and hit it off right away. When I mentioned that I was looking for a new challenge, he mentioned that he was trying to work with this Victoria-based company and to keep in touch.

All of that leads me to...

I am extremely excited to begin helping Sockeye own the Work Order Scheduling space. We provide amazing benefits to any company struggling with ERP/Work Order scheduling3.

What I love about Sockeye:

  • an executive team that has been-there-done-that. Several other startups and exits.
  • a nascent market - lots of upside
  • they've solved a pain point that many large companies have
  • grand plans

This company is going places and I can't wait to see where we end up!

  1. Nearly a year! ↩︎

  2. Startups typically don't spend money on sales ↩︎

  3. My pitch will get better ↩︎

Come join the conversation!

When Life Gives You Lemons ⇒

This Friday will be my last day at LemonStand. We all agree that a dedicated, senior sales person is not what is needed at this stage in LemonStand's growth1. They are a great group of folks who will make a difference in the eCommerce space.

I am looking for a company (local or allows remote) whose products/services require technical sales. The more complicated & expensive the better.

Here's what I bring to my next job so if you hear of something cool, let me know.

  1. Though we did implement many great changes that will have a positive effect long term. ↩︎

Come join the conversation!

Squeezing Lemons ⇒

My task at LemonStand is to increase sales so I thought I'd share what we've done that's worked and not worked.

Our challenges are fairly standard:

  • no contracts
  • max. two week sales cycle (corresponds to 2 week trial)
  • rarely have valid phone number on trial customers
  • lower price point
  • people just exploring options
  • LemonStand can be a little overwhelming if you don't know where to start

What has worked:

  • live chat (we use Olark)
  • better and more frequent email during the trial (via Customer.io)
  • better messaging on our website to attract the ideal customer
  • targeted outreach to previous customers
  • offering Professional Services to help people get started

What hasn't worked:

  • calling people on a trial - most time people don't leave a number or don't answer their phone. They certainly never return a message.

We've also raised our prices to better match the value we bring and that increase has not decreased the number of new customers. We are also going to increase our outbound sales efforts on highly targeted customers.

Our next challenge is to increase our trial to customer conversions, and we do have some ideas on how to accomplish that.

Come join the conversation!

A Working Man...finally ⇒

I left InTouch at the end of April after much thought. My plan was give ample notice (2 months), take a few months off in the summer, and start work when the kids went back to school. Life, however, did not work out that way.

Instead, I was asked to leave a few days after I gave notice. The good news was that I could be very active in meeting cool companies. The bad news is that I was expecting a tad more income to tide us over for the summer.

My challenge in finding a job was that I was quite picky:

  • industry I was passionate about (health & wellness/education/energy)
  • small, fun, downtown company with neat tech
  • needs a senior sales person

I spent a great deal of time focussed on finding this unicorn of a company but was eventually told either, "we are not ready for sales" or "we'd rather hire a junior sales person", which was very frustrating.

To keep myself busy, I got two contracts:

  • First contract was helping out my friend Paul improve his amazing site Pain Science:
  • Second contract was helping SocialIQ's with their sales strategy.

I also created one event and worked to bring two others to Vancouver: * Vancouver Sales Meetup - a monthly meeting where we gather and help each other get better at sales. I've done 2 so far, and people have gotten great value both times (they say). * Sales Hacker - this one didn't succeed unfortunately due to lack of cohesive marketing, though I learned a ton about putting on an event that I will use when we try again in the new year. * Sales4Startups - I met Bennett via Twitter and actually drove down to Seattle to meet him in person. We are talking about bringing their first lab to Vancouver in the new year as well...it will be great!

When the teacher's strike happened, it was actually good I wasn't working again and could deal with the children as Christine started her PDP program. However, by now I was really ready to get back to work and started look for "normal" jobs, like at Mobify, Hootsuite, Clio and other great Vancouver companies. None of those turned out; however, I found this position on AngelList and said I was interested. It wasn't in the industries I was looking for, but it fit all the other requirements.

And and I happy to say that I just completed my first week there and I love it! We are going to take over the eCommerce world.

Come join the conversation!