Notes from Emerson’s presentation:

  • Advice for startup founders around sales:
    • Get to $500k - $1M ARR before adding sales reps.
    • For the first 5-10 customers, the founders should drive the full sales process: sourcing leads, signing a contract, onboarding, continuing to use the product, and renewal.
    • The founder should set up their sales structure before passing it off to sales reps.
    • Your first hires should help you build the sales motion.
    • Consider what the ramp up time, training time, and script reading time is for every sales rep that’s added. Sometimes sales reps take 2-3 months to train and ramp up.
    • Start with two sales reps so they can compete.
    • Early reps churn often. Manage them tightly, give them guidance and clear expectations on the ambitious metrics you need.
    • Average commission for software sales reps starts around 10% for early reps. Later reps can go as high as 20%.
    • Early on, founders should fill the top of the sales funnel with a high number of leads for their reps.


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