Getting coaching at the beginning of your business?


I have a software product that is a complex sale. I need someone to help me sell this product or coach me on how to make sure I am aiming at the right target and closing deals. Would you pay a sales coach when you have no revenue to help coach you on making this happen and reaching your goals?

Sales Mentor

asked Apr 23 '10 at 23:14
484 points
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6 Answers


No, don't pay any coach. If you think the product is salable, offer commission to an experienced sales person. However, before you do that, I'd say you need to figure out how to sell this product yourself. Give it a whirl yourself, make mistakes, learn from them. It'll save you a lot of money in a long run.

answered Apr 24 '10 at 00:16
1,698 points
  • I agree to leverage this network for information but I need help with many specific areas like where to start on the cold calling, how to demonstrate incentive plan for partners as my current resellers don't get it so I am doing something wrong here, pricing review needs to be done..etc..strategy etc.. How do you do all this on this network? – Stacey 14 years ago
  • Still, you could probably learn all this from a good sales specialist, while not paying upfront fees. Experienced sales person will help you with most of the aspects that concern you now. Alternatively, see if you can ask the coach to demo you how to close an actual sale. There's a long stretch between knowing and teaching how to do it to actually doing it. – Usabilitest 14 years ago


A sales coach helps your sales technique, but right now the main problem isn't technique, it's that the product is new, there's no data to support it, there's probably lots of issues with implementation (that you won't uncover until a few people are using it), etc..

If you just want to brainstorm about ways to sell, how to sell, etc., you could use a service like Guru Storms.

If you have fairly specific questions, you can continue asking them (be specific! ) on this site for free!

answered Apr 24 '10 at 01:41
16,231 points


No. Don't pay a sales coach. Network. Network. Network. If you network, you will get perspective (ie stuff). Some is useable, some is useless, but the best stuff is the stuff that irritates you...the stuff that stumps you...and the stuff sends you back to rethink the whole thing. In the end you will come to understand how to sell your complex software offers a simple solution, and the words to explain it just as simply.

You can't get this stuff by paying someone. They'd be afraid you would get scared, you would not come for coaching anymore, and they'd no longer get coaching your pay. Face-it, you get this stuff by putting your idealistic self out there along with your complex idea in front of a wide audience who are willing to give you 30 seconds to a whole hour to just listen to you and try to understand you and your great idea. And this my friend is the best dang sales training your gonna get.

Trust me. It happened to me after 14 months of networking.

answered Apr 24 '10 at 10:19
73 points


I think you might be better served getting your coaching here. When you are starting a company, don't pay for anything if you don't have a fixed, guaranteed result of the payment. For example, pay rent because you will have a place to work. Pay internet so you can do research. Buy paper to write on, and so on. These expenses all have a measureable, tangible result that you can examine to determine if the result is worth the expense.

When it comes to nebulous things like "coaching" you can't know the result in advance, so it is more like gambling to use the service. The best coach is experience. If you know someone who has already done what you are trying to do and has been successful, ask them as many questions as you can. That is where this site is so valuable.

But remember that the quality of the advice you get will be related to the quality of the question you ask. The more specific you are, the better advice you will get.

I have recommended it several times already, but read the book "The Art of the Start" by Guy Kawasaki. He was in charge of starting the Mac division at Apple and runs Garage Ventures now. That book is a goldmine of information. I am surprised, honestly, that I haven't seen him on this site yet. It dovetails so well with his message.

Hope this helps.

answered Apr 24 '10 at 02:59
Steve Montgomery
179 points


I have a very negative view of 99% of "coaches". Every schmuck in the world with zero verifiable success record is a darn business, sale, etc. "coach".

You can get a really good value out of finding and building a relationship with a mentor. Besides it not costing you money, you will get much valuable advice and expertise.

I have three great mentors. One of them I met 12 years ago. I owe him a lot of my success. The other two individuals have also saved my bacon more times than I can count.

answered Apr 24 '10 at 06:39
Apollo Sinkevicius
3,323 points


Join 1M/1M network I like it it startups helping startups.

answered Jun 17 '10 at 10:15
Dean Hamton
112 points

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