First Few Customers

About

A knowledge platform to demystify the startup selling process by capturing live experiences from founders/experts of multiple industries who have sold and have built organizations.

Many early stage entrepreneurs have great ideas & products but have long sales cycles because they do not come from a formal sales background. They are also faced with multiple limitations such as lack of a product/ capacity, lack of funds, lack of referencable customers, not able to hire sales people to name a few. It is also known that the best sales person in the company at this stage is the Founder. Sadddled with multiple tasks of running a company, building a product/capacity, raising funds, there is not much of a time that a Founder gets to sell.

FirstFewCustomers.com is a knowledge platform that attempts to demystify the startup selling process. The platform has more than 150 interviews of successful founders who share the sales secrets that worked for them in their early days in acquiring their first few customers in-spite of the odds they had.

The interviewed founders mix ranges from CxO’s of very large companies leaving their cushy jobs and starting their own to Founders staring right out of colleges. These founders talk about specific initiatives both in sales and in marketing that worked for them and the ones that did not work for them. They also talk about how they competed against existing vendors and large vendors within their prospect organizations and got the go ahead. At the end of the interviews, the founders also provide their advice/suggestions to the early stage entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Founders who are selling & Sales Professionals can refer to these interviews constantly and can use them in their day to day sales situations to shorten the sales cycle. This is also applicable for companies that are launching new products or services. The interviews drives home the points that one does need to have a formal Sales background to Sell.

A special thanks to the founders and the other contributors who have volunteered and have spent time in sharing their knowledge in the form of articles to the early stage and aspiring founders.

About Balaji Chakravarthi

I Consult, Train & Teach “B2B Sales & Digital Marketing”

My Employment Summary 

❖ 20 years in B2B IT Sales (12 yrs as VP-Sales & 2 years of selling in the US & UAE)
❖ 1st Sales Employee – 3 times & 1st Customer acquisition 8 times.
❖ Have built and have run large Inside Sales teams from scratch for over a decade and have sold software services & products over the phone to the US market without meeting buyers face to face.

Entrepreneurial Journey

To enable sales teams in the IT Industry get more results out of the same efforts they put in, I work with

❖ Founders, CEO’s & Heads of Sales with Sales teams to Infuse science in the existing sales process and incrementally make changes to establish a Consistent Sales Engine.
❖ CEO’s, Heads of Sales with established sales process to up-skill the sales teams with custom training on Social Selling – Account Management – Inside Sales to make the Sales team hands-on with the selling skills needed in this digital era.
❖ Digital Marketing Consulting – Performing an audit of the existing process and establishing best practices.

Workshops

I have done more than 90 workshops on B2B Sales & Digital Marketing across the country at entrepreneur forums like Nasscom, TiE, CIIE, NEN , e-cells/ e-summits of IIM(A,B,C,I) & IIT (M, G, K, I), FI, TLabs, VilCap, Forge, CIBA etc.

Startup Selling Demystification

To shorten the sales cycle in startups, I interview successful founders(160+) & publish the sales secrets of their early days in my blog www.FirstFewCustomers.com.

Academics(Visiting Faculty)
❖ TAPMI – Digital Marketing (2015 , 2016 & 2017), Retailing (2017)
❖ NIT-Calicut SOM – B2B Sales & Digital Marketing and Services Marketing((2013 to 2018), Consumer Behaviour (2014,2017)
❖ LIBA – Digital Marketing(2018), Retailing(2017, 2018). Int Mktg & MoFS (2017) ,
❖ Great Lakes – Digital Marketing (2017)
❖ Guest Lectures at IIMA, IIMC, IISc , SIMS, BIM