Kevin RamaniSales Leader, Entrepreneur, Growth Master
Bio

Sales leader and Silicon Valley veteran. Founding team at Close.io, ElasticSales Built multiple profitable 7-Figure Saas businesses. I have made over 20,000+ cold calls, sent countless emails, and closed millions of dollars in deals in my sales career. I've sold to VPs and C-Level executives in Fortune 500 companies as well as doctors, lawyers, and even restaurant owners. Thanks to thousands of sales conversations in dozens of industries, I’ve learned that Sales is fundamentally very simple - It is result-driven communication The best salespeople are the best communicators, who know how to listen, understand a prospect's needs, build trust, and help them make mutually beneficial decisions. I've also learned that there is no magic bullet to building a successful playbook. The best sales leaders take a data-driven iterative approach, testing a multitude of sales strategies to find a unique combination with the highest ROI for a given business. I help founders and sales leaders become great at Sales and build a successful go-to-market strategy maximized for their unique business.



Recent Answers


I'll cut right to the chase. You need to pay to get a good person.

You are not selling a product with recurring revenues or a widget that a lot of people need. You do one-off projects for very custom business needs. These needs are random, and there is a LOT of competition.

The person you want to hire is someone who needs to have a great rolodex of contacts. He/She needs to be a good at networking, attending events, making connections, getting referrals, contacting people on linkedin groups etc.

This is very hard work, and is not always rewarding (expecially in the begenning). It takes time to build the network that is large enough to be fruitful. You should not expect a high quality person to do this on commission only. You need to invest in helping them build the contacts. Because there are so many low quality businesses doing this, your US rep needs to stand out. He/she needs to be skilled in sales and business development. No one who is highly skilled will work for commission only.

Happy to hop on a call to share ways in which you can identify great business development reps and how much to pay them.


I like the idea, but before you even tackle the challenge of educating people about this resource (which is huge), you have to ask a bigger question: How large do you think the market is for this type of exchange? How many entrepreneurs are asking these types of question and need help that only PHDs can provide? What are alternatives for these entrepreneurs to get this information today? How hard is it for them to do that today?

Seems like the use case is very narrow. Can you think of another use case that is a bit more broad but not as generic as Quora and Clarity?


It would help to know a little bit more about your business. What are you selling? Who are your ideal customers?
Who are incumbents in the market today? Market leader?
How much do you charge? What is your sales cycle? Process? How established are you in your current market? What is your team makeup? Sales people? Marketers? Content writers?

Based on a more clear picture I'd be happy to offer some tips.


I would suggest Lendingclub.com. This is more crowd funded loan rather than an investment. If you can quickly generate cashflow you should be able to payback the loan at a low interest rate.

The advantages here are:

- You can get the loan within 1 week
- You don't have to give up any equity in your business
- Super low interest rates and easy payments.


We deal with this from time to time at Close.io.

Typically the decision maker is one of the users in Close.io so will be the person that enters in a Credit card. In fact, we allow anyone who is an admin to be able to enter a CC number into the app and update the billing settings for the whole group.

That being said, sometimes the decision maker does not need to use the system herself.

In such cases, we get the cc number over the phone, log in on her behalf (or as one of the other users) and enter the credit number in the account.

Once entered, the CC number is encrypted and hidden so no admin can actually steal the card number

This process works pretty well for us.


Hi there. The answer is very simple. You can just ask them if they cover travel costs. Really this is not something you should be afraid of.

Usually people are afraid to ask employers/potential employers questions like these due to fear of seeming greedy. A question like this will not put your job offer at risk.

Like with all things, the manner in which you ask will make all the difference.

Try being honest, and explain that you traveling to Washington will be a major financial burden and ask if they would be willing to cover the full or portion of the cost.


For mainly mobile based, take a look at Base CRM (getbase.com) and RelateIQ (relateiq.com). They both do a good job in helping you managing your contacts, leads, investors etc. while also automatically synchronizing all your email communications right into the CRM.

For non-mobile, check out close.io, which is the best inside sales tool on the market today (Primarily for sales teams selling over phone and email) and logs calls and emails automatically and cuts out data entry.


We do inbound content marketing for Close.io and have grown our bootstrapped and profitable business using inbound leads only. We're targeting SMBs and tech startups on the web using our blog.

We produce 2-3 blog posts a week, 2-3 videos a week, 1 interview/podcast a month with a high profile individual. We promote our content on Hacker News, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Recently we launched a book as well which we are promoting on all of the above avenues as well as on Amazon.

Here are the metrics we track:

1) Unique visits to close.io as a whole and on a per blog basis
2) Trial Signups
3) The conversion between 1 and 2
4) Comments/responses to blog post content
5) Shares on twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn
6) Up-votes and comments on HackerNews
7) Shares / Views on youtube.

Using the above we can usually pinpoint which pieces of content are most effective in bringing in the most trial signups. We can then fine tune our content to increate signups and eventually conversion to customers.

Let me know if you want to learn more about our inbound flow.


I hope you have not yet made your decision yet, however, I believe partnering up with this individual in 60/40 split will be a mistake. Here are my reason why:

1) This business is yours. You started it and you have grown it to what it is. He is an outside investor, who, not only wants to change the vision of the company, but he also wants controlling interest. The likely outcome is that you two will butt heads on decisions and directions of the company, but you will be powerless because he owns the majority share. He can also have you removed.

2) Being a first time entrepreneur can be tough. Ofter you're doing things you have no idea will work, and its easy to feel like you could be making the next huge mistake that will destroy your business. My guess is that you feel this person can help remove that uncertainty because he is experienced and has connections. However, the odds are that he also does not know what he is doing when it comes to the specifics of your business. He is just going to come in with preconceived notions based on his past experiences and successes. Odds are he can be just as wrong as you can be. You have to trust your gut. Only you know what is best for your business.

3) If you give up the majority of your company in the very first funding round you put yourself at risk of not being able to raise additional capital in the future. If you do raise capital later, you will have to give up even more of your minority share. Venture Deals by Brad Feld and Jason Mendelson is a great book to learn about raising any kind of venture capital and the typical pitfalls.

I can list a few other reasons why this is a bad idea, and I'm happy to jump on a call with you ,should you want to discuss this further.

My advice is you should continue to build your business (slow and steady) until you are in a much better position to raise capital on your own terms and giving up only minority share in the company. One way to start this process is to start charging more money to your clients. I've tried this many times, and it can be made to work. Let profits drive your growth. Raise money when you least need it.

If you must partner with this individual, then I would say a 70 / 30 split in your favor or better. Or an even smaller share and give him the role of an advisor. Just don't lose majority control. this is your business. He should be working for the business, not YOU working for HIM. If you want to work for someone, then then there are less riskier options than starting your own business.

Hope this helps.


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