The War Room

Small Company Problems

I can't quite figure out if I'm not suited to small companies or that there is just a higher likelihood that the company is being mismanaged if it's small because there are less resources to depend on.

What small company problems have you encountered as a Sales person? Is there even such a thing as a well managed, resource rich small company?

Would really appreciate hearing a wide variety of perspectives here as this posts hits close to the crossroads I find myself in.

Is there really such a thing as 'small company problems'?
Attached poll
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✌️ Growing Pains
Fire Starter
SaaS Inside Sales
Account Executive
True although I don’t think that’s unique to small companies. I’ve been part of big companies where you see a lot of this too.
Major Accounts Account Executive
Very high turnover within the sales team (both AE and BDRs). I was with a company that had 3 BDRs only make it the first 3 weeks on the job. 

This company had great resources (Salesforce, LI Sales Navigator, etc.) but the leadership team was just atrocious. The CEO did not know what a sales process/building a pipeline looked like so people quit or were fired after a few weeks on the job. 

If I could do it again I would ask average tenure of the reps there, what they deem as success in the first 90 days on the job, how long did it take top reps to get established, etc. I was to focused on asking about the tools they had (which again I was impressed by being they were a small company) but missed the bigger issue the company had. 
Midwest Market Manager
Communication- no structure for how info should flow and it makes small companies who should be easy to work with more difficult at times.
WR Officer
Needer of Life Alert
Communication failures happen at every size company unfortunately. It's frustrating.
Midwest Market Manager
For sure- I’ve just noticed the smaller companies I’ve worked at have the most difficult time with communication. Larger comp yes usually have a strategy in place, smaller companies expect it’s not needed and instead things get all fucked.
Account Executive
Resources are spread too thin. I used to have a manager who managed all SDRs and AEs and it was impossible to have his attention for more than a few minutes. 
Account Executive
I feel that @salesman

The issue I’m dealing with is my CEO doesn’t really understand the value and function of Customer Success and he’s starting to refer to me as an Account Manager as of this week even though my title is AE. Coincidentally, our primary CSM resource is exiting the company at the end of this week.

Since the company scaled down because of Covid-19, I’ve been a sales team of one and some of our accounts have been left in disarray.

My CSM wasn’t very good at teeing me up for expansions but he took on some of the account management as I focused on outbound and bringing in new business. I do my own prospecting as well.

Am I being unreasonable in setting the expectation that ‘account management’ should be somewhat evenly split between Sales and Customer Success in lieu of the limited resources we have and the finite bandwidth that I have?

@salesnerd what is your take?
Fire Starter
Enterprise Account Executive
@CadenceCombat CSM has always been a sore spot at the places I've been. My last company implemented a CSM org as a formality because our VC firm saw success across their portfolio having CS.

It feels like CS crashes and burns if their OKR's aren't aligned with sales.

CSM also means so many different things to different people...are they quota bearing with renewals? do they sit somewhere between AM's and Support? do they even have the proper visibility and/or authority to get resources for the customer?
Show 3 more replies
WR Officer
This is something I'm wondering myself.

No marketing - although now that I'm in a small company that makes all of its sales with the help of marketing, I'm feeling conflicted because a lot of the leads are horrible. So my answer is no/bad marketing.

No customer success - I worked for a startup where I did full cycle sales and I was responsible for making sure that my customers didn't churn, even though I was scheduling and doing 8 demos a day. 

Badly implemented CRM

Feeling like I can't take time off because they're relying on me

Inexperienced management
Account Executive
So, I'm curious, what are you doing to safeguard your bandwidth? Are you just rolling your sleeves up and dealing with it or do you find some things inevitably slip and you have to explain yourself? How are you managing this?
Praised Answer
Chief of Nothing
Product/Market Fit
Poorly defined or wrong personae
No/lacking/wrong sales playbook/motions
No standard way to take an order or get paid
No process
Here's a fun one: Too much/many/complicated process (processes of a big company in a small company)
Insufficient funding

I can go on for _days_ 
Problem with Small Companies is that they can be full of themselves especially if they got a fund from X or Y venture they are very cocky and therefore have very high expectations...I don't have a problem with all that, the problem is that they ask the Salesman to meet very aggressive targets and usually don't have the resources to back them up.
Company Philosophy
Signs a company is failing
Jumping to a current customer company?