Always something new to learn…..

January 20, 2011

As a new addition to the OpenView Venture Partners team, I think it is safe to say that I came on board at an incredibly opportune time. My first month in the office coincided with our much hyped Sales Execution Workshop, which provided me with some firsthand exposure to the value added services provided by our OpenView Labs team. As an analyst with our firm, I am constantly interacting with various entrepreneurs and CEOs across the software and technology spectrum in an effort to identify our next investment vehicle. During the course of said conversations, there comes a point when one needs to differentiate between OpenView’s approach in the venture capital community and that of its competitors, and I must say, possessing the ability to point directly to our Labs team and their operational support of our portfolio companies makes my work far easier.

This two day Sales Execution Workshop was, in a word, enlightening. I cannot say enough about the event’s guest speaker, Rich Chiarello, nor the takeaway that came as a result of gathering a collection of driven entrepreneurs and sales professionals in the same room with the common goal of improving their core sales processes.

Despite the years of pre-existing experience in the software sales market, the old adage of “teaching an old dog new tricks” never rang more true. During the course of the two day event, I had the luxury of connecting with a number of attendees who were more than pleased with the forum’s content, as it shined a new light on not only their sales methodologies, but also on their organization’s recruiting efforts. Bringing on new talent is an incredibly important cog when it comes to building out businesses of any size. One cannot simply rely on an impending hire’s past performance and achievement as an indicator of future success, although I do admit these are important pieces of the pie. However, if the hiring process was that simple the issue of the “cost of a bad hire” would not be such a prevalent topic in the venture community.

While relatable experience provides a potential hire with the right tool kit, one cannot overlook the need to find a salesperson who meshes with an organization’s existing sales model and culture. Easier said than done, a proper vetting and interview framework stands to save a growing, expansion stage company’s valuable capital in the long run……and with an in house recruiting team ready to help service our portfolio companies’ hiring needs, OpenView has proven time and again that they bring far more to the table than a simple infusion of capital to a growing company and its management team…..


Brian is a Partner at OpenView where he is responsible for identifying and evaluating investment opportunities for the firm. He particularly enjoys assessing new markets/technologies and connecting with passionate founders.