Before You Hire Another Sales Rep, Understand Your Sales Learning Curve

November 18, 2009

It is that time of the year for expansion stage software company CEOs and Sales Executives… budget time.

How do I grow the company faster than the competition in today’s economic climate without taking on too much risk and burning through the venture capital we have raised to capitalize on our market opportunity?

  • Rule Number 1: Make sure you understand your Sales Learning Curve
  • Rule Number 2: Revisit Rule Number 1

In today’s business climate no one can afford to get in front of their headlights by hiring too aggressively or investing without getting a return you can count on. In order to lower your risk when expanding sales with a predicable return you need to understand your Sales Learning Curve.

Mark Leslie, the founder of Veritas, took a 6mm venture capital investment and grew it into a billion dollar software company that Symantec later acquired. The link below is to Marks presentation on the Sales Learning Curve.

Download “The Sales Learning” Curve by Mark Leslie here.

Mark actually presented this concept to our portfolio companies in one of OpenView’s quarterly forums back in April of 2008.

Every CEO and Sales Executive should understand and leverage the principle behind the Sales Learning Curve when looking to scale a company in a capital efficient manner while leveraging the growth equity they have raised or the sweat equity they have contributed. Remember if you grow your expansion stage software company in a capital efficient manner you may never have to raise another round of growth capital.

All the best!


Venture Partner

<strong>George Roberts</strong> is a Venture Partner at OpenView. He enjoys partnering with companies and helping them achieve their goals through strategy, focus and operational execution. From 1990 to 2003, George spent 13 years at Oracle Corporation, most recently having served as Executive Vice President of North American Sales. While at Oracle, George was responsible for over $1 billion in revenue and more than 2,000 employees, reporting directly to the company’s CEO and Chairman, Larry Ellison.