Lenny's Newsletter
Lenny's Podcast: Product | Growth | Career
Founder-led sales | Pete Kazanjy (Founding Sales, Atrium)

Founder-led sales | Pete Kazanjy (Founding Sales, Atrium)


Pete Kazanjy is the author of Founding Sales: The Early Stage Go-to-Market Handbook and the founder of Modern Sales Pros, an invite-only peer learning community focused on sales operations and sales leadership. He’s also the co-founder of Atrium, a B2B SaaS company that provides data-driven sales solutions. Pete got his start in product at VMware and then dove deep into the art and science of sales. In today’s episode, we talk about the importance of founder-led sales and how to methodically scale a sales department. He explains the difference between old-school sales and modern sales, which focuses on human connection and solving problems for customers. He also shares actionable tips to improve your sales technique and explains how to use data to monitor your success at different milestones in the sales process.

Listen now on Apple, Spotify, Google, Overcast, and YouTube.

Thank you to our wonderful sponsors for supporting this podcast:

• VantaAutomate compliance. Simplify security: https://vanta.com/lenny

• FlatfileA CSV importer that says yes instead of error: mismatch: https://www.flatfile.com/lenny

• Merge—A single API to add hundreds of integrations into your app: http://merge.dev/lenny

Where to find Pete:

• Twitter: https://twitter.com/Kazanjy

• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kazanjy/

• Website: https://kazanjy.svbtle.com/

Where to find Lenny:

• Newsletter: https://www.lennysnewsletter.com

• Twitter: https://twitter.com/lennysan

• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lennyrachitsky/


• Founding Sales: The Early Stage Go-to-Market Handbook: https://www.amazon.com/Founding-Sales-Go-Market-Handbook-ebook/dp/B08PMK17Z1

Brianne Kimmel’s SaaS school: http://briannekimmel.com/saas-school/

Modern Sales Pros: https://modernsaleshq.com/

The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses: https://www.amazon.com/Lean-Startup-Entrepreneurs-Continuous-Innovation/dp/0307887898

The Four Steps to the Epiphany: Successful Strategies for Products That Win: https://www.amazon.com/Four-Steps-Epiphany-Successful-Strategies/dp/1119690358/

Pete’s presentation on founder-led sales: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WAXIVAZJyPA

Pete’s guest post on Lenny’s newsletter: https://www.lennysnewsletter.com/p/sales-bottom-up

The Cadence: How to Operate a SaaS Startup: https://medium.com/craft-ventures/the-cadence-how-to-operate-a-saas-startup-436aa8099e8

Maker vs. Manager Schedule: http://www.paulgraham.com/makersschedule.html

Amplitude: https://amplitude.com/

Atrium: https://www.atriumhq.com/

Greenhouse: https://www.greenhouse.io/

• Pete’s ICP Template: https://www.foundingsales.com/2-product-marketing#building-narrative

Marissa Fuhrer Bell on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/marissafuhrer/

Data-driven sales master class: https://salesnerds.atriumhq.com/msp-nailing-science-of-sales-figma-webinar-video

The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement: https://www.amazon.com/Goal-Process-Ongoing-Improvement/dp/0884271951

The Score Takes Care of Itself: My Philosophy of Leadership: https://www.amazon.com/Score-Takes-Care-Itself-Philosophy/dp/1591843472

All-In podcast: https://www.allinpodcast.co/

Encanto on Disney+: https://www.disneyplus.com/movies/encanto/33q7DY1rtHQH

In this episode, we cover:

(00:00) How Pete met Lenny 

(05:05) Pete’s background

(07:20) Modern sales vs. old-school sales

(09:17) What is founder-led sales, and why is it so important?

(14:58) When to hire your first salesperson 

(18:20) Why you should keep your in-person events to around 10 people

(19:34) What a sales motion is and why it needs to be updated regularly 

(20:55) What are the leading indicators of success?

(23:54) Why founders don’t need to be rock stars at sales

(28:28) Sales mindset changes—the number-one tip to improve your sales

(33:30) How modern sales should focus on helping customers solve problems

(36:00) A few tips to help you get better at sales

(36:40) ICP and personas

(39:14) Why you should hire junior sales staff in the early stages

(45:40) Signs your new hires aren’t a good fit

(47:38) The importance of using metrics for success

(49:33) Month-by-month expectations for sales hires

(51:19) Why work from home is bad for junior salespeople

(54:19) Why you shouldn’t be afraid of sales

(55:19) Lightning round

Production and marketing by https://penname.co/. For inquiries about sponsoring the podcast, email podcast@lennyrachitsky.com.

Lenny's Newsletter
Lenny's Podcast: Product | Growth | Career
Interviews with world-class product leaders and growth experts to uncover concrete, actionable, and tactical advice to help you build, launch, and grow your own product.