Startups. Are. Hard.
Selling your first deals aren’t too easy either. And being an early member of a team with grand aspirations of building a repeatable GTM motion, products that deliver outsized impact, and 10/10 culture – from scratch? It takes a certain kind of personality to sign up for the challenge, let alone accomplish it all!
As a first-time founder at Accord, and an ex-sales leader at Stripe, I’ve spent a LOT of time soaking up as much knowledge as I can from others who have been there and done that successfully before me. Peers. Resources. Communities. Reading blogs, watching videos… whatever I can to get an edge.
I wasn’t interested in re-inventing the wheel — there are so many things to figure out with an early-stage startup; no need to make it more difficult than it already is. I was hungry to learn the philosophies, strategies and tactics that have worked before.
About a year into the journey of starting Accord, in February 2021, we announced our $6M seed round from YC, Stripe, and incredibly supportive angel investors... then another $1M largely from our early customers. But there’s no way Accord would be where it is today without the guidance from other business leaders I’ve met along the way.
Looking back on these conversations with other founders and leaders, I’ve found a few common traits in the people who have given me the best advice or made the biggest impact:
- Strong opinions, loosely held. The strongest opinions were always the most helpful. Even if I ultimately disagreed with an approach, it got me thinking in new ways.
- Experience and calibre. No better way to learn than from the best: those who have been in the trenches time and time again, and have come out the other side.
- Doers. The most experienced leaders are passionate about HOW to get things done, beyond the theoretical. They want to understand the context and the nitty-gritty details so they can give actionable advice.
With all of this in mind, I’m excited to share with the community:
From Vendorship to Partnership Podcast!
Moving from Vendorship to Partnership means moving from focusing on your own needs, product, perspective, etc – to taking a radically collaborative, transparent, and empathetic approach to working with prospects & customers. Obsessing over their needs first, and working hard to help them find their best solution. This philosophy branches into every cultural aspect of building a company. From how you market, hire, communicate internally/externally, and especially how you build relationships with customers.
The DNA of Accord is centered on creating deep partnerships, radical collaboration, and authentic trust. This framework extends far beyond helping sales teams partner with their buyers. We want to empower people and organizations to build better relationships, to support each other, to learn and grow together. And that’s why we’re launching the From Vendorship to Partnership podcast.
The goal of the podcast is to use this lens while surfacing the very best strategies and tactics for building winning GTM motions, teams, and companies — straight from industry leaders paving the way for the future of startups.
I’ll talk to the best of the best, leaders with strong opinions, the doers. I want to share the types of conversations that were (and continue to be) so valuable for me throughout Accord’s journey, so that others can learn from them as well.
So what can you expect?
Episodes will be around 15-20 minutes long; we want to provide maximum value without taking up too much of your time. You can find new episodes here every Wednesday, or listen on your favorite podcast platforms: Spotify, Stitcher, Apple Podcasts, and Google Podcasts.
Each season of the From Vendorship to Partnership Podcast will focus on a different angle of startups and GTM teams:
Season 1: Founder’s Journey. I’ll talk to founders and leaders at early-stage startups about their experiences building organizations and brands from the ground up.
Season 2: Seller’s Journey. I’ll talk to sales leaders about the unique blend of art and science that is sales: hiring your team, building repeatable processes, and turning sales into an engine that drives successful companies.
Beyond that… you’ll just have to wait and see!
There are so many resources out there to learn what it’s like to build and scale companies. But I always found myself learning the most from fellow founders and sales leaders sharing their hard-earned lessons and insights, the good, the bad, and the ugly. And with that, I’d also get motivation and comfort from the fact that others had gone through the same challenges I was facing.
I hope that this podcast can help provide similar guidance to other startup and sales teams.
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