CEO as a Salesperson
By Rodolfo Bellesi, Founder and Principal at Ikove Capital
There can be a lot of volatility within a startup and it is crucial that there is a strong CEO in place who can bring the company stability. As I’ve mentioned in a previous blog post, “The Importance of an Inventor’s Role Within a Startup,” you often have to search for someone to take on the role of CEO, and this can be a challenging process. When I’m searching for a CEO to run a company, I’m looking for someone who has the characteristics of a good salesperson.
A CEO is the company’s first salesperson.Their primary goal should be to generate revenue for the company. To achieve this goal, the first thing that they need to do is to buy into the vision of the company. The CEO needs to be passionate about the company’s product, goals, and future because they are going to need to sell this vision to angel investors, super angels, and venture capital firms. Investments made by these groups can bring the company financial stability by generating revenues and obtaining partial requisitions.
People often think that a CEO has a very cushy job, but being a CEO is not as glamorous of a position that everyone thinks it is. It requires a lot of hard work, complete dedication to the company’s vision and future, and bringing stability and growth to the company. Similar to a great salesperson, the CEO needs to be well-versed in the industry that their company is in and be willing to do the legwork to bring the company stability. They need to be making phone calls, traveling to meet with potential investors, and closing on selling the company’s product and vision. Subsequently, a CEO will also be working and negotiating with a variety of people from different cultures ands and backgrounds. As one can imagine, this is a very pressured job, but it is important to note that a CEO cannot do everything. Finally, just like a salesperson, a CEO’s success should be measured by the revenue that they bring into the company. It is important to set goals for the CEO so they know what is expected of them and when they are performing well.
Rodolfo Bellesi is Founder and Principal of Ikove Capital, a venture development company founded to pursue early-stage investments with an emphasis on technology commercialization in the Midwest.