Home Find a Pattern Before Scaling Up Your Sales Team

Find a Pattern Before Scaling Up Your Sales Team

The problem with hiring an arsenal of top sales and marketing executives when you don’t have a proven customer model is that you’re likely to burn through all that funding you worked so hard to get. Steve Blank’s latest post entitled, It Must Be a Marketing Problem is a cautionary tale about a company that continued to scale up without knowing the needs of their customers.

Customer Development at Startup2Startup

View more



steve blank


Blank describes being called into a company for “a marketing problem” only to find that neither the company’s marketing department nor sales team had left the building to find out the needs of consumers.

He writes, “Missing the sales numbers had nothing to do with marketing…Neither the CEO, VP of Sales or VP of Marketing had any idea what a repeatable sales model would look like before they scaled the sales force.”

Between the 10 sales and marketing staff, the company had made decisions based only on site metrics and early audience research that consisted of feedback from friends and family. In other words, they were developing their strategy in a vacuum.

To ensure that you know the needs of your customer, Blank suggests you test your customer problem hypothesis through real world observations. Once you have real world observations, customer demographics and a firm knowledge of the competitive environment, then you’re free to begin experimenting with new tactics. Tactics are validated through concrete sales. When you determine what is driving your growth and you make those new sales, the idea is to map the process and hire others to help you execute.

For a more complete look at Blank’s model for customer development check out this article.

As for the idea of having a “marketing problem,” sometimes the biggest question isn’t how to position your product, but determining its value to the end-user.

About ReadWrite’s Editorial Process

The ReadWrite Editorial policy involves closely monitoring the tech industry for major developments, new product launches, AI breakthroughs, video game releases and other newsworthy events. Editors assign relevant stories to staff writers or freelance contributors with expertise in each particular topic area. Before publication, articles go through a rigorous round of editing for accuracy, clarity, and to ensure adherence to ReadWrite's style guidelines.

Get the biggest tech headlines of the day delivered to your inbox

    By signing up, you agree to our Terms and Privacy Policy. Unsubscribe anytime.

    Tech News

    Explore the latest in tech with our Tech News. We cut through the noise for concise, relevant updates, keeping you informed about the rapidly evolving tech landscape with curated content that separates signal from noise.

    In-Depth Tech Stories

    Explore tech impact in In-Depth Stories. Narrative data journalism offers comprehensive analyses, revealing stories behind data. Understand industry trends for a deeper perspective on tech's intricate relationships with society.

    Expert Reviews

    Empower decisions with Expert Reviews, merging industry expertise and insightful analysis. Delve into tech intricacies, get the best deals, and stay ahead with our trustworthy guide to navigating the ever-changing tech market.