It’s not uncommon for CEOs who are engineers is to hire someone to focus on sales. But unless they know how to sell their product, this is a mistake. CEOs need to learn the basics of how to sell their product so they can manage the sales function.
CEOs Who Are Engineers Should Delegate Design Work And Focus On Sales
“As an engineer, my strongest skills are on the technical side. My intuition was that I should build on this strength and take full advantage of it. When I reviewed this with Sean Murphy, he said, “No that’s ass backwards. You are the owner of the company. With your technical strengths you can more easily manage others who are doing engineering than delegating sales and continuing to focus on design.”
Sean convinced me that if I do the selling for the first year or so and develop a structured approach, I will have the framework to manage sales people as we grow. By delegating the design work I can quickly assess where my engineers are and if they are on track. He reminded me that until I master how to sell my product in an organized fashion it can be hard to distinguish between a strong sales person who has had legitimate setbacks and a poor performer who is making excuses.
Sean continually, in different ways, pulls me out of the nerdy tech trap of doing what is comfortable like adding more features.” – Scott Swaaley, Founder and CEO at MAKESafe Tools
SKMurphy Take: There is a natural tendency for engineers to stay in their comfort zone and focus on issues we know how to solve. But often the real risk is have you designed the right product, not will the design work. Instead, the business risk is having the necessary features at the right cost. Getting your design to work usually is only a matter of time. Getting the feature set right requires both upfront and ongoing conversations with customers and what they will pay for. And the only way to really determine what they will pay for is to close the sale.
More about MAKESafe Tools
Headquartered in San Diego, CA, MAKESafe Tools, Inc. manufactures the MAKESafe Power Tool Brake. Our emergency stop system protects machine operators from accidental restarts, emergency situations, and coasting machinery.