Want to Create a Successful Business? Stop Trying to Be a Swiss Army Knife

Trying to be everything for everyone is a recipe for failure. Learn how focusing on a smaller niche customer segment can yield bigger results.

 Sackmesser, Swiss Army Knife, Offiziersmesser 04

When I first started managing lead generation initiatives for the B2B technology companies in OpenView’s portfolio years ago, my expectation (or hope) was that every program we implemented would turn out to be a wild success. But, like many things, it didn’t always work out that way. Some excelled in creating a healthy pipeline of highly qualified leads for the business, others struggled to ever truly develop into a revenue driving machine.

While there were many reasons for those successes or struggles, I began to notice one common trend shared by the most prosperous sales and marketing teams: they were laser focused on the handful of segments and buyers that they were most confident they could win.


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B2B Sales Hiring Tips and Trends from the Trenches

Learn how companies are successfully scaling their sales teams with the latest B2B sales hiring tips, tactics, and approaches proven to work.

B2B Sales Hiring Tips and Trends | OpenView Labs


Carlie Smith, OpenView Labs

Last year, OpenView’s talent team hired over 100 people for our portfolio, and over 30% of those hires were sales roles. The woman behind the majority of that success is Senior Talent Specialist, Carlie Smith. Given the high demand from the portfolio, Carlie is now nearly 100% focused on sales hiring for our investments.

Most companies at the expansion stage are focused on finding the absolute best sales talent to scale their organizations — and finding it difficult to do so. To help you remove some of the friction from your sales hiring process, I asked Carlie to share some of her best tips and insights on how companies can efficiently and effectively add talent to their teams.


The Startup Trap You Have to Avoid if You Want to Grow

Things may be moving fast in the right direction, but if you want maintain your startup growth you have to avoid one common trap at all costs.

mouse trap helmet

If you are at a startup that has graduated to the expansion stage you’ve done quite well for yourself — so far. OpenView considers the expansion stage to mean that your business is generating 2-20 million in annual revenue. Any business that can get to these numbers today’s competitive marketplace should be proud.


20 of the Best Interview Questions for Sales Hires

We asked 20 top B2B sales leaders and experts for their favorite interview question to ask new sales hires. Find out what they said.

Best Interview Questions for Sales Hires | OpenView Labs

Asking candidates the right questions during a job interview is always important, but that’s especially true for sales roles. After all, these are people trained to pitch and spin for a living. How do you ensure you’re cutting through to the core competencies of each candidate, and filling up your team with A players who can truly deliver?

Below you’ll find a collection of favorite interview questions from some of the top minds in B2B sales — each designed to help you identify the top performers who will make a bigger impact and fuel your company’s growth.


Marketers: Stop Chasing Perfection and Just Ship It

The concept of minimum viable product isn’t just for software developers. OpenView’s Devon McDonald explains how marketers can benefit from a “just ship it” mentality.

perfection is a mirage

Startup marketers often fancy themselves as the creative branch of their growing company’s brand — the artists tasked with crafting the perfect message for the perfect customer at the perfect time. The result of that sometimes-misguided sense of purpose is that marketers (and, at times, the expansion-stage companies they work for) generally become obsessed with the mirage of perfection.


What Happens When a Marketing Department Adopts Scrum

Adopting Scrum for Agile Marketing | OpenView Blog

Recently, I had the opportunity to catch up with Richard Delahaye, the Director of Digital Marketing at Intronis at the Boston Agile Marketing Meetup. Intrigued by commitment to using Scrum (a form of Agile) to manage his team’s marketing efforts, I asked him to answer a few questions about his experiences, challenges and successes with the methodology.


Agile Marketing: How OpenView Uses Scrum

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I’ve been at OpenView for five years now, and have been using Scrum-inspired planning since Day 1. For many people, that comes as a surprise. After all, we’re not a team of software developers — we’re a team of growth strategists, marketers, recruiters, and analysts focused on providing operating support to OpenView’s portfolio companies. But while we have had to adapt our own approach to Scrum and consistently iterate to improve its effectiveness, at it’s core, what we and what agile development teams are doing when we talk about Scrum is very much the same.


Women in Tech Series: Body Language Tips that Will Boost Your Career


Here’s one of the weirdest intros you’re likely to read in a sales and marketing blog: Pause for a moment and take a look at your posture.

No, really. Look at how you’re sitting or standing. Are you hunched over with your chin resting on your palm? Or maybe you’re kicked back on a chair or a couch somewhere, your feet crossed and neck craned toward the screen. Are your arms folded, or are your hands in your pockets? Is there a perplexed look on your face?