How to Win Customers from Entrenched Competitors

Going head-to-head with an incumbent solution? Nir Eyal, author of Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products, provides a three-step playbook for coming out on top.

How to Win vs. Entrenched Competitors | OpenView Labs

Editor’s note: In the Boston area? Come meet Nir in person. He’s hosting a workshop on building habit-forming products on Wednesday, October 22nd. Use the discount code “OpenView” for 30% off the event.

Taking on an established solution can be incredibly difficult, regardless of how good or bad it is. That’s because often what you’re going up against isn’t just a particular set of features, it’s how habitual use of those features has become.

You know what they say about old habits, after all — they die hard.


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When Should You Follow Up with a Candidate?

When it comes to pursuing top candidates you don’t want to come off too strong, but you also don’t want them to slip through the cracks. Here are a few tips for determining exactly when the time is right to send that perfect follow up.

When to Send a Follow Up Email to a Candidate | OpenView Labs

As a startup recruiter, most of my day is spent sourcing for candidates, holding phone screens, scheduling interviews, and sifting through applications. It is quite rare, unfortunately, that the ideal candidate has applied to my posting via inbound, so much of my energy is spent on outreach to prospective candidates. As I go about my day, I also set aside time to check in on previous candidates I’ve worked with or others I’d like to reach out to for a second time. It is always a delicate dance to determine when to follow up with a candidate as I want to maintain a genuine connection with the individual, but also want to really make sure this person is or is not interested in my position.


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The Lean Brand: Applying Lean Principles to Eliminate Marketing Waste

Is it really possible for companies to apply lean concepts to brand development? Jeremiah Gardner and Brant Cooper not only think so, they also wrote the book on the subject.

 Lean Brand Development | OpenView Labs

In this week’s Labcast, Jeremiah Gardner and Brant Cooper, authors of the upcoming book The Lean Brand, explain why we need a new approach to branding that centers around quick iterations and removing waste.


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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5 Ways to Master the Science of Hiring (As Well as the Art)

Consistently hiring the best candidates often means listening to the numbers more than your gut. Here are five ways to leverage data to your advantage.

5 Ways to Leverage Hiring Metrics & Data | OpenView Labs

Historically, hiring has been anything but a objective process. Even today, when the majority of business functions adopting more data-driven approaches, HR is typically lagging behind. According to a recent article by Dr. John Sullivan, “When you survey most frequent users of analytics and metrics in the corporate world…HR ranks at the very bottom.”

That needs to change. And it starts with a shift in mindset to acknowledge that great hiring is as much a science as it is an art.


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Sales Metrics for BDRs and Account Executives

When evaluating BDRs and Account Executives it often comes down to the numbers. But which numbers should those be, exactly?

BDR Metrics and Account Executive Metrics | OpenView Labs

Monitoring the right sales metrics is vital for your sales team’s performance and development. Tracking the wrong metrics, meanwhile, can be distracting at best and detrimental at worst. So which should you be focusing on?

We asked Emmanuelle Skala, VP of Sales at Influitive, to share the metrics she looks at for both business development reps (BDRs) and account executives (AEs).


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Purple Squirrels Aren’t Real: Time to Stop Chasing Them

Unicorns, purple squirrels — whatever you want to call them, perfect candidates don’t exist. Time to face the facts and make better use of your time and resources.

Startup Hiring: Stop Chasing Purple Squirrels | OpenView Labs

The hiring process is difficult enough. We all know it can take quite a while to sort out everything from approval to job descriptions, to candidate sourcing, to interviews and reference checking and finally, the offer stages. Why then, would you add additional roadblocks to make this process that much harder by searching for roles and candidates that you know do not exist?

It’s far more common than you might think. Recruiters are handed job descriptions for a new position with a caveat: “We know this person doesn’t exist.” Essentially, you’re having your talent team set off on a hunt for a purple squirrel.


7 Steps HubSpot Used to Scale Its Channel Sales Program

As of June 2014, HubSpot‘s reseller program has produced over 40% of its customers. VP of Sales Pete Caputa shares the company’s playbook for making that happen.

How to Build a Channel Sales Program | OpenView Labs

How HubSpot’s Channel Sales Program Came to Be

In 2011, Inc. Magazine published a profile of HubSpot CEO Brian Halligan that highlighted our company’s propensity to “fire” employees from their day jobs so they could grow out of their roles and graduate into more entrepreneurial, innovative positions. That magazine article happened to showcase my graduation from sales rep to the creator of HubSpot’s reseller program — a strategy that produced approximately 42% of our customers as of June 30, 2014 and 33% of our revenue for the six months ended June 30, 2014.