The Venture Lane Sales Lab: An Inside View

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The Venture Lane Sales Lab: An Inside View
June 19 2020

Managing a successful sales process has proved challenging during COVID-19 times. Introducing, the Venture Lane Sales Lab. We invited four B2B tech-startups in the greater Venture Lane community to participate in our first virtual sales lab. How does it work? Participants share their sales pitch with an expert mentor committee, receive feedback, revise the pitch, and pitch again.

Meet The Mentor Committee

Brian Denenberg currently serves as a Mentor-in-Residence at Techstars and as a Managing Partner at the Agile Sales Method, a platform that evaluates company processes associated with customer relationships. Brian is also the co-founder of Sales Hunters, a company dedicated to identifying sales talent needed to grow revenue.

As the Managing director of Sisu Ventures, Jude McColgan advises and invests in early-stage and growth tech companies with a focus on enterprise SaaS. Previously, Jude was the CEO of Localytics, a leading mobile engagement platform that helps companies use data to create and maintain digital relationships with their users.

Douglas Kim is an entrepreneur, investor, and fellow at MIT Media Lab and the Connection Science Institute, with almost 30 years of experience in building and scaling businesses. Most recently, Douglas was the Chief Commercial Officer responsible for creating the multimillion-dollar Enterprise SaaS business for Cogito.

John Davagian is a goal-driven, dynamic leader with extensive business-building success in the software industry. Most recently, John acted as the CRO at Salsify, the world’s leading Product Experience Management platform that allows manufacturers to deliver desirable product experiences to their consumers.

Key Takeaways

What to Include in Your Pitch

  • Set the stage. Ask yourself, what’s the problem you’re specifically solving for?
  • Is your brand promise clear and concise? If not, it’s time to make edits.
  • Sharing a story about a current client’s experience adds a personal touch. Include: who the client is, how long have they been with you, how much money you’ve saved them over what period of time, and what did their implementation timeline look like.
  • End your presentation by sharing what the customer journey will look like. Paint a picture of the customer onboarding experience with implementation steps and an example of the timeline.

The Pitch Deck Ins & Outs

  • Be cognizant when building pitch decks. It’s important to pay attention to font sizes, avoiding sharing too much information, and making sure you aren’t overcrowding slides.
  • Avoid text-heavy decks as this can be hard to consume. Consider adding in charts, graphics, images, and icons.
  • It’s important to pay attention to grammar and avoid typos in your deck. Triple check for any errors to avoid friction and allow your audience to fully focus. Typos and incorrect grammar can set folks off and makes a bad impression.
  • For startups in a crowded space, you must include what make you different and unique. Consider adding a slide that compares your top 5-6 features with what your competitors are offering.

Nailing the Presentation

  • Avoid unnecessary modesty. It’s okay to include bold statements, confidence, and swagger as long as it’s produced in a way that feels authentic to you. That’s right — if you’re product is outstanding, make sure that’s well known.
  • Consider your audience. For instance, if you’re talking to freemium customers, avoid a sales-forward presentation. Tailoring your presentation to your audience is key.

Big thank you to the mentor committee for dedicating an entire Friday afternoon to help folks in the early-stage tech community in Boston!

Interested in our program? Check it out:



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