Software Soundbytes: Don't Play The Founder Card

Early sales traction is pivotal to the success of any software startup. Mallorie Brodie, co-founder and CEO of construction management software company Bridgit, knows this – and that’s why she didn’t play the “founder card” when she first started selling the product. Instead of telling sales prospects she was the CEO, she’d pretend to be a junior business development representative. The role playing paid off – in less than four years Bridgit has raised $3.3 million and has grown 30+ employees and 7,500+ customers across North America. Here’s a 90 second explanation of how that early strategy helped write this startup’s sales playbook.

<iframe src="https://www.softwareexecutivemag.com/player/03b90bc6-1251-4bd4-961c-b8db84dcb4f9" style="height:390px; width:600px;" frameborder="0"></iframe>


I think a lot of founders in the early days when they are selling, they can pull founder card, and they can negotiate whatever deal they want to negotiate. They can be the founder of the company, which people may find more interesting. It would be more interesting to speak to them, because they would potentially have more authority to change the product direction for instance.

Even though probably there were a couple of sales that maybe we could have had closed had we just said that we were the founders of the company. But instead, we really tried to figure out what it would look like if I were a junior business development representative that  was going to be trying to book meetings and demos, and then [co-founder] Lauren was our account executive who would do the demo, and price negotiation, and closing the deal.

When we sent our outbound email campaigns, and did call calling, I would just say, “I'm Mallorie, I'm a business development representative at Bridgit.” I wouldn't say “I'm the CEO of this company.” That really made sure that we knew that there was a specific framework that we could then use to validate hiring sales people.

Before that point, you're doing everything differently all the time, and so it's not very scalable. But this allowed us to really put our sales playbook together, and made sure that I knew I could book X number meetings of meetings in a day, and Lauren knew she could convert however many meetings. So from the business perspective, there was a clear ROI by hiring X number of sale's people.