Feedback on our partner Google for Startups’ Sales Academy program
Last August, we announced that two Montreal startups referred by Notman had been accepted into the Sales Academy program of our partner Google for Startups.
Well, a few months later, we spoke with the founders of these two startups. Here is the summary of their experience with the program, Google for Startups and Notman.
Referred by Notman
Firstly, Albin Poignot co-founder of Linky Product and Behdad Karimi founder of ReInvest Wealth, tell us they heard about the Sales Academy program on the Bonjour Startup Montréal slack. It’s a resource for the Montreal startup community, perfect for finding opportunities and connections.
Behdad, whose accounting startup is based on sales, was interested in the opportunity to learn sales techniques from Google experts. Having the support of a Google for Startups partner like Notman was also an advantage according to Behdad, who had previously applied to a GFS accelerator program without success. Of the ten startups accepted into the North American program, three were Canadian companies and two were recommended by Notman.
A Sales Pitch in Seven Weeks
The virtual program consisted of one 1.5 hour session per week over a seven week period. The program concluded with an evaluation by the coach and a certification. Each workshop presented one of the 6 essential steps in building a sales pitch. The participants were not salespeople. The objective was to teach them how to structure their sales approach in order to increase its effectiveness. So, each week, the participants worked on their own sales pitch, in teams with the other founders. After 7 weeks, their sales pitch was ready.
Albin reports that the resulting pitch method is very effective and gives a “very natural discussion”. It allows him to position his product in an interesting way for each customer and to know immediately if it is “a good fit”. This way, the founders can handle objections well and keep good relationships with potential future customers.
It also allowed participating founders to take control of their sales conversations and focus on ways to benefit their potentiel customers. Moreover, practicing with the other participants, who all came from different backgrounds, was a good way to get feedback and build confidence.
Albin also says that, although he felt the program was under construction, he got a lot of value out of it. “I can’t imagine what it will be like in one or two years when [the program] is [finalized],” he says, impressed that such a program is being offered for free.
Behdad agrees, noting that after each session he had new concrete knowledge to apply. He says he has no real negative comments about the program. For his part, Albin would have preferred a more condensed and better structured version, but he remains very satisfied.
The two founders would definitely recommend the program to all startup CEOS. Especially those who sell a product or service directly to their customers, but who are new to selling. At the time we spoke with them, they were not yet able to quantify the results of their learnings. However, Behdad and Albin were very happy with the improvements they could already see in their sales process.