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Sales Velocity: Founder-led Sales Explained

Sales velocity is a critical metric in the world of sales, particularly in the context of founder-led sales. This term refers to the speed at which opportunities move through your sales pipeline and convert into revenue. Understanding and optimizing sales velocity can be instrumental in driving growth for startups and small businesses, where the founder often takes on the role of the primary salesperson.

sales velocity founder-led sales process

Founder-led sales is a unique approach to selling that leverages the passion, knowledge, and credibility of a company's founder. This method can be particularly effective in the early stages of a business, where personal relationships and trust can have a significant impact on securing initial customers and investors. In this comprehensive glossary article, we will delve into the nuances of sales velocity and founder-led sales, providing a detailed exploration of these concepts and their application.

Understanding Sales Velocity

Sales velocity is a measure of how quickly a business can convert its leads into paying customers. It is calculated by multiplying the number of opportunities, average deal size, and conversion rate, then dividing by the length of the sales cycle. This formula provides a snapshot of a company's sales efficiency and effectiveness.

Improving sales velocity means either increasing the number of opportunities, increasing the average deal size, improving the conversion rate, or shortening the sales cycle. Each of these factors is a lever that can be adjusted to impact the overall sales velocity. Understanding these components and how they interact is key to optimizing your sales process.

Components of Sales Velocity

The four components of sales velocity are opportunities, deal size, conversion rate, and sales cycle length. Opportunities refer to the number of potential sales or deals in your pipeline. Deal size is the average value of each of these potential sales. The conversion rate is the percentage of opportunities that successfully turn into sales. Finally, the sales cycle length is the average amount of time it takes for an opportunity to move through the sales pipeline and become a sale.

Each of these components can be influenced by various factors, such as the quality of your leads, your sales team's skills, your pricing strategy, and the complexity of your sales process. By analyzing and optimizing these components, you can increase your sales velocity and drive more revenue for your business.

Founder-led Sales

Founder-led sales is a sales approach where the founder or co-founder of a company takes on the role of the primary salesperson. This approach can be particularly effective in the early stages of a business, where the founder's passion, knowledge, and credibility can help to build trust and secure initial customers.

However, founder-led sales is not without its challenges. Founders must balance their sales responsibilities with their other roles, and they may need to develop sales skills that are outside their area of expertise. Despite these challenges, founder-led sales can be a powerful strategy for driving early-stage growth.

Benefits of Founder-led Sales

There are several key benefits to the founder-led sales approach. First, founders often have a deep understanding of their product and market, which can help them to effectively communicate the value of their offering. Second, founders can leverage their personal networks to secure initial customers and investors. Finally, founders can bring a level of passion and authenticity to the sales process that can be difficult to replicate.

Despite these benefits, founder-led sales is not a one-size-fits-all solution. Each business and founder is unique, and it's important to evaluate whether this approach is the right fit for your specific situation.

Building a Founder-led Sales Process

Building a successful founder-led sales process requires a clear strategy and a commitment to continuous learning and improvement. This process should be tailored to the unique strengths and challenges of the founder, as well as the specific needs and expectations of the target customers.

Key steps in building a founder-led sales process include identifying target customers, developing a value proposition, creating a sales pipeline, and continuously refining the process based on feedback and results.

Identifying Target Customers

Identifying target customers is a critical first step in building a founder-led sales process. This involves understanding who your ideal customers are, what their needs and challenges are, and how your product or service can provide a solution. This understanding can help to guide your sales efforts and ensure that you are focusing on the most promising opportunities.

There are several methods for identifying target customers, including market research, customer interviews, and analysis of your existing customer base. The goal is to develop a detailed customer profile that can guide your sales and marketing efforts.

Developing a Value Proposition

Once you have identified your target customers, the next step is to develop a compelling value proposition. This is a clear statement of the unique value that your product or service provides, and why it is superior to alternative solutions. Your value proposition should be tailored to the specific needs and challenges of your target customers, and it should be communicated consistently throughout your sales process.

Developing a strong value proposition requires a deep understanding of your product, your market, and your customers. It also requires the ability to communicate this value in a clear and compelling way. This is where the founder's passion and knowledge can be particularly valuable.

Creating a Sales Pipeline

A sales pipeline is a visual representation of your sales process, showing the different stages that a potential customer goes through from initial contact to final sale. Creating a sales pipeline can help to organize your sales efforts, track your progress, and identify areas for improvement.

Your sales pipeline should be tailored to your specific sales process and customer journey. It should include all the key stages of your sales process, from lead generation to closing the sale. Each stage should have clear criteria for progression, and you should regularly review and update your pipeline to ensure it remains effective.

Refining the Process

Building a successful founder-led sales process is not a one-time task. It requires continuous learning, experimentation, and refinement. This involves regularly reviewing your sales results, gathering feedback from customers and team members, and making adjustments as needed.

Refining your sales process can involve making changes to your sales strategy, tactics, tools, or even your product offering. The goal is to continually improve your sales effectiveness and efficiency, and to adapt to changing market conditions and customer needs.


Sales velocity and founder-led sales are critical concepts for startups and small businesses. Understanding and optimizing sales velocity can help to drive growth and profitability, while a founder-led sales approach can leverage the unique strengths and advantages of the founder to secure initial customers and investors.

Building a successful founder-led sales process requires a clear strategy, a deep understanding of your customers, and a commitment to continuous learning and improvement. By applying the principles and practices outlined in this article, you can increase your sales velocity and drive your business towards success.

Take Your Founder-Led Sales to the Next Level

Ready to accelerate your sales velocity and master the art of founder-led sales? SalesMVP Lab is here to guide you through every step of creating your first sales process. Our expertise in coaching technical founders is encapsulated in The FOUNDER Operating System and The Minimum Viable Sales Process, designed specifically for the unique challenges you face. Don't let sales be the bottleneck of your growth. Book a call with us today and start transforming your sales strategy into your competitive advantage.

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