Episode #007 - Nathan Green - Long sales cycle, channel partners, and higher education startups

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This week's guest is Nathan Green, a friend and an old boss of mine from my college days. More importantly, Nathan is a highly successful entrepreneur and businessman. Having seen him work up close, I know how unique his combination of grit, resourcefulness, and charm is at accomplishing the things that Nathan sets out to do. He's currently the Co-Founder and Chief Revenue Officer of the College Consortium, an online platform helping colleges take their courses online. He's previously founded a company called Campus2Careers, which ended up with a successful exit, the founder of the Austin Young Chamber of Commerce, and before that a successful business executive at multiple large companies. I hope a bit of his magic mix of talents can rub off on you from listening to the podcast, and that if you're in a situation with long sales cycles or in an early-stage business-to-business startup that you can benefit from Nathan's recent experience mastering those domains. Enjoy! O:00 - Introduction of Nathan Green 2:05 - Explaining the College Consortium 4:15 - What are the advantages of moving courses online? 7:30 - How and why Zach dropped out of school 9:40 - The alternative to online courses 11:00 - Automating manual pen-and-paper processes as a business idea 12:15 - What does Nathan Green do as VP of Growth? (Now CRO) 12:50 - Product responsibilities 15:08 - The sales cycle at College Consortium 16:00 - Decision makers College Consortium deals with 17:15 - The long and difficult sales cycle of Higher Ed 18:45 - Not charging upfront to speed up the sales cycle 23:09 - Raising money as a startup in Texas 30:37 - Pricing strategies for startups 31:05 - Multistage startup strategies 31:55 - Tapping into natural senses of urgency (good section!!) 36:33 - Managing a sales process with multiple key stakeholders 37:30 - Know what problems your product solves for each stakeholder 39:54 - Story about selling to higher ed vs. businesses 41:55 - Neutralize the other people in a deal besides decision maker 44:00 - Make your product ridiculously easy to on-board 45:00 - Changing your customer's orientation and mindset 47:32 - Sales is a long hallway, closing doors before you get to them 50:08 - Why channel partnerships are so effective 52:40 - How the first channel partnership was established 54:27 - How Nathan first discovered channel parternships 1:00:23 - Strategically aligning your mission with channel partners

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