The Startup Chat with Steli and Hiten on Smash Notes

The Startup Chat with Steli and Hiten podcast.

Unfiltered insights and actionable advice straight from the trenches of startup and business life. The show hosts, Steli Efti and Hiten Shah, are both serial entrepreneurs who have founded multi-million dollar SaaS startups. Being busy CEOs of fast-growing companies, they know the value of your time and make sure you get the most out of each 22 minute episode. Tune in for new episodes every Tuesday and Friday.

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In today’s episode of The Startup Chat, Steli and Hiten talk about changing a teams culture versus firing and hiring a new team.

There comes a time in every startup's life that fundamental changes need to be made in the way things are currently done. This could be as in order to solve a crucial challenge, prepare for growth or adjust to the current business environment. How you approach this as a founder is crucial as if it’s handled the wrong way, can lead to negative consequences for your startup.

In this week’s episode, Steli and Hiten talk about changing a teams culture, why you may want to do this, how to do this the right way, examples of some companies that have had to do this and much more.

Time Stamped Show Notes:

00:00 About today’s topic.

00:38 Why this topic was chosen.

03:15 How Hiten approaches this challenge.

04:25 Why great leadership can help prevent this situation in the first place.

06:41 An example of a real-life situation of this challenge.

08:17 How you may want to approach this issue if it arrises.

10:28 Why changing the culture of a team is hard but not impossible.

11:00 How you should approach this as the leader of the team.

11:44 How founders burn their team sometimes.

12:39 Why you need to convince your team that your idea is the solution.

3 Key Points:

My evaluation is first of the leadership.

At the end of the day, that leader needs to lead.

It’s hard to change the culture of a team but it’s not impossible.



Steli Efti: Hey, everybody. This is Steli Efti.



Hiten Shah: And this is Hiten Shah.



Steli Efti: Today on The Startup Chat, I want to talk, Hiten, about changing a team's culture versus firing and hiring a new team. Here's the deal, I just got off the phone with a founder and CEO of a company that has raised a shit-ton of money. That has accomplished a good amount of scale and success. That is now going through a rough patch and the founder wanted to reach out to talk to me, specifically, about the sales team, but I'll give you the greater context. I'll tell you about his challenge. Then I thought it would be fun for us, for the audience, and everybody listening, to go back and forth on what somebody should do in this situation, because I think it will apply in many different scenarios. Basically, they had a good amount of success up until this point, and now a lot of things are starting to not work anymore. They used to have a lot of success with inbound leads. They've become market leader in their markets and all of that good stuff. They accomplished a certain amount of scale, but now the market is changing. Number one, they're getting a lot more competition. Number two, the product they're offering is not as unique, or compelling, anymore. There's so much competition. There's also new technologies, so it's not the newest, coolest thing anymore that all customers want. The paid advertising channels that it used to use, the prices have gone up, so they're not working as well anymore. For a variety of reasons, they're not able to grow as well as they used to. Which means, specifically, for the sales team that they have developed, established, that the sales team is now getting less leads. These leads are less qualified. This means the sales team has to work a lot harder and is making a lot less money than they used to. All of a sudden, there's all this tension, these issues, sales team is really unhappy, people are cranky. There's all these problems and the founder reached out to me, specifically, with their sales team saying, “Steli, what do I do now? Do I try to pay the sales team more money? That's going to ruin ... I have slim margins, it's going to ruin my margins and it's going to be a problem. Do I try to just hire a lot more new people in the sales team?

Key points in this episode

Key Highlights

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