I started working on this post a few months ago, but forgot about it and never published. Was reminded about it today, while reading this post. Go read that first, Suster nailed exactly what I was thinking when I started writing this.
A few months ago, we visited with Rob Zesch, President of Part Solutions who has a large bell in his office that they ring when they make a sale.
This reminded me of how little it seems most startups focus on one of the most critical activities for any company; selling. Not only is this the lifeblood of an organization, it's also a quick path to understanding real objections your target might have (there's no better way to get feedback than to ask someone for money).
Sales activities will vary quite a bit depending on your organization and target, but regardless you can count on it being a challenge.
How to get started
OK, so how the heck should startups go about selling, especially if the founders have 0 experience? There's a ton of great advice out there, so I'm not going to re-invent the wheel, just go read:
[Sales & Marketing Series] (http://www.bothsidesofthetable.com/on-selling/) an awesome collection by Mark Suster
[Startup sales strategy] (http://www.natsturner.com/post/7333066401), solid advice from Nat Turner
[The 7 Deadly Sales Sins Committed By Startups] (http://techcrunch.com/2012/09/01/the-7-deadly-sales-sins-committed-by-startups) quick tips from TechCrunch
Founders, do yourself a solid and start asking for orders. Today.