Photo by Riccardo Annandale on Unsplash

No athlete becomes world champion on their own. No professional athlete trains alone.

Every professional athlete has a coach or several coaches for specific disciplines.

It seems absolutely ridiculous to me that many entrepreneurs monthly invest 5- and 6-digit amounts into salaries and other running costs. But go into analysis-paralysis if it comes to invest 3- and 4-digit amount of money to learn from others and empower their employees.

I invested CHF 20k+ of my own money in my first year of SalesPlaybook into coaches. Because I was aware that the key factor of entrepreneurial success is not what you…

Why I keep 100% equity of SalesPlaybook (for now)

Photo by Jen Theodore on Unsplash

The easiest way for a founder to speed up growth while staying cash-efficient is often to give away equity to investors, co-founders or employees. But giving away equity is a bit like getting married. You’re taking a big, long-term commitment and give up flexibility to do whatever you want. I am happily married for 3.5 years for the record.

SalesPlaybook could grow annual revenue a lot faster than it did (280% 2019 -> 2020, expecting +/- 200% for 2020 -> 2021) by following the above “advice”. …

Photo by Jukan Tateisi on Unsplash

2 years ago, SalesPlaybook did not exist. A lot has happened since, and I will not make this about “COVID-19 changed everything”. This is also not about sales KPIs such as +300% annual revenue growth. I am writing these lines to reflect upon the past, the present and the future of SalesPlaybook.

The Past

After 1 year of physical sales enablement workshops, I launched to help entrepreneurs increase their revenues by making my knowledge and content available anytime, anywhere, at an even more affordable investment. This enabled us to move from 30 to 100+ clients in 2020 and also…

Photo by Alexander Dummer on Unsplash

Dies sind wahrlich verrückte Zeiten auf der Welt, insbesondere auch in der Schweiz. Ich bin zwar kein Corona Experte, aber möchte hier gerne einige Gedanken mit Dir teilen zur besseren Kommunikation von zu Hause aus.

Nutz Video
Wir sind im Grunde genommen immer noch Neandertaler von unserer Hardware her. Das heisst ein Grossteil davon, wie wir Kommunikation aufnehmen ist Mimik & Gestik. Um Verwandten, Freunden und Geschäftspartnern trotz Lockdown so nahe wie möglich zu sein: Die Videotelefonie-Funktionen von WhatsApp, FaceTime, Skype & Co. funktionieren einwandfrei. Also lasst uns diese regelmässiger nutzen, um soziale Kontakte aufrecht zu erhalten.

Und ja, es…

I count outcomes, assets and progress, not hours. Photo by Brad Neathery on Unsplash

I will officially end customer-facing hourly rates as of 31.03.2020 for my business.

Not primarily because I mind earning CHF 200 per hour for chargeable work.

But because I feel that hourly rates are the wrong pricing mechanism to pursue for SalesPlaybook (and nearly any other business) for 3 reasons:

1) Incentives: Startups want me to help them hit Product-Market-Fit and scale up sales faster without hiring expensive sales reps. They want me to solve this problem as fast, affordable and sustainable as possible. Any such collaboration should be strictly outcome- and not input-oriented. (Dear Founder, if you focus on…

Nope, I don’t have a crystal ball to foresee the future either…Photo by Yeshi Kangrang on Unsplash

It is now 1 year ago since I founded my first company in February 2019. So much has happened since then, and I am grateful to everybody who has been part of this journey.

After relaunching just last week, I want to take the time to reflect on the last year, but also to provide you an outlook on 2020. It is “Still Day 1” as Amazon uses to say, and I am committed to keep this Day 1 mindset up at all times. …

In my cases “Next 4 Quarters”. Photo by Fabien Bazanegue on Unsplash

It is now a good 10 months ago since I started my company and I am looking back on what as a professional was definitely the most challenging, but also rewarding period of my working life. After the operational launch in March 2019, I had the pleasure (and probably a decent portion of luck) to build the company from 0 to 30+ customers, CHF 130k+ bookings and CHF 90k+ bookings within less than 12 months.

Sounds straightforward, but involved quite a few business model changes. Let me first share the 4 iterations I went through between 03/2019 and 01/2020 and…

Building a company is great. But nobody said it was going to be easy. Photo by Mukuko Studio on Unsplash

A very successful Swiss founder mentioned that entrepreneurs are 2x more likely to suffer from depression and 11x to do so from schizophrenia. We need to talk about this part of startup besides all the “limelight news” of successful funding rounds and exits of VC-backed startups. But at least in Switzerland, it seems we are not there yet. Which is why I thought I write you a short letter here:

Dear Startup founder

You juggle product development, sales, fundraising, hiring, but also family and personal life.

You work 12 hours per day, constantly trying to do all the right things…

Tools should always work FOR you, not the other way around. Photo by Jo Szczepanska on Unsplash

A topic my customers repeatedly ask or at least find useful when learning about it are simple, easy to use, <$100 per user per month sales tools to boost productivity. And no, I will not go into CRM evaluations here, so feel free to select Salesforce, HubSpot, Pipedrive, or ZohoCRM yourself (or ask via PM if you need advice).

And yes, I neglected my Monday 07:00–08:30 writing habit recently.
Thanks for reminding me dear partners and customers to pick it up again and for your understanding as I was mostly in client workshop, teaching and building (Sneak Peak…

Talk to real people first. Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash

There is a lot of talk in Startup about Lean Startup, agile development, MVPs, product-driven growth, etc. on how to build, launch and scale tech products today. And this can work if you are an industry expert scratching an own itch they validated to be a problem for 1’000+ other people and organisations.

Founders often base product development on interviews, investor interactions and intelligence. They invest months if not year before generating any revenue.

However, I propose to start with an alternative Minimum Viable “Product”. It is actually not a real product, but offering your own expertise and capabilities as…

Manuel Hartmann

Founder SalesPlaybook, Switzerland's Sales Accelerator for B2B entrepreneurs to grow revenues by 100-400% per year.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store