6 Questions with Denis Coleman, Founder of WorkCompass

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Denis Coleman, Founder of WorkCompass
Denis Coleman is the Founder of WorkCompass, a platform that provides online employee performance reviews and performance management software.

1. First of all, can you tell us a little about your role and what you do at WorkCompass?

I do a bit of everything, the main things are:

-Managing the product road map with the CTO

-Talking to customers about what they like and dont like about Work Compass.

-PR

-Sales calls with large prospects and when im training a new sales guy.

-Hiring, this is the most important thing at the moment.

-Managing Cashflow.

-Investor Relations.

-Keeping the team motivated.

2. What hiring tips can you share for early stage startups?

Past Success – I think succeeding is largely a habit, have they mastered it? Depending on the level of the role sometimes I look for success in that specific role.

Coach-ability – Can I teach them what they need to now to be great in the role I are trying to fill?

Intelligence – Do they get what the role is about, can they explain what it takes to be successful in it.

Work Ethic – Do they know how to work hard? Will they keep going when things are tough?

3. What is the biggest mistake you have made with WorkCompass so far that other founders can hopefully learn from?

The biggest mistake i have made is to under estimate how difficult sales is. I didn’t realise:

The biggest competition is doing nothing not another piece of software so just being unique isn’t enough.

To get people to change you need to make them feel “Oh my god I have to have this right now”, having a decent value proposition isn’t enough. No one else is going to figure out your value proposition, sales pitch, customer profile etc. You have to do all that and it takes a long long time to nail it.

4. What apps, software, and tools can’t you live without?

Trello to keep me organised. Hubspot CRM for keeping on top of sales. ScreenLeap for doing demos.

5. What’s your best time-saving shortcut or life hack?

I allocate time for email and only look at it during those times otherwise i cant get any quality work done as i’m too distracted.

6. What resource have you watched/read/listened to that’s had the biggest impact on your business/life recently, and why?

I love reading. Two books that I’ve found really helpful are: Made to Stick by Chip & Dan Heath. I could talk forever about Work Compass but thats not going to get me any customers. Clear, memorable messages about their pain will. Made to Stick helped me craft those messages.

Predictable Revenue by Aaron Ross. Our main challenge for the past year has been making sales a repeatable process with defined stages, scripts and conversation targets by stage. We used the model Aaron outlines in his book as out template and it works!

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