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Close.com’s Steli Efti on balancing competition and collaboration in sales

Great salespeople have one thing in common: they’re intensely competitive.

Some leaders mistake internal competitiveness for toxicity, opting instead to exclusively focus on collaboration. They avoid any internal ranking, out of fear that the workplace will become negative – or politically charged. This is the recipe for a mediocre sales team. Like a sports franchise, a top team should be both collaborative and competitive.

There is a golden middle, and that’s what Close.com’s CEO, Steli Efti, is aiming for.

On this week’s episode, I caught up with Steli to chat all things sales. It’s a timely conversation for us, coming hot on the heels of the release of our book Intercom on Sales last month and Steli’s own book The 2020 Startup Sales Playbook this week. Steli’s had a busy year since he last joined us on Inside Intercom. When not writing his sales handbook, he’s been overseeing the change from Close.io to Close.com. We chat about this exciting development, and we also look at the evolution of hiring needs when moving from startup to scale-up, how to build a culture that’s both collaborative and competitive, and why price and speed are his North Star.

Short on time? Here are five quick takeaways:

  1. To establish a stronger brand and protect the company from competition, Steli recently rebranded Close.io to Close.com.
  2. A lot has changed since Close started teaching people and startups how to sell. That’s why Steli wrote an updated “ultimate guide” to understand the messy world of selling in the early days of a startup.
  3. Your first 10 sales reps must be entrepreneurial in their mindset, while later-stage hires will be focused on refining the process and executing it at a high level. Both types of salesperson are essential; it’s just a matter of timing.
  4. Just do it. For Steli, soldiering through difficulty is the crucial muscle to exercise when feeling down and out. You’ll feel better on the other side.
  5. The one trait truly great salespeople share? Competitiveness. Steli shows how to manage it properly – without creating a toxic culture.

If you enjoy my chat with Steli, be sure to check out his earlier episode on Inside Intercom, where we first heard from him. While you’re at it, check out more episodes of our podcast. You can subscribe on iTunes, stream on Spotify or grab the RSS feed in your player of choice. What follows is a lightly edited transcript of the episode.


Ciaran Nolan: Steli, we’re delighted to have you back as a guest on Inside Intercom. Most of our audience are already familiar with your work and your journey from Greece to Silicon Valley from your previous appearance on the podcast. I’d love to start off by chatting about what you’ve been up to since you were last on.

Steli Efti: It’s so hard; anything that’s longer than two weeks ago is kind of all a blur to me. I have no idea what has happened. This year has been particularly exciting for us: we were able, after five and a half years of negotiation, to purchase Close.com as our new home and domain name, so we went through a rebrand from Close.io to Close.com. This year, we completely revamped our pricing structure and model very successfully, and just introduced a startup plan to help a lot of smaller startups to be able to get started with us earlier in their journey as their main CRM and a million other things that I can’t remember. The team has grown quite a lot, but it’s still tiny: we’re now close to 40 people in 13 different countries. It continues to be a wild ride – but lots of good things.

Ciaran: The move from Close.io to Close.com made a lot of press, and there was a lot of chatter on Twitter about it. Can you tell me a little bit about why that was so important for you guys?

Steli: To be honest, a lot of people have reached out to me asking about this. From day one, when we launched Close in January 2013, we wanted to own Close.com. That’s the domain that we would have liked to have, but it was not available. There was another startup that was trying to build something on it, and so we had to settle on close.io. There were a couple of reasons why we kept negotiating for that domain name and tried to buy it.

Number one, we just felt like from a branding perspective and from a brand-promise perspective, being on an .io always kind of communicated to customers that we are a new and small startup, which was totally fine in the beginning, but by now, we’ve become a much bigger business. We’re not really a startup anymore. We have so many customers around the world. We’re a significant business in terms of our revenue, our customer base, our employees, our impact, the scale of operations.

So having customers come to us today through that domain, they get the feel that we’re probably a super early-stage startup that’s just starting up, versus a company that’s been around for seven years and that is scalable and is a stable partner for you. That just hurts. It doesn’t hurt with the smallest of our customers, but it does hurt in terms of perceptions for some of our largest customers who want to feel comfortable when they choose a partner that they work with as their CRM provider. So it was a branding perception: what does our domain communicate to the world in terms of what kind of a company we are and what kind of a potential partner and vendor we could be?

“It was a branding perception: what does our domain communicate to the world in terms of what kind of a company we are and what kind of a potential partner and vendor we could be?”

The other side of it was just protection. Close is not necessarily a name you can trademark so that no other company in the world could be called that. We have competitors that even try to launch smaller software products that we’re using on it, just to mess around with us in the organic rankings and use SEO to take away some of our thunder. And so, there was always the threat that a competitor could purchase Close.com, use all the work we’ve put into building that brand and take away a lot of that traffic or brand reputation for another product that they could host on it that would compete with us.

Close.com is a better place for the type of business we are today, in terms of our branding. And we thought we should protect ourselves from a very obvious thing a competitor could choose to do that would probably harm our business quite a bit. And these two things coming together made the desire and made our rationale for wanting to purchase Close.com. We had the luck that I knew the owner of the domain, so I personally checked in with this person every three months for five and a half years until the timing was right for this person to want to sell the domain. Because we were so persistent, and we were very much top-of-mind, and we were a very easy buyer to negotiate with, within a fairly short period of time we came up with a deal that was fantastic for us and still very good for the seller. We closed the deal, and it did make a lot of waves.

Funnily enough, it’s something I didn’t really think about too much, but a lot of people noticed and a lot of people took it to send me congratulations for the new funding round we didn’t announce (and we didn’t raise). It had nothing to do with raising money, but people just assumed: “They bought Close.com; they must have raised $15 million. Let me send them a congrats email.” In general, it seemed like a lot of people in our space took that as a signal that we’re succeeding, which is cool because it’s true, but it’s not necessarily what I thought of when I bought the domain in the first place. It’s just interesting to see how the market is interpreting this.

An ultimate guide for startup sales

Ciaran: You have recently launched a new book, The 2020 Startup Sales Playbook. Tell me a little bit about the book. What’s going to make it impactful? Why should people read it? What takeaways will people get from it?

The 2020 Startup Sales Playbook

Steli: The reason why we wanted to launch this is because a lot has changed since we first started teaching small teams how to sell. When I started creating content around this topic, and when we started teaching the world of tech in Silicon Valley and the entire, broadened startup community around the world, sales was really a dirty word. It was like a word of the past. All the B2B startups and all the B2B companies wanted to build the type of product that sold itself; they wanted to create products that have some viral component to them. A lot of entrepreneurs in the tech and startup space and software space didn’t really want to acquire any sales skills, they didn’t really want to think about selling, and they really didn’t like salespeople and sales teams. It was kind of a dirty word.

We worked really hard alongside some other companies and people to change that mindset and to create a new type of selling, and we’re really proud of that. This has been five or six years ago that we started that journey, and a lot has changed, both in startups embracing selling but also just the technology and the tool sets, and the methodologies and processes have changed so radically over the last couple of years that we felt it was time again to do a refresh on this. There are some areas where we feel there’s a lot to be improved culturally, with the way people think about selling and the way startups are hiring salespeople. There’s a lot broken there, in terms of how to create strong sales cultures, how to think about who’s the ideal salesperson for a startup and all that good stuff.

There was also so much new technology and so many new things in the sales world when it comes to utilizing automation and using all these different communication channels, and the changed world that we’re living in today, that we felt that we needed to refresh how to think about tools, how to think about automation, how to think about software. When you are a small startup just beginning to sell or just beginning to acquire your first few customers, it can be hard to figure out how to think about these things and how to take that overwhelming amount of choice that is out there and order it and make sense of it – and understand what you should do in steps one, two and three.

It felt like there’s a lot more information out there, but that is now becoming overwhelming, and there’s a lot that has changed since we started teaching people and startups how to sell. So we felt like we should put together an updated “ultimate guide” to give to startups to understand the messy world of selling and how to succeed in it in the early days of a startup..

The hiring evolution

Ciaran: You mentioned moving from startup to scale-up mode. Can you talk to me a little bit about building your sales team for the scale-up world? What’s different from hiring your first one or two salespeople to your 10th or 20th sales hire?

Steli: Almost everything, really. It is a completely different paradigm. The first 10 sales reps are going to have to be a lot more entrepreneurial in their mindset, because in the super early days of your startup, you might still undergo some drastic changes in what your product is, who your customer is, what the market is, how you’re acquiring these customers, what you’re charging. All these things are in such flux, and there are such drastic changes that can happen the first six months of a startup or the first 12 months of a startup, that you usually don’t want to hire career salespeople.

“The first 10 sales reps are going to have to be a lot more entrepreneurial in their mindset”

In the early days, you probably will want to bring in people that are much earlier in their career, much more entrepreneurially gifted, much more excited about being part of the early days in defining the game and figuring out the process, and learning these insights and helping the company determine how to change and what to change, and how to morph into something that accomplishes product market fit.

You’re going to have to have a totally different type of person that is interested in different things than when you go from sales rep number 10 to 100 where you could go after a much broader pool of talent, and you can bring in people that are much more interested in joining a company that knows what it’s doing, knows what it’s selling, knows who is it selling to. Now I, as a professional, as a salesperson who is very good at the craft of selling, can come in, learn these basics, learn the game, and then play it to the best of my abilities and play it really well. Later in the scale-up phase, you are going after a much larger pool of talent. You hire these people who want to come into a structure and a process that’s already defined, and they want to just execute and refine, versus in the early days, when you’re looking for people who want to come into an undefined territory and help you define what the sales process is, help you define who the customer should be, help you define how to pitch sales, present, negotiate and close the deal.

So you’re looking for very different types of people, and you’re offering them very different types of value props. The first 10 are probably much more interested in being part of the founding sales team of your company. Later on, those people are much more interested in making a career choice where they’re joining a rocket ship that’s going to help them propel in their career. They’re interested in joining a company that’s going to help them maximize their earning potential and then be a spring board to move up in their career to the next biggest thing they can go to.

So you’re looking for very different people with different backgrounds, different skillsets, also a different expectation on what they want to earn. Later on, you’re probably going to have to spend a lot more money on these people than in the early days. Almost everything changes when it comes to the way you run the sales team and the types of salespeople you’re looking for in the scale-up phase versus the startup phase.

High highs and low lows

Ciaran: What are some of the intangibles you look for in those hires? Someone like you is going to be able to bring people in and teach them processes, skills and how to execute, but what are some of those things that are harder to put your finger on that you look for?

Steli: One thing I’m always looking for that is almost impossible to teach – at least I don’t think companies should take the responsibility and the burden to teach this to these individuals they hire – is what I call emotional stability. Sales is always going to be a very emotionally taxing job. There are going to be high highs and very low lows. There’s really no way to hide in selling, and there’s also no way to take a break or catch your breath. That’s why selling oftentimes is closely compared to athletics and sports, because no matter if it’s a team activity, your individual performance is very clear. It’s very easy to score. And no matter how great you are – no matter how much you have accomplished – every day, the scoreboard goes back to zero. No matter how great your quarter was in terms of your sales numbers, the quarter ends, and boom: there’s a new quarter, and guess what? Your numbers are zero. You have to do it again and again and again, no matter how great you are. That can be very, very hard emotionally.

“Sales is such a people sport. It is the sport of communicating with a resolve and a conversion at the end of the communication and having the relationship in mind”

Sales is such a people sport. It is the sport of communicating with a resolve and a conversion at the end of the communication and having the relationship in mind. You are constantly managing. You’re constantly having to interact with other human beings and trying to manage their emotions and your emotions and trying to get them to make a decision, which is usually very hard for humans. We don’t like making decisions. And naturally, if you’re a human being, you’re going to be going through highs and lows as is. You’re going to have days where there are troubles in your personal life. Maybe there’s trouble with your health; maybe there’s just a mood swing because of whatever. There are going to be things that will affect your mood, and you’re going to have days that you don’t feel good.

In selling, there’s no place to hide, and nobody cares if you had a bad day. Nobody wants to deal with that. You have to be able to get into a level state of control: that emotional stability where you can put that part aside and perform with great energy, great empathy and great clarity when you reach out and communicate and negotiate with customers. That can be very hard, so I always look for people who can deal with a lot of emotional pain and emotional turmoil – people with emotional stability who can just deal with their emotions and have the discipline to push through no matter how they feel and do their job with great energy and with great passion, no matter how internally they felt when the day started.

“In selling, there’s no place to hide, and nobody cares if you had a bad day”

That’s just so hard to teach. Some people just have that emotional resilience. Some people have learned it through a lot of hardship, but I don’t know how to teach it to somebody who lacks it. That’s something I look for, and I will always ask people to just tell me about hard times in their life – times where they really, really struggled – and how they dealt with those struggles. I also ask about times of great highs, because that also can be a pitfall. The times when everything went really, really fucking amazingly: what did they do then? Did they keep going, or did they ease and kind of relax a little bit and sit on their success?

And when things went really, really badly, did they disconnect from the world? Did they become more removed? Did they go into depression? Did they let things slide and slip, or did they push through it and keep their promises and commitments? To me, if you don’t have that, sales is just going to be such a terrible job for you, and you’re going to do really poorly in it.

I’m looking for people in general who have friendly strength, which is a unique thing to look for in people. But that’s the type of person I want to always hire for selling. I’m looking for people that are friendly, which means they want to create value in the world. They want to be honest. They want to be good to customers. They want to be great to their teammates. They want to be great to the world. But they also have strength. They do things with confidence and clarity and commitment, and they’re not just friendly with the expectation that the world will simply appreciate their friendliness and come and buy from them. They know they have to also display the strength of telling customers what to do, bringing up difficult conversations, negotiating from a place of confidence and clarity.

The best model for this is a great doctor: somebody who wants to make you healthy but it is not wishy washy about how they go about it. They are the expert. They know. They have the experience. And when you come to them, first they’re going to spend a good amount of time trying to understand your symptoms, your problem, your disease, your situation holistically. But once they have figured it out and they have a diagnosis, they’re not asking – they’re telling you what to do. They know how to make you feel good again.

“If you can find that rare combination of emotional stability and somebody who is friendly and strong, everything else is easy”

That’s the type of salesperson I’m looking for: somebody who can be very, very friendly but isn’t weak. Somebody who’s very, very strong but isn’t hostile, isn’t here to take money away from people, kill the competition, selfish ego. And if you can find that rare combination of emotional stability and somebody who is friendly and strong, everything else is easy. Teaching them your technology, your product, the process, the customer: all that is easy. That’s not that difficult to do. But if you hire somebody who is friendly and weak or hostile and strong – if you hire somebody who’s not emotionally stable and committed and disciplined, you can give them all the sales books in the world. You can teach them all the basics. Their performance is still going to go up and down, left and right, and it’s going to be all over the place. It’s going to be very hard for you to figure out what to do with it.

Overcoming sales slumps

Ciaran: I think you’re right. There’s really no place to hide, and when confidence is low, and you’re not sure of what you’re doing or what you’re saying, that comes through with the customer. And that’s when a deal really starts to go wrong. What are some of the things you do in your own professional life when you maybe have had a bad day, and you have a really important customer call coming up? How do you get yourself into the right mindset to go in and really smash that call?

Steli: That’s a beautiful question. I think for the first 10 years of me being an entrepreneur and selling most of the time, I was looking for an answer to this, because I am burdened with being not the greatest morning person who has ever lived. I’m kind of a moody person in the morning. That is a real problem if you’re in sales, because I would let that mood sometimes take over my day and control me and influence how I was doing things. I was always looking for an answer to this. I was reading all the self-help books, all the psychology books I could get my hands on. I was trying to hack my brain so I wouldn’t feel this way anymore. How can I make it so I don’t feel depressed, I don’t feel tired, I don’t feel demotivated, I don’t feel afraid? How can I make myself get rid of these subhuman emotions and become this superhuman who is always motivated, always pumped, always confident?

“The hack is not to eliminate these emotions. The hack is to learn how to act despite feeling these emotions”

And I failed at that quest. I never figured it out. Then I figured out something that was much simpler to do, which is that I learned the hack is not to eliminate these emotions. The hack is to learn how to act despite feeling these emotions. It’s learning how to get on a call and be awesome on the call while feeling depressed. That’s the game, because sometimes you just can’t avoid feeling depressed. Of course, there are many things you could do. You could exercise, sleep well, meditate, have a hobby, have loving relationship. There are a lot of things we can do to influence our mood and our states and create better habits and a better life. But even if you do all these things perfectly, you’re probably going to still have days where you feel shitty, where things happen that make you feel really, really bad. Welcome: you’re a human being. It took me a long time to accept that fact. But at least for me, I was not able to transcend negative human emotions, no matter how many great things I implemented into my life.

I think it’s more about accepting my state and saying, “I don’t need to feel like doing something to do it well.” And once I accepted that fact, I became unstoppable and held back by my moods and emotions and states of minds. But I have been able to be propelled forward. Because one thing I’ll tell you: when I don’t feel like doing something and I do it anyways, I always feel great, because I’m proud of myself. I know I’ve just did something difficult and that just makes me feel a bit more fulfilled inside.

A great example is that I love going to the gym, although 80% of the time before I go to the gym, I don’t feel at all like going to the gym. Not at all. There used to be a time when I didn’t feel like going to the gym, I would think: “I don’t feel like going. Should I go, then? I don’t know. Maybe I’m overworked. Maybe I will get injured. Maybe I should just take a break.” I would make this a real thing just because I didn’t feel like it. It was a real consideration. Now when I don’t feel like it, I think, “Well, I don’t feel like it almost ever, it doesn’t matter.” I know at the end, when I get out of the gym, I will feel amazing. It doesn’t matter how I feel right now. This plays no part in the decision-making: how I feel before I go into the gym. I’m going.

And that has translated to many other things that I’m doing today. I don’t feel like having this customer call: who cares? I don’t need to feel like having it. I just need to have it. My feelings really don’t matter, here. Just go ahead and do it anyway. I really learned to do things despite not feeling like them, which sounds weird, but it’s like a childhood thing I didn’t learn.

But today I’ve learned to do things no matter how I feel about them, and I’ve uncovered that, really, that’s it. That’s the magical silver bullet for me. It’s helped me to be a lot more disciplined and in control of my emotions, because when I don’t feel like doing something, and I do it anyway, I instantly feel better. I just feel better about myself. I feel better about life; I feel better about everything. I’m a little bit proud of myself. I can depend on me. My word matters. I keep my word to myself. I keep my word to others, and I will succeed, and I will do well and deserve it. I feel good about myself. And that changes my mood, and it turns a bad moment into a good one. And then that bad moment becomes a good (and sometimes great) day.

A culture of collaboration – and competition

Ciaran: One thing we’ve started to do recently – and it’s along the same theme – is to display some of the leaderboards around the sales floor on screens. There are real-time alerts highlighting those top performers. Oftentimes, sales teams shy away from this. Why do you think this is such an important thing, not just for a sales team, but for a company to embrace?

Steli: This is something we didn’t debate internally for a while, because the way we did activity reporting in our own CRM, we didn’t have a leaderboard. And there were lots of pros and cons to all sides. But eventually, we truly looked at the data, and we looked at our own convictions and decided: with salespeople who are truly great at selling, there are certain things all of them have in common.

If there’s just one commonality I could point to in all of them – the nice ones and the nuts and the experienced one (as well as the non-experienced ones) – the one common thread amongst all salespeople who perform really, really well is that they are competitive. It’s the same thing in athletics. Have you ever seen somebody who’s incredible in a sport but is not competitive? No. By definition, it’s a competition. If you don’t like competition, you wouldn’t want to excel in athletics or in this sport and most sports.

Salespeople are the type of humans who like to compare themselves with others to know if they are progressing. They want to be at the very top. That’s what drives them. That’s what gives them passion. That’s what gives them energy. They want to be compared with others, because they want to win. They love winning. And even if it crushes them to lose, that losing is pushing them to get better. They want to know where they rank. They don’t just want to play the game all day long only to find out that nobody’s counting, and so no matter how many goals you score at the end, it’s zero-zero, and everybody has one, and everybody gets a trophy. You’re not going to get salespeople to want to play that game. They want to perform, and the only reason they want to perform is to know that they’re growing. They know that they’re succeeding, and so they need to keep score.

“”One mistake startups can make is to think of competition as a purely bad thing, internally as well”

Most startups really try to build healthy cultures around people who like to collaborate with each other – cultures where we care about our customer, where we care about the world, where we care about creating value and really doing things the right way. I’m not trying to just create cultures of optimizing and maximizing how much money we all make. That’s not the number-one thing everybody’s writing about or thinking about that’s entrepreneurially involved in startups, at least not in my experience of being part of this community for the past 20 years or so. One mistake startups can make is to think of competition as a purely bad thing, internally as well. They can say: “Well, we don’t want our employees to be in competition with each other. That will surely create a toxic culture, and toxic cultures will translate into lots of fights and politics and ultimately our demise. We want to build a collaborative sales culture. We want to build a sales culture where salespeople don’t care about being better than each other or being at the top of a ranking board. So, we’re not going to rank them.”

But what I’m telling startups is that if you do that, you will never retain the greatest salespeople. They will leave you, and you will always, always only retain and attract the mediocre-to-bad salespeople. You’re going to create a really, really poor sales team that’s going to create a culture of losing or struggling. Think about great sports franchises. The team needs to collaborate together to win. The team might have a real vested interest that every player plays really well, but there’s still immense competition within the team as well. There’s competition around who’s going to get the position. Maybe there are two or three players in the overall roster that could play that position, so somebody’s going to need to be number one, and there’s going to be internal competition for that. There’s going to be internal competition, even within the starting team around who’s the star of the team or who is really the captain or who’s really influencing certain things.

There’s going to be competition, because it’s a competitive endeavor. And if you allow for that competition, you can still create a culture of: “We are a team. We want every single one of us to be amazing. Even if you want to be the most amazing of all, you’re still going to win if other people do well here.” Then, you can create an incredibly strong culture where the best salespeople in the world will want to come and work for you, and the ones that are really crushing it will want to stay with your company.

If you don’t care about competition, it means no matter how amazingly I perform, all my efforts are always going to be divided up by everybody else’s effort. Now I see that a lot of people in this team aren’t creating the same value and outcome that I do for the business, but I’m not rewarded at all. That will ultimately lead me to want to leave and join a company in a team where my efforts and my performance is rewarded appropriately. You need to figure out that balance, and I think that a lot of sellers make the mistake that they’re over-correcting. They’ve seen “Glengarry Glen Ross,” or they’ve seen “The Wolf of Wall Street,” and they go, “Oh my god, competition is bad. We don’t want elbows in our offices, so we need to make it so all salespeople always feel good, and there’s no competition.”

And what they misunderstand is that they’re now creating this culture where the wrong people want to come and work: people who don’t want to be measured, people that don’t want to be held accountable for their performance. You’re in a world of trouble, in a world of pain as a startup company. A leaderboard is such a great manifestation of this, because it shows everybody in this team – numerically, based on what the KPIs we’re measuring – where our performance is ranking today. And this is completely bureaucratic. This is completely depending on my performance today. I might be the last on the leaderboard, but there’s nothing that stops me from becoming the very best. It’s just a question of my performance. For the right type of people, this is going to be very motivational. For the wrong kind of people, this is going to be very deflating.

But if people are always at the bottom of the leaderboard and can’t get up, you want to know about that. You want to show it to the world, to the team, to them and to yourself, because that points to a really fundamental issue. They’re not succeeding. This is a problem. They’re not learning. They’re not growing. They’re not generating money and profits for the business. They are either not getting the kind of help they need to become really great at this, or they’re not in the right business, in the right team, in the right position. Every day that you’re keeping them around, you’re wasting their potential. They should be somewhere else doing something totally different. The teams that shy away from a leaderboard are the teams that don’t want to face these realities from a wrong and false sense of not wanting to have a toxic, highly political, highly negative culture. I don’t think it’s that black and white. I think you can find a golden middle, and that’s what we’re aiming for.

Ciaran: Before we wrap up, a lot of people look to you for inspiration and for guidance when they’re starting to set up a sales team or even a company. But who’s the business leader that impresses you or inspires you the most and why?

Steli: For me, it’s Jeff Bezos. Maybe it goes back to consistency. If you think about modern tech icons and tycoons, Amazon is really the only company that started the first bubble of the web in 2000. It was in the first Big Three: Yahoo, eBay, and Amazon. Yahoo and eBay don’t really matter as much anymore in today’s world, but Amazon is very much in the forefront with the newest version of companies and has reinvented and expanded its vision so many different times. Jeff Bezos, as a founder, as a CEO of a technology company, has just been insanely consistent in the way Amazon set their North Star. They’re not thinking about what is constantly changing; they’re focusing on what will never change. And what will never change is that customers will always want the same product for a little lower of a price. They will always want it a little faster. So they’ve taken price and speed as their North Star. All innovation, all technology and everything they do as a company needs to aid that purpose. I really admired him as a founder and CEO and executive for being able to have that level of longevity in an industry that’s changing so fast.

Ciaran: Steli, outside of the book, which you’ve just launched, where can people keep up with your work?

Steli: They can always get in touch with me personally. You can send me an email at steli@close.com. If you want to have the book for free and all the other books that I’ve put together – we have a little library of 11 books – you can send me an email at steli@close.com. Just write “bundle,” and I’ll send you a beautiful link for free to get all our material there.

You can find me @steli on Twitter. If you’re interested, if you’re a big podcast listener and you enjoy podcasts, you can go to thestartupchat.com. I have a biweekly podcast with my good friend, Hiten Shah, who is another legend in the SaaS and startup space. We do a podcast together that people might enjoy. And then, if you go to blog.close.com, there’s a blog where we publish a ton of content around sales and startup sales that people might enjoy and find useful.

Ciaran: Awesome. As a regular listener to that podcast, I can’t recommend it enough. Steli, it’s always great to talk to you. Hopefully, we’ll have you back in the coming months on our podcast again, but for now, thanks a million.

Steli: Thank you so much. Always an honor and pleasure.

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