I am mathematician software developer good at algorithms and optimization.

Got teamed up with a partner to sell a product in a space where I have no traction and flat spit the revenue.

We have made money but the market is getting smarter and demanding a smarter product. I have delivered a smarter product but my sales partner is just not learning (or not willing) to sell it.

I don't have traction in the space and the nature of the business is I can't sell direct. You need a licence and I don't want to be in sales.

How do I get the sales partner to get on board with the new features? Since the money flows though the sales partner and they feel like they are in charge and want to take over product design. They are asking for features that will break existing features. I don't have direct access to the user but I keep usage statistics and know these existing features are used extensively. Basically the partner wants to design for demo . The attitude is that I will fix it when it breaks but I know that at high volumes the partner demo features just will not hold up. My features are more conservative and I admit harder to sell.

  • 2
    This sounds like it belongs in startups.stackexchange.com
    – Bowen
    Commented Apr 10, 2015 at 21:53
  • 2
    If you have a mathematics degree and a history of delivering solutions as a software developer, and your salesperson doesn't understand how valuable you are, then your salesperson is unsalvageable. I don't understand your license issue, but sounds like you can do much better elsewhere. Commented Apr 10, 2015 at 22:27
  • Not clear, do you have a problem with a particular sales person, or with every sales person you have worked with so far? Commented Apr 11, 2015 at 5:46
  • @VietnhiPhuvan Sales partner. I am OK with the question getting closed. It is not a good fit.
    – paparazzo
    Commented Apr 11, 2015 at 12:04
  • @Bowen I agree. I did not know about startups. I am OK with this question being closed or deleted. I do not want it migrated. I want to get used to startups and then post there.
    – paparazzo
    Commented Apr 11, 2015 at 12:31

1 Answer 1


Threats usually work poorly - they increase the tension between the colleagues and shift the focus from the underlying issue to being defensive, protective, etc.

Also, it's a bit hard to suggest because we don't know why he is not learning to sell.

I would try to approach it from a different angle. Try to encourage him instead. Maybe he is not a bad, ignorant person, just needs some push.

Hey, seems like the users find our product valuable. However, the competitors are catching up and we must improve if we want to keep the current position in the market. Could you research and come up with some ideas? Because if we don't improve our sales tactic then we are risking getting out of business despite having a strong product. I believe that together we can not only retain the current position but make it stronger.

At the end of the day, we all are humans and sometimes need some praise/encouragement.

Also, if you intend to sell the product yourself (kick him out) and you have founded a company together (i.e. both are shareholders) then you might want to talk to a lawyer.

  • I have advanced the product. The sales partner is a good person. I have no interest in selling direct. If I move on I will go to another industry. Sorry but I am going to delete. Question is not a good fit here.
    – paparazzo
    Commented Apr 11, 2015 at 12:32

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