How to Think About Political Sales


By Laura Weidman Powers

In the categories:

At New Media Ventures, we invest in companies wrestling with the biggest challenges facing our democracy today. So it’s not surprising that many of our portfolio companies are developing new products or services to support progressive organizations, campaigns, and candidates. Companies like MobilizeAmerica, Hustle, and Swayable are developing tech and tools designed to power the progressive movement – but their ability to recruit and retain customers can be the difference between impact and irrelevance.

We have observed over the past nine years and 80+ investments that organizations selling into the political space face challenges and opportunities somewhat distinct from companies engaged in more traditional enterprise sales. And so, while a lot has been written and shared about sales strategy generally, we noticed that we have been giving advice to companies in our portfolio and at conferences that was nuanced and tailored to the political sales process. Since we’d love to see more progressive organizations thriving, we’re excited to share some of our key thoughts in this whitepaper.

This paper is divided into eight sections:

  • Diagnosing an Issue

  • Measure Everything

  • Inbound vs. Outbound Sales

  • Know Your Customers

  • Consider Capital Efficiency

  • Plan for Churn

  • Offerings and Pricing

  • Hiring Salespeople

The content is presented in a combination of bullet points and prose with the hope that leaders in progressive organizations can quickly zero in on the advice most relevant to their situation. It’s dense, but we tried to make it readable and to cut the fluff. 

We hope this resource will help demystify the political sales process for the next wave of progressive organizations that will help our democracy thrive. And we’d love to hear what you think! Please reach out to us with tips we missed, what suggestions resonate with your experience, questions you’d love to hear answered, and more, and we’ll use that feedback to update this resource in the future!