Cold Meetings Don’t Convert to Sales Wins – Or Do They?

It’s one thing to get meetings. It’s another to generate sales wins. Too many sellers rely too heavily on inbound leads, referrals, and repeat business. However, there often isn’t enough of these to go around to allow you to reach your overall sales target. If you need to drive your own pipeline, you need cold meetings. Unfortunately, many sellers don’t even believe that cold meetings result in sales. First off, if you don’t believe cold meetings can convert to sales, you’re right! It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. For many sellers, it’s their approach to cold meetings that condemns their success. Leading a sales meeting where you’re the one setting the meeting and driving the demand is different than when the buyer reaches out to you and requires its own approach. When you set a meeting with a buyer, there isn’t a stated buyer need. The onus is on you to lead
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Why Great Pitches Come From Customers: 5 Questions for Pinpointing Why They Really Buy

Editor’s Note: This article first appeared on LinkedIn here. A few months ago, the CEO of a growth-stage software company on the East Coast engaged me to align his team around a new strategic narrative – the high-level story they’ll pitch in sales, fundraising, recruiting, everything. After a half-day kickoff session with the team, the CEO and I had dinner at a crab restaurant, where he told me he was concerned.
“How are we going to take all of my team’s divergent ideas,” he said, digging the meat from a stubborn claw, “and merge them into one simple, powerful narrative?”
To be sure, judging by the opinions expressed in the kickoff session, you’d think some of his team members operated in completely different markets. Thankfully, experience has taught me that this is almost always the case, and not to panic. Because there was one voice we hadn’t yet heard
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Hiring for sales in a product-led world

Editor’s Note: This article first appeared on the Intercom blog here. Founders make natural salespeople. So much of what they do, particularly fundraising, is selling. They’re the first and best salesperson your company will ever have. But even if you have a great product, there will come a point where you simply need to build out a sales function. This can be a terrifying thought to anyone whose image of sales resembles Silicon Valley stereotypes. Potentially the greatest culture clash a startup will ever face is the day they bring in their first sales team. But if you scale this function with intention, a sales org will enrich your company’s existing culture, help you build better product, and sell it too? Getting the right team is the hardest part. As VP of Sales at Intercom, I lead a 50-person team that aspires to be both world class and culture
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SaaStr Podcast #169: Kolton Andrus, Founder & CEO @ Gremlin with the Secret to Ensure High Conversion on Trials

Welcome to Episode 169! Kolton Andrus is the Founder & CEO of Gremlin, the failure as a service startup finds weaknesses in your system before they cause problems. To date, they have raised over $8m in VC funding from some of the best in the business including the likes of Mike Volpi @ Index Ventures and Mike Dauber @ Amplify Partners. Prior to Gremlin, Kolton was a Chaos Engineer at Netflix, improving streaming reliability and operating the Edge services. Fun fact: Kolton also designed and built Netflix’s failure injection service. Before that he improved the performance and reliability of the Amazon Retail website. At both companies he has served as a ‘Call Leader,’ managing the resolution of company-wide incidents. In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

Designing Effective Sales Comp Plans: The Dos and Don’ts for Every Sales Leader

I recently caught up with a sales rep for a Fortune 500 company that has rolled out an overly complex comp plan with a complicated series of multipliers and significant number of SPIFFs (Sales Performance Incentives. For Fun!) and exceptions. The most recent revision of the comp plan was pushing a particular product – if you sold module X, your commission for the entire deal would be 20% higher. It’s an interesting idea in theory, but whoever designed it didn’t think through the practical implementation. This sales rep knew his clients didn’t need that module and wasn’t going to force it on them. Instead, he attached that item to every single order for the 3 months the SPIFF ran, discounted it 100% and took an extra 20% commission on the other items. You can’t blame him – he did what was right for the customer and gamed the system
Designing sales comp plans v2
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SaaStr Podcast #168: Ryan Williams, Founder @ SalesCollider Shares Why 70% of Startup’s VPs of Sales Fail

Ryan Williams is the Founder of SalesCollider, the organization that helps technical founders jumpstart sales. Ryan got his start as the first sales manager at Adroll where he grew the team from 3 to 32 reps in just 8 months, a team that was responsible for ARR growing from $4m to $58m in under 2 years. Ryan then became an advisor to the early team at InVision where he coached both CEO and sales reps to close the first dozen enterprise deals. Then his last stop before founding SalesCollider was as VP of Sales at LeadGenius where he grew enterprise sales by over 400% and added clients such as Ebay, IBM, and Google, just to name a few. Ryan is also an Entrepreneur in Residence @ 500 Startups and a Mentor with First Round Capital. In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

5 Important Elements For Strategic Account Planning Sessions

Arguably one of the most underrated elements of enterprise sales is account planning. It takes time, energy, and focus away from other mid-funnel opportunities that require significant resource investment. However, even though strategic account planning sessions are viewed by the sales organization as helpful and important, they simply don’t happen often enough. In fact, according to a recent CSO Insights 2016 Sales Enablement Optimization Study, 10.4% of those surveyed said that strategic account planning wasn’t relevant to them and therefore they wouldn’t do it. The data also showed that 24.8% of all global participants said that account planning is left up to each sales professional while only 31.7% said that salespeople are “encouraged” to develop strategic account plans. Out of all participants surveyed, only 33.1% require that each sales professional develop strategic account plans. That means over 50% of sales professionals don’t take advantage of
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The 3 Mistakes Every Company Makes Building the Outbound Sales Model

Editor’s Note: The following article is based on Liz Cain’s presentation at SalesLoft’s Rainmaker Conference. You can see the full presentation here. I’m going to take you back, way way back. The year is 1999. And what we now consider to be “old cloud” companies were just being founded. Salesforce was one of the first out of the gate with an inside model. Marc Benioff and his team demonstrated a consistent ability to scale with an outbound sales team in those early years. Top 3 Mistakes Building Outbound Sales And with that, modern inside sales was born. Building an outbound sales motion is not new, and yet almost every company makes the same three mistakes in the first months of getting up and running.

1. You don’t know your top segments, and if you do you’re not prioritizing them.

Every company starts broad. Excited by a large market and countless use cases, they take what comes
Top 3 Mistakes Building Outbound Sales Model
Top 3 Mistakes Building Outbound Sales Model
Top 3 Mistakes Building Outbound Sales Model
Top 3 Mistakes Building Outbound Sales Model
Top 3 Mistakes Building Outbound Sales Model
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