Garrett Stanton of Okta joined us this week with a great podcast focused on "Using Events To Accelerate Sales." Garrett was employee number 20 at Okta and runs the middle market sales team for the company. He came on before the holidays to talk to us about a great sales strategy to move prospects down the funnel and to potential close: Events. Most young SaaS organizations wouldn't think a ton about this strategy of sales events as an effective way to close business and drive leads on the sales side but Garrett presents a pretty compelling case to anyone here as to why this matters and is one of the most effective strategies early on.In our podcast Garrett and I walk through the early days of events at Okta and how they started with the approach of "crawl, walk, run" in doing sales events. He talks a lot about being scrappy and making sure that you don't overspend on these types of sales events given the limited budget that most startups will have early on. We move on to talk a bit about the psychology of the IT buyer and why an solid event can really be a game changer in a great way. We then walk into the mechanics of pulling a sales oriented event off. From the venues to the themes and speaker topics as well as how to bring partners into the event, we cover a lot of ground. Garrett also talks about the early customer evangelists that drove them to create these events as well as how cold leads can sometimes be best placed into this setting to accelerate them through the sales funnel. Finally, Garrett walks listeners through the key metrics to be tracking and talks about some non obvious ones to the Okta team that they continue to track to this day. Overall listeners will leave the podcast thinking a lot more about how events can really help you continue to keep leads warm as well as accelerate people towards a close quicker. Give a listen!
Doug Landis of Box came in this week to talk about "Rep Attainment" as it relates to your growing SaaS company. Many already know Doug as a well known speaker in the sales community and he's also been a frequent guest and speaker at our own CRO Summits. For the uninformed, Doug is currently the VP of Sales Productivity at Box and has been a sales trainer and leader at many companies including Google, Oracle, and Monster.In our podcast Doug talks about the concept of rep attainment and how this really helps your organization build a macro point of view on how the entire sales team is performing. As many SaaS founders know, once you hire in several sellers you really need to start thinking about performance of the team and how well everyone is doing against each other as well as the overall market. With over 200 people in the Box sales organization and the leader of the training and performance silo, Doug knows a thing or two about this topic. He first dives into the backbone of rep attainment models and the sales formula (Pipeline x Deal Size x Win Rate / Sales Cycle) and how this data is used in rep attainment models. Doug then walks listeners through the process by which Box gets this sales formula data out of existing systems like their CRM and ERP (for compensation data) and the basics of how they go about building their own rep attainment models. We then cover some of the benchmarks you should be thinking about and getting out of your rep attainment model and talk at a high level about how to benchmark yourself against market comparables using products like Xactly to see how well your reps are performing. Once you've got a good handle on performance with your rep attainment model you'll need to know what to do if people are over-achieving or under-performing and so Doug closes with a breakdown of how to think about the sales formula in the context of your rep attainment model. He covers some of the lessons learned from his time at Box and where they've seen success and failure. Ultimately the rep attainment model should help any SaaS founder better understand their data and be more efficient on the sales productivity and sales training side.Doug was gracious enough to sanitize a version of the Box rep attainment model and shares it here with us. Give a listen now and don't forget to sign up for our podcast to be notified each week when we have a new one ready.
Kayvan Salmanpour of NewsCred came into the studio this week to talk about "The First 30 Days" and what he did as a sales leader coming into NewsCred. Kayvan was employee #3 and brought a rare blend of being both a seller as well as a sales manager and formerly was an entrepreneur who founded his own company called Media Planet. Our friend Mark Roberge at Hubspot talks a lot about what qualities you want in your first sales hire and Kayvan is probably the best example of the perfect person to have given his entrepreneurial background and founder of his own company. He did a lot in the first 30 days, selling the first 50 deals, hiring in the initial sales team, and then running that team to ultimately build the initial trajectory of the business to where it is today. He is now the VP of International and focused on growing the business around the globe.In our podcast we talk a lot about the very beginnings of NewsCred on the sales side and what Kayvan brought to the table when he was hired into NewsCred. We then cover how he handled the psyche and dream of the founders and really managed them appropriately so that the relationship and expectations were grounded and successful. Next we move on to literally the first 5 things that Kayvan did when coming into the role in the first 30 days. Things like recording the founders pitch, transcribing, and distilling it down into a sales playbook as well as running vertical market audits to showcase what sectors and segments NewsCred might have been missing. Kayvan's always up for sharing and this podcast is rich with real world tips and tricks that he's learned through the years. He was also kind enough to sanitize the vertical market audits he ran and so we are including here. Give a listen and don't forget to write a review on iTunes for us as we continue to grow!
Dustin Markowski from Chartbeat joined us this week for the seventh edition of the Bowery Capital Startup Sales Podcast. Dustin is currently the VP of Sales & Customer Success at Chartbeat and formerly was the Head of the Enterprise Sales at Hightail and prior to that held the same role at ShareVault. He's been twice hired into organizations as the first sales leader over the top of several SDRs and AMs and came to the studio this week to speak with us about "Building Disciplined Sales Organizations."In our podcast Dustin and I cover the scenario that he faced when joining Chartbeat and how he built the individual sales contributors and the customer success team into a well oiled machine. We speak a fair amount about the nuances involved in building discipline and how he has dealt with issues like building discipline with individual sellers, forcing new or "the right" elements of pipeline contribution and lead generation, what to do when people start getting angry at the disciplined approach you are taking (!), and finally what impact this sort of discipline can ultimately have on your organization. Most SaaS companies go through these issues at some point between $1M and $5M in ARR and it is helpful to hear Dustin distill his experiences.
Russell Sachs from Work Market joined us this week for the sixth edition of the Bowery Capital Startup Sales Podcast. Russell has long been a sales leader in the NY community and is currently the EVP of Sales at Work Market. We sat down with him to walk through "The MEDDICC Sales Qualification Process." Back during his MessageOne and Dell days he learned the process from an old boss and it has stuck with him as a teaching tool in every company he’s been with since.For those that do not know, the principles of the MEDDIC (as it was originally known) acronym are generally know as the holy grail of sales forecasting and widely used today by many of the best SaaS companies. The MEDDICC acronym was originally developed at Parametric Technology Corporation (PTC) by the sales development team of Richard Dunkel and Jack Napoli. Why should you care? After the sales team adopted the MEDDICC qualification process, sales grew from $300MM to $1B and PTC met or exceeded every quarters revenue targets for 20 quarters in a row. Richard and Jack continue to teach the MEDDICC framework today and while there are a lot of sales methodologies out there, MEDDICC has survived the test of time and continues to be widely used.In our podcast Russell talks about where he learned the MEDDICC process and how he implements it at Work Market, how emerging SaaS companies should think about this framework to force analytical rigor, and what to do when MEDDICC is working and what to do when it is not working. Following the high level discussion, we dive into each component of the MEDDICC framework and Russell gives real world stories and thoughts on each component as well as tips and tricks that he’s learned over his 10+ years using the framework. To follow along with the podcast Russell was gracious enough to share an accompanying presentation which puts pen to paper on the full process. Given we cover a lot of information I’d encourage everyone to read the slides following listening to the podcast. Give it a listen!
Cezary Pietrzak joined us in the Bowery Capital offices this week for the fifth edition of the Bowery Capital Startup Sales Podcast. We chose a fascinating topic that Cezary has had a ton of experience around that we loosely called "Humanizing Data". Cezary has been a consultant to companies like Google and Y&R on the larger side and Appboy and DigitalOcean on the start-up side, and has also started his own company, Wanderfly (acquired by TripAdvisor). Time and time again he found sales and marketing teams knee deep in data without an understanding of the macro picture. As a result he started to develop a high level thesis and framework to help SaaS companies think more about the human side of the data as it related to customers, partners, stakeholders, and anyone that interacts with a company.In our podcast Cezary takes the listener through the high level framework and how he came upon the thinking and then we dive into specific examples of how companies use this thinking today. We cover specific SaaS examples and showcase how complimenting heavy analysis with some higher level understanding helps really target root issues and develop both practical and quantitative solutions. Cezary also talks about specific examples where the data can sometimes get you stuck and how humanizing it can pull you out of the weeds and help solve problems. Overall a really fascinating topic and one that I think many companies don't think enough about. The full transcript can be found here if you want to read. Give a listen and we hope you enjoy!
Sam Jacobs from Axial and Bryan Rutcofsky from Yext joined us this week for the fourth edition the Startup Sales Podcast. The topic of our discussion focused around "Scaling Sales with SDRs" and how to build a large sales team by utilizing sales development reps and their lifecycle from SDR to Account Executive and Beyond. Sam and Bryan have both been with their respective companies from the very early days and have learned from failures and successes what makes a good SDR and how to get the best results from these hires. They've trained hundreds of early sales employees in the art of selling and individually closed much of the early business at Axial and Yext.In our podcast Sam and Bryan talk to listeners about a number of high level elements associated with hiring SDRs. In today's startup environment it's extremely difficult to find quality sales talent and just as difficult to retain it. Sam and Bryan discuss their perfect SDR profile, how they go about training young sales teams, and how they encourage their teams to perform well at their job day in and day out. Following a high level discussion Sam and Bryan each reveal their most valuable tip on how to succeed as a startup sales person who's just getting into the game. Give a listen and we hope you enjoy!
JT Levin and Geoff Winchell from Sailthru joined us this week for the third edition the Startup Sales Podcast. The topic of our discussion focused around "Whale Hunting" and how to really build large accounts early on in your SaaS business. JT and Geoff were the first two sales hires to Sailthru and today manage the team that generally is focused on six and seven figure deals. They've seen 400+ customers and tens of millions of dollars of revenue through the life of the business and individually closed most of the big accounts that today make up a large portion of the revenue for the business.In our podcast JT and Geoff talk to listeners about a number of high level elements associated with winning whale customers and dispel the old adage that "nobody gets fired for buying IBM." Today's marketers and technologists are much more well-versed and knowledgeable and even a small SaaS company like Sailthru was able to land some very large business by operating more effectively early on. Following a high level discussion JT and Geoff each cover one of their larger whales and walk the listener through the scenario of how they got the lead, worked the account, and ultimately closed the business. They talk a fair amount about where the snags were and ultimately the lessons learned and tricks they used to win the business. Give a listen and we hope you enjoy!
Mitch Wainer from DigitalOcean joined us today for the second edition of something new we're trying here called the Startup Sales Podcast. The topic of our discussion focused around "How Marketing Drives Success In Your Early Days" and Mitch is one of the best minds on the topic having co-founded Digital Ocea. He's been the CMO of the company from the beginning and tested, implemented, and succeeded with more new ideas and tooling than we could mention in the podcast. Mitch is also a well known voice in the growth-hacking community.In our podcast Mitch walks listeners through what DigitalOcean did from a marketing standpoint with customers 0 through 50, then 50 through 2,000 and finally 2,000 and beyond. Mitch talks about the various tools and services the company uses to grow, the unique organization he has built around marketing, and how customers "bear hugging" customers and constant feedback loops have helped them better understand their own brand and positioning in the market.
Will BatsonfromClearSlidejoined us today for the inaugural edition of something new we are trying here called the Bowery Capital Startup Sales Podcast. The topic of our discussion primarily focused around making the most of SaaS trials and Will knows a thing or two about the topic having joined ClearSlide back in 2010 as their first sales hire when the busines had 2-3 customers. With thousands of customers today, $90MM+ in capital raised, and a ton of lessons learned Will was kind enough to share his expertise with an eye towards helping emerging companies think about SaaS trials.In our podcast Will talks about a number of topics including how to build "brand trust" early on to get a lead to trial your product, trial length versus value exchanged, how to deal with "trial fatigue" and force conversion to sign-up, when should your company not engage in trials, and finally how to get a trial customer to be your biggest evangelist. The full transcript can be foundhereif you want to read. Give a listen and we hope you enjoy!