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!