This week, the Bowery Capital team hosted Blake Guerrero, VP of East Sales at Pendo, to discuss tips for “Communicating With Product Teams As An Early Seller." Pendo is a product experience platform that helps software product teams build software users love. By combining product analytics with qualitative feedback, Pendo helps product teams make informed decisions about what they are building and for who, and then provides contextual guidance, help, and communication so their users get the most value. Pendo’s customers include Yext, OpenTable, Emma, Zendesk, MetLife, and more. In today’s episode, Blake and I discuss the ins and outs of what it means to be one of the first sellers in your organization. How does a seller communicate back to his or her product team what he or she is seeing the market? We cover that and more. Blake was the second seller at Mixpanel and is a current sales leader at Pendo, both of which sell their software products into engineers and product managers at some of today’s leading software companies, so he’s well-versed in this conversation. In addition to internal conversations with your own product team, Blake and I also chat on what it means to be a seller whose main buyer is on a product team within a target customer profile. Blake answers questions around how to prioritize customer feedback, how product teams view the ROI of the products they’re buying into, and more. Blake Guerrero is the VP of East Sales at Pendo. Prior to Pendo, Blake was a sales leader at Mixpanel and cut his teeth at Salesforce too. A California native now living in NYC, Blake’s sales career has spanned both tech companies big and small, and he actually started off as an engineer before heading deeper into the world of sales.
This week, the Bowery Capital team hosted Scott Rotermund, Co-Founder and Chief Growth Officer of Welltok, to discuss “How Early Customers Shape GTM Strategy.” Welltok provides a range of data-driven consumer health solutions. Their award-winning health optimization platform empowers population health managers to connect consumers with personalized health improvement resources and make it easy and rewarding for consumers to complete actions that optimize their health. Scott begins by explaining how early customers impact future strategy immensely. The period in which companies attract their first customers is a crucial learning stage, defining the course for future growth. He explains how relationship building with early customers is not just helpful for reducing churn, it also gives founders a fantastic opportunity to receive live feedback on product tweaks and changes. Further, experiences with your first few customers can inform not just your product strategy but also your sales and GTM strategy. However, this cannot be accomplished without a solid plan in place. Managers need to instruct sales reps and account executives on what kind of questions they should ask clients and how to collect those answers into an organized and shareable space that managers can easily access. Naturally, the development team needs to be looped in as well. It may even be helpful for folks on the strategy side to set up meetings with their clients and dev team members. Early customers should be appreciated as a massive resource, contributing to the development of product and GTM strategy. Scott is a Co-Founder of Welltok, and currently the Chief Growth Officer, driving new strategic partnerships and forging collaborations with the most innovative population health organizations. He brings more than 25 years of deep healthcare knowledge to Welltok with a focus on health plans. Prior to co-founding Welltok, Scott was a co-owner and led all sales for PSI, a healthcare services company acquired by Metavante Corporation in 2003. Following the acquisition, Scott served as Vice President of Sales for the Metavante Healthcare Solutions Group. Scott holds a bachelor of science degree from the University of New Hampshire’s Whittemore School of Business and Economics.
This week, the Bowery Capital team hosted Matt Gahr, Chief Sales Officer at Chrome River, to discuss “Tips to Build a 30-60-90 Day Plan for Sales Leaders.” Chrome River is a global leader in enterprise expense reporting and invoice management solutions, based out of California. The company prides itself in extremely high customer retention and satisfaction. According to Matt, the first 30-60-90 day plan is more situationally oriented than formulaic, but this also depends on the company and objectives. While there may be some parameters around what the 30-60-90 day framework should look like, it’s highly contingent around the core task and goals of the sales leader. Matt himself firmly believes in setting the tone of the relationship from the start as that influences how that relationship evolves. First and foremost, it’s important to have clarity around objectives and tactics within the sales team. Once that has been established, it’s essential to do the same with your counterparts in other functions so you may jointly problem solve any obstacles in your way by leveraging a shared expertise, all while building relationships within the firm to drive sales forward. Finally, similar conversations must be conducted with customers to better understand their need and their feedback to your product. To lay the same out more tactically: in the first 30 days, sales leaders should have in-person conversations with sales managers within their organization to establish an open, trusting relationship as well as an understanding on motivations and objectives; in the first 60 days, they should conduct further conversations with the rest of the sales team; lastly over the 90 day range, they need to extend these interactions to customers for better understanding the value your product brings them and what defines success for them. At the end of this time period, a sales leader should become informed on his organization, product and market. Having done this a few times, a common malpractice Matt has recognized among new sales leaders is to come into a new organization and try to prove their value from day one, having a “ready-fire-aim” mentality. Instead, as mentioned previously, it’s essential to run diagnostics and better assess the team, firm, market and customer as well as understand the context and process through which each current practice was established, then move forward. Matt Gahr is the Chief Sales Officer at Chrome River. Prior to this, he was the Vice President of Sales for Americas at Cornerstone OnDemand where he helped grow the business from $25 million to over $500 million. Prior to joining Cornerstone, Matt was a sales leader at TriNet and Randstad. In the early part of his career, he also served as co-founder and VP of Sales for GetListed, a recruiting marketplace startup. Matt received his BS in Business Administration and International Affairs from University of New Hampshire and an MBA from University of California, San Diego.