Chris FloresofNamelyjoined us in the studio this week to record another episode of theBowery Capital Startup Sales Podcast: “Building Your Sales Automation Stack.” Every startup sales team faces this question early on: what tools or infrastructure do I need to empower my salespeople and make sure we’re ready to scale quickly? Our team here atBowery Capitalstays close to the world of startup sales tools both on the investment side and from the perspective of our portfolio companies, and we know well that there is a diverse range of options out there for the modern seller. From CRMs to power dialers to sales analytics platforms, it can be hard to keep track of and there are few true real-world guides out there. That’s exactly what we were able to do in today’s podcast: Chris walks us through the startup “Sales Stack” he built overseeing the growth of Namely’s inside sales team from the ground up, and highlighting the top 10 solutions that have really made a difference.Crafting a stack of startup sales tools may seem easy at the outset: just let your salespeople use what works for them to help hit quota and have them hit the ground running. But when you’re aiming to build a lasting business, it’s important to have a consistent set of tools that your entire team can use. Building a data-driven culture of sales tool compliance is near impossible without this sort of top-down guidance. As a sales manager, however, your work is still cut out for you. Last year, the team here at Bowery Capital pulled together aGuide to Startup Sales Toolsto try to put some structured thoughts around the massive ecosystem of solutions in the space. There are certainly no shortage of options. In our podcast today, Chris takes the analysis one step deeper by walking through his top 10 and why they work for Namely. In no particular order, here’s the list:Rivalry,LinkedIn Sales Navigato,Salesloft,ZoomInfo,Rapportive,Salesforce,InsideSales PowerDiealer,ToutApp,DocSend, andJoinme.We’ll discuss the pain point each of the above solves, how each is used effectively, and the impact that each has had at Namely. Hopefully you’ll find Chris’ insights as useful as we did. If you haven’t checked out the full podcast yet, we hope you’ll do so by heading over to theBowery Capital blog. Until next time!EndFragment
Adam Liebman, SVP of Sales at SinglePlatform (acquired by Constant Contact), joins us in the studio for this weeks Bowery Capital Startup Sales Podcast! We've also decided to mix up the hosting duties as well, and I was glad to join Adam in the studio this week. Most guests that we have on the show are selling products in the five to six figure range, but there are a bunch of successful startups out there selling lower prices products to SMBs and we wanted to share some advice to them as well. Adam is an expert in high velocity inside sales having started his career as one of the first few sales hires at Yext and then as the person responsible for building SinglePlatforms sales organization from the ground up. Adam talked to us about the many differences between high velocity sales people and their enterprise counterparts, tips for getting SMBs on the phone, and different metrics for measuring the success of your team. We also discuss creation of that first sales script from nothing and how to fine tune it along the way. Adam has worked with many successful high velocity sales people and whether they took the shotgun approach or the sniper approach they got the job done. He shares his advice for personal success as well as building a successful inside sales team. If you and your team are selling an inexpensive product over the phones this is a must listen. Give it a listen below and let us know what you think on iTunes!
Whitney Hillyerfrom Bitly joined us in the studio to talk about customer success in a podcast we called “Unique Angles On Customer Success.” We care a lot aboutlistenerfeedback here on the podcast and receive a fair amount of emails and tweets asking to follow up with guests around specific topics. One of the common grouping of questions that has come up recently revolves around post-sales efforts and customer success. Who handles upsells and renewals? How do you build a credible account management and customer success organization? As a result, we brought Whitney on to discuss this very topic!In our podcast we first cover the broad brush-strokes of how to think about customer success in the context of your organization and why it matters a lot from the beginning. This is obviously a super important component of your business so Whitney lays out some unique ideas on how to think about this very early on. We then dive into Whitney's background and experience setting up and growing customer success teams and some tips and tricks to really focus your efforts and win. We move on to some of the really tactical pieces around hiring, firing, metrics, and the various listener questions like who handles upsells and renewals. We cover the technology and tools thatBitlyuses for this effort throughout the podcast and Whitney closes with some big thoughts for all the SaaS founders out there on really how to drive success with this part of your organization. For anyone that cares about growing accounts and really honing in on how to keep business in a competitive environment Whitney really gives listeners the toolkit.
Mark Roberge joined us this week for a very special podcast to talk about the launch of his new book titledThe Sales Acceleration Formula: Using Data, Technology, and Inbound Selling To Go From $0 to $100 Million. We cover a specific component of his book called "The Sales Hiring Formula." Mark has long been a supporter and advisor to the Bowery Capital portfolio and he is currently the Chief Revenue Officer of the Sales Division atHubspot. He is one of the only sales leaders we know who has "gone the distance" starting as employee #4 and growing the sales organization to over 450 people, $100MM in ARR, and 10,000+ customers. His book is the distillation of all he's learned over the past 7 years in the seat and is chock full of sales and marketing insights for any SaaS founder. Go on over to Amazon andgrab a copy now!We start the discussion on how Mark thought initially about sales hiring at Hubspot and how his quantitative background informed his thinking of developing a specific sales hiring formula. We then dive into the actual formula that Mark invented and Hubspot uses to this day and cover the specific traits that they care about when hiring sales people when anchored against his sales hiring formula. Once a SaaS founder has the sales hiring formula, Mark then runs through how to continually test and tweak it over time. Following, we cover some of Mark's lessons on where to find sales people and how to optimize for getting the best candidates coming through your door. Things like forced referrals, passive emails, and building your own recruiting agency will all be new to most founders out there thinking about sales hiring. We close the discussion on what the best profile is for a first sales hire and what specific triggers need to be in place to first make that first sales hire. Give a listen below to the great discussion we had!
David Levy joined us this week for another episode of the Bowery Capital Startup Sales Podcast. David is an enterprise Account Executive at Crittercism, to discuss "Selling SaaS At The Outpost." We constantly talk a fair amount on the podcast about tactics of selling SaaS from your company's headquarters but what about those of us that may not be in HQ and are Selling SaaS At The Outpost? David was the 4th sales hire into Crittercism, a first mobile application performance management (mAPM) solution, and the first hire not based in the company's headquarters in San Francisco. He was the quintessential person selling SaaS at the outpost beginning in New York and building some serious scale for the company early on. Today his coverage is all the way up to Boston and down to Atlanta. David talked with us specifically about several components that matter most as a SaaS Account Executive not in your headquarters. Thinking about things like consistency of communication with HQ, working and discussing on the ground learnings constantly with other AEs that are in your HQ or other regions, learning from other AEs at other companies in your region,executing eventsand going to other smart events in your territory, and finally getting back to your HQ to meet with product, marketing, executive, and sales teams to discuss what is happening on the ground are all key to selling SaaS at the outpost. We talk about the initial days of setting up the Crittercism outpost, how David balanced selling andgetting some quickwins with starting to build out some repeatability and foundation, and finally the model David believes is the best way to really maintain a great working relationship with your HQ. All in it was an excellent discussion about a generally overlooked topic that many SaaS founders don't think a lot about when hiring that first sales person to a territory. Give a listen below and if you canreview uson iTunes it would mean a lot!
Matt Bachmanjoined us in the studio this week to talk about "Building Your Channel Program." Matt was one of the earliest employees at Acquia and came onto the podcast to discuss a common area of thinking for many SaaS founders. As you start to grow in the market with your sales efforts how do you compliment this and add a channel program to start to build beyond your own selling capacity?In our podcast Matt and I dig in to what it means to create a channel program and why any SaaS startup should think hard about building this element of their business out early on. We dive into the specific components necessary to make a program like this successful, how you should think about growing it to become a huge part of your sales and marketing efforts, and finally how to maintain it and keep the best channel partners and eliminate those that don't ultimately perform. Matt has a ton of experience in this space having been one of the first sales employees at Acquia and on the founding team of the BD/Channel Partnerships effort so he knows his stuff and shares it with us. Give a listen and we hope you enjoy!
Dave Govanjoined us in the Bowery Capital studio this week to record another episode of the Bowery Capital Startup Sales Podcast: “Creating An Effective ‘Total Universe Of Accounts.’” This topic is one that every early-stage startup has spent plenty of time working through: compiling that list of potential customers that your startup plans to target when it first goes out to market. While different founders take different tacks, Dave walked us through the importance of formalizing the process and building a strategy piece that he aptly calls a “Total Universe Of Accounts.” As we’ll learn, there’s a right way and a wrong way.Dave has a stellar background as a long time CRO in the SaaS and marketing technology spaces. Over the last decade or so, Dave has served as an SVP leading North American Enterprise sales at VeriSign, and as an EVP at Sailthru, where he led global sales and oversaw a period of rapid expansion into the company’s growth phase. Currently, Dave is the CRO of DynamicYield, a fast-growing provider of SaaS website revenue yield optimization solutions. Finally, Dave is a prolific speaker on sales best practices in marketing SaaS and has authored a book on the topic calledCrisis In The Enterprise.Creating a “Total Universe Of Accounts” seems—on first glance—like a relatively straightforward exercise. But there are clear pitfalls and common mistakes that can lead to a confused and unfocused sales team early on in the life of a startup. As the CRO of DynamicYield, and a longtime SaaS, head of sales, Dave draws out a number of points that we hope you can use as a guide to improve your sales org. While no Total Universe Of Account is—or can be determined—the same, we lay out a clear process to built a focused, data-driven strategy that can help ensure that your early-stage sales team hits the ground running.EndFragment
Raphael Cartyjoins us to talk about a topic that’s likely near and dear to the hearts of many salespeople, but doesn’t often get much coverage: webinars. Raphael is currently the founder and CEO ofCallida Energy, a software solution that powers building optimization—from energy usage and sustainability to facilities management and automation. Raphael also brings with him a long history of thought leadership in the marketing space, having previously served as Head of Marketing forDealertrack, the market leader in vertical software solutions for the automotive industry and a company with one of the fastest times-to-IPO in recent history. He’s also taught marketing at Harvard Business School and worked in various other CMO and leadership roles in the past. One challenge that he repeatedly faced over the course of his career was driving high-quality leads in a cost-effective way—no doubt a topic top-of-mind for most startup sales leaders out there. In this episode, Raphael joined us to talk about one tactic in particular that he found both dramatically raised the quality of his leads, but also ended up reducing his org’s total spend to acquire them.While we’re all familiar with the traditional screen-shared product demo that an SDR or inside salesperson may walk a potential client through, the concept of a webinar—at least as we’ll define it today—is quite different. While a pointed approach and no doubt a cornerstone of startup sales, the standard demos aren’t effective lead-generation methods. They focus on driving one opportunity home, but because they are usually one-on-one, they are a bit hard to scale and aren’t always optimal tools for lead nurturing or market education since they are more transactional (i.e. “salesy”).Webinars done correctly—as Raphael will describe—are just the opposite: they are focused on educating the lead by discussing best practices more so than individual products (though there’s a time for that too). They give the lead a chance to ask questions and learn about their own industry. They feel like a webinar sign-up is less of a commitment upfront and more of an opportunity to absorb knowledge. Should you be selling into a vertical market, this educational aspect has even greater appeal, which you can emphasize by leveraging industry experts and even product managers to lead sessions.At the same time, webinars draw very high-intent leads and—structured correctly—are perfect venues for leads qualification and scoring (e.g. do they use a competitor but aren’t satisfied, do they have no current solution, did they even know there was even a product available, or are they actually just there to learn?). Even sign-ups who don’t end up attending are often better leads than your standard MQL. Raphael shares with us a few particular anecdotes in which he was able to use webinars to achieve an average conversion rate 3-4x higher than other channels. We hope today’s podcast will clue you in as to how you might execute a similarly successful strategy at your startup.EndFragment
We're back this week with another great edition of the Bowery Capital Startup Sales Podcast with Jon Parisi joining us in the studio to talk about "SDR Training Programs." The topic of SDR Training has been a major passion and interest of Jon's through the years and he has written extensively on this with some great presentations out there for any SaaS founder to follow. He's currently the Director of Revenue Development at GuideSpark and we thought it would be great to have him on to follow up from our prior podcast around scaling sales with SDRs. If you don't know how to train them and grow them, how can you scale them? That's the theory we were playing off of and Jon joined us in the studio to share his knowledge and practical advice.In our podcast Jon and I discuss why developing an SDR training program is absolutely necessary to any SaaS company that is in growth mode and what it takes to build a simple framework for training SDRs (or as GuideSpark calls them RDRs or Revenue Development Reps). We talk about GuideSpark specifically and their SDR training program. Things like how long they do classroom training versus practical or more real world training (spoiler: get them on the phones ASAP!) are really important to this and we go into detail on it. We walk through the materials that Jon's marketing and sales teams provide to the newly minted SDRs, how their ramp times look over the course of the first day, week, month, and then finally what the top level benchmarks need to be to know whether or not an SDR is being effective or not. For GuideSpark, the company doesn't really believe that an SDR is going to be fully ramped until about 3,000 calls which we found to be pretty interesting relative to some other SaaS companies we know. We then touch on identifying your best performing reps and what to do with them as well as what to do with those that aren't making the cut. Jon walks listeners through the concept of a performance improvement plan and how GuideSpark uses it as well as instilling the concept of teamwork and collaboration to help everyone in the organization achieve their goals. We close on some tools and software that Jon's team uses to both create the SDR training program as well as what his SDRs use on a daily basis. This was a fun one and another informative podcast for any SaaS founder who is working heavily with SDRs and developing an SDR training program.
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!