In our previous article, we gained insights from Stephen Jenkins of Miro about building a sales team capable of going from €3M to €35M in two years. In this article, we look at what it takes to maintain that velocity. Stephen shared these nuggets during our recent webinar “How to Grow Sales from €3M to €35M in 2 Years.”
Aim for the bigger fish, the low-hanging fruit, or both?
Stephen underscores that scaling deals from €10K to €150K isn't about going after bigger fish. It's about reengineering the entire sales process. And that starts with segmentation. The "sweet spot" for higher Average Sales Prices (ASPs) is companies with more than 200 employees. It increases the pool of potential users and the complexity of the deal, which tends to push up the deal size.
Stephen highlights the importance of reshaping the mindset from chasing low-hanging fruit. He recommends adopting longer-term strategies, like value proposition selling. Salespeople need to be motivated in ways that "affect their pockets.” This ensures follow through with the strategy. Encouraging the team to shift their focus to the entire customer lifecycle allowed them to better manage larger deals.
Maintain maximum velocity
Stephen underscores the importance of understanding sales velocity to manage growth. He's a strong advocate for leveraging CRM dashboards. It allows them to keep track of metrics, which they in turn share with the team. By dissecting the sales process, they pinpoint bottlenecks and opportunities for improvement. This granular analysis enables them to tailor strategies that enhance the sales motion through each stage of the funnel.
For businesses with zero to 200 employees, the focus is on speed. For larger, commercial enterprises, they leverage strategic partnerships and long-term relationships. This layered approach allows their team to adapt to various market conditions, making sure they're not just moving quickly, but also moving wisely.
Always question what’s working, and why
This means testing the narratives. Stephen and his leadership team are never content with one successful campaign. They're always probing, asking, "What can we do differently?" This culture of curiosity creates a safe space for innovative thinking. It’s where they uncover some of their best ideas.
“We’re never content with one successful campaign. We’re always probing, asking, ‘What can we do differently?’”
Stephen emphasizes the autonomy of the sales leadership team. For example, he encourages them to adapt strategies based on geographic and industry-specific factors. It helps Miro to create localized campaigns that genuinely speak to their audience. Their methodical approach to A/B testing is a balanced blend of data-driven insights, creative freedom, and an insatiable appetite for narrative experimentation.
How can you make a product sell itself?
At Miro the customer success, product, and marketing departments collaborate together. Regular "Ask Me Anything" sessions with the senior leadership team promotes transparency and open lines of communication. It's a reflection of a shared vision: make the product so good it sells itself.
But it's not just about the product. Customer feedback gets incorporated into their strategy at a rapid pace. Stephen attributes the speed of implementation to the “army” they have behind them. Almost half of their business is made up of product people. They hold regular advisory boards and collect customer insights. This ensures that their approach meets the real-world needs of their 50+ million users worldwide. Every person in the company plays a role in the larger mission of product-led growth.
What happens when a product doesn’t sell itself?
Product-Led Growth (PLG) isn't the one-size-fits-all solution for every business. The key is to understand your customer's journey and make the buying process as easy as possible. Increasing the size of the sales force won't help if the product itself lacks compelling use cases or is too complicated. Know your customer, tailor your strategy, and make sure you're not just pushing a product that isn't ready for the spotlight.
“Know your customer, tailor your strategy, and make sure you're not just pushing a product that isn't ready for the spotlight.”
Transform your sales team structure
Initially, Miro had a dedicated Sales Development Representative (SDR) team focused on inbound sales. As the company grew, this focus diversified. It compelled each sales rep to be more self-reliant. Quarterly, the team identifies a pool of users ripe for enterprise-level engagement. These are then divvied up among individual reps to target, using a specific set of criteria. The idea is to approach businesses that are mature enough to consider offerings like enterprise-level PI planning or agile workflows.
The shift from a solely inbound to a combined inbound-outbound strategy proved advantageous. While it did extend the sales motion, it allowed for a higher Average Sales Price (ASP). In a strategic twist, approaching potential customers directly gives the company the ability to "anchor high." When they set a higher initial price point, it influences the rest of the negotiation. This model has been so effective that they've scaled their SDR team. Now its primary role is to make these initial approaches. The sales reps then close the deal, thereby streamlining the entire sales process.
Empower your sales team through knowledge sharing
Sharing knowledge among salespeople is a cornerstone for team development. Miro employs multiple strategies to ensure that the sales team is always learning, both from successes and setbacks. Weekly team meetings, big deal reviews, and ideation sessions serve as the platform for connecting. Salespeople then discuss their pipelines, dissect won or lost opportunities, and brainstorm innovative strategies. By using Miro's platform for internal communication, every sales rep can contribute their unique perspective on market experiences, strategies, and even the lessons learned from failures. It boosts the team's collective intelligence and ability to adapt.
It’s not always a marriage made in heaven
Stephen adopts a thoughtful, multi-layered approach to managing low-performing salespeople. Before jumping to conclusions, he encourages leaders to examine the targets and expectations set for the salesperson. Are they realistic? Is the company setting the individual up for success? An analysis of sales velocity metrics—such as deal size, conversion rates, and close rates—can pinpoint areas for improvement. Yet, it isn't just about numbers. He looks to understand whether the individual is in the "right space," both mentally and emotionally.
Performance issues boil down to two basic factors: "skill" and "will." If the salesperson has the skill but lacks the right attitude or "will," that's a different challenge. Skill can be taught, but an unfavorable attitude requires a different approach. Sometimes it’s necessary to acknowledge that an individual may not be a good fit. His approach balances hard metrics with human factors.
Give teammates the credit they deserve
When it comes to celebrating success, Stephen’s method is highly individualized and considerate. He believes in tailoring recognition based on what motivates each team member. Some might revel in a company-wide shout-out on Slack, while others might find it cringe-worthy. Stephen ensures that leaders are aware of their team members' accomplishments, promoting both a culture of acknowledgment and career growth. It’s important that each member receives the credit they deserve. This includes shout-outs from high-level executives.