SalesMajstr is an event for salespeople to network, drink, eat and (mainly) share what they created or achieved in sales. The last event happened on 11 November in Prague, and we made a summary for those who weren’t there with us, so dig in…
We watched three superb lectures on the topic of Building and Scaling a B2B Sales Machine, concretely: acquiring partners (customers) and building sales teams. Experts from CloudTalk, Emplifi, and Sewio Networks shared their know-how:
- How to build an acquisition team; from 3 to 30 sales representatives in 24 months by Marek Bean, the Head of Sales in Cloudtalk
- How to maintain the performance of the acquisition team; Managing the pulse of the organization by René Kubů, the VP Customer Experience & Customer Success of Emplifi (Socialbakers)
- How to reach new customers; Successful outbound partner acquisition by Petr Passinger, the CMO of Sewio Networks
Download slides from the event here
Keep reading to learn how to build and grow an acquisition team, keep its performance in the best possible condition, and acquire new partners successfully.
Marek Beran | CloudTalk:
How to build an acquisition team; from 3 to 30 sales representatives in 24 months
Marek gained experience and gained valuable know-how in consulting. Later, as a Head of Sales in the start-up CloudTalk, he used them a lot.
According to Marek, the correct setup and allocation of employees is the key to the success of CloudTalk. He gradually created 3 acquisition team models, while each of those models was used for a different number of sales representatives in the company as the company grew.
The latest team structure is:
- individual teams based on inbound SDR positions (which is a sales representative who doesn’t focus on closing deals, but on leads)
- account executive who focuses on closing deals
- sales leader
As the sales department grows, a new position of a sales leader is introduced, while individual teams keep their sales directors. Supportive positions, such as SDR manager or analyst helping create leads, also come into existence during growth. In Mark's current, the largest sales team form, outbound sales also come into play.
Check other CloudTalk methods of creating and managing sales teams:
1. Create an effective team by correctly and precisely defining each member’s job description. As your sales department grows, don't mix the team members or their competencies. Instead, create separate, more agile teams.
2. A salesperson in the AE team must deliver a full quota in three months after onboarding. For larger teams that have sufficient support, you can afford to increase the quotas. Divide the roles of AE into those who close bigger deals and those who take care of smaller deals.
3. Don't mix inbound and outbound; let the SDR focus on just one of the disciplines (they will always prefer inbound or even skip the outbound entirely). It is better to separate the two specializations.
Final TIP from Cloudtalk: Focus on automation, too. Add a call-to-action button to your web so potential customers can try out the demo and book a call. Adding this button brought us a lot of new leads.
Rene Kubu | Emplifi / formerly Socialbakers:
How to maintain the performance of the acquisition team; Managing the pulse of the organization
Rene worked in a manufacturing company for 17 years. He went through all the possible positions here until he got into a sales leader role, then spent some time in Microsoft until he finally got a job in Emplifi (Socialbakers).
In his lecture, René focused on the theme of keeping the acquisition team performing. According to him, it helps to ask yourself a few questions first. For example, what type of department you are building - inbound or outbound? For René, inbound was not enough. He had to jump into outbound, too, to cover all regions.
René stresses it’s essential to clarify what goals and rhythm your company has. There was a tradition in his former company; each day, various teams would sit down, and talk about what went well, what didn't and why, and how to fix it. But sales representatives couldn’t meet every day. Instead, René decided to do a weekly pipeline status update, and it showed as an ideal scenario.
Get started with the Emplifi sales methods now:
- If your sales process is long and you need to measure the sales representatives' success, consider whether watching the number of closed deals is the correct way. It can be somewhat unfair to your sales representatives. Emplifi prefers to count the number of business meetings during a given week.
- Personalize. Despite having various tools and templates, about 30% of personalization is needed to be done by hand by sales representatives. This number varies by seniority, industry, and segment.
- Use your data. You can't be successful without them. Also, A/B test your outbound emails.
- Do not give up. In Emplifi, sales representatives need at least 7 touchpoints to get the attention of potential customers. The most common number is between 12 and 15 touchpoints. So, don't wrap it up shortly after you start, and be patient. The results will come.
- Educate your sales representatives and give them sufficient remuneration even after onboarding. Rene believes that there should be a ramp-up - a gradual start after onboarding. In the first month, expect the sales representative to deliver ⅓ of their quota, in the second ⅔, and in the last one 100%.
- The variable part of wages is not enough. It is necessary to provide another compensation & motivation. For example, introduce awards, various rankings, or charts across the company. Employees will be more motivated.
Final TIP from Emplifi: One approach for all regions doesn't work. In North America, people prefer direct messaging. They respond well to a video where they see the other party, visualizations, and more aggressive e-mailing. In Brazil, branding and positioning on the market are the most important factors. And in Europe, politeness, short e-mails, and added value in the form of case studies, etc. are essential.
Petr Passinger | Sewio Networks:
How to reach new customers; Successful outbound partner acquisition
Petr works at Sewio Networks as the CMO. Sewio’s product is unique and comes with a high price tag. The whole business process at Sewio is long and can easily take about 16 months. At the moment, Sewio has about 6 sales representatives, but it’s the partners who do most of the sales. Not just customers but also partners must be approached correctly.
Petr came up with a new approach to partner acquisition - check out Sewio’s last campaign:
(Note - this approach can indeed be used for customer acquisition, too.) First of all, the team has to find the right people to lend a relatively expensive test device. Petr's team searches LinkedIn for suitable companies, puts a list together, and filters it out.
Personalization and handy tools play a significant role in the acquisition process. Automatization sends a personalized email to selected contacts, which leads to a (again) personalized landing page. This effort with special communication will pay off - the sales department will benefit greatly from having this prepared. The marketing department covers the campaign until a potential partner says “let’s talk.” Only then do the sales representatives jump in.
Here are some useful hacks from Sewio Networks:
- If you are putting together the contacts for your outreach, filter them first to address only the relevant ones. But think carefully about the parameters of the filter. It wouldn't be wise for Sewio to approach only large companies. There may be more sales representatives in smaller companies than in larger ones. A suitable filter may be the domain authority, i.e., the strength of the company's website.
- In the case of sales done via partners, it is good to have a well-seen online partner, especially nowadays - in times of a pandemic.
- When searching for relevant email addresses for your contacts, use the tool SalesQL, which for Sewio works the best.
- Personalize as much as you can if your target group is small.
Final TIP from Sewio Networks: We found that companies have vague or insufficient descriptions on their LinkedIn profiles, so it's hard to approach them correctly. Therefore, we prefer to search for companies according to their employees - the ideal job titles.
Take a look at the photos from the meetup.