Which are the main steps you need to take, as the owner or a sales professional in a B2B company, to transform your founder-led sales into a working system with a fully functional sales department?
Last March, we managed to put together yet another webinar aimed at educating you on how to create a proper sales system in your B2B business. We've resumed the key takeaways for you.
During this event, we were hosting two professionals in the field of B2B sales and we're excited to share the best of their knowledge with you. The main topics?
→ Getting salespeople on target
→ Structuring your sales department
→ Preparing your company for scaling
So, which are the main steps you need to take, as the owner or a sales professional in a B2B company, to transform your founder-led sales into a working system with a fully functional sales department?
This question was broadly answered by our two speakers, Bart Omlo (Kentico) and Arnaud Simeray (Tatum), and the entire webinar was moderated by Jakub Hon, the CEO of SALESDOCk.
If you are interested in the full record and view all the slides, check our Sales Knowledge Library.
Let's not hold our breath any longer, read on to relive with us the best of the “From 1 to 10” webinar.
Managing Director of Kontent by Kentico.
He currently leads 130+ colleagues as MD of Kentico Kontent. Bart previously, as VP Sales EMEA and Latin America, and VP Global Sales, leading an international sales team closing large business deals for their flagship product Kontent by Kentico.
Title of presentation: How to evolve from startup to maturity
- Defining your Ideal Client Profile
Upon heading on your journey toward the ideal client, you will necessarily also be moving away from many current ones. You will have to undergo this and be very narrow at selecting the ideal clients, as the better clients you find for your product, the better you will sell.
Get analysing and dive into the depths of your sales stats. Try to make them as predictable as you can.
Find out - as accurately as possible - why you win certain deals and lose others. If you have discovered your ideal client, your stats of won/lost deals should be favourable.
- Create focus and a stricter process
Here, Bart Omlo explains that your business' success relies on three components: a sales process, people and technology.
Fine-tune your sales process
When it comes to the first component you need to get into the “technical depths” of your sales pipeline and identify what your people are doing right and what they should stop doing.
You need to ensure that your whole organisation is on the same wave and has a clear focus on the main goal.
Oftentimes, we see the tendency of sales reps to chase new opportunities and not focus on the process itself as much as they should. There will always be a number of won and lost deals, but you have to make this process as predictable as you can.
Get the best out of your team
It is not enough to be strict and pushy when it comes to your sales process. Do not sleep on lecturing your senior sales reps as well!
They might be the ones attending the highest number of meetings, but their experience has made them adopt certain habits and generally become less teachable.
How do you gently convince someone that they need to reconsider a technique that they've been applying for the past ten years or more? You need to challenge your seniors with their current approach, or, better even, let them challenge themselves after they've hit the numbers as usual!
The last component in creating a great and unified focus in your company is to make sure your team has the best tech tools to support them. And make sure also that they make good use of it - changes and innovations are not adopted easily!
Once you've got this covered, you have just laid a solid foundation of your success consisting of good people on your team, a functioning, scalable sales process and corresponding technology.
Like it or not, you're not done yet! You should now focus on your current opportunities and reevaluate. Are they in the right state, according to your newly determined sales process?
Such optimization will make you better understand certain areas, tailoring your approach and ensure that your sales engine will not only be predictable, but also well scalable.
TIP: Never stop evaluating the way you work! Even if you are getting and surpassing your results, your people will get back to their old habits if you don't regularly check on them!
- From inbound to outbound
Here, Bart Omlo relates more about the specific situation in Kentico and the times when they saw a huge increase of visitors on their website because of new products. It was surely motivational for them to keep building and dashing out more interesting and valuable content. There were webinars that created a lot of traction for the inbound business inquiries.
The problem with such a well functioning engine can come when the senior reps stop being so alert and stop feeling the need to be top in their skillset. The risk you could be running in a similar situation is them starting to cherry pick on opportunities, as they don't really need to fight for new ones. Therefore, do pay attention to roll this snowball down the mountain, to keep the momentum going and build a sustainable organisation.
Vice President of Sales, Growth & Partnerships at Tatum
Arnaud is having 10+ years experience of in successfully growing businesses and driving sales for high-growth organizations and SaaS startups. He also managed to sell multiple $ 1M + ARR deals with large companies in retail, manufacturing, pharma, e-commerce, real estate, CPG, technology, and pretty much across any verticals.
Title of his presentation: Success & Failure to build and grow a sales engine
- Hiring and finding Top sales rep: what to look for?
Simeray points out right from the start that most of the time, you're in “people business”. Therefore, it is key to always be on the lookout for A players.
A players generally have several characteristics, among them:
Talents are not born, they are made. Your rep needs to learn as they grow. They need to be teachable, coachable.
A person who thinks like this is much better than someone with “natural talent” who is a lazy know-it-all. Such individuals have no space on a successful sales team.
This is not what it may sound like, rather than the ability to adapt to a sudden situation, to come up with solutions. Intelligent sales reps are audible-ready, able to think critically and are constantly curious.
They should preferably have experience from different companies and know how business as a universe works inside out.
Your best rep is likely somewhat of a lone wolf, but also welcoming to other players who help and support the business. You know the deal: good people attract good people.
Execution with Discipline
Your business mainly needs a well established structure and people who fully believe in it. Such sales reps already have their processes and routines, they are able to describe them to a detail and they are accountable for their numbers and results.
It might be a broad term, but competitiveness is what pushes teams and organisations. It's not about fighting others to prove your right, rather than about healthy self-motivation, ambition and drive.
On your team, you want winners - reps who want to win every day.
Summed up, what you are looking for is an active builder, but also a seller. Make sure you create a playbook and figure out the key necessary characteristics of your ideal sales guy.
- Growing pains to move from mid-market to enterprise segment
In the second part of his lecture, Arnaud Simeray focuses on how to make it to the enterprise super league as a company in SaaS.
First of all, a redefining of your territory segmentation must happen, because it will enable you to understand much better where to invest your valuable time.
He draws an example from Tatum, where he currently works, and explains that they had to rework their sales process after they learned the hard way by trying to speed through the initial stages of sales processes, to move up from the mid-market already.
A sales process must be “ripe”, ready to sell in the enterprise.
In order to win in the enterprise, you should go slow in the first half of your sales cycle, and then speed up in the second one. In the first stages of the sales process, invest time into properly engaging with your customer, discover and get acquainted with your target group.
In the end, it's all about people, selling to people, in a people business.
How to test the “readiness” of a sales process? Simeray proposes his
Regardless of the area, you need to get to know the organisation as a whole, using account mapping to the extreme (create a detailed, 20-30 pages long booklet, hoarding all the information you can get that will help you in the process).
Have a sales rep target 3 people from the same organisation to test your knowledge and process effectiveness.
A sales engineer (or a senior rep) targets another 5 representatives from the same organisation, if the previous 3 were open and accepting.
If you don't have 8 people supporting your proposition, you can't persuade an entire organisation to go with you.
Scale it to win it
After you pull off the 1-3-5 rule, you can start thinking about the scalability of your sales process. In order to do this, you will need to start codifying everything. And questioning.
So, step back from the good momentum, keep testing it, challenging it, and make sure the new sales guy that comes on board is able to leverage all that you have learned from the very beginning.
Simeray points out that a foundation of a good, functioning selling system in any organisation is the whole company being on the same wavelength, fully supporting the process and creating a healthy, competitive spirit.
Wrapping it up:
We were incredibly honoured to have been able to host two experts from B2B sales and soak in some of their rich know-how. Although hearing it live is unmatched, this was not by any means the last time we held a similar event, so check out our events, stay tuned to our social media channels and newsletters to find out about what we're up to next.