We want to help you become 1% better every day. If you work in sales or have anything to do with sales in a BtoB tech startup or scaleup, you get tactical and strategic advice from this podcast. Additionally, it helps B2B Tech entrepreneurs find product-market-fit faster and accelerate their sales efforts.
How to balance automation vs personalisation in lead generation. An interesting trend we see is that people like Max Romanchuk from https://leadgen-close.com/ with a ton of automation go back to (hyper-)personalisation.
3 things that we learnt from him:
1️⃣ Outbound lead gen is very local: Things that work in the US don’t work in Western Europe and vice versa. Also, database-based automation options (say Apollo.io) are great for non-GDPR geographies, but should be avoided
2️⃣ Stop selling, start having a conversation: Automation via Dux Soup, snov.io etc. has its charms. But salespeople should use technology wisely not to pitch, but to open a personal dialogue based on great prospecting
3️⃣ Commitment is a two-way street: Max experimented with commission-only collaborations, but noticed also clients were less committed to put in the required work to succeed
In case you are planning to build a fast-growing startup and need some advice on how to structure your sales organization and what metrics (in and out) to use, this episode is for you. Björn built Urbansports from 5 to 50 salespeople within 24 months. An amazing achievement. You can probably learn from him - as we could as well.
Finding, attracting and ramping sales talent as an entrepreneur is really hard.
Turns out the root cause for this is not the above task, but the shortage of overall available trained sales talent in relation to demand.
Dominic co-founded https://www.headstartacademy.co/ to tackle exactly this problem and these are 3 things that we learnt from him:
1️⃣ Great sales talent shares 5 traits: coachability, curiosity, drive, resilience and prior success. These do NOT need to be sales-related, but e.g. top 1% of class, in sports, in vocational training or similar (Source: Dominic & Team interviewed 50+ VP Sales)
2️⃣ Both self-care in terms of discipline, self-organisation and hunger COMBINED with a strong team spirit is crucial for success
3️⃣ Entrepreneurs need to validate their sales approach themselves by winning the first 10, in some fields even 100 customers, and that cannot be outsourced. Only once product-market-fit is there, it makes sense to get senior, but hungry sales talent - if you can afford it and de-risk it. Otherwise invest into junior, but trained sales talent.
Garrett Jackson won our unofficial "LinkedIn Cold Outreach Award of 2020"...but does not consider himself a sales person!?
3 things that we learnt from him:
1️⃣ Vary your messaging: Be very aware on the impact of your marketing. Broadcasting the same single ad to a person too many times can even result in bad Google Reviews because people appreciate variety and added value. (5')
2️⃣ Invest into customers: Garrett focuses on over-deliver on great service to clients (we can confirm) but not overcharging to establish long-term relationships (9')
3️⃣Focus on hands-on execution, but invest into technology: Don't overthink things and stay hands-on on the human side, but also be aware where technology can help you automate your outreach. (16')
Was a true pleasure to discuss B2B startup sales with Helmut Käser who leads SMB sales for Avrios and why "stop selling, start solving problems for customers" matters to him.
3 things that we learnt from him:
1️⃣ "Nature vs Nurture" in sales: Talent is great, but without training you will not become an outstanding professional - be it in sports, be it in sales. The process can be learnt, but a well-developed "sensory system" in client interactions, especially remote are soft factors. (5')
2️⃣ Start...and continue with WHY: Sales people often jump to quickly into "closing mode" and don't dig deep enough into WHY a prospect is doing or thinking a certain why. It is totally worth it to ask Why even 10 times to better understand the situation (12')
3️⃣Be patient but persistent: Helmut is very fond of taking the speed out of the process, let it grow and adapt but then follow-through and do it properly (21')
Are you looking for sales tips that help you gain an unfair advantage? In that case, this series is for you. Markus Eilers and Patrick Trümpi talk about the 2nd commandment in sales: "Win before the battle" (Sun Tzu) - why and how to prepare for a sales call. Following that advice may increase your sales success more than 2-fold. Have fun and give us some feedback.
James is an expert in Marketing and Sales. We talk about how to make the best out of both worlds to help your company grow. Additionally, we embrace to use speers when it comes to outbound BtoB sales and tell you the reasons behind this. It will automatically make the sales and buyer journey more human - which is really necessary.
True pleasure discussing how to improve sales demos, tackle sales hiring and onboarding and more with Robert Anders, VP Sales Services at Cremanski and former Head of Sales at Comtravo.
3 things that we learnt from him:
1️⃣ Sales is about interaction: A company he advises is called Demodesk, but out of a 30min "demo" call, only the "middle" 5-10min should be about your solution while the time before is spent on discovery & qualification and the time after to define the further process. (7')
2️⃣ Hire two sales reps at a time: Hiring 2 SDRs (Sales Development Reps) at the same time can help to not only set expectations, but also compare performance while performing the same role (18')
3️⃣ How to assess coachability: Let them pitch, give constructive feedback, ask for self-diagnosis, go again and assess improvements. Quite simple, but powerful (24')
Are you looking for sales tips that give you an unfair advantage? Then this is for you. Markus Eilers and Patrick Trümpi talk about the 1st commandment in sales: "you should have a "why" sooooo big that any "how" will surrender". Following that advice may improve your mindset and sales success immediately. Have fun and give us some feedback.
Was a true pleasure to discuss B2B SaaS Scaleup sales with Fredrik Ström who before coaching entrepreneurs at Plug and Play Tech Center helped Dataiku in enterprise sales to hit a $2.8B valuation.
3 things that we learnt from him:
1️⃣ Enter the client's world: Empathy and active listening are are essential to understand how clients understand, evaluate and buy in THEIR world, instead of trying to "map" them onto your sales process, deal stages or similar
2️⃣ Selling is learning. The co-founder & CEO needs to remain close to customers to learn quick enough and feed back these insights to enable quick but efficient growth
3️⃣Unlearning takes time: Fredrik favours hiring younger sales people as experienced reps often need to unlearn certain behaviors or change the mindset into a completely new sales approach.
Here are a few take-aways from the discussion with Steven:
Founder-led growth is exciting but many startups rush into scaling and struggle with the initial motion. "From impossible to inevitable" is an amazing book that helps avoid many struggles founders have with early sales.
When he joined Interseller, the first thing Steven did is raise the price. Because the founders got into "fighting for price". He promised to keep the closing rates - and was successful. Focus on driving one metric after another.
Even if you have a really good and easy-to-use tool, you may want to go with sales-led instead of product-led growth at the beginning. That is what Inerseller was doing, after an unsuccessful focus on product-led growth. You can learn your customer's pains best with a good discovery and adapt your messaging to these. The impact on adaptation is huge.
If you want to improve your Prospecting capabilities, Becc Holland is an expert you want to follow and learn from
Have fun and please provide some feedback.
We had the pleasure of learning from a great Sales Leader with Julian Jobstreibizer who helps to build sales at UiPath in Switzerland.
3 things that we learnt from him
1️⃣ The vision of the CEO or Sales Leader and the ability to get people to buy into this is essential to retain great sales talent. Great sales people want to get paid, but money is not the primary driver. (2’)
2️⃣ You’re always selling, no matter what. If the CEO does not connect to sales, he or she does not connect to the customer. (5’)
3️⃣You need to work hard TO party hard. Start small, keep it simple, focus on value, become a trusted advisor. This will generate the best referrals, revenue growth and more. (20)
We all struggle with prospecting. What are the right tools? The right messages? Are there cultural differences among countries? How do I increase the likelihood of being heard significantly? With Philipp from ComX, a company that provides outreach for a lot KMUs as a service, we are talking about the big struggles in prospecting and how you can better predict the outcome of your messages.
Learn from a true Sales Leader with Sam from https://www.samsalesconsulting.com/ who built an all-female salesforce (not even by design) and a “BDR as a Service” offering + a helpdesk for clients’ BDRs.
4 things to be learnt from her
1️⃣ LinkedIn is still people-rich, but content-poor. Personalisation when reaching out to people with an authentic desire to help still matters - a lot. And no “More sales, less time, mutual connections” is not working (anymore). (5’)
2️⃣ Why a BDR hotline makes sense. “Delegating” daily Q&A of regular BDR (Business Development Representative) questions to a “helpdesk” in a subscription model can be highly useful for a busy CEOs / VP Sales. (10’)
3️⃣Hourly Rates: It is truly a matter of demand and supply. Sam raised her hourly rate from $200ish / h to currently >$600 to make sure she spends time on high-leverage activities.
4️⃣Sam built an all-female salesforce (which at least I’ve never encountered before). Empowering and supporting more women to go into sales is a leadership responsibility.
This is about learning from a true Procurement Leader with Christoph - who started his career in sales and since then “moved between both worlds” intensely over the last 15 years
3 things to be learnt from Christoph
1️⃣ “Procuring is necessary, (Traditional) Procurements is not”: Professionals buy digitally for even 7-digit amounts and procurement people need to move towards providing solution and a consulting role (3’)
2️⃣ Less than 1(!) out 10 people typically ask Christoph about his internal buyer journey. Dear sales people, please strive to understand before wanting to be understood - people like Christoph are more than happy to help you sell - if you ask! (5’ + ongoing)
3️⃣ Sales is not a “one-time-thing”, but should be - especially in DACH - an activity of continuous value creation for the client. Culture matters (so much) in sales - North America might be a few years ahead in regards to technology, but DACH requires a local approach to succeed. (28’)
"How to find, attract and retain great B2B Tech Sales Talent without paying CHF 150-300k per year?"
The root cause of extraordinarily high salaries for sales people in DACH might actually be a lack of "talent supply"...due to a lack of sales culture + education...
We had the pleasure of learning from one Switzerland’s best growth hackers with Joel Capt, who built up the growth team at Beekeeper and just launched his own market offering in the space.
2 things that we learnt from Joel
1️⃣ Growth Hacking done right is not a “black box” and also not a scam or hype, but a sound, coherent method to generate B2B leads at scale by using best practices, technology and data combined with a genuinely curious mindset of people that are embracing continuous learning.
2️⃣ Why moving from a sales-led to a product-led organisation is hard and takes time as time-to-value without human intervention needs to decrease…
...but is essential to consider if you want to have (potential) customers using your product without requiring sales reps, especially for smaller accounts.
1’ How the “Salesforce Sales MBA” works
6’ How interactive small-group work triggered Christian to look into sales
10’ Why asking great questions is crucial in sales
16’ How to gather valuable prospect information from LinkedIn
22’ Why he values and facilitates warm introductions as much as possible
28’ Why he thinks Switzerland’s “LinkedIn Maturity” is not there yet
34’ What he teached 100 Salesforce reps about social selling
39’ Why he sees health as extremely important especially in sales
43’ Why Christian fiercely defends his calendar
1’ Why the right mindset is what differentiates A- from B-players
3’ Why for Umar mindset and not sales training is the new frontier for sales success
8’ How to connect to what’s unconsciously going on and fix limiting beliefs
13’ Why moving from “I know what to do” to “I do it” is so essential
19’ Why showing up fully present is crucial for sales success
23’ How to boost one’s self-esteem before a important sales conversation
31’ How Umar found his mission to help people positively change their mindset
Are you a startup founder and do not really know where to start with building up your sales or you are not happy with the revenue goals you reached so far? This episode will help you: We talk about why it is important to start with your ICP, tactics that help you shorten the sales cycle, and how a sales process actually could look like. There are some special tips in this episode for startups who have a physical product such as healthcare.
1’ Why Constantin & Cyrill founded a Sales Accelerator for Food & Beverage (F&B)
4’ How the opportunity for F&B is still the same as people still consume the same, but differently
7’ Why getting access to and feedback from the right distributors is crucial
9’ How F&B startups can get their products listed faster now than ever
12’ Why startups need to understand when customers now consume their products
15’ Why focus is key for sales
19’ How to spread out from local ambassadors towards big retailers
21’ How to balance opportunity and threat of scaling fast with production partners
24’ How word of mouth and key influence persons can boost your brand
28’ Why directly approaching “the big fish” is often the way to go
30’ Why nailing down a niche can help you not drive your price down
32’ How Planted got a lot of things right in 2020 while going B2B and B2C at the same time
33’ Why Cyrill loves “AldIPA” from Brewdog
1’ How Kajal launched her own startup with next to no B2B sales experience despite her MBA
4’ Why the narrative around sales is often misunderstood
7’ Why sales is a people-driven process
12’ How performance-driven incentives are not necessarily commission payments
16’ Why getting clear and transparent on one’s mission is crucial for sales success
19’ The role of being hyper-local on the ground is important in sales
23’ How customer segmentation got smarter over time
27’ Why - and how - writing a monthly newsletter can still work
33’ How understanding what’s top of mind for people enables outbound sales
37’ How operational activities can change but your DNA should not
39’ Why the biggest mistake of founders is (still) often overbuilding and not investing enough into customer discovery
1' How Matthias' inherently curious mindset brought him into Car Fleet Management
4' How Avrios' failure-tolerant culture helped young people with litte experience to prosper
9' Why being vulnerable in sales creates trust
14' Why customer-centricity is very key in sales
18' How feeling if and how a customer can buy now or later is crucial
22' How having a champion at the customer can help you get even through the Betriebsrat
26' That finding driven & persistent, but also empathic & coachable sales people is really hard
30' How the ego of corporates talking about themselves hurts sales success
34' Why startups need to see hiring through the lens of great sales people
39' That we have all the tools in Switzerland to thrive in B2B Startup Sales, but need to put it together
46' How getting a customer story online took up 9 months in a corporate vs 1/2 day in a startup
1' What brought Stephanie from Salesforce Marketing Cloud (back) to the startup world
6' Why starting product-led growth is a lot easier if you started out that way
10' How product-led growth can cause anxiety in Type A sales people losing control
15' Why really good sales reps might struggle at first with product-led growth
19' How Lumavate defines product-market-fit industry-agnostically
23' How marketing initiatives like custom baseball trading cards stand out
27' Why Stephanie cares about brand awareness instead of conversion for paid ads
31' How to leverage own personas even better
37' How creativity and rapid growth are difficult to combine
41' Why sales people hired as a startup need to have their hands dirty
46' When Stephanie was done being quiet and asking for permission
1' Dirk's start as a call center agent
2' What Dirk learned during his career
5' How to go about the sales processes at a Startups
10' Why consultants never learn to sell
13' Why sportspeople make great salespeople
20' How to balance salespeople's goals with long term goals of the company
22' What makes a good bonus system
25' How to shorten and define the sales cycle
30' How to improve onboarding time
35' Why Dirk joined a startup
38' Lead generation at Comatch
41' Dirk's last advice to you as a sales leader
1' Vijay's story
3' Why Vijay is on a one-year sabbatical
6' Urgency vs. importance
10' Founders: The most important trait looking for the first sales/marketing hire
14' What should or should not be outsourced in marketing
25' What channels Vijay would go about first as a BtoB startup
35' Recent changes in BtoB marketing
37' Top skills needed in marketing
2' How Max started his first company...
11' ...and got into a burnout
16' The first "secret": Meaningful conversations & summarizing
21' The one thing that helps to shorten the sales cycle
24' How salespeople's actions led to a broken model of selling
28' The technique to start a meaningful sales conversation
32' The second "secret": The irresistible offer
37' The third "secret": Sell results that are relevant in a downturn
44' summarizing the most important points
45' What an irresistible offer needs to consist of
3' How Nico got into sales
11' Why a great company culture is the solution for most corporate challenges
14' What Nico learned in his first sales job
18' On the most important task to succeed in sales
25' The one universal rule in sales
27' On sales salaries and commission
43' Salary Intransparency
44' How Nico grew the consultancy from 2 to 30 people
53' The four layers of objection handling
1' Why entrepreneurship is a lifestyle for Daniel since he was 16 years old
4' Why recruiting is sales at the very core and why trust is key
8' Why "care" is the most important aspect Daniel cares about in recruiting
14' How performance also in sales is more than just numbers
18' Why observing behaviour is a process, making recruiting fundamentally difficult
24' Why Daniel asks less about characteristics and more what they mean to a person
27' Why he was and is impressed by the recruiting process of his new employer
35' Why understanding time is crucial for startup hiring
38' How he finds fulfilment in the process itself without an end-result
42' Why he went from self-employed to employee after 7+ years
1' How Antoine got from a Hotel School into Tech Sales
5' What Antoine likes most about sales: Andrenaline, human contact, and pressure
8' When is the Adrenaline pike in a sales cycle and why it matters
11' How COVID impacted sales
13' When you should mention price in sales
14' why mimicking is important and what to do about it
21' Why you should talk openly about your competition
23' What are key traits to look for in salespeople
27’ Why sales is not for everyone
34’ What makes a good closer and why it is important
40’ Tactics to shorten the sales cycle
2' What sales and software engineering have in common
5' Why Maddy stopped MVPs but believes in Minimum Sellable Products
8' Why founders should differentiate between numbers and process
13' Why skipping steps in the sales process of building relationships does not work
19' What "Differentiate or Die" really means for sales
23' How building funnels bottom-up but executing them top-down matters
31' Why customer acquisition costs is not (only) a job of sales & marketing
32' Why you should only ever automate what already works
36' Why closing knowledge gaps can help shorten sales cycles - if prospects feel comfortable
44' How starting to build a sales funnel in an Excel file or a canvas works perfectly well
1' How sales reps increased revenue by up to 89% after gaining real-time insights from customers
3' How relative feedback scales such as a Likert scale can help sales reps set the right learning priorities
7' What 5 key traits Martin looks for when hiring sales reps
11' Why sales people should adopt the same mentality of constant iterations and learning as in agile, scrum etc.
14' How sales people using the right technology and tools have a competitive advantage
19' How remote sales forces sales people to transition to a value-delivering advisor
22' How people fixing 2-3 key improvement areas instantly increase their conversion rates
28' How sales people in DACH are fundamentally working against a relatively change-resistant culture
31' Why Martin thinks the sales profession will gain more recognition and attractiveness in the years to come
35' What value he got from having worked with sales coaches and when leveraging tools make sense
2' How Moritz experienced a cold call-heavy, "push-style" sales approach early in his career
4' How he went from cold calling to "Cold Looming" and why videos are underused in sales in Europe
7' Why sales people need to be driven for success - and need to be successful in itself
12' How he sees the importance of competitiveness and curiosity as key traits for sales
17' Why people that experienced severe failure see sales as an opportunity to prove something
20' Why Moritz is a super big fan of hiring door-to-door sales people
24' How buying something at a street food festival convinced him of the value of sales coaching
27' Why all the content is out there to consume, but execution is key
33' How he implemented sales habits changing behaviour by practicing real-life scenarios (40x...)
38' How local culture have a direct influence on how you approach prospects
43' Why building strong relationships is crucial especially in Switzerland
45' How Moritz actually started his sales career in primary school with candy and Pokemon cards...
3' Why Yves & Raphael are obsessed about customer centricity
7' Why gathering evidence along the way is key to succeed for iterative product development
11' How they design experiments to test assumptions and hypotheses of their clients
16' How they make pivoting as cheap as possible 21' When Virtual Brands with thought-up products make a lot of sense
25' Why inviting a bunch of people to your innovation laboratory is a completely different ballgame
29' Why spending a little money upfront is great value-for-money to "bet on the right horse"
34' How product validation and B2B sales are in some ways very similar
39' Why "keeping it up" on learning is crucial to get maximum value from market validation
44' Why sales is an essential part of product development
2' How Lisa started building up Customer Success Management (CSM) from scratch
5' Why doing CSM initially for free makes sense until figuring out what people want to pay for
9' Why reflecting if and how your product can generate Customer Lifetime Value without people
12' What to consider when assigning responsibility for renewals to sales vs CSM
18' Why sales needs to be ambitious and creative on how to sell the product in the market
22' How she channeled customer feedback from sales to product management over time
28' What a Product Marketing Manager is actually doing
32' How fast-changing companies require fast-changing adaptations and methods
35' How sales, marketing and product marketing can collaborate to figure out what to build next
38' Why the usual job interview answer "patience is my weakness - which is OK" does not work for CSM
40' What Lisa is up to next...
3' Why he let's new sales reps join sales calls even before formally starting at the company
7' Why starting a sales career as a BDR (Business Development Rep) makes sense
11' When hiring senior sales people makes total sense 16' Why sales is about having a conversation and not pitching
20' Why starting hunting a startup only when you are "ready" is too late
25' Why measuring BDRs in SQLs (Sales Qualified Leads), but also revenue contribution makes sense
30' How culture influences sales compensation structure - "0 vs 2x commission?"
34' How an ARR leaderboard is motivating the whole sales team daily
39' Why keeping the whole team together is key especially when scaling
43' Why evaluating bad sales performance is sometimes like having a bad hand in poker
0' How Thibaut came up with the name SalesLabs and why he became an entrepreneur
4' How he moved from 2.5k to 10k+ LinkedIn followers within 6 months
9' How he balances automated outreach and tools with high-quality engagement
14' Why building habits is key for consistency to achieve sustainable success
21' Why self-awareness is key to be(come) a good VP Sales
25' How he found out that is easier to selling to SDRs than VP Sales
28' Why it is very tough but crucial to make sales person-independent
31' Why your job in sales enablement is building products for the sales team
37' How you can technically find phone numbers online, and why you should be careful with it
40' Why "the DIN (Deutsche Industrie Norm) mindset" is hindering sales innovation in DACH
0’ How he installed Beekeeper’s sales-driven attitude at Expense Robot
4’ How breaking down annual goals helps driving continuous sales performance
8’ Why customers need to accept the closing plan and fully commit to it
12’ Why Business Development Reps (BDRs) are a sales guys best friend
16’ Why he is not afraid of signing Kodiak bears now but have them start later
19’ Why attitude is much more important than degrees in sales
22’ Why there is nothing more honest than selling to sales guys
28’ Why it makes sense to have introverted tech people at the sales table
33’ Why sales is all about seeing what works, scale it and then not break it
37’ Why investing into a CRM and data is essential for everybody in sales
40’ Why laziness can be an asset
44’ Why culture shapes how many startups have too many expenses