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Sales: a dreaded word with a lot of founders. Is sales all about finding star sales people? Can anyone do sales? How do you scale this beyond founders? ...
Sales: a dreaded word with a lot of founders. Is sales all about finding star sales people? Can anyone do sales? How do you scale this beyond founders? How do Indian companies sell to global customers?
The first Masterclass was all about building a high quality top of the funnel through marketing excellence. The second was all about creating a repeatable sales process and taking away some of the myths of sales.
"Make Sales into a scientific process."
How do you go from ad-hoc sales as a founder let company to a process driven sales machine. The end goal being making a consistent opportunity conversion engine with a nearly formulaic approach to sales process which can be scaled indefinitely.
The star behind the session was Mohit Garg. He was the co-founder and CRO at MindTickle and setup and scaled the sales process there, he is now on to his next startup: Oloid. The best part of his personal journey? He was a tech leader who became a sales leader! Hope this motivates others to develop empathy for sales people and maybe go down this path themselves :)
The session was broadly divided into 2 parts:
Part 1: Detailed view on how to build a repeatable sales process
Part 2: Building the team, metrics, quotas and sales tech
Mohit spent the most time on how do you build a repeatable, scientific sales process? This was all about taking a prospect through the end-to-end sales process:
Qualification—>Demo/ Discovery call—>Opportunity Management—>Closing—>Post close
The aim of this part of the process is to use less experienced reps (typically called SDR or BDR) to generate high quality, high probability leads for more experienced sales reps (typically called AEs) to close. In the context of cross-border SaaS companies, many companies use SDRs/ BDRs from India, with AEs in the US. This gives significant cost advantage to Indian SaaS companies.
Mohit, walked us through how an SDR reaches out to customers, what does a discovery or demo cal look like and how an SDR coaches an AE on the information they collect during the process. What was a revelation was the level of prescriptive templatization and detail that went into the playbook - templates for calendar invites, templates for emails for demos, follow ups etc. which made this process repeatable across less experienced reps.
Tactical tips for Qualification and SDR process
The key to success in all these calls is research, preparation and more preparation. Mohit has spent time painstakingly putting together clear guidelines on research before calls, personalization (through tools and manual work). The call itself need very specific questions to ensure you can score every call and help prioritize follow up calls based on how high the probability of conversion is.
Tactical tips for Discovery/ Demos
Ensure that opportunities are managed, prioritized and driven appropriately based on the right strategy for the specific customers. This is to make sure that the deal moves forwrad by ensuring that the right person is talking to the right buyer, with the right content and at the right time!
Tips for Opportunity Management
How do you move to close deals. Mohit spoke us through how to identify compelling events for the deal to close and what reps can do to identify and close deals in a timeline manner. Mohit also spoke about the big trap of giving customer refs to everyone! This can needle happy customers, while exposing them to potential buyers in a situation where a deal was never to be had!
Tips for Closing
What do you do with deals that are won or lost and how do you manage closed deals and learn from lost deals? This is critical for expansion and also continuous improvement for the marketing, sales and product teams.
Tips for Post Close
Most of our startups have gone through a lot of pain in building sales teams. They've hired, fired, gotten the profile of the sales wrong multiple times! The key to building the team is firstly, identify the pattern of what it takes to close and be successful. e.g. is it about feature selling? Consultative selling? long sales cycle? Construct a team based on the model that is most relevant to your company.
Tips for building a team
Every company will have unique sales process, but one thing to remember is that sales is process driven and not ad-hoc, they key thing is to keep experimenting, build on top of hypothesis and then create a repeatable process.