Anna Mazzone, VP – How To Scale Sales Organisations – Aravo Solutions – Sales Confidence


Hello everybody and James thank you for inviting me to participate in this panel tonight. I’m Anna Mazzoni, I have been involved in scaling sales organisations for the past 13 years,so roughly 50% of my career all from London despite the fact that you hear this American voice, and usually I’m scaling into the states or on to continental Europe or into the Middle East and out to Asia-pac, and this is a topic that I’m very passionate about in terms of how to scale sales organisations so I’ve got five kind of what I call kind of success factors that you know based on my experience and I’ve worked in I’ve worked for four businesses in three different organisations in terms of scaling businesses so this is what I’ve learned.

So there’s five things in terms of you need to understand what is your target market, what’s your value proposition. Second thing you need to understand is your lead generation activity. Third thing is your sales process your playbook. Fourth metrics. Fifth who is your global build partner.

First thing in terms of what is your market segmentation and your value proposition; extremely important I mean it should not go without saying obviously you understand what your geographical territory is but you obviously need to understand very clearly who is the target market that you’re going after, right, and what is that value proposition, so in other words what is the ROI that you are going to deliver to that company either in terms of taking cost out or helping them grow to the top line. I work for a company called Super Derivatives, that was one of the companies that brought me back to Europe and I was responsible for scaling their business in across Europe Middle East Africa this is where the problem was. We were a b2b SAS solution for pricing derivatives over-the-counter derivatives targeted traders because the founder was a trader okay, so our sales teams were based in London New York very obvious right, that’s where your concentration of traders are for derivatives. However when I star going out on calls with the sales team I found that actually, and don’t forget we’re SaaS so we’re license, so trying to find as many bumps on seats to use our products right I found actually the people that actually could use our product even more so or the sales organisation they were the ones that needed to get deal flow back into the company. So we adjusted our value proposition to go after that target market that cost us because we were obviously too narrow and we haven’t thought about the overall business problem.

Second point lead generation activity I’m not here to talk about marketing programs that’s probably a second you know program that James could run for you but what I am here to tell you about lead-in is sales leaders out there, CEOs founders do not waste your expensive sales talent with getting first time meetings. Hire an agency to do that for you, it’s a much much more cost effective return on investment in terms of getting an agency up and running for you within 30 days in getting appointments booked. You should have anywhere from 2 to 5 appointments booked for your new business sales organisation on a weekly basis, I’m not even convinced that you should bring that back into even large organisations, because I was at Thomson Reuters we were we had a product bag that around 25 different products across an organisation of about 75 people here in Europe, and we actually for a couple of those products we used an outside agency for booking their appointments and those teams invariably had better productivity rates and higher closing so that’s my that’s my feedback on that.

The third point about your sales process obviously you need to get that nailed down, well here your headquarters I think what’s really important in that when we were building out, when I was at Thomson Reuters we I founded the Capital Markets industry’s first KYC managed service, and so we were building this out we were working with a group of banks we were working the hedge funds and corporates and we were sitting in workshops for a whole year, so we were learning what the requirements are you know what their objections were not only for them but technically in terms of using our service. So we took all that information we come back into our organisation we’d sit you know pull together cross-functional teams that would actually you know kind of pound this out in terms of understanding what we needed to be doing in terms of what the sales process is; you need to be very clear about what that sales journey is, and that needs to be then folded into a playbook so that when we hired people in Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia, South Africa, New York we could turn to them and tell them this is the process right, because it was very complicated in terms of taking that taking that service to market. So the other thing about the playbooks that’s really important is this gives an opportunity for your head of sales in your CRO to be able to actually state exactly the sales methodology they want to see used across their organisation because it’s extremely important that the sales organisation is talking the same language; why is that important because your Sales Leader is going to have to turn around and pull those opportunities out of their CRM system their needs gonna make some forecasts you know upstairs, and they’re gonna have to have confidence that we’re all talking the same language in terms of stages of where sales are etc so that’s a third point I would make.

Fourth point in terms of metrics I think we all know that you know these kinds of deals in terms of b2b sales, software sales can be anywhere from 120 days to two years; I read a statistic the other day that said that it was now 14 people, 14 stakeholders now are typically involved in a transaction; I’m sure for many of you in the room doesn’t surprise you it doesn’t surprise me. What’s really important though is to understand that if you have to deliver a number this year and if your average order value you know your ARR is half a million dollars and you’ve a committed to delivering five deals think about these stats: three percent of your market your target market is going to be buying every year, only 25 percent of that market is actually going to actually move into projects and you are only going to win 20% of those deals. So back into those numbers, if you have to deliver five deals half a million dollars each you need to have about 3,200 prospects that you need to be managing, that’s a lot okay. So the next thing you need to do is you need to look at investing in some type of account based marketing solution.

And then the final thing that I will say because I’m sure most probably about of time is their global business partners. If you’re planning to go global you definitely need to have at least one business partner, if not three to four. When we were building the managed service and we had several banks as well as hedge funds that could actually stand up and validate the service that we were delivering, and they were also willing to take reference calls they were also willing to do case studies with us webinars they were open they were open they would open doors for us in new cities, they would go to conferences with us etc. These build partners are extremely important I was talking to someone earlier tonight who was, you know he’s pre-series a you know and he’s talking about oh do I do I invest more of my sales organization do I invest more in customer success do I focus on lead-gen you know and he’s growing at a phenomenal rate and I was like you’ve got to make sure that you take care of what I consider those build partners because they’re your future in terms of the growth of your company.

So those are my five points thank you.

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