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From Inbound to Outbound: The Sago Sales Transformation with CRO Katharine Reagan

This week on the Revenue Insights Podcast, we are joined by Katharine Reagan, Chief Revenue Officer at Sago.

In this episode, Guy and Katharine explore how Sago have pivoted from an exclusively Inbound-led to an Outbound sales motions, touching on the four ‘metrics that matter’, when to introduce qualification methodologies, and the four stages of the sales pipeline.

Katharine is a revenue acceleration expert, currently serving as Chief Revenue Officer at Sago, a global market research organization bringing human answers to business questions through digitally-transformed solutions. Prior to this, she was at Gartner for nearly 20 years, most recently as VP of New Products Sales and Business Transformation in the Digital Markets division.

Time Stamps:

  • 02:03 – About Katharine and Sago
  • 04:33 – Pivoting from an Inbound-led to an Outbound sales motion
  • 10:31 – Four ‘metrics that matter’
  • 12:37 – Managing the sales performance gap
  • 14:25 – Using qualification methodologies and AI tools
  • 18:50 – Asking uncomfortable questions in Outbound sales
  • 20:32 – The four stages of the sales pipeline
  • 22:47 – The ‘four day rule’
  • 26:50 – Where to find Katharine


Pivoting from an Inbound-Led to an Outbound Sales Motion

When Katharine first joined Sago, the company had an exclusively Inbound-led sales motion, which meant they were very dependent on what was going on in the market. When the market was good, they were excelling; when there were dips, they were struggling. Katharine was brought in to help the sellers understand how to focus on an Outbound motion, using data to direct prospecting, pipeline building, and executing deals. This transformation will always be a work in progress, with different focuses every six months. For example, the first six months focussed on building territories and rebuilding the organization to make room for leadership, whereas the last six months have been centered around implementing sales processes and using technology to manage the funnel effectively.

Four ‘Metrics that Matter’

In January, the Sago team started forecasting with their new sales motion, and created four ‘metrics that matter’ to assess where they are doing well and where they need to improve. These are deal size, pipeline ads, deal velocity, and win rate. With these, they are able to stack rank their teams based on these metrics, using red-green analysis to see what drives results and what does not. In sales, you can of course measure any metric, but choosing four to focus on provides a foundation to be able to forecast and track progress.

Using Qualification Methodologies 

Having spent the last year focussing on training the sales team on the fundamentals of Outbound sales, the Sago team have not yet put in qualification methodologies like MEDDPICC, but they are now considering it. Qualification methodologies help sellers learn to ask better questions, and thus will help to reduce any sales performance gaps within the team.

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