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Selling in 2023 & Beyond: What the Top 1% Have Figured Out

In this exclusive episode of the Revenue Insights Podcast, we delve back into the vault to pick the most impactful insights from our expert guests of 2023. We’ll spotlight key takeaways that slipped by, aiming to supercharge your go-to-market strategy, thought leadership, and beyond, propelling them to new heights.

Tune in to hear from:

  • Bion Behdin from  First AML, on revolutionizing corporate onboarding in finance
  • Eddie Reynolds from Union Square Consulting on strategic insights for navigating recessions
  • Rouzbeh Rotabi from  Orum and Marketa on the overlooked gems in business strategy
  • Jake Hofwegen from Contentful, on the evolution of business ops in the tech industry
  • Jessica Wilkinson from Swish Fibre on the telco shift from infrastructure to retail in the uk market
  • Loren Brockhouse from BigHand, on optimizing inbound strategies for legal tech sales
  • Brad McGinity from Hone on navigating market shifts and sales evolution
  • Joey Gilkey from Apex Revenue, on optimizing sales conversations for strategic segmentation
  • Jeremy Bono from Phenom on shifting sales focus to value-centric strategies
  • Aaron Hill from The Arbinger Institute, on building meaningful relationships and delivering recurring impact
  •  Andy Paul, Author, Podcaster, and Speaker on understanding customer needs

Episode Resources

Highlights: 

Bion Behdin on Revolutionizing Corporate Onboarding in Finance

Bion Behdin highlights the inception of a solution addressing the cumbersome onboarding process in finance, particularly focused on corporate KYC (Know Your Customer) and customer onboarding for high-value transactions in finance, law, accounting, and real estate. Recognizing the disparity between the complexities of financial transactions and user-friendly experiences like signing up for Netflix, Behdin’s company sought to simplify and streamline these processes. They launched their business four years ago, expanding operations across New Zealand, Australia, and the United Kingdom. Having secured approximately £23 million in venture funding, including a recent Series B round, their innovative approach aims to transform the arduous onboarding experience into a more efficient and user-friendly process for high-value transactions across multiple sectors.

Eddie Reynolds on Strategic Insights for Navigating Recessions

Eddie Reynolds observes CFOs scrutinizing expenses and grappling with recession strategies. He emphasizes the impact of spending behavior, noting that companies who spent recklessly during prosperous times tend to cut costs haphazardly during downturns. Reflecting on a Harvard Business Review case study during the global financial crisis, he highlights three approaches: spending lavishly, cutting across the board without analysis, and meticulous analysis of investments. Reynolds advocates for the latter, as companies that strategically analyzed and pruned investments emerged stronger. He stresses that reckless spenders faced capital depletion, while those who indiscriminately cut expenses lost market share and competitive advantage. Strategic analysis during economic downturns ensures a stronger market position post-recession.

Rousbeh Rotabi on the Overlooked Gems in Business Strategy

Rousbeh Rotabi highlights two commonly overlooked aspects in today’s business landscape: customer success and revenue operations. He emphasizes their significance in driving top-line sales, particularly crucial for venture-backed or companies aiming for private equity exits. In industries like payments and Fintech, which operate on consumption models, Rotabi draws an analogy to managing a child’s growth—customer nurturing is pivotal. He underscores the role of revenue operations in structuring initial contracts, aligning engagement models, and ensuring scalability and profitability with each renewal or service addition. Rotabi advocates for a holistic approach that builds productive and profitable customer cohorts through strategic oversight and management of sales, business development, and revenue operations.

Jake Hofwegen on the Evolution of Business Ops in the Tech Industry

Jake delves into the historical shifts in sales operations, marking the transition from perpetual software sales, where physical products were shipped, to the subscription model. In the era of perpetual software sales, a great sales ops professional excelled in order management, designing compensation plans, forecasting goals, and basic reporting. However, with the advent of subscription-based models, a new paradigm emerged. The focus shifted towards client success operations, encompassing install-based metrics, churn rates, customer engagement models, and customer journey mapping. This transformation demanded a shift from traditional operational expertise to a multifaceted skill set encompassing customer-centric strategies and diverse coverage models, marking a significant evolution in tech business operations.

Jessica Wilkinson on The Telco Shift from Infrastructure to Retail in the UK Market

Jessica discusses the transformation in the UK telecommunications market sparked by regulatory changes that introduced numerous alt nets (alternative network providers). This shift necessitates these providers to not only build physical infrastructure like fiber optics but also transition into retail brands. The challenge lies in reconciling construction expertise with retail-oriented sales strategies. Many companies initially focused on infrastructure now grapple with commercializing their services in communities where they’ve laid down the groundwork, highlighting the need for a different approach to sales in this evolving landscape.

Loren Brockhouse on Optimizing Inbound Strategies for Legal Tech Sales

Loren Brockhouse details the strategic shift from outbound to inbound focus in legal tech sales, acknowledging the limited ROI of outbound methods. To amplify inbound demand, they established a Marketing Development Rep (MDR) team under marketing, aligning better with buyers and ensuring higher-quality Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs) leading to Sales Qualified Leads (SQLs). They prioritized hiring an experienced MDR manager for swift setup and immediate credibility. Brockhouse emphasizes educating the sales team to prioritize direct engagement with sales-qualified leads, while using the MDR team to nurture leads from white paper downloads or webinar attendance, ensuring sales focus on building robust relationships within law firms without dilution from campaign nurturing and outreach.

Brad McGinity on Navigating Market Shifts and Sales Evolution

Brad McGinity outlines Hone’s strategic pivot towards larger, more lucrative clients, citing their increased longevity and better cost-efficiency. He emphasizes a refined sales process, including the crucial decision to cease Small and Medium-sized Business (SMB) dealings, focusing efforts on better-matched clientele, enhancing focus and process refinement. McGinity highlights a shift to a consultative sales approach, where learning strategists act as advisors, understanding client needs and providing tailored solutions for business outcomes. This transformation demands coordination but aligns with Hone’s goal of serving larger clients for meaningful results.

Joey Gilkey on Optimizing Sales Conversations for Strategic Segmentation

Joey Gilkey delves into nuanced sales success metrics, going beyond conversions. He outlines the buyer spectrum—active seekers, potentially persuadable, indifferent, and permanently disinterested. Gilkey stresses the need to analyze conversations to align with these segments, aiming for a balanced breakdown across categories. This strategic approach ensures a comprehensive sales strategy beyond immediate conversions, focusing on future activations and market readiness.

Jeremy Bono on Shifting Sales Focus to Value-Centric Strategies

Jeremy Bono outlines a sales transformation centered on value-driven approaches. He emphasizes intensive discovery, aiding customers with impactful solutions that align with their business needs. Bono highlights the necessity of creating compelling business cases to navigate tight budgets and secure project approvals. He stresses the role of sales as advisors, guiding buyers through value propositions, recognizing their lack of expertise in software procurement. Additionally, Bono underscores the team-centric approach in a complex buying landscape and discusses the move toward AI-driven automated engagements, reflecting evolving consumer preferences. He acknowledges ongoing projects to automate demos, catering to buyer preferences resembling consumer product purchases. This signifies a pivotal shift in sales strategies towards customer-aligned engagement.

Building Lasting Business Relationships: Aaron Hill on Recurring Impact and Revenue

Aaron Hill emphasizes a crucial shift from individual-focused relationships to a holistic business-to-business mindset. Stressing the importance of multi-threaded relationships within client organizations, Hill advocates for a focus on delivering recurring impact as the catalyst for recurring revenue. He highlights the necessity of aligning with client outcomes, measuring success by the fulfillment of commitments made at the start of the partnership. Hill’s approach prioritizes impact over revenue, fostering sustainable and scalable business relationships built on mutual commitment and positive impact within the B2B landscape.

Elevating Sales Excellence: Andy Paul on Understanding Customer Needs

In this insightful segment from Andy Paul, he challenges hiring managers to rethink their approach to hiring salespeople. Paul emphasizes the importance of understanding what customers truly need from sales professionals. He encourages managers to engage directly with buyers, asking them what attributes they seek in a salesperson and how they envision the salesperson assisting in their decision-making process. By adopting a consultant’s mindset, salespeople can focus on asking the right questions, uncovering challenges, and aiding buyers in understanding their opportunities—shifting the perspective from merely selling to providing tailored assistance aligned with customer needs.

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