For us to grow, we need new customers. In the long term, we have two options:
- To build an army of salespersons
- Get our experts to do the selling
Our selling is quite efficient compared to our competitors because we are investing heavily in marketing, building the brand & the possibility of buying our services online (Check out our online store & pricing from here)
We can divide selling to new customers and current customers. In this story, I will focus on selling to new customers & logos.
I want to go with the second option (Get our experts to do the selling) for a few different reasons:
- I think it's more efficient, and we don't need to increase our headcount from people who are unable to do invoicing for our customers.
- I believe that our experts are better at selling our talent acquisition services & have value-adding discussions with our customers than a salesperson
So far, we have succeeded in this at an ok level, but it's time to get it to the next level. Here's how I'm planning to do this:
Step 1: Redefine what sales mean
Most people who are not making sales get scared of the word sales: "Oh no do I need to make sales now" - We have built a culture of sales from the beginning, so it's not such a big thing for us, but still I think we need to talk about this topic quite a lot.
Most people still see sales as pushing services to someone who doesn't need the services.
Here's how I would love our people to see selling:
- Add value to customers by bringing insights from the market & working with multiple SaaS companies.
- Understand & figure out their problems (the ones they already know they have + help them realize the ones they don't know yet.)
- Help them to figure out the best way to solve those problems. The key here is that most of the time, we are not the right way of solving the challenges. Often it can be: E.g., hiring a person to do those things, utilizing tech, having another agency, or something completely else.
When we do enough of those 3 things --> I'm quite sure we end up working with a lot of SaaS companies out there in the long run.
Step 2: Define your strategy
Our strategy has been from the beginning around building a brand and making sure that we are a top-of-the-mind brand for companies when they need help. Additionally to that, our sales model has been quite Account-Based-Selling.
Now it's time to take the Account-Based-Selling to the next level with some help from our experts.
We already have multiple lists of potential companies we want to work with in the future, but my idea would be to give each of our experts a list of 5 companies to focus on.
Why --> If you ask them to sell, they struggle with who I should be selling & how.
We want to make that:
- Each one can choose their list of 5 companies to go after --> make sure that these are companies they want to work for someday
- We want to make sure that these companies fit our Ideal-Customer-Profile
- We want to make sure that part of these companies are from Finland & part outside of Finland to support our international growth as well.
I think you need to clearly understand all your target accounts --> The more you understand their situation, the easier the selling becomes. I believe that you should understand at least these things about our target accounts:
- Their business situation: Funding rounds, news, etc
- Their talent acquisition situation: E.g., are they hiring based on the career page
- The key persons: Founder, CEO, CTO, COO, CFO, Head of Sales, Head of Marketing, Head of Customer Success & the whole recruitment team (including Head of People / Head of HR, etc)
Step 3: Execute the Account-Based-Selling
Then it's time to execute the strategy. There are many ways of doing this, but I think that the approach should be something like this:
- We should ensure that all of these people are our LinkedIn connections --> This builds our brand towards the company.
- We should make sure that we invite someone from that account to join our podcast #TalentBuzz to share their journey.
- We should make sure that we invite people from this account to our events (as participants & speakers)
As you can see, those are not really about trying to get a sales meeting in the short-term but focusing on the long-term game.
In addition, our goal should be to have 15-30min calls with all the key stakeholders from this account. I think there are a few ways of approaching this:
- Doing customer research and interviewing someone to do that.
- Trying to book a real sales call to present some insights about the market & understand their problems.
Eventually, you end up in a situation where:
- The customer has a problem, and they ask your help on solving that.
- You are already connected to all the key stakeholders, so winning the case becomes much easier.
This is how I plan to get our experts to sell our services.
And yeah, there is one more thing.
Pay them extra when they bring in new customers - It gives quite a good motivation for most people.