Our goal at Building the Sales Machine (BTM) is to enable sales leaders in the tech community to help and learn from each other. We’re all in this boat together, trying to help revolutionary companies disrupt the norm. To make people’s lives easier, better, more fulfilling. We’ll aim to bring some of these great teams, leaders, and strategies to life through our articles, meet-ups, speaking events and interviews.
For today’s Q & A, we’re publishing our discussion with Jake Seip, Co-founder and CEO of Compgun, a tool for managing sales commissions and growing revenue.
What’s something you’ve learned from a sales person in the last 3 months?
I’ve learned to breathe during demos. As a founding CEO, I’m incredibly excited about what we’re doing and our potential to change the way that organizations across the globe manage sales commissions. It’s easy to let that excitement carry into a rapid-fire discussion and product walk-through; it wasn’t until we hired our first sales rep, Lars, that I was reminded that the value of breathing, taking strategic pauses, and slowing things down. Prospects have an easier time following along and [they] absorb more information when you are deliberately slow and measured.
Best tip for sales teams that are scaling?
This is heavily influenced by my perspective as a founder of a sales commission SaaS company, but I consistently see high growth companies that are hamstrung by their commission plan in one way or another. The usual suspects include a lack of internal process around commissions, poor communication and understanding of the plan, and most frequently not getting out ahead of the fact that the commission plan is bound to change. If people aren’t clear on why they’re being paid what they’re being paid, how the commission plan works, or the fact that at a hyper growth startup it’s bound to change in the next six months, sales managers can often find themselves in a world of pain.
What do you think of cold calling? Should sales teams still be using it?
Definitely, but with a caveat. I think that dialing accounts at random is a waste of time. That said, when you have a clearly identified prospect that you’ve made an attempt to reach through another channel, there is a lot to be said about including a call as part of your outreach strategy and cadence. These days it’s so easy to just send emails or LinkedIn InMail; there’s something to be said about picking up the phone, talking to another person, and trying to understand a bit more about their needs.
How important is your sales technology stack to your sales organization?
Sales technology is such an important part of the way that we work. It seems that the new wave of software always takes some time to reach the sales organization; fortunately, we’re starting to see lots of tools that help automate sales tasks and increase the productivity of reps. Within our organization, we use data.com, outreach.io, salesforce, and Linkedin Sales Navigator. Each of these tools helps us work more effectively, both individually and as a team. Going forward, I think we’ll only aim to diversify and expand our toolset by adopting the products that address one or two specific needs really well.
Do you believe you’ve built a metrics driven environment? Whats an example of something youv’e done that other organizations may not have thought of?
Definitely. As you might expect, we use our own software because there’s no substitute for eating your own dog food. One of the things that our application does really well is allow sales managers to create KPIs based on any number of data sources and then use that information to surface not just commission metrics, but really any business metric, to the team, in real-time. Salesforce reporting often constrains you to Lead and Opportunity-based reports; our KPIs, by contrast, allow us to surface any metric that we think is important. That flexiblity has paid significant dividends internally.