You are the founder, CEO, arriving each morning before 7:00, opening the office. Around 9:30 the sales team straggles in, double cinnamon lattes in hand. They sit around catching up on emails, making a few calls. Zero sense of urgency. This is your second, going on third sales team. Nobody makes quota. The common refrain is “…not enough leads;” repeated first thing, even before “good morning.” You are so frustrated you could scream. You are paying a base between $60,000 a year for dialing-and-smiling sales monkeys to $150,000 a year for “killer sales reps” the headhunter promised you.
From talks with 87 companies, a global survey of 500+ SaaS firms, feedback from industry analysts, and insights with the world’s top technology investors, an obvious pattern has emerged: having one master view of the customer subscription lifecycle increases cash-flow, reduces churn, produces better forecasts, and enables teams to work better together.
We had a fantastic time in Las Vegas last week at our largest-ever annual user conference, Sage Intacct Advantage 2019. As we look back on the event, we’d be remiss if we didn’t share a few highlights with those of you who weren’t able to join us this year. Of the nearly 200 sessions, our favorites are always those led by our customers, so I thought I’d kick things off with a recap of a popular breakout panel on ASC 606.
Acquire, grow, acquire some more. That’s the mantra for most SaaS and subscription companies today. As an industry, we invest millions to acquire and convert customers. Ad spend is at an all time high, and the world of martech tools is becoming increasingly saturated. With the rise of growth hacking and better customer targeting, the top of the funnel is constantly in focus. But that’s changing.
Building a successful channel marketing program that drives a strong return on investment is no easy feat. One of the biggest challenges is the lack of partner marketing skills and resources in the channel. Many partners don’t have the time or the know-how to execute even the best campaigns.
The sale of software products often happens through a channel of resellers. Selling through a channel of resellers, especially resellers that may be larger than you or associated with a major brand, can give your company the scale and your products the credibility that you otherwise could not. Furthermore, it can provide resellers with expertise in certain vertical markets and local expertise outside of your home market.
As a technology vendor using the Channel for productivity and market reach, have you ever asked, “How do I know if my channel partners are the right ones for my company, the absolute best partners? What should I be doing to strengthen loyalty with my channel partners, loyalty that results in better revenue growth and improvements in end-customer satisfaction? How do I improve technical resource sharing with my channel partners so that we are in close alignment and leverage our critical human assets?”
In this age of exponential growth and innovation, there will always be the disruptor or the disrupted. The difference between the two is those who anticipated the change will disrupt, and those who watched it pass by will be disrupted. Looking to the future has become more important than ever. Using an anticipatory mindset will help you determine which trends and changes you can capitalize on.
A boatload of partners have made the switch to the Managed Service Provider (MSP) model. They have transformed their one-off break-fix sales model to a full-blown recurring-revenue contract-based services business. Now the MSP is the one that is selling the product. They want to white labeling it and maintain control of the actual end user for the entire relationship. That means getting comfortable with the fact that you may never know who your end customer is.
A reported 65 percent of all sales reps don’t make quota. Sales turnover has never been higher. VC funded B2B companies raise over $100 million yet never find profitability. Cost of sales for a B2B company often exceeds total revenue. B2B tech companies are desperately seeking to get revenue up, costs down and VC’s liquid. CRM, Account Based Marketing, sales personas, selling platforms – personalized SPAM; these are the usual candidates virtually all B2B companies try. Sadly, the results remain the same. Actually, they are getting worse.
Before you invest time, money and team resources in recruiting partner contacts, make sure they work for the right partner companies that align with your products.
Extended sales teams are critical assets for vendors operating in a joint-selling model, bringing fresh talent and ideas to the organization’s sales operations. However, whether through partnerships or mergers, it’s critical that vendors equip those coming on board with proper knowledge of the solution and tools to sell effectively. One key tool in enabling external sales teams? In-house mentors.
Vendor user conferences are typically designed to celebrate customers and further educate attendees on a solution or suite of products. But, with a designated time to exchange stories and ideas in person, these events also can generate massive value for channel partners.
In years past, companies would sell their products to customers through word-of-mouth or paid advertisements. As organizations are now able to communicate with their clients more easily, they have the potential to sell to customers outside of their base regions. To ensure they are reaching all potential customers across the United States, companies must commit to making their presence known in new territories. One way to accomplish this goal? Expanding their channel program.
Vlocity is a leading provider of industry-specific cloud and mobile software built in partnership with Salesforce. It is the fastest growing company ever built on the Salesforce AppExchange platform and grew from inception to $100 million in revenue in less than five years. Vlocity’s founder and CEO, David Schmaier sat down with Software Business Growth to talk about scaling a software company, what he learned from his previous ventures, and attracting/retaining top talent.
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