The Operatix Story: Interview with CEO Aurelien Mottier

Author:

Aoife Daly

The Operatix Story: Interview with CEO Aurelien Mottier

Author:

Reading Time: 7 minutes

The Operatix Story: Interview with CEO Aurelien Mottier

Aoife Daly

Content Marketing Manager, Operatix

Starting a business is no easy feat, let alone continuing to nurture it until it reaches its tenth year. In fact, 96% of businesses fail within the first ten years – yet Operatix has continued to see great success and growth while reaching this significant milestone. As we celebrate ten years of Operatix this year, we spoke to CEO and Co-Founder Aurelien Mottier to learn more about how the business came to be, what his personal highlights are and what the future may hold.

Operatix interview with Aurelien Mottier

When it comes to business, there’s a typical attitude associated with CEOs – passionate, strong-willed, and hungry for success. Aurelien Mottier proved he had that drive at a young age, taking the initiative to sell handpicked flowers outside of a bakery in his hometown in France during his school years to make extra money.


“I’ve always been a bit of a grinder. My parents were having to pay expensive fees for my schooling – I’d struggled in public schools which resulted in being permanently suspended, so had to go to private school. All my school friends had a lot of new things like trainers and games,” he explains, “So as a kid, I would pick flowers in the countryside, my mum would help me wrap them, and then I would sell them outside of my local bakery to help me make enough money for the things I wanted. I’ve always liked creating something out of nothing.”


From Schoolboy to CEO



The journey from innovative schoolboy to CEO wasn’t an easy one, however. His career began in the engineering field, something that he quickly realized brought him little satisfaction. Six months after he began working in Programming Automation, he decided to turn his attention to something new and further his education at a business management school.


It was in his last year at this school that he began working in the marketing department at Phillips. However, Aurelien’s lack of English skills was holding him back from progressing.


“I missed the opportunity to go to a lot of places, including San Paolo, Russia and India to do focus groups because my English was terrible,” he comments, “That’s how I ended up in England. I landed in Cambridge to learn English.”


Moving to Cambridge in the United Kingdom from France in his twenties with little knowledge of the English language is no easy feat, yet one he deemed necessary to further his career and the opportunities he could receive.


While in Cambridge, he found himself looking for a new job after the business unit he was working within Phillips relocated to China – while he was offered a position elsewhere by his boss at the time, he was craving a more business-minded step in his career.


“Back then I was reading a lot of autobiographies by the likes of Warren Buffett and other inspiring professionals and CEOs,” Aurelien states, “I noticed that many of them started their career doing door-to-door sales or telemarketing. Many said it’s the toughest thing they have done in their life, but it’s what made them who they are today and was a very important part of their career. That’s why I decided to try it for myself.”


In 2006, he began working at a company called Optima as a Business Development Manager, quickly rising up the ranks until he became number two to the CEO as the Sales Director of EMEA in 2008.


“We sold the company in 2010 to a NASDAQ company called Rainmaker Systems, and I was given the responsibility to run Rainmaker in Europe.” he says, “I did this for two years until I decided to start again.”



Starting Again and Striving for Success



A start-up business needs a melting pot of ingredients to become successful, but first and arguably most importantly is a ‘need’. There is little point in investing time, finances, and other resources into an idea that’s been done well countless times – you must offer something new, and there must be people out there that need it. That is exactly how Operatix came to be.


While outsourced sales development agencies did exist at the time, none of them seemed to specialize in the complex sales cycle that the software industry requires, nor could they deliver the high-quality solutions these businesses need to thrive. 


“I think there was a big gap in the market. Companies that were doing very low-quality telemarketing and pay-for-performance type of model. They were not really equipped for the complex sales cycles that an enterprise software solution would need to comply with,” explains Aurelien, “We also got to a world where the importance of account-based everything, account-based marketing and account-based selling was becoming more and more obvious.”


With that in mind, Aurelien and his business partners strived to create a business that offered a smarter, quantitative approach to lead generation, pipeline acceleration, and market entry. In their eyes, there was a clear space and obvious need for exceptional quality sales development representatives, particularly for the B2B software industry.


“There are cheap resources out there that turn over a lot, but we pay our people well and hold onto skilled SDRs for as long as we can and do the best job we can for all of our clients,” continues Aurelien, “We want to be the “Rolex” of our world, ensuring our clients reach their goals quickly but at the highest quality possible and deliver that ‘red carpet’ experience.”


With VP of Worldwide Operations, Robert Westell, joining in June 2012, Operatix began to cement itself as the superior option for B2B software businesses looking to accelerate their sales.

IMG 0320
Aurelien Mottier and Robert Westell


Operatix has seen momentous success, growing significantly in its ten years of existence. The average YoY growth sitting at 54% – significantly higher than the industry average of 15% to 25% – and the team has grown to reach over 250 people across their offices in London & Dallas.


“The sales development industry is evolving at the speed of light at the moment, there are lots of people investing in that space,” Aurelien comments, “There’s more complexity and a need to keep your finger on the pulse. That’s why we are sponsoring industry reports and getting to the bottom of what potential clients really need from us.”



Building a Successful Team



As the need for services grows, so does the demand for resources. Hiring the right people is more important than ever – yet Aurelien sees plentiful amounts of value in looking past experience, finding a diamond in the rough and understanding how to develop talents.


At Operatix, there is a focus on finding team members with passion, vivacity and optimism rather than simply gazing over a CV for prior experience.


“We’re looking for people who have the right attitude and have really changed the way we recruit team members, introducing psychometric testing and competency framework into the process,” he explains, “Sales techniques can be taught, but attitude and frame of mind are much harder to mould.”


With a strong ‘promote from within’ culture, the business has developed the Operatix Academy. This sets out a clear pathway to help team members achieve their career goals and understand how they can develop within the team. Even those who don’t see a long-term future within the team are supported, with Aurelien encouraging a transparent, safe environment.


“Everything is tangible data; you don’t get promoted because of who you are friends with. It’s based on your competencies and attitude,” Aurelien says, “If we don’t have a career path that aligns with their needs and desires, we’ll continue to support them when they’re looking for the next step. After all, they’ve given us part of their life trying to do their very best for us, we owe it to them to support them in finding their next challenge.”


It’s also a manner of keeping talented staff members motivated, ensuring to reward the right attitude rather than overly focusing on results. Incentivizing not only success but drive, innovation and enthusiasm is a key part of Operatix culture, something that Aurelien credits as being a significant part of what makes the business difference for both staff members and clients.


“Bringing social recognition into the process became more difficult when remote working came into play with COVID-19, but it’s a key part of how we keep our teams motivated. Using commission to incentivize success is common in sales, but encouraging the right attitude is equally as important,” he says, “We believe it isn’t just about results and making quality connections. We want to continue implementing and investing in technology, particularly along the line of conversational intelligence and gamification.”


As well as introducing more technology and means of collating data, the company is focusing on building its Customer Success Team. This is in an effort to increase customer satisfaction, have a better understanding of what clients need and how processes can continually be improved using feedback from clients – a critical step while the company is going through hyper-growth.


For Aurelien, there’s little doubt that his crowning triumph is not a financial one, but rather the talents that Operatix has built. Seeing them grow in their careers, personal life, and confidence is a privilege in his eyes.


“I would say my biggest achievement is really the team that we’ve built and seeing people growing personally and professionally,” he says, “The rest is a byproduct. Everybody thinks money is the driving force, but things like money and being successful as a business is a byproduct of doing the right things for our clients and developing a strong people culture.”



What does the future hold for Operatix?



When it comes to the future of the business, Aurelien and Rob are keeping an open mind – expansion into new territories is likely, as is setting a target of $50 million in revenue by 2025. To them, the possibilities seem endless.


“We’ve got a constantly growing client base and getting plenty of interest,” says Aurelien, “We’re in a fantastic position when it comes to our goals – it’s more of a question of which one we do first and how we can accelerate growth even quicker.”


Stay up to date with Operatix by following the business on LinkedIn. If you’re a software business looking to accelerate your sales, undergo global expansion, and generate pipeline, get in touch with the team.

About Operatix

Operatix is a Sales Acceleration company specialized in supporting B2B Software vendors to identify new revenue streams, increase qualified sales pipeline, and accelerate channel development across Europe and North America. Operatix has a wealth of experience in working with the biggest tech players worldwide as well as a multitude of emerging software vendors.

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Channel Transformation

Digital transformation is changing how companies buy and use business solutions, making vendors re-assess the capabilities of their channel ecosystem. With channel dynamics in constant flux, vendors need to be ready to cut ties with partners that don’t share their vision or have connections with the right B2B buyers.

 

Operatix has supported numerous vendors in their path to Channel transformation by assessing current partners and recruiting new partners that are more aligned with their new channel strategy. Once the right partners have been identified, Operatix built scalable outbound sales development programs that accelerated their routes to market.

Inbound Response Management

In a competitive industry like technology every lead counts. Operatix can help you maximize conversion from MQL to SQL and from lead to pipeline, increasing both your revenue and ROI on marketing activities.

Account Identification

Identifying the accounts that are more likely to buy from you is part of our expertise. We will research the market, identify verticals and industries that can benefit from your solution and set up qualified sales engagements for your teams to kick-off the sales process. 

Cold Prospecting

Our team will identify new sales opportunities within the strategic accounts that you haven’t been successful in penetrating through your sales & marketing efforts. By applying the ‘Challenger Sale’ methodology we use a tailored, multitouch approach to connect with prospects, generating qualified sales engagements for your team and ultimately increasing your pipeline.

Outbound Sales Development

Using a proactive outbound sales approach has been proven to be one of the most effective methods to engage with prospective customers. By applying the ‘Challenger Sale’ methodology we use a tailored, human approach to getting in touch with prospects to increase your qualified sales engagements and ultimately generate more pipeline.

Outbound Sales Development

Using a proactive outbound sales approach has been proven to be one of the most effective methods to engage with prospective customers. By applying the ‘Challenger Sale’ methodology we use a tailored, human approach to getting in touch with prospects to increase your qualified sales engagements and ultimately generate more pipeline.

Partner Concierge Service

Our Partner Concierge Service helps vendors accelerate their channel programs, by engaging and nurturing channel partners and supporting them to get to revenue quicker.

Demand Generation

Whether you need to implement a demand generation strategy or get more results out of your existing demand gen engine, Operatix can work alongside your marketing team to yield better results out of your demand generation programs.

Account-based Marketing

An Account-based Marketing strategy is only as successful as the revenue it generates. At Operatix we will support your 1:1, 1:few or 1:many approach to get your team in front of decision makers in the accounts that matter the most to you. 

Lead Qualification

If your marketing leads aren’t converting, it might be a lead qualification issue. Operatix can help sieve through leads that need further qualification, so they are ready for an AE or sales team member to engage with.

Account-based Selling

At Operatix we will support your 1:1, 1:few or 1:many approach to get your team in front of decision makers in the accounts that matter the most to you. 

Pipeline Generation

Generating Pipeline for our clients is our key-objective. And we do that by using a multi-touch, multi-channel approach to generate qualified sales engagements for our customers’ sales teams.   

Account Intelligence / Deep Dive

Understanding buying centres, hierarchies and relevant personas in strategic accounts is a fundamental step to increase conversion rates. By leveraging account intelligence in a sales conversation your team can tailor their message and provide value to their prospective customer. But sales & marketing teams often struggle to dedicate time and resources to do the deep research and this is where Operatix can help.

DMID – Decision Maker Identification

Finding quality data is an on-going challenge for B2B Tech vendors. The accuracy of data platforms is questionable and that is why Operatix developed a manual process to identify & verify contact details for decision makers within strategic target accounts.

Playbook design

Operatix can develop Sales Playbooks that enable teams to sell more effectively. Your Playbook will be fundamental to get your messaging right, accurately position your solution against competitors, and adapt the communication of your value proposition to different buyer personas.

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Sales Playbook Development

Operatix can develop Sales Playbooks that enable teams to sell more effectively. Your Playbook will be fundamental to implementing the correct messaging, accurately position your solution against competitors, and adapting the communication of your value proposition to different buyer personas.

Lead Qualification

If your leads aren’t converting, it might be a lead qualification issue. Operatix can help filter through leads that need further qualification, ensuring that they’re ready for an AE or sales team member to engage with and progress through the funnel. 

Partner Portal / Marketing Concierge Service

Vendors often spend thousands of dollars building multifunctional Partner Portals to help channel partners educate their teams, manage opportunities, and create marketing programs. Still, these portals are often underutilized due to lack of bandwidth and capacity from vendors to offer support in enabling their partner community. Operatix, through their Partner Development team, can support your partners to make the best use out of your partner portal, managing the relationship with your partners and helping them set up co-marketing campaigns to drive more revenue for both businesses. 

Marketing & Sales Alignment

The sales development function is often seen as the “glue” that brings sales & marketing teams together. By working as an extension of your teams, Operatix will be your predictable source of pipeline, sales & revenue.

Optimization of MDF

Market Development Funds are an important component of any channel ecosystem, though vendors believe they are not maximizing the return on investment they should be getting from their MDF programs. At Operatix, we build scalable outbound sales development programs that will give you the visibility of return over the invested spend and will provide clear value for your channel partners.

Increase Partner Productivity

The 80/20 rule is still very applicable to the channel, which means that investing in partner productivity should be a priority for vendors looking to grow their businesses. Operatix can increase partner productivity and shorten sales cycles, by identifying ready to engage sales opportunities for your most valued channel partners.

Virtual Channel Account managers

Our VCAM team is responsible for building, maintaining, and managing sound relationships with current and prospective channel partners. They can get involved in opening up new sales conversations as well as closing small businesses up to $ 10k.

Tier 1 & Tier 2 Activation

Whether your business decided for a Tier 1 or Tier 2 distribution model, Operatix can help your channel partners get to revenue quicker. By providing qualified sales engagements to your channel partners we can accelerate your route to market with tangible and easily measurable results.

Solution Selling Training

Far too often vendors insist on enabling their channel partners to talk about features and technical details of their solutions. Customers don’t buy features; they buy the benefits your solution can bring. Operatix will work with your partner community to train them in articulating your message from a high-level business perspective, enabling them to talk to prospects about the value your solution can bring to their company from a board-level perspective.

Channel Enablement

Enabling your channel partners have measurable wins for your business when done right. Operatix has a proven track record in enabling channel partners from a sales & marketing perspective, providing them the knowledge and tools to successfully pitch your solution and sell the value & benefits of it. 

Partner Recruitment

Recruiting the right Channel Partners is the first step for a successful channel program. Operatix has helped over 350 B2B Software vendors recruit suitable channel partners across EMEA and North America, supporting them to scale and expand their presence in different geographies and verticals. 

Risk/Reward Business Model

To truly work as an extension of our client’s sales & marketing teams, we have also adapted our business models to show how our clients operate, and how their success is measured. With our risk/reward business model your investment is proportional to the results our team delivers.

Sales Qualified Leads

On average, 52.5% of the sales engagements set up by our team progress into a next step in the sale process. That means that 5 out of 10 meetings will progress either into a POC, a Demo or a pipeline opportunity.

Geographical Scale

Trading in different geographical markets not only requires a knowledge of the native language, local rules & policies, but a deeper understanding of the local culture and habits. We have the ability to deliver campaigns in multiple countries with flexible resource allocation. This is through our team of international speakers, who have the ability to sell in 17 different languages across the globe.

Increase Revenue & Decrease Cost

Building an internal sales development team comes with many additional costs and challenges that aren’t always taken into account: recruiting resources, training and enabling them etc. You also need to take into account the need for having the data and tools to make them successful, which in turn requires time, capital and effort. By outsourcing your sales development to Operatix you will see your revenue increasing, while decreasing costs and business risk.

Predictable Pipeline Generation

On average, our clients see a 26X ROI on the programs we deliver. By understanding your revenue targets and sales pipeline gap, we will work on a sales & marketing plan that will deliver tangible results.

Vertical Growth

Entering new industries or launching new product lines? Operatix can accelerate your growth by supporting your go-to-market strategy, and getting your sales teams in front of decision makers in key target accounts.

Reduce Headcount

By outsourcing your sales development and partner programs to Operatix; we reduce headcount and the challenges that come with managing people, technologies, and processes. We take care of your sales development, so you can focus on what matters the most: growing your business.

Revenue Acceleration

Operatix helps your business get to revenue quicker. By providing qualified sales engagements for your direct sales team (to kick-off new sales cycles), or by accelerating the growth of your channel partners, our focus remains on delivering tangible results for your business. 

Persona-based Selling

Operatix team will design specifically tailored messages to influence the different levels of decision makers in the sales process, tailoring the communication according to each job function. Our focus is to sell the value of your solution from a business perspective, not its features.    

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