Some things are worth taking a moment to celebrate.
It’s the 2nd anniversary of the B2B Revenue Acceleration podcast, for one.
We’ve had over 10,000 downloads, for another.
Our anniversary episode is dedicated to you — our clients, partners, and friends — who bring so much value to the work we do.
We are privileged today to hear from 5 outstanding guests about their best strategies for B2B revenue acceleration.
When the going gets tough, the tough get creative.
Didi Dayton – Wing Venture Capital
Best vendor tactics
“This period of global pandemic has served to teach us a lot,” Didi said. “When the going gets tough, the tough get creative.”
Didi has seen a surge of creative thinking and flexibility from vendors and customers.
- Startups are stretching their dollars. Key practices are reducing burn rates and keeping at least 12 months of cash on hand (preferably 18).
- Startups are converting everyone into salespeople. An original pivot was to shift recruiters into SDRs.
From a customer side, Didi has seen more reliance on artificial intelligence and automation to streamline costs.
“It’s also an era of new fiscal responsibility,” Didi observed. “CFOs are much more tactical in terms of what they’re willing to do.”
This creativity has altered the way we look at revenue and sales. No longer do we win or lose a deal. “It’s much more now about the incremental steps that you can take to get your sales team focused in the right places: relationship building with your customer,” Didi said.
Always err toward removing friction.
Nathan Burke – Axonius
Best marketing tactics
If you wanted to solve this problem, how would you go about it?
“I’m going to put an approach in front of you,” Nathan said. “Forget about my product.”
Selling the approach means getting the prospect to buy into a specific approach to a solution.
“That’s the only sale I’m trying to do,” Nathan said. “If you agree with this approach, our product is going to do that.”
Talking about the product too early just turns people off.
What you need instead is to understand buyer motivation.
“If there’s one strategy that’s worked for me for every company, it’s trying to figure out the intersection between motivation and behavior,” Nathan said.
He shows the product. He lets prospects try the product (yes, even in cybersecurity). He lets people ask questions anonymously.
“Always err toward removing friction, giving that prospect exactly what they need to make a decision,” Nathan said.
The quantity has gone down, but the quality has increased.
Bob Kruse – Obsidian Security
Best sales tactics
“It’s an evolving story,” Bob said. “We’re all trying to figure out what the new economy and situation means for the sales cycle that we’re used to.”
One encouraging trend? “The quantity has gone down, but the quality has increased,” Bob said.
His goal is to narrow the aperture. “It’s critical right now to have as much focus near the aperture as possible,” he said.
Everyone’s trying to do a happy hour on Zoom (or an already exhausted variation of that).
“People are theoretically more available because they’re locked online and on their desk, but that’s already worn out. The challenge is now what do you do?”
Bob tries to monitor that evolving reality of sales.
Honestly, a lot of businesses are staying in the “wait and see” mode.
The best sales tactic right now is awareness of what’s going on, an acknowledgement that there’s a pervading feeling of waiting for the next economic shoe to drop.
“It goes without saying there’s going to be winners and losers. It’s going to be a pretty stark line,” Bob said.
Knowing your partners and customers is a critical element.
Timm Hoyt – Druva
Best channel tactics
“The history of the future is not yet fully written,” Timm said.
His perspective is that the present needs could push B2B selling to improve its practices holistically.
“This could be an amazing wave for B2B selling to actually learn a lot — and get out of some of the laziness and habits that we’ve formed over the past 20 years of enterprise B2B selling,” he said.
Some partner tactics:
- Know the customer, i.e. the end user.
- Examine your partner community for
- how a partner consumes and
- the language they need to become an extension of your sales force.
- Be willing to shelve the “nice to have” in favor of the “must have” sales.
- Create a new market. There are a lot of fresh areas that aren’t oversaturated.
Consider how to offer the right enablement, messaging, and all-around empowerment for your partners to carry your message.
“Knowing your partners and customers is a critical element in times of frothiness and times of a glass half empty, as well,” Timm said.
How do I package my product to be consumed in this new world?
Patrick Conte – Fortanix
Best cross-Atlantic tactics
When it comes to the best strategies for B2B revenue acceleration, we asked Patrick Conte, VP of Business Development at Fortanix, about strategies that did (and didn’t) work in the European and American markets.
“All the rules of the last decade of how you build businesses in different geographies are being tested right now,” Patrick said.
He doesn’t think they’ll look the same after the pandemic, either.
“When the whole COVID scenario does flatten out, will the things that we’ve learned from how to do business in a different way still be there?” he asked.
Patrick thinks that wasting time during car travel when we could video call is a type of technique that we will abandoned.
“When we come out of this, any kind of tech business flexibility is the most important thing,” he said.
Sure, business may go sideways, but no matter which side of the Atlantic you’re on, you have to focus on building a resilient company.
- What are the critical things that you do to build your company?
- Who am I solving that fundamental problem for?
- How do I package my product so it can be consumed in this new world?
- How do I build the company to support that chain?
So, where should you position your company along the chain?
“You can’t put the company in the middle or at the front. Start-up companies stick the company too close to the fundamental problem,” Patrick observed. “The company needs to be built at the end of that chain.”
To our partners, clients, listeners, and friends, we offer a very deep thank you for these first 2 wonderful years of B2B Revenue Acceleration.
Until next time, stay safe!