Sales Fundamentals for 3 high-growth European scaleups

Back to the future! I sat down with three successful SaaS scaleup leaders who were on the journey from a few million to double-digit million € in ARR to discuss about the strategic and operational challenges and their implications. Watching again this video after more than 5 years (it was recorded in July 2018!), it’s so interesting to realise how those insights are still valid in the post pandemic world. They are even more relevant today.

It’s not surprising that each of those leaders has kept on a successful trajectory and the companies have been successful.

Michael Schimmel , Chief Commercial Officer at Kantox, acquired for 120 million euros in 2022 by BNP Paribas. Michael is still at Kantox as for December 2023 when this article had its last update.

Chris Evens, at that time VP of Global Sales at Red Point, now a powerhouse in brand protection that has more than 300 employees split between Europe and US at the end of 2023.

Oscar Macia, Founder and CEO at ForceManager, headquartered in Barcelona, with international offices in London, Berlin, Venice, Mexico City, Madrid, Bogota and Boston. With more than 100 employees and 1,500 customers worldwide.

The meeting was organized by my friend Jaime Novoa who was an Analyst (and now a Partner) at K Fund that had just started with a fund of 50 million euros at that time. In the meanwhile K Fund has become a world-class Venture Capital firms and one of the top ones in Southern Europe.

Playbook execution, finding the right people and choosing the right segmentation focus are some of the really interesting points that Michael, Chris and Oscar shared with me and an audience made by sales professionals and sales leaders working in the B2B SaaS industry.

Enjoy the video on this LINK and find below the main takeouts

PLAYBOOK AND SALES PROCESS

Chris:
Make sure you have the sales process and Playbook right. This is necessary when you hire 25 people in a quarter.
A concise 20-30 page Playbook to allow new hires ramp up quickly.
Focus on SMB or Entreprise? Make the right choices. It’s key segmenting well with simple criteria

Oscar:
Do the right qualification from the early stage of the Sales Development conversation.
Continued evolution of the Playbook for the different stages of the company.
Outbound works!.

Michael:
First step: understand the business of the client. Step 2: build a business case: ROI simulations to demonstrate business impact of the solution. Middle  and bottom of the funnel: Second presentation. Commercial discussion. Implementation.

 

SALESFORCE AS THE SCALABLE AND SOLID CRM

The 3 companies use Salesforce.

 

PEOPLE

Oscar:
Need different sales profiles for selling to SMB vs larger Accounts.
Hire based on proven deal size experience.
SDRs – Sales Development reps as the key engine of qualified meetings and opportunities.

Chris:
Successful sales people pitch on the business impact of the solution.
All the 3 companies recruit sales people based on role plays.

 

IMPLICATIONS OF MOVING TO A SAAS BUSINESS MODEL

Michael:
Change of Ideal Customer. Vertical strategies. Focus on Outbound. Impact on average deal size and sales cycle.

 

If you enjoyed this post, you will also like this Game Plan for a Healthy Go-To-Market in early-stage B2B SaaS.

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