B2B Revenue Acceleration
B2B Revenue Acceleration

Episode · 2 years ago

39: Selling High Tech Solutions to Non-Tech Buyers w/ Joel Passen

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Are you attempting to sell a technical product to a non-technical crowd? If so, we’d love to introduce you to Joel Passen, Head of Global Sales at Beamery.

His company sells HR and talent acquisition products, or what they call a “recruiting CRM and marketing software.” But not all their buyers have an extensive technical background.

So, Joel’s uncovered firsthand how to sell a highly technical product to a variety of buyers, many of whom are non-technical.

On this episode, he gives us 3 ways we can sell our products to non-technical buyers.

You're listening to Beto B revenue,acceleration, a podcast dedicated helping software executives stay on thecutting edge of sales and marketing in their industry. Let's get into the show, welcome to B Tob Revenue Acceleration,my name's Dancy Brook and I'm here today with Joe Passon head of globalsales at Breemmary Jole, I, how are you inm, Wi l, horea Yo, it's great to behere. Yes, very good! Thank you very good indeed, thanks for taking a timeto join us today, a pleasure so joe, the Toplit for today's episode isselling high tech solutions to a non technology audience. But before we gointo the conversation, it would be really good if you could give us a bitof a background on yourself, your company and I guess the space thatyou're sitting in yeah. Absolutely again, I appreciate appreciate beinghere. I I look after global sales at a company called tmary and we provide ourcustomers with talent, crm and marketing solutions, and so for folksthat Aren' in the HR technology or talent, technology landscape, you couldthink of the product that we offer the market as sort of a combination of bothsales, forse and Marquetto, but for recruiting our talent acquisition, andso just logistically, you know obviously we're well, perhaps not.Obviously we are ASSASS company, we're venture back. You know just completedour series B last year and have strategic investments from Microsoft,venture capial arm and Workday, a large global HCM provider, and I I actuallyhave a global sales force with offices Wor, headquartered in London. Actually,but North America is plit between San Francisco and Austin, and then I havefield sellers throughout North America and course sales all reports to me, andalso we have a business development team or sales development team thatreports to be as well. Okay, interesting thanks for that, so Jo Bteobviousy is operating, as you said, within the EHJOB and reprovementtechnolty space, which, from our perspective, from what we've seenacross our client, Bas, seems to be going through a massive disruptioninvasion with the advance of that...

...favorite buzzword at the moment, whichis machine, learning and AI and, and you know, analytics ot that providingand the automation it providing. It seems to be growing messively year, ondyear and really disrupting many industries, but, of course, recruitmentand the HR piece around automation, seemd to be seeing seeing an aparticularly big way. Could you give us, from your perspective a bit of anoverview or an opinion of the current state of the HJR and recruitmenttechnology world and how you see that evolving and when I say N, how I seethat evolving is whether you see there's a place for the future wherebyactually HR and recruitment, Alergy cand, replace people all together. ITDjoust be good to getall your thoughts, because, obviously that's a muchdebated topic at the moment. Yeah absolutely so. Thank you. There's athere's a lot to unpack with what you just ask but you're right in whatyou're, seeing obviously n and you folks are a good prometer of the market.There' spent about five billion dollars of investment- that's been made in theHR, Tex and town acposition sector, and so it's actually quite noisy and Ithink, there's a reason for that. And frankly, is I kind of use a bit of ananecdote. You think about the next time you talkd to a CEO Askher, to name themost important business assets and you're going to give people. You knowtalking about their people first or second, every time, so managing anenterprisis number one or number two asset. Her people is not a bad space tobe in, and obviously there's been money flowing into the space in terms of, andI think, against sort of unpacking. Your question in terms of transpottingin the HRTEXT base. The first thing that we see- and I think the reason fora lot of this investment- is that innovative employers are really movingaway from a reactive approach to recruiting. So if you think about daysof your, you had a job opening, you walked it down to you, acreatingdepartment or HR. They published or posted or advertised a job, and youwait to see what comes in and maybe the...

...repritter goes through their networkand you know get se some people that perhaps they've had some relationshipswith and that's really a reactive maturity model. And what we're seeingtoday is that companies are realizing that transform their labor forces overthe next several years, and we know that the service economy and will talkabout Ai, an a second everythingis evolving. So companies really have tobe more proactive when they think about talent and go out and really kind of use, and I thinkthis is really relevant for your audience. They really have to use sales,an marketing techniques, so town acquisition is really sort of a skillsand marketing game, and that means building awareness with the rightpeople at the right time. So that's one big trend that we see and obviouslybeamery is sort of pointed at that direction in terms of again at large,and you talked about machine learning and artificial intelligence. I believethat this is my personal belief and I think bemre again at large shares someof these philosophies or concepts, but artificial intelligence is really noisyright now and that I think that the trend is not necessarily just to useartificial intelligence, but I think it actually pivots from this concept ofautomating a job role to understanding how we augment jobs and upskill, thoseroles, so in short or enlaymen speak. How do we make people more efficientand better at their jobs rather than replacing their jobs? And then I thinkthat we're going to see a new generation of the analytics out of thistoo. So some folks are already calling this telemetry other folks are callingthis augmented analytics and really, regardless of the name you're going tosee undemand actionable explanations of what's going on with your workfor. Soit's the old instead of just giving me reeport. Okay, insights are nice, butnow really give me actionable insights on demand about how we can make a pivotin real time. That's a trend, and then the final thing that I think you'll seeis that HR. If they have upskilled workers and they have augmentedanalytics, then I think we're going to...

...see the HR function and recruitingfunctions, move from essentially a less judgment, driven environment to a moredata driven environment. Much like we'd see with finance sales and marketingprocurement. Other business functions within an organization, so I thinkthese starings Sart of all mell together yeah, that's an interestingpespective. Thanks for that- and I think it's kind of I guess, takingyou're been of getting used to for a lot of people out there as well and toyour point in in functions like finance and sales and marking. You know we'reused to now going on a website and talking to a chat. What people makesome people made dispute, whether they like it or not, but I think that'sbecoming more more of a reality, actually almost giving hr professionalheability to step away a little bit from the day today, Monday Antar, sortof sifting through CV, for example, and actually every more dato theirfingertips is probably something that is a concept. They'll have to get theirhead arounds, but in the future, to your point, it should allow them to domore with less in some respects, h with the automation. That brings one of thepoints that you made. That was quite interesting for me as giving the givingorganizations with your solution in partitular. If we talk about thatfornow giving organizations the ability to rather than reactively, recruitindividuals based on when a job may come up to actually proactively alwaysidentifyng, maybe the the passive market that isn't quite read isn'tnecessarily looking for work but they're out there, and if I look at themarket that Werewe're all in here with and let's focus for a secondspecifically on the bay area. From from what we see, there's a massive skillshortage in the Baro specific to technology, both from Eselles andmarked inspective and from a technical perspective with something like youroffering. How would you help a business with that? Yeah me give you an example:a real world example. We have a client that replaced essentially blockbuster,not I won't name the clients name, but they have very hard defined creativesproduction studio. Folks, they produce television shows for the most part ondemand and the foes in that industry...

...are in very, very high demand, and soyou can post jobs for them in the reactive model and, quite frankly,you're not going to get Luch, you can send recruiters after him, like we doin BDR to send them after prospects. If you think about recruiting being theanalog being thet recruiting is very much like sales think about it in thatLans for the for our listeners, so we coun send recruiters and sourcers afterpeople, and we know that that's going to be moderately effective and we'vebeen doing that for years in recruiting. But what if I told you that we couldjust like in professional, btob marketing, we could go out andunderstand prospects, behaviors and market to them and build a community, alongtail community of people that, when they are ready to search for a job orthey are they've, you know they are thinking about new opportunitiesoutside of wherever they're. At that I could make you the employer of choicefor when they wake up in the morning and decide that maybe they'll lookaround we've been in their ear and their inbox and their text messages inwhatever channel that they're getting information. Building that awarenessalong the way and making it easy for them to join a community that addsvalue just like we do with content marketing that adds value. That bringsthem into the organization over time same thing with Canavas and gettingpeople when they're graduating from school. So starting those relationshipsearly with think about it kind of like consumers, but with candidates andprospects. That's really what our company is focused on doing. That makessense, yeah. That makes a Lottl of sense so and that kind of segues Nicebeingto an next point, which is your a technology company. I guess you couldget really in the in the weeds of what your solution is and how it works andthe technical bills and whistles of it. But but ultimately, as we spoken abouta lot, you are selling to HR functions for the most part, if I'm not mistakenand for it for the most part, h professional was aren't necessarilycoming to com into the workforce with computer science degres, so they're,not really that technical audience. So...

...how do you, as a technology company, goabout selling to a less technical oudience? If what's your process fordoing so in our spece specifically- and I think this would go in line with thisquestion- if we were selling into a nontechnical audience in another lineof business and there's still a couple of wines of business- left that as youput it, don't necessarily have an extensive technology background andwhat I tend to do is look for former practitioners, so my best mostaccomplished sellers and the ones that climb the enablement curve. You knowthe the ramp curve faster than anyone else in our organization are peoplethat have number one, then in some sort of recruiting capacity in their life.And so I think you could extrapolate this back to any industry higher out ofthat industry of people that perhaps have done that job in some way shape orform or been around it and they're, going to obviously understand thechallenges of those and the users and ultimately buyers better than anyoneelse. So I look for people that have been practitioners in the past, maybeearly in their career, and then it become accomplished sellers in thespace over time. So I want my sellars to empathize, with the buyers firsthand, I want them to feel their paid, and this also again serves to reduceour ranotimes. So that's that's sort of the number one strategy number two iswe tend to shape our sales process less of this sort of prescribed. You knowhere, 's a demo, here's what you have to do next, Mr Mirs customer. Weactually say hey. This is an education process, so we don't run a traditionalsales process. Our focus is really in helping our champions and influencersdevelop a strong internal business case for how we can benefit theirorganization and then taking that and helping them package it to go and sellhigher up a power line. If you will so, we support the process with content andcollateral. Hat's really designed from you know for a variety of differentstateholders, including the IT teams and the procurement financetims. Sothat's the second strategy that we use...

...and then the third one is we really letour product tell the narrative and we bring our salespeople often times onsigte with their customers and walk them through these various usecasessetting up our product along the way to show them how we can take them frombeing a reactive talent, organization and mature that into being a proactivetown organization along the way we create their own narrative within ourproduct and that's been really powerful. That makes sense, and just on that sortof line of question, I guess- and you mentioned earlier under theconversation that that seems to been around you know a five billion dollarinvestment or they've, seen the market, the HR tech markets, whether aroundfive billion dollars. I think the approach you you've just described witregors your sales process, in particular, where it's very much anEducationan process where you'R tyou're engaging multiple different personersand you have a value to each of those different pesoneas. You touch. Howwould you in a in a noisy market? What could be seen as a complicated marketwhere HR professionals must be absolutely inundated with solutionsthat iguess could be seen to be offering a similar message to a similarvalue to your solution? How do you how dany differentiaie such a noisy,crowded market like that think, there's three things an I let me let me focuson two of them, but the differentiation process is, I think, especially the SASS company isproduct driven so for US- and I have to speak to this specifically in ourindustry, which is talent, crm and talent, marketing, an that's, a it's, aa product that sits on top of. Essentially, if you think about a salesfunnel, we are the very top of the funnel getting our customers moreprospects to market to to ultimately convert them into candidates. So that'sthe framework that we use. We have to have a meaningful, unique anddifferentiated solution to cut through the noise and that needs to meet themarkets, needs and really be prescriptive to this proactive processthat we create for people. So, instead...

...of using big words, we have to have anINNOVATIV product and that's that's part of winning Zass game is, I think,twofold number one. You have to have an innovative product that does cutthrough the noises you just suggest in number two. You have to operationalizehow you distribute that product and I will operationalize your competitorsand that's something that we continued to build at beamery as a good marketstrategy, so have a better product and be more operationally sound than yourpeers and that's a winning solution in any market, specifically a noisy onelike TA technology. That makes sense- and I think as well. That's is a will.You just describe auround having a yes a great product, but the second piecearound being more operationally effective, is even more relevant to youas a business, because it's a bit of an interesting background in that you knowa US software company coming out of CILICON Vady Yore, actually a Britishcompany that is gone the other way and actually entered North America so andhonest lightly different actreally as a UK foundin business. What were thechallenge? Anes? The you face, Wern't expaned to North American and have youseen any differences between the sale process and how you go about selling inNorth America versus what you really started as a business in a Miyor yeah?That's S, a it's a great question and, frankly, breaking the US market in ourbusiness wasn't the biggest challenge. We found that large US based employersin our target market, North American employer, for that matter, generallymore progressive from a recruiting standpoint and, as you point out fromyour own experiences in the in the bay area, there's a big supply, tdemandproblem, so essentially we're selling a product that people need in a varietyof theaters because we're addressing and this this is at the top of thepodcast one of the things that's really exciting about our space. Is therethere literally is a supply and demand problem, we'renot, creating more stemgraduates, necessarily at the rate that the market needs them so breaking intoa market and having people be...

...interested in the things that weresaying, wasn't necessarily our issue. I think that the founders of Beang RA,prior to my joining about six months ago, what they learned was that aprocurement process and sort of the the ways of doing businesses, the nuances,might be a bit different than perhaps starting in the UK. A D and contimentalEurope for for that matter, so r e Andi'll give MOU an example of I'llgiving you actually two examples of this, or maybe the difference is to thesecond part of your question. OURAMEA prospects and customers tend to have amore I'd, say: Formal Evaluation Process, they're more organized,there's more of a consensus, building a formality around the CONSENSIV building.So, for example, in that we see more steering committees, more formal, RFPS,more requests for tenders, things that are more of this sort of formalizedstep based process to get through procurement. The communications aremore formal. The meetings are more formal finance. It and procurement aremore out in front earlier in our our perspective, evaluation processesoutside of North America, and I tribute that to there's a cultural differenceon the flipside in North America, we see more Athawk processes, we see lessexecutive buying earlier in the early stages of a project until we get maybethrough the middle of the project where we have to, as I mentioned before, takeour folks that are lower on the power line, oure champions and influencersand build them into people that are ultimately developing our valueproposition to get experienced or more senior DMS decision makers involved. Soour observation in, in short, is that US companies are more comfortable withbuying technology in general, but the processes are looser, they're moreinformal. We have to actually put more anertia into the meetings to get intothe decision makers, Leicon of decision...

...making and that's been the biggest sortof eyopening thing for us and then there's some little differences in howwe communicate cert of tactical things. You'll see absolutely, and I think yourpoint around t the tactical differences at that just comes down to a culturalthing. I mean we see UK US slightly more cynical markets if you like,whereas if you go into jus Spain or France or eatalyyoull, most need tostart winny and dining prospect. So it's it con completely different insolof processes for entertainmentent budget. You know when we look at justLNG out Om Budgets for travel and entertainment, and you look at theregion in the world that accumulates proportionally anyway, the mostspendids, the Nordix. I don't know why. Maybe it's cultural, but I've seen ittrend for four quarters. Now that is interesting. I've, no, I was expectingto say Italy or Spain, or something so that that's very intren, so Jo, the the insides have been reallyuse and intriguing so, but really appreciate that you've taken the timeto share your thoughts with the audience today. I guess the last pointis: If anyone wants to connect with you to learn more about beamery or continuethis conversation offline, what would be the best way to get in touch withyou in the and the business? Absolutely I'm easy to find so I'm onlinked in jolpassing and then my email dress is very simple. It's jol at BEMERYCOM and Ihave to put a plug in and tell you that we're always looking for a talentedsales folks and talented marketing people both in the United States and inLondon. So I appreciate your time and I appreciate you having me thanks a lotonce again jobe. It was great having you on the show and h. We appreciate it.Tim Very Good uperadics has redefined the meaning ofrevenue generation for technology companies worldwide, while thetraditional concepts of building and managing inside sales teams in househas existed for many years. Companies are struggling with the lack of focus,agility and scale required in today's fast and complex world of enterprisetechnology sales see Ow operatics can...

...help your company accelerate pipelineat operatics, dot net you've been listening to, b, to b revenueacceleration to ensure that you never miss an episode subscribe to the showin your favorite podcast player. Thank you so much for listening until nexttime.

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