B2B Revenue Acceleration
B2B Revenue Acceleration

Episode · 1 year ago

94: A Playbook for Cloud Enterprise Sales Professionals w/ Paul Melchiorre


What does it take to be successful in Cloud Enterprise Sales?

How will the enterprise cloud sales market look like the next 5 to 10 years?

Recently on B2B Revenue Acceleration, we spoke with Paul Melchiorre, Operating Partner at Stripes, about the qualities of cloud sales professionals and the future of the market.

What we talked about:

  • Becoming a first-time author
  • 4 essential traits of a cloud enterprise sales professional
  • The enterprise cloud sales market in the next 5 years

OPTIONAL: Check out these resources we mentioned during the podcast:

To hear this interview and many more like it, subscribe to The B2B Revenue Acceleration Podcast on Apple Podcasts, on Spotify, or on our website.

You were listening to bb revenue acceleration, a podcast dedicated helping software executive stay on the cutting edge of sales and marketing in their industry. Let's get into the show. Hi, welcome to be to view revenue acceleration. My name is areniamutier and I'm here today with Pull Mail Cure, a operating partner tribes and couthor of the book selling the clouds. How are you doing today, pulled Aurli, and I'm doing fantastic. It's just it's been a great two thousand and twenty. A little up and down, but they say, I call this the the year of resilience. So and I believe that chapter twelve. So this is definitely one where you have to have reajolion, a real so it's almost true. You know, we've got a months enough to go. We've got Christmas on the way, sens giving will be so, I hope. So. Yeah, so today we will be will be talking about show recently launch book selling the clouds. But before we go into that conversation, it would be great if you could introduce yourself in more detail to our audience and also can of tell us a little bit more about your twenty five plus years. Sorry about that. As it is it's a rich on the pro time carrier and things of class as yeah, sure, litte twenty five years would be good. It's probably more like thirty five and I like thee my girl five and us is better. Yeah, said, yeah, but actually started you almost thirty years ago right here in Philadelphia, where I spend most of my time, born and raised here, when a small company called systems applications and data processing came from Germany to the US, formerly known back then it's sat now of course it's sap. So I was one of the first employees there. So sometimes I always say it's better to be lucky and good. And I started, you know, working with them as one of the first employees here in Philadelphia, here in the US. And in one thousand nine hundred and ninety it was a just a concept and idea. By One thousand nine hundred and ninety seven we were kind of a worldwide phenomenon and you know, it just happened to be swept up in that opportunity and was running the global sales efforts. And great opportunity to leverage that experience to go to a start up in Silicon Valley, which was my first tour of duty. They're at Ariva. And then we went public and if you remember, back in thecom era and early two thousand, two thousand and one, it was just fantastic. And then, you know, two thousand and one it wasn't fantastic and we went from thirty eight hundred people to eight hundred people. So really challenging times. Through that what we called new deler winner and eventually we survived, got it back up and sold it TESTAP. In Two Thousand and twelve, I thought I was going to go into private equity and I did and within about three months they they kind of said, okay, you're doing great, we want to put you in as president of a an operating company called I pipe line, and actually spend a lot of time over in London, as we did that for a little over three years. And then I said I was going to go back in do pe, and then my old boss called me from Reba and went to on a plan and we took them public in two thousand and eighteen and finally in two thousand and nineteen I, you know, I said okay, I've done operational activities and I'm going to go work for P firm and work with a bunch of very young, exciting companies really in Europe and and in the US here and having a great time doing it. You know, I spend most of my time here in Philadelphia. When the weather gets a little chilly, right around now I started moving down to south Florida where the weather's a little nicer. And Yeah, four children ranging from twenty nine to fourteen. So pretty busy guy. Yeah, I can. I only got two kids. And Yeah, it's fall thoughts, the chosen number. All scals made it to a bit. So so when don't? I have two wives, so makes it the lease. I got to work all right. So poor you, you and mock pitch...

...roosy recently now show young you book or sending the clouds, I think the yonder line. He's a play book for six sets in glass up to I don't the Prie sent. So obviously we do another of that, a touparatics. We had put up of clients in that space, but it you know, we also in the books you are sharing your your key methods, what you've refined, what you've identified and and withother that's twenty five feels to become, like I said, as lead in that space. But whether I make long though some before we even get stuffed in going to a details. What's actually motivated you to write these book and what are the key to week that you are covering, just just for the you know, but the the interreligence? Yeah, you know, the motivation is interesting. Early and my mom has been telling me for ten years or twenty years, maybe you should write a book with all your experiences, you know, operating in all these different global venues with these large companies and learned so much, obviously, over those years and it just really wasn't motivated. But I did start to write kind of a notebook down what I called key topics and areas that I thought would be helpful to eventually put in a book. And then I knew Mark Petruzi when we first started. I was at sap, he was at the Lloyd and you know, we remain friendly and then we kind of lost track and then I ran into him early on in Myana plank where in like two thousand and sixteen and Seventeen, and the first thing he said to me is this. You know, Paul, all your experiences, you should write a book and I should mark you sound like my mom, you know, and it and he just said no, now you know, you have so all these experiences, you have all of this information in your head, if you can put it into in two words. And I said, you want to help me, and he see, I absolutely do. So that was kind of the motivation for it. And then we started thinking about all the books that are out there. Are they in and there's just so many business process and sales process and tips and tricks and methodologies and and honestly, they're all kind of the same and just thousands of different variations. And I said, well, last one it. Last thing I want to do is do something like that. So we wanted to kind of look at what would the key topics be that can really appeal to a very large audience, those that, you know, literally would be very new to sales or the selling profession or even not in the profession thinking about it, or somebody who's a thirty plus year veteran like myself. And so we thought about putting this holistic playbook together that everyone can get value from. And then some of the key topics we wanted to focus on, you know, not really the tactical aspects of selling, like, because they're sending plenty of books out there, but kind of the soft stuff. What are the things that the characteristics of a successful sales professional? And it is a profession. So what is it that every day when you get up the mindset that trust some of those key areas that are in the book that we kind of focus on, and then we drilled down downt on to make sure people understand that these are the things that make up this ideal sales professional. And you know, are you good at these things? Can you be better at some of these topic areas? And so I think it really comes down to understanding what it is that makes, you know, especially enterprise selling, successful, because I think sales are very broad profession, but when you get into enterprise, especially cloud based selling, it just is a different level, kind of like the Champions League, I like to say, and football out. Yeah, and that's you know, it's is the Champions League. But I think you know that the reason why I think your book is Bret Evant and playbook is relevant in that spaces because you just reget in the three events, cloud events. You know, I remember to Sa you speak about two thousand started really to get to do the events in two thousand and eight, two thousand and ten mays. And Yeah, I'm not at the twenty five placy. I answer points and some points we will.

Maybe I will write to book as well when I get that right. You know, I remember going to places like the Muscuny Center in California and Zain San Francisco and you know, you see like maybe on droid on around fifteen n adults. You go back to the sense of this year, or let's show or whatever it's in an easier enough eight hundred thousand five hundred and and I guess my point here, Paul, is that we volume must come mediocrity, you know, because I think you've got you've got, you've got on too price. Sense from a perspective is you don't have a play book for it, you don't have a blue print for it, you don't have a school for it. You know, you can do an Mba of enterprise serves. You can do an in master bachelow in enterprise serves. You know, you don't see those guys coming out of school on a on a conveyor belt. You know, ready to go is that tie on and get the phase on, not yarm right. So, and that's and I know it's a big issue because, you know, you spoke about P as well. You spoke about all those things. So all that community that are investing millions in soft Towell startups, a cloud startups, and you know, when the Invest Money, they need to recruit twenty, thirty, forty on too, praisers, guys and world. I had as well, and you know, I think the offer is much lower than the demons. So I think you know, I mean almost play books, some sort of blueprint that you could use to putentially get IDs and get people to become good or get people to to educate themselves and probably changed the way they are doing. Is Very important and I don't know what you think about that. Yeah, are in. I canot agree more and I think that was really you know, you talked about the inspiration for the book. If you think about you go to universities now, there's not a lot of curriculum in these universities. You know, forget about enterprise selling, just selling in general. Right. I mean, you know there's a marketing curriculum, but it's really teaches you very different things than and it does not prepare you to go into selling, let alone enterprise selling. And you had mentioned the the supply and demand, and Marsconi center is a great epicenter in San Francisco. If you think about sales force, you know, in the early days it was this tiny little company. Now it takes over entire city and you know, literally there's just thousands and thousands of companies that are tied to that ecosystem that also require these kinds of selling professionals. And I remember, you know, back many years ago and companies like Xerox and IBM and a DP and others would put a lot of money into training sales professionals right out of college or university. There really isn't those types of companies anymore that are investing in this new set of salespeople. You know, they're coming out and they're on their own and you know, maybe they get two or three weeks of training at a company and then that's it, but they don't go into the the market with that playbook. And I think if we can help get people jump started and if, you know, help them be more effective more quickly, the time time that it takes the fssful to start to sell to start to get that success. If we can accelerate that time to value, if you will, it makes a big impact on these companies, especially these small mints size companies are really trying to grow, and I think this is what you know, this playbook, if you will, is is just so critical at this time, so coming to the people, and that's what I'm really interesting in, because I think you know the key characteristick and I guess you'll teemate you without like to undose tones, I will go with my question first, because I preparably question for you. But what I'd like to Ondos on Electronos, if you could pretty much get anyone to become a good on top right selves person in the cloud space. On the pride cloud sends. But before I got there, in one of the Chapter Uil Key characteristick that ends sell people to strive, okay, and that's...

...empathy, authenticity, creativity, resilience. We spoke about residients, Hup Totwell, I believe, but can you please develop on those characteristic to start with and also maybe in in that response to the the question of on the side note, do you think anyone can become a good clouds enterprise sales person. Yeah, I think you know there are some characteristics that you're born with, but I think all of these elements that you just mentioned, and I'll do well in you know, you can learn them and you can refine them and you can affect them. But I always felt that sales as a profession that if you have a common, you know, baseline for it, you can either become a great sales personson or or terrible. So it's not something like you're born in sales. But I think you know now athletics, you probably have to be born with that athletic skill to get into the Champions League. I think in sales, as long as you have these things in you and you strive to perfect them, you know, and I'll go through a few, I mean and to the especially in today's selling environment, are the you know, you have to put yourself in your customers mindset and if you don't you're really not going to be effective in this personal selling. Even today that we're not facetoface, you can still have empathy for your customer. And when I say customer, it's the end of vis duel. You're selling to, not necessarily the company, because those people move from place to place and you know, you'd be surprised how many people over thirty plush here's. I've sold two, three, four five times at four or five different companies. So if you have that empathy and you can develop it and you're authentic, authenticity so important. Today the buyer is there so much more advanced than they were years ago. You know, people have said all sales is come such a long way. I think people have underestimate that. The buyers and obviously being at a rebook for so long, we train buyers and the buying software. They just have gotten so much more effective at you know, how they operate in their knee for salespeople is much different than it was maybe ten or fifteen years ago, where was for a source of information. Now they click on the Internet and they get more information. They probably know more about your company as a buyer than you do as the cell so authenticity is so important and the virus he right through you. You know nothing to I talk about creativity. You know there are these playbooks and even when an amazing playbook like selling the cloud, you still have to be creative because each one of these companies is different. The way they buy as unique people are unique in these environments. And so I always say that, you know, you can have all these sales methodologies, all all these playbooks, but at the end of the day, if you have a good high Eq, I call it, not Iq but Eq, and your creative then I think you could be very successful in the complex world of selling. And and last but not least, it is the last chapter, but I talked about resilience. And this is not a nine to five job, right, and if you think sales is nine hundred and twenty five, that probably not going to be successful in any kind of selling. You know, as a salesperson, we here know a lot more than we hear. Yes, and it's very challenging. I mean it's the pressing, right. You go in the work every day and you know you don't have success every day. So it's very difficult. And if you look at, you know, the best sports teams in the Champions League, you know they really do have that resilience and that's what friendships the winners from the losers, and I think that is even more important, especially today. Yeah, I agree with you. I agree with you. I think we we do the beginning of the presence and even in the liking of the process. You know, we have a we have a fair amount of for Rooven.

You as a compartite, is coming from helping on top rice sells people mainly in the cloud, to Iliypen upport Meity to identify your postumity is basically opening the door to the individual of the service process and in that setup, you know, I think one of the one of the one of the the key of the key element is really doing, as you're right, the persistence and the resilience, but a persistence based on curiosity and genuine curiosity, not about systems, being the guy with wise always past to you and absolutely want to get to the next steps, et ceter etcetera genuine curiosity and an individual at actually are convinced themselves that and I guess that's that's the empathy and your senticity. Well, that's going and said that, that solution that they are bringing to market is should be a fit for that customer. Right, you've got to be. You've got give be in the minds. I believe to sell something, need to believe in your product, need to believe in the solution, need to believe that what you're doing is changing the world. You know it's a cliche right to say that, but it I guess. I guess this is so important because if you don't believe in what you are doing, if you don't believe it's you take the energy of spot quite, you know, Champions League and all that. Let's say, let's say you are your boxer, you know, and you're just about to you just about to step in the train in Las Vegas. Millions of people watching on TV, millions of people paying a fortune. Celebrity isn't the first on the first row. They're looking at you. You know. You'RE NOT gonna go on that train thinking that deals again will destroy you. You can't. You've got to be convinced that you will win, and I think you know that. That that's that's truly I mean, I think, with empathy or sentthicity, creativity and resilience. That's why it's not the regilius actually stopped. From my perspective before the process is, how do you prepare yourself to go and get there? I did believe and I did clean my my my studio management degree, like a business school if you're in France, and I did believe that. You know, good sells. People are people can speak, you know, they can charge you as they speak, you know. And and what I realized that actually good salves people are the one that listen, you know, is the one that can have a good openor get people to speak, get to pick going and then ask wide open questions. People Start speaking about their issue and then it's a doctor. So once you know about the issue, you want to push a little bit on the pain and say, Hey, maybe I've got the pill, but I'm not sure make pell will work for you, but maybe we can do something with my pin and that stuff, and then you may have some plus toss coming from the services that you can bring in some mos of people around and then you end up in that solution type of selling tape of things. And I do believe it's on art and actually as well a speaking else thinking maybe with your business I need to actually create a sealer university. I'm sure there is some already, but imagine that, because I still believe, and speaking with clients and looking at what's happening in the market and looking at some people being recruiting or moving from companies to companies, I do believe like the actual really fantastically good sales people. They easier, gets rich too quickly and then they don't read it to work anymore, you know, because you get to get good reward inside. Oh, Oh, you've got the averagement that you know, made you like eighteen months to years in a job and then move to the other one, and then move to the other one and then moved to the other one. But I do believe that there is, there is, there is a shortage and and of course the playbook is is very usefully. And now I would like to speak to you about the future. Right. So, and I don't know, I don't just mindful of speaking about the future. I've got twenty twenty. You know, it's been it's like what really are we going to plan again? I we're going to take a kind of trying to plant something and then take a massive slap across the face. I'm going to go with anyway.

Your prediction, the UN to price glout says market in the next five to pinions of onny. If you can predict the next five to ten minutes. Yeah, be a Las Vegas at the Casino and predicting the winner. It's it's been pretty crazy, but I think it's easy to see where this is going in the next five or ten years, because if you think about the last five to ten years, you saw a lot of trends, you know, towards the where we are today now with this two thousand and twenty covid situation. All those trends were just accelerate, right. I mean everyone was doing online with Amazon and Ali Baba and things like that, but it's got accelerate because you couldn't go to the stores they were closed. So if you see that in the business of consumer role, same thing in the business to business environment, as large financial institutions, large corporate companies, global enterprises were moving off of their own premise systems into cloud based software. They were doing it in a quality, piecemeal approach. Maybe take this one division or this application or this area, and then all of a sudden in the past five months we've had acceleration. Like look, we didn't have to past five years. So I see that this acceleration that was happening over the past decade or so is not only is it going to happen over the next five or ten years. I believe all those areas will be accelerated and I think that transition will bring you know, a lot more opportunities to cloud based companies. And talk about the shortage you're mentioning. It's even going to get worse, right. So you're supply and demand, which is already bad. If you're looking at the supply side not being there and the demand being very high, demands only going to increase and accelerate. And then how do we get the supply? And that's why I think books like selling the cloud at least help prepare a better supply base of of good enterprise sales people to come into the market, because I think this market is going to really continue to accelerate. And if you look at the stock market per se, you know the cloud based companies, the technology companies, that AAI and artificial intelligence or machine learning companies, data companies, security companies, all of those firms, of course zoom, which were on now, or you know my old company, docus, that are many years they're experiencing just, you know, enormous growth and accelerated growth because of the new normal or next normal that we're seeing. so I anticipate the next five to ten years to be just that dramatically more productive for these cloud based companies. Anyone around big data, data integrity, data security, artificial intelligence, Chen learning, any any ability to take legacy applications that have traditionally worked in an on premise environment or they were kind of hosted in the cloud. But there I call him the fake cloud. Those will be either disrupted by rapidly or new cloud offerings will come in and take over. So I just see this as a early stages of a much more rapid acceleration into enterprise cloud software. So it's a great time to be in our business, for sure. Yeah, and I agree with you. I agree with you. Let's have good things opening, so on, Hatton. Maybe we should develop about that. That's the idea of showing university fil sense people. Yeah, I like that idea. I'd love to go back to college. So as things for that board and it was a recent great to chat with you today. Now, if anyone to followins wants to get old of the book, if they want to pusue the conversation with you, get in touch with you. What's the best way to get into treat you? Yeah, so I'm at Paul at Stripescom CEO, notcom just cee and be happy...

...to, you know, reach out and assist any of your listeners in any way and you know, on Amazon selling the cloud, it's one of the top sellers and I just would invite all of your listeners to go check it out. You know, downloaded to the kindle. You know, we ship putting all over the world now and soon we'll have the audible verb for, you know, the runners and the folks that like the drive around Kay here. People who do want to do want to read that do we can, because I just, you know, eating too many emails during the week and too much, too much content. That that makes it fun. I'd love to get the deboard Russian define and another another goose for it's so as soon as it's available, I will make sure you're the first to get there. You Go. I'm looking forward to ex look, it was great to have you under sure today, so thank you so much for coming board. It's much appreciated. Thank you, arling. was great to meet you. Thank you so much. operatics has redefined the meaning of revenue generation for technology companies worldwide. While the traditional concepts of building and managing inside sales teams inhouse has existed for many years, companies are struggling with a lack of focus, agility and scale required in today's fast and complex world of enterprise technology sales. See How operatics can help your company accelerate pipeline at operatics dotnet. You've been listening to be tob revenue acceleration. To ensure that you never miss an episode, subscribe to the show in your favorite podcast player. Thank you so much for listening. Until next time,.

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