Hey there 👋
We’re all experiencing uncertain times in tech right now. Today’s newsletter is a bit different: I’m sharing more of Accord’s journey in hopes that it’s helpful for other early stage startup leaders who are trying to figure it all out. Here’s part of our mid-Q2 investor update on what we’re building at Accord, progress made, and what we’ve learned throughout the journey.
It feels like we're living in two divergent worlds today:
📉 One is filled with news of market volatility, based on massive stock markdowns and broader negative trends that are impacting the economy & world right now. Their effects on the startup ecosystem is uncertain & worrisome.
📈 The other, more insular world of Accord comes with great optimism as we continue to beat audacious milestones and see a real groundswell of growth from the work we’ve put in over the past 2 years.
It's strange to be making so much progress with Accord, yet feeling like we shouldn’t celebrate hard-earned victories due to the market adjustments.
Moving forward, our plan is to continue focusing on what we can control and make larger leaps towards our mission – while staying hyper-aware of the new environment we’re building in.
Tactically, that means partnering closer with our top customers, raising Accord’s bar for operational & capital efficiency, and ensuring that we can turn these challenging times into opportunities for success... like helping others do what’s now more important than ever – making the most from every deal and winning more customers faster!
PS: At the end of this newsletter, you’ll find a recap of Accord’s Q2 highlights & learnings so far, which I shared in our investor update last week!
In this newsletter:
- Veteran sales leaders share tactics for hitting your revenue targets
- Jill Rowley (20+ year sales & GTM pro) on partnering with customers
- New & improved Salesforce integration: bi-directional sync & more!
💪 Hit Your Targets During a Downturn: 4 Tips from B2B Sales Leaders
We talked to veteran sales leaders from Thrive, Netomi, and MessageBird about how to up-level your sales team and hit your revenue targets during these uncertain times by making the most of your pipeline.
Here’s their advice:
1. Understand and align on the buying process 🗺
“If you don’t understand your buyer’s process, requirements, and success metrics from the start, it’ll be hard to be successful together long-term.” – Jamie Wheeler, MessageBird
First things first: in order to control your deals, you need to understand and align on the buying process with your buyer.
Anticipate your buyer’s needs.
Surprises often come up in the buying process. But many organizations have similar enough requirements that you can prepare answers for your buyers ahead of time.
Stay a few steps ahead of your buyer – for example, tell them you’ve worked with companies their size who required a security review, and proactively share a one-pager on your product’s security.
Use mutual action plans to control your deals.
Mutual action plans help you and your buyer get on the same page about the buying process, align on outcomes and success criteria, bring different stakeholders together, and define the ideal timeline. They’re critical for keeping larger, complex deals on track and headed toward a shared goal.
2. Multi-thread on every deal 🧵
“In today’s market, with layoffs and job changes becoming more common, you don’t want your only champion to leave mid-deal cycle.” – Renu Gupta, Thrive
We may be in an economic downturn for tech, but we’re also coming out of a super-hot job market. Chances are, a buyer you’re talking to might leave in the middle of the deal. By looping in other stakeholders (from both sides of the table) early, you avoid having to start from scratch.
Bring executive sponsors into the deal early.
Having execs or senior members of your team involved in deals makes it easier to loop in more senior members of the buying team as well (and often leads to higher win rates).
Be direct and ask who else should be involved.
There’s a good chance your champion is new to their organization and doesn’t know the buying process yet. Ask them questions early in the process to find out who the decision makers are and who else needs to be involved, and loop them in ASAP. Being open to other stakeholders and sharing context early will help you avoid friction later.
👉 Get the last two tips for hitting your revenue targets in a downturn!
🎙 On the Podcast: Jill Rowley, GTM Advisor at Stage 2 Capital
What does partnership in B2B sales mean to you?
Jill Rowley is a GTM Advisor at Stage 2 Capital with 20+ years in B2B sales and strong opinions on this topic! She thinks about partnership holistically:
- External: Expand your definition of partnership. Think about partnering with your customers and partnering with their partners. Who are your customers already working with, and how can you deepen the relationship to deliver more value?
- Internal: How do you get your internal teams – product, marketing, sales, customer success, etc. – to be more collaborative and partner with each other?
Focus on deeply understanding your customers, their ecosystem, and the problems they want to solve, and align your team internally around this mindset, to make your company stickier.
“As a salesperson, the more you live in your buyer’s world, the better you’re able to serve them,” Jill says.
Check out the 15-min interview to hear more of Jill’s advice for building better customer relationships!
⚡️ Increase Visibility & Accuracy While Saving Time: New & Improved Salesforce Integration!
Want to improve your Salesforce data’s accuracy while saving your sellers time?
Use Accord’s new and improved Salesforce integration to sync data, improve deal visibility, and manage your opportunities more effectively!
Here’s the superpowers you’ll get:
🔁 Ensure accurate, updated data in both systems with bi-directional sync
✍ Build automations & get visibility into deals with Accord data in Salesforce
⚡ Supercharge forecasting with an Accord Engagement Score
👀 And more!
💥 Accord Q2 Highlights & Learnings (so far!)
It’s been an exciting ride at Accord this year – can’t wait to continue the journey!
- 72% q/q ARR growth, pacing to +5x this year (already at 2.5x for ‘22)
- Huge improvement across win-rates, deal size, and ARR growth
- Win rates went from 28% in Q1 → 51% in Q2
- Hit 100+ paying customers!
- Momentum with strongest start to a month as June paces towards record pipeline creation & deals won
- Continue to drive +90% of deals from unpaid sources and seeing much larger opps with further validated market & brand we’ve been building (eg grew LinkedIn following 5k → 11.5k in 5 months!)
Key Learnings 🤔
- With our focus on operational efficiency vs scaling the team, we've seen massive impacts across our conversion rates and product velocity.
- For example, our win rates went up from a respectable 28% in Q1, to 51% in Q2 so far.
Product Development 🚢
- Partnering with our strategic customers on features to support larger teams & ACV.
- Salesforce integration enhancements, Visual Timeline, Manager Dashboard
- Simplifying access of Accord for buyers with approved domains.
Thanks for reading From Vendorship → Partnership! 👋 Would love to hear your thoughts – anything you want to see more or less of? Hit reply :)
Ross Rich (CEO and Co-founder)
P.S. If you like this newsletter and want to support it, you can:
1. Tell a colleague about Accord
2. Simply forward this email to a friend with an invitation to subscribe
3. Subscribe & leave a review on our podcast