kicking off 2024

Transparent sales process - working together
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Happy New Year (or is it too late to say that now? 😬)

Over a restful holiday break, I spent time reflecting on the learnings (mistakes) made so far on this wild journey.

Boy, did we get A LOT wrong... 😅

1. First we went full steam ahead building a software for Mutual Action Plans… the artifact that encapsulated my experience / success as a top seller at Stripe. Where we transformed our GTM motion from self-serve API docs → closing 8-figure Enterprise deals 📈

We were onto something! Top reps loved it... and their customers did too!

$6M raised immediately... but saw poor org-wide adoption with the MVP.

Turns out the rest of the team couldn’t use them effectively...

2. Why? Because they weren't getting to the WHY first, so having a great plan just didn’t matter.

Most reps we saw that struggled were just pitching features/functionality... without understanding the business, finding the real WHY (3x).

I took for granted that this was something myself and other top sellers were doing to drive engagement of the mutual plan. Leveraging strong disco to build the deal's strategic narrative. With quantified ROI.

So we incorporated Business Cases + Exec Summaries into Accord, making a huge difference and broadening the platform!

We quickly grew to 100+ paying customers, and raised our $10M series A from incredible partners...

But it was still clear we were something major missing 😬

3. They had the WHY, and a Mutual Plan to success, but often without a real Decision Maker!

In hindsight, there's no surprise that AEs + CSMs love hanging out with ppl who instantly ‘get it’... already love their product, that end-user or manager-level advocate who can't get budget / the deal done.

They struggle to do the hard work of getting to Exec Stakeholders, and often don't create effective account plans, focus on exec alignment, or stakeholder map effectively.

4. In 2023, it finally felt like we understood what leaders were looking for...

A way to enforce their vision for world-class Value Selling.

Creating accountability for how deals should be executed. Avoiding surprises, making the most of every single opportunity, and driving a differentiated experience for clients.

Setting a high bar for how they proactively partner with customers at every stage of their journey.

In retrospect, they needed a repeatable process (playbook) that includes a clear WHY, and the right people to make decisions… native to the seller’s workflow/CRM/methodology to guarantee adoption.

And that's where my focus is going into 2024!

Being Revenue Leaders' most impactful partner when it comes to consistently bringing a client-first, value-led experience to every deal.

Here's to another awesome year, guided by learning with our customers and the vision of a repeatable, value-filled world of B2B Sales + CS + Marketing 💥

- Ross

In this newsletter:

  • What's new in Accord
  • 10/10 GTM Podcast - Latest Episodes
  • Upcoming Masterclass

What's new in Accord

Library resource reports - Get a stronger understanding of the impact your resources have on your pipeline. With library resource reporting, you can get a clear view on how many Accords, and how much pipeline, has been impacted by your resources.

@ mention resources in sub-tasks - You can now @ mention resources for internal and external stakeholders on all sub-tasks in Accord, ensuring that what you want to share is clearly attached to each sub-task and in the flow of your team's work.

Presentation mode - We have up-leveled presentation mode to ensure a read-only pick list and introduction - say goodbye to unnecessary noise in your sales pitch or presentation.

Share the right tab - You can now specifically share the Summary, Next-Steps, or Resources tab directly with your customers. The Share button at the top of each Accord deep links your customers to the same tab.

Stay tuned for more exciting updates next month!

10/10 GTM Podcast

Recent guests on the 10/10 GTM podcast did not disappoint. Every time I have a recent favorite, the next guest blows me away.

Have received some amazing feedback from our recent episodes, and it's incredibly energizing chatting with so many top revenue leaders.

Episodes 10-15 tackled everything from creating a CFO-Proof Business Case, to covering effective strategies to close more deals (and forecast accurately). Check out the latest from Todd Caponi, Jeff Benson, Doug Landis, Joe Del Preto, Praveer Melwani, Melissa Howatson and more on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you consume your podcasts!

Episode 15 - Effective Strategies to Close More Deals and Forecast Accurately with Doug Landis, Growth Partner at Emergence Capital

I chat with Doug on why closing deals hinges on your ability to build consensus among stakeholders and align on a singular problem. We also explore the importance of identifying the ‘whys’ behind the deal and why what you don’t know will hurt you.

Episode 14 - Creating Consistency and Driving Results in the Sales Process with Jeff Benson, VP of Commercial Sales at enosix

Jeff and I discuss why the best sellers and revenue leaders take extreme ownership, maintain an iterative sales playbook, and are always qualifying opportunities.

Episode 13 - How to build a CFO-Proof Business Case with Long Dinh, Brandon Binder, and Own Company

In this masterclass, finance and revenue leaders from Ada, Webflow, and Own Company share insight into how to build a business case that addresses these concerns head-on, providing practical tips on how to demonstrate clear ROI, mitigate risks, and showcase how your initiative can drive sustainable growth and efficiency.  

Episode 12 - The CFO Stakeholder: How to speak their language with Melissa Howatson, Joe Del Preto and Praveer Melwani

In this masterclass, CFOs from Figma, Sprout Social, and Vena Solutions share their thoughts on why finance involvement has shifted over the past few years, how to engage with finance teams on deals, and why conviction is important.

Episode 11 - Transparency for Sales & Revenue Leadership with Todd Caponi, Author of The Transparent Sales Leader

I talk to Todd about his coaching and leadership journey, the five F’s to follow, and why you should rethink what you measure and ask for.

Have some amazing guests lined up for 2024, anyone you think we should invite on?

Upcoming Masterclass

Yesterday we hosted our first Masterclass of 2024 in partnership with Safebase. Covering why security is a top priority for revenue leaders, when to bring security into your deal cycle, and best practices for collaborating with security teams to close more deals. Catch the recording here.

Key takeaways

  • Almost every B2B deal needs a security review
  • Train your sales team on essential security questions to ask during discovery. Be proactive.
  • Security wants to help sales be self-serve. A trust center creates a smooth buying experience and can help eliminate detailed security questionnaires
  • As a seller, ask your buyer what their security process is to avoid roadblocks down the road

Our upcoming February Masterclass is a topic that is top of mind for most revenue leaders… Account Planning.

To win deals in 2024, it’s not enough to just show up on calls, go through the motions, and expect to win. Rigorous planning & deal strategy on every account is the key to tilting the odds in your favor.

When it comes to 10/10 Account Planning, we’re talking about deep research on company priorities, detailed stakeholder mapping, strong executive alignment, and creative plays to set your team up for success. Keep an eye out for registration for the Feb 7th session!