Welcome back to the From Vendorship → Partnership podcast, Season 2: Seller’s Journey!
This season, we’re talking to B2B sales leaders about their experience building winning processes, coaching & scaling teams, and partnering with customers.
Our guest this week is Chris Bondarenko, VP of Sales - North America & APAC at Docebo!
Chris has experience in sales at all stages of growth – from small hyper-growth startups to Docebo’s team today of just under 800 employees. In this episode, he talks to Ross about trends in B2B sales and why creating an environment of constant learning & growth is so important.
Listen to the episode here, and get the key takeaways from our conversation below.
🙅 What do most people get wrong about startup sales?
Thinking what worked at your last company will work at your new one.
If you’re selling a different product to a different buyer at a different time, you can’t rely on your old playbooks or messaging working.
“Even selling at Docebo is different today compared to six months ago,” Chris said. “You should always be re-evaluating and iterating on your process.”
💪 What’s your advice for coaching & scaling B2B sales teams?
Coaching and helping your team up-level is a fundamental requirement of building a sales team that can scale successfully.
At an early stage startup, you might not have a defined playbook to follow or a lot of data to inform your strategies. That’s why hiring people who are always curious and have a desire to constantly learn, improve, and experiment is a good idea – these are ideal traits for an always-changing startup.
As your company grows, sales leaders’ ability to coach and scale their team’s skills is key. By helping your internal sellers develop – and eventually move into management positions – you can avoid always having to hire externally and retain your team’s culture as you scale.
“Build the right environment that fosters learning, coaching, and continuous development,” Chris said. “That involves everything from the right people and enablement to the right tech stack.”
🔮 What are your predictions for the future of B2B sales at startups?
At startups now and in the future: “It’s all about the customer journey,” says Chris.
From the moment a lead signs up for a trial or requests a demo, sellers need to be focused on providing the best experience possible in order to stand out.
“Top sellers leverage technology to provide a superior experience – it’s not just about the methodology anymore,” said Chris. “Automation, removing friction, being super personalized, and making the process seamless for your buyers is key.”
Startups actually can have an advantage in this area, Chris says, because they can quickly and easily iterate on their buying process – compared to larger companies with more overhead and time required to make changes.
⚡ Lightning Round: Chris’ Fast Sales Insights
- The most common misconception about sales? That we’re pushy.
- Your favorite sales app / software? Gong.
- A helpful sales book or resource? The Coaching Habit by Michael Bungay Stanier.
- The hardest part of scaling sales at a startup? Having to justify your strategy and your spending.
Chris Bondarenko leads Docebo's North America & APAC sales teams. He actively participates in professional sales and diversity communities as well as pursuing his passion as an early stage software investor and advisor. Previously, Chris held leadership positions at start-ups BERA Brand Management and Maropost, in addition to nearly 10 years with Vision Critical (now Alida); all where he repeatedly built world-class sales teams, consistently led hyper client and revenue growth, and operated in key executive positions. A life-long learner, Chris has completed certificate courses with Pavilion and SIA. Chris has an MBA from Queen’s University and an Honours BComm in Finance from McMaster University, both in Canada.