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 Christian Borrelli, VP of Global Sales at CaptivateIQ! Christian joined CaptivateIQ as one of the first employees, and has scaled the sales team to 100+ since then.
Listen to the episode here, and get the key takeaways from our conversation below.
🙅 What do most people get wrong when it comes to sales at startups?
There are two key mistakes people make about early stage sales, according to Christian:
Founders driving sales for too long
It’s important for founders to drive sales for the initial batch of customers, but a lot of companies’ founders are heavily involved in sales for a little too long. One of the best things CaptivateIQ did early on was to hire one or two people dedicated to only sales, Christian said.
“Founders have a lot of other things to worry about,” Christian said. “Having people who are just focused on hitting your monthly number and revenue goal helps a lot.”
Aiming for perfection
“Early stage companies often think they need to perfect everything from day one in terms of their playbook,” Christian said. “I think it’s important to just get out there and move quickly.”
Christian said he cringes at some of his early demo call recordings, but his team was just trying to learn and improve by 1% on every call. The only way you can learn and grow is by getting to market quickly, gathering data, and iterating on your process from there.
🛠 When do you know that something in your sales process isn’t working (and how do you fix it?)
Don’t rely on gut decisions when making big changes to your sales process, Christian says. “Everything should be rooted in data. And don’t argue with the data – it doesn’t lie.”
At CaptivateIQ, Christian had a rep on his team with a completely different selling style than the other reps. Christian’s instinct was that their style wouldn’t work – but within 6 months, this rep had the highest win rate on the team.
His takeaway? Hire reps with different skill sets and selling styles, track and test everything you’re able to, and let the data guide you when iterating on your process.
💡 Christian’s fast sales insights
- Fav app/software? Gong – such a no-brainer.
- Another sales team you admire? FullStory.
- The hardest part of scaling sales? Wasting time on things you can’t control, and getting distracted from things that you can control and should be focused on.
Christian Borrelli leads the sales organization at CaptivateIQ, the leader in commission management software. Prior to joining CaptivateIQ as one of its first employees and scaling the sales team to 100, Christian held finance and operations roles at Siemens, Cybereason, and EMC. He currently resides in Austin, TX.