SalesTechStar Interview with Jeff Santelices, CRO at Mindtickle

Jeff Santelices, CRO at Mindtickle discusses the importance of building revenue resilience in a tough economic climate:


Welcome to this SalesTechStar chat Jeff, tell us about yourself and your tech journey through the years; we’d love to hear about your role as CRO at MindTickle…

Thanks for having me, Paroma…I started my journey as a research analyst with the Federal Reserve and have since filled several sales leadership roles at companies such as Webroot, TrackVia, Hyperic, and Corio. I was also Chief Strategy & Delivery Officer at Apttus, where I was responsible for managing a team of more than 800 resources responsible for global strategic sales, professional services, and customer success, until reaching my current position as Chief Revenue Officer (CRO) at Mindtickle.

Here at Mindtickle, I have the honor of leading global sales and sales operations teams to continue driving exponential growth at Mindtickle.

In today’s tough market/economic climate: what do you feel sales and revenue leaders have to do more of to drive business growth despite current challenges?

During times of revenue resilience, companies will need to focus on retaining customers, not just acquiring new ones. Sales teams can ensure they are retaining customers by closely working with customer success teams and discussing the status of accounts on a regular basis. Customer success teams can uncover issues customers are experiencing early on so problems and customer departures can be mitigated. These teams can also help reveal upsell opportunities during their check-ins with customers, which can be a win during a recession.

Additionally, sales leaders will also need to look at their sellers’ individual skills. It will be critical to look at both a salesperson’s expertise and what they’re missing to more accurately forecast sales successes. These individual salespeople will need personalized training programs, feedback, and reinforcement so they are empowered and confident during a sales pitch. Not only does this training better help their chances of securing a sale, but they also have a lesser chance of feeling disappointed as their sales numbers likely lower during a recession.

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Can you share a few thoughts / learnings from past downturns and how you’ve seen brands try to be resilient?

From past downturns, we’ve found that the more prepared teams are, the more likely they are to remain intact during a recession. For sales teams, preparation translates to training, which gives them confidence in their skills and knowledge. When a company invests in its sales teams, they’re more likely to be engaged and empowered instead of defeated during times of economic uncertainty, even if their sales numbers take a downturn.

In addition, we’ve learned that not all types of training are equally effective. Personalized training programs with real-time feedback are more effective at keeping sales reps engaged and increasing the rep’s individual skillset. This is essential to keeping sales teams intact, motivated and resilient.

In what ways can B2B teams prioritize their sales tech tools (how can they choose better) during this time and also, how can they optimize their choice of sales tech to help ease processes and scale output?

As interest rates continue to rise and businesses begin to cut back on spending, sales and revenue leaders will need to take a closer look at their tech stacks and try to see where they can consolidate their platforms. For example, according to our recent 2022-2023 Sales Enablement Outlook, 53% of sales professionals report their teams use five or more tools on a daily basis. Although these companies likely continue to add multiple tools to address complexities that arise as the organization grows, it can create additional confusion and user friction as teams try to navigate these platforms.

Using fewer platforms or a one-stop-shop vendor that offers the same solutions helps not only with budgets, but also with onboarding new sales partnerships and reducing the friction of keeping track of multiple programs.

Read More: How to Utilize Customer Education to Onboard, Retain, And Engage With Your Audience

A few thoughts on the future of the B2B tech segment before we wrap up? What can brands do to prepare for 2023?

We’re preparing for sales forecasting to go through a period of inaccuracy due to the volatility of the economy and the unpredictability of buyers’ budgets. As companies are auditing and tightening their tech stacks, there will be more challenges for sellers and more pressure on sales and revenue teams to deliver.  However, a recession doesn’t mean that sales organizations will fail. Teams will need additional preparation and training to ensure they are able to adapt to changing market conditions and buying behaviors.

Mindtickle is the market-leading sales readiness platform, helping revenue leaders at world-class companies like Johnson & Johnson, Splunk, and Wipro, be ready to grow revenue by increasing knowledge, understanding ideal sales behaviors, and adapting to change. Dozens of Fortune 500 and Forbes Global 2000 companies use Mindtickle to define excellence, build knowledge, align content, analyze performance, and optimize behavior throughout their sales organizations. Mindtickle is recognized as a market leader by top industry analysts and is ranked by G2 as both the #1 enterprise software product and #5 sales software product.

Jeff Santelices is the CRO at MindTickle

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