Joe Massa, Chief Revenue Officer at Rootstock Software on what it takes for CROs of today to drive business success with the right revtech-salestech tools and strategies:
Welcome to this SalesTechStar chat, Joe. Tell us about yourself and what led you to your current role at Rootstock Software?
For me, Rootstock Software presented the right opportunity at the right time. I just joined as CRO in February. In my role, I’m in charge of global revenue and helping to grow and advance our sales organization. In terms of my background, I’ve been in the field of software sales for over 30 years with my most recent experience in SaaS.
For the past 15 years, I’ve held sales leadership roles. Prior to Rootstock, I was VP of Sales for a supply chain software company, and before that, VP of Sales at a Salesforce software company.
I was drawn to Rootstock because as the #1 Manufacturing ERP on the Salesforce Platform, the company and product offered a natural fit with my experience in manufacturing and supply chain operations. I was also already familiar with the Salesforce ecosystem and understood the power in having Salesforce as a key partner.
I foresee a great future for Rootstock Cloud ERP. Disruptions originated during the COVID pandemic, making Cloud ERP essential for manufacturers to support a remote workforce and resilient supply chain. In addition, Gryphon Investors started working with Rootstock last year, providing an infusion of capital and the specialized resources and operational expertise that’s crucial for getting Rootstock ERP to that next level of growth and success.
For modern day CROs, what are some best practices you feel they should follow to ensure team alignment and consistent ROI?
As a modern-day CRO, I’m continually evaluating and fine-tuning our sales organization. Like many executives in charge of revenue, I want our organization to achieve more sales, faster. This means finding ways to increase the velocity of the entire sales lifecycle. I’m constantly asking, “How can we make every step in our process more efficient and productive?”
The first step is to cut out any redundancy or inefficiency. If a process takes three steps, can we get it down to one? As we establish new, more streamlined processes and hire additional staff, it’s also important to train them, so they’re not only following the established best practices, but they also understand the value in adhering to them.
For example, every sales organization needs qualified leads, but it’s important to clearly define what that means; otherwise, team members could waste time chasing down dead ends. For Rootstock, a qualified lead is a manufacturer who is using an older legacy ERP, wants to modernize its operations, and is either already using Salesforce or planning to. When we’re able to quickly and effectively qualify prospects, there’s a greater chance that deals will close in an accelerated fashion.
At Rootstock, we recently brought on more sales and sales development superstars. We also hired a new sales development director to train and align team members on best practices, performance metrics, and use of technology. In this way, our sales staff has the knowledge they need to succeed. For example, they understand the right people to contact, worthwhile issues to discuss, and at what cadence to follow up. Our sales process is a complex, ongoing process with multiple touchpoints. As a result, we’re also investing in the right technology tools to help automate, streamline, and support the sales lifecycle.
Take us through some of your most preferred RevTech and SalesTech that you’ve relied on over the years?
Working in software sales, a key tool I’ve relied on is Salesforce. The company’s Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solution is hands down the best in the business.
And this is where Rootstock has an advantage. Our Manufacturing ERP is built on the Salesforce Platform, so customers have the benefit of native connectivity between ERP and CRM.
At Rootstock, Salesforce is instrumental in helping us analyze our pipeline, our conversion rates from leads to opportunities, and our overall day-to-day sales operation.
Since our team understands first-hand the benefits of Salesforce, we can easily communicate this value to prospective buyers. With the unified Salesforce Platform, customers can deploy cloud ERP in a more accelerated fashion and can reduce IT overhead by 40%.
In addition, because Rootstock ERP and Salesforce CRM are on the same platform, our customers benefit from a complete 360-degree view of demand, production, and supply signals.
Besides Salesforce, our organization is also using other best-in-class RevTech and SalesTech solutions. For example, recognizing that data is crucial, we leverage ZoomInfo to obtain information on prospects. We’re using Salesloft to help automate and guide staff through the sales lifecycle, and we’re using BambooBox, as an intelligent ABM platform to further accelerate growth. All of these tools together take the guess work out of pipeline generation, lead nurturing, and customer renewals.
If you had to change three factors about the state of the modern day CRO: what would they be?
In my role as CRO, I see three primary areas that I’m constantly trying to assess and enhance—that’s people, processes, and revenue.
With regard to people, a modern day CRO is concerned with how to recruit and retain the best talent. Last year, the economy faced a Great Resignation, where employees resigned in record numbers. To avoid such turnover, we proactively evaluate sales incentives and compensation plans—with an eye toward supporting retention and growth rather than retraction.
The second factor is fine-tuning the sales process to meet the needs of prospects. Today, there’s an emphasis on selling to a company’s desired outcome. So, if a manufacturer wants a complete digital transformation rather than just a new ERP solution, we’re making sure we have the right system integrator partners to help us deliver on this outcome.
The third factor is revenue. Today, there are a lot of ERP solutions on the market. Our sales process emphasizes the value and differentiation of our solution from others out there. In a SaaS market, customer retention is also a key driver. In this regard, Rootstock has a leg up, as we have a high 95%+ customer retention rate. Going forward, we’re looking at strategies that drive growth on all fronts, including winning new logos, creating upsell and cross-sell opportunities, and driving predictable growth into the future.
How can sales teams today build more data-driven processes at scale without compromising on value or customer need – a few thoughts on how you’ve driven this along the way?
To build data-driven processes at scale, it’s important to invest in the right SalesTech and RevTech tools. However, to work effectively, these tools must rely on good data. We’ve all heard the saying, “garbage in, garbage out.” We can have strong technology tools and processes in place, but if team members aren’t careful about adding complete and accurate information as they interact with leads and prospects, the view of our pipeline may be incomplete or inaccurate. In other words, the data points we get out of our systems are only as good as the data we put in.
When we have that foundation of solid, reliable information, the sky’s the limit. We have the analytics and forecasting ability to analyze sales territories, to determine our average sales size, fine-tune product pricing, understand our customer acquisition costs, launch new capabilities, and more. All of these factors are based on good data being used in and across our systems—and which then can help drive sound business decisions.
Can you highlight more about the future of B2B sales and salestech and how you feel this market will shape up?
AI will play a prominent role in the future of B2B sales, as this technology is getting more and more sophisticated. Just look at the innovations that ChatGPT is bringing to the market.
Right now, using AI and the knowledge that the average lifespan of an ERP is about 10 years, we can forecast with relative accuracy when a manufacturer will need to replace an outdated solution. When these companies need a new solution, they often start researching solutions online. That data is being compiled and optimized down to the smallest common denominator. Soon AI will be able to analyze that data and predict with increasing precision when a company is about to start shopping for a solution and make a decision to buy. We’re already seeing it happen in retail, and the field of software sales is not far behind. With these innovations, we can start to get ahead of a company’s purchase decision and help steer them to the #1 Manufacturing ERP on the Salesforce Platform sooner.
At the same time that AI is evolving and advancing, the value of the sales staff is continuing to deepen. Manufacturers have very complex and sophisticated operations. They often require hundreds of interconnected solutions to run their entire enterprise. In this regard, the human aspect of sales can never be replaced. The best sales teams continue to deepen their knowledge of the industry and to capitalize on technological tools to meet customer needs and drive sales for their organizations.
By using the industry-leading Rootstock Cloud ERP, manufacturers have been able to digitally transform their businesses and turbocharge their operations for a dynamic, post-pandemic world. Rootstock has deep vertical expertise in discrete manufacturing, medical devices, and high-tech verticals. Rootstock partners with customers as a trusted advisor in driving innovation to what’s next.
Joe Massa is Chief Revenue Officer at Rootstock Software, where he is responsible for global revenue and growing the company’s sales organization. Massa’s in-depth knowledge of manufacturing and supply chain operations are instrumental assets to Rootstock, provider of the #1 Manufacturing ERP on the Salesforce Platform.
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