Kathleen Lord, Chief Revenue Officer at 1WorldSync chats about a few sales and revenue fundamentals that B2B teams need to pay more attention to:
Welcome to this SalesTechStar chat Kathy, tell us about yourself and your role at 1WorldSync…through your time in B2B tech industry, what are some of the key learnings you’ve come away with?
I have 25+ years of SaaS sales leadership experience across a wide range of verticals and size segments. I’m passionate about scaling SaaS companies and leveraging data-driven insights to accelerate growth and improve effectiveness. At 1WorldSync, I oversee all revenue functions, including new customer acquisition sales, install base sales and global revenue operations. Basically, I’ve seen a lot of different sales permutations, some that were successes and others not so much.
Over the years, I’ve learned that the old saying “you can’t manage what you can’t measure” continues to ring true. If you don’t understand what’s going on in your business across all of the dimensions that impact your business, it’s hard to drive improvements. Additionally, once you start measuring each of the discrete parts of your sales process, it becomes much easier to hold people accountable and grow your business more effectively and efficiently. Lastly, I would say that as much as I’m data-driven and believe the numbers don’t lie, you can’t forget that you have to win both the hearts and the minds of your sales team. Creating a culture of winning and celebrating success is the fuel to keeping your team motivated, especially during challenging times.
What about modern day revenue trends and revops inspires you? As a CRO, tell us about some of the processes/strategies and salestech-revtech you swear by?
It’s been amazing to watch sales transition from being a relationship-based art to a data-driven science. The amount of data available for sales leadership to harness and drive operational improvements is like never before. However, this means that sales leadership requires a very different skill set to be successful in today’s sales world. This continual evolution required to bring your ‘A’ game inspires me and keeps me more excited than ever to help SaaS companies scale.
There are three core pillars that I leverage when I join a new company; crisply defined ideal customer profile (ICP) and personas with addressable market identified and loaded into your CRM if MM/ENT, clearly mapped out sales process with key milestones (stages) captured in a CRM (must include a mutual success plan) and baseline funnel metrics to benchmark your path to success.
From a revtech perspective, this means you need a CRM configured to meet your business needs (many times, companies invest in a CRM yet never spend the time or effort to make sure it’s configured to support their business as they scale). Additionally, since most CRMs lack robust reporting and forecasting capabilities, a strong forecasting and business intelligence application is a must. If your sales team is responsible for outbound prospecting, you’ll need two things. One is a reliable data source to identify your target companies and buyers, including their contact information. Second is a sales automation tool to not only make your sales team efficient but to drive best practices in your outbound messaging and process. A number of great solutions have emerged in this area, with many being tightly integrated into marketing solutions as well.
What are some of the fundamentals in B2B revenue management and revenue generation that you feel are elements or activities that B2B teams don’t pay enough attention to?
Three fundamental things stand out in my mind:
B2B teams must focus on the entire customer journey when mapping out their sales process and strategy. Oftentimes, organizations will take shortcuts in the front end of the sales process just to win the business, negatively impacting the post-sales experience for the customer and the business.
Reporting/analytics lack the dimensionality needed to really understand the business. It’s not enough to report on overall key close rates or average sales price (ASP). Organizations need to review their key funnel metrics by sales team, industry, lead source, etc.
B2B teams must work hard to win the hearts and minds of their prospects/customers. With so much technology available to automate communications and make sales teams more efficient, it’s really easy to lose sight of the human element of sales — people buy from people. More importantly, people like to buy from people they like. Even with automation, communications need to be personalized and specific to the buyer’s unique needs and business. There also needs to be a personal win for the buyer in addition to the business win or value.
In what ways do you feel the future of B2B sales/B2B revenue trends is set to shape up to look like?
With the availability of data and information today, buyers look for sales teams to understand their business and talk about specific business values. Long gone are the generic messages and value propositions. Sellers need to engage buyers with a clear, specific and differentiated value proposition. Additionally, leveraging technology to drive efficiencies and consistencies in sales execution will be table stakes, only further increasing the demand for strong revenue operations leaders and practitioners.
Sales teams will continue to be specialized around cohorts of prospects/customers, i.e., around size, vertical, geography or, in some cases, product line. This enables the sellers to become more focused and develop a deeper understanding of their prospects/customers.
A few thoughts on the future of revtech/salestech before we wrap up?
Less is more. Technology can significantly improve a sales team’s efficiency, but only if the technology integrates well into the seller’s day-to-day processes. A seller may feel overwhelmed if they have to jump between many different applications throughout the day, which negatively impacts their productivity.
Building on less is more, I think we will also see a continued trend toward integrated technologies vs. siloed applications.
1WorldSync® is the leading provider of omnichannel product content solutions, enabling more than 14,000 companies in over 60 countries to share authentic, trusted content that empowers confident commerce and intelligent consumer purchasing decisions. Through its technology platform and expert services, 1WorldSync solves revenue-impacting product content challenges faced by leading brands and retailers in the CPG/retail, DIY, consumer electronics, healthcare and foodservice industries. 1WorldSync is one of the only product content providers and GDSN Data Pools to achieve ISO Certification 27001.
Kathy Lord leads 1WorldSync’s global commercial teams. She has more than 25 years of sales and executive management experience at startups and major software companies including Skilliar, Intact ($850m acquisition by Sage), Proofpoint (successful IPO), Ariba (acquired by SAP) and Arbor Software/Hyperion (acquired by Oracle). She brings a data-driven focus to scaling revenues while creating phenomenal customer journeys. Kathy holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Agribusiness from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo.
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