There are quite a few similarities (and challenges!) between B2C and B2B Sales! In this SalesTechStar interview Mehmet Eroglu, Chief Commercial Officer of Foxxum GmbH, a global leader in the development, operation and commercial marketing for innovative Smart TV solutions talks about his observations.
Can you tell us a little about yourself Mehmet? What are some of the best highlights handling sales for the SmartTV/ B2C segment?
I consider myself as someone who loves to go out onto the field, try to find and meet people and organizations with a need for something that I am offering and who enjoy it as much as I do. Smart TV as a whole, its technology and how it is used and liked by many millions of people globally, provides me the joy of selling something which is adored and used day by day, by so many. That’s why I will always remember the first time when I was standing in the TV and electronics isle of a retail store in Germany, watching 2 friends checking a TV of a brand which uses our Smart TV technology while I was doing some market research myself. These kind of circumstances, I’d always consider as my highlights as it allows me to see the direct impact of what I do- day in, day out.
Given your expertise in Tech/B2B, B2C Business Development and Sales – we’d love to know about some of your top must-haves for a basic Sales or Business Development outreach – what best practices are ideal for a B2B environment versus B2C.
For me as a person, one of the biggest challenges has always consisted of being able to adapt quickly to the person sitting on the other side of the table. This is valid for both environments, B2B and B2C customers. In both cases we still deal with human beings who have different characteristics while taking decisions. Some people are outspoken and loud whereas others are considered introverts who like to speak more about facts and figures rather than start off discussions with small talk. I strongly believe that a good Salesperson is someone who has a general plan of his/her own in mind but is capable of adapting to the personality sitting in front of them. Most important is to keep the “goal” of finalizing the deal in mind and working towards it. In most cases I also think that being prepared and having a healthy “hunter” mentality of never giving up and following up closely goes a long way. And last but not least: The main point is to listen to the needs of customers, whether B2B or B2C and supply them with exactly that.
What would you say are some of the biggest challenges in B2C/B2B sales and business development today? What would your top tips be for them to overcome these challenges?
There are 4 main challenges today that create obstacles for any Business Development and/or Sales professional.
Firstly, to remember to communicate the value of the product: I realized too often early in my career that after several rounds of negotiation I was not focusing anymore on explaining why our products would help the customer but would talk about other issues instead, losing focus on what’s vital.
I also believe that Salespersons should show more and tell less. Especially when selling SaaS or other intangible products, a Demo can change a lot. Words, most of the time are no substitute for images to be shown.
Mapping out the Buyers and understanding who they are and what their needs are, are also the right keys to success. In addition to that, identifying the correct decision-makers on the table are also important in any sales process.
And lastly, being able to connect with the customers emotionally offer tremendous advantages, as it allows to speak openly also about problems when they come along making them easier to solve.
What have been some of your most successful revenue generation and sales tactics and strategies from your time in the industry so far?
Tough question! I am not sure if there is a certain tactic or even trick that can be applied to a success as such. I find it to be usually a combination of many different things. For example: Understanding what the customer needs and how we can offer that; building relations over the years with people in the industry; you may have some customers where the time is simply not right but who then come back to you at a time when you do not expect it. That has actually happened quite a lot to me and has also created some successful revenues for our company.
How according to you will the typical role of tomorrow’s B2B/Technology sales person evolve, given the dynamics and innovations in salestech today? What should today’s salesperson do to prepare for the future role of tomorrow?
I believe that the key word or answer to this is to anticipate and to embrace change. Changes are and will always be happening. Change is also in the DNA of our industry. We need to believe and understand that change is inevitable and that each change brings new opportunities. For example: The B2B customer has also dramatically changed when I compare them to my first years in the industry to today. In the past we would go and knock on the door of B2B customers and explain to them what we offer and who we are. If they would have a need right in that moment, chances were high, they would agree to buy or contact you when they are ready to buy. Nowadays it is not that simple anymore, as many B2B customers have much higher requirements and boundaries where a simple visit and introduction alone does not guarantee the success of the sale. To understand how they changed and adjust yourself and the company to it, is the key ingredient to create future success.
What would you say or do in your capacity to turn Sales and Business Development into the most exciting job of the decade?!
For me it is already the most exciting job of the decade otherwise, I would not be doing this for more than a decade…!!! 🙂
Tag (mention/write about) the one person in the industry whose answers to these questions you would love to read!
#Michael Paull, President at Disney Streaming services
Your favorite Sales/SalesTech quote and sales leadership books you’d suggest everyone in Sales reads
There are a lot of fantastic books out there that over time allowed me to learn from and utilize in my own little ways. Some of them are “classics” that I would suggest to everyone working in Sales and Business Development. “Winning” by Jack Welch and “Getting to Yes” by Fischer, Ury and Patton are 2 of those must-reads for me. I also believe that anyone aspiring to become a sales expert and leader within any organization should be reading the “The Goal” by M. Goldratt and “The Art of the Start” by G. Kawasaki, as both books provide different insights on how organizations work and how success itself is a mixture of “traditional” business management as well as entrepreneurship in many different ways.
Tell us about some of the top sales/salestech/fintech/ other events that you’ll be participating in (virtually!) (as a speaker or guest!) in 2020!
As you know, we are experiencing some challenging times right now, on a global scale making those attendances quite difficult due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Before this however, I was planning to attend multiple events during 2020 which now are mostly on hold for the greater good of course. Like many, I also hope and believe we will defeat this virus and return to normal times very soon, allowing again to exchange ideas and business thoughts during future events.
We’d love to know a little about your future plans!
We are very excited to be launching our new OTT service called “Rlaxx.tv” very soon. It will be our very first B2C product which entails the mission of bringing (back) lean-back TV experience to Smart TV’s. In today’s world of connected devices and applications the supply of content is massive which causes end users to spend a lot of time whilst searching for content. “Rlaxx.tv” is a product that is based on our philosophy of “Launch, lean back and relax!” and hence allows end users to simply watch any content of their interest on their Smart TV’s without all the hassle of surfing through many different apps. Especially in the US there is a big demand of this type of content consumption now. We plan to apply this idea on all other markets outside the USA towards and by the end of the year. Our installed Smart TV base as well as our existing partnerships with content partners allow us a quick market entry. At the same time, we are also capable to launch on all relevant devices worldwide as we have an experienced and very talented development team behind Rlaxx.tv.