SalesTechStar Interview with Tom Fernandez, Head of Sales (SE Asia) at Datto

Tom Fernandez, Head of Sales (SE Asia) at Datto talks about a few trends dominating B2B sales today and the future of business intelligence in sales and marketing:


Hi Tom, we’d love to hear about your journey through the years…tell us more about your role at Datto?

It has been a journey…During these eight years, I’ve been privileged to witness many milestones; acquisitions, the business being sold to Vista Equity Partners, merging with Autotask, a recent IPO and now having the honor of leading Datto’s expansion into ASEAN and Taiwan.  What I recall most are the people and our MSP partners I have had the honor of working beside. My role today is centered on building the right partner ecosystem. This means providing our partners with margin-based recurring revenue opportunities that help solve today’s business problems for their customers, challenges that we are all facing such as data security, a fast-shifting threat landscape and a ransomware epidemic. With this in mind, in today’s world how can a business be cyber resilient against impending cyber-attacks?

Read More:  Oro Inc. Launches OroMarketplace to Drive Multichannel B2B Sales Growth for Businesses

How are you seeing the role of senior sales and operations leaders evolve today? What are some top sales technologies and revenue technologies that you feel today’s sales and revenue leaders need to be adept with?

Today’s modern workplace is centered around people and data. In this dispersed new world we also need to ensure that we nurture talent needs as a key strategic priority.  People are the business and in a decentralised world, we need to evolve to ensure we are providing each person with the ability to further develop. We can all recall the individuals who take interest in their development, and it is these types of people we would follow into battle. As the fourth industrial revolution picks up speed, one item no algorithm can replace is human to human interaction. For us this means that as leaders we need to ensure we stay connected and give back to those around us and the Covid-19 pandemic has brought much more meaning to this statement.

Second is data as there’s so much of it available, and that data coupled with on the ground experience is needed to understand ‘where the football is going’. In business, we need to have an understanding of where the market, partners and end-users are moving, and it is through data and experience that we can make these predictions. As a pure channel company, our partners look to us to highlight trends that they can monetise and we can successfully perform this task because we are deeply connected with our 17,000+ partners worldwide. Indeed, the partner ecosystem functions as a feedback loop and this feedback, coupled with market trends, allow us to drive recurring revenue-based opportunities to our partners.

We’d love to have a quick overview of some of your sales tech and sales processes at Datto and biggest learnings through the years?

80% of buyers have their specifications either completely or partially mapped prior to engaging a salesperson. It is crucial that organizations get their message out effectively to the market through an education approach, rather than a prescriptive one. One such tool is intent marketing platforms and when I first came across these solutions I was instantly sold. This provides the ability to connect with a buyer as they are shaping their requirements which is key, while also engineering that vision through education to build a mutually beneficial partnership leading to success.

My biggest learning has been that empathy is key to success in sales and the ability to see the world through the lens of multiple stakeholders, is the key trait of great salespeople. Empathy is a skill I fear we as a society may lose as we move forward in the digital age. Sales technology in tomorrow’s world needs to enable people to connect with people on a human level, otherwise, an algorithm will be doing the selling for us. Datto and its partners still truly value that connection on a human level.

We’d love to hear your thoughts on business intelligence platforms and their impact on sales and how you predict this will grow in future?

BI is the future. There is too much data out there for an individual on the front line to consume. Platforms that provide analytics that are easy to consume will facilitate sellers to drive meaningful outcomes with partners and allow a salesperson to be relevant and establish credibility. In addition, prospects and partners want to be educated and we need data to provide that value-add education.

What are some core sales technologies that you feel should form the crux of a sales tech stack?

Technology stacks needs to be built to connect in a way that is personal and at its core aims to educate. The questions the tech stack needs to answer include; “How can a business connect with someone looking for a specific type of solution?”, “Who else fits this profile and how can we approach them?”, “How do we educate the market?”, and “How do we enable prospects/partners?”

A few thoughts on what you feel today’s sales and marketing leaders need to do differently?

Education is key.  If you cannot educate, the battle is already lost.  No one cares about the product; they care about how a solution is going to solve business challenges and speaking about speeds and feeds will get you nowhere. Buyers expect to learn, if you cannot educate what value do you add in a world where everyone has access to knowledge? The best buying journey is a process of reciprocal learning for both the prospect and the salesperson.

We’d love to hear a little on how Datto is helping MSP’s in achieving their revenue goals with not only their tech but with Marketing and Sales events?

It begins by understanding the partner’s business.  It has always been fundamentally easier to increase revenue by adding adjacencies to current streams of revenue.  Through an understanding of current offerings, their strength, 36-month business objectives and various market shifts we can formulate a plan to drive revenue that has the highest probability of success. From there Datto helps our partners to drive revenue from current partners or prospect new partners. This was achieved through Marketing Development Funds, Marketing and Sales Playbooks, co-selling, as well as marketing campaigns and events. We are also in lockstep undertaking the planning and execution of these activities with our partners. Datto is committed in helping MSPs grow and scale. In fact, Datto recently held their MSP Marketing & Sales Day back in May where we hosted an MSP-centric workshop covering sales and marketing tips, tricks and best practices to help MSP achieve their revenue goals.

Read More:  SalesTechStar Interview with Nikhita Hyett, MD, Europe at BlueSnap

As a leading provider of cloud-based software and security solutions purpose-built for delivery by managed service providers (MSPs), Datto believes there is no limit to what small and medium businesses (SMBs) can achieve with the right technology.


Tom Fernandez is the Head of Sales (SE Asia) at Datto

B2B salesBusiness IntelligenceCOVID-19DattoInterviewMSP partnersMSPsSales and marketingsales technology