SalesTech Star Interview with Szymon Niemczura, VP & Co-founder at Talent Alpha
Szymon Niemczura, a tech entrepreneur, family guy, pilot AND Co-founder, VP of enterprise-level Human Cloud Platform Talent Alpha joins us in the SalesTechStar interview to share his experiences and biggest takeaways from his journey being a SaaS Sales leader!
Can you tell us a little about yourself Szymon (including your hobbies!) and your journey so far at Talent Alpha?
I’ve been developing technology startups for over 10 years. My best known projects so far have been Kontakt.io, and Codewise. Commercializing a business on a global level has always been ‘my cup of tea’. So it was a pretty natural step for me to build and run a growth team in Talent Alpha. Talent Alpha was founded by Przemek Berendt (former global Vice-President at Luxoft), Mike Kennedy (formerly Executive Director at Goldman Sachs) and myself a year ago. We are creating a B2B Human Cloud Platform that connects tech talent with global opportunities. I believe that my previous international experience will very much help the business in its expansion plans. In my private life , I’m a family oriented person and I spend a lot of time with my children. As far as interests are concerned, I’m passionate about aviation (gliding) ,and like watching documentary films.
As someone who is leading the Sales efforts at Talent Alpha, can you tell us about some of your most successful Sales campaigns?
The launch of our platform was announced in November 2019. So as you can imagine our campaign has just begun. However, we have already managed to build the sales team, establish procedures, implement tools (e.g. salesforce). In my previous companies I ran sales campaigns that generated millions of dollars of revenue. After starting them from scratch, I got a real kick out of seeing them flourish.
What according to you are the top 5 things that B2B/Tech Sales leaders should always keep in mind when planning a Sales Strategy/Campaign for a new Tech tool/new Tech Product?
- People first (both internally and externally) – Externally, you need to understand your audience very well: who are your campaigns for, what does your target audience need, what do they like and don’t like, and how would they like to interact with you. Internally, you need to understand your people. What kind of talent, skills and strengths do they have and how can you maximize them by creating good environment.
- Start small – it’s always good to take small steps at the very beginning to completely understand what you do, how the business works ,what is important, how to build processes around what really works, and how results are measured.
- Start with why (again both externally and internally) – it should be super clear what value you are bringing to your client and it should also be obvious and empowering for each member of your team.
- Make sure there is transparency inside your company and you have your goals, plans and paths to achieve this. These aspects should be open and shared with the whole team so that everyone understands and can contribute accordingly. This is the only way you can achieve synergy.
- Choose your weapons carefully and take care of it – meticulously select your tech and organizational tools, take your time to implement them effectively, and don’t be afraid to ask for external advice and training. An investment of your time, effort and money at the very beginning will be handsomely paid back as your data starts working. Then maintain, keep it pure and validate regularly.
As a seasoned SaaS Sales professional, what are some of the biggest sales challenges you wish you could change in the B2B/Tech Sales industry?
My quick answer would be – less bot spam on LinkedIn 🙂 It pollutes the market and creates barriers. But moving onto broader issues, one of the biggest challenges on the market is the attitude to innovation in many companies. To be really innovative, you should check different options, make small pilot schemes, and as I mentioned earlier, be ready to measure results and implement what really works. Unfortunately many companies still rigidly stick to expanded, long term strategies, plans, and procedures that can be extensive and painful to implement. It is a real barrier for innovation. And don’t be afraid of failure of some of these projects and don’t give up in looking for right solutions. After all, Thomas Edison once said, “Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”
What are your thoughts on the future of sales/salestech? How do you eventually see salestech play a role in the future role of the typical B2B/sales professional?
The future is happening right in front of us. We are now experiencing huge changes on the market. For example Gartner’s survey revealed that only 14.5% of companies report that they have no plans to pilot or deploy algorithmic-guided sales by 2022. Today, you cannot sell effectively and build high-quality and long-term relationships without the right technology. Machine learning powered assistance will play an increasingly significant role in the daily life of each sales person. Furthermore, boundaries between roles and teams will start to blur. Thanks to technology, people will be able to drive all sorts of projects to become, in effect, a ‘one stop shop’. Results of the best sales people will be clearly visible and stand out from the rest.
What are some of your 5 “must-haves” or “must-dos” for early users of sales tech tools?
- Examine your needs and establish core values for you and your team
- Get the right training
- Plan and do pilots
- Realize your plan step by step
- Review every month
What’s your smartest sales hack that you’d like to share with the audience?
Sales is all about relationships. To put it bluntly, ‘people buy people’. Nobody likes to feel like a sales target. So do not sell. Find the client’s need, and answer it.
Also, make sure you have meticulously planned a remarketing campaign that fits your client’s journey and profile.
Tag (mention/write about) the one person in the industry whose answers to these questions you would love to read!
Dimitar Stanimiroff, Founder at Heresy
Your favorite Sales/SalesTech quote
“You must unlearn what you have learned.” – Master Yoda
Tell us about some of the top sales/salestech events that you’ll be participating in (as a speaker or guest!) in 2020!
SaaStr Europa 2020 – the largest community of SaaS executives, founders, and entrepreneurs in the world. I’m going there to meet industry specialists, get their insights and share knowledge. It can also be a place to look for the best people to cooperate with in the future when planning team expansion.
Talent Alpha is a Human Cloud Platform that uses Talent Science to precisely match Tech Teams with Enterprise Clients. The company addresses the global Tech Talent Gap by giving on-demand access to thousands of battle-tested IT teams working in small & medium-sized IT Services companies across Central & Eastern Europe. By capturing and visualizing hundreds of data points regarding the precise technical skills and cognitive abilities of each IT specialist on the platform, Talent Alpha is able to provide advanced, tailor-made team matches for even the most demanding of clients and projects.
Szymon is the VP and Co-Founder of Talent Alpha Inc. and an established Tech Entrepreneur known for his success growing several innovative startups. He co-founded his first company Codewise after graduating in 2010. Codewise has since become a global leader in Ad Tech Software. His next big project was pioneering IoT beacons, which were initially designed to make museums more friendly for the visually impaired, but ended up ushering in a revolution in the world of outdoor and point-of-sales marketing. He took that idea and co-founded Kontakt.io, an IoT startup which in under three years became a global company working with Fortune 500 businesses. He applies eclecticism wherever he can in his life, loves building teams and helping people grow. He is a father of two, an aviation aficionado and a glider pilot!