SalesTechStar Interview with Christopher Bray, Chief Revenue Officer at Aura
Christopher Bray, Chief Revenue Officer at Aura shares a few sales tips while discussing today’s sales trends in this quick chat:
Hi Christopher, welcome to SalesTechStar! We’d love to hear about your journey in tech and what you’re most looking forward in your new role at Aura!
I began my journey in tech with Dell in post-Apartheid South Africa, not long after Nelson Mandela became president. After 3 years, I moved into the world of cybersecurity working for McAfee, and relocated to the US in 2004 where I enjoyed a series of Sales leadership and General Management roles with McAfee, Symantec and Cylance. I had the privilege of building and leading billion dollar businesses and being part of one of the most disruptive and fastest growing cybersecurity startups culminating with a successful sale to BlackBerry. In Aura I see the potential of repeating some of that disruptive growth in the areas of Privacy and Identity Protection.
The Covid-19 pandemic has transformed how Field Sales teams operate today; can you share a few thoughts on the future of Field Sales amid the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic?
Indeed, the pandemic has forced us all how to rethink how we do many things. There will always be a need for Field Sales, irrespective of the current constraints. Although it might be difficult, if not impossible, to engage in many of the in-person relationship building activities common to Field Sales, there is still a need for senior, seasoned salespeople to lead bigger and more complex deals.
The downside is that in most cases in-person meetings are impossible. The upside is that everyone is facing the same constraints and as a salesperson, you can cover a lot more ground and meet with more customers and prospects online than if you had to travel.
What are some of the top go-to market and growth strategies that you feel B2B sales and marketing teams need to now focus more on to ensure business success despite the global slowdown?
Fortunately in our industry we’re not seeing a slowdown. Now, more than ever, there is a demand for cybersecurity solutions. Cybercrime increases in times of economic downturn. But for anyone in B2B sales, your GTM and growth strategy should remain consistent. It’s the tactics that need to adapt to the circumstances: how do you best communicate your value proposition to your customers and prospects, how do you best engage them, and how do you best retain them?
What do you think marketing and sales teams need to do more of during this time to perform better?
Focus on the need to adapt. Sales and marketing teams still have the same objectives to grow the business, get their message out, and engage customers, but how they get there will be different: No conferences, but more webinars; less above the line advertising/marketing, more below the line and digital; little to no in-person engagements, more Zoom calls.
Read More: The Profound Benefits Of SOC 2 Compliance
A few top tips you’d share with new sales reps and sales executives moving up the ladder?
Whatever role you have in the organization, focus on being the best at it rather than fixating getting to the next level. Never stop learning and being curious. Be bold, take calculated risks, and don’t fear failure. Be a good cross-functional collaborator and remember it often takes a village to get a big deal over the line – going at it alone only takes you so far. Do this well, and it will make promoting you a no-brainer.
A parting thought on your biggest marketing/sales/ leadership goof-up and the learning that came from it!
My biggest leadership goof-up and one of my most valuable learnings was making the transition from individual contributor to my first sales leadership role. I learned very quickly that being the best sales person does not necessarily qualify you to being the best leader. I failed at it initially, because of my command-and-control approach. Ever since then I learned the key being a successful leader is through enabling, empowering and inspiring.
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