SalesTechStar Interview with Jim Christen, COO at Databook
Value selling is a concept that needs to scale across your entire organization and this requires having a program in place to enable sellers at different levels shares Jim Christen, COO at Databook while he discusses his journey in tech sales and the top observations he’s had so far in this SalesTechStar interview. Catch the complete story:
Tell us a little about yourself Jim? How has your journey in technology sales been so far? You’ve only recently joined the team at Databook: we’d love to know about some of the biggest things you’re looking forward to here in this new role.
It’s been a rewarding experience for me to work closely with sales professionals, to mentoring them, and raising their level of business acumen and to also engage c-level executives to create strategic deals that have made them 450% of quota. My prior sales professionals from fifteen years ago still reach out to strategize on their top deals. In my new role, I’m looking forward to scaling our customer quality pipeline and providing them a repeatable way to engage c-level executives. This will make it easier for them to achieve their challenging goals during this difficult time.
How have you seen the typical role of the B2B technology sales executive evolve over the years? We’d love your observations on how you’ve seen the impact of the changing salestech landscape play a role here.
The sales executives role has evolved into creating frameworks that enable their sales teams to communicate value to prospects. It’s a requirement to be able to understand industry gaps in performance, identify a financial case for change, link that your company’s highest priority use cases to solve the business issues, articulate business outcomes, and apply the appropriate customer stories. This is real-time value selling that needs to scale across your entire sales organization requires having a program in place to enable your sellers who are all at different levels.
Could you tell us a little about some of the biggest challenges you still see technology sales teams, even at the enterprise level struggle with, despite having easy access to good data and actionable insights in today’s time: how would you advise them to tackle this?
Technology sales teams need to be able to summarize business outcomes in investment strategies to earn the right to engage executives. Technology sales lend itself to the complexity that needs to be simplified for the line of business buyers who purchase SaaS subscriptions, different from the days of on-premise CapEx procurement by the CIO.
What are the biggest takeaways you’d share with field sales teams (who are now forced to be remote) /frontline sales executives given the current world situation and related challenges?
If you have done your research and have the right message it’s easier to secure initial 30-minute CXO because there stationary and don’t have to spend so much traveling. They don’t require the extra time to get you in and out of their office. Capitalize on this opportunity but you need to be even more charismatic on a video.
What are the top 5 tips (on the whole) that you’d share with technology marketing and sales teams today, (given the current world situation due to the Covid19 pandemic): how would you advise them to tide over the current business challenges due to the pandemic? What should they be doing as part of their revised strategies to help business continuity?
Research which companies will struggle and flourish in each industry segment due to Covid-19. Spend your time wisely. Spend more time preparing and leverage high-quality deliverables to set yourself apart from that you send over 24-hours prior to the meeting. These are currency to maintain your net new executive meetings so they’re not canceled the day before. Provide three horizons for your solution offerings for customers to choose from there is a high probability they will select the one in the middle instead of the smallest option to get started. Document a summary version of your solution in an executive demonstration guide so new evaluators can review multiple times on their own avoiding additional live demonstrations.
If you had to pivot your team/sales team because of a sudden economic or world situation (and with reference to today’s economic and business climate): what are the 5 things you would follow?
Focus on your largest strategic deals, break them apart into smaller implementation options so customers can get started with smaller investments quicker. Focus on your highest value personas to ensure you share industry best practices with the buying centers that matter most and receive the most immediate impact before you expand your influence map.
Tag (mention/write about) the one person in the tech/startup/salestech industry whose answers to these questions you would love to read!
Sanjay Poonen, COO at VMWare is a dynamic leader who always has innovative go-to-market strategies.
Your favorite Sales/SalesTech quote and sales leadership books you’d suggest everyone in Sales reads
Financial Intelligence a managers guide to knowing what the numbers really mean. Nothing in a company can be purchased without the CFO’s approval. It is important to know how CFO’s evaluate working capital and payback periods is important information to receive funding on your projects.
Tell us about some of the top sales/salestech/fintech/ other (virtual) events that you’ll be participating in (virtually, given the current global pandemic) (as a speaker or guest!) in 2020!
CRO Roundtable in Palo Alto – Example speakers: Vinay Dhawan/Genuine Parts, Tom Addis/Kinetica; example attendees: Doug Landis/Emergence Capital, FrankPerkins/Salesforce. Example agenda items: Scaling from 20-700M: How One CRO Did It; CIO Insights: Your Target Buyer Tells You What They’re Looking For.
We’d love to know a little about your future plans while at Databook!
Delivering the pipeline development methodology’s that engage the c-suite to build create unstructured evaluations four times your annual contract value
Also catch, this SalesStar Podcast episode where Anand Shah, CEO and Founder at Databook shares interesting Demand Generation tips:
Databook Customer Intelligence Platform accelerates enterprise sales performance at scale with three integrated products: Databook Intent Dashboard, Databook Insights Platform and Databook Sales Decks. Databook Intent Dashboard improves Marketing-to-Sales performance while decreasing costs by helping customer-facing teams prioritize the companies most likely to buy.
Jim has spent 25 years in B2B Enterprise software sales working on the largest net new challenging sales engagements and is currently the COO at Databook