SalesTech Star

SalesTechStar Interview with Li Kang, Head (North America) at Kyligence

Li Kang, Head of North America Operations at Kyligence joined us for a chat to talk about the importance of establishing trust in business relationships while ensuring sales and marketing teams focus on their basics to refine core messaging that helps drive more output in online meetings. Catch the complete QnA:

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Hi Li, welcome to SalesTechStar! As a sales leader; what are some best practices you follow when faced with hurdles in an enterprise sales outreach or strategy?

Instead of just simply letting a sales executive do his/her job and providing help when asked, I’d rather ‘challenge’ them throughout the process. Like for instance, when discussing key deals with an AE in weekly 1one-on-one meetings, I challenge his assessment, and I encourage him to challenge my feedback. While, at times it may become a rapid exchange and the ideas are bounced off each other in that process, and better action plans are formed after these meetings. So when I play devil’s advocate, my AEs are better prepared. And on the other hand, if my AE doesn’t feel optimistic about a deal, I work with them to brainstorm ideas to help them reach their goals.

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As a sales leader I need to give my sales team the right tools. People tend to forget it’s the tools — not just messaging, literature, etc. The best tool I can give my team is the best product. Collecting feedback from POCs and post sales, and making sure the product team gets this feedback so we can respond quickly to customers’ requests is critical. It is my job to make sure this feedback process is smooth.

Can you dive into some of your “sales ways” at Kyligence and how the team experiences a ‘’typical day at work’’ in sales in your company?

Instead of weekly one on one meeting with each Account Executive, I have weekly calls for each key opportunity (opportunities that should close this quarter) with the account team, which consists of AE, Solution Architects, and sometimes Customer Success Manager. We go through the deal status, key challenges, next steps, and we map out the action items for each person for that week. AE will follow up on these action items on a daily basis. These are the high priority items on AE’s to-do list. We also have weekly sales/marketing joint calls to discuss the marketing updates and plans. AE will then either leverage the latest marketing material to reach out to prospects or follow up on the leads generated from marketing events (webinars, etc.)

What are some of the sales technologies that have consistently found a place as part of your tech stack over the years?

Like most sales organizations we use CRM software. We also heavily rely on LinkedIn and outbound email tools. This year the pandemic dramatically increased the time AEs spend in their home offices so we also took actions to make sure they can adjust smoothly. One of the things we did was to upgrade their home office setups with ergonomic keyboards and upgrading old laptops.

We have also invested in sales intelligence tools so we can better collaborate after each web meeting. The note taking, insight extraction, and collaboration capabilities have been very helpful. We use sales intelligence tools to record every internal and external call and we share snippets with other team members.

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How are you seeing tech companies use more creative online methods to stand out in their sales and marketing today – can you share a few examples?

I’m seeing more videos with tools like Lightboard to make the white board sessions easier to read and keep viewers more engaged.

AI is playing a more important role in identifying potential opportunities through all public available information such as news, reports, hiring ads, etc.

In what ways are you seeing the impact of the global Covid-19 pandemic drive a change in online selling models in B2C/B2B?

Our website is becoming more critical. It’s more educational but also encourages prospects to get engaged (download, trial, testing, etc.). Then, we are refining our free trial offering so users can easily see the values of our products.

What are some of the biggest takeaways sales, marketing teams and business leaders should grab from this experience of working and living through a global pandemic?

First and foremost, we are all human beings. People’s lives may have been impacted by the pandemic in ways that we can’t even imagine. The leaders need to have empathy for team members, and as a vendor, we need to have empathy for customers.

Always stay humble and provide value and great service that makes your customers’ life easier. When we got comfortable and thought customers ‘must use’ our solutions that’s when we got ourselves in trouble!

Kyligence helps accelerate critical business decisions by leveraging AI-augmented data management and analytics

Li is the Head of North America Operations at Kyligence

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