SalesTechStar Interview with Mark Richter, SVP Americas Sales at WalkMe
Mark Richter, SVP Americas Sales at WalkMe chats about evolving online selling models and trends in this quick catch-up with SalesTechStar:
Welcome to this SalesTechStar chat Mark, tell us more about your sales journey through the years and what inspires you most about sales and business development today?
My sales journey has been different from some others in that I have worked for big companies in the tech space such as Cisco and Salesforce as well as small companies. Along the way, I’ve had the opportunity to do some sales operations and sales enablement work as well, which has given me the perspective that there is more than just the selling component of sales. There are people who have to implement and drive out solutions. I think that’s part of what drove me to WalkMe. I see WalkMe as a solution that can help in so many ways, and if we’re just speaking specifically about sales, it helps salespeople to do the things that they like to do, which is getting out there, selling, and helping customers. WalkMe also shows them the right path to get to where they need to go.
How have you seen B2B teams change how they hire and build out sales teams today than from about a decade ago?
Like so many professions, selling has changed tremendously in the past decade. Two elements particularly stand out in my mind. The first is that customers and prospects have so much more information today before they engage in a conversation with you. It’s important that we meet them where they are on the journey and help drive them through that journey. The second element is that the sales process has become more collaborative and more transparent. What I mean by that is that we are now openly sharing our mutual success plans with customers, sharing and talking more openly about pricing and value than we were a decade ago. It’s evolved to the point where teams need to be ready to collaborate with their prospects and customers in a way they didn’t have to before, particularly in the SaaS ecosystem because the first deal in the books is really just the down payment and the hope is that together, that customer grows.
Sales teams now need to set the right expectations because the switching costs are lower than they were in an on prem model years ago so both your expectations and the customers’ need to be aligned to set up the customer for success.
For sales people to have access to the right salestech for for their need, there are a lot of factors that need to be considered, take us through some of the ways you have optimized how salestech is deployed or chosen for a particular need?
Continuing with the theme that sales teams are more collaborative and transparent than they used to be, I find this to be true internally as well. We are much more collaborative with our sales teams before and after making technology investments – not only trying to get buy-in from sales teams, but to really see if they are getting value out of these technology investments. If the problem we’re solving is a problem for account executives and they are brought into it, believe that this solution will solve their problem, then it will ultimately work.
When I was doing enablement back at Salesforce, one of the things I’d always ask the teams is, what has been rolled out and how has it been utilized. People always ask what we can add to our tech stack and my question was always “what can we take away” because it’s easy to go from one tool to ten tools, but we need to think about our sellers. What are we bringing back for the AE? We don’t just want to be layering more and more technology on these individuals, we want to provide them with the right technology solutions to help them do their jobs so that they can focus on doing what they love, which is selling.
Can you talk about a few ways in which you feel salespeople and B2B sales will need to adapt as market trends shift?
The important thing we can do is understand the customer problem or business issue that we’re trying to solve and how we solve it. We should be sharing with them, in a very transparent manner, how we solve these problems for other customers, how we solve them internally, and why they should feel very good that they are making the right decision to buy our solutions. It’s about transparency and understanding your customers’ knowledge coming into the process and meeting them where they are. The biggest thing then becomes the customer journey and ensuring that they are having a great experience.
For B2B and tech companies looking at revamping their marketing or sales teams structures, would top thoughts would you share with them?
The first thing is understanding the segments of your customers and the maturity of your organization. In my four years at WalkMe, we have evolved our go to market strategy to align with where our product and company is and most importantly where our customers are. For example we now have named account teams for bigger accounts because we are at a place in our own evolution where we can support Fortune 50 companies across their entire architecture, which is different from selling a point product to a single division of a larger organization. I also think it’s important to look across the entire span of available customers from commercial to enterprise to give customers and prospects the best possible experience. We are also experimenting with new business AEs and growth AEs who are expanding existing logos, specifically for our commercial business. We are trying to figure out if this model is right more broadly in our organization after a successful year in the commercial arena. It all comes down to understanding your organization, product, and how best to go to market.
Some last thoughts, takeaways, digital sales/customer communication tips and best practices before we wrap up!
I believe that it’s important for sales leadership to be engaged and a part of the processes that AEs go through on a daily basis. We must understand the value for both our AEs and for our customers in everything we ask our AEs to do. It’s about understanding where your organization is in its lifecycle and what works for your business. It’s also important that you keep an eye on what technology tools you’re asking your sales teams to use and how they work together. How can you make this as easy as possible so that they can go out there and close business?
WalkMe is a cloud-based Digital Adoption Platform that enables organizations to measure, drive and act to ultimately accelerate their digital transformations and better realize the value of their software investments. Their code-free platform leverages proprietary technology to provide visibility to an organization’s Chief Information Officer and business leaders, while improving user experience, productivity and efficiency for employees and customers. Alongside walkthroughs and third-party integration capabilities, the platform can be customized to fit an organization’s needs.
Mark Richter is the Senior Vice President of America Sales at WalkMe, overseeing all enterprise, commercial and public sector sales across the Americas. Mark joined WalkMe in 2018 to lead strategic sales, then took on enterprise sales before ascending to his current leadership position. He has extensive experience in diverse sales leadership roles at technology companies, most recently at Fond, Inc. and Datameer. Mark also brings valuable perspective gained as a sales leader, sales operations and global sales enablement leader at tech giants Cisco and Salesforce. These experiences have shaped his holistic, collaborative, and transparent approach to sales. Mark holds a bachelors of science in mechanical engineering from the University of Wisconsin, Madison.
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