SalesTechStar Interview with Olivier Gachot, CRO at LeanDNA
What makes a modern-day CRO successful in their role? Here’s what Olivier Gachot, CRO at LeanDNA has to say:
Welcome to this SalesTechStar chat, Olivier, tell us more about your professional journey and your role at LeanDNA?
I’m the Chief Revenue Officer of LeanDNA, where I’m responsible for the sales function across new logo growth, expansions and renewal of our existing customer base, business development and pre-sales solutions. As a successful serial GTM revenue executive, my focus has always been on being a steady leader and shielding my team from anything that distracts from their ability to focus on our customers.
I have served as Chief Revenue Officer for several SaaS companies in the U.S. and overseas, including Spredfast, where I led the sales organization through record growth and resulted in a successful acquisition by Vista Equity Partners. I was VP of Worldwide Sales at Lombardi Software, helping the company grow from a small start-up to an acquisition by IBM. I hold a Master of Science in Computer Science and dual citizenship in both France and the U.S.
LeanDNA is disrupting the manufacturing industry with the first inventory optimization and execution platform that synchronizes workflows and operationalizes data by connecting systems, sites, and suppliers to provide prioritized actions and recommendations that help reduce shortages, decrease excess and obsolete inventory and increase on-time delivery. As one of Inc. 5000’s fastest-growing private companies, LeanDNA has been successfully implemented across 27 countries for leading manufacturers in industries that require complex assembly, including Aerospace & Defense, Automotive, Electronics, Industrial , and Medical Devices. And from a workplace standpoint, it’s a privilege to work for a company that has been recognized by Built In Austin as one of the best places to work for three consecutive years.
We’d love to hear more about what today’s CRO in your view needs to dovetail and do to align different business functions to growth in a more streamlined manner.
For growth-oriented technology companies to succeed, it’s essential to have a unified go-to-market team where everyone is rowing in the same direction, along with a CEO who has an understanding and appreciation for sales. Having the right technology stack is also critically important, along with a revenue operations function to act as the connective tissue between sales and marketing. GTM strategy alignment across leadership and smart revenue operations to support growth is how sales and marketing teams are able to grow faster and scale in a healthy way.
In addition, it’s key to find the best people early in the journey, enable them for success, and continue to build trust at every step along the way. It’s my responsibility to ensure the team is passionate, open-minded, and constantly moving forward and looking for opportunities. With LeanDNA, it’s easy to be excited about the future, because when we show potential customers what the product can do, they immediately realize they need to have it. We have a superior solution to show manufacturers when they are clear to build and the plan for every part. And what’s even better about LeanDNA is that when former customers move to a new role, one of the first things they do is call LeanDNA. This quarter we already have close to 10 transactions fueled by former LeanDNA customers.
What do you feel sales and marketing teams need to do when trying to optimize their GTM processes?
A CRO with a strong partner in marketing is set up for success, and it’s essential they both establish trust across the entire go-to-market team. A consistent feedback loop to ensure alignment is vital. For sales, keeping the communications open, asking for help when needed, and execution come first. Good to extremely good execution will always lead to positive results.
Sales carries very real responsibility, and as a leader, it’s important not to panic. I try to stay focused with pragmatic optimism – being realistic and planning based on what the situation is right now. At work, things are never as bad as you think they are or as good as you think they are. When I can stay practical and level-headed, my team stays calm and focused which always drives better outcomes.
Can you highlight more about some of the common misconceptions around boosting expansion and growth in B2B tech.
Before Covid, there was an idea that we had to travel and see customers face-to-face in order to be effective at sales. And then during Covid, everyone was stuck at home, and we crushed our numbers – this was partly because sales reps could spend more time working instead of. traveling across the country.
My belief is that it’s best to see customers after the sale to set them up for future success, and the people making that visit are the customer success team, not the sales team. It’s important to help customers realize as much value as possible from the product, and it can be helpful to get them set up in person. Even then, sometimes customers push back because time is so precious and everyone has realized that they can claim more of their own time if they work efficiently.
A few thoughts on the impact of AI on the future of marketing and sales and how it will further impact how CROs will function?
Ultimately, predictive technologies will make GTM efforts more successful for the teams openly willing to use them to discover new insights, adapt to market changes faster and improve processes. I think AI will be particularly helpful for predicting buyer needs and future behaviors, and helping personalize the customer experience both pre- and post-sales.
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