SalesTech Star

SalesTechStar Interview with Rich Hoyland, Head of Sales at Anyscale

Rich Hoyland, Head of Sales at Anyscale talks about key changes influencing today’s buying trends in B2B / SaaS:


Welcome to this SalesTechStar chat Rich, take us through your B2B sales journey and what inspires you most about a role in Sales/Revenue?

Like many sales leaders, I actually began my journey on the pre-sales or the more technical side of the sales equation. The majority of my career has been focused on high-performance computing and analytics, first business intelligence and data warehousing and, most recently, artificial intelligence/machine learning. I have a passion for understanding a customer’s specific business pain and then mapping a technology solution to address that challenge. The ultimate goal is to help customers drive a significant return on their investment. My inspiration is seeing them have a successful business outcome.

As Anyscale’s new Head of Sales, what are some of the focus areas for you as you dive deeper into the business?

Given Anyscale was created to provide a managed service for the open source project Ray, I am most interested in understanding why the community has turned to Ray in the first place. What technical challenges did they have that led them to use Ray? How does it fit into their overall AI stack today and what is their vision for the future? How can we make them more successful with the combination of Ray and Anyscale? Since we are the creators of Ray, it’s most important to listen to the users of Ray and the community itself. Their feedback is critical in order to build the most robust, scalable solution that can address the needs of many organizations. At Anyscale, our goal is to further democratize machine learning by making distributed compute easy to implement for organizations of all sizes. So my number one priority is to listen to our customers and ensure that feedback gets to product management and engineering.

Read More: Anyscale Appoints Rich Hoyland Head Of Sales

In what ways do you feel B2B sales leaders and sales teams need to revisit how they craft their processes and strategies in today’s marketplace, given current dynamics?

There has been a shift in the way companies procure software. They demand a higher level of value, more simplicity than ever and an overall better buying experience. This has led to a bottom-up, product-led GTM strategy for many companies that aligns to those demands. So, we need to support the vibrant and growing community of Ray while making them aware of our value add. Anyscale can help them focus on the high-value activities while we manage the challenges that come with managing a complex infrastructure. This ultimately results in faster time to value and many other benefits for our customers.

Can you talk about a few of the core sales processes and sales technologies that you often rely on to drive goals?

A methodology is the backbone of having a successful sales organization, so we will be implementing this at Anyscale as I have at previous organizations. On the technology front, there are so many new tools available to sellers and sales management. I am a big fan of Gong for analyzing customer interactions, Clari for revenue intelligence and as a sales engagement platform. Ultimately we want to be able to measure success at any point in the sales process and there are so many innovative technologies that allow us to effectively do this today.

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For B2B and tech companies looking at revamping their customer engagement models, what top thoughts would you share with them?

You have to choose the right customer engagement model based on a number of factors:  the complexity of your product, the cost of your solution, your target customers and your GTM strategy. There are others to think about but I believe these are some of the most important considerations. If you are truly revamping, I believe any change in an engagement model should start with soliciting feedback from the existing customer base. Customers want to engage in different ways and are demanding a better experience, pre- and post-sale.

Some last thoughts, takeaways, digital sales/customer communication tips and best practices before we wrap up!  

We have seen a seismic shift in the way customers want to evaluate and buy technology over the last five years. They want to self-educate themselves and try out your product before going through a lengthy sales evaluation. That means the future of high growth will come from product-led growth (PLG) companies. This is forcing many software companies to think very differently about their current and future GTM strategies — the entire approach and mindset as an organization needs to change if you are pursuing or transitioning to a PLG strategy. Those software companies who can execute proficiently on this strategy will be the long-term winners.

The one tip I have shared with many colleagues over the years is “Listen to your customers”. I will not go into all of the reasons as to why this is important — it should be obvious to us all. As for best practices, it goes without saying that you need to measure everything. Intuition is no longer good enough and has not been for some time. There are critical leading and lagging indicators that will provide you increased visibility into the current and future health of your business. Use everything at your disposal to measure all critical indicators as this will lead to more accurate predictability and long-term sustainability.

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Anyscale - Software Engineer (Runtime)

Anyscale, the company founded by the creators of Ray, is accelerating the development and productionization of AI applications, at any scale. Ray, the fastest growing open source project in distributed AI, lets developers instantly scale applications from a laptop to the cloud, without the cost or expertise of building complex infrastructure. By empowering developers of all skill levels to effortlessly develop and scale the end-to-end AI lifecycle on a single compute substrate and deploy the app into production, Anyscale is enabling organizations to bring AI products to market faster and at lower costs. Backed by Andreessen Horowitz, NEA and Addition, Anyscale is based in San Francisco, CA.

Rich Hoyland is the Head of Sales at Anyscale.

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