SalesTech Star

SalesTechStar Interview with Victoria (Tori) Belkin, Head of Revenue Enablement at Ceros

 “Don’t try to change anything drastic in your sales process if things don’t go your way,” cautions Victoria (Tori) Belkin, Head of Revenue Enablement at Ceros in this chat with SalesTechStar where she also dives into a few proven practices that can enable better sales initiatives. Catch the complete QnA:

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Hi Tori, welcome to SalesTechStar! What have been the best parts of being in sales associated roles through the years?

Thank you for having me! I’ve found both the best and equally rewarding part has been the accelerated professional growth I’ve seen from the varied responsibilities and inevitable challenges that came with each sales role I’ve held. Starting my career in inside sales, I quickly learned the foundational importance of time management throughout the sales cycle, while also building the invaluable confidence to overcome rejection. That entry-level experience evolved into an AE role and with that came a deeper understanding of sales strategies like multithreading my deals and relentlessly qualifying throughout the entire sales cycle to build a predictable pipeline. From there, the jump to sales manager was an exciting transition where I could leverage my experience to help empower a team of reps to find their own consistent success. Now, as the Head of Revenue Enablement at Ceros, I feel lucky to be responsible for driving the maximum effectiveness and efficiency of our revenue org by helping each team member grow personally and professionally every day.

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Take us through some of your most successful sales initiatives and tricks (a few that helped tide through typical challenges during the pandemic in 2020)?

I’m sure it won’t come as a surprise to anyone that one of the biggest challenges we faced because of COVID was how to successfully enable a fully remote workforce.  Without easily being able to physically walk up to a coworker/sales leader to find an answer in the office it was really important for us to have one source of truth for people to go to for answers. For us, it was really doubling down on our Guru instance and getting as much information in there as possible. The quicker you can get someone an answer so they can get back to selling the smoother your whole sales engine will run!

One tip I can offer is that during the pandemic we have really been focusing on the fundamentals/basics and not making any drastic changes to overcompensate all at once. It’s difficult to pinpoint exactly what is working or isn’t working if you make too many shifts to your sales motions at once.

Can you talk about some of the sales technologies that you’ve often used in your time in the market to enable better outcomes?

 After investing in a Knowledgebase (like Guru), I would highly recommend every sales org leverage a call recording software. Beyond the basic recording functionality, it’s important to take advantage of one that incorporates AI. Our reps love it because they can go back and listen to calls to prep for next steps, managers love it for on-going coaching and training, but most importantly sales leaders love it because the AI can help surface trends you wouldn’t pick up on by just listening to one-off calls. It automates your ability to see and analyze your sales motion at a high level and dive in to understand the specifics all at once.

A few best practices as well to optimize results from use of salestech further?

I love this question and I can’t stress enough my answer – work with your CSM at every single salestech you use. Really get to know them, let them get to know you and the ins and outs of your product(s), people, and processes. There is nobody better or more qualified to make sure you are getting the most out of your tech stack. Oftentimes I forget our techstack CSMs don’t work with me directly at Ceros because I talk to them so frequently.

Other than that, I would say just really make sure you have a reason for every tweak and change you make and prioritize them from absolutely necessary to nice to have and roll them out accordingly. I’ve found it to be more challenging to gain adoption for any tweaks and changes we’ve made during COVID because the team, rightfully so, has digital communication and Zoom fatigue from their day to day so it can be more difficult for them to remember every new process change we implement. For this reason we have become even more thoughtful and methodical about every initiative in terms of what we roll out and how we roll it out.

If there were 5 things you could change about sales in the tech market what would they be?

  1. Trust sales reps: Prospects are still so nervous to open up too much to sales reps and I don’t understand why! When I get on a call with a potential vendor I want them to know everything about Ceros and our selling motions so they can properly tell me how their solution can help me.
  2. Personalize your sales decks: In this digital-only world especially there is no excuse for a cookie-cutter deck (and presentation in general) that isn’t custom tailored to the prospect.
  3. Don’t try to over-automate your sales funnel: Tech sales is never one size fits all – AI and automation are great for certain parts of a sales cycle/motion but there’s no replacement for a human relationship. People buy from people they like – it’s so important to keep the sales process human!
  4. Closer alignment between all customer facing teams: The feedback loop between sales, customer success, and marketing! Oftentimes we forget our successful customers are our best advocates – we should be leaning on them more.
  5. Remember your buyers are humans: We are kidding ourselves as an industry if we think whitepapers are winning our prospects attention over everything else vying for their attention on a day to day basis (Instagram, TikTok, Youtube, etc)!

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How according to you can marketing and sales work more closely to deliver better customer service today? Some key alignment tips that can help?

With more empathy! Marketing and sales both have a job to do and oftentimes because they aren’t literally on the same team it makes them figuratively not on the same team as well. By being more empathetic to each other and the roles each side plays in delivering the best customer experience possible, the alignment will come naturally. This is definitely a top down situation where sales leaders and marketing leaders set the tone for how the teams work (or don’t work) together.

Clear goals on both sides that are incredibly transparent will help with the alignment piece. By being transparent with goals it can highlight any gaps between the two functions. For example, if sales is trying to grow revenue in a specific vertical, it’s important to make sure marketing is looped into that goal to ensure their goals are aligned and prioritized accordingly.

A parting thought on your most memorable moment in tech and the learning that came from it!

 My most memorable moment in tech was selling my first six-figure deal. It was a personal milestone moment for my career, but at the same time it made me realize how many different people and resources need to come together to make a deal like that happen. Although I was an “individual contributor” at that moment – there was nothing individual about making that deal happen! It is so important to make sure you recognize what can happen when you have alignment, understanding, and a common goal across your entire organization.

Ceros

Ceros is a cloud-based experiential content creation platform that empowers marketers and designers to create rich, interactive content without code or traditional web development. The Ceros Studio is the only platform of its kind with the ability to produce creative content experiences at scale. Founded in 2012, Ceros has offices in New York and London and is used by many of the world’s top brands.

Tori Belkin is the Head of Revenue Enablement at Ceros. She was one of the first salespeople at Ceros, where she has worked for more than five years. In 2017, Tori was chosen to head up Ceros’ Technology Sales where she successfully scaled up the sales team to double its size and revenue. To help ensure continued success and scalability Tori moved into an enablement role in 2020 to help Ceros sell into new verticals and continuously refine the Ceros sales process. She is constantly looking for ways she can enable the revenue teams to sell as efficiently and effectively as possible.

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