SalesTechStar Interview With Wayne Gomes, Co-founder & Chief Innovation Officer at Grapevine6
Wayne Gomes, Co-founder and Chief Innovation Officer at Grapevine6, a patented social and digital sales engagement platform joins us in this SalesTechStar interview to talk about this experiences as second-time tech entrepreneur while also talking about his best-performing sales tactics and tricks from his time in the industry.
Read on to grab more insights!
Can you tell us a little about yourself Wayne, we’d especially love to know about your biggest startup/tech entrepreneurial learnings so far.
I’ve worked in the tech business for 20 years. Started out as an engineer and eventually launched a startup with friends from engineering school. That company eventually got acquired and I am working on building another tech startup. Still with those same friends from engineering school. We’ve been working together for over 20 years. I think the greatest learning I’ve had in the tech/entrepreneurial journey has been the lesson of perseverance. Great things only happen to the ones that keep at it long enough. And very few “entrepreneurs” in my experience have the appetite to stand in long enough and through all the tough patches to see the great things that happen if you’ve been at it long enough.
What would you list as the biggest and key challenges new tech entrepreneurs and product innovators face when they first go-to market?
Probably the biggest one, is a combination of buyer attention vs product market fit. In the enterprise market where I have spent my career, the big challenge is getting the attention of buyers. That’s really tough when you are an unknown startup. And if you do get their attention, then your product has to really fit their need in a way that they understand within the first few minutes of that first meeting. If that doesn’t happen, its going to be tough to keep their attention.
Can you share some of your top revenue generation tactics that help tech entrepreneurs optimize or break-even in their initial years?
I’ve played in the enterprise market for a long time so my answers are going to reflect that. I think one of the most successful tactics I saw deliver results was finding really good partners. Many different kinds… resale partners who had trusted relationships or tech companies to which we were complementary. There were lots of hits and misses in terms of which partnerships worked or not, but it was a way to have people who had trusted relationships with our target buyers help us get in the door and even help us understand how close or far we were from a product/market fit.
What are some of your top tips for Sales people to better personalize their outreach and prospecting efforts?
I think there always has to be something of value in the the outreach. Always. You need to really research the target and be able to add something to that outreach that was of some specific value to them. I often use a link to an interesting article about something specific I know they care about (because I have researched them). I just requires a bit of Googling to find the perfect article. And when you want to get fancy you can use tools that will help you find that perfect article and track whether they clicked on it.
Where do you see the future of Sales and SalesTech headed, how do you see it shape the role of the future B2B/Tech Sales person?
The trend toward a very digitized sales experience will continue. Connecting with buyers in a digital realm, whether by social or email, or integrating digitally enabled sales reps deeper into the research or commerce experience a buyer goes through will become key. Very few people answer calls from numbers they don’t know or are not expecting. That is already a norm for a lot of buyers so reaching them on their own, digital terms, when they’re ready will continue.
What’s your smartest Product Development or Sales Hack that you’d like to share with the audience?
I’ve always liked understanding what my prospects are posting on Twitter or LinkedIn. I read what they’re putting out there and then use various tools to find related content to their posts that I will share with them, either 1-1 via email or in a reply comment on the post. We have some fancy tools at Grapevine6 that help you do this, but this is something I did just using a plain old search engine years ago before tools like what we have now existed.
Catch The SalesStar Podcast Episode with Wayne Gomes:
Your biggest learning so far in Sales/Product Development?
There is a difference between buyers and users. They may be the same person, but often, especially in enterprise, they’re not. Users don’t care how much money you’ve raised, they don’t care who sits on your board and they don’t care what board you sit on or who you know or who you are connected to. They only care about whether your product will make their lives easier to justify using your product. If you can solve that, then the rest doesn’t really matter. Eventually the buyers, who buy your product for all their users, will buy your stuff because they need their users to use the products they buy. Even if you may not be the vendor they would have preferred or had a better relationship with, they’ll still buy your product if it’s the user’s choice.
Tag (mention/write about) the one person in the industry whose answers to these questions you would love to read!
Elon Musk. I think he has encountered so many impossible hurdles that hearing his stories and the way he has navigated them would be utterly entertaining and provide perspectives that are outliers, which are always interesting to consider.
Tell us about some of the sales/salestech/or other industry events that you’ll be participating in as a speaker or audience, in 2020!
Probably the Sirius Decisions Summit & several partner & industry specific conferences for our some of our larger tech and financial services partners, respectively.
Any parting thoughts? Perhaps on work-life balance, Product Development, etc?
Running a company or playing a major role in one has a big impact on anyone’s personal life. And if you’re an entrepreneur then your business is like having another child. And depending on how things are going, it can be a pretty needy one at times. So you really have to LOVE what you’re doing. And I certainly do!
Grapevine6 is a patented social and digital sales engagement platform that accelerates sales and marketing efforts. Launched in 2013, Grapevine6 uses artificial intelligence to provide the content that moves sales opportunities through the pipeline in a more efficient and effective way. Grapevine6 solves the content challenges faced in deploying employee advocacy, content marketing and social selling, and works with existing sales and marketing investments to increase ROI. The company was recently designated a Leader by Forrester in The Forrester New Wave™: Sales Social Engagement Tools, Q2 2019. Headquartered in Toronto and led by an award-winning team of engineers, Grapevine6 is now powering the global social selling program at some of the largest technology and financial services companies in the world.
Wayne leads client relationship management. A seasoned veteran in building those relationships, Wayne is always a steward of the user, he is continuously inspired by the clients to take the product to another level. He works hard to listen to the clients and deliver that message back to the team, bridging it with every aspect of the business. Prior to co-founding Grapevine6 , Wayne founded the Rich Internet Group , where he was CTO and Managing Director.