SalesTech Star

SalesTechStar Interview with Yuchun Lee, CEO at Allego

In today’s dynamic remote marketing and sales environment, what are the key elements that can drive better sales readiness for reps? Yuchun Lee, CEO at Allego joins us in this chat to share a few thoughts and proven best practices:

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Hi Yuchun, welcome to SalesTechStar! Wed love to hear a little about your time leading through the pandemic this year; what were some key learnings that came your way or observations you noticed in tech leadership (companies, leaders you saw bringing in change) in 2020?

There was a point in 2020 where the world seemed at a standstill; everyone felt the collective uncertainty about the future and we all needed to decide how we were moving forward. As a business leader, I’ve been able to watch some businesses hold tightly to their processes or best practices, while others began to invest more heavily into a virtual future. Now, nearly a year out from what we might consider “the beginning,” it’s more evident the companies who understood this was a time to evolve, rather than hold tightly to expectations of the past, are better positioned to succeed in 2021.

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But there is still time for change! I believe companies can still pivot what hasn’t served them and, especially, sales and marketing leaders can align more effectively to reach their goals and KPIs.

But a company is more than the sum of its technology, it’s also a community of people. I believe leading a company requires a high level of transparency. If I can provide my team the information they need, both the good and bad, we’re able to make realistic, informed decisions on how to move forward. Every year will have its ups and downs, but 2020 put this perspective to the test. Having developed a team with an understanding that mental fortitude is a strength, just as much as empathy and understanding, has made all the difference.

Can you take us through Allegos recent acquisition of Refract and what users can expect to look forward to from the platform? Wed love to hear about some other upcoming and exciting product plans in the loop for 2021!

Allego and Refract have worked together for the past year to bring Refract’s conversation intelligence technology to Allego’s customers as part of its Call Coaching offering. The acquisition was a logical choice even before the pandemic, as we were trending toward remote work and virtual selling. But with such a sudden shift, a salesperson’s role feels more isolated and sales managers find it harder than ever to analyze their teams’ interactions with prospects and customers. Refract brings deep capabilities in revenue intelligence—delivering AI-enhanced content and coaching recommendations from sales calls, demos and meetings—that will help Allego customers improve sales outcomes and grow revenue in the post-pandemic era.

In a dynamic remote selling environment like the one of today, ensuring that sales and customer-facing teams have the right kind of training and skills to run successful conversations can be challenging, what are some top of mind thoughts youd like to share when it comes to reskilling and training marketing and sales teams in tech?

Traditionally, sales teams learned from each other by listening or sharing knowledge during huddles on the “sales floor.” Managers joined reps for ride-alongs to help coach them on messaging and presentation delivery. But in person learning — both formal and informal — is no longer possible in a world of virtual selling brought on by the pandemic, so gaps between reps are arising more rapidly.

Going forward, companies need to have platforms to help employees collaborate virtually.  We believe an arsenal of collaboration tools beyond Zoom meeting tools, including remote coaching, virtual and asynchronous brainstorming, content collaboration and sharing of videos of faces between employees as well as between a seller and buyers — are keys to stay competitive and connected.  For example, reps can record videos sharing best practices and competitor insights with the entire team. Managers, sales trainers and sales enablement teams can share new content, messaging and product videos on a regular basis that reps can watch asynchronously, and then access the information later at the moment of need. Sellers can build stronger rapport remotely with their clients using videos, etc. These are activities that are proven to work.

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The Covid-19 pandemic has transformed the kind of technologies needed to boost efforts of sales teams in this new normal; can you share a few thoughts on how you are seeing sales enablement tools evolve to meet changing business needs today?

Businesses are realizing “more tech” isn’t the cure-all for what ails their sales and marketing teams.

HR influencer, educator and analyst Josh Bersin has found, globally, the average number of learning tools and platforms in use has doubled since 2011 to 23. This is an attempt at a bandaid, not a solution. For Sales Enablement teams, managing a dozen sales tools is becoming untenable and too costly.

The vendors that offer greater capabilities and impact, rather than just a point solution, are going to fare better in the next decade as we witness more and more tech stack consolidation. At Allego, we remain committed to offering an open architecture all-in-one sales enablement solution that delivers AI-driven content management, enterprise collaboration, continuous professional development, modern learning and makes a strong revenue-generating impact.

As sales teams plan for Q1; what are some of the top of mind thoughts youd share given the current business climate?

Sales teams may be missing the huge salesfloor environment, constant travel, and group dinners to build relationships, but unfortunately, I don’t believe we’ll be rushing back into the way things were pre-Covid. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

We’ve seen successful and large-scale sales kick-offs happen virtually. These can be very engaging for attendees and allow them to better digest the content presented since they can watch videos before the meeting and even go back afterwards to view them again. There are even some advantages to virtual selling, as buyers are able to get their top decision-makers in one place, virtually, which can reduce the buying cycle in some cases. Virtual selling is here to stay, so be prepared to adjust rather than shake off these changes as something unique for 2020.

A few top tips youd share with sales executives moving up the ladder in the midst of a global slowdown?

Now is not the time to stray from their pack.

Sales leaders grow in their careers by developing successful teams, so a commitment to coaching and collaboration helps foster stronger sales and marketing teams. Don’t be afraid to embrace modern sales enablement tools that can help with collaboration and training. If a sales executive is only focused on their own metrics and not lifting up the rest of the company, they are only slowing their own professional growth.

A parting thought on your biggest leadership faux pas and the learning that came from it!

I embrace my mistakes, I’ve even said I love them. If you’ve gone a day or week without acknowledging what you’ve done wrong, you’re likely not investing time into how you can be better. Embrace your mistakes and use them as an opportunity to grow.

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A famous example of mine from a previous company is how, at the beginning of our contract with Fedex to automate their end-to-end marketing campaign processes, we made a mistake with our delivery team. At the time, we shipped software physically. Now, logically, you might assume we would have shipped this using FedEx. Well, herein lies the mistake. We used UPS, and upon receiving our package, FedEx shipped it back with a brief note, “try again.”

This was not the end of the relationship. Yes, it was embarrassing and hindsight shows the error immediately, but this was a lesson in the details of customer service, relationships and high-quality execution. We didn’t make the same mistake again.

Allego

Allego is an interactive sales learning and enablement platform that ensures sales professionals have the skills and timely knowledge to succeed at virtual selling both now and post-pandemic.

Yuchun is the CEO at Allego

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