B2B sales in LATAM and Europe - how to do it effectively?
B2B sales in LATAM and Europe - how to do it effectively?
Beginnings and Education
How did you get started in your career and why did you find sales interesting?
I have always felt attracted to computers and technology. The internet boom led me towards that sector. I studied Computer Science and I have developed all my professional career in companies and activities related to the IT world.
I first started my career as a web developer and later as a project leader having close contact with clients. I started giving consulting advice to the clients and I also started in the exciting world of sales.
I was part of a big sales team, gained experience in business development and had the opportunity to lead sales teams at national and international levels.
What are the best sources to learn about sales for people who are just starting out and those who are already in the field?
Technological solutions are changing every second and with so many products in the market, it is difficult to have total control of everything.
The more knowledge you have as a salesperson about IT, the greater sales opportunities you will have. A tech background helps but it is also necessary to learn about sales methodology and being constantly updated in technology. You don't have to be a geek, but you must master what you are selling and know how to identify the client's needs.
How did you search for your first job and how did you end up in PushPushGo?
My first job in IT was an announcement on the bulletin board at the university, they were asking for a webmaster for a company that developed websites.
I came to PushPushGo thanks to a co-worker who knew about PushPushGo and told me about a vacant position.
Jobs and Development
When do you think there comes a point for a tech company when they need a sales person?
From day one. Investment search is also a sale, the sale of the idea. In order to survive, companies need to sell the products they make or the services they provide, that work is done by the seller. A company that does not sell is unfortunately bound for closure.
What KPIs do you think should be measured in sales work?
I point out three as the most important:
- Number of generated leads, in order to control the sales funnel and as an indicator of marketing actions effectiveness
- Number of closings. It is important to know the number of sales completed in a given period in order to set goals
- Sales cycle - the time needed to close a sale helps to calculate the number of leads that must be generated.
Short cycle - higher benefits.
Long cycle - need to improve marketing actions or product.
How do you measure your own results to make sure it is working for you and the company?
What cannot be measured cannot be improved, I try to follow my own KPI's:
- Number of campaigns sent monthly
- Number of weekly meetings with new clients
- Number of weekly follow-ups
- Number of deals closed monthly
What clients do you work with on a daily basis and how big is the scale?
I am in contact with all types of companies and sectors that use web technology to increase their sales actions. There are very broad and easy-to-access sectors such as E-commerce, Publishing or Travel and others more restricted such as Banking, Insurance, Health. Each of them requires a different business speech.
How different should the sales approach be when working with European and Latam markets?
Although there is a good demand for tech products in Europe, competition is bigger. Many countries have well-known companies that develop their own software and are well-positioned in their territories. For this reason, entering these markets requires having an innovative tech product and competitive prices, which requires a greater investment in development and financial resources to position your company and compete on equal terms. In some countries, there also exists an "invisible wall" of protectionism of local industry and this makes it even harder for foreign players. The good thing about the European market is that it offers larger projects and budgets.
Latam market, on the other hand, is a huge technology and third-party software consumer. There are local software industry and good IT resources but they are unable to meet the high demand. This makes LATAM an open market to foreign companies that are able to demonstrate technological solvency, prestige and seriousness. It is a market where clients are not only looking for a software provider but also a tech partner with whom to work together. This is a great opportunity for new sales and recurring sales if you earn the trust of the client. Price is always a key point in the negotiation and this is because the fluctuation of the economies in the different countries pushes them to always try to optimize and reduce budgets.
What do these markets have in common?
To achieve good sales in both markets you have to be familiar with the local business ecosystem and adapt your strategy to the singularity of each country (although the language used in most LATAM is the same, the business approach varies in each country just like in Europe), establish close contact with local players and be present in the most important marketplaces that give visibility to our company and our products.
What things should a B2B sales person avoid at all cost?
Do not do:
- Ignore the needs of the sector
- Not creating a trusting relationship with the client
- Offer only a product and not as a solution
- Tell the client "think about it and answer me"
- Do not follow up before and after the sale
What do you read on a daily basis to develop your professional skills?
Technology news, internal company blogs, articles about business development and IT sales.
What tools do you use in your work?
CRM, Email, Slack, Video Conferencing Tools, Spreadsheets, Presentations and Corporate Tools.
What was the biggest fuckup you were involved in and how did you manage it?
I had hard situations especially in my time as a developer but no big fuckups and always counted on the help of the team to solve them. Within sales, decision-making has been the hardest task to win or lose great deals. You learn from every failure.
What do you consider as the biggest success in your work so far / what was the biggest challenge and how did you overcome it?
As head of business development and sales in a company, I had to open and manage new markets and offices in different countries, each of them with its own sales team and business plan. Put everything into operation with many trips, lots of work and countless sleepless nights, but the result was good. Not only sales goals were achieved but also attracted new investors to the company.
What are the current and future trends you see in sales?
The alignment between Sales, MK and Customer Success is a growing trend in companies and PushPushGo is a good example of that, it can be improved but is working quite well.
The customer experience becomes more important every day, the sales process does not end with the closing of the deal, the entire company is in charge of keeping the customer satisfied. This customer experience is sometimes much more important than the product or service itself. The loss of customers often has to do with a bad customer experience.
Another trend evolving in sales is that as salespeople we must take care of our presence on the Internet, it is the first place where the client looks for information about the company and who is offering the product. No more bachelor party pics on social media.
More often companies tend to offer an added value to the service or product rather than a reduction in prices.
The use of AI in CRMs is increasing by applying NLP, making it easier for salespeople to quickly search for customer information from any device even while driving.
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