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Don’t do sales, just generate revenue!

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Don’t do sales, just generate revenue!

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By Caroline Franczia - 08 October 2020 / 07H10 - Updated 07 October 2020

This week, Caroline Franczia, founder of Uppercut-First, ventures into the Jumanji jungle to address the differences between selling and generating revenue. She draws on the methodology of a ‘common language’, which she has taught to startup teams across Europe and the US.

“A game for those who seek to find

A way to leave their world behind.”

A startup team all likely share a common passion – making the startup a success. However, different academic and employment backgrounds, as well as continuous interaction within their own department, can mean that members of the same team end up speaking a totally different language. Employees all speak English but – business-wise – they don’t quite understand each other. 

Customer-facing and non-customer-facing roles might feel worlds apart; the startup’s developers will have chosen coding for one reason, while its salespeople will have picked their roles for another. And so on. 

With this in mind, it’s surprising how rare it is to see a company implement a methodology as a common language. 

 “What you seek is in the basket

If you’re not careful, you’ll be in a casket

Trust each other, and never blink

The missing piece is not what you think.”

Cracks start to appear when opportune/inbound leads decrease and the sales team must transition to outbound prospecting. 

The marketing department is blamed for not providing leads. Because little has been invested into partners and networking from the sales team, the pipeline is reduced drastically, deals become scarce and the team panics, becoming ready to do anything to close.

The R&D team develops features it believes will fill the gap. However, these features don’t really fit with their initial roadmap. Marketing cannot provide stories that match with the new messaging. Everyone is frustrated.

“Sometimes… it’s easy to get so focused on your own stuff that… you forget other people have problems too. – Professor Shelly Oberon

All the departments blame each other when, in reality, working together will be key to their next move: 

  • The product manager/owner must define a roadmap with maximum impact on revenue, by ensuring each feature developed is the answer to a business pain felt by the target company.
  • The marketing department can write stories and use cases based on the business pains solved, instead of talking about operating and operational points.
  • Sales can break the ice with social selling – after they’ve dug up relevant problems at the operational level and taken on the biggest business pains of the executive. By getting to grips with the annual report and any media coverage, they’ll come to understand their prospect better and achieve a better conversion rate.
  • Customer success can uncover new problems and business impact for existing customers by putting in place a set of 20 to 40 KPIs which should be  monitored on a quarterly basis with executives, and bi-weekly basis with users. 

“I can’t do this!” – Dr Smolder Bravestone

“I saw you fix a helicopter in mid-air!” – Moose Finbar 

When all its departments come together to gather relevant business information from their prospective customer, the startup takes on the role of a trusted advisor. It now appears fit to solve business pains, and the customer is compelled to act. 

“We can help each other. We all have special skills.” – Dr Smolder Bravestone

This kind of synchronicity requires everyone to speak the same language, and align on a regular basis through an operating rhythm. It also requires key functions at the transition between departments, e.g.

  • Customer success must source testimonials and KPIs for marketing
  • Pre-sales must translate new features and roadmaps into key-value differentiators for the sales team

This is how a team should align if it wants to stop plateauing and increase its revenue once again. 

“When you see an elephant, begin the climb.” 

Caroline Franczia is a regular columnist for Maddyness and the founder of Uppercut-First. Experienced in working for large companies such as Oracle, Computer Associates, and BMC, Caroline also lived in Silicon Valley for four years before moving to startups (Sprinklr, Datadog, Confluent) where she witnessed on the ground the benefits of a well-thought sales strategy. These are the foundations of UF: a structure that accompanies the European startups in their sales strategy by giving them an undeniable advantage in their go-to-market.

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Caroline Franczia

08 October 2020 / 07H10
Updated 07 October 2020
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