Join us for our first edition of the TechUnited Take 5, where we’ll feature thought leaders & industry experts from the TechUnited membership as they answer five questions on their specific area of expertise.
This week, we’re sitting down with TechUnited’s in-house sales guru, Selcuk Can Güven. He’s currently a sales director who builds scalable sales systems and processes for startups while educating sales teams on how to navigate these systems. Learn more about Selkcuk and get in touch with him here.
How do you best evaluate and compare annual sales performance? What metrics besides the obvious (revenue) should be considered and how often should I check in on my metrics?
Revenue is an end result. It doesn’t provide information about the performance. If the revenue is satisfactory no one questions the performance but if it is not (usually it never is) we have to dig deep into performance. Three very easy to understand metrics I look at in my team is:
- Conversion rates between pipeline stages: Are the deals flowing or are we having problems anywhere in the pipeline?
- Lead sources:Which source is bringing me the best quality leads? I answer this by cross-referencing sources with won ratios.
- Lost reasons: What are the reasons I am losing my hard earned leads and what can I do to resuscitate them.
How can I set realistic goals for the next year?
Before setting goals we have to solve major issues which touch sales. (like being understaffed, no product-market fit, competitor breaking the prices) Otherwise unrealistic goals will demotivate your team and a demotivated sales team is the last thing any company wants.
In order to set realistic goals,
- Evaluate market conditions and macro trends (car sales are going down because of global chip shortage. Setting a target like 50% increase in revenue is unrealistic)
- Evaluate your team’s previous year performance
- Educate the team about previous year’s shortcomings
- Properly incentivize your team
- Clear set a path to the target, which is made of micro steps
- Make sure all the other departments are aligned about the targets (OKRs would help achieve this)
I’m a Technical Founder: How/Where should I start to learn about sales?
Talk to your potential customers. That’s it. Sales is nothing but problem solving. You built a product to solve a certain problem. Go talk to the people who are living this problem and who need to solve it as soon as possible.
The more you talk to these people, the better insights you will receive about the problem. Use these insights for your next sales meeting and you will see the difference.
Do not explain the product, do not talk about the features. Instead make the potential customer talk about their problems, understand the pain points, present only one feature that addresses that specific pain point.
Use a CRM to follow up, automate the follow ups if possible and do not hire a sales person in early stages before product market fit. Whether you like it or not, you will be the first sales person of your company. Noone knows the product better than you.
On a scale of 1-11, how important is mentorship to you for sales professionals and the sales process overall?
38 🙂 Mentorship is the core of professional development in sales. It is like surgery. You can read a lot of books and be super ready on the theoretical side, but you will need guidance when things get messy in the real world. We have weekly sessions with my mentor or mentee colleagues and these are not about teaching/learning something but having a second opinion, an outsider view into the pipelines we are living in. Because there is always a certain level of blindness, loss of visibility when you are running a busy sales operation.
Your ideal sales stack? Go!
- Apollo.io and Linkedin Sales Navigator for prospecting.
- Pipedrive as the CRM.
- Active Campaign for emailing and newsletters.
- Autopilot for marketing automation.
- Trello for pre-sales project management and POC management.
- PandaDoc for documentation.
- Zapier to make all these speak to each other.
#1 fun fact about your company or career?
Everytime we close a sale I moonwalk to MJ’s Smooth Criminal. This song is triggered by an automation (Every time a deal is marked as won, play smooth criminal)
If you’d like to learn more and connect with Selcuk, drop him a hello in our member dashboard! He’ll be happy to help you. Stay tuned as we dive deep into different areas of focus to get you the top trends, insights & best practices from industry experts.