Product-Led Growth and the Future of the Sales Force with Doug Landis, #172
The Modern Selling Podcast
Sales and marketing have evolved significantly in the past few decades, especially in the SaaS space. In the 90s, for example, we had sales-led growth, with sellers doing cold calling and hitting the phones. In the 2000s, it was about marketing-led sales or marketing-led growth, with events, inbound leads and SDRs doing outbound prospecting. Now, according to my guest in this episode of the Modern Selling Podcast, we are moving into a new era of product-led sales. Doug Landis is a Growth Partner at Emergence Capital. In this role, he is responsible for capturing, creating and sharing go-to-market strategies and ideas with the Emergence Capital portfolio companies and the greater SaaS community. Join us in this conversation about the future of the sales force and how to better qualify your leads. What is Product-Led Growth? “I would argue in this generation and especially over the next three to five years,” says Doug, “you're going to see a tectonic shift to product-led growth, meaning the product is leading every single interaction. Instead of us doing outbound prospecting to a brand new client cold, we're actually reaching out to people who are deeply already involved and getting value out of our product.” He gives the example of Slack, Dropbox or Twillio, where people just go to their websites, enter some information and can start using the product right away, getting full value. In this scenario, people have a need and instead of having a sales conversation with a rep or requesting a demo, they can try a product for free and immediately know and understand whether it is the right fit for them, the solution they were looking for. After customers try the product, an SDR would call them and help them get more value out of it. “So now an SDR’s role is different,” Doug says, “because I'm no longer cold calling people who I think are a good fit. I'm actually looking for signals in the product based on how you're using it to call you and help you learn how to get more value out of the product and in doing so you will then become a paying customer.” This scenario implies we are moving from a Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL) or a Sales Qualified Lead (SQL) to a Product Qualified Lead (PQL). And when working with PQLs, both sellers and marketers have a different role in the buying process. SDRs become Product Specialists, now having conversations with prospects who have tried the product, and marketers focus on leading people to a product trial, not a web form. Listen to the whole episode to learn Doug’s predictions about the future of SDRs and how their role will dramatically change. From SDRs to Product Specialists Here are some ways Doug sees the SDR and AE roles shifting: Sales conversations will focus on discovering why a free user should turn into a paying customer. It’s all about upselling opportunities and how the product could be used more broadly across the client’s organization. Using data on product usage to create more sales opportunities. Although many SaaS companies are already doing this, Doug predicts it will be more common in the next two years, as companies ask themselves, how do we get people into our product with the least amount of friction with the most amount of value? This is the future of the sales force and as sales leaders, we must think differently about the characteristics of our sellers and the metrics we use to measure sales success. “What we're looking for is more product signals versus the prototypical marketing signals, like the MQL and the SQL,” Doug says. Listen to the episode to hear how the PQL is more valuable than the MQL, and why Doug thinks the MQL actually doesn’t exist (Hint: they are just contacts until someone talks to them and validates they are a good fit). Also learn why modern sales organizations must change the way they qualify leads and the real job of an account executive.
Storytelling in SaaS Enterprise Sales - with Doug Landis, Emergence Capital Growth Partner
Selling the Cloud
Doug Landis, Growth Partner at Emergence Capital was formerly the Chief Storyteller at Box. Before being the Chief Storyteller at Box, Doug was an executive in the Sales Productivity group at Salesforce.In this episode of Selling the Cloud, we dive deep into how storytelling has become a critical skill for enterprise-class, B2B sales professionals.One of Doug's early learnings came directly from paying his dues initially as a quota-carrying sales professional at Oracle. Over those early years, Doug discovered his passion for helping others and sharing the secrets that made him successful as an individual sales contributor with his colleagues, thus the move to sales enablement/productivity at Salesforce.The journey to becoming the "Chief Storyteller" at Box started with the hiring of a new SVP Sales. As the new executive interviewed sales reps across the company, he quickly identified that Box did not have one common message that they were communicating to the market. This inconsistently led to the new SVP Sales challenging Doug with the task to replicate and scale his ability to communicate consistently through storytelling to the entire sales organization. One of the key areas Doug first identified was that most customer stories were very "rote", and needed to become more interesting to the target buyer(s).First, Doug engaged Customer Success to capture the Voice of the Customer, and start the journey to train the sales force how to storytelling by focusing on the customer and their experiences and stories. Secondly, the story could not be the same story that the founder and CEO of Box told, because that was his own story and did not easily translate to being told by Account Executives. Storytelling is not just for natural storytellers, it can be learned by listening to your environment. But it does take thoughtful practice and needs to be tailored to a relevant story, that resonates with the individual buyer(s) needs.Improv was highlighted as an interesting format to learn how to put yourself in the persona of the person you are speaking with and make your storytelling more impactful. Storytelling helps one to learn how to transition from one part of the story to the next. This skill is highly relevant to how a B2B Sales professional can learn to enhance the transition from one slide to the next in their sales presentation or demo.The discussion evolved into "Getting to WOW" and why storytelling is so relevant to founders and CEOs pitching to investors. A common theme for B2B Sales professionals and founders pitching to investors is about getting to the "why" you or your company are uniquely positioned to help the recipient of the story.Finally, we discussed the benefit of establishing a "Story Library" by stage, by buyer persona, and even the creation of a "storytelling" coach role in the sales enablement function. Stories should focus on telling stories that relate to individuals by telling the story about how your solution impacted people (buyer personas) not companies.In today's extremely noisy and saturated B2B SaaS and Cloud market, making your solution and value stand above all others is critical. Storytelling may just be the best way to differentiate yourself and your solution.
B2B SaaS Metrics that Matter to Growth Stage VCs - with Doug Landis, Emergence Capital
Metrics that Measure Up
If you are responsible for driving revenue growth at a SaaS company that is preparing to raise Series A or Series B funding, what are the key metrics investors will expect you to know cold?That is exactly what Doug Landis, Growth Partner at Emergence Capital shares on this episode of the Metrics that Measure Up podcast.Doug's journey to becoming Growth Partner at Emergence Capital, the first Venture Capital firm created specifically to invest in SaaS companies, is one of pedigree. Starting at Google as a skills productivity manager, then on to corporate sales productivity at Salesforce, followed by the position of Chief Story teller at Box and now, Growth Partner at Emergence Capital.During this episode, we discuss a wide variety of topics including the top metrics that every Chief Revenue Officer and SVP Sales should now before having a meeting with a growth stage fund, when trying to raise a Series A or Series B round of financing.The conversation moves on to the importance of understanding your customer acquisition and retention metrics on a cohort by cohort basis. Sales and Marketing integration versus alignment became a critical topic, and one that directly impacts the role of the CRO and the performance of the key customer acquisition performance metrics.Finally, we discuss the concept of pattern recognition, which is a key skill that VC's and experiences revenue leaders alike must develop to be successful. An element of pattern recognition is that it is critical to understand industry benchmarks that are relevant and appropriate for your company, including stage, size, annual contract value and distribution model.This is a fast moving, high energy discussion that highlights why Doug is known as an excellent story teller!
Two changes that must happen in a product-led-growth world:1. SDR --> Product Specialist2. SQL --> PQLView video --> https://www.linkedin.com/posts/adamfodonnell_emergence-capital-growth-partner-doug-landis-activity-6758144822952923136-hW7X
50: From Growth at All Costs to Selling Smarter Better - w/ Doug Landis (Emergence Capital)
When the next billion dollar SaaS company for investment firm Emergence Capital needs to redo their strategy and playbook, Doug Landis is the growth partner they tap to deliver the goods. You can imagine how busy he is during this uncertain time. We were more than excited to grab him for an interview, to discuss what he is seeing and recommending to portfolio companies, and the importance of visibility, empathetic messaging and a "spectrum of value". https://www.linkedin.com/in/douglandis/ #emergencecapital #technologysales #valuemessaging #valueselling #salesenablement #buyerenablement #revenueenablement #CRM #salestech #salestechnology #salesplaybook #salestools #sellingtools #conversationintelligence #salesinsights #RealizedROI #valuemanagement #salescoaching #remoteselling #digitalselling #empathy #idealcustomerprofile #salesleadership #salesstrategy #salesoptimization
Focus on Sales Enablement with Jim Lundy and Doug Landis
Revenue Optimization Radio by Upland Altify
Today is a special episode focusing on sales enablement with three experts starting with our host, Patrick Morrissey. In the first half, Patrick interviews Aragon Research CEO Jim Lundy about the increasingly important topic of sales enablement. Lundy tells us about the weaknesses and falsehoods that are unknowingly crippling a large number of B2B firms. One thought that you’ll hear again and again is, “And they don’t even know it.” This program is filled with ways to fix what you don’t know is dragging down company revenue. Original episode is here > ----more---- In the second half, Doug Landis shares his experience as a veteran of Box, Google, Salesforce, and Oracle and he talks about the misconception around sales enablement, how you get the whole company involved in selling, and why empathy is one of the most powerful tools in the arsenal to build relationships and drive results. Original episode is here > About Jim Lundy: Founder, CEO, and Lead Analyst30 years of industry experienceSilicon Valley, CA Jim Lundy is the founder and CEO of Aragon Research. Jim also serves as the lead analyst for collaboration, mobile, social, content management, and learning. He is also the practice lead for sales and marketing. Jim has over 30 years of technology and management experience as a vendor, user, and analyst. Jim spent 12 years at Gartner, where he formed and led the collaboration and social software research team and also served as a lead analyst for enterprise content management (ECM) and corporate learning. Jim has extensive experience in product strategy, development, and go-to-market plans. About Doug Landis: Over the last 13 years, Emcap has invested in some of the biggest and brightest SaaS companies on the planet. During this time the team has gathered remarkable insights into the critical steps necessary to build a multi-billion dollar business. Doug Landis is there to help capture, elevate and share this wisdom with the Emcap portfolio companies and the greater SaaS community at large. As a Growth Partner, his charter is to create a platform to create and share go to market insights and strategies that will help their portfolio companies scale, grow, and ultimately become the next billion-dollar SaaS company. Revenue Optimization Radio is hosted by Patrick Morrissey of Upland Altify which is a program on the Funnel Radio Channel. Upland Altify is the sponsor of Revenue Optimization Radio.
Overcoming Fears in the World of Sales with Doug Landis
This episode of the Hey Salespeople Podcast brings you a very special guest host: Sydney Sloan, CMO at SalesLoft! Sydney speaks with Doug Landis, a growth partner at Emergence Capital, who lives and breathes all things sales and go-to-market. We learn why it’s important to be empathetic to whoever’s on the other side of the table, what your #1 job is when public speaking, and how to overcome fears in the world of sales. Visit SalesLoft.com for show notes and insights from this episode.
139: What Great Prospecting Outreach Looks Like With Doug Landis
Make It Happen Mondays - B2B Sales Talk with John Barrows
We're pleased to welcome a good friend of the team onto the podcast this week, Doug Landis joins us not too long after he sat with John and Keanu Reeves in the airport watching the Superbowl. They agreed to talk about all of the good, bad and indifferent prospecting outreach they receive and to work out how and why the best ones worked. It's easy to give sales reps a hard time for "bad" prospecting, but here's a look into what they can add into their prospecting outreach to go that extra mile and get the appointment... You'll learn: Personalization, Relevance, & Timing Writing the Right Message Empathy and Experience in Prospecting Outreach
When to Say 'No' to Million Dollar Deals with Doug Landis
Doug Landis has had leadership sales positions that include CSO at Box and Sr. Director of Sales Productivity at Salesforce. Currently he is the Growth Partner at VC Firm Emergence Capital. Doug has thought a ton about how a startup should sell to larger companies and how a sales leader should approach tough decisions and fruitful relationships. ----more---- emcap.com @douglandis
873: A Repeatable Formula for Sales Hiring w/ Doug Landis
B2B Growth: Your Daily B2B Marketing Podcast
In this episode we talk to Doug Landis, Growth Partner at Emergence Capital. Doug shares a story about hiring the wrong sales candidate, what the hiring company did about it & a systematic framework to sales hiring that can help you add more structure to a crucial aspect of growing your business. He shares the 6 Categories of Characteristics you should be interviewing for & how to think about interviewing for characteristics within each category. Intangibles Coachability Work Ethic EQ Salesmanship Culture Learn about the latest in sales and SaaS strategies from the team behind Salesforce, Box, Yammer, Zoom, and more. Click here: eepurl.com/c1IPvf Click here to connect with this guest on LinkedIn.