How We Sell – Benny Rachamim, VP Sales, Uberflip
How We Sell – Benny Rachamim, VP Sales at Uberflip
Benny Rachamim heads up the sales organization at Uberflip, a company that is leading the charge in changing the content experience that marketers create. As such, we had a great chance to dive into the challenges and opportunities of having a sales motion that is tightly aligned with a rich content experience for the buyer throughout their process. I hope you’ll enjoy the conversation as much as I did.
I’d love to start off with you telling us a little bit about what Uberflip brings to the world. What do you what do you offer and what does it do for the businesses that you serve?
Okay, that’s a great question. So I’ll start by saying that Uberflip brings content to life by helping organizations really manage the experience people have when they consume their content. I have seen various studies that show that 70% of the buyer’s journey really happens before a customer engages with a seller. Prospects and buyers are doing a whole lot of their research before they ever engage with a physical human being. The role of content really becomes elevated. What Uberflip does is to make content truly useful. What we tend to see in the market is that 60 to 70% of the content that B2B marketers are creating, actually never gets consumed nor shared. And so what we’re trying to do is to elevate the role of content and create these beautiful experiences that surrounds that content.
How does a marketer discover Uberflip? How do they go from discovery to engaging with you? What does that buying process look like and how do you map your sales motion against it?
There are a lot of elements to that question. I would say that Uberflip has done a really good job of branding itself and is very well-known in the marketing technology space. We’ve got a great marketing machine that generates beneficial content that gets people engaged with our sales team. We’ve invested quite a lot into a very robust toolset to enable salespeople to understand who is engaging with our content. The process looks pretty similar for most of my sellers.
We’ve got a very strong business development team here that identifies and qualifies opportunities for our field organization.
Once a BDR is engaged with a potential buyer, or walking through an Uberflip overview, it helps them better understand how applicable Uberflip could potentially be for their business. Once we establish an interest in pursuing a conversation, we pass on that opportunity to our field organization, which is obviously divided by territory and account size. We categorize business and assign them to different field organization based on number of employees in that organization.
What works in terms of content assets that drive people to say “Yeah, I want to talk to someone in sales”? How have you cracked that code to transition from content to sales engagement?
I think it all boils down to where people are in their educational journey. And so we see the role of content obviously playing a really big role in the top of the funnel, and getting people to really identify early on, whether or not an engagement with sales people actually makes sense.
We’ve deliberately geared our content to be oriented toward either top of funnel, middle of funnel, or bottom of funnel stages. But essentially once we’ve been able to get to a meaningful inflection point in that process, we enable sales to leverage that content that’s been created by marketing for more middle of funnel or bottom of funnel. This helps buyers through that part of the journey.
So is it marketing creating a very different type of content asset that enables a deeper conversation as part of the outreach, or is it held as a tease to get into the conversation? How are you using that kind of mid-late-stage content in the sales motion?
For us when we’re leveraging content for mid to late stage, it’s really about validation. Our marketing is doing a fantastic job in bringing buyers to a point where they understand the value we bring and the potential impact It could have on their organization. We’re not really leveraging content as a teaser mid to late stage. We want to unlock as much content as possible and help buyers out through the education part of their journey. We do this to figure out whether or not it makes sense to have that conversation. Once that conversation happens, it’s really about providing supporting documentation and content that again helps validate and build that case for what Uberflip can bring to their organization.
Do you find your buyers are going through a change in perspective? And if so, how do you educate them to get to the point where they’re saying “Yeah, I need to think about my content differently and change my view point”?
That is an interesting question. So I’ve been at Uberflip for about seven months. I think that the one thing that I realized in conversations that we’ve had with prospects and customers is that nobody is really thinking about content experience and solving for the problem of content experience. Most of the marketers we talk to know that, the buyer dynamics have changed and they’ve got to do more and they’ve got to make content work. As a result of this, there is now a massive investment in content marketing. But the reality is that most of that content never actually gets consumed.
We start talking to customers today about topics like “what is your content experience?” “What does it look like?” It isn’t a question of having a content experience or not. Every company has a content experience. It’s whether it’s a good experience or a bad experience for their buyers. Our conversations are set around how are you thinking about the experience that buyers have with that content? The right content has become such a critical factor in deciding whether or not somebody does business with you again, because 70% of the buyer’s journey happens before engagement with sales. The role of content is so elevated. So the question is “how do you make the content work?”
What we discovered is that when you wrap a phenomenal experience around that content, there will be improvements in terms of consumption, engagement, and how people get through the stages of the funnel. So more of our conversations are really geared around, “what is your strategy around the buyer’s experience?”
How do you educate your team so that they’re comfortable having those conversations with clients? It seems like there’s quite a depth of knowledge that they would need to bring to the table to have a good conversation with a senior marketing executive about those topics.
I have to give credit where credit is due. We have a phenomenal enablement practice group here. We spent a lot of time with our sales representatives and did whiteboard certification. We went through training the sales team on whiteboard methodology. Most of our sellers here have either been here at Uberflip for some time or they come from the martech space.
There’s a lot of subject matter expertise that exists in-house, but it really goes to reinforcing this message. We spend a lot of time, effort and money ensuring that the team knows how to communicate around the concepts of content experience and we live and breathe it every day.
How does that change your hiring practices? If you contrast the persona that you’re looking to hire against your standard industry salesperson, what’s different about that personality that you’re trying to bring onto the Uberflip sales team?
I think there are two elements that we really look for when we’re bringing somebody on. Number one is their sense of passion; can this individual who wants to join us reflect have the same passion that we have for solving this problem for marketers?
Then the second component is whether they have the same sense of urgency that we have. It is obvious that there’s a need in the marketplace for something like Uberflip, and we’re in this unique space where content experience is a new concept. Although it has probably been around for much longer than we could admit.
We’re looking for passion and urgency. Individuals don’t necessarily need to have a deep and robust tech experience. But, they need to have that same level of passion for being able to solve this problem for customers and a sense of urgency.
How do you take that sense of urgency and get that into the mind of a buyer? You are bringing something new and there’s a need for a lot of education. How do you turn a great idea to an “I’ve got to have this right now” idea in the mind of a buyer?
I think the easiest way to answer that question is that, in one way or the other, we’re all consumers and we all have had either really great experiences or poor experiences with brands. Marketing has a huge role to play in every buyer’s journey experience. And obviously content is such a big part of what they do.
Companies might not necessarily think about the impact of a bad experience until they actually see it firsthand. I was at a customer site. I will not make a mention of that customer but walking through their process. I said “look, I’m actually a customer and here’s the process that I went through. I went to look at your stuff and wanted to download an asset. Instead of being able to consume the asset when I was there, I submitted a form and the asset was sent to me by email. So instantly I thought ‘okay now that that’s done. I’ll just check it later’ and went about doing something else. I never got to it later. I had a hundred and twenty emails sitting on top of it. That moment was lost to really engage me and have me consume the content”.
It’s stories like that that a lot of buyers can relate to. I’m not saying a lot of the buyers look at it from that viewpoint, but, when you tie in personal experiences as consumers, almost everybody can relate. That’s the problem we’re trying to solve for B2B and I think that we are doing a great job with it.
It seems like you’ve done a wonderful job in getting your own sales and marketing organizations to really wrap an experience around each buyer. How do you get the marketing and sales teams at the companies you serve to move their sales-marketing coordination forward a bit?
That’s a really tough question. I would say that, because of the way that marketing and sales have to work together today, that dialogue has to be ongoing and I know when speaking to a lot of sales professionals about, how they share content with customers and how they engage with customers through the middle or lower stages of the funnel. In each of those discussions are areas of opportunity.
There’s almost always an opportunity for better collaboration. I know that there are a lot of great companies that have tried to tackle problems relating to content. For us, we’re thinking about tackling this problem in a very different way with our sales team. It can be as simple as making sure that email follow-up with each customer adds value through sharing the next-most beneficial asset that customer might enjoy.
Marketers can do a much better job of aligning with sales and I think technology helps bridge that gap a little bit. Technology also helps sales people gain access to content that will assist in making the ongoing dialogue with their marketing leaders more effective. The more that the dialogue is possible, and the more that it happens, the better the coordination becomes.
In sales, there’s a lot of things you can measure, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that those are the right things to measure. What do you focus on for metrics in your sales process?
We look at a number of different metrics from a process perspective. What does the typical deal look like? What does the deal cycle look like? Where are we? Where we are succeeding? Where are we failing? We analyze things like early stage losses. We have a really solid understanding of why people are not making progress in their journey. Is it related to how we qualify? Are they qualified? Are we doing a poor job in building a business case or a justification, are we scaring people off too early?
As you can see, we look at a lot of, “how deals move through the funnel, how quickly or how slowly” metrics, and we try to get some deeper insights into the areas of opportunity for us to improve. If we invest in these areas, what could we expect from an output perspective?
Like the typical salesperson, we are looking holistically at pipeline and pipeline coverage. Through this, we will know how we are able to move the needle in order to achieve the aggressive targets that are set for us at the beginning of the year.
I probably think about metrics like most sales leaders. It starts with the target, headcount and then I’ve got a mathematical formula for things like revenue productivity per headcount. But when you dive into the details themselves again, it’s really all about funnel performance, and how we can move the needle. Often you get lost in potential details that don’t matter.
I don’t hold sales reps accountable to a specific number of activities. Every sales representative has a different output formula. Some representatives are able to do more with less. I really look at things that I feel I can control or impact to gain funnel health. How we’re converting throughout the funnel and which areas there might be opportunities. We analyze where things are falling out and why things get stalled.
What advice would you have for someone who is an early stage in their career, in terms of skills to focus on so that they could achieve a leadership position in sales in the coming years?
I think for me if you’re going to be successful in sales or sales leadership, there are a few key qualities one has to possess. You’ve got to be genuine, and you have to be somebody who’s willing to solve real problems in a meaningful way. That problem solving can be for your customers or for your internal customers, such as your sales peers.
I actually just went through a phenomenal public speaking training for my sales team. It’s always great to be able to make an investment in yourself and your ability to speak publicly in front of a group. At the end of the day you want to build momentum in whatever it is you are doing. You want to build a movement, internally and externally, so the ability to inspire and motivate is key.
So that’s probably something that I would say is worth investing in.
Excellent, thank you for your insights today Benny. It’s been a real pleasure talking with you.