Selling the Cloud

Top Skills for the Modern B2B Sales Professional - with Joseph Fung, CEO at Uvaro

August 27, 2021 Ray Rike
Selling the Cloud
Top Skills for the Modern B2B Sales Professional - with Joseph Fung, CEO at Uvaro
Show Notes

Modern B2B Sales was significantly, and forever altered by COVID-19.  The trends are not new, but were definitely accelerated in 2020 and 2021.

Joseph is a multi-time founder of B2B SaaS companies, and his experience, frustration and challenge with scaling the sales organization was the catalyst to founding a company, Uvaro, purpose built to train the modern B2B sales professional.

As a trained engineer, Joseph wants to see the data that measures the variables that lead to the highest performing sales organization and sales professional.  The patterns Joseph  was able to identify within the top performing sales organizations, was easy to capture and the better news, not that hard to replicate.

One of the key challenges Joseph sees is that corporations cannot continuously train new sales hires.  Thus the average ramp time can be 6, 8 even 12 months.  The impact, quota delivery is dramatically decreased in the first year of employment.  The resultant goal - how to train sales professionals not only continuously throughout the year, but even before they are hired in early career roles.

Uvaro  teaches and trains students with little to no B2B tech sales experience.   Uvaro's median student have a median income of $28,000 coming into training (21st percentile) and exit the training program with on target earnings of $70K and greater (46th quartile).

Less than 2% of colleges have a sales curriculum or a sales major.  Joseph highlights "prestige" as a factor in the lack of adoption and introduction of sales majors in college.  However, as the Cloud industry marches towards total revenue of $800B+, the industry will need 360,000 additional sales professionals to achieve that level.

CEOs, whose success depends on finding and hiring sales professionals, should be motivated to encourage their local colleges and alma maters to introduce sales curriculum, even a sales major to produce more early career sales professionals.   

What are the skills required for the modern B2B sales professional of the future?  One significant factor impacting these skills is the evolution of Product-Led Growth as a customer acquisition motion.  Joseph views this as a re-allocation of investments from marketing to product, and will not materially affect the need for sales professionals,  In fact, the average B2B SaaS companies has twice an many sales professionals as they do engineers, and this trend is not changing.

In a PLG company, sales professionals will need to become an expert in the industry and the business process of their customers, with an increased focus on the business value your product enables.

One additional aspect of the modern sales professional will be the ability to expand and retain existing customers in a recurring revenue model. The core skill required for this - the ability to build and maintain trust based relationships with their customers.

Lastly, Joseph shared that grit and understanding how to leverage a system to your advantage are two key reasons why even classically trained engineers and other technical roles can be leveraged to build a successful sales career.

Joseph is a great listen for anyone considering or just wants to learn about a career in B2B Technology sales.