Investor-backed SaaS vendor

VP Sales USA

Based Boston

 

Situation

This European-owned SaaS vendor with c. 300 employees provides game-changing financial and business management apps to primarily the mid-market. Following $100M funding from a pre-eminent New York-based private equity firm, they wanted to expand the business on a global basis to achieve high double-digit revenue growth by increasing the size of the sales team, improving the quality and capability of their sellers, to implement a smarter approach, greater cadence in their approach to exploiting new and existing markets.

Their goal 100% revenue growth over a 4-year period.

These ambitious goals would be dependent on them retaining and improving their best existing talents and bringing in new leaders into key high-impact positions and in some high-performance, critical areas, senior sellers to break down doors into must-win accounts and critical partnerships.

Scaling up their business would be dependent on increasing the size of the sales teams and, equally importantly, elevating the overall quality to bring about a superior sales methodology, stronger approach and action in the market, and increased cadence (activity, flow, pipeline, opportunity and deal progression to close).

The remit we were given started with a key hire to run their US business and resulted in us headhunting eight people into high-impact roles.

Approach

Our approach to the first and subsequent assignments had some similarities.

  • Here is the common framework that we applied.
  • The ideal background of individuals would be people from SaaS vendors who were experienced in selling into the Office of CFO.
  • The obvious hunting ground would firstly be direct competitors, which we listed and secondly, companies in adjacent areas
  • Such as: ERP, Business Intelligence, Planning, Procurement, Spend Management, Invoice Management, Payments, Treasury apps etc
  • And a third area, other types of apps or service providers who would be relevant.
  • Next step to identify all the relevant companies providing these apps… the initial list comprised 135 vendors.
  • This list we shared with the client, to get inputs, verify the logic of our approach and that we had synergy.

The next stage…

Identify all relevant “A” player talents and reach out to them.

Far from easy…

In the SaaS sector, there has been an acute talent shortage. This has meant that it’s difficult to engage with people who are largely unresponsive, it’s difficult to get them to the interview table and it’s difficult to progress them through an interview cycle…

Our client lacked brand awareness and positioning.

Not only did our client lack market awareness, but their particular solution set was unfamiliar to many likely ideal candidates.

It’s not unusual for us to have to explain the positioning of an offering and its merits in the marketplace and get people to buy into it, to get excited about it!

Often they don’t know you, they don’t know your brand, and they don’t know your proposition!

Engaging with people and bringing what our client does to life is an essential part of the process.

Once we’d identified the best targets in the market, the next critical step was to engage with them.

Reaching out to all of them.

Doing so using multiple touchpoints.

And applying a hard press to the best.

We identified over 200 targets, engaged in a dialogue with 51 of them, into a more detailed discussion with 17 and submitted a shortlist of 4.

Result

A VP of Sales USA was appointed who’s quickly become the role model as to what good looks like, who’s energised the US business, got it firing on all cylinders, personally has led some deals to close and signed partners himself, and has brought the team to life.

The US team now enjoys a high-performance culture.

And it on track for c. 50% growth in the current year.

We’ve gone on to headhunt…

A further eight people into high-impact roles across the USA, Europe and APAC.