Four Traits of Tomorrow’s Sales Leaders
Sorting categories of pandemic “winners” and “losers”, John Posan, Vice President of Sales at Sitedocs, has found his sales team belonging to the former. But emerging from a pandemic stronger than ever isn’t something they teach in business school; it takes strategy to develop a sales team that can rise to the challenge.
“We actually grew substantially through 2021,” says Posan in a recent interview. “We are beyond hyper-growth right now.”1
How does a company handle explosive growth during a time of international crisis? Commitment to internal company values, creating opportunities for employee specialization, and a healthy dose of optimism played critical roles.
SaaS Poised for Major Hiring
Few industries have grown as quickly as SaaS (Software as a Service) and that trend shows no signs of slowing.
“The SaaS market did $44 billion in 2017,” says Posan, “and it’s predicted to surpass $100 billion in 2022.”2
“This kind of growth is exciting, and people want to be involved in this space,” he adds. “Why wouldn’t you want to be taking part in an industry with that kind of trajectory?”
As Sitedocs stakes its own claim, Posan realizes how critical the hiring process has become. At times of exponential growth, organizations must always be ready to take advantage of the opportunities coming their way; this means onboarding and investing in the right people with speed.
“There’s an incredible amount of movement taking place,” says Posan. “With all of this growth, SaaS companies are in a very good position to be hiring. Assuming they have a strong product, they’ll be using this time to recover and ramp up their business.”
Rapid hiring poses a unique challenge. Is there an efficient way to onboard new hires with speed, without sacrificing the company ethos? Yes, but you have to be prepared.
“For organizations like us, we need to make sure that we have a very strong structure for new candidates to come into,” says Posan. “It has to be a role where they’re going to have great personal growth. COVID has prompted a lot of reflection for people; we’ve found it’s absolutely essential to ensure that we can make someone feel at home in our company culture right away and to ensure they’re going to find job satisfaction.”
Balancing Employee Expectations
Naturally, building a strong team and maintaining great company culture is challenging when everyone is working from home. This is even more true when some employees don’t want to return to the office—ever.
“It’s interesting because I’ve interviewed candidates that have said, ‘I only want to join a company that has an office I can work from’,” says Posan. “But then I’ve got employees that have said, ‘I am not going into the office for anything’. So there’s only one real solution: wherever possible, we have to do both.”
While managing a hybrid workforce is challenging, the payoff is considerable. Happy employees work harder, are more engaged with the company, and are less likely to leave.
“We want people to be where they are the most happy,” says Posan. “Our challenge is ensuring our employees feel connected. There’s nothing worse than feeling disconnected from your colleagues and losing that great company culture.”
“One solution that has worked for us is embracing tools like Slack. We encourage employees to communicate in central channels, so we can all take part in conversations,” says Posan. “We also make time for daily standing meetings that people can pop into for even a few minutes. Seeing each other’s faces and hearing each other’s voices is critical to remembering that you’re a part of this great team.”
Building Efficiency in Sales Through Specialization
Sitedocs takes great care to hire top quality people and to keep them feeling connected; to emphasize the importance of the team. But it’s important that employees are also set up for career growth and success on an individual level.
“We believe in order to be really excellent at something, you must focus on it,” says Posan.
“Our channels are built to help our team focus on one key goal. In sales, it’s easy for one person to wind up doing three or four different things; this can cause people to feel tension in how they’re spending their time,” says Posan. “Our team is focused on delivering absolute excellence. So we make sure people are working solely on the tasks they’re good at and which they enjoy.”
“What I mean, for example, is that our researchers just do research. They don’t worry about calling. They don’t do funnel work. They zero in on delivering one key metric: excellent research,” says Posan. “This strategy allows everyone to deliver their best work all the time.”
Finding Opportunity in Struggle
Posan and his team are pandemic winners. But there were, unfortunately, pandemic losers, too. Many businesses didn’t survive pandemic lockdowns.
But those businesses have left gaps in the market, gaps that mean opportunity for Sitedocs. As legacy organizations gear up for a season of growth and new players enter the market, competition to capitalize on these opportunities increases.
“Part of the strategy simply involves getting ahead of our competition with great prospecting,” says Posan. “The rest is about building a strong team and sustaining that collaborative connection, even if we are all actually siloed from one another in remote working.”
As SaaS grows, Posan is certain hiring will continue at a remarkable pace and new winners and losers will emerge: those that could scale with speed and those that couldn’t handle the pressure.
At Goldbeck we believe predictions are a fool’s errand but attitudes like those of Sitedocs make the future look very bright indeed.