If Your Sales Process is All in The CEOs Head, You Can’t Scale! with Jake Dunlap (S3:Ep18)

Dec 6, 2022 | Sales Talk for CEOs Podcast

Jake Dunlap takes us from founding Skaled Consulting to his first successful sales hire. And yes, it did take 10 years to get it right.

It’s great to be a founder led sales company but founder led services delivery is a problem. This was the first major hurdle that Jake encountered in his fledgling sales consulting business and a barrier to scaling.

It took years to structure a scalable services delivery model. The first big lesson, young, affordable, full-time staff didn’t have the requisite skills to replace Jake and properly service the accounts. It turns out, contract, part time senior team members could deliver.

As he grew globally, it was time to expand the sales team. His next big challenge was finding salespeople who could sell even 80% as well as he could. His hires kept failing until he realized it was because the sales process was in his head and needed to be on paper.

His second big aha moment was realizing that selling a product is different from selling a service. Jake only recently cracked this problem and hired an experienced services salesperson.

The biggest takeaway that every B2B company needs to understand, customers want everything on their terms and this includes learning about your product. Sales teams can no longer be gatekeepers of the buyer’s journey.

Watch the podcast below or on our YouTube channel.

Highlights of this Episode:

[1:57] We are a revenue strategy, operations and enablement company and really what that means, we’ve got 40 plus people globally and what we do is we help organizations optimize the sales process.

[3:13] If you’ve got a marketing organization that’s compensated on one thing and a sales organization that’s compensated and there’s no overlap, you’re not going to have marketing and sales alignment.

[6:27] When I started my business, I started cold outreach from Crunchbase. I found people that just raised a seed series A, series B and started reaching out cold to CEOs. Hey, you know, chances are you’re probably thinking about these challenges. I’ve faced them multiple times. Let me know if you need help. And sure enough, within the first 45 days, I had a few customers. I’ve just been figuring it out since then.

[9:59] I thought everybody had to be full time because if they were contractors, they wouldn’t care. And boy, was I wrong.

[11:57] Over the years we hired a few different sales people and it never worked out. Obviously as a CEO, everything’s my fault. I didn’t really know the DNA of the person that I needed. Selling a service is much different than selling a product.

[15:05] I can count on two hands how many founders I’ve seen that didn’t have to figure out the Go-To-Market themselves before hiring the first salespeople.

[17:18] It’s your job to fix these problems no matter what department. You can’t outsource fixing your problems.

[20:36] And so another mistake that I made when I was scaling early is I kept hiring junior people and putting them in roles that they were not set up to be successful in.

[22:03] Get it right and then get it off your plate.

[23:27] Some of our first big deals were through partnerships where the other partner didn’t provide the services that we did.

[26:21] Handing a job off to someone without the training or process is abdicating not delegating.

[30:40] I didn’t ever really define what made a good partner for us. I took probably hundreds of calls with people who were never going to be a fit.

[35:46] ​​Revenue Operations is really a good synopsis of what we do. It’s looking at the end-to-end customer journey and experience.

[40:03] We live in a world of now on my terms. I want to consume information when I want to. The problem is B2B sales is in the Stone Age right now. We’ve created a process where the salesperson is a gatekeeper for information instead of giving it to consumers on their terms.

About Our Guest:

Jake Dunlap consistently designs repeatable, sustainable sales models and processes that outperform industry standards. As the Founder + CEO of Skaled Consulting, Jake helps executives around the world accelerate business growth with data-backed sales solutions. Before building Skaled, he held the roles of VP of Sales at Nowait (acquired by Yelp), Head of Sales + Customer Success at Chartbeat, and VP of Sales at Glassdoor (acquired by Recruit Holdings for $1.2 billion dollars in 2018).

Follow Jake on LinkedIn and subscribe to the Jake Dunlap Show on Apple Podcasts.

You can learn more about and connect with Alice Heiman in the links below.

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/aliceheiman/


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