This week we participated in the Pipeline Summit conference. Since it’s advertised as the ‘first of it’s kind Event for Sales and Business Development professionals in Poland’, we decided to find out if they fulfilled this promise. Is it worth adding it to your calendar for next year’s edition? Well, here’s Sotrender’s brief summary and highlights of the event.
Table of content:
- About Pipeline Summit
- Top 3 presentations
- Expectations for the future
- What we’re taking for ourselves?
Pipeline Summit is an international conference organised by Mick Griffin, who is also a Chief Revenue Officer at Brand24. The main focus of the event is to provide businesses with tools and knowledge that will help improve their sales processes, increase their number of leads, and at the end of the day, increase their revenues.
Because of this mission, Pipeline is packed with advanced facts, use-cases, and studies so it’s the perfect venue for professionals who want to increase their expertise and are looking for some inspiration. Invited guests talked about sales in general but also shared their experiences in customer satisfaction, tightening marketing with sales processes, and inbound and outbound activities.
To make sure that presentations were interesting and would actually provide guests with some value, organizers invited people from across the globe and set up a few rules:
- Every speaker must share 3 practical things you can do the very next day,
- Each speaker must share how their company will make their next 10 sales,
- No speaker can appear in two consecutive events.
We have to admit that the list of speakers was impressive. Most of them were not only at Pipeline for the first time, but also in Poland. Some noteworthy guests from the agenda include Phil Watson from Slack, Christian Schneemann from Emerce, or Jack Kosakowski, Global Head Of B2B Social Sales Creation Agency.
Establishing the first two rules was also a smart tactic, as they forced invited experts to focus on tips and tricks of actual quality. And they also gave us a sneak peek at the reality that global players face.
— Link to Poland (@LinkToPoland) 18 October 2016
From all the presentations, we decided to select 3 that we liked the most and that offered the most value to Sotrender.
First place we would unanimously give to Anne Therese Krieger, VP of Customer Success at Positionly. We found her presentation so interesting because she shared her own experiences on building a customer success team at a SaaS startup company with a similar scope to Sotrender in terms of size, number of clients, and revenue.
What you can take from it:
- It’s crucial to clearly define the role of a good Customer Success Team and describe how it will cooperate with folks from Sales and Support. CST shouldn’t sell and shouldn’t close deals. They’re only educating and making sure that customers are using the tool. With such defined role, they’re able to play a key role in upselling or contract renewals. Positive results of such practices are visible in the number of Sales Qualified Leads, the number of self-serve clients, and the churn rate, which decreased. All together, it’s leading to better financial results for the whole company.
- Hiring the right people for Customer Success Team members is important – it’s good to look for someone who is practical but also emphatic, likes to educate, and has communication skills. Product expertise is not required, especially with SaaS products as they shouldn’t be difficult to learn in the first place, so it’s easy to gain the proper knowledge.
- The segmentation of clients is another element that companies need to pay more attention to. Realizing which clients have more value and potential and, because of that, need more attention and a personal contact – might drive to significant revenue increases.
We thought the second best presentation was done by Patrick Campbell, Co-Founder & CEO of PriceIntelligently. He touched on some important issues for us, namely the pricing and proper identification of buyer personas.
What we took away from it:
- Focusing only on acquisition, so bringing new clients into the business, is not the right thing to do. Businesses that pay more attention to keeping clients they already have (retention) and working on monetization and thusly increasing ARPU (Average Revenue Per User) may discover that those parts are much more profitable.
- Buyer personas – Patrick stressed out how important it is to correctly identify them and explained how to build them thanks to customer development conversation (which is basically talking about the product in non-sales settings) and also how to quantify them.
- Persona-product fit – Which features are valuable, which are not, what is Willingness to Pay (WTP), Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC) or Lifetime Value (LTV) of particular personas? Those are all questions that every SaaS company should answer and track as they change and develop over time. You should also verify if whether or not to change your pricing (check nice article on Pricing Pages form PriceIntelligently here) in order to serve your clients the best support. Which will, of course, help your revenue.
From this year’s Pipeline Summit, we will also took note of some words of wisdom that came from Dimitar Stanimiroff, CEO of Heresy. A Heretic’s Guide to Building a Managing a High-Performing Sales Team highlighted the role of a successful Sales Team.
What was in it for us:
- Groups are remarkably intelligent and are often smarter than the smartest people in them, it’s also important to distribute key learnings across the team.
- Team goals always come first before individual goals.
- Problems are easier to solve collectively.
We said that we’d chose the 3 best presentations, but we can’t not mention the short introduction from our friend Mick Griffin! Mick prepared a small study on questions like: ‘Can somebody recommend a product/service?’ in social media. What is the conclusion here? People are looking for help. So offer it to them – even if it’s not your product. Look for a problem that you might solve and also learn from needs and challenges.
Presentation by Mick Griffin, source: SlideShare
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Overall we really liked the whole conference and we definitely will recommend it to all sales professionals, to founders (especially SaaS companies), and to marketers – and not only here in Poland.
As much, as we liked the structure and guests this year, we would change a few elements:
- The whole conference could be a little shorter with few less presentations, as every presentation was packed with knowledge and tips.
- We would love to have some more time for questions – at the end of presentations but maybe also online (Twitter and hashtags)? This way there would be more interaction between people and speakers.
- Some tips will be difficult to introduce in Poland, as it’s still a younger and smaller market – so it would be amazing if speakers could also relate their suggestions to this specific environment.
As we mentioned at the beginning, every speaker had to share 3 practical things you can do the very next day. So instead of a summary, we want to share with you 3 tasks that we decided to introduce in Sotrender ASAP:
- Improve segmentation of our clients and leads so we’ll be sure that all clients are getting the support they need but also that we’re not losing valuable leads.
- Verify our buyer personas and make sure that we understand their needs and problems correctly.
- We have an awesome team already but we probably can do more to set up better individual and team goals.
Beloved readers, which of these tips do you like the most? Will you come for Pipeline Summit 2017? Let us know what you think!