“You need to understand that with B2B you are selling not to a person, but to a business,” – Vlad Voskresensky, CEO and Co-founder of the Revenue Grid sales platform
Vlad Voskresensky is the CEO and Co-founder of the Revenue Grid (Invisible CRM) sales platform. The company has about 600 thousand clients around the world.
On the air of the Big Fish Youtube channel, Vlad spoke about the advantages of a grocery company, what kind of people can work in a product, and why Revenue Grid needs the first round of investments of $ 20 million in 16 years.
ABOUT THE TRANSITION FROM OUTSOURCING TO PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT
We were among the first to move into product development. It’s very cool to build your own product and figure out how it works. The product creates many jobs. But in our country, noone teaches the grocery business. In universities we were taught “how”, but not taught “why”.
Our ideas didn’t really work. In the end, what we needed ourselves led to success. The salesmen did not want to deal with the purchased CRM: “Either we sell, or we fill in your CRM”. And we decided to change not people, but software. So, we wrote what eventually became Invisible CRM.
In 2014, when we sold the Invisible CRM license to the last major player in the market, Microsoft, we sat down to brainstorm and decided what to do next. We chose to extract data from services that we previously integrated with each other. This made it possible to compare, analyze pipelines and say: “Do this, it led to success, but don’t do that”.
ABOUT WORK RESULTS
In principle, we do not promise the client, “You will close X money”. We do it differently: we validate the pipeline and tell sales leaders how to act. In the pipeline, we colorize transactions that will take place, require attention, which are at risk. Immediately make assumptions about what is wrong. These are Revenue Signals, our cornerstone from 5 years ago.
For example, the company Slalom. It turned out that 60-70% of their contacts were not in CRM. We turned on auto-folding for contacts, and about 20 thousand records began to appear in CRM. For them, it’s millions of dollars. However, the key issue is speed. When we connect the system, clients have a shorter closing time.
ABOUT SALESFORCE AND PEOPLE.IO
People.io is a niche startup. When you’re focused, you do better than the big vendors. It happened that SalesForce employees deliberately went somewhere to implement a feature, and then sell it to SalesForce. This was done in Cisco too.
Now a new profession has appeared – SalesOps – the admin of the sales infrastructure, all its integrations for automation. We are fortunate that we have evolved into revenue intelligence on our own, this is our huge advantage. People.io started in this area, but there are those who are moving into it.
ABOUT B2B SALES CHIPS
This is where revenue intelligence helps a lot. You need to understand that with B2B you are selling not to a person, but to a business. And decision-makers change their positions. The main thing is to convince the decision maker that he will save time and money with your product. You need to let go of the situation and at the final stage of negotiations feel that the company has no option not to buy from you.
ABOUT 20 MILLION IN REVENUE GRID
We were profitable and grew well at our own expense as long as we could. Now we realized that if we do not attract investments, we will lose time to competitors. Where is the money? Only in growth: headcount, marketing.
ABOUT SILICON VALLEY
The valley has now changed a lot because of the COVID. It was and remains very cool, only the meanings have changed. Romanticism has disappeared. It is important to come to the Valley because it is a place of power. There is the vanguard of world technologies. It makes no sense to go there to blow up a startup, but it makes sense to go there to escalate it.
ABOUT PEOPLE FOR PRODUCT PROJECTS
To develop a product, you take a programmer from a paid project and send to work on the product. Taking people from the bench is also not an option – as a rule, these are the stupidest people in the team that you could not sell to anyone. This is the first lesson we have learned.
The second lesson: it will never happen that the best people in outsourcing are the best people for the product, everyone has a different mindset. There is also rivalry and conflicts between the outsourcing part and the product part. We came to the conclusion that they need to be territorially divided. Is it possible to do a product expertise by hiring an outside person? Of course. It is important that the top of the company believe in the product.
ABOUT PERSONAL LIFE
My family life is trampled. I may be a good businessman, but I don’t know how to build relationships. Lack of time, focus, the presence of situations when I have to be here, and I am leaving somewhere. I have already been married twice.
If I could change something, I would go back to the 90s and do my father an operation, which was then carried out only in Germany for a lot of money, and now it lasts 15 minutes. He died without it.
I would like to go into politics to improve the sandbox we play in. To do this, you need to have a large financial cushion in order to be impenetrable for corruption. I want the people, we go to Revenue Grid with, to become millionaires.
My ambition is not to be the first, but to become a Unicorn and outgrow this step in 5-7 years. And at about 50 to go into politics. To devote 3-5 years of my life to the country, I will have to spend 5 million hryvnias – I want to have them so that I would not even notice these expenses.