Elizabeth Cain (@ElizabethJCain) is a Partner at OpenView where she leads the firm’s Expansion Platform and sits on the Investment Committee. The Expansion team focuses on helping portfolio companies acquire and retain the right customers and talent. Before OpenView, Liz was AVP of Worldwide Business Development at NetSuite where she launched the business development team and successfully hired 382 BDRs over a span of 24 months.
Like many of our guests, Liz accidentally fell into sales. After listening to some advice, she knew if she wanted to move into a leadership role she had to figure out where the revenue comes from. So when given the opportunity to lead a team of salespeople, she took it.
Liz is passionate about helping founders who are changing the world by defining the right audience to focus their sales efforts. In her experience, not enough companies take the time to narrow their focus before trying to blast the market with their product or offering.
- Be Responsive and Get Shit Done: When you’re working at a company that is really going somewhere, everybody has a hundred things on their plate and constantly shifting priorities. If you want to stand out, be the person that volunteers for new projects and make sure to follow through. Once you say you’ve got it, don’t be the person that someone else has to follow-up with or check-in on. This exposure is what will make you great in the future.
- Hone in on Your Top Segments: The simplest definition of a segment is a group of people who can be reached with the same go-to-market strategy combined with the same product. This will not only help define territories by way of geography, industry, or company size but really it will help create repeatability in your messaging — making your product easier to sell at a lower cost-per-acquisition. This focus doesn’t mean you can’t go after other segments later, it just keeps you on target with your limited resources.
- Generate Interest First: When you’re doing outbound sales, realize you’re connecting with suspects — not leads. This should start to change your thinking a bit about how you talk to them. Starting with the right market segment, your first job is to find out whether or not they even have a problem you can solve or if there is an opportunity to improve something in their business. Then, and only then, are you able to generate interest and deliver your pitch.
- Who: The A Method for Hiring by Geoff Smart and Randy Street