Fundamentals of sales in B2B SaaS: Notes about a Kfund podcast with Luigi Mallardo.

Marco Verch (trendingtopics). Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

I have been listening to many podcast in the last few months. Jotting down some notes to be able to come back and review them is just a logical step.

From the podcast of Kfund with Luigi Mallardo, a seasoned VP of Sales in the B2B SaaS arena, I would highlight:

  1. What to look at when hiring AEs.
    The priority is (1) ticket size, (2) experience selling SaaS, (3) vertical. The first one is a must have, it has to be aligned with the ACV or ticket size of the company.
  2. Quotas and commissions for SDR and AEs.
    While the company is still building pipeline, the variable of the SDRs could be based on number of meetings hold (show) or qualified leads. Once the machine starts to sell, 80-90% of the commission for AEs and 10-20% for the SDRs.
    Additional note: Having in mind a several months sales cycle, the latter is quite different to the approach in some literacy, such as «The Sales Development Playbook» by Trish Bertuzzi, which affirms that the compensation of the SDRs has to be linked to the task itself, short term, to keep energy high.
  3. Channels sales is usually not a relevant source of revenue for a startup.
    According to industry benchmarks, the impact of channel sales for startups growing beyond 10M-20M€ does not reach a 5%. Therefore, the go to market has be to develop with inside/field sales depending on ACV. On the other hand, when reaching a given maturity state, it could contribute some nice additional revenue.

In (one line) short:

  • «Ticket size» track record as a must have when hiring AEs.
  • SDRs variable based on qualified leads or won deals depending on sales maturity.
  • Channel sales, not a first option for sales development.

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