In the highly competitive B2B tech space, it’s easy to market your offer with so many tools and channels available. But, we can’t help but notice the increased interest in referrals as more and more companies realize that word of mouth is the path to growth.
In this episode, we dive into this renewed trend with Tito Bohrt, the CEO of AltiSales, the one-stop shop for world-class sales development. Tito explains when it makes sense to prioritize customer acquisition vs. retention and vice versa. He also shares how company culture impacts productivity and morale, primarily within sales teams.
Tito and host Colin Campbell also touch upon the concept of a sales champion and how to find the ideal champion within a prospect’s organization. Finally, we asked Tito to talk about how he got into angel investing and his consulting endeavors.
Name: Tito Bohrt
What he does: Tito is the CEO of AltiSales.
Noteworthy: Tito is an expert in sales development and all things sales.
Where to find Tito: LinkedIn
⚡It’s always people first, then tools and processes.
AltiSales takes company culture quite seriously. They know enabling each team member to grow professionally boosts employees, shows team members they are valued, and increases efficiency and productivity. Further, employees must be equipped and trained to act upon established processes. ”We do have a fundamental belief that our well-run sales development team produces five times more than a poorly-run one. And if you put the checks and balances in place, and if you help people develop their skills, and if you create multiple presentations for the SDRs, and you give SDR managers the five steps to the call and email sentiment tracking that’s properly built, all these things do make a difference.”
⚡Having a particular title does not make someone a good champion.
Instead, focus on other characteristics when looking for someone to advocate for you within a prospect’s organization. For instance, when searching for his next champion, Tito knows that a couple of candidates are not enough. So in addition to starting conversations with SDR managers and SDR directors — his target personas — he also contacts anyone who may be interested in his offer. ”I want six people because, in different companies, different titles will have humans carrying those titles, and those humans have different mindsets. So at one company, the sales enablement person is the type of person who says, ‘I hate my job. I’m gonna do the minimum possible so I don’t get fired.’ In another company, the enablement guy is a hungry person who’s trying to up their career. They need the money. They want to be change-makers. So it’s the same title, but the human in that title has a very different mindset. That’s why you should never narrow yourself to two or three people. That’s why you go to the one degree of separation and find six to nine. Within those nine, you better find a champion.”
⚡We want to provide value, and to achieve that, we need feedback.
Apart from offering a tool, the AltiSales team also provides consulting services. Similar to their approach to employees, the company has developed a customer-focused methodology to build trust instead of just selling the product. So encouraging two-way communication — where prospects provide feedback from the start — helps AltiSales establish a solid foundation for future conversations. Tito shares what those conversations with prospects look like. ”Hey Colin, I’m one of the consultants here at AltiSales.io. I’m an expert at sales development processes, and I’ve talked to over a hundred SDL leaders in the past year. My purpose for this call is to be as informative as possible and show you something that piques your interest. And if you like it, we have a couple of different next steps that we can take. We can do a second demo with your team. We can do a workshop with our CEO. Or if you don’t wanna have a follow-up, you can let me know. As a heads up, you will get a survey from us to help me be a better consultant in future calls, and those are reviewed by my enablement team. So my only goal for today is to get you excited and interested in processes that might help you run your SDR team better, and we have 30 minutes for it.’”
When to Prioritize Customer Acquisition Over Retention and Vice Versa
”In one of those conversations with companies I’ve been advising for a few months, they came and told me, ‘Tito, we were early in asking our customers for referrals and doing upsells and cross-sells. And our average account grows 60% between year one and year two when it comes to revenue. So our net revenue retention for current customers is 160%.’
But then they said, ‘The problem is that between years two and three, they only grow about 8%, and in three to four, they grow 4%. And now, we hit a big wall. We don’t have as many net new target accounts coming in. So as we’re projecting our year one to year two growth, we’re screwed.
So we’re willing to pay $50,000 on acquisition for a $30,000 customer because we know year one is gonna be $30,000. But by year two, that customer’s gonna be at $45,000. And our retention is so good that by year four, we made a lot of money.’
They realized that because they have such good upsell and cross-sell, but their upsell and cross-sell base is only current clients. So they realize that there’s a lot more value in net new customers. And these are easy to do and cheap, and you should do it, and because of that, it’s worth even more money to get a net new customer.”
How to Choose a Champion
”Some people make mistakes believing they found a champion when they haven’t. And some people make the mistake of thinking champions are useless because they thought they had champions before, and those didn’t pan out.
I’m gonna make an example. We’re selling AltiSales.io. It’s a tool for SDR managers and SDR directors to understand the performance of the team and them better. So who do we sell to? Who’s the user of the tool? Well, SDR managers and SDR directors.
Who should we call and try to book a meeting with? Well, funny enough, we call a lot of SDR directors. That’s our primary persona. But sometimes we call heads of sales, and sometimes we call heads of marketing.
We never call SDRs because we believe that the decision maker, the budget approver, the person who will vouch and say, ‘I’m gonna put this in my line item’ or ‘I am going to fight for this tool to stay in the company’ is your SDR director. So you need somebody who is either them or one degree of separation from them to have a meeting with you.
If they’re more than one degree away from the ultimate decision maker, your champion is useless because your champion can’t convince your owner to buy.”
Tito’s Investment and Advisory Methodology
”I started Angel Invest in 2017. I got lucky in the first couple of years of AltiSales. I started in 2011. Until 2016, I had already passed the mark where my net worth was above the threshold where I could invest. It was interesting.
In the early days, I was giving smaller checks — 10k, 20k, and 30k — to companies and helping as much as I could, but not in a very structured way. […] Nowadays, I have a specific program where I talk to companies exactly about how I’m gonna help.
I go to companies, and I say, ‘Hey dude, you’re the CEO of this company. I freaking love it. Here’s my offer. I’m gonna give you 13 weeks for one hour a week, followed by 13 months for one hour a month. So an intensive accelerator program of three months — 13 weeks, one hour a week — plus a follow-through for 13 months.
And I will charge you x amount of money for that advice. You’re not gonna pay me cash because you’re a startup. You don’t have cash. You’ll pay me in equity, and you’ll pay me essentially stock options at one penny per share because we’re exchanging value for value.
I’m giving you advice that you would pay me in cash. So instead, you’re gonna grant me stock worth as much as the advice is worth at the current market valuation. […]’
The amount of time that I’m offering you — one hour a week for 13 weeks and one hour a month for 13 months — is the minimum that I’m gonna give you. I might give you more, especially if I see that there’s high potential. […]
And by the way, they have the option to quit within 13 weeks. If they do not see the value, they can cut the relationship and pay me zero. So we’re both on the hook for 13 weeks. After 13 weeks, if it’s gone well, my options start to vest.”