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CRO Summit Tactical Chat: Building A Revenue Machine

June 20, 2016
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Garrett Stanton, Director of Corporate Sales at Okta, kicked off the afternoon at today’s CRO Summit. Okta is a single-sign on service for companies (“Facebook Connect” for the enterprise) and is compatible with every app you can think of. Garrett has helped grow the company from 8 to 1,200 enterprise customers. The team is based in SF and has raised over $150 MM from a golden list of investors.

Garrett reflected on his experience and in his aptly titled presentation “Building a Value Focused, High Performance, Repeatable Revenue Machine.” We learned a few things about Okta’s sales processes:

First, the company segments sales into three groups based on revenue:

(1) Enterprise (sell the institution) – comprised of senior management and sells seven-figure accounts.

(2) Consultative (solving the problem)

(3) Transactional (sell the product) – targets low revenue customers.

Garett articulated that his salesforce is “not selling products, but selling a problem solving solution.” Or put another way, Okta puts “people first and technology second.” Building personal relationships, becoming a trusted advisor, and demonstrating executive empathy is key. Leverage your past relationships to understand the needs of prospective customers, who will inevitably have common traits.

Second, the company uses M.E.D.D.I.C.C., a series of quantitative and qualitative criteria, to qualify leads:

Metrics (quantifiable impact of our solution / hard $’s)

Economic Buyer (who has the purse strings?)

Decision Process (step by step process to evaluate and perform purchase)

Decision Criteria (specific criteria that enables the decision – functionality, POC, benchmark, etc)

Identify Pain (what keeps them up at night? / why does this issue bother them?)

Champion (someone with power and influence who will sell for you in your absence)

Competition (internal or external)

The system has proven to be successful and overall, the company ultimately closes on 30-40% of the leads that are qualified. For example, LinkedIn is among Okta’s customers. At the time, LinkedIn was going from a private to a public company, which bore a series of new compliance issues. LinkedIn was using 20+ SaaS apps and had 1,100 employees. As a result of implementing Okta, LinkedIn reduced provisioning costs and increased the use of applications. Finally, Garrett closed with “great achievers are driven, not so much by the pursuit of success, but by the fear of failure.” He stressed the importance of making management goals visible to the salesforce.

Huge thanks to Garrett for spending the day with us!