Sales Leader Robb Miller is one of our rockstar “return customers.” We first met Robb back in 2013 when he was VP of Global Sales for Livefyre social engagement platform. You can learn more about our relationship with Robb’s Livefyre team, but, briefly, we were hired to help them launch across Europe, Australia, Asia Pacific and Latin America. In less than three years together, international sales went from 10% to 40% of Livefyre’s profits before it was acquired by Adobe, who made permanent hires out of ten of our sales outsourcing professionals.
Now Robb is Senior VP of Sales at Algonomy, which helps retailers accelerate digitalization, bringing together all your customer data into a single platform for real-time AI-based decision-making and personalization. We’ve actually been working with him at RichRelevance since 2018 which recently merged with cloud analytics provider Manthan Software to form Algonomy.
When working at Livefyre, Robb leveraged our services to branch out to Europe and beyond with a blank slate. For Algonomy, which already has a strong international presence, he applied SFE to augment current teams. They already had a base of operations in Sweden and London, but used us to add people in different markets, starting in Brazil and Mexico.
Robb referred to Latin America as a normally tricky market in terms of economic climate, but that, with Sales Force Europe, they’ve been able to maintain a steady growth of annual recurring revenue, doubling year over year even throughout the pandemic.
Overall, Sales Force Europe has helped the two SaaS products launch in 25 foreign territories.
In both cases, we started our engagement with our outside sales executives, which Robb describes as “knowledgeable in local culture and language bringing a rolodex of contacts.”
For Algonomy, we’ve followed what he refers to as a “hybrid model” to take the personalization tool to Europe and Latin America. Robb makes full-time hires when it makes sense and then brings in SFE hires — now a mix of sales, lead gen and technical sales engineers — when that makes sense.
“Sales Force Europe provides a lot more flexibility, it lowers the rate in terms of costs and time-to-market, because we will be working with a team that’s already established, bringing local prospects, and knows our space as well,” Robb said.
One reason for our shared success is how Robb treats our partnerships. He really understands that when we join a team to provide sales, strategy and/or lead gen services, we really become embedded in the business, from emails to business cards to LinkedIn profiles. And, even more importantly, we develop a sense of pride in joining in the company culture.
“One thing I don’t think people think about when outsourcing any service, but particularly sales, is ‘How is this resource going to act and behave if they’re not really part of my team?’ One thing I’ve always done with Sales Force Europe, and anyone I’d hire through an outsourced service, is to treat those personnel as though they were a full-time hire, as though they are on the team,” he explained.
Really the only difference is how they’re paid.
“But otherwise they are trained, treated and exposed to the product and to our customers,” Robb continued, like any of his internal teammates.
And this isn’t just a single sales rep or two. We offer a holistic team examining and influencing your full international sales strategy and processes. This includes regional sales leadership on the ground with your global expansion teams, reporting back to you. It’s a team effort between you and us.
Or, to put it in Robb’s words:
“The nice thing about working with Sales Force Europe is they do bring management expertise. So there is regional sales leadership that helps me get a grasp on how people there are performing, making sure that they do things as rudimentary as keeping the CRM updated. But also helping me understand forecasts. When it comes time to hire additional resources, finding the right person, I think their customer service has been great, because I know that I’m not just out there doing it on my own — I’ve got a local leader, someone who’s got a lot of experience under their belt.” — Robb Miller, Senior VP of Sales, Algonomy
We believe our continued success with Robb’s teams comes from a shared level of trust, transparency and flexibility. And a lot of metrics. Measure, iterate or pivot, measure again. This is the only way to continuously improve and find success in international expansion.
He explained, “In my opinion, there’s really no better way to handle International sales expansion for a scale-up, or for any company that’s trying to lower the risk on the enterprise, whether that be time spent or money spent, than to use a service like Sales Force Europe. It has helped me tremendously test the waters, whether that be through demand generation alone or demand generation plus sales. It’s helped us go into markets that we otherwise might have been too afraid to go into, where the costs and the risks might have been too high.”
And it’s not just reporting the current state of affairs, it’s helping plan the future. Which may be deciding to give a market a pass, at least for right now.
“It’s also helped me a couple times learn what markets I should avoid, frankly, without going through the painful exercise, perhaps, of hiring someone and then having to maybe wind that person down,” Robb said.
“Sales Force Europe for my money, for anyone that’s in the startup environment, is 100% the best way to go.” — Robb Miller, Senior VP of Sales, Algonomy