Interview with Crowdcube's Dan Hardy
Dan Hardy is VP of Sales at Crowdcube, Europe's largest equity investment platform.
Dan is currently responsible for the Sales team at Crowdcube and is part of the senior leadership team. Crowdcube have raised over £650 million for startups including Revolut, Monzo, Pod Point, Cowboy & Moneybox. The 1000+ Crowdcube Funded network has gone on to raise in excess of £3.7Bn from institutional investors, globally.
As part of our whitepaper case study on how SaaS companies have adapted to remote work, we interviewed a number of experts, below are Dan’s insights:
How Will Crowdcube’s Sales Process Differ After The Pandemic?
We’re moving to a world where time has become much more valuable, the sales team has more agency over their time. This means that the next challenge will be how to value your time, and assessing whether a meeting with a client is worth it.
People might struggle to go back to a world where you have a 45 minute commute to a meeting, a 45 minute commute back, a long conversation at a client’s office etc.
Sales people usually much prefer selling in person, as you can gauge things like body language, rapport and get a better idea of the person you’re selling to. Finding ways to build that new skillset and help sales people engage with their clients has been a key adaptation.
The Impact Of Remote Working On Crowdcube’s Spirit And Culture
Selling to sectors where there is a lot of pressure is very hard at the moment. Within these sectors there is a lot of uncertainty, so having conversations in that space is hard.
In an industry like Crowdcube’s, where the sale is very consultative and highly emotional, having to transfer that discussion online has been hard for sales people. Previously there were a lot of in person meetings where entrepreneurs talk about their business - often it really is their baby. So initially it was hard to replicate that process online.
Crowdcube as a company is very personal - there’s a great social side to the company. Trying to think creatively around what can get a team together, what can be enjoyable, and creating reasons to do that is the big challenge for sales leaders when it comes to spirit and culture.
Sales is a pretty relentless job if you don’t physically have other people around you going through the same thing. As a sales person, when you're being super efficient and you're on back to back zoom calls in your bedroom, it can be really tough.
How Being In Control Benefits Remote Sales Teams
One of the key things sales leaders can do to improve morale is to encourage a culture where people focus on what they can control.
Over the next few months and years Crowdcube are looking at how moving to a hybrid model whereby we take some time in the office and some time remote- depending on a person’s role and whether they like being in the office. Some people love being in the office, whereas others aren’t sure with COVID, so appreciating different opinions and creating a model where everyone is happy is important.
The danger with remote work can be that there isn’t constant inputting of data around how people are doing. With a longer sales cycle this is even harder, because often if somebody's struggling in a month, the team find out 3-6 months later. Finding ways to better manage the wellbeing of our teams and check in with people on a human level is important.
How External Collaboration Has Benefited Crowdcube
Offering the team external help in the form of external training or setting up meetings with other sales teams can be really valuable. What's striking is how different sales people in different industries commonly have the same problems, so hearing people's different ideas and different perspectives is fascinating.
This interview was conducted as part of our whitepaper study on remote work in the SaaS world. Get your free copy here.