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Interview with Ebsta's Steve Aird

10 min read

Steve Aird is VP of sales at Ebsta, having taken the reins just as the pandemic hit in March 2020.

Steve has spent the last 20 years in sales positions, and in the last ten years in sales leadership positions, predominantly in subscription and SaaS organisations, ranging from mid-market public companies to startups. 

As part of our whitepaper case study on how SaaS companies have adapted to remote work, we interviewed a number of experts, below are Steve’s insights: 

How Ebsta Adapted Their Communication In The Pandemic

The focus at the moment is how the communication benefits that used to be in the office, can work remotely. 

Zoom or similar web conferencing platforms have to be involved as you actually won't be able to do very much business at all without that. Technology that helps you communicate is essential.

Lots of businesses entered 2020 without relying on data insights when it comes to their sales team. For example, reps would communicate well and results were very tangible. In the same way, emotions and attitude were very tangible. Ebsta have had to use data insights as a key part of the sales process, to be able to pivot the sales force.

How can you almost have those water cooler moments? How can you engage? Are there tools that can support that? We’re now having to think about the best ways to engage with the sales team remotely at every point in our sales processes.

How Ebsta Shaped Their Remote Working Processes In 2020

There is a feeling that things have changed - people might be selling into markets that are just dying, and having a really, really tough time. There is a much more conservative buyer out there, and naturally that lowers morale. 

We’re seeing that companies who didn’t have strong processes before COVID have had to act quickly to get them in place. This scramble to be able to work remotely had made things feel rushed, with a short adaptation period.

A natural part of building a remote work environment is an increase in technology that helps us work. However, this can scare people. Ultimately though, technology is not there to take over from people, it is there to enhance. There's a great place for it to enhance business so that fear should be coached out of people.

How Sales Leaders Are Refining Remote Culture at Ebsta

Having a daily standup where you can create a daily connection point with your sales team has become really important. Being able to consistently document conversations and have ongoing conversations as you work is key.

It’s crucial that we’re communicating the values of the brand and making team members feel like we’re giving something to them at the same time as they’re working for us. When you've got those two pieces working well, you naturally will have a more motivated team. People will work hard if they feel like they’re in a team they love, working towards business values they believe in. 

Our business is built on conversations, we want to have more conversations at the top that flow down into the business. When we think about it from a technology perspective, or from a reporting perspective, it's like, what do we need to add to help the team have more conversations? And then what do we need to be able to monitor those conversations? 

Why Companies Should Have A Documented Sales Process

Companies that don’t have a documented sales process that aligns with their training, their development, their customer experience etc. are struggling. Everything has to become aligned to a solid process, or the systems will come unstuck pretty quickly.

How Ebsta Are Handling Training And Onboarding Challenges

The onboarding process needs to be really thorough now - we really can’t be missing any information out. The onboarding process just needs to cover everything. We’ve been working through ‘what are all the things that someone might need?’, and making sure it's documented. 

We're going to be paying much closer attention to how we develop people. We have to make sure that the onboarding process is great and be sure that that onboarding journey is nailed down and followed. It's no longer about the first three months because it's pretty easy enough to make the first three months good. It's the three to 12 months we want to make exceptional. 

This interview was conducted as part of our whitepaper study on remote work in the SaaS world. Get your free copy here

Written by:

Matt Milligan

Published on:

March 29, 2021

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