Interview with Salesforce's Paul Towse
Paul Towse is the regional VP for Salesforce, and came in four years ago as an AE, running the Revenue Cloud team.
As an experienced salesperson with seven years of tech sales experience behind him, Paul is an authority on the cloud-based SaaS landscape. Paul currently runs the revenue cloud part of the organisation in the UK.
As part of our whitepaper case study on how SaaS companies have adapted to remote work, we interviewed a number of experts, below are Paul's insights:
How Sales Leaders Are Adapting Processes For Remote Work
The sales team really enjoyed being in the office, and seeing people on a regular basis for both the professional advantages, but also for the social element as well. When that shift to remote working was enforced and we all found ourselves, like we are today on using video platforms as a way of communicating, we had to go completely on the other end of the spectrum and talk to the team more so than ever before.
Paul mentioned how important technology has been this year, and how invaluable it has been to shift to remote working. Salesforce were lucky in that many people already worked remotely, so they had processes in place. However, solidifying those processes and utilising technology to its full potential has become essential.
The Impact Of Remote Working On Spirit And Culture
And one key focus for me this year was to how we bring that sense of team and that sense of community when people aren’t necessarily focused on work. Regardless of what you sell, or regardless of the cost of product, or the sales cycle, or the complexity, actually, we all kind of had one goal this year, which was to maintain kind of our health and wellbeing.
Sales is all about building a genuine rapport and trust with customers. It’s become much harder this year for a lot of people to build those connections in a virtual environment. Naturally, it is harder to build and maintain those relationships online vs face to face.
Another challenge of recent months was that people really didn’t want to talk to us. Understandably, some industries have been struggling so picking up the phone and calling someone or getting a zoom call in the diary has been harder because of COVID. Thankfully, after the initial lockdown wave many customers have adapted and those conversations are picking up again.
How Sales Leaders Are Improving Remote Culture
Ensuring people know that sales leaders care is important. Paul notes that it became essential to keep checking in and asking how everyone is adapting. Asking is everyone okay both physically and mentally became a key part of the conversation.
Paul notes that every day he has had a daily standup, and this has helped with clear communication. A clear and defined structure that goes across the whole team, other than maybe a weekly, kind of weekly check in at the start of the week is really important.
If you can survive this year, as a salesperson, you will come out of it more rounded, more experienced, and probably with a greater appreciation for the fact that we're very, very fortunate. Building that sense of gratitude for the industry that we work in and for the company that we work for has been a great response to see.
Sales people are coming out of this year, regardless of how they've performed or what their end year attainment might be, they will actually be better salespeople than they were at the start of the year. And we'll see the benefits of that into the long term.
This interview was conducted as part of our whitepaper study on remote work in the SaaS world. Get your free copy here.