From Pipe Dreams to Pipeline Generation
Kyle Kearns, Vice President and General Manager, Northern EMEA, at Stratio
Sometimes, being a great leader doesn’t have to mean knowing it all, or giving the impression of knowing everything. In fact, the best leaders, especially sales leaders, are always willing to learn, to be coached and to absorb new ways of working.
Kyle Kearns, VP and General Manager, Northern EMEA at Stratio, believes in this strongly. On a recent episode of Tech Salescraft, he sat down with James Hounslow, starting with how he entered sales, before ultimately being mentored and supported through his career into his ultimate sales leadership role.
The Importance of Being a Sponge
Kyle sees strength in being coachable, even in his current role. By being a sponge, he used each stage of his career as a learning experience. He frequently met technical people as well as those with experience in go-to-market, and he grew to love the thrill of being part of young tech companies and early-stage builds going through fast growth.
Cloud technology was still new in 2017-18, but Kyle could see value in being part of companies flying head-first into it. What Kyle particularly enjoyed in these early days was working in businesses where there was no playbook for entry into EMEA, allowing for a great deal of creativity to be unleashed.
Finding His Voice
At Bizzarevoice, Kyle joined as a market development manager, and is a strong proponent of MEDDIC, a process standing for Metrics, Economic buyer, Decision criteria, Decision process, Identify pain and Champion. MEDDIC is a process within sales which professionals use to gauge whether they should be trying to get a customer into a company’s sales funnel or not.
Bizzarevoice not only drilled the importance of MEDDIC into Kyle and his colleagues, but also fostered a culture of enablement and training which encouraged Kyle to understand what SDRs must do to work at high speed, but to also grow them into potential future sales leaders in their own right.
Making SDRs more self-sufficient
At Bizarrevoice, Kyle discovered how salespeople can become more self-sufficient during the discovery process, and this was carried through into his work at Starburst and Stratio, where solutions were much more technical.
Kyle could see the value of salespeople learning how to handle discovery calls, reducing the need for a solutions architect to intervene and come to explain the more jargon-heavy aspects of an offering. The salesperson would become more familiar with the product, so that when the solutions architect was brought in, the MEDDIC process had been applied and had already determined that the customer was a good fit and that a deal could be sealed imminently.
Coming down the pipeline
As VP and General Manager, Northern EMEA at Stratio, Kyle believes there is no silver bullet to pipeline generation, claiming it’s more than just a string of cold calls and pitches to him. He admits that pipeline generation and discovery can be the hardest parts of sales, adding that a culture of prospecting is what Stratio is about; producing high-quality deals with healthy pipeline generation that can sustain growth.
The alternative, to Kyle, is having salespeople resorting to flawed discovery, ultimately producing false pipelines which go nowhere. Only through discovery by salespeople who care can businesses like Stratio produce qualified pipelines and ultimately the growth they seek.
Want to hear more about James and Kyle’s discussion?
Watch the full episode of Tech Salescraft on YouTube, or across all major podcast streaming platforms.