Lessons From Scaling And Exiting A Salesforce Partner Business With Andrew France
Accelerating Sales to Scale your Business
If you are in the cloud consulting business, you don’t want to miss this episode. Andrew France, director of Destined, shares with Paul his learning as a Salesforce partner, one of the biggest tech companies out there. In this episode, you will learn what you need to scale your business to a hundred people or more, how to build a great partnership with their vendor and some tips to get a successful exit.
02:47 – What type of clients does Andrew work with? Mid-market and enterprises.
04:25 – Tricks to make the sale cycle more efficient. Get the decision-makers involved in the process.
06:22 – Key problems Andre solves for their clients. Think strategically, and then put the tech behind it to execute.
14:30 – How is it to expand a team? Getting your own process in place early is crucial.
17:35 – What is it like managing a team across multiple countries? The right leadership and level of trust.
20:51 – How to turn Salesforce leads into recurring customers? 60/40 split in terms of revenue.
22:19 – Reasons to sell their business. Find a place to add value to our staff and allow them to grow.
26:41 – Tips for someone looking to be acquired. If you're running your business really well, you're going to be attractive.
29:33 – The Sales Deep Dive. Andrew's sales habits.
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What makes Salesforce a good choice for businesses?
The early success came from going deep into one product, and they became famous for that. And then diversification has come across the Salesforce stack. They have a CRM, and they’re in service cloud, MuleSoft and so on, as opposed to different tech companies. So if you, as a Salesforce salesperson or partner, let down a particular client in one part of the business, you’re not suddenly sunk because you do a lot of work in all these other parts of the business. In the end, it’s about building those relationships and trying to demonstrate that you add real value.
How is it to grow a team from zero to hundreds?
Andrew has now a team of one hundred people. He started off on those early days, sitting all in an office together where he could overhear everyone’s conversations, and that’s when you can feel in control of it all. As you grow, according to him, you lose that connection. So getting your own process in place early is absolutely crucial. They suddenly needed a project management platform, and obviously, they also needed to track stuff properly in their own CRM.
He also looks for things others could do so he doesn’t have to do them, which he calls his fundamental laziness. He thinks that’s often what holds people back from leading their own businesses. They hold onto too much for too long that potentially others should be doing. Letting go can make a massive difference because you can only focus on what you do well and not get distracted by all the other bits you feel you should be controlling. You also need to be comfortable letting people do stuff, knowing they’re going to do it worse than you, but help them grow because ultimately, that grows to the business.
How to manage a remote team across different time zones?
When Andrew opened his office in Karachi, they lost money on it initially. But the turning point for them was getting the right guy to lead the operation. He would put any success down to finding the right person to lead something, as opposed to thinking it’s the right next thing to do and starting it, just hoping it works out. He says, with no hesitation, that Karachi has worked brilliantly because they’ve found a fantastic guy to lead the operation, and there’s a great level of trust.
Time zones have their ups and downs. Depending on where you are in the world, the upside is that one office will work overnight when the other is closed. You do need to find a good time of crossover to work effectively at some point of the day. So if you find the right people in place and the proper process, and a good time of crossover, it can be easy to work with anyone in the world.
3 key things you should consider before selling
- Growth trajectory: Is it similar to yours?
- Culture: Would you feel comfortable working with these people?
- The integrity of the people you’re dealing with: Do you have the same values?
The Sales Deep Dive
What are the sales habits that help you accelerate your sales?
I’m reading Atomic Habits at the moment. If you’re looking for a book, pick up that one. It’s about daily repeated tasks. When your pipe gets full, don’t think your pipe is full. Pick up the phone every day to one new customer, and do it again.
What are some of the tech tools you use to accelerate your sales?
We’ve used Qwilr recently. It’s a proposal tool that makes it easy to buy from you. It helps you pull together a template and proposals quickly, and someone can just click, accept and move on.
What’s the best source of leads for your business?
Asking existing customers. Who else should be talking to? I also think just going deep in a particular industry and being part of their forums and the places they hang out.
What is one action that someone can take to 10 X their sales today?
Pick that industry and go deep. But I’d also say repeatable assets are the other one for me. We end up doing so much bespoke stuff, and it slows us down. So we focused on building those repeatable assets that make it easy for our guys to have the right sales conversation.
About Andrew France
Andrew founded Destined in 2014 on his own in Sydney and since then it has grown to over 90 staff across the APC region supporting hundreds of clients across all industries across the Salesforce product suite.
In July last year Destined was acquired by the S4 group. Prior to this Andrew worked in senior Marketing, Sales and organisational leadership roles across many different fields including Finance & Banking, Professional Services, Education and Not for Profit. Despite all of this his most challenging (and important) role in life is as a husband and a father. In this capacity he has worked on his communication skills, negotiations skill, ability to remain silent, capacity to serve and ability to lead well. He still has a long way to go. In addition to family time, Andrew is actively involved in his local church and enjoys a walk on the golf course.