Last Updated on February 25, 2021
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About Andrew Pometun
I believe, I can be called an entrepreneur with a rich track record. My business portfolio includes a script builder, online shops, my own consultancy agency, and over 100 marketing projects with major international companies. Today he is known primarily as a business speaker, the author of such books as “Business Relationships Digital Transformation” and “Marketing for Love”, and the founder of the targeted sales accelerator Selvery.
I’ve been involved in sales management since 2000, when I became head of marketing at a regional printing house. During this time I have worked with all sorts of clients. Usually I am invited to large international companies in order to put things in order with clients. No matter what company I worked for, I saw the same problems everywhere: people have forgotten how to talk to each other. Of course, most often in business this is seen in the relationship between salespeople and customers. To solve the problem of communication, I created an account-based sales platform called Selvery. It helps salespeople to communicate with customers, and it helps the marketer to communicate with salespeople.
About Targeted Sales Accelerator Selvery
I created Selvery to solve a common business communication problem. Our product is well understood in those companies where there is a gap between creating selling content and showcasing it.
Imagine a company headquartered in New York City with sales teams in every other state. There’s a gap between creating a presentation and showing it. For example, the corporate identity at the central office has changed, the data has changed, the numbers have changed. Now you have to communicate that to all the states, make sure the content changes in every old presentation, literally force the salesperson to use the new information, not the information they’re used to. You need to make sure the salesperson understands the difference and knows how to use the new information for different types of customers. For the CEO, for example, or the end customer. The more complex the product becomes, the more presentations the company makes, which means it becomes increasingly difficult for the salesperson to understand them. All of this leads to salespeople showing a potential customer the wrong thing.
There is another way of looking at things. Salespeople from the states can’t aggregate feedback to the product owner in the central office. The central office gets creative, but they don’t know what it really takes to sell effectively in the states.
We’re shutting down that gap. Selvery is a cloud-based multiplatform application. Two types of users from one company register in the system through our client support specialists. They are the product owner, who creates presentation and sales content, and the sales person, who uses this content. The product owner goes into his virtual workspace and enters product information here in modular form. It’s like a cell or pieces of a mosaic. The product owner doesn’t upload the presentation in the usual way, but lays out the necessary pieces, segments, tying each to the right industry, segment, type of customer, and so on.
Then the salesperson comes in. On any of his screen gadgets, he launches the app and sees the question, “What product do you want to sell?” He selects the right one from the list. The system asks: “Who are you talking to right now? What industry? What position?” These are questions determined by the content editor, i.e., the New York product owner. By answering them, the seller gets a presentation generated for that particular customer with the latest relevant information, new cases and figures.
Finally, the customer sees a seemingly familiar presentation on the screen. But behind the external simplicity there is a complex digital tool which uses deep targeting. In addition, at the end of the meeting, you can see what time the presentation started, how it went, how long each slide was viewed, what questions the interlocutor asked the salesperson, what buttons were pressed, how the presentation ended… The data is automatically collected in a database and instantly transmitted in an aggregated form to the product owner for possible content improvement.
As a result, salespeople start selling more, because they tell the customer what the customer wants to know and hear. And product owners see the market better because they have feedback on every negotiation session.
How Did You Get Your First Several Customers Or Users? How Many Users Or Customers Do You Have Now?
We now exclusively use direct sales in large businesses. The algorithm here is simple: search for contacts in target companies, reach out to these people, demo in person, and implement. We have accounts on social networks, but this is more of a tradition. Our client is a large enterprise client, because it has a large number of users within the same company and gives a large number of sessions, data and, accordingly, subscriptions. Talking to such clients through social networks or contextual advertising would probably be too expensive at best.
How Does Your Company Grow And Acquire New Customers?
As I said before, we are not chasing the mass user. Yes, in April we plan to begin mass sales of Selvery to everyone who needs to increase corporate sales. By that time, we will have prepared as detailed guide-lines, instructions, and interactive tips as possible. Still, the mass user is not our goal. By getting one large company as a client, we get dozens, hundreds of users. Moreover, the very principle of Selvery’s work suits first and foremost the companies which have many salespeople who sell to many segments of the target audience.
What Actionable Tips And Tricks Do You Have For New Founders Who Are Looking To Get Their First Thousand Users Or Dollars?
The first piece of advice to aspiring entrepreneurs: look for a seasoned specialist, if not on the team, then at least as a consultant. An experienced person in the team is the key to the success of any project. This saves a lot of time, because thanks to him you no longer have to figure out how and what to do – you can use his experience and do it right away.
There are a lot of experienced people on the Selvery team. For example, at the start of the project I had already worked in sales management for 20 years. Our Director of Development had spent the same amount of time working in marketing. Thanks to my investor, we got first-class developers and resources for the original CustDev. Although, CustDev itself began much earlier: since 2017 we verified the Account-Based Sales methodology in the sales network of a large European bank. It was on the basis of this long work that the product was formed.This is the second piece of advice: to come up with something, immerse yourself in the industry, work, learn the internal problems – then you will have an idea that will be bought like hotcakes.
We often see new projects popping up in the market. Almost every day new startups are created, and almost every day just as many projects are shut down. All because Striving to better, oft we mar what’s well. Too often startups try to polish their product as much as possible, to make it perfect, to conquer the world in one fell swoop. Until recently, the main approach in IT was to create “version 0.1.” Nowadays this approach has survived perhaps only in game development. It has been replaced by the MVP concept. We also decided to do MVP instead of “the first version of the product” which allowed us to form hypotheses for development in parallel with the development, continue to analyze the market, reduce costs and risks. In general, another piece of advice to aspiring entrepreneurs is to dive in headfirst, don’t wait for the perfect product stage, create an MVP and improve it together with the market players.
Real innovation, for which it is worth launching a business, always solves existing problems. And this is another piece of advice I have for newbies: before you start something, prove that the future product will solve an existing systematic problem. Find Product/Marketing Fit.
Networking is a part of business processes that cannot be ignored, especially in corporate sales. Gather your contact base now. As you grow in your field, your new acquaintances are going through new stages of their careers, too. Who knows what positions they’ll occupy in a few years? Speak out where you can get your way: online and offline. Talk about yourself to the professional community, find opportunities to get listener feedback. Share really useful stuff and offer to send additional material after your talks. Carefully save all the addresses you receive, build your list for future mailings. This approach will help you find new clients faster than promoting through advertising.
And, perhaps, the last advice to beginning entrepreneurs, though it will sound corny: do not be afraid to go all the way and risk everything, because only leaving your comfort zone can activate all your internal resources.
What Is Something You’ve Learned That Would Not Be Obvious To Somebody Who Hasn’t Worked In Your Space Before?
In business, however, surprises cannot be avoided. Of course, a surprise is not the same as a surprise, and the degree of surprise will always depend on the level of preparedness of the entrepreneur. For me, for example, the surprises were people and my own experience.
First of all, everyone is different. They are very different, depending on each specific market. What you’re used to in your home country won’t work in any other country. Different thoughts, different routines, different preferences, different problems, different requirements… The model of entrepreneurial behavior ceases to work. And with it, your whole team stops working effectively.
Secondly, as a rule, in any new project, the entrepreneur uses previously accumulated experience. In the case of exports, any experience gained in the home country ceases to matter abroad. Are you used to coming to a business meeting right on time? And in Argentina, you may not show up for a meeting at all, but you keep the business relationship. Do you think you have reached an agreement? And in India, even a signed agreement is not evidence of an agreement. Do you require employees to start work at 9:00 a.m. sharp? And in Bulgaria they think that the working day can wait. There are as many countries as there are peculiarities, each of which requires detailed consideration and an individual approach.
What’s The Craziest Thing That’s Happened To You (Good Or Bad) On Your Founder Journey?
The craziest thing that’s happened to me is… I don’t know. To finish my first business project I had to sell my car. Is it crazy?
What Are Your Favorite Books?
There was a period in my life when I mastered speed-reading and was able to effectively read business literature by book in a week. After reading each book, I made a synopsis, published a summary of it on my blog or on publishers’ websites. Each book generated a whole list of ideas, which then turned into tasks in my work plan. I read practically everything that came to me: fresh and old, ours and foreign, theoretical and applied, cases and success stories … After 30 months of this regime I could clearly see that the authors were beginning to repeat themselves, the ideas are less and less happy with their novelty, and the occasional book does not bring the expected result. Paradoxically, the more you read, the less useful business literature is.
After that, I went into the mode of applying theoretical knowledge to practical experience. I spent a year on a book fast. That’s when my new approach took shape: you need a book when you’ve reached the limit of nonperformance and your knowledge no longer allows you to add results. At that moment you understand exactly what knowledge you lack and can find it in literature, training courses, programs.
In general, this is not about idols or authors, but about the current need for information. Right now I’m looking for applied information to develop Selvery: to get the company up and running faster, to set up development processes, and so on. For example, we were arguing with our CTO about approaches to product refinement. He advised me on a book, and now we can talk in the same frame of reference.
Anything You’d Like To Plug?
Meet us at selvery.com
- Networking Is Everything With Hailey Feldman
- Helping People Move Abroad With Alison Johnson
- Becoming A Travel Hacking Coach With Julia Menez
Book summaries, notes, interviews, and more!
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