Butch Langlois is the President of North America at Vend, the cloud-based retail point of sale and inventory management system running in more than 25,000 stores around the world.

Langlois, a fellow Canadian, joins the Conquer Local Podcast this week. Langlois has an accounting background which transited him into becoming an esteemed sales leader. Langlois sheds light on the Toronto Revenue Collective; what it is, why it exists, and how it's beneficial to sales leaders. Langlois and our host, George Leith, explore best practices for when a company starts expanding their sales team and hiring remote employees. Langlois explains why he hires his salespeople in groups and how he has been successful in doing so.

Listen to the podcast here.

The Goods on Butch Langlois

Langlois leads strategy and operations for Vend’s largest region, including managing North American headquarters in Toronto, with close to 100 staff. He’s also the Chairman and Founding Member of the Toronto Revenue Collective, an organization designed to support the professional development of revenue leaders at high growth companies and facilitate the sharing of best practices. An accountant by trade, before Vend, Langlois was the CFO for the internet division at Rogers Communication, a publicly traded Canadian telecom company with more than 25,000 employees. Prior to Rogers, his decades of experience in high growth startups includes senior roles at companies like comparative shopping site BuyBuddy.com, e-commerce platform Truition, interactive travel mapping platform PlanetEye, and real estate listing platform Zoocasa.

Takeaways

Script Building

Vendasta commissioned Langlois to help with our inside sales organization during Vendasta’s early days. We learned right out of the gate that building a sales script is an undeniably important piece.

“You're going to write the script because you know how to deal with the customers and then you're going to pitch it a whole bunch of times, you're going to close business with it, and then you're going to move it into the teams."  - Butch Langlois

When developing a script, it’s best to start from scratch and build a model that is metrics driven. Working a script around metrics, meeting customers, cold-calling, demos, demo-conversions, and all the way to actual sales, testing to understand what converted and what didn't. A script gets a bad rap and is often thought of as a tool that restricts salespeople so they cannot personalize the pitch. It’s not!

It's about structure, how to present your product, hitting the high points, hitting the low points, and preparing the salesperson for questions they're going to be asked during a pitch. It's about giving the salesperson every piece of information they need to effectively communicate to the prospect.

Expanding Sales Teams

When expanding a sales team and developing remote salespeople it’s important to have the methodologies, scripting, and metrics in place. There will not necessarily be a manager in every office, so it becomes about having the methodologies of what you're trying to accomplish; it's about having the call recording, the call tracking, the sales force, and all the things that are required so you can really understand the volume of activity that's going on across all offices.

You want to work on changing the internal sales culture from simply answering the phones and taking orders to being able to sell in a very value-add sort of way. Things become competitive quickly, so it’s important to have a clear understanding of your competitors and develop a value proposition.

Hiring Practices

Taking a page out of Langlois’ Rogers days, they found that hiring people in groups proved to have better retention. Developing a training program where new hires spend an entire month working with an enablement manager who brings them up to speed, gets them through an entire program, so they can then embed into the team at a certain ramp.

Toronto Revenue Collective

The Revenue Collective was started by Sam Jacobs in New York City in 2016 to help accelerate the growth of two constituents high-growth technology companies and their commercial leadership. The Collective is a small private group of revenue executives who come together to drive growth, support one another, share best practices, and benchmark relevant data.

Revenue leaders around the globe who are working in these tech companies—even if you're in an early stage startup—you're a common shareholder, you're going to be diluted, you're easily blamed, and at the end of the day, the most accountable part of the business is revenue,. sSo typically, you can be easily fired.

If you're the GM of an NHL team, and the numbers aren't getting where they have to get to, what do you do? You fire the coach. It's sort of the same thing, the CEO fires the VP of Sales, the CRO.

Three parts of the Collective:

  1. Ensure everyone who is a part of the Collective is sharing their experiences, this way all members get better at their jobs and work together to share best practices.
  2. When you're working with a company, being able to manage your career in the sense of how you're setting budgets and forecasting in the current market, as well as other departments within your organization.
  3. How to manage your career in terms of making the right career choices, how to negotiate better for yourself, and making sure that you're protected.

Advice from Butch

“You've got to learn the product. The best salespeople that have worked for me, they come in and they do the work. You know, less ping pong. When you start delivering the big numbers, there are people in my office and yes, they do play ping pong, but they're staying later to make sure they're delivering their numbers and they deliver all the time. Sometimes you can really get caught up in the culture of a company and it can take you in a bad way. When you're there you have a few months to make a really good impression. And typically that's just from being immersed in what the product is doing and then just put your head down and deliver and the rest will come. You'll be playing ping pong not long after that.”
       - Butch Langlois