Bryan Elsesser, VP of Sales at SaaStr: Top Dos and Don’ts to Have an Effective Start

In the run-up to the 2021 SaaStr Annual, SaaStr’s very own Poya Osgouei sits down with Bryan Elsesser, VP of Sales at SaaStr. Bryan shares tips and his perspective on what’s been effective and useful during his first few months as the VP of Sales at SaaStr.

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Bryan shares his learnings, from media sales and heading up the sales development function to Aircall, to his top learnings at SaaStr Inc. itself. 

  • Within 3 months of joining Team SaaStr, Bryan carried a bag himself and closed over $1m in sales in the first 90 days.  Carrying a bag let Bryan learn how an existing sales process really worked, even coming in as VP.
  • “Selling when you have a brand under you is just different.  SaaStr had such a strong brand, coming in, I didn’t need to make a ton of change.  I just needed to be humble and learn what I didn’t know.”
  • “And so what I needed to do coming in as a new VP of Sales is sit back and watch the sale, learn about our process, learn about what works, what are the nuances that wouldn’t change and embrace them? And then by embracing them, I don’t need to make a lot of changes. Instead. I can go and, you know, build from there.”
  • “We still aren’t using Salesforce and CRM as much as we should.”  We don’t know as much about our partners, sponsors, and speakers as we should.  Individuals know the relationships and histories, but the company doesn’t without fully using Salesforce the way we should.” 
  • “I should have hired faster.  Being careful is important, and with a small team, a mishire is more damaging.  But it hindered our support and growth by being behind on headcount.
  • “I wish I could go back and tell my younger self to keep pushing, and to be consistent during the ups and downs. I really wish I kept pushing and told myself to have faith”
  • Bryan came into sales from an Opera background (!).  “If you looked at my early resume, it wouldn’t say sales leader.  It would say someone who didn’t know what they wanted to do.”

Take a deeper listen here.

Published on August 31, 2021

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