FutureX Plus / April 6, 2020

Ask Me Anything #1: Alex Alleyne

In business, there’s always someone who’s walked the path ahead of you. Whether you are just starting up or you’re ready to nail down that next big investor, we can learn from those who have been there before us. Sometimes, it’s just about getting the right question to the right person.

Easier said than done, right? Everyone and their gran seems to have an opinion on how you should operate your business – so when you need real advice, it’s hard to know who to ask!

So, we’ve made it easy for FutureX Plus members to get their questions to industry experts. In our Ask Me Anything (AMA) sessions, we’re bringing Plus members the big-hitters and trailblazers who have the answers you need to get your business on track.

Alex Alleyne - Twilio

Alex Alleyne
Strategic Sales Lead, EMEA

Alex Alleyne, sales master and diversity advocate, kicked off our live AMA series last week. He took time out of his busy schedule at Twilio to answer the community’s burning questions, weaving his passion for creating value throughout his answers.

Sales is a tricky beast. From generating new leads to those awkward money conversations, knowing how to get a deal over the line is an essential skill for any business leader. Alex has been through it all, and shared his insights and experience in getting the cash flowing and business rolling through the door. 

Alex’s energy and integrity set the bar high, so we can’t wait for our next AMA with Leela Srinivasan, CMO of Survey Monkey!

FutureX Origami Shapes

Curious about FutureX Plus? We’ve picked out some of our favourite questions and answers from Alex’s AMA to give you a taster of what you can expect!

Q: I’m currently in the process of hiring a business development or salesperson. What skills should I be looking for in the interview? 

There are three characteristics you cannot teach a salesperson: passion, drive and hunger. You can show anyone a sales process, but if you’re looking for a superstar, they have to have ingredients that you can’t teach.

Q: When you’re trying to close a sale, what are themost fundamental top tips for nailing that conversation?

When you focus on building a value-led sale with a compelling ROI, there is nothing to feel awkward about. Focus on delivering VALUE by connecting your offering to your customer’s priorities. 

Is your customer looking to save money, increase customer satisfaction, attain a better NPS score or attract better talent? Whatever that is, ask questions to understand it, quantify it, then show how your solution contributes to the direction they’re seeking to go in. 

Use data to validate your statements and, all of a sudden, you go from feeling awkward to being a strategic advisor that delivers business outcomes.

Q: Do you have any tips or methods when approaching a negotiation?

Always remember that people only buy when the perceived value outweighs the cost. 

If you’re facing an objection, your mind should trigger to say you have likely fallen short somewhere in your process to showcase a return on investment to this customer effectively. Have data to back up your claims and, ultimately, you’ll make it a no-brainer for people to buy from you!

Q: If you could give three practical sales tip to a startup founder, what would they be?

1. Lean on a proven existing methodology such as ‘SPIN Selling’ to give you an initial foundation.

2. Roleplay within your team to get comfortable implementing the process.

3. Test it in the field! Do all of your calls/visits with at least two of you, analyse customer responses then refine the process.

Q: Have you ever had to sell something you didn’t believe in?

I joined a company in the past where I lacked belief in both the company and product. I stayed for a very short time and moved on. I feel confidence in your proposition is so important when it comes to sales! If you don’t believe in what you’re selling, how can you expect anyone else too either?

FutureX Origami Shapes

Do you have a question about marketing, customer satisfaction or knowing your audience? Don’t miss our next Ask Me Anything session on April 21st with Leela Srinivasan, CMO of Survey Monkey – exclusive to FutureX Plus members!

Leela Srinivasan

Leela Srinivasan
Survey Monkey

Find out more about FutureX Plus

FutureX Team