A look into global sales, creating great teams, and building relationships with customers
When creating a product or delivering a service, scaling can quickly become one of your biggest hurdles. It's one thing if you're selling something to a certain location, it's a lot easier to understand the needs and desires of a singular location, but what about when you're scaling something at a global level?
For that, you're going to need to start looking at the bigger picture and that means managing global teams and understanding what your product can bring to different areas of world.
I had the chance to talk with Pierre Berlin of Mixpanel to learn a bit more about sales teams and how to implement the best practices wherever you are.
Care to introduce yourself and your role with Mixpanel?
Pierre Berlin, I’m the VP of Global Sales here at Mixpanel.
What does your position entail?
My goal is to scale Mixpanel's international presence with offices in Europe and Asia and drive sales.
What were you doing before Mixpanel?
My background incorporates 20 years of experience in building, scaling, and developing teams. Before Mixpanel, I assisted the London-based start-up DueDil to develop its B2B go-to-market strategy in Europe.
Prior to DueDil, I worked 10 years in roles across marketing, sales, and management at Business Objects (acquired by SAP), and 5+ years at Linkedin where I opened four offices (France, Italy, Spain, MENA), before leading the entire Linkedin Talents Solution team in EMEA, consisting of 800 people across 9 offices.
With global sales operations, what are some of the big challenges? I imagine scaling is one of them?
Scaling internationally is always a challenge. My, and the company’s, goal is to scale in a way that sets the stage for best practices to be translated across our offices while enabling impactful local content to shine.
We’re making sure to think globally but act locally, addressing specific needs, audiences, and businesses.
Other big challenges with taking sales operations internationally are making sure we hire the top talent who are excited to grow fast and drive business and sales enablement.
What about Mixpanel is most exciting to you?
One of the most exciting things about working at Mixpanel is the product. Our engineering team is driving at max power to develop new features and added functionality to meet customer needs.
Another thing I think is remarkable is that before having any international presence at all, 40% of the company sales were coming from abroad. That tells me that there is a tremendous hunger internationally by companies looking to become more data-informed.
I’m excited to help meet this demand with a number of international offices in EMEA and APAC.
Any tips for others who are working to develop stellar teams? What challenges should they expect?
My main recommendation would be to build a team based on potential, and not past experience. At Mixpanel, we’re building a team who are building scalable solutions that the full company can take advantage of for best practices.
As our team continues to grow across the globe we’ll be able to put these practices into effect and grow our team as a united front.
Is building SaaS sales teams different than other types of sales? If so, how?
The Software industry as a whole is complex because the goal is to help the customer envision the future when they are working with your product.
One of the challenges, and opportunities, of working with a SaaS company is that the product is constantly evolving so the need to build relationships and consistently prove value, rather than doing a one-shot sell and being done, is important.
At Mixpanel we’re not focused on one-off sales but rather we’re building a partnership network built on win-win relationships.
Are certain areas around the world more difficult to enter? Are there areas that need Mixpanel-type products more than others?
Our goal is to help our customers understand their customers and improve their customers’ experiences by becoming more data-centric.
To get to this point some education is needed; it’s not always easy to shift an entire organization to rely on data to make decisions.
Thanks for answering some of my questions, anything I missed or you'd like to add?
This is a super exciting time to be part of Mixpanel- the company is rapidly growing, our product is evolving at lightspeed and our team is energized and excited.
As we continue to grow our team internationally we’re always looking for members interested in joining the adventure with us. Check out our website’s career page for more information.