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Written by Nicole Pitre Account Executive
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12 Sep 2018  |  Culture

How Paddle Does Sales Differently

4 minute read

I’m Nicole, an Account Executive on the Paddle Sales Team. At Paddle, we have a unique approach to Sales, which involves diving deep into a seller’s technical needs as well as exploring how we can help improve their business model. I wanted to cover what would interest someone from a non-sales background (like mine) to join our Sales Team.

My Background

Coming from a non-sales background in data science, I had some preconceptions about “sales culture” in general. The media represents salespeople as pushy, competitive and solely driven by money as opposed to making a real impact. That aside, I always knew that tech sales was a field I wanted to pursue, as it’s the ideal combination of client interaction and technical/product knowledge. Every day brings something new; one day I could be learning the technical details of a specific API, while the next I could be jumping on calls with clients in varying stages of their growth journeys.

Getting Started at Paddle

From my first day, I could tell right away that Paddle had built a unique sales culture. I was blown away by the level of support and camaraderie from my team. The onboarding process was more comprehensive and enjoyable than those I had experienced at larger companies.

I learned about the company not only from my own team, but also from people in other departments (e.g. Product, Seller Success, Marketing). The Tuesday company lunch on my first day was a great chance to meet people from across all the departments. A few weeks later, our leadership team sat down with me and the other new starters to get to know us on a personal level and explain more about their vision for the company.

In my first few weeks at Paddle, I quickly realized that the Sales team is fast-paced, inclusive and team-oriented. We share tips and knowledge on a daily basis to help each other develop, improve and, ultimately, hit our targets. This knowledge comes in the form of 10-minute daily standups (where we openly discuss issues/successes), weekly sales meetings, team Slack channels, and ad-hoc chats with our Team Leads.

How we do Sales Differently

Paddle is an exciting platform to sell because we focus on building long-term, mutually beneficial relationships. We don’t close a deal and move on; we only succeed in the long run if our sellers succeed. Our business model means that we build a lasting relationship with each of our sellers and communicate with them frequently. This model allows us to create personal connections with our sellers, becoming an integral part of their growth.

The Difference Between Traditional and Technical Sales

When referring to our sales strategy, we often differentiate between ‘technical sales’ and ‘traditional sales’. A traditional sales strategy involves building personal credibility and relying on that credibility to support a sale from beginning to end. This isn't as focused on the needs of a particular customer, but more on the product features paired with the brand/credibility of the salesperson. In traditional sales, a salesperson is often selling to CEOs and businesspeople.

Because of the complex and diverse needs of Paddle’s sellers, a traditional sales strategy wouldn’t work effectively here. Paddle’s audience is highly technical, meaning we’re usually selling to CTOs, Lead Software Developers and Heads of Product/Engineering. For these reasons, we’ve adopted a technical sales strategy, which focuses on the specific priorities and goals of our seller.

For example, one seller may have VAT/sales tax/compliance management as their main struggle, while another seller may be completely focused on building flexible subscription models. A seller’s priorities can vary greatly based on their business model and where they sit on their growth journey. The Account Executive’s role is to gain a deep understanding of the seller’s needs, tech stack, and business model in order to provide them with a fully customized solution.

Hiring For Sales

Hiring for a technical sales team is challenging, as it requires people with technical knowledge/experience, a passion for complex technology, and excellent communication skills. This unique combination of skills means that we often hire people from a wide range of backgrounds and industries, including engineers looking to become more client-facing.

I came into the Sales team from a background in data science and people operations; funnily enough, this mix of skills/experience translated perfectly into a technical sales role. The leadership and communication skills developed during my people operations role have been invaluable during client calls and team meetings. The technical knowledge gained through my data science background allows me to better understand Paddle’s platform/infrastructure and to discuss it on a deeper level with our sellers.

What Paddle Looks For

Paddle considers people from all backgrounds and experience levels for our Sales team. We look for people with a desire to grow and learn, a passion for technology and the right combination of communication/technical skills. The most exciting aspect of joining a fast-growing company like Paddle is being able to see the direct impact of your work. For instance, as an Account Executive, you can be hands-on for the entire sales process, from first contact with a client all the way up to their launch with us (and all the little milestones along the way). In addition, since we’re an early-stage company, development happens at a rapid pace, meaning that career development/progression can also happen quickly!

If this sounds interesting to you, check out our careers page! We’re currently hiring for Sales and Business Development representatives as well as Account Executives. These roles range from a junior to senior level.

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