Building a foundation for B2B sales: key takeaways

Jonathan Ellis
3 min readSep 15, 2020

On August 28th, 2020, Sandalphon Capital and partnered with Sales Assembly and VentureSCALE to host a webinar on “How to Build a Foundation for Sales” as part of the 2020 programming series.

Sales Assembly is a Chicago-based company that provides ongoing training, education, development, and peer communities for the revenue teams of nearly 140 of the country’s fastest growing B2B tech companies. The speakers were Christina Brady, President of Sales Assembly, and Todd Caponi, Managing Director of VentureSCALE.

They covered four core topics: 1) messaging for uncertainty, 2) empathy for a remote buyer, 3) removing friction from the sales journey, and 4) optimizing firmographic and demographic focus.

We’ve captured the key tactical takeaways below:

Messaging for uncertainty

Messaging created during an up-market will not work effectively in an uncertain one. If your messaging was developed in the pre-COVID world, find it, select all, and delete. Companies need to figure out who they are now. There are three things that we all do when we face uncertainty: 1) we cut out discretionary spending, 2) we take stock of our essentials, extend their runway and reduce costs, and 3) we look at risk and determine how to mitigate the worst case scenarios. Your messaging must focus on why your products and/or services are essential to the buyer now.

Empathy for a remote buyer

Being a remote buyer has as many challenges as being a remote seller, so it is critical to develop empathy for this experience. Remote buyers have limited access to their co-workers for consensus building, limited budget and are trying to determine which product/service is best for them while working at a remote office oftentimes with their kids running around behind them. You have an opportunity to differentiate in the way you sell. Help them prioritize. If they are going to take their precious time to speak with you, what message do you want to send to them? Qualify the buyer first to ensure they need your product right now and if not, develop a relationship with them and let them know that while you may not be the best solution for them right now, you may be in the future.

Removing friction from the journey

Your buyers are wired to take the shortest path to a reward. They will trick their brains into thinking your reward is not as good if it is hard to get to. Therefore, removing friction from a journey is a great way to have the buyer prioritize your product or service. Look at your processes and engagement model and find ways to make it as easy as possible for your buyer. For example, when a buyer looks at reviews for a particular product or service, they are more likely to purchase a product with a review of 4.2–4.5 stars than 5 stars. This is because when they see a 5 star rating they think there is missing information that they will need to spend time collecting. This translates directly to the business-to-business/human-to-human world, where being as transparent with your customer as possible to remove these frictions from the buying journey creates a shorter path for the buyer.

Optimizing firmographic and demographic focus

When we experience times of heightened uncertainty, we have a tendency to widen our sales net. However, instead, we should focus very tightly on our firmographics and demographics (company verticals, industries and geographic targets) for a period of time and then slowly move outwards. You will end up becoming an expert in that space so you can communicate more confidently and become better at addressing your buyers’ issues.

More information

You can access the full webinar recording here.

If you are interested in learning more about Sales Assembly, and how they and their community can be helpful to your organization, please contact one of the speakers below:

Thank you to our 2020 sponsors — TriNet, Signature Bank, Neal Gerber Eisenberg, Calculated Risk Advisors, Objective Paradigm, and Carta — for your support in making MTC2020 and this webinar possible!

Content provided by Sales Assembly/VentureSCALE. Summary by Julia Ruge, Associate at Sandalphon Capital.



Jonathan Ellis

Sandalphon Capital, a Pre-Seed to Series A stage Midwest/Midcontinent-focused early stage VC firm