Michael Osborne - Former CRO, Bazaarvoice

Sales Teams

Michael is the CEO and President of SmarterHQ, a customer-centric behavioral marketing platform. He is the Co-Founder and former CRO of myDocket (Handshakez). Michael was formerly the Chief Revenue Officer at Bazaarvoice (NASDAQ: BV) and led the company from under $1 million in revenue to its IPO in February of 2012. During his time at Bazaarvoice, Michael held a number of other positions including Senior VP of Worldwide Sales and Chief Customer Advocate. Prior to Bazaarvoice, Michael was the Director of Client Services at Coremetrics, a provider of web analytics and marketing optimization solutions. He is currently on the Board of Advisors at ShopSocially and Nomi.

Summary Notes on Sales Teams

  • What to look for in talent?
    • Start by looking for passion, intelligence and communication ability
    • Relevant experience in the given industry is crucial
    • Youth vs. experience does not matter as much as characteristics about how individuals will engage with customers
  • What traits to look for by position?
    • Market development
      • Look for candidates straight out of college or with one to two years of experience
    • Salesforce outside rep
      • Look for someone with five to ten years of experience in the market
  • How to structure a sales teams
    • For the first six years, use a one to one market development to sales rep ratio
    • Later on employ a pooled model
  • When did Bazaarvoice transition to a pooled model?
    • When they had about 50 reps globally
  • What is a typical sales rep compensation plan?
    • Use a simple plan that reps can calculate mentally
    • Ideally have a 50/50 base/commission split
    • In his experience, the best reps would ask for more upside over base, but he tried to stick to 50/50
  • What were typical quotas?
    • Outside Rep: $1.35M per year
    • Market Development Reps: target of 40 net new meetings per quarter
  • How do you know when it is time for reps to go?
    • Two quarters missed in a row and out