Accord co-founders, Ross & Ryan Wealthy opening for Bone Thugs-N-Concord, circa 2012
Proper earlier than the pandemic hit, Ryan Wealthy and his brother Ross left their job at Google and Stripe for his or her craziest journey but: founding Accord! They’d labored collectively prior to now – performing as a hip-hop duo in school (yup, that’s them within the photograph) and organizing numerous fundraisers and concert events. Beginning a VC-backed tech firm was the following logical step for them, proper?
It was late 2019 once they began Accord, the world’s first Buyer Collaboration Platform. It’s a shared workspace so consumers and sellers can work collectively all through the laborious B2B gross sales course of—making it much more collaborative and quite a bit much less painful.
As a part of the founding gross sales groups at Stripe (Ross) and Google Cloud (Ryan) noticed how little innovation there was across the purchaser <> vendor relationship. Account executives had been working multi-year, multi-stakeholder, multi-million greenback offers with e mail and convention calls.
They went by way of Y Combinator’s Winter 2020 Batch and just lately raised $6M from Stripe. A few of their early clients embody Figma, Productboard, and Very Good Safety.
Connecting with the minds behind Accord
I caught up with co-founders of Accord, Ross and Ryan Wealthy, who talked with me about the way forward for their firm and the world of B2B gross sales.
Q: Accord takes a buyer-first method, what precisely does this imply and why did you resolve to take this method?
As gross sales reps, Ryan and Ross shared that they used to assume closing a deal was arduous work… However that was earlier than they began speaking to consumers about their expertise. After interviewing dozens of consumers whereas getting Accord off the bottom, they rapidly realized what it was prefer to be on the opposite facet of the desk.
“Looking back, we actually had no concept how difficult it was to truly purchase one thing! The authorized opinions, safety opinions, consensus constructing, finances negotiations. Most evaluations finish in no determination AND there are over 10 decision-makers simply on the shopping for staff.”
There are literally thousands of gross sales instruments that concentrate on making life simpler for the gross sales staff—but none constructed with the shopping for expertise in thoughts. That is the proper instance of how gross sales aren’t actually centered on a very powerful individual within the gross sales cycle: the customer!
Q: There’s point out of shifting from“Vendorship” to “Partnership”, what precisely does this imply?
Ryan shared his perspective on what Accord’s tagline “From Vendorship to Partnership” actually means:
“A vendor is targeted on their product and promoting as a lot of it as doable. They love speaking about bells, whistles, and reductions. (Nobody desires to work with a vendor.)
A accomplice, then again, is a topic knowledgeable involved with serving to their consumers make the absolute best determination. The trendy purchaser involves the desk seeking to collaborate. They need a accomplice to assist them take into consideration their enterprise and its challenges. Take Figma for instance. Firms wish to purchase from Figma as a result of they need a accomplice to assist them with their over design and inventive course of, not merely due to a perform or characteristic.”
Q: How will B2B gross sales evolve sooner or later?
Consider every part that’s occurred within the B2C shopping for course of within the final 20 years… shopping for insurance coverage, a visit overseas, or a brand new automotive. It’s frictionless and a human is simply concerned within the final 20% of the method (if in any respect). That’s coming to the B2B world.
Consumers are begging for a special shopping for expertise and gross sales leaders are struggling to maintain up. Particularly at extra conventional enterprise organizations. Ryan believes that there’s about to be an explosion of expertise to help this new relationship. There’s no means e mail, Slack, convention calls, and shared docs are going to chop it. You possibly can’t replicate a frictionless B2C expertise utilizing home-grown instruments.
It’s an costly drawback and you’re already beginning to see lots of new startups, like Accord, within the area.
Q: What are some actionable methods B2B gross sales reps can implement to place their consumers first?
Construct empathy in your consumers. The extra a gross sales staff understands their consumers, the higher they might help them. Take time to interview your consumers after as many received and misplaced offers as doable. What was probably the most painful a part of the gross sales course of, the place did they expertise probably the most friction? Ryan additionally recommends a current article on positioning your self as a accomplice and the way construct empathy in your consumers.
Most groups are afraid to ask their consumers about their expertise—particularly when offers had been misplaced. Consumers are surprisingly open to serving to their promoting counterparts study and enhance.
Q: What are the plans for the current fundraise? What’s the long run maintain for Accord?
Off the again of their current $6M seed spherical fundraise (led by Stripe & YC), Accord is staying laser-focused on constructing the Accord Buyer Collaboration Platform to assist income leaders create a repeatable, collaborative gross sales movement.
This consists of: investing much more in our R&D staff (throughout engineering, product, and design), in addition to beginning to scale the GTM facet of Accord with new hires in gross sales and advertising.
Be happy to achieve out to Ryan to speak B2B gross sales, hip hop, or no matter’s in your thoughts: [email protected], LinkedIn, or subscribe to Accord’s publication.