Alina Vandenberghe is the Co-founder and Co-CEO of Chili Piper, one of the leading scheduling and lead routing applications for B2B revenue teams. In 2021, Chili Piper received a $33 million dollar investment led by Tiger Ventures at close to a $1 billion dollar valuation.
The team at Salesroom had a chance to sit down with Alina at the SaaStock 2022 Conference in Dublin, to discuss today’s economic climate and how sales and marketing teams need to evolve in order to succeed.
Here is a highlight of our conversation:
What changes have you seen in the last six months?
Since Alina considers herself an optimist, she’s been looking for the positives that have come out these past six months. The first change she has seen is that many companies are being smarter with how they’re spending their money. A lot of money is being put back into companies to improve experiences for customers and employees.
However, because of lower than expected pipelines and budget freezes, unfortunately, companies are being forced to make cuts to their staff and current tech stacks.
How do you become recession-proof?
An important lesson Alina has learned is “You have to make sure that the things that you are working on are viable.” She said you should be paying attention to yield and doing the things that are intentional, not vanity numbers and things that don’t reflect the value that your company provides.
Also, if you don’t get VC funding and there isn’t a backup plan, or if a vital customer ends up churning unexpectedly, your company must have its basic economics in the right way, whether you’re in a recession or not.
How should you be allocating your marketing budget?
Alina mentioned Chili Piper does not work with budgets. Instead, they do multiple small experiments. If they start to see positive results in an experiment, they put more money into it until it starts to trend downward or no longer works.
They pay close attention to these experiments and make sure they don’t put all of their eggs in one basket. They want to have a lot of different activities going at once and focus on the ones that show the best results. This way if one channel shuts down they are able to still drive prospects and customers in other ways.
How do you approach asking buyers difficult questions?
Alina likes to talk about her own experiences and the things she has been seeing with others and then asks the buyer if they have or are experiencing something similar.
She feels that if she starts by talking about those first-hand experiences it helps the buyer let down their guard and open up to talk more bout their specific challenges.