Q&A with Rick Froehlich, Chief Sales Officer, Rackspace

Q&A with Rick Froehlich, Chief Sales Officer, Rackspace

Rackspace, a leader in managed cloud services, is committed to helping customers realize the power of digital transformation without complexity.

Similarly, the company had a strong desire to remove the complexity long-associated with CRM and sales technology, providing a better experience for reps and much deeper visibility for managers.

To address this challenge, Rackspace deployed Olono across the sales organization, spanning hundreds of reps, managers and sales leaders.

We recently had the opportunity to catch up with Rick.

Q: THE SALES TECH MARKET IS EXTREMELY CROWDED, WITH MANY VENDORS ECHOING THE SAME MESSAGES. WHAT STOOD OUT FOR YOU ABOUT OLONO?

Rick: Without a doubt, the first thing I noticed, that stuck with me was the fact that Olono puts the rep at the center. It’s focused on helping them do their jobs better. That’s very unique in this market. There are a lot of tools for managers. But most of those actually burden the rep, instead of empowering them. What I saw in Olono was the ability to remove the manual data entry tax that we place on reps and instead give them both time, and the helpful guidance to close deals. Of course, while the tool is rep-centric, it’s important to note that leadership is the beneficiary because activity is now accurately captured. 

Q: WHAT HAS THE RESPONSE BEEN FROM THE REPS? ARE THEY ADOPTING IT OR HAS IT BECOME MORE SHELFWARE IN YOUR SALES TECH STACK?

Rick: Implementation was quick and easy, but as you know, user experience is critical to adoption. Within the first couple of weeks we had 85% rep adoption. That’s not a typo. In fact, one of our other leaders even claimed, “After being here for five years, I’ve never seen a tool so well received by the sellers.”

Beyond anecdotal user feedback, we of course look at the numbers. And we watch them closely. Within the first three weeks of deployment, because Olono can capture data from 15 months back, it immediately identified more sales activity than our reps had input all of last year. More than 167,000 contacts, meetings, communications and other sales activities that our sales leaders knew nothing about. This instant pipeline visibility came through automation, with no manual entry from reps.

Ongoing, we continue to see strong adoption and positive impact including 10x more data in the CRM, a time savings of 2 hours per week and 400% better visibility into rep/prospect engagement.

Q: YOU’VE BEEN A SUCCESSFUL CRO/CSO MULTIPLE TIMES. ARE THERE ANY WORDS OF WISDOM THAT YOU WOULD SHARE WITH OTHER CROS AND SALES LEADERS?

Rick: Here are some best practices that I believe have been critical to driving sales outcomes.

  1. Have an agreed upon and defined sales process/methodology. This can be MEDDICC, Force Management, Miller Heiman, Challenger, Sandler, etc., or any custom blend. Choose what works best for your organization because time and time again, research shows sales teams are more successful when a formal sales methodology is in place.
  2. Enforce the sales methodology—from the rep all the way up to senior management. Educate, train and reinforce the best practices.
  3. Find a way to tech enable your sales methodology—because the reality is the days of three-ring binders, laminates and constant prodding are gone.  

Thanks Rick for your time!