Life at Roam: meet the Sales team

Life at Roam: meet the Sales team

Get to know our CCO, Hugo Wolfert, and Account Executive, Louis Lamonerie, and their roles in the Roam.ai team.

Usually with these “get to know [insert position and name here]” articles you’ll read about how someone ended up at the company, what they like about it, and it concludes with one of those run-of-the-mill trivial questions like what their favourite flavour of ice tea is.

We’re skipping all that. In fact, here are some basic facts about Hugo and Louis so we can get you all familiar with them.

When he’s not working Hugo is hitting rockets off the tee box, road cycling across the Dutch countryside, or explaining to me why the radiators in our office aren't working well.

Hugo right after this interview

Louis supports the Toronto Maple Leafs, is a big fan of Phil Dunphy from Modern Family, and has recently finished the Amsterdam Marathon (eat your heart out, Gump).

Louis right after this interview

And yes, they like working at Roam. Here's what I think their answers to the generic questions would be:

What’s your favorite thing about Roam? Having the opportunity to be featured in this blog.

Did you always want to work at a tech startup? Our first words as babies were “mom and dad, I would like to work at a tech startup when I am older”.

What sets Roam apart as an employer? We have an RC car in the Amsterdam office. Yeah, other companies have their ‘special’ perks like a few Fridays off in the summer, a Starbucks on the ground floor, pretzel day, and a heap of company merch. That’s cool, but we know the value of our RC car.

Hang it in the Louvre

Ok, let’s make sure I actually do my job and get to the point. Working in the sales team for a tech company like Roam is a unique opportunity. How do you sell tech? An SDK? A location SDK? Our SDK? These are the types of questions Louis and Hugo have asked themselves when they first got into it, and this is what they’ll be talking about today.

To avoid repetition and long paragraphs, their answers have been compiled into one. You're welcome!

How to sell tech?

Things move pretty fast in the world of tech, and it’s especially true in sales. Prospects are now more informed than ever before. Whether it’s before you reach out to them, or while they're in the process of talking to you, they're only a google search away from being aware of competition and other products out there. This means two things: transparency and awareness of competition. You need to be very transparent about what makes your product different from your competition and you need to be hyper aware of what your competition offers, what their pricing model is, and if possible why some of your customers chose you over the competition.

How to sell an SDK?

As a subset of tech, selling an SDK is a completely different ball game. Most of that comes from the nature of SDKs and how they work (we wrote a blog about this before and if our marketing guy did his work it’ll be hyperlinked somewhere). In short, SDKs need to be integrated into the client’s tech stack, so it’s not like a subscription to a service where you would simply have a login to a website or platform and you’re good to go. Here you have to go through the step of implementing the tech, which is both its biggest advantage as well as its biggest challenge when it comes to sales.

It’s a huge advantage because it tremendously benefits customer retention. If developers go through the process of reviewing the tech, and eventually implement it into their tech stack, taking it away is quite a lot of effort. The likelihood of keeping customers is therefore much higher. However, the implementation requirement also brings a huge challenge when it comes to customer acquisition. Your biggest hurdle will be ongoing sprints, ever-changing priority lists, and overall unexpected tech requirements on the potential customers’ side which delay the implementation and testing of your SDK.

So how have we been taking on that challenge?

  1. Speed. Across all aspects of both the sales as well as the tech support, speed is hugely important. As mentioned before, tech teams are busy and have many other ongoing projects, which can come in the way of implementing a new SDK. So, if you aren’t fast enough and leave the client hanging when they're trying to move fast to fit the implementation into their sprints, you’ll likely lose their interest.
  2. Support. Along with the speed of support comes the quality of support. At Roam we like to offer our most premium version of support for all our potential customers during the first 30 days. We do this to make sure we can be highly responsive and helpful during their implementation and testing phases as both of these are crucial to selling an SDK.
  3. Pitch/Demo. Time to pump our own tires here a bit but you need a quality pitch. Ask as many questions as you need to be able to properly quantify the problem your prospect is looking to solve so that you can anticipate what their use case will be. Be very clear on how important this problem is for them, as well as any deadline they are working with. Both of these points are very important in order to determine their level of urgency to solve this issue, and therefore their likelihood to use your SDK to solve it.

The other very unique element of selling an SDK is that you are selling directly to tech teams. For any other tech product you might be selling to HR departments, Sales departments, Operations, or any other department depending on the nature of your product. But with an SDK, no matter the industry you’ll always sell to the developers directly, or the product teams at the least. This brings us to the last point that is very important for sales: Collaboration. Developers are very patient and willing to collaborate on the issues they face. They understand the complexity of tech, and therefore are always willing to work together with your tech team to resolve issues.

The last important element of selling an SDK is to simply allow potential customers to use your product as quickly as possible. Since they require implementation, developers need to get their hands on your SDK and try it out before they can make a decision. Unlike other tech products, SDKs won’t be purchased on impulse or just to give it a shot. They will require testing and stressing from different angles to test the robustness before developers fully release them for production. For this you need great tech documentation, fast support in case of bugs or questions, and some form of either a free trial or a discount for the first month.

How to sell a location SDK?

When it comes to a location SDK specifically, you’ll most often be compared to either what Native can do, or what Google can do. In general, finding your company’s USP is what matters, which we’ll discuss in the next part. But it goes back to selling tech, where you need to be very aware and transparent about what separates you from Native and Google. Additionally, privacy will be hugely important given that you are tracking user locations.

How to sell Roam's SDK?

As far as selling Roam’s location SDK, it mainly comes down to focusing on the USP, focusing on what makes Roam better than not only Native and Google, but also other location SDKs out there. In our case that is Privacy, Customisability, and Accuracy + Efficiency.

Privacy is central at Roam. We are fully GDPR compliant because we don’t sell or communicate data with any other party. Privacy has helped to closing deals because companies feel confident they can trust Roam to improve their tech stack without compromising on Privacy.

Customizability is hugely important when selling to developers because every company will have a different use case. Therefore, developers want to be able to implement your SDK in a way that solves their problems specifically, not just the overall problems with Native location tracking. In our case, customization is across the board, whether it’s our Tracking Modes, choice of APIs, or even down to the conditions under which you start and stop the location tracking. Our product was built by developers for developers and it’s something our clients have thoroughly enjoyed.

Lastly, on a more straightforward level our SDK’s direct advantage is improving location accuracy and battery efficiency. It's the visible impact that our SDK will have on the location updates picked up, and our clients notice a true before and after effect.

What’s your favourite flavour of ice tea?

Louis: Peach, next question.
Hugo: lol, lemon. Peach is for the French*.

*Louis is French.