Oct 20, 2022 • 35M

How to transition from AE to Head of Sales (and from Media to SaaS): An interview with Bernadette Hunter, Head of Global Sales & Customer Success at Flavorcloud

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Arnie Gullov-Singh
Weekly advice on the top sales, marketing and leadership issues that prevent startups from growing faster.
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Making the jump from AE to head of sales is notoriously difficult. So is making the jump from media to SaaS. Doing them both at the same time is virtually unheard of but today’s guest Bernadette Hunter has done just that and is thriving.

After a successful career as an account executive selling advertising at Microsoft, Facebook, Polyvore and Tumblr, Bernadette made the double jump from being a senior AE in media to the head of sales and customer service at a Series A SaaS startup, Flavorcloud.

There’s a lot of gold in this podcast, from how Bernadette networked with her now boss over multiple years, to how she meticulously researches and tailors messaging to prospects before reaching out to them, to how she determined the company could move upmarket, to why she combined her AEs and SDRs into full-cycle reps, to how she structures high impact QBRs for her customers.

It’s a must-listen for anyone looking to move into sales management, anyone looking to move between media and SaaS and a great refresher for anyone who has already made either of those jumps. I’ve known Bernadette a long time and always learn something new every time I talk to her.

Give it a listen here or on Apple Podcasts and let me know what you think! And if you haven’t done so already, please consider subscribing.

Podcast contents

  • 0:45 Can you tell us about Flavorcloud and the problem you’re solving?

  • 1:30 You recently made the jump from being a senior AE to managing a sales team. How did that happen?

  • 5:00 We discuss some of the key differences between selling media and selling SaaS.

  • 7:00 You recently went upmarket from mid market to enterprise. How did you figure that out?

  • 10:18 What does your prospecting motion look like today?

  • 13:05 You’re doing a lot of research and personalization in your prospecting and focusing on quality over quantity. What results are you seeing?

  • 14:40 You mentioned using gifting platforms in your prospecting stack. How are those are working?

  • 16:00 You spent a long time in B2C marketing. What can B2B marketers learn from B2C marketers?

  • 19:00 We discuss some of the challenges with attribution in B2B marketing and how LinkedIn is starting to address them in a similar way to how Facebook did 10 years ago.

  • 22:45 You switched from Hubspot to Salesforce. Why?

  • 26:20 You have a usage-based pricing model. What does your sales and onboarding process look like?

  • 29:15 What does a QBR at Flavorcloud look like?

  • 31:45 What does your go-to-market team look like?

Additional reading

How to land your first management role and develop the skills to succeed in it

What SaaS sales leaders and media sales leaders can learn from each other