Today’s tale: Channels are for Scaling Inside the Tornado

by Stephen Allott, Venture Partner, Seedcamp Sales Tales

and Vargha Moayed, Chief Strategy Officer, UiPath

Channel Islands. image Unsplash

British Telecommunications p.l.c. first re-branded as British Telecom and then again as “BT”. But their new ATM network switches from Stratacom, a Silicon Valley startup, did not work. BT installed Netcool/OMNIbus, their new fault management software. Now the Stratacom gear worked well.

Big news.

Nortel was the telecom equipment gorilla. Stratacom was the new kid on the block. Telecom Italia was the battleground. A package of Stratacom ATM switches managed with Netcool beat Nortel head to head for the Telecom Italia business. News of the…


Today’s tale: Specialise your Sales Roles as you Grow but keep them in the Right Territory

by Tim Frankcom and Stephen Allott, Venture Partner, Seedcamp, Sales Tales

Hunter or Farmer: image Pixabay

The Netcool story started with 8 sales reps. Over the next 6 years the global sales team grew to 120 reps in 20 countries. Named account territories were used to win market share in targeted industries. “Dominate to accumulate”. Maintenance renewals were run by Sarah Bernhardi’s super efficient admin team and we had a handful of sales trainees doing lead generation. Rep OTEs were around 100k.

It was very simple and very practical. Hire a great rep. Give them a patch, proper training and a quota and off they…


Today’s tale: how SQL Compare and Netcool/OMNIbus made it in New York

by Stephen Allott, Venture Partner, Seedcamp, Sales Tales

inspired by “I LOVE NY” image from Unsplash

Want to conquer the US market from Europe?

Hear the winners’ stories.

  1. The Redgate story: is of one world one product: on the internet no-one knows you’re a Brit.
  2. The Netcool story is of a global product which needed to be sold to become the winner
  3. The Craneware story: is a love story of a product made in Scotland for the founder’s American girlfriend’s mother to use at work in America.

What do they have in common?

Each dominated the US market starting from a European HQ.

Each company is quite different: different industry, different ticket price, different SaaS model, different type of founder.


Today’s tale: Sales Rep Ramp Time is the Scale up Metric to Manage when you Build a 200 Quota Carrier Global Sales Team

Tim Frankcom was talking to Stephen Allott, Venture Partner, Seedcamp Sales Tales

Tim Frankcom

We first met in 2007 at Yahoo. In 2010 Tim then joined Criteo’s London office and built a global team from zero to in excess of 500 (including ~200 quota carrying sales people) by 2017.

“Rep ramp time” is the time it takes a sales rep to reach fully experienced sales productivity. Reducing rep ramp time was one of Tim’s key success factors.

“Tim, how do you increase your reps’ chances of success?” I asked.

“Stephen, as always and as you taught me, there are 3 points:” he…


Every dog has its day. How about a lion rampant and a unicorn?

Is Britain now failing and failing faster?

There has been a lot of talk on this subject so I looked for evidence. This is what I found in the Fragile States Index (“FSI”).

The higher FSI number the more fragile you are. The lower the number the stronger you are. In 2006, Norway was top (with the lowest FSI number) and by 2020 Norway was in second place having improved its number from 16.8 down to 16.2.

Germany, after practising penalties, had the biggest improvement climbing 10 places to 13th spot.

In 2006 “Great” Britain was 17th and above France…


Today’s Tale: once you have Agreed your First Sale then Pricing is all about the Journey to Reaching your Business Objectives

by Stephen Allott, Venture Partner, Seedcamp Sales Tales.

Thanks to Omar Pera and Jens Munch.

Today’s Sales Tale (episode 16 in the Sales Tales series) gives you just one point to take away and it’s a point I haven’t seen much mentioned elsewhere.

The point is that you can change your pricing over time.

Price level over time. Image by the author

Not only can you change your pricing but it can often be smart to change it as your company grows.

And don’t get too hung up on the detail in the early days. If you build a big business, the optimisations can come later.

There is…


Today’s tale: follow your customer’s purchasing process step by step

by Stephen Allott, Venture Partner, Seedcamp Sales Tales

with grateful acknowledgement to Wayne Barker

Mont Ventoux, France from Bedoin — Image taken by the author

Need to close that order and win the PO?

Today’s Sales Tale explains how to extract purchase orders fast and efficiently by mapping your sales process, tools and materials to each step of the customer purchase journey.

In the first half of today’s Tale, we explain the 12 key factors in a buying process and how to walk through them. Think of them like dance steps. Understanding the dance steps should be at the centre of your business strategy and also act as your guide in…


Today’s Tale: how to close an order without making it a legal trial

by Stephen Allott, Venture Partner, Seedcamp Sales Tales


Are you spending precious time on negotiating customer contract terms? This can be more of a trial than getting the purchase decision itself. Would you like an elegant way to escape the law’s delays?

Today’s tale is a very short guide to getting your order fast, without fighting or fuss. I’ll explain some key legal aspects along the way.

Try each step in turn. If a step does not work, move on and try the next step.

We shall…


Today’s tale: ten tips to make the most of your weekly sales meeting

by Stephen Allott, Venture Partner, Seedcamp Sales Tales

With thanks to my friends and colleagues Amy Chalfen, Wayne Barker, Ben Miller, Simon Johnson and Jason Ku

Of the 20 sales coaching meetings I have had with portfolio companies in the last 10 business days, over half have been about finding and working in new markets.

This Sales Tale is the story of how one software company learnt to adapt during this period of rapid change.

1. Our top ten tips on how to use your weekly sales meeting to find the new places where the money is hiding.

2. How…


Today’s tale: play like a pro and it won’t be deja vu all over again

1900m — the summit of Mont Ventoux. Image taken by the author

by Stephen Allott, Venture Partner, Seedcamp Sales Tales

The Covid crisis may have helped your software business along. You may be one of the lucky ones. Digital transformation, technology, healthcare and pharmaceuticals are all getting a boost.

But, on the other hand, Covid may have hurt you. Many software markets are limping or on life support. If you are looking at your evaporating sales forecast and cancellations from your subscriber base and thinking:

“What do we do next? Go out and look for new markets? How best can we do that?”

Use our Pro Guide for finding and winning your…

Stephen Allott

Tech vendor scale upper. Decide market strategy. Plan the numbers. Hire the people. Hit the numbers. Solve the problems. McKinsey, MUSE, SUNW, XROX,

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