Please ensure you read the Commercial Sales onboarding page.
Below is a list of resources considered highly valuable for continuous learning and development by Commercial Sales team members at GitLab. Note that some of these resources are not publicly available, so consult a fellow teammate for access where necessary.
When traveling please consider ROI of both any costs plus your time: If you are going to an event you think first:
Given the rough calculation above, you've to be committed driving/booking enough Net ARR at the event prior to you going to the event Note: this doesn’t mean you can’t get travel approval without booking meetings. It means once you get travel approval it is on you to go get people to the event/meetings to create pipeline.
The ultimate purpose of attending any GitLab field event is to gain insight and add value. Sid Sijbrandij, our CEO, talks about the importance of conferences and events here. He believes the main goal of GitLab team participation should always be to connect with our customers and prospects and not to solely attend presentations. Trip notes are our internal process for tracking and capturing this data.
Trip notes are required for the entire Commercial Sales Team anytime a team member travels for the company while working at GitLab. We believe it would be fun and valuable if you also shared trip notes when you traveled for personal reasons; however, that is up to your discretion.
Please follow the best practice process and use the trip note template as a format to prepare for your future trip.
Customer AMAs: Meetings for GitLab team members with current customers that provide an opportunity to ask them about anything in regard to their experience with GitLab
Customer Meetings: Sharing the best practices for conducting any kind of external meeting at GitLab
Trip Notes: allows team members who attend field events to track and capture data in order for the rest of the team to gain insight
Doing Business with Partners/Channels: Guidelines on how to work with partners and resellers in order to ensure value is maximized in these areas
How to Handle New Customers After They Purchase: Best practices for handling new GitLab customers based on the scope of their purchase
Technical Evaluation of Customers: How to properly evaluate a customer’s current technical environment in order to create organizational alignment and prescribe how GitLab can best solve their problems
For a complete list of our Give Back Projects and other Onboarding assignments our team is working on, please click the private link here.
We have found following steps beneficial to make the process of time off easy for Sales and keep business continuity. This does not serve as a replacement to the company wide Guide to Paid Time Off or add process for Sick Time Policy. This is the expanded approach to preparing yourself and the team for time off planned specific to the group.
datesfield in the top right corner to be the dates you are OOO, then select ‘run report’. Make sure ZERO next steps are falling on the dates you are out and cover anything not urgent before PTO. This will ensure you leave you without a huge workload for your backup or you in return.
cc:on the email w/ intro
On the day before time off:
Area Sales Managers have additional steps to consider before leaving for time off:
Backup AEs are not required to:
New team members should familiarize themselves with The Required 7. These are the 7 tactical skills required to be an excellent Commercial Sales Account Executive:
Channel-Managedin the opportunity title
It is a requirement for the Commercial Sales Team to tier their accounts using the fields on the Account Object. This helps prioritize the accounts to go after when prospecting for new or expansion. Please see below definitions specific to SMB and Mid-Market AEs.
First, forecasting, down to even the opportunity level, is a routine exercise for accuracy, not motivation or aspiration. Each week on Wednesday it is required to update five values in Clari by close of business (5 PM) local time. This is Renewal Loss Best Case, Renewal Loss Best Case, Gross Net ARR Best Case, Gross Net ARR Commit, and Net 50/50. At this time, it is required to double-check pipeline cleanliness and always follow the close date conventions listed here.
The three close dates:
Example: It's April 23rd, a new business Mid-Market opportunity is identified for a company at 410 employees and growing at an unknown rate (unclear due to being an agency). The company completed their evaluation with a trial ending this month, there are defined problems initially trying to solve, with some people who have used GitLab before.
A recording Chorus license is mandatory for all Commercial Account Executives. Our intent is to record customer calls for the following reasons:
Follow instructions for using Chorus Scheduler
As we continue to grow as an organization, developing our sales skills to deliver an impeccable sales experience is a critical component of the customer experience, either leading them to enjoy working with GitLab or not, depending on the quality of that experience. We’ve created a program called “Project 35” to help you improve your selling skills. We are utilizing our largest opportunities for the quarter to hone in our selling skills with the goal of these skills being valuable on all other sales opportunities.
As part of Project 35 we will be focusing on the following core selling skills:
During a Project 35 call, The AE who is discussing their opportunity will answer the following questions:
An Opportunity Consult (OCF) is an in depth, two-way conversation between the AE and the ASM to review the opportunity Command Plan. The AE should expect to provide the ASM with more detailed information about the Opportunity Overview fields, the customer's pain points and desired outcomes, challenges or gaps in qualification aligned to the MEDDPPICC opportunity qualification framework, articulate a Close Plan and identify the biggest opportunity risk(s) and action(s) to mitigate those risks.
A Lightweight Deal Review (LDR) is a shorter (5-10 minute) deal review that is designed to identify gaps in the Command Plan and specific next steps. At the end of an LDR, an AE and ASM should have a plan in place to capture the information that is not in the Command Plan, and a specific plan of action on and before the next call.
Next Stepsshould contain only the actions you will take next: no dates, no history, just the Next Steps
Next Steps, the
Next Steps Historywill automatically capture your prior
Next Steps, applying a date stamp and storing them in reverse-chronological order
Next Stepsfield, the next time you update
Next Stepsyou will need to clear the field completely and input only your Next Steps
It is required that all opportunities above $10,000 (Mid Market) and $5,000 (SMB) in total amount (not Net ARR) will have a custom slide deck that is shared with the customer or prospect. The custom deck must be attached to the opportunity by pasting the deck link in the SalesForce field 'Link to Custom Pitch Deck' on the opportunity home page. This will enable Mid Market Account Executives and SMB Account Executives to capture critical account information. Additionally, this will facilitate selling on value rather than features.
Effective ASM coaching of the why now, why do anything, why GitLab and specific next steps the Account Executive will take with the prospect/client. The goal of the red/green process is to accurately forecast which opportunities will close for each designated fiscal period (Month/Quarter). The red/green process is meant to most acutely build skills around identifying the timeline that is most comfortable for the customer to close.
Designating each opportunity that has a shot to close at the end of each fiscal period as either Red (not going to close before the end of the month), or Green (going to close before the end of the month), and updating manager notes with a defense of the color and a specific next step the AE will complete by the next check in (usually the next day). For context, a green account will have a “why now” that corresponds with a close before the end of the period. - The threshold (unless otherwise stated) for accounts that will be reviewed during Red/Green is: - SMB: $2,000 NetARR or greater - Mid-Market: $7,000 NetARR or greater
Red/Green meetings are held the 15th (or closest non-weekend day prior to the 15th) of each month, and the last five work days of the month.
Once Red/Green discussion is complete on the account, the ASM will enter notes in the “manager notes” section of the opportunity to reflect the discussion and the immediate next step the account executive will take.
Hit the forecast we commit to and build better sales skills for our AEs and better coaching skills for our ASMs. - Ideal skills that need to be built are: - Understanding the concepts and execution around knowing the ideal timeline the customer wants to close. - Identifying pain and having customers understand both the negative impacts of not switching to GitLab as well as the realized positive business outcomes by switching to Gitlab. - Building a time-bound mutual success plan with the customer based on the severity or the ability for the customer to devote resources to a project.
At the first R/G meeting of the following period, the leadership team will submit their actual closed-won for the prior period as well as their final R/G commitment. Team will then discuss the reasons why each finished where they did and identify any items that led to variation from commitment.
SMB Account Executives "SMB AEs" act as Account Executives and the face of GitLab for SMB prospects and customers. They are the primary point of contact for companies that employ between 1 to 99 employees.
SMB Account Executives are designated into one of the following pod positions:
SMB Account Executives in First Order will assist prospects in their evaluation through the first buying process. Depending on the account, the other three roles will be the customer's primary point of contact for any renewal and expansion discussions. Collectively the team is responsible for working new business in their territory as well as handling the customer journey for new and existing customers.
AMER SMB Pooled Account Executives are responsible for managing a subset of SMB customers who range from companies on day 1 of using GitLab, all the way to companies who’ve used GitLab since their day 1. The Pooled AEs work collectively in a “pooled” account ownership model meaning customers are aligned at the team level and all AEs are equipped to help. Pooled AEs work with customers to evaluate product and plan expansion, making recommendations to ensure a successful renewal with GitLab based on their needs.
Please read below and through the SMB handbook page for more information.
Zendesk: Managing incoming requests received through support.gitlab.com
The goal and focus of working Zendesk tickets for the SMB team is to help with upselling and renewals
Within timezone (WIP), the Support team is responsible to take the lead on all incoming ZD tickets in the Upgrades, Renewals, and AR (refunds) queue. In off-hours, the SMB team will triage and handle any tickets which will breach during their timezone.
Support will take the lead on all incoming requests in the queue and only forward to the sales owner when:
Note: if you need access to a system, open an Access Request
License Key Management for On-Premise Trials & Subscriptions
GitLab.com Trials & Subscription Management
Detailed instructions on how to handle problems with licenses and subscriptions can be found in these instructions and resources.
More information about sales order processing can be found in the Business Ops handbook section.
Midmarket Account Executives are the primary point of contact between prospective and existing customers of GitLab within a space defined as mid-market, which currently works with companies that employ between 100 to 1,999 employees. These GitLab team members manage the spectrum of project sizes, ranging from small fast growing teams in smaller agile organizations to complex enterprise projects advising on the journey with GitLab to achieve specific business outcomes.
Mid-Market AEs work closely in tandem with the business development team and sales management to manage a broad book of business spread over a large opportunity value range and focus on exceeding client expectations.
"MM Key Accounts" can be used to refer to MM Key Accounts First Order and MM Key Accounts Named collectively. MM Key Accounts are the sub-set of MM accounts with a higher LAM and potential LAM.
The Commercial Sales Team follows the Account Ownership Rules of Engagement This section provides step by step clarity on how to follow the ROE.
Account will be organized into the following two categories:
It is the responsibility of the Account Executive who owns the account to qualify how many employees the account has prior to February 1st. Accounts who have less than 100 employees on or before February 1st will be owned by SMB for the fiscal year Accounts who have 100 or more employees on or before February 1st will be owned by Mid Market for the fiscal year
Accounts will be separated into the following categories
For sales assisted first orders, it is the responsibility of the account executive who conducts the initial discovery with the prospect to research and qualify the number of employees and headquarter location for the account. If the account has less than 100 employees the account will be managed by SMB for the remainder of the fiscal year If the account 100 employees or greater the account will be managed by Mid Market for the remainder of the fiscal year If the account has greater than 500 employees or greater than 100 LAM dev please see the Rules of Engagement Between MMKAFO and Mid-Market Territory for FY '23 for proper lead routing
For web direct first orders we understand there may be a degree of differentiation of actual employee count versus what our systems capture based on the tools utilized to enrich data. It is the responsibility of the Account Executive who owns the first order to identify the correct number of employees after the web direct first order and ensure that the employee count is not "wholly wrong". Wholly wrong is used only for accounts that upon initial assignment are assigned by automation i.e. no team member reviewed them at first transaction.
Wholly wrong is defined as the following Mid Market owned accounts with less than 80 employees SMB owned accounts with greater than 120 employees
If an account is wholly wrong, it is the responsibility of the account owner to chatter @sales-support to reassign the first order and the account to the correct segment.
If an account is not wholly wrong but above or below the segment line (respectively) is it the responsibility of the account owner to chatter @sales-support to flag the account to move to the appropriate segment at the beginning of the following fiscal year.
All accounts that are not researched or identified as being assigned to the wrong segment will be reassigned.
If the AE qualifies this and then keeps it, this can lead to disciplinary action.
As part of the qualification process tt is expected to qualify the location of company headquarters and employee count so we can best support the customer. It is not acceptable to qualify location and employee count in a manner that jeopardizes the customer experience. If you are unsure, always tag your manager in chatter to review the data before involving the customer.
For all accounts that are in SalesForce.com as of February 24, 2022 the Mid-Market Key Accounts First Order team will own all accounts that are:
To avoid confusion the logic is
[1 AND 2 AND (3 OR 4)].
Note: If an AE suspects that the employee count or potential user count is not accurate in our data sources, it is the AEs responsibility to uncover the employee count and potential user count during the discovery phase. If an account is identified to belong to either territory or First Order and the other party continues to work the lead without doing proper due diligence, the account will be reassigned to the appropriate party.
Co-selling is the responsibility of both the Account Executive and their Area Sales Manager to join sales calls together. This is to ensure the best client/prospect experience, along with jointly finding the highest potential within that account. Area Sales Managers have an expectation to log a minimum of 5 co-selling calls per rolling 7 days, although we are aiming to achieve closer to 10-12 calls over a rolling 7 days.
The GitLab partner network is ready to work with GitLab Account Executive's in order to extend the customer selling and services capacity offered by Commercial Sales. Channel's approach to this is called Partner Co-selling and working with Partners involves building a simple, clear, mutual customer opportunity plan establishing “who will do what, when?”.
GitLab has a mature Partner network with good coverage of GitLab-trained Sales and Technical resources. There are a few ways in which AEs will work with a customer including a Partner.
firstname.lastname@example.org the link to the opportunity requesting quote-to-order support (chatter alias coming soon)
Mid-Market Key Accounts First Order Team (MMKAFO) Tactics and Definitions
The MM Key Accounts First Order Team is comprised of Account Executives that work on the highest potential accounts that are not currently customers of GitLab. Once the customer has signed its first contract, the customer is transitioned to a MM Key Account Named AE. However, if an account is won by this team and is deemed to be low potential it will be passed to a MM Territory AE. The rough guideline for these accounts is between 500 and 1999 employees and more than 100 combined employees in engineering and IT. We don't refer to MM First Order accounts as "Named Accounts", because First Order accounts can either go to Named or Territory AEs.
It is the goal of this team to make the first transaction with GitLab:
As a general rule, Sales Development Representatives (SDRs) own leads and Account Executives (AEs) own accounts and opportunities. It is the Account Executive's job to help the SDR understand how the First Order team works and what the expectations are. The expectations are as follows:
After the first transaction is closed by the MMKAFO team, the First Order AEs are responsible to kickstart the handover process. Below are the responsibilities of the Mid-Market Key Account First Order team and the Mid-Market Key Account Named team.
Note 1: Once the account is handed off to the new AE, the new account owner is responsible for the success of the account. This includes any troubleshooting, support, ticket escalations, etc. The exception to this will be if there are any billing issues that arise on the initial order. Because billing issues related to the first order are assigned to the account owner. In some cases, the First Order AE can better fix such problems. In these cases, Named AE can re-assign the issue to the First Order AE for resolution.
Note 2: If a First Order account is deemed to have low potential (fewer than 100 total users), it should be assigned to a Mid-Market Territory Account Executive. If in question, the First Order AE should involve their ASM, Regional Director, and VP of Commercial to determine if the account should be assigned to a Mid-Market First Order AE or a Mid-Market Named AE.
This pilot program is for Commercial team members interested in learning more about Sales management and building foundational leadership skills.
This program is designed to give team members:
The program will run for a total of 8 weeks; each week focusing on a new topic. See the proposed topics by week for the pilot program:
|1||Leading People||Primary differences between being an individual contributor and a leader, establishing a V2MOM for your newly created team, building an inclusive culture, situational leadership, coaching model, establishing expectations for success and the cadence of events to drive consistent results on a daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and annual basis|
|2||Running Effective 1 on 1s||Core components for every meeting, how to capture and provide feedback from activities during the week, building consistency in performance through consistent accountability in one on one.|
|3||A Leaders Responsibility on Sales Calls||Structure of an effective pre-call meeting, what roles a leader should focus on during the sales call, expected follow up for coaching and delivering results|
|4||Running Effective Team Meetings||Key components to a great team meeting - recognition, training, results, pipeline creation and current events. How to structure a meeting to bring energy and ensure AEs leave with clear expectations for the week ahead|
|5||Coaching and Providing Feedback||Utilizing different coaching frameworks based on situational need - GROW, SBI, Skill/Will Coaching Model. An HR partner’s perspective on key professional items that may arise and how to handle them|
|6||Forecasting & Managing Metrics||Understanding what leading and lagging indicators to measure. Implementing programs based on the trends identified in metrics to ensure consistent, positive results. Learning how to forecast effectively and the role Red/Green plays in being a great coach and manager|
|7||Recruiting and Interviewing||How Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging is essential to building a world class team. A recruiter’s point of view on how to attract top talent. Review and discuss our Commercial interview methodology. Discuss what questions and activities ensure our interview process is inclusive and legal|
|8||Components of an Effective Pipe Generation Campaign||Review the primary reasons consistent pipe gen campaigns are needed for sustainable growth. Key components of an effective pipeline campaign. How to launch, reinforce, measure and recognize for effective results.|
The GitLab Commercial departnment expects all Team members to uphold the highest standards of moral and ethical behavior in harmony with GitLab’s CREDIT values. Engaging or promoting activities that are inconsistent with GitLab’s values is not acceptable. It is expected that Team members who are enrolled will uphold both stated and inferred values of working at Gitlab. Items include but are not limited to:
Additionally, it is our expectation that if participating in the program, team members will make their best effort to attend meetings and learning activities. If they are unable to attend, participants should give the facilitator as much advance notice as possible. If participants are not present in the course, they will be removed from the program.
Who is eligible to participate? Any Commercial team member that is in good performance standing (not currently on a performance or behavioral warning) and has been in their current role for over 3 months. We will be selecting 12 participants for this first cohort. It is our itention that this program continue after the first pilot program to continue to give Commercial team members a chance to grow their skills.