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    Where We Came From and Where We’re Going

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    I recently sat down to draft an internal memo to the Membrain team about the next era in our evolution, and realized that there are things I want the rest of the world to know about who we are, where we came from, and where we’re going next. So here it is.

    Membrain has never been just a software company. Yes, we make software. But at the heart of everything we do, we have always been absolutely committed to a higher ideal: Elevating the sales profession.

    We believe that selling is a profession to be artfully executed, not simply something you’re born to or something to do when you can’t decide what else to do. We believe that HOW you sell is why you win, and that a well developed and supported sales team is the heart of every business.

    My Big Mistake that Started It All

    When I set out to build this company, I didn’t do it just to add another sales software to the busy sales software scene. In fact, it didn’t start with an idea at all, but rather a mistake: My own company at the time, Upstream, was stuck in a cycle of hiring and firing salespeople.

    This was costing the company a lot of money, and costing me a lot of headaches. I kept trying to fix the problem and failing, until I realized that the problem was me. Specifically, the faulty assumptions I was making.

    Once I realized that I was the problem, everything got simpler. I looked at assumptions like “sellers are born not made” and “they should know what to do if they’re any good” and “they should be self-disciplined to log their activities because I said so.” I unraveled them and discovered that they were the same assumptions that many company and sales leaders were making.

    Why We Started With Sales Process & Methodology

    Once you unravel the bad assumptions about what salespeople “should” do, you begin to see that there’s been a big gap in the sales profession between wanting salespeople to “do right” and actually supporting them in doing what you think they should.

    In fact, I began to see that the companies that built most CRM systems did so from the same faulty assumptions I had been making. They created systems designed to log activities and measure outcomes, but not designed to support salespeople in:

    • Executing on strategy
    • Following sales process with embedded methodologies
    • Developing and improving skills
    • Finding weak spots and addressing them
    • Progressing projects through the sales pipeline

    We decided that the first thing to do was to develop the platform that would do all of that.

    Our development over the past decade has focused on building easy-to-navigate visual workflows that encourage learning, collaboration, coaching, and growth in B2B complex selling environments.

    Our modular approach with specific sales workflows helps teams to:

    1. Find and engage potential customers (Prospecting)
    2. Increase effectiveness in winning identified sales projects (Active Pipeline)
    3. Deliver and grow with customers (Account Growth).

    These tailored workflows sit on top of a foundation of structured CRM data, productivity tools, enablement content, as well as built-in reports and dashboards for accurate forecasts and insights on tactics and strategy.

    Our workflows have focused on process, methodology, and productivity, giving salespeople and their leaders the tools they need to continuously improve HOW they sell.

    Now We’re Moving Beyond Process & Methodology

    We’re extremely proud of the tools we’ve built and how they support the teams we work with. Through our partner program, we’re able to offer companies complete solutions that include strategy, process development, coaching, execution, and the platform that enables it all.

    And now that we have the platform that is the best in the world for supporting sales team execution, we’re moving into a new phase where our focus will be getting closer to the individual. We want to support the individual growth and development of sales team members and their managers, so that teams that work with us become increasingly effective in their jobs over time.

    People are the most expensive aspect of many businesses, yet many companies hesitate to invest fully in them.

    Our first new product offering for this goal is the Coaching Cockpit, which will launch in early 2024. It’s a safe space for salespeople to work with their managers and coaches to improve their professional skills and performance.

    We Believe Your People Are the Underdeveloped Resource You Should Invest In

    Your people are the most expensive aspect of your business. Yet many companies hesitate to invest fully in them. Instead, they focus on improving technology, automation, events, AI, and everything BUT the people themselves.

    Training is often an afterthought, and is rarely supported by follow-up coaching and development. This is especially true in sales, where the mentality is often “sink or swim” rather than continuous growth and development.

    Companies bolt technology on top of technology trying to solve their most pressing efficiency problems, and just assume that their people will do what they need to do. But the truth is that the humans in your organization are the ones who will drive progress, solve your problems, and improve your effectiveness: If you help them get there.

    That’s why we say that coaching is the critical multiplier in your organization. And that’s why we partner with sales training and development experts to help our customers not only access the best sales tools and develop effective sales process: But also develop the people who will execute on those processes and use those tools.

    I look forward to this next phase of our journey, where I see us working even more closely with our partners - the best sales development experts around the globe - to provide even better tools to make strategy and training stick, maintain transparency, and effectively drive continuous, measurable progress and growth. Grow your people, and your way of selling into your #1 competitive advantage, and your company becomes unbeatable!

    George Brontén
    Published November 15, 2023
    By George Brontén

    George is the founder & CEO of Membrain, the Sales Enablement CRM that makes it easy to execute your sales strategy. A life-long entrepreneur with 20 years of experience in the software space and a passion for sales and marketing. With the life motto "Don't settle for mainstream", he is always looking for new ways to achieve improved business results using innovative software, skills, and processes. George is also the author of the book Stop Killing Deals and the host of the Stop Killing Deals webinar and podcast series.

    Find out more about George Brontén on LinkedIn