Yoav Vilner, founder of several tech companies and now CEO of sales experience platform Walnut, sat down to speak with us about the sales demo revolution.
Walnut has come a long way in just two short years. Can you tell us how the journey started, and what led you to found the company?
Walnut indeed launched about a year and a half ago. It came from a burning need I saw while running a 600-client tech marketing company, where I saw B2B companies spending the majority of their money on getting prospects to simply view a demo of their product, where often things would break. My cofounder noticed the same issue while running startups that sold their products to enterprise companies. Everything happened quickly from the moment we started building our MVP.
What is Walnut’s core value proposition, and how does it differ from your competitors’?
We allow B2B companies to provide amazing sales experiences to their prospects. They’re personalised, interactive and fit specific use cases. You don’t have a lot of competitors when you build a new category in tech. There are newer teams nowadays that have raised smaller rounds trying to compete with Walnut.
With the SaaS industry booming, in what ways can Walnut help to revolutionise the sales experience and help facilitate this exponential growth?
When exploring to buy SaaS products, you don’t know what the product value is until around the tenth meeting. You often speak to tons of pre-sales, SDRs, and AEs, and then get a generic demo like any other prospect. There’s a revolution going on right now where the people have had enough: they want B2B sales to be as comfortable, modern, and personalised as B2C sales.
You often talk about the importance of empowering sales teams by handing over full control of the demo process. Could you embellish on this and reveal how Walnut makes this possible?
Our technology allows sales teams to gain ownership of the demo they need to customise. Think of a Wix-like editor (and we are backed by Wix CEO that’s giving us a lot of inspiration), where sales reps can drag-and-drop to create a perfect sales demo template.
Are there any success stories you could share with us?
Too many to count! We’re already working with hundreds of companies, ranging from Fortune 500 to smaller tech startups. Most of them have seen value very quickly from us helping them reduce the friction between sales and back-end teams.
You have recently released a new product called Walnut for teams, could you tell us a bit more about the idea behind this project and how it differs from the Sales Experience Platform?
Walnut for teams was a very viral launch that took place recently. We performed our research and found that sales teams want to work together, learn from each other, and improve every day. We have released a version of our product that is suitable for teams to create the demos together, learn which template works best for which type of customer, gain valuable analytics, and automatically customise the demos.
What are some of the key goals that you have set for yourself personally?
Walnut has been a groundbreaking early startup so far, and I just hope and work hard, so it can remain one going forward.
Now that the pandemic is drawing to a close, do you expect a shift back to in-person sales, or are remote sales here to stay?
Companies have seen they can get to the same, bottom-line revenues without spending millions of dollars on flights, physical meetings, and in-person events. I believe that remote sales are here to stay.
Since it will play a large role in the success of Walnut, could you give us your general opinion of the current state of the SaaS market and how it will develop over the coming years?
I normally don’t trust people that make tech predictions, so I won’t hurry to make one myself. I just think that SaaS buying will continue to be a revolutionary segment in worldwide tech.
Finally, if you could give one essential sales tip to SaaS start-ups, what would it be?
Always try to be the market maker and mover by launching fast, building a massive brand, and building the best product that you can.