B2B Sales Roundtable Insights

Q1 2024 - Three Key Insights

As we prepare to host our Q2 Sales Leadership roundtable this week, we thought we would share three key insights – and potential solutions – that came up frequently over the course of the inaugural dinner in February.
If you are interested in learning more about this Forum and potentially being involved in future events please do get in touch with Lee-Roy Fredericks at Founders Keepers:


When you gather B2B sales leaders and investors from DeepL, Wise, Klaviyo, Sequoia Salesforce Ventures and more around a table, you’re guaranteed an evening packed with insights. And that’s exactly what happened at the inaugural roundtable dinner for the Founders Keepers Sales Forum. One of our newest functional forums, the conversation was as varied and inspiring as the people present: from lively debates on the merits of growth vs. profitability to the perks and pitfalls of deploying AI. It was evident the commercial sales role – from director to SDR level – is in a state of flux, with burnout at an all-time high and the advent of AI transforming long-embedded processes.

1. Sales & marketing must operate more closely together

If it wasn’t already obvious, it’s now clearer than ever: sales and marketing teams who work in silos will struggle to build a sustainable business in 2024. To drive up performance metrics – particularly when creating true value for customers – the two functions need not only to coexist, but collaborate and consult with each other at every opportunity.

This change is largely due to the fact that marketing is now doing much of the heavy lifting when it comes to sales. As the forum’s commercial B2B leaders told us, half of a prospective buyers’ time is now spent speaking to existing users of the product.This means salespeople are spending less time than ever actually talking to customers (which, in turn, will inevitably impact the number of sales reps needed – but that’s a conversation for another time). As our roundtable discussed, a key solution for better integration between sales and marketing is to make sure marketers stay involved throughout the complete buying funnel – not just at the beginning, to create brand and customer awareness, but post-purchase, too. Marketers play an increasingly important role in ensuring customer loyalty and advocacy, too – so making sure they’re in constant communication with product and sales teams is critical.

To produce these additional marketing materials required, it was agreed that generative AI will play a key part – which leads us on to…

2. Use AI – judiciously

Across all industries, commercial leaders are reaping the benefits of AI: for enhancing operational efficiency and creating content via generative AI, to name but two. For all of our forum members, the past year has seen a slew of software trials and experimentation with AI tools, to varying degrees of success.

“No AI tool can (yet) replicate the relationship building required to generate customer success.”

The biggest stumbling block when using AI for sales? Trust. All the forum’s members agreed that, in an 18-month enterprise sales cycle, human input is essential – and no AI tool can (yet) replicate the relationship building required to generate customer success.

While the likes of, the go-to-market AI platform, was one of the tools recommended by our forum members, AI’s value in other areas remains uncertain. For copywriting purposes, for example, our panel saw limited success with AI tools. In the near future, however, our roundtable were keen to explore using AI for accelerating customer personas and exploring robotic voice agents like – which could spell the end of cold calling.

3. Actively work to combat burnout

PPR (productivity per rep) has dramatically increased over the past 18 months. The result? Widespread burnout and high turnover, particularly among sales teams. Combatting burnout demands a multipronged approach – here’s the tried-and-tested techniques the sales leaders have explored.

Firstly, the cliché ‘it’s a marathon, not a sprint’ has never rung truer. A quarter-by-quarter approach, with clearly defined, achievable targets, will always win out over relentless pressure and constantly moving goalposts.

Next, transparency starts at the top. Our forum universally agreed that employees need to “see it to feel they can do it” – ‘it’ being as simple as taking a walk, or going to the gym – and seeing leadership do these things encourages others to do the same.

Additionally, implementing monthly employee satisfaction surveys is always a good idea. Ask questions that collect both quantitative and qualitative data, focusing particularly on comments over numbers. Traditionally viewed as window dressing, our forum agreed that a high employee satisfaction score drives up all other metrics, so it’s well worth investing time and thought into your strategy. In fact, even pre-seed or early stage companies should prioritise employee happiness, and the VC investors around the table advised they looked for this when speaking with potential additions to their portfolio. “Customers should never be happier than staff,” was the universal view.

“If you have a high employee satisfaction score, everything – productivity, revenue – goes up. If leaders don’t get this, (the company) won’t be a happy place to work.”

Finally, fixing burnout culture demands buy-in from the top – the executive board and/or founders. “Smart founders get it,” the panel told us. The best way to guarantee buy-in? Data – and making sure the company’s most senior leaders have full visibility of it.

Lee-Roy Fredericks is a Director at Founders Keepers and leads our commercial and GTM practice.

If you would like to learn more about the Sales Forum dinner please don't hesitate to contact