The entrepreneur that went from selling soccer tickets to selling security for financial institutions.

By Hustler’s Academy 

One of the most important components on any sale is having a good product or service that works and fulfill its promise. This is the easiest way to move forward with a business, but what happens when your product or service is not well accepted by the clients?

For Víctor Rico, co-founder and general manager of Bayonet (MC Mexico Alumni), a mexican fintech startup focused on authentication, identity and reputation, there are two very marked qualities for closing a sale: persistence and discipline.

The sum of the commercial team’s efforts is the key to reach success, says Rico, and because of that is important that the people involved have a deep knowledge of the product or service they’re selling. It’s also equally important to develop a plan that covers both the sales process and the customer’s decision making process; and finally, and most importantly, it’s vital to have patience, because the sales cycles are long.

Víctor has a degree in Business Administration with a specialty on International Commerce and Systems at the Menlo College, the Business University of Silicon Valley. He started his career selling tickets, looking for sponsors and setting up packages for fans of the San José Earthquakes, a professional soccer team from the Major League Soccer (MLS).

“When I was with the Earthquakes, the team was coming back from a regular season, the greatest challenge was returning the fans to the stadium; we started by generating a community; for that we organized the first Hispanic support group on the club, the objective was to share and transmit my passion for soccer with the fans, and because of that, the bet was to create an identity between the fanatics and the Earthquakes with the aim of expanding commercial activities” Victor said.

On the early stages of his career, Víctor understood that “when you sell a product and you are excited about what you are doing, more than a job it becomes a lifestyle”. According to his experience leading a commercial team, it’s important to understand the point in the sales cycle where the opportunity can be found, having a shared vision with the potential client and assigning a time to everyone on the different stages of the cycle.

“It depends on a lot on the type of product or service you’re offering”, said Rico. “You need to develop a commercial mapping using resources like human capital or tools to reach a sales model, perfect for closing your first sale, and to make later an analysis and replicate the model and scale”.

From selling tickets to selling technology

At Ooyala, in Silicon Valley, Víctor was one of the first employees at the sales area for Latin America. From selling soccer tickets, he marketed technology at a continental level, where the type of sale required a lot of sophistication. By one side, there was the technological component and by the other was the human one, which required offering custom-made suits for every client.

The strategy that Victor gave the desired results was assembling a commercial team captained by a sales engineer that performed as the gear between the commercial and technical areas; he also had people capable of resolving the customer’s needs, either commercial or technical. In this case, they used the Value Selling methodology from the company Visualize, which helps to join the client’s need with the company objectives.

After his experience at Ooyala, Victor collaborated as sales director at Conekta, a payment processing company from Mexico. Having people looking for new business at his command was a fundamental role, in addition to recruiting people that understood the product, they needed to have that vision of offering personalized help to the client via Internet.

For Víctor, “a sale has to be enjoyed”. Today there are many tools to complement the resources of the vendor, he recommends mainly a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) where you can follow your sales operations helping you to be very organized.

Leading a team

With aims of nurturing the digital economy and to make it more inclusive, Víctor Rico and his partners José Chávez and Iram Arshad created Bayonet, a system of user reputation that allows payments processors and online business to know the historical behavior of the users of digital economy in a secure way, keeping their privacy and contributing to a better shopping experience for everyone.

Víctor nowadays is in charge of Bayonet’s general direction, selling all the time to investors, customers and strategic partners, besides transmitting his passion for the company to his talented team.

Víctor’s experience in other companies has given him the tools and preparation for this big challenge. In Bayonet, he maps every component of the sales cycle and considers both to be fundamental: the first approach with the client and the follow-up is given through a phone call or an email, even setting a commercial map or a grounded sales plan are steps he considers critical but above all, it’s important to keep always in mind the client’s needs.

 “There aren’t easy sales cycles, selling technology in an emergent market like Mexico is a big challenge, but the sector is in a maturation stage and there’s more and more budget for investment in technology, and investors seeking to support national projects” Víctor emphasizes.

The close of the sale itself is the success of the sales director and their team, being the beginning of a relationship with the customer because after that, is essential to make a good follow-up work: “A happy customer can recommend you to others”. Víctor also considers that “a sales director has to develop the higher level of integrity and innovation using the best practices of a company, the reputation of people and companies is what you have to always take care of”