Q&A with John Hayes, Director of Sales at BALYO

Media 7 | July 20, 2021

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John Hayes, Director of Sales at BALYO, began his professional career when he was 13 years old. In the USMC, he was exposed to the world of Avionics and eventually, built his career in AGV and AMR. With this, he developed an elaborate history in working with sales in various positions beginning as a salesperson to become the Director of Sales at Balyo. He is a well-respected and experienced thought-leader in the industry, today.

Hiring experienced individuals and relying on their ability to connect with people versus a highly technical approach has always proven to be the best.



MEDIA 7: Can you please take us through your professional journey?
JOHN HAYNES: 
I started out in the USMC (United States Marine Corps) as an Avionics Technician. Following the USMC, I stayed in the electronics industry trying to utilize my training and ended up in an AGV (Automated Guided Vehicle) company in Virginia that provided automation solutions to newspapers. I was an assembler as well as a project installation professional. It turned out to be the beginning of a life-long career in AGVs and now, AMRs (Automated Mobile Robots). Many of the people with whom I worked in that company, I still see regularly and work with on various projects.

What led me to my career today was a more strategic sales position which began at my next AGV company, a small company in Charlotte, North Carolina, AGV Products. The two functions most needed were project engineers and salespeople. The greatest need was, and is, for great salespeople. I have been a salesperson, a sales manager, a VP of Sales, and now Director of US Sales for a multinational AGV company, Balyo.


M7: How does BALYO stand out from other AGV providers in the market today?
JH:
There are a couple of compelling differences, but the ones that seem to resonate are Balyo’s full line of AGVs and AMRs. Many new companies have one or two specific vehicle types, but not a full range of technology solutions that can handle multiple applications. The Balyo solution also bridges the gap between AGV and AMR quite well.

BALYO’s guidance is infrastructure-free and simple to implement, similar to an AMR concept: the upper-level functionality of a software system that monitors the entire fleet, as well as interfaces, to nearly all offboard equipment and software is what makes BALYO a best-in-class solution. Because more companies have a global footprint, it is also important to our customers that we have worldwide coverage (sales, service, and support).


Marketing is VERY important to any company, although I generally see it being justified by the number of web hits or ‘leads’ that come in



M7: What are some of the sales automation tools you rely on to help BALYO’s sales team grow?
JH:
At present, we use Hubspot which is an indispensable tool for tracking marketing activities. It shows us how our brand and messaging is working. Currently, we have evaluated the functionality, rationale, and dynamics of CRM solutions. That visibility will give senior management insight into the pipeline and development of a solid and accurate forecast.


M7: How do you ensure that your sales team understands and presents BALYO’s products in an engaging manner?
JH:
Hiring experienced individuals and relying on their ability to connect with people versus a highly technical approach has always proven to be the best. We have an incredible library at BALYO of e-Learning tools. This is one of the benefits that came from our initial approach to go-to-market via our partners and their dealer network. We have PowerPoints and brochures and the like, but I focus on a salesperson’s ability to connect with a potential customer.

"Hiring experienced individuals and relying on their ability to connect with people versus a highly technical approach has always proven to be the best."

The sales process in this industry is usually 9 months or longer and high tech and transactional approach seems to fail. What I rely on most are smart and compelling Applications Engineers. At BALYO in the United States, that person is Maggie Oltarzeski, the Pre-Sales Engineer.
A strong applications engineer moves the sale forward much more effectively than a ‘Hunter’ type salesperson who insists on doing everything themselves. Much of that mentality seems to be ego-driven and detrimental.

"A strong applications engineer moves the sale forward much more effectively than a ‘Hunter’ type salesperson who insists on doing everything themselves. Much of that mentality seems to be ego-driven and detrimental. "


A strong applications engineer moves the sale forward much more effectively than a ‘Hunter’ type salesperson who insists on doing everything themselves. Much of that mentality seems to be ego-driven and detrimental.




M7: How do you generate leads? What is the process of lead generation at BALYO?
JH:
This one is easy and I have done it three times in my career with startups and now with BALYO. It boils down to my mantra: Marketing leads sales, Sales leads the company. Marketing is VERY important to any company, although I generally see it being justified by the number of web hits or ‘leads’ that come in. Realistically, marketing’s role is to set a preference and differentiation early in the communication strategy. We focus on thought leadership, such as my role in Forbes Business Development Council. There is ONLY one metric that matters: SALES.

"It boils down to my mantra: Marketing leads sales, Sales leads the company."


M7: According to you, what is your preferred method of reaching out to potential clients?
JH:
It is a stepped method that begins with a distant introduction via LinkedIn, if possible, to set an expectation on both sides of our industry experience and ability to help. The next touch is, typically, via email. From there, it tends to become more personal, calling and texting tend to be the preferred communication methods.

ABOUT BALYO

BALYO transforms standard forklift trucks into standalone intelligent robots thanks to its breakthrough proprietary, Driven by Balyo™ technology. The geo-guidance navigation system developed by BALYO allows vehicles equipped with the system to locate their position in real-time and navigate autonomously inside buildings/warehouses. Within the automated handling vehicle market, BALYO’s 2021 outlook includes the acceleration of profitable growth after the successful implementation of a more efficient and autonomous commercial strategy.