The Sales Hacker Podcast
The Sales Hacker Podcast

Episode · 3 years ago

2: The 25 Year Evolution of the Sales World w/ Steve Denton

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

On this episode of the Sales Hacker podcast, we talk with Steve Denton, President and Chief Revenue Officer of Collective.

What You’ll Learn

  • How to adapt in a sales world that is constantly changing
  • How to avoid wasting your existing opportunities and close the deals in front of you
  • Why you have to be the most prepared person in the room
  • The three biggest decisions you can make in your career

One, two, one, three, three Fo. Hi everyone and welcome to the Sales Hacker podcast on yourhost Sam Jacobs, founder of the New York revenue collective. Before we start, a quick thank you to this month's sales hacker podcast sponsor node. NodesAi Discovery Platform, can understand the meaning, context and connection between any person orcompany by proactively surfacing opportunities that are highly relevant and personalized in real time. Note is creating an entirely New Paradigm for sales and marketing professionals to growpipeline and accelerate revenue velocity. Visit Info DOTNO DOT IO for which sales hackerto learn more. And now on with the show. Hey everybody, welcomeback to the sales hacker podcast for episode two. I'm your host, SamJacobs, founder of the New York Revenue Collective, and today I've got avery special guest, Steve Denton, who is also a good friend and memberof the New York revenue collective. Steve is currently president and Cro of collective. I. He's got over twenty five years leading fast growing private and publiccompanies in a wide set of industries, including experience at Ebay, GSI,media link share Fedex and Pepsi. Steve's a serial entrepreneur who started two companieswith three successful exits, and we're excited to have them here with us today. Steve, welcome, Hey, Sam, welcome me, I guess create welcometo it. We're here, brother, you're here, we're doing it's goodto talk to you. Guess we'll welcome and I'm glad to have you. We're going to have a great conversation. First thing we always want to knowis your baseball card stat Steve, at the very top of the interview. So your name Steve Denton, your president and chief Revenue Officer of collective. I give us the rough revenue range for collective? I sure, andI wish it was my rookie card, but I think just be you know, are in car we like to call it experienced in age. But soyeah, collective I headquartered here in New York City, Ai Company. Thesales office is in the bay area and globally revenues anywhere between ten and twentyfive billion. Privately held. We have about a hundred and twenty five employeesacross the globe and I looked after the revenue functions here at collective eye.So think about that. Is Sales and services. How big is that?That seals and services organization? So the sales and services organization right now breakanywhere between Twenty One and twenty four folks. And how does it break out interms of function? You investy ores, you have enterprises. Walk us throughthat really quickly. Yeah. So, without getting into a ton of details, on the client acquisition side, I'm huge, huge believer in adivision of Labor. We have a large outbound SDR group with various titles thatare cheating different things. So we have around FIF team folks that work inthe SDR group right now and then they support five enterprise sellers. We startedcompanies that have five hundred or more sales professionals within the organization at that's oursweet spot. So work in a variety of functions there to personalize that outreach. And then we have another group of SDRs that work in a stage thatwe called development. And the way we think about development think about sales pursuitsthat a seller might engage in on Opportunity. You know, if you look atthe Oll a normal statistics, average sales professionals closing ten to twenty percentof their pipeline. So let's just call it fifteen. So with eighty fivepercent of that pipeline moving into a close loss or deferred or in those arelike Ivan we both know, Sam those stages become like the land of thetime for God like I've never seen. I've never seen that become an areathat's mine and I just believe we've invested enough in there, but I don'twant to continue to invest enterprise resources against it. So they move it toanother str function called development, which is more about curation, more about nurturing, but also keeping those fires involved in what we're doing through events and educationso that when they are ready to reengage, it hasn't been seven months and somebody'sreached out to them. They're getting a constant touch with just a differentangle, from a nurturing side, and...

I do that with a different groupof SDRs on the development side. Yeah, I think, and I guess wecan talk about this a little bit later, but the debate might bethere. Does that? Is that a marketing function, our sales function?In which direction should a report to? Sure we'll talk about that when inyour I think scrs are particular area of expertise for you. So I'm excitedto chat about that. But one of the things I want to art withSteve. You've been doing this, as you mentioned. You our title onthe Baseball Card would be experienced your vet. At this point you sold three companiesand you are currently running one of the most promising startups in New York. So how do you think about what's different today versus twenty years ago fora sales professional? And specifically, you know, what do you think separatesgood from great twenty years ago versus good from great today? As you thinkabout some of the folks listening being young sales professionals trying to become a SteveDenton one day? Sure, so I'll just related to my own personal experience. So when I was when I was twenty two years old and I gotmy first job out of school at Pepsi, and you knows, the sales repfor Pepsi and my job was to call on I called on large grocerystores and I think I was doing more merchandising than selling at the time,but I was responsible for those stores and selling incremental product and incremental displays,and we can talk about that. But then my second sales job I wasa sales rep for Fedex and I was based down in Baltimore, Maryland.I handled certain ZIP codes in Baltimore and my responsibility was self that X tocompanies to ship products and goods. The difference back then was, you know, there wasn't. Buyers were not as informed. Right. So, whetherI was with Pepsi or I was with Fed x, when I came andtalked to the buyers of the prospects that I was selling to or my customers, they found out about that x from me right like. There's no Internetto do research, there were no linkedin user groups. You're buyers maybe hada club they went to dinner with once a quarter or they attended trade shows, but how they found out about your products or your services were either throughtelevision commercials, if you are a big enough company to pay for those,for your cells team, and that's why your sells team back in the daycarried big briefcases with lots of brochures in there, whichause you couldn't just lipup a pdf file or send a video. Kreya, you were doing that,and that hand to hand combat. So while your basic sales skills wererelatively similar, right, you had to be consultated, you had to advocatevalue, you had to be a trusted consultant, someone that you could youknow, that you would buy from, that you would trust. You arealso doing a ton of product education and you aren't as positioned when you cameinto a sale, like you aren't already predisposed because the research had not beendone. And then the other thing that was a lot different than was,and this is going to sound crazy, it's a lot of folks listening,business cards mattered. When you got someone's business card, like you would putit in a binder with plastic, almost like a baseball card, and thathas your network in the day, right, Sam, and that was your value, right, because that was your Rolodex, that was your value,like that's what you spent your life work creating this collection of customers and prospectsand their business cards so you could get in touch with them, and youhad their phone numbers, their direct dial phone numbers, but they didn't haveemail addresses. So now you know, you are all the clock forward.What's hugely different now the self professionals walk into a sales opportunity. They're probably, whether you look at CSO or whatever, statistic you read, you're already sixtypercent predispis dispositions. Right that the research has been done back then.These buyers probably know more about the products and goods than obviously the seller thatmight be coming into sell them, and they certainly know more about their ownbuying situation than the seller coming in. So you're walking into a deal,frankly, much more disadvantaged than I was twenty years ago because your buyers aremore informed and because your buyers are more informed. And think about buyers today. We're all consumers and if you think about how we shop and biased consumers, it's well researched. We checked it all out, we've booked, atreviews, we've priced, compared it. That the heat your transcends over tohow they buy business goods and services. And as a seller, you walkinto something that's very predisposition and you need...

...to even be more informed and youneed to be able to delivery personalized cell to each every one of those opportunitiesversus just dumping products. And I think the big transitions that sellers have hadto make, but they had been of the advent of these tools and thingslike that. Is Number One, a part of your value as your network, right, so I can bet you pretty easily as a seller. Ican check your linkedin profile, I can see other people you've sold to orother people you're connected with, and I can check out your organization. AndI'm also expecting you to be more than brochure ware, because if you don'tdeliver to me in a selling engagement any more value than my ability just downloadthings from your website or watch videos on your website, you're not adding enoughvalue to age my disposition. So I think sellers today, how do youdo that? How do you move from being brochure where to someone that's consultative, to use the coin of the realm in the word of the day.Sure well, you need to be informed, right. You can't show up oninformed. So you need to be the most prepared person who walks inthat room and, candidly, with today's tools and technologies, there's no excusefor a sales professional to walk into an opportunity ill informed and not educated likeyou. Should be following that buyer on twitter. You should understand what they'redoing on Linkedin. You should have done your research to get an understanding usto who they are, what they do what they care about. You shouldhave read that though financial reports, that they're publicly traded company. You shouldhave looked at the company's twitter feed to see what the company's promoting and whatthey're talking about. You should not be walking into a situation ill informed.And then you need to look for opportunities to restate that value at every engagement. So like if someone says hey, what are your text fact you shouldn'tjust send the text spects over and say here they are. You should usethat as an opportunity to restate value for whatever it is you're selling, whetherit's the ease of implementation right or the value they're going to extract from that. Because you can't add value at every touch point, you might as welljust say go to the website and download the text facts right when you've gotto personalize that cell, and you should be able to do that. Doesn'tsells professional today. So I can imagine a bunch of folks that have workedfor me in the past saying see if I'd of to do that. I'dlove to do the level of research that you're advocating. I actually don't havetime. My Sdrs are booking me on consecutive thirty to forty five minute discoverycalls throughout the day and I don't have time to do that kind of research. So I guess what's your response to that? And then the second questionis just on a very tactical basis. How many good meetings do you thinka good enterprise account executive could have in a day or a week and stillbe effective? So a whole lot of great questions and challenges there, right. So let's just start with you over arching topic, which is kind ifyou think about sales, whether you're a sales leader or your sales wrapped thewhole function that you strip out the skills and all the things that you're doingthere, it's really the decision around investment right of time and resources against anadjusted risk, adjusted way to return. So you've got to take better decisionsaround where you invest your time on quality prospects. But the other place whereI see a ton of waste is in existing opportunities. I mean it's crazy, Sam if you think about that statistic that we talked about earlier with thesales professional only winning fifteen percent of their opportunities. And then the other crazystatistic is a sales professionals taking three to four times as long to lose adeal as they do to win a deal, and I've seen that across hundreds ofsales organized. A hundred times as long to lose. Yep, threetimes as long to lose as it does to win. And so if youput those two numbers together and hey, why don't we just throw in thethird crazy number, the only thing spend thirty five percent of your time actuallyselling. There's a whole lot of wasted effort and energy in there. SoI think it has to start with where are you investing your time in?Are you investing your time in winnable opportunities and are you investing your time inthe right opportunities? So somewhere along the line we forgot how to disqualify folks. And then the other thing that I...

...see happen quite a bit is repswill hold onto opportunities too long, Sam because the fear of losing it right. There's like this crushing fear of moving something to close. Loss will close. Loss just means they're not ready to buy now right. It doesn't meanit's lost forever in most cases, and reps are hesitant to do that becauseit's going to get taken from them. And I find that if you createan ecosystem or an atmosphere where it's okay for me to move something to closelost, as long as we're all transparent about it, and then I getvisibility as a sales professional into the activity that's going on to try to getthat back into a buying situation, that I'm much more comfortable moving that outand focusing my energy on the things that are winnable and developing things through mypipeline. Long answer to your questions or questions and but it starts with time, right and where do I invest my time as a seller or, evenmore importantly, as a manager of those sellers? Where am I allowing myinvestment of resources to spend their time? Because if you get that right andyou qualify folks out that aren't good fit and in you're really narrowcast. Youshould be able to do that research and you also should be using the righttools and technologies to do that. Like that's not hard work to do.There are plenty of tools and technologies to help you get educated. Yeah,I think it's really interesting the impact that sales forcecom as a company has hadon the selling process, because we're all using nomenclature. Maybe it originated from, you know, oracle or you know some of the early software enterprise softwarecompanies, but we all think about that word opportunity and I think there's differentdefinitions of the word opportunity across different organizations and that's one of the big problemsbecause of that different definition. I've seen account executives use opportunities as reminder items, almost where, to your point, they're scared to close lost because that'sthe way that they sort of keep track of who they're supposed to follow upwith. And so some of that is, hey, maybe you know the definitionof an opportunity differs across organizations. And then the second part of itis maybe they can use tasks or some other items to serve as reminders.Personally, you know, I think of an opportunity as the number, thesituation where we are mutually agreed that we are in an active commercial conversation.We are both myself and the prospect agree we're going to make a decision atsome point soon whether or not we're going to do business together. How doyou define and do agree or disagree with that definition? So in the mostpart, I agree with the definition right, which is an opportunity should be definedas K are. Are we talking to the right people that can takethe decision, or are we speaking to people who are going to influence thatdecision and are going to introduce US and guide us to those people in shortorder? Is Their budget established right? Can you pay for it? Canyou afford it, or is there are their plans to get that budget basedon a pursuit and improving value? And there's there an expectation that we're goingto go through a discovery process together with an outcome being a decision, andI think those things need to be established. You see, establish up front sothat you can create an opportunity. I think when you see these cellssite, and I get that, you've got companies that have thirty days cellcycles, Ninety Day cell cycles, eighteen month cell cycles, and I understandit runs the gamut and it's based on the value of what you're selling.So I think many cells leaders and we've all seen through our career these dealsthat should be taking ninety days or a hundred and twenty days just drag outfor two hundred and forty days or a year. And typically that's a resultsof it really wasn't an opportunity when you established it. It was a leagueand maybe you've only really been in an opportunity stage now for the last sixtydays. I think there's a lot that causes that. I think one ofthe biggest culprits that cause that our cells leadership teams themselves when they come upwith dopee metrics like you need three times pipe or you need five times youquoted pipe. Like, what was it ten years ago, Sam, youneed a three times your quote in pipe, and now it's you need five timesyour quote in pipe. It's because the reps are less effective or becausethe quality of the pipeline is touteriory.

I'm on the side of the sensethat says if you tell a rerap he needs five or she needs five timestheir quoted in pipeline, you are going to have four times of that fictitious. It's not real, but they're just they're managing it to a number you'veestablished. And if that's what you got to do because some walky things you'redoing, that's fine, but that's not real pipe and that's how those problemsstart to happen. Yeah, I think the other thing that happens is thatsomebody in sales ups or somebody somewhere has made a decision to create the opportunitywhen the first meeting is set, the first even qualification meeting, before iteven moves into discovery. And so I think a lot of pipeline coverage ratiosare referencing more rigid qualification criteria than actually exist in sales organizations. So they'recreating tons and tons of opportunities only when the meeting is scheduled, not evenwhen the meeting is held, and so you've got a lot of stuff therethat hasn't even been qualified but is being called pipeline. Sure, and notto cast blame on any particular application or tool, but I don't know thatcrm is helping us with that. And whether you call it sales force orair dynamics or whatever, crm we it's been around for twenty years. Right. It is a database. Let's all agree we need a database to archiveand holder stuff, but what is it doing to help you close more deals? It's just our taving archiving items you already know. Yeah, and ifI said this sentence, if it's not in sales force. How would youcomplete it? It didn't happen, it doesn't exist, it didn't happen.Right there, anyone who's listening to that? It just had the same thought.Well, if the whole industry knows that as the answer to that statement, I think you can fundamentally say there's a problem. If everybody says thesame thing and it's been around for twenty years. There's a better way tosolve these problems, and that's why I look at technologies. I don't thinkCRM's the problem. I just think that we got to recognize it for whatit is, which is a database, and it's not the SOLV all formoving sales organizations forward. You have to be able to get out of whatare we logging and what we already know and what are we capturing? Likelet's broaden it out and try to figure out the things we don't know.One hundred percent. I couldn't agree with you more and we're both, youknow, thinking a lot about in your company is about Ai and machine learningand and my whole concept is always been you do something over here and thenyou always have to log it and record it somewhere else, meeting the databaseor the CRM and obviously the future is going to be. Everything you dois automatically recorded, transcribe, digested and analyzed. You don't have to loganything, you just live your life, do your things and patterns. Analysisand recommendations are going to be presented to you as a consequence of all ofyour actions, not of the act recording of these actions, at a laterday. I agree with the hundred percent. I mean, and we already experiencethat Sam in our personal life when we use driving navigation applications like waves. We just punch up our destination right. Everything else is logged for us,our speed, our location, inferences from the drivers around us, newroutes it populated for us and a rival time gets calculated for us as wecontinue to drive, so we can make decisions right. Call ahead, I'mgoing to be twenty minutes late. Start the meeting without me. Hey,it looks like I'm going to be thirty minutes late. Call me and youcan ignore those routes. You run your playbook right, stay on the Alie, run your playbook and show up in the Hamptons two hours late, ortake the navigation that's happening automatically for you. And try to improve that outcome.And I see that exists in our personal life and many of our professionalfunctions like marketing and HR and for our protection. But when we still lookat sales man, we are in many cases that we are it is likeone thousand nine hundred and eighty four and and we are and a hand combatand this crazy weekly inspection process of you know, tell me about this,tell me about that. And I don't know sales leaders who bat to thebusiness to be detectives, and I think they got into the business because,I want to be coaches, they wanted to be mentors, wanted to driverevenue and have an impact on the company,...

...not spend Thursday of Friday being,you know, Johnnie deal detective. I agree, right, and youdon't have to be. So that's a goodness. Today's technology, modern technology, allows you to get beyond that. So, Steve, we're talking aboutnavigation and a lot of people listening are thinking about navigating their careers. Soof the things you and I were talking about offline is those three or fourcritical decisions that you make in your career and maybe they don't seem as bigin the moment, but they end up being fundamentally important and significant in waysthat are sometimes hard to appreciate. So walk us through some of those decisionsthat you made on the way to selling three companies and being president in Croof collective. I sure the first one, the first one at the time.So I'm working for Pepsi. I'm down in Virginia, Beast Virginia,of twenty three year old guy, I don't know anyone in town and Igot these eight stores I'm responsible for. The problem I had was these eightstores, someone had to be first and someone had to be last. Typically, the the store that was first was really happy with you and the storethat was last was not happy with you because they're Pepsi. Section was terribleall day long and you couldn't really change that on a daily basis because thetrucks ran a certain route. So, as a result, right it waschallenging and traffics bad and there's a ton of people in the store and eventhough you're wearing a Pepsi shirt, people ask you where the bread is.It just becomes a very frustrating, challenging place. But you spent all thetime a grocery stores. So for me personally, I just want to finda better way to do it and since I was single and living in atown I didn't know anybody. My stores were seven stores or they had stockboisonthere at night, so I just ask my store managers could I I workedthe store at night like that. I merchandise it at night, and thatallowed a couple of things for me. Number One, and I got thejob done in half the time. There's no traffic, there's no one inthe store, you can move a lot quicker. So I got my jobdone in half the time. But the other benefit was my eighth store managerscame into their stores every morning that Pepsi Section was perfect, everything was facedout, everything was perfect, and then that allowed me to coming to thatstore later in the day, not wearing a Pepsi Shirt with soda stains allover it, but in a suit, and actually deal with them more ona professional level. And because I was taking care of them, they startedtaking care of me. I started selling more stuff to them, getting incrementaldisplays, making my numbers, and that act alone allowed me to really blowmy numbers up in a great way to where I got promoted out of thatjob in a year where my peers were doing that job for six months andat the time Samura and I look back on it, all I was tryingto do is figure out a easier way to do my job and and notdeal with traffic. But the reality of that is I was solving my customersproblem. I just wasn't thinking about at the time like I was solving mycustomers problem in a creative way that was meaningful for them. So that move, getting me promoted, got me on a career trajectory that really set thestage for moving forward. And then the second one that I'll tell you realquick was I was a district manager at that X I was down in Baltimorehaving having a great run and this New York Metro region opened up and andthis place was a death trap. I mean the last three are regional salesmanagers that had taken the job had all gotten fired. It was just thiswas not a place that x sales was thriving back at the time, andI don't know, they might have gone through every district manager in the companyto kind of find a guy, and I was the youngest in the companyat the time as at Dsm, and when they asked me would you considermoving to New York and taking the New York Metro region? I mean,I knew it could be a career killer, but also knew, at the ageof twenty eight, I wasn't going to get an opportunity be an RSM for about another twelve years and I felt comfortable enough that I could doit. I have a supportive family. Such took that job and we hada great turnaround. We won region of the year the next year and thatset me up to become a director at st x, and becoming a managingdirector at St x set me up to go be the VPS cells at linkshare. When the Messrs who found a fan share, we're looking for someoneto run the sales organization and that would be the third big decision I made. But the Fedex thing, the reason...

I tell that story, and Ilove when young people ask me that question anyway, it's do the hard stuffright and if you can take the hard job in the company, the companythat nobody wants, the company that's been you know, the job that's beenthe challenge, and you go into that and you can execute there, youset yourself up for huge wins. You set yourself up for huge wins atthe company you're working for. You never know when it's going to get acquired. So you want to be in the right place and your experiences insane.And then, on the flip side of that yet could kill your career.But the reality of it is like you taking that hard job and I alwaysfind that risk is worth it. So if you did the job nobody wants, people were respected. If you can execute well in that, and that'sset you up, the leap frog your peers and it does amazing things downthe road. And the other thing in the turnaround is you. You're goingto hire great people, you're going to see inspiring stories, you're going toinspire people achieve greatness because you have that underdog mentality. And just look whatthe Philadelphia Eagles did this year, right. I mean yeah, then underdog mentalityyou can execute and it's so rewarding, not just personally, but it'll alsobecome very rewarding for you professionally. So those are the things I thinkabout. Yeah, now, that makes a lot of sense. I thinkone of the questions people might have released I have all the time. Youknow, imagine you are a twenty eight year old, maybe you've been areally good at count executive and you're thinking about your next Gig, your nextjob. How do you evaluate? You know, and you and I weretalking about offline. First of all, how do you evaluate startups? Buthow do you evaluate startups and different startups in the context of big companies likea gardener or a forester or sales force or Linkedin, that are coming atyou with probably higher comp higher base camp and more structure and stability? Howdo you choose between startups and which start up or the big corporate route,and how do you think about that in the course of your career? Sure, so, I made that decision when I was leaving Fed X. Iwas a managing director Fed X. There's sixteen of us, had a greatcareer going a thousand sales people working for me in the northeast and I tooka calculated risk with a young family, right to go via stps sales foran early stage Internet company in one thousand nine hundred and ninety nine, andthat could have been disastrous. The good news is right. We built themonster there and we sold that thing direct and for half a billion dollars inno five. So what do you look at. First thing you have tolook at is the company you're going to go work for. So let's setaside, like what it is you want to do and why you're making themove. Ready, you're running to something versus running from something. But whenI evaluate companies, whether I'm making an investment in that company or I'm decidingto go run it or join it with a set of peers, is numberone, you know, is do you believe in the idea? Right?Is Fundamentally like, do you think this is smart and do you believe inthat business right? Because you can't fake that. Everybody can smell it.The second thing is right is the leadership team, a team that has ahistory of getting people to better places and of success. Right. So areyou aligning yourself with winners there? And then you got to look at this. The technology sound right? So is it in market or is it isit Alpha? Do they have customers? And then what's the funding look like? Because if those four things don't line up and you only have two legsof those stool of the stool and place, there is going to be a toughoutcome for you. So you need to get comfortable with all four ofthose things or if you're going to compromise and make sure only that there's onlythree that are in place, you need to understand that risk going into that. When you're working for a large company, obviously those decisions aren't is important becausethey're already vetted out. And then it's it's what do you want toaccomplish? So if you're going to a smaller company to get more experienced,work hand in hand with founders and leaders on a one to one basis,almost like getting a master's and whatever it is you're going into, then understandthat's part of the deal and you're doing it for that because you looking atelevate your career and get into other jobs and higher levels of responsibility earlier thanyou would if you are in a big organization. They both have their risks, right. I mean from a turnoverstandpoint,...

...especially in sales. I mean twentyfive percent annual turnover has been the number for the last fifteen years andif you look at the difference between, you know, desired turnover or regrettedturnover and you compared a big company or small company, there's very little differencebecause not a function of am I going to make it it becomes more afunction of the company going to make it and, even if it doesn't,did you get what you wanted out of that experience so that you continue tomove your career forward? So there's a lot you need to take into consideration. And then the last thing it's just how much risk are you willing totake at that stage of your of your life in your career to make thatinvestmenting you? Because what I will tell you, someone who worked at Pepsiand set acts and then had early stage companies and then sold them the bigcompanies and was back at big companies, that when you're in a small,earlier stage company, say sub fifty million dollars, you're working with the leadershipteam, you're working with the founders. That exposure, that experience is goingto be invaluable to you, because you wouldn't you're not going to get thatlevel of exposure working for a large company, me because you're working for a guywho's working for a Gal who's working for a guy's working for a galworking for a guy who works for the guy. It's just not close enoughto it. That's how you got to think, but that's how I thoughtabout it. That's what I would advise people think about. I think thatmakes a lot of sense and and I think you know, the only thingsI would add to that would be to develop a point of you know,when you're thinking about the quality of the business or the quality of a product, you need to have developed some kind of framework to make that decision ordetermination, because it can't just be I think it's cool, and that's why, yeah, especially as you get older in your career and as you progress, you need to have a business framework first and foremost, so that youcan you have some some lens through which you can say this is a goodcompany or a bad company, not just I think that's neat, because lotsof neat ideas don't have a market size or a pricing structure or a businessstructure that is going to enable them to succeed, no matter if the productis, you know, fun or not. So totally agree. Like you can'tface your career just on being doing cool stuff. It's like you can'tface your product development on that's going to be neat and cool. I alwaystell people when they're looking at Opportunity Sam, after they've bet it it out,I'm like, can you explain to me in thirty seconds what it isthey do and why I should care. And if you can't do that,then you either need to revisit it or exit it because it's either not clearto you, you're not going to be able to articulate it or you don'tunderstand. It's just the something wonky there. Like you should be able to tellsomebody in thirty seconds, to us, what you do and why this care. Yeah, no, I totally agree. So listen to see.We're running low on time. We're not out. I wanted to ask yousome quick fire questions just to get your take on common topics of the dayand sales land and get your read out on them. That's I'm good.Sure. So, we talked about this a little bit earlier, but youknow there's a debate out there in the world. Should stee ours report tomarketing or sale? What do you think? Monthly, quarterly or annual quotas?How do you think about it and answer any way that you want.Depends on the quotea. You're caring right and your cell cycle. If you'reclosing a lot of sub ninety day or sub forty five day deals, youknow quarterly quota makes sense, or even a monthly depending on your cell cycleand the size of your deals you're selling. Like if you're very transactional, monthlyquotas, of quarterly quotas. If more of an enterprise sale, ail, annual quoteas which have quarterly kickers of quarterly checkens, make a lot ofsense. So that's how I think about it. So let's take SMB,mid market and enterprise. When you think about the right whatever that means toyou, the right quota for each of those frames or each of those youknow deal sizes. What do you think they are? Well, like Isaid, it depends, like, yeah, you could be selling smb, dependson the deal value and your cell cycle. But I think if you'rerunning cell cycles, that are and also if you get a lot of inbound. Let's do SMB, mostly inbound. Twenty one to twenty eight days cellcycle, maybe like an eightzero average deal. What do you think that quotas shouldbe? MONTHLY DOLLAR VALUE OF IT? Well, eight thousand dollar average dealsize. A ton of inbound.

So what your successful reps are closingwhat at three to five deals a month? Maybe, yeah, I think so. So it feels like forty grand a month. Let them catch itup through the course of the quarter, right. So true it up atthe quarter play pay it monthly, because if you got that kind of quoteand you get that kind of a Aov or average order value or contract value, I mean it's a very transactional sale. Your sellers are probably not making hugebase salaries, so it's really important that they're getting comped on a monthlybasis because that's a huge part of their month and month living. That's whyI ask about average order value, because that's probably younger rap or earlier intheir career, wrap not as heavy, not base salaries or probably not ambitious, and there's a big chunk of that space based on that monthly bonus.And that could be different in the rent or not, whereas you know,your enterprise or mid market folks are probably making a bigger base salary, certainlythe same levers as far as commissions go, but it's just a different threshold there. So I guess and be on the monthly side, quarterly. That'show I think about it. Enterprise Reps, what do you think their annual quotashould be? And again, I know it depends on deal value,but if you're looking at a business and you're at Fiftyzero feet. What's theright quota for you to say that's a proper Endu prize annual quota? Andare we pure hunting or we hunting on the farm? Here is and thatDow or you know, it's net new pure hunting with one to two SDRsthat are supporting you, so that you're doing maybe twenty percent of your pipelinesprospected, but most of it's coming from somebody else. Right, you stillgot to close it. There's no existing relationship there. You get to goleverage. So that's true. So I would say you're probably on the hookfor eight hundred two one point two million dollars in net new revenue a yearin that case, right, because you probably have a oves of eighty twohundred and fifty grand, maybe more. So you're probably eight hundred two onepoint two million, depending on where you are actually. You know, geographydoesn't really matter because you know in today's world you just need to be neara major airport. You're probably looking at base salaries there between one hundred andthirty five and one seventy and I would expect those people would be looking atdouble that up. Sign in a million bucks, right. So you signa million dollars up, you're probably looking for somebody to get paid two hundredand Fiftyzero Bucks, which is expensive right. It's twenty five percent of your sale, but that's why you get that in year two and your three whenyour cost cell goes down. So I would think millions, a million two. Those end a price sellers are probably looking at three hundred thousand dollar pricetacks. I love it. Thank you for the details. We need thosedetails on the salesacker podcast. Last question for you. So you know,obviously, besides collective, I tell us about your favorite weapon or tool inyour sales stack, your marketing stacks, some piece of technology, some greatfender that you want to give a little bit of love to, besides myown. Yes, sir, Mine's the best. So I'll tell you whatwe are self. Stack is for my sbrs, it's a lot on thefront end of the stack. But tell you what, there's a little companythat is out in the bay area called a company. Company thinks ACC oract, but it's a company and it think about it like Owler, butit's kind of like a combination of Owler and Linkedin cell's navigator and my calendarand my prospect list and it does a really nice job surfacing for me whenthose folks are in the news or when those folks are mentioned or when thosefolks or speaking on panel or it's just it's a really for me. It'sa really easy way to understand, you know, how those folks are andit's delivered in my inbox every morning and I find that to be a greatuse of technology to synthesize that for me so that I can and the socialselling tools are built right into it so that I can execute right from there. And then if I could give one more if you don't mind. Sothere's a company called there's a lot of dialers out there and dialing technology isnothing new, but human assist dialing is actually you pay for it. ButI'll tell you what we used to company called connecting cell. I think Sam, you've got some experience with this, but they did go work for usat the Muse. Yep, if you're...

...doing some spr work and you needto have a lot of conversations and then you're used to making a hundred dollarsa day and leave a ninety eight voice smells and lucky. If you talkto two people, you plug in the connect and self, you're going tohave about twenty conversations in two hours because somebody else is doing the dialing foryou and someone else is doing the navigating of the phone trees and you're nottalking unless somebody is live on the other end of the phone. So ifyou need to get velocity, you pay for it. It's not cheap.But if you need to drive velocity against a target list, I found thatconnecting cell technology to be easy to implement, easy to use and allowed a tonof ad testing and drove a ton of velocity and I was really impressedwith Chris Peel and his team over there connecting self. And just to beclear, you are not a shareholder of connecting self. I am not ashareholder. I am just a I am not a shareholder, I'm a friend. I wasn't a friend when I first met him, but I'm also I'ma really happy customer and because the velocity is just astonishing for me and I'venever seen anything like it. Well, that is fantastic. Last question foryou, Stephen. Thank you so much for participating. This has been amazingso it's collective. I hiring? Yes, I am looking personally. I amlooking for to enterprise sales professionals who have, you know, anywhere betweenfive or more years of enterprise sales experience, someone who is usful, wants tomake the market versus compete in a market that's already made. Someone who'saccustomed to Evangelical Sale, and I'm looking for those roles right now. Preferablyone in New York one in the bay area, but, like I said, I'm geographically agnostic. So I'm looking personally looking for those roles right now. So, as detinet collective, I or hit me up on Linkedin andyou love to talk to you about it. That sounds Fantas as to Steve,thank you so much. I will see you at the next New Yorkrevenue collective meet up and until then, be well. Thank you, Sam. I have a great day. Hi everybody, what a fantastic interview withSteve Denton. He really is. He's insightful and he's got great insights forpeople that are looking to manage their careers in the right way. So Ihope you got something out of it. This is Sam's corner and my thoughtsare really around evaluating a company in the right way. So Steve talked abouttaking on risk reward profiles for corner of a big company versus a small company. But I would really, really encourage everybody to do and it's the biggestmistake I see sales managers make that want to be a VP of sales,and even vp of sales make this mistake. They don't have a framework for howto evaluate whether a company is any good or not. So really quickly, and you can see this in my writings on Linkedin. But start witha product. Start with the market. We need a really big market.We need a product people loved. From there we can look at marketing andsales. Now one of the ways that you want to understand whether a businessis in good shape or not is by looking at the unit economics. Soif a company has a really, really high customer acquisition cost and it's notgetting paid back very quickly, something is wrong. Probably it's hard to findnew customers because people aren't hearing good things about the product. Meanwhile, thinkabout what happens when you've got great word of mouth. You've got a greatproduct that people love, they tell their friends. As a consequence. Whenyou show up as a salesperson, it's a lot easier to make that allyou see that in higher win rates and you see that in organic and boundleads and you see it, of course, in lower customer acquisition cost so whenyou're evaluating your next opportunity, to think about the unit economics for thebusiness and think about the market size and think about whether it's a product thatpeople really truly love and if it has those things, it might be agreat opportunity. So this has been Sam's corner. If you want to getin touch with me, you can follow me on twitter at Sam f Jacobs. You can also find me on Linkedin and I hope to talk to yousoon. Thanks so much for tuning in. To check out the show notes,see upcoming guests and play more episodes from our incredible lineup of sales leaders, visit sales hackercom podcast. You can also find the sales hacking podcast onitunes or Google play. If you enjoyed this episode, please give us ashare on Linkedin, twitter or any other social media platform. And finally,special thanks again to this month's sponsor,...

...at node. See more at Infodotnode dot IO. Forward sales hacker. Finally, if you want to getin touch with me, find me on twitter at Sam f Jacobs or onLinkedin at Linkedincom, slash in slash Sam f Jacobs. I'll see you nexttime.

In-Stream Audio Search

NEW

Search across all episodes within this podcast

Episodes (355)