The Sales Hacker Podcast
The Sales Hacker Podcast

Episode · 3 years ago

74. From VP Sales back to Individual Contributor: Learnings and Experiences w/ Ryan Lallier

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

This week on the Sales Hacker podcast, we speak with Ryan Lallier, Director of Inside Sales at InsightSquared

Ryan has a diverse background in Sales, with positions ranging from individual contributor to head of sales roles at companies like Dataminr, Gartner, and YayPay. Ryan is also a member of the Revenue Collective, and founder of SalesGevity, and advisory and consultancy for start-ups.

One, two, one, three, three. Everybody, it's Sam Jacobs. Welcome back to the salesacker podcast. We've got a great show with a good friend of mine today, Ryan Ellier, who is a director of inside sales at at inside squared. He's currently an individual contributor and has been a VP and is moved back and forth between leading teams and also carrying a bag and being the individual contributor at a bunch of different roles recently, and I think that that that trajectory is really, really helpful. It gives him a lot of empathy in terms of how he works with and serves the VP of sales or the VP of marketing, and it also is useful for you out there if you're thinking about making that transition from individual contributor to manager. So we're excited to have them on the show. Before we get there, we want to thank our sponsors. Our first as lucid chart. The Lucid Chart Sale Solution is the leading account planning platform for modern sales organizations. With Lucid Chart, you can visually map out key contacts and crucial account data to uncover critical insights that will allow you to close bigger deals faster. So go to lucid chartcom forward sales for more information. Our second sponsors outreach, the leading sales engagement platform. Outreach support sales reps by enabling them to humanize communications at scale, from automating the soul sucking manual work that eats upselling time to providing action oriented tips on what communications are working best. Outreach has your back. Also want to thank some of the fans that have been writing in. Pierre Couldtur, Dan Boberg, Matt Doherty, Wolfgang to Pauli, Romsey, Marjaba, Morgan Ingram. Thank you, Morgan, Steven Richardson, Nick Bontroanja, Robert Outsten, Nick Lapetski, Luke Avidan, Timothy Holly, Robertobea, Mark Gray, Gabrielle, Mazzel Tarim, who's at Gong, I believe, Gabrielle thinks. So much for listening, and Dan O'Donnell. So everybody that's written in. Hope you've given the show five stars. Please give it five stars on itunes. We're doing well. We've got a number of incredible guests coming up, including some folks from some huge companies. Today we got Ryan. I hope you like the show and let's listen to my interview with Ryan lowier. Hey everybody, it's Sam Jacobs. Welcome back to the salesacker podcast. On the show today we are incredibly excited to have a good friend, a member of the revenue collective, but also a longtime vp of sales in the northeast, in the Boston and New York City areas, and somebody that has a really interesting career journey to tell us about. So I'm talking about my friend Ryan Lallier. Bryan's currently director of in a price sales in New York and New Jersey for inside squared, but before that he was a VP of sales at an early stage company called Yape. He was the VP of sales at a place called data minor, which is, you know, a Unicorn in terms of valuation, who was a VP of inside sales at jibe. He's also been an individual contributor at at Gartner. So he's moved around and he's been both an individual contributor and led teams of people, and he's also just somebody that's incredibly passionate about sales. He runs his own podcast called Demo, like a user and also is constantly contributing on linkedin sort of insides, thoughts and and thought leadership, as we call it. So, Ryan, welcome to the show. Thanks to them. I appreciate you having me on. We're excited to have you. So the first thing that we like to do is we like to hear your baseball card. I gave a little bit of background in context, but so your name's Ryan Lale Or. Tell us what you're doing right now. Yeah, sure. So I work for a company that's head courted in Boston called the inside squared. For those of you who have never heard of inside squared, we are a business intelligence platform. We help sales and marketing leaders see things more clearly in terms of just overall metrics, health of the business, forecasting and pipeline management. I joined recently, so I haven't been there for too long, but enjoying the ride so far. We have a great executive leadership team and a phenomenal product. What's what's the stage of growth it? Inside squaredes that if you're comfortable sharing or will should teller? Yes, there is d awesome. Yeah, so great, so and I remember. You know the funny thing about inside squared. I used to know a guy named James cohane and Boston. He was the very first head of business development for inside squared, before there was even a...

...sales team. Oh, I was like ten years ago. Companies gone a long way since then. So let's let's learn a little bit about you. So you just got inside squared. What's your background? How long you been doing sales? Okay, yeah, sure, so I've been in sales since two thousand. I fell into it accidentally, to be frank. I went to college to be a history teacher and my intention was to get certified to be a teacher in the summer of two thousand and start my Teaching High School Football Coaching career. That's summer while living in my parents basement. I responded to I'm going to date myself right now, but I responded to an add that I found in the Harford current for a company called Connecticut Telephone, and it was first sales job, and I originally thought it was for sales job selling cell phones at one of their local stores. So similar to walking into a verizon store to buy an iphone and a phone plan, I thought that I would be doing that for this company called Connecticut Telephone. What I didn't realize was that when I got to the job in review. I was meeting with the VP of sales and the sales director for the entire company. Yeah, so it's pretty neat. I also didn't realize that wearing a jacket, like a suit jacket, to a job interview was the appropriate move. So when the vpus sale said to me, why don't you wear in a jacket, I look the dead in the face instead. Quite frankly, I can't afford one. So so he has a great aunts. Yeah, he was like, okay, well, I've good news for you. If we hire you, we're going to give you a fifteen hundred credit to men's warehouse and you're going to get to go buy as many suits as fife hundred can possibly get you. But you have to promise you that you're going to wear those suits everywhere you go. So I said Yeah, for sure, I will certainly do that. Wow, so you're from Hartford, is that? Did I pick up on that right? Yeah, I'm from Central Connecticut from K through eight, so I'll speak in educational terms, but from K three I was in Hartford and then we moved to the town next door called Weathersfield, where I went to high school. So I got the play played football there. I did. I did play play football. Their positions you play. Yeah, so my freshman year I was a tight end and then when I well, when the coaches realize that I had hands like feet, they moved me to guard. I dropped everything. So I basically got I got moved to guard. Then I played guard for for four years. That was fun. I played strong safety back at Langley High School in Northern Virginia. So I can see that. I can see that. That was before we knew the full impact of the constant head drauma. I mean we should have suspected, but regardless. Yeah, okay, so you connecticut telephone. They gave you a suit budget and and so that was back in the year two thousands. That was nineteen years ago. What happened? What I mean? I'm sure a lot of things have happened since then, but give us a little bit of the career journey. Yeah, sure. So I was with kind of get telephone and I was working for a sea LEC. So you actually had Kiva Colson on, I think I one of the very first episodes, and his first job was also working for a Selec. So I was basically going into some really tough neighborhoods, doing door to door, knocking on the doors of small businesses and trying to sell them discount phone services and cell phones, and I did that for a year and a half. But while I was at that company I made friends with some really awesome guys and this one guy, Greg, who I'm still very close friends with to this day, ended up leaving kind of get telephone probably six or seven months into his journey there to move to Boston to become a stockbroker. But what Greg knew was that every Monday I was required to be in the office and I I couldn't leave the office until I had twenty booked meetings on my calendar for Tuesday to Friday. So you literally had a coal call through the yellow pages and get your two and twenty meetings, get them a new calendar and then show them to your your sales operations are steals manager who kind of ran the call center that day, get approval and then you can go home. But like Monday's you are in Sdr and then Tuesdays through Fridays you were like a full cycle wrap. Absolutely, absolutely, but my friend Greg, very very smart Guy, knew that I'd be at my desk. So he would key would cold call me at my desk every Monday that I was there and say it's time...

...to leave. Connecticut kind of gets a bubble. You gotta Change, you got to come to Boston. We're having a blast here. The tons of opportunity and I can't blown them off. Blown him off, and then one morning I woke up and I said, you know what, I'm tired of doing this. I A telephone gig. It's been great for a year and a half, but I do want to challenge myself and do something, something new. I had was literally born and raised in Kineticut. I knew nothing more than living in quetiquet with my high school buddies and just working a job in kind of gut. So I walked in, I quit my job. The next day I packed my car, I drove to Boston. I called Greg on his cell phone and said, Hey, I'm downstairs, let me in. Is I king of Car we driving? I was driving one thousand nine hundred and ninety two, sob nine thousand. That was literally on on its last cylinder and I'm not sure I have you been in a car where like the like the ceiling turns into like a tapestry where I just starts to like collapse and fall and you start put a little bit in a start putting thumb tacks up there to kind of keep it in places, like little cloth is like billowing. Let maybe like a little tent or canopy or something like that, pretty much. So it was pretty embarrassing, but I drove that car. It made it to Boston, met a futon address and EDG crate, some clothes and like a little television and I moved into this apartment Boston without a job. My first job, though, was actually being a bouncer at a nightclub, and then I eventually was able to, through a recruiter, get a couple interviews. The one company was paychecks and the other was called Qass, which later went on to be acquired by experience, but I got an inside sales job for this UK expansion company. Forever reason, they love my background, the fact that I was just I quit my job, packed up my car, drove the Boston with very little money and a broken car, and then I was working at a nightclub to make ends meet. So they hired me run on the spot and that's when I really got into that true over the phone, Web Demo, phone consultative type sale when I did that for a couple of years. But I had a lot of success there. I close logos like Bank of America, for for example. You know, closing up fifty fivezero dollar deal over the phone when you're pretty young and just kind of cracking into your your sales career as a pretty cool accomplishment. So from there I spent the long period of time I was in Boston for about twelve, the thirteen years, and you know, it wasn't until I landed at a company called thinking phones I forgot my first inside sales manager or first like manager job where I was managing our our West team. So I was handling all the strs and the A's. So I'm going to ask them be a mid market. We're selling you cast, so cloud based telephony services, similar to like an air call, for example. Yeah, I did that for a while. One of the original founders, they're now this Guy Mike Ladell, who I owe a lot of my success to today, just came over to me and say hey, look, you know, I've been here for a long time, I'm going to be leaving the company soon. I really like what you're doing. Would you come with me and work with me in a few of these these businesses that I'm going to put money into and I'm going to try to fix them and make them better and all that good stuff, and here's the game plan. But I need someone like yourself that can come in and really just immerse yourself into the business. Get the SCR program up and running, great demand. That's really super organic, get the a's buttoned up, put a process in place, teach people how to run a discovery call, teach people how to do a demo, how to close deals, inject sales methodology into the culture. We do that for me. I said sure, I'm happy to do it. What isn't you know? What is involved? He was well, the companies headquartered in New York City, but what I want to do is I want to open up an inside sales office and Boston. So I'm need you to just research office space, set up a whole outfit a whole program there and get that death situation up and running. I said sure, sounds great, but while I do that, can I go to New York and back a few times a week so I can learn about the company get trained, you know, learned the about people who are going to be supporting me in my role and just really just, you know, again, ingrain myself into the culture of the business. Looking back, I'm glad that I did that, Sam, because what I realized was that the company, the last in the company needed was another satellite office. We already had our engineering group in DC. Our headquarters...

...was in New York. I kind of felt like the company was a bit disjointed culturally. There's some people that probably shouldn't have been there, that were there too long, and if I were to go set up another office in Boston, I felt that the company would be even more divided than it was based on my my observation of going there for a month. So I convinced Mike to Allow me to move to Manhattan, but the deal was I was coming back to Boston in a year. I wasn go down there fix everything, build a really cool sales team and but I'm getting the heck out of there. Fast forward today. I'm still in New York. I was a sales eater a few times here, as you mentioned, for data minor. I built their inside sales team from, you know, Zerota sixteen people several million dollars in air are put that whole program in place. I dispensed from time with Gardner. I was the VP sells at yeapey and and now I'm with inside squared out of Boston. Wow. So there's a lot to talk about and you know, we were we were texting an emailing back and forth about this journey of becoming a team lead, running a team and then becoming an individual contributor. What are the lessons that you've learned over the last couple of years? You've run big teams and then, you know data minor. You built a team up to sixteen people. You then left to become an individual contributor, e. Then went to Yapay to build a team again. You're now an individual contributor again, yea. What have you learned? Like? What are the the theme teams as you reflect back on the last ten or so years? Yeah, well, the one thing that I lacked early on in my career was patience, and I would just say that when I was younger I lacked patients and I don't want to point the finger a place blame on any one individual or individuals, but it's important to understand that my upbringing might be a little bit different than some folks that go into let's say just sales and business as a whole. And what I mean by that as my dad was a carpenter, my mother was a waitress and a bank teller. So my two brothers were both an electrician and a plumber. So for me, I didn't really have any business people around me. I only knew blue blue collar like just get up, go work, grind, make a paycheck, and that's great. In fact, my guidance counselor in high school recommended that I don't even go to college, that I entered the trades. seriously. Yeah, yeah, he did, and he's like, you know, you should. You know, your great point average is a little bit low. You know, you're very like you're very low in terms of where you rank in terms of, you know, graduating. I mean at the time I was like one hundred and seventy four at a one hundred and ninety six to my senior and my class, and I mean, obviously that's not good, but there were options for folks like me, or kids like me that would want to go to college. I could have gone to a community college or taken us some courses over the summer to get get my grades up. Fortunately for me, my brother Brett, when I came I came home and said to my brother breast said, brought, I want to be in an electrician, I'm not going to go to college, and he basically said, over my dead body, you're going. You're going to college, you're absolutely going to go. We got to fight you, you got to fake figure it out. So I found a two two year college, I got my social's degree, got my GPA way up, I worked a bunch of jobs, I played Lacrosse in college and then I transferred on to eventually get a bea so you play Lacrosse in college, you play Lacrosse and high school. I did not. I was a I was a walk on freshman year. That's awesome. So you're clearly a good athlete. Yeah, I yeah, I think I'm more I was more focused anything else and I wanted to be a part of something right, like I wanted to, you know, be around other individuals that were kind of on a schedule that I want to have some discipline, like at three o'clock, I'm that practice right. So everything just kind of like revolves around my schedule, those that go to college and don't actually have like a schedule or have like things to do to keep them themselves busy, that might fall off track, like I did in high school. So I want to make sure that I was just staying consistent there. But yeah, so patience was like the big one for me. But I found it like I gravitated towards startups, like I just loved being at startups. I'm wired, I I have an entrepreneurial wiring, is the way that I would describe it. I'm just very into building something from the ground...

...up and and watch it flourish or, in some cases where I end up going to those organizations didn't flourish. So the beginning of my career was all as an individual contributor. It wasn'tuntil I left hub spot and went to thinking phones, you know, where I became an inside sales manager and realize that I really love leading others and that my twelve, the thirteen years of being a salesperson miss super valuable to these, you know, young guys and gals are just starting off in their and their sales careers. So and then, how do you think about the difference between being an individual contributor and a manager. You know, we were, I put this thing up on linkedin talking about how, yeah, you know, there's this this story that we tell, basically high performing individual contributors that maybe we don't think can be great managers, that you know, it's okay pursue the individual contributor track. That can be just as rewarding, as lucrative, as important as being, you know, ultimately a manager then a VP than hopefully like in the sea suite and leading groups of people. And I've felt like that's not quite true. But what do you think you mean? You commented on that point. Yeah, well, I mean, I agreed with you on that post and I thought about it over the weekend and I still agree with you. But my opinion comes from obviously a vanished point that some of the other folks that commented might not have. Have have access to. Right. So, because I was an individual contributor and a VP of sales and I went back, I've seen both sides, right, so I I know what it means to, you know, negotiate your your sovereigns or to ask for equity, you know, when you go to become a VP of sales. I know what it's like to report to a board, you know, and take a bunch of, you know, punches and deflect a bunch of things. So I just know what that what that's like and and and what that has allowed me to do is I go back to an individual contributor is understand that the role of a leader on I'm just going to use VP of sales right now, as a very difficult role. If you make it difficult, and you know, or it could be super easy. You said it best when I started at at at yeape. You said, Ron, your number one job is to make the life of your founder as easy as you possibly can make it for he or she, and I definitely agree agree with that. And you know that's that's great responsibility, you know, to have. You know, unless you're an individual contributor and then a leader at one point, it's really kind of hard to connect those two things. And when you go back to being an individual contributor, you really really understand the role of the VPA. You really understand that the information and the data that your manager actually needs so they can go report up and do their job effectively. I might be getting a bit off track here, Sam, but you know, I I look at it that you're absolutely right. If you want equity, if you want to level up, if you want to lead others, it's a lot harder to do it as an individual contributor. I'm having an easier time doing it at inside squared, meaning leading others and setting an example, because of my background in doing it before. And then the buyer persona that we sell to add inside squared. They're steals, eaters, their growth leaders, they are not there, and sales opps. These are people that I've worked with sidebyside, shoulder to shoulder, to accomplish some really awesome things at companies that have that I worked at before. So I can speak to them intelligently. I can make really good money in my role because I understand them. But I'm not going to get more shares or more equity or if there is a massive event like like an Ipoh or we get acquired, I'm not the one who's going to be a walk out the door with the huge pay paycheck. So you know, I I hope I'm answering a question. I hope it's coming together okay, but that's kind of like my my take on it and just my my viewpoint, will do you do miss being a VP when you reflect back on the last couple rolls or their lessons that you've gleaned, like things you would do differently? How do you how do you reflect on that experience? Look, if I'm being frank, I don't miss working for founders, especially those who are not serial founders. Like you and I talked about deal assessment and a sense of Hey, this is the company that I'm going to go go work for. Let's break it down as if it's a deal right. So I look at it like I is this company that they have sound leadership?...

Has Its founder done this multiple times? Does he or she have multiple exits, because those learning? What what happens if they if they don't have that? What are the things that you see emerge? And we don't have to name now so we can all of the founders you've worked with inti like one big conglomeration, but like, what are the things? What happens with the first time founder that doesn't happen with the serial and sure, the first time founder lacks a little bit of maturity, they lack a lot of trust. In someone like myself. I find that first time founders and you may agree or did it disagree? They go through their, you know, first two or three VP's quite rapidly. You know, they don't hold on to that individual long enough to really see it through and give that a person opportunity to flourish, where a seasoned entrepreneur would understand that it's going to take my vp at least nine months to get up and running, at least nine months to understand our product through and through our markets, who we sell to, how to articulate the product on their own, and at least nine months to really get their head around what kind of team I really want to build and focus on the metrics that matter. And if you have a founder that, quite frankly, just hasn't had experience doing that that before, it's going to be a tough battle because you're going to be coming to the table with data, improof points that are current to the business but also reflective on the things that you've learned in the past, and those lessons are really, really important to share with the founder. Hey, look, I've walked this walk before. You can trust me in this category. Otherwise, why'd you hire me? So I found that that's where the main friction for me whenever I had an issue with a founder. That's really where it lied. It was just like, you're not hired, like you're not let me kind of do the job they hire me to do. There's certainly a trust factor here and if you got burned by a VP before, I'm sorry to hear that, but you know, we have to hit the reset button here and give each other the opportunity to grow. It's they seem sometimes seems, like, you know my experiences, the the other meaning, the person outside the company always seems a little bit more exotic attractive, like, you know, the grass is always greener, that man or woman that you you know you can't date, so you think that they're going to be the most amazing partner and then sometimes when you get into the company, the Sheen wears off of that person. So they spend sometimes more time recruiting the new potential vp then they do allowing themselves for that VP to build out and develop and execute their plgree. I totally agree. Where why do you think that is? Why do you think that there's a lack of patients? I think there's pressure, obviously from investors. Quite frankly, what I didn't realize, and I won't name the company, but I didn't realize, was the amount of, you know, stress the business was under the year prior. I didn't realize that my predecessor, you know, really put a lot of strain on the business, you know really jacked up the burn rate of the business, so that I was actually walking into things that, and this is my own fault, I should have asked these questions during the process, right. I should have known that these are the top three quire these are two or three questions I did not ask that I should have had answers to, which would allowed me to make a better decision. So I walked into a very stressful, high pressure environment that I really wasn't aware of, and you don't really realize it until you're, you know, ninety days into the job and like, okay, wow, we definitely have some some deep rooted issues here that we have to fix really, really fast so that in patients, the anxiety that the founder is now experiencing. What guess what? It trickles down to me. So that's where I think it comes from. I know, I know that there's a I know a lot of people that have really loved working for you Yep, and you have developed and groomed a lot of incredible account executives and managers. Putting the founder side, when you think about what it takes to be a great leader manager, what are the what are the things that are Merde for you? When, when and if you get a team again, what are you going to what are the principles you're going to put in place to make sure that...

...you can help develop these? Yeah, well, I think it starts with I'm a strong believer that the sales leader has to be the best recruiter in the business. I Tall my talent folks out there, all my talent teams and talent leaders. I love you, I need your help and you I'll I support you, but at the end of the day, that numbers my number and the other day I have to build the team that I know is going to have the ability to go out and execute. So when I landed at data minor, for example, I went over to the recruiting team, they're one of the first teams that I've introduced myself to, and I said, can I please have a linkedin recruiter license, and they're like what I said? Did you mean sales and half I go no, I want to linkedin recruiter license. I Want I want to have my own set up for recruiting and linked in. They're like yeah, sure, we guess. So they gave me a license. Why? That allowed me to go in and build my my lists. So of the strs that were out other companies that I wanted to try to pull them out of, I got to build my list of a's with backgrounds that I knew would be a good fit for data minor. I got to build templates and cadences and just kind of get that whole recruiting engine almost automated. So I was able to breach out to people and say, I love your background, I love what you're doing. Can we talk, even if you're not look you know, if you're passive, not looking to make a move, that's great, but let's start the relationship now, because I'm planning on being here for a long time. So I did that a step one, and that really just allowed me to kind of build out my own pipeline. I you know, when you can't rely on others all the time, you have to really start to build out your own own pipeline. There then, that's what I did and the the second place that I went to in the business that was, where's the on boarding program what does it look like? Walk me through it. It was non existent. Okay, cool. I said to my present do I have your your blessing to go build my own two week boot camp piece to sure take a crack at it. So I did so I built a two week boot camp, like an actual training program that from my previous roles as an and I see and a manager. I put all of those, those core and Gres together into what would make it a successful on boarding program, successful if I was a new person coming in, and I built that out. And then the third piece was I put a certification process in place. No one's on the phone until you can den with the product effectively. I'm then asking you to be the best person in the room dem on the software. But, like the core components to being a successful salesperson, how to articulate this product is something that you're going to have to start taking steps towards mastering, because most of what we sold was sold over the phone, which is a very hard thing to do. So those are like the big the big three things, or the three big building blocks, as I mean. It's that the point that you made about recruiting is critical. I don't think. I think when you're an individual contributor, I think think about becoming a manager and ultimately a VP. I think that's the part that's not eminently clear, which is that your first job is to make sure that people, the way I describe it as people want to give you their careers, because when someone chooses to work for you, that's what they're doing. They are leasing their career to you for whatever period of time they work for you. You know, and I've I'm a big fan of your of your of your podcast. I'm like a user and I've listened to a lot of the episodes and you always have great insights on how to be a great sales person, and I know that sometimes when you see lazy sales people on Linkedin or that are reaching out to you get frustrated. So if you're thinking about you know, and now you are, you are yourself an individual contributor. You know probably expected to close a couple million bucks, you know, in two thousand and nineteen, or at least in a twelve month basis. What are your lessons? What do you what do you think people should do? What you think people are doing wrong when it comes to actually being great at sales? Yeah, sure, so. There's a few buckets. The first bucket kind of goes back to being, you know, patient, and it's hard to do when you're starting your your career in sales or your four five years in and you have this manager, this very metrics driven or, you know, putting a lot of demand on the output right, the amount of calls, the amount of emails, the amount of touches, those things are all very, very important.

But you know, what I try to instruct or teach sales up to do is just imagine for one day that you are the recipient of two hundred emails coming from individual was just like you. Don't get caught in the trap that your competitor is the product you're selling against. Your competitor is the individual who is trying to get time from the same person you're trying to get time from. That's the biggest challenge of all and you have to learn how to master that and it starts with really, really good research, understanding your buyer and setting over messages that resonate and do not have this disjointed process where your emails sounds like one version of yourself and you leave this voicemail that sounds like the complete antithesis of the person who sent the first email. All that stuff has to run in parallel like that text when it's delivered through, the voice has to feel to feel the same. You know, let your personality shine, but demonstrate the fact that you've done your research, you have done everything you can to attempt to earn that person's time, and that's really all around, like the prospecting piece. But it's where I see a lot of sales people fail. They think, you know, it's an activity, base sport you the more touches you know, I increase my chances. Yeah, that might be true, but as you level up in your career and you sell into larger deals, I could tell you that, you know, a CMO, a CFO or any C level executive in a three billion dollar publicly traded company does not want to be on your thirteen, fourteen, fifteen step cadence and they're going to tune you out and they're not going to see your emails anymore. But if you're really do your research and you understand the business, I mean hack there's so much information at your fingertips now that it's disrespectful to not take the time out of the day to research the company and reach out with an intelligent message and a reason to talk. So I tend to really just put a put a lot of emphasis on that, and I know that it's hard because the business demands. You know, I am on a metrics because they're all looking at reports and that's all they see. But I'm really big on the output, like great, you did a thousand phone calls this week and book two meetings. But you know, Samanthas to sitting next to you, put out two hundred and fifty activities that were really, really, really good and she books six meetings. So who would I rather have? So I think we've taught sales people to go as fast as they possibly can automate the job. It's not a job that you can automate. It's still a people of people sport and I like to see a kind of return back to the center, a little bit of like slowing down, just like do the research and just like earn people's time the right way. What do you say to people that say I don't have time to do that? That you know and what are tips do you have you do structure your day in a certain way? Do you do you set aside certain blocks of time for a prospecting? Like, what advice would you give to the person that's making that excuse that I don't have time to be thoughtful? Ryan, I'm sorry, they're telling me I got to do hundred dials every day. I'm on an autodialer. I don't even know who I'm calling half the time. Yeah, I know, and that and that's that's a tough situation of being. Again, I get it as individual contributor and as a manager, you want to see those top line metrics. If I was going to automate anything, which I do, I automate in form nation that comes to me, so obviously Google Urch is like a no brainer. But if you're not joining those groups within linkedin that are made up of your bier persona or by a personas, you're hurting yourself. And I'm not saying you have to go in there and you start picking people off and send of them them sales emails, but you need to watch the conversation, because those conversations that are taking place on Cora and linkedin groups, those are at this the tip of the spear, or front of mind, if you will, of what your buyers are actually talking about and caring about right now. There is no relevant or or there is no more relevant information or compelling event you can grab rab onto then seeing what your bier persona is talking about right at this moment and that allows you to take that conversation, reframe it and then, if you want to put that into a cadence, I totally understand. Hey, I was in a recent chat...

...room and a Linkedin user group. Your peers are talking about this. Here's how we as an organization can optimize that for you, obviously being very high level, but that, to me is a bit more personal and a bit more of a legitimate attempt to reach out to someone with something of value, because it because it's current and you know that that that that that person is talking about it. So I would automate that part, automate the information that is coming in for to your inbox. It's going to just equipped you to be a better salesperson and just sound more intelligent. Yeah, the other piece, look, you have to block out the time. I put a comment about slack overload, the lap last week on on Linkedin it's not because I'm anti slack. I Love Black Slack as awesome. Not Be into slack. If you remember revenant Click, I know I'm I mean, I'm in there a lot. I mean, I mean, I'm in there a lot. I hear you. I Love Slack. I think especially like a m on a Sunday morning. You know London's up. They're just talking about all kinds of stuff. I'm I got to turn the notifications off. But trying to relax in the weekend. Start with revenue. Collective slack growing like but it's just it's a lot. So it can be intrusive to your day. So learn a turn turn things off. You got to turn slack off. Sometimes it can wait. Someone needs you, you know, the walk over and they'll and we'll talk to you. But blocking out time throughout the day is definitely critical. But it's not just black like I see people block out time, time block prospecting. That's not good enough. It's like, what do you mean time? Time, block prospecting? Put that, you know, time block researching. The following four companies. I'm going to dig out four to five individuals in each company. I'm going to build mini BIOS on them. I'm going to connect the dots, find three or four news related events in each of these companies and tie it back to how I can help this person achieve x, y Z. that's a much more tactical and that way your brain is focused for that one hour or two hours. I'm just executing on those like little, small, small, small steps. Yeah, that makes complete sense. Let's say we get the meeting, because I know that you've also got a lot of really interesting thoughts about it. Says how to demo like user. So clearly getting the meeting is not the end of the sales process. You have thoughts on proper discovery and proper downloads. What are you key you know, particularly in the mid market ASM B space, you know, like what are we're in a thirty to sixty day sales cycle, YEP, and I'm trying to do a great job as an individual contributor. What advice would you Ryan give me, if you are my manager, so prior to going into the Demo itself? Yeah, and also like how to think about running the discovery the right way, how to run the demo the right way, like, what are they? What are the themes, the principles that you know if you're going to build at a sales playbook as a new VP of sales, that you would make sure that they're in there. Yeah, sure. So research leads the confidence and confidence leads to really good questions in discovery. So that's been my my method since the beginning, or as far back as I can remember going into a sales meeting and there's always a little bit of anxiety that comes along with it going in front of a room of individuals to present. There's always some anxiety that comes along with it. You just never know how the meeting is going to go until the meeting actually kicks off and your and your live and you're on stage and you're performing. So practice definitely helps, right. So the research that you do of Front will build that confidence. Then you can literally write out all of the questions that you might want to ask. I tell a lot of my reps if you're going to it depends with kind of kind of product your selling. So I just use my example. I've typically am selling to C R Ros, VP's of sales, sceniorvy PAS, operation leaders and marketing leaders. So I'm going to go to their career page and see if they're hiring for roles and marketing, sales and operations. I'm going to read the key requirements of each of those roles because those key requirements for each of those roles tell me a lot about the demands of the business and what they're trying to achieve. I could reverse engineer those into questions and that's just going to get my person talking and building up that comfort level and also demonstrates I have a sound understanding of not only the company but what they're trying to achieve as a business through these key hires that they're looking to make. So all that prep all that research is definitely going to lead to a really good discovery call. I also...

...believe that the demo should be a formality. It should not be this like super deep dive, click a bunch of buttons. What is this? What is that I called the haunted house? When that happens, you basically go into this haunted house and you have no idea how to get out, because now you have a bunch of people ask you all these questions. Are doing stump the Chump, you know, the it guy gets on who shouldn't be on the call to begin with. Like all of those things so just have an understanding of WHO's showing up before the call. There is definitely something that I would I would certainly hone in on and just try to get a grasp for as much of the business as you can and ask really good, good questions and and set yourself up for a good demo. Any good strategies for closing? Let's say we you know, we had an amazing discovery. Again, we're thinking like a maybe fifteen, twentyzero a price point. This isn't a ninemonth enterprise sale. Yeah, we got some interest. What are your closing strategies? I'd wait to the lout the last day of the quarter and I would send a coupon to email. Wait, that doesn't work. I would do a twenty percent off flash sale every single at the end of every quarter. Twenty Percent Day. Yeah, every day. I mean, yeah, BAC, now we're raising our prices next month again and the eleventh time this year. But you sure really set up right now? That doesn't work. No, I thought. I tell people all the time. I mean, I don't know, it might work, but I'd forget. For a gym memberships, I'm if it works for what do you think works that's a that's a tough question, man. What do I think think works just for like a standard closing technique? Yeah, I don't know. I mean that. I honestly. I give I've been in some conversations as like a kind of advisor consultant to a bunch of early, super early stage companies and and the founders, who are wonderful people, really truly are wonderful people in the cases that I'm thinking about, and sweet, sweet individuals. But they say, I had this great meeting. How do I turn it into a customer you know, what do I do next? How do I get them to sign something? We would you say, I mean, you have any ideas, thoughts? Just keep principles, key questions that you immediately ask. Yeah, sure. So I would say how big is your organization? And then they'd say this too, it's aw hundred person organization. Great. How many people in an organization know that you're having a conversation with with with SAM? How many other individuals in that business are you speaking to? Having on other individuals in the business are aware of the fact that our product even exists and that there's not opportunity for our product to have a major impact on that on that company, when they start going down. Just talking to Sam seem only seem says, you know, he's the guy, you know he can see this thing through, he can run it through. You know that's more like a sales methodology thing. But that's when I start to get a bit worried. So I typically feel much more comfortable asking for the business when I know that I'm able to impact several individuals in the company simultaneously through the acquisition of of our of our product. I think a lot of reps are just scared to ask for the business. You know, did I have we done enough to earn Your Business? Like a very simple question, I'd hear no one ever ask anymore. It's just it. It's not an art form Asadven a science. It's literally just a question like did we do enough to earn Your Business? You'd be shocked that what happens. No, not yet. Okay, Great. What's lacking? What's missing? What questions haven't I answered? Why are you not comfortable at this point? We've had seventeen demos. Why are you not comfortable buying the do you just have to ask these questions? Like why? I don't understand. Like explained to me. I think that can can go a long way. What I found is that when you are truly talking to a decision maker and you ask them why, they will answer you. When you're talking to someone who is maybe like on like the cusp of being like a champion, maybe can kind of get you to a few people is wont to take a call with you but will not answer the why, you're probably talking to the wrong person. Yeah, because they don't know. Yeah, or maybe they do, or they just don't have the power to do anything about it. Like I'm clear talking to some who can't buy anything. I mean I still get I mean I'm an inside squared. I get in males all day long trying to sell me different products and I'm like if this person just did the research or just mapped it out and did like...

...an work chart, they would know that I literally can't even buy toilet paper for inside square, like I can't buy I mean I can buy someone lunch, and you're asking me to like look at your thirty Fivezeros ass platform and I'm like I'm not. I'm not your person. You got to keep you got to keep keep digging. So, yeah, I think, well, yeah, I mean they their perspective somewhere in the organization. The perspective is that the level of rigger and preparation and, you know, the information that they would need at scale to understand that about every single person they send an email too would be cost prohibit if that's probably their answer. HMMM, perhaps. Yeah, we're we're coming to the end of our time together, Ryan, at least for this episode. Okay, how do you feel about that? I don't know, I'm a little nervous. With Five, five, five minutes left, I mean, I mean, anything can happen right now. So let me just let me grab my desk and make picture I'm securely fastened here. So I'm sorry to tell you this can be your last day on the Sales Hecker. Yeah, I guess. Okay, back your shit and go, buddy. Damn it. My question is we have this thing would paid for. Basically books that you read, podcasts that you really enjoy, sale leaders that you look up to. Give us some give us some of your influences, people that we can have who's impacted you in really positive way. I'll sales leader Sam Jacobs all the way number one, and then mode your check. Thank you, very much and I'll problem. Look, I had the unique pleasure of being a sales rep at hub spot when it was pre ipoh. I had the unique pleasure of really understanding what a truly transparent organization looks like when they're leading others. Things like cost to acquire a customer and why that matters, how many leaves were getting from marketing and what that's supposed to translate into terms of potential deals that we could we can close, how much money is in the bank, what it takes to go Ipoh. Here's where we're trending. Yes, sales force called and try, try to buy us, and yes, we said get the heck out out of here, we're not we're not for sale. And that was Mark Roberts, that was Brian Halligan, that was Mike Volpi. I mean those that leadership team is one of the one of the Best I've ever had the pleasure of just working for and learning from just as a sales rep. so if you haven't read you know mark's blueprint. I'm basically how to go from zero two, a hundred hundred million. Highly recommend getting that book into you, into your hands. I like influence a lot. That's a really good book. I actually found out about influence because one of my favorite podcasts is seeking wisdom by Dave cancel and the guys over at drift. So I love their product. I love the podcast. It's a nice free flowing type type vibe to it and I just think that they deliver some really, really good content, both in like life lessons how to run a business and just like some general marketing tactics that it really anyone can apply, whether you're in sales are marketing. So is that helpful? I mean those are just a couple that I could stopperhead. Yeah, yeah, yeah, super help. Phone. The the book that Ryan was talking about, sales acceleration, for me a huge, huge book. Everybody's read that? Yeah, so I hope everyone's right down. A lot of people have. It's I mean it reads really easily and it's just stills. It's really distills business into a very understandable way, which I mean the key of business is. This is a bit of an aside, but something I've been thinking about is just you got to do things the same way every time and that's how you get predictability by definition, and if things are happening slightly differently every time, then that's that by definitional act of predictability, which is why you put an onboarding program right when you got to data minor, because you need to train people in the same way every time in order for them to produce similar kinds of results correct. Yeah, Ryan, there's people out here that out there that are listening, probably want to talk to you about your career journey. You know, maybe their individual contributors thinking about making the jump to manager. Are you okay if people reach out to on Linkedin and if they're not trying to sell you something for thirty Fivezero when you can't buy at the paper? Yes, so, first of all, if you want to sell me something, you can continue to email...

...me and email me. That's totally fine. I'm just going to be very candid honest with you and let you know that I can't buy toilet paper. If you want to call me about career advice and talk to me, or email me, or email me. Of course. My inboxes is wide open. I love talking to and you now listen. Even if you're not in sales but can think about getting into sales and you want to talk to me, reach out anyway. I'll talk to anybody that wants to take time other day to hang out with me. So I'm happy to. So how do we do that? What's your yeah, well, my email address, and might we am I allowed to give my email address a way on the podcast? Yeah, we give an email mall address away every single episode. Do Do you not listen? I only listen to the only did Friday fundamentals, not money and motivation. So I'm sorry. Yeah, it's it's Ryan Lellier at gmailcom. And then obviously I'm on Linkedin. Ryan Lellier on linked and could hip up there too. Awesome, Ryan, thanks so much for being on the show and we will talk to you in this this upcoming Friday for Friday fundamentals. Awesome. Thanks a lot. Take care all right. By. Hey, folks, it's Sam Jacobs. It's SAM's corner. I really, really like that conversation with Ryan. You can hear. You know, he comes from a completely blue collar background. He has guidance counselor told him not to go to college, which you know, I guess. I'm sure you know. I read a lot of VC's out there. Like a lot of super rich white people are telling everybody else that college may not be the best investment. Maybe that's true, maybe it's not, but all of those people that give that advice typically did go to college. So we gotta look at how they voted with their feet in addition to their sanctumonies and vice. But the point is that he, you know, went to college, didn't have a great GPA in high school, ended up doing really, really well and thend up getting a great sales job at Connecticut Telephone, where they got him one fifteen hundred dollar budget to men's warehouse and he hit the phones and all day Monday he would have to book twenty meetings so that the rest of his week was filled out. From there he moved into to sales in Boston and New York and is just a lot of great lessons. One of them is really about picking the right company right. So he mentioned that. You Know, the Serial Entrepreneur, the serial founder. He puts a little bit more emphasis on than and a little bit and it has more confidence in than a first time founder, and the first time founder sometimes just don't have the patients that's required to really execute a game plan. So that's kind of one thing to think about is if you're going to move to a company to become a VP of sales, let's make sure you do your due diligence on both the founder and the company itself. The second thing that we were talking about is a sort of like level of personalization when it comes to outreach and making sure that when you're reaching out to people that you are taking the time to understand their context, to understand their background, to do a little bit of research, because you know, even though you might be, as an end of contributor, being put in a position where you really don't have a lot of flexibility, marketing is giving you the message. You know you're being put on an autodialer or being asked to press end on hundreds of emails. You really do have to try to find some time to create personalization, to really be thoughtful about your outreach, because you know, we all get these linkedin messages in these emails and they're just the same over and over and over again. It doesn't work, it's not going to work and the other thing's going to happen is that you're going to damage your reputation, your personal brand. So you have to have some ability to provide thoughtful, thoughtful outrage. I guess. One last thing I'll just point out, which I mentioned on the show when we were talking. If you're a VP of cells, if you're a leader, if you're a sales manager, it doesn't matter, if you are responsible for a group of people you're one of your number one jobs is recruiting. Your number one job, one of your first jobs, is to make sure that you are a person and a human that other humans want to lend and lease their careers too. And you also have to take it upon yourself to do some of that same work that you've done as an individual contributor when it comes to reaching out to prospects and reaching out to candidates and developing a long term relationship and being thoughtful about that, candidates experience and context and demonstrating that you are a good person for whom to work and it's a very...

...similar process to a sales process. Right. It's it's a long term relationship and when somebody goes to work for you, they are buying your expertise, they are becoming a customer of your solution, and your solution is hopefully their professional advancement and career development. So be thinking about that. It's not about being you know, whipping people into shape. It's not about being a real hard ass and demanding a certain number of calls. That is about creating an environment where other people want to give you their career and you have to demonstrate that leadership by being somebody that cares about them, and it starts with the recruiting process. So this has been Sam's corner. Before we go, we want to thank our two sponsors, lucid chart sale solution, which is the leading account planning platform for modern sales organizations. GO TO LUCID CHARTCOM forward sales for more information and, of course, outreach, the leading sales engagement platform. If you want to reach out to me, you can linkedincom forward the word in and then forwards. Last Sam f Jacobs, and I will talk to you next time.

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