Michael started his startup sales leadership career by being creative and finding initiatives he could lead within the company, not by asking for the next level.
He finds that this is an important trait in a leader, the ability to take initiative even if it is out of the scope of your job definition.
Keeping your clients with you by engaging with them properly from the beginning, not trying to stop them while they are on their way out. A tool he is using to accomplish this is called Churn Zero. Another key point is the hand off from the sales team to the implementation team, keeping this fluid and ensuring the customer enjoys the journey.
Using about 150 page startup sales playbook to get his new team members up and running. He uses a method of more self learning followed by conversation to teach his sales executives. Also including roleplaying into the mix as Michael feels this is a must, not only for new recruits but also for veteran sales gurus. Not so much teaching what to do, rather why to do it so that they can make their own judgment and decisions moving forward.
With robots/AI taking more and more jobs, sales executives need to take a deep look to see where you are going to add value.
When working with a new Salesperson, it is important to see progression. Knowing that they are understanding and internalizing what is being taught. Even if there are a lot of changes to be made and a lot of skills to work on, as long as they are making those changes, they should be okay moving forward. If you are finding that you are having to review the same things constantly and there is no real good reason, this is a big indicator to the possibility they may not be a good fit. This can also go hand in hand with how much the person cares, are they trying to be number one or are they happy to be in the middle.
Trying to find people that are hungry, humble and smart.
This is something you can not teach. They need to want to succeed, want to close the deals and do the best they can.
They need to be open and coachable. Not be defensive when receiving feedback.
Someone who is able to look internally and self identify the things they are doing in order to fix or improve them. They take the initiative to seek help with something they found is not their strong suit.
Everyone will say they are hungry. You need to ask situational questions like “give me a scenario where you have recently been the hardest working person”.
1) What is your favorite sales or leadership book?
2) Do you have someone that you follow/read for sales/leadership ideas?
Danial Pink - Dan Ariely (Author of above book) Heath Brothers - Michael Lewis (Undoing project - book)
3) Are you available 24/7? Do you have strict personal time boundaries? Yes, if there is a deal to be had he is available.
4) What is your favorite tool used for sales? Salesloft
5) What one piece of advice do you have for all the founders/CEOs/VP Sales out there? Understand where you are at in the business life cycle and set your expectations on the results and of the people correctly.