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Peter Crosby, CRO – Ometria – The Importance Of Patience With Your Sales Team – Sales Confidence

Wanted to tell you about my daughter, she’s 16 years old and she’s being a dressage rider, but she’s in a wheelchair, it’s been a Power dressage rider since she was three, and that means she’s been working with the team GB psychologists for a long long long that time, and the thing that they tell her to do and she does it all the time is this amazing thing about visualization. And what we have to do is – I don’t you know about horses but that you can transpose it to almost anything – like you have to visualize what it is that you’re gonna be doing so she has to sit on a chair and imagine that you know she’s outside you’d smell like the horse and the leather and you can hear the wind in the trees and you have to do the course okay and in dressage you go out of course takes about six minutes to do, and you have to do certain moves and they have to be perfect you have to do all of that stuff, and even in your mind sometimes you might make a mistake because you have to remember everything. And you have to do it in exactly the right time. And if you’re doing it really really really well you should be able to do it within about 10 15 seconds of actually being outside on the horse, this is how accurate you have to be, it takes a long time to get to that kind of stage. And so with our sales team we start to work on these kind of techniques for visualizing meetings and so on because what we realize is if you’re a surgeon you do that kind of practice too don’t you do hundreds of hours of practice before they let you anywhere near your wife or your husband or your child that they’re not going anywhere near that person for years. And if you’re a pilot you require hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of hours of expertise before you’re allowed to fly a decent plane. If you have a sales guy 80% of companies to come on the phone within a week okay, and they’re burning leads and they’re talking to people and they’re not using the right process at all and so that’s why I want to talk in my seven minutes about coaching and the importance of making sure that your patient, and you just get it right with your team.

And so I’ve worked this is my third startup I did my first to publishing startup for seven years and I did a social network startup for seven years now that this travel startup Triptease and in every case you have impatient entrepreneurs and founders who whatever things happen immediately, and I think we can all agree that doing stuff as quick as possible is really them important. But it could be a false economy so with coaching I want to make sure that we embed that right throughout our organization and make sure that the kind of techniques that my daughter has to use in the sporting world, or that a pilot has to use, or that surgeon has to use in each case I want to do that for sales after all the reason that James has got us here together, I’ve never seen this many sales professionals in a room apart from those stupid to sugar rush, let’s go and see your sales guru conferences right. And by the way my sales team love all that stuff they want to listen to guru’s on YouTube they want to read stupid sales books, they want to follow blogs that every sales person is doing that I see you’re gonna set yourself apart from anybody else because you did exactly the same thing as all the other sales people.

So what we want to do is try to focus much more on getting coaching done just right. So I thought I’d give you three things that we’re doing at Triptease which are practical and you could apply it’s your team if you want to do that okay.

The first thing is to build an academy so we’ve done this I’m going to talk about the one we’ve built for our sales development team so if you have a sales development team. You’ll know generally you’re talking about graduates young people often their first job could be their second job, they don’t know quite one that what they want to do with their life they’ve very hung up on being a millennial, and thinking about go and travel in and also other things and you need to keep those people in your business because you want to train them for a bunch of months and they’re going to disappear. So we’ve built an academy and the Academy does a couple of things; first thing it does is it says to them like we really care you are not just a phone monkey you’re not just here to book appointments for people, like we believe in you know, we want you to build your career ,and we believe the sales development is actually a really difficult job. And we’ve already demonstrated that, you know it doesn’t take a week to get good at that it takes months and months and months to get really really effective and yet sales development reps and average tenure is about a year – what a shame you’re constantly training they leave. So the Academy helps you a retention that’s the first thing it does for the employer. But for the guy that goes through the Academy, it does a really good thing. So we’d spend the first three months giving them time about half a day every single week where we train them in so techniques and we go really really deep. So that means that they take half a day out of their schedule it means our dials are down it means that our are ones booked our meetings booked are down, we don’t care because we think it’s really really valuable. And then for the second three months I don’t know if you guys can remember back to doing your GCSEs, and like choosing your options, we let them choose their options, which is I’m a sales development guy maybe I want to continue doing this because it’s a profession or maybe I want to be an inside sales rep, or maybe I want to like go to the dark side and become a customer success person, or maybe I want to join marketing or PR; all these things are fine, we have all of these things you can do so you choose an option. And that means for the next three months you spend time learning from people in that department about that side of the business, it broadens their horizons and it means that when we’re ready to hire a customer success person or an inside sales person now we’ve got a substitutes bench of people who already are well qualified, we know that culturally they’re a good fit with our business they should be able to move into that position well, and we don’t promise them the job, we tell them we’re going to hire externally as well but if we have to equal candidates were definitely going to choose you not that person from outside. S o that’s the next thing that it does and that means that you have a team that are going to stay for at least a year move on to do other things and be really happy so that’s the Academy and we do that for all of our different types of Sales Professional.

Second thing that I want to talk about is real coaching, so I was quite inspired recently to discover that the team I support, which is Tottenham okay, that they video every single thing that happens at the training ground they video the guys in the canteen they, video the guys with the exception n of the changing room the guys everywhere and then every morning they just use that all that video work they use that the next morning to train okay and we do the same thing so we have video guys I’d love to but you know don’t quite have the budget for that but we do just record as much as we possibly can, and then our sales ops team analyze those recordings based on what the sales managers want to do, next morning 9 o’clock we do a training session in each of our offices, Singapore New York, London, half an hour sometimes it’s something that we planned, sometimes it’s something we just spotted during the day, sometimes it’s something that we thought wrong, sometimes it’s something that we thought went well, either case will cut the audio up, we’ll play it we’ll use it to train on one specific point. You think 220 working days in a year did that for half an hour 110 hours, three weeks, that’s three weeks of training that you gave to your teams throughout the year without doing anything else and what do you lose almost nothing right and the guys feel really really appreciated as a result; so that’s the second thing that we do.

And once we’ve done those two things the Academy and the training then we think about how we hire because if you can do it coaching, you need people that are gonna want to learn. So we’ve embedded in all of our values obsessive learning we want people that just are obsessive about learning they want to be better tomorrow than they were today. And that’s quite difficult salespeople often quite full of themselves they can feel a bit cloud you need to have that kind of resilience anyway if you’re going to succeed because you’re going to be rejected so often, and a the flip of that sometimes is you’re not always as coachable as you should be so in the hiring process we try to bake in questions that allow us to hire people who are just gonna really give a shit, and they want to get better. And one of those questions is around failure. Now you know when you go to a job interview and they ask you so tell us about something that you really suck out that you’re really bad at and you’re supposed to say to me like I’m a bit of a workaholic, because that’s a good thing right we all want to workaholics because we won’t be able to work a lots and lots of hours. Well I prefer and people say talk about their failures when people say well actually I did this thing and I really sucked at it and it was really bad and it went wrong, and then we can say so what did you do next how did you learn from it, so we try and get those kind of questions out you’d be amazed how many people that seem quite good at selling seem quite capable are quite personable, cannot talk about that at all and so we never ever ever hire that kind of person. We want someone that wants to get better because you can do all the coaching in the world it’s not me improve I’m going to change anything at all.

So I would really encourage you if you have a founder who is a bit impatient good like you might succeed if you’ve got a guy like that, if you’ve got an entrepreneur that just wants to go rocketship speed, good like you’re probably gonna succeed, but your role as a Sales Leader when it comes to coaching is to systematically build your team. And I think finally the reason that most of us don’t do that is it’s, the hardest thing to measure right it’s easy to find out if you’ve got as I have an SDR team doing lots lots of dials that’s easy for me to have a look on insight squared and see if I did any dials and then I can go and talk to the ones that didn’t. It’s easy for me to see what kind of revenue went into the opportunity pipeline, it’s not so easy to see what the quality of the presentation was like, how good was the pitch that they did what was the discovery phase like, and if you think about the amount of pitches you might do now I’ve got about 20 sales guys in the inside sales team and they’re supposed to do two or three pitches a day throughout the year okay so that means they’ve done about 14,000 pitches throughout the year. I probably listen to five of them seven, eight; how can you possibly understand what is the quality of your team and how you’re raising the game and that’s why because it’s difficult to measure though we just don’t bother so that’s why we’ve built pitch scorecard just one of the ways to measure it which means that we can look every single element of the pitch, how is the narrative how is the arc of the story that they’re telling what is the discovery like, what about the different things we expect from discovery and scoring all of those elements and using those for training the coaching and we see a direct correlation between pitch scorecard scores increasing, and yield from the rep, there’s a direct correlation so if you need to prove it to someone there’s one way of doing it.

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