Q&A with Henrique Moniz de Aragão – Sales Leader at G2

In the latest in a new series of articles, we sat down with G2’s GM for EMEA, Henrique Moniz de Aragao, to find out what makes him tick.

Henrique Moniz de Aragão has been at G2 since March 2019. To get to know him better and to introduce him to the Sales Confidence community, we sat down with Henrique to get his thoughts on sales, mindset and much more besides. Enjoy.

Sales Confidence – Hey Henrique. Some say that being a sales leader is as much about coaching as it is about selling. What does coaching look like in the sales team at G2?

Henrique – Coaching at G2 is not about leaving sales teams to their own devices and troubleshooting in the background. Equally, it is not about managers joining meetings to take over or try and save the day. If the sales leader is selling, he or she is not helping their team sell more and is holding back their business from scaling. If a sales leader is selling, it is because they have left it too late to coach.

We rely on technology, practice and observation to help our teams improve. Our sales managers do join meetings, not because it is a key deal, or because it is at a critical stage. Rather, it is so we can observe first-hand how teams are managing their business, taking notes and reflecting on how we are showing up. When we discuss deals, we draw on these observations so that we can be effective coaches. We also regularly brainstorm in flight opportunity strategy, but this is not coaching; it’s teamwork. Salespeople will always be closer to the opportunity, understand the customer better, and have more information than their sales leader. In these instances, the sales leader is serving the sales executive as a sounding board, a sense checker, and advisor.

We practice and roleplay regularly and use these as coaching opportunities at our monthly and quarterly meetings. It could be a discovery role play, value-based customer vision pitch, or how to handle common objections.

Lastly, we use technology. We leverage tools like Gong and Truly to record and analyse our video calls and meetings with customers and prospects. We review these on one-to-ones and team members also volunteer meetings for the team to review and coach on together.

SC – All sales individuals have their own personalities, but their goal is the same: to sell. How important is it to you that a salesperson develops their own authentic voice?

I disagree that the goal is to sell. The goal is to add value and bring about positive change for the people and the businesses we engage with, in a timely manner. The ‘sell’ is a natural outcome and a side-product that results from this. There is no single quality or characteristic that makes a person a great salesperson. 

Each great salesperson is great because they leverage their top superpowers for maximum impact. Salespeople who can identify their superpowers and work with the right intent (to help customers succeed) will not need to develop an authentic voice. They will be authentic without trying.

SC – Getting things done in business is all about motivation. Do you think top-down motivation is the best way to inspire a sales team?

It helps, but then again, people are not going to be super-motivated all of the time. What I look for in teams are people that are engaged; they are connected to their team, they find meaning in their work, they feel safe and that they belong. 

I have found that if everyone feels like they belong, that there is trust amongst colleagues, and that everyone can bring their true authentic self to work every day, things will get done. 

Being psychologically safe (i.e. its OK to fail, its OK to try out new things, its OK to not know how and show vulnerability) and nurturing this top-down and bottom-up is the key to having an engaged team that wants to get out of bed, out in front of customers and driven to outcomes.

SC – Managing a large sales team is time-consuming and demanding. How do you prioritise your workload and stay focused on your goals?

Taking care of your body, your mind and making your loved ones top priority is key. If you get this under control, everything else, no matter how manic and demanding, becomes easy to prioritise and align to your goals.

My dairy is organised around blocks of activity. Internal meetings and one-to-ones live at the start and end of the week. These have set agendas and automated report models with KPIs that level the playing field for all conversations; less taxing on the mind, repeatable, scalable across large teams. Midweek days are cleared for customer meetings – this time is for my teams to use so I can serve them in their work.

Monthly catch-ups over breakfast and lunch with team members are regularly scheduled in my calendar. I never eat at my desk, I am always out with a member of the team. 

We set our goals at the start of each year and review them every quarter. We follow the V2MOM model, which stands for Vision, Values, Methods, Metrics, and Obstacles. Our entire business is run and measured against our progress to the V2MOM.

SC – Building on this, is there anything you do every morning to get yourself motivated for the day ahead? Do you follow a routine or ritual?

I have been deliberate over the years in building habits around routines that are good to my mind and my body. A 45-minute run four times per week does it for me. I aim to get up with nothing on my mind but my run. Once I’m finished, my brain is loaded with endorphins and I am ready to look at my calendar and tackle the day.

I tackle hard tasks (critical thinking, logical reasoning, ideation, business and account strategy) in the morning. The afternoons are better reserved for admin. I don’t make decisions in the afternoon, I don’t fire off sensitive/loaded messages in the evenings.

SC – What is your biggest challenge as a sales leader and how do you approach it?

I find the biggest challenge is building teams and businesses for the long-term, while keeping the lights on and achieving short term objectives. I find that when driving the business to short-term goals (i.e. the monthly target, the quarterly goal) it is important to keep sight of and discourse the long term goals with all members of the team. Career planning, skills development, and reinforcement of our long-term mission need to be carved into every opportunity. 

SC – On the flip side, what is the most rewarding part of your career?

Building businesses that colleagues will leave on their CV ten years later and brag about having been a part of that success, transformed by their experience.

SC – Whether you’re an SDR, Sales Manager, VP or Founder, what do you think is the most underrated personality trait of a successful salesperson?

Sense of humour.

SC – Lastly, 2020 is going to be a big year for many of us – Sales Confidence included. What are three trends in tech that we should look out for?

  • Growth engineering leveraging buyer intent technology and outbound sales technology will accelerate. Buyers want personalised and targeted outreach that is relevant and timely. They don’t want to be tricked into tripping into your funnel. 
  • Lead forms and inbound demand generation will be less effective and relevant in the technology space. 
  • Technologies that automate, personalise and identify the right buyers at the right time are going to transform the buyer-seller relationship for the better. Companies that adopt these will win in 2020 and beyond.

Over to you

Thanks to Henrique for sitting down with us. Now you know how Henrique does it, we want to know about you. Leave us a comment to let us know what you think about any of the points he raised. 

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