We were so excited to be invited to participate in the Sales Hacker Toronto (SalesHackerTO) event last month.
After we showed the audience how LevelJump empowers teams to sell smarter with contextual sales enablement videos delivered inside SFDC, there was a great panel discussion featuring sales experts from both small and large organizations in the Toronto Tech scene.
If you missed the event or want a refresher on the insights that were shared, here are some highlights and learnings from the event. You can also check out The SalesHacker Toronto Facebook album to see the event photos.
- Emmanuelle Skala – VP of Sales, Influitive
- Dan Ross – AVP of Commercial Sales, Salesforce
- Steven Silberbach – VP of Global Sales, Clio
- Ted Mercer – VP of Sales, Kira Talent
1. What channels are you leveraging to find salespeople today?
The larger organizations hold meet and greet events, use hiring agencies, and are all very bullish on internal referrals.
Emmanuelle suggested that they pay a pretty penny for referrals; so if you’re looking to apply there, you might want to connect with an employee and split the money.
Everyone uses LinkedIn; that’s an easy place to start. Ted, suggested a great hack: look for people within your school alumni group as you’ll get more advanced search options: you can search by the year they graduated, what city they’re in, and what company they worked for. Great tip!
Everyone agrees that you should look at the companies they came from, for example, pick a company that has really good SDR training, and go get them!
2. How are you defining the success of reps and managers? What metrics are you tracking?
Tracking success KPIs was important for all 4 VPs – no surprises here – and Emanuelle walked us through the basics. There were, however, three insightful statements that took us beyond general KPIs.
Dan Ross explained that his success is tied to the number of people on his team that get promoted and succeed in other roles inside the organization. He considered his team, the ESB (Emerging Small Business – less than 20 employees) segment, a sort of “farm team” for more senior AEs.
Steven Silberbach explained that every member of the sales team – even cold callers – have a level of revenue-based compensation. The learning here was you can drive revenue-based KPIs even for cold callers; it’s not just about how many SQLs they produce, those leads have to close
Ted opened our eyes to the importance of a strong 30/60/90 plan for success, especially when working with a talent recruiting service who don’t get paid their hefty fee if the rep is terminated before a set time.
3. What process are you implementing today to retain employees and keeping them engaged?
Ted’s team is small so he can keep a direct line open; he has his finger on their pulse, so to speak. If they have issues, he can work directly with them to solve them.
The larger companies have to spend more time focusing on this. Emmanuelle explained that culture is not something that is snapped into existence. She had her early sales team “co-create” the sales process, as an example. The SDRs at Influtive get “micro-promotions,” such as SDR 1, SDR 2, SDR Captain, to keep them engaged and to continually see a level-up around the corner.
Steven tries to make sure his team sees a career path and opportunities to make money (that makes sense to me!) Although it’s hard at startups to help them see the big picture, Clio also focuses on making things fun so that his team makes friends and has a good time.
4. What are the skills you need to develop to go from being a BDR/SDR to Account Executive?
There were lots of BDR/SDRs in the audience, so I’m sure lots of ears pricked up. Steven listed a set of skills that folks who are not in a closing role should focus on building, including their ability to ask good questions, sell value, and have conversations to identify customer pains. Ted tells us that to be a good AE, you have to be a good SDR, “hustle and drive are important.” We couldn’t agree more.
Emmanuelle explained that she can “teach closing” but she needs to see reps able to do the middle part of the sales process:
- Ask good questions – not just from the script
- Handle objections
- Add value to the conversation
There were other questions asked and lots of heads nodding as these VPs of sales dropped knowledge on the crowd of 150.
We’re looking forward to the next Sales Hacker event!
Interested in learning more about how LevelJump helps sales teams close deals faster, contact us for a personalized demo today.