Gabe Moncayo, CEO and Founder of AlwaysHired Sales Bootcamp, was recently interviewed on The Addicted To Growth Show, hosted by Travis King and Kevin Mulrane. They discuss how the roles of SDRs and salespeople have changed, their new responsibilities, and how companies are adapting and setting different expectations for their new hires. They also speak about creating consistency and a personal brand on social media, and developing a content-marketing strategy to generate new leads.
In part one of a two-part series, we will outline some of the key questions covered in the first half of the podcast.
The Addicted To Growth Show (Travis King and Kevin Mulrane)
Episode 11 - Consistency, Personal Branding in Sales, and Content Marketing with Always Hired Co-Founder, Gabriel Moncayo
What is the difference between sales and marketing targets?
Historically, Marketing would be tied to things like lead generation or qualified leads, the number of leads created, and the opportunities created from the leads. That is one of the reasons why there is an ongoing discussion as to whether or not SDRs should be under Sales or Marketing. Sometimes, Marketing is getting credit for the qualified lead, and they need the SDR to qualify it before it gets over to Sales. Marketing is leads, qualified leads, volume, conversions, etc. Sales is taking the opportunities, closing the deals, tracking the average contract value, the velocity of sales, etc. What we are starting to see right now is everyone getting bucketed in together to make sure that both departments are tied to revenue and that the entire assembly line is really smooth, all the way from Marketing to Sales. That basically means that Marketing might need to do a little bit of sales, and Sales might need to do a little bit more marketing than they are used to.
How can companies start to bridge the gap between Sales and Marketing, in terms of which department gets the credit for closing a deal?
There used to be this blaming animosity between the two departments which was not at all conducive to optimizing growth and generating revenue. What is starting to happen now is that the marketing person has to be tied to sales productivity, and the salesperson has to be tied to lead generation productivity. That means that the salesperson has a quota of 100% of whatever the "pie" is. Therefore, 25% can be committed for marketing. Then, the rep needs to know that 75% is going to be a self-sourced lead. This might be a new concept to a lot of sales reps who are having to generate their own leads. SDRs are having to become more full-cycle. The roles of SDR and AE are merging as well. That’s an example of how sales and marketing are starting to get closer together and actually overlap with responsibilities.
How has the role of an SDR changed?
SDRs are now having to generate their own leads. They are having to take on a more hybrid role, doing their own marketing and lead generation, as well as following up on leads passed over from their marketing department.
What are some things that sales reps can do to communicate with customers and produce better results in their new role?
Both SDRs and AEs need to start generating their own leads. Usually, AEs are mainly focused on top-of-funnel activity. They were given leads or had warm leads that they could continually check on and call back. But now, they are forced to go out and focus on more bottom-of-funnel activity. They are having to generate their own net new leads. There are a few creative ways you can do that. One of the ways is creating some type of consistency on social media. Most people are doing it on LinkedIn, but you can do it on any platform where you have any kind of following. If you’re a sales rep and you went on Twitter one time, tweeted, and five people liked one of your jokes, then go back to Twitter and tweet a little bit more. In six months, one of the people that liked your jokes is going to be a VP of Sales at Oracle. It just starts like that. The key starting point is to get consistent on any social channel.
How can sales representatives stay accountable to this new plan?
Before, it was really easy to punt a lot of the accountability to the company, especially when the company had so many resources to allocate. It would be built into a lot of rep plans that they wouldn’t have to self-source. The reality now is that reps will not be able to hit quota based on the same expectations of the past which was the support from marketing. There are just not going to be enough leads. That’s the difference between the change in industry that we’re seeing. Before there was a lot of marketing budget which produced a lot of leads. It was all about optimizing contract value. Now in this new market, there are fewer leads, there are worse conversion rates, and sales reps have to hustle and hunt for every single opportunity. However, quotas are not going to change that much. We don’t want our salaries to change that much. Because we don’t want to get paid less and the company is not going to lower our quota, as sales reps, we have more work to do in a worse market.
What are some ways that reps can start to gain a following and start to build their brand?
As a sales rep, you can think about the target accounts that you are trying to sell to. Then, for one of your posts, you can repurpose content from their blog. You can start to use your target accounts as people that you shout out to in your own social media. Repurpose the content of the people you are trying to sell to while you build your brand and space.
What are some tools that sales representatives can use to start building their brand online?
There has been a rise in tools like SalesLoft, Outreach, and LeadIQ. These can help you generate leads, so that now, a salesperson can become a marketing person. Sales representatives can also start creating blogs and podcasts. A lot of the time, we get caught up in the quality of the content. But even something as simple as quoting an influential person or sharing an authentic thought can help create a reputation and a sales persona.
Email tools, such as Outreach or SalesLoft are a must-have. As a sales rep, you have to be able to find your own leads. LeadIQ lets you generate a lead list directly from LinkedIn. Crunchbase Pro can tell you different triggers and events that these companies are going through, whether it’s fundraising, whether it’s executive, etc. Vidyard allows you to send a quick message with a smile so your contacts can see that you’re real. You can even show them the research you did on their website.
The best thing you can do is to start with one specialized, basic tool. Then once your brain sees how much value you get from learning this new tool, then you can go after the full suite of services or solutions.
How have companies and organizations changed their onboarding and training processes to better respond to this market shift?
The biggest thing that’s happening right now is that the appetite for risk has decreased. Before in the previous market we were in, no one really cared much about risk. It was all “up-side.” Now, it’s flipped. It’s all about preservation. There has been an overnight change in how people are growing their businesses. People are growing through saving on expenses, as opposed to optimizing top-line. That has created an opportunity for us at AlwaysHired because that means there is less room for error when a company hires a sales rep or a team. Companies are beginning to alter ramp targets and onboarding. Before, if a company had a representative that was teetering after three months, they might give them a little more time to try to get to six months, but now, most companies are making a decision after three months. The expectations have changed. From our standpoint at AlwaysHired, that gives us an opportunity to approach companies with the guarantee that we can make sure ramp times are good by connecting them with qualified and experienced reps. It’s a way for them to decrease their risk and source talented and prepared candidates to fill sales roles.
What are the new expectations that companies are putting on their sales representatives?
Companies are starting to build in expectations that sales roles have some marketing responsibilities, specifically lead generation and qualifying leads. This is being implemented as part of the interview process and the offer letter. This is now part of onboarding. Additionally, they lay out a 90-day onboarding for a social plan. For example, when a new person starts at a company, there is a lot of hype from the company’s side, especially now hiring in the midst of a pandemic, and there’s a lot of hype from the new hire’s side, getting hired in tech in the midst of a pandemic. Capitalizing on that hype by asking new hires if they would like to be featured in the company’s blog, writing about why they chose to work there, and then, after 45 days, writing about their experience working so far. To go even further, after 90 days, they could also write a blog about their ramp. In between that, the content-marketing strategy can be formulated to follow, but by the end of 90 days, the new hire is going to have made an impact in the business and the industry.
What are companies seeing from this new plan of execution?
This new content strategy is creating a new form of demand generation, an amplified and exciting company culture, and it’s having an impact on employer branding.
How can companies and salespeople easily execute on this content-marketing strategy?
Companies can write some templates, almost like official collateral, which they can give to their new hires in order to craft these types of blog posts and content. This makes it easy for new salespeople to create this content, and helps produce consistency across the social channels when posting. Additionally, a lot of people and companies use influencers. Instead of creating original content and posting it themselves, they will take someone else’s content, tag them, or quote them, and then use that as a post because it is already done so well. Not only does this show a more diverse range of content, but it also creates a relationship between the company and the influencer, which can be nurtured further.
It is also equally as important to focus on the community-building aspect. A big problem that happens when sales reps start posting online is that they just post discounts and promotions every week. This is not what social selling is. People need to realize that to be a good salesperson now, they need to have some authority and some authenticity. By creating a persona and a reputation online as someone who is helpful and who provides value, then the leads will come. By sounding desperate and always asking for leads will not produce the results.
About AlwaysHired Sales Bootcamp
AlwaysHired Sales Bootcamp is an intensive remote live instructor-led sales training program connecting hard-working and motivated job seekers with high growth technology companies across the country. Founded in 2015, it has 250+ alumni working at companies such as CallidusCloud, Google, Mulesoft, Okta, Yelp, Lever, Demandforce, and more.
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