Margo: 00:01 Welcome to Sales Leaders Talks brought to you by Callpage. This podcast is for sales and marketing leaders who want to lead their people to success, do more, better and faster each day. Our guests are experienced sales and marketing experts who share their secrets and strategies on everything from team coaching and leadership to marketing and sales tech solutions. Before we move forward, ask yourself this question, "Do you want to excel as a leader and help your company grow?" If your answer is yes, let's get started.
Margo: 00:02 Hello! Welcome to the Sales Leaders Talks. I'm talking to Jen Spencer, SVP of sales and marketing at Smart Bug Media. jen has got her hands on work experience in various organizations ranging from smaller to bigger and today she's going to share her own observations, her own experience on sales enablement. The role of sales enablement can't be underestimated in any organization because those people, professionals help sales teams progress, find loops and find pitfalls in the whole process and understand why some things don't function the right way and what prevent sales reps for mature vendor, monthly, quarterly and annual us. So if you are analyzing the data and you try to identify patterns and also try to improve on them, and this podcast episode is exactly the right thing to listen today. Welcome to the show!
Margo: 01:36 Welcome to the Sales Leaders Talks, Jen!
Jen: 01:38 Thanks for having me. It's great to be here.
Margo: 01:41 Jen, please introduce yourself. How did you get into sales? How did your career look like?
Jen: 01:46 My name's Jen Spencer. I am the Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Smart Bug Media. And then with Smart Bug for a little over a year. Prior to that I ran sales and marketing at a SaaS startup called Allbound. And before that worked in both marketing and sales, both in the B2B technology space, in the channel sales space. And before that I was uh, in, in the B2C space non-profit professional theater. So I've been touching a little bit of all things sales and marketing.
Margo: 02:21 So now you can consider yourself a sales leader for some time. So how much time does it take for a sales representative, for a person who just started out in sales and marketing, how to get to the top and how to finally be in the position to be able to manage people, to show them the right directions and also to be accountable for, for the success and for the success of the whole organization.
Jen: 02:45 So I think that, you know, a lot of people think about an individual contributor sales rep and that person growing their career and as they mature their career, they will inevitably become a sales leader. And I think that's a really false assumption that sales reps want that or that they should want that. I think that it makes people who are really strong and, uh, you know, individual contributors and may not make the best sales leaders. And, but I do think that it's critical that a sales leader has been in an individual contributor role. You know, I'm probably unique in when I think about my peers, I'm unique in that I didn't have a career in sales in the same way that other sales leaders have. I, you know, I started my career as a high school English and theater arts teacher and where the thing that I was selling was, was hard.
Jen: 03:45 I was trying to, I was selling knowledge and attention to students who sometimes didn't want to learn. So I think there's aspects of sales and in many different careers, um, but, but my efforts and energies predominantly had been around marketing and revenue marketing specifically and working really collaboratively with sales teams. So I think that that's what, what was very powerful and in, you know, driving my career as a sales leader was actually the experience I've had and as a marketing leader truly, which I know is different from a lot of people that you probably talked to.
Margo: 04:21 Yeah. It might be because those people who are, I'm talking to, they basically think only about quarters about numbers, metrics. They measure everything and very often it's just numbers. It's not this kind of, let's say soft indicators, a software variables that are there. Also metro, especially for people with marketing backgrounds because you have to wait for some time to get this return on investments, especially in marketing in many instances. So mixing these two role of marketing and sales leader was quite useful for you and still very useful right now in your current position. So if you could just look back in retrospect, what real feature so what we all traits could mold awkward shape you into a leader. How could you define that? What kind of traits would be the most important in this case?
Jen: 05:13 I think every leader has, has certain traits. The traits of never asking your team to do something that you wouldn't do yourself. And I think there's great power in watching a leader kind of roll up their sleeves and get their hands dirty. I know I had really fantastic role models over the course of my career, especially the time I spent the eight years I spent nonprofit watching, um, my leaders, you kind of dig in and uh, and do and do some of the work that one might think was beneath them. So I think that that's, that's definitely important. Um, I also think, you know, being a, being a very good listener, um, being very, uh, having, having a general awareness and not being afraid to insert yourself in the, in the most appropriate times, so not saying that a sales leader or a leader of any kind are themselves at, at all times and be hovering, but it's about knowing when and it's about really, really listening and understanding your team and knowing what your team's strengths and weaknesses are and then looking for opportunities to help improve them. And I think, but that you cannot always get from a spreadsheet. You cannot always get that from numbers that you get from being with people, with listening to them, with talking to them, with listening to their calls, with asking them for, you know, having postmortems after, um, after closed won and closed lost deals, the more you can understand the people that you work with, the more you'll understand how you can support them. And I think that's what true leadership, especially in the sales and in sales world really, really comes down to.
Margo: 07:02 Yeah. I recently talked to Mark Roberge who actually told about his engineering background and how it helped him in sales because he started from the day one in Hubspot. He started measuring every single metrics and just started from simple systems and accelerating it. Something more complicated based on the experience in that organization. So as a sales leader, how do you define the metrics, the key metrics that you use and you try to estimate or evaluate your sales representatives or people you are working with? What would be the key metrics for it?
Jen: 07:42 So the things that I'm looking at to see if someone's a successful successful sales professional here at Smart Bug Media. There are a few [indicators]. There are numbers that I'm looking at, right? They get obviously everyone, you know we have quotas so they've got their quarterly, quarterly quota, but there are certain metrics that I look at it on a monthly basis to see if they're on track to be hitting those quarterly quotas. So there's certain revenue numbers because our sales cycle is about 26 days. So I know you know pretty pretty quickly how people are performing. I'm also looking at the deal stages, so I'm looking at what's the percentage of, of opportunities that go from opportunity created to us having the opportunity to assess a client and provide a quote or what, how much time are deals sitting in a quote deliberate before they moved to contract review or what's the, what's the conversion of contract, a contract sent to close.
Jen: 08:44 So those are some of the numbers I look at it and I have developed, you know, uh, some, some benchmarks for what I feel will lead to success. And so then rather than looking at it on a quarterly basis when we do quarterly review, I'm looking at it monthly and seeing how you know, how the team's doing and if we're on track and, and making note of any outliers. So we may have a couple of more enterprise deals that have longer procurement processes that might be impacting the numbers that we see. And so I'm not just looking at the numbers from like a very black and white perspective. I'm using them as a baseline guide and then digging in further and seeing and seeing what's there. Now those metrics are more relevant to me because we're an entirely inbound organization, so my team is responding to consultation requests from people who want to register and working with us and so I'm less concerned with how many phone calls are you making every day or how many meetings are you having every week? Because my sales team isn't responsible for creating net new opportunities. Marketing's responsible for creating those opportunities. Sales was responsible for transforming those opportunities into closed business.
Margo: 09:54 So today we're gonna talk about transforming those opportunities in the business and how sales leaders, especially people from sales enablement can support and bring the right tools to sales reps who actually close the deals. So from your perspective of an experienced sales leader, how do you see the role of sales enablement sales teams in 2018?
Jen: 10:17 Sales enablement is, is so important and I look for. I look at sales enablement really as being kind of a marketing-driven role to be. It's kind of all on its own and obviously depending on the size of the organization, but I think we spend a lot of time in marketing doing research, studying numbers, building strategies, building out buyer personas, understanding that. Not that just the demographics but the psychographics of our potential customers. And too often that information gets lost. It doesn't transition between marketing over to sales. It's used to attract and convert that initial kind of prospect or that lead, but, but not further. Um, so the way our opportunity lies in how we can take some of the knowledge and some of the tools that marketing has been using very successfully... how can we take that and pull the pieces of it that are very relevant to sales and start sharing it with sales, sales representatives and having them use it. Then they're going to be better able to meet the needs of the customer because our customers are going to have a very disjointed experience if they're treated one way in marketing. And then when they start talking to a salesperson, all of a sudden, all of that knowledge that marketing had to provide this personal custom experience is lost upon conversation and sales.
Margo: 11:54 As a person that comes exactly from that marketing side, I've been designing all this customer journeys. I was having a look at all the touch points in the marketing team. So for sometimes I've been thinking how sales teams, sales departments are using this data to understand how to reach the right customer, right? Because it's might be a customer that we acquire, but we set the wrong expectations from the very beginning and then this customer is going to churn after three or four months, but we are not interested in getting the customers who are a cost for the company. Very interested in getting to customers that that will achieve success with us and we'll progress with the company. And we'll save for a really long period of time. So what kind of recipe would you give to sales enablement? How to bridge this even three things – product sales and marketing together and provide sales representatives the right information about the ideal customer profile. What kind of tools should we use or what kind of strategies should we apply in this case?
Jen: 12:59 I think the most important thing is for buyer persona is to be to be set and I'm going to push back on anybody who says who's listening, who says, well, I've got my personas. I'm going to say you need to take another look at them because there's probably room for improvement because there's always room for improvement in any one's personas, but when you build out your buyer persona is they need to involve input from sales and from your product, from customer success as well. So as you're building out those personas, you also want to create a negative persona or negative personas because inevitably there are types of customers to your point who are not going to make sense. They might be attracted to you and be interested in your product. But when you look at your data, when you look at how customers like that have, um, have performed for you internally, you might notice this tend to be a drain on our resources.
Jen: 13:54 They have a lot of needs. Our product maybe isn't the best fit for them or the kinds of services that we offer around our products, aren't the right fit for them or they might be expecting too much from the product. So often people, you know, they, they, they will buy a technology thinking this is going to solve all my problems and uh, and, and that's just, you know, never really the case, right? There's always some kind of work that has to go into it and if they're not properly equipped to implement and support that technology, then they're going to fail. So I think marketing needs to be really smart about getting that kind of feedback to build out personas. And then the persona research needs to be pieced out and delivered to sales so that the sales reps understand not just what are the needs that someone has, but what are the goals that they have.
Jen: 14:49 You know, these are some of the questions answered. When you do persona interviews, you want to know, okay, what are your goals? How are you measuring? So you know, for example, if you're selling, let's say you're selling to a marketing leader and if you knew that marketing leader was compensated based on, you know, website growth or subscriber growth, you might have a different way of helping them. Then if you knew that that same marketing leader was actually compensated on account penetration, so understating what actually at their core is going to be driving your personas. That's really important information for a sales rep to have, much more important than what pages of the website they visited or how many emails they've opened or webinars you've done that they've attended, right? If you can figure out what drives them, marketing has the power to do that through persona interviews that information needs to be shared with sales so that sales can better connect with those prospects.
Margo: 15:49 And who would be that connector between marketing and sales? How to enable this exchange of information. Should that be one assigned person in the team that we call, let's say sales enablement officer or whatever. Just a person who is doing this sales enablement or should it be just a marketing manager who wants to schedule a meeting with the sales departments? I mean like mid-size companies where there are no such huge departments where there are several people in sales enablement how to organize this whole work and how to conduct this department's.
Jen: 16:22 It's such a good question because it's just so much of it depends on the people in your organization and the size and the scope of your organization. When I think about my career and I think I've, you know, I've been in smaller organizations, I've been in a very large organization that had more sales enablement type of functions. I've always had the most success when it's way in a marketing leader and a sales leader are collaborating together and they're sharing and they're. And they're delivering that, that training to their, to their teams, kind of as one as one unit and think it's hard to scale. Right? And there's a lot of work and everyone has to do them. So that's why specific sales enablement roles emerge. I think the only, the only scary thing to me about a specific sales enablement role is making sure that person's not making decisions in a vacuum and making sure that they're, um, they're truly both part of marketing and part of sales if that's not all kind of one team, um, but, but I just know and just just from my experience, like we've been able to get so much done just by the market marketing leader and a sales leader just being on that same page and prioritizing.
Jen: 17:37 Right. So you, you list what are the top priorities we have, what are the goals that we need to hit and then figuring out what kind of training you're kind of tools or support your team needs overall off of those goals. So I feel like I have answered your question because I just think it, it, it does, it does very much depend on the organization. And I also think, you know, it also, it's really important that the people who are responsible for sales enablement and your organization are really passionate about it. And so we're, you know, do you have people in your organization now you are passionate about this topic and how can you direct that passion into something that's beneficial to everyone on the team?
Margo: 18:23 So the sales enablement role entails transfering this knowledge about the customer to the sales team so they understand the customers better and can sell them this success or can deliver the product, can deliver that success to new customers. But if we go down to this very practical and very, let's say tactical moments when we have to transform the knowledge that is in our heads. Let's say we belong to sales enablement, so we have some knowledge about customers, but you want to create the right materials for sales teams to use that on on a daily basis and also for new members of a sales team that get onboarded to understand customers from day one. Which kind of materials should be created. Maybe some repository of materials, some library, whatever. How should it look like?
Jen: 19:12 If you want to figure out what kind of materials going to make the most sense for your sales reps, you want to talk to those sales reps and first, you know, ask them like what you know and, and I think you can't necessarily ask them what material you want because they will not know or they will be able to list off three or four things that they think that they know about. Right. I would instead try to find out, you know, what are, what are some of the roadblocks do you run into or when, when do deals tend to go dark or you know, what kind of, what commonalities do we have there? That's a much smarter way of thinking about what kind of material you need and that has to be ongoing communication so you know, on a regular basis when when deals are are being lost or when they slow down and really examining those.
Jen: 20:01 But, but I think the types of material that, that I know we see or that we use or that we kind of prescribed for our clients, definitely case studies, whether they are written in a written format or video format, it can be really beneficial as far as a customer facing piece of sales enablement. Any kind of helpful calculator guide tool that will empower your buyer with knowledge or in many cases it's helping your, your buyer to sell internally. I think that that is something that's very, very important. Checklists, tools and guides that are not just about you but are that really are very customer focused. I think those are some of the more ones. I think the other piece is being able to connect the dots between the content you already have and what pains your your sales team might be needing to address so you know for, for example, maybe you've got a suite of blogs that you've written or there's articles that your PR team has had placed a externally that speak to a particular area of interest that one of your prospects has.
Jen: 21:16 So making it easy for your sales reps to access that information and be able to connect the dots. I think there are different tools you can use for, you know, for that, for sure, for holding that content. But the goal is that you've got the content organized in a way that makes it easy for sales... But then the other kind of content that I just think we don't think about is the content that is not focused, not as customer facing, but internal facing for the sales rep. So do you have your detailed buyer personas having a quick one sheet or even half a quarter sheet of very high level notes about that persona. Does this person like long long conversations, are they kind of short and to the point kind of a person? Do they like to communicate via text message?
Jen: 22:06 So there are things you can find about a persona, interviews that would really, really help those sales reps communicate with those individuals. Um, and then in addition, you know, besides kind of those talking points, it also, you know, the, the long form content that your team is creating from a marketing perspective. Not expecting your sales team to read and consume every last ounce of, you know, every last word that they have there. But giving them some bullet points so they've got, they can go into a conversation and easily be able to refresh their memory about that content because there's our companies, our marketing teams are producing so much content. It's overwhelming for a sales rep to keep up with all of it.
Margo: 22:47 So you mentioned that you also worked for a bigger organization where the role of sales enablement to differ from the role of sales enablement in smaller organizations. So could you describe one day of life of such a person who is in charge of this role in a, in a big organization?
Jen: 23:05 Oh, well I don't know if I know what the day in the life of would be for that person. But from my experience there role was, was honestly it was, it was much more product-focused. So, um, it was, it was much more, almost bordering on product marketing. Then it was really, you know, true kind of sales enablement or any kind of sales training whatsoever. So, but I guess if it, if it were to be an ideal kind of day in the life, I think that person should be listening to sales calls. I think that person should be sitting in on marketing meeting. I think that person should be actually talking to customers, both current customers and past customers, you know, on, on a fairly regular basis. And I think that person should be analyzing data and looking for opportunities to improve a metric, conversions like okay, if we noticed that our conversion of opportunity created to, you know, kind of like quote is lower than we would like or whatever the number is 100%, how can we, what can we do to try to improve that metric? Is it a, is it a matter of the sales leader just needs to help that sales rep just better? Or is it that they act that the sales rep actually needed additional support and better communicating with that prospect? So I think there's a lot of listening and learning and then synthesis that goes on with that person to then produce some kind of a tool or mechanism that's going to help the team.
Margo: 24:47 So you mentioned quite important aspect of analyzing calls and listening to calls. Just getting more the most data possible to have some food for thought that, let's call it like this, to understand the patterns, identify those patterns and trying to correct this. What's might sound like a challenge is listening to every sales call and it takes time. Do you know some ways to do that faster? How to go through this analysis like much faster than you normally do?
Jen: 25:19 It is, it is hard, but I mean there's, there are technologies obviously that you can, you can use that will aggregate data across all of your sales calls, the call recording software that we'll share that data with you. And I think that that's really, really good to use when you're looking at a very kind of high level. You want them to look kind of broad, look at what at what trends you're seeing across, um, across your sales team. But I also think it makes sense based on the performance of sales rep. So if you got a sales rep that's super high, it's a high performer, then I would say start listening to and studying that person's calls and try to understand like the different motions and then compare those calls to the same level of call that a underperforming rep has.
Jen: 26:10 And then from that you should be able to reform some kind of a gap analysis where you can hopefully look for, you know, reasons why someone would be more successful or another. You can also, you know, from a sales enablement perspective be listening to you because it's really more sales training. But from a sales enablement perspective, you listening to the types of questions that the prospective customers are asking. And also we'll be listening for the times where, what, what sales is sharing is just being messed up. Maybe your prospect isn't understanding and that's where sales enablement has the, has the power and the opportunity to create a solution that will help bridge that gap.
Margo: 26:51 So listening to sales calls is one thing and also what we can extract from sales calls is how much our, as you mentioned before, it's quite important. How long do sales reps talk and how long they listen to customers. So does speaking-to-listening ratio, if we could look for some, some kind of an ideal formula for these ratio, how would you describe this ratio? Should it be 70 percent of talking or should it be 30 percent of talking? Does it depend on the lifecycle and type of the talk? Should it be the first talk where the sales rep listens more? It should be the consequent talks when they're still the sales rep should listen more than he's talking. What should it be? The perfect formula for that?
Jen: 27:35 So you know here at SmartBug on the first discovery call that we have, it's almost completely the prospect talking. So our sales team needs to be asking questions and understanding their business and keeping their commentary on hold as much information as possible because we want it to be able to then prescribe a solution that's going to make the most sense for that, for that customer. We want to make use of every moment that we have with them. So I would say it's even, it's probably even bigger than a 70 slash 30. I would say if you listened back to my sales calls, my first discovery calls, it's probably more like a 90 slash 10 to be honest, where I'm having the customer talk the whole time. And it's so funny because in the beginning they, I even when I ask them what they're looking to get a call, they want to hear from me, but that's what they say they want.
Jen: 28:34 And then I get them talking and then I have to, you know, we're, we're kind of up against the clock and then I do want to give them something because they came into that conversation wanting to hear something from me as well. But based on what I've heard from them, I can then tailor the next things that I say and then you know, make, make the plans for our next steps as the our, our relationship progresses. Then it becomes more of a kind of one to one ratio, right, where it's kind of back and forth. And then of course when you're presenting a solution to somebody you, it is going to be more heavy on the salesperson side. That's your time to say, I've now listened to everything that you've had to say and I know you were coming to me for an answer and this is what I'm, this is what I'm, I'm, you know, prescribing for you and taking the opportunity to get feedback on what you're prescribing and be willing to change in the moment and be flexible and really meet your customer where he or she is rather than just going through a static presentation.
Jen: 29:41 I find that customers appreciate that kind of collaborative experience. So it's never one sided. Right. But it definitely starts out with the customers speaking more in the beginning of your relationship. And then it does transitions that you know, the other direction. I just, I think we just see that across the board here.
Margo: 30:00 I totally agree with this opinion, with your attitude to the first talk. So I believe it's some kind of a psychological mechanism as well because if you are listened and you understood, then you're much more open for any kind of solutions that the second party would suggest later on. And if we are talking about sales velocity and these indicator and these metrics. So if the customer is quite let's say enthusiastic to go further and just to accept the deal faster. So some would be so enthusiastic, some, some people, some potential customers would not be so enthusiastic. So if you look into the metrics that have different sales reps, so some it would take two months to conclude the deal, for some it would take a bit shorter than your cycle, less 26 or 28 days. So how could you as a sales enablement, sales enablement role, how would you help those who have slower velocity in the team? How would you help them out, what kind of tools would you give them and what kind of strategies would do give them to improve their work?
Jen: 31:10 I think the first thing is to make sure that your looking at that velocity and looking at that rate and seeing are there commonalities among that rate that don't have to do necessarily with a rep. So is it the type of account that they're working isn't like a vertical? Is it like a particular niche or industry or a particular size of company and in that case is not expecting the sales cycle to decrease or to accelerate more. It's more just how can we support that buyer journey. The buyer's gonna go on and that's what their process is going to be and so how we would make sure that we're internally set up to support the way the customer is going to buy or wants to buy it. So think that that's really, really important rather than just trying to rush through. If you try to rush a customer that is not ready yet or cannot be maybe like there's in an environment where it's not going to happen, then in that case where you can help from a sales enablement or sales training perspective is understanding, you're teaching that rep how to remain in front of that buyer and support them and help them without pushing them and without making it be about you.
Jen: 32:21 So I think that that's something that's gonna be you know that, that that's definitely going to be really important. When I think back on opportunities we've had that had been slower than our normal, I can't. I honestly can't say that it was because a sales rep lacking a skill necessarily. I think in all cases it was, you know, are going to encounter buyers who are going to... They're going to have a different kind of path or process they're going to go on for buying. And so it's our job to figure out how we help them, not how we act, how we help them get them, get them there faster, but just how we, how we help them navigate it in general. And if I'm a sales leader then I need to be aware of that, that I can accurately project. So I might even have different mechanisms built into my pipeline, into my CRM that are going tohelp show me that he just, because this deals in quote delivered, does it mean it's, you know, 80 percent chance of closing this quarter like my other deals are because. Because, because of whatever it is because of the vertical, right? Because it's a, it's a financial institution and there's much more due diligence that goes on. I think we just have to better understand our customers and the and the process for buying and focus more on that and focus less on how we help our customers get on the train that we're on because our customers don't care about us getting our numbers.
Margo: 33:48 As you have been working for the overachievers and probably I guess or might presume that you've also faced work with the underachievers salespeople who didn't hit their quarters on a consistent basis. That's really it needed that help of sales enablement or a good sales coach or just a sales manager in that department to show the right directions into a change and iterate on that road. So how would you define feature or traits of overachievers. People who always close the deals and even do more and better and faster, what are their traits?
Jen: 34:26 Those high performers are smart and I know that sounds good. Okay. Yeah, of course, but it's really important. They're smart. They are critical thinkers and especially if you're in a consultant, if you you know, you, you have a consultative sale that they understand business. They don't understand that area of business that you touch, but they understand how business works in general and what the needs and goals of other people that an organization might be. Beyond just your persona, they're quick, so the ability to not just take in that the information that you're gathering on a discovery call and fill in your template or you're, you know, you're kind of outline your questionnaire that you have that step one, right? Step two is to be able to on that call be listening to some of those responses and then based on those responses, making decisions about what the next steps should be.
Jen: 35:25 So that means that your sales process has to have a little bit of fluidity to it, right? You're not gonna, you don't want it to be like a wild west where everyone's doing something different completely, but that your sales rep, how the ability to slightly alter that process. So for example, we have some discovery calls that can go right from discovery into an assessment type of process, right? We have other discovery calls that require a deeper discovery or require, you know, additional conversations or access to additional, um, just other tools or resources before we can really complete that assessment. And so I need to make sure that I've got a sales rep who has the ability to recognize when he or she should go option A or option B. So I think that that is a really, really important skill and it is not just someone who's like following rules but someone who is smart and is able to be agile and, and think on their feet, um, and also willing to raise their hand and ask for help.
Jen: 36:35 So I think what I think about, like I've seen successful reps, I've seen reps not being as successful. You know, what's the difference? Um, it's, it's, uh, it's that, that, that, that intelligence factors definitely, definitely very valid, but it's also that willingness and that to, to be vulnerable and say I need help right now. There are far too many reps who don't want anyone's help because they think it's going to come out as a sign of weakness or because they think they already know everything. And the ones who think they already know everything probably are missing point one of being intelligent.
Margo: 37:09 Yeah, exactly. But how could you identify if this person is the right sales rep in the very beginning when this person enters the organization? Should you use some role place or what is your method for identification of, of these people?
Jen: 37:26 Oh Gosh, it's so hard. Hiring is hard. So we can talk about our sales process and like how lucky I am looking for people. And so because we sell marketing services, right? I'm thinking all right, you have to be a good salesperson. You need to be good at connecting with people and talking to them and building relationships. But you also have to know what you're talking about as a really, really, really important. And there's only so much I'm willing to try. So you have to come to terms as a sales leader with no one's going to have. I'm not gonna be able to check all the boxes off of my list of what people want. But what are the ones I'm, you know, that I, that I can train for and what are the ones I don't have time to train for? So with us, you know, we have people apply.
Jen: 38:06 They are, they provide their resume and cover letter and then there were some questions that we asked that will immediately just qualify somebody and I'm looking for the way that they actually answer the questions. So like a very simple question is why are you interested in Smart Bug, and working on smart bulb, it's amazing. There are so many people who I've just asked from the process because of a really poor response that they gave. Some people will write like, I dunno, you tell me. I'm like, really? That's what you're, that's what you're choosing to say. I don't care what your resume looks like, your were done. From there based on hat, of how they look, then we ask for a video submission. So the three minute video, um, we asked them to send it over via Vidyard GoVideo. So that tells me are they capable of installing that chrome extension and are they're capable of using it?
Jen: 38:58 Identifying, okay, I probably want to do full screen. I mean I'm just, I'm paying attention to everything that they've done. Do they change the headline on the video or do they leave the generic one? Um, so they send that in and there's a couple of questions that they have to answer. Do they actually answer the questions that I asked? If they pass that test, then they go to a phone screening where our recruiter is looking for some key information and then from there if they do well there, then we might push them to the next level where they're actually doing a team interview with a member of our sales team is actually taking them through scenarios. So basically sharing, here's the type of information, here's information that we receive on at a discovery call and what would your next steps? What would your questions be, what would your kind of diagnosis be for this organization?
Jen: 39:47 And we go through a couple of examples. If they pass that, then they get to talk to me and we're right back in talking about both kind of sales process and understanding them as a salesperson, but also more importantly it's there, you know, what kind of foundational knowledge they have about marketing and the types of services that we offer and I'm looking for the way that they think so that that's really important. We're, we're constantly looking for ways to test for that intelligence and that industry knowledge that I have to do that live with somebody in many ways because I don't, I don't want someone to cheat and I don't want someone to take the assessment and they go find a solution that's not going to help them be wildly successful working here.
Margo: 40:31 Yeah. I do believe that a lot of, there's just one to pick up some best practices from others. So that's why they ask this kind of questions. And also another question that a lot of people would be interested in and probably that's a little bit on the surface, but I'll still ask you this question, uh, what kind of tools are using on a daily basis to improve your work and to kind of make it faster, progress and also kind of doing this sales enablement part as well.
Jen: 41:03 We use, you know, all, all things Hubspot, so Hubspot marketing and sales and including conversations tool. So for livechat we use in this, in the Hubspot Sales Hub, we've got access to kind of templates, documents, sequences, snippets for quick responses. So when I noticed our team having to respond to the same type of thing over and over again, then I'm creating some, you know, kind snippets, it's for them or templates that have blocks of text that they need to replace that are kind of highlighted for them to focus in on that particular person. But I'm looking for how can I improve efficiencies of my sales team by examining what are the things that I'm noticing they're doing over and over and over again. Um, so, so that's been critical. We, we don't have a team large enough yet where I'm wanting to.
Jen: 42:03 You’re invest in call recording software without this being something that will be critical as we grow our business. For now we're able to record. We use Zoom for all of our video conferences and that's really how we engage with our prospects and our future customers and so I do ask our sales team to record calls, saved them, submit, you know, one or two calls a week for me to review. I like to review a discovery call and I like to a review a more about like an assessment review call from each person every week. So those are some of the things that we're using right now. But in the future I think as we, as we grow, we're going to have to adopt other technologies to help scale those efforts.
Margo: 42:43 Yeah. That's interesting. So what kind of advice as a sales leader would you give to peer colleagues who are also struggling with the same challenges with the kind of, the same problems on the table? What would be your one universal advice, let's say, not to have a burnout in the end of the day or after five years in sales?
Jen: 43:04 I think that my, you know, my advice is, you know, remember kind of why are you there and think about your goals. So, you know, as a sales leader is like, you have a goal, you have something that you're looking to achieve and you should be thinking about how, how is what I'm doing now helping me get to where I want to go and you might discover that it's not, you know, and so, but, but I think what is most critical, what is most critical to me and you know, to my happiness. And I think that that's really powerful. I think we forget about why we're even here sometimes. And really good organizational leaders will continue to remind, you know, remind their teams and kind of cast a vision and provide kind of this roadmap of this is where we're going and this is why we're doing what we're doing.
Jen: 43:47 But I think as a, as a leader, you have to stay very much in tune with that because it is, you know, I work long hours and I have days where I get really, really frustrated and I have to look for ways to remind myself sometimes that, you know, why am I here, what am I doing? And, and, and, and I think that that's, that that's probably the biggest piece of advice that I can get those from her, why you're there and not being afraid to like honestly, like move on if it's time for you to move on. So if you're not fulfilled and happy and you're feeling that you're feeling burnt out, then you could negatively be impacting your team, you know, without, without knowing. So it may be, it may be time for you to move on to the next time.
Margo: 44:27 That's a great advice. So thank you a lot for this.
Jen: 44:31 Oh, it's been great talking with you as well. I appreciate it.
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