The key to elevating your sales performance and increasing your employee value as a rep, manager, or revenue leader is to rethink the way you approach every single professional interaction. Outbound calling, executive business reviews, 1-on-1 check-ins—these moments matter and require attention and intention as you challenge yourself to raise your personal (or team) game going into the new year.
At our third annual Ambition Customer Summit, we hosted four expert-led learning sessions that focused on ways to optimize and elevate these everyday business interactions. Our speaker lineup came from various standpoints in the industry and revenue org—SDR, CSM, executive leader, C-suite, consultant, and influencer. Each offered a unique industry perspective, but four standout themes emerged.
4 tips that will change the way you approach sales in 2022 and beyond
Create opportunities for your reps to PR
According to an assessment taken by 20,000 people via CNBC, the number one motivator that drives employees is achievement. People want to excel and continually reach for a higher level of their personal best. Ambition SDR Nate Taylor validated this statistic during the SDR roundtable at Customer Summit. “Whatever KPIs you want to give me,” he said to his manager Chris on his first day of work, “I want to double them!”
And Nate did.
Sales leaders: one way to fuel this inner fire your employees have is to incentivize overperformance. In Nate’s case, he set eight meetings in one day—doubling his quota (and setting an all-time Ambition record).
Ambition’s always-on competition, called Streak Pot, recognizes SDRs for overperformance and encourages them to keep going when they’re having a wildly successful day. Money is on the line for meetings set above three, and anything past that you’ll find the entire company rallying, celebrating, encouraging, and sending extra love to that SDR via Venmo.
“On Streak Pot days, I’m really proud of my team and equally proud of our tool,” Chris O’Connor, Director of Sales Development, said. “The tool gives visibility into individual performance and amplifies what motivates many of them, which is personal achievement.”
- Build your bench in unconventional ways
Earlier this fall, Ambition secured Series B funding, which was momentum to grow the team. Like so many other companies, this created dozens of jobs—adding to the over 700,000 open sales roles in the U.S. At the time of the transaction, Kelly Berg, Ambition VP of Customers, was already ahead of the curve in her hiring efforts.
“It’s important to build your bench before you need to hire,” Kelly said during the Summit. “Think about how existing team members in other departments could potentially advance their career to fill a business need, or how a SDR for example could make a great CSM. It might sound unconventional, but both roles are crucial to a revenue org.”
It may be lesser known, but an important Ambition use case is: use the platform to build an internal employee learning and development program. By utilizing scorecards, mapping milestones, creating accolades, and leveraging coaching to co-pilot and check-in, you can train, certify, onboard, and change the course of someone’s career for the better. Just like Emma Hamilton, CSM veteran, did for former SDR, now CSM, Nolan Alt with Ambition. Listen to the full story here.
- Leverage a Rep Performance Management tool
In today’s world, sales reps expect development and coaching. Far too many companies believe their CRM can facilitate this, but the truth is CRMs only help managers understand the activities that happened in the sales process, not how well their reps performed.
“At Ambition, we see it differently,” Butler Raines, Ambition VP of Product, said during his vision talk. “Coaching is every company’s most important lever and we’re innovating to support that human interaction. So many other solutions are focused on rep output or AI, and we’re focused on empowering the leader with line of sight and the tools to encourage and create positive accountability for every personality on their team.”
Donna Sanborn, Cisco Senior Manager of Global Digital Sales Effectiveness, joined CEO Travis Truett and Butler during Customer Summit and offered perspective from the field. “Not one software company owns coaching,” she said. “It has left revenue teams with a hodgepodge of solutions and it has been confusing. With a true Rep Performance Management tool, companies like Cisco can quickly and easily drive seller performance with data—which is critical for success in a hybrid world.”
- Focus on winning buyer trust, not deals
Fresh off her nine-city roadshow, Becc Holland, CEO and Founder of Flip the Script, wrapped the Customer Summit with the direct point that buyers and sellers see each other as opponents. “Each side of the sale has vastly different needs and goals,” she said. “Since you see each other as opponents—buyer and seller—you’re withholding information from each other regardless of your character.”
After an interactive workshop-like session Becc’s most important advice to every seller in the field was: get to a place of trust with your buyer, so they feel safe to give you information. To be successful, you need to interrupt old sales patterns and prove you’re not a seller, and instead a trusted advisor, partner, and friend.
“Tell your buyer the truth,” Becc said. “Tell them something your company does not do well; something you wouldn’t buy; or downsell them. That’s when you win the deal.”
The thread through it all? 2022 is going to be about demonstrating real authenticity, treating prospects and customers like people, and managing rep interactions (not activities). Ambition Customer Summit was filled with other takeaways you don’t want to miss, so tune into the on-demand recordings to keep learning, optimizing, and upping your game right now.