Welcome to Part 3 of our new mini-series, Real Talk with a B2B Sales Leader, a three-part interview series designed to get the perspectives of veteran B2B sales leaders from varying industries. Today's episode features Staples Business Advantage Regional Sales Director, Kyle Crisci. We're thrilled to have Kyle joining us
Kyle has spent the last 5+ years serving as the Regional Sales Director for Staples Business Advantage, where he currently leads a team of 4 sales managers who each oversee 7-10 B2B sales consultants covering the company’s Northern California territory.
Our discussion with Kyle focuses around some pivotal topics for sales leaders competing for talent in tech hubs. Kyle explains how he recruits, coaches and maximizes sales talent for Staples Business Advantage. He also provides some great insight on how to build a positive, competitive and collaborative sales culture.
Our deepest thanks to Kyle for participating in this interview. If you work in a technology sales hub, you don’t want to miss this 15 minute interview. Just click the link to listen in.
Part 3. An Interview with Staples SVP Kyle Crisci
Listen to Full Interview
1. Advice to B2B Reps for their 1st 90 Days: 0:00 - 1:15
Synopsis: Coming into a large organization like Staples, there’s a proven method, a formula for success, that new reps are trained to and must adhere to achieve success. When you go into a big organization, there’s a set way of doing things and you must adopt it.
At a company like Staples, a new sales rep will be taught everything he or she needs to know, and from there, it’s the rep’s job to follow that path to success.
That’s not to say that there isn't a place for personal creativity and/or individuality, as these attributes are very much encouraged by our organization. The trick is to add them to the framework of our proven sales process.
2. Succeeding in Enterprise vs. Startup Sales: 1:15 - 5:15
Synopsis: In the Bay Area, there’s a lot of reps leaving Enterprise Sales Teams for Startup Sales Teams, and vice versa.
Going from an enterprise team to a startup team, the biggest difference Kyle always hears about is the amount of structure to the sales process and organization on the whole.
In a structured organization, there’s a roadmap to success. In a startup organization, there’s often little to no roadmap. In a structured environment, it’s a matter of learning the skill set, being coachable and working hard.
Whereas in a startup environment, working hard sometimes isn’t enough -- you have to learn the roadmap on your own. If you’re not extremely disciplined in a startup environment, you’re going to drown.
For joining an enterprise team, it’s all about learning the rules. Prior experience doesn’t matter if you don’t learn the rules to success in an enterprise organization -- you have to learn them in order to win the game.
3. Succeeding in Inside vs. Outside Sales: 5:15 - 9:00.
Synopsis: Staples sales reps in Kyle’s territory perform a mixture of inside sales and outside sales. The role he oversees is somewhat of a hybrid.
For people transitioning from inside sales to outside sales, there’s a double-edged sword that is the freedom of being an outside sales rep. Most outside sales reps can’t handle being confined to an office all day - they want the freedom of outside sales.
Inside sales reps, on the other hand, seem more apt to transition to outside sales but must stay disciplined and accountable to themselves. There’s also no 8-5 workday with outside sales - whereas with some inside sales teams, you can shut off outside of work hours.
A big part of outside sales is just time management and personal accountability. Your numbers at the end of the day will reflect your performance and hustle.
4. Building a Team-Oriented Sales Culture: 9:00 - 12:47
Synopsis: Team is crucial. An analogy to being on a sales team is kind of like being on a swim team or a track team -- it’s an individual sport, but you’re still on a team.
The biggest thing for Kyle is that the team is greater than the sum of the parts. At the end of the day, it’s fun to win, but it’s more fun to win on a winning team.
As far as having reps help each other, Kyle is a big believer in face-to-face meetings. A weekly meeting is a must - during those, each team member shares challenges and successes and gives/receives recommendations.
Wrapping Up Real Talk With a B2B Sales Leader
Thanks again to Kyle Crisci for a phenomenal interview. This concludes our Real Talk With a B2B Sales Leader mini-series. Don't forget to check out Parts 1 and 2 with Miles Kane and Matt Freel.
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