Our goal at Building the Sales Machine (BTM) is to enable sales leaders in the tech community to help and learn from each other. We’re all in this boat together, trying to help revolutionary companies disrupt the norm. To make people’s lives easier, better, more fulfilling. We’ll aim to bring some of these great teams, leaders, and strategies to life through our articles, meet-ups, speaking events and interviews.
For today’s Q & A, we spoke with Jason Vargas the Managing Director, Sales Development at Datanyze. He drives the go to market strategy, and built and managed the SDR team. Prior to that he worked with another BTM guest Jorge Soto, to build Sales4STartups, which is now part of the Sales Hacker group.
Jason’s thoughts below:
Most important thing to learn for new sales managers?
Be patient, you’re dealing with and managing human beings that are all different. Moving from an individual contributor to a manager is definitely a big mental and context shift. You’re moving from being an individual contributor, someone who’s use to a performance based role to someone who is now teaching and empower others how to become the best they can at their role.
Best tip for sales teams that are scaling?
Pause and take a step back to make sure your process, structures, systems are still working. You’ll start to notice that things break as you start to scale, so if you’re scaling, be prepared for things to break. What worked when you were a sales team of 5 people selling to SMB won’t work as well when you’re a team of 25 selling mid to enterprise size companies.
It’s important to lift your head up from the daily grind and take note and status of your team and company as a whole. Are people still happy? What’s going on, where are things starting to crack and how can I get ahead of it?
As we’ve scaled we hire and then fix what breaks, hire more, fix what breaks and so on.
What do you think of cold calling? Should sales teams still be using it?
Calling is important and effective if used correctly, so yes sales team should still be using the phone as a part of their prospecting cadence.
This topic constantly makes me laugh. It always causes such heated arguments, one side being for it and the other side being against it – The thought being it’s a dead channel. First things first, when people say cold calling, they’re always assuming that means picking up the phone and calling a prospect out of the blue and trying to book a demo / sell a produ
Cold calling doesn’t imply that it’s just phone calling – it’s reaching out to an individual that’s not expecting it, doesn’t matter what channel. For the sake of this question though I’m assuming the context is around using the phone to call a prospect cold.
When you look at reaching out to people there are limited channels to accomplish this. That can be in person, phone, email, social channels like LinkedIn and Twitter… you could even use snail mail. So the question to ask is where and what channels does your prospect generally communicate with?
Calling is very effective if it’s used alongside email and social touches. Calling can be an intrusive experience for people, just look at your own experiences, but if done correctly the phone is still a very powerful tool. It helps to create that human connections that’s super important to making a sale or booking a demo.
At Datanyze we use social touches (like a LinkedIn connect request) followed by an email the next day. A few days later we’ll pick up the phone and call the prospect. Going into that phone call we have something to reference and we can quickly create context for why we’re calling them. Now this isn’t anything new or rocket science, but the right mix of touches makes phone calling highly effective.
Jeff Wickum, now my SDR manager, put together a new sequence that made calling much more effective. He booked 6 demos out of the 11 accounts he was working for the month, those are great returns on his efforts.
So yes, using the phone is powerful and no it’s not dead. Be smart about how you leverage any technology, old or new and you can have a winning formula.
What traits do you look for in a sales person?
2. Critical thinking skills
3. Competitive spirit
4. Strong communicators
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received from a mentor?
This might be a bit morbid, but it’s a great reminder and motivator. He said “Jason you’re not going to be on this planet forever and at some point you’ll die. So who cares if you fail, who cares what others think of you and who cares if you look stupid. Go play full out and take action around everything that you want, take the risks others aren’t willing to take and trust yourself.”
Jason Vargas is the Managing Director of Sales Development for Datanyze. He’s responsible for scaling and managing the SDR team, as well as the market penetration strategy. He perviously worked to build out Sales4Startups, an organization focused on educating founders on how to sell and build sales processes.