“Work Ethic IS a Talent!” – BTSM Interview w/ Douglas Freeman: VP of Sales, The Muse

Our goal at Building the Sales Machine 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.

Douglas Freeman is heading up the sales team at The Muse “The Ultimate Career Finder And Guidance Destination”. His team is one of the fastest growing in NYC. We want to know why:

What is one thing you’re doing that you think sales leaders today aren’t doing enough of? Why?

    • Tracking what’s happening on the sales call. There seems to be less focus on coaching. To me, that’s a sales leaders #1 responsibility – especially if they have reps reporting directly to them. In addition to coaching there needs to be documented feedback AND tracking. We use a google doc for this. We input steps of the sale we’re focused on, and rank each individual performance(sales call). This data compiles and we can identify as a team or as individuals where we need more focus. Another quick thought here – focus on 1 piece of the sales call rather than everything that needs work. A focus on everything is a focus on nothing. What 1 step of the sale can you focus on now that will help drive a better overall call thus driving revenue.

What’s your favorite thing that one of your reps has done in last 6 months?

    •  “Do the job before they got the job” – We’re all about promoting internally, but it’s really important that our individuals can show and prove that they can not only execute in their current role, but they’re going above and beyond for the next role they want.  We just promoted one of our reps to run our Western North America operation. He delivered continued exceptional performance for his current responsibilities, but also made it a point to take new reps under his wing, train them, and get them to a high level of performance very quickly

What does your first hour in the office look like?

    • My calendar says “Prep to Win” from 7:30-830.  This may be earlier or later depending on if I’m taking my son in to school.  Routine is really important for me.  I’m up at 5:30am every morning, read the headlines, Gym at 6, then to work.  For my first hour, labeled as “Prep to win” (check out screenshot below).  Some “to do’s” that should stand out are: Prep to win
      • running through my metrics – we have all the data in salesforce, but the exercise of compiling data and inputting into a tracking doc, allows a sales leader to be fully aware of their business.
      • atta boy / atta girl – it’s important we let our team members know – “well done” and “thank you”.  This isn’t reserved for only the sales team, but all parts of the business
      • acct prep – It’s very important to me that I’m selling alongside my reps.  I need to know what’s going on in the marketplace and work with reps on accounts.  This provides an amazing opportunity for me to coach, for me to understand what’s going on with my reps, and for me to understand what’s going on in the marketplace

What is one thing sales reps, in general, should be doing more of?

    • Reading the newspaper / industry info – it’s really important salespeople have an understanding of what’s going on in the marketplace and world.  You need to be able to hold up a conversation AND be an expert in your field.  Instead of browsing social media (for non sales purposes) and watching reality TV, read the newspaper and make sure you have an understanding of what’s happening in the world and the market.  If you are having a tough time “building rapport” ask yourself if you’re earning that rapport?  Rapport is earned through building credibility and earning a small amount of trust right away.  Mention an article you had been reading about the industry, ask them if they’ve read it, if not let them know the “cliffs notes” and send it over to them after.


What is the thing you are happiest with on your current team?

    •  I’m going to go above and beyond here – There’s TWO things I’m happiest with. One is that as we’ve grown we’ve kept a #teamfirst mentality (2 to 20 reps in a year). We absolutely have individual ranking reports, and measure individuals, but we’re committed to celebrating each other’s success, and picking everyone around us up – “a rising tide lifts all boats”  Secondly – we’ve got a strict “No Assholes” policy here at The Muse. We’ve done a really great job as we’ve more than doubled the # of employees at the company over the last year, making sure not to bring on any assholes!


What is your favorite quote, why?

    • I found this plaque that my Dad had in his office, I love how it really lays out what’s important to be successful. There are a lot of people who have the tools to be successful, but WORK ETHIC is the tool that will activate all others.  We have a core value at the Muse Sales Organization that #workethicISatalent. This quote lays it out perfectly.

“Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not: nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not: the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.” – Calvin Coolidge



Douglas Freeman  Douglas P.B. Freeman is VP, Sales of TheMuse.com. Before joining The Muse, he helped build sales orgs at  hibu and LivingSocial. You can follow more of his thoughts @DPBFreeman on twitter.  If  you like what you’re    hearing Doug is hiring! Find out how to join his rockstar team here.





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