Unlocking the Power of Your Sales Community

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This is a podcast episode titled, Unlocking the Power of Your Sales Community. The summary for this episode is: <p>How can you expand your network, stay up-to-date with the latest sales trends, and get tactical coaching? A simple answer is by leveraging the sales community.</p><p>In this episode of INSIDE Inside Sales, Darryl welcomes Charlie Locke, the brilliant Sales Leader and Co-Founder of SDR Nation, to discuss the best ways you can use your community to grow and develop as a sales professional. They also talk about the importance of properly training SDRs, the progression from an SDR to AE, and what questions you should ask your boss when interviewing for an SDR job. </p><p><a href="https://info.vanillasoft.com/subscribe-to-the-inside-inside-sales-podcast" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Subscribe now and learn how to get the most value out of the community.</a></p>
What's the backstory?
03:46 MIN
The best way to get the most value out of community?
03:10 MIN
What advice can you give us to be more successful?
05:08 MIN
Questions to ask a CEO
05:19 MIN

Announcer: Welcome to the INSIDE Inside Sales Podcast with your host, Darryl Praill. Join us every week as we interview industry leaders and experts to uncover the ways they're finding sales success today. Tune in as Darryl brings you actionable strategies and tactics that can immediately increase your sales and success.

Darryl Praill: How's everybody doing today folks? I am so delighted you're back, in all honesty, so I like asking this periodically. Where are you right now? Are you in the car? Are you in the shower? Are you running? Are you cycling, spinning? Are you in a long drive? I listen to all different places. I listen to podcasts on long drives, love that. Drive goes by so fast. I listen to podcasts every night when I go to sleep. And I had to find the right podcast player, I'm not making this up, because I'm cheap. So I didn't want to pay money for it. So right away, that gets rid of half the apps. And then I needed it so it could loop, so once that one episode is done, it would loop. That's the first thing I needed it to do, so it played over and over again. And then I needed a timer. So for me, I have a four hour timer. So when I put a podcast in, it plays for four hours and then silently disappears. And I may listen to the same episode two or three nights in a row, because you're hearing bits and pieces of it as you go, so currently I don't listen... Those podcasts are more entertaining. I listen to a lot of space and astronomy and what's going on. So those are the... Those podcasts or science stuff. But during the day I listen to a lot of sales and marketing podcasts and exercise or drives, that's what I love. I literally just rushed back from a coffee shop to do this recording with today's guest, you're going to meet him shortly, he's pretty cool cat. And that's what I was doing. I was hammering up my daily to- do list. I was on social, I was on Slack, I was giving orders, not actually doing any work myself. That's the secret of a good C- level officer, you don't do work. You just tell people to do work. That's the epitome of your career and we're going to get back to that in a second about career and that progression. But again, I had a podcast on. And it was so funny because one of my team members sends me a message and he says to me," I'm listening right now to the podcast you were on with Gavin Gavin Durmine. Where it's about, what's your legacy?" Which, by the way, don't listen to it because they get really vulnerable. I might have got a little tender. It's completely against my brand so do not listen to that unless you want to see the soft, ooey gooey side of me. Anyway, I'm rambling, right? The reason I ask this is, I use that time learning. You never stop learning. And what's amazing is, the only way I could do that before when I was early on in my career, because I've been around for a few years, as you know, was I would go and buy audio cassettes in the early days. We didn't have podcasts. So it's crazy how far we've come and the ability we have to improve ourselves. With that said, I'm going to guess you're listening to this podcast because that's what brings you here. You want to learn from best, you want to learn the mistakes to avoid, you want to learn actionable, pragmatic things you can apply to be better. So today, we're going to do two things. We're going to explore ways you can get better... And I'm as keen as you are, I love this stuff. And I can always learn, there's so many people innovating out there and just changing how your doing it. And we've seen that with the emergence of communities. The emergence of communities since COVID all hit. I mean, it was like inaudible, they exploded, all these incredible communities. And what was amazing was how many previously existing communities have been around for a decade or more really missed that wave when it all exploded. So the communities today are truly reflecting how we work and learn and connect. It's not old school to new school. So we're going to talk about that and then we're going to, because I promised you you would learn, not only about yourself and your career, but we're going to learn a little bit about one of the questions I'm getting a lot lately. And I've already answered this three times this morning when I was at the coffee shop, I was catching up on LinkedIn messages, and I got to ask this question three times. And I mean, so often I'm getting this, which is, okay Darryl, we've been hearing you, you're on a crusade to stop the bots. You're on a crusade to stop these sequences where it's just blind targeting using generic templates. We have to personalize. You drop Sam McKenna's name a lot, Show Me You Know Me. There's other people out there who do the same thing about personalization and messaging, we hear you. So how do we personalize to speak to pain? That's the biggest thing. But I had a university professor down in the South reach out to me and say," Can you speak to my class about how sales reps can truly speak to the pain of their buyers to start a conversation? You're advocating this message, how do you do it?" So there's a couple things. It's like, that's the most painful thing, especially when you're young, you don't know what it's like to be someone like me or a senior executive elsewhere. So you feel like a fraud. How can I possibly have a peer to peer conversation when there's decades between us and a lifetime of experiences that separates us? It's not that one is better than the other, it's just that our frame of reference, our knowledge, our starting points, are completely different. So Darryl, help me out with that. Not being able to connect with them personally, or through that pain, is affecting my ability to start those conversations. Which is why I love the templates, because apparently that makes that go away, but my conversion rates suck. Two things today, folks. Pains and community. Who's the right person to talk about that? Well, you know the drill here by now, you've been listening forever. I go out with these inspirational ideas and I find the right, the best, the smartest people. So I'm going to teach you, I'm going to teach you and then I'll bring on the person. We talked about community and learning. Okay. How many of you today are members of SDR Nation? Seriously, you should be. I mean, just between you and I, one of the co- founders is Canadian. That alone, you should be part of it. Come on. I mean, if you don't like it, they're just going to say sorry to you. SDR Nation, killer community, a by product of COVID and that whole community 2.0 movement, and we're going to get that story. The co- founder I'm talking about Charlie Locke. Charlie, welcome to show my friend.

Charlie Locke: Hey, Darryl, how are you? Thanks for having me.

Darryl Praill: I am well, I'm excited. I'm on your LinkedIn right now, helping SDRs nail their job and get promoted with community. Advising CEOs and SDR leaders in how to design and execute an SMB sales process. Okay kids, do you see that tagline? Okay, he's advising CEOs and SDR leaders. Okay, I would self- identify. He wants the people to get... so there's my sales reps to get promoted, and when I want them to get promoted too because if they're doing what's required to get promoted, then they're being successful. Which means me, as their sales leader, is being promoted. And he's executing the SMB sales process. I mean, he's speaking to me. That is incredible tagline 101 right there. Charlie, talk to me... I teased the audience a little bit with the whole idea of using community to grow and develop. So let's just go back a little bit. What was the catalyst behind making SDR Nation? What's the backstory? Because I'm looking at your website right now, I love the website. I'm geeking out on everything Charlie's doing right here, right now. The marketer in me is geeking out. If you haven't been to the website, go to the website, he's like, learn, copywriting, learn social media, learn outbound prospecting. I'm making this all up because I can't keep up. Learn cold calling, there we go, from the world's best coaches. And SDR Nation is where top talent comes to accelerate their careers and be surrounded by a real class community. Who doesn't want that? So I want to know, what's the backstory, dude?

Charlie Locke: Yeah. Well firstly, thanks again for having me on. I'm sorry that you are an Ottowa Senators fan, just had to put that out there. We're not going to talk about hockey today though, though we're two Canadians, we might have a couple of stories and about, maybe, throughout the podcast. But no, I really appreciate you having me on. And the backstory SDR Nation is, myself, I've been 20 years in sales and started back in 1999 cold calling off of Excel lists and touchstone phones. And didn't have any of the tools I wrote there today. And I have a degree in finance, and like most folks that got into sales at some point in their career, or whenever they got involved, they probably didn't have a degree in sales. And I just accepted that and understood that throughout my whole career and was an individual contributor for 10 years. And then my last 10 years, I've been in more leadership positions at startups and big companies as well. And when I started to get into that leadership role, and really starting to hire and do a ton of recruiting, this problem started to really come to light. Which is that most people, I would say 90% of the people that get involved starting in sales, have probably never sold before. Or probably have never really been trained properly around sales. And there isn't a sales degree that you can typically find, at least not up in here in Canada, we're starting to see it a lot more down in the US, which is fantastic. And for that reason, there's a big problem that starts to form where you have the SDR role, which is the second most in- demand role in tech right now behind engineering. And you have, so you have this huge amount of demand on that side, and then from the supply side, you have a bunch of kids coming out of school that have probably never sold before or never been trained on sales. And maybe they have a marketing degree or a philosophy or economics or whatever it might be. And so you have this huge enablement gap, essentially. And the success of that SDR really comes down to what kind of enablement you have in place at that organization. What kind of manager is in place, perhaps at that organization, to train the reps. And for that reason, there's just a lot of small, budding tech companies right now that just don't have those things in place. So unless you're going to one of the big boys that have these universities, or a lot of other companies right now are building these types of enablement teams. You're seeing a huge proliferation of enablement teams being a thing now, because they're realizing the importance of this. But a lot of organizations just simply don't have that. So you have SDRs without any experience coming in and maybe working for a director of sales that's managing three AEs and an operations team and four SDRs and trying to put their energies in the right place. And for no fault of that company, or no fault of that manager, the SDR just isn't getting the training they need to succeed. And really what keeps me up at night is the fact that a lot of folks get into sales, try it out maybe for six or eight months, don't have a good experience because they were never really trained properly, and they fail and they burn out. Or they get let go. And they think sales isn't for them when really, it could have been for them if they just had a better support net for their enablement. And so, that's really what we wanted to create with SDR Nation.

Darryl Praill: You know, it's so true. One of the things that I hear a lot of SDR reps complain about is that they're not being developed. They're not being trained. They're being asked to do a lot of work that is, for lack of a better word, repetitive. So they feel like they're just trained monkeys crosstalk. Part of a factory, exactly. And so they're not allowed to flex their muscles and they didn't know enough ask at the start what the progression is from SDR to AE. So therefore, the company doesn't have a defined progression plan in place. And by the way, folks, when you're interviewing for an SDR job, that should one of your questions. What is the process. For here, at VanillaSoft, you go from an SDR- 1 inaudible in about nine months to an SDR- 2. It could be later or sooner, depending on your accomplishments. From SDR-2 to then you're an AE- 1 and then eventually AE- 2. And we have timelines and we have compensation ranges and responsibilities all along the way. Job descriptions, et cetera. So when I was hiring you, I could actually walk you through the process. And I could say," When you hit the following milestones, you will progress from here to there." That's a big deal, you should be asking that. Otherwise, to Charlie's point, you will find yourself spinning your wheels and you will leave.

Charlie Locke: Even better than that, you should be asking, perhaps, can you walk me through a few SDRs that are now AEs and how they're doing. Because that's really going to... Whether there's a defined path or not, do they actually promote them? Tell me about a few SDRs that are now account executives at your company and how they're performing.

Darryl Praill: Well since we're one upping each other, I'll go even one step further. Once you do what Charlie says, you then reach out to those SDRs who are now AEs, privately on LinkedIn, connect with them, and then ask to have a conversation about how that journey went. And this is the secret sauce here, you look up the company profile, or people who formerly were at that company, were in that role were or longer, and you reach out to them and you say," Why did you leave?" Because it's very easy for me to take one or two people as a hiring manager and say," These are my all stars. Follow them. They're best in class." And they truly usually are, but it's also, you need to understand why other people leave, because not everybody can be an all star. And you may find that they'll say," No, no, they were great. Everything they said was true, I just found a better opportunity." And if that's the case, then great. But if you get a lot of warning signs then buyer bewear. So I love that. That's about being smart about the job. Okay, so then let's talk about community. I'm a big community guy, big community guy. I'm in way too many of them. And my notifications go off nonstop. And sometimes I'm late in replying to all the conversations. But tell me, what's the biggest... Let me frame the conversation. This is what I see a lot, people who are wise enough to join a community, they know they need to do it, they do it, but then they don't invest time in it. Or they want to join the community, but they're looking at the fact that maybe it's... And I'm not saying this is you guys, 10 bucks, 20 bucks, 30 bucks, 50 bucks a month. And they say," No, I don't want to do it." So even though they could double or triple their salary within a couple years by doing that and applying those skills, they kind of go, penny wise, pound poor. So to those people who are listening to this right now and go," Oh yeah, I've been guilty of that." What's the best way to get the most value out community like SDR Nation? Or perhaps any other community that they're involved with now?

Charlie Locke: Yeah. I didn't learn this, I don't think, until I was later on in my career. But folks really talk about, you hear it a lot, build your network, build your network, build your network. And I think... So why we chose the community as the medium, so essentially what we're building is a school, of sorts, a mentor network with a school. There's a bunch of different mediums to go about then. And we're seeing a lot of these bootcamp starting up right now, which I think are great. The Prehired's or SVAcademy or inaudible, there's a bunch of those starting up, which are, I think are fantastic, where it's a very structured course content that you got to go through. Why we chose community was because, for me, it's the closest thing to what a physical school is actually like. And so, when you think about it that way, what it's most familiar towards, something that we know that's physical. Not only are you getting one to many content, with events and webinars and things like that, that you can get in a lot of different places right now. But similarly to what a school is like, you come out of that class room or that lecture and you debate the topics with your peers, or you go into a tutorial, or you meet with a TA and you actually do a little workshop to dive deeper on the subject. Because right now, the way a lot of reps are getting their knowledge is from LinkedIn posts or things like that. And so they're looking for these silver bullets. What they think they're getting are silver bullets, but for the most part, we all know that there's so much nuance to the business development or sales development role, that you really just have to move into testing it and trying it and iterating on it and collaborating with other people on how it's working. And so I think where the folks that are really getting a lot of value out of SDR Nation right now are simply just meeting a lot of different people. Whether it's other SDRs that are selling to the same persona of them and just beating off ideas of," Hey, where do you get your list?" Or," What kind of messaging are you using?" Or," What tools are you using perhaps to reach out to your customers? What channel those are you going after them? Are you using social, email, phone?" And so they're connecting with other like- minded, smart SDRs and collaborating with them. They're meeting with coaches, experts in sales development domains, and getting to know them at a personal level and being open with their challenges and their fears and their struggles and getting tactical coaching. And so, it's the folks that are, yes, inside the community and leveraging the content that you can get into a one to many there respect. But you can get that in a lot of different places. I think get out of the community is the opportunity to network with other people that are either going through the same challenges with you, that either have more knowledge than you do, but inherently what you get is a network. And a strong network that you can rely on for the rest of your career, hopefully.

Darryl Praill: I'm going to drill down on that, because we never talked about this before. Now what I'm about to say is really relevant in the US, it's less relevant in Canada or the UK, and it's a cultural thing is all it is. In the US, though, you see this over and over again where people hand pick the university they want to go to because they can look and say the alumni, the graduates of that institution, ultimately do very well at senior levels of government or legal or business. And they all know that the alumni support each other all the way up through the career ranks. And so, it's not uncommon that they're not picking a school because of its academic integrity, which often is good, nothing to do with it, but more so because of the strength of the alumni. Because it's your network. It's your network. Because if you're getting it now, if you're all SDRs, that means you all will become AEs, assuming you can stick with this as a career. And then you become team leads and you become a sales manager or sales director, and then you can be a VP of Sales, and then you might be a CRO, and then you might be a CEO. And you're all doing it over the next 10, 15, 20 years. And your success will often be tied to the fact that you can leverage that relationship of your peers, get funding, get new opportunities to better organizations, et cetera. And have a bigger, more successful career. So the idea of the network is incredible and no one ever talks about that, they talk about the content, which is killer, don't me wrong. But to the point as well, the second point Charlie was talking about, I can lean on these people. I'll give you an example. Literally this morning, needless to say recently, recently I was appointed... I was informed that I was named as one of the top marketers by Chili Piper. Chili Piper's got this bracket they're about to launch, or by the time you've heard this maybe it will have launched. 32 of the top marketers after they've solicited over 200,000 people reaching out to them, or views, or what have you. It was massive. And I made the list, yay me. But it's a bracket, 32, and it's the NCAA and I'll be pitted against another marketer and everybody's going to vote. Which is a popularity contest in the end. And it's going to either ultimately be the biggest marketer. Okay, full disclosure, I am not going to win. Just so you know that. I have no crosstalk.

Charlie Locke: I'll vote for you. I'll vote for you, Darryl.

Darryl Praill: You're the best. My whole goal is not to be number 32, that's my goal. If I could be number 17 or 16, I will be absolutely inaudible and excited. So what did I do? I have this marketing community I'm part of full of, what do you call, CMOs and emergin CMOs because that's my background. It's called Peak Marketing and I went there and I said," Guys, this is what's happening. Let's brainstorm together on tactics I can use to drive engagement and votes. And we can try these tactics and we'll, A, be testing to see what works, and then you can take them back to your own demand generation efforts and try them there. So use me as your guinea pig." That's the power of a community. You can lean on each other and get inspiration and ideas and tactics that you might not have thought about otherwise. You still have to implement them, but they're there to help you. And if it's successful, you're the one who gets the career accolades and success and pay raises. With that said, let's segue. We talked about community, talked about SDR Nation, talked about what you could do. You get out what you put in. Talked about the power of the network, not just the coaching and the training, but the network's incredible. So let's put it test. Charlie, I open up by saying one of the biggest questions that get asked a lot lately is," I don't know how to personalize, to connect with the senior buyers. I really don't know how to speak to pain. I don't know how to set pain up so it becomes... If I'm an AE and it ultimately gets the pricing and negotiation, that enough pain has been set that pricing and negotiation really isn't a big part of the process because they understand the ROI." How do I, if I'm an SDR and I get that person on the phone, how do I do it? What advice can you give us to be more so successful and engaging speaking to pain points? Personalizing the message?

Charlie Locke: Awesome. I love this question. I love how hard it is to be good at this. And fundamentally, it comes down to a few different things that I want to talk about, but the thing that you'd be should be striving towards is really understanding why people buy. And if you break it down, very simply, people buy for three reasons. The first is that they have some sort of current pain, something's broken right now that they need fixed. The second one is that they have some sort of fear. So some sort of future pain, something coming up in the future that they can foresee that they don't want to happen. The third reason is they want some sort of gain, some sort of reward, some sort of vision of themselves in a better state. And so when you think of that, really there's current pain, future pain, and a future gain. Now to give you an example of that, a very simple example, let's just say you're buying a pack of gum. You're buying a pack gum for three reasons only. The first one is that you've got bad breath, that's a current pain. You're about to meet someone and you haven't brushed your teeth or whatever, and you've got bad breath and you do not want that bad breath. You were probably going to pay$ 5 for that pack of gum. The second one would be that you are maybe going on a date later on and you know you're going to an Italian restaurant and you're maybe going to eat some garlicy food. And there might be an opportunity where you might kiss your partner at the end of that date, and in that case, you might have some fear of that pain in the future. And so, you're going to buy a pack of gum to just have that on guard, to make sure that you have a pack of gum in case that comes up. Or the third one is that you're just at the counter and you see the grapefruit flavor that you love. And, oh my God, the grapefruit flavor is back out, I didn't know that. I love that flavor, I'm going to buy that pack of gum. Everything you buy in your life is literally whittled down to one of those three reasons. Now gain is really where B2C thrives. Gain is where people sell clothes, cars, things like that. And they really hit on visualize yourself in that future state. On the B2B side, it's really on the pain side where B2B deals happen. And for the reason being is that usually there's some sort of decision maker, someone is holding the purse strings or what have you, that essentially is going to ask," Well, how's this going to help our business? Why are we fixing this problem? Can't you just do it another way? Why are we spending money on this, really. What is it going to do for us? And so, unless you can really identify that pain, you probably don't have a deal. So what I tell everyone, whether it's very early in the process or later on, you should have a pain headline for every one of your deals. And so when I sit down with a rep sometimes, and they're walking through a deal, I'm not asking how is this deal going to get signed? I mean, obviously if we're talking about the decision process, I might, but more so I'm asking, why are they doing this? Why are they going to buy? Do you understand the pain? And what's the headline to this deal? And that headline should be something hopefully personal, should have some financial pain behind it, and then should have some technical pain behind it as well. And so I wanted to give you that layout. Now let me give it at a little bit more of a tactical level. Fundamentally, one of the things that we skip over quite a bit when training SDRs, or training sales reps in general, is we train them a lot on our product and our solutions. And so what that means is, we're naturally inclined when you go out and reach out to your customers, that you want to tell them what you do and how you solve problems and what solutions you have and the cool features you have. The fact of the matter is, people don't wake up in the morning wondering if they could get some, oh, I need some integration software for in between Excel and my marketing automation system. Even though that might be what your product does, they're not waking up thinking that they need that solution. They're waking up thinking, I've got to spend two hours inputting data into my marketing automation system and that's going to suck because that's going to take me away from coaching with my reps. It's going to take me away from getting home in time to be with my family. And I'm not looking forward to having to do that. That's a thing I'd have to do every every week, for example. And that's the slight difference between pitching the solutions, which, of course, is pitching pain. Is that, we're trying to hit on that thing that's really annoying for someone or is really bothering them that your product actually helps them solve. And so we tend to skip over that. We tend to skip over truly understanding personas and their challenges. And I think you would understand that as a marketer, but for whatever reason, we don't train reps on that. And that's where the pain is. And that's where, if you really dig into what the life of that persona, of that prospect is like on a day to day basis, and the pain that they have to go through, and you really understand that, then everything gets easier from a messaging perspective.

Darryl Praill: So let me spin what Charlie just said. Because what Charlie just said was 1, 003. 1, 003, look it up, folks. 1003% correct. On a scale of zero to 100, just so we're clear on that. So why don't you do that now? That's the question. Why don't you do that now? Well, you don't do that now because there's fear or uncertainty around the pain that a buyer might have because you don't know the buyer. So what do you do? You try to create control and you fall back to where there's less uncertainty, which is your solution. You know your solution, you know the tagline, so you lead with features and functions. And Charlie gave you the answer, he said," And that's why you got to study the persona." That's what he said. He said it with way more charisma than I just did. That's why you got to study the persona. So if you don't know the persona, or you got a pretty bad persona, a lot of organizations, Charlie said it, they don't do a great job on this. Then go call your install base and call those personas. Call a whole bunch of heads of marketing. For example, when I'm selling VanillaSoft, I've shared this before, I'm going to talk to a head of ops, inaudible, I'm going to talk to the head of marketing, I talk to the head of sales. I might talk to a CEO or a CFO, so the economic side. And I might talk to an IT security person. Those are the five people that would have typical stake and a purchase of VanillaSoft. I'm going to call the heads of marketing inaudible, but a whole bunch of them, and get a real understanding of where they live. I'm not asking them, " Hey, do you like our product? How was that and how has it changed your career?" That's the last thing you would ask. You say, " What challenges are you facing every day? What keeps you up at night? What does your CEO measure you for? What frustrates you about your team?" That kind of stuff. What are the challenges? Is it budget? Is it something else? You're trying to get in ahead of them. So you can get this on your own if your company doesn't have that personas. The next thing I would say to you is, too many of you have done this, but you get too high level. So you talk about pain," Oh, Daryl, as a CRO you need to hit a big ass number. Are you on track to hit your number this year?" Well, you know what? 365 days is a long time. And I'm not worried about hitting my number this year. Yes I will or maybe I won't or whatever. Talk to me on December 31st, then I may be worried about that. In the meantime, you know what I'm worried about? I'm worried about immediate, painful things. Why do we not have enough activity? Why are my reps not following the sales process? Why are they not updating their pipeline on a regular basis? Because it's impacting my ability to forecast accurately, manage expectations with the executive team and with the board. That's a real pain for me right now. I was just in an executive meeting and they hammered me in my pipeline. That's real. That's now. So the element of their pain is compounded on the recency of their pain. So if you came to me and said," Are you tired of your reps sucking at their ability to forecast when deals will close. And is that affecting your ability to give guidance to the executive team? I might have a solution for you, it's worked for some of my people, I'm willing to share you. It only takes 10 minutes. You can bail whenever you want to. And if not, hey, I wish you luck." Okay, you got my attention. I'll give you 10 minutes if you can make this pain a little less painful. So recency, persona, huge. Huge, huge, huge. So your takeaway folks is to go and study your personas. And if you don't have them, go and call your customers.

Charlie Locke: Yeah. And I mean, I would even say... So I'm just on your website right now, on VanillaSoft website, and-

Darryl Praill: We're launching a new website imminently, just so you know, so don't beat me up on that. But go ahead.

Charlie Locke: I love it. It's a great website. But where I go right away is your testimonials. Or your case studies. Most of you out there, you probably have a few of these hanging around, hopefully. Case studies, testimonials. And if they're done well, ultimately what they should be describing is, here was my life before and here are the things I was doing and here's why my life sucked, then came in VanillaSoft, and here's why my life's better. And if you went to your... So go to your own case, studies your own testimonials, talk to your product marketing manager if you have someone like that, they probably have personas built out that you can leverage and start to build off of that. But if you just go to your testimonials, and maybe even have the gumption to reach out to those customers that did the testimonials for you, if it's not clear in there, and ask them," What were you doing before VanillaSoft? Tell me about your day. Tell me about your life. Tell me about why that sucked. Why wasn't it good enough? What was going on in that day?" And not just, well, I couldn't get this technical thing done that VanillaSoft now helps me solve. Who cares? Why does that technical thing matter? What was that process issue, workflow issue, data visibility issue, whatever it was. How did that impact you personally? Well, I was having to spend time going back through all the leads and making sure they were all clean. I was having to outsource this to this, costing me too much money, or something. Cool. And once you understand that personal pain of how it actually impact that person's life, and you can actually talk about that like a story, and then maybe you see a few of those patterns cropping up across some of your customers, that's the thing you come out with. I know it's scary. You're right, Darryl, it's scary because you're coming out, perhaps in a cold call, rather than saying," Hey, it's Charlie calling mind if I have 35 seconds of your time? Great, the reason I'm calling is that we have this great solution," blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, no on really cares. That's a safe play because you are pitching something that might work, that you know that they're going to want some piece of that, maybe. Versus coming up with a very specific pain that they might not have. That's a scary move. To come out and say," Hey, the reason why I'm calling is that I work with VPs of sales every day and know one of the biggest challenges for them is that they have to spend three hours every day massaging all their leads or having some process around that. And for them, that takes them away from being able to coast the reps and help them hit their number. How about you? Can you tell me a little bit more about how you're massaging your lead data," for example. And that might be your thought compelling question. And listen, we're coming it with a pretty strong opinion here of what pain you might have. And some people might say," You know what? I don't have that problem, but the fact that you're even..." But then you have to have the art to be able to pivot to maybe a couple different branches and say," Okay, well, do you have this problem? Because other VPs I talked to, they have this problem." But you'll find that you're going to get into much more engaging conversations because you're actually speaking in a way that's trying to solve their problems. And you're coming out with," Hey, I hear this a lot do you have this problem too?" So it's in your information, it's in your testimonials, it's in your case studies and it's in your customer's minds.

Darryl Praill: So I'm going to go with two more points, one to build on what Charlie just said, and one to show an application of what Charlie just said. So one, he talked about what it was like before and then how is that affecting you and the pains you're experiencing and what's life like now after your solution hasn't been implemented and deployed and matured and adopted. And he's right. There's one more thing to ask when you're there, and then I'm going to get to why that's important. You're going to say," Okay, well this is your life before." Okay and the the next question's going to be," How did you try to solve that problem?" Oh, first we did A, then we did B, then we did C, but ultimately it was VanillaSoft, as an example, that solved it for us. Okay. So why didn't A work? Why didn't B work? Why didn't C work? This is why, blah, blah, blah. Okay. So that's just one extra step. Why? Because now when you're talking to people, and you do exactly what Charlie just said, there's two things you can do. One, when you open up with," Do you have this pain? We're seeing a lot of our clients today, before they implemented us, they were experiencing this pain." They may or may not react to that. That's okay. Because then you can say," Well as an adjunct, to that to try to fix that, they actually tried to solve it before they got us by doing A and then B and then C. Have you tried to do A or B or C?" So it's just another way to connect and get them talking. So that's the application. It's just another way... Because not everybody thinks the same way you. Say tomato, I say tomato. So if you say tomato, I'm not sure what you're talking about. But if you had said tomato, oh I'm your best friend. So it's just different ways to get to the same pain. The second reason you do what Charlie just said about the personas, and he mentioned this, he mentioned it in passing and we're going to come back to it, it's the storytelling. So if he says," Yeah, we have that pain," and you say," Tell me more," and they do. They say," Well it's this and this and this." Then you can say," Well, that's really interesting because I was just talking to Mary Smith over at Acme, Inc. I don't know if you know Mary, she's the head of sales, they're about 500 employees and 50 million in revenue. Anyway, at the time she was sharing with me, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. If you want, I can hook you up with Mary. Even if you do nothing here, maybe you can learn from a peer. Would that be of interest to you at all? In fact, you know what? If you want to, I can send you a case study on Mary, and then if you want to reach out to her, you want to talk more about... If you want to see what they've done, I can actually give you... I can probably get permission to show you a little bit of where they're at today." I, as a buyer, want to learn from my peers who have gone before me because I want to avoid the mistakes that they made so I can get there faster. So that storytelling is so powerful when you're selling. That's one of the reasons why we've had the most success, is hiring SDRs or AEs from the verticals that we sell into, because they themselves can tell stories about, when I was in your situation, this is what we did. They know the persona because they were the persona. But if you're brand new, you don't have that experience, and therefore this is the way to go. Anyway, Charlie, you're a rockstar. I don't know if I've told you that so far. For a Canadian, you're not so bad. He's a Habs fan. For those who are not sure, that means he's a fan of Montreal, Canadiens and therefore, we know he's a bit of a... I mean, if I recall, there was something about being in a finals last year and then choking. Does that sound about right? Did I cut that right there? Chocking, is that the right word?

Charlie Locke: This podcast is fading away. I can't hear you anymore.

Darryl Praill: Folks, that's Charlie Locke. Check him out on LinkedIn, it's that's pretty straightforward, linkedin.com/ charlielock. That's L- O- C- K- E, don't forget the E. But more importantly, SDR Nation. Charlie, thank you for your time today. Folks, it's about learning, it's about knowing what you need to know to speak to pain or gain. And there's a third one there, it slips my mind, but just backup the podcast, you'll find it. That's it. That's all you need to know. We're done, another week in the can, we'll see you next week, folks. Take care, I'll talk to you soon. Bye- bye.

Announcer: Thank you for listening to another episode of the INSIDE Inside Sales Podcast with your host, Darryl Praill. We hope you enjoyed the show. And if you did, we would greatly appreciate you taking a moment to leave us a review on the platform you're listening to the show from today. Also, please feel free to share this program with your friends and colleagues. Thank you. Darryl will be back again next week.


How can you expand your network, stay up-to-date with the latest sales trends, and get tactical coaching? A simple answer is by leveraging the sales community.

In this episode of INSIDE Inside Sales, Darryl welcomes Charlie Locke, the brilliant Sales Leader and Co-Founder of SDR Nation, to discuss the best ways you can use your community to grow and develop as a sales professional. They also talk about the importance of properly training SDRs, the progression from an SDR to AE, and what questions you should ask your boss when interviewing for an SDR job.

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Today's Guests

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Charlie Locke

|Sales Leader and Co-Founder of SDR Nation