The B2B Revenue Executive Experience
The B2B Revenue Executive Experience

Episode · 6 months ago

What It Means to Be an Inspiring Sales Leader w/ Mark Ebert


You’ve just been promoted to a leadership position. You’ve worked hard to get here but, now that you have, you’ve started worrying about your new responsibilities. You don’t just want to be a leader — you want to be a great leader.

But where do you start?

I can think of nobody better to ask than Mark Ebert, SVP at 6sense, so… I did. Mark joins me in the latest episode of the show to go over exactly what makes a great leader and what you can start doing today to get there.

What we talked about:

  • The difference between leadership and management
  • The importance of open communication
  • The secrets to retention

Now that you know what it takes to be a great sales leader, are you ready to dive into how to rehumanize your customer experience or learn the secrets to personalizing at scale? Check out the full list of episodes: The B2B Revenue Executive Experience.

You're listening to the BT revenueexecutive experience, a podcast, dedicated elpin executives, train theirsales and marketing teams to optimize growth, whether you're looking fortechniques and strategies were tools and resources. You come to the rightplace. Let's accelerate your growth in three to one, welcome Eve, you one tothe B to b revenue executive experience. I'm your host Chad Sanderson todaywe're talking about what it means to be a great sales leader, the impact thishas on the team, the organization you know what does it really mean to be aleader, especially in in turbulent changing times that we're in today tohelp us? We have more HEBREW SPP at six cents mark. Thank you for taking timeand welcome to the show. Thank you for having me excited to be on excellent.So before we jump in, we always like to ask a random question and I'm alwayscurious. You know we all have these personal and professional personas andthe digital branding and all that happy stuff. I'm curious to know somethingthat you are passionate about, that those that may only know you from awork environment might be surprised to learn yeah. I I think probably the the thing that sticks out to me thatmost people don't know is that I'm big into American history, I'm kind of anerd when it comes to that- and I don't know why. But ever since I wasa child, I was fascinated by it and you know recently moved up to the townnorth of Boston, rich and history and love teach my kids about it, but it'ssomething I find energizing. That is awesome. That is, you know. It's alwaysamazing to me to. We were talking about Tiago Tiago as tell me that he was hewatches Portuguese and Spanish soap operas to keep up with this get out,but with his language yeah. So it's always interesting the differentperspectives and an elements and things you learn about people. So I reallyappreciate you sharing that with their audience and so topic of the day isleadership and that's a powerful loaded, very large packed word can mean a lotof things to a lot of people. So I'm curious from your perspective. When wetalk about leadership in a business environment. What does that mean to you?How do you define that yeah? Well, I think the the important thing to clearup that I find the most confusing thing is that it's dramatically differentthan management like management, I think, is often used interchangeablywith leadership, but it's definitely different leadership. My mind is kindof its open to anyone has nothing to do with you now rank if you will, but if Iwere to throw a definition on it, I would say it's kind of the process of empowering and influencing others tocome develop into the best version of themselves, which in turn collectivelyleads to a you know achieving a shared sot of goals, or you know a mission. SoI'd probably have those elements in my...

...definition, which is it's open to anyone, and a lot of ithas to do with empowering people to just be the best version of themselveswhich in turn, you know you can hit your goals. I love it. I love it sowhen you think about you know the best sales leaders you've worked for or withor come across in your career and you kind of distill down what are the keycharacteristics that you found they've, either shared or that you believe arecritical today that maybe we're lacking previously yeah. I have been fortunateto work for some awesome sales leaders, that's for sure, as a I, a seller kindof, but when I think about a frontline leader of mine, I think of think of a guy named Yon Zemin, who nowleads sales over at iterabimus and the one thing that sticks out to me. Themost was that he had confidence in me and I could feel it as a seller and, aswe all know, especially in sales like confidence is really everything, and itstuck out to me that you know I don't know how much we think about. How muchare we building up confidence in our team, but that one sticks out for me onand then I think about kind of at the executive, sales level, trust andtransparency. Or you know our leader here, I reported to our co JasonSynteche and you know he's a long time sales leader as well, and I certainlyfeel like he trusts our entire org to go and do what we need to go do buthe's also an incredibly transparent leader. You know helping US understandwhy we're making decisions the way we are- and I think everyone appreciatesthat down through the ORC yeah. I think that it's an important distinction andthen the question becomes once they have those capabilities. How do you seepeople put those into action from a coaching standpoint right if they'relooking at coaching their teams to be the best role to achieve the bestresults, if they're looking to coach them and help them kind of up leveltheir game? How do they go about doing that in a way like you mentioned, youknow the previously y? U H that had confidence in you. What does that looklike when it's put into practice or the experience that you may have as anindividual on that team? So first there's things that are withinthe sellers: Control that I'll touch on Ye as relates to coaching, and thenthere are some things that aren't in the sellers: Control that are equal asimportant to think about. So as as a sales leader, if you think about thethings that are outside of the control of your sellers, for instance, you knowhow you package and price the content that gets delivered from the productmarketing team et ce. There's a big responsibility to own that for your team and make sure that we'rerecognizing that it's our responsibility to go, take care of thethings that are outside their control that are preventing them from fromachieving what they're setting out to...

...go and achieve, and then there's plentyof things that are inside the control of the sellers and and that gets backto the whole kind of control. What you can control thing and focusing on wherewe can get better and stronger, like I said earlier like what what'spreventing you from be being the best at your job, that's within your controland making sure that our sales managers are having that conversation frequentlywith their team. So it's kind of I put it into those two different buckets theway to think about it and one of the things that youmentioned. You know as we were propine for this. It was in the advancement,terit was the need for communication, and I think the way that you know the way that if you ask somebody now,maybe some many people in sales versus those out of sales might say: Oh well,more communication than sales means now we're just going to go over the dealsmore we're going to get the pipe line more. It's going to be more kind ofoverhead type of communication. How do you differentiate or come up with a wayto communicate? That does contribute to that healthy sales culture? Is it justmore deal reviews or there? How are you breaking that up? You know coachingversus management. What does that look like when you're, when you put it,bring it to life in a communication strategy for the team sure? Well, youknow at the top from a sales leader on down. We makesure we stick to a fairly regular cadence of being in communication withthe whole team for us at six cents. It's at least once a week, every Mondaywe're getting the entire revenue team together and we're talking about allsorts of different things. But is we kind of go down a little bit further?To answer your questions short? No, I don't think it's more deal, reviews ormore pipeline reviews when we think about communication. It's like what arethe conversations that make up that the time spent between a seller and theirmanager and are they are we actually focusing on the right things? In thoseconversations, I think too often, one on ones- and you know the relationshipswith the field gets consumed into thinking about active deals that sureit's important, but when we think about going back earlier around coaching, thecoaching or enablement aspect often gets left off and then the other piecethat gets left off quite a bit in the communication with the team, especiallyduring kind of Ovid, and everything- that's changed over the last year- is just how they're doing mentally andwe've spent a lot of time as a sales or here at six cents. We spent the lastfive weeks with a big focus on our team, calls talking openly about how to haveconversations with each other about how clear their head is and where theirminds at so that they can go off and work effectively, because it's probablyone of the least discussed things, but it's one of the biggest thingspreventing sales teams from really achieving their best results. I thinkwell and then also creating a safe... for them to be honest and vote woman. Look we all havethis shared human experience of this lovely pandemic. We all have something:it's all impacted US differently or you know it's created ramifications inpeople's lives right and for me. I went from traveling every week to haven'tbeen on a plane in fourteen months and then the sense of disconnection thathappens and then how do you pivit a business and then, of course, what'sgoing on with family? I mean in order to really focus on what does it mean togenerate a new? Were a modern, Pipe Planer sales organization? I don'tthink, there's any choice but to coach and work with the totality of anindividual on the team, not just their performance, but also get under thehood, and what is it that's going on with them? Can they be honest with youto say, I'm having you know, I'm having a bad head day. You know this is goingon right now. I need some help with this. Have you found it a challenge fora people to embrace that approach as you've done it? Well, I would say themoment we started. The conversation which kicked off at our field. Kick offin February. Was the reaction from the field was overwhelmingly positive thatpeople the team was so happy were finally talking about it. You know andnot treating it like some stigma, that we don't talk about our mental healthand how well are we sleeping as an example and those easy simple thingsthat as a seller, you know you're off living wherever you're, not with yourteam, and you got to get up and grind every day it's hard and it's exhausting,and so the response from the team here was amazing and the way I like to talkabout it is it's similar to parenting right. You want. You want your childrenas a parent to tell you what's going on and you've got to create an environmentfor them to feel comfortable telling you what's going on, you know only,then you can really help them. It's the same exact thing with the sales team.You've got to create an environment where they want. You know that they'reopen to talk about these things, not that they're going to feel scolded,that, like Hey, I'm not on my a game right now, get that conversation out inthe open and work on fixing it and we got to the bottom of it. You know atsix cents a lot of it was just fatigue right. THAT'S NO SURPRISE! A lot of itwas struggles with you know, dealing with kids in the house, virtual school,the like and the other one was a lack of enablement on the changes ofthe way that we were selling. So we really kind of got to the bottom ofthat. We heard a lot and clear. We doubled down on enablement, prettyquickly and started cranking out some new things for them kind of in responseto that feedback. But it's hard to develop an environment where you knowyou can get. You can get everyone talking openly about it, but when youcan, I think it's really when you can make some progress moving forward andthen how you know, there's the added challenge of having to have that typeof create that type of safe space, that...

...type of focus on that stuff. In aremote environment which you know, okay, so I think all of us are getting usedto zoom and if you've spent so much time in it, you know we all can figureout who's paying attention WHO's. Multitool or you know, we get theopportunity to read facial expressions, but given that most communication isnon verbal, how are you? How are you accomplishing this remotely with yourteam, yeah she's by the way, speaking of multi tasking? If there's ever beena time when I realize I cannot multiture front and center to me that II am completely incapable of doing twothings at once, and you know a lot of that comes back down to the calendarand like teaching people of Calendar Management. For me, it's been astruggle, but yeah we're doing all sorts of things. You know thinkingabout l revisiting. Do we need to be on zoom for internal calls for one on one. Youknow we encouraging team members to take your one o ones, on a walk or evenvirtually it's just change of pace in it. Getting your legs moving hellthat'll make a big difference. The other thing we've done is we've justshortened a lot of our calls. Honestly, you know thirty minutes make it twenty.Can we get up unto twenty hour meeting can to be done in forty and given thepeople the time back to recharge and do whatever they need to do before theyhop into the next meeting, and you know being on video is important, so you cansee everybody, so there are certain times when we we do ask to seeeveryone's face. Everyone wants to see each other atsome points and there's a lot of meetings where we don't need to andagain it's like. I don't care, I don't care. If your hair is all over theplace, and you know you haven't gotten a collar shirt on yet we we don't needto be on video for this meeting, so don't worry about it, so, just being alittle more flexible with the realities of Home Life Right, I love it. I loveit and so all right now we're talking about okay, we're coming out of thewell coming out. We hopefully on the downside of the pandemic right and itwas a new new version of normal, the the probably still continue to be some.You know some virtual sum in person that kind of stuff, but now you knowyou guys just you know I don't give you the opportunity to sing it from theMount Top. You guys just had a funning event right, which means you're growing.So how you now tell me about the funning event and then how is thatgoing to change the way you attract and retain? You know the top sales salestalent yeah? Well, so we're super excited. Itwas last week we got to make the announcement with our our series D and raising up a hundred and twenty fivemillion dollars is always is always a amazing event. At a company means wegot a bad day, keep her all and keep growing, keep investing like everyone'sreally fired up, but believe it or not. It's it's. When you talk about a tapattracting attracting good talent, I'll touch on retaining it in a second, butattracting good talent is still hard because there are so many great placesto be working, especially in tech where we are, and everyone's stilll fightingfor really good talent. So we focus a...

...lot on. First and foremost, we share a lot ofour sales results in our in our recruiting process. Like we talk aboutsales attainment openly, because our sellers, you know are attaining, theyare winning their or competitive. Win rates are huge, so any seller wants tohear that hey. If I come take a job here. How well positioned am I to winand then the other thing that we focus a lot on is where we're heading and ourmission, which is the other half of the equation.I think for people out there looking to you know, find the right place to gowork. They want to really get behind a big story. They want to know that youknow everyone in the whole company is completely fired up to go after thatmission together and feel a part of it, especially given you know where thereality of the world we're in at the moment, and so we spend a lot of timeon mission and are we clearly articulating what our mission is whenwe're recruiting and then are we spending enough time developing ortalking about the ability to come here and win is huge and then lastly, ourCEO says this all the time, but you know we say that we want. We recognizethat no one's ever going to be. You know at six cents forever. What we wantis to ensure that your stop here is your best stop on your career journey,and we ask we ask our recruits like what would that look like for you? Howcan we bet? How can we be that for you, and those are some of the key elementsthat we think about when we're attractingtalent on the retention side? It's easy as a sales leader you routinewhen you're winning and that's easy so long as you're winning, but the the the other thing is back tocommunication. If anything sticks out on, how do you retain your best talent? It's have conversate more conversationswith your best talent and often times we get consumed with conversationswhere you know where we're struggling and the struggling raps, and we oftenleave the best field sellers without having a voice to the CEO to the headof sales. More frequently enough, so I think about how frequently you're goingand having that conversation with your top talent and just knowing that you'reheard not that we can go, do everything they need you to go do, but just thatwe're listening were eager to hear from the best on Hey. What do we need tokeep doing to keep winning, because we respect everything you've got to share.That goes a long way with top talent, and they want to know that they feel,like they've, got a higher level of importance on decisions that are madein a voice that carries all the way up to the top of the business. So we thinkabout that a lot and when you're doing when you have people coming through theinterview process, other specific things you're looking for from abehavioral standpoint, or you know suc, not that history necessarily is thebest predictor of future results. But... know what is it when you go throughthe interview process that you're looking for or kind of grabs yourattention from a talent perspective? So I've got all our sales managers readingthe book who and the author is going to slip. My slip me for a second, it'skind of like a method for hiring and I'll drop that as a tip it's on one ofthe most eye, opening books that we can read about how to how to go about.Looking. You know clarifying what you're looking for, but a couple of thethings that were focusing on are their demonstrated ability to learn.Quick in a chaotic environment, you know for us we're moving fast. We'retrying to you know, hit our fourth year of a hundred percent growth and thingsmove quick, but we sell a pretty complicated, complex product. It's notyou know, so the ability to learn quickly in a chaotic environment andcan you take a complex concept and simplify it through story? Telling aretwo huge things we look at just due to the nature of where we're at at themoment. You know when you hear things like when all the questions are focusedaround help me understand. All the structures that you have in place tohelp me succeed can oftentimes be a red flag, because we have to say you knowwe don't have it all we're going quick if you can learn quick and be scrappyyou're going to do well here, but if you're looking for a place that has itall figured out, we might not be the right one for you. We we talked aboutthat a lot and- and lastly, you know it's getting to the bottom of their oftheir. Why you know why are you going to wake up and be totally energized togo? Do this every day and top sellers can articulate that reallyclearly, so we C N, we ask that question quite a bit. I love it. I lovethat's a great one, and that book was who will put the author in the episode notes for everybody, so to besure to check that one out. So let's Change Direction here, a little bit, weask all of our guest two standard questions toward the end of viewinterviewing as an executive. That means your prospect for a lot of peopleout there, who probably want to say something, and so I'm on as curious.You know if somebody doesn't have that trusted referral into you right, likeyour best friend says I talk to this person for you personally, what works,when somebody's trying to capture your attention and earn the right to time onyour calendar, just relevance for what's working for other companies thatI would genuinely care about, is probably the top thing that comes tomind. What I the key thing there is for companies that I would care about. NotYou know we're in technology, not messaging. That's talking about howthey're helping some hospital you know optimize spend I'm thinking about. Iwant to know what companies that are, in our stage right our series offinancing that were gearing up to scale up to eventually take their companypublic. If I was hearing about other...

...companies that were in that place thatthis particular business that was reaching out was able to help them, dosomething I'll, listen right, I mean those are the. Those are the thingsthat I think about a lot, and, secondly, is one O is obvious, but it is so clearwhen something's pre scripted- and you know it just- gets the deletebutton right away yeah. So I just just staying relevant to where we're at is abusiness. What we're likely looking to go, do and then sharing some storiesabout other companies that are that they're helping in a similar place is agreat place to start. I love it, love it all right. So last question wecalled our acceleration inside. If you could give sales professionals, onepiece of advice, just one that they, if they listen to, you believe, would helpthem hit or exceed their targets. What would it be and why I would say that ifyou truly believe that you're in control over getting better day in andday out, that your role you're going to be set up to be successful and enjoyyour job wherever you are in your career path and when you're enjoyingyour job, you work Carter right like when you genuinely enjoy. It is what itjust it energizes you, but I think the key the key piece of the equation isyou've got to believe that you can get better your in control over that andthen celebrate those successes of just getting better, not like the end result,but just get better day in an day out you're going to find, I think, a lotmore joy in your job and that joy, I think, will translate to a lot ofenergy to keep going. I love it. I love it market e listeners interested intalking more about the topics I touched on today. Where do you want us to sendthem to your website? Hitch Ou on like din? What works best yeah, certainlycheck out six nom or, of course, on link on is probably the best fairly active on there and would behappy to hear from you all right, hey. I can't thank you for taking time to beon the show. It's been an absolute pleasure. Thank you for having me enjoythe week yeah I right everybody. You know the drill it does it, for thisepisode be to be Revez share with friends, Family Co, workers and untilnext time we value selling assosiates witchell nothing, but the greatestsuccess you've been listening to the bt RevenueExecutive Experience to ensure that you never miss an episode subscribe to theshow, and I tunes or your favorite podcast player. Thank you so much forlistening until next time E T.

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