In this episode of “True Confessions of a Sales Leader,” we explore how to create a successful sales team and scale it to grow and perform within the company.
We’re excited with this episode’s guest, Henry Schuck co-founder, CEO, and Chairman of the Board of ZoomInfo. Henry joins Scott Olsen, founder of the Olsen Group, and Gary Brashear, managing partner of the Olsen Group.
If you don’t know the story behind ZoomInfo, it’s a great success story. Henry co-founded the company (formerly DiscoverOrg) in 2007 in his law school dorm and has been growing the successful company ever since. Last summer, ZoomInfo became a Nasdaq-listed company and is one of the dominant players in the sales enablement technology space.
Listen in to find out how Henry got on the path to build his sales teams and how he continues to do so today.
Listen to this episode on Apple Podcasts or Spotify.
Key Highlights from the Podcast
Here are four key takeaways if you prefer reading:
1. Define success
In ZoomInfo’s early days, they hired salespeople, had an onsite onboard program in place, provided the sales team with a book written by the founders, and personally coached each member. After some time it was realized some of the sales team weren’t a good fit (it happens). They then defined the characteristics needed for someone to be successful, their coach-ability, work ethic, and ability to learn. This metric now lets them articulate and be more objective in what to look for in a salesperson.
2. Know your customers
Yes, this may sound obvious but one “trick” (Henry’s air quotes) he says works well is simply ensuring your team visits a potential customer’s website before meeting with them. Look for information that connects their business value proposition or needs, with your product. Have your sales team know what prospect’s interests are before picking up the phone or meeting with them. This is a great way to consistently get a conversation going and build trust quickly.
3. Never stop learning … or coaching
Constant learning and improvement and looking for ways to get better should not only be the salesperson’s goal but the sales leaders as well. If you’re a sales leader, make yourself available, bring yourself in early in the process and use your company’s proven, strong fundamentals to get back to the basics, which will ultimately allow for more growth.
4. In the early days, find the common characteristic of success
In the early days, before you have a strong sales onboarding and process in place, you’ll need to find the common characteristic of your successful sales people. Once you have it, test for that ability and only hire those who fit the criteria. After you have grown and are able to put adequate resources into training and coaching, you can open up your hiring standards.
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Here is a snippet where Henry describes how he used a data-driven approach to select the right sales talent to drive ZoomInfo's growth during the early years.
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Scott Olsen and Gary Brashear shares highlights from each podcast episode designed to help sales leaders like you and your sales teams develop the skills, systems and culture that leads to sustained and significant results.