In this episode, David interviews Katherine Andruha, Sales Development Director at Apttus. Katherine began her journey in finance and found herself in the world of tech sales as a business development representative. This is where Katherine began to thrive in sales and grow in her understanding of what it actually takes to reach your potential prospect.

​Tune-in as Katherine shares why you need to be passionate about your product, but even more focused on WHO your customer is and how you will solve their problem. Katherine shares valuable tips that will help you as a sales or business development representative and give you a preview of her work with Apttus.

3 Key Points:
1.Be passionate about your product—if you can’t be, why would your future prospect be.
2.Approach your customers by using their pain points as YOUR entry point.
3.Reaching out to people NEEDS to be personalized—sending generic messages that link people back to their web page does not communicate care.

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 00:47 – Introduction to the Sales Development Podcast
  • 01:05 – Introducing Katherine to the show
  • 01:28 – David held a panel discussion a couple of months ago in San Francisco where Katherine was present and the topic was leadership vs management
  • 02:01 – At first, Katherine thought she would become a doctor when she went to college
    • 02:17 – She shifted and fell into finance
    • 02:24 – After 3.5 years into finance, a friend told Katherine she would be great in tech sales
  • 02:52 – She gave tech sales a try and started off as a BDR (business development representative) for Aruba Networks
    • 03:13 – Katherine absolutely loved sales and it turned out that she was good at it
    • 04:25 – Katherine found that the conversations were quite different in finance than they were in tech sales
    • 04:37 – In tech sales, she learned about different personas and ways to pitch products
    • 04:54 – “It wasn’t too much of a transition, but it was a scary transition”
    • 05:02 – “If it does not make you nervous, then it’s really not just worth doing”
    • 05:59 – If you’re not passionate about your product, why would your prospect be?
    • 06:46 – People tend to be so fearful that they lose their confidence
    • 07:30 – No one cares more about you the way you care about yourself
  • 09:13 – Katherine is a procrastinator at compiling information
  • 09:51 – She constantly asks for a new dashboard
  • 10:11 – Katherine learned a lot from her bosses, Maria Pergolino and Dan Frohnen
    • 10:51 – Whenever Katherine is presenting, she looks and thinks as Maria or as Dan would
    • 11:48 – She has great mentors
    • 12:14 – She’s learned to be humble about her answers
  • 12:47 – David is currently running a training program for sales managers
  • 13:08 – As a sales development leader, you have to be vocal to get what you need
  • 13:44 – As a person in sales, you need to know how to do reporting in any type of CRM (customer relationship management)
  • 14:12 – If somebody asks you and you can’t answer, you’ve lost credibility in 30 seconds
  • 15:17 – Katherine typically sold everything as a BDR, but what’s important is that you don’t get wrapped up in what the product is
    • 15:45 – Focus on WHO you’re selling to
    • 16:59 – As a BDR, Katherine looks up collaterals that the marketing department gives her to know her market persona
    • 18:22 – Tell your target you understand there’s a pain point they need to address and you want to learn about it and maybe help them out with it
    • 19:31 – Your customers only care about the problems they need solved
    • 19:43 – If you’re the first one to show some value to your target, you will be the person they think of all the time
    • 21:42 – Reaching out to people is NOT sending them links to your landing pages
    • 22:32 – Katherine always ends her emails with, “I look forward to your response”
    • 23:30 – Start your playbook with personas and pain points
  • 24:02 – Learn more about Sales Development Podcast Sponsorship at
  • 24:49 – Apttus has a ton of ways to share customer info to BDRs
    • 24:54 – They had a playbook in the past and Katherine quickly removed that and replaced it with slides
    • 25:20 – A lot of the information came from what her managers are using
    • 25:34 – Katherine created a tool section on how to build reports
    • 26:25 – Now, Katherine is breaking down her playbook into processes and procedures, rules of engagement, tools, and personas that are posted in their Sales Force Chat and Dropbox
    • 27:00 – They also have revenue success activity recorded every week
  • 27:18 – Katherine is beyond transparent in her messaging
  • 28:03 – She is involved in all their chatter groups
  • 29:17 – In February, Apttus created a fielding team of BDRs
    • 29:36 – Apttus is day-in and day-out with their leads
    • 30:37 – Additional BDRs are in the enterprise sector where they are at a 2:1 ratio to the field teams
    • 32:07 – A BDR doesn’t just get leads in their accounts, they get 10-12 that are most actively interested in their product
    • 32:42 – BDRs are doing mostly outbound calls, reaching out to contacts that have been nurtured in the past by Apttus
    • 33:54 – When Apttus was planning for the fiscal year, they laid out their ideal customer profile and the industries they had success in for evaluation with their sales operations organization
    • 35:24 – They increased scores for returning leads and open leads
    • 35:58 – They also have a call counter for their lead views
    • 36:28 – Marketing Operations Team determine lead scores by using tools like EverStringLeadGenius, andZoomInfo
    • 37:16 – Apttus uses Inside Sales to manage their workflows
    • 37:21 – They also have Power Dialler and Vision built into their CRM
    • 38:56 – They decided to start their processes from scratch
  • 41:41 – End of podcast

Resources Mentioned: