The Sales Development Podcast

Episode 32: Rob Anderson

Summary:

In this episode, David interviews Rob Anderson, Outbound Sales Manager at Docebo. Rob shares how Docebo has managed to acquire 1400 clients in North America within two years of operations. He talks about the attributes that make a great team lead and how your outstanding sales rep may NOT be the right choice for that next lead. 

​He discusses the importance of finding your niche and researching your competition for the sole purpose of knowing how you can differentiate yourself in a saturated market. Tune-in to learn the leadership strategies that Rob lives by and passes on to his teams that have contributed to putting Docebo firmly on the path of remarkable growth.

3 Key Points:
1.Focus on differentiating yourself in the marketplace and finding your niche—studying competition is a great way to differentiate yourself.
2.Top reps might not always be great team leads; a good team lead has to be selfless and help out the younger sales reps achieve their goals.
3.Situational leadership is critical while managing employees; since no two employees are trained the same way, it is important to place yourself in the employee’s shoes to figure out your management approach.

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 00:00 – Talk to the experts at Inside Sales Team for all your sales development needs
  • 00:23 – David introduces Rob Anderson
  • 01:10 – Tracing Rob’s journey so far
    • 01:10 – Currently working for Docebo as an outbound BDR manager
    • 01:18 – Studied visual communications at the University of South Carolina
    • 01:25 – Got inspired by his dad, a successful salesman at General Mills
    • 01:35 – Interned with Campus Special as a B2B salesman in Columbia, South Carolina
    • 02:17 –Worked as an SDR, BDR and team lead at Achieve It, Atlanta right after graduation
    • 02:55 – Got an offer from Docebo to build their outbound program from scratch
  • 03:48 – Rob attributes his success in sales to his highly competitive nature and people skills
  • 04:18 – Does not feel challenged in a stagnant, repeatable job
  • 04:45 – While some salespeople are naturally gifted, most are chiseled over time due to hard work and experience
  • 06:19 – Mastering sales early on in your career helps you as you rise up the corporate ladder
  • 07:21 – Working your way up from a sales rep to a team lead
    • 07:23 – The top reps might be self-serving and hence, may not turn out to be good team leads
    • 07:45 – Apart from hitting their sales goals, a good team lead also goes out of their way to help newer reps learn the tricks of the trade
  • 08:10 – Should be able to delegate tasks and hold reps accountable
  • 09:00 – Team leads are looking for a responsible, high performing team player
    • 09:18 – A sales rep needs to show his skills and communicate his ideas to the team lead to receive guidance
    • 09:40 – You can even lead without a title; even as a sales rep you can display an inclination to help other people
  • 11:20 – What sets Docebo apart
    • 11:20 – Offers LMS (Learning Management Solutions) which can be defined as an ENGINE to deliver training and education to customers, partners and internal employees
    • 11:47 – Key differentiators from other players: training is not a one-time event, a formal piece as a well as a social piece is offered within their platform
  • 12:00 – 70% of training is done on the job
  • 12:13 – Facilitate a transfer of knowledge by having employees go in on their own to create their own content
    • 12:28 – Product works well with high-growth, high-tech companies who have complex products and who cater to the retail segment as well
  • 12:50 – When Rob started with Docebo as an SDR, they had a client roster of 1400 companies acquired through organic and down marketing
    • 13:07 – Possessed inbound sales knowledge when he started off, and had to consult other sales development leaders for working out the intricacies of outbound
    • 13:26 – Had to resort to trial and error to come up with a scalable model
    • 13:46 – Started out by building the playbook first, and then moved on to hiring
    • 14:21 – Enthusiasm and work ethic of older salespeople tends to rub off on the newer reps that come in
    • 14:45 – Has a total of 7 reps and 2 interns at the moment
  • 15:15 – Trains new reps through hyper-focused, two weeks sessions; build in certifications as well
    • 15:45 – Starts teaching reps platform features after a month
  • 17:09 – How did Docebo manage to get 1400 customers
    • 17:10 – Started North American operation two years ago with an office staff of five
    • 17:18 – Today 80% of Docebo revenues come from North America
    • 17:24 – Offering something which delivers results and addresses a market need
    • 17:43 – While everyone else was concentrating on performance reviews, Docebo offered a different product based on social learning
  • 18:41 – Different niche products targeting varied sectors such as higher education, corporations, Quick Serve Restaurants (QSR’s) and lawyers; no need to customize products for each customer
    • 19:07 – Need to understand what you offer, what makes you different and where you are trying to play
  • 19:50 – Focuses sharply on competition so as to achieve differentiation; if a prospect already has an LMS, sales reps make it a point to inquire about the manufacturer
  • 21:21 – What does the internship program entail
    • 20:24 – Since the University of Georgia is close by, it is easy to scout young talent
    • 21:34 – Georgia houses no other tech company other than Docebo; people wanting to work in tech inevitably land there
    • 22:15 – Paid internships with a SAAS company are much sought after
    • 22:35 – Trains interns in the same manner as he trains BDR’s; using outreach, CRM and storytelling techniques
    • 23:03 – Would be great to retain interns as BDR’s; since interns have already been working for a year and half, ramp up in a BDR role is non-existent
  • 24:00 – Running a tech company in a developing tech hub has its own set of challenges; not possible to poach any talent since there are no exits
  • 25:53 – CEO and CRO at Docebo are of Italian origin; another reason for choosing Athens, Georgia as it reminds them a lot of Milan
  • 26:57 – Assigns great importance to situational leadership; no two people can be managed in the same way
    • 27:06 – Structure your management style after putting yourself in your employees shoes
  • 27:26 – Lead by example; don’t sit behind the computer, hit F5 and hope that the dashboard starts showing results
  • 27:57 – Always start with “why”; over-explaining things to your team will get you that all crucial, employee buy-in
  • 29:35 – Rob is working on scaling up his team, putting his certification program in place and organizing the first Docebo user conference in Boston, in September
  • 30:46 – Sales Development Conference is coming up on September 1st in downtown San Francisco
  • 30:52 – Message Rob if you wish to be a part of the Docebo Inspire conference in September

 
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