​In this episode, David speaks with Kevin Dorsey. Sales development now is far from how it was years ago in terms of technology, information, and methodology. But, what did these changes do to the industry?

Listen as Kevin Dorsey shares his own personal journey in sales and the lessons he’s learned along the way. He outlines the essential qualities of a great sales development representative, new tactics that make your pitches more effective, and what millennials need in order to succeed in the workforce today.

3 Key Points:
1.Sales is not about being passionate about a specific product you’re selling – it’s about being passionate about the act of selling itself.
2.It’s important to reach out to the end users first and identify their problems before talking to high-level executives you plan to sell your product to.
3.You are NOT going to be taught everything – be proactive and start to educate yourself.

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 00:17 – Introduction to the Sales Development Podcast
  • 00:23 – David introduces Kevin to the show
  • 02:02 – Kevin chose to get into sales 15 years ago, while he was still in college
    • 02:52 – After college, he moved back to Los Angeles to rent out personal training studios to members
    • 03:01 – Kevin grew 1 studio to 3 studios and started selling fitness equipment
  • 03:43 – Kevin initially thought he wanted to get into physical therapy, so he studied kinesiology
    • 04:04 – His education major required him to take a number of psychology courses
    • 04:19 – His background in psychology helped him get through sales for the long-term
  • 04:53 – There were always positions available in sales for Kevin
  • 05:17 – Kevin was an introvert and was not initially strong in sales
    • 05:46 – “Make something better by getting better at it”
  • 06:39 – Kevin is not a ‘big’ product-believer
    • 06:52 – “You have to be passionate about selling”
    • 07:17 – Kevin coaches people to love sales – you can only sell something you’re passionate about
    • 07:40 – The best salespeople in the world would sell the same thing forever
    • 09:06 – If a salesperson needs the product to drive him to get to the customer, he’s already going in the wrong direction
  • 11:10 – David thinks sales development reps are setup to fail if the management doesn’t set up enough time to train and coach them
    • 11:55 – Kevin wrote “The Sales Industry is Backwards  – Part II – The SDRs
    • 12:25 – If SDRs truly understood what it’s like to be a sales executive, they would change their approach completely
    • 13:07 – Kevin believes that companies should train SDRs using the “bottom up” approach rather than the “top-down” approach
  • 13:13 – Kevin shares about the SDR who tried to talk to him through his company’s sales rep
  • 14:15 – The go-to outreach strategy of most SDRs is the usual product offering approach
  • 14:34 – SnackNation’s playbook includes training regarding the full buyer’s persona
  • 14:40 – Buyer’s Matrix is a great tool for training reps
  • 15:10 – You need to know your buyer and their problems
  • 15:18 – Kevin emphasizes that there is a difference between a persona and a person
    • 16:51 – Getting in touch with executives through cold-calling is nearly impossible
    • 17:15 – SnackNation deals with a lot of product managers – people who use their product day-to-day – before they sell up to the next-level individuals
    • 17:51 – If the end user doesn’t have a problem, no executive will sign up for your product
    • 18:51 – Solving a problem for a company you’re pitching to is the best way to approach them
  • 19:50 – “The sales automation marketing industry absolutely killed itself because everyone is doing the same thing to everybody”
    • 20:12 – Old tactics still work for lower level employees
    • 21:53 – Present what you’ve learned about the company you’re pitching to
    • 22:05 – The sales development rep’s job is to create curiosity – not interest
    • 23:50 – Kevin didn’t realize salespeople are still using ‘quick question’ emails to reach c-level executives
    • 24:16 – A quick tip from Kevin is, “a takeaway sale only works on someone who wants something”
  • 25:13 – Remember: Curiosity is a lower form of interest
  • 26:21 – SnackNation emphasizes using the “gap-creating questions”
    • 26:37 – Gap-selling is creating a gap and selling through your questions
  • 28:00 – 28:15: Commercial Break
  • 29:12 – So much of Kevin’s journey has been him educating himself
  • 30:31 – One interview question of Kevin’s is: “What did you do to prepare yourself for sales?”
  • 30:55 – Kevin has an article on LinkedIn titled, “How to CRUSH a sales interview and get the job you want
  • 32:35 – One quality that Kevin looks for in an SDR is curiosity
    • 34:09 – For anybody who wants to get into sales, curiosity and resiliency are a MUST
    • 34:45 – David shares about the atrocious lack of knowledge about who he is and his company when he interviews for SDR positions
    • 35:55 – The generation of millennials expect to be taught how to do everything
    • 36:24 – Unfortunately, no one is teaching them how to do sales properly
    • 37:03 – Millennials need help
    • 37:10 – “Information is so accessible that people are not naturally curious anymore”
  • 37:41 – David thinks the art of communication is already diminishing
  • 38:00 – If you’re listening to the podcast, you’re trying to be curious – and that’s a positive thing!
  • 38:24 – Everything is out there and you have to take a step to go out and get it
  • 38:51 – Kevin looks forward to this vision – a perfect sales team
  • 40:35 – A vision is always the starting point

Resources Mentioned: