Revenue Champions
Revenue Champions

Episode 75 · 1 month ago

75: The current state of outbound sales (with Sam Nelson, Founder @SDR Leader.com and Agoge)

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

This week, Ryan Reisert, Subject Matter Expert @Cognism is joined by Sam Nelson, Founder @SDR Leader.com and Agoge to talk about all things outbound sales. Ryan and Sam discuss the future of sales events, sales reps calling mobile numbers, the current state of outbound sales and more.

H Hello, welcome back to Revenue Champions. Today we are welcoming back one and only Sam Nelson. Sam Nelson had an amazing rise his career over at Outreach over the last five years and is now on his own running s chair leader dot com as well as his own outbound sales consulting business. You're not gonna want to miss this conversation. Tune into the very end where we ask a fun would you rather question. We'd love to get your feedback at in the comments wherever you're watching this show. Hello and welcome to another episode of Revenue Champions. You've got me your host Ryan Reiser, and I'm joined for the second time Part two. I think you might be the first one that I've seen back with us again, Sam Nelson. For those who may be missed the first one, you want to give a quick introduction of yourself. Who you be? You know, who are you? What are you up to? All right? Yeah, well thanks so much for having me. It's always great to chat with you. So I'm Sam Nelson and um, yeah, I was an Outreach I just finished like five and a half years to Outreach, which is a long time at tech companies but kind of Outbound str is kind of kind of my world and what I want to go all in on, and there really wasn't a better place to be than Outreach for that. So it's kind of hard to leave. But I went off on my own and we'll talk a little bit about what I'm doing now. But but yeah, it's really great to be here, excited to talk. Yeah, amazing you five years at Outreach and what was your career path? Just for those to understand, because it's going to set the context for a lot of stuff we're gonna talk about today. So before Outreach, where were you then you got to Outreach? What was your revolutions? You know, would you learn along the way? And then um, that really helps set the tone for some of the things we're gonna talk about today. Okay, Actually I would maybe started before I got to Outreach is I was in college and I started like this very kind of mission driven, kind of altruistic kind of startup with my friend in college. I'm kind of had the idea like, hey, we have a uh, you know, a cool enough mission, Like if we have a mission that's really going to do good for other people, then kind of everything will take care of itself. That's kind of like the vibe you get if you read Paul Graham's articles. I don't know if you've read those, like makes something that you know, it makes a big difference, and everything else will take care of itself. And and and it became very clear to me that that wasn't necessarily, that was not true at all. And um, I can have the best intentions in the world, but if I can't bring it to market, um, I'm going to have a tiny fraction of a fraction of the impact that I could otherwise have. And so for me as kind of a founder, I was like, Okay, well, the most useful thing that I can learn, besides coding, which is I'm not gonna be able to learn that great Like, the most important thing that I could possibly learn is learning how to generate a new opportunity where there was previously nothing. And so I was like, I want to learn how to do that. And so I was in Seattle and I heard of a company called our Reach and it was like, our Reach is a tool where you can we help people generate opportunities where there was previously nothing, and they want to change the way that that's done. And so you're gonna be able to not just develop the skill, but you'll be able to do it at a company that's all in on this idea, at a tool that wants to change the way that this is done. And if we do, like this will be the new way of doing it. And I'm in the first group of SDRs in their headquarters and so I was like, sign me up. I actually like I had like a full cycle role that was an offer, but I was like, no, no, no, I want to learn this. This is like it might pay for what I want to do. Like this skill is actually more useful than like I would take it over getting a Harvard NBA. Like I did a post about that one time and I got like lampoon for it. But like now I'm like really good at it. And then I taught a class at it about it at Harvard's NBA program and so like it's like it's this really really important skill and it's really exciting. Ary. So anyway, started um as an SDR, did really get as an outbound SDR as the top one, and then I became a manager, and then I managed managers and then uh, what the came...

...really important for me was like I posted content about how to do that from an outbound perspective, and it just became popular beyond my wildest strange. Like, one thing that's kind of cool about cold outbound is that what works is pretty pretty similar across the board. Once you introduce inbound or like some of these other cool things, they're like awesome advantages, but every company is a little bit different in what their brand or inbound or i qele advantages are. If you isolate cold outbound, it's actually pretty similar across companies, And so people that were in that situation where they wanted to improve cold outbound could kind of like rip and replace my strategies and they'd see positive results, and then the word of mouth would it would kind of create this flywheel. So eventually I became very well known for my content. It was very commonly used across the industry. And I spent the last few years and outreach kind of flying around the country meeting withoutbound str teams and helping them with that process. So um, and that was a cool experience too. I got to see a lot of different things, what's common, what's different, and um, it was also like pretty fun. It's a pretty fun job. It's an amazing journey, and so thank you for setting the context. I think one thing that stood out there which you just glazed over, which is really incredible, is you got lampoon for saying being an str learning skills maybe better than a Harvard NBA. And then hold on a second, you got invited to teach a class at Harvard, uh to their NBA students. That's pretty cool. Uh like, pretty pretty amazing journey that you went through. Um and uh again, super excited for the conversation today. So UM, the first question I want to talk about is you know, right now, you're you're you're out on your own and you're you're doing a couple of things, but one of them is uh str leader dot com this community, UM, what inspired what's the inspiration behind sdr leader um and the events rounding? Yeah? So um, Well, first of all, I'm I'm very very passionate about just like the whole process of generating a new opportunity where there's previously nothing. I think it's the most important skill that you can learn. It's like on a sales team, it's like the bottleneck of the bottleneck, right like pretty much any problem on the sales team can be solved by more pipeline, right, and so, um so, yeah, it's like the it's like the hardest part of the sales cycle and now we've specialized in it, and so we have the hardest part of the sales cycle. People are doing the hardest part of the sales cycle all day. We're taking the least experience to people in the company and putting them into that role and we are kind of having people manage them. And so it's like this really insane concept and um so it's it's by the way, it's chaos everywhere. I've seen a lot of companies. If you feel like you're like your pipeline generation function is chaos, then you're probably pretty normal. And one really cool thing about it is like, because it's gas, like you can make kind of usually they're pretty easy changes you can make that will make a big measurable difference to a really important part of the company. And so that's it was pretty fun. And um anyway, sdr leader dot com is a place that where leaders help each other, um kind of improve that part of the sales cycle. And I kind of again like I've met a lot of different leaders in the role that I had, and yeah, we just have this big community. We meet regularly. We're doing dinners now and there's a lot of benefit in collaboration and learning from each other because it's like a lot of times kind of this role by itself is pretty new. The technology that's been installed into it is new. Your boss hasn't really done this for like full time outbound, and so you're kind of like a loan on an island and kind of learning from other people. Like the best information is in the heads of of other practitioners, so it's making that easier to access for them. Absolutely, it's a amazing group that hasn't really been honed in on. Right. You've got the it. You've...

...got like the the c R O groups, you've got like the marketing leadership groups even have like the SCR groups, but I haven't really seen somebody really tackle the str leader and um exciting to see that you're you're going after that and it's such an important role without a lot of like you said, there's not a lot of mentorship, there's not a lot of places to turn to. It's almost like you get promoted maybe not too different than what happened with you without reach so you're one of the first ones to do it, you get promoted because you're one of the better ones doing and you just kind of got figured out along the way. So being able to learn from other people is huge. And we're talking about an industry that's rapidly evolving right the technology changes, there's new innovations on what was happening. Um, you know, how do you leverage all this technology and processes? Is there? Um? You know, as you have you as you've looked at the groups and the events you've held so far, are you seeing any emerging trends as we're leading into the new year? I mean, coming out of being at one of the most innovative tools in the space over the last couple of years now kind of an outsider looking at every thing. Are are there any cool tools or trends that you're seeing that we should be aware of moving into Well, I'll say one thing that comes up a lot that people will say kind of in hush tones, it's like very common, is um kind of that there's kind of like this passive culture that's emerged kind of since COVID, that there's kind of like the ambitious cultures that kind of existed before COVID have kind of like gone away, and it's something that kind of a lot of people are concerned about. I'm not sure exactly what the solution is for that, but that is something that I hear really commonly that a lot of people are concerned about, um, and they're not necessarily sure exactly how to deal with it. So, um, that's one thing, um we Ell. Another thing that I've noticed just doing these things is it's like a pretty cool group of people, Like for me, being like a community, just organizing a comm unity, I was really fortunate that like the type of people who become str leaders are generally like people who are really want to help others. Kind of they've been through a lot of stuff and so they're kind of down to earth and they're really excited to talk to others. And so it's like a pretty fun segment to hone in on for a community because they're just tend just by their nature, they tend to be really great community members. And so like we'll do these we'll do these dinners, and um, it's funny, like you look at our table and you'll think that this was like a family reunion, uh, compared to all the other tables, but it's like, no, all these people kind of came solo and they're meeting all these people for the first time, and so it's it's it's been like a really cool, really cool community and UM, it's just like so helpful just to kind of talk about what's going on with other people in the industry. UM. And then as far as emerging trends, UM, I'll say one that's really kind of new. But in listening to me is the way that that AI is going to play into this. UM. I used to be like, I think that AI was overrated just because of my experience with auto cracks. But like, have you ever used have you ever used like Reggie too, like rephrase things and stuff. I haven't used Reggie, but and I'm not a big email at myself, but uh, somebody recently convinced me to try Lavender and I installed that like a week ago now, and I'm really impressed with how it's looking at the emails scoring it and suggesting results. UM, I'm really impressed with it. Actually, So I think it's very similar the Lavender Reggie type of technology. UM, it's way beyond it's similar to you I had some clients maybe five six years ago that were one was exceeded dot AI. So it was supposed to be like outreach but like with AI, and uh it was it was not great. But the newer, the newer AI is a lot better. It's a lot better. Yeah, well it's just like,...

...um, I mean, just like where you can like highlight an idea and then press a button and then like rephrase it in a comedic way or in like an abbreviated way or an elongated way, like like it's one of those things where it's like you experienced and it's like this is going to change everything, Like I don't exactly know how it's all going to kind of come and in what order, but it's like it's pretty wild. So, um, I think if you map that capability with some of the new stuff that um it's coming out. You know, Crystal Nose has been around for a while where you can kind of guess somebody's personality and maybe how you might approach them. Humantic AI is a new one that's like crystal nose. If you combine those two, that sounds like a really powerful use of tools, right, um. And the scary part about that is that not the scary part. But I'd love to hear your thoughts on this because it's emerging. Similar to you, I haven't really been a big fan of the EYE just because of the issues that come from it. But once it gets better and better, you don't really need humans doing this text stuff, right. You can kind of let the data run its own text based conversation on what your thoughts are on that, Like, at what point does the str that's spending other time using these tools to program those you know, to guess like, hey, should this be comedic versus long form versus just letting the bod to itself? You know, I don't know what your thoughts are on that, but it's getting there. It's getting closer to that, Yeah, it is. It seems like the kind of thing where it's like it's people, more people use, it gets better and better, and so I believe that it's going to increase exponentially, and even right now, like it still cuts out a ton of time, um because like for me, like with the agoge sequence, it's like, um, the bottleneck. The reason that it took time was that you kind of needed to do that that manual research in the beginning and if you can cut that down to a fraction of what it was, it increases capacity for the STR to do other things pretty significantly while still kind of have those emails there that you can reference some calls and things like that. And so I think, I think like, as this improves, I think it could be a pretty big step improvement. Um but um, but I see it. I also see it of course, Like the idea is like, oh, well, if you can do things five times as well, is that going to mean that, um, there are going to be five times fewer STRs And it kind of reminds me or like are they going to lose their job? And like the first thing is like by the time that happens, like you're probably gonna be in an like don't worry about that even if it did. But the second thing is like you could make you could have made like a similar argument about Outreach, like Outreach automated a lot of things that were manual before. Like someone can do multiple times more activity than they could have without a sales engagement platform. And what when outreach discovered that? What happened did they just like have one STR? No, they had like three SDRs per a E Because like they could produce so much pipeline per rep they wanted to hire more. It's easy to us to find budget for things that are producing more. And so if AI become something where it's like someone can do twice as much stuff, it's twice as easy to justify budget for that person. And so um yeah, it's I mean, time will tell how it all evolves, but I'm optimistic about it. I think anything that increases productivity for pipeline generation is going to be uh, it's gonna be a good thing. Well, I think that the you bring up a good point. You know, a lot of the manual, tedious uh effort and work goes in in this role. As that becomes more automated, it's going to open up opportunities to do the most important piece, which is to actually have one to one conversations with the people you're doing all this for in the first place. Right, So, does that mean that you have less people or um doesn't mean that that you just have different skill sets necessary to actually be successful, you know, leveraging that automation in the technology, and I think that's a it's an interesting conversation. I mean, I don't know if you have any insights around what you think the future of scaling out about...

...looks like, um, yeah, I mean I think less time spent on like writing manual emails is a good thing. Like a lot of figuring out pipeline is like figuring out, Okay, who is kind of the right person? What's the context? Has there been lost opportunities? Like how does all of this work? If you can spend more of your time doing that kind of work, it's like a more enjoyable job, and you can just be so much more productive, Like trying to come up with like dumb stuff for the first part of your emails is not really my favorite part of the job anyway. Um and so, and it's not. I think there are other skills that you can put more time into that are more practical and more enjoyable and more strategic. And so I don't I'm not worried about it. Well, I wanted to transition into something that you do quite well with. Your audience is pulling, and you ask some really interesting questions and then in some cases it's resulted in some pretty interest seen results. And I'm curious, you know, based on those results, you know, does it surprise you or was it aligned and maybe you know some other parts of the discussion that we can take it with. But one of the polls that you did centered around str is rating their hiring and onboarding when they started, uh, and only about rated it five out of five. And and maybe this is like a you know, no one does the five out of five on a consumer of view anymore. You got to find some nuance. So maybe that's the case. But uh, why do you think that is the case? Well, I think that um again is first of all, this is a really hard onboarding situation because you're taking people with zero experience and plugging them into the hardest part of the sales cycle. And so even if you were like the best onboarding person in the world, it's going to be really hard to nail that. So I don't like fault anyone who doesn't have like a great onboard experience, because that's a pretty hard challenge. No one else has a harder onboarding challenge than uh, the str function. So that's the first thing. The second thing is like SDR managers don't have time. They have like multiple full time jobs that they've got to get done, and uh, there are a lot of urgent things and so like onboarding everyone knows is like an important thing to do, but you've got some urgent things that often take priority. Like onboarding that's something where if you improve it, it pays off big time, like three to six months down the road. But a lot of time managers, you know, they're just kind of focused on what's gonna pa in the next three to six weeks um or they're not gonna be around of three to six months maybe right, So it's like, um, there's just like not really a lot of managers I think don't have the bandwidth to kind of nail on boarding, and so it is I think it is like a pretty big gap because it's, first of all, it's really hard to do for the specific situation, and second of all, the managers just don't have time to do it, and so it kind of creates this awful situation where onboarding kind of hasn't been figured out yet. So people come in, they get bad habits, they go into the str team, and then the manager gotta fix those bad habits. So there are now ten times harder to solve and take more time, and they have less time to do on boarding, and so it kind of it's just like it's kind of a gap in the kind of a gap in the system. In my opinion, there's just like not a good system for onboarding SDRs. Well, and it's hard. You know, you already hit it on this a little bit. But in today's sales environment, whether you're sales leader, str leader, a lot of times you're you're actually in a hybrid role where you're carrying it back too. And so you've got your own you got your own quota, uh and and you've got a team you gotta manage, and now you gotta on board some folks and um, you know what takes president. You know, you've got you've got your quota, you know, and then you got your team, and then you got this new person. You know, you gotta you gotta look at what's gonna get you to your number as fast as possible, and it becomes a big challenge. Do you have any advice for folks that are sitting in that role. I mean, you you hinted on a couple of these things, like you got you know, to work in today. You're gonna have the...

...results tomorrow, but you might not be around. So anything that you would your your approach as you see this process. Yeah, the problem really is capacity. It's really hard for these managers even if they understand that and they really want to do it. Um they have again they have like this insane job, and it's just really hard to kind of have the time to get that all set up right and constantly onboard people. So the way that we solved it at Outreach was we had a team specifically for onboarding. So I spent a year where I was a normal manager with a normal quota, except that every single person in the first ninety days where on my team. And my job was, Okay, we need to get people from zero experience to the skills. They need to be a top performer in those first ninety days, and that's all I focus on. And since like that previously hasn't been focused on as much. Like the results are pretty extreme, like in the prediction in the first ninety days doubled and um, and so like that's like a it was a pretty quick when and I mean we continue to do that for like five years. Like eventually I moved on and UM to my other things, but we would replace it. It just worked really well because someone could focus on onboarding make sure they don't get the bad habits, and then the other managers can increase capacity too because they don't have to worry about onboarding. They don't have like these two separate jobs. You need to focus on um and so that that was our solution to it, and I've worked with some other pretty much everyone who does that gets similar results because it's like, Okay, on boarding was previously ignored. Now someone's going all in on that. Now that we're going from ignored to all in on what might be one of the most important parts of making your team good in the long term. Like I think it results fast and like doubles and so um, so that's really good. The problem is you need to be a big enough company where you're constantly bringing people in to justify having a manager specifically for them. So that's like the one Like the egogy is like this really cool management structure that works pretty much any time I've worked with someone on implementing it. The problem is it's only a fit for a small number of companies because you have to be constantly bring in enough SDRs to justify that that that headcame, Yeah, that makes total sense. But this is just constraint analysis, right, like you're focusing on that big problem. So if you're in this hyper growth mode onboarding being ignored, you're gonna have massive, uh increase in efficiency across the board, not just production, but i'd imagine churn, right, promotions, all that stuff. Right, Um that I think the latest which is about the same data every year, but the latest str metrics report from the Bridge Group shows that you have to hire two to keep one. Like that's the average, and it takes like, uh, I think fifteen months on average to get someone fully productive. And yet uh everyone wants to get promoted in twelve months, and so like the math is just so backwards it just doesn't make sense, which is going back to your other point around, well, if you could find a system and a process and tool set that eliminated some of the challenges of getting people productive, Um, well, the problem isn't going to be trying to hire more. It's probably gonna be hired more, right, And now all of a sudden you've got this full time role. But it's so backwards, right because we think, well, hiring people doesn't work, so we ignore it, and now you've got this math that doesn't work. But if you did what you guys did, which is incredible. You have a dedicated team with a quota and you know you're you're actually responsible for going from A, you know, A to B in ninety days. It makes a lot of sense. Um, So that that's really really interesting. Another another poole that you came out that I think was pretty interesting. Um, and it's like a talk point here was that promotion path. Right, So getting back to onboarding and UM, the importance of that you had asked when an STR is promoted to A versus if you hire an outside performer generally who performs better. Right, and the results are pretty surprising to you.

Um, doesn't surprise me too much from my background. But you said over responded that the person being promoted within even with less experience most of the time, like a junior STR being promoted a eight percent of time outperformer outsider. Yeah, Well for me, it actually wasn't surprising at all to me. That's what we saw an outage. Like if you're a top performing SDR and you becoming a pretty much they're going to be kind of an above average performing A like the top performing yester area is a pretty I don't know if there's any indicator better than that for being a high performer as an A even before they even gave them a training, Like they're just like whatever intangibles go into becoming a top performing outbound SDR, those type of people that can do that tend to be able to do the job of the a E pretty well. So that was another thing that was interesting, Like even before they had training, they were doing this, Um, it's just like it's just like A being a top performing at Moundster Are is a very very good signal for kind of future success in in sales. So it was interesting. It was surprising that it was so lopsided, Like this was like one of the most lopsided polls that I'd ever seen. Like I'm just saying, like, what do you observe at your company? Who performs better these STRs they get promoted into the A position, or people who come in from the outside. People who come in from the outside usually have way more experience, and then someone who's an SDR who's probably a new grad. Right, But almost everyone said the people who get promoted from STR to A become more successful. And I think there are probably a couple of parts of that. Number one is is like, if someone is being promoted in their own company, they have some context before they get into it. The other thing is people who get promoted at their own company, they're usually the the higher performing SDRs, and so you're kind of us That's another signal that's correlated with that um but pretty interesting how much being a top performing SDR can trump experience. Well, I think another thing that is super important there is pipeline cures all. And so if you're an outsider coming into an organization as an a e UM and you're not getting after it, like producing your own opportunities out the gate, you're kind of relying on the SDRs your pipeline versus someone who's promoted you're eager to get there and get to your first deal. You're certainly continuing to produce your own opportunities. You know, whose skill set out the door? You know, pipe here's all right, Pipe is life. So I think that's a big factor is is that a lot of these folks that come from the outside, they're taking an a position because they think they don't have to prospect anymore. And um, you know, news flash, you know, uh, you know, you you started this whole thing around it doesn't matter how great your product is, your reputation. UM, if you're not able to get in front of people and start new business conversations, you're you're not going to have a lot of success. And that's why this role is so exciting. UM. And it's clear that UM, you know, people who understand it, they have this rapid acceleration through their careers versus those who maybe kind of see it as a stepping stone and they lose out on those skill sets as they as they move from another company where they didn't want to do it to one where they you know, I believe that they can come in and just be a closer quote unquote, which who knows what that means? Uh? I think a uh On that note you there's another point you did. There's lots of really good data in here. I think it's really really fascinating you do these things. But UM, it was a lot of SDRs was about see career. They see the career position progression going from STR to A. There's a couple of different career paths you can go from. Right. STR is a great intry point in the tech companies, whether it's sales or customer success or STR leadership, but STR too as the number one path. Do you have any advice for UM sales leaders? UM well to two levels here LS...

...leaders to help with that facilitation, like how do you get them to be you're new to top performer UM? And then on the second fight, how about the sales rep? If I'm a rep? What can I do to really make that progression? Just hear your thoughts on that. I mean it, how well someone performs as an outbound STR is a really good indicator of how good they're going to be as an A. Like a lot of times STRs and feel like, hey, I want to be prepared for an A E, So I'm going to shoehorn some kind of discovery call tactics into cold calls where they don't necessarily fit, because that's gonna make me a better A. Just like no, being relentlessly realistic about what works and what doesn't and going all in on what works his tends to correlate with success as any from what I've seen, So UM, I would say, like, stay focused on your job, focused on doing really really well UM. At least, I mean that was easy advice to give it outreach because STRs who are top performing who were top performers were always successful as a So it's just like, do really well that you will be fine like every single other person who has done that well, um, even before training, and so, um, stay really good at that job. I think what we talked about before, like being really good at outbound pipeline generation just gives you so many advantages and those skills atrophy fast. And I think that's what you brought up was a really important point. Like people who have come to another company where they haven't had to come from a company where they haven't had to produce their own pipeline compared to you, who has been living and breathing that and can do that and is willing to do that, You're just going to have a huge advantage for that by itself. And so, um, don't get just don't get distracted. I think it's a little different than other people, but um, yeah, I don't. I think one thing to not do is try to shoehorn a discovery call strategies in places they don't fit. Um. And I see that it's very popular advice on LinkedIn, but it's just not good advice. Like the cold the format of a cold call is so different than a discovery call that someone voluntarily shows up four in thirty minutes, like shoehorning stuff for that type of call into a cold call is just gonna coal you get hung up on, like like the leads you passed over might be great, but that's because those must be like the easiest people in the world set meetings with UM, but and you're missing out on everything else, and so UM I would say, kind of stay stay focused on getting really good at pipeline gin it's a good luck harm. Yeah, well, we could probably go for another hour with that topic because it comes up so often. Uh, people's misunderstanding of how a conversation progresses through I don't know you too, I'm willing to share some information. Well, and how different that and how different that is than a discovery call, Like it's like when I'm looking through LinkedIn, it's like, do you realize that? Like someone accidentally picking up the phone and taking them from that to agreeing to a meeting is like a really delicate art. Okay, Like when someone voluntarily shows up for a discovery call for thirty minutes, you have thirty minutes to talk through their pain and stuff with them. That's a different situation. These are black and white different and don't complate the two, um And it seems like everyone's conflating the two. And I think it's actually the root of a lot of problems on the outbound teams is because like you want to believe that the discovery call stuff fits into a cold call. You want to believe that, like the VP of sales will spill out their guts to this random str who calls them, and that's the kind of conversation you're having, Like you wish that that was the case, but that's not realistic, Like that's gonna work great in role plays. In reality, it just doesn't work. And I think that's a major problem for sure. And then understanding, well not not to mention the differences between an outbound cold call meetings set first conversation which isn't really discovery, it's introduction versus a an actual discovery call. So that's another big problem where a ease who are not going back to someone being promoted and why they're probably success as...

...well. If I'm an a e getting an outbound meeting scheduled for me, the type of conversation I'm gonna have with you based on a cold call meeting set versus you know, even a call that I made myself, or UH an inbound lead very different, very very different, yet they're being treated very similar. And so I think that's another massive problem with the successive outbound. And there's lots of stuff you read online about UM well outbounds not working or UM show rates as an issue, things like that, where if you really double clicked into what's going on, a big part of it is not only are they requiring more than is necessary to get an intro call set up, but they don't know how to run that intro call properly. I don't know what your thoughts are on that. I'm sure you've probably seen some of that although you're the one setting up the onboarding. But as you've moved out outside of outreach and seeing a lot more teams, uh, what are you seeing in the in the wild? I really, I really think the kind of not clearly to thinking about outbound cold calls using the exact same strategies used for a discovery call for those is really the root of a lot of problems because it sounds that sounds good to your ear, like if you don't have experience it's like, no, we want to be talking about pain and like solving problems and building a relationship with these people. It's like, I mean, I hate to be the guy that says not it's not actually like that, and no one wants to do that, right, those those don't go viral. People don't like to agree with it. You sound like you're kind of a jerk, right, um or you don't sound as as virtuous as people who say that. But it's like, like, these are different things. Like a cold outbound call has completely different strategies than a discovery call, and everyone's conflating them and it's uh it causes a huge amount of problems because I know, like I'm advising companies, this is a huge underlying problem is people really want to believe that discovery calls and cold calls are the same, and they're not. And it's really hard to help people understand that because it's not intuitive, it's not what people want to believe. It's not what you see going viral on LinkedIn, but it's reality. And uh, yeah, there's a problem. Oh oh, I know, I live and breathe it because I'm that one that does sound maybe like a Dirk sometimes because I pushed that all day long. Um, I know, yeah. But it's the thing is, it's like it's like it's funny kind of irony where it's like the people that are willing to just like say things tactical and things that are actually realistic, Like you don't come off it's good, but it's like, who's the person who's really if you really care about STRs, you'll give them kind of reality and you prioritize that over kind of sounding virtuous on LinkedIn or getting extra virality, and so it's like this ironic thing where um, yeah, it's just it's the way it is. I mean, I have conversations about this often, and I mean there's some frameworks I've introduced for cool calls through the content we do here, and there's some people that like they think that it that will never work. This is the worst advice I've ever seen. It's like, have you tried? Have you actually tried some of the things I'm talking about now, Because for me, I cold call every single day still to this day, right, I make co calls every single day. I do it live showing some of that stuff down now, but I do it every single day. So what I'm sharing is real, practical in the trenches stuff that's going on right now versus what you typically see is, um, you know, stuff that maybe worth ten years ago. But if you've had a real conversation with somebody, you're spot on that this is probably one of the biggest problems. And this actually transitions a little bit into the relationship between STRs and a es. Um. You know, how does an STRNA work together? And um, you know a lot of times the a ES...

...almost treat like str is almost like assistance right there, trying to do the like this work versus like understanding how we're taking a conversation from I don't really know you into we're introducing our company into hopefully you're a future customer, right, and this is like this this journey that we're going on. Um, But that relationship between the str and the a is so important. UM and uh in some cases their assistants, sometimes their mentors, you know, other times their teams. But how do you see the relationship between SDR and a E playing out where where teams are successful versus maybe where there's some conflict. Yeah, well, so I got to experience a couple of different versions of this when I was an STR. So one was I worked one on one with an A for a few months, which was a really good experience. Like I learned a lot from that guy, and we're still friends, like we still text each other, um. And that was like it was like a really cool way to do things. UM. But eventually, like from an operational standpoint, if you're hiring tons of STRs and there's churn and stuff like that, like comparing people one to one is just it's very hard to it's very hard to scale that, and it creates a lot of problems. And so while I really like the experience, it's just it's it's hard to do that with fast growth companies and keep it organized. Um. And so what's happening more and more is that it's pulled where an STR will work with multiple different a s and so there's not really that one to one relationship anymore. But it's just kind of a necessity operationally um. And so yeah, the downside of that is there's there's kind of less room for collaboration in that situation. It's more like being organized with your notes so they can see an outreach and both people are kind of on the same page in that way. UM, but you don't really have time for like long sit down conversations. That makes a less and less that's the more ease you're working for. Yeah. Well, and then that's where, UM, I don't know what your thoughts are. Going back to some of the tech stacks stuff why call recording software and um, some of the innovations around that with transcriptions and keywords and things like that is so helpful. UM because notes, I mean, some SDRs are really good at taking notes. Others, like myself, it's like bullets. Uh, when I'm when I'm making calls, like it makes sense to me, but someone else probably doesn't understand. It's like what do you mean you would get that? You know? And so there's this nice blend between like how do I take a really good conversation and pass it off? Um? And when you're talking about like a pooled environment, um, you know, a es tend to like to do things their own way, and so some are okay with less information, um, some are not. Some will listen to car recordings, some won't, and so UM, the call recording software, coaching software, some of the things that I think are really valuable are the ones that provide the transcriptions with the keywords, because now you can almost get you know, all of that in one place. I don't know what your thoughts are. And the impact that has had is that something that is actually inside aboutreach? Now? I know there was like some some some of those features getting built out. Are are you relying more on I know you're not outreach anymore, but just do the sequenceers more rely on like the gongs and the courses of the world for the integration. Yeah, I mean I reach, can I reach records calls and it does the transcriptions and stuff and so it's doing the transcription as well inside Yeah yeah, and then they'll like take out action items and things like that. So but yeah, that's a game changer. Like, um yeah, I think that's also really important for what we were talking about before, where like, um, kind of conflating discovery calls into cold calls sounds really good on the surface. It works great for role plays, right, um, but like it just doesn't work in reality, and so if you haven't recorded, it's much easier to coach kind of based on reality. So, um, yeah, I think it's a game changer. I can't um calls have always been recorded for the...

...eight es kind of since I started as sir and I can't imagine what the world was like before that and how you adjudicate those things. Um and Yeah, I think having calls recorded it's just like an a necessary thing for STRs these days, otherwise you're gonna get into the unrealistic advice problem. Yeah. I think it solves a lot of the debate around you know, qualification and things like that, and you know it should we be qualifying or should the list be the strategy? Things like that. But we're running up on time. I didn't realize we're coming up so hot. It's so easy to talk with you. Sam had two things that I want to leave with. The first is if people want to reach out to you, connect with you, when are you open to that? And if so, where can they reach you to connect and learn more from what you're up to these days? Yeah, Sam Nelson Content dot com. All my stuff is on there easy and if you're an str leader stair leader dot com, I should check that out. Last question, I want to leave it this which be an open pool and I've never done this before, but I think it'd be fun to see if people actually do it. If you're listening to this episode, we just got to the end. Let's do it. Would you rather right? Would you rather right? And so comment? Or you know wherever you're gonna be tuning in on this that will be posted and shared places. But would you rather would you rather as an SDR um would you be? You know, if you have a if you're an str getting taught for the first time, would you rather be taught by a high performer but a bad teacher or a low performer who's a great teacher? So this is a would you rather than Sam? You can go first, high performer, bad teacher or low performer great teacher. Well, I did a poll on this and apparently I have the I have the minority opinion by a lot. So this, I think is an important truth that most people don't believe. This would follow in this category, I would rather have a high performer who is a bad teacher. If you want to be a high performing SDR, you need to be able to learn from people who are extremely effective, who aren't necessarily going to be able to hold your hand and teach you really well. If you want to be in the top ten, that's your only option. You've got to be good at learning from effective people and not be reliant on them being good teachers. Okay, Like that's just a skill you've got to learn. Someone who is a low performer and a great teacher I think is awesome in most contexts in this world. Like if you are in school where you're being taught math, where facts are very clear, and someone is very good at explaining that to you, I think that's great. You don't need someone who is necessarily effective if they're a great teacher. When you get into the territory where people are teaching their own opinions, Okay, someone who is a mediocre performer but great at teaching the opinions that made the mediocre is not a valuable mentor for you. It can be worse than a low performer who's a bad teacher, because they might be just very good at explaining things that don't work. And we have to be really careful with that because, um, a lot of the people, if you, if you define credibility from a sales kind of teacher by how many likes they get on LinkedIn, they're getting likes from primarily people who aren't high performers. Okay, so you need to be very careful not to put too much stock in people who get a lot of likes from UM, from mediocre, low performers or non salespeople, UM, it can steer you in the wrong direction, particularly if they're really good at teaching those things that that aren't effective. I love it. I'll give you my answer. I'm on the same boat. High performer, bad teacher. UH. In performance anything in performance, anything, I want to learn from the best. Right. I was a wrestler growing up. I'd rather get my you know, I'd rather get my ass handed to me from the top guy on the mat. Uh, even if he's not teaching me anything. I'm going to learn from his performance, not his teaching. Right. That's an example of sports kind of easy, but the same concept. Right, in performance, you want to learn from the best. I don't care how good you're at teaching. You have to become a good learner, right. You have to learn how to learn from different types of teachers. And I want to...

...learn the best. I don't want to learn some mediocre UH tactics and tips from someone who's good at teaching me those things. It doesn't really matter. So high performance UH and anything performance based is where I'd go as well, but I'd love to hear everyone else's thoughts. Comment wherever you're seeing this high performer bad teacher or a low performer great teacher, and we'll revisit this, Sam, I promise I get you out here on time. Thank you so much for this amazing conversation, and I'm looking forward to staying in touch. Man. That's great to see you again. Yeah for sure, right, Thanks so much. Cheers.

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