Mark Evans joins Collin Mitchell in this episode of the Sales Hustle Podcast. First, we get to hear Mark as he shares his story with us on how he got into the sales world. Then, finally, Mark talks with Collin about ramping new reps, sales playbook, and much more tactical stuff in this episode.
Mark Evans is the Founder and CEO of SalesKit. Your sales team's knowledge, templates, sales scripts, docs, and notes — all in one place. SalesKit is like a second brain for sales professionals.
Call it a sales tool, call it a second brain or an internal wiki for your whole team. Anyone who's ever tried SalesKit just calls it, "the most reliable brain in the office!" ONE tool for all your sales team's docs, sales playbooks, and processes. So you all can close more deals faster and celebrate more wins together — big and small.
Before SalesKit, the typical sales professional wasted 120 minutes a day trying to locate the content they already have.
Most fast-growing sales teams run into the same ol' problems. Slack notifications popping up like a drill beat. Co-workers interrupting and asking you where a certain file is. Your sales playbook, deal processes, email templates, sales docs... they're all lost in the chaos of Google Drive or Dropbox. SalesKit sorts all this for you (and your team) with a new, very reliable and simple to use tool.
To find out more about Mark Evans, connect with him on the links below.
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Episode 110 - Mark Evans
Welcome to the sales hustle. The only no BS podcast, where we bring you the real raw uncut experiences from sales change makers across various industries. The only place where you can get what you're looking for too. Uh, your sales game today's episode is brought to you by sales cast sales cast helps sales professionals transform the relationship building process and win their dream clients.
[00:00:30] I'm your host, Colin Mitchell. All right. What is happening? Sales hustlers. Welcome to another episode. I have Mark Evans today. He is the CEO and founder over at sales kit. Also wrote a book called raise your standards, and he has completed an iron man as well. So it's definitely a competitive guy. Uh, also a swimmer loves seeing his workouts and things like that.
[00:00:54] Full disclosure we actually recorded before and we had some issues. So we're here round two, and I think it's going to be even better than the first time. Uh, I've gotten to know mark quite a bit since the first time that we, uh, did this. Um, and so we're really excited to have him on today and get this out to you guys, mark.
[00:01:12] Welcome to sell, sell, sell. How are you doing? Colin. It's so good to be on the sales hustle. Thanks so much for having me, man. Great to see you. Yeah. Round two, but you only get credit for one, unfortunately, unless we screw this one up too, there's always that possibility. Uh, so before we dive into the topics, For today, which is one that we haven't really talked about much.
[00:01:33] So I'm pretty excited about ramping new reps and talking about what's working and what's not working. And obviously we're going to talk about sales, playbooks and stuff as well. Uh, just give us the short version of your sales story. Awesome. Love to a short version, grew up in an entrepreneurial family.
[00:01:50] Parents owned a small business in the community I was at. And like any small business, you put your kids, child labor into the business as well. Cause that's definitely going to help. Um, so yeah, so helping my dad sweep floors or do whatever. And as I got older helped with a little bit of sales. So I knew at a younger age that I really like sales really like talking to people like to kind of just the game of business.
[00:02:13] Um, So after college and school and everything like that, um, I got into, I was very fortunate, um, to work in a company that had just a really great mentor that I needed a mentor at that time he needed a mentee probably or something like that. And, um, man, I just got my sales education. It felt like I got my teeth kicked in all the time.
[00:02:34] It was in staffing and recruiting. Um, So, you know, one of the few businesses where your product or your solution can actually say no, can turn up drunk to a job and get fired. Can do, you know, just crazy stuff, like not show up to an interview. Um, and so yeah, it got kind of a, um, Uh, tempered in those fires of staffing and recruiting had a great mentor, um, then went on to a, more of a traditional corporate career and help build some sales teams, uh, pretty quickly one from about five reps to about 75 reps in I think, 14 or 16 months.
[00:03:08] And from that process, I started my own consulting agency, wrote a book about it and then started sales kit because I saw that sales teams, um, just were failing when it came to onboarding new reps. Right. And having all of their sales content in a thousand different places. And now more than ever, it is so competitive to recruit, to hire and to onboard sales reps that I felt, Hey, there's just gotta be a better way to do it.
[00:03:35] And that's what caused me to invent and create sales kit, um, which, uh, which happy, uh, is in its, um, eighth month of, um, of development and being a business now. Wow. It's still super fresh. Yeah. And you guys, I mean, I love the product. I use the product myself and, uh, definitely saves a lot of time. Sales kid is, is, is awesome.
[00:03:57] You know, I think it's so easy to forget to update the sales playbook or have this material for your reps. And they're asking you questions about things. And then before you can answer it, like. Oh, sorry, we don't do that anymore. Well, why is it still in there? Right. Um, but I have a quick question for you.
[00:04:14] Cause you know, I have three kids and I'm an entrepreneur as well. How, how young do you think I can get them started? Where people wouldn't judge me too much. Oh, I would say whatever you think is socially acceptable and then minus like five years. Cause who the hell else cares. Right? Your entrepreneur friends that actually matter their opinion when it comes to your business.
[00:04:32] They're not going to care. They're going to be doing the same thing. It's all the other people in corporations and stuff like that, that, you know, uh, they're going to look down on you, but who cares? You don't, you don't need to worry about their opinion. So I get six, five and two, I'd say they're ready. The two year olds have definitely said, um, yeah, six year old, you know, maybe in three years, nine, I've got a nine-year-old daughter.
[00:04:53] That's going on 10. Um, she likes doing mailing and she likes co-leading a different sort of stuff. Um, so that's a good job to get her started on. Yeah. When are you going to put her on the phones? That's how she would do. She would kill at it. She would kill. I should do. We should do that. I mean, you should have the playbook for it, right?
[00:05:11] Should the playbook for under 10 year olds making cold calls for your business? Probably do better than some people. I got a call the other day that I can guarantee my nine-year-old daughter would have done better than this individual. I felt so bad for him. Um, and sent him a bunch of links to individuals that we both know, um, that hopefully he can improve his, his skillset.
[00:05:34] Yeah, it's tough when you're in sales and then somebody cold call, cold calls you, and you're like, ah, you just, you feel really bad because you, you get it. Everybody starts somewhere and you almost want to give them some feedback. Yeah. Right. But you also don't want to reward the behavior. So they do get their teeth kicked in and realize, oh, that shit doesn't work.
[00:05:54] Yeah. I am a man on the moon. So with that. So it depends on what day you catch me on, I guess. Exactly. Exactly. Sometimes you just want to, for all the times I've been hung up on, you just want to, like, it's like, you're getting one back. Well, Colin, that's not how the world works by now. I hear ya. All right.
[00:06:14] So, I mean, you are working with people that are ramping new reps, building out playbooks, leveling up their playbooks. Um, you know, what are some, some big things that you're saying as far as like, you know, where, where companies are struggling with ramping new. Sales reps. Yeah. Well, let's start just like, even a stage before that.
[00:06:37] And just recruiting reps right now is really difficult. Right? I don't need to tell you this or maybe your audience this, but right now, I don't think there's been a better time to be in SAS sales to be in sales. General. Um, I mean, there is so much opportunity out there. So it's a real tooth and nail type of fight for sales talent.
[00:06:57] I was talking to some other individuals that are in, um, the recruiting and staffing and they primarily work with trying to find a sales. Individuals for companies. And traditionally this has always been like a recruiter is just, we'll jump on any sort of opportunity traditionally, right? Like they're just after that business, they want to make that placement.
[00:07:16] And this individual said, Hey, they're now starting to turn away work. And so turning away companies that are new that are saying, Hey, can you recruit for our positions? Because there's just not that many people in the market. So you've got a decreased supply chain of candidates coming in. So now the problem comes is that we're still looking at a lot of companies are still trying to onboard their sales hires as if they receded right next to them as if they're going to be back in the office and all of that awesome Moses that a lot of companies traditionally rely on for them to conduct their training.
[00:07:50] Right. Right. Like to pop up the cubicle and be like, Collin, what did you just say right there? That was really good. That's not happening anymore in organizations. So the ones that are really thriving, heavy systematized process for how they're bringing in their new reps, how they're training them from day one in a remote sense and how they're progressing them through their actual sales.
[00:08:12] Um, So onboarding process so that they can be, um, a full fledged productive rep. Yeah. Yeah, no, I mean, it's very expensive to recruit good talent, um, and to ramp them and onboard them. And, you know, I think you hit the nail on the head. Companies are struggling to figure out like, how do we do that successfully, efficiently, um, and make good choices, uh, in, in an environment today that's, you know, is not what it was.
[00:08:40] You know, over a year ago. Um, but also if you look at it from a bit of a different lens as well, is. Reps are pretty, a little bit more selective of companies that they're actually willing to take a job for. Right. Because they want to know what sort of training program you have, what sort of, you know, process do you have to, you know, sort of put them on the track of success.
[00:09:05] Um, you know, people are not willing to just take a job and a paycheck, especially in sales. Maybe some, maybe some are, but. Um, there's a lot more reps that are being selective about the organizations that they're joining and are almost in most, most cases from, from the reps that I talked to are willing to, you know, earn less for, you know, more opportunity, more support, um, and, and, you know, more potential for growth.
[00:09:31] Yeah. And I think there's a HubSpot study that just came out recently that said 49% of high performing sales reps indicate that whether or not a company has a training process has an onboarding program is one of their top like three factors when it comes to choosing a new company. So not only, you know, quality of company compensation, but also right.
[00:09:51] What's the. Port mechanism, the support system. Now you mentioned before, right? The ones that don't care and what kind of take a job anywhere? Well, that's probably not the reps that you want. Right? Like if they're just really did take Willy nilly, anything Jetstar, that's not the person that's going to help you grow your business.
[00:10:06] So I think it's crucial not just to look at your onboarding and your sales training process as what happens from there. Day one with your reps, but also how can you use that in your recruiting strategy and your retaining strategy? One of the things that I think is getting a lot more popular now, and we're seeing even smaller and medium size organizations adapt the certification process, right?
[00:10:28] Where, Hey, if I go through the training of sales house, if I go through the sales hustle, uh, training, right, I can. Earn my way I can earn different badges or I can kind of game-ify this process. And that's a really powerful way in which reps can make progress, feel like they're making meaningful progress inside of their career.
[00:10:45] That doesn't necessarily have to mean that, you know, the only way to succeed here is to get a management position. So there's different tricks like that, that you can use, um, to really accelerate the career of someone and to keep them engaged, to keep them retained as well. Yeah, no, I love that. And so, you know, in, in for, for earlier stage companies or startups, or, you know, smaller organizations, the, the key takeaway there is like, you know, get your shit in order before you start, go out to hire people because, you know, that's what the.
[00:11:16] You know, people in the job hunt mode are looking for. And so if, if you want to, if you don't want to be deselected by the candidate, you gotta make sure you have those things that they're looking for. One to even be able to attract the talent and to, to be properly prepared, to ramp them up, you know, should they decide to join your organization?
[00:11:36] Yeah. And isn't that what you want to do, right. As a founder, as an entrepreneur, as a sales leader, I think it was DePaul university said that at the cost organizations, basically like a hundred thousand dollars to replace a sales rep. Right. So if you're spending all this time, Effort energy and money, right.
[00:11:54] In bringing an individual on almost six figures worth of money. It takes almost 11. Uh, I think that same study mentioned that it takes almost 11 months for a rep to become fully productive racing all that time and energy. You can't just start building out your training and onboarding schedule. The day before your rep is supposed to start, right?
[00:12:11] If it's Sunday night and your rep starts 8:00 AM Monday morning, and you just thought like, well become in and they'll shadow me the last Moses with me. Right. It'll just rub off. You're screwed. Like you are totally screwed. And the worst part is, is you're screwing over that new candidate that either quit a job to take your opportunity, or has like a spouse or a family that's putting their eggs in your basket.
[00:12:31] It's honestly, it's pretty disrespectful. Um, and when I see cases of that, I just feel like, Hey, there's. There that business is built on a foundation of sand. Um, and that just is not going to prove well for them. Long-term yeah. Yeah. Big red flag. They say, well it's, what is the, what is the support and training look like?
[00:12:50] Well, it's, it's hands-on. Yeah. And we're like, you, don't my first training experience. And this is really like a, and I did talk about this in the intro, but one of my first experiences I was fresh faced. Do you know, pimply kid coming out of college? Um, I just engaged. I just asked my wife to marry me like three days before graduated college, like five days before show up to my first job.
[00:13:13] Got my briefcase. Right. Got my cup of coffee. Um, and like, I'm ready to take on the world. Here we go. And yeah. Basically, the guy sits me down and he's like, right. So there's the phone. Um, there's small business cards in there and I'm like, here's a catalog of what we do. So you need to make a hundred phone calls and I'll see you later.
[00:13:31] And it was like, what the hell is going on here? Um, and I, yeah, I left. You know, two months later, I just kinda like walked out basically like, Hey, I'm leaving, not coming back. Right. Um, yeah. I mean, you didn't know to be fair. You didn't know what questions to ask. You just assumed like, Hey, I'm going to come there and you know, everything's going to be great.
[00:13:49] Cause I have a job. Yeah. I wouldn't let me talk to customers. Like I felt like there's no way that this individual is serious. Like why would he want, I know. Nothing about the product or the industry. Um, but that's just kind of that old school mentality of like, oh, well, we'll figure it out. Um, and Hey, there is maybe a time and a place for that.
[00:14:08] Sure, fine. But now when you have the complexities of sales today, when you have the competitive nature of what it takes to get a candidate, that's just, isn't going to fly nor is that what you want it to happen. So I think the future of sales onboarding the future of sales training is one that. Really looks at it from a candidate, from an employee perspective to say, all right, what are all the tools that you need right.
[00:14:30] In order to be successful. Um, and what are the top things that reps are doing right now in our current company? And then how can we distribute that right. In so many organizations, there's the silos are there. There's what we call like tribal knowledge. And everybody gets really excited about that. Well, we've got all this, we've got all this tribal knowledge.
[00:14:47] Well, really what that means is that you're not good at distributing. What's working the best amongst your reps. Um, and I think that's a real disservice for a lot of organizations and the smart companies that really are on a path to scaling, grow their teams. They'll find a way to systematize everything down from them sales messaging.
[00:15:05] That's working really well to the elevator pitch, to the, even the origin story of how this company was founded and the companies that take that process of being very systematized. Well, they're going to win nine times out of 10 and they're going to beat the pants off of that competent competitor all day.
[00:15:20] That just says like, well, you guys figure it out. Good luck. We're here to support you. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, my experience was not much different than yours. It was here's the script. Uh, here's a list of names and there's the phone and don't use the CRM. Cause it doesn't work that way. thanks, coach. Yeah. I at least got a script.
[00:15:47] That's pretty nice. That's looking at you as garbage. That's really good stuff. Yeah. The script was garbage. Uh, it was very commissioned breadth, me centric, uh, transactionally, treating people very transactionally. You know, he was, it was boiler room, like, uh, here's the intro, uh, you know, some, I forget what they called it, but something to warm them up.
[00:16:11] Um, and then it was throw out an offer. They don't buy, throw out another offer. They don't buy, change the, change, the subject, and then throw out one more offer. And if they don't buy, then you better get a commitment for a future order. Wow. And that is how Mr. Colin got his start in sales. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Um, but, but let's go back to some of the important things that you know that you dropped here.
[00:16:38] So, uh, I think what's interesting is, is, is you're talking about. You know, having these, uh, this place, these playbooks, you know, where they can share knowledge. Right. Um, and, and, and, you know, tribal knowledge is, is not going to work like even giving the ability to give your reps the autonomy, to be creative and report back, or create a play, or create something that they could share with the team, especially like now in a remote environment where you can't just look over and say, Hey, you know, Been using this and it's working, right.
[00:17:12] Like having a place where everybody can access that, um, sharing knowledge with each other, whether they're in office, not in office. I mean, most companies are adopting this, you know, work from anywhere, you know, um, environment now where they're able to get talent in, you know, pulls that they never. You know, but imagine looking in, uh, but how do they support those reps properly to be able to give them the tools and the access and the knowledge where everybody can share amongst each other to, you know, what's working, what's not working because what works today might not work in six months, you know, uh, messaging evolves, you know, things change and, you know, w most places where are most companies keeping this, if they don't have something like sales kit, Yeah.
[00:17:55] So where a lot of organizations are starting with, and if you're a smaller organization, if you've got, you know, maybe just it's, uh, if you're the founder and you're also doing sales, or if you're the entrepreneur and hostages and sales, and maybe you get another sales person or maybe two, you know, Google docs works fine.
[00:18:10] Right or do thrown it all in PDF. Just start with something, right. Start putting it in at least one knowledge resource that you can share that you can spread throughout your team. But what I've found Collin is that once teams start getting over that three mark, that seems to be kind of the magic number.
[00:18:24] Then things start getting pretty cluttered, right? Things start getting. Duplicated, you know, you've got one of your employees that is saving as, uh, the file on their own computer. So if it ever gets updated, it doesn't get updated to their platform, right. Or to their, uh, to their scripts, into their doc that they're using once then.
[00:18:40] Yeah. Then you should be looking at a platform like sales kit, like the one we have now, if you're an enterprise level organization, if you've got, you know, 200, 300, 500 reps or so there's some great, great tools out there that are non LMS based. Right. So learning management system, Management systems base.
[00:18:57] I don't think worked very well, especially to access the knowledge that teams need in flight. Right? As a sales person, I don't need to go through a class once, forget all that knowledge and then have to try to recall it like nine months later when I'm in the phone or if I'm in the situation. But there's some other great solutions that will allow you to access that knowledge actually in flight when you need it, the most.
[00:19:19] Mm. Mm. Yeah. And, and, and the reason that the LMS system is, is horrible is because like you have a predetermined path of what you need to do from step a, to step B to get to see, and you might just need C right now to get some answers. You may not need what's in a and B to get what you're looking for in C.
[00:19:39] Um, and, and that's why I'm, I'm, I'm very against using an LMS for having your sales playbooks. Now, you know, if it's some sort of formalized training, but. They need a living, breathing place where they can go and get what they need in the moment without them having to ask for help or, you know, tap on a manager or, or they should be able to, you know, on their own, have the autonomy to get the answers that they're looking for to, you know, be able to do their role.
[00:20:06] Yeah. Yeah. I think with an LMS system, especially as it relates to sales, we'll do just enough studying and paying attention, especially in sales to pass the LMS and then like, whoop goodbye, like see you later. And that's why 90% of all sales training. It's ineffective after I think it's like 30 or 45 days or so.
[00:20:27] Right. So all these companies are investing heavily into LMS and into training, but there's no sort of like, well, how do I access that again? And then there's this real interesting convergence, right? Where most people need to hear something or they need to experience or be exposed to something a minimum of four times before it sticks.
[00:20:47] Now. I think for sales reps, like if you're talking about my commission, well, I probably only need to hear that like once, maybe twice and I'm going to remember it, but if you're telling me callin like, well, here's how we log something in our CRM. And here's how we update a deal. Like, I'm not going to remember that.
[00:21:01] I'm going to forget that. And I'm going to need to like ask you 10 times now what happens right. In that situation, if I'm a new employee and I'm going to you as my manager, and I say, Colin, can you remind me of how we do this? Right. Right. Well, you'll accept it once. But then if I go back to you a couple of days later and saying like, Hey Colin, can you help me out here?
[00:21:18] Like, how does this work? Well, the second, the time you're going to get kind of perceived. Right. But then like the third time or the fourth time, right. Just to meet the minimum in which I'm going to remember something you're like, Yeah. Is this person a good fit? Like, I don't know if this person's slow or what, but they're taking up all my time and I'm answering questions that you should just know the answer to.
[00:21:37] So there's this real interesting dichotomy that shapes up in which, Hey, if you just put that in an area where your team can access it. Instead of saying, well, yes, mark, let me give you the answer. Well, then you should just go check the sales playbook, right. And that should be your managers go to respond.
[00:21:52] So you can free up your time and free up your knowledge and give you peace of mind to just dedicate your team to say, or direct your team to say, Hey. Go check the sales kit or go check the sales playbook or go check wherever we keep that knowledge. Yeah. Yeah, no, I love that example, but another, another example is they don't ask, right?
[00:22:11] Like I've already asked mark three times how to properly update next stages on a deal in the CRM. Uh, I really don't want to ask him again. It's probably going to piss him off. Yeah. So then he's got a 10, am I going to, what am I going to not do? I'm going to either not do it properly. Um, or not do it at all because I'm unsure, right.
[00:22:33] Or, or another sample because we don't have this properly documented is I go ask the other rep who also doesn't do it properly because there was never proper resources to do it properly. Right. So, um, and, and so those are, those are some things, different examples of what can happen, you know, if you don't have these things properly, and this is everything we're not talking about, just like, Hey, here's how you do a discovery call.
[00:22:56] Here's how you do a demo call. Here's. You know, we're talking from, you know, everything that you need in your role, how to use LinkedIn, how to, you know, video scripts, how to, um, update the CRM, you know, how to do it, run a discovery call, like every anything in everything that you could possibly ever have to do in your sales role should be accessible.
[00:23:17] Within a couple of clicks. If you're going to do it once, right. If you're going to do it, uh, if you're going to show them what a discovery call is, or if you're going to give them that advice right on how to update deals in your CRM just recorded, right? There's all these technologies where you can just screen record, or you can record, or you can type it down.
[00:23:33] And I guarantee, right. One of the big excuses that people will say, or they'll give me to say why they don't want to document as well. It just takes too much time. Right. But yet what they fail to see is that will. Every single time, you have to repeat that step over and over again, you're taking tens of hours, right?
[00:23:49] When, if you just wouldn't have invested an extra five minutes, you'd save tens of hours down the line. And that's really what we're getting at here is right. Is how can you make yourself more efficient, especially if you're listening to this. And if you're a founder led sales, which I know you and I both are right where we're actually not just founders of a company, but we're out there smiling and dialing and trying to close deals.
[00:24:08] And if you can involve. Those systems and those processes and those procedures, right. That's where you can really scale that's where instead of when a new hire sits down for their first day and you're like, God, what are we going to do here? Um, you already got it. You got the sales playbook, you can roll with it.
[00:24:23] Right. Um, and so I think that that's, what's really gonna separate companies, especially over 2021 and hopefully beyond. Yeah. And Hey, if you're somebody who's super busy and you think, you know, updating your sales playbook, uh, it takes too much time. Then you can get Butler. Tell him about Butler. I love Butler Butler.
[00:24:43] Yeah. So what we started seeing, especially with sales kit was those same types of responses. Right? Well, I hear, I just don't have time or I don't want to have to learn a new system. So, what we have really started to focus on at sales kit is that people don't necessarily want a sales playbook. What they want is the ability to have a organized sales process, right.
[00:25:02] In which they can access at any time and they want it done for them. So what we've developed as the technology and the manpower on the backend, where if you have a play, if you want to document something, anything as part of your sales process, all you have to do is send the Butler an email, and then our team there will actually create that sales play for you.
[00:25:20] We'll put it in your sales kit and we'll let you know when it's ready. So it's a really done for you solution that helps the process of taking that sales knowledge. That's traditionally trapped in either your top reps, brain or your brain is a founder and allows you to systematize that, get that out of your brain and put that in a place where your sales team can actually use it and sell with it.
[00:25:40] Yeah, love it. All right, mark. Uh, before we wrap it up here, any, any final thoughts, where can they learn more about sales kit or anything else you want to let folks know best way to do that? Is that good sales kit.com. I can also be found on LinkedIn as well, but really good sales get.com. That's where you're going to see, um, examples of different sales playbooks.
[00:25:59] We've got some really exciting things coming up where we're partnering with different individuals. Um, To put their sales stats, right. To show what their top plays are, um, inside of sales kits. So if you don't have, you know, prospecting messages, if you don't have your top emails, if you want access to that, if you want to know what's working for teams today, we've got a great program that we'll be rolling out here shortly in which you'll be able to access that.
[00:26:22] Awesome. Thanks so much, mark. And if you enjoyed today's episode, please write us a review, share south sales hustle with your friends and as always we're listening for your feedback. Thank you for tuning in to this episode of sales hustle. Are you a sales professional looking to take your sales career to the next level?
[00:26:40] If the answer is yes, then I want you to go over to sales cast.com, check us out. And if you feel that you are ready, set up a time to talk with me and my co-founder Chris, I'm your host, Colin Mitchell. And if you enjoyed this episode, feel free to leave us a review. And share the podcast with your friends.