Collin Mitchell welcomes Kristie Jones in this episode of the Sales Hustle Podcasts. Let’s hear from Kristie as she shares about sales accountability culture and what it means to be in the top ten percent of all professional salespeople.
Kristie Jones is the Principal at Sales Acceleration Group. With fifteen plus years of SaaS Sale Management experience, she has been helping companies reach their revenue goals. Her specialties include the evaluation of individuals, teams, strategies, and processes. She also trains and coaches sales leaders, customer success reps, and teams.
Kristie is also a Sales Process Strategist at Greetabl and Iconic IT, which aims to create a B2B outbound strategy to drive top of the funnel and create the BDR outbound prospecting process.
Check out this special page put together by Kristie for all you sales hustlers out there:
Join the Sales Hustle Community! Text “Hustle” to 424-401-9300!
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Episode 116 - Kristie Jones
Welcome to the sales hustle. The only no BS podcast, where we bring you the real raw uncut experiences from sales makers across various industries. The only place where you can get what you're looking for. 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. What is happening? Sales hustlers. Welcome to another episode, super excited today. I've got Christie Jones, uh, who is the principal over at sales acceleration group. And we've got some interesting topics for you. Uh, Christy is a go-to expert for privately owned, VC backed or bootstrapped technology companies needing to build and improve their sales process.
[00:00:57] We're going to be talking about sales, accountability, culture. And what does it mean to be. Fashionable salesperson like being the top 10% Christie, welcome to sell, sell. So how are you? Good, Colin. Thanks so much for having me on. I'm excited to talk to them. Yeah, I know we met on LinkedIn and then we had a quick chat and we just hit it off right away.
[00:01:17] And I knew we were going to have fun and needed to do an episode together. Yeah. I'm looking forward to it. So give us the short version of your sales story. Um, I always like to go all the way back. So, um, my first sales job was waiting tables. I still say today, this is my favorite sales job. Uh, very few sales jobs out there.
[00:01:38] Give you immediate feedback and the way. So I say, I, I learned, I learned my sales hustle the hard way. Um, so that wasn't a hobby, not, yeah. So I waited, I waited tables my way through high school and college. Um, but it really was one of my favorite jobs. And I think it really was because I got immediate feedback.
[00:01:59] Right. I mean, within minutes of them leaving the table, I knew exactly how I had performed. Um, and it, and it affected my, you know, my future performance, the rest of that day and the rest of that week. So, you know, Joy's your goal to make as much money as you can. Um, and so as a super competitive person, like all good salespeople are, um, so that was, that was sales job.
[00:02:19] Number one, I don't think a lot of people think of it that way, but I, I talk about it all the time because it really, it really was, uh, training. Yeah, I love that. I mean, people are selling everywhere, whether they want to admit it or not. Right. Um, to this day, my, the hardest sales job that I have is getting my kids to eat their vegetables.
[00:02:44] Yeah, I get it. I get some real, I get some real feedback. I get some real feedback. I'd prefer not to get hilarious there. Um, from there I jumped into retail right out of college. So I was a department manager at a department store before becoming a buyer, um, at a well-known, uh, nationwide department store and got a little disgruntled with that.
[00:03:06] At some point I decided that corporate America wasn't for me, it was, I felt like a very small fish in that very big. Um, and so I, in 2000 jumped out of a fortune 500 world and jumped into a company with about 17 employees. Um, it was a SAS company, but back then it was, it was so fresh. We called it subscription model.
[00:03:29] Um, and so I literally knew nothing. Like I made a conscious decision and we're going to talk about this a little bit later, but I made a conscious decision to find a company and not. I was very clear about what my skillset was coming out of, of, um, the retail space. So negotiation skills. I say anybody who has to go head to head with Matti and mud to buy denim shorts, like knows that your negotiation skills with the new Yorkers have gotta be strong.
[00:03:56] Um, you know, strong, analytical skills, you know, and then I was running my own mini business, right. I mean, I had my own P and L that I was, you know, I got, you know, performance reviewed on gross margin. So I knew what my skillset was coming out of that, of that environment. And so I went and looked for a company that I thought would appreciate the skills that I have.
[00:04:14] But I also wanted to see that the Knights of the round table, one of the pieces I was really missing in corporate America was, you know, I wouldn't be in a big room. I, I bought some, some very, you know, flashy labels, like Tommy Hilfiger and the like, and so when I went into the showroom, I didn't go in alone.
[00:04:29] I went in with my entourage, they brought their entourage. Um, and so I really wanted to see that the Knights of the round table, I had come from a family owned company. Um, and so, you know, I said, I got my MBA at the kitchen table over steak and potatoes. Um, and so like I understood the challenges. I understood when my dad was taking salary and when he wasn't, so he could make payroll.
[00:04:50] And so I felt like I had a unique perspective that I could bring small mid-size companies. And as you already mentioned that this is my swim lane. Like I love helping startup founders or bootstrapped owners, you know, take their company as far as they want to take it, whether that'd be, I just want a lifestyle business or I, you know, I want to take VC backed money and I want to sell at some point.
[00:05:10] Yeah. Yeah. Some people don't even know what their runway looks like. Definitely a good place to start figure that out because you know, what you do next, uh, matters and is, is determined by what that goal is. So figure out, you know, is it a lifestyle? Are you trying to, you know, go public or, you know, what, what is, what is the goal?
[00:05:33] So, so, so definitely, um, figure that out. And so you love talking about, you know, I, I, I, before we hopped on, I said, what just really lights you up and. You've told me sales, accountability culture. And so let's talk a little bit about what it looks like to not have that. And then let's talk about some things.
[00:05:55] Well, maybe some of the benefits of having that and what the results look like. Absolutely. Um, when you don't have a sales development culture, countability culture, as a sales leader, your life is miserable. That's it. There's nothing else to say your life sucks big time. Um, because, because you have underperforming reps, you have reps going rogue.
[00:06:18] You have, you have a process that you have 17 processes. Cause that's how many sales reps you have. So everybody's got their own way of doing things. Um, and it's the wild, wild west. Uh, you also, you know, you also are worried everyday about your job. You're worried about the call from the CEO or a VP or the COO, um, because you don't have control of things.
[00:06:40] And so you look at the pipeline report. But you're like, eh, it looks more like fantasy than funnel, right? So those are some of the things you're saying to yourself and really like, you know, I think in your, I think, you know, this statistic, but you know, a large percentage, like large percentage of sales reps out there are not getting to even 70% of quota.
[00:07:00] And I don't believe that that's because people suck at putting quota in place. I think it's because we're not holding people accountable and they're not Constable. For not hitting quota and you know, so those are the, you know, that's the downside. I think that one of the reasons people don't do that, um, is they think it's micromanaging.
[00:07:18] And so I'd love to have that conversation around the difference between expectation setting and holding people accountable. And micro-managing because it's not that, um, and you know, just like your children need to eat their vegetables before they get their high school. And you and your kids. I bet if I ask them, like, how do you get ice cream around here?
[00:07:36] And they're like, eat your broccoli. And so like, they, they understand, right. You've set the expectations that you don't get ice cream until you've eaten broccoli. So, and then you don't eat your broccoli. You don't get ice cream, so you you've set the expectation. You set the concept. And so, you know, why would we w you know, humans need to know what's expected of them.
[00:07:55] Right. And so, and so the, just to kind of take that run with that example, right? So you don't hit quota. You no longer get a paycheck, no consequence. Right. Extreme. Right. And so, so, so, and, and, and going back to the example with my kids, which I love that you did that. Cause, cause if you asked them, they would tell you that.
[00:08:18] And then there's the other side of that, right? Where if they don't do that, they don't eat their vegetables, that they don't, you know, eat their, you know, well-rounded healthy plate of dinner and I give them ice cream. What am I teaching them? That message. Right? So in that's what I think is going on in some of these sales orgs that don't have this sales accountability is like, Hey, you know, you didn't hit quota.
[00:08:42] That's okay. Maybe, maybe next time you still get to, you know, do all of these things and enjoy all these perks, or I don't know, but you know, there, there's gotta be some consequences and, and, and there needs to be, you know, some action plans or they need to feel a little bit of like, Hey, if you don't hit your quota, like.
[00:09:00] It sucks and right. So, so what are some things that you can, that you suggest, um, with teams where, you know, majority of the team's not hitting quota, uh, what do they need to do with them? What can they work on? How can they turn things around? Yeah. Um, expectation setting is, is rule number one here. And that doesn't mean just giving you your.
[00:09:22] Right. Hey, Colin, 2021 quota is a million bucks. Good luck. Um, but it is like, like how, how, how do we expect you to get there? Right. And I say, most people don't know their personal sales map. Right? So a lot of, and even a lot of sales leaders, right? They go, well, our average sale is this. Or, you know, sales cycles, this or our close rates, this that's the team average.
[00:09:44] Right. And so, like I say, you can work harder or you can work smarter. And I really don't care what you do. I personally think working smarter is more fun, but if you want to be, if you want to pound out the quantity, you go right ahead. I think that's totally acceptable strategy. Um, so you know, so, so as a sales leader, you need to set the expectation and that's everything from, you know, I talked to a lot of people, you know, last year when we all went.
[00:10:07] What do you expect from a work schedule? Right? Like some of, you know, some of you were teaching kids in the middle of the day, right. Algebra. And so like, you know, is it okay to start your day at seven and take a break from 11 to one and then finish your day from one to six or seven? Like everything from that.
[00:10:24] And like, how do you want to be communicated with how do I, as the leader, is it okay to stand in my doorway? And like, just with your arms crossed, waiting for me to look up, or, you know, if you're a millennial, as I affectionately call them, is slack going to be your primary communication tool? So like everything from this is the quota, but all the way down to like, listen, like I'm expecting that you have this many deals in your pipeline.
[00:10:46] I think this is the big miss for me, for people when people are missing quota, it's scarcity of pipeline. Right. And so most of the time, you know, again, if it's closed rate, that's a, that's a sales skill, potential issue. But I always say, you know, I've got a, I've got a son in college. And I say like, if you could just get to class at 85% of time, I bet your life to be a lot easier.
[00:11:06] Right. Like some of it's just showing up right. And showing up and showing up in sales means I have my pipeline at the water level. That's necessary for me to hit the close rate that I have. Right. It's all, it's all sales map. So this is what I love. Like sales is a very, very objective sport. So that's, and that's why we need to be holding people accountable.
[00:11:27] There's no subjectivity to it, right? It's, it's, it's sort of a numbers game except for the sales skills part, which gets to that kind of top 10 percenters that we talked about. But, but not only do you have to set expectations, you have to, you have to, it's only fair to tell them what will happen if they, no, if you don't eat your broccoli, you're not going to get ice cream.
[00:11:45] Right? Like we played that out. If you're not, you know, if you're not having this many meetings or you're not putting this many new deals in the pipeline, One of the things that makes me a little crazy is when I walk into organizations and they go, I go, so who sources deals for the pipeline? And they go, oh, SDRs.
[00:12:00] And I go, who else? Social deals for the pipeline. And they're like, just SCRs. And I go, so your AEs are not required to self source deals for their own pipeline. And oh, by the way, are you familiar with the fact that statistically speaking self sourced deals closed at a higher rate and close more quickly?
[00:12:17] Then deals handed off from SDRs. Um, there's a whole nother, which is a whole nother topic we could go into, but we're not sure run that rabbit hole. And he's like, yeah. So, I mean, like, those are the thing, like I expect you, I say to people, I expect you to sell source 25 to 30% of your pipeline, like go to trade shows.
[00:12:36] It only makes sense. Like, do you want, do you want the responsibility of whether you hit quota or not? Sum up to somebody else, or do you want to take ownership for crushing your quota? That's right. And again, like marketing has got a hand in that too. Right. So I kind of call it the third, a third, a third program, like third from mark, you know, marketing source or marketing, you know, influenced SDR, but self sourced.
[00:12:59] And, and, you know, I just, again, like, just like, I think outbound prospecting should never stop. I don't think self sourcing should ever stop. Um, so I think it's laying all those out, but it's also pivoting, right? So. So in this climate in this day and age, could we really just set expectations on January the second and expect them to be hold true all the way through 2021?
[00:13:20] No. So when the business needs are going to change for your company and that has to roll downhill, right? That means we need to adjust things. So yes, I gave you a million dollar quota, but maybe now I need a million, two, or maybe not. I need deals at a minimum of $50,000 instead of $35,000. Right. And so, but I also think it's that support system, like I said, like I walk into most companies and most sales reps, not only do they not know their own KPIs, They don't know how to calculate.
[00:13:49] They have no idea how many deals they need in their pipeline in order to hit quota. Not, yeah. And it's different for everybody. That's the thing is everybody's taking this general average of like thinking that that should apply to them. Um, and it's just not true. There's going to be those top 10% that they're going to close at a much higher rate.
[00:14:05] Maybe. Putting in more work there they're self sourcing more deals, right? So they don't need, you know, they're going to have a higher closing rate, so they don't need as many deals in there too, you know, because they're closing rates higher where somebody else, you know, who's solely right. Relying on SDR source deals, you know, maybe only half their deals are closing.
[00:14:27] So they need twice as much in their pipeline. Yup. Oh, so very true. And I, and it just, again, like, as you know, this is just a formula, right? And we can even give them the calculator, the, you know, sales, math calculator to figure it out. But, but I'm always disappointed when I'm like, well, no wonder things are not going the way they should.
[00:14:45] People don't even have the understanding or the resources that they need. To know. So, you know, if I know my close rate is X and I know I need this many deals in my pipeline with my close rate starts to drop, I need more deals and by how many more deals. So, you know, and then as far as consequences are concerned, you know, there should be like, you know, sales is also requires tension, right?
[00:15:05] Sales between the prospect or the customer and the sales rep. It's like sailing has tension. You can't move things, don't move. If there's not tension. And to your point, there also needs to be tension between management and the individual contributors. And so we have expectations. We are paying you a base salary and we have expectations that go along with that base salary.
[00:15:22] And then we're paying you a commission on top of that in order to motivate you to generate the million dollars that we'd like to see from you this year, but what will happen if you don't right. And so to your point, like when we get to the point where, you know, we have the verbal conversation and now we have to do the performance, um, you know, improvement plan, if you will, I make that's, you know, that's something that I make.
[00:15:43] You know, develop themselves. I, you know, I want them this to be their plan that I sign off on that they understand what needs to happen. Um, you'll be surprised how creative people get when, when a blank piece of paper is put in front of them and they know that we're serious about that. Um, and then again, like, you know, the worst, the worst case scenario is, you know, like up to, and including termination as I call the clause at the bottom of that piece of paper.
[00:16:06] Right. And, and again, a lot of times I feel like. You know, maybe you are in the wrong seat, right? Maybe you're in the wrong seat, on the bus. Maybe you're with the wrong company, maybe this sales cycle or this product or the service, isn't what you should be selling. And in that case, you know, I affectionately call it my mommy speech.
[00:16:22] You know, when I say to them, Hey, listen, like, you're going to spend more time here than you're going to spend with anybody. You've got to be happy and you've got to be successful. And if you can't do that here, then let's find you somewhere that you can. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. And I love it that you're, you're talking about this.
[00:16:37] Cause I think a lot of people are scared to tell, talk about these types of things these days, you know? Um, um, but it's important, right? Like, and so, so, and I love the blank piece of paper. That's a great idea. Like, Hey, you know, what does this plan look like? But what are some examples? Like what are some good consequences, like for not hitting quota or not hitting quota consecutively?
[00:16:57] Like what are some things that you've seen work. Yeah. I mean, I think, you know, as a leader, you can't, even though it's their plan, you have a responsibility as well. Right. So, um, I'm going to monitor more calls. I'm going to sit in on calls live. Like I've never done that before, but I'm going to sit in on calls live and I'm not going to sit in to take over the call.
[00:17:15] I'm going to sit in so we can have a post-mortem afterwards. Um, I'm going to start, I am going to start, you know, I say you can manage sales reps to about 75% just through the CRM system, if your hygiene is good, right. And again, you have expectations around the CRM hygiene, which as, you know, I require because then I can figure out what's really going on, but I'm an, I'm going to start digging your I'm going to tell you, I'm going to start snooping around.
[00:17:37] Right. I'm going to go through every deal in your pipeline and there better be affirm next action. Right. And, and, you know, is it on your calendar? Is it on their calendar? Have they accepted that? Um, you know, do we have, I call it homework? Did we give the prospect homework? My, by that, I mean, you understand what questions I'm going to ask you on the next call because you didn't, and you couldn't answer them on the last call.
[00:17:58] So all that information that I asked you in the last call that you didn't know that becomes your homework, I'll have homework too, and we're getting, and again, that's the, that's the excuse to get back together, right? That's how we're creating sense of urgency and moving that deal forward by saying, well, let's all get back together in five days and you know, an answer, the questions that we couldn't answer before.
[00:18:16] Um, but I do it like I try to figure out real quickly Kong, whether it is quantity or quality, right? Whether this is a work ethic issue, or this is a skill issue, because if it's a skill issue, this is my responsibility as a leader, right. I have failed you or you haven't done your own work, um, from a professional development standpoint.
[00:18:32] But I need to know if you're not handling objections by asking questions and instead are trying to talk your way out of them. Right? That's a bad strategy. Um, I'm trying to figure out if you're doing the same software demonstration for every single prospect that comes across your. Or are these things customized, right?
[00:18:48] Or are these things customized based on the pain that you know that they have and the impact that's having on the organization? Um, I have a, I have a rep that I'm working with currently, who is just, just, um, presented a plan to me this week. And one of the things that they said was, Hey, listen, I've got about 45 deals in my, not right now.
[00:19:07] Call me at the end of the year pile. I'm just not going to wait until the end of the. Right. When you give people a blank piece of paper, you'd be surprised what they come up with. I mean, this person had a task for all followup with all 45 of those people, but they're like, yeah, I'm going to reach out. Now.
[00:19:20] I'm going to put together a not right now campaign as I call it an in our end campaign. And I'm going to go reach out to these people now and see if I can shake some, shake some trees. Okay. That's a great, I mean, that's thinking strategically that's working. Yeah. Yeah. Um, these are all, these are all great things that I think a lot, any sales leader out there needs to hear.
[00:19:43] Um, because I think that, um, you know, keeping people accountable, I feel like people have. No longer thought that's important or, or scared to hurt people's feelings. I mean, there's probably many, many excuses that, uh, that, that maybe you've heard that come up of why they're not, you know, why they don't have a sales, accountability.
[00:20:06] Culture. Um, and it's, I think it's crucial to the success of the sales team. For sure. Now let's transition a little bit here and talk about one of the other things that we, uh, promised the sales hustlers that we were going to talk about today. Uh, what does it mean to be a professional sales person in, in being those top 10%?
[00:20:25] Like what separates you from your decent or average sales person to your top 10% rockstar sales profession? Yep. Um, I think it's a lot of different components and I'm, and I've really started to spend a lot of time thinking about this and looking at those top 10 percenters and what are they doing differently than other people?
[00:20:43] And I think one of the things is, and this is the affectionate term I use in my own situation is I own my swim lane and I know what it is. Right. I only work with small privately owned companies in the software technology space. Normally under $5 million in revenue, normally fewer than four sales reps on the sales team, right.
[00:21:03] That's my ideal customer profile and that's where I play best. And that's where I have built my brand and my recognition and my name in that area. So do I believe that the consultative salespeople can sell a lot of different products and services? Sure. Our top 10 percenters figuring out where they play that.
[00:21:20] Yes they are. And then they're, they're figuring out where they play best, whether that be a vertical, it could be an industry vertical. It could be a region of the country. It could be, I do best when I'm working, when I'm selling to HR professionals, when I'm selling to CFOs, what I like, I get the, I get these people.
[00:21:37] These are my people. Um, so like, you know, I see so much job jumping amongst what I can affectionately call the millennials. Um, you know, I I've really like when you really start to dig in the top 10%. When, when candidates say to me, when I'm interviewing candidates for my clients, to try to find those, um, those happy, happy hunters, if you will, the people who want to, uh, like, or hustlers happy having hunts or hustlers in your, in your case, um, you know, and they say to me like, what's your, like, what do I need to do to succeed here?
[00:22:06] And I say, stay longer than three years. Because everything changes everything. The three-year mark, like if you put it all of this work in, so in year one, like the first six months, you're just trying to find the bathroom, right. And figure all the processes and strategies and whatever, and get your, you know, get your question down and all that fun stuff.
[00:22:26] The second six months are starting to really build that pipeline and understand the second year you're starting to benefit from that. But the phone doesn't start to ring until year three. Because if you've done all that work in years, one and two, and all those in our ends, those not right now, as, as I call them those in our ends to show up on your email inbox, those NRN start to show up on your voicemail.
[00:22:46] Right? And so I also think the difference between the 10 percenters and the 90 are they they're going to build and build out their professional network, as well as their professional development and sales skills and hone those. And like, they're very strategic about when they jumped. Right. Um, I mean, I spent eight years in retail and gained all of the knowledge and decided that I didn't want to take the next step up the ladder.
[00:23:12] I got a little disgruntled and it's like, and I, it was funny because a lot of the people that I worked with in that industry were shocked when I went into like, what do you mean you're gonna go work for this company with fewer than 20 employees and sell software. And I said, it fits my skill. And they thought they were merchandisers, right.
[00:23:29] They thought they were merchandisers. And I knew that I wasn't, that I knew that I had analytical skills. I knew I had negotiation skills. I knew I had critical thinking skills. I had always managed people, even as a buyer. I had assistant buyers and clericals underneath me. So I knew I had leadership skills.
[00:23:44] I had managed people. I managed commission sales reps in a retail environment on the sales floor and the cosmetics and the shoe department. So I knew I had those skills as well. I know he had sales leadership. And so I just had, all I had to do was make the transition from retail, from B to C to B, to B.
[00:24:02] So it seemed like the next logical step. Right. And, and, but I was looking for that type of company who was going to appreciate and needed those skills. So then I made that pivot, but I ended up staying at that company for 10 years. And then when I had exhausted everything and, and help them grow their company from 1.5 million to 8 million, I'm like, it's time for the next challenge.
[00:24:22] And so I went from that to managing a $28 million department in an ER, you know, with a strong e-commerce and, um, more transactional type sale and it VC backed. So then I got the VC backed bug. You know, that company today is web.com that company sold to web.com. But that was an, you know, and honestly I took that job.
[00:24:47] And that's. And I always tell people, like, be very careful about doing that because my, my, when I took, I took a retail job for a boss one time too, and showed up in the boss had been promoted when I wasn't looking. And the two weeks it took me to transition out of one store and into another of the boss got promoted and I was like, what where'd she go?
[00:25:03] Um, but I did take the job for that boss because I knew he would make me better. And I knew I had made the right decision when I was two weeks into that job. And my team had had a ass sales day the day before, like I was sitting in my office with the window behind me looking at my sales numbers. I was just like, I thought I was the shit and that gentleman comes and send to my doorway.
[00:25:25] And he was like, Hey, great day yesterday. I'm like, I know. Right. And he says, why? And I go, huh? Okay. He goes, why'd you have a great day yesterday. I was like, Huh? I don't, I don't know. He goes, I'll be back
[00:25:46] and like, guess who never, ever didn't know the answer to that question going forward. Right? You also have to surround that you're top 10% or you're surrounding yourself with top 10 percenters, right? You're choosing companies and bosses that will make you better. You're gonna never, you're never gonna get comfortable and you don't want to be comfortable.
[00:26:05] You want to be a little uncomfortable because that means if you're a little uncomfortable, then that means you're growing and lead and leaders need to know how to coach those people, right? Because if those people in the top 10% are getting comfortable, aren't being challenged. There's a good chance.
[00:26:23] They're going to be looking for a new home. That's right. Yeah. And I think this is, and I think to stop for centers, no, like again, if you don't have an environment like that, then they're ready for that next step. But it was funny. I was listening to a podcast, um, the, uh, my first million, uh, you may or may not be familiar.
[00:26:42] Uh, I'm a junkie. Um, but they had on the founder of jet.com, um, who also started diapers.com. And now he's a multimillionaire billionaire. Yeah. Anyway, he said like, I have learned to look at risks. And I say to myself, he goes, I can identify the top 10 percenters off resumes, even because does the, does the progression of steps are seem logical for someone who is super ambitious, doesn't ever want to get complacent or comfortable, wants to be challenged and wants to maximize their potential.
[00:27:16] And he says, you can almost just see that off a resume. Yeah. Yeah. Or is it just, uh, you know, job hopping with a bunch of excuses of why they chopped, right. I mean, everybody might make a, everybody might make a weird left turn occasionally. Um, but do they realize, like how quickly do they realize that they made a bad left turn?
[00:27:39] Like I tell the story to people. I said, I truly say to people, like I really made all of the right moves. With one exception. And I took a VC backed job with a CPG company selling get ready for it, dog and cat food, not sexy, nothing sexy about dog and cat food. I don't care if it's organic or not. It doesn't matter.
[00:28:02] Um, but I got Lulu like, right. That was my second VC backed company. I come out of that experience where we got bought out by web.com and I'd lost my job. And I, but then I was like, I love VC backed companies. And so I thought this and it, and the people who were they, they brought in what I called guns for hire and the CEO and the CFO had just turned around Bryers ice cream.
[00:28:24] And so I thought like these guys are really smart and they're guns for hire. And so this is going to be a really cool. And people were just as smart as I thought they were. They, things were moving quickly because it was VC backed, but I could not stand the CPG dog and cat food world. And so I got in and out of there in 10 months, I knew, I knew within three months that this was a bad fit for me.
[00:28:46] And so I also think top, top 10 percenters know when they've made a mistake and then they correct very quickly. Right? Yep. And can, and can take ownership for it as well. That's fine. Yeah. Well, I think that the one thing that I think really stood out to me talking about what it takes to be a top 10% or a sales hustlers is knowing your lane, right?
[00:29:08] Like knowing where you play well and what that is. Right. Are you somebody who, you know, likes to. Do more for less people, or maybe you have more patients for longer, you know, deal cycles, or maybe you play well in a specific vertical, or maybe there's certain types of people that you just hit it off with.
[00:29:25] Better, like really no knowing that and focusing on it. Right. Um, Christie, thanks so much for, for coming on. I know that you have, I think you have a book that's maybe coming out sometime soon. You might want to let people know about it. Yeah. Some of the, uh, some of the information that I dropped today is going to be in the new book.
[00:29:43] And really I built the book around sort of those topics, right? Not necessarily just not, not in sales accountability. That's probably another book for another day, but really how to, you know, how to sell your way out of your top 10% out. You know, out of maybe a life that isn't as, as fruitful or as entertaining as you'd like it to be, um, or financially secure or comfortable as you'd like it to be.
[00:30:04] So I really give a lot of the tips in the book that I shared with some of the hustlers today. You know, I say, know your swim lane. Um, I've got a whole chapter on what's your sales secret weapon. Do you know your sales secret weapon, right? Like you said, like, are you somebody who's a closer or are you somebody who loves the nine months sales cycle and knows how to manage the nine month sales cycle?
[00:30:24] So, you know, I think it's all about, like you said, it's all about knowing your swim lane, but also knowing your secret powers. What are your secret powers that you have that the other 90% of sales reps just don't own. And then, you know, how do you practice to perfection your secret weapon? So then it becomes, I always say like, you know, you have a secret weapon.
[00:30:43] When, like your behind quota, your 48 hours from the end of the quarter or the year, and you can rely on your secret weapon, like, you know, fear does not play, you know, that you can fall back on your secret weapon and that will pull you through. So yeah, I'm excited about the book that's coming out. I'm a lot of great advice about just that know yourself, know your secret weapon, know where you play best and then execute.
[00:31:11] Absolutely well said, thank you so much, Christie, uh, Christie also put together a special page with a bunch of resources for all the sales hustlers. So we will drop that link in the show notes for you, everyone. And if you enjoyed today's episode, please, please write us a review. Share the show with your friends and as always we're listening for your feedback.
[00:31:32] 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. 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 collum Mitchell.
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