Sales Hustle is now Sales Transformation
Nov. 23, 2020

Episode #23 S1-EP23 Enabling An Autonomous Shift From Within with Dylan Ali

In this episode of Sales Hustle, Collin Mitchell welcomes Dylan Ali in the show. Collin and Dylan talk about some exciting things non-other than sales. Dylan tells us his story and some of the exciting things that he is working on.


Dylan Ali is a Keynote Speaker, a Co-Founder, and an Entrepreneur. 

He helps others by sharing stories, lessons, wins, and experienced frameworks to help find their version of success. Helping others to create a life worth living and breaking free from the mental prisons that keep us all captive at one time is my motive for sharing. Dylan believes we have seeds of greatness buried within. Learning to acknowledge, nurture, and embrace these seeds allows each and everyone to create a vision for life that challenges and helps us to expand.

You can find out more about Dylan Ali at https://www.dylanali.net/. You can also reach out to him on LinkedIn and follow him on Instagram.

If you’re listening to the Sales Hustle podcast, please subscribe, share, and we’re listening for your feedback. If you are a sales professional looking to take your sales career to the next level, please visit us at https://salescast.co/ and set a time with Collin and co-founder Chris.

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Transcript

Episode 23

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 caps, sales CAS helps sales professionals transform their 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've got a fantastic guest for you today as always. I'm going to be chatting here with dial-in all Lee. Who I have had the pleasure of interviewing before he is building out a virtual sales team. He's a speaker.

[00:00:52] Um, and I'm going to let you tell, tell, let him tell you a little bit about his story and we're going to talk about some of the exciting things that he's working on. Uh, bill, thank you so much for coming on today. Welcome to the show, Ryan Collin again, thank you so much. It's a great honor to be back here for a second time, man.

[00:01:11] A lot of change, right. A lot has changed in between the last time we chatted and now, and, um, we're living right in the middle of this COVID world. And so, you know, thank you for the great introduction yourself now wearing an old hat, right. Spent 25 years in the corporate space and corporate it sales in particular.

[00:01:32] And as I took the initiative to move out on my own to speak and just set stages on buyer this year, Um, you know, the situation that is, COVID kind of put a damper on that, right? So we've had more stages canceled and we've had book. The good news is we've had a lot of stages rebooked for the next year.

[00:01:51] What's really cool about it is in that journey itself. And while I was really even caught up in my own ego of thinking that I was failing it literally just led to a conversation with a friend of mine and said, Hey, we're building this great organization over here. There's an opportunity to make great money.

[00:02:07] Why don't you come sell for me for a couple months, six months, whatever the case is, and then post COVID, you can go back to doing your thing. Um, I know you're an old hat. I know you have a great skillset, so why don't you come lend some value here? Um, now, so there was a little bit of judgment. Yeah, yeah, yeah, no, I get it.

[00:02:26] I think a lot of people are, you know, moving around things are changes, you know, changes are happening. Um, a lot of people are maybe in a role in a place doing something that maybe they didn't plan doing because COVID hit and you know, it's not going away, you know? Um, and you know, we're living in a very different world than, than a lot of people may, may have imagined.

[00:02:49] Now, something that I think is important to, to, to talk about is, you know, You are very consistent with your brand, your content, you know, putting things out there. How do you think that helped position you, you know, for somebody to be like, Hey, that's, that's the guy that we want to join our team and help us build out that build out this team.

[00:03:12] I think it played a hundred percent, man. Um, it's about consistency, right? It is the old, how you do one thing is how you do everything. And if you looked at. You know, I often challenge people, right? And I say, go look at any of my social platforms, IgG, LinkedIn, you know, personal professional, however you want to, however you want to label them.

[00:03:32] Go look at the way that I am at church at school, at play with my family. And what you'll find is consistency across the board. Um, as I was even chatting with one of my reps the other day, I said, you know what? I really love about the opportunity and what it is that we're building here is that. I can show up every day and just be unapologetically.

[00:03:51] Me and the owner of the company is bought in and the leadership is bought in and they just let me do the wacky dial-in thing. And guess what? People respond to it. We're growing leaps and bounds. We're putting up numbers on the board, we're crushing our sales goals. And it's a thing that I really preach about all the time.

[00:04:08] Right. You're integrating, this is who you are. It's not what you do. And a little tidbit. So many of us are really ashamed of certain aspects of ourselves. But what I really like to tell people is those pieces that you're really trying to hide from everyone. Those are really your super powers. And for me, it's just showing up at all the glory that is dialing Ali with the beard, the earrings, the hand tattoos, the craziness, right?

[00:04:33] Cause it's all a package. And. You know, for me, like I talked about earlier, um, there was a little bit of judgment into going back into the sales world, but I also realize that it's something that I've really honed in on for years and years and years. And as much as speaking and coaching as part of my repertoire sales is a big piece of that.

[00:04:53] And so stepping into this role and wearing the hat or this chapter, I think not only. To later on, I can talk to you about using things like gong and SalesLoft and other tools that are out there that would really help in my own personal business at a later date. Right. But if I didn't walk into it with why would eyes wide open?

[00:05:16] I wouldn't recognize the gifts and I wouldn't recognize the bits and pieces that could serve me at a higher level. So I really just embrace and let go of the judgment of, you know, who I'm supposed to be or what I'm supposed to be doing. I found an opportunity to lend my greater skillset to something much bigger than myself.

[00:05:33] And so, like I said, you know, I think our company's probably going to do about 20 bill this month and we've got marching orders to build this bad boy to about 50 million per month. And so I'm leading the charge on that with the BDR team and. We're building some killer. Well, that's all right. So I think a couple of things that kinda stand out, right?

[00:05:52] So, uh, an important piece, especially for people that, you know, might've gotten, let go because of COVID and things like that. Um, you know, don't just go into a shell and, and stop being active on your platforms. Right. Because you know, there's going to be people that resonate with you that. That accept you for exactly who you are and all of it that are like, that's the person that we want on our team.

[00:06:18] And when you're consistent across all platforms and really genuine, authentic with, you know, who you are, show up as your, you know, as you are, um, it shows and it makes a big difference and people feel like they already know you. And it's like, you know, a lot of people because they've been consistent on social media are finding jobs very quickly when there's a lot of people that weren't active, haven't built a network and they're just really don't know what to do.

[00:06:47] I think that you hit the nail on the head, man. That's so key right now, especially in today's world where, you know, we can't go play golf. We can't go hang out at networking events. We can't go to happy hour. I think it's so important to keep that, um, that personal side alive on your, on whatever platforms it is that you sold.

[00:07:06] Right? And it's Dale Carnegie one Oh one, people buy it from, um, you know, you know, 70% of the time it's because of you or the price, 70% of you Dale Carnegie one-on-one again says build the know like trust factor. And when you look at my strategy on social, it's been build the know like trust factor. You know, I remember a Friday night I'm, I'm on the phone with the owner of the company and we're kind of negotiating through what the package looks like.

[00:07:31] And as we're talking through it and he's getting ready to get off the phone, he says, Oh, I really like your stuff on LinkedIn. Right. And that's when I knew it was a done deal because I had already established that brand. I'd already built the know like trust factor. I mean, I'd worked for the guy for three weeks at this point, right.

[00:07:48] He didn't know me from Adam, but because of my content. He knew who I was and he knew what I brought to the table. And I always say, you know, we hire you for what you know, and we fire you for who you are. Right. And so any issues or any, anything that would be a potential roadblock. You know, senior leadership already had insight to the type of person that I am.

[00:08:12] They already have insight to how I articulate the things that are most important to me. And so it was very easy to see that my morals and values were much in alignment with his, and it was a very easy, yes. Yeah. That, that's a huge, that's a huge point. Sales hustlers listen up, you know, just make sure that your brand, that you're showing online matches who you are offline.

[00:08:35] You know, and it will serve you well, because if who you are online and who you are offline, maybe it's enough to get you that next gig, but not something that's going to last very long. No, it's, you know, I often talk about wearing mask, right? And so many of us, when we go to work, we feel like we have to wear this mask to gain the approval of our peers, of our bosses.

[00:08:59] You know, really to even just quote unquote, own our career. And I say, take the mask off is when you really get the ownership of your career, because here's the thing. If I had to show up every day, working 12 hours a day, building out this team and pretending to be something that I'm not, that would be so exhausting, but the fact that they just know who I am and I'm going all in on that.

[00:09:22] Yeah. It's a crazy pace. I keep telling my team every week, guys, we're about to turn the nacelle one dial. And they go, Hey, we're already running at 120%. I go, there's a lot left in the tank. It's up to me to help you find that. Right. But when you can be in alignment and alignment is simply being your best, doing you without having to, you know, change that character, if you will, for anyone else.

[00:09:46] Because what we get out of Lyman is we might be doing a great job in the work. But if we're pretending to be someone that we're not, that can be really, really heavy. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. And it's, I mean, I, you know, I've, I've talked about this with others before is, you know, being your best self professionally means you got to do some work personally, right?

[00:10:05] You can't show up as your best professional self, if you're not really taking care of your mental, spiritual wellbeing, uh, on a consistent basis and being true and being authentic and having that, um, You know, having, uh, that integrated integration between who you are online and offline and that integration of who you are personally and professionally.

[00:10:27] Um, and, and that can be, like you said, very exhausting. Um, so I want to shift gears just a little bit, because I think that you have some, some, uh, you know, some things that you're working on that could be really beneficial to a lot of sales leaders out there. Um, you know, for the people that maybe are trying to build a new team and do it virtually.

[00:10:47] Or people that maybe have had a team and have shifted to virtual, you know, and maybe are struggling. So, you know, what, what do you tell those folks? What are you, what are you seeing that's working and what sort of, you know, advice do you have for, for those types of people? Absolutely. My biggest challenge right now is building a virtual call center.

[00:11:07] Right. Um, you know, growing up in the call center world myself, you know, you've got a couple hundred folks would have cubes and you got, you know, One manager on each crew on each row, you've got a VP or a GM, you know, kind of looking at the keyboard and, and it's a, it's a hustle, right? It's a hustle and it's a grind.

[00:11:25] So how do we build culture? Not only to accommodate that speed and cadence, if you will, but now how do we do it virtually so basics, right. I still have an eight 45 huddle every morning with my team on zoom. I think that's so key, right? Being able to see faces. Um, getting that pump session going for the day, having people articulate their goals for the day, right.

[00:11:50] Um, calling people out that have done great things. I, I strongly believe in, you know, praising the team as much as you can. So for me, it's that, you know, it's little things like, um, you know, we want to send again, we're working through this stuff, but we want to send out our new hires, right. A logo mug. A t-shirt a new webcam, things like that.

[00:12:11] You know, the, the tools package for yesterday was much different. Right. Um, you can't just assume that everyone has a good webcam today, so, you know, and you hire tool package. Like that would be great. Guess what? We're all sitting behind our desk at home and we're all probably drinking coffee all day, way more than we're drinking in the office likely.

[00:12:30] Right. So, you know, little things like that to build morale, build culture. I think the other key thing is. Um, a very pungent amount of accountability. I think accountability is so key in building culture. Not only in that, but in the BDR SDR world, right? When you look at the organizations were simply a reflection of a spreadsheet, right?

[00:12:55] Any successful BDR and SDR organization is really built around predictive or predictable revenue. And we know that if we have X amount of reps, You know, doing X amount of cadences out of Salesforce, or if you're using connect and sell or whatever it is you're using. Right. And we stick to the script and we asked the right questions and we add some personality around it and we add some sales flavor around it.

[00:13:19] That every time we dial a hundred calls for the day, we should get two to three leads. Then we take the gross profit on that. And then we added per head. We take a look at, you know, a 30, 40% conversion rate. We can tell you based on the number of heads that I have. How much revenue we're going to do walking into next month.

[00:13:38] And so with that being said, it's very mechanical. So how do you build culture around that? And I think culture is really built with, again, showcasing everyone, putting everyone in their best light, but also the accountability piece. It's so easy to get lazy, right? Because we don't have peers sitting next to us.

[00:13:57] And so I think it's really building confidence and building culture. That's the key thing. Yeah. So what, how all right. So, you know, doing your, doing your, your morning huddle, you know, getting people pumped up for the day, how do you create culture virtually and how do you keep, you know, how do you do your best part to keep folks.

[00:14:21] Motivated throughout the day when there isn't that manager that GM, that VP walking up and down the aisle, making sure that, you know, people are pounding the phones. I think number one, it has to do with hiring the right people. Right. It's looking for the right qualities, the intangibles. Um, I can hire a bunch of people that went to SDR school, or if they've been doing this for years and years and years, Um, that's not really the main skillset I'm looking for right today.

[00:14:49] We're looking for much different skillsets. Um, it's crazy because I actually have several entrepreneurs on my team. Um, right now, you know, guys that have, uh, that have businesses in the rock climbing world to fitness. Right. And I think we've all been impacted, like you said about this, but the way that I really pitched it to them and the way that I build cultures, I find a way.

[00:15:13] To integrate the thing that we're doing here with the thing that's important to them. So like I shared with you earlier, many of the tools that I use in my, that I would use in my business to go get speaking gigs or coaching clients, things like that, you know, I'm using those tools today. So how great would it be?

[00:15:33] You know, after I go back to just speaking a hundred percent, right. That I have a couple of VA's that are calling out a sales loft, following a script. All my calls are, you know, um, recorded in GOM. And even the ones that say no, it's no big deal. Cause all I have to do is go back into gone, listen to the objection, resolution, tweak my sales folks, and then write the offer based on what's most important.

[00:15:58] All right. So that's, that's an interesting, that's an interesting strategy, right? So what I hear you're saying is. A lot of people on this virtual team are self-motivated people based on the fact that there may be entrepreneurial type people, that whatever it is they do as an entrepreneur may be put on hold almost similar to yourself.

[00:16:22] Right. You know, speaking gigs got canceled. You had to put your sales hat back on. But at heart you're entrepreneurial. So you have that self motivation that not everybody has. So building a remote virtual team, those are some very specific skillsets that you're looking for in these people, but being able to tie that back.

[00:16:46] And to how it's going to benefit them when they can get back to maybe what it is they love doing, or that lights them up. Like you're going to acquire some skills under, under this leadership under what we're trying to do here, which is helping people that you can use to grow your own business or your own entrepreneur journey once maybe this chapter is over.

[00:17:12] Yeah, absolutely. Man, you know, we are. The last 25 years of my career, I've seen a lot of startups. Right. And I can tell you, I know what good looks like and feels like, and this is good, right? We are, we are exploding. We're bursting at the seams yet. We're keeping up. And a lot of times in the startup space, um, you know, you can barely keep up, but we seem to be keeping up and we seem to be able to predict our revenue based on.

[00:17:41] Based on all of these factors that we have in place. So for me, it's a plug and play. And the thing that I sell my people on is not the company, but on me. Right. Here's what you're going to get. When you come to work here, you're going to get a bad-ass leader. That's going to teach you and cultivate you and help you grow.

[00:17:58] And at the end of the day, we can all go sell widgets, right? Widgets are widgets. I think for me as a leader, it's important. I tell my folks all the time, there are two things that everything I ask you to do. Revolves around two things. Number one, how do you maximize your compensation and number two, how do you advance your career?

[00:18:19] Everything I asked you to do when I asked you to make a hundred dollars a day, when I asked you to give him a reporting, when I asked you to change your sales approach, it's to maximize your comp plan and to help get you to that next level. So one of the things that I do to create culture. It's very important for me in the very beginning to understand what the motivation or the motivation is for my folks.

[00:18:40] Where do you want to go? I'm literally having career discussions with them on day one day two, because I need to show them that at the end of the day, if this was my commit to you, that I'm taking those actions necessary. Now, I always say that, you know, kind and honest may not always look nice. Because I've got to get into your grill sometimes and help motivate you from a different angle.

[00:19:03] But at the end of the day, if you recognize that everything we're marching to is to maximize your comp and to get you promoted or to set you up for whatever that next move is. That's where I'm seeing the success in my culture being built. So go, going, getting, getting pretty personal on, even in the hiring process of what their long-term goals are, what lights them up, what motivates them, what their plans are, and really identifying if that's, you know, something that you can use to get them to hit those goals.

[00:19:34] And that's kind of a, that's, that's an important factor to whether they're going to be somebody who's coachable or somebody that you can leave.

[00:19:45] well, that's the thing it serves. Multipurposes right. Number one, it's getting that connection on a deep, personal level. Like I always talk about, because I think when we can connect, we can close more. But the flip side of it too, is I really want to recognize like where they are mentally. And like you said, what I want, what I want to do is I want to, I also want to understand.

[00:20:07] Um, potential roadblocks in the future. Is this someone that I'm going to have to go explain everything to every day? Is there someone that, you know, can take the initiative and reach out to operations without bloating blowing them up, you know, 10 emails in a row. Right? So those are the intangibles that I look for when I look for someone that I can work with.

[00:20:27] And then I simply it's again, it's the psychology of selling. They find out what's important to you and what your motivators are. Then I can motivate you if I don't know what those are. They're not just shooting in the dark and at the pace that we're moving and at the cadence that we have, I don't have time to slow down for hiccups.

[00:20:44] So I've got to do that work up front, and then it's just a matter of plugging them into the engine. Listen, I set a very, very, um, rigid framework of what it looks like. I don't sell it short. I tell everyone, you come to work for me. You come to work for this company. It's a grind. We're hustling every day, but you know what?

[00:21:04] I've got 25 years of this shit behind me and it's part of my DNA. So I may be able to hit 10, 12 hour days, day in, day out. I'm not going to expect that. That's what you're going to be able to do out the gate, but to be successful in this business, it's going to have to go beyond eight to five. Do you have that capacity?

[00:21:23] So now when we're doing, you know, last night I had, I had my team, I think it was nine o'clock at night. My East coast guys were making calls to Hawaii. Yeah. Right. So are you willing to show up and putting your 40 hours, which is what I considered the buy-in, but then all the cash is really made outside of the 40 hours.

[00:21:43] Right. Are you willing to go above and beyond? And those are the things that I'm looking for. You said it right. I'm literally, I'm literally looking for skill or will, I can teach you the skill. I just need to make sure you have the, so I think anyone that's building a team that's virtual like this, anyone that's looking at building culture in a virtual space, it's so important to have the right hires upfront.

[00:22:05] That really makes it a lot easier on you as a leader in creating that vision. Yeah. Yeah. And you know, I'm going to assume sometimes. Sometimes you, you hope you make the right decision in the hiring process. Doesn't always work out. How do you address that, you know, in a virtual setting and how do you, you know, tug on those people that need a little extra, you know, motivation to keep them going, um, in a virtual, you know, virtual world that we're in.

[00:22:34] Yeah, absolutely. So number one, the data does not lie. Right? So having the tools and resources where I can see. I can see how many calls are being made. How many emails are going out. If people are falling into cadences, I can jump into gong and listen to calls. I can jump into, live on SalesLoft and listen to live calls.

[00:22:53] I can do a whisper and calls to coach and things like that. So with all of those pieces, if I have someone that's not really on the straight and narrow, if you will, I'm going to utilize those tools. And I would do this in a physical call center as well. Documentation is key. Right. I often tell my guys I'm like, listen, if you start seeing our CEO and our VP copied on some emails, you might want to tighten up your game a little bit.

[00:23:21] Right. Um, because you know, those that are pressure points, that's important to them. And I've got to execute to it. Now with that being said, I also believe that the organization is a reflection of leadership. So when my organization does well, it means I'm doing a good job of leading them when they don't do well.

[00:23:39] It's means that I'm doing a bad job of leading them and that's on me. So I say, give them the praise when they're doing well and take it on the chin when they're not. So by doing that, I think I set the precedence that, you know, I put it out there and I stick to my word. So I, I put my neck on the line for them.

[00:24:00] At the end of the day, my job is to mitigate the noise from upper leadership to my folks. So they can do the things they want to do. And then on the same token, it's about the, the accountability piece. We all have that accountability conversation up front, and now it's like, okay, I'm going to coach you.

[00:24:16] I'm going to coach you softly. I'm going to coach you with a lot of empathy. I'm going to send you a follow-up to make sure we're on the same page. As a matter of fact, one simple thing, like just getting my team to adhere to a calendar. I send it all out to them. I sent an email out after one of our morning huddles and I said, here's what I need from you guys.

[00:24:35] I need everyone to respond back all in. So now I have 11 people or at that time my team was smaller. I have 11 emails or whatever it is that they've committed to it. So now calling when you're not committed or you're not following your calendar, I can come to, you know, say Colin, you told me that you were all in here's the email, what has changed.

[00:24:58] Right. So it really is no different than if you were in a physical call center, but I think it really has to follow a flow of documentation at the end of the day. I always, I don't lead with a stick. Right. A soft one, maybe. Right. And so. You know, we'll create some magic, we'll do some tweaking. Um, we'll be very empathetic, but by no means, am I going, let's stay in that zone because I do believe that we all have the ability to jump into different aspects of who we are.

[00:25:25] And sometimes. I kind of need to tap into that bad-ass warrior in your face aspect, right? When people respond better to that. But obviously I think, you know this, and it sounds like you, you understand, you know, everybody has to be led differently, right? Not, there's not one method that works for any one individual and really getting to know them personally and being able to coach them properly means, you know, knowing them and what works.

[00:25:50] And, you know, I think where a lot of leaders tend to fail is thinking that there's one way that works for all. You know, it's a lot easier to lead. It's a lot easier to lead in that blanket approach. And especially in this world, you know, there's, there's a percentage of trick rate, right? In any sales organization, there's a, there's a level of attrition that's expected, but I say, what if we invest in our people like over invest in our people and really feel them really helped them to make, help them to feel.

[00:26:23] Wanted included, invested in, you know, I tell my team all the time, listen, I'm going to pour into you as much as I can. All that I can. As a matter of fact, I want to over pour into you. But the only way that I can do that is my own cup is filled. And so one thing I, you know, I coattail on is that a lot of leaders, even though they're taking that blanket approach, they're not even taking time for themselves.

[00:26:47] And they're trying to pour out of an empty cup. And especially when you take that blanket approach, it becomes very frustrating. And so you pour and pour and pour and your cup is still empty. So for me, it's so important to fill my own cup every day. Right. And be mindful of what you're filling your cup with.

[00:27:04] Right. Yeah. Yeah. Well, no, it it's been fantastic having you on here. I think this is a really important topic that a lot of people are probably looking for, you know, uh, clarity on and maybe struggling with. So I think it'll benefit a lot of, you know, people that are looking to scale a virtual team, build a virtual team, switch to a virtual team, uh, before I let you go, uh, just appreciate you.

[00:27:27] Thanks for coming on and let folks know where they can connect with you. Um, or anything else you want to let them know. Absolutely man, you can find out what's going on in the latest and greatest with dial in Ali at dial-in ali.net. Um, you know, still got the content engine going on LinkedIn. So hit me up on LinkedIn and you can also follow me on IgE for a little bit more of the personal stuff that dial-in da Ali.

[00:27:51] So I appreciate it, man. Yeah. Appreciate it. Thanks so much. And if you're listening to the podcast, please subscribe, share with your friends and 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?

[00:28:07] 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 column Mitchell. And if you enjoyed this episode, feel free to leave us a review. And share the podcast with your friends.