Sales Hustle is now Sales Transformation
March 22, 2021

Episode #74 S1-EP74 Helping Start-Ups Build And Train Sales Teams with Ashleigh Early

Ashleigh Early joins Collin Mitchell in this episode of the Sales Hustle podcast as she divulges the details on how she got into sales and how it led her to her current sales approach that launched her career to new heights.


Ashleigh Early runs her own coaching program called The Other Sales Coach which specializes in helping companies and sales professionals achieve sustainable growth by emphasizing empathy and humanity through science. They’re a coaching and consultancy program that focuses on building and re-building programs for long-term stability and consistent performance, overhauling onboarding to decrease ramp times, building playbooks, and troubleshooting systems.

As a passionate advocate, trainer, and sales professional who centers her career on supporting people new to the practice, Ashleigh built and navigated sales development teams through hyper-growth periods and exits. She has led inside sales and business development teams for Silicon Valley icons like FireEye and Okta. With an experience like this in the field, she has built a reputation for exceptional hiring, developing scalable systems and leveraging the intelligence gathered by her teams to drive communication, customer retention, and accelerated sales cycles.

Ashleigh is about to re-launched her podcast The Other Side of Sales to focus on the vision of making B2B sales culture everywhere truly inclusive.

Find out more and reach out to Ashleigh Early through her LinkedIn - https://www.linkedin.com/in/ashleighearly/.

You can also sign-up for the Practical Persona Masterclass which is live on JBSales On-Demand at https://bit.ly/3r5vEMX.  This course is designed to give you a framework you can come back to repeatedly that will not only help you close more, bigger deals - but do so by building deep, lasting relationships with your clients.

Join the Sales Hustle Community! Text “Hustle” to 424-401-9300!

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 74 - Ashleigh Early

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 transformed the relationship building process and win their dream clients.

[00:00:30] I'm your host, Colin Mitchell. All right, what is happening? Uh, sales hustlers. Welcome to another episode. I've got a guest that I am excited to dive into the conversation here with you. I've got Ashley early and Ashley early helps companies and sales professionals achieve sustainable growth by emphasizing empathy and humanity through science.

[00:00:53] Ashley, thanks for coming on the show. How are you doing? I'm doing great. How about yourself? I am doing fantastic. I'm excited to jump into this conversation, but before we get into the good stuff here, just give us the short version of your sales story. Yeah. Short version of my sales story is at the age of one.

[00:01:11] My mother took me to a, to a photographer to get a one-year old photo shoot and the photo they came out of, it was me with a plastic phone. So I can literally say I've been hitting the phones since 1980 blank, which I'm bleeding out. Cause I don't like saying my age, um, in between then and now, um, was your class, it kind of overachiever in high school, went to college, ended up getting the completely relevant and practical degrees of political science and opera.

[00:01:40] Graduated at the height of the recession had no clue what I was going to do with my life almost went broke. And at that point, my dad who had been in sales his entire life, very forcefully tapped me on the shoulder and said, Ashley, it's time. You need to get a sales job. Um, and with that kind of the rest is history.

[00:01:59] I started at, um, some of the best tech companies in Silicon Valley. Um, I've gone through two IPO's. Um, with FireEye and Okta. And basically my whole career has been focused on helping people succeed in their first two to five years in sales, like watching one to five years in sales. So it's been a blast.

[00:02:17] I wouldn't change a thing. And yeah, it's been a lot, a lot of fun, fun lessons along the way. Hm. All right. So you started early on, obviously. Um, and so I'm curious when your dad told you, like, It's time to get it sales job. Did you do that kicking and screaming or were you like, okay, you're right, dad? No, I was, I, I kicked and screamed, especially because I grew up with the first half of my life.

[00:02:46] My dad was your classic road warrior. So my dad was gone a lot. He traveled a ton. I wanted my dad there, so I was like, no, I'm not going to do it. I don't want to travel. I don't want that lifestyle. I've never going to do it. And my dad was really successful. I didn't realize how successful he was until I got into sales.

[00:03:02] I was like, Oh my gosh, you were like really good at this. And you like, he was running teams of salespeople was running whole divisions at Oracle, like two letters down from Larry Ellison and working with bill Gates at Microsoft and doing all this really cool stuff. I had no clue. Um, and so for me, it was the problem was the image I had in my head of sales people was.

[00:03:23] Road warrior. Hyper-aggressive Glengarry Glen Ross, all of the stereotypes, even though I lived with someone who is none of those things, my dad is the biggest Teddy bear you'll ever meet. And so when I finally got into sales, I was shocked, shocked. I say, to find that sales is all about relationship building and empathy and being a human, um, I was really shocked.

[00:03:49] Um, when. Like my second or third day on the job, literally I was given like, here's Salesforce, here's a phone. You have New York go sell 10 gigabit, ethernet switches. I didn't even know what that was. Um, well that's all the set appointments and I'm never going to forget. I got some of my first meetings by one screwing up and having to ask her, ask her a favor and be like, can I please try that again?

[00:04:12] I'm new. And too, by going full star Trek nerd on phone calls with these CEOs and VPs of it. So it was really a fun journey for me in sales, by realizing that I sold better, I was better. I hit my number more consistently. The more I leaned into who I am versus trying to be this hard, pushing crazy.

[00:04:40] Whatever third thing I thought was required for sales and my dad knew this the whole time, so he knew I'd jump in and be great. I just didn't. So, all right. I want to, I want to dig into that a little bit. So, um, it sounds like sales was not what you thought it was and you had some success through just.

[00:05:03] Being yourself and being human. Right. And just not trying to be something that you weren't. Why is that so hard for some people in sales? I think because it's always easier to imitate. It's always easier to be like, okay, I know if I do a, B, C, D, E I'll get the results. So one is easier to follow a plan to, it feels much more personal when it's yourself.

[00:05:35] So when you're leaning in and you're using someone else's tactics that's Oh, it's the tactics didn't work. If you're leaning in and it's your bad joke that falls flat, it feels like, Oh God, I'm not funny. I'm a terrible person. What am I doing with my life? Why am I putting myself through this? And sales itself is so deeply personal.

[00:05:53] It, we all know how hard rejection is. We all know we deal with projection on a daily basis. It's a hard enough battle to separate that rejection from rejection of yourself as a person, I think potentially adding that onto it, combined with the fact that there are stereotypes. There are huge stereotypes.

[00:06:12] And especially if you are, I mean, to blood, call it. If you're not a white guy, It can feel very unsafe to bring that part of yourself to the table. And I'm very lucky. The only thing I've really got about me, that's a minority is fact that I'm a woman and that is something, but compared to a lot of the black sales pros, I speak with the sales pros who sell from out of country or who come from, who don't have college educations or come from nothing above these crazy challenges.

[00:06:42] They've overcome. Of course, you're not gonna want to bring all of that to the table because everything in your life has taught you that it's not safe to do that. So it's, it's a tricky thing and it's scary. And what I hear time and time again, is once you find a place that a respects you and values you for what you are as a sales person and as a human, that becomes a lot easier.

[00:07:05] And once we're able to push through to really bring your full self, the fulfillment that comes from that is. So empowering and not just like emotionally satisfying and empowering, which I can speak from, from my own perspective, but also it shows up in your paycheck. So it's faceted. I love, I love all of this.

[00:07:28] There's so many things. I, I. I experienced this a lot of this firsthand myself. Right. So I've been in sales for over 10 years now. Um, yes, I'm white. So I mean, there's some advantages to that white male, right. But, uh, I have no education. Um, I had a lot of challenges as a kid. And there was definitely parts of me that like, I was not willing to share in, in a business setting and definitely not in a sales conversation and definitely not on social media for a long time.

[00:07:59] Um, and, and once I got over that, Sales became so much more enjoyable. I was so much more successful in the things that I was doing and the relationships that I was developing. Um, and so there's so many advantages once you can get over that fear of just being yourself. Um, and, and I have, I can probably honestly say, I don't know about all, maybe all, definitely most, any bad habit that I developed in sales was by trying to be.

[00:08:29] Somebody else by trying to mere somebody else by trying to, you know, Hey, they're putting some numbers up on the board. Here's what they're saying. Here's what they're doing. And then trying that, and maybe there'd be some wins, but like I picked up some really bad habits of like just really bad commission breath, really treating people, transactionally, really, um, not being honest all the time.

[00:08:52] Um, all of those stereotypes that you mentioned. Right. And, and, and. At a certain point, even if you have some success in it, what you can, you just start to feel really gross. And then you're like, this is not working. Um, there, there comes a point. I think everybody, I say this a lot. Everybody has a number.

[00:09:15] Everybody has a number that they would basically sell their soul. Like, I'll be honest. There is a number I would probably sell out some of my best friends. It's a really high number that no one's ever going to give me. Cause it would basically mean I get to go retire on a private Island. Never have to see anybody ever again and pay people to be my friends or something ridiculous like that.

[00:09:37] But even then it's like, I don't even think I deal with that. So, but when it comes to exactly what I'm not interested in, and it's one of the reasons why it's been really interesting for me this past year, as I've kind of moved from being. I'm a corporate sales leader to being an entrepreneur. I've had to become all the things I said.

[00:09:57] I would never be a lot of which just because of lifestyle and ethics and compromise, I didn't want to make, like I said, for years, I never want to found a company. I never want to be a CEO. I never want to be a VP of sales. It's too intense. It's too much work. I don't want it. And now hearing I'm going to kind of love it, but it it's, it's this really weird thing.

[00:10:15] That words, there comes a point where if you're sacrificing your happiness, you're sacrificing your mental health. You're sacrificing the lifestyle that you want to live because let's be honest, we work so we can live. I mean, I've got, I've got thoughts on work-life balance. That's a whole other episode, but if what you're sacrificing at work, isn't compensated for in the life that you're living outside of it, the number's not there.

[00:10:36] You can't do it. It will break at some point. Like for me, it's a sort of thing where like, just for like brutal example, like there are certain industries in the U S that if they were to approach me, they'd get charged a higher rate, because if I'm going to do business with that company, And enable this system that I don't like, I better make a heck of a lot of money out of it.

[00:10:56] And that number's probably going to be more than they're willing to pay because it's probably more value than I can bring to them just because I had just have deep ethical issues with how. Those specific industries run. So, you know, you get to think of these, these things. And we all go through this when we're looking for jobs too, you know, as a sales person, like, okay, where we all, we always hear the ad.

[00:11:19] You can't sell something you don't believe in. You can, but the money better be really freaking good. And there aren't usually, if you don't build it. And usually if the, if the product isn't something that you believe in the money's not going to be that good. No, no, uh, I, I definitely agree with that, so.

[00:11:36] Okay. So yeah, maybe everybody has a price, I don't know, but, but then you're, you're paying for it one way or the other, right. Either, either your, either your, your bottom line or, you know, internally. Um, so I I'm curious, like for the people that maybe. Have gotten past this, you know, just being more human, being more themselves, being more authentic, being more genuine, all of these things, right.

[00:12:02] That you hear a lot of people talking about now. Um, and they're going to shitty situation, or maybe it's not the right company, not the right industry or they're just in a rut. Like how do they get out of that situation? I think the first thing you got to do is we have to accept as salespeople that we're all going to get in these situations.

[00:12:24] I'm so sick of honestly, what kind of spurred this for me is I'm really sick of this reliance in the job search on quota attainment. I have heard so many people get screwed in the past year because they, because they left their last job when they were achieving 50% of quota or something like that. And they had to.

[00:12:46] Whether they got, whether they were let go because poor attainment or they left because they could read the writing on the wall. But that number isn't reflective of performance, it's reflective of the reality in that territory or that situation we're coming. We're still in the thick of COVID. There are industries that just got decimated.

[00:13:04] If you could earn 50% of a it event based quota last year, I want to hire you. That's amazing that you could get even 50% is a freaking miracle, but they go into interviews and you've got hiring managers and you've got recruiters are like, Oh, this person only got 50% or worse. This person has the height it on their resume.

[00:13:23] So it's a really weird situation. And. I think the step one in kind of how to fix it is we, as an industry have to accept. There are situations where salespeople are not set up to succeed natively, and we have to take steps to fix that, to start either setting ourselves up to succeed or setting our teams up to succeed.

[00:13:47] Even when they're in these. Shitty situations where the territory's bad, the economy went to heck, um, it's super oversaturated or there's no presence there at all. So you're building from scratch. There are a million ways that as salespeople, we can be set up to not quite fail, but to have a much harder road to climb.

[00:14:11] Then we realize we're in the interview process and you never know this stuff until you're in there. It's impossible to know. Um, we all know it's the interviews of, Oh, it's all inbound. Your SDR gets you this many meetings and it's total Greenfield and you get to pick her out account. So I want to look at, I want to, I want to peel this back to two different ways here.

[00:14:34] One from, from, from the sales, you know, the individual contributor perspective. Right. You know, so maybe coming out of a shit situation where it was. You know, the quota was way too aggressive. Uh, there wasn't, you know, the right leadership or support, or they were promised, you know, the world and got nothing.

[00:14:56] Uh, whatever the case is, how do they, how do they, you know, Basically advocate for themselves without it feeling like, Oh, they're just have a bunch of excuses. Right. So let's start there and then we'll shift to more of what leaders can. Yeah, I think again, so kind of first thing comes with admitting.

[00:15:19] You've got a problem. So step one is, okay, what is the problem? Um, whether it's is it the territory's oversold? Is it there's no support going into it? Is it that this, um, this particular region is a slower adopting region. Start by just identifying what the problem is. Second question is, is this problem fixable and really getting creative around?

[00:15:48] Is it fixable? So if this is an a, if you're assigned to a region and you were selling a tech solution, That is a slower adopting region. Okay. You can't make them adopt the technology faster, but you can adapt your language. You can advocate for yourself, maybe doing more educational events, doing more marketing, warm up on your leads.

[00:16:08] Then you would need to do say in a coastal city, which is slightly faster to adopt. They don't, maybe these people need a little more email warm up. They need a little more handholding. And then try and think, okay, how would I solve this? How can I solve this? And then go and advocate for those things that you think you need to hit your quota.

[00:16:28] Okay. So that's, that's how to advocate for yourself if it's, if it's a fixable problem or if you want to try to fix it right now, you going to say something else, but so go ahead and continue. Before I asked, I have another question lined up for you. Okay. I was going to say, and the other, the other thing I'll say whenever you're advocating for yourself, I always advise my clients, my individual coaches and stuff like that.

[00:16:52] Um, people who I'm coaching too, whenever you're making a request of your boss present it like a business case. I want this. Here's what it'll cost. Here's the anticipated output. Here are the risks involved where it might go wrong. Here's the best case, worst case likely case. Boom, laid out really in numbers form.

[00:17:11] I tell people to do this, even for stuff that doesn't cost money. If it's like, Hey, I want to try out this new script. Here's how long I'm going to try it. Here are the potential outcomes. Here's what I think is going to happen. And I'll give you this detail back. Are you okay with that? And you're basically just getting signed up, but with budget gets a little bit trickier, especially if you're looking for resources to support you a new database, more marketing spend, you have to go at them with numbers.

[00:17:33] So figuring out in your CRM, Hey, do you have as many contacts as maybe some of the other patches? You know, what sort of pipeline, what sort of business has been done here in the past? What's the total market size in this patch, pull your own data and then bring it to your boss. So it's going to be more work, but if you can do this work on the front side, you're much more likely to get what you're asking for.

[00:17:55] Um, and I think, I don't know if this is the next thing you're going to ask for, but the next we got talked about as if it's not a fixable problem. Yep. Yep. It's not a fixable problem. And the idea is to leave. How do you then advocate for yourself in the interview where it doesn't seem like you're making a bunch of excuses of why you didn't update?

[00:18:15] Basically what I found works the best is. Own what you can in the situation. So for example, if you are. Give it a patch that's oversold that you guys already have a ton of space in the market or whatever you can go in and you can say, Hey, you know, I had a, it was a really focused focus plus it was a great learning experience.

[00:18:42] I met a lot of really good people. It introduced me to some great dynamics in this patch. Some of the challenges I faced were we already had 80% market saturation. Um, I didn't have it's preexisting relationships with a lot of the accounts. So I was, I was building relationships at scale very quickly. So explaining, owning what you owned and the other thing, I think that's been really helpful for me as an interviewer when I'm interviewing people, I want to hear you own up to something.

[00:19:09] So even if it's, if you go in and say, you know what, I got to patch, it was really oversold. We did this, we did that. And you can list out everything but wrong. But then counter it with, and here's what I probably could have done that would've made a little bit of a difference. I could have potentially advocated better with my boss.

[00:19:25] I think I went to the excuse place a little bit too quickly and got misinterpreted. I wish I'd gone to them with more data to back up what I was saying. I wish I had spent more time building deeper relationships. I wish I had done this, you know, list off the things you learned you would do better. And then, and I still don't think it would have made that much of a difference.

[00:19:44] The classic example I give people for this is I've told this story a ton is, um, the last, the second to last patch I had before I went into leadership was I had Manhattan and Queens, um, selling, uh, internet security or actually network security. And I had that patch in, um, in October of 2000. And what was that?

[00:20:09] 2000 and. 12, I think 2012, 2013, whatever the year hurricane Sandy hit. So for two months, my patch and all my decision-makers half of their homes were underwater. And so I'm calling CEO's, I'm calling cell phones even back then. I'm like trying to get these people's attention. And my first question is, Hey, are you and your family?

[00:20:34] Okay. And I'm T I'm talking to people who are living on a FEMA trailers and Millie. I mean, I, these are millionaires in a lot of cases, but they're living out of FEMA trailers. They've lost houses. They've dealt with a lot of really terrible stuff there. In some cases, they had lost data centers and. This doesn't work with COVID.

[00:20:56] So please don't start, please. Don't think I'm saying go out and start conversations with aren't you. Okay. This does not work in this era. This worked then do many people have already tried that and the whole fake empathy thing is just a bad thing. Five minutes in that we're about five minutes for the first week of March last year.

[00:21:11] And then it was over done. Yeah. And people are still using it. Yeah. No, please, please. Don't stop now. Immediately. You're just pissing people off. No, we're not. Yeah. Okay. None of us are okay. Just own it and move on. Um, yeah, but what ended up happening was basically I'd start with these conversations just quick empathy and I stopped pitching.

[00:21:35] I just stopped pitching. It was, Hey, I'm Ashley. I'm calling with this company. Okay, great. All right. I'm going to call you back in a few months and we'll talk about now. Well, we'll talk a little bit more about network security, what we do, but in the meantime, I want you to know that because you took this call today, we're gonna be donating $5 to the red cross.

[00:21:51] Boom. And basically I got basically what I did was I got a little bit of money from my manager and I got, I typically I piggyback, I slightly stretched the truth. I piggybacked in the fact that my company was making a giant donation to them, red cross for hurricane relief to begin with. I started with a little bit, but that stuck.

[00:22:10] And so the moment hurricane Sandy stopped her that, that quarter Q4, I think I hit about 30 bucks. My number, I just bombed. I didn't get put on a pit because dilly the company knew what was going on, but I also didn't get paid. So it was like, I was just kind of Sol, but two things happened there. That was a shit situation.

[00:22:34] Two things happen there. One. I was very vocal with my boss about what was going on and what I was hearing on the phones. And I came with data. I had this many conversations with this week. I had this many references to FEMA trailers. I had this many references to data centers that were trashed. I had this many references to XYZ, literally.

[00:22:50] Here's what's going on in my patch. I sent those weekly, so they knew everything that was going on week over week two, if there were meetings to be had, I got them. So where the way I've talked about that in meeting sense in an interviews and stuff is two things. One, I defy anyone to get above the 36%. I got, I milked that for all it was worth without trashing the company.

[00:23:16] And as proof of that, the next quarter, I think I had 210% of my quota. Mo about a good half of which were, was be following up with the people that I connected with during hurricane Sandy and just had that little moment of human connection, positive. I just want to call it back. It's like, Oh, you were the nice one.

[00:23:38] You were the one who wasn't trying to pitch me when my house was under water. Okay. Now you've got my attention. Cause I can give some. So you're playing, you're playing the long game. You're playing the long game. Yeah. And, and you were being transparent with your, with your leadership of, of what was going on and actually providing data to back it up.

[00:24:00] So it didn't look like a bunch of excuses. Um, and I think those are some key things to take away from that experience for people. Right. Any, anything else? The big thing is I want to be clear too. I'm lucky. I knew that was something was going to pass. I knew that was going to be a few months. If you're in a situation where something is not transient or something is probably not going to change or were you going to advocate for yourself and you're promised a solution and a month goes by a quarter, goes by two quarters, go up.

[00:24:28] It goes by and nothing changes. Businesses will always look out for businesses. You have to view yourself as a business owner and do what's best for your business as well. And there comes a point where at some point in your career, you will have to make the tough call and it sucks when it happens. Um, I compare it to a really nasty breakup.

[00:24:47] I still, I still love you, but we are not healthy together. This is not going to work and I'm it. And I got to say, like, I feel bad saying that because I'm the person who ended up marrying her college sweetheart that she met at 19. So I don't know what that's like, but I, but I've gone through those rough breakups with companies and every single time it's like, Fulbright cue the breakup montage of the Ben.

[00:25:08] And Jerry's at 2:00 AM and crying during Titanic and completely questioning everything in my life. And my husband looking at me for those and being like, it's a job. What are you freaking out about? But there comes a point where you have to make those tough calls and the reason why you have to make them as if you don't make them, your job will, and then it'll hit you at a time when you don't expect it.

[00:25:28] For example, December 23rd, 2019, when I got laid off two days before Christmas, And then like the genius. I am founded a company in January of 2020. It's been a fun year if I had taken control and re and owned up the fact that you know, what this situation is not working, I could have gotten a six month headstart and last year would have been a heck of a lot easier, but I don't know that I would've made the jump into entrepreneurship six months earlier.

[00:26:00] I wasn't ready. So. Everything happens for a reason, but owning up and being honest with yourself about this is not going to change it. How can I build my business? What's best for my business in that long-term and you go into interviews and you talk about it like that. Any place that's going to say, Oh, you're excusing or you're job hopping or something like that.

[00:26:21] And you're having that conversation. If they read that as job hopping, then they're either not listening or B that's not a company you want to work for. And that's something that's a lot of salespeople need to get. We need to kind of get over this fact of, you know, at any job as a job. No, there's a right place for you.

[00:26:38] And there are wrong places for you. So going in and being honest about stuff like this. Yeah. And I think, I think that's, I think that's cool, but it's for a good reason, you can focus your time and your energy on the jobs that you're actually going to succeed in. Yeah. And I really liked the way that you explained to frame that sort of conversation in the interview.

[00:26:59] Right? So, you know, owning what you can and, uh, you know, being honest and addressing it, don't like, I mean, don't try to avoid it. It's going to come up. So address it head on, um, and, and sort of frame it in the way that you did, where it doesn't come off as an excuse, like, Hey, I could have done this differently.

[00:27:19] Um, but, and then tying it back to like, you know, what the issues were and being really honest about that, I think is a great way to approach it. I want to shift gears a little bit and look at it from a different lens. Right. So how, which, you know, this is part of the problem, right? So how do we, how as sales leaders, can they do a better job?

[00:27:39] Maybe with some different questions or not tying everything to like, you know, making higher decisions just based on who attained quota or who did. Okay. Really easy. Here we go. Here we go. Stop asking about quarter team minutes. Stop asking about stack rankings on teams, period. Stop does that matter? You could be a terrible sales rep in a killer patch and hit 110% of quota every quarter, because that stuff falls in your lap.

[00:28:10] That person is not going to do well. If you have to put them in a patch where they're going to be building, you need to know who you're hiring, what their sales skills are. So that's what you focus your, your questions on. So ask questions about territory planning, ask questions about challenges they had in their territory and how they overcame them.

[00:28:27] Ask them about what came easy. What were the strengths? What were the weaknesses? How do you evaluate, how do you plan? How do you process this stuff out? I would, as a sales, as a sales leader, I want P I want people who know how to do their job or who are willing to be trained depending on what level of seniority I'm hiring for.

[00:28:49] So keeping in mind, All of that stuff, you can figure out like, what you want is people say, okay, I want to talk. I want a history of history of top performer. Okay. So what you really want is someone who can consistently put, get, who can consistently get results quarter after quarter, regardless of what's being thrown at them.

[00:29:07] That's not necessarily the person who got 150, 210% the past year. And that system, it might be the person who got 75 to 90% in another system, you have to evaluate the systems that they were in. So asking questions around, did everybody have the same quote or was it dynamic? Quoting by territory? If everyone's on the same quota, then they're going to be good quarters and bad quotes.

[00:29:30] If they're on dynamic quotas. Okay. Then maybe it's a little bit more fair asking questions around maybe what percentage of team hit goal. Hey, you know, out of curiosity, your last company, what percentage of your reps hit, hit their targets last year? Did everyone hit? Did no one hit. Now I have an understanding of how fairly or how well that leadership team set the quotas.

[00:29:54] Then maybe you can ask a little bit, so if everyone hits the job and not asking those questions at all yeah. But you can, it's really what it comes down to is context. You don't ask about quota attainment so you can gauge how well they will perform in your system. You ask about the context around their quota, so you can judge the situations they've been in.

[00:30:13] And based off that, be able to predict how they're going to react in your system, which is going to be different than anything else I've done before because every, every sales team is completely unique. So. Okay. All right, there we go. Sales leaders, you have it. There's the playbook for asking the right questions in interviews and stop judging people about whether they hit quota with no context.

[00:30:39] And if I'll say this, and if somebody comes in and it looks like they've missed, or they're hiding the fact that they've missed column on it, what happened? Tell me that this don't just go, Oh, they didn't hit quota. They didn't perform and dismiss them. You're going to miss out on some of the best sales reps, because I know sales leaders who will purposely put their best talent in the worst territories.

[00:31:00] So why would you discontinue, why would you discount top talent? Because you didn't understand what that sales leader was thinking. You could be potentially ignoring huge swaths of people. Um, yeah, there there's a lot there that if you just take a few minutes to unpack the context, All of a sudden, you have a much better picture of the picture of the individual's performance than just looking at quota or just looking at millions driven and sourced and closed and timelines and these things.

[00:31:31] Those, those are not relevant to your system. That's a different product. It's a different leadership. Why do we keep asking about a system that is irrelevant?

[00:31:41] All right. I really enjoyed this conversation. Um, topic that I think we can bring some more attention to. And I'm happy to do that here with you today. Thanks so much for coming on. I really appreciate it. I want to close it out before I go. You have something that you want to tell folks about. You have a course that's coming out, that we want to give some love and attention.

[00:32:03] We will drop the link in the show notes and any other final thoughts or anything else you want to let folks know? No, definitely just please catch me on social. You've got thoughts. You think I'm wrong? You think I'm right? I'd love to hear about all of it. I love nothing more than a good debate. So on Instagram and other sales coach, On Twitter, Ashley at work, which is a very obscure star Trek reference, uh, LinkedIn, the usual methods, but I'm definitely, I'm actually really excited.

[00:32:28] Um, in March and April of this year, I'm actually launching a course with JB sales, with Dejon Barrow sales team on the practical persona masterclass. So if you want to learn how to kind of crawl inside your prospect's skin, not just to write better sales copy, but actually to start predicting how they're going to react to what you're going to say before they say it.

[00:32:47] Take a look, we'll drop the link in there. Um, it's been a lot of, I'm putting it together. It's the result of me literally teaching this stuff for 10 years. So. Can benefit from all the experience of the hundreds of people who have been working on developing this stuff with, it's a lot of fun and it's super practical.

[00:33:04] This isn't going to be some document you're going to build once and never referenced. Again, this is something you're going to be constantly leveraging for the rest of your career. I'm really excited. I love it. So yeah, I'm going to check it out myself and we will drop the link. In the show notes. Ashley, thanks so much for coming on today.

[00:33:18] If you're listening to the podcast and you enjoyed today's episode, please write us a review, share with your friends and as always we're listening for your feedback. Thank you. 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.

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