Would you say that the business acumen and the financial acumen was more relevant and more valuable than the sales skills that he developed. No question. You know and I say that because after a while like you know usually for us your point of contact is an I.T. manager I.T. director and you’re sort of in this middle management space right of technology owners is what I would call them. And so just being able to have this business finance you know experience and skill set, you know really help when you get to the decision makers, right when you get to a repeat or c-level. You know point of contact or relationship that you have to build. You know they’re not focused on a lot of that day to day tactical execution like someone in the middle management space might be you know. So having this other set of skills around just having a business conversation, especially understanding financials knowing and learning how the Microsoft sales cycle works is for a lot of my customers like nothing nothing moved until the CFO put a signature on it. And so being able to just know like when I got in a conversation with you know with a CFO or a CEO whatever the case may be is knowing that I’m coming in with their sort of their lens or their perspective spending time with you know like CEOs before or CFOs. I know what you are ready to talk about like I’m ready for what you’re going to say. And then I also before the meeting I’m able to really prep and make sure I have deliverables to that to the customer at that level. That makes sense and that they’re going to be able to digest you know make a decision off of at the end of the day which is yes or no. I just want to get them to go forward or not. And so you know I definitely think the blend of the business and the finance skills you know coupled with you know being able to sell which is it. You got to do that too. But before that you have to be able to disarm them and make them you know credibility built with them like you do. No you know you do know what you’re talking about. You know and you know Microsoft and you know are our investments. OK so now what’s the recommendation.
I was like relentless what customers like I would, and especially internally cause I. I didn’t have the 15 years or 20 years at Microsoft where you know you used to like the status quo of things you know. I didn’t have that. So when I would come in it was like I’m going to do whatever it takes for my customers to be successful you know. So that helped me even internally right where I’m like pushing the envelope or trying to push the status quo of how things happen. To make sure that my customers have the best of the best resources. And when you come to the table with that sort of hungry mentality everyday with them because they’re in the same boat right there trying to deliver impact, they’re trying to do X Y or Z in their company. And so bringing that mentality is with them in their background and it really help customers. What I call relax. You know and they, we start to do other things other projects, other, and then your entire quota. And then once you see it start to work for a couple of customers you are like well that’s the formula for at least for Phil to go with to go use with my customers and that’s what I did.
And my upbringing my you know my mom and my step dad have a business. And so I was able to you know take the learning I had at that company where I you know I used to sit you know every week with our CFO. And I actually went through you know our PNL statements our earnings reports and things like that. And so then that helped me really learn how to go look at a business you know because at the end of the day a lot of people make decisions of data off and especially on their financials and the financials tell the story. And so once I got really comfortable learning how to look how businesses manage their money and how they make decisions off of you know their financial decisions. You know I became like what I would call like close to dangerous. Like I wasn’t enough because I didn’t study finance or any of these things. But this combination of entrepreneurialism like going to actually work in corporate you know then smashing those together in a sales role like this one inside sales actually you know really helped me just go to town in a different way than people normally anticipated and it helped me have some of those even broader business conversations just given the background.
From the inside perspective right like I’ve done field cells are different when you can go in and actually you know say hello to a person and shake their hands. You know technological play got you those traditional things that sellers do you don’t have. You don’t always have that luxury an inside sales right. And so what I did was like I when I go I use this term a lot. But I humanized everything right. Like I took away that we were on Skype and I turned the video on. And like I did that on all my intro calls. Like all of them. And they were they’re so used to just somebody calling or not calling actually. And what that did was help them say Well there’s actually a person that I know I’ve talked to I can look at his LinkedIn and I’ve seen him blink I’ve seen him smile at me. I seen him laugh you know or whatever the case may be and that was the first step for these for these relationships because they could see me just like I could even if they never turned the video on at least they could see me. And then the second thing I did was I never spent time every single time I talk to the customer always talking about business. And the reason why I did that is you know I learned I learned from you know both my parents and other people around me that have built really great relationships is they really focus on the person and what happens when you know when I did that is or at least learn how to do it. Is focused on my clients is I learned so much about who they were when they were they were focused at. And what was driving him even some of their business decisions. Weirdly enough after getting to know them as a person and then I could then really go deeper with them like I call it like onion chillin’s like I’ve got I’ve already peeled back the the personal layer. And so when we do get you know get to talking about business it’s like people really do business with their friends than people they don’t know.
I did it was I would then go back to my customer without them knowing I was sitting on their call on their earnings call and that I could help tie that into a business conversation and to human conversation. Look let’s just not talk technology because that’s what they’re expecting a Microsoft sales rep to come do is let me just fire away at all the new cool things that we did there or that we have released. And let’s talk to you OK before we get to the technology investment there has to be some business reason or anticipated outcome that you want whether it’s for your internal customers in your company or it’s the true end user which is why anybody is in any of our any of our customers are really investigate in technology, is to make their solutions better for their customers. And so when I was able to do that humanize the technology and using that kind of data. I was able to opened up a lot of doors and shows some different you know expertise you know that helped build that trust. When a customer is looking at me or listening to me talk about their business versus talking about the technology investment that they have with Microsoft. So it helped me really transition from a seller to a you know more of an adviser or a really true partner.
You know I had a very transparent conversation both at the time with my sales manager and sales directors and part of the reason why I did that is because I don’t have a traditional sales background. We can talk about that. But the way I did it was look I don’t know these customers you know at all yet you just get we just got our book of business. And what I did was they will just let me do my thing based on my background. You know being around a lot of entrepreneurs and let me figure it out that way. And then while doing that right the admin work out I was like well I was very hygiene oriented so I was when I mean by that is I would go onto our sales tool. And I already knew what they wanted right. I asked them in the beginning what do you really need to go forecast you know to your manager or to your boss and so on and so forth. So that helped me really give them true true clear guidance for me for myself right is to hey. These are the things that you’re focused on. I’m going to make sure that you have this up to date at all times so I don’t have to either sit in multiple meetings with you or you don’t have to come ask me questions about deals or anything that’s going on. You have that access and visibility so that help take away even just the admin work preparing for the forecast. I would just build it into my routine. And so that where the extra conversation and layers were removed. And so that I get more time to spend with my customers or partners.
Phil Terrill – Microsoft’s #1 Inside Sales Corporate Account Manager
Phil Terrill was Microsoft’s #1 Inside Sales Corporate Account Manager last year. He was responsible for managing 168 accounts. In this episode, Phil talks in detail about his mindset, unique approach, and the way he went about effectively managing his book of business. Continue Reading …
One thing that I think is crazy withinin this industry is the amount of time that people focus on the debate between social selling and cold calling. So that’s something that you can find out yourself. You have analytics in whatever platform you use like SalesLoft. Find out what works for you. I’ve personally found out that calling works great. So to me that conversation doesn’t even matter and I don’t know why so many people spend that much time debating this topic when they should be focusing on actually selling.
So in one of my articles I said that you must have at least 10 to 12 touches in your cadence and the way that I usually structure it is to make sure that that cadence follows out throughout about 35 to 40 business days, because sometimes you send the first outreach or give a call and a voicemail but maybe the timing is off. Or they’re just really busy because it’s end of quarter or whatever that might be. So you have to give yourself a chance to make sure that they see it and that the timing for them is right. So I usually structure things again then I do A B testing but it’s either a call first or an email. Then you have another three or four calls, another three or four emails. I usually send one video. You can try playing around with sending the video first versus later on and then usually only have one or two touches on linkedIn. I just find generally linkedIn is not as good as calls and e-mails.
Got it. Got it. And of all of those. Is there one that is the most consistent producer that you find opens up the most doors and leads to the largest number of meetings, or is it really just the sum of the parts?
At the end the day. It is calls. So the powerful thing about having direct dials. And then there’s also a feature on SalesLoft which allows you to to local dial which means that when you call a prospect they’re actually going to see a number calling from their area code. So if you’re calling them directly with a number from their area code you’re going to get really high response rate. So I’m talking like 10 percent plus and usually this is something that’s like under 1 percent. So at the end the day it’s the phone.
Talk a little bit more about how you’re using ViewedIt. I think it’s a pretty standard way but for folks who aren’t familiar with ViewedIt I think it’s an incredible tool. And like you said it’s still free at this point so well we’ll see when Vidyard changes their mind on that one. But how do you personally use view that in your process.
So it’s not revolutionary I think at the end of the day the main thing that you’re trying to do as an SDR is capture someone’s attention and stand out from the crowd. So as of today videos are not something that are prevalent in a lot of outreach. So I use that to my advantage so that people can get these videos and then they realize that I spend time to customize outreach for them. So in the actual video what I do is you can put a subject line within that video with then I have a thumbnail that usually holds up their name so that they’re more likely to click it. And then within that video it’s really just me pitching the product in one or two sentences and then asking them if they would like to setupe a call but it’s nothing revolutionary it’s just the fact that I’m doing it and most people aren’t.