Our guest on this episode of the Sales Success Stories podcast is AJ Brasel, Strategic Account Executive at Clover Imaging, a multinational company that remanufactures toner cartridges. As you know, we only interview #1 or top 1% quota-carrying individual sales reps on our podcast, and AJ is no different – in his 4 years in sales at Clover, he has gone from selling $80-100k per year to $10-11 million per year.
Before working at Clover, AJ was a high school biology teacher and coach, but he found himself unfulfilled and dissatisfied with the compensation structure of receiving the standard pay raise every year regardless of performance or effort. His first job at Clover was as an analyst, digging deep into the data and internal systems behind the sales team. He found that he had an increased interest in sales, despite never working in sales before, so he sought a sales position and has obviously found great success, which he attributes to 3 main practices:
- Working closely with internal leadership
- By sitting in on and observing meetings and sales calls with upper level leadership and experienced sales reps, AJ has been able to build a repertoire of techniques that resonated with him.
- He has curated his own tactics based on his personality, building on his strengths while also pushing himself out of his comfort zone.
- Understanding his accounts from top to bottom
- AJ studies the goals, marketing values, and sales team compensation structures of his accounts in an effort to truly understand what motivates them.
- He can then build relationships with individuals in the company, build a foundation of trust with them, and knowledgably communicate with them about Clover’s solutions to their company’s needs.
- Being driven by specific and measurable goals
- AJ sets short-term and long-term goals for himself in his personal and professional lives, which he tracks frequently using Excel or phone apps (fitness: Garmin, My Fitness Pal; financial: Mint).
- After establishing his goals, he creates an action plan and reaches out for help if he needs assistance along the way.
- In order to stay organized at work, AJ uses Microsoft Dynamics for CRM as well as numerous Excel spreadsheets and tools provided by Outlook for email.
AJ’s typical day looks something like this:
8:00am Review sales numbers using Excel spreadsheets and formulas he has set up
9:00-11:00am Follow-ups and tasks from his checklist created the day before
1:00-4:30pm Client check-ins, follow-ups, meetings
4:30-5:00pm Prepare for the next day