In between the regular interview episodes until the book is published in October you’ll find a sample story like this one. You can either listen to the episode and hear me read this story, or read the full text below.
This is one of the four stories that I’ve contributed to the book. Enjoy!
Getting It Done & Doing It Right – Recipe for a Great Sales Culture
By: Scott Ingram
I’ve had the opportunity to work with some great sales leaders, and the best of the best was Alex Shootman. Alex was the Chief Revenue Officer (CRO) at Eloqua when I joined the company and is currently serving as the CEO of Workfront.
Since the hiring manager and my future boss for this role was based in San Francisco, and Alex and I were both based in Austin, I initially spent more time interviewing with Alex than I did with Dennis. In one of those first conversations with Alex, I fell in love with the sales culture he was creating after he walked me through his Getting it Done & Doing it Right framework.
Alex grabbed a notepad and drew a simple 2X2 matrix. On the left-hand side, he wrote the letters G-I-D, which he explained stood for getting it done. At the bottom, he wrote the letters D-I-R for Doing It Right.
He started with the upper right quadrant and explained this was the easiest. As he drew a star in that box, he told me that the sales professionals in the organization who were both getting it done while doing it right would be stars. They would be recognized and rewarded.
From there, he moved to the next easiest to explain quadrant in the bottom left, where he wrote a large letter F. He suggested this position was fairly self-evident, as sellers who weren’t performing against either measurement should expect to be fired.
Next he moved to the bottom right quadrant where he wrote a large letter C. I distinctly remember him telling me that “We believe that good things happen to good people,” and went on to explain that those who weren’t getting it done, but were doing it right deserved a chance. The C was for coaching, and he believed in coaching and working with these under performers to help them improve and move up to the top right quadrant where they would be recognized and rewarded for their efforts as stars.
This all made complete sense. It was simple, straightforward and he shared additional details around what it means to get it done. For the most part that was about making your numbers. This is sales after all. Not to mention some of the nuances around doing it right. Things like being a true team player and working with other departments, putting customers and their experience first and doing what’s right by them. But the real genius in this model came as he explained the heart of the culture and how the sales leadership team would deal with those who fell into the last quadrant.
In that box, Alex wrote the letters F-F and explained those who were getting it done (achieving or exceeding their numbers), but not doing it right, could expect to be Fired Faster.
At that point in my career, I’d seen enough to know that right in front of me was the solution to the toxic sales culture. One so often dominated by an ultra-high performer who got to that position because they were all about themselves and would do anything to anybody inside or outside of the organization to get what they wanted. On paper they look like rock stars, but if you dig a little deeper into the real cost of their behavior, it can be extremely detrimental in so many ways. In a word they create churn. The deals they bring in will often not renew, and other strong sellers will often leave because of the actions these toxic individuals take. A couple of which are best described in Lee Bartlett’s book “The No. 1 Best Seller” as ‘The Leech’ and ‘The Confidence Trickster’ and this is often exacerbated by the actions or more often the inactions of a poor manager.
Not only was this Getting It Done & Doing It Right framework a recipe for a great sales culture, but it also worked its way into the whole company’s culture. Everyone bought into this idea, and the result was one of the most collaborative and innovative environments I’ve ever worked in. Most importantly, it wasn’t just an attempt at lip service. We all lived these principles and once or twice I even saw leadership act on the fired faster mandate with a bad actor further reinforcing their commitment to this model and deepening our trust in them.
- Culture matters. Get to know an organization and what drives them before you sign that offer letter
- Leadership matters, and it will have an impact on your results either positively or negatively
- Talk is cheap. Look at the values that an organization actually act on. What they do matters much more than what they say
If you’re reading this before August 31, 2018 it’s not too late to pre-purchase the book. Otherwise the book will be available at your favorite online book retailer when we publish in October 2018.