The B2B Sales Mentors Book – 20 Stories from 20 Top 1% Sales Professionals was published April 2, 2019. Learn more: top1.fm/b2b
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In between the regular interview episodes, we’ll continue to release sample stories from the book like this one. You can either listen to the episode and hear Jeremy read his story, or read the full text below.
“Taking on a New Challenge”
By: Jeremy Leveille
I was a BDR (Business Development Representative) at a mid-market technology company. I was doing really well, exceeding quota for meetings set for nine months in a row. One month I even hit 246% to quota. At this time, I was starting to post content on LinkedIn and build my personal brand. Recruiters took notice and started knocking on my door.
I was happy at my current company but I was open to see if there was anything else I could do. I was offered a role as a BDR Team Leader at another company. I accepted the offer, but after letting my current company know that I was leaving they made a counter-offer/promotion. After much deliberation, I accepted the counter-offer/promotion to stay at my company as a Channel Sales Manager.
This change was exciting but also nerve-racking at the same time. After all, I barely had any experience in a closing role and new very little about what being a Channel Sales Manager (a.k.a. Channel Manager) was like. Adding to the anxiety was the fact that the person who would be my manager had just left the company so the person who I’d be reporting to was located five states away and had a full plate of traveling all over the country to manage other reps.
Despite the obstacles, I was determined to succeed in this new role. Right off the bat, there was a big event in my area – lots of the important people I’d be working with at my new role were going to be there. The event was put on by Telarus, one of our larger partners. My manager wasn’t sure if I was ready to go, but I insisted. I went and although I did feel a little more overwhelmed about not having enough expertise in this new role, I did feel better about making so many great connections.
After that event, I was more eager than ever to continue to learn about how I could succeed in this new role. As I soon discovered, the IT/telecom partner channel is a much different world than direct sales. It’s very niche with lots of intricacies. I started networking on LinkedIn with more and more people from the channel, and I found out about a podcast called “Channel Outlaws” through LinkedIn.
This podcast was the absolute game-changer for me in this role. I was able to learn all of the nuances of the channel. Everything I wanted to learn was here. I was hooked and listened to literally every second of every the first 20 episodes (they’re an hour long each). Just like that, I now was an expert in my new role. This were all finally starting to click, I was feeling more comfortable in the role. I had a full list of partners I could call my own and had closed my first couple of deals.
When things really took off for me as a Channel Manager, I started to use video. The reason is that a big part of my job was training our reseller and referral partners on the value of our services, what our core products were, what types of deals to refer us, how we differed from the competition, etc. In other words, I had to train our partners on how to sell our stuff. While I would go to the partners’ office or hop on a conference call to do these training sessions, traveling around isn’t scalable and it’s not easy to get groups of people to all be available at the same time for meetings.
As a result, I started recording customized videos myself using a tool called Vidyard. I made a bunch of these videos, some were customized to the specific partner I was sending them to, some were customized based on a particular product. I sent them to partners via email, so they could watch them at whatever time was convenient for them. I was blown away by the response that I was getting!
Not only were the partners super impressed by how thorough the training videos were (thanks to my hours of studying my craft via the podcast), but they also liked the convenience of being able to watch the videos whenever they wanted as opposed to having to shift things around in their busy schedule for a meeting. The biggest reason I think they were such a hit was that it was something that literally no other Channel Manager – at my company or any other – was doing. It was different, and embedding personalized videos into emails for sales was really starting to take off at the time.
The best part was what happened next. A package arrived in the mail at our head office with my name on it. It was from Telarus. Inside was a Telarus Coin of Excellence and a handwritten letter from our liaison at Telarus. The Coin of Excellence (picture attached) is a gold coin that they only present to a select few people who are affiliated with their company (Channel Managers and sales agents) who truly go above and beyond to help make their company a success.
I was working with many partners who were affiliated with Telarus, and in all the communications, I made sure to copy my Liaison there. She said in the letter how appreciative she was for me keeping her in the loop as well as how impressed she was with the videos I had been sending out to her partners.
I was on cloud nine after that. The next month I closed the biggest deal of my sales career.
The biggest takeaways here:
- Don’t be afraid of a new challenge – dive in head first!
- Find whatever podcast will arm you with the most expertise in your role – absorb it
- Use video to break through the noise
- Don’t be afraid to do something that’s different than what everyone else in your role is doing – especially if it’s something that is a more practical way of doing your job
Want more from Jeremy Leveille? He was the star of episode 55: LeadIQ‘s Top SDR – Jeremy Leveille