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November 13, 2018

How Do You Keep Your Sales Team Focused? Truth in Sales & Equal Pay

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GUEST: Amanda Moriuchi, CEO of AppIt Ventures

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What happens when your sales teams get too emotionally attached to their prospects?

If your teams are getting too attached to one particular person, it's a sign of an anemic prospect.

And anemic prospects can thwart progress.

So how do you keep your sales teams focused and keep those prospects coming?

Amanda Moriuchi, CEO of AppIt Ventures, joins us to chat how they are using a truth in sales strategy to tackle this issue. So what exactly does this mean?

“We don’t assign sales quotas. Our sales people choose their own,” Amanda told us.

Say what?

Their strategy is simple. When hiring, they ask their folks how much they want to make and then based off of that, they set their quotas.

"We ask how much our people want to make, and then based off of that, we set their quotas. This has been a huge game changer."
 
AMANDA MORIUCHI,
CEO OF APPLT VENTURES


 “This has been a game changer for us, explained Amanda. “If my team starts to miss the goals that they set for themselves, I get to ask them why.”

"If my team starts to miss the goals that they set for themselves, I get to ask them why. This is accountability."
 
AMANDA MORIUCHI,
CEO OF APPLT VENTURES



Behavioral Mix

We learned that there is a behavioral mix that is followed. For instance, one employee likes to cold call, but perhaps another would rather reach out via email. Amanda said, “this approach plays to their strengths and provides a level of accountability.”

And coaching becomes easier with this goal setting approach too. Amanda said it simply, “They can’t argue with their own data.”  

Outside of coaching, this truth in sales tactic also creates more room for the sales reps to be authentic, eliminating the cookie cutter approach.

Culture also benefits. “Any leader knows that customers that are not well suited for your organization damages your bottom line,” explained Amanda.

And probably most importantly, it helps to reduce the friction that naturally occurs between sales and execution.

All in all, this self-driven environment prevents the “you over promised and under delivered” culture.

 

Consistency is Key

Staying consistent is another key weapon in AppIt Ventures’ success. They continually track the mix of behaviors, and if need be tweak as needed.

For instance, cold calling has a shorter sales cycle than say, networking. But they both have their place and knowing how to infuse them when needed is crucial.  

Amanda chimed in, “It takes time to build that data, but you’ll eventually have it to  where you can take anywhere.”

She went on to say that the behavior mix is unique to their employees. “Their quotas are theirs so we leave it up to them on how to build their behavior mix,” she said. And they truly are all different.

 

Equal Pay

Switching gears a bit, we wanted to know what strategy Amanda and her team were implementing as ambassadors of equal pay.

“Many times, people have enough,” said Amanda. “ And if they have enough you don’t have to motivate them. If they are underperforming, there is usually a gap.”

The key is to remove barriers in order to get to the bottom of the gap.

The team prevents this by setting standards for roles and experience level. Amanda explained that when hiring, they are transparent about that and then ask if that is in alignment with what they need and expect.

That transparency reduces the pressure for potential employees. And allows validation of who they are on skills, and not just pay.

“People feel good knowing that they are getting paid what they are worth. This strategy just removes the confusion,” exclaimed Amanda. She went on to add, “Hiring is a sale within a sale.”

That's how she’s getting top talent and keeping them.

Before ending, we asked Amanda her top 3 pieces of advice. She said:

  1. Discipline is freedom. Do the behavior...it doesn’t matter how you feel about it. But the freedom is worth it.
  2. Get training. Become good at getting to the truth of the matter. If you can find a way to drive a conversation that in turn, makes a person feel comfortable, it will save you a lot of time.
  3. 9 out of 10 aren’t going to be a customer, but leave them in a better place than when you found them.

 

This post is based on an interview with Amanda Moriuchi, CEO of AppIt Ventures. To hear this episode, and many more like it, subscribe to the B2B Revenue Executive Experience Podcast.