From Tables to Tech – Kristie Jones’ Blueprint for Sales Success

SDR Insider #6

The path to sales success is unique – both in the steps you take and how you define “success.”

For some people, success means being a top individual contributor. They’re born to be hunters, and they thrive in that role. They might define success as making as much money as possible.

For some people, success means leading others. They have what it takes to motivate and manage a team – not just themselves. They likely define success as moving up the corporate ladder.

But how do you know which path is right for you?

Kristie Jones, a seasoned sales leader and author, offers advice on how to identify and embrace the right path for you. By realizing your “sales superpower” and leaning into what you define as success, Kristie believes that anyone with the right mindset can succeed in sales.

Join us as Kristie Jones, a seasoned sales leader and author, shares her insightful journey from her entrepreneurial family background to her dynamic career in sales. Drawing parallels between waiting tables and sales roles, Kristie offers invaluable advice on navigating the sales industry, emphasizing the importance of foundational experiences, and making proactive career choices.

Bonus: Don’t pass up her offer to download her workbook on identifying your top skills and traits as a salesperson. You can grab it here!


More About Kristie

Kristie, the author of “Selling Your Way IN”, is a speaker, coach, and sales process consultant. Companies hire Kristie to elevate their sales organization because most sales leaders and professionals are discouraged and frustrated about anemic pipelines, low close rates, and missed targets.

Kristie’s willingness to get her hands dirty and her “take no prisoners” approach when helping companies drive more revenue from their Sales and Customer Success teams is what makes her so valuable to her clients. Her mission is helping companies find top talent as well as creating a sales accountability culture to ensure revenue growth.

Kristie is passionate about coaching sales teams to leverage their superpowers to reach their full potential, and she wants representatives and sales leaders to identify and embody the practices and characteristics of Top Ten Percent achievers.




X: @kristiekjones

Link to pre-order Kristie’s book:

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Key Takeaways

If you’ve ever wondered how your past experiences might shape your future career, Kristie Jones’ story is one you won’t want to miss. With a background deeply rooted in an entrepreneurial family, Kristie has charted a unique path from waiting tables to becoming a formidable sales leader and author. Her journey inspires and offers actionable insights for anyone looking to break into or advance in their sales role.


From Restaurants to Retail: Building a Foundation in Sales

Kristie’s journey began in the bustling world of restaurants and retail – environments where she developed a knack for negotiation, customer service, and analytics. She draws parallels between waiting tables and sales roles, showing how the fast-paced, customer-focused atmosphere of the restaurant industry can be a surprising (yet excellent) training ground for future sales professionals.

💡 Editor’s Note: Kristie’s path of service industry ➡️ SaaS sales isn’t all that uncommon. demandDrive has its fair share of former teachers, waiters, and hotel staff who have succeeded as SDRs – and we’re not alone. Anyone can succeed in sales, it just takes the right mindset (something Kristie touches on later in the episode).


Thriving in SaaS and Starting Her Own Venture

Transitioning from retail to the tech world, Kristie honed her skills in the competitive SaaS sector. She has a particular affinity for smaller, founder-led companies where innovation and agility are paramount. This experience ultimately led her to launch her own business aimed at supporting early-stage B2B SaaS sellers. Her entrepreneurial spirit and comprehensive industry knowledge have made her a trusted advisor and mentor.


Your Sales Superpower

A consistent theme throughout the episode, Kristie talks about how to truly thrive in a sales role you need to identify your unique “superpower” – the thing you do better than all of the other salespeople you know. And more than just knowing what you do better, it’s honing that skill and committing to keep building it over the course of your career.

Knowing what you excel at won’t just serve you in your current role, but it will lay the foundation for how you approach all of your future roles and sales opportunities.

💡 Editor’s Note: Kristie has developed a workbook on how to identify your top skills and traits as a salesperson, and she’s graciously offering it for free to all listeners of this podcast! Head to her website here to snag a copy for yourself, and start figuring out your sales superpower!


“Selling Your Way In”: A Must-Read for Aspiring Sales Professionals

Kristie’s upcoming book, “Selling Your Way In,” is a treasure trove of advice for anyone looking to navigate the current sales landscape. The book is designed to help individuals select the right sales role and industry, stressing the importance of making proactive career choices and focusing on personal development.

💡 Editor’s Note: I really liked the way Kristie talked about making proactive career choices. I’ve seen dozens of SDRs make lateral moves in the pursuit of a higher payday, but they’re often reactive – a recruiter reaches out promising more pay/benefits/upward mobility. And those promises don’t always pan out. Taking a proactive mindset here allows you to identify and apply for a role that suits your skills and aspirations – and usually, this leads to a better long-term result.

One of the book’s core messages is the importance of aligning personal strengths with suitable sales roles. Kristie emphasizes self-reflection and feedback as critical tools for understanding and leveraging one’s unique capabilities. Her guidance is particularly valuable for women in sales, as she discusses the significance of female mentors, generational differences, and the necessity of proactive mentorship and self-advocacy.


Building a Sustainable Career

Beyond just landing the right role, Kristie underscores the importance of staying in a job long enough to gain substantial experience, network effectively, and build strong professional relationships. She also highlights the critical need for self-care and personal development as foundational elements for long-term career success.

💡 Editor’s Note: Continuing the above – if you want to make your next move the right one, having a breadth of experience to lean on will make a huge difference. Instead of chasing a slightly higher salary in a lateral move, staying in your current role to build up skills, experience, and a network will lead to a much higher pay bump in the future. This all depends on your current financial situation – when you’re ready to make a big jump you have to start thinking long-term.


Final Thoughts

Kristie Jones’ story and insights offer a compelling roadmap for anyone looking to thrive in the sales industry. Her blend of practical advice, personal anecdotes, and professional wisdom makes “Selling Your Way In” an essential read for aspiring sales professionals. Whether you’re just starting or looking to pivot within the industry, Kristie’s experiences and guidance can help you navigate your career path with confidence and purpose.

Sales Rep new or old, we hope you found this episode and post helpful. We’re looking forward to sharing more insights from top performers through the SDR Insider, a new initiative from demandDrive.

If you are interested in being included in a future episode or have an idea for a conversation, feel free to reach out to our marketing team at

(00:00) [Music] hi everyone and welcome back to SDR Insider insights from Top performers I’m Maddie and I am here with Christy Jones we’re very excited to have her here as our first external demand Drive guest who is also an author so we’re going to talk about all things sales today about her new book coming up selling your way
(00:25) in which I’m so excited to talk about so Christy thank you so much for being here Manny thanks for having me I’m excited about our conversation today yes so I guess just for anyone who’s listening who doesn’t follow you on LinkedIn or doesn’t know who you are I would love for you to just tell us a little bit
(00:46) about yourself and maybe just your road to getting into sales and what that looked like um I think that would be great for the listeners to hear just as we start a conversation absolutely yeah I grew up in an entrepreneurial family so my parents owned a coldw Banker Real Estate franchise so my dad was the owner broker
(01:05) my mom was a top agent in town so I got to see firsthand um the sales leadership side of the coin as well as the individual contributor side of the coin um and I affectionately say that my brother and I got our MBA at the kitchen table so most of the most most of it was shop talk at night as my parents um
(01:24) albeit working in the same office never really saw each other throughout the day so um not only did we debrief what went on at school that day we debriefed what went on in the real estate world that day as well so um I think that was definitely like s my brother no surprise is a top um individual contributor I
(01:41) went down my dad’s path as a sales leader but I know that we were both heavily influenced by the shop talk that we were a part of every day uh at the dinner table and then um I I say this in all honesty my favorite sales job still today was waiting tables through high school and college um I loved the
(02:00) instant feedback part of waiting tables where every time a table cleared and you went to get your tip you got instant feedback on your performance in real time so um I loved everything about that and it was you know I say it was fast-paced and per personality packed and that was just perfect for me so I
(02:16) loved you know the selling the upselling there’s so many similarities for those when I when I mentioned this those who have waited tables um at some point in their life or been into the restaurant industry like eyes light up and they’re like yep we totally get it um you know I say like you know the section that you
(02:33) were assigned is equal to being assigned to territory in our world today um you needed to know your product so you know did the salad have nuts in it and what was the special for the night um you know upselling or expansion was a was an important part and you know again like me me you know memory memorizing things
(02:50) knowing what was going on you know playing off you know not mirroring or playing off those the folks that came in every every single night and just like any good um salesperson I had regulars who asked to sit in my section and referred others uh to me so there were so many similarities and I still to this
(03:08) day think this is one of my favorite sales JS oh I love that story yeah I I still I was like I’m like I would wait tables like I would wait tables on any given day if somebody was down at D weight weight staff and I was around I’ll would be like sure sign me up I thought I just think it’s so much fun um
(03:24) and then coming out of college I went down to retail sales so so um I started off by working in a department store and then became a buyer for that department store and so I spent about eight years in retail sales which is very different um but lots of Education there as well um that’s where I honed my negotiation
(03:41) skills with motti from mud as I say in New York Marty drove a hard bargain for denim jeans and denim shorts um but uh I I definitely honed my uh analytics skills my data skills and my negotiation skills while buying um as well as you know budgetary skills that people don’t really understand but it wasn’t a
(04:01) glamorous job we were not setting fashion trends I did not get to go to Paris um I but I did have to make sure there was money in the checkbook every Monday uh so we had to balance the checkbook every Monday to see if I had any money to buy anything or whether I had to negotiate markdown money um for
(04:13) things that didn’t sell so was really more about assortment making sure that you didn’t run out of you know Marty’s shorts in any given store um in May and June when you needed them the most and from there I got a little disenchanted In fairness with corporate America I was obviously working for a Fortune 500
(04:31) company at that time um probably like a fortune 200 company at that time and I got a little disenchanted with kind of not being able to sit at the at the nights of the Round Table close close enough to the nights of the Round Table um and so I left Corporate America and never looked back and went to work for
(04:48) my first SAS company um I share that I’m so old that we called it subscription model not SAS back in the day um and I think had about 15 employees when I walked into that company it was around $2.5 million and I stayed for 10 years um and after the first year I was running the entire Revenue Stream So
(05:07) customer success and the net new sales business um we had bdrs back in the day as well and so I helped take that company from about two and a half million to 10 was a lifestyle business we did not take any funding um but that I really like that’s where I cut my teeth in zass um and we were doing we were doing bdrs way before that was a
(05:26) thing right we just I had just my senior ACC Executives were like hey we don’t want to Pro Prospect anymore what can you do for us and I was like well we’ll bring in somebody to help you do that then that sounds reasonable that you’ve earned the right not to do that uh so that’s really where that’s really where
(05:43) my SAS experience and that’s where I I learned to love the swim Lane that I live in which is smaller companies sometimes VC backed you know founder Le selling startups so um about eight years ago I started my own business uh and I have been helping you know early stage SAS B2B Sellers and Founders for the
(06:01) last eight years um and I love what I do like I get to work with lots of different people I get to see a lot of different products out there and a lot of different strategies and it’s sort of Industry agnostic so it doesn’t matter to me what industry you’re in it really matters that you’re B2B and that you’re
(06:17) selling and so really helping people get kind of like move from founder Le selling to building out their first sales team so I help build sales playbooks I help do sales training um I do a little fractional or interim sales leadership from time to time and I like I just love what I do this is this I
(06:33) think feels like home for me um going back to the small business situation that I grew up in and I understand how risky it is for Founders um who have maybe you know Leverage The their house and other things or have had to borrow money from family members to get started so I have a special place in my heart
(06:50) for those individuals no I love all of that information and what I will say which is so interesting I feel like most of the people and sdrs that I have interviewed um they started at some capacity their te quote unquote sales career um in a restaurant or in a retail position or something of that sort and so I think
(07:12) when people are afraid to get into the sales industry they don’t realize they probably already have sales experience if they have had those jobs and positions maybe in college or before that or whenever it was um and so it’s it’s really cool to hear you talk about that experience as well and how that
(07:31) kind of has moved you throughout throughout your uh career yep I checked both those boxes the the restaurant and the retail yeah they’re hard jobs but you learn so much and I think if you can succeed in those jobs you can succeed in sales there there is definitely a um a place for you so it’s it’s great to just
(07:54) hear and there’s a place for you at the table if that’s something you know you’ve had success with in the past all right so I’ll get into a great question which I’m very excited to talk about so you are having this book come out which is selling your way in so I’d love for you to explain a little bit about why
(08:12) you’re putting this book out why now and just what SRS who are maybe listening to this podcast why they should read it what are some of the key takeaways would love to kind of get into the weeds of all of all of those things perfect yes I’m super excited about the book coming out um it will launch on on
(08:32) August the 20th but you can pre-order it today and I really didn’t want to write a how-to book I think there’s a lot of really great how-to books out there and I think there are some in some cases people who are more equipped or better equipped to write those how-to books but what I was seeing out there is I’m
(08:48) working with so many different startups and and you know sdrs and AES and customer success is that I don’t think everybody really understands all of the sales roll options that are out there for them and I also don’t think they understand what their sales superpower or sales secret weapon is and then how
(09:04) to match those together so that they can you know get to be a top 10center maximize their income and own their life and decide how they want to live their life and by you know being able to put themselves in the best position to make the most amount of money that they can be the most successful that they can and
(09:21) then enjoy life on the back end so um I think this actually is a perfect book for sdrs because I I I’m a little frustrated with just the industry in general that really like that’s sort of the only starter job right so if you’re not a hunter if you’re a farmer there’s really no we don’t really have a a a
(09:39) customer success starter job right and so most even Farmers come in through the SDR world and that I’m afraid that people are going to get discouraged because if you’re not wired for hunting which is a special skill for a special type of person then you may think that sales is not for you and you’ve taken
(09:57) the wrong path and so I’m I wrote this book to say no there is if you if if you have certain characteristics or certain traits for sure sales is for you if if you think sales is for you it probably is for you and like we just discussed there’s so many roles like you can do a 100% Commission job right you can sell
(10:13) cars you can sell insurance you can take that type of role you can take a base you know 50-50 base and variable compensation role you can take a more farmer role or maybe it’s a 70 based 30% variable um there are so you know and then there some and then you may be an implementation specialist or an onboarding specialist where you’re 100%
(10:32) base um or solution consultant or sales engineer where maybe you get a bonus every time something that you are involved in closes so there’s so many options out there and and even outside of like you like we talked about earlier even outside of B2B and SAS you know there’s B Toc you know there is retail
(10:49) there there’s so many options out there and I just want people to first and foremost understand their special sales power and then take that information and decide what they should be doing and it’s not just only about the job role either it’s you know what should you be selling right product or service or
(11:09) software you know what industry should you be selling into what size Market should you be selling into what role fits all of that what company fits all of that and what sales leader would be the best for you and so I spend a lot of time in the book helping people understand picking all of those things
(11:28) matter um and I want people to be more proactive than reactive about their career I think sometimes again you fell into you fell into sales because either a you didn’t know what else to do coming out of college or high school or you know you were sitting around the Thanksgiving table and Uncle Bob’s like
(11:45) what are you going to do when you graduate and you’re like I don’t know and Uncle Bob’s like you would be great at insurance and so the next thing you know like that’s the path you went down or a recruiter calls you right out of the blue and says boy do I got a deal for you I’ve got the perfect role for
(11:59) you um but I think as proactive as we are in prospecting and hunting for business and the organizations we work for we do not treat our own career that way and it’s a little baffling but it’s true no all of this is so exciting like personally as you know a senior SDR wanting to continue my career in sales
(12:19) it is so great to hear that a book like this is going to be out there because I think there is definitely a gap and that’s what we’re also trying to cover in this podcast is filling that Gap I think a lot of sales feel secretive sometimes to people so to have someone like you who has been in sales and has
(12:38) had this successful career to sit down and write out okay this is what I would do if I were you in this situation and just giving advice I think is going to be so helpful and I personally can’t wait to read it so I’m excited thank you yeah I’m calling it a personal development book for sales professionals not a sales book yeah I
(12:58) love that I think it’s great and so I’m glad you brought up the Hunters versus Farmers analogy that you talk about in the book and so I’m sure as someone would read it and I I think it’s like the fifth section where you talk about choose the right seat on the bus and I liked that analogy and I encourage
(13:18) anyone listening who is resonating to what we’re talking about you know read the book but I would love to hear just some key takeaways from that and what you would say to someone who’s a sales professional and who’s trying to figure out their next steps in their career or maybe am I a hunter am I a farmer and
(13:38) what your suggestions are to those people because I think that is definitely an area where people struggle where they don’t really know okay I think I like sales but I’m not sure what position I should go into and I like how you get into that in the book but would love to kind of just hear some key takeaways that you have as
(13:58) well sure I think the first thing I would say to this particular audience is there are a lot of different paths coming out of sdom as I call it so I think a lot of sdrs get in there thinking they’re going to end up as in a hunter role but there are so many other options so again the farmer role so account management customer success even
(14:17) implementation or onboarding specialist I’ve had sdrs end up in the marketing department um doing event marketing or other things like that so some times the SR bdr um RS bdr department is underneath the marketing umbrella and so like being part of that marketing team will give you a completely different you
(14:37) know vage and Viewpoint um as far as like Hunters farmers and what I call gatherers uh like there are some specific things and I use um I use a sassy little Christy analogy which is I always say that um that Hunters want to give birth to the baby but Farmers would prefer to raise the baby um and then
(14:54) gatherers are going to do both but I think you know some some traits that I think you’ll see in yourself right away is like you know have you never met a stranger like I call it you know I I ask this question sometimes in an interview if you you know if you miss your flight last flight out of the day and you’ve
(15:12) missed your connection and you end up at the Marriott and the Marriott bar um you know if you go into the Marriott are you going to go straight up to the room and order a room service or if you belly up to the bar how many people will you know their their uh travel their travel nightmare story and perhaps their life
(15:27) story at the end of the night um I’m the girl that the first thing I do at 8:00 if I if I miss my flight is check in drop my bag and I’m back down to the bar um and I’ll know everything about the people sitting next to me in the you know by 10 o’clock at night and so you know I have that I have you know I’m an
(15:43) extrovert I have those Hunter Tendencies I’m not afraid of failure um you know and then you know sales sales is a tension filled Sport and I don’t think a lot of people understand that and so in order for a sale to move from zero call it prospecting to close call it 100% there you know like there has to be a
(16:01) certain amount of tension in order to move that forward if you’re someone who really avoids conflict and tension’s not for you then probably hunting’s not for you you’re probably more of a farmer if you’re someone who is a complete relationship Builder um you know you’re the person who never forgets a birthday
(16:17) who knows what their children’s birthdays are and what their ages are and grades in school if those are the kind of things that you seem to just commit to memory and really love to enjoy learning and me meeting people then you know and you like again there’s there’s still tension in the account management customer success job but
(16:33) there’s less tension right when you call they answer the phone when you email they they hit the reply button um it’s not you know ghosting doesn’t exist that much in that world and so if you’re somebody who likes to build the relationship over time you don’t like to hand over the baby for adoption as I say
(16:49) um because the hunters are going to hand the baby over and they’re going to give it to the adoptive parents and you’ll maybe get pictures at holidays and birthdays but you probably won’t be there to see them take their first steps or ride their first bike but if those type of things are important to you then
(17:04) probably farming is for you and then I call The Gatherer the keep what you catch person right so there are a lot so a lot of times and this is a role that I don’t think a lot of people talk about or talk about enough which is hey I can do a little hybrid like you still probably lean I still believe as traits
(17:21) traits are set by the time you’re 10 a age 10 and so you’re probably going to lean either far or Hunter just naturally intuitively but a lot of people are like hey like I really don’t want to give the baby up for adoption like I’m happy to give birth and watch them take their first steps and ride their first bike
(17:39) and so if that’s you I called it the keep what you catch person so you don’t mind doing some hunting but you don’t want to hand it over to somebody else to raise and so there are there are fewer job fewer gatherer jobs out there but they do exist and so I think like I’ve said I spend the first whole section of
(17:55) the book um the first section is called you have to know yourself before you get to know the Prospect and so the key to putting yourself in that right position even if you have to enter the sales industry through the SDR bdr role is knowing that that’s like I say anybody if if they’re if you’re misaligned with
(18:13) your traits and if you’re a farmer or a gatherer you might be misaligned with your traits a little bit as the hunter rule of SDR but anybody can do anything for 12 to 18 months which is really all we’re asking you to do the SDR Ro for anyway and so and there’s a lot of good skills that come out of hunting by the
(18:30) way there’s a lot of things that you’re going to learn that you’re going to need later in life or even in your even in your farmer or gatherer job so I think really knowing yourself and understanding you know like what do people come and ask you advice for what do people say what you know what do they
(18:46) say that your strengths and your and your strong traits are I think if you’re unclear about your sales superpower or secret weapon asking others you know what do you think I do well or better than other people can give you some Clues I think that’s awesome advice and I love how you call it a superpower
(19:04) because it really is at the end of the day we all have different things that we Thrive at and that we’re best at and I think it’s just honing in on those things and also owning them and saying I know I’m good at this this is what I can do I bring to the table and then taking it from there when you’re looking for a
(19:21) position or your next step or whatever it might be and I think sometimes as I’m teaching as I’m teaching superpower classes right now and doing Keynotes on this topic um I share with people that my Universal superpower is generosity my sales superpower is questioning and so sometimes I’m leaning into my sales superpower but even in a
(19:44) sales situation sometimes I’m leaning into my Universal superpower and so um I would not be sitting in front of you today if generosity was not my superpower and I wasn’t it was in my 40s before I figured out that that was my Universal superpower I knew what my other strengths and things were but I affectionately say that I’ve got 30
(20:03) minutes for everyone because I’m a giver I’m a give backer and I like to give and help the others I’m a like I’m just a helper I’m a caregiver and so I’ve done that for so many people that when I needed some assistance um I started my own business eight years ago because I had lost my job and I was looking for my
(20:19) next VP of sales job and I started to reach out to others and in some cases some of those individuals I had been generous with in the past who then were then generous with me in return and that put me on the path that I’m at today which was not the path I was actually headed down um but it’s the path and
(20:35) again and the other the other thing I would would talk about is when the universe speaks listen because there were so many things that were happening as I was job searching that made it very clear that I was supposed to be Consulting um and coaching and helping multiple you know multiple companies and
(20:51) lots of individual contributors that there were so many things coming at me that it was it was hard to ignore and had I ignored it I wouldn’t be sitting here today so I also think being open to seeing what’s happening around you and seeing that hey like this keeps coming up this keeps coming up this keeps
(21:07) coming up there’s probably a reason and you may need to lean in instead of lean out yeah no and I think also this kind of ties into one of my next questions when we talk about generosity I think that’s an amazing quality to have and I’d love to hear just you speak on any advice you would give to women in sales
(21:27) specifically young women who are just starting their careers because I do think it’s a different world for a woman to start in sales and be an SDR than a man and it’s unfortunate that’s true but it is the reality and you know I I would love to just hear the advice that you have for anyone who you know they’re not
(21:47) trying to change the system but they want to make sure that they have the same opportunities they’re putting themselves in the right rooms and how to make sure they’re doing that because I think sometimes we don’t have those people to look up to yeah that’s right I would say first and foremost some of my
(22:04) most successful um sales professionals have been women and I think it’s because of the nurturing you know concept that they’re able to even if they have a hunter personality they a lot of times have a a care a caregiver or a nurture type side having been raised having been raised in maybe a softer side um
(22:22) situation so I would say lean into that um I use kind of a different analogy I play tennis competitively and I’m a singles player but I play Just Enough doubles to be able to bring that to the game and a lot of singles players will just stay on the Baseline and hit and hit and hit but I’m not afraid to come
(22:39) to the net because I’ve had a variety of things so I think even if you know that you’re a farmer coming into an SDR position as a woman you know it’s okay to lean into to the special skills that you have because you are a different gender than the than the majority of hunters that are in you know in the Sal
(22:56) industry um again like I’m a little bit Bolder of a girl I’ve always been a leader I’ve always been someone who’s been outspoken um I went I in my younger years I was absolutely aggressive um you know then I toned that then I toned that down and I became assertive um and now I think I’m a lot more balanced but I’m
(23:16) still not afraid to you know to speak up and I think that’s I think you know like you have a right to be in any room that you that you want to be in by the way and if you’re not invited to a room then maybe you should a that I think it’s okay to ask if you can join the room um you know so I have no problem saying hey
(23:32) do you mind if I just sit in and listen um and and I would say like I have um I have a lot of male traits if you will and so I have a lot of male mentors but one of the best things I ever did was join a group of female sales Consultants across the country and it was it’s a different world when we get together we
(23:54) do a conference annually and we spend time with each other outside of that conference um regularly and women are just like I think you have to have female Advocates and female mentors as well um I’ve learned so much from all of the mentors that I’ve had but women give differently than men um and it’s one
(24:13) thing to have a mentor it’s another thing to have an advocate right and so you need to and that Advocate by the way is gender neutral and so you need someone who has your back so when a conversation is going on behind closed doors about which SDR should we give the chance you know to promote you know we
(24:32) have an AE position open who should get that you need to know that someone who sits behind that closed door has your back and as that conversation’s happening because again I do think that again I’m just going to call out the elephant in the room like the SAS world is still run for the most part by white
(24:49) men in their 50s and 60s and so there is some sort of and again I’m not going to say it’s a conscious bias but there’s unconscious bias occasionally um I’m I’m encouraged recently I’ve been having a lot of um conversations with Founders who are a little bit younger who have daughters um I’m currently interviewing
(25:08) um for an Enterprise ACC executive position this is a big dog job um this is a two coming in this year alone it’s a $2.5 million quota um and the founder is male and so um two of the four final candidates that I was going to put in front of him were women and I really wasn’t sure we hadn’t had a long
(25:29) conversation about it and after the fir and the very first person we interviewed was a woman and the Very and the second person we interviewed was a woman and then the two guys followed that and I was pleasantly surprised that he basically was very clear after the first interview and I didn’t talk to him about
(25:44) it before because I didn’t want to to I I would just wanted to go into the interview and he said oh I’m Ginder neutral and he said and I have a daughter who wants to go into a stem you know she’s getting ready to go into college and she wants to go into it and and so I’m all I’m all in on this and I
(25:58) think as as the zillennials as I call them the Jen Z and the Millennials I sorry to those people I know you probably fit into that category I just Blended you because it makes easier for no I I so you’re fine yeah like sorry sorry if the Millennials get mad they’re like we’re not zers and the zers like we’re not
(26:19) Millennials I’m like I just put you all together Millennials but that age group as they are coming up having had different opportuni um you know I still I still grew up in an era where women mothers were nurses or secretaries or teachers um and before my mother was a rockstar individual contributor in the real estate business
(26:40) she spent 15 years teaching um and so they’re still like you know like they’re still a little that right but this next Generation my son’s 24 so he fits into the zillennial category and the only the only you know the only mother he knows is one who’s owned her own business for the last eight years years wasn’t was a
(26:57) sales Executive before that was a buyer at a Fortune 500 company before that and so like he sees he treats things and sees things differently so we’re rolling off right as the Baby Boomers are retiring and those type of things but I would say like it’s really important to make sure you’re in the right room and
(27:15) that your circle matters and so and as women don’t expect someone to come to you and offer to be a mentor or to be an advocate for you and like I said they’re two different things don’t get them confused um and so you need to sometimes be proactive and saying hey like I like what you’re saying I like what you’re
(27:35) doing I like the career path that you’ve had and I would love to have lunch yeah no I think the advice you just gave is so important and I’m just happy that you’re able to share it and I think going off of that I would love to hear just going off of you know gender neutrality just for sdrs in general what
(27:54) do you think are some of the biggest mistakes that you are seeing right now um that you think we can we can do better at as a collective you know generation coming into sales yeah I think if you’re coming into sales for the first time you know out of school I think you need to do some research I think you need to sort of again you know
(28:17) the better you understand yourself the better you’re going to be able to put yourself in the right position um not that this isn’t happening but if you get you know if you put yourself in the wrong position if you end up on the wrong seat on the bus as I call it then it’s okay to it’s okay to say hey I made
(28:33) a I made a you know not I said if on the leadership side we made a hiring mistake but you know I made a job mistake and I made a career mistake in my in my path as well but I knew and I was in and out in 10 months like I knew in three months that I’d made a path mistake um I made the wrong I call them step changes I
(28:52) made the wrong step change and in the wrong industry like it was the wrong industry I was with the right people which is why I took the job I knew the circle was right I knew the people that I was going to work for were right but I picked the wrong industry and so I knew right away and I didn’t hesitate to get
(29:08) out of that I didn’t feel I didn’t feel compelled to stay 18 months or 24 months because I’d made a bad career choice I was like oh no no no no I got to get out of here as fast as possible because for every day I stay I am limiting my income I’m limiting my future potential and I knew I couldn’t be at top 10% or where I
(29:27) was and so I was keeping I was keeping myself from doing that so I think like like understanding yourself well enough to and it’s okay like again like you’re going to make a career mistake or two you just are right um one of the mistakes I am seeing by the way is something I just mentioned one of the
(29:44) mistakes I’m seeing is people aren’t staying long enough um I call it in the book I call it the three-year Rule and so like if you’re if you’re going through all the trouble to to you know get yourself into sale s you know year it takes almost a full year for you to really get your feet underneath you and
(30:01) figure out like the industry that you’re in and the what you’re selling and how that you know the the politics of the company that you’re in even if you’re in a 50 person company there are politics right there are things that you need to learn business Acumen right just general business Acumen in year two all of that
(30:17) hard work in year one will start to pay off and things will just get easier right like the job will get easier getting quota will get easier negotiating deals externally or internally figuring out how the internal politics works all of that gets easier and I say if you could actually stay till magic year three and you put in all
(30:35) the work then I say instead of you having to pick up the phone every day the phone will start to ring for you right you will have touched enough people you will have understood enough things you will have started to build out your network you will start to understand the industry and so I think in this same age and I the people like
(30:52) people want to jump um couple things couple like quick stories here first off like I was the the um individual the founder I was just talking about we’re hiring his first Enterprise accounting executive in fact it’s his first sales professional period And I asked him about stock options and he hasn’t taken
(31:10) any any funding for the most part and he was like I don’t know how I feel about that and I said don’t worry about it I said it’s just it’s just like a vanity metric kind of thing it’s like a van it’s like a vanity benefit It’s like because nobody stays four years in order to get them vested 100% vested anyway
(31:25) so I like it’s so funny how people are like well does it come with stock and I was like does it matter you’re not going to be here by year four right so I think that’s sort of a vanity benefit um and the other thing is my I mentioned that my brother was a very successful individual contributor and he went into
(31:42) the Staffing industry and became a top performer there and he’s been with his Organization for 25 years and his point was I would never ever be as successful as he is he was been number one in his region multiple times he’s hit the president’s Club 20 of those 24 years mostly in a row and he said there was no
(32:02) way I had to build this was a staffing is a relationship business um his account is the Ford plant in Kansas City and he spent all of these years cultivating relationships with the CLE HR folks with the vph HR folks with the hiring managers and he said if I were to leave and start all over again it would
(32:21) dramatically impact my income in a very negative way because I have done I you know put all of this work in to create these strong relationships why would I leave at this point it would be detrimental to me like you know from a career standpoint and from a financial standpoint thank you for those stories I think that they were
(32:39) both great and everything you’ve said today has just been great to hear and I think for me personally as an scr one of my key takeaways is to just listen to yourself listen to your strength and I’m really excited to read the book and to just learn a little bit more about how I can do that for myself um and so christe
(33:00) just wrapping up is there anything that you hope that someone listening takes away from this episode um if they go and get the book that you hope that they take away from that as well um I know there’s so many takeaways that you have to share but if you would like to share just you know a few that you think are
(33:20) the key ones I would I would love to hear that yeah I would say it something that you just sort of mentioned which is trust yourself right like trust your instincts trust your guts you know trust when your stomach is upset and you’re like something feels off here like again like as you get older that that you know
(33:37) internal meter gets you know gets louder or easier to listen to but if you know that something like if you put yourself in the wrong position there’s no shame in that right it’s okay to go Hey listen like time to Pivot like companies pivot all the time like why can’t people pivot so time to Pivot um I would again I’m
(33:55) really concerned about not people not having enough mentorship or Advocates at the table um and making sure that they’re getting that type of of advice from people who’ve sort of been been where they want to go there’s no reason to try to figure it out by yourself other people have already figured this
(34:12) out um and the other thing that we haven’t really talked a lot about today but it kind of goes back to the book in general which is you know what you need to be responsible for your own personal and professional development and that would include things that we don’t talk a lot about which is you know getting
(34:25) enough sleep eating right exercising have a spiritual type practice um you know that your circle matters falls into that category but there’s no doubt that top 10 percenters are taking care of themselves and putting themselves first and understand the importance of self-care of nutrition of sleep of you know
(34:44) getting outside into nature and so don’t don’t think that you know when you can’t figure out how the person sitting next to you that you’re saying the same thing as they’re saying every single day is getting to the top 10% of you’re not I bet it’s the work that they’re doing outside of work that’s getting them
(35:01) there so don’t discount the things that you’re doing outside of work those things matter too and it all makes you a better sales professional that was great advice I think um we sometimes Overlook what we’re doing outside of work and how that can help us progress in our careers and develop ourselves as professionals too
(35:23) so I think that’s a great way to wrap it up just to share with anyone listening who’s an SDR or another sales professional um and when can everyone Buy and read selling your way in well you can pre-order it now you can go to selling yourway and there are lots of options that buy it at your favorite bookstore if you will and it’ll
(35:47) come out on August 20th um and I also based on our conversation today I’d like to offer the listeners um a worksheet sheet or a workbook if you will on identifying their Rockstar traits and so I’m going to put that in some other gems in there at um Christy K front SDR Insider and I know you’ll put
(36:09) that in the show notes but if you go there I’m going to have it downloadable for you and a worksheet where you can if you’re not sure about those rockstar traits I’m going to help you figure that out well thank you christe that is super generous and ties into your gener so thank you for taking the time to chat
(36:28) with me today and share all of this wonderful insight and I can’t wait to read the book and I’m sure that other listeners are very excited too so thank you so much thank you for having me [Music] [Music]