In April 2017, Okta made their IPO debut and a I was closing in on 4 years with the company where I built out the Orange County territory for the organization. It was an incredible run there as I consistently finished in the top 10 in worldwide sales and even made it to the very top finishing #1 in the world in 2016. I decided to do it all over again and join another startup at Rubrik in June of 2017 where I was hired to replicate what I did at Okta in Orange County for Rubrik.
Upon joining Rubrik, I was handed the same number of accounts I was given when I started at Okta, ZERO. My first quarter at Rubrik, I was able to bring on two customers which created the beginning of the future groundswell of customers I would accumulate. From that quarter on, I was snagging 4-6 new logos every quarter which was 2-3X the company average. By the time I finished my second year with the company, I went on stage at our Sales Kickoff and received an award for finishing #1 in the world for customer acquisition. Fast forward to today, I've surpassed 50 customers in my 3 year tenure and have completely buried my top competitor who is on their 4th sales rep in the territory since I started. To date, no other rep at Rubrik has reached this milestone of 50 customers.
At this point, you might be reading this and are starting to think this is me doing a "humble brag" but that's far from the case. My blog's sole purpose is to help other sales professionals get better. I think it's important to share the results of my efforts to help put into perspective what's possible as well as provide others a taste of the formula I used to help me get there. Knowledge is only powerful if you share it with others.
“We exist temporarily through what we take, but we live forever through what we give." Vernon Jordan
I truly feel that my success at Okta and Rubrik can be boiled down to the 3 principles below:
1. I TAKE MASSIVE ACTION
If you follow the sales legend Grant Cardone, you have heard the term, "massive action." Grant stresses the importance of taking massive action in order to achieve true success and I couldn't agree more. There are no shortcuts to this game. Discipline, consistent, and persistent actions are required to win at this sport of sales and doing this in mass quantity is one of the elements of my success and many others.
When it comes to customer interaction, I like to "Sell it Like Serhant" and perform the 3 F's. This is how I start every day when I get into my office. I perform these tasks first before anything else.
Follow Up - I never expect people to get in touch with me. Instead, I follow up with active clients every single day in some form or fashion.
Follow Through - I do what I said I'm going to do. Remember, these are not just clients, they are relationships so if I told a customer that I would get back to them with something, I check and double check that I deliver and on time.
Follow Back - I keep in touch with past clients. The relationship does not end at the closing so I constantly check to see how we are doing and ask how we can do better. I also strive to touch base with clients I lost because things change.
My ultimate goal is to have an omnipresence. I want everyone in my industry to know who I am, where I am, and how to get ahold of me - even my competition. You can't do this unless you take massive action. Here are a few examples of things I do on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis to help reach my goal of an omnipresence.
3 F's (described above)
Post at least 3x a week on LinkedIn (build a following)
Like 5+ posts a day on LinkedIn (your contacts see your activity)
Host an event at least once a month (your competitor is)
Prospect daily (lifeblood of the business)
Send unsolicited proposals monthly (why not?)
Attend at least one industry event a month (don't be lazy)
Take someone to lunch 3+ times a week (strive for 5!)
Work remotely somewhere in public (you can't bump into anyone new at home)
Meet someone new every day (or three)
"Success is the sum of small efforts repeated day in and day out." - Robert Collier
2. I BUILD CHAMPIONS
If you have read a lot of my posts, you have definitely come across me referencing the sales methodology MEDDIC. I follow this method religiously and it's a vital tool I lean on to help me run deals as effective and efficient as possible. For those familiar with MEDDIC, you know that the "C" stands for Champion and we all know that if you don't have a champion - you don't have a deal.
Champion: This is the person inside the customer's organization who will "sell" for you when you are not there. They are your biggest advocate and have strong influence in the deal and often can make decisions.
Because of this, I emphasize a lot of time and effort into developing a champion or even better, champions in any given deal. It really stems down to a three step process when it comes to champion building:
Identify - First, it's important to identify who has the potential, willingness, and criteria to be your champion. They must be someone who has power and influence in the deal so more often than not, they have a management title. Typically a Champion has a strong personality and they are well-known in the organization and have a track record for getting deals done. Lastly, they have to be someone that has some sort of personal gain in the deal such as a job promotion, monetary bonus, strong recognition, or are avoiding job loss.
Develop - Next, it's time to start building rapport with your identified champion. The key first step to this is to listen empathetically. This will help you understand their pains, goals, personal gains, success criteria, desired outcomes, etc. as it relates to the project. Make everything about them in all of your interactions. You will start to create trust and rapport that will allow you to further develop a relationship and start making them a believer in what you are selling. You will know when your Champion is becoming real when you start seeing them sell for you and are influencing others to get on board.