Winning sales traits: Troy Barter on how to scale sales teams

In Troy’s opinion, SDRs and AEs should ideally be resilient – be able to take the metaphorical punch and get right back up. These are the traits that you want to look for when you’re adding more members to your team.

Troy has over 15 years of experience in sales and over 8 years of experience as a sales leader in SaaS. He is currently the president of Barter Revenue Consulting.

In this episode of On the Flip Side, Troy takes us through the process of scaling up the sales team the right way:

- When to hire for outbound and inbound
- What makes good SDRs and AEs
- How to get the most out of your sales team"

Kushal: Hi there. Welcome to on the flip side, a podcast for anyone who wants to live their best sales life. We're going to be talking to buyers, sales managers, SDRs and AEs about things like what does it take to be a great sales manager, or how can you go home happy month after month? So let's dive right in. 

Hi there, welcome to ‘On the Flipside’ with Wingman. I'm Kushal, and I'm super excited to kick off our shows for February and the rest of the year. And if you're looking for information on how to move from zero to one for your sales team, especially if you're a Senior Leader, a Director, and you're looking to set up your sales team, thinking about how to go about structuring it, then you're the right place. Because today, we're going to be getting all the costs on how to go from zero to one when it comes to setting up your team and getting all this information from a five time sales champion leader Troy Barter. 

Troy has over 15 years of experience in sales, including eight years as a sales leader in SaaS. He has helped companies scale to billion valuations and even more multi-billion dollar acquisitions. 

Troy Welcome to the show. So excited to have you here. So just to kind of get started with this right, if someone's a director of sales, and I know you've been in this position, right? What do you think should sort of be the first steps to scaling up your sales teams? Would you hire the outbound function first, would you hire inbound?

Troy: Good question, and there's a few factors that weigh in as to how you should kind of craft that strategy. I have done a little of both, but I definitely hang my hat on the fact that I'm an outbound sales leader. If everything blew up, if there's no marketing, if there's nothing, we can make it happen. We can get in there, we can start dialing, we can start prospecting, and we can still build something from nothing. But with a lot of companies, that's not a necessity yet, they already have inbound. And I think one kind of giant mistake that companies can make when they're looking to scale is they go outbound just for the sake of going outbound. They have this inbound engine, and they have leads coming in. And the way that it is like, is you know, you picture all the inbound leads to be like an orange, and it's this big, and they're squeezing it and they're getting that much out. And then they're ready to go outbound. It's like, wait a minute, now this should be, you should be squeezing all the way before you really think about scaling an outbound team. Those inbound leads are always going to convert better, you know. The only time that you would want to go outbound is if… well, we want to start to go up market, maybe you know, and that's why we want to increase our deal size. But I think a question that isn't asked is all right, well, if we could get three times as many of these deals from the inbound leads that we're already getting…

Kushal: Yeah, I know, you were talking about sort of squeezing out everything from that sort of inbound engine and then sort of setting up the outbound engine. 

Troy: What it relates to is that when a lot of companies are in that startup mode, and they're in that we're ready to scale mode, like they want to run a playbook and there's no audible involved. So it's like, oh, we've got inbound starting to run. Now we go outbound, now we go up market, it might not be time yet. So the question that I would ask is all right, what are you expecting to get out of outbound? And do you have more left in inbound that you could get before you even consider going outbound? That would be first and foremost. But let's just say that they're confident that they're maximizing their inbound engine, an easy way is, are all of your salespeople delivering on their SLA with marketing? You know, are they getting a hold of the leads in a timely fashion? Do the conversion rates feel right? Is the follow up right? Is there a lot that's falling out of the funnel? And if not, and everything is on point then all right, cool, then you would start to go out. 

Now as far as how to scale, I think one thing that companies like to do is they like to put in a good amount of account executives, and then the account executives are the SDR. And so all right, we're gonna bring in three account executives, they're going to develop their own leads, and everything like that ,great. That works when you're scaling a bit, but you do have to keep in mind, you will never get the best account executive that you can possibly get on the closing side if you expect them to do a lot of prospecting. There's… you're not going to get someone that is fully doing everything they can and maximizing closing percentage if their eye is on something else as well. So when possible, if it makes sense, what I'm the largest fan of is not flooding the floor with a bunch of account executives. I've had to do that. That's kind of the gift of the curse of being at that director level is that you know how to do things, but it's not your plan. It's handed over to you and then you kind of got to put the pieces together of the puzzle, you're not making the puzzle. So you can run into some issues there because what I would prefer is, you know, let's say you’re hiring goals for the year, we're gonna scale, we're good on inbound, we're going to scale outbound. 

Alright, so you're going to scale to, let's say, 10 account executives or in headcount, I've seen before places that… Are you really going to get 10 great account executives by the end of the year or would you be better off with two phenomenal account executives, and then a bunch of SDRs that are supporting them, where all those account executives are worried about is closing business and getting better. We do demos, we follow up, we work on getting better. That's all that we're worried about, we're not worried about prospecting. And then they're able to focus on that and closing percentage goes up. And as long as you have a solid SDR engine, all it really matters at the end of the day is how strong your conversion rates are and what are you putting in at the top of the funnel. 

So I think there's this stigma with account executives that if you don't have to prospect, then like, you're not getting the most out of them. And it's like, alright, cool, we can play pretend that that's maybe the right way of doing it. But closing percentage will never be as high as it could be. And you'll never be able to hold them accountable to a closing percentage as high as you could be if you have been doing three jobs at once, which some companies do when they're scaling because not only are they prospecting, and they're closing, they're also handling a lot of stuff post sale, you know, they're doing a handoff, maybe they're doing like even a little bit of like a warm, you know, quasi onboarding call with you know, someone because they don't have that account management side built up yet. 

To me, it's the first thing you should ask is, are the conversion rates where they need to be and then alright, where should we put bandwidth? And also keep in mind, when you're adding resources, when you're adding heads, what's the end goal? Alright, I want the most pipeline possible and I want the highest closing percentage. Well, the highest closing percentage, then SDRs are cheaper, adding more SDRs and a couple of AEs and the great news about that as well is that creates a pool of SDRs to promote later. Your SDRs that you promote are always going to be better than even a top flight AE you get from another company. You already know that they know the product, you already know that they're a great culture fit, you already know that they have great work ethic, things that you will never get in the interview. Because when you're interviewing topflight salespeople, they know how to sell you, they know how to sell you on something. So it doesn't necessarily mean they're going to deliver on it. Name an account executive that actually had to deliver on something that they sold. They don't own the product, they didn't create the product, they know how to sell it. So they might not deliver you. It's so much better to that large base of SDRs, especially on outbound and then build from there. I know that was a long answer. But hopefully that, you know, hopefully that answered well for you.

Kushal: I think we definitely got all the right things. I think I can see you’ve thought a lot about you know, kind of how to set up your team, I can see that it's probably a difficult position sometimes for a director to sort of be in where like you said, you're sort of handed parts of the puzzle. And you're maybe not designing the puzzle itself from… I think you also get a lot of really solid points around, you know, when's the right time to really say, okay, you know, what, we've got enough out of our inbound and now it's time to sort of maybe expand that and really think through why you want to expand through outbound as well. 

On differentiation between SDRs and account executives, I think that's really key as well, I think that's part of what we see across the industry as well, where account executive sort of varies much as you spoke of it, and it probably does take away from everyone's base skills, and really what they can bring to the table. I guess that probably brings me to the next question, which is really around account executives, right. So assuming that, you know, we're living in an ideal world, where you kind of get to choose when you're setting up which function, how many SDRs you're setting, maybe in that world, how will you kind of go about getting the right account executives? What would that interview process look like? Do you have any favorite interview questions that have always worked?

Troy: You know, what I found is it's not even an interview question, it's a role-play with account executives. Because that's what really I'm looking for is, what's their current process? The questions that I would ask would probably be related to student mentality like, how much are you… because I think what makes a great account executive that's an external hire, and moving over to a new organization, is how much are you willing to throw out that made you successful somewhere else but might not work where you're going? That's I think how I became a really strong account executive is that I had a wealth of experience when I got into SaaS, and my hiring manager was someone that I work in sales with in door to door sales. And they knew that I was extremely good at what I was doing, I had it down to a science, but over there, they were making more money, they had more success, they had a better career path. And I knew like, alright, if he tells me anything, even if I don't agree with it, if it's leading to success, now, I'm throwing out what I have right now. And I'm gonna be all in on everything that they have to offer. 

You know, I do like to get that base of like a role-play, and see, alright, how do you do with discovery? How do you do your presentation, you know, if we can get to some kind of negotiation ideas, or at least kind of talking about the philosophy, that's helpful. But student mentality is almost as important as that that role-play. Another thing that I'll do is I'll have someone role-play and if they don't do everything that I want, I give them the advice on what I want and I'll schedule another role-play with them. And I think people can be worried about doing that because they don't want a drawn out sales process or interview process because it's a hot market, they'll just go somewhere else. I'd rather lose them. I'd rather lose that account executive than risk bringing in someone that isn't the right fit. You know, I'd rather measure twice and cut once even if it means that you know, some of the lumber is going to leave and go to somebody else's project. I think that's the best way of doing it when hiring an external AE because it is very easy to hire the wrong person when it comes to accounting executives. Any floor that you're at when you look at account executives, I haven't seen one where it doesn't follow the Pareto Principle, 20% gives you 80% of your results. That means 80% of the existing account executives that are out there, they're not producing the results that you would want. And those are probably the ones that are interviewing more often than not. I don't know any account executives that are kicking ass that are usually going out in interviewing, so you gotta measure twice, and don't be afraid of losing them to somebody else, unless it's a slam dunk, then it's like, all right, maybe you want to shorten your process.

Kushal: I feel like there were a lot of controversial takes somewhere in the middle there. But for them to go around to your point about really coachability, I guess that's what you're going for, when you sort of get them one round of feedback, maybe have them come back to you and sort of, you know, you see how it plays out. So it seems like coachability is probably one of those really important traits to look for in an account executive as well?

Troy: Confidence, I think is really important. And I think there's like this, there's this stigma that if you have even like an ego, that there's no room for you. And I think the question would be, well, why do they have that ego? You know, because it could be good, could be good. Some of my favorite salespeople that I've worked with, most empathetic people, people that are my good friends, I still mentor and talk to them every week, even though I no longer work with them. They've definitely got an ego, they absolutely do. You know, they're humble in some respects, but they also have an ego. But do they have an ego in a way that it's like, you can't tell me anything? I've already learned it all. I'm the best. Or is their ego there because they know that they're willing to outlearn everyone, and outwork everyone, and they have a tremendous amount of pride. 

I think I have that also, and I, you know, early in my sales career, there was a stigma that I had a big ego, but it wasn't because I thought I knew everything, it was because I had obsessed over getting better. And I was willing to learn from anyone, even if they didn't have my success. And yeah, that gave me a little bit of an ego because I knew no one else was willing to do that. So I was pretty prideful and confident about it. I don't think that's a bad thing. I think that whole leave your ego at the door, leave your confidence at the door, you're going to tell these account executives that their targets are going to go up, sometimes they double year over a year, there's going to be times where you're going to give them a task that feels insurmountable to the average humble person. So they have to have some form of an ego to be like, I can do that, no problem. That's who you're really looking for. So I think the reason why people do this, and I just did a video on it, like it goes against the grain of what you hear nowadays, it's because of that same Pareto Principle, right. If 20% of your people give you 80% of the results, 80% of the people are not producing, they're only producing 20% of the results. So when people create content, they're trying to build a brand online and everything like that, well what's the easiest way to do that? Do you want to appeal to 20% of the market or 80%? A lot easier, apply to that 80% here to get way more likes, more engagement, where people are gonna be willing to follow you, and you're really just kind of placating them, you're making them feel better about things. But it's not reality. I would rather have a smaller base, I only have, I don't know, it's under 19,000 followers on LinkedIn, but they're a lot more passionate about things like when I put something out there, it gets a lot of engagement, because I'm not BSing them, I don't tell people what they want to hear. I tell people the reality based on my experience, and that's a good example of that, I think is terms of like, look for confidence, just make sure that the confidence is placed there for an actual reason that you can work with and it's what you want your culture to be like.

Kushal: I love that take, Troy. I think in a lot of cultures, we tend to look at confidence and ego as negatives. But I think maybe shifting around to look at confidence really is something that helps us really with survival, self-preservation, our own growth and development, I think that's probably a great and a really fresh take to have on it. I also really liked how you sort of take the Pareto Principle, and you know, you sort of use it to niche down in some sense, right, or whether that's niching down on the right talent, the right market, the right customer segments, and I think that's really key, not just for sales, but I think for marketing, and really all functions to really focus on, you know, the most important tasks that will probably yield you the most impact and talk to them fact, right? If we move over to sort of the SDR lane, what do you kind of think are the most important traits for someone to be a great SDR? Do you think for instance, the loudest voice or the most extroverted person is going to be the best SDR?

Troy: I think that it’s going to start to trend that way. And the reason why is because no one's looking for them and a big part of being an SDR is separating yourself from everybody else that's out there because everyone's getting prospected by multiple different companies. So a lot of companies and a lot of marketing content creators again, like it's a big thing on, oh no, it's whoever creates the best email. It's not who has the biggest personality. It's not who is the most engaging, it's not who's the most charismatic. And it's like, alright, cool, trend to that way. More people can craft an email because you can hit copy and paste and craft an email. But if you start to hire the people that are a little bit more charismatic, a little bit more engaging, someone who someone would actually want to talk to on the phone for 30 seconds. I think Seamless.AI does an awesome job with this. Anytime it Seamless.AI prospects me, it's like, man, this was someone I really want to talk to, like, I respect the craft, I respect that they're you know, they're positive, they're engaging, you know, they have a level of confidence and assertiveness, and it's like, Alright, yeah.

Kushal: I think we lost you a little bit there.

Troy: I don't think that that's a requirement. But I think that it's a leg up, because I think that it's going to separate people from what most companies are hiring for nowadays, most of them aren’t hiring for that anymore. 

Kushal: Okay, so I know you were talking about, you know, SDRs, and sort of the fact that they have to stand out. Also, because everyone, you know, when you apply the craft, everyone can sort of, you know, create great emails, I think we are talking about.

Troy: So I think, as far as like what I look for in an SDR, it's really what to look for in everyone. But I think it's important for SDRs to carry these things. And I've talked about this for like 12 years now. At this point, the three keys to success for me are being able to have and maintain a positive attitude, having incredible work ethic, and being able to have and apply a student mentality consistently. So positive attitude, I mean, that's obvious. If you're doing 100 dials in a day, you could often get cursed out, hung up on, you're gonna hear no a lot more than you hear yes, and you have to be able to maintain that positive attitude from one call to the next. The way that I would relate it to a lot of my SDRs was like, imagine if you took 100 leads, and printed it out on sheets of paper, and you lay them all out on the floor over here, and some of them have nothing on them, they're just a piece of paper sitting there, some of them have a stack of money on them. That's one where if you do all the right things, you're gonna land that one, you have to walk over and pick up each one of them with the same level of respect and care as you get on the first one to the 100. So if you lose attitude throughout the day, your next call might be that one that is the only call that you could have possibly had a really good connection with, booked it and could have turned it into a sale. So you have to treat everyone the same way, you have to be able to reset your attitude. And a big part of that is making sure you're even keel, you don't want to be at the very top, you want to be at the very bottom in terms of being like super depressed, you're in the middle, you know, you're not manic, you're not depressed, you're towards the middle, maybe a little bit above the middle and you stay positive the entire time. 

The way that I could always do that is I think I do a good job of always keeping an eye on the bigger picture. You know, at that SDR level, what's that bigger picture? You're a stone's throw away from making more than what a lawyer averages. You know, at that account executive level, you're making pretty good money and you're right there you know. So the finish line is not far. So I maintained that as an SDR. And that's what I try to upload into my reps as well on the attitude side. 

On the work ethic side, you know, it's simple I relate it to the football jersey behind me. I relate it to football where AEs are more like a wide receiver. It's a skill position, you can take plays off, and you can still make it to the Hall of Fame. Randy Moss took plays off and then he, you know, he's still led the league and he still made it into the Hall of Fame. Whereas SDR is more of like a lineman, you know, it's more of a, it's a skill position, but it's a lot more of a grind, you have to line up on every single play, and you have to grind it out, you cannot take a single play off or your quarterback’s in the hospital, you can't afford to. So you have to realize that you're lining up and you're grinding every single day. And that's going to do a boatload of things for you, you're going to be able to get promoted a lot faster, because most people can't do that every single day. So it's something that's, you know, a source of excitement. And also, that's just going to build the habits that if you carry them for the rest of your sales career, it's going to separate yourself from everybody else that's out there. 

And last one, student mentality is just always looking to learn, always looking to get better. The day that you stop looking for avenues to learn new things is the day that you plateau, you've decided that you're no longer going to earn any more than what you're already earning. If you're constantly learning. If you're constantly creating habits with what you learn, you'll always have more success, that's the big thing. I know people that can quote books, they have a million books, you know, and they… even you know, digest the material, but they don't turn it into a habit. You know, so the big thing is like seek out to learn things that you want to apply right away. Don't seek out to learn something you're not going to apply. 

A good example like I was building a website for a business recently. So I go on YouTube, and I've learned how to add a plugin for when someone wants to submit the resume. Well, if I just did that three months ago when I didn't care about it, I would have digested the material but I wouldn't have learned it. But because I was ready to apply it immediately, I know it front and back now like now I definitely know it because I was pursuing learning something that I wanted to apply right away and turn into a habit. Yeah, you know, maybe a longer answer but I think those are the big things that really in life in general you have success with but as an SDR if you can do those things every single day. You're pretty hard pressed not to have a successful you know, time and career there. 

Kushal: I think SDRs do have it difficult. Like you said, there are a lot of rejections, a lot of nos along the way. So I think really checking for that attitude, and really that student mentality, also the ability to sort of learn and apply, I think all of those things will probably go a really long way, in sort of getting the right team on board and also about, you know, sort of coaching them towards, you know, doing good things. I think just to flip it around a little bit, you know, someone leading these teams, right, or someone hiring us hearing these, what do you think would be your advice really, for fellow, you know, team builders, or directors on really getting the most out of their team? 

Troy: Make an investment in the person, get to know them, that rapport building that investment is almost as important, it probably is more important than anything else that you can do. Because all of the strategy, all of the execution, all of the motivation that you can provide amounts to nothing if they've decided that they don't want you to motivate, if they decided that you've got nothing for them, and they're not on your side, then it's irrelevant. So that legwork is the most important thing. It's almost like don't even try anything until you really feel like you've got, you know… I think I've learned that I've learned it the hard way, a few places where, you know, I come in, I already know what to do, I see some things, I'm ready to go. And it's like, you haven't laid that foundation guide, you really have to make the investment and put in that additional time and everything. I think that's the most important thing. 

And the other thing is, when it comes to strategy, stick with what you're rolling, don't change it every week, or you're gonna, you're gonna lose by. Even if you're halfway wrong, you're still halfway right, you're better off running with it and going with it, than changing it up all the time. You know, execution is almost more important than strategy. You know, if you execute well on a bad play, you can still score, you know. So it's more than just kind of getting accurate and staying consistent. The more that you change, the less buying you're going to have. 

Kushal: I think that's really key commitment and consistency and then execution, of course. I think, yeah, all of those things put together I think that's really great advice for folks who are of course setting up their own team for that sales or otherwise. So that brings me to a couple of questions that I have. So the first question for you is, what would you be doing if you weren’t doing?

Troy: That's a good question because I'm not doing a current job. So let's say I win the Powerball, right, I have 300 mil, I'm still creating sales content, I'm still creating training, I'm still helping salespeople, I'm still having calls with them and helping. And that's probably a little bit of everything that I'm that I'm doing. Maybe a couple of hobbies here and there. But talking to sales and helping salespeople, I genuinely would do for free. And I can back that up because I do it for free. Anyone that's hearing this, you have me on LinkedIn, if I have time to talk, we're going to have a conversation that's going to last at least a half an hour if you need. If you need another one, I'm down to do it. To me, I think that can separate myself from everyone else that's out there as I'm willing to put in additional work. It's one thing to try to create content and build a following. It's another thing to actually create tangible value for people and being willing to get on the phone and get after it. And yeah, that's definitely what I would be doing. I wish that would be the only thing that I'm doing. I think that's what I'm best suited to do is just help you diagnose a problem and assist. 

Kushal: I think my second question was going to be around what keeps you going through the day. I feel like you've already answered some of that. I think just the sense of really adding value in creating value for other folks and helping them with their joy, is that correct? 

Troy: Yeah, forgive me you broke up a little bit. What am I doing today essentially?

Kushal: So really, what keeps you going through your day?

Troy: Results, I think. You know, outside of like, obviously, you know, I've got a big family. And that keeps me going kind of more than anything is that responsibility to provide definitely is a large one in terms of my level of urgency and work ethic. But results motivate me almost more than anything. It's like if you go to the gym, if you see no results, are you going to stick with it forever? You know, even if you see a little bit of results that get you excited. So like, you know, I'll get calls from people I got one recently when I was out to dinner with my kids, and they just said, Hey, like your name came up after I did a role-play for an interview. And it went extremely well. And I told him that I learned it from you. And you know how well you helped me out and like that keeps me going almost more than anything is like knowing that I'm actually helping, knowing that there's a chance that people are going to have an easier go at it. And I did because I did not have an easy one. I had a lot of heartache and a lot of difficulty, car repo’d evicted, you know, your water's cold because you have no hot water for months, I went through all of that to learn everything in sales. And I love the idea of making sure that other people don't have to go through that. I do feel like it built a lot of character. I feel like I'm… that grit is hard to replace. But I know a lot of people that don't necessarily need to have that same experience and I love to give them, you know, tangible shortcuts that actually work. And that results in seeing that and getting that feedback from people is my favorite thing you know, I love it. 

Kushal: If you have to give a shout out to someone in your industry who would that be?

Troy: Give a shout out to someone in my industry. I'll give you two but I'll be really fast. Two people that I really love working with, both are account executives, both are at once earlier in their career and ones later. So one is Luke Ruffing, he's top account executive over at PandaDoc. A good example of what we talked about earlier, extremely confident, wrong person could take that the wrong way. But he's also one of the most coachable people that I've ever worked with, genuinely a good person, always working to help out the SDRs making an investment in other people, even if it's not going to benefit him. And I think that's huge. And I think that's a great way of being able to kind of build yourself up and build up others, he's leaving an impact on more than just himself and his family, but on other people. 

The other would be Mike Fusill, who's been an account executive, you know, probably as long as I've been in sales in general, he's at Horizon Connect, he’s been their top account executive for probably almost a decade at this point. You know, he's been top account executive of the year three or four times. Same thing, you know, he kind of reminds me of what Luke is going to eventually turn into. Awesome person to hang out with, love the guy, I talk to him every single week, you know, for sure. But if he sees an SDR, they're starting to do well, he's taking them to lunch, you know, he's doing whatever he can to help them out and make an investment in them. And, you know, if you ask people about them that really get to know them, they'll all tell you the same thing. They've had a huge impact on their career, and they would love to work with him anywhere. 

I like calling both of them out because neither one of them are technically leaders, but people follow them. And I think that's a huge thing that you're not a leader by your title, titles do matter by the way, don't get it twisted, but you don't have to have a title to be a leader. And those are two of I think the best examples. People that I plan on working with whether I get paid for it in some form or fashion for the rest of my career and probably beyond you know just because of the investment that they've made in people I love that I love this.

Kushal: Got it. I really like that take. Probably here's my last question in this round. Give me maybe a couple of words for a wrong meanings only for sales…

Troy: What words for, say one more time, forgive me broke up a little.

Kushal: So give me a wrong meanings only. So if I say sales forecasting to you what was wrong meaning only?

Troy: Actually seen this happening before just putting in what's left on your…. hitting your target like that's the intelligent forecast, which I borderline kind of like if you have a heart to hit it, but it's definitely not the right way.

Kushal: What about a SKO, sales kickoff?

Troy: Oh, I prefer RKO because then everyone knows is Randy Orton’s finisher that's for sure. That's the wrong take on that. But in a way, it's kind of the right take as far as sales kickoff Yeah, it's rolling out plans that are never gonna get actually executed, or is that a right take, I don't know, depends on the company.

Kushal: And here’s the last one, what would be the wrong meaning only for sales coaching?

Troy: It's a good one. And it's supposed to be rapid fire, right. So I probably shouldn't be thinking about it for that much, telling somebody exactly what they want to hear. It's one of my favorite quotes, you don't get to decide how you get, you get in somewhere, you got to learn to adapt, it's part of having a student mentality, oh well, I like to get coached this way. Congratulations. You can only get coached by that source now. So you're going to miss out on information. Because the coach doesn't have time that's why they're a coach, they already put the work in, that you want to learn from, you don't get to decide how you get that information uploaded, what you do get to decide is how you perceive it, and how you apply it and how you become an active listener and learn. Again, longer answer. But that one's near and dear to my heart for sure. Because I think the world is starting to get filled with people that think that they get to decide how they get coached, that’s how it works them, that how it works at all, and you're going to miss out if you do it that way.

Kushal: Thanks so much. I really enjoyed having you On the Flip Side with us today. I think we really got some really interesting, honest, and some really useful. Troy so really the last segment and we'll sort of edit this out is that we also are doing this content series called sales affirmations. So what I do is I typically ask our guests, if they have any sales affirmation short quotes you know, these little thoughts that sort of motivate them or their teams, and then we sort of type them up, share them on our socials and it makes for like really great content as well. So if you had to maybe give me your top five sales goals, they don't have to belong to a particular person but you know, sort of thing that you believe in and that motivates?

Troy: I have 5 or 10 but I probably have a couple that are that are pretty good for sure that hopefully are the first one of it's my big one that's on LinkedIn and everything is you can't make excuses and money at the same time which kind of has become my you know, my credo you know, but it's really not mine the first time I heard it, and I can't even find the guy but his name was John Wiggin. It was the million dollar man at a company called [inaudible 29:28] or you know I think a million dollars a week and that was his quote and I ran with it you know that is my favorite one though of all time so he made it a hotline I'm trying to make it a hot song and a quote Jay-z but yeah, that's a big one to me. You know, you can make excuses and money at the same time. If you're finding reasons why you're not successful, you should be finding reasons how you can be successful but you know, stop making yourself feel better and start getting some results. The next one is a weird one. Again, another person that I can't find. Try to find him on LinkedIn, Facebook, everything. A guy I used to work with at 2020 named Greg Lester, it's almost like a Yogi Berra type quote because it sounds ridiculous. But he would say the people that make it are the ones that stand people that make it in this company are the people that stay. And it's kind of funny. It's like, well, yeah, of course the people that make it are the ones that stick but there is something to sticking with something even when there's some adversity. The people that stay at a company invest in a company, when it makes sense, are generally the ones that really make it, they level up in everything. If you're someone that's quick to jump. And it's for the wrong reasons. You're kind of delaying what you're hoping to turbocharge by moving. So the people that make it in the business are the ones that stay it and a lot of great salespeople that have dropped off over the years. And you know, they would still be great to this day but here we are, they're not here. 

Kushal: Got it. Loved these, Troy. So I think, yeah, I think that's absolutely useful. Thanks so much for sort of taking our time for this. I think your honesty and you know, your sort of enthusiasm and energy really comes. 

Troy: Absolutely, my pleasure. Thanks for having me, Kushal. 

Kushal: Thanks so much Troy. Have a good day ahead.

Winning sales traits: Troy on how to scale sales teams

In Troy’s opinion, SDRs and AEs should ideally be resilient – be able to take the metaphorical punch and get right back up. These are the traits that you want to look for when you’re adding more members to your team.

Troy has over 15 years of experience in sales and over 8 years of experience as a sales leader in SaaS. He is currently the president of Barter Revenue Consulting.

In this episode of On the Flip Side, Troy takes us through the process of scaling up the sales team the right way:

- When to hire for outbound and inbound
- What makes good SDRs and AEs
- How to get the most out of your sales team"

Kushal: Hi there. Welcome to on the flip side, a podcast for anyone who wants to live their best sales life. We're going to be talking to buyers, sales managers, SDRs and AEs about things like what does it take to be a great sales manager, or how can you go home happy month after month? So let's dive right in. 

Hi there, welcome to ‘On the Flipside’ with Wingman. I'm Kushal, and I'm super excited to kick off our shows for February and the rest of the year. And if you're looking for information on how to move from zero to one for your sales team, especially if you're a Senior Leader, a Director, and you're looking to set up your sales team, thinking about how to go about structuring it, then you're the right place. Because today, we're going to be getting all the costs on how to go from zero to one when it comes to setting up your team and getting all this information from a five time sales champion leader Troy Barter. 

Troy has over 15 years of experience in sales, including eight years as a sales leader in SaaS. He has helped companies scale to billion valuations and even more multi-billion dollar acquisitions. 

Troy Welcome to the show. So excited to have you here. So just to kind of get started with this right, if someone's a director of sales, and I know you've been in this position, right? What do you think should sort of be the first steps to scaling up your sales teams? Would you hire the outbound function first, would you hire inbound?

Troy: Good question, and there's a few factors that weigh in as to how you should kind of craft that strategy. I have done a little of both, but I definitely hang my hat on the fact that I'm an outbound sales leader. If everything blew up, if there's no marketing, if there's nothing, we can make it happen. We can get in there, we can start dialing, we can start prospecting, and we can still build something from nothing. But with a lot of companies, that's not a necessity yet, they already have inbound. And I think one kind of giant mistake that companies can make when they're looking to scale is they go outbound just for the sake of going outbound. They have this inbound engine, and they have leads coming in. And the way that it is like, is you know, you picture all the inbound leads to be like an orange, and it's this big, and they're squeezing it and they're getting that much out. And then they're ready to go outbound. It's like, wait a minute, now this should be, you should be squeezing all the way before you really think about scaling an outbound team. Those inbound leads are always going to convert better, you know. The only time that you would want to go outbound is if… well, we want to start to go up market, maybe you know, and that's why we want to increase our deal size. But I think a question that isn't asked is all right, well, if we could get three times as many of these deals from the inbound leads that we're already getting…

Kushal: Yeah, I know, you were talking about sort of squeezing out everything from that sort of inbound engine and then sort of setting up the outbound engine. 

Troy: What it relates to is that when a lot of companies are in that startup mode, and they're in that we're ready to scale mode, like they want to run a playbook and there's no audible involved. So it's like, oh, we've got inbound starting to run. Now we go outbound, now we go up market, it might not be time yet. So the question that I would ask is all right, what are you expecting to get out of outbound? And do you have more left in inbound that you could get before you even consider going outbound? That would be first and foremost. But let's just say that they're confident that they're maximizing their inbound engine, an easy way is, are all of your salespeople delivering on their SLA with marketing? You know, are they getting a hold of the leads in a timely fashion? Do the conversion rates feel right? Is the follow up right? Is there a lot that's falling out of the funnel? And if not, and everything is on point then all right, cool, then you would start to go out. 

Now as far as how to scale, I think one thing that companies like to do is they like to put in a good amount of account executives, and then the account executives are the SDR. And so all right, we're gonna bring in three account executives, they're going to develop their own leads, and everything like that ,great. That works when you're scaling a bit, but you do have to keep in mind, you will never get the best account executive that you can possibly get on the closing side if you expect them to do a lot of prospecting. There's… you're not going to get someone that is fully doing everything they can and maximizing closing percentage if their eye is on something else as well. So when possible, if it makes sense, what I'm the largest fan of is not flooding the floor with a bunch of account executives. I've had to do that. That's kind of the gift of the curse of being at that director level is that you know how to do things, but it's not your plan. It's handed over to you and then you kind of got to put the pieces together of the puzzle, you're not making the puzzle. So you can run into some issues there because what I would prefer is, you know, let's say you’re hiring goals for the year, we're gonna scale, we're good on inbound, we're going to scale outbound. 

Alright, so you're going to scale to, let's say, 10 account executives or in headcount, I've seen before places that… Are you really going to get 10 great account executives by the end of the year or would you be better off with two phenomenal account executives, and then a bunch of SDRs that are supporting them, where all those account executives are worried about is closing business and getting better. We do demos, we follow up, we work on getting better. That's all that we're worried about, we're not worried about prospecting. And then they're able to focus on that and closing percentage goes up. And as long as you have a solid SDR engine, all it really matters at the end of the day is how strong your conversion rates are and what are you putting in at the top of the funnel. 

So I think there's this stigma with account executives that if you don't have to prospect, then like, you're not getting the most out of them. And it's like, alright, cool, we can play pretend that that's maybe the right way of doing it. But closing percentage will never be as high as it could be. And you'll never be able to hold them accountable to a closing percentage as high as you could be if you have been doing three jobs at once, which some companies do when they're scaling because not only are they prospecting, and they're closing, they're also handling a lot of stuff post sale, you know, they're doing a handoff, maybe they're doing like even a little bit of like a warm, you know, quasi onboarding call with you know, someone because they don't have that account management side built up yet. 

To me, it's the first thing you should ask is, are the conversion rates where they need to be and then alright, where should we put bandwidth? And also keep in mind, when you're adding resources, when you're adding heads, what's the end goal? Alright, I want the most pipeline possible and I want the highest closing percentage. Well, the highest closing percentage, then SDRs are cheaper, adding more SDRs and a couple of AEs and the great news about that as well is that creates a pool of SDRs to promote later. Your SDRs that you promote are always going to be better than even a top flight AE you get from another company. You already know that they know the product, you already know that they're a great culture fit, you already know that they have great work ethic, things that you will never get in the interview. Because when you're interviewing topflight salespeople, they know how to sell you, they know how to sell you on something. So it doesn't necessarily mean they're going to deliver on it. Name an account executive that actually had to deliver on something that they sold. They don't own the product, they didn't create the product, they know how to sell it. So they might not deliver you. It's so much better to that large base of SDRs, especially on outbound and then build from there. I know that was a long answer. But hopefully that, you know, hopefully that answered well for you.

Kushal: I think we definitely got all the right things. I think I can see you’ve thought a lot about you know, kind of how to set up your team, I can see that it's probably a difficult position sometimes for a director to sort of be in where like you said, you're sort of handed parts of the puzzle. And you're maybe not designing the puzzle itself from… I think you also get a lot of really solid points around, you know, when's the right time to really say, okay, you know, what, we've got enough out of our inbound and now it's time to sort of maybe expand that and really think through why you want to expand through outbound as well. 

On differentiation between SDRs and account executives, I think that's really key as well, I think that's part of what we see across the industry as well, where account executive sort of varies much as you spoke of it, and it probably does take away from everyone's base skills, and really what they can bring to the table. I guess that probably brings me to the next question, which is really around account executives, right. So assuming that, you know, we're living in an ideal world, where you kind of get to choose when you're setting up which function, how many SDRs you're setting, maybe in that world, how will you kind of go about getting the right account executives? What would that interview process look like? Do you have any favorite interview questions that have always worked?

Troy: You know, what I found is it's not even an interview question, it's a role-play with account executives. Because that's what really I'm looking for is, what's their current process? The questions that I would ask would probably be related to student mentality like, how much are you… because I think what makes a great account executive that's an external hire, and moving over to a new organization, is how much are you willing to throw out that made you successful somewhere else but might not work where you're going? That's I think how I became a really strong account executive is that I had a wealth of experience when I got into SaaS, and my hiring manager was someone that I work in sales with in door to door sales. And they knew that I was extremely good at what I was doing, I had it down to a science, but over there, they were making more money, they had more success, they had a better career path. And I knew like, alright, if he tells me anything, even if I don't agree with it, if it's leading to success, now, I'm throwing out what I have right now. And I'm gonna be all in on everything that they have to offer. 

You know, I do like to get that base of like a role-play, and see, alright, how do you do with discovery? How do you do your presentation, you know, if we can get to some kind of negotiation ideas, or at least kind of talking about the philosophy, that's helpful. But student mentality is almost as important as that that role-play. Another thing that I'll do is I'll have someone role-play and if they don't do everything that I want, I give them the advice on what I want and I'll schedule another role-play with them. And I think people can be worried about doing that because they don't want a drawn out sales process or interview process because it's a hot market, they'll just go somewhere else. I'd rather lose them. I'd rather lose that account executive than risk bringing in someone that isn't the right fit. You know, I'd rather measure twice and cut once even if it means that you know, some of the lumber is going to leave and go to somebody else's project. I think that's the best way of doing it when hiring an external AE because it is very easy to hire the wrong person when it comes to accounting executives. Any floor that you're at when you look at account executives, I haven't seen one where it doesn't follow the Pareto Principle, 20% gives you 80% of your results. That means 80% of the existing account executives that are out there, they're not producing the results that you would want. And those are probably the ones that are interviewing more often than not. I don't know any account executives that are kicking ass that are usually going out in interviewing, so you gotta measure twice, and don't be afraid of losing them to somebody else, unless it's a slam dunk, then it's like, all right, maybe you want to shorten your process.

Kushal: I feel like there were a lot of controversial takes somewhere in the middle there. But for them to go around to your point about really coachability, I guess that's what you're going for, when you sort of get them one round of feedback, maybe have them come back to you and sort of, you know, you see how it plays out. So it seems like coachability is probably one of those really important traits to look for in an account executive as well?

Troy: Confidence, I think is really important. And I think there's like this, there's this stigma that if you have even like an ego, that there's no room for you. And I think the question would be, well, why do they have that ego? You know, because it could be good, could be good. Some of my favorite salespeople that I've worked with, most empathetic people, people that are my good friends, I still mentor and talk to them every week, even though I no longer work with them. They've definitely got an ego, they absolutely do. You know, they're humble in some respects, but they also have an ego. But do they have an ego in a way that it's like, you can't tell me anything? I've already learned it all. I'm the best. Or is their ego there because they know that they're willing to outlearn everyone, and outwork everyone, and they have a tremendous amount of pride. 

I think I have that also, and I, you know, early in my sales career, there was a stigma that I had a big ego, but it wasn't because I thought I knew everything, it was because I had obsessed over getting better. And I was willing to learn from anyone, even if they didn't have my success. And yeah, that gave me a little bit of an ego because I knew no one else was willing to do that. So I was pretty prideful and confident about it. I don't think that's a bad thing. I think that whole leave your ego at the door, leave your confidence at the door, you're going to tell these account executives that their targets are going to go up, sometimes they double year over a year, there's going to be times where you're going to give them a task that feels insurmountable to the average humble person. So they have to have some form of an ego to be like, I can do that, no problem. That's who you're really looking for. So I think the reason why people do this, and I just did a video on it, like it goes against the grain of what you hear nowadays, it's because of that same Pareto Principle, right. If 20% of your people give you 80% of the results, 80% of the people are not producing, they're only producing 20% of the results. So when people create content, they're trying to build a brand online and everything like that, well what's the easiest way to do that? Do you want to appeal to 20% of the market or 80%? A lot easier, apply to that 80% here to get way more likes, more engagement, where people are gonna be willing to follow you, and you're really just kind of placating them, you're making them feel better about things. But it's not reality. I would rather have a smaller base, I only have, I don't know, it's under 19,000 followers on LinkedIn, but they're a lot more passionate about things like when I put something out there, it gets a lot of engagement, because I'm not BSing them, I don't tell people what they want to hear. I tell people the reality based on my experience, and that's a good example of that, I think is terms of like, look for confidence, just make sure that the confidence is placed there for an actual reason that you can work with and it's what you want your culture to be like.

Kushal: I love that take, Troy. I think in a lot of cultures, we tend to look at confidence and ego as negatives. But I think maybe shifting around to look at confidence really is something that helps us really with survival, self-preservation, our own growth and development, I think that's probably a great and a really fresh take to have on it. I also really liked how you sort of take the Pareto Principle, and you know, you sort of use it to niche down in some sense, right, or whether that's niching down on the right talent, the right market, the right customer segments, and I think that's really key, not just for sales, but I think for marketing, and really all functions to really focus on, you know, the most important tasks that will probably yield you the most impact and talk to them fact, right? If we move over to sort of the SDR lane, what do you kind of think are the most important traits for someone to be a great SDR? Do you think for instance, the loudest voice or the most extroverted person is going to be the best SDR?

Troy: I think that it’s going to start to trend that way. And the reason why is because no one's looking for them and a big part of being an SDR is separating yourself from everybody else that's out there because everyone's getting prospected by multiple different companies. So a lot of companies and a lot of marketing content creators again, like it's a big thing on, oh no, it's whoever creates the best email. It's not who has the biggest personality. It's not who is the most engaging, it's not who's the most charismatic. And it's like, alright, cool, trend to that way. More people can craft an email because you can hit copy and paste and craft an email. But if you start to hire the people that are a little bit more charismatic, a little bit more engaging, someone who someone would actually want to talk to on the phone for 30 seconds. I think Seamless.AI does an awesome job with this. Anytime it Seamless.AI prospects me, it's like, man, this was someone I really want to talk to, like, I respect the craft, I respect that they're you know, they're positive, they're engaging, you know, they have a level of confidence and assertiveness, and it's like, Alright, yeah.

Kushal: I think we lost you a little bit there.

Troy: I don't think that that's a requirement. But I think that it's a leg up, because I think that it's going to separate people from what most companies are hiring for nowadays, most of them aren’t hiring for that anymore. 

Kushal: Okay, so I know you were talking about, you know, SDRs, and sort of the fact that they have to stand out. Also, because everyone, you know, when you apply the craft, everyone can sort of, you know, create great emails, I think we are talking about.

Troy: So I think, as far as like what I look for in an SDR, it's really what to look for in everyone. But I think it's important for SDRs to carry these things. And I've talked about this for like 12 years now. At this point, the three keys to success for me are being able to have and maintain a positive attitude, having incredible work ethic, and being able to have and apply a student mentality consistently. So positive attitude, I mean, that's obvious. If you're doing 100 dials in a day, you could often get cursed out, hung up on, you're gonna hear no a lot more than you hear yes, and you have to be able to maintain that positive attitude from one call to the next. The way that I would relate it to a lot of my SDRs was like, imagine if you took 100 leads, and printed it out on sheets of paper, and you lay them all out on the floor over here, and some of them have nothing on them, they're just a piece of paper sitting there, some of them have a stack of money on them. That's one where if you do all the right things, you're gonna land that one, you have to walk over and pick up each one of them with the same level of respect and care as you get on the first one to the 100. So if you lose attitude throughout the day, your next call might be that one that is the only call that you could have possibly had a really good connection with, booked it and could have turned it into a sale. So you have to treat everyone the same way, you have to be able to reset your attitude. And a big part of that is making sure you're even keel, you don't want to be at the very top, you want to be at the very bottom in terms of being like super depressed, you're in the middle, you know, you're not manic, you're not depressed, you're towards the middle, maybe a little bit above the middle and you stay positive the entire time. 

The way that I could always do that is I think I do a good job of always keeping an eye on the bigger picture. You know, at that SDR level, what's that bigger picture? You're a stone's throw away from making more than what a lawyer averages. You know, at that account executive level, you're making pretty good money and you're right there you know. So the finish line is not far. So I maintained that as an SDR. And that's what I try to upload into my reps as well on the attitude side. 

On the work ethic side, you know, it's simple I relate it to the football jersey behind me. I relate it to football where AEs are more like a wide receiver. It's a skill position, you can take plays off, and you can still make it to the Hall of Fame. Randy Moss took plays off and then he, you know, he's still led the league and he still made it into the Hall of Fame. Whereas SDR is more of like a lineman, you know, it's more of a, it's a skill position, but it's a lot more of a grind, you have to line up on every single play, and you have to grind it out, you cannot take a single play off or your quarterback’s in the hospital, you can't afford to. So you have to realize that you're lining up and you're grinding every single day. And that's going to do a boatload of things for you, you're going to be able to get promoted a lot faster, because most people can't do that every single day. So it's something that's, you know, a source of excitement. And also, that's just going to build the habits that if you carry them for the rest of your sales career, it's going to separate yourself from everybody else that's out there. 

And last one, student mentality is just always looking to learn, always looking to get better. The day that you stop looking for avenues to learn new things is the day that you plateau, you've decided that you're no longer going to earn any more than what you're already earning. If you're constantly learning. If you're constantly creating habits with what you learn, you'll always have more success, that's the big thing. I know people that can quote books, they have a million books, you know, and they… even you know, digest the material, but they don't turn it into a habit. You know, so the big thing is like seek out to learn things that you want to apply right away. Don't seek out to learn something you're not going to apply. 

A good example like I was building a website for a business recently. So I go on YouTube, and I've learned how to add a plugin for when someone wants to submit the resume. Well, if I just did that three months ago when I didn't care about it, I would have digested the material but I wouldn't have learned it. But because I was ready to apply it immediately, I know it front and back now like now I definitely know it because I was pursuing learning something that I wanted to apply right away and turn into a habit. Yeah, you know, maybe a longer answer but I think those are the big things that really in life in general you have success with but as an SDR if you can do those things every single day. You're pretty hard pressed not to have a successful you know, time and career there. 

Kushal: I think SDRs do have it difficult. Like you said, there are a lot of rejections, a lot of nos along the way. So I think really checking for that attitude, and really that student mentality, also the ability to sort of learn and apply, I think all of those things will probably go a really long way, in sort of getting the right team on board and also about, you know, sort of coaching them towards, you know, doing good things. I think just to flip it around a little bit, you know, someone leading these teams, right, or someone hiring us hearing these, what do you think would be your advice really, for fellow, you know, team builders, or directors on really getting the most out of their team? 

Troy: Make an investment in the person, get to know them, that rapport building that investment is almost as important, it probably is more important than anything else that you can do. Because all of the strategy, all of the execution, all of the motivation that you can provide amounts to nothing if they've decided that they don't want you to motivate, if they decided that you've got nothing for them, and they're not on your side, then it's irrelevant. So that legwork is the most important thing. It's almost like don't even try anything until you really feel like you've got, you know… I think I've learned that I've learned it the hard way, a few places where, you know, I come in, I already know what to do, I see some things, I'm ready to go. And it's like, you haven't laid that foundation guide, you really have to make the investment and put in that additional time and everything. I think that's the most important thing. 

And the other thing is, when it comes to strategy, stick with what you're rolling, don't change it every week, or you're gonna, you're gonna lose by. Even if you're halfway wrong, you're still halfway right, you're better off running with it and going with it, than changing it up all the time. You know, execution is almost more important than strategy. You know, if you execute well on a bad play, you can still score, you know. So it's more than just kind of getting accurate and staying consistent. The more that you change, the less buying you're going to have. 

Kushal: I think that's really key commitment and consistency and then execution, of course. I think, yeah, all of those things put together I think that's really great advice for folks who are of course setting up their own team for that sales or otherwise. So that brings me to a couple of questions that I have. So the first question for you is, what would you be doing if you weren’t doing?

Troy: That's a good question because I'm not doing a current job. So let's say I win the Powerball, right, I have 300 mil, I'm still creating sales content, I'm still creating training, I'm still helping salespeople, I'm still having calls with them and helping. And that's probably a little bit of everything that I'm that I'm doing. Maybe a couple of hobbies here and there. But talking to sales and helping salespeople, I genuinely would do for free. And I can back that up because I do it for free. Anyone that's hearing this, you have me on LinkedIn, if I have time to talk, we're going to have a conversation that's going to last at least a half an hour if you need. If you need another one, I'm down to do it. To me, I think that can separate myself from everyone else that's out there as I'm willing to put in additional work. It's one thing to try to create content and build a following. It's another thing to actually create tangible value for people and being willing to get on the phone and get after it. And yeah, that's definitely what I would be doing. I wish that would be the only thing that I'm doing. I think that's what I'm best suited to do is just help you diagnose a problem and assist. 

Kushal: I think my second question was going to be around what keeps you going through the day. I feel like you've already answered some of that. I think just the sense of really adding value in creating value for other folks and helping them with their joy, is that correct? 

Troy: Yeah, forgive me you broke up a little bit. What am I doing today essentially?

Kushal: So really, what keeps you going through your day?

Troy: Results, I think. You know, outside of like, obviously, you know, I've got a big family. And that keeps me going kind of more than anything is that responsibility to provide definitely is a large one in terms of my level of urgency and work ethic. But results motivate me almost more than anything. It's like if you go to the gym, if you see no results, are you going to stick with it forever? You know, even if you see a little bit of results that get you excited. So like, you know, I'll get calls from people I got one recently when I was out to dinner with my kids, and they just said, Hey, like your name came up after I did a role-play for an interview. And it went extremely well. And I told him that I learned it from you. And you know how well you helped me out and like that keeps me going almost more than anything is like knowing that I'm actually helping, knowing that there's a chance that people are going to have an easier go at it. And I did because I did not have an easy one. I had a lot of heartache and a lot of difficulty, car repo’d evicted, you know, your water's cold because you have no hot water for months, I went through all of that to learn everything in sales. And I love the idea of making sure that other people don't have to go through that. I do feel like it built a lot of character. I feel like I'm… that grit is hard to replace. But I know a lot of people that don't necessarily need to have that same experience and I love to give them, you know, tangible shortcuts that actually work. And that results in seeing that and getting that feedback from people is my favorite thing you know, I love it. 

Kushal: If you have to give a shout out to someone in your industry who would that be?

Troy: Give a shout out to someone in my industry. I'll give you two but I'll be really fast. Two people that I really love working with, both are account executives, both are at once earlier in their career and ones later. So one is Luke Ruffing, he's top account executive over at PandaDoc. A good example of what we talked about earlier, extremely confident, wrong person could take that the wrong way. But he's also one of the most coachable people that I've ever worked with, genuinely a good person, always working to help out the SDRs making an investment in other people, even if it's not going to benefit him. And I think that's huge. And I think that's a great way of being able to kind of build yourself up and build up others, he's leaving an impact on more than just himself and his family, but on other people. 

The other would be Mike Fusill, who's been an account executive, you know, probably as long as I've been in sales in general, he's at Horizon Connect, he’s been their top account executive for probably almost a decade at this point. You know, he's been top account executive of the year three or four times. Same thing, you know, he kind of reminds me of what Luke is going to eventually turn into. Awesome person to hang out with, love the guy, I talk to him every single week, you know, for sure. But if he sees an SDR, they're starting to do well, he's taking them to lunch, you know, he's doing whatever he can to help them out and make an investment in them. And, you know, if you ask people about them that really get to know them, they'll all tell you the same thing. They've had a huge impact on their career, and they would love to work with him anywhere. 

I like calling both of them out because neither one of them are technically leaders, but people follow them. And I think that's a huge thing that you're not a leader by your title, titles do matter by the way, don't get it twisted, but you don't have to have a title to be a leader. And those are two of I think the best examples. People that I plan on working with whether I get paid for it in some form or fashion for the rest of my career and probably beyond you know just because of the investment that they've made in people I love that I love this.

Kushal: Got it. I really like that take. Probably here's my last question in this round. Give me maybe a couple of words for a wrong meanings only for sales…

Troy: What words for, say one more time, forgive me broke up a little.

Kushal: So give me a wrong meanings only. So if I say sales forecasting to you what was wrong meaning only?

Troy: Actually seen this happening before just putting in what's left on your…. hitting your target like that's the intelligent forecast, which I borderline kind of like if you have a heart to hit it, but it's definitely not the right way.

Kushal: What about a SKO, sales kickoff?

Troy: Oh, I prefer RKO because then everyone knows is Randy Orton’s finisher that's for sure. That's the wrong take on that. But in a way, it's kind of the right take as far as sales kickoff Yeah, it's rolling out plans that are never gonna get actually executed, or is that a right take, I don't know, depends on the company.

Kushal: And here’s the last one, what would be the wrong meaning only for sales coaching?

Troy: It's a good one. And it's supposed to be rapid fire, right. So I probably shouldn't be thinking about it for that much, telling somebody exactly what they want to hear. It's one of my favorite quotes, you don't get to decide how you get, you get in somewhere, you got to learn to adapt, it's part of having a student mentality, oh well, I like to get coached this way. Congratulations. You can only get coached by that source now. So you're going to miss out on information. Because the coach doesn't have time that's why they're a coach, they already put the work in, that you want to learn from, you don't get to decide how you get that information uploaded, what you do get to decide is how you perceive it, and how you apply it and how you become an active listener and learn. Again, longer answer. But that one's near and dear to my heart for sure. Because I think the world is starting to get filled with people that think that they get to decide how they get coached, that’s how it works them, that how it works at all, and you're going to miss out if you do it that way.

Kushal: Thanks so much. I really enjoyed having you On the Flip Side with us today. I think we really got some really interesting, honest, and some really useful. Troy so really the last segment and we'll sort of edit this out is that we also are doing this content series called sales affirmations. So what I do is I typically ask our guests, if they have any sales affirmation short quotes you know, these little thoughts that sort of motivate them or their teams, and then we sort of type them up, share them on our socials and it makes for like really great content as well. So if you had to maybe give me your top five sales goals, they don't have to belong to a particular person but you know, sort of thing that you believe in and that motivates?

Troy: I have 5 or 10 but I probably have a couple that are that are pretty good for sure that hopefully are the first one of it's my big one that's on LinkedIn and everything is you can't make excuses and money at the same time which kind of has become my you know, my credo you know, but it's really not mine the first time I heard it, and I can't even find the guy but his name was John Wiggin. It was the million dollar man at a company called [inaudible 29:28] or you know I think a million dollars a week and that was his quote and I ran with it you know that is my favorite one though of all time so he made it a hotline I'm trying to make it a hot song and a quote Jay-z but yeah, that's a big one to me. You know, you can make excuses and money at the same time. If you're finding reasons why you're not successful, you should be finding reasons how you can be successful but you know, stop making yourself feel better and start getting some results. The next one is a weird one. Again, another person that I can't find. Try to find him on LinkedIn, Facebook, everything. A guy I used to work with at 2020 named Greg Lester, it's almost like a Yogi Berra type quote because it sounds ridiculous. But he would say the people that make it are the ones that stand people that make it in this company are the people that stay. And it's kind of funny. It's like, well, yeah, of course the people that make it are the ones that stick but there is something to sticking with something even when there's some adversity. The people that stay at a company invest in a company, when it makes sense, are generally the ones that really make it, they level up in everything. If you're someone that's quick to jump. And it's for the wrong reasons. You're kind of delaying what you're hoping to turbocharge by moving. So the people that make it in the business are the ones that stay it and a lot of great salespeople that have dropped off over the years. And you know, they would still be great to this day but here we are, they're not here. 

Kushal: Got it. Loved these, Troy. So I think, yeah, I think that's absolutely useful. Thanks so much for sort of taking our time for this. I think your honesty and you know, your sort of enthusiasm and energy really comes. 

Troy: Absolutely, my pleasure. Thanks for having me, Kushal. 

Kushal: Thanks so much Troy. Have a good day ahead.

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