In today’s special video blog, we’re joined by Rohan Sood — the sales lead at eRational.

 

During our interview, Rohan shared some invaluable insights into how YOU can build out your sales process, hire the RIGHT kind of salesperson, and SCALE your sales team with ease.

 

Watch the video or check out the transcript below to learn more. 

Hello, everyone. Thanks for tuning in for today’s eRational video blog. My name is Mike Vipond. I’m a senior copywriter with eRational. Today, I’m here with Rohan Sood. Rohan is heading up our sales team at eRational, and he’s going to be sharing some insights into building out your sales process and how to bring on new members of your sales team. So Rohan, thanks a lot for being here today.

Thanks a lot, Mike. It’s great speaking with you! Super excited for our conversation, waiting to get into it.

Perfect. So let’s dive right in… Just to start, can you tell us a little bit more about your background and how you ended up joining the eRational team?

Absolutely. So you’ve already given me an introduction, but my name is Rohan and I’m heading sales at eRational. On the personal side, I am originally from India. I spent a decade there working across sales & marketing. I started my education with a bachelor’s degree in accounting and finance, and then did my MBA in marketing. I joined one of the biggest Global agencies called Mediacom, so I have extensive experience on the CPG side — retail fashion brands.

My last role in India was leading the marketing Communications campaign for NBA, after which I relocated to Toronto and joined eRational last year. It was a gruelling interview process, and what really blew me away was the vision of the company. I’ve seen them grow in the last 12 months and have been a part of this journey. That covers my background and why I joined eRational.

Perfect! So, these days… What is your role? And what does that look like on a day-to-day basis?

So, my role now is leading the sales team. That’s revenue generation. On a day-to-day basis, my day starts with the early morning meeting with the sales team. The focus is to get a sense of how your day is looking — key meetings, projections for the day, for the week, key KPIs. So that’s what we discuss in the morning meeting. It’s high energy, high power, you get things going, really getting that motivation, and getting your blood pumping. The rest of the day involves attacking those discovery calls, doing the required prep, helping the team close, lots of prep-work, doing the research. My day is essentially a balance between outreach — which is email, LinkedIn, calling, discovery calls, and sales strategy. We end the day with an evening meeting, where the focus is again on numbers. It’s about how your day was, any escalations, anywhere that I can help the team, anything they need from me — I’m happy to step in and help them close those deals. So, that’s that’s how the day ends. And it’s again, just focusing on numbers, on their reports, what needs to be done to hit all those numbers and those targets on a weekly, monthly, and quarterly basis.

Perfect. So in your experience, why would you say it’s really important to have a standardized sales process with a company like eRational? 

That’s a great question. So a standardized sales process is essential because it ensures not only efficiency, but also effectiveness. So, Mike, it’s not important just to have a standardized sales process. It’s important to have a successful standardized sales process. As they say: “success leaves clues,” so you want to build an amplifier — something that is working for you. Having said that, a standardized sales process does not mean the process is rigid, but it means that you are building on something that works, but are always open to evolving it and improving it. 

So “evolve always” — like our motto. 

Absolutely!

Great! So, what personality traits would you say are most important for success in a sales role?

Okay, so there are a number of personality traits, but I would say I have four or five top ones that I can nail down. The first one is what I call Organic Arrogance. And the reason I call it that is because, like most great leaders or successful athletes, you are arrogant on the inside, but you’re modest on the outside. So, you are arrogant on the inside because you know the standards that you set for yourself — you’re improving every day, you know the kind of quality and quantity of work that you have to put out there, and you hold yourself to those standards. So I called it Organic Arrogance, which is arrogance on the inside, but you’re modest and a team player on the outside. So, that’s number one.

Number two, I would say, is Elevated Consciousness. This is having a strong sense of duty, strong sense of responsibility. You don’t need someone to micromanage you. You know what you’re goals are, what your KPIs are, and you’re actually kind of running your own business unit, right? You’re running your day, you know the numbers you have to hit and that only comes when you have the right Elevated Consciousness. 

The third one is like in any job, right? You have to be Achievement-Oriented. That’s self-explanatory. That’s the third one. The fourth one is the same for any great achiever. Whether it’s a scientist or athlete — it’s being Curious. It’s always learning. It’s always reapplying what you’ve learned. So, you learn with every interaction you have, with every discovery call, with every meeting with a customer or a prospect or a client. You learn a little more, you stretch your capabilities, your knowledge, and then you re-apply those learnings in the next call. You keep getting better and better. 

It’s your Objection-Handling that improves with each call after that. So, the fifth one is the ability to handle rejections. We call it the ability to handle the “left swipe.” So if you’re on Tinder, you already know that you have to have that ability to always be swiped left because that is a big part of the job. It’s 99% failure and then 1%  success. So, those would be the key personality traits. 

Fantastic. So with that in mind with those personality traits, what sales profiles would you recommend when you’re looking for a salesperson?

This is book-ish, but generally, there are five kinds of sales profiles. There’s the Relationship Builder — this kind of person builds those relationships and business conversations — they will talk about your dog, about your farm, about your hobbies. So, it’s more relationship-based. That’s the first one. The second one is Hard Workers. This kind of person will work twelve hours a day, they’ll be at it and just out-work their competition, both internal and external. That’s the second kind of profile. The third one is the Lone Wolf. This is actually my least preferred one because this person likes to work alone, does not follow processes, does not update the CRM, will have his own systems, his own assets. This is my least favorite. 

The fourth one is a Problem Solver — the scale and this profile is very high in demand. It’s no longer about selling. Right, Mike? It’s about solving a customer’s problem and showing them your ability to solve it for the next 12 months, or the six months, and to get that big contract. The fifth one is the Challenger. Personally, I’ve found that the best people are a balance of a hard worker because you don’t want someone who’s doing 14+ hours a day — they’ll just burn themselves out in a few months. The balance of a hard worker, a problem solver, and a challenger — that’s what I’ve found to be best, but it is very subjective to what you’re offering is, what the company is, what your culture is, but that gives you a flavor of how it goes with eRational.

Absolutely. Yeah, that’s excellent. So, following up on that, you mentioned the Lone Wolf — what other sorts of red flags do you look out for when you’re bringing on new members of your sales team? 

Well, that’s a great question too. So, the biggest red flag is that I can’t work with a person who has a basic challenge with ethics and morals. If the person — if their approach, their thinking, or if the way they sell — is unethical, you’re selling based on false promises. You might get returned in the short run, but from a long-term perspective, you’d not only lose that customer, you lose goodwill. You know your company gets a bad name, and ethics is something that I cannot compromise. The other red flag is if a salesperson is not open to feedback. Sales is about learning and improving and being open to feedback — both negative and positive — and this is actually constructive criticism, right? That’s how you have to look at it. If you’re not open to feedback — if you just stick to what you know and your past successes — that’s something which hinders our success in the long run. Those are the biggest red flags.

Of course, yes. So once you find the right people, how do you effectively hire them, train them, and then onboard them? What does that process look like for you?

So, even before I answer that I would say, I prefer “sharpening the axe,” rather than spending time “chopping the tree.” That’s why we lay a lot of emphasis on who we are hiring. Sometimes, it’s done really fast and it’s really agile. Sometimes, we need to spend a lot more time for certain profiles because you need to have the right salesperson. We have to be the right fit. 

So, we’ve had a lot of success by using the Disc Assessment, which is the top disc test — the personality test which is basically questions about your personality, your way of working, your ambitions — and it gives you an output which maps your approach in terms of four different categories: Dominance, Influence, Steadiness, and Consciousness. We’ve had a lot of success using this disc assessment test. We’ve had amazing salespeople join our team by leveraging this test. Our process is pretty simple, just like any other company, but we pay a lot of emphasis on hiring salespeople based on who’s having the maximum success in the company. 

So, we do an assessment of our employees, of our sales team currently, and then map those profiles with the one ones that we are hiring, so we know exactly the kind of employee or the salesperson that is going to come on board and the kind of success they will potentially have. 

Fantastic!

Right, I’m sorry. There’s another part of your question. This is the hiring side. On the training side, we have a 30 day training program, which is now actually crunched into two weeks. The reason we could do that is because we have taken a lot of that hands-on training away, and it’s now more video-based. It’s more tutorials. They’ve got content. We’ve got so many demos. 

So, it’s now a very crunched two-week training program. Most of our sales team is ready to hit the road and really get those discovery calls and close those deals, but from a day-to-day perspective, I like being more Hands-On. My approach is more granular. I wouldn’t call it micro-management, but it’s always being there for my sales team to help them close those deals and get those commission checks in. See, there are two types of training and coaching. Some sales leaders are big believers in weekly training and weekly stand-up meetings, but I’m a big believer in daily. So we do one quick session early in the morning, and one late in the evening, so that we know exactly the numbers we are meeting each day. It ensures you’re not losing five days before getting a perspective of who needs help, where we are in terms of numbers, and whether we are actually on track. That’s the training side of it.

Awesome. Those are some really interesting insights. So, for owners or executives who want to learn more about building a scalable sales process or about sales profiles… What kind of resources would you recommend for them? 

Also a good question! So, apart from the basic CRM tools, I’ve found a lot of value by reading books on sales, especially for companies who scaled to the hundred to two hundred million mark. Currently, I’m reading a book called The Sales Acceleration Formula by Mark Roberg and it’s given me quite a lot of value. The key here I’ve realized is it’s not just reading the book, it’s about taking notes and implementing and applying those nuances — those granular details — in your current sales process. Having said that, I would urge you to not over-consume because there are so many sales gurus and there are so many books and so many formulas to win. 

I would say, read a certain book, apply those learnings, and see the kind of incremental efficiencies you are getting… Then you go to your second book or third article on your fifth video because it has to be a slow transition — focus on what’s working because success does leave clues, so don’t tweak something which is not broken, but always keep evolving.

Of course, very interesting. So anything else you’d like to add, any closing comments?

I would say that we’ve got a very very solid sales process and we’ve actually helped 350 plus companies across strategy, across their marketing, across their sales — we’re experts at it. That’s why we have one of the few companies in North America that’s given the hard guarantee of the growth we can deliver for you. My closing comment is that sales is the engine that drives the company, and we need to invest time and energy and effort there. It’s best to work with the experts who give you a hard guarantee.

Perfect. That’s great. 

So I think that just about wraps it up. Thanks again for joining us today, Rohan. We really appreciate that. 

If you want to learn more about standardizing your own sales process, I encourage you to join us for our next Back to Business webinar on Thursday, June 18th at 12 pm EST.

 

During this session, Thomas Le Maguer — our founder and CEO will explore a few strategies to help you effectively scale your sales team. He’ll also touch on some of the things that Rohan discussed in his interview.

 

You can save your seat for our next webinar by clicking the button below.

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