Dave Munson, VP of Direct Sales at Axon — the law enforcement technology company known for its Taser brand — has closed many a quarter and knows just how intense of a time that can be.
In this Hey Salespeople episode, you’ll find out why deals lost at the end of the quarter were actually doomed from the beginning, how effective inside sales teams are run, and what three characteristics make a job candidate extremely attractive.
Listen here, and keep reading for some of the highlights from this episode below.
Jeremey: Let’s get into what it’s like to manage inside sales. But I did want to come back to that that first thing which was that you yourself were you know, you were a law enforcement officer in the Scottsdale police department. What are the parallels between that and sales?
Dave: Ooh, that’s an interesting question. I think that the main thing that I find as the parallel is due to who I am and what I’m working for.
I know that Kyle, your CEO also has a very similar mission that you want to change people’s lives. I love the story that he posted on LinkedIn a little while ago about the individual that used SalesLoft technology. And then he was able to get a dog because it freed up his time and he was able to go home and it enhanced his personal life.
The parallel to sales in law enforcement. Law enforcement is all about protecting society, serving society and looking for a greater good outside of who you are personally sacrificing a lot of personal comforts and health and safety, to make sure the society is a better place for our kids.
In sales. I think that if you approach it the way that Simon Cynics has and others and the way that I tried to approach it is I want to be able to approach sales with that why, with that passion, so that I am contributing to the betterment of society somehow, and it doesn’t matter what you’re offering, as long as it is something that can improve somebody else’s quality of life or quality of business, helping them become more productive, more profitable.
We just have to find that benefit that we’re offering to somebody by identifying the problem, right? What problems do people have? And how do we identify a solution to provide a solution to them so that we can improve their quality of life?
Jeremey: Yeah, they resonate deeply with me because I have these criteria that I use for where I want to build my career.
One of the criteria is meaning in the work. And over the course of my career, I’ve tried to figure out how to define that. And I’ve ultimately come up with a definition that I have to, basically, I would sell it to a friend, a close friend or a loved one and believe I was helping them. And it doesn’t have to be, you know, epically life-transforming, great if it is.
But as long as I have that belief that I’m doing them good, I’m, I’m in a good place.
Dave: Yeah, I 100% agree. And I think that’s where I really struggled early on in my sales career. The way that I was approaching the door to door sales is I thought if somebody else knocked on my mom’s door, would I really care about that objection of we just don’t have any extra money for that service at this time.
I wasn’t passionate about selling Dish Network. But right now I’m super passionate about what I do because I would sell it to my family because I know that this is going to better their life or better their security of their home or whatever the case is. So absolutely, that resonates with me as well.
Jeremey: You’re in one of the rare industries, where you really are saving lives, right? Not all, not all of us are saving lives with what we do, but it’s quite admirable.
Well, I know it’s quarter closed for you. So as a sales leader, what are some of the things that you can really truly do at quarter close to actually affect the business?
The reason I asked that is, so many of the deals that happened at this point in the quarter are things that have been in the pipeline, but I’m wondering what sort of actions you take as a sales leader to you know, drive that successful outcome to the quarter?
Dave: Yeah, I was talking to one of my former managers about this a couple of days ago, and we discussed how you don’t lose a deal at the end of the quarter, right, you have to establish that foundation for the opportunity at the very beginning of the quarter. That’s going to be creating that shared vision with your customer, whoever you’re working with and whatever solution you’re going to be providing to them.
But you’ve got to be able to create that shared vision and then backward engineer that so that you can identify what are the next steps going to be? What are some of the hurdles? Who are the decision-makers, where’s the source of funding? In our world, we’re working with the government.
And so they’re very, very stuck to these annual fiscal cycles. And, and a lot of our sales cycle is dependent on when those funds are going to become available. And so there’s not a lot that we can do at the end of the quarter.
So it’s all about putting in that grit, that rigor, that structure at the very beginning of the quarter, at the end of the quarter, it’s going to be all about making sure that they’re owning the forecast as much as possible and making sure that they have all the information for every question that I have.
So when I’m going up to them, and I’m asking them and we use Salesforce as our CRM, and so we have them log their next step into the opportunity and I am asking them just very, very deep tailed questions of what is a next step that’s going to be an actionable item.
I don’t want the next step to be will call next week. I want the next step to be the city council will be held on June 25. After that, and you contact the City Manager to obtain a signature, we just have to get very, very granular at the end of the quarter.
THERE’S A LOT MORE AFTER THIS! Listen to the full podcast for more.
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