Leadership Lab

Part 6: Building the Team

What got you here might not get you there. Pipe gen is a team sport, but you have to have the right team in place for new systems to work. Outbound needs to become part of your team's DNA.

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Doug May: SVP of Productivity at Harness,  ex-Datadog, Databricks

The profile and expectations matter

Justin Gellar
Justin Geller
VP of Sales

"I didn't change my hiring profile early enough, and I ended up with a lot of attrition. I hired people in who knew Gong as an inbound machine,  and then they came in, and there was a lot of, like, outbound rigor and expectation, and they didn't sign up for that. So we had to resell them on the current opportunity or some decided to to part ways."

Transforming your current team

The honest and hard truth is: When reps join a team because they like fielding and navigating and growing inbound, they are often disappointed with a shift to outbound. If they have the skill, but not the will - the best course of action for both the rep and for your team is to help them find a company where they can build the skills they want.

Depending on your stage of company there are different managment techniques you can use and different types of opportunities for reps who don't want to do the expected outbound work. The top three areas for effort with your existing team are:

  • Can you coach them? The consensus is it's nearly impossible to coach for a high motor, but you can always coach the skills folks need to be successful.
  • Are there other opportunities for them at the company? One great option is specialist or overlay roles where they serve as the SME, especially if they are early hires and know the product inside and out.
  • Can you connect them with new roles? Not all companies have a PG culture. Can you help your team land in a spot where they will find more success?

Hiring in top tier talent

Everyone says they “like outbound” or are willing to do outbound, but sales people are great at selling - how do you know if it’s true? 

Set clear expectations

Tell any potential new hires the percentage of pipeline you expect them to self source. If it scares people off you are saving yourself headaches in the future. You want the reality to be equal to or easier than what is portrayed in an interview, not vice versa.

Jose Soares
Jose Soares
Sr Manager of Sales

"In the interview process don't sugarcoat anything - be brutally honest about what the role's gonna look like. You will actually see people kinda lean in and be like, "Yes, I take a lot of pride in closing my my own self source deals." That way you're going to be signing folks on that are  actually bought into the role."

Evaluate previous experience

Understand the reps previous experience. Do they have the PG chops to back up their "yes". Homework assignments, PG planning exercises, and concrete examples all help determining if it's real.

Look for hustle and drive

PG excellence requires sharing best tips. What’s working changes so fast, that your team has to be willing to share how they are breaking in to new accounts.

daisy chung headshot
Daisy Chung
Director of Sales

"Sometimes the better person is someone who just wants it bad enough versus someone who has all the accolades and success in the past. I've taken risk on smart, hunger, intelligent people, and I've seen a lot better results and created that pg culture. "

Test for collaboration over cut throat competitors

PG excellence requires sharing best tips. What’s working changes so fast, that your team has to be willing to share how they are breaking in to new accounts.  

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