Our Fireside Fridays series is where we have the opportunity to sit down with top B2B revenue leaders for 7 questions and get a behind-the-scenes look at their recommended best practices, their background, and factors that have contributed to their success.  This is our interview with George Eliopoulos, Chief Revenue Officer at Onbe.  

Give us your background in sales

I’ve been building sales teams in different environments since for the last 10+ years, from commercial banking to tech sales. Everything from BDR, SMB, Middle Market and Large Enterprise has been under my watch, providing a very unique perspective on how different revenue streams come together. I’ve found that making others better is the key to progressing forward, always trying to make millionaires out of raw talent.

What is the biggest challenge today facing a sales professional, and how would you recommend they overcome it?

Asking the right question and listening. Reps tend to fly to a solution too quickly. Harder than ever to do virtually. Role playing is one solution. Another is planning out the right questions ahead of time with a manager/colleague and than having a colleague/manager with them in a live situation (that they know is watching for this trait) is another tactic. A third is a coach asking the rep bad questions and not listening (actively) to the response for the rep to see what it is like.

What’s the best sales or business book you’ve ever read, and why? Are you reading anything now?

Proactive Selling by Skip Miller. Great presentation of accumulated knowledge with a lot of easy-to-try tactics. It can be hard to try something new, but his tactics seem to always work and end up being comfortable. Now- The Transparency Sale

What’s the best advice you’d give to someone who is interested in getting into leadership one day?

Don’t assume leadership is a next logical step for anyone who does well; it simply may not make you happy. Make sure you are ready to coach and rely on everyone around you doing their job in order for you to succeed. There is no scenario where your team lost and you won.

What’s a mistake or fail you vividly remember from your journey in business, and what did you ultimately learn from that experience?

Don’t assume that everyone is motivated by money. I once tried to convert a client success org into more of a sales org, layering in revenue goals and good, easy to obtain, potential comp to go with them. Some were fine with it, but the reality is that many are motivated by helping their clients, job security, recognition, watching their company grow or helping their peers much more than they value money. The turnover was a costly error.

Do you see any interesting future trends as it pertains to sales or B2B tech?

I think that the concept of sales as a career is starting to take root sooner in young people’s lives as the stereotype of “sales” fades and more an more young professionals start making more money than their accounting or finance counterparts. I also think that “influencer” models are more important than ever as more people buy for their businesses like they buy for themselves, personally.

If you could grant yourself a useless superpower, what would it be?

The ability to wear shorts and a tshirt anytime with people thinking I am wearing pants and a proper shirt.
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