Fireside Friday with Ben Raffi
Sales Assembly: Give us your quick background in sales:
Ben: I'm the CEO at Growlabs.com, a B2B lead generation and sales automation platform. We work with the fastest growing companies to help them accelerate their growth. I'm also an advisor and Board Member at several high-growth start-ups.
Sales Assembly: What's your biggest accomplishment in sales or sales leadership?
Ben: In 2011, I founded ticketing app Universe, and led the growth efforts globally, acquiring 28,000 customers within three years with a team of 10 sales reps. Universe was acquired by LiveNation in 2015. This experience led me to start Growlabs.com to help other B2B companies scale their sales efforts.
Sales Assembly: What's the best piece of sales advice you ever got?
Ben: "Cold email if you have to." Although, getting an intro is usually better, if you can't then don't be too shy to cold email. As long as you reach the right person, with the right messaging, it can be very successful. I actually sold my last company by cold emailing the CEO of LiveNation.
Sales Assembly: What's the biggest challenge facing a sales rep today, and how would you recommend they overcome it?
Ben: There is no excuse these days not to use technology to your advantage. As a sales rep, if you're still doing manual, repetitive tasks, you're doing something wrong or you're working for the wrong company. Optimize your time so that you can build long-term relationships with your clients and prospects. If you become a trusted partner and expert in your industry, you will close more deals faster. You'll also get intros from your clients to new potential clients. This is easier said than done but this is the #1 sales skill you should invest in.
Sales Assembly: Do you currently have a mentor when it comes to sales, or have you ever? If so, what did they teach you?
Ben: I have 2 sales mentors currently. They help me by sharing their expertise managing large sales teams as well as improving our hiring process so that we can hire top sales talent.
Sales Assembly: What's the best sales book you've ever read? What are you reading now?
Ben: David Skok's blog is my go-to : http://www.forentrepreneurs.com/
Sales Assembly: Best sales or business related books, articles, podcasts or newsletters?
Ben: I read Inc. I've actually started to contribute and I'm enjoying it
Sales Assembly: What's the best advice you'd give to someone just starting a career in sales?
Ben: Surround yourself with people who are smarter than you and be a sponge.
Sales Assembly: Do you see any interesting future trends as it pertains to sales?
Ben: Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning will be replacing the low-level manual tasks. At Growlabs, we're at the forefront of this and we're excited to push technology to help sales rep be more effective.