Fireside Friday with Ryan Barretto
Sales Assembly: Give us your quick background in sales:
Ryan: While I didn't recognize it at the time, my love for sales really started when I was a kid. I could often be found selling fireworks, baseball cards, newspapers and eventually custom jeans. I was fortunate to find Salesforce early in my sales career and spent 10+ years in a variety of sales and sales leadership roles. My last role running global sales for Pardot is what inspired me to continue my sales journey with Sprout Social.
Sales Assembly: What's your biggest accomplishment in sales or sales leadership?
Ryan: There is no better feeling than being able to contribute to your people. Some of my most enjoyable moments come from watching AEs close record breaking deals or ascend into their dream jobs. From a metrics perspective, I am proud of the work the Pardot team did as we tripled revenue in 2 years. Based on the talent and opportunity I am seeing at Sprout, I think my answer is going to change pretty soon :)
Sales Assembly: What's the best piece of sales advice you ever got?
Ryan: The CEO of Pardot, Adam Blitzer, often said "aim to be a pain killer not a vitamin." I think about this often as we deliver sales training and as I present to customers. I always want to be viewed as a Tylenol 3 vs a Flintstone gummy. My daughter may disagree though.
Sales Assembly: What's the biggest challenge facing a sales rep today, and how would you recommend they overcome it?
Ryan: Time management. I think this problem has always existed and will continue to in the future. I buy into the belief that time is our most valuable asset, yet we often don't treat it that way. My advice to reps is to end your days with planning. Assess and assign your priorities for the next day. Schedule them (what gets scheduled, gets done). And take some time to review your wins from today so you always leave on a high.
Sales Assembly: Do you currently have a sales mentor, or have you ever? If so, what did they teach you?
Ryan: I have a few. I schedule monthly meetings with sales leaders that inspire me and that I trust. I also have a network of Sales leaders that I connect with regularly on a variety of topics. These amazing people are always teaching me new things.
Sales Assembly: What's the best sales book you've ever read? What are you reading now?
Ryan: I really enjoyed The Sales Acceleration Formula. I am currently reading From Impossible to Inevitable. I also just finished Shoe Dog, which was a fun read and good break from traditional business books.
Sales Assembly: Best sales or business related books, articles, podcasts or newsletters?
Ryan: SAASTR, How I Built This, Masters of Scale, Mattermark newsletter.
Sales Assembly: What's the best advice you'd give to someone just starting a career in sales?
Ryan: Work like a CEO. This is one of the Sprout Standards on my Sales team. "Own your work as if this is your business. Going above and beyond will allow you to achieve success where others can't - because you are putting in effort where others won't."
Sales Assembly: Do you see any interesting future trends as it pertains to sales?
Ryan: The need to evolve beyond being a product expert or a relationship seller. This isn't new, but its becoming increasingly important as buyers have access to more information than ever before. Sales people will always need to be knowledgeable about their product and enjoyable to work with. However, the best reps are winning because they are also are viewed as experts in their field. These world class sales people provide best practices, customer stories, trends and insights. And they deliver value on every interaction.
Sales Assembly: What do you look for when you're hiring for salespeople?
Ryan: A growth mindset: People who are in a constant state of learning. They are self-aware enough to know their gaps and intellectually curious enough to find the answer.
Driven: I don't think you can coach for drive or make someone more ambitious. I want people who jump out of bed because they are inspired to be successful and want to win. When I interview these candidates, their passion, energy and competitive spirit hits you in the face.
Optimistic attitude: I love working with people who are positive and can find the silver lining in the toughest situations. These people are resilient and believe that there is an answer for everything. They bring you solutions vs problems. They are also more fun to be around.