Fireside Friday with Brian Bar
Sales Assembly: Give us your quick background in sales.
Brian: I was fortunate to start my career in sales and quickly became a top producer. But I have spent most of my time leading teams. I created Groupon's Sales On-boarding department in 2013 to help our new hires achieve ROI faster (it worked). I led sales for ThinkCERCA pre/post Series A. Most recently, I launched Victory Lap in October 2016 to help individuals transition into sales and give employers a better quality talent pool to recruit from.
Sales Assembly: What's your biggest accomplishment in sales or sales leadership?
Brian: Starting Victory Lap. In our first year, we've been able to make a significant impact on many individuals' success in the field and companies' top line growth. I'd like to think we're just getting started as well.
Sales Assembly: What's the best piece of sales advice you ever got?
Brian: Tim Carter. First boss I had out of college. Dude was a BA. His advice was the lazy person works twice. Hitting activity numbers is easy, but if it's without purpose and the right intent, you end up starting over a lot and working double to achieve the results you need.
Sales Assembly: What's the biggest challenge facing a sales rep today, and how would you recommend they overcome it?
Brian: Too many tools!! There seems to be a technology for every task/activity these days. Sales people need to think critically, and I've seen a bit of a reliance on other things vs. their own ability and intuition. I'd recommend they watch Rocky IV. Superior technology doesn't always equate to results.
Sales Assembly: Do you currently have a mentor when it comes to sales, or have you ever? If so, what did they teach you?
Brian: Yes, Steve Bachert. He was referred to me by a friend, and he's been a great person to have in my corner as I've been building the company. He's taught me a lot about how sales leaders hire and retain talent. There's no secret sauce here, but his success and background has been key to our model.
Sales Assembly: What's the best sales book you've ever read? What are you reading now?
Brian: Best = How to Win Friends and Influence People. I'm currently reading Michael Lewis, The Undoing Project.
Sales Assembly: Best sales or business related books, articles, podcasts or newsletters?
Brian: HBR stuff is great. How I Built This is a great podcast that reinforces the importance of getting sales right. And, of course, the Sales Assembly newsletter.
Sales Assembly: What's the best advice you'd give to someone just starting a career in sales?
Brian: Try Harder. Most people give up before it becomes easier and rewarding. Grit will make all the difference.
Sales Assembly: Do you see any interesting future trends as it pertains to sales?
Brian: Top of the funnel conversion will continue to be a big focus for companies, and there seems to be a lot of investment in getting it right. AI will have a role, but don't ever see it replacing salespeople. And how they identify and hire still has a lot of room for improvement. Big changes coming in this area.
Sales Assembly: What is your favorite sales-related movie?
Brian: Planes Trains and Automobiles. Del Griffith is a legend in the trade.