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Fireside Friday with Will Barthel


This is our interview with Will Barthel, VP of Business Development at Walker Sands Communications. You can follow Walker Sands at @WalkerSands.

Sales Assembly: Give us your quick background in sales.

Will: I have been in sales since my first job out of college at a small, digital print shop in Chicago. I've always stayed close to my passion for sales and marketing, working my way up the chain within sales orgs of marketing agencies.

Sales Assembly: What's your biggest accomplishment in sales or sales leadership?

Will: My greatest accomplishment in sales is a work in progress, in my current role at Walker Sands. I have seen the company double in size during my tenure, and we continue to grow. The main ingredient to success here is the people I get to work with.

Sales Assembly: What's the best piece of sales advice you ever got?

Will: "People have two ears and only one mouth, because we are supposed to listen more than we speak". This was advice I received from my first boss, and I still think about it everyday. I believe it is important to listen to and to understand your customers' challenges in order to provide the best possible solution. There is no "one-size-fits-all."

Sales Assembly: What's the biggest challenge facing a sales rep today, and how would you recommend they overcome it?

Will: It may sound cliche, but one of the biggest challenges facing sales reps today is the battle for your prospect's attention. We are all bombarded with content every day, and standing out is tough. I recommend working to build a relationship with your prospects over time. Offer strategic advice, earn their trust and when they are ready to buy, they will come to you. Chances are, they are not signing up for your demo after one cold email.

Sales Assembly: What's the best sales book you've ever read? What are you reading now?

Will: SPIN Selling by Neil Rackham is a classic. Just plain, solid, foundational structure for any salesperson.

Sales Assembly: Best sales or business related books, articles, podcasts or newsletters?

Will: I have been a fan of Marketo's blog for a few years. It is not strictly focused on sales but always has tons of relevant content that applies to the rapidly evolving sales ecosystem.

Sales Assembly: What's the best advice you'd give to someone just starting a career in sales?

Will: Manage your time wisely. It is easy to get distracted, so take the extra five minutes to track your work and record properly. Clean data will save you headaches in the future and make you a more efficient salesperson.

Sales Assembly: Do you see any interesting future trends as it pertains to sales?

Will: It is hard to ignore advancements in artificial intelligence that are making a significant impact on the industry. I am not convinced the technology is all the way there but love it or hate it, I do think it is here to stay.

#Fireside

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