This is our interview with Amy Dordek Dolinsky, Co-Founder & CRO at GrowthPlay. You can follow Amy at @amydordek and GrowthPlay at @growthplay.
Sales Assembly: Give us your quick background in sales.
Amy: I've been in sales my entire career. My first job was in commercial real estate as a broker. I've worked in startups, as well as as professional services organizations in sales or sales leadership roles.
Sales Assembly: What's your biggest accomplishment in sales or sales leadership?
Amy: My biggest accomplishment is that I've had some of the same clients at multiple companies, and I've developed mutually beneficial relationships over the past 15 years. I believe it's my role to always be adding value. A great example of that is when I called an old client recently and she said, "I always pick up the phone when I see it's you."
Sales Assembly: What's the best piece of sales advice you ever got?
Amy: I was lucky enough to have an incredible female boss/mentor in my first job. She was one of the few women in our field. She taught me about perseverance and diligence. She said things like, "Make the call and get the appointment, because if you don't someone else will." She also taught me how to add value at every step in the sales process.
Sales Assembly: What's the biggest challenge facing a sales rep today, and how would you recommend they overcome it?
Amy: I think the biggest challenge that reps face today is the pace of change. There are new tools, new technologies, more people involved in the sales process and more complexity, as well as clients who are more informed than ever. Understanding the changing needs of the customer, how they buy and make decisions is key.
Sales Assembly: Do you currently have a sales mentor, or have you ever? If so, what did they teach you?
Amy: My first boss continues to be my mentor to this day. She taught me that I could be successful while still being myself. I learned through her and other great leaders throughout my career that you don't have to have all of the answers, because if you listen and ask great questions you will rise above the rest.
Sales Assembly: What's the best sales book you've ever read? What are you reading now?
Amy: "To Sell is Human", by Daniel Pink. I loved how it highlighted the fact that selling is now part of everyone's role. I could not agree more with this quote and it sums up my entire perspective on sales, “Attuning yourself to others—exiting your own perspective and entering theirs—is essential to moving others.”
Sales Assembly: Best sales or business related books, articles, podcasts or newsletters?
Amy: I love the podcast "How I Built This" because every entrepreneur talks about his or her experience building a company, and there is always a great story about some of their early big wins. I especially like the one with the founder of Spanx, Sara Blakely, and how and where she made her first big sale.
Sales Assembly: What's the best advice you'd give to someone just starting a career in sales?
Amy: A career in sales can be very challenging, but also very rewarding. You can achieve personal and financial success in sales, as some roles have great upside potential. If you elevate selling beyond the transaction - if you think of yourself as a problem solver or an advocate for your client - you will set yourself apart.
Sales Assembly: Do you see any interesting future trends as they pertain to sales?
Amy: I see a lot happening around lead generation and unique strategies, tools and technologies that will bring sales and marketing working even closer together.
Sales Assembly: Why are you so passionate about gender equity in sales organizations?
Amy: I would say because more gender-balanced, more diverse teams not only perform better but are often reflective of the diversity of your customers.
Sales Assembly: What are some trends relative to hiring top sales talent in 2019?
Amy: More companies are using data and analytics to inform hiring decisions around sales talent. Analyzing the talent pools they are drawing from or using more tools like assessments to inform better decision-making to get the right people in the right jobs is becoming more common. Talent is expensive, so getting it is more critical than ever. Organizations are finding that they need more objective measures, rather than subjective ones, to make smarter decisions. According to our research, we often see that what companies think are important characteristics for a sales role may not be as critical. Leveraging data, especially to help find top sales talent, is enabling companies to diversify their talent pools and consider new and different talent than in the past.