This is our interview with Marty Enns, VP of North America Sales - Commercial at Clari. You can follow Clari at @clarihq.
Sales Assembly: Give us your quick background in sales.
Marty: I have been a start up guy since the mid 90's, selling and managing services/software teams for 25 years. The last 11 years, I've been with Silicon Valley startups that've had combined exits for well over a billion dollars.
Sales Assembly: What's your biggest accomplishment in sales or sales leadership?
Marty: The ability to successfully go in at the very early stages of a company to help build a foundation to scale the business and position it for acquisition or IPO.
Sales Assembly: What's the best piece of sales advice you ever got?
Marty: It's from a book called Successful Cold Call Selling by Lee Boyer that I read in the first year of my sales career. We used to do cold call blitzes (dating myself here) where we would call nonstop for 2 to 3 hours or until we got a certain amount of meetings. I was petrified of hearing "NO" and heard it often. There was a passage in that book that basically taught me that I had nothing to loose and everything to gain. In other words, I did not have a meeting before I picked up the phone, so even if I hear "NO" I haven't really lost anything other than a little bit of pride. However, if I hear "YES" it could turn into a million dollar deal. Once I shifted my mindset, I started to really enjoy cold calling which helped me in so many ways but ultimately put me at the top of the leader board year over year over year.
Sales Assembly: What's the biggest challenge facing a sales rep today, and how would you recommend they overcome it?
Marty: Information. There is so much of it to consume, and it can have a significant impact on your ability to focus and execute. Choose two or three sources of info (email, text & Clari), and then focus all of your energy on the top of funnel and moving deals through a defined process as efficiently as possible.
Sales Assembly: Do you currently have a mentor when it comes to sales, or have you ever? If so, what did they teach you?
Marty: Yes, Andy Byrne, my current CEO, formerly the VP of Business Development back at Clearwell. He taught me the art of discovery and the demo...to tell a story that focused on value and solving business pain. He also taught me to be a student of the selling process and work hard to continually grow my experience and skillset.
Sales Assembly: What's the best sales book you've ever read? What are you reading now?
Marty: I love the The Great Game of Business and Crossing the Chasm. I am re-reading the Heavy Hitter IT Sales Strategy with my team.
Sales Assembly: Best sales or business related books, articles, podcasts or newsletters?
Marty: Sales Assembly, of course!
Sales Assembly: What's the best advice you'd give to someone just starting a career in sales?
Marty: Be honest with yourself. No one will lie to you more about what you can and cannot do than the person staring at you in the mirror. In other words, I've done all I can with my territory, I've made enough cold calls today, my pitch is good enough, it's not my fault I missed my number etc. At times, we can be our own worst enemy in how we limit ourselves in what we can achieve.
Sales Assembly: Do you see any interesting future trends as it pertains to sales?
Marty: Data Science & Artificial Intelligence are completely changing the game and making it a lot easier to create the most efficient selling motions ever. The rep/manager is still a critical component, but the data sure does help you focus on the right things.
Sales Assembly: What are the biggest obstacles in scaling your business?
Marty: 1. People - attracting and retaining top sales/management talent. 2. Process - from sales enablement to productivity, there is a lot to get right here. 3. Technology - we must arm our teams with cutting edge technology that allows them to continue to grow and spend as much time in the selling motion as possible.