The Sales Engagement Podcast
The Sales Engagement Podcast

Episode · 4 years ago

Breaking Down the Agoge Methodology and How to Engage Effectively at Events


If you’re looking for out of the box, insanely effective ways to train your new SDRs and stand out at events, you’re going to love this.

On this episode, we talk with Sam Nelson, SDR Agoge Leader at Outreach, as he shares with us incredible insight into the beauty of the Agoge methodology. Tune in!

Welcome to the sales engagement podcast. This podcast is brought to you by outreach dot I oh, the leading sales engagement platform helping companies, sellers and customer success engage with buyers and customers in the modern sales era. Check out sales engagementcom for new episodes, resources and the book on sales engagement coming soon. Now let's get into today's episode. What's going on, ever, on Scott Parker here ahead of partnerships at sales hacker, and I am joined by a very special guest, Mr Sam Nelson at str a gog leader, or at outreach that I oh. Sam. Welcome to podcast, man. How's it going? All Right? Thanks for having me punked. Have you man excited to be picking your brain, and you know I want to quickly just set the stage. You mind giving us the baseball card stats on your career today? So two thousand and seventeen I was the number one st are by a pretty good margin either. Miss Quota House on the went to Presidents Club. After about a year I was made manager and since I was made manager I've ramped all their EPSO my whole time managing I've been with new scrs and get them wrapped up, sweet man. So so you the one when brand then new bedr str comes on board. You're getting them fired up and ready to go to battle. Yeah, so they'll be on my team for three to four months and then they'll transition on to another team afterward. got. It makes sense, and it just for the listeners out there, because I know this isn't video. So as we are not filming this, Sam is sitting in this studio and he has this bright royal blue hair that you can probably see now from the moon, maybe Mars, and I gotta ask Sam what's this story behind the blue air? So the blue hair. So I want to say it was like maybe five months ago we had a new class come in and we did kind of an an experimented our reach where most of our top performers had actually not done sales before. They kind of plugged into outreach and they just kind of like crushed it, either right out of college or from a totally different discipline, and so we brought in this big new class of probably like our least experience class ever just on average, and I told him, if you guys like on average as a team, out break the record for the highest average attainment for the most cells. I think the previous record was was five. The very first month I said if you beat that all day, my hair blue just well, the fourth of July was was come up and so I thought belie the patriotic, and they beat it and they actually add as a team they average higher than the first month record. Why I did crazy again and so I dad my hair blue and it's actually been like the best professional decision I've ever made. So I've actually really liked so those listeners out there, pick yourself a color and who knows where you're in your career might go. I let it cool. So let's dive into that. So you've kind of become famous for this Aggie tribe approach to, you know, on boarding. Can you walk me through what that is exactly? Yeah, so the egoji tribe. It's actually well, it's pretty nice ago gay, but every time someone reason they call and goes. You sort of just rolling with the acts. We're going where it's trademarkt a new word right here, right now. The egoes. You tried, and we actually Sparta was the first. They were the first hurt to come up with it. So Sparta greatest warriors of all time. When new recruits would come on to train to be warriors, they would actually all of the new people would go into one group called the Googie, and you have all the new people in one place. They train amongst each other and then they'll graduate on to being warriors. Right, right, right, and so kind of took the...

...idea from Sparta and it's actually worked out surprisingly well. So I train of the new up so I can actually specialize in issues specific to new reps. right. So you typically think of Ohen new Rep. that's going to take like a lot of the managers bandwidth, but actually, if you have a manager that specializes an issue is specific to new reps, you can actually increase the capacity for new reps. right. So I've actually typically had like the biggest str team just because I can focus in on those issues. Yeah, makes sense. So, like traditionally, you know, you bring on a new str you've got your str manager who has five hundred and one other things to worry about. You know, he's got his opportunity goal, he's got his other Reps. this way you remove all that other stuff and you're able to focus one hundred percent of your attention on making this rap successful. It's like ground hug day every single month. The questions that they have and the things that surprise them are not surprising to me. Yeah, I can coach them through things just like get very easy to like. What how you ramp a new rap? Yeah, that must be really cool for you when when you see them go and then go on to have have success. Is that kind of what keeps you motivated and Hungry and having fun? Oh, yeah, I mean, I mean a successful team is a happy team no matter what. But actually it's really fun to just be focused on reps during the first couple of months because they're all pumped up no matter what, like every rights funch of during the first few months. Yeah, so like having them all in a team and having that energy. I mean that alone is like super motivating for me, just to have kind of that energy kind of intrinsic to the team. Absolutely, and I think that's like you've got this plasticity, you know, at that stage right, they're so open to new ideas and concepts, whereas when you go down the line in sales and business development, you pick up these bad habits or these habits of these ways of doing things. You kind of have this fresh, empty slate, which I think is so cool. Yeah, and there are blank slate which makes them really good for just kind of like drilling down best practices, and I went from knowing absolutely nothing about sales to learning about sales, so I've kind of been where then. But it's also just a very good incubator for a new processes and new ideas. Like every s our manager out there has like ideas and like processes that they can implement that they know would be successful. You've got reps on quota and they have like a certain way that they know works good enough. Getting them to make the leave is sometimes kind of hard. When you have an Egoji or you focusing on the brand new reps, it's much easier to implement new processes that you know are going to make the team better, right and what we've seen in the EGOGI is that we can implement these new practices and they do really well and then the rest of the team will kind of come in and say hey, what's going on there, and instead of you like trying to force them with the stick, it kind of becomes a care where they want to say, Hey, what are these guys doing and they kind of taken on themselves to implement the new stuff. That makes total sense. I like that. Well, let's let's talk about some results that. So you know, what effect has this had on the outreach beat team? I think ulturely it's been a really good thing. So when the EGOGIES come in after two months, they actually become a mentor to the new EGOGIES. Cool, they're training with each other and just like right off the bat you have kind of some responsibility for someone else. So it makes the team like a little bit more close. It a bit of it avoids clickiness that can happen in sales teams. As far as results, no one that's been through Ego Jess Miss Quota. Wow, like that'll. That will be'll to those migasrobing. Someone will, lets quote at some point, but so far no one's miss quota. We're two hundred and thirty five percent last month and so grace going going really well. That's awesome. So yeah, for those listeners out there, we are. MIC is attached to the desk, but if it wasn't, I'd be dropping it right now for sure. That's awesome then. So I'm sold then. You know, I used to be...

...a bed manager myself, you know, in a past life, and this makes a lot of sense to me, you know, because there's it's just impossible to give your full attention to a wrap Bodo. Is Too much going on. So I'm so old and for someone looking to implement this, you know, Spartan approach, where should they start? If you have a team that's big enough, like if you're bringing on a enough new reps than four months, you can have like a decent sisee team. Volunteered to be the AGOJI leader, like I am convinced that it is the funnest job in tack. You're over like all if the new strs, if you have a new ideas you want to implement, you can just have them going in like thirty days. You like the mad scientists it is, and you've got the hair to back that know, and they're Super Fun and they get excited about things and it's just like a super, Super Fun position. So I highly recommend, just suggesting being the EGOS leader yourself, if you have a team that's big enough. I wrote an article on Linkedin that spells that exactly how to do it. Cool. If you don't have a team, that's big enough, you actually have kind of an edge that the whole reason that I go gi is a big deal for big teams is that once you have like a huge sales team, new changes are very hard to implement right, and the Egogi is a way for you to do that. You can kind of destructure on team just like a startup disrupts like a scale industry. Cool, yeah, but for smaller teams you just focus in on the brand new reps and you can just do the you can have the exact same strategy. You'll just have a little bit easier implementing new modern practices a new team. Right, right, let's talk about that for two seconds. Is this something you know? Do you need twenty plus reps? What's kind of the optimal in your eyes for for adopting this approach as far as team size goes, this team size goes, it depends on a lot of other things. In other companies I've always taken on a lot of Reps. I have nine right now. will be eight, but yeah, typically, I mean if you have a team of like five or its brand new reps, you can take that weight off the other managers. They can increase their capacity a little bit. So I think if you have five or six new reps in a four month period it's a reasonable time to start thinking about it. Agogi cool, cool, and I'm going to ask how did you come up with this concept? Well, Sparta came up with it very like. I can't take all the cursive as smart as always, cool man. Yeah, you don't. You know want in a movie free hundred. Yeah, you saw the movie three hundred and Tom let's go. So we'll actually so when I was in college, one of my hacks for college was like I would go to class. You wouldn't. I was wed. Well, I started active. It's fun, so I would go to class. There's like an afternoon any class, and the earliers college, so like there's like two people in a class and you're like listening to your instructor in the instructor is like the expert of the university on Calculus, for example. Well, no better than anyone else. They live and breathe. That's everything they do and they knew it's super well, the problem is they haven't necessarily gone from knowing nothing to learn calculats for the first time. So will they may know it's super, super well, they can get a little bit detached from going from zero to one, a little bit going from zero to learning it. Yeah, so what I would do is I would just skip class and then we go to the TA lab, because the Tasad just barely gone through it and I don't know my faster right. It was just a way more efficient way to learn. This is kind of a similar thing where the egosi being trained by the the there ago. Gee, that isn't barely gone from knowing nothing to the learning something. Yeah, and then I've been in stir before to it, I can kind of help referee and make sure they done go crazy. Tell me see, that's awesome and no, I love that. I think it's I think it's genius and I think that's a there's a college ack for you to so that university or college. Okay, so I want to switch gears a little bit, just because we are in September, the heat of conferences. In effect, there's a new conference coming out, at least one a week, two a...

...week. Sometimes you got dream force just around the corner. I want to talk about events because I've heard that you're kind of the king at creating opportunities a pre during and post event. So let's kind of walk through this quickly, and can you walk me through starting with how you prep for an event? Yeah, so I think, well, I think events in generally like this big open space. Like sending an stror to an event sounds like a bad idea, but it's actually a good idea. So not a lot of people are doing it. So you have your first advantage right there. So there's a lot to explore. What's worked for me a lot as booth hustling. I wrote our club that on Linkedin. It became super popular and it's essentially just preparing beforehand, going up to booth, getting opportunities there and then do the fall up afterorts with people didn't all right. So not not so focused on the attendees, but focused on the the other sponsors that we're saying yeah, Nice. So, like, I guarantee you it dreamforce last year that more opportunities were generated with one stare of booth hustling than some people who spend a million dollars with their both a dream force, right, that's like threezero. Yeah. Yeah, so it's like massively disruptive and like no one's doing it right now. So they're huger turns. Yeah, why do you think? Goings to it? I think it's a good idea. That sounds like a bad idea, right. You say I think we should send an sty air to an event. You try to bring that to like VP sales, who doesn't use maybe a little bit more detached from like what it's like to be an stare and how opportunes were generated. Yeah, sounds like a bad idea. Yeah, but it's a good idea. Yeah, so that's why none students. There's a huge opportunity right now. Yeah, I like it. Yeah, and it makes sense. Right, like they're out there. When you say booth hustling, I can ask you our video that their job is to hustle. And if you position it to them be like how many calls do you make every day? Look around you. You have an opportunity to maybe you get, you know, hold the three people a day. Well, you're in a room of a thousand people right now. Go have some on demand conversations whenever you want. Oh, yeah, and it's like so you want to have conversations, but the prep is everything, right, you don't want to just like go to a conference half cock you. Yeah, like I will prepare for about twelve hours before conference Kent. So the first thing you want to do, like booth hustling, is one strategy, like more will emerge as more people start going to conference. Isn't emphasizing it and an'ts are just to clarify there. So when your this booth hustling strategy, when you're prepping for it, are you just looking at, you know, the organizations that are going to be there? Are you making a breast like you know that's the guests tomate. Who is the actual title that's going to be there as well? Is that what you're doing? Yes, so I will the yeah, like this whole process takes me like twelve hours. I'll go through first one to look at the sponsors. You'll always get that if you can get the people who are actually going to have boots. Sometimes they keep that hidden, but if they don't, take that list, but that in the list form to gure out everyone who's a correct customer, everyone who's not, figure out the status of everybody there. Yeah, and then you find a map of the event and you figure out for the ventures that are not yet customers that could be good customers. You're on the sales navigator and you figure out, like who's the highest ranking person will likely be there. Okay, you put their name down. Then don't you go to the event? You like have a map of where everyone is and you have any of someone to go to it each place. Where you keeping that information? You have that in your phone, like on a note or what? How you keeping this all? It's funny you ask that. So when I went to events, like I've gone to cyber security conferences like us. Why I cat cyber security? There is so much me see money pumped in Cyber Security Right now. Yeah, it is actually a freeing, amazing commerce. Okay, just like the spectacle in the swag. It's like trick or training for adults and staids. So man, so, so actually. But at those events, like hackers will actually try to hack this events, like for bragging rights, and so I can't connect. So, yeah, like what I use? Actually had a Prenny sheyt that. That's not whatever's cool it.

But yeah, so I have this sheet there and and yeah, just kind of like go out and start talking with people. Cool, makes total sense. and Are you doing anything on social beforehand? Like are you, you know, sending these people a connection request. Are you seeing? You know if anyone maybe in your org is connected to them? Are you going that further? You basically just focused here. The companies want to talk to. Cure the people I want to talk yeah, so the Cup Baes of people I want to talk to. I have a precious sequence, because the exact sequences in my are both hustling. Article about sweet will do like a short sequence before and we'll occasionally get a couple meetings before conferences, but the need of it is like when you get there right. So I'll do all the preperate beforehand, you go and you talk to people at the right times and then you do good follow love it. Okay, so that's our crap. Now we're at the event. We're feeling overwhelmed because there's nine hundred and forty people in the room. What are your tips on networking effectively, other than, of course, the booth hustling stract? So a few things like, well, when you're actually booth hustling, Yep, you need to go to them at the right time. This is like imparative. Okay, when people, when the salespeople are standing around awkwardly, that is when you go just walk by. They will talk to the sharks. Come out. Yeah, they'll engage you and if if they don't, then it should be get in trouble. Yeah, well, because the thing is like they're standing there and no one's going to their booth. That like almost like looks bad for them. Right, I'll go and ask you what you do and a'll sudden you're in the position that every cold color wants, where they're asking you what you do. Totally. Yeah, if you're selling cells and marketing, it's just like a home right. Yeah, yeah, decision maker, you're like they are talking to decision making there, asking me what you do. Yeah, yeah, that's that's so interesting. To look at it that way. Like when you're at a networking event, someone to ask you what you do. Imagine if you're on a cold call and someone asks you that. That's when your eyes light up and like, Oh my God, here we go. That's a well, dude, the best thing about with hustlinger events is they can't hang up on you. Maybe throw a drinking your face. That's but a yeah, okay, so either other tips to so that's a great one. I love that. So when they're standing around, don't do it. Obviously, when they're at Max's capacity. Do you have any tips on like just how to enter a conversation? You like good opening lines, like how do you usually start these conversations? These are very simple. Okay, they will start the conversation for you. So this it's different than cold gone right. We'll start the conversation for you. You give them a really brief kind of just like a brief overview of what you do and how it relates to them. You know, you're out, how it relates to trait, just if you can yep, and then you ask for the decisionmaker. They'll tell you where they are and you can typically get a meeting or some kind of the conversation just kind of a balls like a natural conversation. Yeah, cool, COO's not like really scoot for him. Sounds good. And then let's flip that. Let's say you're on booth duty. How are you engaging people if you have to be stuck with booth and you're not on booth hustle duty? Okay, yeah, I did this and dreamforce last year. You just need to be proactive care I am surprised at how many people just kind of like stand there shocking or it's shocking. I was there last year and I was walking around and like the amount of people that were on their phone and all I could think of it's like someone signed a, you know, hundred thousand to a million dollar check. That time that you're on the phone, that's like that minute is like a summer and fifty minute that you're wasting for your company right now. Yes, it's crazy. So, yeah, it's just like being proactive. Get comfortable as being uncomfortable, like a lot of us are used to being behind email and being behind video calls. It's like a new motion actually for some insight sales people. Yeah, just there and talk to everyone of the like goes in front of you. Yeah, yeah, I was super lucky, so I am. My my career, I got started doing like face to face, door to door, like hastling. So like that's when I learned first, and then I learned the email... the phone. So it's kind of like more natural. But it's so funny that there's like a whole slew of salespeople that by never talk facetoface ever. Yeah, that's cool, man. So let's talk a little bit then about I think this was always the hardest one for me, having experience being at boost, being at trade shows. It's okay, I just went. I had a bunch of great conversations. You know, you leave the conference, you leave dream for so like, wow, I just created fifty ops, like I had all these great conversations and then you send your follow up email. Are you send your calendar invite or whatever it is, and it's just crickets. One of the most heartbreaking things ever. So how do we make sure that we don't get lost in the barrage of terrible, terrible follow ups that inevitably come after events? Yeah, so the the hardest part of the SDR position, in my opinion, is getting like the first initial attention. Okay, like just getting their attention. If you talk to son, it to show like you already have that and so you've got that going for you. Where when we would do events, actually about half of my new opportunities, but actually come afterward in the following nice. So we get a lot there and then I would wait a week and a half just because right after the event you get tons of people garage with the emails or kind of stick of it. Yeah, I may all look the same thing, I'll sound the same everyone who's doing event follow up emails. Please change your template. Yeah, and then in one of the ways to make sure that you take notes on like the kind of conversations you have with people, because you get that in the first line. Yeah, and they will jog their memory, they'll remember. You'll be much more likely to open. Yeah, and then we have like a whole show sequence. That's also one of the hustling article that you can just kind of set the steps now reach just turn it on and let it go. Nice and will link those articles somewhere when this coal podcast goes by. It's cool. During the event, a lot would come. At the follow up, you'd wait a week and a half. How else would you kind of like differentiate yourself out of the crowd there? So definitely go trick or treating for Swag Nice. Definitely do that because like sometimes, like if you can get them to open and you have like a picture of you like in Ner Tshirt, right, or like using nice it is it's spinner or like something's having dumb like that. They just had like it gets they're not used it. Yeah. Yeah, and so collect swag for that purpose. Look through Your Business Cards. Yeah, actually, like another thing just like when you're on the floor. Yeah, don't bring business cards. It's my advice. Stretch they go. Can't, and sounds counterintuitive, but when you're talking to someone, the lot to say, Oh, just give me Your Business Card, will call you back. Right. It's a cop out. They're trying to get rid of you. Right, that's that's as close to hang it up as you can do. In ours. No one goes through finds my business cards. Is Oh, I want to call Sandy, so you want to get their business card. So just I don't have business cards. Cona Yours. Right, if they don't have it, say we'll just give me a number. Yeah, they just that support. Do you ever connect on the spot on like Linkedin or something? No, I don't. One thing, one thing. Another thing I was thinking is if this particular event does have an APP, though, MMM, like, I don't think there is a better way to get like text responses from sea level people then messaging them on an APP at some event. Because there's stuck at this event, you're probably going to be one of only a few people that messages them on. Yeah, I've had crazy success doing that. Realist. Yeah, and wander about. What are you saying what's what's like? You're what's your one line or that you shooting these guys? Well, it depends. So I do research before I figure out WHO's my priority. Why? There my priority? Yeah, and then I'll just say hey, like say we connected with you a few months ago and we really wanted to circle back, like, I know you're speaking at this time. I love to connect with you afterward. Yeah, something like that. Yeah, and I have very good response, even from like sea level, like see you guys a figure company's Nice. Yeah, it's not very saturated, like I know when I go to conferences, and I go to a lot of conferences, I'll maybe get one or two messages from you know through that, which... crazy, because I'll get forty emails. So you definitely want to go in the channels that are less saturated. Awesome. So I'm going to share a quick tip that really helped me actually with follow ups because, as I mentioned earlier, I used to be really good at having awesome conversations and I would always think that I have all these opportunities, but you know, I be talking to see level people and sure, we had a great connection. Yes, they that's some pain, but just because there was so many terrible follow up emails I would get lost. So what I started doing is, right in the heat of that moment, when you know you're having a good conversation, you've talked about the challenges, they're like, this is awesome, make sure that you email me Monday. That's literally what they would say it, and then someone can get back to me. So I started doing I'd be like, okay, I'll do that, and how you're going to know it's me is I'm going to put blue monkey in the subject line and and that way you know when you see this, you're going to laugh, you're going to know it's mean. It's going to take you right back to the spot and they be like that's awesome, let's let's do it. And you don't have to do blue monkey. Come up with your own something ridiculous that's totally Google. Yeah, so, dude in it really really helped me and like it. I'd like. Once I started doing that, and I still use it today, fun and enough, I get a hundred percent response right and then it usually starts a really funny banter and it's a good way to kind of start a relationship off. Yeah, I love that it's all the other great question. That's really unest are you and blue monkey might actually work better for you because you get the blue are already. I love it. Okay, so, as we kind of wrap this up, and I want to ask you one more question, and I'm going to leave this purpose the day. You know, this is the sales engagement podcast, right. So, and you can take this wherever you want to go. You know. What other tips do you have for people looking to engage more effectively with prospects or customers, online or offline? Yeah, I'm going to say you don't confuse common practice with best practice. There are a lot of there a lot of jobs and there are a lot of industries where that's the case, where things don't change. You figure out what works and that's stays that way forever. M being in a scur sales development in general is about standing out and it works three months ago may not work anymore. Yeah, so you'll once you figure out what the common practice is. It's probably outdated to so don't confuse common practice with best practice. You have to stay in your toes. It's constantly changing. I love that. I love that and could not agree more. Right as I like as soon as you catch up and like you're like, Oh my God, this is working, that's the point that it stops working. So you had to constantly iterate. I think it's what makes business development so fun and sales so fun. Right, if you just could figure out a magic formula and then repeat, then you know that's when we're getting replaced by a I real quick, but well, that'll live. No, I'm just getting but that. That's what I mean right. That's the creativity and that's the the human element of sales is always changing and adapting it. That's cool, man. That's a great piece of advice and a great tip. Anything else you want to to and off with here, Sam. Now I guess just like to follow up on don't confuse common practice with best practice. Is a lot of people misunderstand how creative sales development is like. It is like a profession that, like, is constantly changing, constantly have to stay in your toes and it pulls certain it forces you to learn how to be uncomfortable, yea, and to find opportunities for other people. Do see them, and there are still see dun't getting very many jobs, and so it's a very, very good first job to have. Sometimes it's tide easy to see that when you're right in the middle of it. When you get onto your next position, you will just ask anyoney's man ansty absolutely here, here, man. I would I would back that up at tenzero four. That business, felman's, one of the greatest career choices you can you can pick, especially early on. All Right, Sam, well, Fr...

...a Gooji leader at outreach. Thank you so much for sharing all your your wisdom, man, and your insight. I was a great conversation and thanks on this was another episode of the sales engagement podcast. Join US at sales engagementcom for new episodes, resources and the book on sales engagement coming soon. To get the most out of your sales engagement strategy, make sure to check out outreach do I oh the leading sales and easement plot. See you on the next episode.

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