The Sales Engagement Podcast
The Sales Engagement Podcast

Episode · 1 year ago

Build a Culturally Minded BDR Team w/ Sven Kliem


Outreach in Africa should look totally different than it does in the Nordics. Is your BDR team showing cultural awareness in their multichannel approach?

In this episode, I interview Sven Kliem, Director of Business Development and Sales Operations at Mapp Digital, about building a culturally minded BDR team.

What we talked about:

  • Taking a cultural approach to building BDR teams
  • The importance of openness
  • Why omnichannel is so necessary in outreach
  • The reverse funnel approach to goal-setting

For more engaging sales conversations, subscribe to The Sales Engagement Podcast on Apple Podcasts, on Spotify, or on our website.

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Hey folks, it's under me born. Now, before jumping in, I've got to tell you that on least two thousand and twenty one, on May eleven through thirteen, were focusing on how to win together in the new sales era. You'll learn new go to market strategies, get deeper funnel insides and actional takeaways for your entire org from revenue leaders, Highgro startups and fortune five hundred companies and are very special guests or none other than Guy Raz the podcaster and author of how I built this and carry lawns, the first female fighter pilot in the US Navy. Come Save Your seat for this high energy online event at only stock outreach. That I oh. Now let's get into it. Welcome to the sales engagement a podcast. This podcast is brought you by outreach, the leading sales engagement platform, and they just launched outreach on outreach, the place to learn how outreach. Well does outreach? Learn how the team follows up with every lead in record time after virtual events and turns them into revenue. You can also see how outreach runs account based plays, manages reps and so much more using their own sales engagement platform. Everything is backed by data pulled from outreach processes and customer base. When you're done, you'll be able to do it as good as they do. Head to outreach, Doo on outreach to see what they have going on. Now let's get into today's episode. Hello and welcome back to everyone to the sales engagement podcasts. This is Scott Parker and I actually it just moved. I went through a big apartment move, so I haven't recorded one of these in a couple weeks. It feels like at least two weeks, but certainly been excited to get this one on the books. I am joined by Sten Clean, who is the director of business development and sales operations of map digital. They sort of Berlin, so it's evening fir stand right now, but spen, welcome to the to the showman. Hey, it's good. Thanks for having me excited to get this kicked off as well. It's going to be fun, and so I always like to start at the beginning and I kick it off by asking very open ended question for the listeners, the audience is what is the superhero origin story of spen claim? How did you get this esteemed, you know, director position at such a fast growing company. Had that all kind of past. I guess this is an interesting story. So if we, you know, start at you know, my school time. I was always interested in languages, so I decided to take a year and go abroad to Florida, doing ten grade. I came back after school. I was thinking what should I do, as everybody does, probably right trually, go to university. Should I start working? We still had mandatory army service in Germany at that time, so I did that for nine months. When I got out I started studying off the year. I changed my studies and I ended up in Linguistics Program for American studies actually in Germany, and I did that...

...for my bachelor's. I had economics and I did my masters in American Studies in Germany as well. And while I was doing my master's studies I also went to Seattle to University of Washington for a year. was doing teaching assistant over there, got my masses in Germanics in the US, went back to Germany, finished my studies and then had the same question again. Where should I go from here? Right, what should I do with those five years, six years at university? What could I how could I put this into practice. Best it's you know, if you don't want to go into teaching, then it's not the easiest way. So there's no clear structured path that you want to that you can go into in terms of finding a job. But I always love technology, I love languages and I also really, really like video games. So I actually scored a job at an agency that is translating video games for major companies and I was working as a project manager and then again after a year, it was time for a change and since languages, teaching all Kinda is also related to consulting, I ended up at one of the largest that analytics companies out of Germany, that track, and I started there as an implementation consultant. I worked my way up the corporate leader, so to say, and two years ago Webtrack got acquired at by map digital and eventually the position opened up that I'm in right now. And since I was already taking care of little bit of like of sales force, I basically was asked if that's a challenge that I would like to take on. And Yeah, I mean here we are right so no, no, normal, you know Superhero Story. I Guess Superhero was still in the making. Hopefully, but yeah, I guess it just shows that, you know, you never know where you will end up. Opportunities will always, you know, arise. You just have to be ready to take them on. Yeah, that's a super interesting story and that's one of the common teams people's backgrounds that come on this podcast is that there is no common themes because, like, everyone kind of gets into sales and operations in such a unique form and fashion. So that's that's interesting. So there's a few things there I'm going to talk about. So this love for linguistics is, I find, a super interesting do you find that your knowledge this, does this help you in your communication community gatingway teams, or is it a totally different part of the the brain? You're he's well, I mean it's linguistics and cultural studies right, and I think especially cultural studies makes well, I like helps me to to understand what's going on when you're working for the global organization, because it may be our team I have people from different countries, you know, different backgrounds. So communicating with my team that's definitely easier because I have this understanding,...

...but then also helping my team to engage properly with their targets who are also global, who are also have different backgrounds. Is something that this helps me with. But as you can as you can imagine, right you're getting fifty emails a day, twenty phone calls a day, and us to be I have to be the person that basically sticks out of the pile of, you know, outreach and you know, it helps you understand what should you do in order to really be the person that, know, gets the one or two responses a day that somebody might actually give. Yeah, yeah, I mean that's that's interesting. So how many different kind of regions do you sell into? How many countries there's map digital support? Yeah, so we have, I'd say, four main regions, which is an America's northern Europe, so encompassing the UK and the nordics. We have sent to Europe, which is Germany and the compassing countries, and we have western Europe, which is Italy, Spain, friends. Those are basically all four main regions. Obviously there's some, you know, strays out there in other countries, but that's not what we're focusing on at the moment. And here you can already see, you know, large differences between how outreach is done in America's but also in Europe. Right. Everybody thinks, well, Europe, you know, it's small countries, but there's huge cultural differences from I think a lot of times, you know, get to the point attitude, for example, in Germany, right, not a lot of talking, but really, you know, what do we have that can help people? And then if you're looking at Italy, for example, a lot of relationship building, right, a lot of just people are actually, you know, willing to talk and don't have to get down to business always right away. Obviously also depends on the person that you're talking to, but that's that's my impression right. So it's definitely, definitely interesting and you know, if you're in a global organization, then you know this is even multiplied, right, if you would go into Asia, if you would go into Africa, if you would go into some southern America, and that's, you know, where you actually have to have this is empathy for you know, and understanding of People's cultural backgrounds. Yeah, I mean, if there's not already a book out there, maybe you should, you should write one, but it would be so interesting to have a book on kind of like sales. Are Even business approaches that work in all the different countries and how how you can have to you change your approach because I imagine, you know, you're doing called outreach in all these different countries. Is can be vastly different what people respond to. So it's not a one and done exercise where you can train your entire team on one...

...approach. So, just for a sense of scale, how big is map digitally? Map Digital, sorry, roughly. And then how many people would report up to you? We have around three hundred employees in the global organization and we have six bdrs currently working across the regions. So that's that's people that are reporting into me from the be our side and I also have support on the opsite. That's one person. Yeah, because that's actually, you know, one of the main themes also of my day to day work, finding a balance between, you know, those two functions, because you you know, you want to get the best out of both. Sometimes, you know, it's quite a lot of work, so you have to prioritize, but actually it also comes with the benefit of being able to get insights really fast and forward them to the team or train the team on those things really fast. And in terms of the book that you mentioned. Yeah, obviously, you know, would be great to to publish something, but I think the common theme for for any book or any recommendation that I would mate would always be there's no no cookie cutter template that you could use. Even if I would know this works perfectly in Germany, then it might perfect. It might work perfectly for me, but it's not said that it's going to work for anybody else like this. So I'd say, you know, that's that's one of the things that we would need to have right. We would need to be able to to have this willingness, is motivation to always try out things, you know, almost like in a startup when you want to, you know, you kind of want to fail, to really understand what's not working right way, where you can improve, where you can treat your processes, where you can treat your outreach. And I mean we're all on linkedin nowadays and there as many people that put out great content. You know, how to write a cold email, how to do your best cold call ever, and that's also stuff that I, you know, work through with the team because I think that's great input. But I always make sure that people understand just because it's working for this guy on Linkedin or this lady on Linkedin. You know, you shouldn't be you know, you shouldn't be sad if it's not working for you in the same way because they're selling a different product, that talking to different people that, you know, they have more experience, they have less experience, they have a different personality. So just take this, you know, as an idea and use it to really, you know, optimize your approach and find what's really working for you. And I think that's that's really important that. You know, you don't you don't get a template right. You're not in the boiler room where we basically get, you know, a script which you will just, you know, stick to one hundred percent no matter what, and you call one hundred people and you tell them the script. But with us, you know, in a complex software sales business, do you really, no matter what region you're in,...

...have to build up that relationship to have people open up to you so you can, you know, understand how you can actually provide value for them, how you can help them and, if it's the right time, if the right stakeholder, all that stuff that you need for qualification. H Yeah, so that that is that's who you dont want to underscore that thought. And let's go a little bit deeper on that, because I think when I look back at some of the things that made me personally successful in my first a PDR as a sellers managers, this idea of constantly experimented, constantly trying new things. And when I look around at at the young folks that are doing really well now, it's it's similar to that. Right, they're always trying new things. But I think there is this idea that I guess the question is, how do you foster our culture that accepts experimentation and that accepts failure and isn't so driven by Cure Kpis? How did you do that on on your team? Well, again, I think it's it has two sides of the story. Right, KPIS are definitely important and you need to have the data, and I guess we can talk about this in a little bit, but what I think really helps is that you have alsome exchange in the team, right, so people talk openly about what they're doing and you know, I have had no tuck up nights basically where people just were talking about sorry for the word sack here. I'll get you I'll get where people were talking about. You know, what did they do and how did they fail? But then also what did they learn from it? Right, what did they do then afterwards so that would not happen again or that could be improved? And there's actually a lot of learning here, and I think it's really about being open, you know, having a good team spirit, not being judgmental about things that are going wrong. And I think also for especially for a Dr who are, most of the time, you know, the young guns that really, you know, want to get their hands dirty and really, you know, make a mark also for the business, for themselves, for their career. It's important that are that they are motivated really to get started. You know, they need to be persistent, I'd say, and they always need to get back up and you know, it's I think it's an annoying saying you always need to get back up when you're knocked down, but it's true for a Bedr right, because you make so many activities and most of the time you either don't get a response or you don't get the response that you're looking for. But I mean, you know, sometimes that's that's exactly what you need to get over, because I've been on a call with somebody and he basically got the door slammed in his face. Right. He called somebody and the lady was really agitated. How we could even, you know, imagine that she would need an email marketing solution or, you know,... engagement solution that works with customer insights, because that's not something that she's doing for her business with her customers, because she thinks it's offensive. And No, we don't need to talk about, you know, her opinion here. But obviously, after, afterwards, you know, we you know, we said, okay, what should we do next? Well, let's have another call and write. The next call was a good call. We reach somebody on the phone, we talked to them and we got to follow up meeting. So often times, right, you would say, okay, I really messed US call up. Maybe my research wasn't good enough. Right. So I actually got in touch with somebody that picked up the phone, which nowadays is not easy, right. Oftentimes the phone doesn't work anymore. You only have to office number and instead of having a good conversation, you get, you know, somebody who is not really friendly towards you. And maybe you'd say, okay, it's enough calling for now. But actually, as you see in this example, it wasn't right. You had to make that one more call, two more calls, and then actually you'll have success. It's a numbers game in the end, right. So if you have enough numbers, then you'll get to where you need to go, I'd say, and then you can optimize. Right. So again, persistence, KPI state are definitely important, but also, I guess it always helps, you know if people are open, if your team is open, if you can discuss things that are not working, if your manager is open, right, if you can go to people and just ask Hey, this is not working for me. I'm trying my best, but it's not working. What can we do? And then, you know, people sit down and really discuss this in depth and try to figure out, you know, what's actually the reason for why things are not working. And again, I think this is where data comes into play. If you do some some wurl reverse funnel math, you can figure out what's actually the the step in my funnel where I'm losing a lot, right, if it's opportunities or discovery calls or whatever, look one step below and see if the numbers there look still correct. If the activities look correct, if they look all good, then let's look into actually what those activities mean. Right, is this basically just bulk emails are being sent right with you know tools that just, you know, scrape details from linkedin and then maybe people will not respond because you're not even putting their right title in, but you just putting in the headline of Linkedin and you obviously can see right away that this is not a personalized outreach. Or maybe people are just simply not doing, you know, enough activities. And why is that right? So let's discuss with people what's hindering them. Are they may be doing too much research for an initial outreach. Right, again, it could be debated it. There's never too much research. But obviously if you're researching one hour for every call and you'll know where you'll end up if the win a day is over, right. Yeah, so I would love it if you break down some of that reverse funnel math or some of the...

...listeners who maybe I don't fully have their their numbers, maybe individual contributors that want to understand the reverse funnel math, how to kind of back into the number. I think that's super important and you also, I really like this idea of most teams I was on, I've been a part of, is it's all about sharing your successes. Go around, share a success, share a win. I like this idea of going around and sharing a failure as well as what you learned from it, because, you know, the old cliche of you learned more from your failures than you do from your successes certainly rings true. So if you can socialize that learning with the group, I think that's a really great idea. And another thing I wrote down here is the phone is harder. Not a lot of people are talking about this right now. You know there's always these these camps of cold calling. Is never dead, and you know, just pick up the phone, that people feel very strongly about this subject. Phone is harder right now. Phone is for sure harder. We don't have people picking up their office mind. Everyone's just on their cell phone. They're at home now, so it almost feels a little bit more personal, almost feels more intrusive because a lot of people are at home. What is your team seeing? And you know, talking to peers and other other folks? Are Numbers Down? As far as connectic definitely, and I mean that that's thought that basically. So I thought that basically when the Pin Max started in this position taking care of the B our team. So I never knew how it was before. Right, so it might not be as hard for me, but I have some people on my team that have been working before and obviously in the beginning when everything was shut down, everybody skipped over to email or linked in and everybody just blasted people with emails and linkedin connection requests, good ones, bad ones. Rabina invites I don't know how many webinars and and very right. It's crazy, but I mean a phone call next to basically a personal meeting is the best thing that you could have, in my opinion, from the sales perspective, because you actually have an interaction going on. Right. I mean, I I read two heads here. I'm a person that is a target for be ass oftentimes because of sales operations, but also the bed our leadership. But also I need to, you know, tell my drs how they should approach people or help them to approach people in a certain way. So obviously I tell them, you know, you we need still to make dials right. We can't have, you know, people trying to do one hundred dials because we'll run out of numbers. That's it sounds silly, but that's what it is, because oftentimes you don't have mobile numbers, you only have office numbers and we're all using, you know, tools that are giving us contact details, but they are often outdated. So we go in circles, right, and eventually,...

...if you do good research, if you have a connect and if you also connect with people that might not be a target, that but that could introduce you to targets, then you know you'll get the number eventually and then you have one shot, as you said right, have a strong value proposition. You need to have done your research, like on the person, on their function, on their company and ideally also on something you know that they're struggling with right now or that they could improve, in order to really, you know, use those twenty seconds in the beginning that you have before they slam down the phone so you can convince them that it's worth talking to you. But yeah, I would definitely say phone has gotten harder to get connects, but if you have a connect right, there is still the best way to really get to talk to people because, I mean, as I said before, for me it's super easy when I get an email or linkedin connection with request to look at it and to not respond right because it has my attention for a couple seconds and then I have to move on to the next thing, even if it was a good outreach. And I get you know, I get those as well. Funny gives, you know, good, good subject lines. People even make video ards and stuff like that, which I appreciate. Right. I see that a personalizing stuff. They're putting work in, but it's just not on the top of my priorities at that moment and then it's forgotten afterwards. Right, if somebody's calling me, obviously I'm going to listen to them right and if it's not a fit, then, you know, at least they have their response right away and they can move on. So definitely phone has gotten harder, but don't give up calling. It's, you know, still very, very important. I don't think it makes sense to call office phones and if you get to the front office ask people for the phone number of people because they never give them out and they shouldn't. I understand that. But build a relationship right, hit people on different channels. I guess it's also important multi channel approach right. I'm not saying don't do email, don't do linkedin, don't do only phone right to everything, because you never know where you'll get in touch with somebody. So definitely makes sense to, you know, have a multi channel approach also for outreach. Yeah, absolutely, huge, huge proponents of army channel and your I think a right phone is harder, but if you get if you get through somehow. I feel like I am seemingly getting less calls than I used to, so I think a lot of people are kind of like throwing it out. But if you happen to get someone, you know it's still quick ast way to turn around an opportunity. All right, let's let's talk about this idea to fold. Let's talk quickly about the reverse funal. Man had a back into the numbers, which will naturally kind of lead us to what sort of data you're you're collecting to inform your decisions on what's working what's not working. I think it's particularly interesting for your or because you see both sides,...

...right. You see like success, support and bed so you have a little more called for funnal matrics. Then many just be the leaders. Yeah, so I mean this reverse funneling I think works for every situation where you want to to reach a goal, right, not just for sales, also for your personal life or for your career planning long term. But I mean especially for a bur or salesperson. This makes sense and what I would always do, if I'm an individual, to think about what's my goal, right, for the month, for the quarter, for the year, and if you stick with the year, right, I would always say, well, we are numbers driven, right. A lot of salespeople obviously also want to earn a good amount of money. So that could be your goal, right, and you know what your base salary is and you know what your quota is and what your pay is that you get in terms of commission, no bonus or very will pay or whatever, and then set yourself a goal where you want to end up and use that to start dividing right. So if I'm looking at you know a certain amount of x that I want to earn, I know how many deals I have to close or how many opportunities have to find or how many discovery calls I need to do, whatever my my compensation plans has, and I can, you know, use that number, for example, ten opportunities, and start looking at historical day and at my experience. How many discovery calls do I actually need if I want to have ten opportunities? Right? So I'm just looking at the BR right now. Salesperson obviously would start or set conversion rates for opportunities and sales cycle length and stuff like that. But for a B are right, ideally you have a high turnaround of discoveries into opportunities. So let's say we have seventy five percent no turnaround and you want to have at the end of the year one hundred opportunities, then you know you'll know how many discovery cause you'll actually need, because three out of four are converting. Right. If you only have fifty percent, you want hundred opportunities, well then it's, you know, easy. You need two hundred discovery calls because you kind of know right. Obviously can't have guarantee that this will, you know, end up with one hundred opportunities, but it kind of will be around that number. If everything stays the same, then you know okay for two hundred discoveries. How many activities do I need? How many targets do I need? Right, all of those numbers are hopefully in the system. Somewhere. Right. If I reach out to ten people, one person turns into discovery. I think actually most of the time it's, you know more, but let's, you know, stay of ten. So I know, okay, for two hundred discoveries actually over the year I need to get in touch with at least two thousand people, all right, and then I can understand how many active vities do I actually have to do to end up with that number, and that will help... also align my amount of time that I spend with the number of people that need to get in touch with, because if I know that I need to reach out to for the people a day, I can kind of calculate how much time will I'm am I willing to spend. No, in terms of researching each person. If they may be a smarter way of, you know, allocating my time. Maybe I don't even have to research the same amount of time for each person or each company, but maybe I look into an industry focused research and kind of optimize my time of research. Maybe I'm going after a certain competitors, so then I have to do obviously research into the rue competitor, but only once, right, because the story that I have will then work for all of the prospects that I'm getting in touch with. And here again, right, it's isn't black and it's it's not black and white, it's not it's working or it's not working. You know, look at what's going on, what are the responses that you're getting, and keep optimizing. It's like it's like a circle, right, and there was the same story that in pre cells I was telling to analys prospects. It's never a straight line where you have a beginning in the end, but you start somewhere when you notice, okay, this is working really good or this is not working at all, or we have room for improvement, and then you look at the data, you get an idea what could be improved, you improve this and then you have to analyze again. You have to see if the optimization that you have done actually has helped you to get to the result that you're looking for, and usually you know it's. What's important is the trend right. It needs the trajectory needs to go in the right direction, needs to go upwards, downwards, whatever you're looking at, and then you can continue working on this. But that's basically the reverse funnel. Right. Have a clear goal in mind and then try to get the data that you need. And here, as you said, right for me as the OPS person as well, it's easy to have the data available and to give it to people. Data quality always, you know, is a topic that nobody likes to talk about, but it's definitely super important, because if there's no good data, then all your reverse fun and math, you know, will result in numbers that are not really helpful. But I would say, you know, for all BEDR, get in touch with the OPS person if you're interested in the stuff, right, if you want to figure out, you know, what numbers you need to hit, what types of activities you need. Obviously, you know, keep your own numbers, but now have numbers in your cm, in yours, says engagement platform. Understand what those numbers mean and then, you know, start doing a little bit of math. Ask Your colleagues right, ask the other drs, maybe work on this with your manager and your one on one to try to say, Hey, you know, I want to get here, this is my goal. It's not really looking like, you know, I'm doing enough, and then you can start this conversation right. Is it really always about the quantity? Is it more about the quality is that both right and that's where experience comes in and we're a you know, training, education and data come in. So that's, I guess, my Rost funnel approach that I'd like to use.

I like it. So it's so incredibly important for success as an individual contributor of course, as a leader, knowing this for each member of your team, because these went. I learned maybe a little bit later was that there was team funnel metrics and then I had my own right, because people have different conversion rate, some people are better on the phone, some people better at emails sometimes all these things. So if you're only you're listening to this and you just take your your leaders word for what you know the team's full kind of reverse funnel math is, then you might be shooting yourself in the foot because yours could be different, could be better, could be worse than certain certain areas. So super important, and I'm almost hearing this theme of you know, know the data and the KPI so well that you you have the luxury of doing more experimentation. You know, that's that's kind of what I what I'm hearing, which I really like. All right, well, this always goes incredibly fast. I can't believe we're almost at at time here, but SPHEN, you're an absolute wealth of knowledge. So I'm going to keep this last one very open ended and we've gone through a few few different things. But just to reiterate stup, let's say everyone completely blanks out and forgets the last twenty minutes completely because they're focused on a million different things, as we all are. Say only remember three things from this episode. What would you like those to be? I think really it's really important that doesn't matter what job you're in, you should be motivated and you should keep training yourself and educating yourself and combine that with real life experiences. So both sides are important, theory and practice, because then, I think you'll see the results fastest. I think it's important that you have an experimental start up mentality as a Dr as a salesperson, because only then you can have, you know, this this data available to yourself to optimize, to continue to optimize, even if everything is working great, right, wouldn't you like to improve one percent each day? And that only works if you know, try out new things, if you improve processes. And Yeah, data is super important, and what's really the enemy here if data silos and Silod thinking right. So no matter where you're working, in sales, in ECOMMERCE, in marketing, try to really get a holistic point of view, the picture of what's going on and work together with other departments, try to understand their goals. And if you're doing that, then you're going to leave a lot less potential untouched and I think that's that's really important right, that people are working together. Google had those twenty percent projects right where people could just do something on their own time, and I think it's really important that you also get insights into what's going on, you know, in the rest of the company. And I think we see this shift also in operations, not towards revenue operations.

Before we always had sales operations. Sometimes, you know, there's marketing operations, customer success operations, but revenue operations now is putting everything you know on the one umbrella, and it makes sense because there's so much potential, so much revenue, but also, you know, customer satisfaction that you can gain here. That makes sense right to break down data silos and siload thinking and really work together as a company to come to the best outcome possible. I like it. Those are three incredible takeaways spend. Thank you so much for spending the time with us. I know our listeners will get a ton from that. Lots of good nuggets in that that episode, so thank you and for all of those that hung out with us. Thank you so much and hope you have a great week. We'll see you next time. This was another episode of the sales engagement podcast. To help this get in front of more eyes and ears, please leave us a shining five star review. Join US at sales engagementcom for new episodes. Resources in the book on sales engagement to get the most out of your sales engagement strategy. Make sure to check out outreach. That ioh, the leading sales engagement platform. See you on the next episode.

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