The Sales Engagement Podcast
The Sales Engagement Podcast

Episode · 7 months 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 enter me born now beforejumping in I've got to tell you Ahout, I'm least two thousand and twenty oneon Ma, eleven thrugthirteen were focusing on hawtoing together in thenew sales era, you'll learn you go to marces strategies, get deeper, funalinsides, an Actiomal takewast foryour entire, or from revenue leaders atHiggro startups and fortune five hundred companies and ar very specialguests, or none other than Guyras. The podcaster author of how I built thisand carry Lawrence. The first female fider pilot in the US baby come saverseat for this high energy on line event at only stot out, reache todio. Now,let's get into it. Welcome to the sales engagement, apodcast. This podcast is brought you by outreach, the leading sales engagementplatform and they just launched out reach on our reach the place to learnhow outreach well does out reach, learn how the team follows up with every leadin record time after virtual events and turns them into revenue. You can alsosee how outrectwins account based plays, manages reps and so much more usingtheir own sales engagement platform. Everything is backed by data pulledfrom out reach processes and customer base when you're done you'll be able todo it as good as they do had to outreach on io on out reach to see whatthey have going on now, let's get into Teday's episode, hello and welcome backthevery on to the sales engagement podcast. This is Scott Parker and Iactually just moved. I went through a big apartment move, so I haven'trecorded one of these in a couple weeks. It feels like at least two weeks butcertainly been excited to get this one on the books. I am joined by Sten Cleanwith the director of Business Development and sales operations of mapdigital, they sort of Berlin. So it's a evening os span right now. Bat peniwelcome to that to the showman. It's good thanks for having me excited toget this kicked off as well. It's going to be fun, and so I always like to start at thebeginning, and I kick it off by asking a very open, ended question for the thelisteners. The audience is: What is the Superhero Origin Story of Spen cleam?How did you get this esteemed? You know director position at such a fastgrowingcompany? Have that all kind of past? I guess this is a interesting story. Soif we know start at you know my school time, I was always interested inlanguages, so I decide to take a year and go abroad to Florida during tenthgrade. I came back after school. I was thinking. What should I do as everybodydoes? Probably Rit trally go to universitsh start working. We still hadmandatory army service in Germany at that time, so I did that for ninemonths. When I got out I started studying after year I changed mystudies and I ended up in Linguistics...

Program for American studies actuallyin Germany, and I did that for my bachelors I had economics, and I did mymasters in e American Studies in Germany as well, and while I was doingmy Massev Studies, I also went to Seattle to University of Washington fora year was doing teaching assistant over there got my masses in Germanicsin the US. Went Back to Germany finished my studies and then had thesame question again. Where should I go from here I'ht? What should I do withthose five years six years at university? What could I? U Kno? Howcould I put this into practice best? It's you know. If you don't want to gointo teaching, then it's not the easiest way, so thereas, no clearstructure path that you want to that you can go into in terms of finding ajob, but I always love technology. I love languages and I also really reallylike video games, so I actually Scola job at an agency that is translatingvideo games for major companies and I was working as a project manager andthen again after a year. It was time for a change and since languagesteaching all kind of is also related to consulting. I ended up at one of thelargest deat analytics companies out of Germany thattrack and I started thereas an implementation consultant. I worked my way up the corporate ledderso to say, and two years ago, Webtrack got acquired by map digital andeventually thei position opened up that I'm in right now and since I wasalready taking care a little bit of like of sales force, I basically wasasked: If that's a challenge that I would like to take on and yeah I meanhere, we are right, so no, no normal, you know Superhero story, I guess soper.He was still in the making, hopefully but yeah. I guess it just shows thatyou know you never know where you will end up opportunities will always youknow arise. You just have to be ready to take them on yeah. That's a a super,interesting story and that's one of the common themes of people's backgroundsthat come on this podcast is that there is no commen thenes es like everyonekind of gets into sales and operations ind such a unique forman fashion. Sothat's that's interesting. So there's a few things there. I want to talk aboutso this love for linguistics. Is I find my super interesting? Do you find that your knowledge? I his does this helpyou in your communication, communicating with teams or is it atotably different part of th? The brainyer is well, I mean it'slinguistics and cultural studies right and I think especially cultural studiesmakes like. I helps me to to understand. What's going on when you're working fora global organization, because it may be the add team, I have people fromdifferent countries, you know different backgrounds, so communicating with myteam, that's definitely easier, because...

I have this understanding but then alsohelping my team to engage properly with their targets, who are also global, whoare also have different backgrounds, is something that this helps me with. Not as you can, as you can imagineright you getting fifty emails a day. Twentyphone calls a day and Ustobi to be the person that basically sticks out of thepile of you know, outreach, and you know, helps you understand. What shouldyou do in order to really be the person that know gets the one or two responsesa day that somebody might actually give yeah yeah? I mean that's, that's interesting, so how manydifferent kind of regions do you sell into how many countries does MATPdigital support yeah? So we have I'd, say four main regionswhich is Americas: Northern Europe, so incompassing the UK and the naudics. Wehave sent to Europe, which is Germany and encompassing countries, and we havewestern Europe, which is Italy, Spain, Frende those are basically our for mainregions. Obviously, there's some, you know strays out there in othercountries, but that's not what we're focusing on at the moment- and here canalready see you know large differences between how outreach is done inAmericas, but also in Europe. Right everybody thinks well, Europe. You knowit's small countries, but ther has huge cultura differences from, I think a lotof times. You know, get to the point attitude, for example in Germany I nota lot of talking, but really you know what do we have? That can help peopleand then, if wou're, looking at illy, for example, a lot of relationship building right, alot of just people are actually you know willing to talk and don't have toget down to business. Always right away, obviously also depends on the personthat you're talking to. But that's that's my impression I so it'sdefinitely definitely interesting, and you know if you're in a globalorganization, then you know this is even multiplied right. If you would gointo Asia. If you'd go into Africa, Shouud go into Sou southern America andthat's you know where you actually have to have thisis empathy for you know andunderstanding of People's cultural backgrounds. Yeah I mean, if there's not already abook out there. Maybe you should. You should write one, but it would be sointeresting to have a book on kind of like sales or even business,approaches that work in all the different countries and how how youkind of have to you change your approach, because I imagine you knowyou're doing cold out reach in all these different countries is going tobe bastly different. What people respond to so it's not a...

...a one and done exercise where you cantrain your entire team on one approach, so just for a sense of scale. How bigis map digitally map digital stary roughly and then how many people wouldreport up to you? We have around three hundred employeesin the global organization and we have six PDRs currenty working across theregions. So that's that's people that arereporting into me from the Br side and I also have support on the opside.That's one person yeah, because that's actually you know one of the mainthemes also of my day today work finding a balance between you knowthose two functions because you you know you want to get the best out ofboth. Sometimes you know it's Wie a lot of work, so we have to priorotize, butactually it also comes with the benefit of being able to get insights reallyfast and forward them to a team or train the team. On those things reallyfast and in terms of the book that you mentioned yeah, obviously you knowwould be great o to publish something, but I think the common theme for forany book or any recommendation that I would made would always be there's no,no cookie cutter temp plate that you could use. Even if I would know thisworks perfectly in Germany, then it might perfect. It might grow upperfectly for me, but it's not said that it's going to work for anybodyelse like this. So I'd say you know that S, that's one ofthe things that we would need to have right. We would need to be able to tohave this willingness. This motivation to always try out things. You knowalmost liking a startup when you want to you know you kind of want to fail toreally understand. What's not working, Qight Wee, where you can improve wher,you can trat your processes where you can trick your outreach, and I meanyou're all on linked in nowadays and there as many people that put out greatcontent. You know how to write a colt email, how to do your best code,callever and that's also stuff that I you know, work through wit, the team,because I think at's great input, but I always make sure that people understandjust because it's working for this guy on Linkin or this lady on linked in youknow you shouldn't be. You know you shouldn't be sad if it's not workingfor you in the same way, because they're selling a different product attalking to different people, that you know that they have more experience,they have less experience, they have a different personality. So just takethis, you know as an idea and and use it to really. You know, optimize yourapproach and find what's really working for you, and I think that's that'sreally important that you know you. Don't you don't get the templated wigyou're, not in a boiler room where o basically get. You know a script whichyou will just you know, stick to one hundred percent, no matter what and youcall one hundred people and you tell them the script but with us. You knowin a complex software sales business... really no matter what region you inhave to build up that relationship to have people open up to you. So you can,you know, understand how you can actually pride value for them, how youcan help them and if it's the right time, if the right stakholder all thatstuff, that you need for qualification yeah, so that that is that's Ho. I wantto underscore that thought and let's go a little bit deeper on that, because Ithink, when I look back at some of the things that made me personallysuccessful in my pers of PDR, as Ha sellers managers, ide of constantlyexperimented constantly trying new things and when I look around at at theyoung folks that are doing really well now, it's it's similar to that right.therethey're always try new things, but I think there is this idea that I guess the question is: How do youfoster a culture that accepts experimentation and that acceptsfailure and isn't so driven by pure KPSS? How did you do that on on yourteam? Well again, I think it's as two sides of the story. Right KPIS aredefinitely important and you need to have the data, and I guess we can talkabout this in a little bit. But what I think really helps is that you havealso in exchange in the team right, so people talk openly about what they'redoing- and you know I have had you know- fuck up nights, basically where peoplejust were talking about. Sorry for the word exact Y, I get yeaall get whetpeople 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 thenafterwards? So that would not happen again or that could be improved andthere's actually a lot of learning here, and I think it's really about beingopen. You know having a good team spirit, not being judgmental aboutthings that are going wrong and I think also for especially for a br who aremost of the time. You know the young guns that really you know, want to gettheir hands dirty and really, you know make a mark also for the business forthemselves for their career. It's important that that they are motivatedreally to get started. You know they need to be persistent, I'd, say, andthey always need to get back up, and you know it's. I think it's an annoyingsaying you always need to get back up when you're knocked down, but it's truefor a Bidr right, because you make so many activities and most of the timeyou either don't get a response or you don't get the response that you'relooking for, but I mean you know, sometimes that's that's exactly whatyou need to get over, because I've been on a call with somebody and hebasically got the door slemt in his face right. He called somebody and thelady was really agitated how he could. Even youknow imagine that she would need an...

...emimarketing solution or you know, anengagement solution that works with customer insights, because that's notsomething that she's doing for her business with her customers, becauseshe thinks it's offensive and no, we don't need to talk about. You know heropinion here, but obviously, after afterwards you know we, you know wesaid okay, what should we do next? Well, let's have another call and write. Thenext call was a good call. We reached somebody on the phone we talked to themand we got ta follow up meeting so oftentimes, you would say: okay, Ireally messed Hir scall up. Maybe my research wasn't good enough aright, soI actually got in touch with somebody that picked up the phone, whichnowadays is not easy right. Oftentimes the phone doesn't work anymore. Youonly 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'dsay: okay, it's enough calling for now, but actually, as you see in thisexample, it wasn't right. You had to make thatone more call. Two more calls and then actually you'll have success. It's anumbers game in the end right. So if you have enough numbers, then you'llget to where you need to go I'd, say and then you can optimize right. Soagain, persistence, KPI, tate are definitely important, but also, I guessit always helps. You know if people are open. If your team is open, if you candiscuss things that are not working, if your manager is open right, if you cango to people and just ask het this Tis 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 andreally discuss this in death and try to figure out know. What's actually thereason for why things are not working and again, I think this is where data comesinto play. If you do some some reverse funal math, you can figure out. What'sactually the step in my funnel, where I'm losinga lot right, if it's opportunities or discovery calls or whatever look onestep below and see if the numbers there looks the correct, if thei activitieslook correct, if they look all good, then let's look into actually whatthose activities mean right is this basically just book emails, Oare beingsent ight with you know, tools that just you know, scrape details fromLincoln and then maybe people will not respond because you're not even puttingtheir right title in, but you just putting in the headline of linked in,and you obviously can see right away that this is not a personize outreachor maybe people are just simply not doing. You know enough activities, andwhy is that right? So, let's discuss with people what's hindering them? Arethey maybe doing too much research for an initial outriach right again, itcould be debated. It is never too much research, but obviously, if you'reresearching one hour for every call and you'll know where you'll end up, if hWen the day is over right yeah. So I would love it if you break down some ofthat reverse funnal mat or some the...

...listeners who maybe don't fully havetheir numbers, maybe individual contributors that want to understand tthe reverse final math, how to kind of back into the number. I think that'ssuper important, and you also, I really like this idea of most teams I was on I've been a part ofis it'Sall about. Sharing your successets go round share a success,Shara win! I like this idea going around and sharing a failure as well aswhat you learned from it, because you know the old cliche of you learn morefrom your failures than you do from your successes certainly rings true. Soif you can socialize that learning with the group, I think that's a really great idea, and another thingI wrote down here is the phone is harder. Not a lot ofpeople are talking about this right now. You know, there's always these. Thesecamps of CO calling is never dead, and you know just pick up. The phone thanpeople feel very strongly about this subject. Phone is harder right now.Phon is for sure harder. We don't have people picking up their office mindseveryone's just on their cell boke they're at home now, so it almost feelsa little bit more personal almost feels more intrusive, because a lot of peopleare at home. What is your team seeing- and you know talking appeers and otherother folks, our numbers down as far as Cannectca? Definitely- and I mean thatthat started basic, so I started basically when the pandemic started inthis position. Taking care of te be our team, so I never knew how it was beforeright. So it might not be as hard for me, but I have some people on my teamthat have been working before and obviously in the beginning, wheneverything was shut down, everybody skipped over to email or Lincon andeverybody just blasted people with emails and linked in connectionRyqurests, good ones, bad ones. Redina invites I don't know how many Bebbinasand and bee in right its crazy, but I mean the phone call next to basically,a personal meeting is the best thing that you could have, in my opinion,from the saes perspective, because you actually have an interaction going onright. I mean I wear two heads here: I'm a person that is a target for BSoftentimes because of sales operations, but also the BDAL Ledership, but also Ineed to you know, tell my VDRs how they should approach people or help them toapproach people in a certain way. So obviously I tell them you know we needstill to make dials right. We can't have you know people trying to do onehundred dials because we'll run all of numbers. That's it sounds silly, butthat's what it is because oftentimes you don't have mobile numbers. You onlyhave office numbers and we're all using. You know, tools that are giving uscontact details, but they are often outdated. So we go in circls right andeventually, if you Oul do good research,...

...if you have a connect- and if you alsoconnect with people that might not be Aur targetat but but hit, couldintroduce you to targets, then you know you'll get the number eventually andthen you have one shot, as you said, right Havf, a strong value proposition.You need to have done your research like on the person on their function ontheir company and ideally also on something you know that they'restruggling with right now or that they could improve in order to really youknow, use those twenty seconds in the beginning that you have before theyslamd own the phone. So you can convince them that it's worth talkingto you but yeah woull definitely say phone has gotten harder, wo getconnects, but if you ever connect write, this is still the best way to reallyget to talk to people, because I mean, as I said before, for me it's supereasy when I get an email or linked in connection request to look at it and donot respond right, because it has my attention for a couple seconds and thenI have to move on to a next thing. Even if it was a good outreach- and I getyou know, I get those as well funny gifts. You know good good, subjectlines, people even make videarts and stuff like that, which I appreciateright. I see that theyre personalizing stuff they' putting work in, but it'sjust not on the top of my priorities at that moment and then it's forgottenafterwards. I, if somebody's calling me, obviously I'm going to listen tothemright and if it's not a fit, then you know at least they have theirresponse right away and they can move on. I so definitely phone has gottenharder, but don't give up calling it's you know still very, very important. Idon't think it makes sense to call ofthice phones and if you get to thefront office, ask people for the phone number of people because they nevergive them out and they shouldn't. I I understand that, but bi therelationship right hit people on different channels. I guess it's alsoimportant multi channel approached night. I'm not saying don't do email,don't do Linkin, don't do onlyphone. I do everything because you never knowwhere you're get in touch with somebody so definitely makes sense to you know,have a multichannel approach. Also forout reach yeah, absolutely huge,huge proponence of of Ami Channel and your. I think your right phone isharder, but if you get, if you get through somehow I feel like I am seemingly getting less calls than Iused to. So I think a lot of people are kind of like throwing it out. But ifyou happen to get someone you know it's still quickest way to turn around anopportunity all right. Let's, let's talk about this idea too ful. Let'stalk quickly about the reverse, funnal man, how to back into the numbers,which will naturally kind of lead us to what sort of data youre collecting toinform your decisions on what's working? What's not working, I think it'sparticularly interesting for your role, because you see both sides right. Yousee like success, support and bd, so... have a little more caught full funol metrics than manyjust bd leaders yeah. So I mean this reverse funneling. I think works forfor every situation where you want to reach a goal right, not just for sales,also for your personal life or for your career planning, long term, but I meanespecially for br or salesperson. This makes sense and what I would always doif I'm an individual to think about. What's my goal right for the month forthe quarter for the year and if histick of the year right, I would always saywell, we are number to then right. A lot of salespeople obviously also wantto earn a good amount of money. So that could be your goal right and you knowwhat your base salary is, and you know what your quota is and what your payesthat you get in terms of commission or bonus or burial pay or whatever, andthen set yourself a goal where you want to end up and you staid to startdividing right. So if I'm looking at you know a certain amount o x that Iwant to earn, I know how many ideals I have to close or how many opportunitiesI have to find or how many discovery calls. I need to do whatever mycomvensation plan says, and then I can. You know, use that number, for example,ten opportunities and start looking at historical data and at my experiencehow many discovery calls do I actually need if I want to have tenopportunities I so I'm just looking at the Br right now. Salesperson obviously,would start also at conversion rates or Opportunittese and sale cycle lengthand stuff like that. But for br I, ideally you have a high turnaround ofdiscoveries into opportunitie. So let's say we have seventy five percent, noturnaround and you want to have at the end of the year one hundredopportunities. Then you know you'll know how many discovery couse you'llactually need, because three out of four are converting biht. If you onlyhave fifty percent, you want hundred opportunities. Well then, it's you knoweasy. You need two hundred discopery cords, because you kind of know right,obviously can't have guarantee that this will. You know end up with onehundred opportunities, but it kind of will be around that number. Ifeverything stays the same, then you know okay for to on the discoveries.How many activities do I need? How many targets do I need right? All of thosenumbers are hopefully in the system somewhere. I, if I reach out to tenpeople, one person turns into discovery the actually most of the time. It's youknow more but lit now, Stav ten. So I know okay for two hundred discoveriesactually over the year. I need to get in touch with at least two housandpeople alright, and then I can understand how many activities do Iactually have to do to end up with that number, and that will help me also aly,in my the amount of time that I spend...

...with the number of people that in toget in touch with, because if I know that I need to reach out to fortypeople a day, I can kind of calculate how much time am I willing to spend nowin terms of researching each person if they may be a smarter way of you knowallocating my time. Maybe I don't even have to research the same amount oftime for each person or each company, but maybe I look into an industry,focused research and kind of optimized, my my time of research, maybe I'm goingafter certain competitors. So then I have to do obviously research into theone competitor, but only once I because the story that I have will then workfor all of the prospects that I'm getting in touch with, and here againright. It's isn't Blackand, it's not Blak and wite. It's not it's working orit's not working. You know, look at what's going on what arthe responsethat you'e getting and keep optimizing. It's like it's like a circle right andthere was the same story that in presals I was telling to LIX prospects.It's never a straight line where you have a beginning in e end, but youstart somewhere when you notice. Okay, this is what me really good, or this isnot working at all or Wa from for improvement, and then you look at thedata. You get an idea. What could be improved? You improve this and than youhave to analyze. Again, you have to see if the optimization that you have doneactually has helped you to get to the result that you are looking for andusually you know it's what's important is the trend it needs. The trajectoryneeds to go in. The right direction needs to go upwards downwards, whateveryou looking at and then you can continue working on this, but that'sbasically the reverse. Funnel right have a clear goal in mind and then tryto get the data that you need, and here, as you said right for me as theobsperson as well, it's easy to have the data available and to give it topeople data quality. Always you know, is a topic that nobody likes to talkabout, but it's definitely super important, because if there's no gooddata, then or your reverse Funnan math, you know, will result e numbers thatare not really helpful, but I would say you know befor bdr get in touch withthe OBIS person if you're interested in this stuff right. If you want to figureout, you know what numbers you need to hit, what types of activities you need.Obviously you know keep your own numbers, but you know have numbers inyou cm in your ssales engagement platform, understand what those numbersmean and then you know start doing a little bit of math. Ask Your colleaguesright. ASK THE OTHER BBAS! Maybe work on this with your manager and your oneon one to try to say: Hey. You know I want to get here. This is my goal: it'snot really looking like you know, I'm doing enough, and then you can startthis conversation right isn't really always about the quantity. Is it moreabout the quality? Is it both ightand? That's where experience comes in and weare, you know, training, education and data coming. So that's. I guess myreverse funnel approach that I'd like... use in, like it, so so, incrediblyimportant, fors success as an individual contributor, of course, as aleader knowing this for each member of of your team, because these went Ilearned maybe a little bit later- was that there was team funnel metrics, andthen I had my own right, because people have different conversion rates. Somepeople are better on the phone. Some people, detter email, sometimes allthese things. So if you're only you're listening to this- and you just takeyour your leaders word for what you know- the teams full kind of reversefunnal mathis- then you might be shooting yourself in the foot becauseyours could be different- could be better, could be worse in certaincertain areas. So super important and I'm almost hearing this theme of youknow Knowi the Dada and the KPI sow well that you, you have the luxury ofdoing more experimentation. You know, that's that's kind of what I what I'mhearing, which I really like all right. Well, this always goes incredibly fast.I, I can't believe we're almost a at time here, but Stan you're, an absolutewealth of knowledge. So I'm going to keep this last. One very open ended andwe've gone through a few few different thimgs, but just to reiterate, stoplet's say everyone completely blanks out and forgets t e, the last twentyminutes completely, because they're focused on a million different thingsas we all are. They only remember three things from this episode. What wouldyou like those to be? I think really it's really important that doesn't matter what job you're in youshould be motivated, and you should keep training yourself and educatingyourself and combine that with real life experiences. So both sides areimportant theory and practice because then I think you'll see the resultsfastest. I think it's important that you have an experimental, startupmentality as br as a salesperson, because only then you can have you knowthis thi data available to yourself to optimize to continue to optimize, evenif everything is working great right, wouldn't you like to improve onepercent each day and that only works. If you, you know, try out new things,if you improve processes and yet data is super important and what's reallythe enemy here, is they just silos and silet thinking right? So no matterwhere you're working in sales in ECOMMERCE in marketing try to reallyget a holistic point of Veu the picture of what's going on and work togetherwith other departments, try to understand their goals and if you're doing that, then you're goingto leave a lot less potential untouched and I think t that's really important.I that people are working together. Google had those twenty percentprojects right where people could just do something on their own time, and Ithink 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 inoperations no towards revenue...

...operations before we always haid salesoperations. Sometimes you know there's marketing operations, customer successoperations, but revenue operations now is putting everything you know underone umbrella and it makes sense because there's so much potential, so muchrevenue but also you know, customer satisfaction that you can gain here. That makes sense right tobreak down data, siloce and silent thinking and really work together as acompany to come to the best, a otcom possible. I like it. Those are threeincredible takeways spend. Thank you so much for spending the time with us. Iknow our listeners will get a ton from that lots of good nuggets and that thatepisode, so thank you and for all of those that hung out with us. Thank youso much and hope you have a great week we'll see next ime. This was anotherepisode of the Sales Engagement F podcast to help this get in front ofmore eyes and ears. Please leave us a shining five star review join us atsales engagementcom for new episodes, resources in the book on salesengagement to get the most out of your sales engagement strategy, make sure tocheck out out reached tio. The leading sales engagement platform see you onthe next episode.

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