The Sales Engagement Podcast
The Sales Engagement Podcast

Episode · 1 year ago

Spotting the Difference Between Managers & Leaders


The difference between a manager and leader often gets blurred. While the two roles overlap, like a sales manager supervising their team but inspiring them along the way, it’s important to distinguish just how important leadership is by itself.

So, what’s the true differentiator for a leader? They’re early adopters of innovation.

On this episode of The Sales Engagement podcast, we talk with Dustin Abney. Dustin is the Enterprise Sales Manager - U.S. East at Redgate Software. He joins the show to talk all about:

- The single characteristic that helped drive Dustin’s career forward

- Insight into Dustin’s personal development and strategies for the audience

- The differences between managing and leading a team

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

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Welcome to the sales engagement 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 everyone, welcome to the sales engagement podcast. Super excited to have dustin add me with me today with Red Gate Software. And this is your cohost, Caitlin Kelly, senior sales development manager at outreach for the EMEA region. Today's episode will be beast around the differences between managing and leading sales team. Dustin, you've had quite the career, as you've gone from Bedr all the way up into and a frontline manager roll. Can you tell us a little bit about your career path and what you exactly do at Red Gate. Yeah, absolutely. So my career technology sales. I got a little bit of a late start. Didn't get into it until my late S. had every stand and oil and gas, a little bit of entrepreneurship, but ultimately I did start as a as an SDR a little bit over six years ago, working for a database management software company. I was fortunate, after about eighteen months in that str role that was presented the opportunity to move into a full sale cycle account executive position. It was about a year after being in an account executive position that I was presented the opportunity to move over to red gate software. So I've been with read gate software now a little bit over four and a half years. I spent my first three years at Red Gate as an individual contributor selling as a kind of more of a territory account executive position, and then moved up into when we built out an enterprise named accounts team. I started to then operate and sell in a named accounts position. But it wasn't long after I got into that name accounts position that was presided the opportunity to help build and and launch a brand new betr function for Red Gate Austin, which was a really exciting opportunity to take part of, and I did that for five quarters. So I did that from Qtwo of twenty all the way up to q to Two thousand and twenty one, and and then another opportunity presented itself and I'm now, you're, wrapping up my first quarter of managing the the enterprise named accounts team here in Austin for red it nice. And how's that first quarter going for you so far? Back to the front lines? It's been great. You know, it's it's really what I'm passionate...

...about is the the full sale cycle and being able to help coach reps and being back part of deals and part of that closing process. It's something that that I really enjoy really passionate about. So it's been a lot of fun getting back into this. Yo, we're recording this in the last two weeks of a quarter, so we're definitely at the the real fun part of the GIG. But yeah, it's been great so far. All right, fantastic. Well, definitely appreciating out the time today to to this episode. I know you know with your career progression from we are experience to scally, now an entire str shops, now the front line manager. What would you tribute your success and kind of development is? Is there one characteristic that you would kind of lean on that really helped drive your career progression forward? You have. If I'd just suwhat up in one one word or one characteristic, it it would be grit. Now when when I say granting great is it is a characteristic. But I think it's important to think of great as it's still the sum of many attributes. It's not just one thing that somebody can say, Oh, this is my one thing that says I have grit. But I summed to kind of three main attributes. The first one is passion. I really believe you have to have passion and what you do. If you're not passionate, then when the times are tough, you're just you're going to be less likely to dig deep and power through those those hard times. The second one, I would say you got to be courageous, and what I mean by this is you have to be able to challenge yourself. Are you have to be able to take on the hard task. You have to set ambitious goals and really, I don't. I don't think you should be able to accept that a hundred percent is good enough. I think you have to set the bar higher for yourself in order to encapsulate that word Grit. And then the last one, which most people probably think of when they hear the word Grit, and you have to be resilient. Everybody knows, and if you've been in sales long enough, that forever. Yes, there's ten those and as a self professional, you have to build your own mechanisms and you have to figure out the strengths that you need to encompass in order to pick yourself up after that tenth. No, because you may make thirty two calls before lunch and thirty of them are voicemails and three or telling you to get out of my get on my space. But you have to be resilient to know that if you pick up that phone that thirty third time, that could be that deal that you need, that could be that that meeting that ends up being that big whale and that big account. So ultimately, I think it's a mix. It's passion, courage resilience, and those are the three attributes that I think I've been able to really bundle together to what I would say is great. All right, that's fantastic. I Love I think that Word Gray is definitely a lot of people use the word grits. I love the how you kind of describe it in those three different ways. Based off of how you describe what Grit means to you, do you feel like that is something that is could be taught, or is it something that's just internal...

...that people have? I think it's both. I think there's there are some attributes in the key thing about grit as a characteristic. It's really just depending on what attributes you you call out. But every individual they're kind of hardwired with their own attributes and there's just things that are built into our DNA that you some things can't be coached. I can't coach somebody be passionate about doing what I do. I can't. I can't coach someone to say well, you, you need to have you need to be passionate. That's a feeling you have to have, that's a belief you have to have. But I do think you can help coach people in terms of how they build resiliency. You can help provide tips and tricks of things that you've done in the past to build up that resiliency yourself. I think you can help to some extent help people be courageous in terms of walking them through what goal setting exercises could be to how can they set more ambitious goals? What are the things they can do? You can help coach people to identify opportunities to challenge themselves. By the end of the day, they're the ones who have to execute. There's only so much you can do. You can only lead the horse to water thing right. There's only so much you can do from a coaching and leadership standpoint where, the end of the day, they're the ones who have to actually take that guidance in that feedback and then implement it. Yeah, there definitely there's that that saying where it's like you can't do the work for them, like if somebody guy is gonna like they have to pull themselves up and have to want to succeed, otherwise you'd end up dragging them with the unit. burnout could potentially happen there. Yeah, so you know, as you as your car continues to unfold, you've obviously found your passion. I can feel it in the way that you speak about leading your team already and when you're building out your teams and kind of being in the conversations with them from day to day. What are some ways that you've been able to lean into your own professional development? Yeah, good questions. So everybody in sales knows the term ABC right. It's always be closing, always be closed and clean, Gary Glenn Ross, but I I always live with Abd Right. It's always be developing. I think no matter what your role is, whether your brand new str enterprise, account executive or senior leader, you have to continue investing in yourself, in your development. That's the only way you'll get better to serve your teams. So personally, there's a couple things out I'm doing. I mean obviously outside of the typical reading. I think Joe Reading is one of the great things that we all have access to. But outside of that, I personally couple things. One, I'm actually pursuing a new degree, so formal education, doing after a new degree and organizational leadership, actually setting the science behind high leadership. But second I just try to put myself around as many others experience leaders as possible. Things I've done Rese I went to the Mike Winberg supercharge event and Dallas a couple weeks ago got to sit around and meet some fantastic sales leaders and just really spend a full day just just entrenched with the struggles and and issues and it's just so great to be around those people. I'm going to the SURF and sales event with Scott least and Costa Rica and November. Yeah, excited about that one. Just...

...really trying to put myself and surround myself around others who've been here before me. I mean the challenges I'm facing as a leader and as a manager, if they're not new, I'm not in uncharted water. Somebody has been there before and they've navigated it and is foolish to not pull on those resources. So yeah, I just try to put myself around as many experienced people as possible. And finally, you know, I've I've seeked out a sales coach for myself. Again, I don't think it matters how long you've been in the game. You can always be better and there's somebody to support you. So shout out to a Jeff Majora and rethink the way you sell. My sales coach been working with him recently. That's amazing. It sounds like you're definitely tapping into multiple different resources there. If one was in aspiring sales leader and they're looking to find these resources as well, where would you kind of direct them to kind of find this? I Know Scotty's, I'm familiar with real linkedin. Where would we where would you kind of suggest people go to, especially if they're in a remote environment? Yeah, there's I mean there's a lot of really good sales communities out there. Obviously, Linkedin is a platform where you can have access to the tons of resources. Like Winberg is someone who I follow pretty extensively and he shares a great content. But you know, you mentioned Scott leason. Yo. He has, you know, a patreon group and he has his Thursday night sales where you just you can get together with other sales professionals and you can hear, you have people speak and they deliver content be you get to have this this platform to just engage with people and have these conversations. So I think the key thing is ask your network of who do they know who has these types of platforms in these communities where they allow this unfiltered, like raw conversations that honestly, it's not going to happen on Linkedin. Linkedin can be a pretty water down platform to some extent, but if you put yourself in these scenarios, in these platforms with other sales professionals, you can get some real true, honest feedback and I think that's where the most growth is going to happen. Yeah, that is fantastic. So kind of after heard the research and like the resource that you've been able to go into, the topic of today's episode is really around the difference between managing and leading a team and with your passion, I've kind of going through the formal education to kind of take a deeper dive into that. What would you say are the main differences to you between managing and leading a team and how do you implement this in Dyr every day with your team at your game? Yeah, so I think the terms managing and leading. They they're used interchangeably a lot, but they're two different, different concepts. The reason the lines get so blurred these days as modern managers, yes, the modern manager, they have to coordinate the activities are ultimately going to help achieve the organizational goals. Right where where the frontline managers were the ones who actually execute against strategies. But the managers also have to be able to motivate, they have to be able to inspire, and those are leadership skills,...

...those are management skills, those are actually leadership skills. So the lines get blurred because sales manager specifically, they do have to wear both hats. They do have to make sure their teams are executing and that they're delivering the results that they need. By the same time, they have to have a little bit of leadership skills to make sure that the team believes in what they're doing and that they're inspired and motivated to do it. But the leadership a true leader. What they're doing, though, is they're they're bringing the organization to the next level. Right the leaders are the pioneers, they're the ones that are willing to go out into the unknown and they're willing to take risk. You know once read one time that that a leaders primary contribution is the recognition of good ideas and then they support those ideas and then they are willing to challenge the system in order to help get those new ideas adopted. So really the key difference differentiator, I guess, is leaders. There I guess you could to them early adopters of innovation, right, and that's going to be one of the key differences is leaders are able to recognize different patterns and recognize different ideas and they'll have the Gusto to to go out there and try to make it happen through organizational change management. Yeah, so one of the things that I've learned recently with Skip Miller is like, how are you creating a culture that celebrates failure and similar to like what you're just saying here is like. To be a leader, you have to be okay with evolving and changing and recognizing it. That's probably putting yourself in a situation where it this may fail, but you continue to move forward with it and continue different ideas. Yep, absolutely amazing. So, you know, as your kind of buildy main engine team, you had experience building out in a steer shop and that is really where a lot of people's career within sales kicks off from there. So beast on. You know your experience within the Bedr function and then going to the other side and managing closers. How has this experience really helped you be successful as a frontline manager in today's roll. What like characteristics are you pulling on our skills that you were able to develop that are giving you a better understanding in the day to day? Yeah, so there's no know how you're an EF factor. They are obvious massive differences between managing and leading a BEDR function and managing an enterprise team. They're both beasts and their own right, with just different challenges. But I think the two things that translate easily that I was able to build in the BEDR old and translates over to the enterprise a rol by managing this team is first launching this bedr function. It allowed me to flex strategic muscles like I've never had to before. Running squad analysis, you building internal business proposals to try to make your organizational changes, using data and analyzing it to make business decisions, to direct how we prospector how we target certain accounts and what we do. Those were things that I just never did as Ann ICEE. Yeah, it wasn't something I needed to... So being in a situation of launching that bedr function, it gave me the opportunity and it gave me that experience of planning and it and executing strategically in a way that I never had to and it's something that you I do still today now my managing this new enterprise team, is you always have to be analyzing and Swat analysis and figuing out what's working what's not, an adapting and changing and being in that Bedr function and you'll launching that team that that really helped me shape my my strategic I guess, flex those muscles a little bit more. The second thing I would say is it really helped me down with the like my coaching framework. I am a firm believer that a frontline sales manager, their number one duty is to coach their team. Yes, there's a million things of frontline sales manager is responsible for doing, but I don't think you can make as big of an impact your business as just spending time with your team. The managers that spend more time with their team they typically have better results. But what I was able to do with the BEDR team and was I was able to build a framework of how do I coach, how do you get the most out of your people? But I was able to learn different frameworks in terms of identifying skills versus wills and how do you match one coaching style to each individual because at the end of the day, when it comes to sales coaching, not one way of coaching is perfect for everybody and one way of coaching isn't perfect for one person all the time. Sales as a game of multiple skills and multiple different things. You have to be responsible for it and your skill level and those different task that you have to perform are going to be different. So as a coach you have to be able to recognize that and adapt your coaching style depending on their experience and their confidence and their will to execute against that task. So, you know, those five quarters with the BEDR team, it really gave me the opportunity to learn the you I use to grow model for coaching. It really helped me learn how to successfully implement that put different levels of skill and different levels of experience for a variety of tasks and ultimately this is all stuff that now with my team, when I get into coaching sessions, I use the same framework. Yeah, they're different task, different different skills, different people, but it's still coaching and it's still the core framework that was able to build with the bedrs that I implement today. It's amazing you'd mentioned the grow framework or the grow model. Can you explain that a little bit more, what that really entails and how you leverage that across all teams? Yeah, absolutely so. When it comes to coaching, is the one thing I learned early on a management when I started getting more, I guess, more in depth with with coaching, is there's a difference between coaching and directing, and I'm a firm believer that if you're doing your job as a sales coach, ultimately what you're doing is you're just helping that rep find the way forward...

...on their own. Now, yes, you may have new rests on your team that need to be directed and you're going to need to tell them this is how you do this, but for people who are established and true coaching, you're not doing it for them. You're not directing them how to do it, you're not even showing them how it's done. So the grow model, it's just a framework that makes you first gee, set a goal, so gas goal. So it's specific to a goal. When you're coaching someone, it's not this big overarching theme. It's what is the goal? Are is around? Is it relatable? Is it relevant to what you are trying to accomplish? So that's that's your ore. Your Oh is, what are some the obstacles that maybe you're going to get there? So you help them identify what could stop you from getting there and then w is the way forward, how we could actually going to get there. So when I when I talk to my team and when I get coaching, our aptunities away could look is they may come to me and say, Hey, I have this, have this deal, this is, this is what happened. What do you think I should do? Right? The old dust and would have said, Hey, I've closed, done the deals. This what I would do. But then the dude dust and that understands that that's not making them better. Is Okay, first thing you do is you get make sure you have all the details to the situation and you say, okay, so what do you want to get out of this? Ultimately very specific. What do you want out of this rep and they'll tell you and then you say, okay, is that that relative to what you're trying to accomplish? This is actually what we need to be focused on? Or do we not have the goal line in the right spot? And then you say, okay, so now we know that. Why don't you know this information already, or why hasn't this happened? What is hinder this? Right, where are the obstacles? And typically, by the time you get through that, and this conversation is going much longer than this example, you then I you just ask them. Okay, so what would you do? What should you do? Nine Times out of ten they have the answer. They just need someone to help them guide, kind of guide them down that path to figure it out, and then it's hey, yeah, that's actually perfect. Or you know what, that's good. It'd be even better if we added this on to it and you give a little bit of constructive feedback on it. Yeah, I love that. I think that's it's so important to allow them to come to the like the decision of the path forward on their own, rather than you constantly telling them, because one of the thing if you're constantly telling them exactly how to do it, you're going to end up with a bunch of replicas of yourself and then you're not changing over time and the process is not involving either, which is me. I love that. The girl function. I've never heard of that before, so I learned something now. Nice. Okay, cool, so you know. Thank you, so much for sharing all of this with us. The differences between managing and leading a team, how you've been able to develop up your team in different skills I've been transferable for you from your bed r days to the enterprise space. Now, if you had want to recommend one book or one area that really had a major impact on your professional development, what would that be or what would you advise or someone who's...

...looking to mirror your career path? So I'll cheat here and I'm going to gift to because one I think it's if you're an Xtr, a AE in, you're still really just trying to become the best you can be at sales. The book that had the biggest impact for me was fanatical prospecting a jetblood. Fantastic book. It really helped me build a framework to be successful as an I see. But for those who are looking to explore sales management or a new to sales manager, even if you're an experience sales manager and having read it, sales management simplified by Mike Wibird, that book is really helped me build a framework to what it means to lead a sales team. As far as I'm concerned, he I mean he wrote the book with a gold pen. It's just filled with uggets that you can pull on as a new sales manager to help you run more effective one two ones, so if you run better team meetings to understand just how to how to lead and manage a team in sales today. It's just a great book, all right, fantastic. I love that. Love that and will definitely have to check both of those outs. So you've heard it here first with Dustin. If anyone wanted to follow up with you in regards to some of the frameworks that you're La Vergine, the grow framework or even the books, are just talk shop around leading a team. Where would be the best place for them to reach out to you? Linkedin is the best butt shit that search bar. Dustin't Ave me red gate software and I'll pop up only dust, then an a red gate, so easy to find. All right, that is perfect and hopefully the catch out before you head off to Costa Rica for that business. Yeah there, yeah, yeah, so much. Yeah, thank you, can thanks for having me. 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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