The Sales Engagement Podcast
The Sales Engagement Podcast

Episode · 2 years ago

What Test.io Does Differently to Find and Equip the Best Outbound Reps w/ Max Schultz

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

“He told us one of the co-founders of our competitor parties with Kanye West, and brought a picture like a private investigator.”

The candidates that really stand out to Test.io are the ones who can find out under the surface things about their industry and competition that they couldn’t have simply googled.

Max Schulz is the Head of Sales in the US at Test.io.  He joined me on the podcast to talk about what Test.io has done differently to equip their SDR’s and how they find the best candidates for hire.

Test.io was founded in Berlin in 2011 and in 2016 launched a customer success office in San Francisco.  The sales and success team has gone from then being just Max to now an office of 20 and a mostly outbound organization. There is very little inbound that they rely on.  So Max has had a front-row seat to the building and scaling of sales teams.

Welcome to the sales engagement podcast,this podcast is brought to you by out reached at io the leading salesengagewinh platform, helping companies, sellers and customer success engagedwith buyers and customers in the modern sales. TERA check out salesengagementcom for new episodes, resources in the book on salesengagement coming soon. Now, let's get into today's episode. Everyone welcome back to anotherincredible episode of these sales engagement podcast. I am your hostJovinnello senior content managing editor at outreach, and we are joinedtoday by Max sholts head of sales in the US over at test dat io and he'sgoing to talk about scaling sales teams how to find good, outbound reps, someof the midsteps that he's seen companies take and how to you know ifone things working for one rap, how to make it work for three how to make itwork for ten before we get into that, I'm going to toss it on over two Maxwho can introduce himself tell us a little bit about his background andwhat he's doing over at test in axcint would be on the show, hey thanks forhaving me yeah. So I guess give you a little background. We started out herein the US in two thousand and sixteen testil was founded in Berlin in twothousand and eleven rim sales and and worldwide operations there up untilthat point, and then we launched sales and Customer Success Office here in SanFrancisco and been building the building the sales and customer successto him. Since then gone from just myself as e the Rep in the US to now,we have an office going on twenty people, mostly outbound drivenorganization. We have very little inmound that we rely on to hit thenumber and we built up some cool processes and and stuff along the wayawesome. So you have definitely had a front row seat in building and scalingsales teams. Yeah definitely wee...

...definitely seen the ups and downs ofthat. So talk to me about starting that out right starting that process fromthe beginning, you were the one person doing sile her in the US. What are kindof the first steps that people need to take when really scaling their team.Well, I think something that we see a lot in sales. Leadership is bps ofsales. Moving around heads ofd sales moving around going in and hiring it is their is their first step.They you know, maybe they have reps that they've worked with in the pastand you obviously got to bring those people over if you have good dependablefolks, but something that we, I think did especially well upfront was gettingour hands dirty and myself included before I hired our first FCR here. Youknow our first move really was we had put out reaching place in my lastcompany. First move was proving that we could do outbound in a way that ourGerman office hadn really explored before from Germany. There are publicdatabases for companies and public filings that companies there have to dothat, provide phone numbers. You can direct dial into the executive suite.We don't have that luxury here in the US, nor nor would those people reallypick up the phone yeah right, so we have to launch kind of from thebeginning a whole new process to take on this market and that' started with.You know emails linked in all the all the stuff, but we figured that weneeded to prove that out fully before we brought a staff on and just have youknow people sitting around, especially. We had planned to hire newer, repspeople out of college, and we wanted to make sure that we had a solid processin place that we knew that works that have had some proof a andtractionbefore we before we scaled the team. So it's KINDOF, that's kind of oppositemost. The Pece of sales, like you were saying, is that you know you realizethe need to to scale the team. You hire a bunch of people and then you figureout the playbooks and processes. You are you're, saying kind of flip that onits head and get everything in place before you bring in your first tripyeah, I think as far as notoriy with...

...the team, you have a huge advantage. Ifa you have done the job yourself and you are not relying on them to proveout something that is so far not proven, and so you know you have to lean on.You have to lean on your team eventually to move the needle forwardand to perfect these processes, but we we also live in a slightly differentenvironment that maybe some some of the other companies in San Francisco beingthat were, were private equity, backed we really make decisions based on data and knowing that things are goingto work that if we hire this person they're going to have that contributionto e to the number and so slightly different model than then hire higherhardwith that with the BC money. But it is a yeah. We could only really justifythis. This expansion to the board when we had proved things out incrementallyand that's probably an approach everyone should take. I mean we alllove to move fast and break things and- and you know, throw things t thelolancee whith sticks. But ultimately I mean we have business goals, we need tohit and we can't be now continually tweit. I mean if you should becontinually tweaking as you moved forward, but but it's good to havethose processes in place that are known to work, s yeah and Sosorry, and it'snot to say like the the first process that we put in place. You know we spenttwo months really hammering process up front, and I think you know in thefuture I will. I will do that. Every single place that I go just because ofhow effective it was here and it was, it was the same way an it was the sameway at our last company. We did this with. We knew by the time we werehiring the first person that we had a version one and, like you said, youhave to continue iterating, but instead of having to build up that firstversion of a of a handbook of objection, hambling of sales copy, the things thatjust are not the best time for a salesperson to be spending their timeon those people should be outselling. Most people should be sending emails.ASE people should be fielding the...

...reactions of the market, and so we sawa huge return having at least the V one that we could iterate on once we haveother people involved and what are some of those things. Soif someone is listening to you going yea all right, this all sounds great. Iwant to do this before. I start hiring people. What are some of the thingsthat go into that that V, one of the playbook AAn. You mentioned objectionhandling, but let's really get down like into the tactical stuff yeah Imean we basically started Tommy our cofounder in Berlin had donea lot of the leg work by building up an awesome demo process, and you know.Luckily we have some. We have some special things. We have kind of aproductized demoprocess, where we can show the value of our products beforewe're even under an engagement with the company, so that was a first advantage,but I think, having a textack ready to go, that's not getting gutted as you'regoing in the first six months with your reps. you know we pulled out half ofthe tools. Tha, the that the German team was using in order to optimize forthe more heavily email, centric linked en centric type of outbound, that wewere doing. You know down to simple things like having sales and navigatorin place. It was just you have to have those things ready so when they walk inthey're enabled to do their job, but how this took form was just formo oflong form handbooks for each level. So originally we built out accountexecutive and SDR, and these basically have a flow of tools, a breakout onwhat each one of those do kind of from a higher level, how they lave togetherand then operationally. What Youre expected day to day looks like so wedid tnot both for the both of espr level and the count executive level,and to this day, we're two years in now with with fourteen people on the on thesales team alone, there's probably not a single week that those thosedocuments don't get modified and...

...updated with the the most recentprocess, wwe're always trying to tweak things out in know. We hear about newcompetitors. We hear about new objections. Each rep can contribute to those, so itbecomes kind of you know we're a crowd source testing company and we can. Wecan kind of start crowd sourcing, our documentation. I think that's animportant takeaway there is that these these things are constantly beingupdated so that you are adapting to the marketplace somewone of a livingdocument. I does kind of throw me off a little bit when you say everyone cancontribute, because you never know I mean I guess you track changes on thesedots but yeah, but when everyone's throwin stuff in and get have you seenit get muddled, yeah, definitely, and that was a learning process of howpeople can contribute. So we've gone back and forth from you can straightedit, the document. So you can comment. You know we run it all on Google Docks.So we have the full history and we can revert changes if we need to. Butultimately, these documents really benefit everyone, so they're, prettyeveryone's, pretty careful if they're, if they're going to make any changesand if they are going to make more structural changes or they want to makebig ones, we run them through together. Tasdrs meet specifically on a, I think,every other week with the RSDR manager, who is tweaking the outbound sequences that wehave using. You know the the data that we get from out reach on on what iseffective and then we're updating the process that goes alongside that withupdated qualification processes were doing an account based transition rightnow and so they're definitely living documents, and we try to stay aheadwith the documentations. So when we bring these new people in that aregenerally in their maybe first or second job out of college, they atleast can come in on day one and have a fairly clear picture of what exactly isexpected to them and how they can get to that point of promotion and that'sbeen th. The point of promotion is a...

...key part of the document too, butthat's that's been something that's more recently than been out of that was.That was not on our minds in the beginning. I think that's great, I mean as an SDR you come in, and especiallythese days, people want to advance quickly, they want recognition and theywant to know exactly how to do that. So the fact that you've built that in nowto your process, I think t is a big win on your endand- will probably help yourecruiting a lot. Everyone listening go work from Max, there's a way to getadvancement there. Let's talk about those New People that maybe have noexperience or have one sales job. Where do you find them now? Do they? Who Dothey? Look like t what are the traits that they have yeah? So I mean we havea crazy bunch of SDRs. We have. We have former an athletes. We have GAL with amasters from Oxford. A guy was the masters from Pal Berkeley. I would sayour number one attribute we just look for is raw intelligence and ar we'vereally developed an interviewing process that calls that trade out andkind of we have two mottos just throughout throughout the US officethat we that we say all the time, GSD and Fio get shit done and figure it out,and that's a that's really what our whole interview process is built aroundand then what we expect in the office. You know those are the key things tothe paths Pootian. If you can really contribute, get your job done andfigure things out on the fly, because in a start of environment we can builda process all day and it's definitely good to have those documents in place,but they don't cover everything, they're, never going to covereverything and if they do you're, probably spending too much time there.So we we try to Keyin on that early on anetorview process to scream for those people, I'm tempted to have you put methrough the raw intelligence test, but I was out out a little late last night.I don't want to fail this on the...

PODCAST, but but maybe give us a littletaste of kind of some of the things that you do during an Intervieyou makesure y. u you find the right people yeah absolutely, so I think the thebiggest thing that we have done that has screened people out five minutesinto into onside interviews, as well as Hawdos walking out of interviews,knowing that we are going to write and offer shortly thereafter is putting ina standardized exercise. That is, that is similar to what we expect the thescrs to do so. A lot of these people have no sale skills. No formal salestrading coming out of college, most of our folks are coming out of college, sostarts with a standardized phone screen where we're talking about things likewhat was your first success that you remember what was the first time thatyou took a risk? Do you consider yourself competitive? You know the mostinteresting thing that you have learned lately, that kind of digs into the theintellectual nature of the person, if they're, if they like, exploring newthings t if they like digging into things that they don't know about, andthen so we generally do first level screen with SCR manager. I do thesecond level and then, every time before we hire someone, we have them dothis. This onsite exercise it's a bit gruling. We have our CEO comes in onsome of them. My Bosson in Belin will come in on some of them and itbasically goes. We give the Canada, you know a background on the types ofcompanies that we that we work with and they have to prepare a list of. Youknow three to five companies that they would reach out to the Peope. Well,they would reach out to and the mess ging, something that we see and havereally been able to scream. For with that was college students just aren'ttaught to send business emails. You know they're not taught to caocantthey're, not taught to communicate how people communicate and that becomesthat becomes really difficult to you know it's something th t you can teachover time, but the people that are...

...coming out of college with that skillthat understand that they are talking to humans really have a key advantagein this process. So we do a couple questions that are alittle bit out of the box and I'm not I'm just just palling up the theexercise here. Ow these, like, like the Google questions they used to do forinterview process, is like how many pianos are in Chicago Noti mean not not specifically, weleave it actually pretty open ended. You know we say like we like. We talkedabout. We askd why this company would be a good fit for testio titles, howyou reach out to them, and then we ask some just general market informationand how you think the market is trending and why we fit in, and thenthis is the single question that probably I'm going to get get take someheat for Sana Poi'm not going to have to leap this out later. I don't think so, but I'm probablygoing to take some heat for divolging this one, but it is, it is tell ussomething about our marketor competitors. We don't know or couldn'teasily find out, and that is the single question that really lets us know. Ifsomeone kind of matches that figure it out mentality in the office, becauseyou know it is a really hard question. If I ask you on the street right now totell me something about the market or test io that that isn't easilyaccessible yeah, you can go find some things in Google. You can do thebaseline. You know search our website and find some obscure blog article, butthe the ones that have really really stood out have been really under thesurface responses where someone has you know, maybe talkd to one of ourcompetitors or found something found something out about individuals orleadership at our competitors or general market trends that are notsurface level things, and if they can do that in an interview setting withoutknowing much about testio. It's a...

...really good sign that they're going tobe able to bring out the types of insights that when I'm going through myemail in the morning, and I see tensdr emails. If someone really digs into mybackground and finds under the surface, you know top level surface stuff,probably not going to you know. I see your head of sales, that's probably notgoing to do it, but if someone goes through and really really gets to knowme and talks to me about why th their solution could help those are the kindsof people were looking for and that's that's what that process helps usidentify. Yeah I mean it not only is a fantastic indicate or how they're goingto perfom it their job, but really that's just a skill you should havewhen interviewing for sales positions. You need to do your research, Yep,absolutely and Youd. I mean this. PODCAST mostly will be listened to bysales leaders, but it's it is no surprise to any of them that a lot oftimes it is a surprising proportion of candidates that do not do theirresearch well enough for interviews and end up costing themselves jobs, and Ithink screening for that upfront and the willingness to commit some time andeffort to an interview process. It's interesting that that is adifferentiator for candidates, but it really is- and you see the you see, thepolar opposite sides of the Spectrim as you interview it skall. What are someof the weird things people have uncovered about either your company oryou during the interview process. They bring up that you're like how how thehell did you find that out. We found out that one of the one of thecofounders of our one of our competitors, parties with with Kanyaand there was a picture that was that was brought and printed and pushedacross the table. U We have like a private investigator,you know or something like that, like like SOM, really its SOM. Really, youknow verging on creeping, but we you know S, it was. It was a funny one, OhGosh. What are some others yeah? I can't think of any off thetop of myhead, but but the's that one that one...

...was a that O was a highlight that wastalked about for a while at the company and did that person get the job thatperson got the job and that person that person is still with us. I was waitingfor and that person is me or something like that Max. If our podcast listeners couldtake one thing away from this episode, What would that be? What's the messageyou want to leave them with? I think you know, as as we talked about the getting the process in early, is hugelyimportant, but you got to find the right people, so those two things arehand in hand. I don't think one is more important than the other make sure thatyou have your hands dirty and that you know that things are going to work andthat you're setting those people up for success. No one has left the company ontheir own volition, since we have started hiring here, because we enablepeople from day one to be successful and to be on a path promotion inthroughout the sales team and throughout the customer success team.So I think if you give, if you give smart people an opportunity and yougive them the tools to be successful, it's been a winning success formula forus. I just want to touch on that a little bit more. No one has left thecompany since putting these processes in place. That's that's incrediblebecause the average ten year of NSRS, like fourteen months and same thingwith Aes, like that, that's just something that you should be superproud, op yeah. It is, it is definitely something that were that we take a lotof PRIDETON. You know, we've had tbeen a couple, people that have not workedout just performance or you know, sales was not for them, but from the core orour metrics, for success and for Etention are our way above the theindustry standards, and I think you know that goes. That goes to theculture that we've built and and just the general you know, nature of wereally really take a lot of pride in enabling people for success and investa lot in the smart people that we bring...

...on board. I think that's a whole notherepisode. I think I have to have you back on to like dig in to just. I thinkpeople would be amazed to hear or to experience the level of sincess you hadand like fighting off attrition and having people hop jobs. I think that'sfantastic, so maybe we should have you back on to just talk more about that.I'd be happy to this been fun. WEL HAVE OUR OUR SBR manager come on to just somaybe he can hear a few things next to people wanted to get a hold ofyou. How can they do that? Yeah, probably hopefully, hopefully don'tregret this one, but backs at Tes, Tio, nice and Nice and easy nice and shortalways happy to help, especially on you know. We we've been longtime fans aboutreach and we have seen just a lot of value. I don't think I don't think wecould have done a lot of what we have done without without the data that thathas allowed us to act on so and just so. Everyone knows we didn'ttell him to say that we, you know not paying him to say that. So that'sunsolicited. Compliments O keep somebody mad big fan boy, wait I appreciate being on the showtoday- and I want to thank you and I whent, to think our listeners fortuning in once again, and we will see you next time on the sales engagementpodcast. Thank you all right. Thank you. This was another episode of the salesengagement, podcast joinus at sales, engagementcom for new episodes,resources and the book on sales engagement coming soon to get the mostout of your sales engagement strategy, make sure to check out ow reach to iothe leading sales engagement platform, see you on the next episode.

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