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I'm Lauren Bailey AKA LB, Founder of Factor 8 & #GirlsClub, Ask Me Anything

Hello Sales Hackers!

I'm LB, I’m the Founder of Factor 8 & #GirlsClub.

I’ve led sales teams for 20+ years and have worked as both the Director of Sales and the Director of Training while traveling the world to launch Inside Sales teams at companies like IBM and SAP. My mission is to change lives by helping more people find confidence and success in sales.

In my free time, I enjoy watersports, yoga, international travel, and cold beer. I will answer questions on September 30, 2020 at 1PM EST for 1 Hour. What questions do you have for me?

Learn more about Factor 8’s award-winning virtual sales training right here: https://factor8.com/
For more information on #GirlsClub’s sales leadership program for women, head here: https://wearegirlsclub.com/

How's the AMA work?

You submit ANY question for our guest and at the time of the AMA you come back and check out the answers as she replies.

Why submit your question NOW?!

The earliest submitted questions are almost guaranteed to get answers, so if you want to make sure you get answers from LB, submit your ? NOW

 

Pre-AMA Interview Questions

a) As an advocate for women in sales and technology, what is something that women can do to better advocate for themselves and their success?

We can initiate career conversations early.  It’s 100% normal to ask about career paths, growth and promotion opportunities as early as the interview and as often as a quarterly 1:1!  I’ve learned that as women, we’re hard-wired and often nurtured to aim for perfection instead of embrace risk-taking.  That means we don’t raise our hands to get new opportunities until we feel 100% (or more) ready for them.

Unfortunately, when we wait until then, it’s too late.  WE know we’re the best person for the job, but the powers that be around us may not even know we’re interested, and they may already be working with or thinking about someone else.

Then we often vote this displeasure with our employment instead of our voice.  We feel undervalued, dejected, pissed off!  We check out or we leave.

The advice is to avoid all of this and let our bosses, coaches, mentors, and advocates know early that we’re someone who’s interested in growing with the company and earning the right to move up.  Note we didn’t say we were READY, but we did make it clear we want to be considered and we’ll do the work to get there.

Final advice.  When you’re THINKING about the next step, that’s when you raise your hand again.  We have got to stop waiting to be 100% ready!  I find that when women talk to me about MAYBE being ready for management that they’re actually ready.  Truth: Most people take on the next challenge, job, etc. when they’re between 50-70% prepared.  Trust yourself and your track record that you’ll get the rest of the way there!  Trust your bosses and colleagues to support you and give you the room to fail forward!  You got this.

b) What skill most contributed to your success in sales and how would you advise someone to improve that skill today

Truth be told, I’ve spent more time in sales training and sales leadership than in sales over the past 20 years, but it’s the same skill for all three positions:  Translation.

I use my ability to connect with others and understand their needs, wants, motivators, and situation + my knowledge (my solutions, my experience, my goals, etc.) to connect the two.   If you drew a picture of connecting the two circles…it might look like an 8 – Factor 8!

I translate their challenge into our solution and end state (selling)

I translate their performance into a behavior change and skill (training)

I translate their drivers into helping achieve our joint goals (leadership)

It’s all about making connections.  Between people, between ideas, between solutions, and so forth.  If you read Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell a million years ago he talked about “connectors” as a personality type.  That’s me!

Listen, sometimes sales still scares me.  Especially when I’m selling my own company, my own services, heck the curriculum I wrote myself!  It’s a confidence thing.  I’m still working on it.  When I approach my sales day with the outlook that I’m helping people and making connections, it feels a lot easier than focusing on getting the wins or the money.  My best days are when a take ten minutes to align with my values first.  Then I go kick some ass.

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    • Profile picture of Katie Ray
      @katie_ray
      ( 1.5k POINTS )
      3 weeks, 6 days ago

      Hi Lauren! What have been your biggest challenges when starting an inside sales team at a large company?

      • Profile picture of Lauren Bailey
        @lauren-bailey
        ( 870 POINTS )
        2 weeks, 5 days ago

        as a leader the toughie is getting to process definition. You get the building, the tech, the people (deep breath) and now…what and how do they do it!? There’s a LOT in a start up, but the buzz and they payoff is tremendous!

        Bonus answer: most virtual start-ups are transitioning from field or channel to direct inside selling. That makes the challenge buy-in. NOT from the customers (they love virtual!) but from the internal leaders who’ve been selling the same way for twenty years!

        • Profile picture of Catherine Robles
          @catherinerobles
          ( 590 POINTS )
          2 weeks, 5 days ago

          So true!
          We all have to adjust to so many things at the speed of light these days.

    • Profile picture of Katie Ray
      @katie_ray
      ( 1.5k POINTS )
      3 weeks, 6 days ago

      What got you thinking about starting Girls Club?

      • Profile picture of Lauren Bailey
        @lauren-bailey
        ( 870 POINTS )
        2 weeks, 5 days ago

        aw girl, the long or the short answer? 😉 I was asked to speak on my 27th panel about why there aren’t more women in sales leadership and I just couldn’t sign up for the same circular discussion. I knew my theory: lack of confidence. So I thought, “Hey, I train sales managers how to do their jobs. I can help with this!” From there it grew to adding curriculum on developing self confidence, a chance to work with a mentor, and showcasing real women leaders as role models.

        And of course every year it grows some more. #GirlsClub trainings are ALWAYS my favorite hour of the day. What an incredible group of women.

        BTW, applications are open TOMORROW October 1. And I’ll post the link here a day early. We expect seats to fill up fast!!

    • Profile picture of Mary Green 🔹
      @marygreencny
      ( 5.5k POINTS )
      3 weeks, 5 days ago

      Luckily, as time goes on, more men want to stand up and contribute to the movement for equality. What are 3-5 things men can do to make changes within their organizations to make a positive impact for diversity and inclusion?

      • Profile picture of Lauren Bailey
        @lauren-bailey
        ( 870 POINTS )
        2 weeks, 5 days ago

        great question @marygreencny!
        1. Encourage a female on your team to take a risk – a project, leading a meeting, doing an executive presentation, or applying for management. Women WAIT to be asked where men don’t. It will mean a LOT for her confidence, engagement, and retention with you!

        2. Reduce the number of items on your job postings. Women won’t apply unless they meet all of them, and let’s be frank for most of us the posting is a wish list. Keep it simple, you’ll get more female applicants!

        3. Women and all protected classes don’t love the “onlyness” of being outnumbered. Bring in more than a token please. Help me find my tribe. Have an open conversation with me about a safe place to give my input and have my voice heard (studies show we won’t speak up unless we’re in a majority!)

        Darn it. One more. Check. Your. Salaries. It’s not intentional, but we’re still at under 80 cents on the dollar. This is closer to 60 cents for women of color. DOH! Make it right and you’ll have an employee and fan for life.

        Shameless plug: get involved in #GirlsClub. Each year we have about fifty men as advocates, mentors, and allys. We LOVE these men!

    • Profile picture of Colin Campbell
      @colin-campbell
      ( 4.9k POINTS )
      3 weeks, 5 days ago

      Hey @lauren-bailey!

      I love that your personal mission statement is so clear.

      I’ve been thinking about my own (or lack thereof) lately.

      How long did it take you to arrive that that? Was it a process, or a single “lightbulb” moment?

      • Profile picture of Lauren Bailey
        @lauren-bailey
        ( 870 POINTS )
        2 weeks, 5 days ago

        Hey Colin!!! Oh, it’s definitely a process. Truth is we’ve talked about “Changing lives” as a team for YEARS, but it took time to have the confidence in myself and my brand to say it out loud. My advice is screw that: You know your secret sauce. You, my friend have several. So what lights you up and gets you working on the weekend? That’s your mission. Don’t use it as a sales tool, use it as a statement of passion, a differentiator, a way to attract a like-minded tribe. As Seth Godin says, “Let your freak flag fly!” 🙂

    • Profile picture of Joe Latchaw
      @jlatchaw85
      ( 2.7k POINTS )
      3 weeks, 5 days ago

      @lauren-bailey thanks for being here! What led you to Sales? Was it taking a chance on a job or is it something you were raised up in?

      • Profile picture of Lauren Bailey
        @lauren-bailey
        ( 870 POINTS )
        2 weeks, 5 days ago

        @jlatchaw85atchaw85 both. My dad was an enterprise software seller and I learned the art of influence early. My part time jobs were retail sales and I loved being #1. I didn’t want a career in it though. I was studying international business and management and psychology in school.

        Enter the job search: 75% of openings are in sales! I liked it but didn’t love it (hated my boss). So for the next transition I decided to go for management. THERE was a fit. I enjoyed “selling” the ideas and behavior change to my team more than the products to clients.

        Now I highly recommend sales as a profession. Think of the challenge, the creativity, the chances to help, to win! AND the chance to earn more for being great, have more flexibility, and TONS of job prospects. I’ve found my forever home. 🙂 Hope you have too!

        • Profile picture of Catherine Robles
          @catherinerobles
          ( 590 POINTS )
          2 weeks, 5 days ago

          LOVE IT! 💙
          Sales is awesome, it is not about making others buy or use your product/service but it is so much more than that – really connecting and helping others be better; you can be creative, you can have fun, you don’t need to be anyone else but you!

    • Profile picture of Caleb Hadley
      @c4-hadley
      ( 210 POINTS )
      3 weeks, 1 day ago

      Hi Lauren,
      In relation to your answer to question b), what are the best ways to improve these skills? And do you have any recommendation for someone who just entered the role?

      • Profile picture of Lauren Bailey
        @lauren-bailey
        ( 870 POINTS )
        2 weeks, 5 days ago

        hey @c4-hadley I don’t see question B! Sorry. I see you’re a new SDR and I LOVE training this role. My advice on key skills follows:

        1. Get great at voicemail. It’s the result of 80% of your calls right? A good one can triple your call backs – it’s like getting another full day of sales out of your week (check for my tips here at SalesHacker!)

        2. Perfect your intro. It’s not the time to sell, instead focus on getting your prospect talking.

        3. Promise not to pitch until you’ve asked at least 5 questions and gotten them engaged.

        The goal of the SDR call is NOT the meeting. It’s ENGAGEMENT. If you do this well, the RESULT is the meeting. 😉

        Knock em dead my friend!

        • Profile picture of Catherine Robles
          @catherinerobles
          ( 590 POINTS )
          2 weeks, 5 days ago

          🎯

        • Profile picture of Devon Banks
          @devon
          ( 1.2k POINTS )
          1 week, 5 days ago

          I leave about 20 voicemails a day, so I will definitely be checking out your tips. Thank you!

    • Profile picture of AJ Kneip
      @ajkneip64
      ( 310 POINTS )
      3 weeks ago

      Hi @lauren-bailey,

      Thanks for doing this!

      What book would you point a brand-new SDR toward to instantly up their Sales game?

      • Profile picture of Lauren Bailey
        @lauren-bailey
        ( 870 POINTS )
        2 weeks, 5 days ago

        @ajkneip64 my pleasure! I haven’t ben an SDR in a while, but leaders AND reps should all read Trish Bertuzzi’s Sales Development Playbook. Books that shaped my philosophy were oldies: Value Selling, Question based selling, Customer Centric Selling. Jill Konrath’s SNAP Selling is a must, and I love Shari Levitin’s Heart and Sell and Andrea Waltz’s Go For No.

        Truth: you won’t learn how to sell from a book though. It will give you GREAT ideas, but then you need to practice it, get some coaching, listen to yourself, and turn your desk into your own personal lab. You got this!

    • Profile picture of Emily Russell
      @emily-olark
      ( 190 POINTS )
      3 weeks ago

      Hi Lauren 🙂 We’re looking for our first ever sales hire. What are three traits or skills a great salesperson must have? What are three red flags to look out for when hiring?

      • Profile picture of Lauren Bailey
        @lauren-bailey
        ( 870 POINTS )
        2 weeks, 5 days ago

        Hi Emily! I go for the 3 C’s when hiring:
        1. Curiosity – or they’ll be product pushers not conversationalists. See what they’ve learned about your company and what else they love to learn about.

        2. Confidence. Sales is a confidence sport! Listen for tenative language or tone, hunt for evidence of some risk taking, dig into the phone screen.

        3. Coachability. Critical! Here’s how we do it: Step 1: sales role play (they pick the product). Step 2: we pause and give coaching. Step 3: do it again.

        You’ll be surprise how many reps don’t take the feedback well and how many can’t pivot and adjust to the coaching. These are not long-term successful sellers.

        Good luck! Remember, keep your job posting “list” light so you get more candidates and more femail candidates!

    • Profile picture of Annika Ehrig
      @girheakinna
      ( 380 POINTS )
      3 weeks ago

      How did you know that sales management- not just sales development, was for you?

      How would you advise young women in sales to get into sales management?

      • Profile picture of Lauren Bailey
        @lauren-bailey
        ( 870 POINTS )
        2 weeks, 5 days ago

        @girheakinna this is my fave question! 🙂
        1. I’m going to steal advice from Anna Baird (Outreach CRO and #GirlsClub Thought Leader): try mentoring someone. If you loooooooove it, mangement is for you. A few other cues:

        1. you’re the person who helps the newbie
        2. you love giving positive feedback when you hear a great call
        3. you constantly see ways to make things better
        4. you’re more excited about a lightbulb moment than a sale.

        If you’re THINKING about management, it’s likely for you. The rest of the hesitation could just be fear. Tots normal my friend.

        How to get in? (I’m dying to plug #GirlsClub here, that’s why I created it! OK, so apparently just did it). Start here:

        1. have a conversation with your boss about your career. Mention your interest in someday getting this role and ask for her advice on what you can do to get there.

        2. Repeat this conversation twice a year.

        3. Seek out 3 key people: a mentor, an advocate, and a role model. The mentor may be outside your company and will love and advise you for years. An advocate is above you at your current company – maybe directly, maybe sideways. You’ll call them a mentor, but frankly their job is to be your advocate when you’re not it the room. Your role model is someone you admire in a similar role in a similar fashion as you. I pick super authentic women who aren’t trying to be perfect and who are out there kicking butt.

        Hope this helps! Feel free to DM me on #GirlsClub.

    • Profile picture of Katie Ray
      @katie_ray
      ( 1.5k POINTS )
      3 weeks ago

      @aussieg just asked a great question about SDRs/Inside Sales Teams that I know your perspective would be appreciated on!
      He is wondering what outreach channels would you suggest for those teams to use when prospecting (email, phone, LI, etc.) and what amount of activities should be done on each of the channels?

      • Profile picture of Lauren Bailey
        @lauren-bailey
        ( 870 POINTS )
        2 weeks, 5 days ago

        @aussieg we got to use them all, don’t we? The way I see it, social and email are marketing – brand / product / company / me awareness. Nobody actually BUYS on these, but it makes our calls warmer.

        The actual selling happens with a sales call. Then it probably moves to a zoom call, but we need the conversation for the selling.

        What amount for each? Yikes, it’s different for every market, industry, product (the list goes on). How about some minimums?

        For an “A” prospect I’d do a minimum of 2 social, 4 email, and 6 calls. We can go up from here! When the lead isn’t as hot, we can come down.

    • Profile picture of Ajibola Komolafe
      @ajibola_jk
      ( 320 POINTS )
      2 weeks, 6 days ago

      Hi @lauren-bailey!

      What are your top 3 strategies for successful prospecting and lead generation as a new SDR?

      Thanks!

      • Profile picture of Lauren Bailey
        @lauren-bailey
        ( 870 POINTS )
        2 weeks, 5 days ago

        @ajibola_jkbola, I recommend building or buying a list if you haven’t already. Data is getting cheaper and your talents are better spent on the phones than doing research. Anything you can do to shortcut the internet time and put more into the dial time will serve you!

        From there, be sure you try every lead at least 3 times. 6 is better.

        Finally, don’t fall in love with the listed contact. Use your PI skills to call other departments and learn critical info about your prospect rather than leaving 10 messages for the DM who may not even be there any more. It’s working smarter (and harder) 😉 advice. Go get em!

    • Profile picture of Devon Banks
      @devon
      ( 1.2k POINTS )
      2 weeks, 5 days ago

      Looking at the new remote climate, how has this changed training and development?

      • Profile picture of Lauren Bailey
        @lauren-bailey
        ( 870 POINTS )
        2 weeks, 5 days ago

        in so many ways, right!? You got to be 10x more engaging. We have to be creative to find ways to incresae interaction. We have to entice folks to want to train.

        Education has to be shorter (micro learning), more fun, easier to access, tactical, and easy to apply

        Wait, isn’t that what LevelJump does!? 😉

        Listen, we all grew up with CRAPPY virtual training. A talking powerpoint or video is NOT TRAINING everyone. Raise the bar.

        • Profile picture of Devon Banks
          @devon
          ( 1.2k POINTS )
          1 week, 5 days ago

          When you say “Raise the bar”, it also reminds me how we should never get stuck doing things a certain way. My first thought is using a platform like TikTok.

    • Profile picture of Devon Banks
      @devon
      ( 1.2k POINTS )
      2 weeks, 5 days ago

      I used to be in training and development and one of the biggest challenges for me was figuring out which activities were the most impactful. In your opinion, in sales training, which activities make the biggest difference and how do you measure the impact of training?

      • Profile picture of Lauren Bailey
        @lauren-bailey
        ( 870 POINTS )
        2 weeks, 5 days ago

        @devon (I LOVE LevelJump BTW). I love this topic. Last question first: always measure training by the impact to the business. I get Kirkpatric has four levels, but it’s only the last one that counts to anyone outside of training. Get the baselines and measure 3 times post training. Could be talk time, could be appointments set, could be tickets submitted for complaints…it’s different for every business. It starts with a conversation with your stakeholder and their desired outcomes / trigger events. Then look for evidence and collect baselines. Work backward from the desired results to determine the biggest behavior changes to get them. I teach outbound phone sales, and a few of my favorite activities are:

        1. Using call recordings to show a good / bad / ugly example of a skill I’m teaching so reps can hear from the POV of the customer.
        2. Using same recording to play the “pause game” where reps answer: 1. what is the customer thinking and 2. what would I do next.
        3. contest for getting the most info – pick an account and have reps go gather as much sales qualification, profile, and contact data they can in 20 minutes of calling.

        These teach resourcefulness, confidence, quick thinking, and customer focus. All of them reduce ramp time for new reps – my very favorite measurement.

        • Profile picture of Devon Banks
          @devon
          ( 1.2k POINTS )
          1 week, 5 days ago

          Thank you!! This is awesome. And I want to do this contest! (I, of course, love LevelJump too, and I really believe in it and it makes me so happy when I get on the phone with a prospect and know that we can help them. It is such a rush!)

    • Profile picture of Devon Banks
      @devon
      ( 1.2k POINTS )
      2 weeks, 5 days ago

      Gong came out with a report week “7 Laws of Highly Effective Sales Emails”. Curious what you have found makes the most effective sales emails and what are some of the most common mistakes?

      • Profile picture of Lauren Bailey
        @lauren-bailey
        ( 870 POINTS )
        2 weeks, 5 days ago

        short. direct. bullet points. catchy subject line. one question at the end with an easy reply. 🙂 (Mistakes? the opposite of all this! The paragraph, the pitch, the novel…)

    • Profile picture of Aleksandra
      @aandree
      ( 1.2k POINTS )
      2 weeks, 5 days ago

      Hi Lauren, it’s a great opportunity to be able to ask direct questions to such an experienced and devoted sales coach and a leader like yourself. So I’d love to know, how do you help entry-level SDRs stay motivated especially during challenging times? What are the top tips you’d share for any SDR to keep pushing their personal and professional development boundaries?

      • Profile picture of Lauren Bailey
        @lauren-bailey
        ( 870 POINTS )
        2 weeks, 5 days ago

        @aandree fun right!? 🙂
        I think the only way I’d survive that grind is to make it a game, so that’s what I advise. Dig into the process, the learning, the behaviors, and the trends with your team – NOT just the results. So instead of always talking about dials or meetings, what if you set out to. . .
        * See how many customers we can reach for great convos today
        * Learn what percent of our list has XYZ solution in place already?
        * Find moments of extreme persuasion, super persistency, ultimate connection, fast rapport…

        I think you get it. All of these are critical to selling, but what you’re doing is helping your team study their art, think critically about their conversations with customers, find trends in their business, and ultimately look forward to more dials and conversations! They also transform from being a number to being a scientist, a student, and a teacher!

        Mix it up, keep it fun, and coach your ever loving hear out! 🙂

    • Profile picture of Lauren Bailey
      @lauren-bailey
      ( 870 POINTS )
      2 weeks, 5 days ago

      OK, here we GO!!

      • Profile picture of Kim Dreyer
        @kimagfahealthcare
        ( 190 POINTS )
        2 weeks, 5 days ago

        Hi. How do I join the live event?

        • Profile picture of Catherine Robles
          @catherinerobles
          ( 590 POINTS )
          2 weeks, 5 days ago

          Hi @kimagfahealthcare
          Questions are posted above your post and Lauren is replying one by one.
          You can still post one and cross your fingers to make the cut 🙂

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