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PODCAST 30: How High Performing Sales Teams Scale past $50 Million ARR w/ Matt Millen

Sam Jacobs

October 22nd, 2018

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This week on the Sales Hacker podcast, we chat with Matt Millen, SVP of Revenue at Outreach.io.

Matt is a longtime sales executive having worked at large companies like T-Mobile and even sold at Tony Robbins. Matt walks us through his playbook for building high-performing sales teams and how to build the right kind of culture and sales mentality.  

If you missed episode 29, check it out here: PODCAST 29: This CEO Isn’t Focused On Gross Retention, And That’s A Good Thing

What You’ll Learn

  • What is SAM – Story, Attitude, Mindset
  • Telling great stories in sales and using those to drive revenue
  • Having a winner’s attitude and using optimism to drive growth
  • What EDM and Sales have in common
  • How to establish credibility with the buyer

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Show Agenda and Timestamps

  1. Show Introduction [0:09]
  2. About Matt Millen: An Introduction [2:56]
  3. What Racing At Daytona And Selling Have In Common [6:56]
  4. Establish Credibility As Part Of Your Storytelling Method [9:54]
  5. The Evolution Of Activity And How To Be Effective Within Those Activities [14:58]
  6. Mindset Comes Down To Your Beliefs, Attitude, Action, Passion, Conviction [20:42]
  7. How Matt Views The Risks Involved In Hiring A Sales Manager [36:23]

Sales Hacker Podcast—Sponsored by Aircall and Outreach

Sam Jacobs: Hey folks. So, welcome back to this week’s episode. We’ve got Matt Millen, SVP of Revenue for Outreach.io, one of our sponsors.

We have a great conversation with Matt. He talks all about how he developed his own sales methodology called SAM, which is: Storytelling, Activity, Mindset.

Really great insight. Particularly around attitude, storytelling and the keys to telling a good story and engaging a buyer on the phone.

Now, let me tell you about our sponsors this week. Our two favorite sponsors in the world. The first is Aircall. It’s a phone system designed for the modern sales team. Aircall is a really outstanding phone system that seamlessly integrates into your CRM, eliminating data entry for your reps and providing you with greater visibility into your team’s performance through advanced reporting.

Also, we want to thank Outreach.io, the leading sales engagement platform. They triple the productivity of sales teams and empower them to drive predictable and measurable revenue growth by prioritizing the right activities and scaling customer engagement with intelligent automation. 

And, without further ado. Let’s listen to this week’s episode with Matt Millen from Outreach.

About Matt Millen: An Introduction

Sam Jacobs: I’m super excited this week. We’ve got the head of revenue for one of the fastest growing companies in the world and one of the leaders in the sales engagement space and sales technology space. That company is none other than our sponsor, Outreach.

Let me tell you a little bit about Matt Millen before we dive into the interview.

Matt is currently the SVP of Revenue at Outreach. He has a distinguished and amazing career in sales at big companies and small companies and even at sales training companies. Now, he’s at Outreach and he’s overseeing one of the fastest growing businesses in the US.

Welcome, Matt, to the show.

Matt Millen: Thank you, Sam and great to be here.

What Racing At Daytona And Selling Have In Common

Sam Jacobs: How did you get into sales? What was your first job?

Matt Millen: I actually started both my first sales job, and I started my first addiction. I’ll tell you about the addiction first.

I started competitively driving race cars and within 10 years, I had been to Daytona International Speedway four times.

I learned three things on the track that really stuck with me. There’s more bad luck than good luck on a racetrack.

So, how do you take control of all the chaos?

  1. I controlled was how good of a driver I was. How much was I gonna invest in my skills?
  2. I controlled how much money I invested in my equipment. How much money my sponsor invested in the car which, inevitably, allowed me to drive faster, stop quicker, turn sharper, and keep me safe.
  3. I controlled how much I prepared for each race.

And then I get to sales. And I quickly realized that there is more bad luck than good luck in selling. I realized there were three things that I controlled as I worked my way into sales.

  1. The words that come out of my mouth. The conversations that I have, the stories that I tell. The better my conversations, the better my success.
  2. How I spent my time. The actions and the activities that I took all day long had a big impact. The harder I worked, the luckier I got.
  3. My attitude toward the business. How I approached the day. Everything from my attitude toward my commitment of hitting my number, to my attitude of the products that I represented, and how fiercely I competed.

I came up with a methodology that I call SAM; Story, Activity, and Mindset. Really thinking about the stories I tell, the activities I take, and my attitude toward the business.

Establish Credibility As Part Of Your Storytelling Method

Sam Jacobs: What makes a great story and talk through the methodology of choosing the right words to tell that story.

Matt Millen: I want to share one dimension of story that I think makes a very big impact. We are professional interrupters. As we’re dialing out and making contact, we are usually interrupting somebody, with good cause. We’ve gotta grab their attention, hold their attention and then do something with that attention.

They’ve got to make a decision–“Am I going to entrust you to tackle that problem? It’s the right problem that you’ve called to solve, but why you?”

What I have found with many sales development reps is that credibility is established at the level of the company. “Here are other organizations that we solve problems for.”

The best sales development reps also establish credibility within themselves. SDRs, whether you’re making 50, 70 whatever number of dials a day, one of the ways to establish credibility is to share what you encounter when you make connections off those 50, 70, whatever number of touches a day.

Don’t ever say, “I just need five minutes of your time”.

Don’t ever minimize the value of the commitment necessary to do the right work.

RELATED: Storytelling Success: Why Some Reps Are Dynamite and Some Aren’t

The Evolution Of Activity And How To Be Effective Within Those Activities

Sam Jacobs: The SAM framework is story, activity, mindset. Tell us about activity and structuring your day in the right way to maximize productivity.

Matt Millen: Activity is evolving. Like, what we think about. When I started selling in the late ’80s, there was no such thing as email. There was no internet. We had no mobile technology whatsoever.

We think about the evolution of activity as we’ve had different mediums. Next, we had email, then we had the internet for both getting information and socially interacting. And we continued to evolve. The call out is how you create touchpoints and spend your time with your prospects.

Meet them where they’re at and really understand the personas you’re going after and where they respond to different touches.

What’s happening, Sam, is that habits and bias are being replaced by insights and data. There’s so much activity going on that data science and machine whirring can give us; what to do, when to do it, and who to do it with. We have the insights available to be much more precise and, quite frankly, much more effective with the actions and the activities that we’re taking each and all day.

Mindset Comes Down To Your Beliefs, Attitude, Action, Passion, Conviction

Sam Jacobs: So, we’ve got story. We’ve got activity. Talk to us about the right mindset.

Matt Millen: Mindset comes down to your underlying beliefs and to your attitude.

You can have an attitude like I feel fully trained and ready to go do what I need to do. I’m 100% accountable for the numbers that I have signed up for. These are beliefs that translate into an attitude. When you have an attitude like that, you are gonna go behave in a certain way.

Those behaviors are your action layer–what you do and how you do it. That action layer will spin off a result, which is your performance. That performance is going to reinforce your attitude.

“I’ve got a strong attitude, it’s on a foundation of these beliefs, I’m ready. I own it. I represent a great product that solves a real problem. And it’s my moral imperative that I take this to market today.”

When I have that belief structure, with that attitude, my story is told with passion and conviction. I put even more energy into that cycle and that becomes a success cycle. It doesn’t just work in sales. This could work in your relationships. This can work in your spirituality. This can work in your finances.

It can also work the other way. You could go in with a crap attitude and how is that gonna impact? How seriously and how much energy you’re putting into your action layer that day? How much passion and conviction is resonating in your story? Not much.

Your mindset is a decision that you make in life about anything you’re gonna go do. It’s your choice. Nobody else’s.

An unstoppable mindset is the un-competitive advantage.

How Matt Views The Risks Involved In Hiring A Sales Manager

Sam Jacobs: So, you’re reaching the point where the span of control is being stretched and you’re gonna need a sales manager. And then the question is, who becomes the sales manager? Do you hire from the outside and risk contaminating the culture, or do you promote from within? And if you promote from within, are you taking one of your top reps? And, if so, how do you think about losing that productivity? There’s a bunch of questions in there, but it’s trying to figure out who are the leaders in the organization going to be and how do you rationalize the loss of productivity in an individual basis out to the team.

Matt Millen: You asked an amazing question. It really stems on philosophy. There’s no right answer here. Anytime you’re thinking about promoting someone or hiring someone, it comes down to risk. If I bring someone from the outside, there’s a risk to the culture. It’s a risk they’re not all that they claim to be.

Promoting from within. There’s the risk of losing the production associated with the top rep. There’s the risk that they’ve never led people before. There’s all these risks on both sides. But, think about your career. At every point in time, someone took a chance on you. Your first job, you never worked before. Our whole career; your career, my career, most of the people listening, we owe it to all the people that took a chance on us.

Sam Jacobs:  I love it. Matt, this has been a real pleasure.

Matt Millen: Great to be with you, Sam

Sam’s Corner

Sam Jacobs: Hey team. It’s Sam’s Corner. That was a great conversation with Matt Millen. What can we take away from Matt’s conversation and Matt’s insights?

He talks about the power of mindset and how you have to perspective of abundance, not scarcity. Life is not a zero sum game, and certainly capitalism, definitionally, is not zero sum. I think there’s lots of people that succeed with a scarcity mindset, with assuming that the only way to win is by taking from you. But, it’s a lot less fun. And it makes you a miserable human being. It’s a lot better to assume that there’s abundance for great things in the world. And that you can give of the world and not expect anything in return and if you keep working hard, you’ll get good things back to you.  

Don’t Miss Episode 31

We want to lastly thank our sponsors. That’s Aircall, as we know, they are the advanced call center software, complete business phone and contact center, 100% natively integrated into any CRM. And, Outreach, a customer engagement platform that efficiently and effectively gauges prospects to drive more pipeline and close more deals.

If you wanna find me or check out the show notes, see upcoming guests or play more episodes from our incredible line up of sales leaders, visit www.saleshacker.com/podcast-subscribe. You can also find the Sales Hacking podcast on iTunes or Stitcher. And tell every single person that you know (and all the animals that you know) about the Sales Hacker Podcast. We wanna spread the word. If you want to get in touch with me, find my social handles in my bio below.

Until next time, I’ll talk to you then.

This is a sponsored guest post from a Sales Hacker partner.

About the author

Sam Jacobs

Sam Jacobs is the Founder of Aqueduct Revenue Advisors and the New York Revenue Collective and regarded as one of the top start-up CROs in the tech community. He has has over 15 years of experience scaling companies from post-revenue to ~$300M, has helped raise over $400M in institutional capital, and has helped companies of all sizes achieve an average annualized revenue growth rate of 48% over the last 15 years.

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