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PODCAST 94: Expert Management of a Remote Sales Team w/ Ellie Tamari

How to Manage a Remote Sales Team

This week on the Sales Hacker podcast, we speak with Ellie Tamari, the VP of North American Sales at Namogoo.

Today we are incredibly excited to have a recent friend, member of the Boston chapter of the Revenue Collective, and female sales leader that came to the role somewhat later in life — Ellie Tamari. Namogoo is a company that helps make sure that customers of e-commerce companies and retailers don’t get hijacked by malware during checkout., Over the past 20 years, Ellie has helped countless brands significantly move the needle by focusing on their customer’s online journey.

If you missed episode 93, check it out here: PODCAST 93: The Journey from 2x Founder to VC with Angus Davis.

What You’ll Learn

  • It’s never too late to start a career in sales leadership
  • Collaboration and culture is the way to manage a remote team
  • A manager is there to solve her team’s problems
  • Young women often aren’t aware about how perfect a fit sales leadership can be for them

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Show Agenda and Timestamps

  1. Show Introduction [00:09]
  2. About Ellie Tamari & Namogoo [2:24]
  3. Software Sales as a 2nd Career [9:00]
  4. Hiring & Managing a Remote Team [19:47]
  5. Ellie’s Management Philosophy [29:08]]
  6. More Female Sales Leaders [34:27]
  7. Paying It Forward [42:16]
  8. Sam’s Corner [45:56]

Show Introduction [0:09]

Sam Jacobs: Hey everybody, it’s Sam Jacobs. Welcome to the Sales Hacker podcast. Today, I’m excited to have on the show Ellie Tamari, the VP of North American Sales at Namogoo, a company that helps make sure that customers of e-commerce companies and retailers don’t get hijacked by malware during checkout.

The first sponsor that we have today is Vidyard. Email isn’t dead, but gosh, is it boring. Add video to your emails to stand out in the inbox for free with Vidyard. Vidyard helps you easily record, send, and track who’s viewing your video content in three simple steps. Go to Vidyard.com/SalesHacker for more information.

Our second sponsor is Outreach, the leading sales engagement platform that enables sales reps to humanize their communications at scale, from automating the soul-sucking manual work that eats up selling time to providing action-oriented tips on what communications are working best. Outreach has your back.

Now, without further ado, let’s listen to this interview with Ellie Tamari.

About Ellie Tamari & Namogoo [2:24]

Sam Jacobs: Welcome back to the Sales Hacker podcast!. Today we are incredibly excited to have a recent friend, member of the Boston chapter of the Revenue Collective, and female sales leader that came to the role somewhat later in life — Ellie Tamari, the VP of Sales at Namogoo. Over the past 20 years, she’s helped countless brands significantly move the needle by focusing on their customer’s online journey.

Ellie Tamari: Namogoo… People think it’s an acronym, or just a fun word. It actually has meaning. In Hebrew, it means to make things disappear, which is related to what we do since we make pesky ads and hijacking, and malware disappear on websites. Like every company that I’ve joined, and what I’m really passionate about, it is about customer experience. Thinking about customer experience, what most people don’t realize is we’ve reached a point where somewhere in the neighborhood of 20-25% of web and mobile browsers have browser and device level infections.

So, what Namogoo does, as the word actually means, is through a very sophisticated machine learning engine, we can make sure that when shoppers come to a website, they see it the way that it was built by the brand. When you’re going to any brand and you’re saying, “I’d like to introduce you to a problem you didn’t know you have, you didn’t budget for, you don’t know how it’s affecting you. But we can fix it,” it’s sometimes a more challenging sales cycle. The company out there that we speak to is making huge marketing investments and acquisition costs, driving people to their site, building that amazing brand image, brand integrity, seamless customer experience.

Software Sales as a 2nd Career [9:00]

Sam Jacobs: One of the things that you’ve said to me is, “It’s never too late to go into software sales. You’re actually better when you’re older.” How did you get into software sales? Walk us through the journey from Clicktale and Live Person, and how you ended up at Namogoo.

Ellie Tamari: Like everybody else, I had this negative view of sales, in that we all think about pesky sales people knocking on your door, carrying encyclopedias, or offering to sell ice to Eskimos. For me, I never wanted to be that person. Like a lot of women, I thought about wanting a career where I help people, or I help companies.

I started out going to business school thinking I wanted to be a consultant. I joined Arthur D. Little, and a consulting company, and started working with very large companies on consulting projects. From that world, I moved into starting my own business, which was in a completely different field. I ended up writing a business plan for the largest kitchen manufacturer in Germany and offering to them to set up a distribution network for them in the US. During that wonderful time, I was importing containers full of kitchens and closets. I had a chain of 12 stores around the US. We would market 600 kitchens to large condo buildings.

How did I end up in software and in sales later in life? It was 2009. I lost my business because every store, every franchise location I had was filing for bankruptcy. My brother said, “I think you should be in software sales. You’ve worked with large brands, and you have the right personality to make connections. I said, “Listen, I am 40. I have never been in software. I’ve never been in software sales.” He said, “Well actually, I know a guy.” The VP of Sales at Clicktale. I got my first role doing enterprise sales for Clicktale.

Hiring & Managing a Remote Team [19:47]

Sam Jacobs: Now you’re running a team, and you are the person that joined without any software sales experience. Is experience a big part of what you’re looking for when you’re hiring? Now that you know what it took for you to become successful, does that impact the hiring profile when you see out new recruits?

Ellie Tamari: Absolutely. My attitude in hiring now is exactly like the opportunity that I was given. Hire for personality, train for skill. There are a lot of things that can be taught: building connections, having rapport, conducting yourself in a way that gives the other side confidence that you’re going to do whatever it takes to help them solve their problem. That’s something that can’t be taught

I’ve hired people that came with no industry experience, that haven’t sold to the digital marketing side of the house at all. Some people have never sold software per se, and we’ll train them for that.

Sam Jacobs: What are your strategies for managing a remote team? How do you create culture and continuity?

Ellie Tamari: Our attitude is, “This is something that we should love.” It’s fun. It’s an art and a science. We’re a team, and a lot of our team meetings and communication is about building things together. So, rather than coming with, “Here’s what I think our sales methodologies should be,” or, “Here’s how to prevent no shows,” and turn that into a lecture, every team member no matter where they are is part of building something together and owning it together. The way to make people feel like they’re a part of something — and in a startup, we have that privilege — is to help them build the company together.

RELATED: 3 Steps to Drive Productivity for Remote Reps

Ellie’s Management Philosophy [29:08]

Sam Jacobs: How did you make the leap from Enterprise Account Executive, to manager, to manager of managers? What’s your management philosophy?

Ellie Tamari: Going back from having my own company, to being an individual contributor was actually fantastic because it’s very similar. I think most individual contributors, most account executives run their own business. You talk about hiring for personality, it’s hiring people who are intrinsically motivated, that they do treat software sales and their account executive position as running their own business. They know how to access different parts of the company in order to help them build that business.

My job is to solve my team’s problems, and I’m here to help them get through the issues that they are struggling to get through.

All of us as sales people are essentially problem solvers for our customers. The really talented sales people think exactly about that. It’s asking a lot of questions of our customers to understand what we can do to help them, and having the confidence to come and say, “You know what, what you’re looking for, I’m not the right fit. Maybe you’re digitally mature enough to use the solution that I’m offering you. I would suggest that you go to this competitor of mine, or that competitor of mine, use their solution for a couple of years. Once you get to the point where you find that it’s not serving your needs and you’ve grown enough, then let’s talk again.” When you can create that relationship with a prospect, they will come back. You have created a friendship even if they didn’t buy from you. These are people that whether they will buy from you someday or not, will definitely give you a recommendation when they talk to somebody else who might be more appropriate.

More Female Sales Leaders [34:27]

Sam Jacobs: In Revenue Collective, we want there to be great presentation for women, particularly in the senior leadership ranks. What advice are you giving to the women that are coming up? How you are encouraging them to get into sales?

Ellie Tamari: It’s a lot of education. My son’s in college. I have younger sons that are in high school. Whenever I talk to their friends or I meet young women, I ask them, “What did you think about a career? What were you thinking for your future? What do you want to do?” Most of the responses are, “I want to make a difference. I want to help. I feel like there’s more that I could do in this world. At the same time, I want to be able to make sure that I have financial freedom.”

When I introduce to them the idea of sales, and specifically in high tech and software, it’s something they don’t really think about. I don’t think that our schools do enough in the way of educating younger people on their options. You think about the experience you’re going through, and you don’t have that hindsight ability to think about, “Okay, what does this mean in the bigger picture?” We talk about young women not really understanding what it means to be able to have a position in sales that gives you that financial freedom, that allows you to build your own future, that you’re not at the mercy of other people.

It’s to embrace our unique skillset as women, which is just specific traits that make us good listeners, have empathy, the ability to put yourself in other people’s position, understand where they’re coming from, being more collaborative in general in your life, and knowing how to navigate in a lot of ways with many companies. I’ve been to companies where there were no women in leadership positions. Unfortunately, sexism still exists.

RELATED: 38 Most Dynamic Women in Sales

Sam Jacobs: You’ve got to smash the patriarchy, Ellie.

Ellie Tamari: When I meet strong women and they know that they have a career that they have in mind, education, and introducing them to the idea of sales as a career that gives you that ability to help and support, it gives you the option to be financially independent and make your own future, and work from anywhere. A lot of companies now will allow you to work sales from where you live. It’s just an unbelievable opportunity. I do think of it now as the best career in the world. I’m really glad I fell into it.

Paying It Forward [42:16]

Sam Jacobs: We want to pay it forward a little bit in the last few minutes or two that we have with you. Who are some people that have influenced you? You mentioned Amir Havely from Clicktale.

Ellie Tamari: I’m a huge fan of Winning By Design if anybody is a fan of software as an art and a science. I am so honored to be a member of Revenue Collective and to have the opportunity to brainstorm, to meet other women in leadership positions to collaborate on ideas, on initiatives, just share information, solve problems together with people who don’t normally have the opportunity to collaborate.

Sam’s Corner [45:56]

Sam Jacobs: Hey folks, this is Sam’s Corner. I really enjoyed that conversation with Ellie Tamari. First of all, it’s never too late. It’s never too late even to get on the escalator and to start moving up in an organization to become a leader again. Ellie took this role in software sales, and it was a chance both for the organization and for her. Your life experiences make you wiser, bring maturity, bring poise.

The other thing that we talked about is her approach to management and leadership, which is collaborative, and the idea that her job as a manager is to remove obstacles for her team. What we’re looking for is high quality interactions and purpose driven activities. Whatever project it is, try to do it with your team, and help your team so that you can get their buy-in and their support.

What We Learned

  • It’s never too late to start a career in sales leadership
  • Collaboration and culture is the way to manage a remote team
  • A manager is there to solve her team’s problems
  • Young women often aren’t aware about how perfect a fit sales leadership can be for them

Don’t miss episode 95 next week!

Before we go, let’s thank our sponsors. Email isn’t dead, but it sure is boring. Add video to your emails to stand out in the inbox with Vidyard. Go to Vidyard.com/SalesHacker for more information. Of course, thanks to Outreach, the leading sales engagement platform.

If you want to reach out to me with feedback, find me on LinkedIn. If you haven’t rated the show, please give us five stars on iTunes so we can remain in business and continue to bring you this show.

As always, thanks so much for listening! I’ll talk to you next time.

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