Finding your way in the Sales and SaaS world with Abby King

About This Episode

With a wide-ranging experience in the sales world, it’s only a matter of time before you finally find the niche you were meant to sell. This is what happened with Abby King.
Abby joins Brad on Decision Point to talk about her journey through sales and how it led her to a SaaS sales position and even more. Starting her new position as a Market Development Manager for Textio is evidence enough of the successes she’s been able to find through her career.

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Finding your way in the Sales and SaaS world with Abby King

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Episode Transcript

[00:00:00] Brad Seaman: Tell us a little bit about cast it and how you got to the role that you’re in.

[00:00:03] Abby King: Okay. There there’s a lot to unpack here. I got into cast, did from a referral at my last company Springbrook. So that’s how, that’s how I knew about cast did. And essentially. There’s there’s a ton to unload here, but before casting, I was wanting to completely pivot career paths.

I got my confidence bruised at a previous role. And I was certain sales was not. Like no way I’m not doing this. I will get on a dev team. So that’s when I signed up for a coding boot camp and at the same time I got a call from my friend that said, Hey, I think you should check out becoming an SDR at Caston.

And at that point I really, I didn’t have anything to lose. So I was like, sure, why not? This would maybe be fun to build something because I do have an interest in building something through code. So maybe I’ll build this division of the business. So that’s how I landed at K.

[00:00:00] Brad Seaman: Tell us a little bit about cast it and how you got to the role that you’re in.

[00:00:03] Abby King: Okay. There there’s a lot to unpack here. I got into cast, did from a referral at my last company Springbrook. So that’s how, that’s how I knew about cast did. And essentially. There’s there’s a ton to unload here, but before casting, I was wanting to completely pivot career paths.

I got my confidence bruised at a previous role. And I was certain sales was not. Like no way I’m not doing this. I will get on a dev team. So that’s when I signed up for a coding boot camp and at the same time I got a call from my friend that said, Hey, I think you should check out becoming an SDR at Caston.

And at that point I really, I didn’t have anything to lose. So I was like, sure, why not? This would maybe be fun to build something because I do have an interest in building something through code. So maybe I’ll build this division of the business. So that’s how I landed at K.

[00:01:00] Brad Seaman: And did you have, it looks like, so you did a little, you mentioned it a little code camp.

It looks like, did you have a degree in dietetics? Yes. Okay. So you were like, Hey, I’m going to be a dot there. Are you thinking dietician or what were you, what were you thinking when you were coming to the

[00:01:15] Abby King: school? So I studied to be a dietician and I will. Tell you all the things and that you need to accomplish to become a dietician.

However, I did all the things. So internship it’s like six months long, you have to pay for the internship. You basically have to pay to work. And you just like go through a bunch of different rotations. You’re learning all the different segments. Nutrition and clinical care and, that’s but that’s how I landed at my first company.

So I technically was hired on as a clinical dietician and Brad, I didn’t, I didn’t pass the exam a couple of times to get the RD behind my name. And it wasn’t, it definitely discouraged me to an extent, but also at the same time, I really. Valued. One of my coworkers, I saw she was super smart. She hadn’t, she was an RD, a registered dieticians.

She had that behind her name, but she was in sales and I was like, I want your job. You have the freedom. You’re making great money. I should explore this. So an opportunity opened up my first company and that’s how I got into selling. So yes, I wanted to be a clinical dietician. I’m very happy with my decision because the.

And in the clinical setting, the ceiling is quite low. And a lot of it is like retroactive care and I just didn’t want to be a part of it.

[00:02:36] Brad Seaman: You know, there’s so much pressure on you as a student to know what you want to do and your, your world is just. Like you just don’t have, it’s not very big, like in anybody’s world’s never big.

[00:02:47] Abby King: Right. It’s crazy that at 18 they’re like, decide what you want to do. Excuse me.

[00:02:53] Brad Seaman: Yeah. It’s a lot. It’s a lot of, yeah. Yeah, it’s a lot. It’s a lot of pressure for sure. So interesting. So you get into sales and then you mentioned taking a bump or like having you’re having like a, I would call it a bruise ego and you correct that.

What happened that gotcha. That’s your bumped up?

[00:03:14] Abby King: I would say I can’t attribute it to one thing. So when I was at this healthcare company, it all came very easy to me. I knew what we were selling. I felt really confident in our positioning and how I help patients. And. Doctors and everybody on the care team.

And at that point, I was like, I need to get into something a little bit more complex because I like the sale. I like the relationship aspect. And so that’s when I jumped ship. And there were just a ton of things that I had to learn because when I was in the clinical sale it’s essentially the equivalent of door to door.

And I was just like driving to hospitals all around Indiana at the time trying to meet people, get introduced to people. And then It wasn’t a ton of cold calling at the time. It was a T it was a lot of warm calling.

Yeah, exactly. It wasn’t like I’m a complete stranger. So that was a, that was a barrier itself as I transitioned. Wait, what, what am I supposed to say on a cold call? I don’t, I don’t understand. So th that was a barrier. I don’t think I was super passionate about actually what I was selling and. There, there was some culture things where it was the first time that I really didn’t feel like I belonged and I’ve always been a part of the team.

And it was the first time that was like, wow, I didn’t really understand the impact of belonging. And it really shook me because it was like this constant battle in my head. And then like what was actually happening There’s a ton to unpack there. But at that point, well, I would say

[00:04:48] Brad Seaman: sales is like, there’s a lot of ma there’s a lot of games.

Yeah.

[00:04:54] Abby King: Yeah. So I actually can’t believe I’m admitting this, but I, I would go in the bathroom and like cry and then come out and me being a ginger, I’m like, it’s so obvious when a pale redhead cries. Cause everything turns red. And then I come back to the office, like put on, like just get my attitude back and check and just keep on moving forward.

But yeah. Constantly happening. And eventually I came to terms with like, maybe this just isn’t for me. But it was my only experience, so I didn’t know what to do. And so that landed me as an SDR for a SAS company.

[00:05:27] Brad Seaman: So it sounds like that was better. So what, what I think you were probably in good hands, but what, what kind of transpired there?

You like you like that role?

[00:05:37] Abby King: I did at at my first SDR role, I definitely was still. I went into getting hired in I’m okay. Sharing this telling my boss or my hiring manager, like, I don’t want to be on this team. I’m gonna, I want to be in like product or project management, whatever it was like, I want to get out of sales because I just had this association that it’s just terrible.

And so of course, like he was like, you know what, I’d love to get you there. We, you have to, you know, your priorities are your job, which absolutely makes a hundred percent sense. And I like, I wanted to get out of sales so bad that I just tried my absolute hardest to be amazing at it. So like I started dialing the first day, like I wanted to make a name for myself.

I’ve had this amazing reputation of like, she will outwork anybody because she wants the next thing and looking back, I don’t know if that was the best tactic. It worked. However, I felt like my, at the time, like my intern, my intentions, weren’t great. And I just wanted the next thing. And the next thing ended up happening.

I got the promotion, but at the same time COVID hit and everything was put on pause. And so the universe had a different way of saying like, you need to stay in sales. And so I stayed and. That’s when I got the idea of maybe I should deepen my skills, learn some code, because if I want to be on a product team and be able to talk the business while also talking to a dev team, like I’ve got to be able to understand the, the the language and how to communicate it to different audiences.

So

[00:07:21] Brad Seaman: you want to be in product.

[00:07:24] Abby King: Because I wanted to get out of sales so bad.

And like, to be honest, like getting into a SAS company, I also really liked the, the dynamic of the product floor. This was when we were in the office. It just felt like a very, like the product team was so collaborative. They wanted to build together. They wanted to do things together. And I was like, that’s very interesting to me.

Because if he came on the sales side, he just. I keep hearing people say, no, no. Or me, you know, it’s just a different dynamic. And I w I was reading like a book about pro product management. At the time I was taking Coursera courses on product management, and I was for certain, that was the path for me.

And actually, while I was still an SDR, I. I took a trip out to Washington which is where I live now. And it’s beautiful here if you’ve never spent time here. And I was like, wow, the tech scene is so big. I want to move out here. It’s so beautiful. It would just be such a big goal to make it out here.

And so then I also had that in my mind. It’s such a big tech hub. You got to learn how to code if you want to make it out here, which it’s so funny. It’s funny how ignorant I was to think that like, I’m going to learn how to code in six months and then I’m going to get hired as a front end developer at Microsoft.

Like when I, when I think about that narrative, that’s so silly to me looking back, but that was always my goal.

[00:08:48] Brad Seaman: I love it. I love people’s purse. So I love there’s two things I love in wild. Really like doing the podcast. I love to hear people’s perception. I think of a favorite thing to hear in all is when somebody says, oh, I can do that.

Like I love when people are like, oh, I got that. I can, I saw, so I love hearing perception. That’ll help people think about stuff. And then I love when people are like, oh, I can do that because I think I can do that’s the most powerful when you say you can do it, it’s hard to not actually get it done when you look at something and you’re like, oh, I can do that.

That self-belief. And so I love hearing, I love hearing. Okay. Really interesting. Like what people are insecure about. Cause it’s never, it’s never anything that anybody would ever pick up. Like we talk about their insecurities. People are always astonished. Like really? You think that? Yeah.

[00:09:36] Abby King: Yeah, no, I completely agree.

It’s like to your point, Brad. Like the self-belief is so important. When I look back at like, how did, how did you figure this out? How have you navigated this? And I also think about like, who I’m surrounded by. And I’ve had so many people just like in my ear saying like, you, you literally can do anything, whatever you want, just like, bring your best effort every single day.

You’ll figure it out. And it, like, when you consistently hear those things, you start to believe in yourself and you’re like, yeah, I can. Yep. Even if, even if the result is failure,

[00:10:08] Brad Seaman: Yeah. No, that’s that’s. That’s awesome. So did you have like a super, like growing up or is it, did you feel like super, so it’s only do you felt super supported and like you’d been a part of a lot of teams.

[00:10:18] Abby King: Yeah, I I grew up very fortunate bread. My dad was an entrepreneur and. I saw how much he worked. It was constantly him traveling on the phone, doing seven jobs at once. And so I think that was like my first exposure into like hard work. And that’s all I was, I was a part of teams and the collaboration and all that.

And then actually I don’t have a relationship with my dad now. However, that seeing that was like the first exposure, like you really have to work hard for the things that you want and nothing worth having comes easy. And also at the same time, like my, my mom has been like my backbone and my mom has always said to me, Abby, I don’t know what you’re meant for, but you’re meant for big things because you’re incredibly stubborn and you know what you want and you’re just going to go like, All gas, no breaks and whatever you do.

And you know, hearing this when you’re like 16 of like, I don’t know what you meant for, but you’re meant for big things. You’re like, I just want to go jump on my trampoline. I don’t know what that means, but sure. But to be honest, that that thought, and that narrative has just been like stuck in my head.

And whenever I’ve had any setback in my now professional career, my mom’s like. You always do. You’re meant for big things. Just remember that. And I also my, my brother is pretty professionally accomplished, so I’ve always had this, this, this comparison of my, my brother’s a big wig. I gotta, I gotta also do that.

So it, the narrative has always been there. If I’m going to work really hard and figure it out.

[00:11:58] Brad Seaman: These are my favorite things to talk about because I think resiliency and hard work and back and getting back up. It’s so key. And it’s key to sales because, you know, when you think about maybe it’s my personality, cause I’ve had people be like, that’s not true, but I feel like sales is averse.

Like you want somebody to do something. And then they typically want to do something else. So you have to figure out. How to get that person on ground with you, which is typically asking them lots of questions, right. Trying to understand, you know, it’s usually they got to sell themselves before you can sell them.

I know when we think about sales, we use, think about us pitching. My experience has been People who get pitched, get buyer’s remorse. So they really got, you got to as a good salesperson, you got to get that person to talk themselves into it. So it’s really more listening. And I, I had an upbringing, Mr.

Iceman, have you been through like Sandler sales training?

[00:12:53] Abby King: Not officially,

[00:12:54] Brad Seaman: like unofficially you’ve been through like the plan funnel. Okay. I gave you the unofficial. And final classes. So my, my dad was a family, marriage, counselor, and so I can remember he taught us how to active listen and I hated it because I felt like it was in tagging mystic.

And like, I felt like I was like, you’re trying to control me with these questions. You know, I hated it. But what it did was it really made me a good listener. And so I learned to listen to people. And I do think you can be into, you got to be, when you ask questions, you gotta be careful, just a keen antagonize people.

Like you don’t want to ask questions that are obvious. I think that’s the first mistake SDRs make is when they come out of a class and you teach them how to ask questions, they ask the same question, no matter the context. And it comes off as really disingenuous. You know, if you’re going to ask questions, you really need to be prepared.

Be curious and listen. But as a salesperson, I think a lot of damage, a lot of damage is done with, we call it empathy, which I don’t really like. Like you tell people, but I do think a lot of damage has done because early sales reps get taught how to ask questions and they don’t ask them. Right.

And it does, it can be antagonistic and not great, but yeah, so active listening, I think, super important. So. When you made the transition to sales development obviously had some success and they moved to a sales development manager. Do you ha and then it sounded like COVID hit and that’s how you’re going to end up at.

Yeah. Or no, you went one other place, right? You went to oh, did I mess up? So did where you, so you would go onto Texas wasn’t even spring book. So are you at spring buck when the when COVID hits? Okay. I find it just interesting, all these people who are early in their careers that have been interrupted by COVID like, it’s your first job?

It’s your first role management role? It’s like, you know, you’re supposed to do this and then it didn’t happen. You know, I just think about all these people that are promised promotions on Tuesday and then Wednesday, it goes like that. So have you had, you know, making the transition, what’s been the biggest lesson you feel like you had to learn from being an SDR, to being a sales developer, to being a manager?

[00:15:17] Abby King: I think the biggest. A lesson that I’ve definitely learned is not everybody is going to be an SDR like Abby was. And that’s, I think everybody in the seat eventually learns that. And you have to be able to change your narrative depending on who your audience is. That was, that was definitely a big lesson.

I also think a massive learning, just becoming a people leader I constantly felt this urge when I first started off of, I have to have the answer for everything, because I have these people that are looking at me, expecting me to know everything. And I put an immense amount of pressure on myself.

Just, you know, maybe I don’t know everything. I, I got really good at Googling when I started to learn how to code and I felt this, I just put so much pressure on myself. If you have to know the answer. Now you’re a leader, Abby. And if you don’t know it, you’re a bad leader and it’s such a silly thing in my head, but I, I think that’s something that will always be ongoing of not putting so much pressure on you have to know this, but it’s okay.

Now I have this thing in my head now that says like, it’s okay if you don’t know, but it’s now your job to go find out and steer them in the right direction. So. It’s an ongoing thing. Bread

[00:16:34] Brad Seaman: is probably okay. To have a little bit of that tension. I think some of that drive is what made it sound like what made you really good at being a, being an SDR is, you know, some of, some of that some of that fire, you know, if you were thinking about a message that you would give to yourself starting out in the STR.

Well, let’s back up. What do you think makes a good SDR? We’ll start there because that’ll have a lot of SDR managers on here. So I want to take the time to, to, to get your thoughts on like what makes a good SDR? What do you look for in a good STR. You know, why, why should somebody start? I mean, why should somebody start out in the SDR role versus going out and doing something else?

[00:17:14] Abby King: I want to start with what I, what attributes I think make a great SDR. I mean, I, obviously I have to say coachability. You gotta, you gotta leave your ego at the door and you’ve gotta be open to feedback. And taken little bits and pieces of everything that you learn and try it out in the wild and see what works for you and you create your own style.

So if someone has an attitude or they’re not coachable, it’s, it’s so hard because they’re getting in their own way and it’s like, well, let me help, help me help you. But unfortunately, If you’re not coachable, I, I can’t do much. I also think problem solving is really big. And I talked to my team about this a lot.

If you see a problem, I also expect you to bring a couple of solutions to the table. It doesn’t mean that they all have to be right, but I want you to be thinking about how would I solve this by myself if I didn’t have a leader here. So I think problem solving is really huge. Also critically thinking.

Especially if, if you do cold call not everybody is going to respond the exact same and you’ve gotta be able to pivot and be agile and think on your feet depending on who you’re talking to. I think those are, those are really important attributes. Lastly, resilient. You get told no way more than you get told.

Yes. And at some point it kind of feels like, well, I haven’t heard from anybody in a week, nothing. I’ve done nothing different with my approach. And it’s, it’s that mental toughness that we were talking about earlier. You gotta be able to talk yourself out of it.

[00:18:53] Brad Seaman: So you bring up a good, so you bring up, you kind of nicked on something that I, that I heard somebody said.

So we do On Wednesdays. There’s a group of guys that called sales cast and they’re using our product to take live calls. And so we broadcast this on LinkedIn and they bring in a sales coach and the coach is coaching them. Why every week they bring on a new consultant and the consultant coaching them writes the script.

They do the pitch, she’s coaching them on what to say super interesting. But somebody said something a week ago that I thought was really interesting. So it’d be really careful not to be changing your script on every pitch based on what they say you got to come. And I thought that was interesting.

I’ll tell you why, because he says you got to come up with something and then you’ve got to test it over time. If you’re just constantly changing that script every time somebody says. Yeah. But on the flip side, it’s a dichotomy, right? Because you got to pay attention to what the person is. You know what the person is saying to you.

And I think the whole concept, I like to ask people like script or no script or am, I think it’s super interesting. I got like really big opinions on it. I think scripting super important. Now the difference is your doctor’s scripted. And so is the guy at the Chick-fil-A through the differences. Your doctor knows how to position that.

[00:20:14] Abby King: Based on your diagnosis

[00:20:17] Brad Seaman: should be, cause they’re sharp it, right. They know what they say, how they’re supposed to say it, that they’ve interacted with how they’re supposed to interact with the patient. And there’s all kinds of situational things that need to change there. Yeah. The same thing at the drive-thru they have a screen.

And most of the time, they’re not going to edit from the script right now. They’re going to say whatever you’re supposed to say, and they’re just going to say it. And when you say the opposite, they’re just going to repeat it back to you. So the difference is there’s a big difference between they both have scripts, but you want to be more like you want to be more like the doctor.

And I think that situational awareness thing is like super, super important. Yeah.

[00:20:57] Abby King: I think there’s moments like if we’re, if we’re just focusing in, on quote calling, I think there’s moments in a cold call that need to be scripted because nothing is more painful than like also doing the cold call and being on the receiving end of a cold call. And it’s just like I wasn’t expecting you to answer.

And so you don’t, you don’t, I mean, especially when I was thinking about. When I was cold calling, I would get so flustered when somebody would answer, because you don’t get many people to answer. And the moment that somebody would get on the line, I went through this period where I just like froze. I don’t know what to say, the answer, I wasn’t expecting it.

So I think there are to answer your question. There are moments for it. I definitely think like a strong opener is find your flair and what’s authentic to you because also. How you say it matters just as much as what you say in my opinion. I also think, I also think the closing deserves a script and depending on how your organization is going to approach your, your call sessions like today, I’m going to, I’m only going to call CMOs as an example.

Like you can have a pretty consistent ask in trying to. Evoke a conversation, I think or if you’re going to, like, I’m only going to go after people in manufacturing. Okay. Bring to the table. Something about the manufacturing industry that you can consistently use in your 50 dials for the day. That’s I don’t know if I’m answering your question, Brett.

I think for us, there’s also value in going unscripted because that’s when like genuine, authentic conversation.

[00:22:42] Brad Seaman: Well, I know. So, you know, you do a great job. This is kind of open, kind of open forum. I, you know, I think scripting gets a lot of a bad rap, a bad rap. I think when people people say, oh, we don’t have a script, I have a call mine.

That’s the same day thing. If you got to know your stuff and you gotta be able to say, when somebody, when somebody hits play, you gotta be. And I think what happens is we confuse the script with, with the, like, we use the script as a way to get the information. And I think that’s where everything goes sideways.

Yeah. Learning the product and understanding the product is separate from like what you’re going to say. And you gotta be able to know your stuff, because if you don’t know your stuff, The only reason why a script isn’t a good thing is if you don’t know what you’re talking about.

[00:23:27] Abby King: Oh, absolutely. And it’s so obvious you can feel it.

[00:23:33] Brad Seaman: If you know what you’re talking about and you’re scripted. Everybody likes it. If you don’t know what you’re talking about and you’re scripted, I mean, they can tell and they could definitely tell when they ask you a question, you don’t know what you’re talking about and go back to the script. So yeah.

So I think that, I think that’s, I think that’s important that just, I always like to ask people, you know, who are in the SDR role script or no script. Cause it’s, it’s one of those things. People get mad.

[00:23:55] Abby King: There’s a time and a place for it. Especially I read, I did a lot of video prospecting in my SDR days.

And gosh, when I would hit play I’d get tongue tied and then my, my videos would be three minutes long. And I’m like, what did you just. Three minutes. Like you’re just stumbling over your words. And so this is very specific to like video prospecting. I would create a script on exactly like what I’m going to say.

I’m going to practice it in the mirror because you’re on video. You need to look enthusiastic, you believe in your product. It needs to be very compelling. And your tone. So starting off, I would create a script on every single thing that I wanted to say to somebody. And then eventually, like, I got so many reps underneath my belt.

That I was able to pivot that script depending on who I’m actually targeting, if I wanted to personalize to the company level or the contact level, depending on if they had stuff on their LinkedIn page. So I think starting off a script is definitely valuable. And like you said, once, you know, the product, the marketing, the positioning better and better, it’s going to, you’re just going to mold it and it’s going to sound, you’re going to be very convincing and compelling.

[00:25:07] Brad Seaman: You can, you know, so here’s my thought. I think foam prospect, look, it is tough. It’s hard to get people on the phone. You get the right person on the phone. I think it really comes down at least. And maybe this is, I take a lot. I take a lot. Am I going to throw my phone number right here? Cause people will be blowing me up, but I share with like almost every sales call because I’m, I am we’re in this space and I want to hear what they say.

You know, I want to hear, like, give me your pitch, give me your intro. I want to, like, I take lots of sales calls. Cause I like want to hear, I think the best way to learn how to sell is go, have somebody sell you something? And you’re like, oh, that feels good. Or that doesn’t feel good. Or I think this is a big misnomer as a salesperson.

I think you, we like to think that the buyer is only going to have positive experiences, feelings and positive feelings create a sale. But I actually think the opposite. I do a lot of stuff that I don’t want. But still get, gets the result. And I do a lot of stuff. I’m like, meaning if you’re selling to me, the default position as a sales person is like, we don’t want any negative energy.

Right? We want you as the buyer to only have positive experiences. Everything here needs to be smooth. You need to like, you know, buyers, don’t like to be cold FaceTime, which I’m not advocating for. They don’t like to be cold calls all that. They don’t like all that stuff. And if they don’t like it, they’re not going to buy it.

That’s not true. People do all kinds of stuff with negative emotions and still make, make decisions. Yeah. So like I liked to, I liked to interact with buyers. I like to try to think like, how’s this making me. Yeah, it did when I felt that way, when I felt okay, that kind of made me mad. I didn’t like how the, but did that really affect whether I was going to buy the product or not?

Or did that just like, does that actually make a difference? So I loved it. Like I love to take the calls. So I take all the, I sort of gotten a tirade about taking phone calls, but I love to hear what people say. I’d love to have the, I love to hear the conversations, how they’re going to do the pitch, how I like to think about my emotions.

And I think it makes you feel. Buying stuff makes you a better salesperson. Unfortunately most salespeople like you hire an SDR. Very few of them have ever been at a table where they’re absolutely. So they’re at a disadvantage because buying a Coke at the vending machine is not the same thing as sitting in a buyer’s table, trying to button, product budget, or in budget.

[00:27:34] Abby King: Absolutely. Also the thing you said about like, how are they feeling? I, when I rolled this out to my team of like, I want you guys to start video prospecting again, this was like, this worked for Abby. So let’s try it. It doesn’t have to work for everybody. You looked like you wanted to say something.

So I was like, you know what, it’s worth a shot. We should all try it. And I remember. My, my advice to them was when you speak about what you’re trying to sell and pitch and how you think you could help this other person on the screen, I want their reaction. I want you to talk in a way that just like brings a smile to their face.

So when that’s done, like, I want them to be like, oh, I have this like dumb smile, like, oh, that person was so, oh yeah. Like, because it’s, it’s so silly. But I felt like. Whenever I video prospect and he got a meeting from it. People were like, I just love your energy. I’m like, well, I can bring my energy to everything.

[00:28:41] Brad Seaman: Well, you say that I like your energy too. I was gonna, I was going to tell you, you have good. You have good. You have good energy. I love as

[00:28:48] Abby King: an SDR. So

[00:28:52] Brad Seaman: now did you find video prospecting didn’t work for some people. And why did he think that it didn’t work?

[00:29:02] Abby King: I think there’s a few things not getting enough time to try it out. I also think not, and it could be Brad, to be honest, it could be me as a leader, not setting proper expectations on like how many videos did it take for me to get out into the wild, to actually produce an outcome? Because to be honest, I.

Fairly quick success. When I implemented video prospecting Send way less videos and get way bigger results. That was an Abbey thing. And I, I think that I also gave it enough time to see, like, does this work for me?

[00:29:38] Brad Seaman: We would see stuff to an end, like, like you, when you do stop, it looks like you see a start and finish and you’re like trying to get to the defendant you really want.

Yeah.

[00:29:46] Abby King: Like I wasn’t discouraged when the first video I sent out, they didn’t even open my. That’s fine. That’s that’s okay by me. I’m going to try it again. Because I also have like being in the SDR top of funnel position. Like I know it takes anywhere between three and six weeks for someone to reply to me.

And like, sometimes that’s just that persistence and showing up consistently. Like I gotta give it time. I’ve got to sandwich my videos with follow-ups. Was this intriguing to you or whatever it may be. So going back to the, to the original question question, Brad, I think the time wasn’t enough, I think tenure I don’t know if at the time my reps like really felt confident in what they were saying and how to be a little bit more moldable into pitching and.

I, I would say that those are the two things when I really think of like the root cause of maybe why it wasn’t as successful. Those are, those are the top things that come to

[00:30:45] Brad Seaman: mind. Well I think the one thing that’s interesting is, you know these strategies probably worked for you because you came up with them.

Now the danger here is like, you can’t go to an SDR team and be like, we’re just going to let you make your own recipes. Yeah, I don’t think you could do that. So you definitely have to offer some paths, but I think there’s ownership there on the video prospecting that really makes a, makes a big difference.

Right. It sounded like it was. Induced by you to be like, Hey, I’m going to, like, you probably bought your own license. Right. You got it. You got the feed yard for free or something like that. Is that what it was free?

[00:31:24] Abby King: Yeah. I was like soul dry in meetings and I was like, I have nothing to do. We’ll try. It was the first time I like press play on recording myself.

I was like, oh, cringe. That is so bad. I don’t want to like, watch myself. I can’t even believe somebody would want to watch this, but then, but then I would get reactions of, I love your energy. I’m like, I stumbled on my words. What are you talking about?

[00:31:45] Brad Seaman: Isn’t that? So like, I mean, I’ve sold some stuff. I’m going to have Kelsey catch it.

I’m going to have to cut this out, but like I’ve sold stuff where it’s like, like, I, I know I didn’t even like. I was grunted. Like my wife will be like, oh, you’re just grunted. And I’m like, I know I don’t, I don’t understand it. I don’t know how you can grow through a sales call and still get a big Chet.

[00:32:10] Abby King: There were a lot of times where I’m like, I shouldn’t have gotten that meeting, but I did. And I’m not going to complain.

[00:32:16] Brad Seaman: Yeah, you gotta, you gotta get so, so when you, so I’m going to ask you, when you’re bringing on sales development reps, you know, I’ve been to the Casad site and what does some of the SDRs that are on there?

Look pretty young. What do you like? What’s a fair expo. I guess I got, I’ve got two questions. My first question is you weren’t asked you are here in the last five years. What’s going through your mind when you’re like, I’m going to be an SDR. Like what, like what, what are you thinking about? Like, what does an SDR do and what is your job going to do?

And like, you know, like, like take me into the mind to somebody. I mean, I’ve been prospecting for 15 years at this point, but I’m so detached from what it’s like to be new, to be new to the space and be tasked with, Hey, we’re going to call it.

[00:33:06] Abby King: I guess. Okay. So Brad, I want to make sure I understand your question.

Like what is going through their mind of, should I take this job or not?

[00:33:13] Brad Seaman: Yeah. Yeah. Like what’s going on, like, Hey Abby, we’re going to have you, you’re going to make phone calls. So you’re going to call these people. Who’ve never don’t know anything about, you know, anything about a product and we’re going to have you call them and you were going to get me.

So like, what’s going through your. ’cause like, I don’t know anything. I don’t know any different, like, that’s the only way I know how to get, like, when I think about as an entrepreneur, the only way I know how to get ahold of you is like create a list. And then I just started going through the ways that get you on the phone.

Right. Email you, but that’s from like an entrepreneur’s mindset. So I’m asking like, as an SDR, like what is going on? Like, Hey, that sounds like.

[00:33:50] Abby King: I think there’s two ways. This could go up. Like I am so scared. What do you mean? I need to call a stranger or? Okay. Let’s do it. I’m ready to fall on my face and sound like an idiot.

I feel like those were like the two of like, okay, I’m ready to do this. Like, I’m going to outwork everybody. And that’s the mentality I had like I wanted to step in and like, and everybody’s so. Activity is important. Like the number of dials that you make? I totally believe like there is a sweet balance of quality and quantity support, like when I was starting STR and I was like, I’m going to smoke.

All of you. That’s just like what I wanted to do. And also at the same time, my mentality was, I’m not going to learn how to do this without doing it. And like, sure. I could do hundreds of role-plays. But what ends up happening in role-plays typically is either somebody’s like aunt, if you and I were role-playing and you were my prospect, your.

Make sure I get to the finish line or you’re going to be completely rude in like

[00:34:55] Brad Seaman: there’s no middle ground and role-play right. Like if we,

[00:34:59] Abby King: no, I think there’s like every single role-play that I’ve been in. It’s like somebody is too nice and they just want, they let me get to the, to the end game, even if I didn’t bring up.

Self or exact opposite where somebody just like is relentless and

Yeah. So I think in, in my mentality it was like, I’m never going to learn this. If I just, I need to get out in the wild, because also I feel like every single role play that I had was the type of person that like doesn’t let me see it through And I felt like when I did get on the phone, it was so much easier to talk to a prospect than it was to role-play to my boss.

That was just being ruthless. So it like, at the end of the day, like I would get stumbled when people would answer and then it would be easier once I start started talking because I had the people that were like putting roadblocks up here and I think it passed me. This is a hard, no,

[00:35:56] Brad Seaman: I think that that’s an important thing too, is like, if you think about, and maybe it’s because I’m slightly socially.

But hate relationship. That means anything to me. I can remember the interaction and it was all goofy. Like it was all like, like when you meet people, it’s just kind of weird. Like they have some situations where it’s maybe natural light you’re at a party or you start hanging out with somebody and they invite somebody.

But if you’ve ever met somebody for the first time and that interaction is cold, you know, you’re at a Bible study or you’re at church, or you’re like in a line that whole thing’s weird. Like, Hey, I don’t have, I don’t know you. And it’s like, Hey, cool shoes. And there’s more smooth operator ways to do stuff, but it’s Cheryl, it’s a little

[00:36:36] Abby King: weird, but yeah, cause you don’t also want to call it.

You don’t pick up on nonverbal cues. You don’t know what their face is looking like. And I am the type of person that I actually, I hate bragging about myself, but I feel like I’m very self-aware and I feel like I can read a room pretty well. Yeah, but like on a call, I can’t, I, I mean, I can read the room by tone, but I also, I also think like something that I’ve been thinking about recently is I think also everybody’s a lot of STRs are like too quick to the outcome.

Like if I get them on the phone, I have to get them to a meeting. And again, I think there’s like, obviously we’re incentivized to get the meeting because that’s how we get paid. We have a quota. That’s what we have to do. Something is just like it after your opener, if they like allow you to keep talking or whatever it is, I don’t know where you stand on this spread of like asking permission.

Like, do you have a second just to hear what I have to say, and then if it doesn’t make sense, you can tell me to kick rocks. If you like what you hear, I’ll keep talking. But just laying out expectations in a call By the end of this call, I’m expecting nothing. My, my end goal is to try and see if a larger conversation after this call is worthwhile.

I think that I wish I would have done that in cold calling because I think it would have taken them off like a ton of pressure, because I think a lot of people are immediately on the defense and they’re like, no, no, no, I don’t know you you’re a stranger, but if you say like, I just wanna see if you find this.

[00:38:09] Brad Seaman: In the ball’s in their court. Totally agree. And I so totally agree. And one of the things like when we built the product or I still do this, like I did this yesterday I call people and, and I talked to them about, you know, what our product. Yeah. And when I call somebody up and I’m like, Hey, look, you know, this is what I’m trying to.

Yeah. Hey, I see you’re an SDR manager. We’re working on developing a product. I’d like to get your feedback. Do you know how many people tell me no zero, because there’s no expectation in that situation. But do you know those typically turned into good leads though, because before you start talking and they’re like, oh, we could use what you have now, you know?

And it’s like, there’s a, there’s no pressure. And so I, I totally agree. I think what, where my mind goes in this conversation is, you know, what’s the purpose of a, I’m going to call it a cold call, but what’s the purpose of a prospecting phone call? Is it to get a meeting? I don’t, I don’t know. Like, I feel like if you make that the, in the 90% of the time you’re losing and I just think there’s more angry.

If you get off the phone call, if it’s the right company and you get off the phone call and they’ll meet. But it’s the right company. You just got the wrong person. You know, like most of the time when I go through call data and I look at it for us specifically, and I’ll look at somebody and they said, they’re not interested.

You know what they really said, that’s not my department. Yeah.

[00:39:35] Abby King: That’s not me

[00:39:36] Brad Seaman: because very few people are not interested in things of benefits. Absolutely. So that means that. And that’s not to say that, you know, that’s not to say that you know, that’s not to say that some people don’t say they’re not interested because they’re not.

But a lot of cases, it’s just like, this guy couldn’t have been interested if you pay him what he did, you know, he’s not, I know it says he’s the VP of sales, but like, it was very clear on the phone call. He said he doesn’t oversee, you know, lead generation comes out of marketing. Right. So then it’s your job.

That, that’s where I feel like you, if you create the goal to be an appointment, it’s like you miss out on the road, good opportunity for that person to be aligned. What’s actually, you know, Abby’s in charge of that. You know, kinda tell her to call her, we got to make it. Somebody said you got to make it our little secret, which made me laugh.

But but yeah, I, I, so, so what’s the purpose. I mean, I guess I said it and I answered it for myself, but like what, what do you think the purpose of a goal goal is? No problem.

[00:40:35] Abby King: Since most of the time it’s, I mean, when you set a cold call, it’s very cold. I think there’s. And it’s an opportunity to get your company’s name in front of them.

Again, like if you’re using an omni-channel approach, like even if they just like start making this association that, oh, this, oh yeah. This company keeps looking at me and maybe are calling me and maybe three months from now, I’ll look it up because I remembered it. I think that that’s the goal is just getting the name out there.

And I also think information gathering is a piece of it. I also think, and maybe this isn’t the best school to have Brad put making them position the call in a way that they feel like they want to talk to you again. And like, don’t push your own agenda on them. Just, just talk like people. And I know those aren’t great goals and those are maybe not measurable and quantifiable, but I think.

It’s a longer game, especially now. I felt like when I first started out being an SDR, it was like way more transactional. Now it feels like things are the long game now. So to me, I don’t think the end goal should be an appointment. If you can get an appointment, if you just so happen to get somebody on the phone, that’s immediately assessing a vendor at this time.

That does exactly what you do. They didn’t know about you in this space. Because there’s also an element of luck and timing in this job,

[00:42:01] Brad Seaman: a hundred percent of the route, or they get wrote down, beat be interested. I mean, nobody, I mean, if you call me, if you’re interested, I’ll talk to you.

Yeah. Don’t be dry. I mean, yeah. So yeah, I think that’s like I think. And there’s like there, the problem with foam process, with anything that you get, then you go look up on LinkedIn. There’s so many different ways to do this stuff. I mean, there’s not there’s not a one size fits all. You know what I’ve found over the, you know, the podcasts, listen to people’s stories and successes and failures.

Most people don’t have the same story and they’re getting their different ways. And so there’s lots of ways to do it. And I think that thing is like, you know, sticking in there there’s some core components. Right. But you know, there’s a lot of different ways to do stuff. And I think the biggest challenge is that a lot of stuff is a dichotomy, meaning that they’re at odds.

So it’s like, It’s always good to be a good listener, except for when you need to talk and say something super important. You know, like those are two ideas that are kind of, you know, an odds. And this is probably on my mind because the gala we had on yesterday mentioned this, but Jacka Willett, who’s a wrote a book called extreme ownership.

He talks about the leadership dichotomy of like, you know, you basically have. Leadership is all about too. I mean, you’re just constantly in opposition with two, you know, two different ideas. It’s like, you need to be strict and intense and you need to keep people on task, but then there’s times where you can’t do that.

Like it’s a dichotomy there’s you have to be able to know you know, when to do the opposite. And I think that’s the tough thing about sales, right? It’s like you, you want to do it one way, except for when it’s not the time to do it that way. So you’ve gotta have good situational. Yes.

[00:43:51] Abby King: Oh, absolutely.

Yeah. Yeah. I completely agree.

[00:43:56] Brad Seaman: Yeah. Well, this was a, this was great. I asked my idol. Awesome.

[00:44:00] Abby King: It was great. Thank you for having me.

[00:00:00] Brad Seaman: Tell us a little bit about cast it and how you got to the role that you’re in.

[00:00:03] Abby King: Okay. There there’s a lot to unpack here. I got into cast, did from a referral at my last company Springbrook. So that’s how, that’s how I knew about cast did. And essentially. There’s there’s a ton to unload here, but before casting, I was wanting to completely pivot career paths.

I got my confidence bruised at a previous role. And I was certain sales was not. Like no way I’m not doing this. I will get on a dev team. So that’s when I signed up for a coding boot camp and at the same time I got a call from my friend that said, Hey, I think you should check out becoming an SDR at Caston.

And at that point I really, I didn’t have anything to lose. So I was like, sure, why not? This would maybe be fun to build something because I do have an interest in building something through code. So maybe I’ll build this division of the business. So that’s how I landed at K.

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