Technology Sales and It’s Advantages with Katryn Kolt

About This Episode

Katryn Kolt, Sales Manager with GrowthGenius, has plenty of experience with sales. From elevator, construction, and more sales environments, Katryn has now moved into Technology Sales. With her move to the new sales environment, most would struggle, not Katryn though. Hear what she has to say about the Technology Sales world, and the advantages she’s found with selling tech over other sales industries as she joins Brad on this episode of Decision Point.

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Technology Sales and It's Advantages with Katryn Kolt

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Episode Transcript

[00:00:00] Brad Seaman: Okay. Great. Well, that sounds like a great place for us to start kind of the transition from old school sales to full on tech, automation, sales. So why don’t you just kinda how’d you, I mean, tell me how you got here. So you were selling insurance or doing, or was that construction? And construction.

[00:00:17] Katryn Kolt: Okay. So I went to university to get a marketing degree. I thought I was a very creative person and I went by no idea where I wanted to work. So I just found the biggest marketing department. And at the time it was Winnipeg, Manitoba, and that was for an energy company. And so I get placed in this marketing department, but in a commercial sales role, which I didn’t even know that that was a real job.

Like I was going to university, I thought I was going to work in one of those kinds of more traditional functions. And and I realized you could get paid really good money just to talk to people. And that this was a pretty sweet gig. And so I started falling into commercial sales roles after that. So I spent three years in energy and then I got headhunted for an insurance company, spent a couple of years there and then got headhunted for an elevator company.

So I was selling elevators into the construction space and like all these things were really you know, they’re interesting in their own ways, but they weren’t. Industries that I was particularly passionate about and something that I was getting more and more interested in, like so many people was tech and all of the opportunities that came with it.

So after kind of just taking the roles that were falling in my labs to a certain degree, I decided to flip the table and leave these like very secure. And like strong roles in these more traditional industries and flip the table and join a little tech startup in Toronto. Awesome.

[00:00:00] Brad Seaman: Okay. Great. Well, that sounds like a great place for us to start kind of the transition from old school sales to full on tech, automation, sales. So why don’t you just kinda how’d you, I mean, tell me how you got here. So you were selling insurance or doing, or was that construction? And construction.

[00:00:17] Katryn Kolt: Okay. So I went to university to get a marketing degree. I thought I was a very creative person and I went by no idea where I wanted to work. So I just found the biggest marketing department. And at the time it was Winnipeg, Manitoba, and that was for an energy company. And so I get placed in this marketing department, but in a commercial sales role, which I didn’t even know that that was a real job.

Like I was going to university, I thought I was going to work in one of those kinds of more traditional functions. And and I realized you could get paid really good money just to talk to people. And that this was a pretty sweet gig. And so I started falling into commercial sales roles after that. So I spent three years in energy and then I got headhunted for an insurance company, spent a couple of years there and then got headhunted for an elevator company.

So I was selling elevators into the construction space and like all these things were really you know, they’re interesting in their own ways, but they weren’t. Industries that I was particularly passionate about and something that I was getting more and more interested in, like so many people was tech and all of the opportunities that came with it.

So after kind of just taking the roles that were falling in my labs to a certain degree, I decided to flip the table and leave these like very secure. And like strong roles in these more traditional industries and flip the table and join a little tech startup in Toronto. Awesome.

[00:01:55] Brad Seaman: Awesome. Well, I know a guy that was selling, so I got so many just kind of initial questions for you.

So the first question that I have for you is that I actually know somebody that sells elevator shaft and support. So tell me real quick, what was your experience like in that

[00:02:09] Katryn Kolt: space? Okay. So elevators are really cool in that. Okay. Construction project can last, you know, can take anywhere between like five to 10 years, you know, so it starts with an architect having an idea, a little twinkle in their eye of some building design that they want to implement and pairing with the developers is going to pay for it.

But the funny thing about the elevator trade is that you have to sell about four different people to get. The job done. So you need to get specked in with the architect back when the idea is just a twinkle in their eyes so that you can get your product specked in their design. So that happens like two years usually before anyone puts a shovel in the ground.

And then once they actually start publicizing that there’s a developer, that’s going to fund the project and everything else, then you have to get in with the developer and convince the person who’s actually paying for the thing that it’s. You know, that one elevator is actually different than another, which is like a pretty big case to be made.

Right. Very few people would really care about the differences. And then when it actually goes out to tender. So now there’s actually a contractor who’s in charge of really choosing which elevator they’re going to go with because they’re the one building and installing. Then you have to convince them that they should go with you and it’s for completely different reasons than the other two.

Like the architect probably wants the design to be kind of interesting. They want it to be energy efficient and meet all these certifications. The developer probably just wants it to be affordable. And then the co the contractor wants the team, like the implementation to be really good. So you have, it’s like it’s personas 1 0 1 was selling an elevator over like three, four years.

They start at a hundred thousand,

[00:04:00] Brad Seaman: so you’re, so you’re, you’re just working all these projects work in these three channels that can all presumably go wrong. Right. At one of those three junctures, you could lose

[00:04:09] Katryn Kolt: the deal such a long period of time, you know, that’s just

[00:04:13] Brad Seaman: so you know, I would assume now that you’re in the.

In the, in the space that you’re in your sales cycle is probably pretty quick. So it probably feels like a relief to be able to look at a pipeline that might close over 90 days or six months versus

[00:04:28] Katryn Kolt: versus a year or two. Right now it is. So like now the role I’m in it’s like it could be anywhere from like a two week to a month sales cycle.

But so the funny thing is that, so I thought that I was making this really bold, strong. Coming into tech and the company actually joined when I left Winnipeg, which felt like leaving the small town and moving to the big city, Toronto I’m from Flynn fun. Manitoba. It’s a tiny Northern town. 800 kilometers north of absolutely anything.

But yeah. So I’m originally from flim-flam and went to Winnipeg and then things kind of escalated from there. That’s

[00:05:09] Brad Seaman: and like, it reminds me of the movie, Mr. Deeds, where the get, where the girls, where that the, what is her name? The actress in the movies from this little small town, that’s got a.

[00:05:18] Katryn Kolt: Yeah, it’s a, it’s, it’s memorable.

It has that people, if you meet someone from Glen Flon, you know, right. Yeah. They, they stay

[00:05:29] Brad Seaman: with you somehow.

[00:05:30] Katryn Kolt: Okay. So I, I am, but I’m a pretty passive sports fan when sports teams that I, you know, of the surrounding city that I’m living in. I’m a fan when they’re not, I probably don’t ask me any follow up questions. Basically.

[00:05:49] Brad Seaman: We got I’m similar. We got a guy, we got a guy on our team is the sports guy. So when I get in the room and they started asking sports questions, I got a default.

I got to give him the week, so he knows the takeover. So I had, I had listed. So my kind of follow up question for you is that I saw a tweet last week that said if a guy tells me he’s in anything other than technology, he’s immediately attractive. So the question is why is technology such an attractive space to be?

[00:06:16] Katryn Kolt: Yeah. Okay. So here’s why I love it compared to all these other industries. So again, energy insurance, construction and elevators specifically, I can go and have a meeting with a client and they can tell me this feature is. Why do you have this feature? Or there should be this feature here. This button should be different.

It should have a different functionality in tech and specifically in like startups and midsize businesses. And I guess, depending on how senior you are, maybe at any level, you can take that feedback and give it to a product manager. And within a week you can have turnover and have that, that feature was.

There’s no other space I’ve worked in. That’s like that, where I am directly influencing the outcome of the product. And so I can go back to my either potential customers or customers and say, thank you for that feedback. Here’s that thing that you wanted, like, it’s there now. Like it’s so customizable and and you feel like you’re directly contributing to the success of the company in a very different way than so many other roles.

Now, do you

[00:07:26] Brad Seaman: think that’s because in other, in other space, is that the key word customizable? Because like in other spaces, You know, if a client comes and says, Hey, I want to make this change to an elevator. I want to make this change to my insurance policy. There’s just not the ability to make those kinds of changes.

Or do you feel like that’s just the mindset. Other markets just don’t have a similar mindset or is it the tangibility of seeing the software and being able to communicate what it is?

[00:07:52] Katryn Kolt: I think it’s just so with with, and there’s probably other industries out there that have this flexibility services, for example, you can often adjust your services that you’re offering, but w when you’re selling a tangible good, the like, Our com the head office and Finland, isn’t going to redesign an elevator because someone wants to nail the buttons to be three inches down that turns into a $500,000 change order.

Right? Yeah. And so, and, and often, and it also takes approval from like 18 levels of engineering teams and it’s just not gonna happen. Insurance now you need to get your you need to get the team to actually improve that. Yeah, exactly. Like all of these other industries, there’s going to be about 10 different stakeholders that are going to get involved.

The customer is going to feel like a jerk for even asking for it because we’re going to make them jump through so many hoops to potentially maybe one day, 10 years from now get that thing that they wanted. So it’s anyways, versus my experience in tech has been that If you’re close to the product, you can really be at a very instrumental part in the direction of the company in a sales role, you are the front lines, you’re the, you’re the person who’s learning firsthand from every person that you speak to, what the market wants, and you have to adapt so quickly to that.

And that’s the mindset is that you aren’t going to have create one product and stick with it for 20 years. It’s always going to be changing and sales feeds into that so much more than in a lot of now at some

[00:09:25] Brad Seaman: point, your product matures and your, and you’re not going to have, you don’t have those same kind of requests coming in.

Does that change how you feel about. The product that you’re selling. I

[00:09:36] Katryn Kolt: I’m, I’m sure it will. I think that the companies that I’ve been working at have been really fast moving, so maybe I just haven’t run into that problem. And it’s not even a problem to maybe to that experience quite yet, but I still think just, again, the nature of tech is that your product is always going to be adapting and moving so quickly to be competitive that maybe just like my, my level of like energy or dyslexia or something, I just like, love.

That constantly changing environment.

[00:10:05] Brad Seaman: Right. So amazing. I know, that’s the thing that I like about you know, I’ve told people a couple of times, you know, I’m very, I’m probably a better sales person. Like if you were thinking about something like like I can invent and sell pizza, that’s really exciting.

Like, Hey, we, we didn’t have this dish and now we have it. But if I had to sell pepperoni pizzas with 13 pepperoni’s on them, I could. So there’s something, you know, there’s something about the creation process and the transfer of energy in the, in the service component of somebody telling you they have a need being able to go get it and come back and show it to them and them to say, yeah, that’s what I like that really energizes me in the sales process.

Versus if you were selling just a maybe a commodity, I would struggle to do that. And I think that is a different salesperson because a salesperson that can sell a commodity. Right,

[00:10:58] Katryn Kolt: exactly. Yeah. The way that I, that I think of sales and what I really love about it is like, there’s so much problem solving and critical thinking.

And I love the idea of trying to understand. What any person’s objective is like, what are they trying to accomplish? Where are they trying to go? And then just seeing whether anything that I have can help them get there.

[00:11:22] Brad Seaman: How did you get recruited?

[00:11:24] Katryn Kolt: No, I had worked right beside them in a coworking space in Toronto.

And actually funny enough. So I’m working for this little startup. We had been making this big consideration for about a month and a half on whether we were going to switch from one table to another table. That was slightly on the other side of the room because I had slightly better cell reception.

And after a lot of deliberation, we decided to make the move the next day, at which point, growth genius moves into this coworking space and takes the table. So my first interaction with them was doing some serious negotiations to trade tables. I think it was a year later that I finally joined.

That’s

[00:12:03] Brad Seaman: really funny. Hey, look here guys. I realize you just got here, but we had already made the decision to take over to this table. There’s

[00:12:09] Katryn Kolt: a serious draft here. You can’t feel it right now, but it’ll come up later. You won’t like it.

[00:12:12] Brad Seaman: That’s that’s. That’s awesome. So tell, tell me a little bit about the, the role.

So has that been a role that, you know, looks like you’ve been settled in there for a couple of years. So you started out. You know, in, in the sales role, you’re in the saddle you’re selling. And are you managing a team right now?

[00:12:28] Katryn Kolt: Yeah, so I actually started as a, essentially an account manager. So at our company, we actually call them client growth managers, but it’s our, company’s a lead generation agency.

So we run automated email and LinkedIn campaigns and source contacts and enriched data and run the create copy for outbound sales. So if someone wants to outsource that task of trying to learn how to automate their email, LinkedIn outbound, they would hire us. And so my first role at the company was being the person who created those campaigns random.

And and ultimately, like I had to learn how to do all this stuff, which is part of the selling point. Joining this company was that when I made this move from these like old school industries into tech, I was prepared to just make my, you know, 60 cold calls a day and make it happen. And then you joined this new field and you realize, no, that’s not what people are doing here.

People are running automated, LinkedIn, they’re doing big marketing campaigns. You need a personal brand. What’s your in tech. There’s like all these different things that you need to do. To be a successful salesperson in the tech sector is very different than in other more traditional spaces. And I realized that I had no idea how to do any of that.

So my first two years in tech were actually pretty challenging. And then when I saw that there was an opportunity to join growth genius, I figured what better way for me to learn how to do this stuff. Then to fully immerse myself in it. So I started running these campaigns for a whole bunch of businesses around the world and in all sorts of different target markets and industries.

And within about six months, because my entire career had been in sales. I got recruited into an account executive position at growth genius. So selling our services. And then a couple of months back, I moved into a sales manager role. So our, our company has been shifting a lot. Now we actually released a software that we’re selling as well as a service that is basically a platform that.

Is combining a whole bunch of tools that are on the market for sourcing contact data, running email, and LinkedIn campaigns through like multi-channel stuff. So anyways, so we’re I’ve kind of moved up the rungs a little bit and I’m a sales manager, but

[00:14:51] Brad Seaman: awesome. Now what, so the one thing that I sort of want to highlight, cause you brought it up is kind of the anchor statement.

And I felt like is this is a good topic to talk about. The, the old school transition. So. You know, there’s markets that still sell very distinctly different, you know, sales has a technology has a very distinct process that I think most companies fall. Some of that is probably due to Aaron Ross has work with predictable revenue.

But in general, most technology teams are set up very similar. Right? They’ve got an outbound rep, an inbound rep that got some kind of email automation. They’ve got you know, they may have a data a research team they’re probably using zoom or seamless or you know, some kind of data product.

The running everybody through a standard appointment demo quote, trial process and then you get into other markets, like I’m sure the elevators the construction company, those sales process, and even the lead generation processes are so. Different. Can you talk a little bit about that? The differences, why they’re different?

What are some things, if you’re in a service space where some things that you think you could adapt or take from the technology space is, is the technology space kind of the way do you feel like it’s, they are doing it correctly? Just kind of talk about the, the nuances there.

[00:16:18] Katryn Kolt: Yeah. So the biggest difference with the types of companies I’d worked for before was that.

They were predominantly targeting companies and like their clients were within a very small geographic area. So for the elevator company I was servicing. The Manitoba Northwestern, Ontario region. And there were only so many buildings going up. So for me to spend, you know, a month putting together this really cool automated email, LinkedIn campaign and building lists and everything, I’d probably still only be reaching out to maybe 75 people, max, which I could probably.

Go for lunch with all those people and be a lot more effective. So in some industries, it, it just still like the way to do business is to know the people that you need to know very closely and like really build rapport with those people, because they’re going to be the people you’re working with for the next 40 years.

If you’re staying in that industry, versus if you have a very large and spread out target audience. Then, unless you’re doing a really good job of like, define your very close, tight niche, which is also like a good thing that you could do. Often you have thousands or hundreds of thousands of people that you can or need to target.

And that’s where it’s just like really hard to do that at scale manually. So layering in some level of automation makes your life so much easier and it helps you focus on. Target. So instead of having someone call a hundred people a day and having only like 15% of those people actually pick up the phone and then 1% of those people actually answer, you can actually automate that initial outreach.

So automate emails out to those people, automate LinkedIn messages out to those people and then have the. 30% that engage with that message. Those are the people you should cold call because now they’re warm. Now there are people who have actually shown some degree of interest and they’re already pre-qualified and your teams, and to have so much more success with like that, like all the sweat and time that they’re putting into it.

Right. So that’s, that’s kinda my, my philosophy on the biggest difference, like when to apply automation and when not. The first thing is who are you targeting and how many people are there in that space? You bring up an

[00:18:43] Brad Seaman: interesting point. Look, if you’re selling elevators or share, I’m sorry, elevator shit.

I’m sure you are doing a variety of things, right? The elevator shaft, the components.

[00:18:53] Katryn Kolt: Yeah. You need the shaft for the elevator, but yeah.

[00:18:58] Brad Seaman: So, so my, my guests, you know, you brought up an interesting point by default. If you only have 35 clients, you inevitably have to sell that to them differently, which I think typically caters to a relationship sale, right?

If I only can sell to 35 or 45 or a hundred people in a market, how I sell to those people are going to be distinctly very, very different. Do you think there’s anything that happened? Any tech sales strategies or things that are done that are kind of commonplace. That you look at coming from the outside, cause you’re an outsider, you know, come from a service space into technology that you questioned or you felt low, or do you feel like in general, the technology sales playbook is pretty polished.

[00:19:48] Katryn Kolt: Okay. So I don’t know if this will directly answer your question, but I think that there are a lot of opportunities to create. The impression and the feeling and experience of that very personalized sale. So of like someone reaching out to you and talking about your dog and asking you to go for a cup of coffee or for a drink or a steak or whatever, and talking about something that’s happening in their market or their space or their industry that will really build that rapport people.

I think people assume that if you’re going to do something automated, it has to be tacky. Like it has to be something like. Crappy automated template. That sounds something like, hi cap blocks. John Love what you’re doing at Kentucky fried chicken LTD. America’s one on three seven and food and beverages.

And so if you do, if you use automation well, and especially if you take automation and you accept that, there’s probably going to be a very small manual component to it. So if you layer together, Automation and things like virtual assistance and outsourcing that can let you do like a little bit of extra personalization at scale and data cleaning.

You can get that same level of like really high touch sales, but scale at times a hundred. So I’m taking, like I mentioned really quickly that if you have a very good targeted niche, you can still take your clients out for dinner. And I try to build out like a really good rapport that way. And that’s not a bad stress.

But what I would recommend is that if you know that you have 10 different industries or let’s even say three different key verticals that you could sell into really well. So maybe you love working with the entertainment industry and you really love working with. With yoga studios and other like health and wellness brands.

So you can actually create three different campaigns talking about very specific things that are happening with the Lulu lemon brand and another, in a very specific. With some sports team that is one of your clients and some funny thing that they said and how they mentioned that we should connect with you.

And then with the entertainment space, you can talk about a client that you have in the entertainment space and make something very interesting, conversational, targeting those people and reach out to hundreds of them and still make it really personalized. But I think where people go wrong is that because they see that they can reach out to a hundred thousand people.

They just launch a campaign, reaching out to absolutely everyone with a very generic message. When even with that really large target audience, they should still be refining it. They should still be trying to have that kind of steak dinner, kind of try and get to know you mentality with specific verticals in that larger, more.

That makes sense. Or am I, am

[00:22:39] Brad Seaman: I rambling? No, no, that totally makes sense. You know, I think you’re sort of getting into the, the kind of the subject or the idea of relevance, right? Like for most, most comp what happens is you throw, you throw these really big non-relevant emails out versus trying the way that I like to think about the way I think about it.

If there’s a, if there’s a, I always tell our guys it’s like, Hey, I want to move our lead generation process from like selling. I think about it as kind of an imagery of this. If somebody comes to my house and they knock on the door and say, Hey, I want to sell you a window. I want to sell you some windows.

And my windows look plenty fine. And they’re like, well, Hey, if you’re not interested in the windows, you know, maybe, you know, maybe we could just come out here and give you. That’s totally different than if somebody drove by my house and saw that I had a broken window and came to the door and said, Hey, I saw you at a broken window.

I’d love to talk to you about getting new windows. I want to be the second guy in the, in the reality is that the, I think the internet and all this stuff that we have gives us opportunities. And you could use an example would be like intense. Gives you opportunities that you get to be the ladder guy and that story first versus the first guy, it’s hard to sell insurance.

It’s hard to replace products that people don’t think that they need. If somebody has a pain or I’ve heard Mark Sears, there’s a VC guys at burning platform. It’s hard to get people to jump, to jump off. And so I think that’s sort of what you’re getting to is like the big mistake that a lot of clients make is they hit, they just, they hit the neighborhood and just hit everybody with the same message.

Versus focusing on trying to find people that have the problem, or at least being able to narrow them down enough that they can speak directly to that, to that client. Cause people, people are attracted to things that are relevant to them. So, you know, you could use multiple, multiple use cases. You can think about that if I’m a VP of sales and you email me, or here’s a great case in point, I think.

If somebody’s email, we don’t sell the Walmart. So if somebody sends me an email that says that they sell a Walmart and Sears and Amazon, that’s totally irrelevant to me, I could really care less who their clients were. But if they label out our three biggest competitors, then that’s going to be more relevant and interesting to me is the, you know, as the client,

[00:25:07] Katryn Kolt: exactly.

Well when I’m starting to work with a client or when we’re kind of advising. How to even start thinking about what an automated campaign should look like. There there’s two, two approaches. One is that you either just take some kind of tried and true templates and try to drop in your value propositions and pain points and stuff.

And you can kind of, you can go that route, but what I prefer. If you, like, assuming that you’ve been around for a while and you have been able to successfully sell your product at least once or twice, like taking what has worked for you in the past. Do you have a Rainmaker at your company who just knows exactly what to do when they’re put in front of a new potential client, or if, if you had all the time in the world, the best cup of coffee you’ve ever had in your life, and you were sitting on LinkedIn.

And you had to decide who your next three clients were going to be. What would you do? What would you type in as your criteria of the company? Once you have that company in front of you, how would you decide who at that company you want to approach, or what three people would you want to approach at that company?

And then once you have that person in front of you, their profile, what would you be looking for? Like, would you be looking for things that they had posted? Would you go onto their Twitter blog? Where do you go on. They’re like their company’s LinkedIn postings to see something that like, that they just had a new raise or whatever.

What would you do? What would you reference when you were sending them a connection request? Once they accepted your connection request, then what would happen? Like how deep would you go into following up with them and talking about people that, that they know or things that are happening in their space?

So of course you’re not going to be able to replicate all of that a hundred percent. We can probably get 60, 70% of the way there, if you’re clever about it. Right. So I’m trying to take that process and really break it down and see what parts of that can you automate and what parts can you not? And so what you can start doing is actually building out lists of 500, a thousand contacts.

That meet those target market criteria that are the types of companies you want to be reaching out to that are the type of personas within those companies that you want to break into. And then if you use VA’s and like research teams and things like that, you can actually fill in that data and say, Hey, for each of these contacts, go onto their website and reference something that they’re promoting or a new feature that they have, or new product that they’re they’re promoting or whatever it is.

Replicate that and put it into a campaign at scale. So there’s a lot of ways to maintain that level of personalization if you’re smart about it. Yeah. I

[00:27:49] Brad Seaman: find that Mo so I think this is, I always think this is really funny. I find that most companies don’t, don’t possess the ability to think deeply about why people buy their product.

I don’t know why that is, but I think there’s a, that, that they don’t spend enough time to think about. I know there’s a heat. So there’s a huge, from my perspective, I feel like there’s a lot of debate about B2B B to C ha kind of this idea of having Netflix for businesses like this, Netflix, you know, that, that, that somehow B2B is sort of moving to a B to C buying cycle.

And I definitely think that that is impacting business at, at, at a level that has to be at least observed. But I think the reality is businesses are kind of their own organism and they have their own culture and they have their own purchasing cultures and they really have their own personalities. And if you spend time really thinking about the business, like pick a business that you want to go after, and then trying to understand why it acts the way it does, because a business has a behavior, businesses behave.

Like they have a. And in most people don’t spend time really thinking about what causes a company to have to buy something. Whether it’s a service or a bit, typically it’s a pro typically it’s easy. It’s as easy as there’s a pro they’re not progressing in some way in the business. And when they’re not progressing, people get frustrated.

It might look like people quit the job. It might look like lots of new people come into the business. It might look like there’s all kinds of stuff, but companies have behaviors. And I just find that very few companies really sit around and think about deeply about why people purchase stuff. They spend very little time thinking about the buying behavior.

And I find that fascinating. In fact, I find it most people flat out can’t do it.

[00:29:53] Katryn Kolt: Oh, for sure. Well, and to take that a step further, I think, and I fall into this trap a lot too, and I always have to push myself out of it. Is that. The problem. I think even people will spend a lot of time trying to think about what the company.

But in reality, what you need to think about is what the individual that you’re talking to needs. So maybe that company, as like the best thing, if a consultant management consultant came in, the best thing is that is if your product costs 30% less than it does. So people get caught up on, on pricing or.

They’ll think that like, well, there’s really looking for a great team to work with, or they’re looking for the best quality product. So they’ll find these very generic value propositions that they hear, that people, that companies are ultimately looking for. When in reality, if you’re talking to the CFO of a company, they want to see exactly how your product is going to impact their bottom line.

They don’t actually understand the features probably or care about them. Particularly if you’re talking to the actual champion, who’s going to be using your product. Now, they like, I always try to think, like, what’s the thing that’s making, you know, John, my, the head of the head of revenue want to slam his head through a wall and Monday morning, because everything has gone right.

And how can I fix his problem? Like, what’s that, that thing, when everything went south that I can speak to on the right day, if I send him a message on Monday morning, right? When that thing came, crashing down, that’s when I’m going to land this. So you have to think about the people and what they’re experiencing on a day-to-day basis that your product or service is impacted.

[00:31:30] Brad Seaman: Yeah, no, I totally agree. I think what’s complicated about this conversation is I think both are true. I think the individual actions of the, the individuals in the business create a corporate corporate buying behavior and, and what that, I think that’s like a little bit of a con I think that’s a little bit of a, I don’t know if you’d call it a decadent.

But it’s like, it’s, there’s a little bit of friction there because yes, individuals make decisions and have problems that you have to solve, but you also have to you also have to balance that with, like, if you have a complex product, you probably have a whole team of people. That I have to make that decision as well, which then makes it a corporate, corporate buying behavior.

So both are true

[00:32:21] Katryn Kolt: in complex. Well, and so maybe, I guess I’m coming at it from that, that out the outbound point of view where it’s, so in that initial outreach, when you’re trying to get something to land and be exciting and be worth someone taking the time to dive deeper into, if you’re just speaking to the corporate goals, Unless it’s like a really interesting goal and you’ve done a lot of research and say something very specific that they’re trying to accomplish.

It, what I’ve seen is it doesn’t really land like you, you, when you’re reaching out to a specific person for the first time, from a company, you need to understand what they’re trying to accomplish to get their next promotion or to get through their day.

[00:33:04] Brad Seaman: No, I agree. I agree with that. No, I agree with that.

No, I don’t understand a hundred percent agree with that. What do you feel like the biggest mistake, you know, outside of sending, you know, kind of blanketed emails, what’s the biggest mistake you see your clients.

[00:33:19] Katryn Kolt: Yeah. So I guess going further on that point, I think it’s, it’s when they don’t go deep enough into their, their value propositions.

So again there’s like often we’ll work with marketing agencies or software development agents, agencies, like. On, like at a quick glance, they aren’t very differentiated. They can all come in and say the same thing. We are. We have a very creative team. We think out of the box, we are so innovative, but when everyone is saying the exact same thing, it means nothing.

You’re kind of, you’re, you’re saying nothing to everyone. So what you need to do is get very specific about the value that you’re bringing to that person. So if you’re reaching out to. The, the head of marketing of an entertainment company, what are the challenges that that head of marketing has in the entertainment?

What’s happened to the entertainment space in the last two years throughout COVID where are they trying to accomplish now? Are they like getting completely overrun by all these new opportunities with the world opening up? Or are they nervous because of potential for a next wave or are they is there some, are they specifically in music or.

In sports, like if you can understand what they’re doing and what problems they’re running into, and if you can speak to how you have experience working with those very specific challenges, even if they don’t perfectly land, they’re going to help build trust. They’re going to show that person that you

[00:34:55] Brad Seaman: understand their.

Yeah. Well, I think that little thought process, what you just went through right there. I don’t think most people, what I find as a receiver of these emails is that most people take that into blanket statements and they throw em, they throw them out as kind of this, like these blanket pain points. But the exercise that you just covered in the last 30 seconds, that like deep thinking about what what’s causing.

Issues and pain. I find most people can’t do that or don’t do either can’t or don’t. And I, and I think that’s like the most important part about prospecting, which is really, it’s probably I’ll tell you what it is. There’s a lot of sales leaders that aren’t empathetic. You can’t go through that process that you went through.

If you’re not empathetic, you have to be able to think about it. The person you’re selling and have to have to like be in their shoes. And unfortunately, a lot of salespeople in my experience that wasn’t the thing that makes you a good sales person. Sometimes it’s the not being able to be empathetic, but it’s also the thing that makes you a bad generate or leads.

Cause if you can’t, if you can’t think about what causes your prospect to buy, you can and lead generation and sales, in my opinion are two separate things. Which we basically tasked the VP of sales at a mid-sized company to do both of those tasks. Hey catcher. And I appreciate the time today. This was great.

I love the tips and insights from kind of, there’s a lot of people out there that are moving from service businesses, the technology. And so I think you gave a lot of great tips and thanks so much for coming on.

[00:00:00] Brad Seaman: Okay. Great. Well, that sounds like a great place for us to start kind of the transition from old school sales to full on tech, automation, sales. So why don’t you just kinda how’d you, I mean, tell me how you got here. So you were selling insurance or doing, or was that construction? And construction.

[00:00:17] Katryn Kolt: Okay. So I went to university to get a marketing degree. I thought I was a very creative person and I went by no idea where I wanted to work. So I just found the biggest marketing department. And at the time it was Winnipeg, Manitoba, and that was for an energy company. And so I get placed in this marketing department, but in a commercial sales role, which I didn’t even know that that was a real job.

Like I was going to university, I thought I was going to work in one of those kinds of more traditional functions. And and I realized you could get paid really good money just to talk to people. And that this was a pretty sweet gig. And so I started falling into commercial sales roles after that. So I spent three years in energy and then I got headhunted for an insurance company, spent a couple of years there and then got headhunted for an elevator company.

So I was selling elevators into the construction space and like all these things were really you know, they’re interesting in their own ways, but they weren’t. Industries that I was particularly passionate about and something that I was getting more and more interested in, like so many people was tech and all of the opportunities that came with it.

So after kind of just taking the roles that were falling in my labs to a certain degree, I decided to flip the table and leave these like very secure. And like strong roles in these more traditional industries and flip the table and join a little tech startup in Toronto. Awesome.

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