CastleBranch sales mandate: Not to sell products. Understand and articulate the problems our customers are experiencing, better than our customers. Share best practices, from our national learnings, with our customers in a way which will urge them to pursue a solution.
After arriving in Wilmington at midnight, I was in the office being trained 9 hours later. The following 3 days were getting me up to speed on the company’s sales division: their process, their CRM software, daily tasks, meeting people on the floor, and all the company’s products.
I’ve had a really interesting time in sales for October – December. The first few weeks I got my own cubicle where I would learn the gains and pains of cold calling. After this, I moved onto shadowing the company’s three different sales managers (corporate, hospitals, and universities); this is where I write to you from today. Following these 2 weeks, I get to shadow Pat Dunty, the VP of Sales for a week. Once I’ve gained all this knowledge and information, I will have a week to consult and construct a presentation for the division on what processes I found the most useful and which I think could be improved. I plan to also speak about the divisions culture; it’s like a family over here – I love it!
Some highs and lows from my time so far:
- ‘Always start with the lows’ – says my mentor and founder of CastleBranch Brett Martin. So, cold calling… although it was definitely a tough lesson, I learned the most in this position. Calling companies nationwide to see about buying background checks and compliance services was tough. This part of my journey really taught me how to do two things: (1.) Make a sale and also (2.) Stay motivated when you fail to do so.
Part one, making the sale, it taught me that this is a long process – not something that just happens from picking up the phone for one call. You have to build a trusting relationship before someone will do business with you.
And the second part, failing. Cold calling is a tough gig! I’d be lying if I said most of my day wasn’t getting turned down, but it’s a lesson that must be taught for any young entrepreneur – how to fail. Escaping the initial fear of picking up the phone to get turned down was something that took me a couple weeks. But now, this is a skill I possess for the future. This will help me with anything I do going forward, especially scaling a business.
The high so far has been working side-by-side with the Sales divisions most talented leaders, from trainers, to managers, and especially with VP Pat Dunty. Where I’ve enjoyed doing this the most is in the weekly Sales meetings. I enjoy seeing how Pat motivates his 30-40 employees, and how he controls the room – making everyone attentive and engaged. These are profoundly useful lessons that I’ve managed to soak up at the start of my career.
Already highlighting a couple new skills above (cold-calling, leading a meeting), I’ll list some more that I’ve gained in the first month of working in Sales:
- Learning to shape a question in order to build the conversation to the solution I’m looking to solve for the client
- Following up a phone call and understanding how to challenge an uninterested customer
- Using the company’s CRM software
- Collaborating with fellow Sales agents
- Motivating and managing a team
- Always let your employee answer their experience/question for themselves; guide don't instruct
- Understanding a sales cycle
My goals remain the same since the time I began in Sales – learn as much as possible, while creating a positive impact for the company and the Sales division. This has happened. I have managed to already change and add a step in a new pitch deck the execs were working on, and I’ve spoken about some different internal processes that the managers enjoyed. Being able to not only learn but to also give some input that could be beneficial is a really awesome feeling.
Going forward I am excited to see how the hospital and school teams differ from the corporate team, and what similarities each have with one another. I’m excited to learn one-on-one with a fantastic professional like Pat and be able to live and learn about his day-to-day tasks. Eventually, I can’t wait to show the Sales team what I’ve learned and what insights I’ve derived from my experience.