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Must-Haves for Fast Sales Success, with Ellis Abrahams
Episode 15217th November 2021 • Sales IQ • Luigi Prestinenzi
00:00:00 00:27:48

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If you're new to sales or not feeling on your game right now, this episode is essential listening. At only 18 months into his first sales role, Ellis Abrahams hit 185% of his quota last quarter. Find out how he set himself up for fast success (hint: it all starts with the right mindset).

In this episode of the Sales IQ Podcast, he shares with Luigi:

• What prospects attribute his unique cut-through to.

• Two things we can all keep at the front of our mind to lift our mindset.

• The specifics of his cadence (we knew you'd want it).

• His surprising must-have sequencing tool (and the reason it's his favourite).

• How he's sidestepped pitfalls like leading with closing notes and 'spray and pray.'

• How to get the most out of training and development.

LINKS 🔗

Find Ellis on LinkedIn.

Connect with Luigi on LinkedIn.

Want to #TransformYourSales? Check out the Create Pipeline Program Luigi and Ellis talk about.

Transcripts

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What's the difference between a high performing sales professional and a mediocre sales professional? It's the action one decides to take. Our entire focus of this week's episode is on action. And we're joined by Ellis Abrahams, who is an SDR at DocuSign, who I've had the privilege of coaching for a number of months through one of our Create Pipeline programs. And he's going to share with us today, the action that he has taken that helped him achieve 180% above target for last quarter.

And that's amazing when you think about it, he's achieved incredible results. He's got people within the organization that are approaching him saying, Hey, can you help me achieve similar results? How are you doing it? Now? I'd love to take all the credit because we've been coaching him for months and he's been taking our content.

And really owning the content and turning it into incredible outcomes, but what's allowed him to achieve these outcomes is the action that he takes. Each and every day, and he's going to talk about his cadence. He's going to talk about the number of touches that he puts into his cadence and how he thinks about the message and how he puts the message forward and the trigger events that he uses. But what's really awesome about this particular episode is the mindset that Ellis takes into his role each and every day.

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Every week, you hear me talk about mindset. You hear me talk about the importance of mindset and how it can become. You competitive differentiator. And that is what you're going to hear in this conversation with Ellis today. And what really inspires me about Ellis is that he approaches things with not just a growth mindset, but he has no fear. He has no fear on executing.

His cadence reaching out to senior and he reaches out to some very senior people and he goes that extra step. Knowing that he's prepared to do more than what his competition is prepared to do. That is a big takeaway from this. Now I've had, I've had the pleasure of coaching Ellis for months, and I've absolutely loved seeing how every single week during a session, he's something, he takes it down and he's no pad. Then he executes. And that is what this whole episode is about. It's about taking action. As you're listening to this episode, think about what are the actions. That you can take that will help you differentiate yourself in the marketplace and help you elevate to be the very best you can be.

Welcome to the show Ellis!

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And sort of being in that rugby background is competitive. It's a competitive. And I wanted to emulate that when I came into the corporate world and I thought sales was the best place for me to do that. But then I'm sort of ending my career with with an injury that I couldn't sort of come back from.

So ended up in, fell into recruitment, which very similar to sales. But it wasn't really what I was looking for. And then COVID hit and I was made redundant and didn't realize. Any, any options and then saw the SDR as an SDR at DocuSign and then was in that role for a year and a progressive there now to a, to an APO.

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And so I was stuck in the, in the UK I brought my fiance over with me as well who wasn't working. So I was the sole income earner, and I suddenly didn't have any income was paying rent, paying for college. Well, those sorts of things. So it made the tough decision that I made. It's a blessing in disguise because it was just before COVID made the tough decision to just sort of give up on that dream over there and come back here.

But I think for myself it was, it was obviously a tough period. I think it was three or four months. I was unemployed, no other rugby players wanted me because of the injury. And I just sort of decided, you know, I need to go into something that's stimulating and exciting where I can have different conversations every day and I'm chasing something that's rewarding and that's sort of why I ended up here and here in sales.

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There's a lot of chasing highs and when you get them, it feels great and it's hard work to get. And obviously I expect there to be lows, but because I had dealt with that in the career, I knew that sales would probably be the place where I could thrive.

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So you've been at DocuSign for what 18 months, two years?

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I would put anywhere between 14 to 18 touches. And the reason that is, is I don't want to give up, I've got, I know that I can help them. And I know that without talking about the products, I know that there are there's value that I can bring to these people. And everyone talks about there being a sort of fine line between being a nuisance.

And I'm trying to get in touch with somebody, but. I think I've heard someone say before, you know, you don't know what their schedule is. You don't know when they're in meetings, you don't know anything that's going on in their life. Really you're, you're trying to give them value and trying to help them.

And as long as you portray that you're trying to help them. I don't think you're pestering. That's all you're trying to give them results.

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And that's exactly what I lead with. So I suppose as a, as a bit of an example, hi, Luigi Ellis here from DocuSign, I've got a few ideas how you can improve operational efficiency in a way that will reduce risk. When can we find 20 minutes? And it be surprised a lot of people go as if you've hit that initial part on the head and you know, there, there are two KPIs then other people will just go. Yeah, yeah, yeah. It does. It does. Let's find time next week.

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I've kept it to a couple of things and I want the person to ask me how, and then I can show them, you know, this is what other organizations have done. This is an as we get deeper through that sales process, that's when that stuff is uncovered.

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But at first I was asking more. So if a conversation I was implying to you, the benefits they could get. So before approaching, I was like, oh, everyone knows with DocuSign. Does someone signed a mortgage? Someone signed a, a tax agreement or something along those lines that don't sign. So whatever they need to tell them what we did.

So I was never talking about. But I just was never in the first instance, I wasn't leading with value, which was closing notes.

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But you're right. Like people aren't looking for the document to be signed electronically. They're looking for a certain outcome. They're looking for, it could be a contract, a sales contract that could sit in someone's inbox and they're just not going to get a chance to print it out. And that could delay the deal from going through.

So, you know, from a, from a seller perspective, it's allowing them to shorten the sales. Bringing cash quicker, right? They reached the business with the cashflow perspective. So there's all these improved benefits that come from and I'll get this myself, you know, I'll get a lot of emails and we've seen this during our coaching session, Ellis, where the emails are all product led.

This is the features of what we do. And it doesn't kind of engage with me at all. You know, what's interesting about hearing about your cadence is you've got this incredible attitude when it comes to the volume of touches. I want to go back to that for a moment, you know, do you ever get people that are are saying to you, like this is too many touches or, you know, what's, what's some of the responses you're getting from people.

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Then they give you a reason as to why. And it immediately breaks that cold conversation because they're starting with an apology. Which is yeah, it's very interesting. And that was a fear that I did have in the, in the first instance, was, are these people just going to tell me to go away or am I really annoying them?

But the fact is, if you believe in what you're going with and you can show them how you can help them. No, I'm not, I'm not trying to sell to them. I'm trying to give them the benefits.

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And I record all my notes and all my comments and all the conversations that I've had in that sheet. And then that also provides me with my strategy. I know who I need to speak to. I know where the buying chain changes.

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But if I was to put a number on it, I'd probably aim for 15 a day and try and do them in a two hour block and around that two hour block or use the morning to plan. So who am I calling? What are the triggers? What's my value and why. And then that's who I was purely just for prospects.

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Right. And they're great because you can. But again, if we're engaging with a C level executive or a senior decision maker in order to stand out, we need to make it really relevant for them. We need to show them that we've done a level of research that shows, Hey, this is the research we've done on you and your company.

Not I'm taking a snippet of where you went to university or which football club you enjoy too. Like, do you know what I mean? Cause that's kind of irrelevant. If it's not connected with that personalization component of why we are reaching out and how it connects them to the outcome.

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And I mean, if the end result is just booking a meeting, That's fine. You've looked to me and you can understand about their business. You can have a relationship now with that person, they will give you if they can see the effort that you've gone to. I can, hands-down say they'll give you 20 minutes..

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Yep.

In one block within a minute and a half. And, you know, as, as Tony sort of alluded to, you want them to know that you're trying to get ahold of them and it's not, it's not pestering your, as like, as I keep saying, you know, as long as you've got that message. Then it's not estranged. It wouldn't be seen that way by them.

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So I want to say, you know, I also saw this and then hit them with the other one. And then suddenly I'm hoping, obviously I'm not on the, on the buying side, but I'm hoping in their head, they're thinking, you know, oh, he's researched into this. He aligns with this. She's clearly going to give me benefits, but this, oh, he's also seen this and he's going to give me benefits in regards to this.

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Maybe they just haven't seen it. But the likelihood is if this person's getting 500 emails a week, they won't even know who else is around it because I haven't been through yet.

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They're not even seeing, they would've been seeing it when pestering him. Right. So it's interesting that you're starting new threads and I love the fact that you're, you're adding extra triggers to make the connection even more compelling, which is fantastic. And so you are leveraging an omni-channel approach. Are you using video yet in your prospecting or is it purely?

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I think it's similar to you, Louie. I ask prospects why they decided to speak with me. Like what was it in my messaging that stood out to them?

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But the persona and the ICP, a fundamentally that the foundation that we build our messaging frameworks on. So mate I really appreciate your sharing this. So look, you've been in the seat. You haven't even been in the seat for two years. You're achieving amazing results. You've got a. A journey in front of you.

That's going to really see you become an incredible sales professional. For anyone that's getting into the seat for the first time or that's really struggling with their outreach at the moment. What advice could you give them that would help them feel really revitalized about the whole premise around outreach?

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We're not going to resonate with everyone and we're not gonna always get it. Right. But the fact is, if you have that mindset that you're picking up the phone and you're, you're going to have these conversations, you're going to do these child approaches. You're not pestering them. That's that's a key part.

And the second part is planning. I mean, I can hop on about it enough and I block out two hours every morning for planning because without a plan, how can I expect to succeed in my cold, call block? I, I can't just have a list of numbers to call and just use a spray, a spray and pray talk track. It's got to be personalized and it's got to relate to their KPIs.

Otherwise, as I said, you know what, what's the point of calling a CFO about HR rumble. Yeah, you have to get that those things, right.

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Right? And I think planning and mindset is an incredible important component when it comes to selling. And we speak about this every single week and I can't believe so many sellers are just going into sales process without actually doing any research on the buyer and without personalizing it to make anything relevant and in thinking the message is going to stick, because regardless whether you're doing inbound or outbound, if you don't do that level of research and prepare the right message, they're both not going to deliver the results you're looking for.

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And I just want to say, thanks for allowing me the opportunity to coach you and provide you with some feedback and some content that's helping you in your career, man. And I just can't wait to see sort of where you get to in this, in this career

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They're hugely valuable. And as, as you can see, I mean, training is training unless you put it into action, right? So. I I try and do it immediately. All of the things that we discussed to try and do it immediately, and it's been a huge contributor in my ability to be successful is the fact that I just put it into practice and see what happens.

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