GE277: Sales Expert John Barrows Reveals How He Helped SalesLoft Hit 123% Of Their Target (podcast) With John Barrows

John Barrows

Hey, everyone! In today’s episode, I share the mic with John Barrows, sales trainer to the world’s fastest growing companies, who helps top organizations build world-class sales teams.

Tune in to hear John share about the moment he realized he wasn’t a corporate fit, how he helped SalesLoft hit 123% of their target, and why he believes that people should look at sales as a science!

Time-Stamped Show Notes:

  • [00:44] Before we jump into today’s interview, please rate, review, and subscribe to the Growth Everywhere Podcast!
  • [01:22] John was born and raised in Boston and remains there to this day.
  • [01:50] Got his degree in Marketing from the University of Maryland.
  • [02:10] He got into sales with DeWalt tools, then moved to Xerox.
  • [02:24] Thereafter, he started a company with a few high school friends outsourcing IT services to the SMB market.
  • [02:55] They were bought out by Staples.
  • [03:12] He realized he wasn’t a corporate fit.
  • [03:22] Someone then asked if he wanted to be a “trainer”.
  • [03:50] He joined Basho, took it over, then went off his own.
  • [04:40] He has a couple of different programs that are available onsite or online.
  • [05:31] The online programs cost $595 for the year, including all the resources.
  • [05:49] If you buy bulk-licensing, they cuts the cost down to $295/year.
  • [07:00] Inbound lead generation levels off and you have to do outbound marketing.
  • [07:30] SalesLoft was able to hit 123% of their target after John came on board to help them.
  • [09:06] The Founder’s Dilemma is the perception of sales vs. the reality of sales.
  • [09:35] When an engineer builds a product, they are obviously excited about it.
  • [09:53] When explaining the product, they are enthusiastic because they believe in it, but they are always initially pitching to a friendly audience.
  • [10:32] They get a rude awakening when their outbound sales don’t immediately work.
  • [10:55] As an executive, you have to go out and sell. You have to identify the sales process, your target audience, etc.
  • [12:15] You have to build a solid sales team.
  • [12:45] If you believe in what you sell, it’s so much easier to pitch it.
  • [13:51] It all comes down to how much you are willing to give up to succeed.
  • [15:01] You need someone with a structured approach to sales and marketing.
  • [16:04] John still takes sales calls and emails, just to see what their approach is.
  • [17:20] He believes this is the best way to monitor sales tactics.
  • [17:45] If you come across someone talented, you can always offer them a job.
  • [21:18] The first hire you make depends on what you are selling.
  • [21:30] John thinks it’s worth talking to a sales consulting company to determine what kind of sales reps you need and what your approach should be.
  • [22:30] It comes down to understanding who your target market is.
  • [24:15] He tries to avoid sales reps who have a “book of business”.
  • [24:40] Factor in belief and cultural fit when hiring.
  • [25:45] John recommends that people consider looking at sales as a science.
  • [26:04] Keep trying things out and constantly tweak your approach.
  • [26:25] John loves the Sales Hacker blog and MSP (Modern Sales Professionals), which is invite-only.
  • [28:10] John recommends the book Influence, a psychology book.
  • [28:55] John loves Salesloft, but really likes Crystal Knows, a gmail plugin personality profile.
  • [30:20] It will highlight words as you write emails and let you know what the best word choices are for a given person.

Resources from the interview:

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