In this interview, Director of Sales Florin Tatulea from Barley talks about top trends in sales, cold email faux pas, sales tech you can't live without, advice for novice salespeople, and sales publications he highly recommends.
1. What is THE top trend you're seeing in sales right now?
I think a lot of sales tech is really focused on providing data, which is great, and it tells salespeople what they should do. And we all know what we should be doing, but the question is, how do you actually execute on that. So I think a big trend is going to be sales, tech that actually helps you execute on that date, and what you should do.
One thing that comes to mind is a company like Second Nature where they actually have AI, where people that are joining the company can actually do live calls with the robot. That way you're actually practicing saying the things that the data is telling you to do, which I find super cool. And I think that's going to catch on a lot more in the coming years.
2. What is your #1 cold email faux pas?
As someone who talks about cold emails all the time, I think I have a lot of these faux pas. But just to name a few quick ones, I think a lot of people waste the opening sentence on non-valuable content.
Things like, "Hi, my name is X and I work at Y company" and saying, "I hope you are well" are big pet peeves for me.
The other big one–I think reply rates are getting higher when emails are very short. People are still writing emails over 150 words. Companies like Lavender have been analyzing emails and found that 25-to-50-word emails–super short and succinct–tend to perform the best.
So stop writing long emails.
3. What sales tech can't you live without?
I'm not going to mention any names; I'm going to keep it neutral in terms of the actual software. But in terms of categories, I think the most important ones that I can't live without are obviously some form of CRM, a sales engagement platform, and data so that you actually have access to phone numbers and emails to reach your prospects.
And then the last one, which I think is super important, is call recording and analysis to make sure you can listen back for note-taking, but also see how you can improve and focus on what you shouldn't be doing.
And I guess in the future, going back to the previous question around trends, is probably going to be around software that helps you execute and helps sales reps train on actual calls.
4. What's one piece of advice you have for novice salespeople?
For novice salespeople, I think especially right now, as times are really difficult, I actually think that you shouldn't put yourself down. Everybody in this economy is having a hard time selling.
I think Pavilion released a study that said only 26% of executives thought that they were even going to hit their 2022 numbers. So in a way, it's not you, it's becoming a lot harder. But that means a lot of opportunity for all of you. Because if you can sell through this type of economy and environment, you're going to be doing a really good job when things get back to a better state.
And quite frankly, a lot of sellers that, you know, grew up and were developing their skills in the last decade have been spoiled, I think quite a bit because the economy was going good. People were buying software without much justification and little scrutiny. But now it's like this is where the real sales skills come into play where you have to focus on value. And I think that that's a big opportunity for novice salespeople.
5. What resources would you suggest for new sales leaders?
When I was a sales rep, my go-to is always Sales Hacker. I think that it's a fantastic blog.
More recently, though, I don't read blogs from publications as much. I do listen to 30 Minutes to President's Club, which I think is a fantastic podcast that's really tactical without a lot of fluff.
I've also been taking quite a few courses on Pavilion. Like frontline manager school. I just recently taught a course on copywriting and sequencing. So check out the Pavilion community if you haven't had a chance.
And then my personal favorite as well: LinkedIn. There are a lot of great content creators these days. Obviously, there's also a lot of fluff on LinkedIn, so you have to take it with a grain of salt. But you can find some really valuable content from people just in your newsfeed as well.
Check out VP of Sales Kyle Parrish's interview for more expert tips and advice from our Ask a Leader series.