I hope you’ve heard the news - last Friday, at the Stevie Awards, Chorus bagged six prizes including two gold awards. Kat Nemmers, Chorus’ senior enterprise sales rep, also won the Sales Rep of the Year Award.
I’ve now worked with Kat for about 7 months and she’s clearly a go-getter. But is that what really makes her a champion sales rep? Let’s find out.
Kat is the longest tenured rep on the Chorus sales team. She joined Chorus at a time when we had no sales leadership, and showed strong self-sufficiency to begin with.
Kat created and executed an effective selling strategy without a playbook, and subsequently helped onboard and ramp sales reps who were hired in a wave to fuel Chorus.ai’s hyper growth.
Training new sales reps did not come at the expense of her own individual performance, however. Not only did Kat meet her own quotas, she hit her 2018 goals out of the park at 150%.
Among the team, she had the highest average deal value and the second highest win rate. She conducted conversations with prospects masterfully and consistently received incredibly positive feedback from her customers, all the markings of a truly great sales rep.
But is that all it takes to be a champion sales rep? Drive, self-sufficiency, and goal orientation? No.
If there was a Maslow’s Hierarchy of sales traits, those would be the foundational elements. Something you’d expect from everyone on your team.
So what made Kat ultra successful in a highly competitive sales SaaS technology space?
“I think using Chorus for my own sales process has been the biggest influencer in my career.”
As per Kat, Chorus’ conversation intelligence platform (which she sells every day) has helped her become a quota crusher. We asked Kat to list three things she did differently in Chorus to achieve 150% on her goals last year. Let’s see what these were.
1. She Spent Time Learning From Her Own Conversations
Having Chorus at hand was super useful for Kat from day one. She used call recordings of the SDR team or her own discovery meetings to prepare for the next meeting.
She used Chorus’ smart themes to jump to specific moments. “If I knew I wanted to tighten up my approach on pricing, I would use our tracker to listen to myself talk about pricing over several calls. Being able to jump directly to the precise moment by clicking on the tracker, saved me hours, and I could easily review five meetings in a matter of 10 minutes.”
A lot of times sales leaders I speak with are worried about their reps thinking of call recording as big brother watching over their shoulders. I think the reps are the greatest beneficiaries of call recording because they now have an asset that they can use in so many ways - self-reviews and coaching being just the first!
2. She Sought Feedback Proactively
Kat also realized that the best way to cut her ramp period down to a few weeks and sell successfully while still learning was to seek as much feedback as she could.
“Early on I would get Roy our CEO and Dominik our VP of Product to comment on as many of my meetings as I could. I would send them specific moments to listen to and they’d write comments timestamped on my meeting recordings, so I knew exactly what they were advising me on doing differently. This helped immensely.”
Having learned some of the onboarding best practices in using Chorus, Kat helped all subsequent hires to ramp in a 2-4 week period, compared to the 4.5 month period that it takes the average SaaS AE. She built onboarding playlists for outbound cold calling, discovery, objection handling and demos.
“Having Joe join as our VP of Sales was extremely helpful. He brought with him a world of experience leading sales teams, establishing processes, and coaching sales reps. I made it a point to seek feedback on critical deals, learn what he would do differently, and asked him to review important moments from my meetings.”
Kat and her manager Joe listen to call recordings together for about 50% of their 1-1s. Some of it is to get deal-specific guidance whereas some purely from the point of view of a specific skill that Kat needs to develop further.
3. She Collaborated With Product Management & Marketing
It does take a village to sell. No rep is that self-sufficient!
“Especially when it comes to enterprise deals, you have to work around product feature expectations and a large buying committee of decision makers and influencers. I like to get as much help as I can, as frequently and as early as possible,” says Kat.
Kat preemptively mentioned team members on sales conversations and had configured Chorus to work in a way that would send off email alerts to the people she mentioned. This ensured that product managers, marketing, and sales engineering had responses ready for her by the time she was done with her call.
Exchanging comments within Chorus helped her collaborate faster. As per Kat - “being able to @mention people and share call moments from Slack is a lifesaver as well!”
Kat’s Advice For New or Aspiring Sales Reps
A lot of the things Kat did using Chorus needed attention to detail and getting others to help you. These are traits we might usually not look for in a sales rep, but clearly influence how successful you are in a sales career. Kat now has a reputation for herself outside Chorus as well. Interested and incoming clients ask for her frequently and request her as their rep.
I asked her for to share one tip for everyone who is new to a sales career or aspiring to crush their quotas by a big margin. “Do not let your conversations disappear. Call recordings may sound tactical or even scary. But having conversation intelligence based on these recordings, helps reps in many ways - from channeling the voice of the customer internally to getting manager guidance, preparing for meetings, and coaching yourself to do better next time.”
“There is no other sales asset that is as critical for a sales rep.”
Boom! Mike drop. Well done Kat!