In today’s sales world, there is much more than just picking up the phone that goes into making a successful salesperson. We sat down with Gryphon Networks’ recently promoted Account Executive, Matt Tise, to discuss what it takes to effectively connect with prospects, close deals, and improve your performance in a sales environment.
Matt started just over a year ago at Gryphon as a Sales Development Representative. At Gryphon, he is known for his dedication to the job and quick sense of humor that creates a sense of comradery in the office. With collegiate basketball experience, Matt has always been a team player. So, we thought we’d let him share his journey through the sales profession with you today.
An AE’s Perspective – An Interview With Gryphon’s Matt Tise
Gryphon: Let’s get right down to it. Working in sales, what is your proudest accomplishment thus far?
Matt Tise: Being recently promoted, and my first closed deal. You hear stories about how hard it is to close a deal. It’s a long sales cycle – usually we’re looking at about six to eight months – so I was able to stick with it and get that monkey off my back.
Gryphon: Having that long sales cycle, in a sense, you have to have a lot of perseverance as a sales development representative or someone working in sales. Can you relate that to your previous experience as a college basketball player? How it made you no stranger being part of a team?
Matt Tise: Definitely. I think teamwork is the most important thing. Luckily here at Gryphon, we have all these people you can reach out to help you in any way possible. I know that with my first experience after being promoted, I needed to see the process, I needed people to walk me through it. As well as being a sales guy – we’re not strong on the technical stuff – so we need those people on the back end [of our product] to help us and help the client with exactly what they need. As well as our Client Services. They help make sure the client is all set, they set everything up for them, as well as training. It’s this whole team atmosphere where everybody chimes in, everybody puts their hands in and grinds through these deals together.
Gryphon: Thanks for sharing that perspective on the way the team here at Gryphon operates and how your role fits into that cog. Here’s the curious question as we talk about sales; do you, as a representative and as an individual, enjoy being on the phone?
Matt Tise: I don’t think anybody actually likes being on the phone, especially with what we have today, texting and social media. The phone isn’t a fun thing to be on, but it’s essential. It’s the best way to reach someone. If you want to call someone’s office directly, you can call them and they’ll pick up. If you shoot someone a text message, they can just look at it and not answer. The same thing with social media. It takes a while to get comfortable with the phone. I don’t think many people like it.
Gryphon: Right, I think it can be a challenge for people. But it’s one of those things where it seems like regardless if you have social media, if you have email engagement, or whether you have simple engagement via a blog – all of these tools are great and a nice way to attract people. But in the end, it still takes that one-on-one, face-to-face conversation to really make sure the customer is the right fit for you, as well as make sure your product is the right fit for the customer.
Staying on this topic of the phone, and what SDRs and AEs do with it; from when you were starting at Gryphon, can you share with us what your average call volume to appointment ratio was? And can you shed some light on how that has changed over time?
Matt Tise: When I first started, it was definitely longer—probably about every 200 calls I’d get an appointment. It was something I had to get used to. Back at my others jobs, I was more face-to-face selling, I wasn’t doing much cold calling. I would show up at peoples’ offices, meet with different customers, so cold calling was a whole new experience for me. I had to get more comfortable with it, adjust to it, and the biggest thing I learned was to be myself; to just have a conversation with someone over the phone.
Over time I took some of our sales training and figured out exactly what our tool was, and rewrote that to a sales perspective. We are salespeople selling a sales solution to other salespeople. We can relate to how it benefits them and helps them manage their sales reps. So, I’d say after that, after I got comfortable, the ratio probably went to 100 calls to set an appointment.
Gryphon: Thinking about that, over time I’m sure with the help of training here at Gryphon plus feedback from the app, you’ve been able to look at and develop a consistent process of connecting with people over the phone. Can you share some insight on how you did that, and how your process was developed?
Matt Tise: I think one of the important things we have to realize when we’re calling these people is that we’re talking to individuals. We’re not talking to robots. A lot of sales guys, they’ll have their script, they’ll rattle off their sales pitch, and these people are hearing this every day – they probably get 10 of these a day. And I think what stands out is if you talk to these people on a conversational level—you’re talking to people and you’re a person—so have a normal conversation with them. Connect with them.
I’ve had conversations with people in California; they recognize the Boston accent, ask where I’m from –they’re Red Sox fans and they’re from [Boston] and they moved out there. It’s kind of a perfect example. You connect with them on that level, and that leads to more conversations and better conversations.