Mitch Morando, Founder and CEO of Whalr, helping sales teams identify product qualified leads, joins me on this episode.
Mitch tells how a taxi driver used the challenger sale on him. He ended up giving the driver a big tip.
Mitch says the biggest single challenge facing sales reps is training. He often meets reps who haven’t been taught the fundamentals of technique and the professionalism of sales.
One alarming trend is the emphasis on the SDR or BDR function as a career. Prospecting is taught, but no closing. Promoting an SDR to an SDR manager removes them one step further from closing. Mitch offers advice to SDRs.
SDRs should move out of that role within six months to a year, to coach other SDRs, or move into the role of an AE or a sales professional.
The more tightly a role is defined, the less power the individual has to do things their way. Mitch and Andy would rather hire the ‘misfits’; misfits are coachable.
Reps should have opportunities to develop their style, and to experiment. Mitch suggests identifying talents, and coaching to them, ‘C’ players can be coached into ‘B’ players. They need to be developed into the ‘A’ players, for growth.
Mitch talks about starting Whalr. His background is in code. He sold to game developers, and he learned from their activities. He set out to apply player usage telemetry into the SaaS user experience, to inform his sales efforts.
The Whalr platform converts data into identity intelligence. It starts with the user signing into the freemium model. What do they do within the product? This indicates the optimal time and way to reach out to them.
Whalr monitors product use, and when it sees something ‘interesting,’ it pushes intel to Salesforce. The goal is to get it in front of the rep, with context, so the rep knows how to reach out and interact.
Mitch explains the different types of intel and the context they provide. One example is a high number of users, in a short window of time. After highlighting interesting behavior, Whalr will filter for ‘firmographic’ information.
Companies increasingly are directing contacts to sales before trying the freemium. Mitch blames this on new sales leaders. Whalr offers them user visibility. Freemium and credit card use is lead gen. Education of sales leaders is the key.
The Whalr ICP is Bay Area (local), developer-focused, with open-sourced models, freemium models, or engineering development platforms. Whalr watches for resurfacing leads (used as a student, now using as an employee).