Welcome Back to SHP Inhouse, A Listen Letter!
Alright, everyone, welcome back to another episode of SHP Inhouse, a Listen Letter. It’s been a few weeks since we did our last episode.
Today, we have a special guest on the show; his name is Rich Thomas. He is our Cold Call Director (now Director of Staff) and has been here since about November. So, I will introduce him in a minute. But I thought it would be really great to have him on today because one of the mantras that we have here at SHP is “our product is our people.”
At the end of the day, as an outsourced sales development company, our clients are really investing in our team’s ability to perform on behalf of them and represent them in front of their prospects. That is a huge responsibility. So many different people out there with so many different skill sets.
So how do you run successfully- a team of 40 plus client SDRs to perform successful sales conversations -with over 30 industries and now up to 3500 miles a day- with the aim of setting as many appointments or other types of call to action possible and do it consistently?
And that’s the question that we’ve been trying to answer from the beginning and will continue to be a question that we try to answer until we’re converting 100% of every conversation of all time. If you can get there, then I’m bowing out because I don’t know how we’re going to ever get to 100%, but that is our goal, and that gives us the consistent drive and willingness. And it keeps our ears open to how we can continually sharpen for our clients.
I thought we could just spend a few minutes giving you some insight into what it’s like to run an operation like Superhuman Prospecting:
- making that many cold calls a day
- how to train people appropriately
- representing our clients in such a fashion
Introducing Rich Thomas, our Cold Call Director. Welcome!
Rich: Thank you, Ryan. I’m glad to be here with you.
Ryan: Absolutely. So, I like to ask a couple of questions just to get right into it.
Rich has a very wide, extensive, and deep background in sales, so we hit it off right away when he came in for his first interview. The funny story about this is it was an in-person interview, which is rare these days.
He came into the office and the interview lasted about 30 minutes. The team members that were in the office asked if I could introduce Rich to them so they could get a feel for him, just to see what they thought. And I totally blanked on that.
At the end of it, the interview went so well, I was like, “awesome, Rich, we’ll talk to you in a few days…” and I come over, kind of smiling to the rest of the team, like, man, that went really well. That was going to be my intent. But, I walk over to the team and they have this dark look on their face. And they said, “that must have not have gone very well.” And I was like, what? “No, it went amazing.”
They’re like, really? Because that was the shortest interview you’ve ever done and you never introduced him to us. I had to explain it was quite the opposite. It went so well that we decided to just get the next interview up and running.
Bringing us to today. Rich, tell us a little bit about yourself and some of your sales background.
Rich: Yeah, absolutely. I’ve been in sales for 20 years at this point, going on 21. Started in the wireless industry back with Nextel before they merged with Sprint. I sold the first color screen flip phone that was on the market. Ancient, ancient times.
Out of those 20 years, I’ve been in a leadership role for 18 of them. Most recently, I was with a large marketing company running a team from the Northern Philadelphia suburbs all the way down to Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.
We were the number one team in the Northeast for 14 consecutive months in sales volume and percentage. Also, unfortunately, that came to an end with the Pandemic, like, a lot of things, too. Probably the best thing that could have happened to me, because it landed me here.
Ryan: Love it. Awesome. We’re so pumped to have you, so thank you for that. And that’s what I remember – having that experience and just thinking, “that would be amazing to have him run our team the same way.”
You’ve been here since about November. Tell us a little bit about kind of what changes you’ve made to the SDR team since you’ve been here. Maybe you could give us a little glimpse of what it was like, and what prompted you to make and come up with some of those changes?
Rich: My first month that I was here, was spent absorbing as much information as I could about Superhuman Prospecting and the current way of doing things. I spent an equal amount of time learning about my team and getting to know the different members that I had, studying their strengths and weaknesses. Right away, I identified we needed to have more leadership structure in place on the call team, especially if we wanted to grow.
What was in place when I got here was all well and good for the small team of 15 or 16 SDRs. But, if it got much bigger than that, it would have been unmanageable for the Director position. Getting to know my team, I identified a few people, one of which is now my SDR Manager, and he’s essentially my right hand.
He’s an extension of me out in the field, often instrumental. I also put together a training program and promoted two trainers. Already leaders on the team, they are a wealth of information, did good quality cold calls, and followed our H2H Sales Method.
We trained them on how to train others properly and through that, and working with them, we’ve put together a very strong program for our new hires. We’ve even taken a lot of our existing SDRs and run them through the new training program as well.
Ryan: That’s incredible. Yeah, I saw those changes made right away and I’m just thinking, man, this guy’s making moves. I loved it because you had so much initiation, you saw where it could be, and how it would help our clients.
Rich: Exactly. Looking at the big picture was what put it all in scope for me. When we had a call capacity of 1700 dials a day and we needed to do a little bit more than that, I knew right away we needed to start hiring. And we needed to train on quality and get those metrics in place. Now, we have a team of close to 40 client SDRs and we’re doing almost 4000 dials a day.
Ryan: Crazy. Yea, it’s a completely different team. Now, where did you come up with this structure? Because it seemed like you were pretty intentional about having specific positions almost immediately and I can’t imagine those just came out of thin air.
Rich: Right. It’s a combination of different structures. Over the years, I’ve worked for different companies from large megacorporations like AT&T and I’ve worked for small mom and pop organizations like a corporate cleaning company. I took the best pieces of what worked for me, my style of leadership, and I put them together to form my leadership branch. From there, it was very intuitive, how to organize the team to maximize results.
Ryan: Lovely. Yeah, I guess the follow-up question is, “how is it going now? We are into the second quarter. Also, “where is it going?”
Rich: Everything we’ve been working on for the last few months is really coming to fruition now. We are having week after week where we’re breaking our own record for appointments, for leads, for percentages.
Support is quality. Our quality has never been better. We have consistently fewer things that I have to coach on when it comes to note-taking, following the script, asking the qualifying questions and building the value. More and more of the evaluations my team does come back as nearly perfect.
Ryan: That’s incredible. And so what’s next?
Rich: We’re just going to keep growing. I’m putting pressure on our sales team to bring in new business. We are putting more people in positions to win. I have somebody working dedicated to our call schedule and helping maximize the potential of each team member and our training team in place. Our management team is in place.
Actually, we just promoted two more people to SDR team leads which is almost like an assistant manager level. If you were looking like a retail type set up.
Ryan: That’s incredible. Congratulations. Just hearing that plan being implemented very quickly and then seeing how much it’s impacting our clients positively is so much stress off my back. We don’t have as many client interactions that are unfortunate because of some of the results or where things could be a little sharpened.
We are definitely seeing some of those impacts – the recordings and roleplays, where even the new people are able to follow the H2H Method – hitting all the components and delivering the value so quickly. So kudos to you!
Rich: Thank you. And thank you to my team that works hard. Without the leadership team that I put in, this place would not be going as smoothly or as quickly. They’re just doing a wonderful job.
Ryan and Rich: Shout out to Sam, Merry, Cheryl, Fred, Karina, and Jalacia.
Ryan: Great team. Thanks for coming on.
All right. So there it is. Rich Thomas, our Cold Call Director here at SHP. Awesome to get his insight and the speed with which he’s been able to build a quality outsourced sales team.
It’s been absolutely impactful here and on track to help us hit some of our internal goals but also to help our clients reach theirs – because without reaching theirs, we can’t reach ours.
Thanks for joining us today. We will be coming out with a new episode within the next couple of weeks so stay tuned and have a great week.