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How To Build Successful Sales Teams with Evan Santa

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Hamish Knox: This is the full funnel freedom podcast, supporting sales leaders, and managers to improve their sales funnels from people to prospects. I'm Hamish Knox. In this show, you'll learn how you can improve your results. Lead a great team and hit more targets with full funnel freedom. Welcome to the full funnel freedom.

I am your host Hamish Knox. Today, we are going to be getting ideas and insights from Evan Santa commerce, Bayer around building sales teams that can consistently create full funnel freedom. Evan has built multiple sales teams from the ground up at notable tech companies, including the business development department at TouchBistro and forming a highly successful sales team in a previously unidentified sales.

Of business at video card, across four different organizations. Evan has hired over 75 account executives and BDRs. Evan prides himself on developing revenue, generating teams that challenge both the status quo and the sales processes of yesterday. Evan, welcome to full funnel freedom.

Evan Santa: Thanks for having me Hamish, really excited to be here.

Hamish Knox: So Evan given the audience a little bit of intro on you, expand on that, uh, on that intro, give us the 92nd story of U commerce bear and, uh, and what your company does.

Evan Santa: Yeah. Yeah. I w you know, stepping back as to how I got into tech, that kind of happened by accident. I was looking for an opportunity to really tie in my passion for business.

Into my work and into my career. And I think that there's no better place to do that than tech. I think a lot of people come out of university, out of dead end jobs going, what am I going to do with my time? And I didn't go to school to be something specific. Tech is a really, really great environment in order to take passion and skill sets and go and develop them.

And I find that you can really do, you can do countless amounts of things within tech. So I kind of fell into it by accident and looking again, trying to find a career. And, um, essentially I also fell into leadership somewhat by accident because when you start joining tech startups, they start looking around the room as to who can lead an initiative, like build a business development department, lead an initiative to build the next sales team and so forth.

So that's essentially how I got into it. And it's been a wild ride so far and continuing to build on that momentum. And this year I recently joined the organization commerce bear. Where we are a vertical SAS company focused on assisting furniture manufacturers and distributors in selling their products online channels like Wayfair, overstock, and the rest of them.

And as we know over the past, call it 22 coming up on 24 months. The. Home goods industry and the e-com homes, indigo industry specifically has seen a massive amounts of increased demand. And of course, we've got all the supply chain issues that we've all been dealing with over the past number of months throughout this chaos.

Um, and we're stuck right in the middle of, in commerce barriers essentially. A platform that will become the plumbing of online revenue for furniture manufacturers. Again, supplying that demand to the direct to consumer channels like Wayfair, overstock house, Amazon.

Hamish Knox: Very cool. Well, I love the analogy of plumbing, cause it's stuff that you need to make things work.

Uh, but you don't necessarily think about it until sometimes it Springs a leak, um, and having a bit of a software background as well. Sometimes things spray, spring, a leak, but that is a very cool business. So where is the company in its development as an organized. Yeah.

Evan Santa: So we w th this year was really, really big for us.

So we essentially grew a team. That was the biggest thing that we wanted to accomplish aside from landing some lighthouse, merchants, and customers, of course, but it was really about growing the team. So we grew the executive team, and there's five of us on the executive team. Amazing. We've got just a fantastic amount of industry experts on our customer success development side, and other areas of the organization.

The customer success side is really exciting. We've got X, Shopify people, X Lowe's people. So people who have done this before, just in a different capacity. And of course we're being very, very. Focused on our recruiting and who we're recruiting because we really want to build a world-class organization.

So when our customers sign on with us, they say to themselves, I wish we found you a year ago. Yeah, I

Hamish Knox: love that. I love that. So, as we're looking at, at building out a team, you actually had a post on LinkedIn that got a lot of engagement and it was around the idea of the team lead. Um, but I don't want to butcher the, uh, I don't want to butcher the, the actual post.

So would you mind sharing what the, what the content or the idea of the post was and what prompted you to put that out in the world? Cause I, I commented on it. It was a really well thought out post and I think our audience would really, uh, value or benefit from hearing about that.

Evan Santa: Yeah. Hey Mitch, I appreciate that.

And it's kind of funny because my CEO actually came to me with a little bit of confusion. He's like, hang on a second. Aren't we looking to hire a business development lead and it was essentially me wanting to give a little bit back to the industry, I guess I believe in karma. And right now I actually have an open position for a business development lead role.

Now we're kind of doing things in a little bit of an unconventional way, but I believe it's the right way, which is to hire somebody with the plan of them building. The business development org. So that's what we're doing at commerce bear. I'm validating my outbound pipeline. My AEs are building their booking meetings, hand over fist right now, and we're really validating our outbound strategy.

So now it's time for me to go and actually build a business development department. So rather than hiring BDRs, I'm going to hire the lead. Who's going to work very closely with me. And of course, as you mentioned, I've hired over 75, 80 years of BDR. So I've got a lot of experience with building teams. So I want to bring that person in as a lead and then have them very quickly graduates that management role.

Once we land three or four BDRs under them and they graduate to the management role, and then we continue to scale from there. Hiring is very difficult in tech right now, as we know true. And I am essentially outbound prospecting my beat, my future BDR lead our business development lead. Who am I going after?

I'm going after team leads who have already been identified by the organizations they represent as an aspiring leader. Yeah, I've been in the position of a team lead as well. And it's of no negativity to how we run our businesses, but it's a raw topic in the sense that the team lead role is very, very difficult because essentially you're putting somebody in a role where they are going to be doing a manager.

They're essentially, they're essentially becoming the leader that you, that the business wants them to be, but they're also carrying an individual quota. And a lot of the conversation that starts to happen for that individual is while you still need, you still need to develop. You still need to do things before we give you the management title release you from the individual quota.

And essentially that can sometimes get dragged out over multiple quarters. So my post was essentially saying, do not put somebody into a team leader. Of course, there are exceptions based on business models, but in the SAS sales world, don't put somebody in a team lead role and dangle a carrot in front of their face and have it go quarter over quarter over quarter, where there's still a team lead use team lead as a path to management, you're going to become a manager and in two quarters, these are the metrics you're going to hit.

These are the people you're going to hire in order to then have us graduate you and allow us to make business sense of putting you in that management.

Hamish Knox: Love it love it. I, uh, recently wrote an article called ambiguity kills, and I believe that as a leader, one of our number one jobs is to create clarity.

And especially when we're talking about developing an individual, uh, and actually Tony, uh, the late Tony Shay spoke about this in the book, delivering happiness, where they were having a massive amount of turnover in their buyer group, because all they had was buyer and senior buyer, and there was no clear path.

The getting there. So they broke it into buyer, one buyer to buyer three, and then senior buyer with very clear benchmarks and metrics. So I love the idea of this is exactly what's going to happen by when it's going to happen. And you know, if you don't hit the metrics, obviously it's a different conversation, but at least we have clarity in that person could be working towards a goal because if there is ambiguity, eventually we're going to give up.

Evan Santa: Well, I couldn't agree more. And furthermore, I think that we tend to undervalue, and this is human nature, but we have to fight up against it in the business world and in your professional world with your family and with your loved ones and friends, but we tend to undervalue what's right in front of. So if you take somebody who's maybe built out a team maybe is, is absolutely crushing it in terms of hitting the business metrics, leading by example, developing the people of tomorrow who are coming into the organization, and then you're going to put them in a team lead role.

Well, as soon as they got on the phone with another company, who's looking for a lead. They're going to throw a management title, management pay and proper management job description in front of them and say, do you want to come over here? And that is where we have to really check ourselves if we want to retain good leaders, because when you lose a good leader, it can be detrimental like that could take a year to recover.

And it might just not ever feel the same or, or be as.

Hamish Knox: 100% because there's cultural changes that happened. There's relationship changes, internal, external, that happened. So you've had experience building out groups at, at multiple individual organizations. And if you're comfortable telling the story, I'd love to hear a bit more about this underdeveloped market segment at vineyard that you, you created this team around.

What are some of the common themes you've seen across building out successful sales teams that can create full funnel freedom for.

Evan Santa: Yeah, I think that there's a vineyards. A great example of that, of, of what we were able to do there. Um, essentially I was the business development manager to give some context.

I was the business development manager handling mainly inbound business development. So somebody comes on our website, raised their hand who's my team will call them and we had a product minimum at that time. It was about 10 seats. If I can remember correctly, where if somebody only had an eight person sales team.

They would say, okay, well, can I buy less? It's like, no, it's 10 seat. And that was part of our qualification process. So it actually wouldn't get transferred over to the AA. So some of the thought process was why aren't we closing this business? So I had gone to the CEO and essentially asked for permission.

Without count that's that's where really, I think it got, got some legs is we're not going to cannibalize any of the enterprise deals. Let us take these deals that were essentially disqualifying. Let me repackage reprice the whole thing and start bringing on some of these organizations. And there was a specific organization that blew up in terms of growth, where we signed them on from five seats.

And by the end of, I believe it was 18 months, it became about a 60, $70,000 account because they signed on at five seats. We had a very, very quick process for them too. Here's demo and pricing one call sign on, they sign on probably for about 35, 4500 bucks for a year USD. And it's from there, they just started adding seats because it became part of the process.

And then she came off a massive series, a and then they landed the series B very quickly. So it was. Land and expand now. Yeah. Essentially going back to, you know, talking about internally, like how do you drive or how do you build a very, very successful sales or from the ground up? I think it comes down to two components.

One is refining your process to remove friction for the buyer. That's first and foremost. And I think that that's the most difficult part because so many sales leaders and even I'm going through it right now, where I have to check my playbook and say, is this actually suited best for. For the buyer of commerce bear.

And I'm noticing a lot of things that I'm pivoting and some of the things that I thought were not necessarily true or something that would provide a certain amount of velocity in the sales process, I'm now utilizing. And it's like, it's a, it's a really confusing process to go through, but that's the first thing you have to do is.

Don't sell the way you want to sell, sell the way your customer wants to buy. And that could be a really wild journey to go down because you start to go. I, I said, I'd never do this, but here I am. The second thing is talent. So who are you bringing onto the team? And I think you got to make sure that you don't as business leaders.

I think it's so natural. Like, if you have, uh, a really like low friction, very quick sales process, bringing in a very tenured enterprise level, AEs is used to selling on a six month sales cycle. It doesn't mean that it can't work, but you're not setting that individual up for success. So you really have to find the right talent for the right position.

It's kind of like a sports analogy, right? Like you can't put a, a catcher in the outfield.

Hamish Knox: That's very, very true. And one of the things that we talk a lot about, especially in our, in our leadership development group is be frictionless with your prospects. Now it doesn't mean that we're pushovers, right? We have ways of doing business to create successful relationships, but at the same time, we don't want to be.

Unintentionally adding friction, adding hurdles for them to jump over. Uh, w one of our, uh, one of the key things that we talk about is always have a, a survey to send out before you engage with somebody, just to get a sense it's like going to a lawyer and accountant or a medical specialist, right? You have a little survey, like, what do you want to talk about?

And, uh, one of our clients, uh, Uh, one of their reps took it in down lead, uh, and the person said, Hey, I've done all my research, got my credit card in hand. Want to go with you? And, uh, the AAE said happy to, I have a seven question survey. I needed to fill out, fill it out and we'll get back to you. Um, and they said, no, you don't understand.

I have my credit card in my hand. I want to buy from you and the. That's great. As soon as you fill out the seven question survey, I will book a demo with you. Uh, the prospect hung up called the CEO and said, it seems your sales person does not want my business. Uh, what would you like to do? And the CEO closed the deal in 24 hours.

And of course the sales person was mad because they thought they lost it on the competition on the, on the commission, which they did because they created unintentional friction in their sales cycle, which not a very good way to interact with.

Evan Santa: Well, I think you have to be nimble and be willing to show process out the window when it's due.

Yeah. And I think that like one of the biggest things that we were doing at vid yard, again, like going from that enterprise sales motion and a lot of the classic, like, we need further discovery, we need to understand, but you go back with a product that, you know, we used to always say that we were not a need to have at that point.

This is back four years ago. Right. World has changed now video's so massive. But before then we were introducing a lot of people to what we, what we had and, and, and, and they were coming through inbound, out of curiosity, which is beautiful. That's the best thing you want as a business. So you can't run them through qualification of saying, well, what's your.

And they're like, I have no idea. I'm just curious to understand like how helping sales teams, like I want to learn. And it's like, okay. And then they're like, what does this cost, you know, like, and this is like two calls down the line. It's like, wow, we're not there yet. Let's it's like, you have to make sure that you're educating prospects before you are again, creating those barriers.

One of the biggest things that we started doing my sales team was essentially saying, when somebody would say, I need to know what this cost, before I jumped on a call with you, we would literally price. How many seats do you think you'd buy? How many sales period? Yeah, I've got 10. I've got 15. All right.

You're looking at. You're looking at 15 grand, whatever it may be, thing is, is I always had this mentality about pricing. Is that no matter what you're selling, you should be proud of your price and proud of what it costs. Absolutely. And if you're wildly transparent in that, and you believe that it's priced appropriately for the market and worth it, you're not sticker shock.

Doesn't exist. Sticker shock doesn't exist. If you go over to Mercedes-Benz, they're going to very gladly tell you that that car there starts at 120 grand before you get tires on it. And you're essentially going to go, must be worth it. Let's talk Tony, if you're not, and if you can't afford it, then it's disqualified right away.

Hamish Knox: Exactly. Exactly. One of the mindsets that, that, uh, I I'm very big on coaching leaders to coach your people on his prospects have money for things like. And like recently we were talking about, uh, the biggest lies we've ever been told by a prospect in one of our sessions, it was semi cathartic, also semi triggering.

Uh, but one of the, one of our clients shared that they were told by a prospect, we do not have money available for this big piece of equipment that they were asking our client to, to be. And in very short order, our clients saw on social media, their prospects celebrating the purchase of this piece of equipment from someone else that they did not have the budget for.

So, you know, when we, when we talk about pricing, uh, you know, oftentimes people talk about money way too early or way too late, and like, hi, nice to meet you. How much, let me find out a little bit more about you, as you said. Uh, whereas, you know, we're on our third date and you still won't tell me how much.

Eh, I think you're breaking rapport and I don't really trust you anymore. So it is that really fine balance of how much information do you need to know to at least put a number out there to even test? Are you wasting your time, but at the same time, Not revealing the price too early, because if you do, you might actually throw some information out in the market that is, is damaging to you in the longterm fair.

Evan Santa: Yeah, absolutely fair. I think the thing is that we've got to be careful as salespeople to discount the knowledge of our prospects. Anybody that's going to buy, having machinery has bought it. It's very rare that you're going to come across the brand new business. Who's like, okay, we're buying a caterpillar.

Like we need 10 of these. Like, I have no idea what it's costs. They are going to have a budget and whatnot. But going back to that, that scenario, these there's a loss of alignment and loss of rapport and a loss of trust. And that's why that individual felt like they had to lie in order to go purchase from somebody else.

And I think when I'm training my sales. It's not about price. It's not about process. It's like where you can go back in time and recollect the moment time to which you did not allow your prospect, that moment of transparency to be transparent with you to say this isn't going to work for me. That is one of the most powerful things you could do in sales.

And I think a lot of it goes down to being selfless, making, you know, don't look at the dashboard. Don't think about the commission check. You need to think about serving, serving your potential buyer and then going and finding more prospective buyers to fill the top of your. Absolutely. As soon as you get it in your head that you need to close this deal based on quota, Christmases coming up, and I got bills to pay.

You're dead in the water, you lose the alignment and then they lie to you.

Hamish Knox: Exactly, exactly. The moment that our prospect can hear us mentally counting our commission. We were we're dead. We lose all credibility because. No one wants to be in sales, right? No one wants to talk to a sales period, a person like my two daughters.

I've never said, I want you to be a sales person. When you grow up, have said entrepreneur, which is code for salesperson. They'll figure that out later. Uh, and so we have to always be managing this idea of. Yes. We want to build a rapport. We want to build a relationship or relationships tend to happen after the sale.

Right? And, and yes, in the longer form sales, you, you will have more opportunities to develop relationship, but I find that too many salespeople, especially in a shorter sales cycle are going for a relationship instead of going for an agreement that is a good fit for both. And then looking to, as you mentioned earlier, land and expand, is that, have you seen

Evan Santa: that?

Yeah, absolutely. I think it goes down in the sediment that I don't need any more friends. And I think that that's how our prospects feel too. I think that it's the, and everybody wants to start categorizing relationship. They sale like our, our industry is so, you know, relationship focused, every industry is relationship focused.

Of course also, you know, I think the biggest thing that you want to focus on is speed to deliver information. And transparency, which builds trust. As soon as you tell somebody I'm going to get you all the information and we don't hide anything from you. Right? Okay. So in this first call, I'm going to get you, I'm going to seek to get you all your information so you can commit to the next call or say the same for me, which saves us both time.

As soon as you provide that upfront contract, you'll see the barriers. Like the, the walls drop, uh, where your prospect was. Wow, this is no longer just a game. And I think that's where sales is really great, is greatly evolving. And that's something that I banked on years ago at big yard. And now I'm bringing two commerce barriers that I think a lot of it comes down to how people buy on the internet to how people are checking out shopping cards, doing like you could spend $20,000 in a day without even trying without talking to a salesperson.

So. So the thing is, is, is end. Even now we're getting to the point wherever you're buying high-end cars online without talking to anybody. So very true. Go build your own truck on So we've got to make sure that we're adapting as salespeople and positioning ourselves as educators, and essentially looking for that alignment, removing that traditional butting heads of the salesperson and the prospect, arguing over price and feeling holding things.

Hamish Knox: Absolutely. Absolutely. So as we look back in your career and, and you've built all these successful sales teams, what are some of the early warning signs that you have seen in your experience that our audience of sales leaders would want to pay attention to? In terms of our salesperson's funnel, maybe starting to look a little bit more like a pencil and them starting to get a little bit more desperate.

Like we talked about.

Evan Santa: Yeah. One of the biggest things that I've done with teams, and then I tried to take it away thinking that it was more valuable for me and not valuable for them and perhaps a time waster. And they all said noon. No, we're doing this every Monday morning is sitting down and doing an opportunity to review every single month.

Um, not interested the first Monday of the month, not of the quarter, every single Monday morning, the entire team sits together and goes through every single one of their opportunities in their pipeline to explain what's going on, what the next step is, what the roadblocks are and how they're going to play it this week.

And. It's a great value shared moment because it allows for reps to actually value share together and say like, Hey, much different. Actually, I came across that objection last week. This is how I handled it and worked really well. The second thing is, is actually puts the account executive in, in the most accountable position, which is right in front of their peers.

Basically saying, these are my opportunities. This is what I'm doing on these ones over here. I have next steps I'm meeting with so-and-so and so-and-so and so-and-so this week. Perfect. But then they start to really hold themselves accountable when they start seeing those deals where there's no next steps, right?

There's no next steps. I think you add a post, actually, that I read the other day of like, I'm planning to call this person. So I'm planning to call this person. It's like, okay, so they don't know you're calling, there's no alignment. There is that pipeline or you just like trying to get that back into the pipeline.

And I think that the biggest thing that I pay attention to in my sales process, and I have a very unconventional way of staging of sales stages, which is more fluid than just linear. And is, are there next steps in the current. That's it. Next steps in the calendar is the biggest thing. And that falls into my stage four of my staging convention.

If there's next steps on the deal, you're in a perfect position because you're driving to a decision, whether it's yes or no, it doesn't matter. You have them sign with your prospect to do so. Where I start to see an issue. We see all this pipeline grow organizations are from the top down from the board level to the executive team, all the way down to the AEs and BDRs.

It's all about building pipeline. So people get worrisome of taking pipeline out of the pipe and saying, this is not a deal, but you have to fight up against that because if it's not real, it creates what I call a false economic type. We've got $4 million of pipeline right now. And then you start to go and realize like only about 500,000, you have alignment where they're even responding to emails.

It's not pipeline. Cause cause they booked one meeting with you. Didn't show up. You had a conversation. They said they talked to you in June of 20, 28.

Hamish Knox: Exactly. I, when I, uh, one of my roles, uh, or earlier in my career was I became the product specialist for a SAS platform. And the first three months was Kaleena a $1.5 million pipeline down to about $80,000 of real qualified stuff.

Because the directive from on high was we want to see pipeline well, okay. As a sales rep and I've lied to my sales manager in my career as a sales representative, I have no problem in getting that the sales reps. Oh, I talked to Evan once and I mentioned this product pipeline go. And it's like, I called Evan and Evan's like, yeah, someone told me about that once.

And no, I could care less like, oh, okay, let me take that out. And fortunately, I had a really strong sales manager who supported me in that activity because of course they were getting heat from the senior executives going, like, what the heck is going on with Hamish's pipeline? Like we put him in this role and now he's telling us that it doesn't exist.

And my manager actually said, no, no, he's actually giving you the. Like he's telling you what's real. And so I love the idea of that idea of activity versus opportunity, right? An opportunity is that real, like we have alignment, we have mutual agreement and activity is I'm just trying to get that back in the funnel.

So in addition to always coaching on next steps and things like that, what are some first of all mindset, some ways of thinking that you coach your salespeople to have, but also what are some of those more proactive activities that you coach them to do to keep that funnel consistently

Evan Santa: reliable? Right. I think that it is a great question.

And I think even just stepping back to that point of like, like being in a, an AA and, and, and essentially, you know, fabricating your, your pipeline to say, like, it is pipeline, like by definition. Sure. It's not, but it is. I think, I think that's by fault of the, of the sales leaders themselves. I think that we have to teach our account executives no matter how tenured, how new, whether they're brand new or five years in, we have to let them know that we want validated.

And I think one of the biggest things that is eyeopening, when I bring on some, bring somebody who's fairly new to this business, I said, listen, like, I don't need you to have a million dollar pipeline. I'd rather you have an $80,000 pipeline and have all those deals have next steps in the calendar. And you know, you're preparing for those meetings this week and next that's much more powerful than the person who has no meetings this week.

No alignment with prospects and a million dollars of pipeline dashboards. Don't make the world. So, and I think once they realize to that, that the, your, their commission, their pay like against sales is the easiest, lowest paying job in the world, or the hardest, highest paying job in the world, or at least one of, and I think once they start to realize that their pipeline is their entire book of business, like they're the CEO of their territory.

They started then. Almost excited when something leaves the pipeline. And I remember when I was selling alongside my team at vid yard, I was like getting to my pipe. Good. I got that. No, I understand why out of my pipeline, because I need to go find somebody who can come into my pipeline, who is interested in truly evaluating.

So that kind of leads me to those activities that are, that are so wildly necessary in order to do that. A lot of it comes down to time management. And especially in this digital first world in the software industry, everybody's sitting at home most everybody. And I think it goes beyond needing to be self-motivated.

He needs to be at a level where you're wildly militant with your time and you realize how quickly time can go by. So what I try to instill do my best to instill as a leader with my sales team and those that I lead. You got to find a way to get up, get ready, get amplified, get ready to rock and lean in because the clock starts ticking.

Like the game clock starts ticking based on the, and you've got to move as quickly as possible. So I actually posted to the team today, like a good morning. I said we got eight days left of business, like business days until our shutdown for the year. And that equates to 64 hours of business time. Like, what are you going to do with that?

And it's kind of, eye-opening when you start to look at things that way you go, I get 64 hours, I get 64 hours. Now you can put, you could make more time there too. Sure. You want to, but from just an eight hour work day, you hit 64 hours. So what are you going to do with it? And I think that that's the biggest thing that we need to look at because it's always a game of time versus revenue as.

Hamish Knox: Absolutely. Absolutely. And we're one of the things that I've, I've seen really successful salespeople do is they're not looking at the next day or the next week. They're there going, okay. What's my next quarter look like, and they're proactively planning. And I think it was Henry Ford who said, it's not the plan, it's the planning.

Right. But if you go through that exercise and say, okay, here's how I'm going to use that 64 hours. You're right. Something might pop up and maybe you want to extend to 65 or maybe you can actually do 63 because you crush. And you can take up that extra hour. Uh, but having that mindset of it's my time, it's my book.

I'm the CEO of this business is going to create a lot of motivation. And I imagine it's going to give you some coaching opportunities as well. Is that true?

Evan Santa: Oh, absolutely. I, so when I, in larger organizations, commerce barriers, small w w we'll get there in time. Um, 20, 21 is going to be a really big year of growth for us.

But when I was at organizations like touch base to a vignette, they're extremely. And I would have BDRs and AEs come to me and be like, how do I get to the next level? How do I get that promotion? Like, especially BDR to AA, like, there's this, I believe in the future, it will be broken. But right now it's like, when you're in BDR, you want to get to AA.

In most cases does not always the case, but a lot of BDRs will come to me and be like, how do I get onto that sales team? Like, that's, that's where I want to be. I want to be controlling the deal again and closing it. And to a lot of these beauty hires, again, it just comes down to took him to the, to the.

Um, that they're putting in to essentially drive those numbers. And a lot of my conversations to a lot of individuals at these organizations would be look at your deck, look at what you're doing with your time. You're coming in at 9:00 AM. Just like everyone having a coffee taken off her coat. It's 9 45 before you even log in.

Totally. I'm like start coming in itself. And when everybody wants to go for a drink at six, this is back when the number and office tell them, you'll meet them there in an hour. Yeah. Make as many calls between seven and nine that you can and make as many calls between five and six when they're out drank.

And you're going to miss a few jokes. They'll probably, if it was a good joke, they'll probably tell you it again, Sasha love later. But what I realized was just from a mathematical position, if you do that on a Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, you've actually created an extra business. By just adding an additional hour, an additional additional hour in the morning.

And in the, in the end of the Workday, you actually created an additional eight hours of work. And if you're not just sitting at your office, looking at LinkedIn and actually making calls, you'll be surprised the amount of pipeline you you can create. And everyone will wonder why you're at the top of the dashboard doing 200% of quota.

So the crazy. He's I would tell that to a numerous amount of individuals, some of them would execute on it and within a month everyone's going, what the hell is going on with so-and-so and the sales leaders are turning their heads being like, I want that person on my team. Then there'd be individuals who wouldn't do it and they'd see other people do it.

And I find that to be one of the biggest, like. Biggest question marks that I have in my world is why somebody can be so ambitious to want to go understand like how to do these things. Yeah. And then when a lot of that simple information is given to them that they have a hard time executing on it. And, um, I think that just comes down to simple motivation, which is very difficult to.

Hamish Knox: It incredibly as motivation is entirely internal and, and, and really it's related to what are the, oftentimes what I've seen is they have a lack of personal goals, uh, because our people work harder for their, like, our people don't work for us because they love our companies. They work for us because they believe that working for us is going to get them to their personal goals faster.

And if they do turn over voluntarily and they tell us, you know, a bigger title, more money, whatever the underlying message. I think I can get to my personal goals faster by going across the street or logging into a different organization. Um, so, so that's really true is it's about behavior, right? You give them the information.

I'm really not interested in what they have to say. I'm interested in seeing what they do. And like you just said, those individuals who really want it are the ones who are getting. That hour in the morning, that hour in the evening, the shoulders of the day, when a lot of decision-makers are available and they're actually going to create 200% quota, 300% quota by a couple of small tweaks.

It's not major, it's not big leaps.

Evan Santa: It's small tweaks. Oh, big time. And I think it's also removing, removing your barriers that you are allowing yourself to say, but I'm busy. I'm working. I think you take a look at the revenue generating activities, and then you remove everything else in your calendar. And sometimes it's painful.

Sometimes you want to do this thing. Sometimes you want to be part of that, that, that meeting, where it's an open meeting where we're going to discuss our ICP, but you as a salesperson go. Am I going to provide any value to the organization joining this meeting? Probably not. There's like 20 people in there.

Um, am I going to learn anything new? That's going to help me sell better? How about I let those individuals who are essentially tasked to truly be part of that committee to, to redefine our ICP for 2022, I go sell and then they deliver to me the information of who are I CPS, and then I could sell against that.

And I think, again, it goes back to. anybody in sales really needs to think about. Pipeline as they're, as they're the CEO of that extension of the business. And it's like, it's totally okay for an individual contributor to say to even their manager, Mr. Mrs. Manager. I don't believe that's the best use of my time.

I need to be on the phones, generating pipeline. We're sitting at December 14th. So I've got to go set up my January. I will be excusing myself from that meeting if it's okay with you. And as a sales leader, I can tell you. I'd take that answer any day of the week. I said, I'll record a video. You can watch in the evening.

I'll send you the information asynchronously. Like that's probably one of the best things I could ever hear as a sales leader is somebody saying, Hey, I don't have time for this. Totally

Hamish Knox: totally. We're actually. So we're wrapping up our year of training and we do vision boards the end of every year. So we build ours, our clients build theirs and we share them.

And, uh, my, my BDR, his name is Ethan. Uh, he, uh, he presented at our leadership group last, uh, uh, last week when we were recording this and he said, Hey, Do you need me in the, in the sessions, the following week, because I'd rather be building my funnel. Um, cause that's his focus and I said, no, no, no, like, yes, please, please go do that.

That's the job I hired you for. It's it's important for you to share with our clients and share your vision board, but Hey, go be a, as he calls himself the tofu master top of the funnel. Um, and I was like, yeah, go, go do that, man. I a hundred percent support you in, uh, in doing your role as opposed to this thing that, yeah, it's, it's nice and it's helpful, but at the same time, it's not actually advanced.

Your role or

Evan Santa: the business? Well, and I think also too, I think what type of message does it send to others in the organization or, and I think sometimes it's easy to feel like it's an adverse effect. Like, oh, that's a negative thing. It's like, no, no, no sales keeps the lights on sales justice to the next metric.

And I think that, that also too, we kind of went away from saying that over the last couple of years, because we thought that it created a harmful culture, but quite transparently it's revenue that builds businesses, not. No, not, not meetings. So the. So I think also too, I think that it sends a really, really strong, strong, um, strong message.

I think also too, it's the same as being on back to back demonstrations. I, I, I'm very firm on never being late to a meeting, especially a prospect meeting. And I instill that on all my people. And I expect that of, of everybody, all my teams that I leave. And I think also too, it sends the same message of talking to your prospect.

And as you're coming up on time, like we're sitting here at 1145. I just wanna let you know, I have a hard stop at two. Yeah, because I've got to go talk to the next prospect. And I think also too, it just sets the tone of how you take care of business, how you operate as a business and how you value others.

Hamish Knox: Yeah, absolutely. And as we are coming up on time and I want to be respectful of yours, uh, two quick questions before we wrap up. So number one, if you could go, go back and coach your younger self on becoming a, uh, more effective. Leader at, at keeping the funnel full. What, what would you, what would you say to your younger self and then the other one would be, what are you reading, listening to, or watching to support you in your professional development?

Uh, as a, as a sales leader?

Evan Santa: Yes. Um, so the first, first answer to that question is. And I can answer this quite, quite easily for you going back and coaching myself as a sales leader. I had some really strong opportunities, but a lot of these opportunities in order to specifically with, uh, with video card, like when we started going downmarket, it was, it created a lot of friction.

Like it was a big change for the business and going back in time, if I could redo that moment, one thing I would coach myself on. I always look at my time as it's I have a goal to achieve. And if somebody is not aligned with that goal or they're creating friction for me to be able to achieve that, see, I would just remove that.

Just go. Okay. Well, that's fine. I can remove that. The best leaders and where I could have done better in that circumstance was to take people who didn't understand what we were doing and do my best to bring them along for the ride and, and do my best to develop that relationship. And I think in any, in any business where you feel like there's a little bit of headbutting or contention, those are the relationships you actually need to spend more time on rather than less.

And I think early in my career, whenever there was a contentious relationship with other leaders, other areas of the org, I would kind of. Put it to the side and just execute on my job. Got it. Was able to obtain, um, very, very successful business metrics in doing that. Yes. But could it have had provided more longevity?

Had I gone back to those moments and really lead them to those contentious moments and then develop those relationships that I believe is, is, is what, what makes a great leader. And that's what I'm aspiring to do now. And you learn as you grow, right? You don't know what you don't know. It's those experiences that mold you to be better.

So that's a, that's a great question. Um, in terms of reading and developing, I've really been immersed, not so much on the sales leadership side, but really immersed in over the last year. It's been a wild ride for me. I moved my family, uh, from Southern Ontario to Northwest Ontario, Canada, as well as joint commerce bear.

And I was actually fun fact working out of a song. Uh, my, uh, family cottage file the summer because we didn't have our hosts yet. You bought sell one house. You buy the other sometimes there's lifetime. So for three months I hooked up Elon Musk, Starlink internet on the rooftop of the sauna. And I was working out of the sauna boat, 10 feet from the lake.

But I completely immerse myself in this industry and that is the furniture space selling products online. And it's unbelievable. Wayfair's recording about $15 billion a year. If you look at their growth over the last six years, it's unbelievable what they've been able to achieve. And a lot of it is not necessarily driven by them as an organization, but it's driven by the buyer behavior completely switching from.

Needing to go into a brick and mortar to look at a, a product, and then essentially make a large purchase on the dining. Cetera. Uh, so far sectional, et cetera, people are spending tens of thousands of dollars online, and it's just blowing up this whole industry. And one of the most interesting things that I've found is furniture manufacturers are essentially scrambling to figure out how to list online because it's not as easy as listing something on eBay or Craigslist or Kijiji.

Cumbersome. And we've got businesses where they have thousand thousand thousand plus catalog of product. And they're trying to figure out how do you list a thousand products on Wayfair, overstock, Amazon better? So I've been so immersed in that, that I've kind of taken a step back from the, from the sales, like developing myself like sales focus and, um, and then just really spending a lot of time listening to our customers in order to figure out whether or not they enjoy our buying process.

Hamish Knox: Love that answer Evan, because it really speaks to what you are seeking to do at commerce Baron, and actually is for me inspiring to say, yeah, you know what? It's not that you stopped entirely, but you made a strategic choice to say, put that on. Pause for half a second. Let me dive into this so I can really understand the world, my customers, et cetera, et cetera.

I'm going to get back to. At some point, but right now I really need to get into that. So I love that answer. As we are wrapping up closing thoughts for our audience on creating full funnel freedom, building teams, the floor is yours.

Evan Santa: Yeah. It comes down to time. It's time versus revenue. I actually, it's been so chaotic in my world.

I've got sticky notes on my desk. I've got a whiteboard beside me and what I've actually been doing. And I'll share this with the audience is I found this very, very helpful when you're finding yourself in a position where the months are rolling on, you feel like you've got 900 things keeping you up at night.

Quite literally. That's what happens to me if I don't write it down, I think about it. 4:00 AM. It's like you have written on my ceiling. And what I started doing was actually just right with PI prioritizing all of my tasks and then bucketing them into the month. So I had an October board and November board and December board, and it might sound a little bit trivial, but who's wildly powerful and helping me prioritize with check boxes next to each of them.

These are the things that are in priority that need to get done this month and go execute. And I actually, furthermore to that, Full funnel. I also with a new notebook right beside me, um, that I needed to get, because I ran out of space in the last one I wrote down my winter, 2021 in winter, 2022 business goals.

And it comes down to three things, pipeline sales, and quarter over quarter growth. And then there's a quote in there that says here's what I'm spending time on today, directly impacting. Beautiful. If it's not, it's got to go. Amen

Hamish Knox: brother. Love it. Well, Evan, thank you so much for joining us and sharing your insights with the audience.

This has been the full funnel freedom podcast. I've been your host Hamish Knox. We've been getting ideas and insights on building successful sales teams from Evan. Santa's at commerce. Follow us on Instagram at Sandler. And why, why see if you would like to get involved with the full funnel freedom podcast as a sponsor or advertiser, please email podcast at full funnel, until we connect with you on the next episode, go create full funnel freedom.

Thank you for listening to full funnel freedom with Amish knocks. If you want to increase your sales with. Go-to full funnel,