Tag: interview

Brian G. Burns Interviews Sean O’Shaughnessey On How To Win Large Enterprise Deals

Brian G. Burns Interviews Sean O’Shaughnessey On How To Win Large Enterprise Deals

Brian Burns interviewed me for his podcast, The Brutal Truth, which can be found at https://www.youtube.com/c/BrianBurns/videos.

This version of the video doesn’t have the automatic transcription of the original podcast. I have created a better transcription below. I encourage you to read it here.

Brian’s podcast was titled The Top 3 Things You Need To Do To Close Large Enterprise Deals. We summarize those three things in the final moments of our conversation:

  1. Practice at being a well-rounded person. 
  2. Practice at being a business person. 
  3. Be able to relate to your customer in a way that makes them successful.

I would also add a 4th attribute that we discuss in the podcast, but Brian doesn’t emphasize in this podcast (but he does in his other episodes):

ABL – Always Be Learning

I hope you enjoy the podcast. The transcript is below the video.

Brian G. Burns  

Sean, welcome to the show. As a way of getting started, tell us about yourself.

Sean O’Shaughnessey  

Thanks, Brian, I enjoy being here. I am Sean O’Shaughnessey. I’m currently the Chief Revenue Officer for Agile Stacks, a startup company based in California. I’m in the Midwest, though, because I cover the entire world. I can be anywhere.

I have a long history of selling enterprise IT solutions. I have worked for many large companies that are names everybody’s heard of on your program.

Brian G. Burns  

It was kind of weird that before I looked at your profile, I was expecting an Irish accent.

Sean O’Shaughnessey  

A lot of people say that, but I’m a seventh-generation Irish. I have a lot of German blood in me as well. But I’m the seventh generation. The first generation O’Shaughnessey that came over on the boat was back in about 1820 or 1830. Something like that. So we have been in America for a long time. I didn’t look like an Irish man. I’ve got gray hair, of course, but blonde hair originally.

Brian G. Burns  

You can pass as an Irishman. But yeah, you spell your name the same way my brother does. And yes, so he grew up with everyone calling him “seen.” Yeah. Have you experienced that?

Sean O’Shaughnessey  

Absolutely. Thank goodness for Sean Connery. I think I’m actually named after Sean Connery. I think my mother, God rest her soul, had a crush on Sean Connery. 

Brian G. Burns  

How did you get into sales? 

Sean O’Shaughnessey  

My father was a salesperson. My brother was a salesperson. I was originally trained as a mechanical engineer. I realized that I didn’t want to be a mechanical engineer. My last day of being a mechanical engineer is when I walked across the stage to get that diploma. I immediately went into sales.

I went to a really great program put out by Allen-Bradley, which was a whole year of sales training. It was almost like getting a Master’s in Sales. And I never looked back. I never wanted to be a mechanical engineer. I was more on the business side. I’m technically adept, but I just enjoy selling. I enjoyed being with people. I definitely don’t like being stuck in the office, like I am now with this stupid COVID thing where I can’t go to see customers. 

Brian G. Burns  

You miss the traveling? 

Sean O’Shaughnessey  

I do. When you’re traveling, you hate it. When you don’t travel, after doing this so long, it just feels wrong. I think my suitcase is dusty.

Brian G. Burns  

That’s it. You get used to looking at bad TVs and bad hotel food and not waking up not knowing where you are.

Sean O’Shaughnessey  

Exactly. I think the biggest thing is my wife is saying, “Get out of the house!”

There is more to read. Go to the following pages to read:
Introduction
Why does Sean like the sales profession?
The transition from salesperson to sales manager
Growth milestones
Rep radar and Always Be Learning

Do You Send Your Recruits YOUR Resume?

Do You Send Your Recruits YOUR Resume?

Recruiting great salespeople is an essential part of the job for any sales leader. New members of the company affect the overall culture and harmony of the company. Every added person expands and evolves the company in proportion to the numerical count of the employees, but also in proportion to the size of a given department of the company. The 5th member of the company or the department has a more considerable cultural influence than the 500th member.

Salespeople are different. They affect not only the sales team’s culture but also the outward culture of the company’s persona to the customer base. According to Mindflash, after a bad sales hire, 36% of their respondents reported a negative impact on employee morale along with a 22% negative impact on client solutions.

It gets worse. I would argue that salespeople are in a demographic of positions that are highly paid and have strict criteria. The Center for American Progress puts the turnover cost of that type of job at over 200% of the salary costs.

I would like you to view recruitment from a different perspective. Since this is a sales-oriented blog, you should look at it as selling and buying. If you are reading this article, you likely have changed jobs a couple of times, and perhaps you have hired or at least helped interview sales candidates in the past. So you may be an expert at hiring and getting hired. My philosophy is that hiring people is selling and buying at the same time.

Interviewing is selling and buying at the same time

While interviewing, both parties are trying to sell and buy at the same time. The interviewee is trying to show that s/he is qualified for the position and would fit into the company culture (this is selling). At the same time, the interviewee tries to figure out if this position fills personal goals and needs better than a current job or other companies being considered (this is buying). Both activities simultaneously occur – selling of skills as well as purchasing the culture and opportunity.

The company and interviewer are also buying and selling at the same time. The company is trying to deduce if the prospect has the skills and temperament to fulfill the needs of the company (this is buying). At the same time, the company is presenting itself as a great place to work with a financial package that is competitive in the marketplace (this is selling).

Sell your recruits by selling yourself

Do you sell yourself to your recruits? When you are in a startup, one of the biggest reasons that a recruit would want to join is YOU. They want to learn from you. They believe in your vision of what the company will accomplish. They want to draft off of your success to propel their success.

A great way to enhance your reputation when talking to potential new hires is to send them your resume. Yes, they will have surely checked you out on LinkedIn, but there is information in your resume that is not on LinkedIn. You probably have statistics like the number of times you have made quota on your resume. You may have the types of companies that you have sold to on your resume. All of these facts were placed on your resume to impress others – why not use them to influence the great salesperson that you want to join your team?

In my book, Eliminate Your Competition, I repeatedly tell my readers that they are selling three things:

  • The product
  • The company
  • You

These three things are also evident in the recruiting process. The candidate wants to know about the product. For instance, they will want to understand if it works or is it still slideware. Do customers like the product and find it worthwhile? 

They will want to know about the company. Does the company have decent benefits? Does the company have a good reputation with its employees and its customers? Does the company, as a startup, have a vision for the future?

The candidate also wants to know about you as the sales leader. Have you been personally successful? What kind of things are you going to teach a new salesperson? How are you going to help that new salesperson be successful? Your personal resume is a great selling tool during the recruiting process. Use it to convince the person that you want to join you and make your company a success.

Header Photo by Tumisu (Pixabay)

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