Paul Teshima, CEO of Nudge.ai, wrote a testimonial blog post earlier this year titled – How A Top Enterprise Sales Rep at Shopify Uses Account-Based Selling. Shopify is a Nudge.ai customer and Chris was a stand-out sales rep for them. Reading this was our first exposure to Chris Grouchy. Paul writes this about Chris: “A top outbound enterprise sales rep in the fastest growing part of one of the fastest growing companies in the world. Chris aced his quota quarter after quarter so [Paul Teshima] wanted to ask him some questions about how he sells.”
We bring you this story about Chris because he is the personification of The Modern Sales Professional. If I were an up-and-coming seller striving to make improvements in my craft, Chris is a top sales professional to look to who models the way. He checks all the boxes – evidence of a super star.
Chris begins his story with Nudge.ai – with HumansentricTM essentials – Chris shares ‘who’ he is, ‘what’ his vision is, and ‘why’ he works in sales for Spotify. As you read about Chris, match up some of the things he reveals about himself with the modern sales professional, six predictors of success. No coincidences there.
Below are a few of our favorite things about Chris:
Character | Professional Traits
Chris reveals an expansive circle of competence with his insights about what Spotify Plus means to the world of ecommerce entrepreneurs, from an economic, political, and a technology perspective. He is the son of entrepreneurs and the spirit of entrepreneurship seems to be in his blood.
Chris is an enterprise sales rep, managing the entire sales process from prospecting to close. He discusses the art and science of each phase of his sales process. What impressed us the most is his gift of understanding that in account-based selling, the sales person hasn’t had the benefit of creating a connection or relationship with the prospect when they first engage. Their job is to provide value for the prospective buyer on the spot, given where the buyer is in the process, and know how to meet them where they are.
Many of us are captive to the tools our organizations provide. However, there are tools universally available to every sales person, (perhaps for a small fee), that we all need to learn to use, regardless of what our employer provides. Those essential tools are: CRM; LinkedIn Sales Navigator; email tracking, click tracking (such as HubSpot’s Sidekick which can be downloaded as a client on email); and a library of effective email templates.
A critical element of a successful enterprise sales professional who manages the full cycle of the sale from first contact to close is that of managing their energy and how they spend their time to be most productive.
Chris schools us on a disciplined approach to his job after reading the book – The Hard Thing About Hard Things, by Ben Horowitz, cofounder of Andreessen Horowitz. He learned about the doctrine of wartime sales v. peacetime sales and liked it so much that he embraced it and uses it in his sales practice. We like it too!
Habits are habits. They support us or they limit us, one or the other. But never both. A glimpse at the supportive habits that Chris’ describes contributing to his success:
- 20% of Time spent on research … connecting w/ the right person
- Focus on essential activities
- Orchestrate high-level conversations that make a connection, build emotional equity and build trust
- Understand some of what the contact cares about before the conversation (Buyer Persona)
- Crazy persistence in follow-up to make contact and have a conversation to get a yes, no, clear future – 8 to 12 touches
Chris is an entrepreneur. He thinks like one, so he naturally takes action like one – he describes this brand meaning for him:
“I thought a lot about the day-to-day that I’d need to master in order to build a company. It wasn’t about building slide decks and living in Excel spreadsheets. It was about engaging with real people and customers with real problems and learning how to communicate with them and provide value.”
Connecting the Dots With The Modern Sales Professional PERSONA
We created The Modern Sales Professional PERSONA (MSP) as a development roadmap that sales leaders can use for skills development with their teams. Chris’s story creates the ideal, while grounding the ideal by making it real and believable and possible. We hope that this resonates and that our PERSONA has some inspiration for you to connect the dots and realize the alignment between what a top enterprise sales rep like Chris does uniquely to create value in his role, and, how anyone could model even a portion of these ideas to make significant improvements in their sales practice. Even if you don’t manage full cycle cadence deals (open and close), there are skills development ideas here for all of us.
Note to readers: Since we first connected with Chris Grouchy, he has left Spotify to start his own company, Convictional Commerce Inc. Entrepreneur indeed! We wish Chris all the best and thank him for allowing us to share his story.
2nd Note to readers: If you are a top sales professional in your organization or you manage individuals who approach their sales craft with intention, discipline and authenticity, we’d love to hear from you – connect with me – Marilyn@Networkorchestrators.com.