Sales Leaders Spotlight: Alex Waiman - Sales Dev Hub - RightBound
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Sales Leaders Spotlight: Alex Waiman

Sales Leaders Spotlight: Alex Waiman

Experienced in building Sales organizations from the ground up, Zesty’s Alex Waiman acknowledges the true prerequisite of successful sales development to be constant research and the ability to learn something new every single day. He’s a truly people-focused sales leader, well accomplished in implementing sales strategies at early-stage startups and taking them to the next level.

How is your Sales Org structured to drive demand?

We drive new business through several channels. We have a Sales org that conducts outbound efforts, identifying potential customers and driving a large portion of the pipeline. In addition to in-house efforts, we work with several managed service agencies whose efforts are followed by our direct Sales staff. Inbound leads are driven by our Marketing, whom our Sales work closely with in order to convert. We also have a major Partnership channel that drives potential customers through both white-label models and reseller models. 

How do you structure collaboration between BDRs and AEs?

They work hand in hand. BDRs have a large list of target accounts in a multitude of verticals. They sit in on initial meetings and demos with AEs, after which the AE takes over until the deal is signed. Prior to onboarding, the AE introduces the customer to their account manager. But the AE’s involvement doesn’t end there – they continue to work with account managers in a joint responsibility for identifying upsell and cross sell opportunities. We firmly believe in tight ongoing collaboration across the complete sales cycle.

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“Different teams share a joint responsibility for identifying upsell and cross sell opportunities.”

What’s your viewpoint on SDRs’ professional career development?

As someone who grew from being an SDR to becoming Head of Sales, I tend to invest in my direct reports and offer them constant growth opportunities. If one feels they don’t have the opportunity to grow, that’s a recipe for becoming either frustrated or stagnant. At Zesty, We show every employee possible career paths, and invest in developing the skills required to move forward to the next role.

How knowledgeable do SDRs need to be about the product?

I don’t expect SDRs to deeply understand the technology aspects. However, I do expect them to be able to research independently and learn fast. My gut intuition is that it’s more important to understand the persona you’re speaking with, rather than the technical product details. It’s much more crucial to know (and speak to) the pain points that the product can solve – that’s the true prerequisite.

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“We pride ourselves in smooth handovers and in boosting sales efficiency with collaborative think tanks that involve several functions brainstorming together.”

What are the challenges of scaling up organizations in a short time frame?

The main challenge is attracting top talent. We stress the importance of cross-team interaction and teamwork, and it’s important for us that new onboarders feel comfortable right from the get go. In order to collaborate well with other functions and work towards a common goal, an open mind and great communication skills are key. We pride ourselves in smooth handovers and in boosting sales efficiency with collaborative think tanks that involve several functions brainstorming together. Another thing to keep in mind is that when experiencing dramatic growth, what works well today may not work tomorrow and therefore flexibility is a significant factor. One must be able to embrace the change and accept dynamic workflows and best practices.

What part of Sales Development shouldn’t be automated?

While research and outreach can be automated, calling potential customers cannot. I believe a sales rep will always have the upper hand in comparison to a conversational chatbot for example. Only a person can have a true conversation, ask the right questions and dig deep to understand what the true motivation of the person on the other side is.