The 4 “Hs” of the Enterprise Seller
How about scoring enterprise customers?
Today we are talking about building the enterprise sales business from the ground up with none other than Mark Goldberger!
For the last 5 years, Mark has been building enterprise sales teams. He has kind of built it from the ground up at TripActions. He started as the first and only enterprise AE. He closed the first deals, built a playbook while doing it. He then quickly moved into leading a team, and later a global team of enterprise sellers.
Next, in 2022 Mark joined Ramp as Head of Enterprise Sales. Quarter after quarter, they are breaking records. Just after being one quarter in, Mark’s team was achieving 385% of quota – just to say, Mark knows what he’s talking about.
Feel free to listen to the full interview here. Or, read along to discover my favourite part of my conversation with Mark.
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The conversation was packed with value. I would actually recommend to tune in, if you find the time. I learned so much from our conversation, where we talked about best practices in pipeline generation, qualification, champion selection and testing & getting to the economic buyer. Pure gold, from someone in the trenches.
This being said, there was one aspect that just resonated deeply. It’s what Mark said about hiring for the enterprise seller. In today’s newsletter, I’ll focus just on that.
“When it comes to hiring, even though I pride myself in hiring great talents, it does not always work out. I truly think that hiring is the most challenging task of a sales leader. It is also the most important thing. It is pipeline generation for the sales leader. So that’s an area where I always try to improve.”
So, let’s dive into Mark’s fundamentals of a high-performing enterprise seller:
“You can’t force success simply by hiring someone who has a strong resume and good back channel references. It truly comes down to the fundamentals, what I call the 4 H’s: Hunger, Hustle, Humility, and Heart.”
Here are the 4 H’s explained:
Hunger: “You need to want it more than anyone else. If you don’t have that burning desire to succeed, that deep need to win, that insatiable yearning to compete, you probably won’t win or compete, let alone succeed. It’s pretty simple. Hunger is an incredible motivator to get you through inevitable challenges.”
Hustle: “It’s not enough to just be hungrier than everyone else; you need to be prepared to outwork them too. Yes, working smarter vs harder is helpful, but you need to work hard too. I’ve always loved this quote from John McMahon which sums it up well, ‘The difference between winners and losers is that losers practice until they get it right; winners practice until they never get it wrong.’”
Humility: “You need to know that no matter how much success you’ve achieved, there’s always someone who’s done more, and there are always areas you can improve. None of us are perfect. Recognize and embrace that. Use it to fuel your growth.”
Heart: “This should be table stakes, but instead it’s more like special sauce. This means having an alignment with what the company cares about. Are they doing things for the right reasons? Do they care about their teammates? Do they care about doing things the right ways, without cutting corners?”
As the hiring manager, you need to be able to test for these. You need to ask different questions for each respective “H” and ask about any use cases or experiences they have.
“It’s sort of like a MEDDPICC session where you’re trying to dig in and see around the corners. You do the same in the interviews and try to get to the kernel of what’s important.”
However, don’t look at the 4 H’s as if people have it or don’t have it. Either, consider to what extent do they have it, and always raise the bar:
“As a rule though, I will say that every subsequent hire, should be raising the bar for the entire team. If this person has not the potential to be as good or meaningfully better than everyone else on the team, why are you hiring them?”
That’s a high bar. This means that, yes, you will be under-resourced, but when doing this, every subsequent hire is going to drive massive impact vs. incremental impact.
Isn’t that what we all want?