SalesTechStar Interview with Christopher Daniels, Global Head of Sales at Televerde
Televerde recently appointed Christopher Daniels as their new Global Head of Sales; we caught up with Christopher in this quick chat to discuss the key leadership elements required in this ‘’new normal’’ (especially in a new role!) while also breaking down the evolving trends in B2B sales and marketing today. Catch the complete conversation:
Hi Christopher, welcome to SalesTechStar. You’ve recently taken over as Televerde’s Global Head of Sales; how do you approach new sales process/strategies at a new leadership role?
I make it a point to not rush to judgement on anything. I ask a lot of questions so I can understand processes, what’s working, what’s not, gaps, etc. This approach enables me to collect the right information and identify the top 4-5 priorities we need to execute on.
There’s a tendency with new leaders to come in and want shake things up. Exercise patience and discipline and hold off. Learn the culture first. Get to know your people. Understand that what worked at one company will not work at every company. And don’t succumb to the pressure to act before you listen, learn and observe otherwise you’ll arrive at the wrong conclusions because you don’t know the company well enough.
What are some of the biggest sales leadership practices from your journey that you feel sales leaders in tech should especially emphasize on during this Covid-19 downtime?
Leaders need to keep their teams excited, engaged and inspired. During extraordinary times, which these are, it takes extraordinary effort to do this well. Put in the time and effort. Recognize often, even the small wins, which add up and lead to bigger successes. Perhaps most important, understand what people are going through. We’re all impacted by COVID-19 but we’re experiencing and internalizing it differently. Be empathetic, listen, and offer plenty of support.
What are your top of mind thoughts on structuring a marketing-sales team hierarchy that helps ensure a continuous pipeline and flow of communication to enable better sales and revenue outcomes?
Sales, Marketing and Client Success need to operate as one in order to achieve business growth. Each area needs to deeply understand the other. Working in lock-step brings the right opportunities into the top of funnel so you to execute well in the middle and grow the customers on back-end. By working as one, you give every team the chance to succeed. Remember: alignment is critical, even across KPIs and metrics.
As sales trends evolve and as the need for different kinds of technologies to support it crop up, what do you feel will eventually become must-have sales tech for teams?
Without question, analytics and data, which help sales teams make decisions quickly in response to market changes, understand the competition, learn customer preferences, identify customers that are the right fit for your organization, and shorten the sales cycle.
What are some of the biggest takeaways sales, marketing teams and business leaders should grab from this entire experience of working and living through a global pandemic?
We can be extremely effective working in a remote environment. There was a misperception before the pandemic that the only way to attain high productivity was to be in the office. While being onsite does have benefits, most companies have figured out that they can be extremely effective working anywhere. The key is to make more effort to communicate and collaborate.
Work and life has now fully integrated. We need to be more sensitive to the competing priorities our employees are dealing with and give them the flexibility they need to be successful.
We also need to talk more openly about our feelings and stress levels and how we’re coping as leaders so we remove the stigma associated with mental health and our teams can feel supported mentally and emotionally during COVID-19.
A parting thought on your biggest sales goof-up and the learning that came from it!
Sales guy here. I was presenting to a pretty important client. I got 2-3 slides in before I realized it was the wrong presentation. Oops! In the moment you feel embarrassed, angry and frustrated but it’s important to move through all that, not let the negative energy consume you and acknowledge the fact that everyone has been where you are at one time or another. So have a sense of humor and forgive yourself. At the end of the day, no matter how much we chase perfection, we’re never going to be perfect. Forgive yourself when you screw up and remember that there will always be more opportunities to get it right.
What Should Sales and Marketing Teams Keep in Mind for the Rest of 2020? Catch these conversations where leaders from Chili Piper, PopIn, Zilliant (and more!) share some thoughts.
Televerde helps global B2B organizations generate demand and accelerate sales through a combination of strategic data solutions, marketing technology and highly skilled sales professionals. Since its inception in 1994, Televerde has been a purpose-driven company providing education and career opportunities for incarcerated women.
Chris Daniels is the Global Head of Sales for Televerde, an integrated sales and marketing technology organization based in Phoenix, Arizona. Seven of Televerde’s 10 engagement centers are staffed by incarcerated women, representing 70 percent of the company’s 600+ global workforce. In his role as Global Head of Sales, Chris leads client retention initiatives and drives new client acquisitions. Soccer is Chris’s life outside of work. He, his wife Julia and their three kids like to watch it, play it and strategize about it. It’s a minor obsession (5-6 days a week) and great exercise.