SalesTech Star

SalesTechStar Interview with Donny Payne, Senior Vice President of Field Sales for North America at Bullhorn

Donny Payne, Senior Vice President of Field Sales For North America at Bullhorn a relationship management and recruiting solution provider joins us in this SalesTechStar interview to tell us what makes Technology Sales so interesting for him while also discussing how sales teams and field sales can optimize their efforts and strategies.


Can you tell us a little about yourself Donny and a little about your professional journey so far.

I’m fired up about selling technology but like most, my pathway was all an accident.  The U.S. Army was generous enough to give me an ROTC scholarship, so the plan after school was to seek every challenge I could as a young military officer and figure it out from there. What could be better than getting paid to jump out of airplanes and traveling the world? The Army ended up being more than a thrill-seeking opportunity, but a place where I was able to grow as a leader. After four years I transitioned out of the Army with no idea how to use these skills, but as fate would have it I met another former military officer who showed me a vision for a career in tech sales. Since then I’ve taken many of the “lessons learned” to build high performing sales teams in both technology services and software sales. I’ve been at Bullhorn for the past seven years; I’ve built and led our North American Field Sales entity, where the thrill-seeking continues.

What have some of your biggest B2B Tech Sales learnings been so far?

Two things quickly come to mind.

  1. Always be prospecting
  2. Only fight a fight you can win

Most sales pipelines are stacked with stale opportunities that will eventually be lost to “no decision.” Get out of there fast. Sales teams that have the discipline and confidence to follow these principles always win in the end.

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What are some of the challenges you’ve been observing when it comes to upskilling or recruiting for marketing/sales roles within the tech/B2B industry?

In the current job market, it’s challenging to find candidates that value building a sales career over a hot product or solution.

When salespeople view a role as an opportunity to be challenged and stretched, they almost always thrive. As a sales leader, my most important sales opportunities are recruiting these candidates.

What would your top tips be to Sales teams when it comes to the matter of onboarding and training new hires? What HR Tech tools can they use to boost the onboarding process?

First, invest, invest, invest in great upfront sales training! We use an intense “sales boot camp” to provide sales methodology, product and industry training. “Intense” is the keyword in that statement. We want to see how our new hires learn while being asked to perform under gameday-like conditions. This helps everyone to understand our pace and expectations.

Second, we’ve built a culture where everyone on the sales team is responsible for and invested in a new hire’s success. In the first week, new hires are paired with senior salespeople as mentors who are there to encourage them throughout the onboarding process.

What are the top 5 prospecting tips/revenue generation tips that have worked for you in B2B/Tech sales?

This first one shouldn’t be new to anyone:

Set aside dedicated time for prospecting (this is the most important thing we do)


Be consistent; it typically takes 5 to 7 touches to get the first contact.

Be creative; use your unique style to stand out from the crowd. Don’t be afraid to be you.

Be diligent; sales tools are only as good as the person that uses them. Master your tools and use them.

Be a networker; top performers invest the time to develop valuable networks

What SalesTech tools do you wish more Tech Sales/B2B Sales teams would use more of, which SalesTech products or categories of tools do you think will show falling/rising demand over time?

I see SalesTech tools that help automate data hygiene while helping salespeople to automate data entry on the rise.

I love Boomerang! It’s a simple and fairly inexpensive tool but allows our team to better manage “follow through” with current customers and prospects. The other tools that come to mind are LI Sales Navigator and Hootsuite.   We’re able to get the right contacts with Linkedin while Hootsuite allows salespeople to easily manage their social media presence from one location. Being able to build a personal brand in your vertical is huge

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How do you eventually see salestech play a role in the future role of the typical B2B/sales professional?

There are many elements to being a “rainmaker” but there are some things we don’t do well…let the tech do those things. Successful SalesTech will be simple, easy to learn/or enable while giving sales professionals more time to focus on the human element of selling.

Tag (mention/write about) the one person in the industry whose answers to these questions you would love to read!

John Barrows- “Make it Happen Monday.”  My team has worked with John over the past few years and he has really helped us be more creative in our selling.

Your favorite Sales/SalesTech  quote

“Never win alone. Never lose alone.”  This is our team motto!

Tell us about some of the top sales/salestech/other events that you’ll be participating in (as a speaker or guest!) in 2020!

This is a busy year for me and my team. Here are a few of the key events I’ll be attending this year:

  • SIA Executive Forum in March
  • ACCESS Toronto in May
  • Bullhorn Engage in June
  • ASA Staffing World in October.

The thrill-seeking continues…

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Bullhorn is a global leader in software for the recruitment industry. More than 11,000 companies rely on Bullhorn’s cloud-based platform to power their recruitment processes from start to finish. Headquartered in Boston, with offices around the world, Bullhorn is founder-led and employs more than 1,100 people globally.

Donny is a highly experienced sales leaders in the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) sales segment, with a knowledge of detailed business requirements predicated on building scalable business solutions.