As the head of sales at Clari, I spend a lot of time analyzing our best reps and sales leaders.
This isn’t just because I want to help our reps grow (which of course, I do). It’s because every good sales leader is so concerned about closing the performance gap—that difference between the top sellers, and the not-so-great sellers. I’m constantly looking for ways to help everyone on my teams better hit, and exceed, their quotas.
If I can identify key steps our best sellers take, I can turn them into actionable insights for our entire sales team.
One Account Executive I follow closely at Clari is Wesley Metter, our mid-market account executive based in New York City.
Metter knows how to take command of her business and build relationships, and it bears out in the numbers. In 2021 alone, Metter:
- Landed 19 new logos, the most of any Clari rep across all segments
- Achieved 182% annual quota attainment for our last fiscal year
How does she do this? Answering that question is so key that I’ve discussed it with our Chief Revenue Officer here at Clari.
We have so many amazing sellers that we could, and often do, run this exercise with other rockstar sellers. Metter represents just one example of the talent and hard work of our sales team who are making an outsized impact.
Here are four things that reps can learn from Metter to improve their sales performance.
Engage and support your connections
Metter engages with her prospects as a valued thought partner.
For example, in the middle of the deal cycle last year, the vice president of a prospect’s go-to-market team texted Metter to ask what number Clari was calling for their quarter.
That simple move said so much. This revenue leader and Metter had a relationship where they felt comfortable texting each other. This person had faith Metter could give what they asked, even though they weren’t yet a customer.
This speaks to Metter’s ability to build a rapport and become a trusted advisor to her prospects. Here at Clari, we believe in being true partners throughout the buyer and customer journey. Not every seller can do this. Building these relationships takes time, which is one of the most precious assets for reps. Metter takes that time and asks the right questions, so she can understand the prospect’s goals and align on the value Clari delivers. More often than not, she is able to turn prospects into champions who root for her to win.
Always find a way to win
Obstacles always arise in sales cycles. A good rep turns those challenges into actions that drive deals forward.
I’ve seen Metter build detractors into champions. For example, when a Chief Financial Officer blocked a deal, Metter didn’t stop—she networked. At Clari, sales is a team support. Typically, reps ask their peers for introductions and connections, and everyone scours their LinkedIn.
Metter dug until she found someone connected to the CFO. She then landed the CFO's cell phone number, and had a Clari executive give them a call.
Ask the hard questions
Top sales reps like Metter can be bold with their asks because they have already cultivated a relationship of mutual respect with their prospects.
For example, Metter has been known to send a contract to sign to prospects without verbal approval.
This could risk alienating a customer. Done incorrectly, sending a contract without at least a conversation could come off as pushy and ruin a relationship with a rep. However, Metter does an outstanding job of building relationships by providing valuable insights via content, customer referrals, and Clari data to earn the respect that she needs from her prospects.
They see her as a partner working to keep them on track, rather than someone pushing them to do something they don’t want.
View selling as a team sport
Metter demands resources from her cross functional partners and makes them feel like a huge part of her success.
For example, she had a new sales development rep who struggled. She asked Clari’s SDR manager to help make up the gap by prospecting into her accounts until the SDR had more training. Nobody else would ask this.
But top reps like Metter are built differently.
Because Metter is so skilled at building relationships, both internal and external, the SDR manager didn’t mind lending her a helping hand.
Time and time again, Metter has reaped the rewards for being engaging, tenacious, fearless, and resourceful. Those qualities aren’t always easy to see or define. But analyzing what makes her so successful helps me and my team keep a sharp eye out for these skills when hiring. We coach other reps to use these strategies. We close that sales performance gap.
Thanks, Wesley. Well done.