Senior Manager Revenue Operations – Monty Fowler of LOB
This week, we’re talking to Monty Fowler, currently serving as Senior Manager Revenue Operations at LOB.
With over 25 years of experience in sales operations and coaching, having worked multiple jobs and established several successful startups, Monty shares with us why sales engineers are underrated and underpaid and the characteristics they must possess to succeed.
In conclusion, Monty also addresses what sales operation managers should be prepared to deal with in the second surge of COVID-19.
A thrilling journey from armed forces to arming sales operations
When Monty got out of the army, he found himself a freshly minted network engineer working for a consulting company.
He referred to a few books on computer networking over the weekend and jumped forward for an interview. Consequently, he got the job on the spot.
As he got the job, he learned from a rather experienced engineer how to improve the networking skills that helped him improve in his role.
Five years later, and after gaining experience at multiple companies, Monty contacted a vendor who acknowledged his skills as a system engineer, the guys who help the salespeople implement the technology they’re selling.
Soon he realized that sales engineers were the actual brains behind B2B SaaS sales processes, but didn’t receive adequate recognition or commissions.
Monty has been serving the sales and sales operations industry for twenty-six years now, which LOB is Monty’s seventh startup. Monty also hosts a podcast entitled “The Big Interview”.
The hidden value of a sales engineer
A salesperson is almost incomplete without a sales engineer.
A salesperson cannot get into the technical details of what they’re selling, and therefore most often, the engineer leads the process, doing most of the heavy lifting.
To connect and derive value from the customers, especially when dealing with software, you have to demonstrate how it is to be used.Customers need to see the software in action, and that’s the sales engineer’s job – to install the software and get it up and running for the customer. This makes sales engineer the most valuable person in the sales cycle as they ultimately display that value that will close the sale. Because of this, Monty believes they are not appropriately compensated for their efforts.
Key traits of an effective B2B sales rep
Monty share what he believes makes an effective B2B sales rep.
He first gives an example of an ineffective example of sales: used car sales people and real estate agents. These people often don’t aim to help the customer solve their problem… this is the key differentiator.
Monty then shared some key traits an effective B2B sales rep must display in order to thrive:
- Desire to help solve the customers problem
- Intellectually curious
- Highly organized
- Self-motivated and driven
- Life-long learner
- People’s person – likes talking to people and a good storyteller.
A dedicated B2B sales rep engineer must be willing to keep on growing and improving if they are to continue to be effective in the coming years.
#1 sales metric: a pragmatic and focused forecast
COVID is not going away soon, and next year will be make or break for many companies, so in 2021 sales operations need to comply with the new normal.
Sales ops have to be crystal clear of the targeted activities their reps will take to yielded results in 2020 to give an accurate and rock-solid forecast for 2021.
Future plans need to be reasonable, realistic, and sensible. For instance, if said plans do not work out in the first quarter, radical change needs to happen. If you are planning for a weak quarter, your priority should be to adjust your demand generation to fix the pipeline. LOB has planned for 2021 pragmatically.
Now is the time to be 100% data-driven since data doesn’t lie. “If there has ever been a moment in which we need to be a 100% data-driven – it’s right now.”
“Currently, no one has the right playbook; everyone is struggling with what to do next – everyone needs to put their heads together and help each other. This will help save a lot of time and prevent a lot of mistakes, and hopefully, help companies get to a place where the majority of them are doing well and surviving.”
Who in the sales ops world would Monty like to take out for lunch?
- Satya Nadella – CEO Microsoft