Morgan J Ingram is the Director of Sales Execution and Evolution at JB Sales Training. He’s host of The SDR Chronicles and Muffins with Morgan on Linkedin LIVE. Honestly, I get tired just thinking about everything he does!
In today’s episode, we spend some time talking about…Morgan. I was really interested to learn about his story, as he’s made a big impact in a short time. We get into the specific challenges that SDR managers are facing, the evolution of the SDR role and what that means for how we structure sales.
AP: Morgan, welcome to the show.
MJI: Happy to be here, Andy.
AP: It’s been a long time coming.
MJI: I know, I know.
AP: Alright. So, yeah, we, we, you and I were touching on a subject before we started recording and we have to dig into this in depth, which is that, um, this weekend, you’re going to see your girlfriend for the first time in six months.
MJI: Yeah. Yeah.
AP: And you guys are like about as far apart distance wise and still be in the same continent.
MJI: Yeah it’s the it’s the most polar opposite, I think that you can get.
AP: Yeah. So she’s in, she’s in Vancouver and you’re in Atlanta. So how’d this start.
MJI: Yeah. So back when you could get on planes and you didn’t have to wear a mask. And it was packed at the airport. I used to travel once a week to do sales training onsite. And so I’m always in a different city and also in a different country. And I was going to go meet up with one of my good friends Scott Barker.
And he was like, I’ve never been to Vancouver for, so he was like, Hey, come a couple days earlier, I’ll show you around. Like, I’ll meet, you can meet some of my friends. And I was like, that’s awesome. Like, I’ve never been, I’ve heard great things about it. And so I was in New York, so I took it like the red-eye or whatever.
And then I got there earlier, I think on like a Thursday now. At that, at that point, you know, I was on Hinge. All right. This is the dating app. I can tell you all the real story here. So I was on hinge. Right. All right. So this is just giving you all a real story here. And so I was obviously swiping when I got to Vancouver and I ran across her and I swiped on her. Right. And so we decided we were having a good conversation. We decided to meet Monday. So I had a training on Tuesday morning. I was like, Hey, let’s do a date on Monday. And. I went on that date, you know, just to, you know, just hang out, see what’s going on. Cause again, I was, I was with Scott or whatever, and from that date it was like, Whoa, like this girl was completely different.
And then I got nervous cause I was like, Oh, this girl is different. So. Like, but I’m in a different country and I’m on the other side of the continent. Like, I don’t know how this is going to work. So I’m like freaking out. Cause it’s so well. Uh, but then I was like, alright, I’m just going to like, see where this goes. And Andy, like, I’ve talked to her every single day since we’ve met. And that was back in August. We’ve been dating for. Nine and a half months now. And I’ve talked to her every single day and there’s been no girl that I’ve ever dated that I’ve talked to every single day. And it’s just been a very natural flow of a conversation.
We both weren’t really looking, but we knew that we were both for each other and we’ve been dating ever since
AP: Very interesting, see where I thought the story was going. And this is, that’s a great story too, is that she was going to be one of, not only you swipe on her, but she was also one of Scott’s friends.
MJI: Oh, let’s see. Yeah. That’s, that’s what most people think where it’s going. And also the funnier part about it though, is that I give you this context. She downloaded the app that weekend.
AP: Whoa. See, this is meant to be.
MJI: Is this meant to be like, she downloaded it that weekend. The weekend that I came and then literally two days she went on her first ever app date.
Right. Cause she never believed in it. And also she almost didn’t go on the date. So it’s like, this was just insane. What happened here? So the fact that I knew Scott, I came early, which I never come early to places she downloaded that weekend. My friend told me to now on hinge like three months ago. So yeah, it was, it was just too much happening there to it to be like, Oh, whatever coincidence.
AP: I love it. Alright,
MJI: Yeah, her name’s Katie.
AP: And what does she do?
MJI: So she is a teacher
AP: Love it.
MJI: And also she works at a store called Aritsia, which is a clothing store it’s based out of Canada. And so she’s yeah, she’s one of like the top people in sales. So she also does sales too. So she’s got backup on it. Yeah. Just in a different way, but yeah, that’s what she does over there.
AP: Well, so she’s in sales. She teaches. And I’m sorry, what do you do? You’re in sales. You teach right? Yeah. Okay. All right. That’s a good match. I love it. Alright so well, let’s, let’s, learn more about Morgan here. So you’re involved in a ton of things. So tell us a little about all the things you do.
MJI: Yeah. So on a day to day basis, Andy what I do is I prospected to new accounts so I can close them to do training. And so most of the stuff that I do is around training teams on how to break through the noise. And I work at JB Sales, which is John Barrows, and I help them do video selling, cold calling, emailing all those things that ar hard to do, as we all know, I help them do that consistently without them overthinking it and having fun. And then also I do webinars, obviously I’m on this podcast now. That’s also a component of what I do, but a lot of it is essentially a full sales cycle rep that does training as well. And then I post content on LinkedIn too, but it, all that stuff on the work side, that’s what I’m doing over there.
AP: So I have to admit, I didn’t know much about your background until I started preparing for this interview and, and saw that you originally planned to go into sports management. So. So, what was the interest there? It was like team management or becoming an agent or what was that?
MJI: So you got, you’re already here already getting it. So sports agent. So you’ve seen the movie, Jerry Maguire, right?
AP: A million times.
MJI: Yeah. So I remember watching that with my dad and he was like, show me the money. And I’m like, yo, like, this is it. Like, this is what I want to be, dad. Like, you know, I got my little kid voice and then I was like, well, what do I need to do? So I’m a huge researcher. I will abuse Google. I will go on Google or YouTube. Like I tried to figure this out and they said, Hey, look, you gotta have some type of degree in finance and you should probably go in sports management. So I kept hearing that. So I was like, okay, cool. So I went to the University of Georgia and they had a sports management degree and they also had a finance degree.
So I ended up double majoring in doing that. And when I got to senior year, though, they told me I had to go to law school to be a sports agent. And when I talked to more sports agents and other even athletes that were pro that were from like UGA that I got contacted with, I saw that that wasn’t the best route to go, because it was such a small percentage of success.
And you getting that you have to be in the game for quite a long time and you starting off, it’s going to be a grind for 15 years. And I was like, I don’t know if I want to do that. And so that’s when my mindset shifted on like, okay, I want to go do something different.
AP: Got it now for people listening. We had, I just interviewed on this, on this podcast, a Nes Balelo, who’s the lead MLB agent for CAA. So he’s got, uh, uh, Ryan Bron and a bunch of the really big names. He says his client. So if you want to. Here from a sports agent, but he did not go to law school though. I mean, he had a very interesting background to it. His father was a, a fishermen based, a commercial fishermen based off of San Diego. Um, you know, I still take meds on these trips, like cross the Atlantic
MJI: Oh, that’s awesome.
AP: e’s worked his way up into it, so. All right. So sports agents off the table, why sales then?
MJI: Yeah. So at that point I was like, what am I going to go do? And I went to a local networking event and one of the people there. Because I was trying to figure out what’s going to happen next. And he was like, Hey, you should go look at this company that just got funding. So it was, it was Terminus. So ABM platform, for those of you don’t know what, what is account based marketing.
So it was right when account based marketing was, was like the thing, like, it was like starting to like get some recognition and it was like very new to the marketplace and I was like, all right, they got 7 million in funding. So I’m a kid out of college. That’s a lot of money to me. So I’m like, that probably means that they have money to pay me. Right. So I should probably go check that out. And so I did something very unique that I always tell people, especially right now, if you’re in the job market, here’s a tip, cold call the person that you’re looking to get in contact with the hire you. So I call I called, called the VP of sales. And, and that’s, that’s how I got the interview.
If they would have saw my resume, probably not, but I cold call them and they were like, alright, you cold call us. We’re going to give you a chance, like come in for the interview. And so I decided on sales because I wanted to learn a skill set that based on my research. It’s very hard, very hard for people to do. And I wanted to have something that I knew for the lifelong in my career. I could always use it. And that’s the reason why I wouldn’t have sales as well. And I knew it would challenge me to.
AP: Yeah, why? So I want to follow up on your cold calling the sales VP and just reinforce that with the story of my own. Is so yes, after my first job, I spent four years at a company called Burroughs that time, second biggest computer company in the world. You know, starting off as you know, doing door to door, selling in a business computers and then managing a sales team about 15 people. And, and, uh, at that time, the PC business was starting to take off. And so I wanted to get into the PC business. I was in the Bay area. Eventually I ended up working for Apple, but I was interviewing for jobs and I called gulls guy at this company called digital research. It was a long history of their people might recognize the name, but, um, And I interviewed and, and this guy offered me the job just, but he said, don’t take it. Cause this company is falling apart. So I didn’t take it, but,
AP: But I’d cold called them to get it. So then fast forward four years. Um, and I was looking for work again, the startup I was with had imploded. And, um, I saw this article in Fortune Magazine about the company in mountain view that was revolutionized in satellite communications industry. That sounded really interesting. I cold called the VP of sales on a Monday. Got an interview showed up. It was that guy that offered me the job before.
MJI: That’s awesome.
AP: Yeah. So that’s where I thought you were going to just Scott Barker story. Is that his But, but Yeah, you’re never going to regret making the call. So make the call. Why rely on a head hunter or submitting your, your resume to job boards? Pick up the phone and call people, especially if you’re going into sales.
MJI: Yeah, absolutely. So before you go to your next question, any of this, this is even funnier. So my girlfriend does it, Katie, she doesn’t know Scott. However, she knew Scott’s brother. So, and that’s not how we met though, but we went to a party with them when I came back to Vancouver and she was like, Oh, I know Scott’s brother. And I was like, this is ridiculous. So yeah. It’s it does all come full circle.
AP: Yeah. Yeah. So, alright. So you’re at Terminus, you put in a stint as an SDR and you sort of started the SDR Chronicles while you’re doing that job. Right.
AP: So, so what was it about your experience, that role that inspired you to start the SDR Chronicles?
MJI: I didn’t see any content out there for me as an STR. And one thing that I always believe in is if you can provide a solution to something, then do it. Execute on it. Don’t wait for someone else to do it. And so that’s what I decided to do. Yeah. I was like, well, I don’t see any other SDRs making videos, putting out blogs. It was all people that were very experienced. Right. I have been in sales before, but they hadn’t been SDRs and were like in the trenches. And I wanted to give an in the trenches view for people so they could, I could be more relatable to that audience. And so that’s when I decided to create the SDR Chronicles and shout out to Ralph for writing the blog posts.
I mean, he wrote a blog post that literally said, Hey, if you’re an SDR, you should start a YouTube channel. And I remember reading that blog post before I started off in SDR. And you can even ask him about it. I tweeted him saying, Hey, I’m going to start this YouTube channel. And he was like, yeah, sure.
AP: Aye. We’re talking about Ralph Barsi. Who’s a VP of global inside sales at Tray and, and, uh, yeah, we were just Ralph and I were talking about that just an hour ago before you and I talked, I said, yeah. Ask, ask Morgan about that. Um, so was there ever anything started crossed your mind about. Well, hell, I’ve barely been doing this job long enough. How can, how can I provide value to other people?
MJI: Great question, and Andy, I was super fortunate to start content before I did the SDR Chronicles. So a lot of people, I thought that was the first piece of content that I ever did, but I was doing content on periscope. I don’t know if you remember Periscorpe, when Periscope came out, I was doing two to three Periscopes a day to get better at public speaking.\ Cause that’s something I wanted to get better at. So I was doing a lot of motivational content, no like skill content. It was just straight, pure motivation mindset stuff. And then also I was doing Facebook videos before I did Periscope. So I was already creating videos and content out there. So I did Facebook was based on book reviews. So I would take books and review them and give people insights on what I was learning and then what I was doing because of those things I was learning. And then the next thing was the Periscope, like I said, and then, because I had the Facebook videos and the Periscope videos, I was already putting myself out there. So I didn’t feel weird when I went on LinkedIn. I think a lot of people were like, Whoa, wait, where’s this guy coming from? But I was already doing so it didn’t make me feel weird putting it out there. And I knew that from what Gary told me, Gary Vaynerchuk, he said, Hey, look like document don’t create.
I have a Facebook comment that I still have saved on my phone. And I asked him, Hey, I want to be, I remember this. I was like, Hey, I want to be a 22, like 21 year old motivational speaker. He was like, that doesn’t make any sense. He’s like, well, you need to do is document what you’re in right now and then do it in a way where you show, like what your obstacles are, what you’re learning, how you’re growing, what wins you’re getting, and people will resonate with that. And then that’s when I decided, all right. Well, I’ve created videos before I know what to do with the videos. Let me just document what’s going on, which is why I called it the SDR Chronicles.
AP: I think for people listening to this, this is, I mean, there’s several reactions that come to mind is first of all, and I’m sure you’ve experienced this is that, you know, there’s this cadre of people’s or sales quote, unquote thought leaders and so on who, who disparage what they call sort of the faux-experts. People that somehow don’t make some, don’t meet some magical criteria they have four for being valid experts, which is BS. I mean, it’s like, don’t, they know how to sell. In sales the value is in the eye of the beholder.
MJI: Yeah, absolutely.
AP: And so it doesn’t matter if you’re 22 years old or 52 years old is if you have a point of view that others might find valuable, you may not even know whether they’ll find it valuable up front as you didn’t. It’s like, just do it. I mean, one thing that I’ve talked about on this show a lot is, yeah, we don’t have enough prominent younger voices in sales. And it’s like, I feel like people are sort of waiting until they feel like they have enough experience to be considered legitimate. And it’s like, yeah, don’t do that. You know, if you’ve got a point of view express it, if you think you can help people, help people. Don’t wait. I mean, what’s the worst that could happen. Somebody disagree with you.
MJI: That’s the one, that’s the worst case. The worst case is literally no one watches and you’re like, all right, cool. I’ll put it out there, but you’re gonna, you’re going to motivate or inspire us, get someone to think one person. That’s all. That’s the goal that I know of to tell people to focus on.
AP: That is exactly right. Yeah. And then when I started public speaking, yeah my wife would ask me when I came back, she said, you know how to go? And I said, well, no one stood up and called me a freaking idiot. So pretty good. The exact same thing, right? No one booed me. It was fine. Um, and that’s be able to take those chances because, you know, as a professor, we, we, we need people expanding the edge of the envelope and you only do it by going out and taking chances and being vulnerable.
MJI: Absolutely. And also, also on top of that as well, like that was one of the reasons I created it too is I wanted younger people. I want people that even different backgrounds and diversity, you need to see that you can put yourself out there and it’s okay. You don’t need a VP or founder title to put out content.
You just have to make sure though that you don’t come off as the person like, Hey, look at me, do this. It’s like, Hey, follow my journey. And if you learn some stuff cool, if not, it’s fun. And that that’s the perspective that I take is follow this journey. I have some insights for you along the way. Not, Hey, I’m on a pedestal. You should listen to me. Cause this is where I’m at.
AP: Yeah, absolutely. Because I think this thing about sales in general is that I am absolutely convinced the things that I write about and talk about work,
AP: for me. I know they work for some people. I don’t believe they work for everybody. And that’s, that’s the beauty about it. That’s all we need more voices because people need to find those things that work for them.
AP: All right. So, so you started the SDR Chronicles and then you get promoted to being a SDR manager. So a question I have for you is, is so how are you enabled in that role. And what training did you get?
MJI: Yeah. So you don’t get SDR manager training. It’s just kind of like, alright, here’s your team. If you need me hit me up now, that’s nothing against my former boss at all. My former boss is incredible and I still talk to from day to day and. He’s he’s a great friend of mine. However, there was no onboarding SDR manager training. There was no external leadership training that came in. It was just, Hey, you’re in this role, which a lot of people who are SDR managers right now, or have been, you know, that’s the deal. You become an SDR manager and it’s like, you go like, that’s what happens. I had great guidance while I was in the role, but there was no onboarding period. It was like, let’s get to it.
AP: Yeah, so. So, let me ask you a question, related question. So aside from your own personal experience, you know, day to day experience selling, what’s been the biggest influence in terms of teaching you how to sell? Has it been a coach or mentor? Has it been your peers? Has been customers? Has it been well, obviously it wasn’t company supplied training, uh, or was the things you learned on your own? What, what are those five, what have been the most influential for you?
MJI: So in terms of selling, right. I see it in two different buckets. So there’s prospecting and then there’s a closing. Right. And I’ve taken bits and pieces of information on both of those in different angles. I would say in terms of the selling piece, which is the question here, I have found it to be very helpful to have mentors. So I did mock cold calls with Kevin Dorsey. Uh, that was, I got annihilated on those. I was like, Oh, okay. I didn’t know. I realized that I need, I have some work to do here. Uh, but those are incredibly beneficial. So shout out to him. And I did mock cold calls with other people. Obviously I had John Barrows as a mentor, like I’m on his team.
So I I’ve learned an incredible amount from him. That’s where I really learned how to do it. I learned by doing and I learned through visualization. So a lot of the stuff that I did during the sales process and the, on the closing end was just by doing the mock cold calls, reviewing my discovery questions, how to close a call. That’s a lot of stuff that I did in terms of prospecting. It really goes in a lot of different angles. Like a lot of it is reading psychology. I try to understand people as much as possible and to get people’s attention and interrupt their patterns. So a lot of reading and on prospecting, a lot of it is stuff I just try out myself. I felt way more confident trying stuff in my prospecting, more than my selling, because I don’t have someone in front of me. So I’m like, okay, I can just figure things out while I’m prospecting. So a lot of that, I learned on my own in terms of prospecting. And I had a great former boss who was an SDR that, so that had a lot of credibility on our team.
So he knew what to do. He knew what to call. He knew how to do an email cause he wasn’t SDR at Salesforce. So like he had a ton of credibility coming on that team. So. That answers, that answer the question there. A lot of it has been tourists, reading books. I read a ton of books and I take action on them. And then also just visualization of watching videos and then taking that information and executing it like how I would want to be executed.
AP: So, a question for you then is, and this is not a critique, anything that JB Sales was doing. Cause I think they do a great job. Our company has been a client as well is, but philosophically is, is I asked this question a lot of people, and it aligns pretty much with what you talked about. The, the two major influences usually are coaches, mentors and sort of personal learning. But as an industry, a sales industry, we spend $20 billion a year on sales training. And we have that. We spend almost nothing on training managers. And yet on the other hand, when you ask people how they learn how to sell it’s primarily from their managers and their coach. And so my thought is, well, huh, shouldn’t we, instead of spending most of our sales training dollars on training sellers, when we get a bigger impact training, our managers, how to coach and mentor and develop people to higher level of performance. When we get a better payback off doing it that way.
MJI: Yes. And here’s why, so. Right now, as you, as you see right training. So there’s a difference between training and coaching.
AP: Yes, no, I know, but I’m saying it’s train, train coaches.
MJI: We know want somebody to go on to my point about it goes to my point. Right? So there’s a difference there, right? Cause I think some people don’t think there’s a difference.
AP: Oh, I’m sorry. I’m sorry.
MJI: Yeah, no, you’re good. You’re good. So I think a lot of people think, Oh, training is coaching. What’s another, there’s two different things there. You have to clear of that for people out there. Cause they might think it’s the same thing and it’s not. So training is, Hey, I come in, it’s formal and it’s this amount of time, right? Coaching is continuous. Right? So what we have to look at is when people get into that SDR manager or a frontline manager role, when a training happens, the reason that training doesn’t stay within the organization is because the managers are not continuously coaching on it. And so, and so where are you gonna get more impact is teaching the managers to not be managers and be coaches and not reactive coaching, but proactice coaching. So I’m actually very passionate about this topic because I talk about it all. I talked about a lot with my clients. I’m like, Hey look. Managers have to be coaches here moving forward. You know, I have people that I coach one-on-one in terms of a manager or a rep, because I know that the continuous impact is gonna, is going to go for a longer term, because I know that you have to mold people and break them out of their habits. Right. And so one of the main things that I see is that I asked reps, Hey, how much does your manager coach. And they’re like, not that much. And then I asked the enablement leaders, I’m like, what percentage of managers, coach? They’re like 10 to 20%. That’s not good.
AP: Well, yeah, I mean, mean, all, all the studies on coaching show that, you know, if effective coaching provides as substantial and measurable uplift in sales performance. Yeah. It’s there was a study that came out. Uh, I forgot what company it was, not that long ago that they found, study of coaching, is that in their research that. You know, 70% of managers say that coaching is a high priority and only like 20% of sellers I’ve actually got coaching. So, you know, there’s this huge gap between aspiration and reality, You have the situation you talk about where, you know, many managers feel overwhelmed by sort of the bureaucratic aspects of the job, uh, your reports they have to report on and so on, or maybe just aren’t interested in coaching. I don’t, I don’t know which one it is, but, but you know, one potential solution which I throw out there, and this is sort of a future of sales type thing, but is on a, on a management team staff, why don’t we have dedicated coaches? So why do managers have to be the coaches? And first of all, they’re not trained to be coaches, right? If we’re not gonna train them to be coaches and to be effective coaches, I mean, there are such thing as career coaches, you know, people that know how to, they know how to coach performance. I mean, why, why don’t we have a couple of those on staff and let the manager focus on hiring and, and, you know, capability building that they do and leave the coaching to coaches.
MJI: So a couple of things there is, I believe that the managers, the SDR manager is one of the, the SDR managers, even the AE manager is one of the toughest jobs, because you have to manage up and you also have to manage reps. So you you’re trying to get buy in from executives. Right. But also you got to manage this team to make sure they’re producing. And especially if you’re from an SDR front, you’re managing people that are one, two, three years out of college. Right. So you also have to deal with other things, like how do you do your savings? Sorry. How do you look for rent? Like you’re dealing with things that like aren’t even related to your role. You become a financial advisor and you’re like, this is not, I signed up for it. Right,
AP: I’m a life coach. I mean, I, I, my first management job when I had 15 sellers. Yeah. People I practically had to take to rehab. I mean, it was like that level of stuff, you know? It’s like, you look like you came back in the office in the same clothes you left last night. Yeah. The bars didn’t close to four. I couldn’t get home.
MJI: Exactly. So the reason I’m bringing that up is because. They’re going to be focused on the upper level management, even sometimes more than coaching the reps and the reps themselves are not going to be like, Hey, I’m not going to get coaching to the executives because they’re like, I’m going to just stay in my lane. And so what I have seen any though, as of late is I’ve seen organizations get coaches. So there’s a client we work with. They have an SDR coach, they have an AE coach. Right. And all they do.
AP: you give me those names.
MJI: Yeah. Yeah. I can give you the names. And the thing is like, that’s awesome to see. So the managers are focused on their job and then they have a dedicated coach who’s focused on how do we make sure people get better and then uplevel their performance.
So I have started to see that and it’s, it’s been incredible to see, but however, we can’t, you keep be like, and the executives what happens. They’re like, Oh, well my managers are coaching, but you never taught them how to coach. So they don’t know how to coach
AP: Absolutely. Yeah, so, I mean, so your, so what’s the sports, your interested in sports? What sports were you passionate about?
MJI: FI love, so I loved playing basketball and watching it. And I also love watching soccer
AP: Soccer. Okay, so I’m a huge soccer fan. I love basketball too. I’m a huge Warriors Fan have been since. Before you guys were- Their first championship, let me say that. Um, and. Uh, yeah, look at what sports teams are doing. And again, people listen to show here and we talk about this all the time is they have these specialized coaches based on, you know, certainly, you know, it could be a health and health and fitness. It could be, or not usually health. And then they have fitness and strength coaches, uh, you know, they have these specialized coach on field skill coaches. I’m a huge Liverpool fan, you know? So I just look at their coaching staff. They’ve got a first team coach. They’ve got, uh, you know, uh, of data analytics coach.
I mean, all these things for increasing performance. And yet what we do is we hire a sales leader and say, we have a sales leader, you must know all this stuff and they don’t, they weren’t trained. Right. No one got trained on it, just because you’re a VP doesn’t mean, you know, squat about any of this. So, and we think they know, you know, how to coach mindset and motivation and they just don’t and so let’s just stop the fiction that just because somebody inhabits o role that they know and have the expertise to do this stuff and let’s get real. Let’s do like this company, this client of yours talking about that. Let’s have specialized people on staff. You know, the example I love to give is the show Billions. Is Wendy the character, Wendy, if you’re familiar with that, who’s a psychiatrist who sits on staff because yeah, when the traders hit a hard patch, they have somebody to talk to, right? Somebody understands psychology, understands mindsets and so on and can coach them. I mean, I think any reasonably sized sales organization should have somebody like that on staff. That’s the stuff that sellers deal with. I mean, we can all be skilled to a certain degree, but what sets apart, the great sellers from the rest and a lot of it’s mindset.
AP: Do we spend a dime on that? No.
MJI: No. And, and that’s the biggest miss. And again, I think people think it’s a given, it’s a given that I put you in this role and you should coach, but you don’t know how to do it. And then the reps think it’s a given that the managers should know how to coach, but they don’t know how to exactly.
AP: hero myth. We assume somebody is because they have a title. They must get it out. A guest on my show, kind of Peter Economy. And I’m plugging his book a lot these days, Peter columnist for INC. And he has written a book about first time managers and he has a stat in the book I keep citing, which is that the average age at which a manager first gets leadership training of any sort is age 42 after the, and on average at 10 years after they, on average 10 years after they’ve been promoted into the role.
Now this is across multiple industries and multiple professions, but it’s not any different sales. I mean, it’s, unless you work for a really big company that still has an established training program. Yeah. I mean, You’re on your own and it just doesn’t need to be that way. It’s a matter of priorities, you know, how we, how we want to elevate performance and the way we’re doing it. Quite frankly, doesn’t work. So, um, wait, let me ask you a question. So. How do you see this a little further, our future of sales type things, right? Cause there’s sort of ongoing debate about the best home for SDRs. Is it sales as a marketing? And so the first part of that question is for you, your opinion does it matter.
MJI: so you have to take a look at your organization when you’re asking yourself this question. I have seen more reps that are SDRs moved to the marketing role. My only thing with that is if the marketing leader doesn’t know anything about sales and they’re not a revenue marketing leader, you’re in trouble. That’s my take. If your marketing leader is not revenue focused, then those reps are not going to be in a good spot. However,
AP: That’s the old school marketing, brand awareness type person. Yeah.
MJI: Yeah, it’s just, it’s just not going to work because the, the reps then are gonna have that SDR AE battle because the revenue focused sales leader is going to be like, what? Yeah. Like you’re sending over this stuff, but these aren’t SQLs. Like, what are you doing? So I think the marketing leader has to be revenue focused if they are then it’s completely fine. And because, but at the end of the day, what the good thing about going into marketing is that it allows for the reps to go and other avenues than just be an AE. Because I feel like sometimes people feel the pressure have to go from SDR to AE but you can go to SDR to customer success, customer support, to marketing. To other places. Right. And I don’t think we talk about that enough. I think we only think about SDR to AE when it’s like, you could go other places, if you want. And marketing allows you to have that creativity and they have a budget to give you more resources. So ultimately it really has to look at your organization and be like, do we have a revenue focused marketing leader? Okay. Put them over there. If not. They should mostly be in sales. But I think as of today, I think most SDR teams reporting to sales anyways, but we will see more teams go over to marketing because marketers leaders right are starting to be more revenue focused.
AP: Yeah, well, and also it’s primarily a lead gen function.
AP: Yeah, so, alright, so follow up to that question then is in your mind, is how should the SDR role evolve? I mean, we sort of been in one pattern of operation for close to 20 years now. It seems a little stale to me in a lot of companies that I talk with.
Um, And we know companies, I’ve seen companies that are talking about, Hey, creating full cycle reps, again, you know, Saas companies, um, or, you know, going the other direction, trying to extend SDRs and doing actual discovery, not just discovery to qualify people for a meeting or a demo, but you know, actual discovery and qualification and moving the hand off, you know, further the other direction. So, so what do you think is going to happen?
MJI: So you said stale, like, what does that mean to you before I dive into that question?
AP: Well, and we see the reports that B2B sales performance and individual level is not good in general, relative to quota attainment. Um, yeah, I see in the Saas business, I see what by my estimation is, are low win rates and a focus purely on sort of playing the numbers game, as opposed to trying to become more effective. Um, so yeah, those issues, I think a lot of the way it’s being done just isn’t sustainable for all, for any, but the home run hitters
MJI: Yup. So this is my take on it. So you will see less inbound SDRs. With products like Drift. You just don’t really need as many inbound SDRs. I think that’s going to slowly start going away. Then the next thing that I will say-
AP: What replaces it though? I mean, you, you talked about fully automating, so if you’ve got Drift or Qualified on your website, you got an inbound, you still need most effectively a person can handle that most effectively. Right?
MJI: Yeah. So what I mean by less is that there’s, there’s some people who have like tons and tons of inbound reps, right? So like, what I’m thinking is, Hey, you got Drift and you have less people on the team, because they’re only focusing on handling the Drift, and then you’re going to have like other reps doing other channels. Right. If they’re coming in with eBooks and stuff like that, then maybe you have one person who only deals with eBooks. I just think it’s going to be easier with technology too. So I have less people on that inbound team.
AP: Okay. All right.
MJI: And so my further point though, is you’re going to see the more reps cause you already mentioned it understanding full sales cycle, because a lot of SDRs are not going to be able to go from SDR to mid market rep and have an SDR. Like those days are going to start dwindling down. So where are you going to have to go from an SDR to what they’re starting to call a Corporate Sales Executive, which essentially you have to handle or SMB AE, where you have to handle your own book of business. And you still have to prospect because the executives want to make sure that you don’t lose that skill st and you just get happy cause you have an SDR now and also on top of that as well we’ll start to see, I believe, and it’s already happened in the bigger companies, but I think we’re going to have more segmented SDRs.
You’re going to be like, Hey, you’re an SDR with this vertical, with this industry, and this is how you’re going to go after your prospects. And now you can go use all the tools to go personalize, but this is your lane, right? So we’re going to have SDRs who are going to be more focused and they’re going to have layers of their pulling versus, Hey, we have a ton of team or the SDRs it’s going to be, Hey, we’re going to focus more on this quality set. You’re going to have X amount of meetings to set. But you’re going to be focused on certain company sizes and verticals and whatever, or even more products, right. Product focus. Cause I’ve seen some companies that have SDRs for certain products and brands now, which they have found to be really successful. And if from that standpoint then yeah, you’re going to be asked to do a little bit more qualification. So I’ve seen that the more sophisticated companies, like you mentioned, they’re having the reps schedule meetings running a 15 minute qualification call and then handing it off to the AE so that they could be prepared to then become an AE. And then just the next step is the running discovery and closing. So I think we’re going to see a more sophisticated SDR moving forward, SDR role moving forward. And it’s not just going to be showing up and just scheduling meetings. It’s going to be more than that.
AP: Yeah. Well, I mean, a lot of that smacks of sort ofrf back to the future because yeah. I mean, that’s these, these vertical based teams vertical based or account-based teams. I we’re seeing that. Uh, yeah. Yeah. They weren’t automated, but they’ve been around for a long time. And it’s, it’s, it’s interesting people come back to that. Cause it’s, it made sense. We’d sort of got away from it, but yeah. Interesting. Okay. So, well sort of the last question at the time we have is, so yeah, I get the sense you’re on a mission. So what is your mission?
MJI: Yeah. So my mission has changed. So, you know, it was before this COVID thing happens, before we shut it all down. Now I’m just sitting in my apartment, chilling. I wanted it to be the best motivational speaker of all time. That was my mission coming out of college. That’s what I wanted to do. And then the more I’ve been sitting here, like that’s not what I care about anymore. And my mission now is I have it written up on my whiteboard up here is impact over income. So I was on a podcast with Kyle Lacy. We did one yesterday. He asked me like, Hey, when you turn 50, like, what do you want? What do you want to be saying? I was like, dude, that’s really far away. First off, like, but I said, Hey, look, I want to be thinking impact over income.
And I want to be the best impactor of all time, where I truly was able to. Touch and transform people’s lives by my action. And not just by what I say, because I believe in more being an actual leader versus a thought leader. And so that’s more so like what my mission is, is to impact people in the way that I know I can, which is through prospecting techniques, you know, do throughout the different industries that I may move into moving forward.
Like, those are the things that I want to say at the end of the day, I want to be like, Hey, I was. One of the best impactors of all time. And I touched all lives and help people think about things at a different perspective when maybe they were at a low point. And that’s my, that’s my mission right now. And that’s why I hop on podcasts. That’s why I take as many calls as I do. It’s why I’m on all these webinars, just because I know that I want to be the person that my younger self needed. And I try to keep putting myself out there because I know, Hey, I would, I would have liked some advice and guidance when I was going through these things. And so that’s what I’m trying to provide.
AP: Alright, so last question. What’s your book going to be about?
MJI: Thanks. That’s a great question. Cause I thought about it a lot and I started writing one about three years ago, then I scrapped it. Cause I didn’t know, like 10 pages. And I was like, know, this is garbage. Honestly. I think what my mind is going to be about is the phrase that I originally started out with when I started the SDR Chronicles was keep dialing and talk about how, when things look bleak, when they look low and it might not happen for you, how you can push forward and how you can move your mindset to the next level. Cause a lot of stuff in my life, you know, I almost quit as an SDR. I almost, I didn’t SDR manager leadership that was tough for me in the beginning. Like this role at JB sales was really tough for me at the beginning. Everything has always been tough for me, but I’ve always figured it out. Yeah. And, but the thing is like, I was like, let me, let’s push it to the next level, which a lot of people quit.
AP: Okay. So absolute last question. What’s the J stand for?
MJI: You know, it’s funny. Cause most people thinks that that’s made up. Like I just picked a letter one day. So it stands. It stands for Joseph. It’s a real, it’s a real initial. It stands for Joseph. Yeah. Yeah.
AP: I’m going to start calling you Joseph. All right, Morgan Joseph Ingram. Thank you very much. So this has been fantastic, if, if people want to connect with you, how should they do that?
MJI: Yeah, so you can connect with me on LinkedIn, but I probably won’t accept you because I got the 30 K limit. Andy. They they’ve they’ve clamped on me. I got the 30 K connection limit. I don’t know why LinkedIn does that if you want to. It’s so ridiculous. So if you want to connect with me, can I be on Twitter and Instagram? I’m at Morgan J Ingram. That’s that’s where you can follow me and I can engage you through there.
AP: I can follow you on LinkedIn too, though, which they should.
MJI: they can’t. Yeah, you can follow me on LinkedIn, but it’s still like, I’m just so mad at the connection limi.
AP: can’t just can’t connect with them. That’s all.
MJI: You just can’t connect with me. Cause some people are going to be like, like, why aren’t you connecting with me? I’m like, yeah, I have a gap. Sorry.
AP: Yeah. Like it was sort of funny, there was, it was funny. I was laughing at a post, somebody posted this week about that is like sort of self righteously saying, you know, if you’re trying to connect with me on LinkedIn and I don’t know you and I was like, dude, are you like 10, 12 years ago? That’s what people said. I was like,
MJI: Exactly. It’s staged.
AP: yeah, come, come forward a little bit.
Alright. Morgan as always a pleasure. Thank you very much. And we’ll look forward to it again soon.
MJI: Absolutely. Thanks for having me, Andy.