Jan: [00:00] Let’s do this. I just want to quickly thank you for your time and just want to introduce you. You have your own show, The Inbox. I’m a subscriber of yours, but I still have to listen to the episodes. I listen to snippets, really cool. Love the idea, but now you’re on our show, or my show. The idea is basically that I had the feeling that there is this mismatch – we spoke about it before, right? There’s this mismatch between the SDR who doesn’t really understand the prospect and SDRs are not really understood from the same way, so I just have invited over the last three or four month – I think we’re on 20 different people, the likes of Kyle, the likes of Lauren, the likes of Devin Reed, the likes of – Mark, I interviewed Mark P Jung, the CMO of Dooly I interview next week to just understand how the brightest minds think, feel, and act.

Instead of asking them the traditional questions – how did you find your way into the role – I spoke to Devin Reed, and Devin said Jan, the best content out there is answering the question what are you passionate about. If you find the answer to that question, then you can build on that and that’s genuine content because people like to speak about what they are passionate about.

I think what you are passionate about, Charlie – because I follow you, the community’s following you. I think you’re close to over 10k followers now, which is insane. You’re super genuine. You’re about elevating SDRs, but what are you truly passionate about, Charlie?

Charlotte: [01:50] I think something that drives me is progression, and not just progression of myself but also progression of other people, which is why I actually started posting in the first place because when I first started the SDR role, I sucked. I hated it. I was in a company which was cold calling all day, and it was like pitches, and I really hated it. I was like I can’t do this job, so I was then lucky enough to work with an amazing company, some amazing sales leaders to help coach and progress me, but when I was in that period of – for a year and not really understanding why am I so bad at this, why aren’t I doing well, why do I feel so bad, that period of time I didn’t really have anyone to look up to or anyone to help me.

Why I started posting was I was like if there are other people in the same situation that I was in which there definitely is, I want to be almost like a voice to be like I’ve been there. It’s really horrible, but it does get better, and here’s some stuff that you can implement to help you on the way. I think the progression part in myself but in others just to help out really because I wish I followed someone. Josh Braun and everyone was still around there, but I wasn’t really a huge user of LinkedIn, so I just want to be that person that people can relate to and understand that it’s not always going to be crap.

Jan: [03:24] That’s awesome. I love it. Tell me about that period. A year’s a long time of not feeling the best in a role.

Charlotte: [03:33] I’m super competitive, and I’m super determined. I was like I can’t be bad at this forever. I was like I refuse to not get good at it. I can’t just quit and give up, which is why I stayed for so long and tried so many things, but sometimes a company just can’t support you in the way that you want to develop and you want to grow, which is why I then looked at other companies, and I was very specific on who I wanted to then join. I knew I needed someone who could coach me and develop me because although I’d had a year experience as an SDR and I was pretty good at cold calling by the end of it, I didn’t have the all-around set of skills for email writing and LinkedIn because we just didn’t use it.

All we did is we had a list on Salesforce, and we called through them. Next day, call through them, and that was literally my life for a year, so I was like this might work for business, and it might create them opportunities and revenue, but it’s not a place where I want to learn or where I necessarily wanted to be. Yeah, it was tough. The first six months was really tough, really difficult, but I was just like I can’t be bad at this. I just persevered, and eventually got better, got used to rejection, stopped caring as much what people thought of me on the other side of the phone and stuff like that, which is why – then I started caring less, so I got better as a result.

Jan: [05:10] That’s a great answer. We have a guest coming in. Show us the dog.

Charlotte: [05:15] What’s your view of cold calling?

Jan: [05:16]He’s so big now. He’s so big now.

Charlotte: [05:18] I know.

Jan: [05:20] That’s crazy. Is he allowed on the table to jump up?

Charlotte: [05:25] Table? He’s on my legs.

Jan: [05:28] Yeah. We have the same dog. It’s a – what is it?

Charlotte: [05:34] Cockapoo.

Jan: [05:35] Cockapoo, yeah. We have a labradoodle, but it looks the same but in black. I want to cuddle her now.

Charlotte: [05:43] She’s a bit wet, so she’s a bit smelly.

Jan: [05:46] Classic. I feel really love this piece because I think you hear – you read mostly about successes on LinkedIn, which is fine, but it also creates this picture that everybody’s successful and everybody’s hitting quota, everybody knows what they’re talking about, so when you were at that point where you were going through this development of hey now, people can’t support me anymore, how – what was your thought process? What was that like? When did you reach the point of okay, I’ve learned how to cold call, now it’s time to move on and look for a new challenge?

Charlotte: [06:29] I just wasn’t really progressing. I was doing the same thing every day, and what motivates me is progressing, right, which if I get to a point in a company and it’s almost stagnant and there’s nowhere else I can go, the next point for me was an account executive at this company, which I wasn’t as passionate about product or the persona. It was like IP analyst. It was very niche. Although I’m glad I got to learn about that persona, I knew it wasn’t really me or what I was passionate about. I loved the idea of selling to sales and marketing, so that, not as passionate but also I was doing the same thing every day and after three months of doing the same thing every single day and being like what’s next, I felt like okay, now’s the time for me to move on.

Jan: [07:24] Great, yeah. Then what did you look after then because progression is important, but there are also a lot of people that are – they don’t bite through, they don’t persevere, and then they start a new company at ground zero again. How was your thought process there because you did it a year. I think that’s fantastic, and I want to encourage people to – you don’t have to quit only because you’re not good at it but you’re not liking the role, of course but these are things to get into, but you can get better and as long as you have a reason to persevere. What was next then for you?

Charlotte: [08:11] I knew I’d only scratched the surface of what it was to be an SDR, which is why I wanted to target a new persona to understand the completely different industry. I went from a solution that used IP data to help you map against your competitors to an event solution that helps you better qualify leads at events and it helps you capture them and integrates it into Salesforce and stuff like that, so I wanted to learn a different industry and persona and stuff like that, but then I also knew like I said I hadn’t scratched the surface of what it was to be an SDR. It was very transactional what I was doing it for, and I was like this can’t be the way of a sales process at the initial stage.

I started following more people like Josh Braun, Jason Bay, and all the stuff they were saying resonated with me so much. I was like I want to be doing this, but the company wasn’t really supportive in it, which is why I wanted to find one that was. I moved to a company called Akkroo, which amazing, they helped train me, develop me, and almost gave me the freedom to do what I wanted to do. If I was like I want to try this idea, they’d be like yeah, go. Go ahead and try it.

Jan: [09:32] How do you go about that? When you have an idea, you go to your boss. I want to test it. What’s your thought process there?

Charlotte: [09:41] I think firstly you have to prove that you know how to do the basics. You can’t just go in and be like I want to do this crazy campaign if you’re not hitting target. I firstly proved that I could hit target and that I was consistent with my day-to-day activity, and then after that – doing that but also trying things on top of it, not completely stopping anything just trying little things, incrementally changing.

For example, we were targeting people who went to events. I was like why not try? Instead of us just going through target companies, why don’t we target events? Why don’t we look at, for example, an event in the Excel Center and go through the exhibitor list and target on that? Then we can start scaling this outreach and be like, look, I know you’re about to attend this event. Usually, the challenges when we’re speaking to people who are attending event like this is X, Y, and Z. I wanted to try different things not just because I wanted to get more meetings, which I did, but I think it also motivates you as well if you’re constantly trying new things, constantly iterating instead of just doing the same monotonous task every single day.

Jan: [10:52] Yeah. I think that’s a great point, but there’s also a fine balance of when you have too many ideas and you want to change everything. Then you don’t see results. What are your tips there?

Charlotte: [11:06] Yeah, like I mentioned, just incrementally try things. I have. If you saw our Slack channel, I am a nightmare. I’m constantly like I have this idea. I have this idea. I have so many ideas. What I want to do is I just write them out, and then I almost get other people – you don’t have to do it alone. Get everyone else to put their thoughts into it, and they’ll be like, oh, this is something I’ve also thought of. Let’s all try this together.

Then we’ll try one little thing, even it’s something small like an AB test on our first video. Just all trying something, gathering the data, doing it for long enough that you know is it working; is it not? Gathering the data. If it works, great, what else can we then test? I think it’s important to not do 100 things at once. Start with one thing on top of your day-to-day. Get the whole team involved so you have a bigger data set. Then, if it’s successful, great, but if it’s not, it doesn’t matter. Let’s try something else.

Jan: [12:02] Yeah, probably like not taking things personal as well with your own ideas.

Charlotte: [12:09] Yeah, 100%. Yeah, if it doesn’t work, it doesn’t matter. It’s just an idea. I don’t know the brains of what salespeople are thinking day-to-day. How am I supposed to know what’s going to work and what’s not?

Jan: [12:24] Yeah, awesome. To circle back on your first passion, it’s like being there for someone that’s maybe struggling, that’s having a hard time, and is seeking for someone, for something, or a person to lean on to improve, to progress in their role of being an SDR. How do you find – we both try to be active on LinkedIn. I thought, if it comes naturally, if you have an idea and you write it down, but how is your thought process going, yeah, because you are clearly one of the thought leaders in there? People are turning to you for advice and look up to you. How is that thing developing because you’re on to something?

Charlotte: [13:09] What, in regards to creating a brand for yourself or – it takes time. Don’t expect to do a post – well, there’s some people – I know people at our company have done their first LinkedIn post, and then they get thousands of engagements. They’re like, oh, wow! Then it’s overwhelming. How do you then top that? I’ve been posting for over a year now. If you look at my initial posts, they’re like little engagement. They’re probably not well written. I have a completely different tone, and I think it’s just being consistent and finding what you enjoy posting about.

At first, I posted about demand generation topics because that was my persona, and I was like I want to look credible to them. I soon started sprinkling in sales tips and stuff like that and sharing my experiences, and that was the stuff that I found easiest to write. I’m not saying it was good at first. It definitely wasn’t, but over time, as you get more consistent, your writing will improve. The speed at which you type and you write will improve, and understanding different topics and being able to write about them, that will come way more natural to you as well. It’s probably only in the past six, seven months that I’ve found a flow or I found a rhythm that I’ve been able to reach out and engage with different people, which made it then easier for when I thought of the topic to implement into that structure. It worked for me. It worked with my style. The other thing is you don’t have to think about topics yourself. You don’t have to come up with brand new topics every single time. Something that I would do is I would scroll on LinkedIn, which we probably all do for way too long each day, and I would stop on a post that maybe has lots of engagement or is maybe a topic that I enjoy. Let’s say Josh Braun posts something about using different call to actions or something like that. If I liked it and it had a lot of engagement, I would write my outcomes and my takeaways from that post. I’d write that down, and then, the next day, I can then rewrite my own post around a topic that I haven’t had to think of from scratch. Why do I need to?

[0:26:06] That one, slightly stealing people’s ideas but putting your own twist on it. If you’re writing a post about how to stand out, everyone knows that topic. It’s not like something that I’ve invented. There’s no reason why other people shouldn’t be sharing their views on things like that. That’s how I sort it, so one, getting your ideas from other people. Two, I listen to loads of podcasts. I read a lot on Flipboard and stuff like that about different sales topics. When I find something interesting or exciting, just jotting it down. Okay, now I have another topic for a post. My day-to-day, I do sales. If I’m struggling with something, I’m going to write it down, and then I have all these different ideas that then I can use to create content with.

Jan: [16:11] Awesome. Just circling back because you clearly made this journey from the “struggler”. I don’t want to – it’s tough. My first sales role, I disliked it as well. It was 100 cold calls a day, at least 10 cold calls.

Charlotte: [16:30] Horrible.

Jan: [16:31] Like an hour. I was selling a product that there was just no market fit for whatsoever. I just had to sit, dial, pitch, and say goodbye. Now you are in the role where you are smashing it. People turn to you. Have you started to reflect upon it like Charlie back then and Charlie now? What has changed, or what are maybe the three things that you were thinking of like, wow, looking back, if reflective on that, I shouldn’t have stressed about that? What have you learned?

Charlotte: [17:04] Definitely that, not stressing. I think I do that. I’m such a stress head. I’m so target orientated. I’m so number orientated that, when I’m not performing well, I let it really affect me, so I don’t let this affect me anymore. I sometimes have weeks when I don’t book meetings. It happens.

Before, I would’ve stressed about that. I’ve had no’s all week. I would have been stressing. Oh, my god, my target, I’m not going to hit it, whereas now I’m like it doesn’t matter. I’m trusting in the process. I’m just going to keep going. If I don’t hit target this month, does it actually matter? Is something bad going to happen? No. I then can just reflect and be like what am I going to do next time? You just can’t let it affect your mental health, or as soon as you leave work, you just can’t let it affect that.

I’m still numbers orientated, but I’m more in regards to what I can control. I know I need to be doing about ten videos a day to put into my cadence, ten videos a day, and then I should comfortably hit target for the month. If I’m doing that and at the end of the month I’m not on target, at least I’ve then done what I can control. I can’t control if people are going to say yes or no or whether – where their company is in regards to their sales process and stuff like that. It’s stuff I can’t control so focusing on the controllables, and not stressing.

[18:31] Also, I’ve not actually changed that much since when I started. It’s just taking me a little while to understand how to do the role and how to do the role well as well as getting the right coaching and supporting. I’ve not actually changed a huge amount, minus my mindset and not stressing. I just think it took me way longer than most to get the grips of this role because it’s so difficult, and I didn’t like the idea of rejection. I overthought everything because I’m such a perfectionist. I think it’s just taken me a while to get used to the idea of it rather than me actually changing as a person.

Jan: [19:09] Yeah. What were the three things you would’ve taught your younger self stepping into that SDR role?

Charlotte: [19:15] I think don’t stress. Talk to more people. I don’t know why I didn’t do this. I mean, I was a graduate. Of course, I didn’t really know this, but my persona was at my company. Not just that but I had a load of talented people around me. Why aren’t I dissecting what the top performers are doing? Why aren’t I getting into the brain of people within my company, but also, why aren’t I reaching out to other people who are, yes, my prospects but not to prospect them but to learn from them? I wish I did that more from the beginning, just understanding more and just speaking to more people about their day-to-day.

Yes, you can get – given a script, or yes, your company can tell you about persona. For me, it was when I started speaking to more sales leaders, for example, and marketing leaders that it actually clicked to me. I actually get your challenges because you’re telling it face-to-face rather than it coming from internally.

Jan: [20:14] Yeah. No, that’s awesome few tips. I think it’s rare. I mean, I also work in an outbound team. I had some people come and go. Some people are just like I give up, but other people, like you, just fight through and love it and then – or they don’t love it from the beginning, but they fall in love with the role.

Charlotte: [20:34] Yeah, that was for me.

Jan: [20:36] They have careers. It’s hard. You described this click mode. It’s like, oh, it makes all sense. The dots just align.

Charlotte: [20:46] I think mindset is a huge thing. Just not to stress about, okay, if you’re not performing well but you’re doing all the right things to be a top performer, don’t worry about it. Just keep persistent. Keep being consistent and the results will eventually come. It might take a bit longer, but it’s really difficult to keep going when you’re not getting the results you want, so just keep pushing through that period. Yeah, that’s probably a huge tip for me.

Jan: [21:12] That’s awesome. You said first thing passion’s about is progression, SDR role. That’s one thing that keeps you driving, keeps you pushing through. What’s the other one?

Charlotte: [21:26] Progression of me also but also other people. I don’t know if this is a passion, but I am so competitive. For example, I was playing checkers last night, and I won three/one. I was still annoyed. The fact that I didn’t win the other game, I was so – I’m so competitive. I’m like why didn’t I win that? What am I going to do to win and actually smash Andrew next time? I’m really competitive, and I think that drives me. I don’t know if that’s a passion.

Jan: [22:00] Oh, definitely.

Charlotte: [22:01] It’s something that keeps me clicking over every day. I look at this future state of me, and I’m like where I want to be. I think this competitive nature of me drives me and pushes me to get to that place where I want to be.

Jan: [22:17] Where do you want to be?

Charlotte: [22:19] Yeah, it’s a great question. First step first, I want to learn the account executive role. I want to learn how to close and manage a deal cycle well. Just like I have on the prospecting side, but that’s only 20%, maybe even 10% of the entire deal. I want to learn that. From me, then doing the entire sales – well, not the entire sales cycle because when – I’ve done account management, but from me doing most of the sale cycle, understanding what it is I enjoy from that. Right now, I love prospecting, and the idea of going eventually into a leadership role to help with that side is really great for me. I’ve never done the other part, so how do I know? Doing that, understanding what it is I enjoy, and then going from there. I don’t need to plan my whole life yet.

Jan: [23:07] You’re only 27.

Charlotte: [23:09] Yeah, exactly.

Jan: [23:10] You’re not 90-year-old soul. No, that’s awesome. That’s awesome, cool. What’s your favorite prospecting channel?

Charlotte: [23:19] I hate this question, Jan. I hate this question. It frustrates me when people do these polls on LinkedIn. They’re like what’s your favorite channel? It doesn’t matter what my favorite channel is. I love doing videos. I find them fun, engaging. I also enjoy doing different things like LinkedIn voice notes and stuff like that, but it doesn’t mean that the person I’m reaching out to also loves that. I don’t like this question because it’s a selfish thing being like what’s your favorite channel, things like that?

At the end of the day, it’s dependent on what the other person wants to be engaged with. They might love being cold call. Just because I get cold call reluctancy, it doesn’t mean that they care about that. I think I’m always one of those people to be like use every single channel. Even if you hate one, use them all because it’s about the person. It’s not about me and what I prefer.

Jan: [24:17] That’s exactly the answer that – no, few people tell you – they are going to you, oh, yeah, I love the phone. I’m only going to use the phone. It’s like it doesn’t matter what you like. It’s about the prospect. It’s all about them. We have to make sure that we add as most value as possible for their time. It might be a video that’s asynchronous. They can watch it. It also might be the phone when they are free and want to chat.

Charlotte: [24:48] Yeah. Just because they’re not replying by a certain channel, it doesn’t mean they’re not seeing it. It’s like marketing and advertisement. You get surrounded by LinkedIn adverts and Instagram adverts and billboards and all this stuff. Just because you then physically reply to one advert doesn’t mean that all these other adverts haven’t influenced your decision. A classic example is like InMail. People are like I’m not seeing responses from InMail and stuff like that, but see it as an impression. I get so many people being like, oh, yeah, I saw your InMails or LinkedIn. I saw all the channels, but the channel that they responded to was the phone. It doesn’t mean they’ve not seen everything else.

Jan: [25:28] Yeah. I try to describe it as your mother’s standing in the kitchen with your little brother, but you want her attention. You’re going to poke her at the back, at the back twice. You maybe even poke your little brother to let the brother know that I also want something from them, and then she’s going to eventually turn. People see it like it doesn’t work. I’m not going to use it anymore, but the orchestration of the touchpoints, of the cadence that will…

Charlotte: [26:02] Nice term.

Jan: [26:04] Yeah, practicing, practicing.

Charlotte: [26:06] Yeah, good.

Jan: [26:08] Awesome. I mean, time is running. We have six more minutes. Anything that you would like to add? Otherwise, I have a final question to you.

Charlotte: [26:21] Nothing to add. I think just don’t stress. I think that’s something I need to – I wish I lived by more. I still will stress, but as soon as I get into an AE role, watch me stress. I’m going to be a stress head, but I’m still going to try and go back to this mindset of focus on your controllables. The outcome will come. Just focus on what you can control and don’t stress. Don’t let it eat into your personal time. Don’t let your bad mood affect anything else. Just do everything that you can control and don’t worry about the outcome.

Jan: [26:56] What are your specific practical tips on that? You work at home. You’re going to close down your computer. The computer’s closed down, but the thoughts are not closed down. How do you separate that? What’s working for you? I can tell you I am struggling massively with that. I’m always in the office, if I can be in the office, just to have the separation. How do you not stress practically?

Charlotte: [27:22] It’s hard. I have suffered so bad from anxiety and stuff like that just because I’m this person who just holds thoughts. I actually saw someone about it, and there’s different techniques that you can use for yourself. Something that works for me – and it sounds so silly. It sounds like how does that work? This works really well for me, and I do this when I’m about to go to sleep. I always have work thoughts and stuff like this, and Ellie Twigger from Salesloft has a different technique she uses. She blows up a balloon and pops it. She’ll blow up a balloon, an imaginary balloon, and it will be, for example, a thought of work. Then she’s going to pop that, and it’s going to get rid of that thought. She then might blow up an imaginary balloon or something else that’s on her mind.

[28:11] I do the same thing, but I imagine it as almost like this chamber, which is my head. For example, if I’m thinking of work, it might be like a giant S or something. In my brain, when I’m closing my eyes, I literally imagine myself physically pushing it outside of that chamber, so it’s then not in my brain. I do this when I start to overthink. If I’m starting to overthink about a certain reply that I got from an email or someone telling me to F off on the phone, I literally imagine it in my head, and I’m physically pushing it out, like a mini me in my chamber physically it pushing it out. That’s how I push things out. When I end my day, I literally just push everything out, so now I can focus on me, what I enjoy, and things that I want to do. That and things like Headspace are so good for just detaching from everything else, but yeah, there’s different methods that will work for everyone. That’s just one that work for me, which sounds a bit silly.

Jan: [29:14] No. It’s not.

Charlotte: [29:15] It worked pretty well for me.

Jan: [29:17] I just have to think so much of Harry Potter when you’re like “Chamber of Secrets”. You’re definitely a Slytherin. No, you’re Ravenclaw. You’re a Ravenclaw. You’re also probably Ravenclaw.

Charlotte: [29:27] I got called Slytherin the other day, actually. I don’t know how to take that. I think that was a bad thing.

Jan: [29:33] I’m Hufflepuff according to Pottermore, but yeah, I don’t concur that. Awesome, last question, how do you see the prospecting landscape changing in the next years, and what are you passionate about? What are you excited about there?

Charlotte: [29:53] I love this question. This is one I also ask on mine because I just love to hear people’s thoughts. I’ve thought about this a lot. It’s a topic that I talk about way too much, actually. In my head, I’m like are we going to move towards B2C space and start doing really weird and whacky things like what Thursday is doing to stand out? I think the movement – I think no longer can you just spam out automated messaging. No longer can you just send generic persona-based personalization.

I think it’s going to be way more researched. You’re going to have to really stand out by doing your research but also creating an experience for that person, so showing that I’m targeting you. I’m not targeting this industry. I’m literally targeting you because of all these reasons. I think using more personalization and creating more of an experience I think is key. Everyone has a sales engagement solution these days. Everyone can match that because that persistence of however many touches you want to do, and our buyers are getting used to this now. The next step in my opinion is, as well as this persistent approach, you need to not just make it a generic, robotic experience for them, a really boring buyer’s journey for them to go through. It needs to be engaging for them.

Jan: [31:21] Awesome, yeah. That was a great answer. Everyone wants my thoughts here, but this is not about me. This is about you, Charlotte.

Charlotte: [31:30] Yeah.

Jan: [31:31] Thank you so much for your time. Where can people find you?

Charlotte: [31:37] LinkedIn.

Jan: [31:39] Really?

Charlotte: [31:40] Yeah, what? You mean physically, my address? Don’t come to my house.

Jan: [31:45] No, it was a joke. Of course, LinkedIn, you’re…

Charlotte: [31:48] Yeah, LinkedIn, I think that’s the main one. I will be doing some other things and maybe in time other places that you can reach me on but, for now, LinkedIn, yeah, or if you want to buy Salesloft, then email me.

Jan: [32:04] Exactly, outbound lead.

Charlotte: [32:07] Yeah.

Jan: [32:09] Cool, Charlotte. Thank you so much. It was awesome catching up.