Secrets of a Sales Hacker
Expert Max Altschuler shares his vision for the future.
In a brilliant display of target marketing, Max Altschuler’s first sales hack was selling Halloween candy on the school bus in grade school. Even then he knew how to build relationships and intuitively read the needs of his customers. From his humble beginnings as a candy corn reseller, he parlayed his talents into his role as a thought leader in sales and technology. Recently, his company, Sales Hacker, Inc., was acquired by Outreach, where he now also serves as vice president of marketing. In this exclusive Adobe interview, Max shares his vision of the future of sales.
What sets a good sales team apart from a great sales team?
Constant learning and evolving. Replicating best practices. A dedication and sales culture built around being the best and not just good enough.
How are successful teams using technology to reach their goals?
First, you need to do the task without technology. Build the process so you know what you need and how it will integrate. Once you’ve done that, you know your tech investment will pay off because the process is working, and the new tech should make it 100 times more efficient or effective.
Are sales teams investing enough in technology?
No, probably not. Most companies have a CRM, maybe a few LinkedIn licenses, and a contact info provider. The sales stack has evolved so much that only having these pieces will put you at a disadvantage. Sales engagement, conversation intelligence, conversational marketing, sales enablement, and e-signature are just a few categories of sales tech that you should be looking into.
“Back when the phone was invented, imagine being the person who said, ‘Oh I don’t need to use that to sell.’ The same thing is happening with sales technology right now. My advice? Get a budget, do research, invest in sales technology.”
AI and automation are hot topics right now. How are sales teams using AI or automation successfully? And how should teams think about the balance between automation and humanization?
Companies should use technology to support and enhance the jobs of your reps, not to replace them. Don’t automate the things you need a human for, just the rest of the grunt work. Allow AI to provide insights into what the data actually means. AI is only useful — and is really only AI — when it takes data and makes it actionable.
What are the top blockers you’ve seen that keep sales teams from finalizing deals, and how can they push beyond them?
First, not being efficient with their time and allowing too much time to lapse and not following up properly. There’s tech to help with this. And second, thinking it’s a done deal before it really is. This is a problem your sales manager will need to help you fix that is likely happening further toward the beginning of the funnel.
How can teams close deals faster?
Leveraging technology is the first thing. There’s so much amazing tech out there that’s been created or has evolved in the past five years. Not taking advantage of it would be akin to not using the phone or email to sell.
Selling candy on that school bus years ago, Max knew success meant taking risks and setting yourself apart. Today, he encourages continual sales evolution through embracing innovation. “Back when the phone was invented, imagine being the person who said, ‘Oh I don’t need to use that to sell,’” Max says. “The same thing is happening with sales technology right now. My advice? Get a budget, do research, invest in sales technology.”
More about Max
Learn more about Max Altschuler and his rise to international sales hacker expert. Download the new e-book today.
Top hacks from Max
- Build the process first, then bring in the tech to make it more efficient.
- Technology should enhance, not replace, your salesforce.
- Sales technology is essential to closing deals faster.