Episode OneHundredSixtyOne

A Strong Sales Leader Has…

Guest: Phil Lacorte, VP of Revenue Operations at Trifacta

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About This Episode

If you’re a new SDR, you’re looking to management for leadership by example.

But what are the qualities of a good management team — and how do you learn what they’re teaching?

I got to sit down with Phil Lacorte, VP of Revenue Operations at Trifacta, to learn from him about leadership insights that he gained from sales and rev ops.

Phil started as an SDR in SaaS sales over 14 years ago and arrived at rev ops via AE and sales manager roles. 

“What I really loved when I was in the SDR role was helping a lot of the others on my team be successful,” Phil said. “Now I’m in a position to have a much bigger impact on the entire organization — and help out everyone throughout the company.”

Facets of revenue operations

In rev ops, Phil spends time problem solving and enabling others to be successful across departments in his organization. 

His favorite parts of his role? 

“Coaching and mentoring a lot of the different team members,” he said. “The other big piece that I absolutely love is solving problems.”

Phil is proud of taking an organization from single digits to teens up to triple digits. A lot of these problems are the same — bookings or commission or lead routing or data hygiene systems and tools.

His least favorites?

“I wish we had more time and resources,” he said. “Usually those teams are fairly lean machines.”

About 5 more hours in the day would be ideal.

Among the commonalities that Phil has seen across the fast-growing companies he’s served are:

  • A must-have product
  • A customer focus
  • Great managers

“It’s always been something important to me in growing my career is having good managers, but also having a cohesive executive team,” Phil said.

A strong leadership team has…

Phil looks for a couple of traits in someone who will be his manager.

“I look for somebody that’s going to have my back,” he said. Not someone who will micromanage, but someone with experience who knows when to teach and when to trust.

He also focuses on the culture of the executive team. “I spend more time with execs and my managers and my team than I do my own family, so enjoying the journey is extremely important to me,” he said.

Honestly, the ideal manager for Phil is going to be a great coach more than anything else. “Focusing on how the managers can properly coach their individuals is really how you’re going to scale your organization the fastest,” he said.

Early in their career, managers will be quick to dole out answers or take over a deal themselves. A manager who can ask the right questions to guide someone toward the answer will be more effective long-term.

4 tactics for new SDRs

Phil’s experience in coaching SDRs has gained him a few insights that he always shares with new reps.

1.Try many things

“Don’t get stuck with one pitch. Go try to talk to successful SDRs to hear how they pitch, hear how they demo,” he said. “But don’t just stop with the sales team either. Go and talk to your marketing team, go talk to your product managers.”

Approaching everyone as someone you can learn from will help you form your own approach, personality, and process. “Learn from as many people as possible and understand their perspective and how they do things.”

2. Enjoy the journey

The SDR job is tough. You need to discipline yourself to find and enjoy the wins.  “Being able to break a big project down into much smaller pieces is going to help you win the war.”

3. Practice, practice, practice

Phil readily admits that he sucked as an SDR starting out. “Preparation is key in a lot of these times.”

Going on a call, doing a big demo, meeting with execs, giving your manager an update. “If you’re not prepared, then it’s going to be tough,” he said.

Practice with roleplay, ask your leaders their take on situations, and craft your own approach.

“If you’re on a one-on-one with your manager and he gives you a tidbit, say, Stop, let’s role play that right now,” Phil said.

4. Seek mentorship

“Find some people that you can trust, some people that believe in you and are willing to help you,” he said.

In addition to a mentor, build up a network of operational leaders that are part of other companies that can help you troubleshoot. 

“As a bigger picture, don’t try to completely reinvent the wheel,” Phil said. “Talk to a lot of other people because they have gone through similar issues and problems. Go out there, speak with them, and then try it.”

Connect with Phil on LinkedIn to continue this conversation about leadership, rev ops, and sales.

For more engaging sales conversations, subscribe to The Sales Engagement Podcast on Apple Podcasts, on Spotify, or on our website.

About The Podcast

The Sales Engagement podcast is the #1 podcast focused on engaging your customers and prospects in the modern sales era. This show features real-life stories and best practices from revenue leaders doing the job day in and day out, in a casual, radio-like talk show.

Each episode features modern tactics, strategies, hacks, and tips to get the most out of your sales engagement strategy and help you navigate the next generation of sales. You’ll find energetic talks that will provide you with real actionable value around building meaningful connections and creating a better selling experience through authentic conversations that you can measure.

The Sales Engagement podcast is here to help B2B sales leaders, customer success leaders, and marketing leaders innovate and usher in the next era of modern sales by building pipeline, up-selling customers, and ultimately generating more revenue with more efficiency.

Hosted by Joe Vignolo, Senior Content Managing Editor at Outreach, and Mark Kosoglow, Vice President of Sales at Outreach.

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