Kent Venook on the importance of Salesforce integrity while growing a company

Collin Stewart, co-founder & CEO
June 1st 2017
No matter how you slice it, growing a company is a bit of a high-wire act: you have to ensure aggressive targets are met, keep your team focused and motivated, and establish key operational process along the way.

A juggling act, to be sure. And, needless to say, these factors aren’t always complimentary in nature.

For example, Kent Venook, Senior Director of Sales Development at San Francisco-based TalkDesk, is fully aware some of the administrative processes he’s instilling at his company may not help his team’s sales numbers. At least not right away.

“I feel like I can definitely spend some time on standardizing the sales process. This is very relevant because we are juggling that now at TalkDesk,” says Venook, on a recent edition of The Predictable Revenue Podcast.

“It’s always difficult to do because it will hinder the productivity in the short term as the reps are getting used to the new process.”

This presents an interesting scenario at the company, as TalkDesk is planning to have a very big year in 2018. According to Venook, TalkDesk’s goal for next year is to do $100 million in pipeline, based 700 opportunities from 1,400 meetings. On a team of 12 SDRs, that’s 58 opps per rep, per year (5 per month).

Hitting that goal will require dedication two key concepts: organization and nailing their niche.

To keep organized, TalkDesk has designed their Salesforce to reflect granular account details. TalkDesk’s lead / contact / campaign statuses are:

1) Open

2) Nurture

a. Unable to Contact

b. Non DM

c. Not ready

d. No Budget

e. Price

f. Integration

g. Using Competitor

3) Working

a. Attempting to Contact

b. Contact Made

c. Contact Made-DM

4) Archived 

Inaccurate Data

No Interest

Do Not Contact

Not a Fit

No longer at Company

5) Qualified 

Also relevant are activity classifications:

Connect – DM

Connect – Meeting Booked

Connect – Non DM

Connect – Opportunity Created

No Connect – LVM

No Connect – No msg left

Wrong Number

Account tiers:

Tier 1 – Whales

Tier 2 – Table stakes

Tier 3 – Wide net

Tier 4 – The rest

As for their niche, TalkDesk is targeting high-growth, customer-centric companies in the e-commerce, software, retail, technology and healthcare verticals.

“Our best fit are companies looking to improve the way they engage with their customers. They’re looking to change their call centre from a cost center to a revenue generator,” says Venook.

“And they have no visibility into metrics or productivity.”

But although TalkDesk has designed specific recording requirements, Venook is quick to add that he believes his reps should be given freedom to engage with prospects in their own voice. Process and commitment are important, but you’ve got to let your team members be themselves.

“There is no silver bullet. You have to keep it creative, what works for one person may not work for the next,” says Venook.

“Use as many channels as possible – phone, email, events, social, snail mail. Then, you track metrics and make adjustments.”

For more on Kent Venook’s sales methods, check out his upcoming edition of The Predictable Revenue Podcast.

Below are some shots of Venook’s account view, contacts view, and account page: