The Pavilion Podcast
The Pavilion Podcast

Episode · 1 month ago

Ep 265: Just Book the Meeting w/ Kim Orlesky


Just Book the Meeting w/ Kim Orlesky

Part of the "Is This A Good Time?" series hosted by Brandon Barton.

Hello everyone, and welcome back to the Pavilion Podcast. I'm your host Brandon Martin. Who are listening to Is this a good time to show? Where I put Pavilion members on the hands for fifteen minutes here their stories. So much fun shows around on Monday, so please hit subscribe and you will not miss hearing from our experts today. Our guest is Kim er Leski. She is the VP of Sales convergent I S. We talk about why you should just book the meeting and what that means. This episode was brought to you by the Caribbeana Group. They are a team of trusted advisors, certified consultants and industry leaders who make revenue operations easy for clients across the globe through full service fractional rev ops consulting. They serve sas financial services, nonprofits and higher education verticals. Find out more at caribbean a group dot com. All right, let's see this episode one three? Is this a good time? All right? Everyone? I am so excited to be here with Kim or Leski. She is the VP of Sales at convergent I S. She is sitting in Alberta, Canada right now. Kim so great to have you on the pod. A thank you so much, Brandon, I'm so excited, Brad. Well look all me, no filler, we get right into it, no time for bs. So tell us a little bit about Convergent I S. Tell us what you do, how you got into the role. I mean, like you know your path to get there, and then after you give us a overview, bring it back all the way to kind of how do you get involved in sales? You know you have been You've been a CEO before. Like, I'm really curious about so much of your pasts. But what I do want to I do want to start with with Convergent and tell us about Yeah, yeah, absolutely so Convergent I S. We are a SAS company UM here locally, but we have stretched right across the globe. I try to keep up pretty central to to North America, UM only...

...because of time zone challenges. We are also an s A P partner, and so if you understand the uh the ecosystem that is everything E r P, big tech, big data, we are like a small little player in this giant um beast of an entire company, and so we get to move like we're a small and nimble organization yet trying to navigate the large monstrosity that is UM that that is large companies and UH, and so we're developing our own software. So there's a lot that has to go with this, everything from go to market to understanding a client base UM, to selling within environments where you also have other sales people. So there's kind of an internal sale UM, an external internal sale, and then finally the external sale. So a lot of different layers as we as we kind of go forward on that. And I joined the company back in May twenty twenty two after having my own organizization for seven years, working as a sales training company specifically focused on virtual selling, and so we worked with and consulted with a lot of B two B companies UM. It came to a point where I had made the decision from an entrepreneurial journey, right, we just I just got to the point where I said, you know what the time is is now to go ahead and decide to do something different. And so I actually reached out to one of my clients and he says, you know what you are everything we're looking for. Would you ever be interested in getting back into the corporate world and working for a company, and the challenge was exciting, it was interesting, and it really fits some of the longer term goals that I wanted. And so I decided to uh leave entrepreneurship go back into corporate and uh and it's been an incredible journey ever since. I love that. I mean, I really applaud you for being able to take a step in in obviously what was a positive action for you, but but also you can you shed yourself...

...of the CEO title, right, And so like I happen to be a CEO of my company. That's great and fun. And I actually think about sometimes like am I going to be a CEO for the rest of my life? Or like will I ever allow myself to go back to doing something else? And I say back, and I don't mean that, you know, negatively, But obviously if you were just to you know, point out or chart the CEOs at the top and the VP of sales is not right, um to talk about that transition you know, into you know, leadership role again, but but one then in which you're not in control like that, you know, how has that gone? You've been now? You said six months? Right, like it's been six months? Yeah, yeah, yeah. I mean it's it's different. And you know, I mean working building my own company. I mean, by by all extents of a small business, we were we were successful, right, we had UM I think at our peak, I mean we have like, you know, ten employees. I mean we were, we were growing UM you know, and like any business owner, I mean, you just make decisions that in hindsight you're like, I wish I would have made a different decision UM and you know, and I just got to a point where I was I was ready for a change. And that either meant, because I had chosen the entrepreneur path, I could either stay in this, maybe take on more consulting, more one on one, more something else, or I could go for something completely different. And what ended up helping me to make that decision was actually when I took some time to reflect on my tenure plan UM. I. On top of everything else I do, I also volunteer for a board of directors UM, specifically for a large government funded entrepreneurial ship agency that actually supports entrepreneur So I still tap into that very much. But at the same time, I loved the idea of being a board member and UM and when you can get onto compensated boards. UM. It's such a fulfilling opportunity. And what board members are really looking for is not that you've picked the path and that you've you've stayed on it, but that do you bring a breadth and depth of...

...knowledge and experience UM going forward. So it was difficult to go from you know, I'm the leader of all decisions and strategies to now I fit in a very specific silo. In this case, you know everything that is you know, revenue sales UM, tap onto marketing, tap on to go to market UM. And giving yourself that that tighter singular focus gives you a lot more clarity as well, Like I'm not I'm not worried about you know, p n l's as much anymore. I'm still worried about PANLS, but not not as much profit and loss for those of you that have never heard that, I'm not as worried necessarily about HR policy, about trying to decide on benefits on UM, you know, operational software and things like this, like like none of that really really matters, and so I think interesting stuff that keeps a business right. That is basically what you'm saying is that CS do all this stuff that is just keeps the freaking train moving forward and everyone stuff, Oh my goodness, the sleepless nights of trying to figure out where am I gonna like make payroll? Um, you know, and people don't recognize that. And and it's you know, it's great, great experience. I'm glad to have it. I have a completely different level of sympathy and empathy for UM, for the other leaders and in our organization and people that still want to do that. UM. For me, I was ready for for a change, and I was ready to take on a new experience level. And it has been incredible to just be able to focus on how do I enhance what I'm creating as opposed to how do I tap onto all these different things? UM, great CEOs are the great leaders. But that means you have to spend a lot of time coaching you. You don't necessarily get as much time doing or asking yourself critical things. So why is that not really working the way it is? You rely on people to to respond back to you, So it gives it gives a completely different perspective UM as as you go forward, and and for now, I love what I'm doing, Like...

I I am so happy that I I took that this position, and I know it will give me the experience I need so that in the next ten years for my next role, I'm well more prepared and student for that. I love it. I love it, and I imagine the you know, the folks who hired you thought that they were getting a steal by by being able to hire somebody who has that executive level litteral level leadership, because I think what you said there is really important. You you now have a different perspective or maybe I don't know if you said this exactly, but what I took was a different level of empathy for you know, the c suite of a company and what the hell they are doing. And I think it's a mystery sometimes when you're definitely when you're an individual contributor, and even when you're in the middle of management it, you know, it might be a little bit of like what the hell does that person do the all time? But very cool, very cool stuff. Well look, obviously, um, you know you know your career mimics this question. We always talk about hard work and luck, um, you know, getting you to where you are. Um, you've obviously spoken a little bit about the hard work that is went into building your own business and building your own reputation as a sales leader. What about you know, any strokes of luck that have kind of propelled you along the way. Yeah, you know, I mean I think of you know, of one moment where you know, we were right in the heart of COVID. I was still running my own business at the time. Uh, And I really believe in a lot of personal branding, a lot of you know, the social selling, putting out content thought leadership, like like just genuinely help people right, guide them down the path, right, share your story, share share the things that you want to and um, even in the hardest of times, I always doubled down on sharing content right and on doing that, and you know, created a lot of videos, sales strategies, things around social selling. You know, how do you how do you create conversations through the virtual sales real And somewhere along the lines, we got to a point where things were tough, right. I mean, I think almost any company that tells you that they never ran into a hard time...

...during COVID, UM and even kind of going into this upcoming recession that we're going to have, UM is a filthy liar okay um, and so so you know, when when in doubt, do this stuff that you know is the long term stuff. Right in this case, it was content. Um. We were very fortunate because it's one of those months where we're like, we don't know where you know, our next deal is going to come through right now. We have tapped every door that we possibly can, and out of nowhere we end up getting a call from Comcast and they said, listen, we're actually gonna be doing one of our national like raw raw ros. Would you be interested in speaking virtually um a thirty minutes segment. Um, We're gonna pay you five digits. And I'm like, thank you. I would be happy. I hummed in hot and on that one, I'm like, I don't, I don't. I suppose I could give you a discount. I would have been happy. But yeah, um, And it was you know what, it was one of those things where luck really took over. Um. It was not nobody on our radar. It was nothing. Somebody had just seen us and passed our name along because we were just doing good work and we were just putting out stuff that we're just always resonated with the audiences that eventually found it. I mean you're literally telling the story of organic content, why organic content works, and like's not. My wife's in marketing, and you know she she constantly has this battle of like, it's not about clicks and it's not like it's about this, it's about these moments of like putting out good, good content will lead you to great places, like and you don't need to have this direct line from A to B. I love that. Well, I'm excited to ask you this next one. I mean, a master of sales training, tell us what what what's this tactic? Like, what is the tactic the one you have to pick one that you would tell everyone that they should focus on. Uh, and or they're not giving enough attention to you today? Just book the meeting, right And I know that sounds like okay, I'm like, it's so simple. Um, we are we are in a place where, I mean, if... have someone's email address, it's not that difficult to send them a meeting invite at the exact same time as the as the email. And we still live in this place of like asking for permission all the time. Um, one of the one of the biggest successful tactics that I ever see with any sales organization, and now it's one of the pillars that we live by in our organization is if you want a meeting, send a meeting invite, right, So you don't necessarily have to send an email. Right. You can send the email explaining what the meeting invite is going to be about, but just send the meeting invite and what you'll find is the vast majority of people will just accept it or they'll propose a new time m versus you know, declining it or just never showing up. And you know, and this has moved us forward time and time again, and with every meeting. We always make sure that the next meeting is booked before leaving a meeting. Like I I have like slap people in the hands for like, you know, leaving a meeting saying okay, thanks, we'll contact you. I'm like, where's the next meeting? Like, if it's not in the calendar, it doesn't exist. So just like book the meeting book, the meeting book, the meeting, send the meeting invite, right, you know, get yourselves always in the calendar at all times. And that's the only way you're going to create sales momentum. All right, let's qualify one thing. If you never talked to somebody, you don't book a meeting on your calendar? Yeah, or do you? If I never talked to somebody, do I book a meeting? I mean I mean talk to or or converse with over email or whatever. I like, no cold invite, no cold meeting invites on my calendar. Right, Um, no, maybe not, but if you've shown some type of level of interest, I fully like, I fully respect somebody that sent a meeting. Now there's only one person that actually really got mad about this, but there's only because maybe this is more of a generational thing. She put it in as a disco and I was like, what the hell is disco. I'm like, I'm not going to accept a meeting that's his disco on it um And she's like, oh no, it means discovery... And I said, yeah, but if you want to, if you want to come across as professional, then put discovery call or put discovery or something else like this, because one of the things, especially as a leader of an organization, most of us have to a certain level and open calendar, and our our employees can see what our meetings are and if they see Kim has a disco like how professional does that make me look? Um? And so yeah, I know there might be a little bit of like you know, I feeling in the cats and the comments and things like that to put like, you know, like tell me I'm wrong, tell me I'm right, whatever you want to um. But yeah, if it's a cold like I don't think although I've never tried, I've never tried. Although I will tell you one thing. When we would host like open houses or webinars, we would just invite a whole bunch of people, BCC them, um, invite them on the invite. But I was always surprised by how many people accepted it. All right, all right, I mean I I am like, uh, all right, I'm half there. I'm definitely gonna tell somebody in the order to try it one time and see if it works. Fine, do it for a webinar or something like very like noncommittal, right, and and see if like you know, people like you know, I don't know, maybe you get like you know, your five percent, your ten percent ten for something incredible, but maybe I get your five percent that I've actually accepted that. And then You're like, that's a way better conversion than trying to send a whole email drip campaign to eventually get to the meeting. Like, at least we're getting ourselves right there. Yeah, I mean I like it. I've more recently liked it when when like the whole intro to somebody or whatever that you don't know and then they right back somebody recently did this. He just wrote back, Hey, let's catch up. I threw something on your calendar. Tell me if it works. Yeah, done, like it? I like it? All right, cool, I'm in. I'm in kinda, We're fine, and give us a couple of you know, sorry, are you hiring any key positions you're hiring for? Oh? Always, We're always looking for great salespeople, and specifically ones that are well like versed in social selling UM. The rest of a company uses... indeed for a lot of the hiring roles. And one of the things I've always told my HR person is I will only use LinkedIn UM only because we do a lot of our prospecting and a lot of our research and everything on LinkedIn. I want to immediately see your LinkedIn profile. UM. Is it robust? Is it friendly? Is it professional. Are you commenting on other people's posts? Like, I actually look at that before I even bring you into an interview. So that is a really good thing if you are looking for some type of like you know, SDR B DR role where social selling is an aspect, prove that you are a social seller by doing the activities. Don't wait for the right job, like continue to comment on people. And that's one of the things that I look for before bring you into an interview. Okay, I like that, all right, and then give some shout outs. Who would you want to shout out? Yeah, so there's Um, there's two people that I would want to definitely tell you one person that are actually both of them you should definitely follow. Um. The first one would be Chris Bogue if you have not followed him, uh, he has like a little like free or something as his icon. Uh. He does short fun video content. Uh So in a lot of our space, we're in a very enterprise level B two B space. Video hasn't taken off as fast as some of these smaller areas. But I love following it, um only because when the time is right, it will. It's a great example of someone who's kind of perfected their craft and done through experience to be able to do it. So follow his example and that's a great one. Um. The other person you should definitely follow if you are selling into procurement. Follow people who post on procurement right, follow follow the people your your clients are following. Um. So in this case, I want to shout out to Katie McEwen. She is the procurement queen. Essentially, she I'm a mean person. I love like little short gifts and videos. She does the exact same things, but entirely on procurement. So when I comment or share one of her things, it gets way more attraction because those are what my clients are ultimately looking for. Not necessarily I'm posting on sales.

Interesting, I love that amazing all right, um, last but not least at all. And and I hope this is going to be up where you live because I've never been there and would love to go. But I also need to eat when of them there, So, UM, give me a restaurant recommendation. Yeah, if you if you're coming to Calgary, or you're coming to Calgary like or to bamp Via Calgary, right, which is world roun Now, UM, I would highly recommend going to check out to a ten foot Henry right, amazing little tap up place. Um, great selection of everything from vegan um to like, you know, you're meat and potatoes type of thing, but everything is really well curated, amazing flavor combinations. I love every time I go there. Amazing. All Right, that's so cool. Thank you, Kim. So great to have you on. I feel like we could go another half hour or something, but oh we definitely could. Well we'll get you back on at some point, and it's really cool to hear your story. I dig dig the path that you're taking right now, and I wish you'd nothing, but luck yeah, I mean, just you have I think for any of the listeners, Hey, don't be afraid wherever your journey takes you to. Just because you chose one path doesn't mean you have to stay down that path. And if that's entrepreneurship, you don't have to stay an entrepreneur. If you choose to go corporate, you don't have to stay corporate. You're allowed to flip wherever you want to. It's just gonna make you a richer person. Entirely love it, love it, Thanks so much, Thank you, all right, that's our show. Thank you so much for listening. If you love the show, please rate and review in the Apple podcast or Spotify app, sendence and friends and smash that subscribe. Give me a holiday gift. How about that? Today's episode was brought to you by Caribbean Group, who offer a unique revenue OPS as a service model where they make long term commitments to a partnership alongside your team, developing the spokes, strategies and blueprints, who ensure success as your team expands and faces new challenges. Find out more Caribbean Group dot com. I had so much fun. Do they hope you did too? Get out and crush those numbers.

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