“You’re a bag of dirt!” The Journey with Alex Lynn

Jordan talks with guest Alex Lynn, Crowdstrike's Senior Director of Global Sales Development Operations about hiring SDRs for your sales team.

Show notes

This episode begins years ago, on a high school basketball court, in central Pennsylvania. RevOps Therapist, Jordan Greaser, CEO of Greaser Consulting, and Alex Lynn, Senior Director of Global Sales Development Operations at CrowdStrike, started out as basketball players from rival schools.

While moving through the ranks (not the basketball ranks), starting as SDRs at Outreach, promoting to managers, and advancing their careers in different paths, the two have experienced many levels of a career in sales.

What should you be looking for when hiring SDRs? As a leader, what can you do to support your team and be the best you can be? There are many different opinions on this, and with these two very different leaders in the industry, you’re sure to pick some ideas and laugh a little along the way.

Transcript

Jordan Greaser:

Hi everyone. This is Jordan, the owner and CEO of Greaser Consulting. In this episode, I spoke with Alex Lynn, who’s the worldwide Senior Global Director of Sales Development at CrowdStrike. He and I have a long history together for just some fun things to bring up. Way back in the day we were high school rivals playing basketball on different teams. He and I were the first sales development managers at Outreach when we worked there together. And we’ve always had a great appreciation for each other, but a pretty significant competitive streak, which definitely comes out in this episode. You’ll hear us call each other names and whatever else in between.

Jordan Greaser:

But what we were talking about within this episode is just the whole concept of what makes a good SDR. Who are you looking for? What has his own journey, right now he’s a big title guy at a big company, how has that influenced his own desire on who he hires for the SDR role? And listen, both of us are just blue collar guys from middle of nowhere Pennsylvania, and so we really prescribe to that idea that talent is everywhere, but opportunity isn’t. And so, as we dive through the topic today, you’ll hear us probably go a little bit over the top here and there about our blue collar roots and what that makes of us, but I hope you enjoy today’s session. It was a lot of fun for me, and with that, I’m going to let you dive right in.

Speaker 2:

(singing).

Jordan Greaser:

Hey crew. This is Jordan Greaser, the founder of Greaser Consulting. Today, we have Alex Lynn with us, pretty impressive resume, don’t tell him I said that. So I’m going to let him go ahead and introduce himself to you and then we’ll go from there. So go ahead, Alex, who are you, other than a bag of dirt?

Alex Lynn:

Thank you, Jordan. I appreciate it. And thanks for having me on. As mentioned, my name’s Alex Lynn. I currently work as the Senior Director of Global Sales Development Operations at CrowdStrike. So in my role now I oversee our global sales development efforts and also something that I’ve started to build out a little bit over the past few years, but the idea of SDR operations and a top of funnel operations team. So yeah, that’s me.

Jordan Greaser:

All right. The focus of our call today, or really our topic is just about how your background has influenced the way that you hire. Obviously, CrowdStrike is not a small company. It’s mentioned everywhere, globally actually has some great importance. So you’d think, you have this really defined who you hire, what’s the actual hiring profile, et cetera, but you have a little bit of an interesting backstory. So could you tell us first, where’d you come from and how did you get to where you are? Because you’re what? 31, 32, and you’re the Global Director of Sales Development at CrowdStrike. So, walk us through that.

Alex Lynn:

Yeah, that’s a great question. Thank you, Jordan. So, as you know, I grew up in the middle of nowhere, central Pennsylvania, very similar to this place called Williamsburg, but I came from a small town called Tyrone, Pennsylvania-

Jordan Greaser:

Listen, listen, don’t compare Williamsburg with Tyrone. We’re clearly the better basketball team, we clearly outperform everything that happens in Tyrone, so anyway, go ahead, fake news, keep going.

Alex Lynn:

Bold statement, bold, bold statement right off the get go. Is this how this is going to go, Greaser? But I’ll let you believe that you’re the better basketball team or sporting team, whatever you want to call it. I don’t know. You guys have like eight kids that come out for your football team each year, so-

Jordan Greaser:

All right. Let’s answer the question. Let’s answer the question.

Alex Lynn:

… we’ll see. But again, come from middle of nowhere, central Pennsylvania, a small town called Tyrone and tech sales is not necessarily something that I think anybody thinks about from the central PA area, right? It’s generally speaking a pretty agricultural heavy region and pretty much manual labor, right? And so coming out of PA, I initially went to school at Penn State University, was thinking I was going to go be a physical therapist. We kind of touched on the sports aspect, played sports a lot as a kid growing up and really thought that was going to be my passion, but realized after going to school for a few years that I really liked money and I hated spending it constantly and I wanted to make a lot of it. And that was, I think, what probably prompted me to get into sales initially.

Alex Lynn:

And thankfully, my reasoning behind staying in sales has changed since then and while money is still important, there’s a lot of other factors that are a bit more important, but yeah. So I got involved in retail sales initially, was having a real tough time getting a gig in, I was really trying to start as a pharmaceutical sales rep, and I was having a tough time getting into that role without any sales experience, and so I started working for a Verizon Wireless franchise and working retail. And well, anybody who’s ever worked retail sales before will tell you, it’s crazy long hours, it’s stressful, and you really got to grind, but at the same time too, it was an awesome experience. And I got to learn so much. I failed a ton at sales, and also just in terms of customer relationships and just that back and forth, but I was lucky enough to get moved into a management role in retail just a couple months after starting, and that’s really what I credit really any type of success or anything I guess that I have now is back to those days.

Alex Lynn:

Because when I talk about failures, I failed a ton. I made so many mistakes and when it came to dealing with people, I was just a kid fresh out of college and I didn’t really know what I was doing. And I got an opportunity to really make a lot of mistakes, but also to learn and get better, and did that for a few years and then luckily enough was able to get involved at this tiny little tech sales startup that nobody had ever heard of before called Outreach.

Alex Lynn:

Some people might be familiar with it now maybe, but came in initially as one of the first SDRs there and started to help build out that program and that process and the foundation, what that role is, and got to work with the wonderful host for this session, Mr. Greaser, at Outreach as well. And stayed there for a few years and then wanted to get out of central Pennsylvania, wanted to broaden my horizons a little bit. And I was recently engaged and wanted to get a new experience, and so my wife and I moved to Austin, Texas and I started working with CrowdStrike. And last couple years, just been able to continue to grow the company, the team, and the role, and really be hopefully an evangelist for the SDR community.

Jordan Greaser:

So, you touched on this, how we know each other. I still remember you talk about little out of the way tech company Outreach, and I remember walking in for an interview and what a few people know is that there was a sales office in Pennsylvania. This sales office was as big as a closet. There were 10 people working in there maybe, and I remember walking in and again, this was before anybody knew what Outreach even was. And I run into Alex Lynn. I played basketball against Alex Lynn, well, that’s not fair. He sat on the bench, I played, and I see him there wearing a basketball uniform with some Jordans on. And he’s rocking back and forth, clicking through LinkedIn, I’m like, “What in the world are you doing?” You’re like, “I don’t know, man. I just go through and like stuff. I comment on things.” I’m like, “This is your job?” He’s like, “Yeah, something like that.”

Jordan Greaser:

There’s some other girl sitting over there wearing her pajamas. One guy screams out, “SAL,” or something and kicks a football and runs down the thing. I’m thinking, “This place is Cutco Knives. I’m not in, this is not a real company. I don’t know what these people do. This is not the real thing.” But anyway, the point is you and I cut our chops there, had just a fantastic-

Alex Lynn:

Real quick, if I can interrupt you-

Jordan Greaser:

Yeah, go ahead. Go ahead.

Alex Lynn:

I have to touch on, just because we’re talking about this office too, to give everybody the right context, this was a little hole basically in the basement of this office building. And they had a little tiny conference room attached to it. It was basically just two rooms, and I remember my first day to talk about, “Hey, before anybody knew Outreach,” my first day I go in and I sit down at this fold-out table in this conference room and I get handed a computer and I’m sitting next to this guy, his name’s Mike Dale, the infamous Mike Dale. And he gets a computer too and Mark Kosoglow is VP of Sales at Outreach. He sat us down, he gave us a computer, and he goes, “Hey, there’s a 10 page Google Sheet in here. It’s going to tell you how to do your job. Read that and then go get started.” It was like, “What?”

Alex Lynn:

And it’s impressive to think about how far Outreach has come and how far SDR onboarding in general has come, I think, across the community. Because I mean the onboarding our SDRs get now at CrowdStrike, it’s so vastly different, but it’s something I think about fondly all the time. “Hey, here’s a computer and go figure it out.” Right? And probably couldn’t have [crosstalk 00:09:20] any better.

Jordan Greaser:

At least I walked into an office. If you talk, do you remember Brittany, her name’s Brittany Dunn now, her infamous story is she went for an interview and showed up at some dude’s house. She got the address, it was some guy’s house, turns out that guy was Mark Kosoglow, VP of Sales at Outreach even today, and in the living room, they have an interview. You know what I mean?

Alex Lynn:

Yeah, I actually did my interview at Mark’s house too and I actually got to sit on the, sat on the end of a bed and we sat there and we talked to each other. And I was just like, “What is this place? What am I doing?”

Jordan Greaser:

These details are appropriate for a podcast? Wait a minute.

Alex Lynn:

Hey, hey, hey. Easy, easy, easy. But yeah, it’s interesting-

Jordan Greaser:

So anyway…

Alex Lynn:

It’s interesting to think about it.

Jordan Greaser:

The point is we’re a couple of country kids from the middle of nowhere, Pennsylvania, I’m running my company, you’re over here, the Senior Global Director of Sales Development at CrowdStrike. And so the point is, we’re not coming from a tech background, we’re not coming from a high-octane place, but the both of us have seen success and we’ve also seen, even that sales office in Pennsylvania with all these backward folks that we’re joking about, just do an awesome job. Right?

Alex Lynn:

Yeah. 100%.

Jordan Greaser:

And so today, when you go in and you’re saying, “Hey, we need to hire some SDRs for CrowdStrike.” Are you looking for blue collar folks? And you’re like, “Hey, basically I have to hire every hick on the planet?” Or are you like, what is the criteria?

Alex Lynn:

Yeah. That’s a great question, Jordan. And to your point, man, I think that those early days with Outreach were so formative in our experience. And you mentioned some of these different, I don’t know if you said oddballs or what, but some of these different characters that we had as SDRs there. I remember you and I used to talk about it all the time. It’d be like, “We’re not getting the same kind of SDR candidates that everybody else is getting, right? We’re not getting these guys from San Francisco or from Seattle or whatever. The guy we just hired yesterday, he used to work on a farm,” or whatever it might be, right?

Jordan Greaser:

This guy was just pressing pants at the cleaners.

Alex Lynn:

100%. This is the candidates that we’re getting. And at the time, it was frustrating, but now I look back on it and it’s been so formative and how I think about the SDR role and how I think about people that can be successful in the role. I think that more than anything, when I’m looking to hire, and something I try to really impress upon my leaders and the leaders under them, is just the idea that soft skills, technical skills, any of that stuff, that stuff can all be taught, right?

Alex Lynn:

You can teach somebody how to have a conversation. You can teach somebody how to navigate a Salesforce page, whatever it might be, but you can’t teach somebody how to have some work ethic, right? How to have some perseverance, how to have some determination, and I hate to go, again, back to the Outreach days, but how to have grit and how to have the ability to just get after it and not take no for an answer. And it’s something I think about all the time and I try to talk to people about it, it’s like, “You give me a guy that’s worked 40 or 50 hours a week doing manual labor and you give him an SDR gig and you tell me whether he could do it, I promise you he can do it.” Picking up a phone and making some cold calls is not going to be nearly as scary to this person as maybe going out in 110 degree heat and doing manual labor all the time.

Alex Lynn:

So I think that, if I’m going to sum it down to one thing, it’s work ethic more than anything is what I look for. Does this person have a strong background? Whether it’s maybe family, upbringing, whatever, or it’s as they got older, the different jobs or things they might have had, but does this person have that “Go get it,” mentality and “Go get it,” attitude? And if they have that, I mean sky’s the limit.

Jordan Greaser:

So, how do you… So much of this is captured in the interview process, right? You have two, maybe three conversations, maybe you have an assessment. Different organizations do things differently, but I mean what are you doing? Are you saying, “Hey, did you milk cows before? You’ve pulled an udder, you can make a phone call.” How do you find this in the interview process?

Alex Lynn:

Yeah. That’s a great of questions, Jordan. Actually, I think I interview a little uniquely maybe compared to a lot of people, but just like anybody, you get the resume before you get on the interview and you take a look through it. And that’s all well and fine and I always make sure I do that and I always know the background of somebody, but I also have whoever that candidate is that I’m interviewing, I do have them go through their background too. And it’s not in an effort to make them regurgitate what’s already on their resume, but I want to hear how they describe their experience and how they describe what they’ve been through up to this point and maybe why they are where they are, or they’re in the position they’re in now.

Alex Lynn:

I think it gives me a good insight into, how do they view their experiences? What kind of mindset does this person have from a positive or negative experience? But more than anything, I think what I try to do, Jordan, is I just ask a lot of questions, but a lot of random questions. I might ask you a little bit about work, I might ask you something work related, and then I might bounce completely off in different directions and say, “Hey, what do you like to do outside of work?” And go through that a little bit, and then I’m immediately back to that thing I was talking about about work and I’m asking you maybe a follow-up question on that, and then I’m back to, “Hey,” something personal wise again, right?

Alex Lynn:

Whether it’s expanding on that thing you like to do outside of work, asking about, do they like to travel or do they go around places? Whatever. The whole point behind that is, I’m trying to simulate, to a degree, a sales conversation. I think that everybody in their mind has this idea that, “Hey, a sales conversation is like a straight line. I open up the call, I ask you this, I ask you this, you say you want to buy it, we’re done.” Right? But I mean, you know it, anybody who’s done it before knows it. It’s never like that. It’s almost like a pinball machine and it’s all over the place and it’s never as direct and as straightforward as you think. And I just want to get the understanding and the idea of, can this person roll with the punches? Can they just pivot? Or is my bouncing around all the time, is my random question asking, is this going to throw them off their game a little bit and make them unprepared?

Alex Lynn:

And if it does, potentially that’s okay, but are they willing to keep, I don’t know, for lack of a better term, battling with me on this interview. Are they willing to keep trying to figure out how to answer the questions and trying to figure out why I’m asking such random stuff? Or can they just roll with it right off the get go? So that’s one thing I look for.

Alex Lynn:

And then secondly, I think when you’re trying to find out about hard work or that work ethic mentality, one question that I found to be really valuable is, and it goes back to money a little bit, but like, “Hey, is there something you have in mind right now that you really want to buy?” You get your first, what’s that thing you have right now that you really want? If somebody comes in and they tell me, “Oh, I want to get a flip phone because I’m a flip phone guy and I don’t like to use smart phones-“

Jordan Greaser:

Whoa. Whoa. Whoa. Is that an insult right there?

Alex Lynn:

No, no, no. I’m just talking about maybe a low ticket item, something that maybe isn’t going to take more than your initial paycheck. But if somebody tells me they want to buy a house or they want to buy their girlfriend an engagement ring or they want to buy this nice big vacation they’ve always planned about, whatever it is, but something that has maybe a larger dollar amount to it, to me that shows motivation, that shows A, this person’s planning this thing out, there’s this thing that they want, that they have in mind already. But then B, they’re coming to me. They don’t even have a job yet, this is the initial interview for this thing, and they’re telling me about this big ticket item they want, they know it, they want it, and they’re going to do whatever they can to get it. And I think that through a combination of things, hey, how do you roll with the punches? Can you deal with my weird question asking and my bouncing around? And do you have some motivations internally already about what you want to do? I think there’s some different ways that you can of spell out whether or not somebody will work hard.

Jordan Greaser:

Let’s go back to the source question though. You’re looking for something maybe a little different than others. So what I’m hearing from you is you’re not looking that this is a third SDR job. You’re not obviously looking, did you come out of San Francisco or not? We certainly can’t hire just based on location anyway. I think that’s technically wrong. But my point is, even when you see the resume, okay, you’re talking about, you’re a blue collar kid from the middle of nowhere, well what do you put on the resume that entices somebody? You’re coming from Seattle, I mean there’s a lot coming out of your resume that’s probably pretty on point and the reality is, we’re not knocking folks that are from these high tech areas, there’s good hires there. I mean it’s obvious, but what do you look for on the resume that even gets somebody that conversation?

Alex Lynn:

That’s a good question. That’s a really good question. I mean I think that, this is going to sound crazy, but do you remember when you’re in school or you’re in high school, you’re about to go into college, you’re always getting people from Cutco Knives coming and trying to get you to go door to door selling their knives or selling vacuum cleaners door to door, encyclopedias, or something like that. If somebody has that kind of experience on there, I would way rather see that you did that for three months over the summer one year than you worked as an SDR already for a year and a half. If you’re willing to go out and do door to door sales, you’re willing to put yourself out there like that, you’re probably somebody who’s, A, used to a rejection, but then B, willing to put in a lot of work and willing to really fight for it without necessarily a ton of expectation for reward, I guess you could say.

Alex Lynn:

So I think that just understanding, what was that person’s background like? What was that prior job? I’m Cutco as an example, but it could be anything, right? If you put on your resume for central PA that you worked at a fence building company for the last three years, again-

Jordan Greaser:

Sheetz.

Alex Lynn:

Sheetz, perfect. You’ve been in Sheetz at midnight on a Friday night, right? That place is crammed right, those places are always crammed. I mean if you’re working there, you’re used to dealing with a ton of people all the time. You’re used to having to manage a ton of things, be a multitasker, keep everything running. You’re used to having to deal with customers constantly, some of them awesome, some of them maybe not so awesome. So I think that’s a great background. I would love to be able to bring somebody like that into an SDR role.

Alex Lynn:

Somebody, again, I talk about manual labor a lot, but again, you’re willing to go out there and you’re willing to work and, I don’t want to say break your back, but break your back day in and day out. I can teach you how to do the sales stuff, we can teach you how to have a phone call. So, I think that it’s just understanding actually, when you get somebody’s resume and you look at that role, even if it doesn’t necessarily seem like this is a great background for tech sales, having an understanding of what that job really entailed, what were the things that person probably had to do on a day to day basis? Again, that’s why I like to have people walk me through their background for me, because they’re going to be able to give me way more about what that day to day experience was like for them than I can get out of reading two lines on a resume.

Jordan Greaser:

Right. So I’m going to switch gears just a second, and I’m telling you, if we were in the same room together, you might punch me right in the face for the question I’m about to ask, but I actually think it’s important. Okay? How do you handle, or when was the moment for you specifically whenever you decided or you felt like, “I’m not just an underdog anymore. I can do this?” And I’m going to ask you this question on the back of the context of another scenario when you’re a guy in this tech company, never been there before, and you just get passed over for a promotion that you thought was yours, right? So there’s two sides of the coin. There’s the side of the coin one where you’re like, “Man, I thought it was me and it wasn’t,” and then the other side of the coin, when you’re like, “I thought it was me, I know it was me, and now I’ve made it.” You see what I mean?

Alex Lynn:

Yeah. It’s a great question. And without going too off the rails, to give everybody context, what Jordan’s referring to right now is actually when we worked at Outreach, again I mentioned I was one of the original SDRs there, and I felt like I knew a thing or two. I’d held a lot of different jobs prior when in high school, college. And things like that. I’d always been a manager everywhere I’d ever worked at. I like working with people. I like coaching. I like training. I like leading people. It’s kind of my passion I think. And I had taught Jordan everything he knew about the role, I taught him how to do everything and-

Jordan Greaser:

Taught me how to hit like on LinkedIn.

Alex Lynn:

There you go. It worked. If it works, it works-

Jordan Greaser:

My man, I’m just messing with you.

Alex Lynn:

One thing you could do more than me, you could make 100 calls more than I did, and it [inaudible 00:22:06] wasn’t making calls because I was, but I developed a stream of prospects just coming to me off LinkedIn. I didn’t have to do anything. I built that for myself, it was great. But anyway, to get back to the original question, it comes time at Outreach, “Hey, we’re going to hire our first manager for SDRs. We got 15 or so SDRs out there. They need a manager.” And just in my mind, it was like, “Hey, who else could it possibly be? It’s obviously going to be me. I’ve been training everybody.”

Alex Lynn:

And we go into a big team meeting in the conference room and all the SDRs are in there and I’m feeling myself. I’m like, “This is going to be the best day. I can’t wait to get this role. I’m so excited.” And in the front of everybody, our VP says, “Yeah, Jordan’s going to be moving into the management role.” He steps up and he walks up in front of the room and every single face inside the room turned and looked at me. And for anybody who doesn’t know, I’m a ginger, so my skin’s super pale, my face gets really red, I got beet red I’m sure, I probably was furious and-

Jordan Greaser:

I believe the term is fussed.

Alex Lynn:

Yeah. Fussed. Yeah. I was fussed. I was very fussed. And it was definitely something for me. I mean it was not a great experience, not a great couple of days. I really thought really highly of myself and that knocked me down a peg or two I would say.

Alex Lynn:

And so, to get back to your original question, that experience was rough. I felt like I thought that I knew what I was doing in this regard. I thought that I had this thing down and then, to get passed over like that, I think it really did put a little bit of, you hear the term Imposter Syndrome all the time, but I definitely think that creeped into my head like, “Hey man, maybe you’re not as good at this as you think that you are and maybe you have quite a bit of room to grow and to learn.” And I don’t think that was my initial reaction. I think after a week or two, I thought like, “Hey, maybe there’s some silver lining to this, right-“

Jordan Greaser:

Your initial reaction was, “Let’s go punch Jordan in the face.”

Alex Lynn:

Well, I didn’t come at you. You are like 6’10 and I’m like 5’8, so I mean I don’t necessarily think that was going to be my initial reaction, but yeah, I wasn’t happy. I do remember, this is, again, off on a tangent, I still had people coming over to me all the time asking questions and, “Hey Alex, what should I do here? What do I do here?” And I just said, “Hey, go talk to Jordan. He’s your manager. I’m not answering your questions anymore.” Right?

Jordan Greaser:

And let’s just be clear for everybody on the line, within I think three weeks, not because Alex was pouting, legitimately he was promoted to a manager and without a shadow of a doubt, there’s no way either one of us could have done what we did without each other.

Alex Lynn:

Absolutely.

Jordan Greaser:

So anyway, I just want to make sure we’re real clear on that point. I’m not trying to do a low key flex here, but is that what the ultimate question here is like, you thought you made it and you didn’t, but what’s the drive to keep going and when did you know, “Okay. My life has now been changed?”

Alex Lynn:

Yeah. It’s a great question. I mean what’s the thought to keep going is just, I’m a competitive guy. I just want to get better all the time in every aspect of my life. And especially at work, I’m always trying to get better, I’m always trying to do more and continue to elevate, and I think at the end of the day, nobody’s a fully formed anything, right? Everybody can get better no matter who you are. I mean it’s why you still see LeBron James going out and practicing every day and still getting a dunk at 37 years old after he set tons of records across the NBA. I think that the people that have that drive and the people that really want to be successful are going to be people that continue to push and continue to look for ways to improve.

Alex Lynn:

And so, I think I did that, but in terms of when did I feel like I made it and when do I feel like I was there? I mean, candidly Jordan, I don’t feel like I’ve made it yet. I think if that experience at Outreach taught me anything, it’s no matter how prepared you think you are, no matter how much you think you deserve what you have, at any given time somebody can come in and take it from you. And so you always got to be on your toes, you always got to be on your feet, and you always going to be ready to rock. And so I don’t feel like I made it, man. I don’t feel like I’m anywhere. At the end of the day, if anything, my journey is just starting and I’m just trying to do the best I can every single day and be better than I was the day before.

Jordan Greaser:

Yeah. The one thing anybody that’s ever worked with you, Old Red as I like to call you, yeah, that’s-

Alex Lynn:

You’re a bag of dirt.

Jordan Greaser:

And that’s mostly because every meeting we were in, by the end, you were yelling and screaming about something, your face was red as all get out, but-

Alex Lynn:

I don’t do that too much anymore. I’ve calmed down a bit.

Jordan Greaser:

That’s probably good for your health, but-

Alex Lynn:

Has to be.

Jordan Greaser:

The point I’m trying to get across though is, listen, you’ve excelled in, you were always good operationally, in recent years you’ve done a great job of rallying the troops and bringing people in, even from an emotional, spiritual state almost of getting people to rally behind what you’re up to. And so here’s a central Pennsylvania kid and you’re over here saying, “I haven’t made it yet,” you’re still fighting. This is what I know is, you’ll work well with somebody that’s from central PA or that guy from San Francisco or someone from Australia, that’s just the individual you are, so if you could say anything to anybody, we talked about the profile you come back from, talk about some of your story, what’s a piece of advice that you would talk to an SDR that’s super early? And then a piece of advice for our management and leadership on how do you get the most out of your SDR team just thinking about that background?

Jordan Greaser:

So the first piece of advice is for just someone just starting, and then somebody that’s a more seasoned leader to say, how do you bring these people along? I mean we certainly, we wouldn’t be where we are without Mark Kosoglow hiring us and bringing us along, right?

Alex Lynn:

Yeah, absolutely. Oh, I owe a ton to him, and to you really, and to a lot of people that we worked with early on. But advice to an SDR, this is something I find myself repeating maybe too frequently to SDRs on the team now and to anybody who maybe reaches out on LinkedIn or anything, but at the end of the day guys, life isn’t fair. And one SDR might be able to make 30 calls a day and hit their number and another SDR, you might need to make 200. Hey, that’s sales. I don’t know what to tell you, but nobody’s going to throw out the box of tissues for you and give you a shoulder to cry on. This is life. And sometimes you got to work a little bit harder to get the things you want.

Alex Lynn:

And so, I think that my advice for SDRs would be sometimes you got to do a little bit more than the person next to you, but at the end of the day you’re not competing against the person to your left or the person to your right, you’re competing against yourself. And are you, again, this goes back to what I was just saying, but are you continuing to get better on a day in, day out basis? Are you a better version of you than you were the day before? And whether it’s from a sales perspective, from a prospective perspective, from a personal perspective, whatever it may be, a family, a spiritual, whatever.

Alex Lynn:

At the end of the day, the only competition’s against yourself. And sometimes you’re going to have to work a little bit harder than the guy next to you, maybe you’re not as naturally talented, maybe you don’t necessarily have that San Francisco or Seattle tech background that we keep talking about. But you know what? At the end of the day, your success is entirely within your own control and it’s up to you. So I think that’s the biggest piece of advice I would leave to SDRs.

Alex Lynn:

And then in terms of management or the people looking to get the most out of their teams, this one’s going to sound kind of crazy maybe, but I honestly think more than anything, it’s just about being authentic. I can’t stress enough how important it is to just be you. I think oftentimes people, when they move into leadership roles, especially first time managers, they try to be the version of a manager that they think that they should be, as opposed to just being them. Everybody respects and aligns and generally speaking, just has a more positive relationship with people who are just them and who, when you’re a manager, you’re just being authentically you, oftentimes that comes off as A, you’re not afraid to just be who you are with your reps, but also, for me at least, it allows me to really get to know my people, get to know, not just from a work perspective, but from a, “Hey, what’s going on in your life?” perspective. Got kids, got a girlfriend, a wife, husband, whatever it might be.

Alex Lynn:

And when people feel like they know, or people do know the real you and you get to know the real them, it’s really easy to understand what the motivations are. And it’s really easy to be able to push the right buttons and pull the right levers to get the highest performance out of your team. And so, I think more than anything, something I’ve learned and something I’ve found is I don’t need to be the character or the cardboard cut out of the manager I think I should be, I just need to be me. And at the end of the day, that’s going to be enough.

Jordan Greaser:

Yeah. I think that’s something we both learned early on, especially as we were both managing teams side by side. People used to joke that I was the art and you were the science, right? I mean we’d be in a meeting and you’d have your head down, you’d be crunching on all these numbers and literally not looking at people, just typing away. And for me, even when we worked together, you’d say something like, “Hey, here’s the data, but I don’t want to talk to anybody. You go out and talk to people.” So, “Okay, I’ll go out. I’ll say whatever, I’ll get people fired up. We’ll use your data, I’ll go fire people up, and then there you go.” The yin and the yang, we got it figured out. But the point was, you did a fantastic job of motivating your team and getting people across the line and dealing with all kind of things, but you did it your way. My way couldn’t have looked any different. So I think that’s just a key piece of advice-

Alex Lynn:

I just knew from the beginning, we’re talking a lot about back, we’re going back and forth a lot, giving each other a little bit of dirt here and there, but I wasn’t going to be you. I was never going to be, I was never going to have the energy and the big hearty laugh and that big, dumb Greaser smile that was getting people motivated and getting people going. That just wasn’t going to be me. It was never going to work for me. And I needed the fact that to do it my way. And my reps maybe weren’t going to see me out in front yelling and screaming or coming in wearing my Williamsburg basketball uniform and my headband and stuff like that trying to get people jazzed up, that wasn’t going to work.

Alex Lynn:

But I knew that I could do it my way and I knew that I’d be able to connect with everybody if I was me. And I knew that I would be able to help them. And they just needed to be able to know that too. So, yeah, I mean I think to your point, Jordan, it really is just understanding, there’s multiple ways to, well it’s the expression, right? There’s multiple ways to skin a cat, I think, but not endorsing anybody skinning cats but-

Jordan Greaser:

Yeah, yeah, radio edit.

Alex Lynn:

Yeah, right. But there’s multiple ways to get the job done and I think it’s important that everybody does it their way.

Jordan Greaser:

Yeah. Well, hey, I know we’re right at time. Man, I feel like I could talk to you for three more hours. It’s always a good time shooting the breeze and calling you a bag of dirt as much as possible in one half hour sitting, but hey, crew, here’s the deal, Al’s a good guy. If you have a chance, if you’re looking for SDR work, anything in that vein and CrowdStrike’s hiring, all day every day, if you find out a team that Alex Lynn’s in charge of, find a way to get on that team. So, that’s my advice to you. And with that, Al, anything you want to leave people with before we go, or are you ready to say goodbye?

Alex Lynn:

Yeah. Last thing I just wanted to say, Jord, is A, thank you for that feedback and for anybody listening, if you are looking to get your start in sales, in tech sales, whether that’s an SDR or whether that’s working with a global cyber security company like CrowdStrike, or with anybody, I’m always open. I’m here to help, helping SDRs get started, helping them advance their careers. That’s literally my passion. This is what I do and this is what I’m all about.

Alex Lynn:

So, please reach out to me on LinkedIn, easy to find me. I’m happy to help in any way, shape, or form that I can. And I also got to give a shout out back to our host here, Mr. Greaser, because there’s probably no other mind in the sales development world that I’d probably go to more for advice and to bounce stuff off of than Mr. Greaser. So Jordan, thank you so much for having me on. I really appreciate it. And to your point, man, I feel like I could talk to you for hours, but yeah, thank you so much for having me and it’s been a blast.

Speaker 4:

Hot dog, that was a great episode. Thanks for listening. If you want to learn more about Greaser Consulting or any information you heard on today’s episode, visit us online at www.greaserconsulting.com. Be sure to click the follow button and the bell icon to be notified on our latest episodes here [inaudible 00:35:03]. Thanks, and see you real soon.

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Greaser Consulting

The Greaser team is made up of sales engagement natives; many of our consultants, including our founder, were early employees at the companies who created sales engagement. We are passionate about supporting revenue generators, empowering them to grow their companies and serve more customers.