When you are developing a customer profile on a busy sales dev team at a fast-growing company like Totango, one of the first things you must do is focus on the right companies and contacts.
Chris Kinnard, Director of Sales Development at Totango, has a lot of prospective customers across many backgrounds that he wants to reach out to – but that’s doesn’t mean the “more is more” approach is always the right idea. According to him, his team was “casting the net too wide” and not going deep enough with their customer profile.
Totango is a customer success platform that helps organizations proactively impact business outcomes by driving the right level of engagement with their customers – making customer retention easier and more predictable. However, since their platform is so robust and serves a wide audience, Chris knew that his team needed a solution that helped them better understand their sales targets – which eventually led him to EverString as an AI sales solution.
“It’s important that we go after exactly the right types of companies … I knew there had to be something more specific.” – Chris Kinnard
“My job is to bring focus to those targets, make sure that we were going after the right companies, and make sure that we are going after them the right amount of times in a personalized way,” Chris said.
Chris’s Journey from Psychology and Neuroscience to Sales Development
Before Chris got into sales development, he studied psychology and neuroscience at San Diego State, originally on the path to become a professor of psychology. However, he missed the deadline to sign up for PhD programs, meaning he had to find a job in between. The role he took on ended up being exactly what an SDR is, and he flourished at it. It didn’t take long before Chris decided to make sales his career and not just a way to make ends meet.
“I just wanted to be an instructor or teacher and be able to share knowledge with others. I didn’t want to do research and analytical studies. So the more I thought about it, the more I realized that perhaps that’s not the career I wanted,” Chris said.
Luckily, it seems he found his niche at Totango teaching the ins-and-outs of sales rather than psychology. Having worked at Kissmetrics and UserTesting previously, Chris had experience understanding how certain campaigns work, and how those actions turn into actual interest and conversions. Since taking on leadership responsibilities for his team at Totango, Chris has gone all-in with defining and refining sales targets for those very reasons. Just about every company out there could use a customer success platform like Totango – and this is exactly why Chris had to focus on the best possible accounts that were more likely to move down the sales funnel.
Totango is also in a high-growth sector where many people are just learning about customer success software and how it can empower their business. So not only is Chris getting to expand in his role as a teacher, but it’s been an exciting work environment to be a part of as well.
“There’s a very clear value proposition with Totango. It’s very simple and it’s something that i can get excited about. And then, I can get my team excited about bringing that message to people,” Chris explained.
Uncovering Totango’s ‘Top Prospects’
Chris has a no-nonsense approach to sales development, and he makes it a point to ensure that his team is always hungry and ready to find that next big deal. Two major attributes drive his sales philosophy: persistence and adding value.
“Most salespeople just give up too quickly, and so the best way we can defeat ourselves is to give up before people tell us no. If we want to avoid that, then we just have to be persistent,” Chris explained. Chris went on to say that perhaps his biggest thought leader in sales development is John Barrows as much of his training is straightforward, practical, and completely focused on “earning the right” to engage a prospect.
“We’re going to be using EverString for different things. While my team is going to use it more for lead generation and finding contacts, I’m going to be using it to plan which accounts the team actually goes after.” – Chris Kinnard
What originally drew Chris to EverString was the personalized sales outreach from our very own Ryan Holmes. However, after seeing how the product could help boost his “top prospect” type of outreach, signing on with EverString became even more appealing.
“It’s important that we go after exactly the right types of companies. The way that I was building out this top prospect list was really just guesswork based on some ICP (ideal customer profile) parameters that I could find in LinkedIn or ZoomInfo. I knew there had to be something more specific,” Chris said.
Moving forward, both Chris and his team at Totango will be looking to EverString for multiple sales tasks, proving its ability to scale and adapt to many different sales use cases.
“We’re going to be using EverString for different things. While my team is going to use it more for lead generation and finding contacts, I’m going to be using it to plan which accounts the team actually goes after,” Chris concluded.
Given Chris’s drive and persistence in sales, and his ability to lead his team at Totango, we expect for him to accomplish even more personalization and sales acceleration at scale with EverString. To learn more about Chris’s continued journey into sales development and Totango’s intelligent customer success platform, follow these social links:
If you want to find out how you can speed up the prospecting process in sales development like Chris, try out EverString for free with our 7-day trial.