The Evolution of Sales from a Top 1% Sales Rep at HubSpot w/ Chris Moore

#69: Join me for a chat with Chris Moore, a HubSpot sales rockstar, as we talk about his experiences over the last (almost) 2 decades in tech sales. Chris & Tyler chat about the critical human component of the sales process, especially post COVID-19. They also share tips/tricks on integrating virtual and in-person techniques across selling.

Listen to the episode by clicking play below OR search “the sales lift” wherever you get podcasts.

Check out the full transcript of this episode below:

The Sales Lift Podcast
Episode #69
The Evolution of Sales from a Top 1% Sales Rep at HubSpot w/ Chris Moore
Hosted by: Tyler Lindley

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[00:00:00] Tyler: Hey Sales Lift Nation it's your host, Tyler Lindley today, I have my good buddy, Chris Moore on the podcast. Hey Chris, how you doing? Doing well. How about you doing well? Hook 'em horns has got the long horns in the background. HubSpot he's always branded here. Chris is a Strategic Channel Account Manager at HubSpot great friend out of Nashville, Tennessee.

And today we are going to be jamming on the evolution of sales and what Chris has seen throughout his career in the last decade or so, Chris, I know we were chatting before sales has changed a lot, and this is exactly what we're going to talk about today. What have you seen change, Chris, since you started selling now been at HubSpot for awhile, how has sales evolved

[00:00:41] Chris Moore: in your career man?

So much I got into sales 17 years ago, 18 years ago. And so we were knocking doors back in the day. I built a business with a buddy of mine here in Nashville, Nicholas. Back then it was just so different people actually met face to face. I know it's shocking. They didn't have masks on, we walked into the room and actually talked to people.

I'm just getting, it's crazy how we were talking about this earlier, back in the day, the process was so different just because if you go into a room and you start to have a conversation with someone face to face, The dynamic is just so much different. It's easier to build trust. They see your face so many times I get on calls and they don't even have their zoom on the landscape has changed so much.

I miss the face-to-face sales, but the thing is we have to adapt. We've got to iterate times are changing. I see people closing deals through email now and never talking to anybody.

[00:01:30] Tyler: And it's crazy to think about it. We've gone from completely. In person, like you said, knocking on doors, you used to be able to build trust, which I do agree with you.

There's something about being in the same room with somebody and building trust that go hand in hand. How do you build trust this day and age? There's always a device in between us and sometimes there's not even video health. Sometimes there's not even a conversation. Like you said, sometimes it's just over.

How do you build trust in a setting when you're barely communicating with somebody?

[00:01:55] Chris Moore: I know this is going to sound corny and cheesy, but showing up on time, doing what you say, coming prepared to the meeting, having an agenda. I mentor some folks from time to time and I listen to calls and sometimes they're.

Sometimes they're not prepared. And when you start the call, that way, the trust is already broken. They're already like, okay, they're not taking this serious. This guy doesn't have a plan. This girl doesn't have a plan. So I think sometimes we have to focus on the basic stuff first. And then we can start to talk about, I hate talking about the weather personally.

I sometimes get dialed into that sometimes, cause people start with that, but I like to have some sort of icebreaker personally for me. And even before that, I actually want to be. On the phone or on a zoom, but preferably on a zoom where I can see somebody, obviously I'd love to be in person, but I realized the times are different.

[00:02:46] Tyler: The zoom is the

[00:02:47] Chris Moore: next best thing. So if we're on zoom, I want to start the call off with some sort of icebreaker, not the weather. It can be that. And that's okay. Switch it up a little bit. If you're a techie and a new apple laptop has come out, be like, man, have you seen the new laptop? Or if you're into trading and you want to talk about Bitcoin or something, that's throws it off because everybody's always like, yeah.

So what's the weather like up there? I don't know, I want to break the mold, but I think building trust, having some sort of icebreaker showing up on time, making sure that you've set the agenda, making sure that you are ready to have a meaningful discussion, but you don't just dive straight into it. I think sometimes I see so many people just go straight into it without building that rapport.

And then it becomes really hard in the sales process to build that trust if you haven't spent any time on rapport. So that's what I try to do. I totally

[00:03:36] Tyler: agree. I liked the idea of an ice breaker to. It's a pattern interrupt. They're expecting you to bring up the weather or they're expecting you to dive right in, or they're expecting you to be late.

So if you show up on time and then you pattern interrupt them with something interesting or unique or a cool question. When I'm training reps, I try to do a fun fact. Everybody bring a fun fact when you're meeting new reps or ask them. Cheesy question around Halloween. It was what was your favorite horror movie?

Right. So now it's a little bit lighter. We're talking about horror movies. We're talking about something. That's not just this, because we've lost that water cooler effect. It impacts human beings, not only internally, but external to your organization as well. Like I think everybody is searching for it.

There's little pockets of normalcy and with COVID it's gotten even way more out of whack. People just don't talk as much. We talk to our spouses, our close friends. We don't have that communication with just people that we just meet randomly. And if you're in sales, you probably really liked that route.

We really want that. I know I that's what makes me and you live. We love that kind of stuff. And I think prospects want it too. So I think you've got to treat them like you're human. And I think that they'll respond. Pause.

[00:04:37] Chris Moore: I joke around a lot with my wife about our son. Cause he's pretty talkative, but it's funny.

We just went on vacation and obviously I'm not trying to sell my son anything there's 13, but maybe I will. Who knows? But he's sitting in the room with his friends and they could be talking about their favorite thing that happened at school or what sport they were excited about. And they're all just looking at their phone heads down, not saying a word to each other.

Unfortunately I think I see that more and more at younger ages. And then what happens is those folks are. And then they're getting into the workplace and they're so used to not interacting. And so what I hope that doesn't happen is I hope that we don't have a generation that's not talking and I want to encourage them.

So we always encourage Tyler. We actually do icebreakers with our son when he gets home. We're like, tell us about your day, or can you believe this one thing that happened? And we want to get him talking. I think that works the same in sales. So

[00:05:24] Tyler: it's so important. And it's interesting as we think about, we're obviously talking about the evolution of sales, but if we think about the future of.

Is there going to be a point at which, like you said, closing deals over email hell closing deals over text or Tik TOK or whatever. Will there even be any type of deeper kind of human connection eventually? Or will everything be this asynchronous eight touch, a human type of a sales price? Are we heading there or do you think there will always be a human element inside?

[00:05:53] Chris Moore: That's a good question. It's funny. I just talked to someone about this. I'm not even kidding on a Wednesday. And so it's fresh on my mind. I couldn't have teed it up any better for this. So what's funny is I think vertically speaking, I think some verticals that could be the case. I think that there are just some old school.

Type verticals that I don't think we'll ever move away from the handshake. The face-to-face obviously, if you're in the financial space, if you're in the healthcare space, you can't just do everything over text and email and stuff like that. And I work with partners that are really big on making sure that they go and meet with people.

Face-to-face still, even in these times, they believe. To do the bigger deals to do the more complex deals they need to be in front of them doing a whiteboard session. They need to be showing them that they're committed. And I don't see us getting to a point where it's all digital on some of these larger deals in some of these verticals.

But I do think with some certain verticals, certainly in some of the SAS space type products. You don't necessarily have to be on the phone. I'm working with a company, I'll give them a quick plug. Cause they're a great company, but traders, post.io is the URL, great team over there, helping them grow.

They're actually a HubSpot client as well. I got a personal friend of mine, but they basically have a model where they don't really have to talk to anybody. They're going to have some customer service people, but they don't really have a need for sales folks. And if they do, it's going to be limited. It's going to be the occasional demo here and there.

Probably what they're going to do is they're going to record demos, send those

[00:07:20] Tyler: out to people. So will there be any human driven communication before email chat, text anything? Or was it just all eight touch asynchronous and they'll just self. Is that what their prospects.

[00:07:32] Chris Moore: It's a good question. They're trying to figure this out right now.

What is the right amount? But they've been pretty successful in growing the business up until this point. I think he's at 10 K MRR a month with this business after just a few months with no salespeople with no support people. It's just him responding through chats and stuff like that because. The product pretty much can sell itself with videos that are done online.

Now, I do think that as he starts to scale and grow and talks to larger financial organizations, they're going to expect someone to be on the phone and do the dog and pony show. That's going to have to happen at some point, but that's what I say vertically. It just depends on where you're at. I think times are changing for sure.

Which is scary for me. Why

[00:08:09] Tyler: is it scary? Why do you hate it? Why is it scary though? For me, it's

[00:08:13] Chris Moore: scary because even though I'm consider myself young, I'm 42 and I personally hate that we've gotten to a place where we're not building relationships quite as much anymore. And doing that relationship sales, it feels to me very disconnected.

And not always, I'm not saying always and forever, but it definitely has felt more. Disconnected and transactional and I'd get into deep thought on it. We could spend two hours talking about this, but I, I worry a little bit that we're getting away from true sales and it's more order-taking. I just care a lot about relationships.

[00:08:47] Tyler: Exactly. Like you said, you've been selling. 17 years or so 15 years. What's it going to look like in another 10, 15 years, think about when our kids start entering the workforce and unless we're equipping them and enabling them with those skills, which I think are so important. I've got a couple of kids and they might end up at school.

That's more science and technology focused versus another school. That's more arts and drama focused. And we've been trying to decide which school might be the right fit for them. And it's hard to say, because both are important, both science and technology, obviously important. That's going to be a part of our lives forever, but also that arts, that human touch, he's going to do a drama production and have the ability to do a play where he memorizes lines and he's out in front of people.

And he probably has to improvise when something goes wrong. Is that skill going to still be needed? Cause I think that skill is really important. And one that we both have, will that be the skill of the future in sales or will it need to be that technology or will there even be. Uh, future in sales, right?

It's hard to think about, obviously we don't want to doomsday like the world's ending, but to me there's still gonna be humans out there. Even if there's a lot of this eight touch facing. There's still people out there behind that. So it worries me too. And I wouldn't

[00:09:57] Chris Moore: say it's a kind of like tack onto that.

And I think not to get too parenting advice here or whatever, but I think it does, it starts with us as parents to make sure that we're still showing our kids that communication is important. If we're at the dinner table, put the phone down for a second. Let's interact a little bit. Let's talk about the day.

Like I said, we had

[00:10:16] Tyler: to leave example, but I think we do the same thing in sales with our prospects. You go back to showing up on time. Having a good icebreaker setting the agenda, even if it doesn't have that same level of trust and human feel as an in-person conversation. We want to try to replicate that as much as possible, but we as sales reps have to lead that lead that discussion.

And sometimes I know it's like pulling teeth to get our prospects to come on, buy in on this. But if you do usually get a laugh out of them, usually you create a little bit of something. So I'm not just going into some stock standard demo. And I don't know anything about this

[00:10:46] Chris Moore: person. There's a million sales books out there that will say people buy from people.

They like, and I think we all get that. Now, if you're in sales, you understand that. If you really think about that saying they buy from people, they like, how can you get them to, like you. Through email and text, you could write really witty emails. I guess you could put some jokes in an email and you can hyperlink.

And funny enough, I do that actually, if you want to put the gifts in there that are funny, you want to follow up, you want to sometimes break it up and not make it so stuffy. And I definitely do that. I write emails the way I communicate explanation points and. You can't do all of that through email, anybody that I'm mentoring, I try to break them of just using email or just using phone calls and forced them to get on zoom and force them to turn on their camera.

Please. If you're in sales, please turn on your camera. Yep. It makes

[00:11:33] Tyler: such a big impact. Turn it off first. And then I always call to attention to if I've got my camera on. Here's one thing. Yeah. You got your camera on and then you get into a meeting and no one else turns theirs on and you don't say anything.

You just do the whole meeting where you're staring at yourself and they're staring. You're just watching. They're nothing. The black screen there do nothing. It's like call attention to it. Say, Hey, what's up, Chris? I typically do these with video on. I find that it makes for a much better conversation.

Would you mind turning your video on today? Is that possible? You don't have to force them to do it, but at least have that discussion a minute or two. So that then we can try to have a better conversation versus just saying, oh, I guess they don't do video. I'll do the best I can. It's on us to lead lead.

His parents lead his sales reps, lead the conversations. We have to dictate the tone and the type of conversation we're going to have. And. Sit around and expect other people to fall in line. Sometimes we've got to say, come on, get up. Let's go. That's right

[00:12:25] Chris Moore: now. I love that you taught me something today.

Sometimes I don't press people as much to turn the video on. I'll make a little side joke. Like it's okay. If you don't want to turn your video on no pressure, but, and I should say, Hey, once you turn your video on, let's have a dialogue together. So now I like that. That's a great

[00:12:40] Tyler: tip. That's the preference.

You don't have to say it's required, obviously it's not required, but it's the preference. Cause I typically. Way better conversations. And honestly, it's just going to make for a better discussion, but it's still hard to have that conversation sometimes even though we know we should be doing it, it's hard.

So one thing that we brought up earlier, I want to double click on is we talked about this idea of some verticals are at some certain stages of growth. Things can probably be no touch just where people are buying on their own. However, As deals get more complex as the contract values go up, more likely humans need to be involved at that point.

How to companies know when they should be no touch versus when they should get higher, have sales reps leading that process. Is there a certain things they should be looking out for? Is it just the value of their product? What makes. To add reps to a certain sales process as you're going up market.

[00:13:29] Chris Moore: My first answer is when, in doubt I have a sales rep, but obviously I don't want this trade to die.

But what I would say is for sure, when there is a considered purchase where there's a consultative type approach that needs to be taken in the process. Yeah. And when I think about HubSpot as an example, obviously I worked for HubSpot all over the wall here. What they really taught me four years ago when I came on board, is this idea around educating people.

And you can educate people online with that considered purchase and give them the materials that they need, but there will come up. Once they've done their own research that they're going to need to get on the phone with someone to take it to the next stage, to really understand the product, to really understand the impact, the ROI, the TCO.

However you want to look at it. You have to insert someone at some point, if it's that kind of purchase. If it's considered, if it's consultative, otherwise I see some companies try to automate the whole thing and be low touch, and it's just. The results just aren't there. They're not the same anyways. And I think one thing I'll just add to that is I think a lot of the reason why HubSpot man, I hate to just keep talking about HubSpot, but I'm a pretty Bihar.

One thing I think that has helped us grow as fast as we have is we have that inbound machine going where it's constantly giving people the information they need, but then also we have this really. Team of sales folks that are dedicated, that want to get on the phone that want to turn their videos on that want to set agendas that want to be on time.

I do think that if it's considered purchase, you need a

[00:14:51] Tyler: Salesforce. Totally agree. One of my favorite things from HubSpot, which is by the way where Chris and I met is when HubSpot came out with the tagline on the rallying cry was, it's not what you sell. It's how you use. That's try it. And the how, when you think of, well, what does that mean?

Exactly. The how just means it's that human element. It's all those little things that you just talked about. The basics, like showing up and showing up on time, having a good agenda, but it's being helpful and human. It's just an extension of that inbound. Cause if you think about inbound, that's like helpful in human content.

That's helping people move throughout a process of their decision making. The human should just naturally insert themselves at a certain step in that process. Maybe it's at the beginning. Maybe it's in the middle. Maybe it's towards the end. Depends whenever they insert themselves. That should just be a continuation of that.

How you sell of that great experience. That's driving someone to make an easy decision. Now whether they end up buying from you or not, who knows, but give yourself the best chance possible.

[00:15:45] Chris Moore: It's funny hearing you say that I couldn't help, but think of one of my favorite companies in this world, I have three favorite cards.

Do I say AA is one of them. They're amazing. I love him. I'm ride or die for them. Cause they're always there for me. Dell is a favorite company of mine. I used to work there and I know what they're all about and their mission, but apple, I know it's funny. You're like Dell's windows and apple has a different

[00:16:06] Tyler: ecosystem.

You can't say both those. I know. Right?

[00:16:09] Chris Moore: Well, it's funny. I have both in my house, but what I love about apple is the fact that I could go online and I could do my own research and I could find out all the speeds and feeds and I could read reviews and all that. There, something to be said, when I go into the apple store, There's someone that is ready to talk to me, to consult with me, to show me things, to talk about how this can change my life or being overly dramatic.

But that's how I think about it. It's like these products are amazing and I can look at them online, but I go into the store and they're now consultants and they help me think through the best ways to use the product and their customer service is great and all that. And I know that's a B2C, B2B is a little bit different, but they really treat it like B2B almost in the consultative way that.

I was thinking about apple and how I love their mission. I love their products. I love the way that they treat their customers. And I think at HubSpot, we seem to resonate with them as well, just because they do a really good job with sales. Really good job.

[00:17:04] Tyler: I totally agree. And it's interesting apple and HubSpot, the things we were just talking about with inbound and being helpful, you can technically learn all you need.

Like you said, from apple on their website or in any of their marketing, you can get all the information you need to make a purchase decision. They make that easy, however, If you want a more considered approach. And if you want that consultative approach where you want to go talk to somebody and you want to touch and you want to feel it, it's more of the, how you sell.

You can go into that store and have that experience. So they almost have a hybrid model. I know it is B to C, but maybe that is the future of B2B too, where it's a hybrid approach. Some people may want that. No touch. I'm going to make my decision based on the facts. Just give me all the information. And then go that way.

Whereas others, at some point in the process, want to have that human element and have that consultative conversation so that they can be guided in a certain direction based on their situation. So maybe the answer is not either, or it's both, maybe a hybrid model works and you let customers pick and choose.

I don't know if that works for everybody as you go up market. It certainly might be an option. It seems the one Apple's pulling it off. Well, so maybe HubSpot, maybe companies like HubSpot could pull that off. Well, too. Yeah,

[00:18:12] Chris Moore: absolutely. I think that you nailed it as is basically giving people different paths.

I can't remember how it said, but basically it was selling to people the way they want to be sold to. I can't remember the exact phrase, but basically every time I walk into apple, I know I'm going to buy something cause I've already done my research. And then I go in there and I leave with three other things that I didn't plan to get because of that consultative approach.

So yeah, I think that's, yeah, that's interesting.

[00:18:36] Tyler: Yeah. And maybe it's you figure out what point in the process you have to talk to somebody cause you may not want. Self purchasing $5,000 a month software packages where you want them to really stick around. You may want them talking to somebody, at least at the end of the process to make sure this is going to jive with everything else you're doing in your business and with all your other systems that you got.

So you, maybe you have to insert somebody at some point in the process. It could be very late. It could be at the checkout counter. Cause some people, like you said, want to have that conversation late. Others want to have it earlier. So maybe you just give people the option. Absolutely. Any other advice or any other thoughts, Chris, on this evolution of sales before

[00:19:10] Chris Moore: we hop thinking about this before we got on, I'm hoping that some young sales makers, so maybe some folks that are like just getting into sales, have a chance to listen to this.

I'm specifically talking to you. All right. Now, when I say this sales can be so fulfilling, if it's. High reward. We need really great sales makers out there. And something I would just implore for you to do is reach out to people that are doing well, reach out to friends and family that you might know that are in sales.

Reach out to me. I'll make sure that when we're done here, you have a way to connect with me, but really get advice from people on how they are successful in their specific industry and draft off about what I did when I came to work at HubSpot is I went and found the top 10 folks and I went and I studied what they did.

I asked them questions. Listen to their calls, but I don't sound like any of those 10 people, you have to have your own thing, but the things that do translate well are the things that we've talked about. Just be on time, know your product, be friendly, make sure that when people are talking, don't interrupt them.

I think some of these standard things that you would think would be table stakes. Sometimes I hear calls and those things aren't, table-stakes just try to bring it back to basics and really lean on folks to understand what are the right ways for it and all that. But anyways, I'm rambling. Now. I just want you to know you can come to me anytime.

I'm happy to help you. I love this stuff. I live and breathe

[00:20:29] Tyler: it. I feel like that audience somewhat might be our kids too. We're talking to our kids. I hope y'all listen to this in five and 10 years and want to fall in our footsteps and don't think we're idiot. All right. Awesome. Chris, if my listeners want to find out more about you online, how can they.

Go to my

[00:20:43] Chris Moore: LinkedIn. I have a fanatic on LinkedIn. We'll make sure to get the information to you. But funny enough, if you just go search Chris Moore, HubSpot, you can pull me up. I'm in there 50 times a day. So reach out to me. I'll give you my cell phone. I will get on the phone with you. I love talking about this stuff.

I love sales and I encourage you to reach out to me.

[00:21:02] Tyler: Awesome. Love it. We'll put your LinkedIn profile in the show notes. And if you're a HubSpot partner thinking about becoming one request, Chris Moore, to be your strategic channel account manager, because he is a rockstar. Awesome. Chris, thanks so much for coming on.

I appreciate it, man.

[00:21:16] Chris Moore: Thank you. Y'all take care. See ya. All right, bye.

[00:21:22] Tyler: Thank you so much for listening to today's show. You can find all the links discussed and the show notes@thesaleslift.com. That's the T H. Sales S a L E S lift L I F t.com. Have questions for me. Email me@tyleratthesaleslift.com. We look forward to seeing you back here next week, and we hope today's show brings you the sales lift.

Your business needs. Remember ideas. Plus action equals. And you've got new ideas. Now it's time to take action and the results we'll see you next time. .

Don’t feel like listening? Read the Episode Cliff Notes instead below:

In-Person Selling (0:22)

The dynamic is very different when you can have a conversation with someone face-to-face because you can build trust easier. Today, that interaction is not as feasible, and so we need to adapt. 

Building trust means showing up on time, doing what you say, coming prepared to the meeting, and having an agenda.

We have to focus on the basic stuff first, and then we can talk about the bigger stuff.

If you’re on a Zoom call, start the call off with some icebreaker. Not the weather, but switch it up a little bit. 

It becomes really hard in the sales process to build that trust if you haven’t spent any time on rapport.

The Human Element (5:48)

Some sales reps believe when doing bigger, more complex deals, they need to be in front of the customer doing a whiteboard session. 

But in some of the SAS space-type products, you don’t necessarily have to be on the phone.

We’ve gotten to a place where we’re not building relationships quite as much anymore, and it feels very disconnected.

It starts with us as parents to ensure that we’re still showing our kids that communication is important.

Break the habit of just using email or phone calls. Force yourself to get on zoom and turn on your camera

Stages of Growth (13:01)

When there is a considered purchase, a consultative-type approach is needed in the process. However you want to look at it, you have to insert someone at some point.

Having an inbound machine that’s constantly giving people the information they need is a great way to foster growth. 

Transparency allows your buyers to do their own research on your products. Then, they can take a consultative approach and seek you out. 

It means selling to people the way they want to be sold to; they’ve done their research if they wanted to before talking to you, so you know they’re looking to buy.

Sales can be very fulfilling if it’s high-reward, and we need really great sales makers out there.

Chris Moore’s Bio:

Chris is a tech sales rockstar, having been in the space for 17 years. He’s helped with 3 startups, worked for Dell for 11 years and most recently has solidified his role on team HubSpot in their channel sales business. Chris has won 10 President’s Club trips and been a part of the Founder’s Club for 3 years. Chris’ sales expertise has been built on grit and consistency in the ever-competitive tech sales space… he’s a serial learner and lover of all things sales. Chris lives in Nashville with his wife of 14 years and his teenage son.

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Chris’ LinkedIn Profile