Podcast: How to Build an Outbound Sales Team

Shahin Hoda 22  mins read Updated: March 11th, 2024

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How to build an outbound sales team in your organisation

Episode topic: How to build an outbound sales team in your organisation

In this episode, host Shahin Hoda chats with Hayley Hopwood, head of growth at Stripe about how organisations can build a solid and effective outbound sales team. 

During the conversation, Hayley defines the responsibilities of an outbound associate role unique to Stripe. She also talks about hiring best practices, the challenges she faced while building a sales team in Australia, the OBA career path and how they need to be given targets to drive maximum productivity. 

This episode’s guest

How to build an outbound sales team in your organisation

Hayley Hopwood, Head of Growth at Stripe

Based in Melbourne, Hayley is the head of growth for AU & NZ at Stripe. Prior to joining Stripe in 2019, she held positions at Travelex, Western Union, PayPal and Australia Post. Hayley is passionate about embracing new technology and navigating teams through the ever-changing landscape.

Connect with her on LinkedIn

Conversation segments on this episode:

  • [01:18] All about the OBA role - outbound associate
  • [02:23] Why the OBA role?
  • [05:16] Hiring for the OBA role
  • [09:45] Don’t rely on global data while hiring for OBAs in Australia
  • [14:55] Data on general targeting needs to sit with Sales Ops; for customised messaging, OBAs need to work with Sales
  • [16:00] Short video messaging gets more traction on LinkedIn
  • [18:05] Compensation and target setting for OBAs
  • [21:45] Career progression of an OBA at Stripe
  • [25:41] How to set up OBAs for success?
  • [30:11] Advice for sales professionals - keep your pipelines full!
  • [31:50] Exciting thing about B2B - payments and technology

Resources mentioned on this episode:


About the Growth Colony Podcast

On this podcast, you'll be hearing from B2B founders, CMOs, marketing & sales leaders about their successes, failures, what is working for them today in the B2B marketing world and everything in between.

Produced by Shahin Hoda & Alexander Hipwell, from xGrowth

Get in touch!

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Episode Full Transcript:

[00:36] Shahin Hoda   Hello everyone, welcome to another episode. I'm Shahin Hoda with xGrowth, and today I'm talking to Hayley Hopwood, Head of Growth Australia and New Zealand at Stripe, about her experience building a sales development team at Stripe, the do's and don'ts, and the lessons that she and her team learned throughout that journey. Hayley, thanks for joining us. 

[00:57] Hayley Hopwood   Thank you. 

[00:58] Shahin Hoda   That's great to have you. I'm really excited to talk about this. This is definitely an area of passion for me as well. Now I know at Stripe you call the team that you're you're building or we're talking about OBA. OBAs, right? Can you tell us what OBA stands for and what it is?

 [01:19] Hayley Hopwood  Yeah, sure. So it's relatively new. And the OBA role is an outbound associate. So basically, we deem them or that team at the presales growth engine of sales. So they're really responsible for sourcing data and segmenting it into certain campaigns or bespoke messaging to go out and look for prospects. So it's a pure hunting role. And the intent is for that sort of early-stage funnel management piece. So converting leads into opportunities that then get passed over to the AEs, which is our sales team, to then validate and closeout

[01:57] Shahin Hoda   Interesting. So they have the responsibility of both sourcing and also going after them and trying to open up those doors, is that right? 

[02:10] Hayley Hopwood   Yes.

[02:11] Shahin Hoda   Okay, got it. I mean, what, you know, why did you develop this role in the first place? Like what happened in the organisation that, you know, that this became a focus and area of development?

[02:24] Hayley Hopwood   Yeah, I think there are few things like, firstly, with we're moving into, like a mindset of outbounding is really the callisthenics of Stripe. So, you know, when I think back to when we first landed in Australia, Stripe came around seven years ago, and it was purely inbound. And it was a small team that's rapidly expanding at the moment, but the channel was always really strong for inbound. You know, we really serve a diverse like coming into the building, coming into the organisation 18 months ago, it really struck me at the diversity of businesses that we bring on board. 

[03:00] Hayley Hopwood So anything from, you know, your B2C business right through to sort of SaaS platforms and enterprises serving B2C or B2B wholesalers, marketplaces, you know, sort of startups as well, which is our bread and butter, that transform and head into hypergrowth that ended up in enterprise land. So, you know, when I joined, we sort of reviewed this inbound channel, and we could see some of Australia's largest household brands, you know, coming and finding us. So it sort of just got us thinking, Well, what could we achieve if we actually had a targeted strategy and focused on certain segments? And that was about 18 months ago, so yeah, we just thought it was time.

[03:42] Shahin Hoda   Right, okay. Okay, I love it. Why do you call it the callisthenics of Stripe?

[03:49] Hayley Hopwood   I think it's just a muscle that just needs constant exercising. You know, you can do an array of things within your sales profession but you know, the one thing that will always hold you in good stead is that outbounding pace and just really nurturing it and developing it and constantly being aware of how to iterate on it is probably one of the most fundamental parts of any sales professional.

[04:16] Shahin Hoda   I love it. I love it. Okay, let's talk about hiring because I feel like the whole outbound and kind of sales development role is probably not as developed here in Australia as it is maybe in the US, where, you know, outbound work has been gone for a long time. I mean, there has been some work in Australia as well, but maybe not as sophisticated or structured as it is in the US, right? So, I think a lot of people have a hard time hiring for these roles and who to look for and what kind of characteristics they should look for. Because, you know, it's hard to say, alright, you were an SDR there, you know, we were trying to hire an SDR. So in some cases, it's possible, but you know, still, because I feel like, because the market is maturing, that level of easy identification is not there. What do you look for when you're trying to hire someone for an OBA role?

[05:17] Hayley Hopwood   Firstly, it's really interesting that you highlight that because when we were looking for our initial candidate, it took us months. There was just, and we had a really strict set of criteria that we were looking for because it was a net new role. But now it fast-forwarding 18 months, I've noticed that the pool of people that have come in at a really still quite experienced in some regards, but there's a lot more of them. So yeah, back 18 months ago, we were looking for someone that had experience, someone who presented with super high prospecting confidence and had that sort of mindset of, you know, targets numbers and really performance-driven, which is fine. 

[06:01] Hayley Hopwood They're sort of attributes that you would expect in that role. But because it was net new, we were really helping, were really hoping to find someone that could help us build out that strategy in that framework piece. So, you know, sort of asking a lot from a candidate. Yeah, so I think it took us a long time to find that person. So we kind of changed the way that we interviewed when we were looking to hire, and we conducted around six different interviews. And that was across the range of the business, so across all of APEC from, you know, a couple of leaders right through to other AEs, so we could really get a different viewpoint on the characteristics that we're all trying to find. 

[06:40] Hayley Hopwood So, you know, how was their pitch? What were their critical thinking and analytical thinking style like? What sort of sales instincts? Did they just have it as a part of their DNA? Did they have any technical capabilities? And also just holistically, how would they approach this role? And we still have that interview process today. So it's still, you know, quite intense for any candidates to you know, be interviewed at Stripe. It takes a long period of time. But given the diversity of the people that were doing that interview, it really created this collaborative approach when we all got back together to discuss that candidate strengths and weaknesses. 

[07:16] Hayley Hopwood So, you know, from a hiring manager's perspective, I was able to look for consistencies within the other interviews and also patterns in behaviour. So it was really fundamental for me to make that decision based on everyone else's sort of calibration. It's really important to get this right, particularly seeing it was a net new hire. So there were since gone on to employ another was the first OBA has moved into a sales role. And we've since gone on to hire another three OBAs as well. So whilst that interview process has remained, I think the diversity of people that are coming through the door just even 18 months later has been significant.

[07:58] Shahin Hoda   All right, I see. Are there you know, are their past experiences that right now really grab your attention? Like you know, you're talking to someone, and you see something in the resume and you're like, I really want to have a chat with this person. This could potentially be a really good candidate, or they're like, these quick tips that then you've come across,

[08:21] Hayley Hopwood   Look, I look for probably take backgrounds as well. Like that fast-moving environment, that Stripe, like Stripe moves at a mega speed. So just being able to live and breathe in that space comfortably without the sort of being stressed. I kind of lookout for. Also, when I am interviewing, not necessarily on a CV, I look for, like organisational skills. For the OBA, there's just so much diversity within the role, you know, sort of pre-building out campaigns, you know, the callisthenic. So actually doing the outbounding, and then following up and you know, just being really transparent with yourself and being able to articulate quickly, you know, what's worked, what hasn't, what do I need to do more or less of? And I think that that comes with a lot of time management. So you know, I really lookout for someone who's able to prioritise and manage their time accordingly for this role.

[09:15] Shahin Hoda    All right. You mentioned what, you know, you want to have a look and for them to understand what's working, what's not working, which kind of is a great segue to the next question. Trying to build the OBA team, tell us a little bit about some of the mistakes that you and the team have made in the, you know, in the early months.

[09:38] Hayley Hopwood   I think it goes back to your point where it's more established in other regions. For being a global org, we kind of just relied on the global data and made that assumption that it would work well in Australia, New Zealand. So I think we spent a bit of time just reassessing what that truly looks like and how clean the data was for Australia and how purposeful it was. So in those first couple of months, it was really around sourcing the tools that we needed in Australia to actually sort of getting that information. It's all about the pre-work with the OBA role, about building those campaigns, finding the right people. And I think we underestimated the time that that would take. 

[10:18] Hayley Hopwood  You know, it's still a work in progress today. I don't think any business has it nailed down, but at least it's working at a much more optimal speed. And I think the other thing, and you know, we sort of have a staying at Stripe, where we kind of fly the plane whilst we're building it. So, you know, going back to the actual outbounding piece, it's like, how do we follow up? And how do we automate that process so it's just not as labour-intensive as what it has been in the past? So it's really about you know, how, what sort of touchpoints do we want? Five touchpoints, seven touchpoints, how are we going to engage? Is it via telephone? LinkedIn? Is it a short video message that we're getting a lot of traction with now that resonates with individuals, and really building out that data set around personas? 

[11:16] Hayley Hopwood  Like who are you targeting? Is it going to is messaging going to resonate with them? If it's a CFO, it needs to be sort of financial driven. If it's the CTO, what tech stack is going to resonate with them and how is it going to add value? It's having those sort of pieces, it's all that prework that really goes into, you know, the fundamentals of getting everything right. And I think that you know, just rolling that out, just for any organisation just takes time. The other thing, I think, as we sort of, you know, a couple of quarters in was really around, you know, you can't monitor. If you can't measure, if you can't monitor, so it was like integrating those tools back into our CRM to making to make sure that, you know, the sales, people could actually see what the OBAs are doing. 

[11:47] Hayley Hopwood  And, you know, that's getting ready to reiterated upon as well. And I think the last call that I would say, and it's not necessarily a mistake, but it's something that we just had to be really mindful of, given the kind of calibre of people that we employ is, what does the target look like? And we didn't know what we didn't know, you know when we rolled this out 18 months ago. So rather than having, you know, the longevity of a target that a normal sales cycle would have, but was like, okay, quarterly, we'll set goals to work out. You know, what kind of lead numbers that we could get? What was that pipeline value look like? And I guess, you know, what is the expectation, depending on where that person sort of sits within the organisation is a realistic target? I think that that takes time to work out too. 

[12:35] Shahin Hoda   Yeah, that's, I mean, those are all very interesting points. I want to dig into all of them. So I mean, the data one is really interesting because most of the, you know, a lot of the information or kind of best practices that we get are either North American, or coming from the UK, where just like you said, there are a plethora of tools, and you know, data, how to get emails, how do you, you know, dig up information on a potential prospect, a lot of that is available there. And when you come to Australia, and if somebody has that experience, and it's gonna, you know, make that recommendation for Australia, all of a sudden, like, no, we don't have that. 

[13:15] Shahin Hoda   That's not, that's not available here. Do you think that is going to, it's going to stay as a responsibility of OBA? The reason I ask is sometimes I've seen that responsibility is separated,.Where one team is responsible for really finding and digging through data and finding the right one and then there is one that is kind of responsible for outreach and outbound so that they kind of keep that momentum off, and it doesn't get diluted by, okay, now, I have to sit down and for another two days, just dig up information. You know, what are your thoughts on that?

[13:52] Hayley Hopwood   Yeah, I think, and it depends on where the OBAs position. So you know, as I mentioned before, we're breaking it out into, we've got three OBAs in 18 months. And, you know, one is focused on sort of that startup SMB community, which is more around sort of that campaign manager thing. We need to have the data enriched by sales ops, like somebody else to be able to get long lists where we can, you know, we can go to the masses, as we sort of go into our digital native space, which is businesses that are born in the cloud and have a natural affiliation to Stripe. And then also enterprise. It's more than bespoke messaging. It's more tailored, it's more one-on-one work with an AE to work out. 

[14:40] Hayley Hopwood  Okay, what industries are we wanting to go after? What's that key messaging? Who should we target, you know, and multiple stakeholders within the accounts? So, to a certain degree, I think a lot of the data should sit within sort of the sales operations and data science to clean it and cleanse it and make sure that it's all there, but then at a tactical level, if you're going for that more bespoke messaging, it sort of needs to be done in conjunction with a sales rep, to actually understand the nuances and where the messaging is going to resonate. I don't think he can rely on data science to give you that, that depth that you need to win that, you know, those sort of larger businesses.

[15:22] Shahin Hoda   Got it. Got it. So it as you kind of go upmarket, you start to put more of that emphasis on the OBA and the sales team rather than the external party providing that. An external could be also within the organisation, but outside of the sales team. Right. Let's touch on cadence. I mean, you talked about video working a lot right now, tell me a little bit about that.

[15:45] Hayley Hopwood   I know, the OBA that we've just recently employed gave me a video message for the interview for the role. And it worked. Yeah, we're finding a lot of traction through short video messaging via LinkedIn. So really personalised, 30 seconds, if that messaging around what Stripe can do to help certain businesses, whether it be a news article that we've aligned it to, or whether we know that we're just a really, really sound fit, we're finding that strike rate from video messaging, you know, be really valuable, like really. 

[16:22] Shahin Hoda   And so that is used in conjunction with LinkedIn. Is that right? Like through a personal message on LinkedIn? What about through email? Is that something that you do or not really?

[16:34] Hayley Hopwood   It came through email as well, but we're seeing a bit more traction come through LinkedIn. So yes, it can be done either way. But at the moment, we're seeing probably more results coming through LinkedIn. Even as a decline response is, you know, sometimes you tend to just get crickets that are not foreign to anyone in an OBA role. Wherewith the video messaging, it's like, love the video, now's not a good time, or, you know, whatever, the results are, you know, really sound even if it's a thank you, but not now.

[17:06] Shahin Hoda   Yeah, I mean, I feel like it's just so refreshing compared to, especially on LinkedIn, compared to all the, you know, all the messages that you get. all the automated bot messages that you get that, you know, hey, we're a development company in India, and we're trying to sell you something or we're a lead generation organisation, and we can get you leads for those, you know, and then you go on a sequence and you look at it, and you're like, yeah, I'm totally, you know, this is totally automated, versus a bespoke message that you even say, the person's name in there. And they're like, really, you made that for me? I love that. I love that. 

[17:43] Hayley Hopwood   That's really good. 

[17:44] Shahin Hoda   You talked about targeting as the third, or the last component that you mentioned, in terms of sorry, not targeting, but what is the target of the sales team, right? And how it, per quarter, whether it's remuneration per quarter, whether it's you know, that the numbers that you're looking at, what are some of the advice that you'd have for someone who is trying to figure out the, you know, how do I put the commission structure in place for a sales development, or an OBA role? Do you have any advice on that front?

[18:21] Hayley Hopwood   Yeah, I think as we sort of go, well, as we sort of segment, our teams and the OBAs will follow. I think it's really, it's been really insightful to actually dig a bit deeper into all of those different areas. So for someone who's working in startups, and in SMB, the pipeline volume might not be as great, but they might have a better strike rate for creating leads into opportunities. So, therefore, you know, that has to be taken into consideration when you're getting your target attainment. So it might be, you know, much more a higher SQOs or what we call sales generated leads, as opposed to a lower pipeline value. But when you move uptown into an enterprise, we find that that's a lot lower. 

[19:09] Hayley Hopwood   So it's been really hard having just the one OBA for the 18 months to work out. Okay, well, what's that threshold and how much time you're going to be spending in this segment, as opposed to that segment. So it's being really thoughtful in that approach. I think also if you're wanting to tier, I think when you get into the sort of more mid-market and enterprise tiering works, like what's the, you know, tier one, tier two, tier three strategy, and those. And you can align sort of the SQOs along, you know, the tiering system as well. So I think that that, you know, creates a little bit more clarity around target setting.

[19:47] Hayley Hopwood   Because, you know, to land a tier-one is going to take a lot longer, but it's going to be a much greater pipeline value than a tier-three business. They could be in the same industry. It's just that, you know, they're just, they're more nimble, and they're able to move at a faster pace. So it's being able to take those things into consideration, I think 18 months ago, we weren't there at all, it's just sort of like a, you know, let's just try this and see. And that's what we're sort of done. But now that we've had 18 months, you know, a couple of quarters under our belt, we can actually go, okay, this makes more sense, if we actually, you know, really segment the OBAs and then put that tearing system in place.

[20:22] Shahin Hoda   I love that. So, so it's not as much, so the key takeaway is that it really depends on what kind of company you're going after, and the size of the company and the complexity of the deal. But also, it's not like you would turn to an OBA and be like, okay, if you land these kinds of funds, this is what you're going to get, if you learn these kinds, this is where you're going to get, I feel like that just confuses the OBA a little bit and brings a little bit level of complexity, and then probably go after the ones that they're best at. Because they feel like they can get the most commission out of that.

[20:56] Hayley Hopwood   And I mean, that's the other thing, I think with anything like a hybrid role, like if you're having partial, you know, campaign management, and then also that sort of bespoke side, people are going to migrate to what they feel most comfortable, or what they get enjoyment out of, and that doesn't necessarily mean it's going to result in numbers, if you've got a high SQO number, just say 20, but you're targeting the top end of town and might get for, you might be over-indexed on pipeline value, but under indexed on you know, leads created. So it's, I think, aligning the individual's skill set to wherever they're going to succeed, as well as really imperative as a leader.

[21:37] Shahin Hoda   I love that. Okay. The last thing that I wanted to touch on was around, you know, what does the career progression of an OBA look like at Stripe?

[21:49] Hayley Hopwood   Yeah, the types of people that we've employed for the role and even globally, because, you know, we're sort of at the infancy stages is, you know, is really strong. They come in with that, normally, it's just straight out of uni, or, you know, first or second role within an organisation, and they're really wanting to build into that AE fall and you know, end-to-end sales sort of role. So, traditionally, we find the OBAs, upon joining have already set their career path of their next step. And we always strongly encourage having career conversations every six months, and the majority of them lean into like the sales role. So going into a closing position, and which is great for us as well, because we're sort of building out what that model looks like. 

[22:38] Hayley Hopwood  Because if and we've done at once here in Australia with an OBA has moved into an AE role, and we see like the pipeline traction, upwards of 30%, in comparison to someone that we've employed as a junior stepping into an AE role. So you know, their cadence around creating deals and signing deals is is much greater, because they've got experience within Stripe under their belt, but also they've got that familiar already of what it takes to you know, to get deals done. And then you can sort of, you know, like, train the rest of that, the closing experience as well. So, yeah, we find that a lot of the OBAs come in with that mindset of, I'm here because I want to learn and I want to take that next leap into, you know, closing AE role.

[23:24] Shahin Hoda  Yeah, I love that, you know, this is a question that I get quite a lot where especially smaller organisations who are trying to like maybe do their first sales hire. And when we have a chat, I always say, you know, go for a sales development rep, rather than a, you know, an account executive or the equivalent in your industry, where, you know, an account executive has a, could be a very expensive hire. And but just like you said, when you do that SDR hire, you can train them up, and then they can replace you.

[23:57] Shahin Hoda  You probably if you're a business owner, you can probably close right now. You don't have time to prospect and they can kind of feed you that those opportunities and you close and then gradually. You kind of promote them, and it's a much better fit. And they have a lot more contacts, just like you said about the business. I love that. Now, Hayley, before we, I have a couple of rapid questions that I want to ask, but before we get to the rapid questions, is there anything else that you think it would be valuable for the people who are listening for us to discuss with regards to the OBA role and everything else that we discussed that I didn't ask?

[24:36] Hayley Hopwood   Yeah, I think for me the role like we've learned a lot over the last 18 months, and we're starting to get really into that rhythm and as you sort of say, like for new businesses, I think it's imperative to get that messaging out and then the rest will follow. So you can sort of, you know, train and develop individuals as they go through their careers. But I think for the OBA, I think the pillars from around success are really around that pre-work. So who are we targeting and why? 

[25:05] Hayley Hopwood  And I think, helps with that success rate. And then you know, the outbounding piece. So the callisthenics, always working that muscle. And then if, for me, I think, you know, I touched on it before, it's just like measuring those trends and finding the right individuals that are transparent and honest enough to actually go, to own that experience, because you need that to just reiterate and continually improve. And that's kind of what's held us in good stead over the last 18 months, as having

[25:33] Shahin Hoda   Got it. That actually brings up a question that I like to ask. How do you set up an OBA? How do you, yeah, how do you set up an OBA for success? If you're trying to if you're a manager, what do you need to do before hiring an OBA, in order for them to be successful once you do hire them?

[25:57] Hayley Hopwood   And I think that this was the challenging part at the start, right? Because we didn't know what we didn't know. So that's why we were looking for someone with that next level of experience to help build out that framework. So it's just having someone that is kind of greedy enough, enable the pivot when needed to do a multitude of things, that doesn't necessarily mean that they're just going to be focused on that OBA. We're getting to that stage where that we're having that laser-focused on those three different areas of the business. 

[26:23] Hayley Hopwood   But, you know, back at its infancy, we needed someone to be able to sort of bend with the requirements of what we needed to make it work. And for me, it was just instilling that trust and motivation and getting, you know, getting things unblocked. So whether it was the data that needed to be cleaned, you know, how do we go about that? What are the tools do we need? So it was just that sort of like, as I sort of mentioned before, it was just like, well, flying the plane and building it as well. So we needed someone that was able to sort of roll with those punches.

[26:55] Shahin Hoda   Yeah, that's such a good point. Because I think you're right there, there's a lot that changes in that period, and there's a lot that, you know, could be related to that person's commission structure as well. So now you're all of a sudden playing with someone's livelihood, it becomes a lot more sensitive. So that's a really good point of making sure that you set that expectation in advance. 

[27:18] Shahin Hoda   And even if their compensation, you need to have to think about the compensation, have that earlier, rather than when they jumped in the roll, and you're like, hey, this was a target, oh, crap, we can't do that. Now we've got to change your target, and the approach is going to be different. And then their question is going to be like, so what's going to happen to my commission structure? Because based on the previous model, now, you're telling me I'm going to get paid, I don't know, 20% less?

[27:44] Hayley Hopwood    And I think it's, you know, as an organisation, you need to have that flexibility as well. I mean, you know, we didn't necessarily have it, in my experience, but if the data wasn't as good, I mean, it wasn't good. But if it was really poor, then what did that mean? Like 50% of my time, I was spent just cleaning data rather than actually outbounding. So, you know, that has a negative impact on my livelihood. So, you know, it's being able to be able to measure and monitor and have those transparent conversations, I think. Otherwise, you just don't retain staff if you're not having those transparent conversations. It just ends up, you know, making for a disgruntled employee, which no one wants,

[28:27] Shahin Hoda   Yeah. Frustrated, and then outdoor, absolutely. Okay. Let's do some rapid questions. I got a couple of rapid questions that I want to go through with you. The first one is what is one resource, it could be a book, it could be a blog, a podcast, a talk, whatever it is, that fundamentally has changed the way you work or live.

[28:46] Hayley Hopwood   Yeah, I always go back to a book Data Lead. I don't know if you know, by Rene Brown. So choosing courage over comfort. I always find that I'm like, I like to present as a very authentic leader. But you know, it's always good to be reminded that it's okay to be vulnerable. Like, I don't have all of the answers. I think I've demonstrated that today. You know, but I'm curious. And I have a passion to continued learning. And I like to demonstrate that in my leadership style. So if I ever feel like I, you know, I'm losing some of that just due to being so busy, I like to refer back to that book. 

[29:23] Hayley Hopwood   Going back on a resource that I like to give OBAs and for my new AEs, so the new sales team is a book called Eat That Frog, which is by Brian Tracy, you're nodding. I think you might know it. So it's just it's that procrastination piece and it's disciplining yourself to do the worst thing first thing every morning, and then over a period of time, it just starts to habituate into your behaviour. So you're not just sitting there wasting time thinking about what you should be doing. It's actually just you know, eating that dirtiest, biggest ugliest frog first and getting on with your day. I encourage the OBAs nd the new newcomers to read. 

[30:03] Shahin Hoda   Yeah, those are both really great resources. I love it. Okay, question number two. If you could only give one advice to salespeople, OBAs, people in the sales space, what would it be?

[30:16] Hayley Hopwood  Given that we've just spent the last 20 minutes talking about outbounding, I would say, keep your pipeline full. The rest will look after itself. You touched on it with small businesses as well. If you're going to employ someone, employ someone who can keep the momentum going, keep that pipeline full, you know. You can, you'll be able to close out that business and move on. So it's just all-around creating leads and closing out opportunities.

[30:42] Shahin Hoda   Yeah, have as many balls in the air as you can, right? Yeah, productivity, what was that? Productively that you say? 

[30:50] Hayley Hopwood   Yeah, productivity and prioritising? 

[30:53] Shahin Hoda   Absolutely. Okay. What are some of the influencers that you follow in the sales space?

[30:58] Hayley Hopwood   I think in the sales space, it would be Kyle Porter, I think he's the CEO of SalesLoft, changing the way that we really engage with people individually. And I think that that's changed over the last, you know, five years. And it's about, you know, selling with authenticity, which is key to me. Yeah. So I really, sort of, like following him. 

[31:21] Hayley Hopwood   And also Aaron Ross, he's written a couple of books, but I think he's really considered any sales approach, particularly going back to today's environment where, you know, our prospects and our buyers have so much information at their fingertips with the internet. It's just like, you know, how do we change and bring that information into our mould and into the way that we sell, I think is really imperative to the way that it's, you know, you succeed at sales these days.

[31:49] Shahin Hoda   All right, the last thing that I wanted to ask you is, you know, what is something that excites you about the B2B space as a whole today,

[31:56] Hayley Hopwood   It has to be technology and payments, obviously, two of my, my prized passions. And, you know, I look back, and we're going through it now, again, unfortunately, but you know, I look back at when COVID started, and stripe in Australia and New Zealand on-boarded 10,000 new users. And that was really like, that was an intense time for the team and intense time for businesses. So if I look back at the kind of businesses that were, you know, reaching out to us, it was really around telehealth. 

[32:25] Hayley Hopwood   So businesses that, you know, I'm still consulting virtually now, but I have no way shape or form of taking a payment like I'm doing it all for free, or, you know, you're looking at businesses that you know, butchery or your fruit and veg shop, which is like, I've got these perishable items, how do I sell them and deliver them safely in a COVID environment. So all of that was powered through technology. 

[32:49] Hayley Hopwood  So I think that the way that platforms are speaking to platforms, and it's been underpinned by payments, and using payments as a commodity is really exciting. It's changing the way that consumers behave and buy. And it's also changing the way businesses interact with one another. So for me, I think what excites me about B2B is I guess it's the payments infrastructure, but it's also just technology-led. It's really an exciting time.

[33:16] Shahin Hoda   Now, it's fascinating how one technology could so drastically change the business model and approach of a company. That's a great point. But Hayley, I really appreciate you jumping on the podcast. This has been a great conversation. I really enjoyed every bit of it. I think there's a lot of insights for the listeners to take away. I think there's a lot of people out there who're looking at building a sales development team or an outbound sales team. So I think there is going to be a lot of golden nuggets in here for them to think through and listen to. Thank you so much for joining us. 

[34:00] Hayley Hopwood   Thanks for having me, and I hope you find it insightful.

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