Interview with a Top Inside Sales Pro: Alex Turner

For the American Association of Inside Sales Professionals (AA-ISP), recognition is a big deal. Each year the group hands out a slew of awards, covering 20 categories and drawing even more attention toward an already trending sales model. (See below.) 

The AA-ISP hopes these awards will ultimately help accomplish a lofty mission: “To take inside sales to the next level of professionalism and performance.”

And Alex Turner is one of the influencers helping out. The Director of Sales Development from Wrike spends his days taking inside sales to the next level, and he’s seeing success. Alex just landed on the AA-ISP’s “Top 25 Most Influential Inside Sales Professionals” list for the third year in a row.

We caught up with Alex to find out what kinds of success secrets led him to this recognition and who’s really behind the inside sales pro. Check it out:

7 Q’s for the Inside Sales Pro:

Alex Turner
Alex Turner, Three-year “Top 25 Most Influential Inside Sales Professional”

1. Congrats on making it again to the Top 25 list! What’s your secret to sales success? (You only get to pick one.)

“I said to myself early in my career, that I should never be the smartest guy in the room. So how can I distinguish myself from the pack? By finding passion in my work. Loving what we do every day drives me to never stop hustling, no matter the highs or lows that we face.”

2. You’re already in great company, but who’s the one person that you would nominate to add to this list, and why?

“Steve Richard. He has devoted his career to one thing: Making salespeople better. If I can be SR when I grow up, then I would like to think I’ve done a good job.”

3. Obviously things are changing by the day for the inside sales role — with new technologies, methodologies and everything in between. How do you personally keep up with it all?

“Lots of Coffee…kidding (only a bit). You have to self educate. Get involved with organizations like the AA-ISP. Identify the key influencers in the industry that align with where you want to be. Put yourself out there. Again, it comes back to being passionate about what we do every day. When you love what you are doing, it doesn’t feel like work.”

4. Speaking of keeping up, there’s more data available to us than ever before. What’s your strategy around using sales metrics to get more wins?

“You can’t get lost in the data. Identify 4-6 key metrics (KPIs) and use them as coaching triggers. Not just for QBRs or end-of-month reviews, but for real-time coaching at every stage of the funnel, month, sales process and rep development.”

5. In our previous conversations, you’ve talked about recruiting reps that have a “Philly” sort of grit. Tell us more about that.

“I tell applicants to save their greatest accomplishments and polished up resume for my colleagues. I want to hear about STRUGGLE — adversity faced, challenges, and most importantly, how did you overcome them to get where you are today?”

6. What’s a day in the life of Alex Turner?

“No two days are alike. I do this on purpose. I load 1:1s at the start of the week and team meetings to close the week. In between there is A LOT of collaborating with my Performance Marketing team in Russia, and Product and Content teams in Mountain View. With team members in California, Ireland and Russia it is a round-the-clock thing. At home in San Diego I sit on the floor with the team for at least half the day to keep my finger on the pulse of the squad. There is nothing better than real-time coaching as soon as the phone is hung up. After hours (when the office is quiet) is the time for listening to the calls that the team sends my way for coaching.”

7. So we’ve all seen your rockstar sales side, but let’s get human for this last one. Give us one embarrassing story from a previous sales role. 

“Back in the NetTel (RIP) days, I managed our Avaya relationship, which consisted of providing Lead Gen and Opportunities to their Channel Partners across North America. This led to working with a lot of partners that were fierce competitors with one another. I worked very hard to make each and every one feel like they were #1 in my heart. One time, I had a call where I was sharing statistics and campaign progress with a partner. I thought the call was going great, until 15 minutes in my client said, ‘Alex, this all looks great, if my name was Tom and I worked for XYZ corp, BUT, this is Bill with ABC, XYZ’s biggest competitor.’ ”

A huge congrats to Alex and all other AA-ISP award winners from our team here at LevelEleven!

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