Defining Excellence, Role Plays, and Up-skilling Reps with Phil Dantas, Director of Sales at Clio

10/10 GTM Episode 32
Transparent sales process - working together
Listen on Spotify PodcastsListen on Stitcher PodcastsListen on Apple PodcastsListen on Google Podcasts

Welcome to Season 3 of 10/10 GTM: The Podcast for Revenue Leaders!

Our guest for this episode is Phil Dantas, Director of Sales at Clio. Phil brings more than a decade of sales experience to the conversation. 

In this episode, Ross and Phil discuss why revenue leaders must define excellence, consistently role play and up skill their reps, and inspect expected outcomes. 

Listen to the episode here, and get the key takeaways from our conversation below.

Define excellence & set the standard

As a revenue leader, you set the bar for what excellence looks like. This involves identifying key priorities for your team, giving your reps the tools necessary for success, and improving accountability. 

As you begin, here are some questions to consider: 

  • How can you design the call tracks to optimize performance and meet strategic goals? 
  • What does an ideal ‘day in the life’ for your reps look like to maximize efficiency and KPIs?
  • How do you define and implement operational rigor?

When addressing these questions, use internal insights such as click paths, reports, existing talk tracks, conversion rates, and other relevant metrics. This data will give you a clear picture of your team’s current dynamics and areas for improvement, which you can use to make strategic changes and drive success. 

Once you define excellence and start making changes, begin by helping your team master the bare minimum. ”You want to make sure your reps are all following the sales process, have an ‘ideal day in the life’ scenario mapped out, and know the associated call tracks inside and out,” says Phil. “Achieving this will allow you to build operational rigor. But it all begins with the basics.” 

Consistently practice & upskill

Salespeople know how to get things done; they’re wired to operate quickly and efficiently. But, completing tasks quickly doesn't always mean they're completed correctly. This is why consistent practice is essential. By practicing the right strategies at the right time, reps increase their chances of success. 

To understand where an organization is falling short, Phil conducts a unique exercise. He places team members from an organization in separate rooms and asks them these three questions: 

  1. What is a problem you solve for your customers?
  2. If faced with an objection, such as a prospect saying it’s not the right time to buy, how would you respond?
  3. How do you handle a situation where your prospect is considering your biggest competitor?

“Hopefully, you don’t end up with five different answers, but most of the time you will,” says Phil. “This circles back to the first point. You need to set the standard. Then you need to practice it, otherwise you’ll have chaos.”

To build a culture of practice and enforce the standards you set, you need to educate your team on the ‘why’ behind the practice and build momentum around it using social proof. Wrong momentum is hard to reset, so take the time early to make sure you’re booking sessions every week to help your team upskill and make sure that you hold your team accountable. 

Inspect what you expect 

“You can ignore the fine print at your own risk. If you choose not to take time to inspect your team’s output, you don’t know what you don’t know,” says Phil. “Fast forward six to 12 months, and this can create tons of different business challenges. You may be selling to the wrong customers or setting the wrong expectations, you may not have the right structure or team to evolve your sales process, or the learning curve for new reps may be longer because they’re learning bad habits from the other reps on the team.”

Inspecting what you expect is crucial if you want to set your team up for lasting success. To gauge where you are right now, consider these questions: 

  • How many sales calls do you personally review each week?
  • Are you actively ensuring that your reps focus on essential elements like the upfront contract, decision criteria, and discovery questions?
  • How thoroughly are you listening and engaging when reviewing these calls?
  • What is the current state of your pipeline hygiene? Are you consistently reviewing pipelines weekly and conducting detailed analyses?
  • When you commit to an action, how consistently do you and your team follow through?

Be intentional when you inspect. Go in with a purpose because when your eye is off the ball the consequences can ripple throughout your team and organization. Neglecting thorough inspections leads to missed opportunities, subpar performance, and even systemic issues that are harder to correct later on. 

Rapid fire: Phil’s fast sales insights

In a rapid-fire Q&A session, Phil shares his insights with us on a wide range of topics: 

What’s the main reason most teams miss their ARR goals? Pipeline — not having enough and the quality of the pipeline. 

What’s your favorite resource for revenue leaders? For frontline leaders, 30MPC. Also, I really love the book, “The Infinite Game,” by Simon Sinek. 

What’s the number one challenge for revenue leaders in 2024? People. How do you retain and how do you keep your team motivated? 

SMB, Mid-market, or enterprise? Mid-market. 

What’s the most important org: Sales, CS, or Marketing? Marketing (if the company knows how to do it really well). 

Best way to unplug from the demands of leadership? Being with my daughter and being active — either by working out or walking outside. 

About Phil

Phil is a seasoned sales professional who helps scale companies achieve growth and revenue targets. Prior to joining Clio, Phil held leadership roles at TouchBistro and Yellow Pages. Currently, he focuses on sales acceleration, channel development, and mentorship to grow high-performing teams.