The Critical Role of Documentation, Dry Runs, and Structure with Kyle Norton, CRO at Owner

10/10 GTM Episode 18
Transparent sales process - working together
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Welcome to Season 3 of 10/10 GTM: The Podcast for Revenue Leaders!

Our guest for Episode 18 is Kyle Norton, CRO at Owner. Kyle is recognized as a top sales prospecting voice on LinkedIn. He brings more than a decade of sales leadership experience to the conversation. 

In this episode, Ross and Kyle discuss the importance of documenting everything, conducting dry runs before key meetings, and why you need to have a structure in place to scale your sales org. 

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

Document absolutely everything

As more organizations move to remote and hybrid environments, documentation becomes more essential. This is because less learning happens through osmosis, so for reps to successfully replicate a process, step-by-step instructions are key. 

“We’ll document the philosophy of how we run a demo, the principles of psychology that apply, training on the components of the demo, discovery training, how we present pricing, and how we architect new steps,” says Kyle Norton, CRO at Owner. 

As you document, make sure you have a baseline of what good looks like. You want your reps to be able to read your scripts word-for-word if needed, and be able to get deals done. 

Kyle is able to scale his documentation process by using ChatGPT. “Rather than writing everything down myself, I’ll create a framework for AEs or BDRs to follow, then hop on a live training session with them and record the session. After the training, I export the transcript using Google’s natural language processing. Then I dump that full transcript into ChatGPT and have it provide me with a sales training guide with sections, chapters, and key takeaways. It gets us about 70% of the way there, meaning writing jobs that used to take me 10 hours now take me two.” 

Conduct dry runs before key meetings

No matter how polished your slide deck is, it’s still essential to conduct dry runs before key meetings. Oftentimes, the preparation you put into your meetings is just as important as the meeting itself. 

Your reps will run these meetings and invite team members from various other departments like CS to share feedback. But for this to work, you need to have a culture of openness and transparency. That way they can be honest about any weaknesses or gaps they’ve noticed. 

The goal is for your internal stakeholders to put themselves into the buyer’s shoes. This enables them to critically assess the presentation's appeal and effectiveness from the viewpoint that matters the most. 

Provide a structure

If you’re like most organizations, your goal is to scale. But this is hard to do without having a structure in place. 

Your structure is your baseline for what to test and iterate. It automates what’s repetitive and basic, this way your reps can free up headspace to really engage with prospects, actively listen, and partner with them to solve their problems. 

A good structure will provide your reps with: 

  • A daily plan of attack: This outlines specific, actionable steps that reps should take each day, ensuring consistency.
  • More control in their approach: By having a defined structure, reps can better manage their time and resources, enabling them to prioritize effectively and respond to dynamic market conditions with agility.
  • Clear performance metrics: Establishing concrete, measurable goals helps in tracking progress, identifying areas for improvement, and celebrating successes.
  • A framework for decision-making: A well-defined structure equips reps with guidelines and best practices for making informed decisions, especially in complex or ambiguous situations.
  • Flexibility to innovate: While the structure provides a foundation, it also allows room for creativity and personalization in sales tactics, ensuring that reps can adapt their strategies to meet the unique needs of each prospect.

For example, if one of your reps develops a unique way to handle objections and shares it with the team and the team finds it works well, this enhances individual performance and overall efficiency. 

Plus, a structure allows for more targeted training and development. When you know the baseline processes, it’s easier to identify areas where individual reps need support or additional training. 

Rapid fire: Kyle’s fast sales insights

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

What’s the main reason most teams miss their ARR goals? Bad target setting. 

What’s your favorite resource for revenue leaders? Principles by Ray Dalio. 

What’s the number one challenge for revenue leaders in 2024? Balancing growth and efficiency. 

SMB, Mid-market, or enterprise? I love it all. I like the problem solving aspect of SMB, but nothing hits like closing a monster enterprise deal that’s 25% of your annual number. 

What’s the most important org: Sales, CS, or Marketing? Product. Sales, CS, and Marketing don’t matter unless you’ve got a winning product that solves a need to have instead of a nice to have. 

How do you unplug? I don’t necessarily unplug. My perspective is you need to find ways to manage your mental and physical health. Get good sleep, stay physically active, eat well, etc. 

About Kyle Norton  

As the CRO at Owner, Kyle leads a team of GTM professionals who help independent restaurants grow their direct, online takeout, and delivery channels. He’s passionate about supporting the SaaS ecosystem and empowering entrepreneurs and innovators, and he brings more than 14 years of B2B SaaS experience to the table.