Profile
Andrew Zinger

Andrew Zinger

Senior Director, Global Sales Enablement, Fastly

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Andrew Zinger
Andrew Zinger
Fastly Senior Director, Global Sales EnablementJanuary 11
Great question and something I love talking to (and sometimes 'debating') our leaders about - the idea behind 'what's the characteristic (or two) of your best seller you would want to clone?' For me, at the top of the list are 2 attributes I look for in potential sales team members: 1) 'Customer first' mindset: I don't want to lead or support a team of 'vendors' who are only interested in selling 'licenses'. I want to enable a team of 'consultants' or 'trusted advisors' that are not interested in selling 'licenses', but providing 'customer solutions' built on value. I want sales teams built on the belief that they can differentiate themselves by showing up to a prospect/customer meeting with curiosity and a perspective on what is happening in the particular industry and company...prospects will pick up on the fact that you seem genuinely interested in understanding their reality. 2) The ability to be a master customer storyteller...something I call 'storyselling'. To me this is an important attribute if you are hoping your sellers show up like 'consultants' and sell on value. Think of how you like to be sold to...most want to partner with someone who understands their current situation, and desired future state. You typically buy from someone you trust, and that trust is typically built out of 'experience' or 'subject matter expertise'. Finally, you want someone who can paint a picture of the future, to get you excited about the 'art of the possible' and nothing means more and comes off as 'authentic' than hearing stories of how other customers, of a similar size and industry, or facing the same challenge, have transformed their business in the way you are looking to do so.
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Andrew Zinger
Andrew Zinger
Fastly Senior Director, Global Sales EnablementJanuary 11
People's definition of 'hard skills' may differ depending on where they work, what the sales organization makeup is, and what product/platform they are selling. In my experience, the 'gold standard' sales leaders have a few attributes in common when it comes to 'hard skills'. For instance all seem to possess the ability to be dangerous with their technical skills, and business skills - similar to what we would may say about someone outside of work: they are book smart, and street smart. Strong leaders can keep up with the IT and Platform executives, but can also 'wow' prospects and partners with their ability to tell an effective story. Also, they appear to be educated and comfortable with the 'best of breed' platforms and applications, ensuring they stay on topic of the latest in tech. Finally, the strongest leaders I have worked alongside all have deep analytical skills that are super impactful to the sales organization including data analysis, research, creativity in problem solving, and are wonderful communicators.
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Andrew Zinger
Andrew Zinger
Fastly Senior Director, Global Sales EnablementJanuary 11
Another topic that is always top of mind for sales leaders, and their recruiting teams, is their employee retention scores. It is a massive expense to organizations when they see talent leave, whether regrettable or not, and have to spend resources recruiting, enabling and eventually filling that seat. Programs, behaviours and approaches that may help keep your teams intact and excited about their role, can include: - providing new challenges and opportunities. This can come in many forms of internal career growth avenues, including progression through the sales segments, offering leadership opportunities, and/or programs and resources made available for personal development. - Engaging with your employees on a regular basis. Demonstrate to your teams that their feedback is welcomed, valued and encouraged. You've seen this done with internal 'employee engagement' surveys, 'ask me anything' panels with leadership, and of course it all started back in my early days with the physical 'suggestion box' (dating myself slightly). - Expand your 1:1's to be more than just about deals and quota. There is more to a seller than their ability to sell. Think of what 'behaviors' you want your team to excel at..are they good collaborators with cross functional teams? Are they a good team member and help mentor new members and don't shy away from sharing learnings? Do they show up prepared, educated, and lead with the customer first? Also, think of what sales 'competencies' you want to ensure the team excels at, such as being strong at doing 'discovery', they have the ability to tell compelling customer stories, and are they doing account plans for their tier 1 accounts?. If you build a team with strong sales 'behaviors' and 'competencies', the quota retirement will come. - Celebrate and acknowledge. Celebrate both big and small things within the sales org, and set up a recognition program outside of your 'Presidents Club' (or equivalent). Everyone responds well to their positive acknowledgment and reinforcement.
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Andrew Zinger
Andrew Zinger
Fastly Senior Director, Global Sales EnablementJanuary 11
First off, for those serious about a career change to sales, I would start off by building (or rebuilding) your network. This can be done is a number of ways including: - attending conferences and industry training events (virtual or in person) - focus on joining relevant industry and/or company groups on platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook and Slack - do an inventory of your strengths and weaknesses. Successful sellers are not born overnight and constantly are curious on how they can improve themselves. In your current role, you may possess traits similar to those individuals, but you will likely have weaknesses that you need to address before you can start that growth. - take a training course. Trust me, you indeed can teach an old dog new tricks...especially because these types of training experiences come in many forms to suit your taste, including 'on demand'/'just in time' training (think LinkedIn Learning/Coursera) and of course 'in person' options. - work on your 'executive presence' and 'relationship building' skills. In today's selling environment and competitive landscape, customers have a multitude of options to choose from, and sales has really become about building and maintaining strong relationships. No doubt an actual deal involves your business selling something of value, but that doesn’t happen unless you have a strong relationship with your potential buyer.
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Andrew Zinger
Andrew Zinger
Fastly Senior Director, Global Sales EnablementJanuary 11
Ah.. a great question and something that I have yet to see perfected, but continues to get easier as many enablement and development professionals know and argue that companies cannot afford NOT to invest in the soft skills development of their employees. Historically I have seen that budgets typically allocated towards soft skills learning initiatives are all too often the first to be cut because of the difficulty of proving an ROI of sales soft skills versus hard/technical skills. Below are a couple of approaches I have seen, taken and partnered with internal teams around indicators of success within soft skill initiatives: Platform Engagement Rates: One area of my business I look to when measuring the impact of 'soft skill' enablement is our internal LMS & CMS platforms that tracks learners’ usage, knowledge retention and engagement rates. If a platform or specific collection of content is being used and consumed on a regular basis, it is a sign that employees are getting value from the company's soft skills training. If engagement and consumption levels are lacking, it could be a sign that the platform is not easy to navigate, that the content is untrusted or not engaging. Track Sales Team Productivity Rates: Over time I have started to see the increase in how soft skills such as multitasking, proactivity, communication, and creative-thinking have had a positive impact on sales productivity rates at companies that prioritizes employee development. Identifying and tracking success metrics across the sales team upon implementing soft skills initiatives is a great way to measure program impact. Sales Team Retention: Sales team churn is a major cost to any organization, and something that is easily measurable and can tell an important story. A recent 'Workplace Learning' report out of LinkedIn suggests that 94% of employees consider staying longer with companies who invest in programs aimed at career development. Impact of Process Optimisation: When organizations and teams see soft skills like successful teamwork, great communication, and strong time-management become ingrained in a company's culture, processes are optimised, and sales motions are completed more effectively and efficiently. Looking at the time it takes sales opportunities through the full deal cycle is a useful way to present an ROI to the business.
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Andrew Zinger
Andrew Zinger
Fastly Senior Director, Global Sales EnablementJanuary 11
Another great question and one that will certainly differ from executive to executive. However, in my experience some of the top intangibles for the top performers I have seen include: - Confidence and a winning personality. Now, I don't want to confuse 'confidence' with 'ego'...to have 'confidence' is to believe in yourself and your own abilities. 'Ego' on the other hand operates out of self interest, and 'lone wolves' do NOT work in today's high performing sales teams. - Being a 'consultant' and expert in your industry. Now, I don't expect every seller on the team to be able to lead a 'Ted Talk', but do your homework with your top accounts - understand the top challenges and opportunities in the industry they are facing. Read up on the company and understand what they are trying to achieve in their current environment, and get to know the motivation for your contact - what are they trying to achieve and how can they be your champion? - Customer focus and appreciation. The sales teams I want to be most associated with are ones that realize the customer relationship truly begins once the deal has closed. Too often sellers are off to the next chance to retire quota, and they lose sight of the long term benefits of being customer centric. Think 'seed and grow', not 'sell and go'. Also, being responsive and available to your accounts, whether 'prospects' or 'customers' is also key. People will remember those who respond in a timely fashion to any outreach from their accounts - goes back to the earlier point of differentiating yourself in small, but significant ways, and helps grow customer confidence and retention.
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Andrew Zinger
Andrew Zinger
Fastly Senior Director, Global Sales EnablementJanuary 11
In my experience it's been less of a challenge enabling the sales/account team on 'hard skills'. Over time you can see to it that people become comfortable with demo'ing your platform, using your tech stack, understanding the financials. However, trying to coach someone in the art of 'customer storytelling', or doing deep 'discovery' is something every enablement team struggles with.
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Andrew Zinger
Andrew Zinger
Fastly Senior Director, Global Sales EnablementJanuary 11
The topic of 'feedback' is a passionate one with many people. For me, feedback is fuel, but at the same time it needs to be actionable and agreed upon for it to be that 'fuel' for change/innovation. My advice for if you don't understand, or agree with, the feedback you're receiving would be to start with checking your understanding with the individual providing the feedback. Just like in a customer/prospect discovery call, you can start off by summarizing your understanding of the feedback. This will give you the opportunity to validate your understanding of what you have heard and it will prove helpful to ensure you are both on the same page. Also, don't be afraid to be honest - tell your boss that you are committed to improving, but you want to be sure you know what to focus on, and you need to better understand what is being asked of you. This will allow you both to agree on the steps required to set up a course of action. Finally, if you are confused with the feedback, or not in agreement with what has been presented back to you, ask for clarification through specific examples. In my experience this helps to unpack the feedback and clarify what you've heard.
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Andrew Zinger
Andrew Zinger
Fastly Senior Director, Global Sales EnablementMarch 14
I Love this question...I was once a salesperson, so I have always carried a ton of empathy for sellers and how precious their actual selling time is. I really disliked being taken away from my role to take training or meetings that were not immediately something I could action (sell), or that didn't make me effective at my job. With that in mind, I adopted a philosophy around 'Golden Selling Time, where we front load any enablement we deliver in the first 45 days of a quarter - right out of the gates that is our promise to sellers. Also, we need to read into the health of the business, through metrics and analytics, to help us determine what enablement is needed -too often enablement is reactive - strong partnerships with teams like Sales Operations can help you create the real time insights needed to ensure that what we deliver, it top of mind and is aimed at solving a potential challenge, but more importantly some thing sellers can action immediately. If we see deals falling off after a certain stage, we will research the reason why and help identify specific enablement to address the challenge, and we ensure that what we deliver is specific to the audience and is immediately actionable. You also need to listen - conversational intelligence allows you to understand, at scale, where the brightest spots are, and where you'll find opportunity for change. We also provide multiple 'on demand' or 'just in time' resources - I am a huge fan of micros learnings, and enablement on the go, so everything we produce is mobile ready - people do not learn just 9-5 these days...we have to meet our audience where they're at. So, in summary: - analytics & metrics can help paint the picture of what enablement is required - embed yourself with sales and through programs like conversational intelligence, you'll get a sense first hand of where you can have the most impact - Adopt the 'Golden Selling Time' philosophy - give your sellers the time to sell
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Andrew Zinger
Andrew Zinger
Fastly Senior Director, Global Sales EnablementMarch 14
You make more succinct: With submissions due last Friday, March 8, we are now shifting to the ‘manager review’ portion of our program. Over the next 2 weeks managers will be reviewing stories & will be serving up their teams strongest submission - Artur is very much looking forward to seeing some ‘gold standard’ storytelling from the field! ChatGPT ChatGPT Submissions closed on March 8. Now, managers will review stories over the next 2 weeks, selecting the best submissions for their teams. Artur eagerly anticipates seeing top-notch storytelling! You make more succinct: Shifting focus to ‘Golden Selling Time’ so our next Scoop (3/180 will be ‘newsletter only’. In this time we are working closely with PMM to finalize the exciting enablement programs for ‘Compute’ & ‘Bbots’ that will be launching in April 2! ChatGPT ChatGPT Focusing on 'Golden Selling Time,' our next Scoop (3/180) will be 'newsletter only.' During this period, we're collaborating closely with PMM to finalize exciting enablement programs for 'Compute' and 'Bbots,' launching on April 2! You make more succinct: Crowdsourcing Help! Good morning/Afternoon leaders, In Q2, we are rolling out a monthly 'on demand' video program called 'Conversations with...'. These short, bite-size, 'interview-style' videos will showcase internal teams & individuals from Fastly that our sellers will likely come across in their deal cycles, such as Procurement, Legal, Executive Admins & more. The aim is to understand what is important to them - when to engage, how to get them to be an advocate, how they can unlock access to decision makers & much more. In addition to the 3 teams/roles highlighted above, who else would you & your sellers like to hear from in this series, so we can ensure we get them lined up? Thank you very much ChatGPT ChatGPT Leaders, Introducing 'Conversations with...'—a monthly 'on-demand' video series launching in Q2. These brief, interview-style videos will feature internal teams and individuals from Fastly encountered in deal cycles, like Procurement, Legal, Executive Admins, and more. We aim to glean insights on engagement strategies, advocacy, accessing decision-makers, and more. Apart from the mentioned roles, whom else would you and your sellers like to hear from in this series? Your input will help us line up the right participants. Thank you. You make more succinct: Hi leaders, please thank your front-line managers (I'll insert names) whose teams met the Friday, March 8 deadline for the ‘Fastly Advantage’ Story Course. We now have two important asks of you: For AEs, AMs, SDRs, CAMs, and front-line managers who have not completed the course, please have them schedule 1:1 time with their manager this week to conduct their personalized story live via Zoom. They should record this session and use it as their video submission in Highspot; managers should then score that submission in Highspot for tracking purposes. Please encourage your managers to use the next two weeks score all of their reps’ submissions and serve up the ‘winning video’ from theirs team via the enablement-managers Slack channel by EOD Friday, March 22. Thank you for your partnership and continued attention to this! ChatGPT ChatGPT Hi leaders, Please extend gratitude to your front-line managers (insert names) whose teams met the Friday, March 8 deadline for the 'Fastly Advantage' Story Course. We have two important requests: 1. For AEs, AMs, SDRs, CAMs, and front-line managers who haven't completed the course, kindly arrange 1:1 sessions with their manager this week to deliver their personalized story live via Zoom. They should record this session and submit it as their video entry in Highspot. Managers should then score these submissions in Highspot for tracking purposes. 2. Encourage your managers to score all of their reps' submissions over the next two weeks and submit the 'winning video' from their team via the enablement-managers Slack channel by EOD Friday, March 22. Thank you for your partnership and continued attention to this matter! You For our team, measuring ramp effectiveness typically involves a combination of quantitative and qualitative metrics. Here's a breakdown of areas we focus on: 1. Time to Productivity: Measure how long it takes for new hires to become fully productive in their roles. This could involve tracking the time it takes for them to close their first deal, achieve certain sales targets, or demonstrate proficiency in their tasks. 2. Sales Performance Metrics: Compare the performance of new hires to established benchmarks or the performance of experienced sales reps. Look at metrics such as conversion rates, average deal size, and revenue generated to assess whether new hires are meeting expectations. 3. Training Completion and Assessment: Evaluate how well new hires are engaging with and completing training programs. Assess their understanding of key concepts and strategies through quizzes, assessments, or role-playing exercises. 4. Feedback from Managers and Mentors: Gather feedback from managers, mentors, and peers on the progress and performance of new hires. This could involve regular check-ins, performance reviews, or informal feedback sessions. 5. Customer Satisfaction: Monitor customer satisfaction scores or feedback related to interactions with new hires. Positive feedback from customers can indicate that new hires are effectively representing the company and its products/services. 6. Retention Rates: Analyze the retention rates of new hires compared to established employees. High turnover among new hires may indicate issues with the onboarding process or a lack of alignment between expectations and reality. 7. Onboarding Survey Results: Conduct surveys to gather feedback from new hires about their onboarding experience. Ask about the effectiveness of training programs, support received, and overall satisfaction with the onboarding process. By combining these metrics, organizations can gain a comprehensive understanding of the effectiveness of their ramp-up programs and identify areas for improvement.
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Credentials & Highlights
Senior Director, Global Sales Enablement at Fastly
Top Sales Mentor List
Top 10 Sales Contributor
Knows About Sales Enablement, Sales Development, Sales Soft and Hard Skills