Anneke Seley is the CEO and founder of Phone Works, which creates teams and processes to help companies maximize their Inside Sales. Telesales, and the combination of Telesales with Websales, is creating a new selling methodology that I have referred to as TeleWebSales. Phone Works is one of top consultants in this space and to date has created over 250 sales teams for their clients.
I first met Anneke in 1999, when I was doing Intarka, my lead generation startup, which I talked about during the Umberto Milletti story.
This discussion is going focus on the various pieces involved in building a repeatable sales process.
I just want to get this straight, a repeatable sales (and marketing) process is incredibly important. If you ever want to build a company that is of any scale, you need a process that builds a sales funnel, and manages to move leads along the funnel, and convert them to deals.
So with the introduction, Anneke and I invite you to spend a couple of weeks with us in the depths if sales methodology.
SM: Anneke, before we begin, can you orient the readers with your background, including the how and why you founded Phone Works?
AS: I was a very early employee at Oracle.
SM: You worked directly for Larry didn’t you?
AS: I actually had a person between myself and Larry.
SM: Thank God!
AS: Larry interviewed me and essentially hired me; he was very involved with hiring everybody in the company in those days because he had a philosophy of intellectual egalitarianism. He knew the company was growing fast, and he wanted the people coming into low positions to be talented enough to rise and grow into new management positions. That is why I started as the receptionist after Stanford.
SM: Oh my god!
AS: In no time I was doing a different job and learning a different business. After the first five years, I recognized there were two places to be in the company: development / engineering, or sales. Since I could not code, I thought I would have to find my way into sales.
I found myself in charge of the strategy for selling Oracle’s newly released product for the PC. Oracle had been a company which sold mainframe and mini computer software licenses, and they were very large deals, $50K and over. Suddenly we were announcing a product which costs $1K. That obviously meant we needed a new distribution strategy, and I was in charge of the task force which created that strategy.
That grew into what is now called Oracle Direct, which was communicating directly with customers and prospects. We did not do this face to face, rather we did it over the telephone. Today, of course, that is accomplished by both the Internet and the phone. We had fax machines in those days, but it was largely the telephone. Leaving Oracle after a 10 year career, I was in a position to help other companies that were looking to duplicate similar sales strategies, not only for Telesales, but also applying phone and technology to different parts of the sales process, as appropriate.