Industry Conversations with Simon Bruus, Senior Enterprise Sales Development at Xactly Corp

In the latest in a new series of articles, we sat down with Simon Bruus, Senior SDR at Xactly, to find out what makes him tick.

Simon Bruus has been an SDR at Xactly since July 2019, becoming Senior Enterprise SDR in Jan 2020. We wanted to get to know him better, so we sat down with Simon to get his thoughts on sales, mindset and much more besides. Enjoy.

Sales Confidence – Hey Simon. We all know that working in sales isn’t easy. What do you do to keep a successful mindset when there are so many obstacles in your way?

Simon - Work-life balance is key. It’s no secret that a large portion of the SDR job is reactive in nature; whether it be responding to emails, LinkedIn messages or calls. Putting time aside to be off the job is key for a fresh perspective. 

SC – Facing challenges and rejection is part and parcel of being an SDR. Give us your top tips for building resilience.

You have to have a selective memory when you’re an SDR; there will be times where you can’t get through to anyone, you get hung up on and feel like quitting. The best SDR’s separate themselves by never dwelling on failures or mistakes, but instead learning from them and moving on. 

SC – Sales is all about adapting, learning, developing and improving, right? What are the common mistakes and pitfalls SDRs fall into?

As an SDR, you may fall into the trap of over-standardising your messaging and content, in order to increase the number of accounts you can work at any given time. I find this never works; you need to be able to effectively communicate the unique value proposition relevant to any given stakeholder.

SC – What would you advise someone who is looking to get into sales but doesn’t know where to start?

The SDR role is a great starting point. Access to senior sales talent and the collaborative nature of initial buying stages can give you insights you'll be using for the rest of your career. 

SC - If you’re going to make a living out of selling something, you’ve got to know it inside out, right? How did you build your knowledge bank of the industry?

It’s important to expose yourself to every aspect of your organisation. Put some time in your colleagues' diary to understand their role and why it matters. 

SC - What are your top three resources you use to keep ahead of the game? – books, websites, blogs, magazines, podcasts etc.

  • I Hear You - Michael S. Sorensen
  • How to win friends & influence people - Dale Carnegie 
  • Senior colleagues as a resource for knowledge.

SC - Sales reps often get a bad reputation when it comes to what they do and how they do it. How much do you think an SDR role is about pushing the limits when selling to prospects?

I take issue with the notion of ‘pushing the limits’. At the end of the day, the value we deliver as SDRs is about nurturing and building relationships, not ruining them pre-emptively by being too aggressive or pushing the limits.

SC - Confidence is such a subjective term and can mean something different to lots of people. What does confidence mean to you and what do you do to nurture it?

Preparation, preparation and preparation! If you’re able to effectively and convincingly communicate a tailored value proposition to a specific prospect, confidence will follow naturally.

SC - Salespeople have to multitask – from prioritising, delegating, managing their time and checking things off. Run us through how you structure and tackle your typical day at work!

I am a big advocate for organisational tools as part of an SDR’s workflow. Tools like Trello, Google Keep and Google Sheets will help you stay organised and on top of your work, ensuring you never miss a potential opportunity. 

Over to you

Thanks to Simon for sitting down with us. Now you know how Simon Bruus does it, we want to know about you. Leave us a comment to let us know what you think about any of the points he raised. 

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