- Dino introduces himself and shares about his background as a fractional sales leader with client organizations, including the success of his his previous ventures resulting in 4 company exits due to growth that Dino and his teams have driven: (1:30)
- The group discusses the team dynamics involved with leading a sales team - including Dino’s role as a fractional leader, the adjustment to more virtual work settings, and the timeless roles of strong leadership: hiring, establishing processes, and setting the right goals. (4:40)
- Dino responds to a question about how he gives feedback to individuals, and to the broader team. He also addresses how to create a healthy culture that is balances competition and empathy: (9:50)
- Setting compensation targets to align incentives for individuals and departments, and what cultures Dino looks for when he joins an organization: (20:00)
- Being an advocate for team members, and creating opportunities for their development: (31:05)
- Dino shares what’s next on his horizon to close out 2021, and shares his satisfaction of being a great “Sales Dad”, being able to help individuals in their own journey: (37:10)
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Related Podcasts: If you liked this podcast, check out our conversation with Catherine Haynes, and author and enneagram expert. In this episode, the group discusses the differences of personality types and how teams can be effective by balancing the strengths that each individual brings to the table.
Listen to Episode 40
Episode 40 Transcript
Mike Vaggalis (00:24):
Welcome into today's version of the Building Teams with TEAMES & CO podcast. My name's Mike Vaggalis. I'm here with my co-host and the president of TEAMES & CO, Tracy Eames and our awesome guest today, Dino Skerlos. Dino, how are you?
Dino Skerlos (00:38):
I'm great, Mike. Happy to be here.
Mike Vaggalis (00:41):
Awesome. It's great to have you. Tracy, how are you doing this morning?
Tracy Eames (00:44):
Doing well, thanks. Dino, thanks for being on the show. We're looking forward to hearing more about your work, and maybe you could just kick us off by sharing with our listeners a little bit about what you do each day and how you help sales teams.
Dino Skerlos (00:56):
Sure. Absolutely. So I am a fractional head of sales, so I work with small to medium-sized companies, helping them. Usually I'm working with companies that for some reason sales have stagnated, for one reason or another. And I come in to do really one of two things. One, help put some sales foundational pieces in place, processes and methodologies, help to put a scalable process in place. And then from there, a lot of times I'm asked to be a fractional leader for the sales team as well, where I'm focused on really helping each individual on the sales team hit quota and help with forecasting and things for the executive team as well.
Mike Vaggalis (01:37):
That's really interesting, Dino. Can you walk us through just a brief background for your career? So I'm curious to hear how did you get to a point where you're able to do well as a fractional sales leader?
Dino Skerlos (01:51):
Yeah. I guess I was pretty fortunate in that I was asked to lead a sales team really early in my career. Way back in '95 I was VP of sales of an internet startup and really despite my lack of experience at the time, we had a lot of success. We grew, we went public. And really at that time I realized a couple of things. Number one, really enjoyed helping to and being responsible for the growth of a company. Number two, working with small to medium-sized companies, there's just a different energy there. Really decided at that point that's what I wanted to do for my career. And for the last 25 years have been fortunate to work with really small to medium-sized companies in a sales leadership capacity.
Now, what I came to realize over the course of a decade or two, as you get good at scaling businesses, acquisition becomes somewhat inevitable. And on four different occasions, the company I was working with was sold, which is great. And it's usually the goal starting up, but for me personally, I then go from working for a small company to a big company. And quite frankly as a sales leader in a very large organization, you're spending a lot less time on revenue producing activity and that's not where I want to be. So about seven years ago realized that working with these small companies on a consultancy basis allowed me to work with multiple companies at a time and really focus on the things that I enjoy doing. So that's where I'm at today.
Tracy Eames (03:17):
That's awesome, Dino. I think I started off in sales, so I'm really excited about this conversation because we've talked about teams in general and lots of different types of teams, but we haven't dove into sales teams yet. And I think there's a lot of nuances that are highly applicable to other types of teams right now, right? Sales teams are often virtual, they're often located in different locations from even each other, right? So everybody's working in their own territory. Maybe even people are working all in the function of sales, but some are working on bigger customers, some on more local, smaller customers.
And so as a sales leader, you're often managing people in different locations who are working on complimentary, but different goals. So I think there's a lot of themes that leaders today in general are dealing with, right? And so maybe we'll just take the first question, is how especially as a fractional sales leader who's maybe not based in the same place as their team is based, how do you build that momentum for growing the company, growing the sales, working with your team? What does that look like day-to-day to you in how you support those teams?
Dino Skerlos (04:25):
Yeah, it's a really good question. A loaded question at that, because it really starts at the beginning, right? I mean, it starts with hiring the right people and then getting the right processes in place. Making sure that everybody knows not only what the end goal is, but what needs to happen on a day-to-day basis to get there. Having said that, I think sales always to me... And I've been in sales my whole career, so I've not managed programmers, for example, in my career. And my perception is that had maybe a programmer, a team of programmers there what they're doing is really tied together a lot more than in sales where you have an opportunity to really be siloed, which is a good and bad opportunity, right? When you're trying to develop and empower a team.
So I think really the most important thing for me whether you're virtual or managing an internal sales team in an office, is really focusing on the individual and making sure that each individual... As a manager, you're helping each individual get better. So it's letting them know as a fractional VP I'm coming in and doing a couple of things. Number one, letting them know that, "Hey, I'm here to help you improve. I'm here to help you grow. I'm here to help you become a better sales person." And then number two, you better just spend all of your time doing that. And if you're focused on that piece, on an individual basis and they know that, and they know you're there for their best interest, it helps them individually. And then in the whole team, you're able to then create a culture of improvement. And then with the process coupled with that culture, you starting to get some of that momentum that you're looking for from a sales standpoint.
Mike Vaggalis (06:19):
Yeah. I'm curious to learn more about that process, Dino. And when you walk into a new organization that maybe has been around for a while and has something like revenue stagnating and they hire you to come in and solve the problem, how do you go about doing that?
Dino Skerlos (06:36):
Yeah. It starts with a clear assessment of where the organization is right now. A lot of times, again, keeping in mind, I'm working with companies that are small to medium size. So that's almost always under 75 employees, typically under 50 employees, sometimes even under 20 employees. So in those types of organizations typically what's happening is your founder, your CEO is the best sales person in the company, is the person responsible for the initial sales of the organization. And then what naturally happens from there is that that CEO or founder starts hiring sales people and just assumes that they're going to have the same success they did when that's very rarely the case because the CEO understands the problems and how they solve them better than anybody they're going to hire. Not to mention, they're pretty passionate and charismatic on average.
So they get a little frustrated sometimes, a lot of times with not being able to pass it on. So it's identifying where they're at and typically what's happening there is they're looking for somebody with experience, and then they're hoping that they can just translate that experience, that sales success to their organization. When in fact, you really need to have those processes in place. And those processes are really understanding where is business coming from today, quantifying that very specifically.
And now I'm talking top of the funnel. There's a number of different processes, right? Top of funnel process, where how are we getting prospects coming in, opportunities coming in? And then more importantly, and a lot of the process I focus on is how are we taking those opportunities and getting them to become customers? So it's identifying what are we doing that's working well right now, let's start to try to improve on each, understand what we're doing and what we're getting in terms of improvement. And then you start to build a scalable process from there. So it's a lot of math quite frankly, a lot of documentation, but more importantly, from a person or an individual standpoint, understanding what they're doing and then getting the whole team to build into a skeleton of a framework so that they can work from there, improve from there and then add their individuality into that process.
Tracy Eames (08:57):
I think that last point about individuality is one that is really important in a team, right? Everybody has to play their own role and then they also have to come together as a team, right? We use a lot of sports analogies on this podcast and it's like basketball, right? You can have five point guards or you need to have everybody who's doing a little bit of a different thing. And so as you're building that understanding of the funnel and your team is starting to work together, how do you work with team members individually to give them feedback on, "Hey, here's how we're doing as a team versus what we were expecting and what we were forecasting"?
Sales forecasting is usually people's favorite activity. I'm just kidding. It's not usually people's favorite activity, but you have the sales forecast, you have these sales goals. How do you work with those individuals to say, "Hey, we're on track or hey, we're a little off course, we need to adjust"? And then how do you build that individuality into that process so people feel like, "Yeah, I'm part of a team, but I also get a little bit of leeway to add my own approach to this"?
Dino Skerlos (09:59):
Yeah. Sales it's a lot easier. And I'm happy to hear the fact that you use a lot of sports analogies because I can't help but use them every day in my life because I've been in sports quite a bit as a participant, as a coach and follow it. And sales really lends itself to sports because of the results thing, right? I mean, everybody not only knows what your results are in relation to the team, but you do as well. So it's instant. Everybody knows exactly where they stand. So and answer your question, it's a couple of things. It's understanding where the company target is, where the team target is, right? And those are conversations that are really starting in October, November, December for most companies as they look at the next calendar year.
And then as part of that, really making sure that each or what I have teams do is put together to author their own sales plan for their part of that team goal. So that they're actually articulating not only the activities, but the strategies and the potential obstacles that they may come across over that next year to accomplish their piece of that team target. Outside of that, it's much more focused on the individual. I mean, back to sports analogies, it's more like golf, right? I mean, your best golfers don't necessarily compete with the other players. They're looking at the leaderboard to be sure, but it's on them in terms of what happens on a hole by hole basis. So sales is pretty similar in that regard as well. So it is very much on the individual.
Now, the other interesting thing is a lot of salespeople don't like to be micro-managed, right? So you need to give them some leeway. So you give them that kind of that framework. And that framework and that process is, "Okay, we know who our customers are and we know what their buying process is. Our process needs to match their buying process." And that's going to be the same for the whole team. And once you have that, now you can... The individual part that's going to come in in terms of how you're communicating, how you're getting the prospect to engage... There's a lot of areas to be an individual, but ultimately what it comes down to is how are your results and how is that matching up to the team results?
So a lot of times it comes down to your team meetings on a monthly basis or every other week, that's where you're talking how we're doing in relation to the team. But the one-on-one meetings that are happening more often is your opportunity to have those individual meetings. And then the trick is how do you have those meetings and not micromanage them at the same time?
Mike Vaggalis (12:52):
Yeah. Dino, I'm curious from a sales team, I understand that it is a very competitive type field, you probably have a lot of ex athletes and people that are very results-oriented and performance-driven. How do you manage and help foster a culture that celebrates competition and where people can be competitive, but not in a... I guess, how do you manage that to a point where it's not detrimental to the overall organization?
Dino Skerlos (13:17):
Yeah. It's a really good question. And I'll be honest, that type of competitive culture was a lot more prevalent 10, 15, 20 years ago than it is now. I'm not sure why that is. There is competitiveness and as a sales manager you're looking for a lot of that drive for sure. But I think you really need to have individuals that have on top of that empathy and really a desire to serve and to help. And your ultra-competitive people, a lot of times... And I'm painting with a broad brush here, but may not have that ultra-competitive you against me and still have that, "Hey, I need to help. I have that desire to help people."
I think we're finding now more the individuals that really need to have that willingness to help mentality and yet that internal desire. So yeah, there are individuals to be sure that are successful, that are ultra-competitive. And you just try and do that in a way where ultimately there is room for individuals to be very competitive and be very successful and not be detrimental to the team. But to your point, Mike, I mean, if you have a lot of people that are ultra-competitive to the extent where... A lot of times in sports you see it, right? If you're very competitive, it's a me first attitude and it's I'm better than you attitude. And that could be really detrimental, but I don't see that quite as much as, like I said, I did a decade or so ago.
Tracy Eames (14:58):
I think it's interesting too, just having an experience with sales teams. It's that competitiveness of like if we all win versus our goals, versus are we competitive versus each other, right? If the team is all individually competitive versus their individual goals, we can all still be successful together versus I'm bound and determined to be better than my teammates, which is a different kind of competitiveness, right? There's that collaborative spirit that you can get of like, "Hey, if we all win versus our goals, we're doing a good job versus we have to inherently win versus each other."
And when you were speaking it makes me think of also the team collaboration that happens with sales. I've worked in both sales and marketing, and that's one of those common places that team see a lot of tension, right? So sales is always... I shouldn't say always, but there's often these debates of we need better materials. And so there's this like, "Oh, marketing needs to give us better materials." And marketing's like, "Well, sales needs to give us better information about what's working with the customer and what's not working with the customer." And you often hear these dynamics between teams that are delivering things to each other. And how do you as a sales leader work with the marketing leadership to say, "Okay, we need to make sure that we're working together," versus having this finger pointing that sometimes occurs when goals aren't being met, right?
So how do you keep those conversations focused on? As a sales team how do we give that information to marketing? How are we really clear about what we're asking for? What are the deliverables needed? And then also being able to use the things and give feedback on the tools that we're given. So what does that process of collaborating across teams look like for you as a fractional leader who may be working with a full-time leader in another team, and what's that dynamic like?
Dino Skerlos (16:48):
Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yeah. It's a really good question. And that dynamic is real, and I've had plenty of situations where it's been both a challenging dynamic and a real synergistic one. I think the synergistic ones, it starts with the relationship between the marketing leader and the sales leader. And if that's good, generally everything else works out. Today it seems there's a lot more opportunity to have it be a challenging relationship because today more than ever because of online and how leads come in, sales seems to be much more dependent on marketing new opportunities than was the case a decade or two ago. And that is challenging for sales and challenging for the dynamics.
So what I mean by that is far too often today you find sales teams that are really looking to marketing for their opportunities, and there's less of a willingness to go out and find those opportunities on their own. So a lot of times I'm working with the sales teams to let them know their responsibility to create their own pipeline in addition to what marketing's providing. So the dynamic has changed. The sales has become a little more reliant on marketing than maybe in the past, but in terms of how to get it to be more of a synergistic relationship, it's meeting as a team a lot of times. And I've even been able to do this as a fractional leader, whether it's just once a month or once a week, the two teams are getting together to talk about what's come in, what's marketing provided, what's sales done with those things coming in. Not to say, "Hey, we recognize you gave us this. And here's what we did with what you gave us," but to kind of a culture of sharing. "Here's what we're hearing from the prospects."
A lot of times marketing isn't getting enough of that information. Hearing from sales in terms of what's being said by the prospect, that's going to help them. And in turn, it helps sales to know what marketing is doing to initiate those conversations, to get these prospects, to resonate enough, to schedule a meeting. So there's a lot of opportunity for learning there. And if you can frame it like that and frame it where each department is dependent on the other and that that revenue target for the organization is both a marketing and a sales target, not just a sales target, I think that's a good first step.
Mike Vaggalis (19:24):
Yeah. A thought I had along with that, Dino, is compensation targets and setting revenue goals and aligning incentives both for individuals and for departments. What advice do you give or how do you diagnose a situation when you walk into an organization and help leadership set appropriate goals and targets and comp structures that align people's incentives?
Dino Skerlos (19:53):
Yeah. Yeah. Typically I see two big issues with compensation when I go into an organization and I take a look at the salespeople in particular. Number one, a lot of times the organization is incenting the wrong behaviors. So for example, you have these hybrid roles where an account executive has both responsibility for bringing in new business and also has responsibility of not maintaining the business, but keeping in touch with those clients in an effort to upsell those clients. And a lot of times their commission for upselling the client is identical to new business. Thus, you're really incenting that salesperson to focus more time on the client relationship then new business, or at best, split that.
And that becomes problematic. The other challenge with compensation that I see a lot is that... And I guess there's two parts of this. Number one, a lot of times the ratio between base and commission is off. A lot of times it's just too much heavy on base. I think a lot of times companies feel like they need to give a lot more base to get the best talent internally. And that's not always the case. So their base is a lot higher and that disincentivizes the account executive a lot of times. And the other thing is even if there is an even match there, and ideally you want a 50/50 split there between base salary and commission, but even despite that, a lot of times the commission that they're providing doesn't take into account gross margin.
So for example, you might be paying your salespeople too much in commission. Whereas if they have very good years, you're really putting the company in a difficult situation because they're really paying more commission than they should, based on those gross margins. So it's going in there, taking a look at that and putting a comp plan in place that incentivizes them, incentivizes the account executive to do the right behaviors, and then... I use a formula typically to help make sure that based on that gross margin, based on target earnings and quota, that it's fair for both the account executive and the organization.
Mike Vaggalis (22:13):
Interesting. Dino, I mean, you're doing so much when you step in in a fractional role, where you're diagnosing culture and meeting team members and looking at compensation plans, and you're doing so much. What in your experience when you step into an organization makes you say like, "Okay, this organization is going to work really well"? What are the behavior traits from the leadership team? What sort of cultures do you step into where you have a feeling that you will be successful because of the way that the organization is structured?
Dino Skerlos (22:47):
Yeah, it's a good question. A couple of things come to mind. It really starts at the top and that founder, that CEO, or if a little larger organization, that executive team, how clear are they on a couple of things? So I'm typically asking a couple of questions initially, number one, what problems do you solve as an organization? And the amount of clarity that they can answer that question provides me confidence in that company and where they're going. So I'll also ask, how do you uniquely solve those problems? You can get a better answer for that than the first one typically. But those two questions and the answers to those questions helps give me a good idea.
The other thing is the willingness of a CEO to really go outside for help. Right? A lot of times, like I said, that dynamic of a CEO, again, this is companies usually under 50 employees or right around 50 employees, because a CEO has been successful themselves as a salesperson in selling business, they feel like they can... As long as they hire better, they should be able to figure that out. So the kind of that willingness to go outside for some help, that willingness to realize, "Okay, I love the idea of a scalable profitable process, but I really hate or can't put together my own scalable, reputable, profitable process. That willingness is another thing that I look for.
Tracy Eames (24:24):
Yeah, I think we agree with that, right? So when we work with a lot of clients, there's a lot of things that you want to make sure that you're seeing, right? In terms of that openness and that collaboration. And I think that speaks a lot to any organization, but especially if you're working with outside consultants and outside providers, right? Being open to that feedback, open to the discussion. How do you help organizations build that? Right? That's one of the things that we try to work really hard on, is our approach isn't to come in and just deliver a solution. Our approach is to come in and work with that organization to collaboratively build that solution, right?
And we bring a certain set of expertise to help do that, but it has to be a team process. So how do you work on that with organizations too to say, "Hey, we're going to definitely see success, but there's got to be that back and forth, that feedback loop"? Are there regular cadences you set up with other leaders? Are there certain processes you use to help organizations get to that feedback loop that helps drive success?
Dino Skerlos (25:26):
Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yeah. And how that happens depends on the organization itself. I have a couple of clients where there's somebody on the executive team, either a president or a COO that really starts my engagement and my relationship by letting the company know, not just the sales team, but the company know why I'm there, how I'm looking to help and what we're looking to do as a result of it. So there's that initial buy-in, is really important in the beginning. And that typically does happen. The feedback loop is really in that individual. So what I'm doing in addition to managing and working with the sales team is I have weekly meetings with the executive team. It might be the CEO. It might be another executive depending on the relationship, but there's always that weekly meeting in terms of "Here's what I'm seeing from the team, here's where we are in relation to the goal." And that's where that feedback loop starts.
Most of the time I'm also a part of... And I ask for this all the time. I don't always get it, but most of the time I'm part of the exec. I become part of the executive team of the organization. So I'm in the executive team meetings as well. Even though I'm fractional, I'm there with the COO and the CFO and other executives talking about the organization as a whole. So I'm able to provide not only a feedback on what I'm seeing and the direction sales is going, but also leverage some of my experience to help the company and other areas as well.
So that feedback loop is something that is important to me, is something that I'm really... Even before I get engaged with an organization, I want to make sure it's there because to your point, it's critical really. You can focus on helping the individual salesperson, but the revenue is always a big part of the company as a whole, right? That's obvious, but making sure that the organization understands what the sales team is doing is important as well. So that feedback is critical.
Mike Vaggalis (27:33):
Yeah. Speaking of feedback, how do you work with the sales team to solicit feedback from customers and then pipe that back to the rest of the organization?
Dino Skerlos (27:42):
Mm-hmm (affirmative). Most of the time we're teaming up with client success to get that. It's a great point because there's two types of information that's really important and they're very similar, but there are slight differences. So really we rely on the sales team to really get the view of the prospect, right? Prospective customers, what is important to them? What problems do they have? How are those problems evolving? What are they looking for in solutions? What benefits are they getting when we do provide our solution? So that's from the prospect perspective, but that client perspective is critical as well. And the balance you have, as I touched on before is you really don't want the sales team too involved ideally in the client conversations.
So you're really relying on... Some small organizations, it's a hybrid and it has to be, and that's fine. In which case you're spending at least one or two hours a quarter, if not once a month where you're getting some of that feedback in terms of what are we hearing, what are our customer sat scores, how are those changing on a month to month, quarter to quarter basis? So usually it's a combination of getting sales in front of client success or you're putting a process in place for the organization where that type of information is shared on a regular basis because that information loop there is very important.
Mike Vaggalis (29:17):
Tracy Eames (29:18):
So Dino, I think that this conversation is awesome in the sense of you're touching on a lot of things that we talk about often with obviously other podcasts guests, but also our clients in terms of feedback and having clear goals. How do you think about sales teams and their ongoing development, right? So I think a typical process in sales tends to be, "If I'm doing well in my role, I may get bigger customers to manage." But how do you think about that in broader terms and encourage employees to say, "Hey, maybe your next step is marketing, or maybe it's an operational role because you know a lot about forecasting and a lot about those inputs that are required in other departments"?
And so when you're thinking about fractional leadership but also being that advocate for the team members in terms of their future development, what does that look like in terms of some of the creative pathways that you've encouraged salespeople to take? And branching out beyond that, "My next step is obviously going to be in a bigger customer or it's going to obviously be sales leadership." What's your process there?
Dino Skerlos (30:26):
Yeah. There are natural hierarchies that take place. In a lot of organizations you have a sales development group or a group that is maybe focused on getting new opportunities for the account executives. That's usually the opportunity to hire people that have a lot of ambition, maybe they want to be in sales or they want to be in software sales, or they want to be in technology. They want to be in a certain industry. You can put them there with the focus of not only getting opportunities, doing their job as a sales development rep, but also understanding what their strengths are, where they're looking for improvement, where their interests are.
And then from there, that's when they go into either an account executive role or maybe they go into a marketing role or maybe even a client success role. That's usually where that thought process and that kind of training happens for most organizations. In terms of sales, unfortunately it really it's results-driven. It becomes a lot more results-driven. Now having said that, there are plenty of account executives that do well enough. Maybe they're at 70% to 90% of their quota, but have other interests or have other desires. And then you're working with them to not only understand those, but to help them move from there.
I find myself in conversations with account executives, you want to give them support, you're helping them, you're always encouraging them, but sometimes you have to do that a lot quicker, I guess, is what I'm saying. In terms of account executives salespeople, the results are a little more important at that point. You're trying to get some of that figured out before they go on an account executive role. And if in an account executive role that realization happens where, "Hey, you know what? This isn't quite right for me. I'm looking to do this, or I think I'd like to do that," you work with them for sure to do that.
You're trying to create a culture in the sales organization where we're looking out for your best interest, but at the same time, that focus is really that target and those results. So there's not as much room for that as there is as a sales development rep or some other type of position within the sales and marketing team where you can use that time to figure out, "Hey, what do I want to do? Where are my strengths and how can I best serve this organization?"
Mike Vaggalis (33:02):
Do you ever find, Dino, that there's a salesperson that's really good at following the process, but maybe the results don't always follow? I'm thinking back toward our golf analogy, right? Some of the most talented golfers in the world have an excellent process, but they're not able to put it together 100% of the time. So how do you recognize talent process and performance manage if sometimes... Or maybe it is 100% the end result that matters.
Dino Skerlos (33:34):
Yeah. So when I say result that doesn't always mean 100% of the quota, 100% of the time, right? That's unrealistic. They got the Pareto Principle, right? You're going to get 80% of your results come from 20% of the team. That doesn't always work out like that. But I had a manager way back say, "You don't want to fire the 80% because you're always going to have that 80/20 rule no matter how many people or who you have." So the point being is if you're getting the effort, you're getting somebody who is putting the effort on a day-to-day basis and is following the process and is consistently at 80% of quota, depending on the environment, that's not an entirely bad thing.
Not everybody is going to be 100% successful 100% of the time. So you're just working with each individual, kind of maximize the efficiency. And if you're maximizing the efficiency, the effort's there, that care for the client is there, the prospect is there, that 100% quota doesn't always need to be there. So it's really important to be human as well. There's a lot of golfers that you don't know the name of... You wouldn't recognize their name, but they've made millions of dollars just making cuts every week. So you need those people to be successful.
Tracy Eames (35:00):
And I think it's also recognizing the strengths of the team, right? Somebody might be reaching 80% of their written goals in terms of revenue, but they might also be contributing a lot of other intangibles to the team, right? They might be a really strong trainer. They might be really supportive of their team members in terms of helping them make presentations. And I think all those intangibles that we don't write down into goals because it's impossible to put everything into goals are really important to that team dynamic. And I think as a leader recognizing that and saying, "Hey, this person has this full breadth of skills and intangibles that they're bringing to the team in addition to just really solid, consistent performance," is a valuable thing as a leader to recognize.
Dino, this has been wonderful. One of the things I want to make sure that we're capturing and we talked about it a little bit is kind of what's next for you? What are some of the things that are on your horizon that you're really excited about and as you look towards the end of this year... I can't believe that we're more than halfway through 2021, but we are. So what's next up for you and what are you thinking about to close out 2021 and move into the next year?
Dino Skerlos (36:13):
Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yeah. Can't help but think about the clients that I'm working with now and just closing out the year strong. Q4 for a lot of companies is the strongest quarter of the year. And then you add to the fact that we're coming out of a pandemic and kind of a ramp up, I think this fourth quarter is going to be really good for a lot of companies. Really excited to work with my clients to make sure we're maximizing that period of time. And working with the individuals within these organizations, it's just fun to watch the growth of the individuals.
Outside of the results where my thoughts go to is seeing the growth of the individuals on these individual teams is. A lot of times, not all, but a lot of account executives, a lot of sales teams, you're dealing with people that are on the early to middle part of their career. And there's a lot of not only growth, but excitement within those individuals to grow and continue to grow. It's great to be a part of that and to help that in a small way is really exciting. And that's what I look forward to most.
Mike Vaggalis (37:27):
That's great. Well, Dino, we really appreciate you taking the time to hop on the podcast. I've learned a lot. I think that this conversation has been so helpful as we think about our role working with organizations in diagnosing culture and understanding that the dynamics of a team... All the things that you do, Dino, are similar in ways to what we do. So it's great to hear it from another person. I also think it's just really cool how you've been self-aware enough to recognize about yourself, "I want to work with this size company. I want to do these types of things." And to create a path for yourself to do that even after you've successfully done your job enough times to get bought out from other organizations and to have the self-fortitude to say, "No, I want to keep doing this thing that I know that I'm good at and I enjoy doing so." I commend that a lot.
Well, thank you. I appreciate that. Yeah, that's where the satisfaction comes, it's just helping those teams. One of the most proud things that I have in my office are things that I refer to as a plaque from one of the sales teams who said I was... On the plaque it says, "The best sales dad." Yeah, sales dad is an interesting dynamic and interesting title to have. And it took me aback initially, but it's just being able to help those individuals grow to that extent and it's a lot of fun. So I appreciate the kind words. I really enjoy the opportunity to speak with both of you. This has been fun. Thank you.
Tracy Eames (39:12):
Yeah, it's been a blast for us too.
Mike Vaggalis (39:15):
And, Dino, where can our listeners find you if they're looking for a fractional, a sales leader, or just to have a conversation?
Dino Skerlos (39:21):
Yeah. LinkedIn would be the best place. Thank you for asking. Yeah. Dino Skerlos, S-K-E-R-L-O-S. Not too many Dinos out there, but fractional leadership in the Raleigh Triangle area. So yeah, that would probably be the best place to connect.
Tracy Eames (39:38):
Awesome. We'll definitely add that link to our show notes as well. So for listeners who are in their cars or on the move and want to make sure that they can connect with Dino, we'll add all of that to our show notes, as well as information about TEAMES & CO. So we really appreciate, Dino. Can't thank you enough diving into sales teams today. It's fun for us, to Mike's point to speak to people who are not only really good at what they do and strong functional experts, but also really strong leaders. And to hear your focus around building teams is obviously close to what we like to talk about and really appreciate all of the ways that you've shared today, that you help support specifically sales teams.
But again, I think these are a lot of nuances that especially as we're all navigating new ways of working in a changing dynamic in all of our environments, feedback, communication, supporting your team, supporting the individual, all really important concepts. So thanks again for joining us. We're really excited to share this with our listeners. We've had some requests for team specific podcasts. So this helps us give the listeners a little bit more of those specifics that they've been looking for and appreciate your time. So thanks again.
Dino Skerlos (40:53):
Thanks, Tracy. Thanks, Mike.