Leaderboard – Kevin Malone

The hustle has to be there. I can sniff out hustle and determination within five minutes...

May 28, 2021

Every Day Brings A Challenge

Kevin Malone has managed multi-million dollar books of business his entire career across account management, business development, and sales roles. Now he's charged with building one faster than ever before. Kevin is the first sales hire for Azurite Consulting, a research firm founded by two ex-McKinsey consultants serving the C-Suite, investment managers, and deal teams.

Malone's job is to build out the sales and marketing infrastructure and, in addition to generating revenue, form a sales operations function. Once he gets those ingredients in place, he's ready to scale for growth over the next twelve months.

"Joining Azurite was the most exciting move of my career. It was a no-brainer for me to join a company that solves the most complex problems facing businesses. We are building something special. Every day brings a new challenge, and I love that."

Here are a few places Kevin goes for leadership inspiration:

This sales or leadership book is a must-read for aspiring leaders: The 5AM Club.

This podcast is a must-listen: How I Built This.

This song is currently in my heavy rotation: SORRY NOT SORRY – DJ Khaled, Nas, JAY-Z.

The Hustle Has To Be There

When it comes to leading, Kevin is all about goals – the ambitious kind – and hustle.

"In terms of hiring, I LOVE candidates that have goals and the hustle to achieve them. Hustle is the most important part of sales, and when you combine it with an ambitious goal, you truly get a rock star sales rep. The hustle has to be there. I can sniff out hustle and determination within five minutes. Everyone has a dream, but very few are willing to work hard and walk the treacherous path required to get there."

“I start by discussing with each team member about their long-term goals. Where do you want to be professionally in five years? What’s the most ambitious goal you have for yourself?" Malone then maps out a plan with specific steps of what the team member has to do to achieve that goal. As their manager, he clarifies that part of his job is to help them hit those professional milestones. His next move is setting sales targets with purpose.

"There has to be a purpose behind all they do. Purpose sustains the team through the ups and downs of sales and gives them a reason to stay the course and be successful in sales. I've always found success in setting specific milestones."

Kevin chooses weekly pipeline meetings with his account executives. He also holds a unique huddle at the end of the month, recapping the team's activity and reviewing wins, losses, and KPIs. During rep one-on-ones, Kevin constantly evaluates strengths and weaknesses and steps to address both, with the rep's ambitious long-term goal in the backdrop. Are they on track? If not, how can Malone step in and help?

My favorite metrics to track after revenue are: meeting activity and close ratios.

A new sales tactic that's working for my team is: asking for the opportunity to demonstrate value before asking for a meeting.

After Hustle, Look For Storytellers

Malone aptly describes sales as a game of storytelling. Account executives reach out to people who are getting the same call from other reps. So you find differentiation in telling the best story.

"We share examples of what we do before asking for the most precious asset the prospect has – their time. We stay tuned in to their respective industries, understanding our prospect's challenges, and using our work and product to tell a relevant story. We're also not afraid to give answers away for free. By leading with an answer, we demonstrate to the prospect that their valuable time will be well spent by speaking with us. It goes from a cold call to a warm conversation."

Feel free to reach out to Kevin if you're interested in joining his team or learning more about Azurite Consulting. Just make sure to have big goals, bring the hustle, and tell a great story to get his attention.

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