PODCAST 35: How Goal Setting Can Change Your Career with Dannie Herzberg, Sales Director, Slack

This week on the Sales Hacker podcast, we interview Dannie Herzberg, Head of Mid-Market Sales at Slack.

Dannie is one of the top sales leaders in the country having spent time helping Hubspot IPO over 5+ years and then moving on to Slack where she leads all SMB, Mid-Market, and Sales Development efforts for the US and Canada.  

If you missed episode 34, check it out here: PODCAST 34: The Benefit of Finance Background to Help Company Growth w/ Rob Lopez

What You’ll Learn

  • Why setting personal goals can transform your career
  • How to find and develop mentors
  • Redefining sales and the qualities necessary to succeed
  • Hiring practices that can help create and reinforce diversity in the workplace

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Show Agenda and Timestamps

  1. Show Introduction [0:09]
  2. About Dannie Herzberg: An Introduction [2:54]
  3. Goal Setting, With Accountability, is Key To Success [27:52]
  4. The Changing Landscape of Female Sales Leaders [36:45]
  5. Prioritizing Diversity Within Your Recruiting Funnel [39:57]
  6. Dannie’s Life (and Sales) Mantras [45:53]
  7. Sam’s Corner [48:07]

Sales Hacker Podcast—Sponsored by Aircall and Outreach

Sam Jacobs: Hey folks, it’s Sam Jacobs. Welcome to the Sales Hacker podcast. We’ve got an amazing show today. We’ve got Dannie Herzberg, who runs SMB, mid-market and sales development for Slack, one of the fastest growing companies in the country that we all use (or at least I do) every day. Dannie has an incredible background and incredible insights on managing her career and how to achieve what you want, which we’ll talk about in the show.

We want to thank, as usual our sponsors. Nothing is possible without the wonderful patronage of two important companies, Aircall and Outreach.

Aircall, it’s a phone system designed for the modern sales team. They seamlessly integrate into your CRM, eliminating data entry for your reps and providing you with greater visibility into your team’s performance through advanced reporting.

Our second sponsor is Outreach.io, a leading sales engagement platform. Outreach triples the productivity of sales teams and empowers them to drive predictable and measurable revenue growth by prioritizing the right activities and scaling customer engagement with intelligent automation. Outreach makes customer facing teams more effective and approves visibility into what really drives results. Without further ado, let’s listen to Dannie.

About Dannie Herzberg: An Introduction

Sam Jacobs: Hey everybody, it’s Sam Jacobs. Welcome to the Sales Hacker podcast today. We’ve got one of the brightest, most promising sales leaders in the country on the show and she’s also representing one of the fastest growing companies that I think many of us use in our day to day lives. We’re incredibly excited to have Dannie Herzberg on the show. Prior to Slack, she spent over five years at HubSpot where she participated in the company’s growth from 80 to over 1,200 employees and through its IPO. At HubSpot, she held roles in enterprise sales, sales management and most recently as director of product. Dannie, we’re so excited to have you on the show.

Dannie Herzberg: Thank you. I’m so excited to be here.

Sam Jacobs: Let’s learn a little bit more about you as a human being before we dive into sort of the work itself and some of your observations on business. You are director of sales at Slack. In your words, what do you think Slack does?

Dannie Herzberg: The general concept is that we’re a collaboration hub but to me, it’s basically one place, virtually, where a company’s culture and knowledge base lives so it’s a way for teams to be able to align in a very productive and fun way around different goals and execute on those really efficiently.

Goal Setting, With Accountability, is Key To Success

Sam Jacobs: When you think about the factors that have propelled your career to date and how you ended up here, what do you attribute your success to? Your track record at this point is amazing. An incredible undergrad school. You were part of an IPO at HubSpot. You then went to best business school in the country and now you’re at one of the fastest growing technology companies again probably on a path to IPO. What do you attribute that success to?

Dannie Herzberg: I think we have an amazing meritocracy in our world that has very little to do with how fancy your test scores are or school you went to. I would say one of the things that help, at least, accelerate my career, was Pete Caputa introduced this concept to me of writing down and sharing my personal and professional goals. It turns out successful salespeople are very goal-oriented, which is true.

We have a misnomer of being money oriented or coin operated, which I truly don’t believe, although people enjoy being compensated well. The true motivation comes from setting and achieving goals ambitiously.

I didn’t have any goals laid out. He really pushed me to set a goal so I came back to him a week later and said, okay, I had never considered management but I think I’d love to run a company one day so I should probably learn how to manage people.

I was 24 when I set the goal. By age 25, I moved into the next open management role in his team and that was the biggest game-changer in my career. I certainly wouldn’t have gotten there as quickly if I hadn’t written the goal down, shared it, and I’ve now woven that into my own professional development practice and how I encourage my managers to do the same with their directs.

Sam Jacobs: How often do you update your goals?

Dannie Herzberg: The cadence that I aim for is once every six months and we look at short term goals, which is what you’re hoping to achieve in the next 12 months, and it’s really a way to just pause and take yourself out of the day to day and think critically about, ‘What am I building toward? What’s the collection of experiences I want? What are the nights and weekends, projects that I want to take on that not only help the company but help me?’ But don’t be regimented about it or you block yourself off to the beauty of serendipity.

RELATED: Top Goal-Setting Tips for Unbeatable Sales Managers

The Changing Landscape of Female Sales Leaders

Sam Jacobs: There aren’t many female sales leaders and so talking to somebody like yourself, who is a female sales leader and a future CEO, why do you think that is and what should the world do to change that? Should we change it?

Dannie Herzberg: It’s awesome that you’re already thinking about that and being proactive about it and you’re totally right. There aren’t nearly as many female sales leaders as there could be or should be, but luckily, that is already changing and with each one of us that decides to pursue the leadership path, it makes it easier for other people to see an example of what that could look like and do the same.

If you want to meet great female sales leaders or you want to meet other underrepresented minorities in the go-to market world, create the group that you want to be part of, bring us all together and we will absolutely relish that.

It’s changing and as one of my mentors, Anna Raimondi, likes to say, it’s a team sport so all of us women, who are progressing in our careers, are bringing everyone else up with us and that’s part of the fun. I’m feeling very, very optimistic and I’m also very grateful for my male mentors.

Prioritizing Diversity Within Your Recruiting Funnel

Sam Jacobs: You mentioned some of the things that sort of women can do themselves, but is there anything that we should do, I should do, either tactically in the interview process or in the hiring process? Are there specific considerations I should be mindful of as I’m collaborating with partners of all different shapes and sizes and genders in the workforce?

Dannie Herzberg: Absolutely. I would say, at the earliest stage of the recruiting funnel, a tool called Textio is phenomenal. We use it here at Slack and basically what it does is help you uncover bias in the way that even a job description is written. If you want to open up the aperture and increase the pipeline of female candidates or fill-in-the-blank candidates applying to a role, Textio will literally help you do that through NLP and machine learning algorithms.

Being aware of seeking out diversity of thought, amongst other diversity factors, is really important because it’ll help you make better decisions that will help people challenge you when you want to have debates and it will help you from recreating the same playbook over and over or falling into traps.

Being vocal about who you want to hire would be great, so asking someone “Who are some absolute rock star women in your network who I should be talking to whether they’re looking for a job or not?” and sit down, have coffee with them, bring them into your network and that will snowball. I love your question because it means you, as a male, want to bring women into the conversation.

Some of the most impactful conversations I’ve been part of that have yielded important results include not just whatever the minority group is in that role.

Dannie’s Life (and Sales) Mantras

Sam Jacobs: What’s your life mantra? I’m sure you have a few. You mentioned writing down personal goals, but what are some other life mantras that you have?

Dannie Herzberg:

Flex your “helping” muscle – Flexing this muscle will bring you further than flexing your “achievement’ muscle.

Karma is real – The world is small and careers are very, very long so winning at all costs is not worth it.

Cultivate good relationships for the long term – it’s always the right way to operate and it will pay off many, many fold because people remember the way that you interacted with them.

Sam Jacobs: Dannie, thank you so much. Congrats on all your success.

Dannie Herzberg: Thank you so much. I really appreciate it Sam.

Sam’s Corner

Sam Jacobs: Hey, folks. It’s Sam Jacobs. That was a great interview with Dannie Herzberg. She said a number of things that I think are bear repeating and are worthy of remarking on one of them, but the biggest one, I think, is writing down your personal goals. Can you define and articulate what your short and long term professional goals are, and can you be specific? Can you produce the document that has your goals? Dannie talks about doing it every six months.

We’re all somewhat inconsistent when it comes to that, but if you can write down your goals and figure out where you want to be in a year, where you want to be in three years and five years, I think that’s important.

Thing number two is if you’re trying to develop advocacy for a particular group, Dannie and I talked about what can we do as sales professionals to cultivate and promote sales leadership among women and she talked about forming groups and putting yourself at the center of the group that you want to advocate for. I think that’s great advice.

Don’t Miss Episode 36

Lastly, we want to thank our sponsors. That’s Aircall, your advanced call center software, complete business phone and contact center, 100% natively integrated into any CRM. And, Outreach, a customer engagement platform that efficiently and effectively gauges prospects to drive more pipeline and close more deals.

If you wanna find me or check out the show notes, see upcoming guests or play more episodes from our incredible line up of sales leaders, visit gtmnow.com/listen/. You can also find the Sales Hacker podcast on iTunes or Stitcher. Please share it liberally. Please tell all your friends. We appreciate the feedback. We appreciate the patronage and we’ve got a lot more new content coming up, new types of content as well.

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Thanks for listening to the Sales Hacker podcast and I’ll see you next time.

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