The 5 P’s of Sales Leadership w. VP of Sales at Crunchbase

Happy Friday Everyone!

Scott’s right hand woman, Sara Delborrello, back here for a special edition of The GTM Newsletter👋

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Before we get into it, curious to hear your thoughts on last weeks Sales Hacker/GTMnow announcement?!

I’ve had about two months now to process the news, and couldn’t be more excited to hit the gas pedal on the new brand.

We’re really excited to be able to provide our audience and network with even more high-quality content on all things go-to-market. We’ve got some big articles and podcast dropping next week.

GTMnow launches next Tues, Aug 15th! 🚀


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Alright so let’s get back to the good stuff.

This week I sat down and interview the VP of Sales at Crunchbase, Ang McManamon.

Ang shares her 5 P’s of Sales Leadership:

  1. Professionalism

  2. Preparation

  3. Process

  4. Performance

  5. Play

More on these below.

Before we dove into the 5 P’s, I wanted to understand Ang’s career journey to provide some inspiration for those who are just starting out today, or have an appetite to grow into a VP of Sales role at some point in their careers.

Ang McManamon is a tenured sales leader who puts culture first, helps build high performing SaaS teams, and executes with urgency across all areas of an organization. She is currently the VP of Sales at Crunchbase, where she leads a high growth team out of New York City. She previously served as a Sales Leader for Amazon, Knotel, and Stack Overflow.

Sara

So, Ang, I’m curious what drew you to Sales Leadership originally? How did you bootstrap your career?

Ang

The start of my sales career was focused on chasing financial rewards and trying to outshine everyone on the leaderboards. But somewhere along the way, I started thinking less about my individual success and more about team success.

If I had to pick a moment, it was in the early 2000s when I joined a startup specializing in enhancing online visibility for small businesses. The work struck a chord with me because my parents ran a small business where I grew up on Long Island. During my time there, I found real joy in helping out my colleagues, and that’s what propelled me towards the leadership path…since then, I’ve navigated different organizations and sales experiences – from SMBs to big enterprises and SaaS companies.

What continues to motivate me is creating an environment where everyone is working towards the same goals and rooting for the entire team’s success, not just their own.

Sara

Totally agree on that front – aligning goals across the organization is definitely not something that should be overlooked. What does the early build for a strong sales team look like? What do you look for in your hires and what tools do they need?

Ang

At the end of the day, most technical skills in sales can be taught. When interviewing, I’m on the lookout for qualities that can’t be taught.

Grit is a must-have. Someone either has that fire or they don’t. The ability to build authentic relationships is also a must. As AI plays a bigger and bigger role in sales workflows, folks who can still form strong relationships with other human beings really stand out to me. This tells me they have the ability to build trust with customers. It tells me they’ll support their colleagues and strengthen the entire team in the process. Maybe it sounds old school, but there’s honestly no greater skill you can have in sales.

Sara

I can definitely relate on the importance of being authentic in sales. If there’s a career path that should require people’s authenticity to shine the most, it’s Sales. People see through inauthentic interactions and that’s what will ultimately make or break trust within the relationship you’re trying to build.

What’s the most common mistake you see early-stage Sales teams make when scaling?

Ang

First, a lot of companies try to scale too quickly and end up overhiring.

Everyone’s pipeline suddenly gets smaller, which can lead to finger pointing and other bad habits. As reps become more desperate to close deals, they’re more likely to give up an account-based approach, which focuses on the quality of leads over quantity, and instead revert to a short-sighted “spray-and-pray” model that annoys the hell out of everyone and can be super damaging to your brand.

It’s better to grow with caution and give yourself time to scale your good habits and processes.

Sara

Tell us about one of the most impactful stories from your career that shaped how you approach Sales as a leader. What did you learn?

Ang

There was a transformative moment when I had my first female leaders early in my career. At first I was thrilled, but I soon realized they were just emulating the traditional “boys’ club” mentality of all my former bosses. To me, this seemed like the result of a broken system where women didn’t feel comfortable being themselves or leading with empathy. I realized if I ever reached a leadership position, I’d need the confidence to throw out the old way of doing things to adopt a more welcoming style that felt right to me.

Today, this means understanding my team members’ aspirations and nurturing their growth. I’ve made it my mission to create a workspace where it’s not just about numbers, but also about personal and professional development. I tell my team that I aspire to be the most exceptional leader they’ve encountered in their career. I won’t always live up to that, but I’ll work my ass off and do my best.

Sara

Alright, so now onto the real goods – Tell us about your 5 P’s of Sales Leadership: professionalism, preparation, process, performance, play, and how leverage this to create success across your sales team.

Ang

Yes! So The 5 P’s are the pillars I use to guide my teams and establish a workplace culture that highlights talent and breeds success:

Professionalism: Be fully professional during every customer interaction and keep in mind the company’s image and values.

Preparation: Prioritize a deep understanding of prospects and customers, and anticipate their interests and needs.

Process: Use a structured sales process for guaranteed consistency and effectiveness across the board. This is critical given the diverse range of prospects we’re selling to at Crunchbase.

Performance: Aim for peak performance and reaching the top of the leaderboard, but also be open-minded to alternative metrics for success.

Play: Sales is hard, but also filled with some of the most fun people I’ve ever been around. It’s so important to have a good time as a team without compromising professionalism. These principles took shape during my early team-building years and have since served as the foundation for every team that I’ve led.

Sara

I love that.

Alright so last question before we wrap up: You mentioned AI earlier, what’s your take on the emergence of AI and how are you integrating it within your own workflow and your team’s?

Ang

In sales at least, AI’s value will be in automating those routine tasks no one wants to do like automatically populating and organizing your CRM. If we’re thinking about some of its more advanced capabilities, AI is already starting to make data-driven recommendations that help salespeople build pipeline and make deals. To this end, the engineering team at Crunchbase is actually investing in our platforms ML/AI capabilities to provide customers with more accurate recommendations on accounts that fit a company’s ideal customer profile or share similarities with their recent deals.

However, while a great tool for speeding things along, AI can’t replace human relationships. That’s why, when it comes to integrating AI into my team’s workflow, we play to our respective strengths. AI assists with workflow and boosts our efficiency, while we develop and maintain meaningful relationships with our customers.


👀 More for your eyeballs

Dreamfuel, a performance coaching company, launches research to better understand how mental performance skills impact the success and well-being of Tech Founders and Executives 🧠

Click into the survey below, it takes 7 minutes to complete, and your anonymous responses will be analyzed along with hundreds of other tech executives’ responses to complete the definitive 2023 benchmark report available this fall.

They are at 300 of the 500 responses they are aiming for so every survey response counts. We were able to see some early results and the data has been fascinating so far.


👂 More for your eardrums

Big week this week, Scott sat down with the infamous Solopreneur, Justin Welsh.

Justin currently has over 440k followers on Linkedin and Twitter. In this episode we discuss how to nail your Linkedin presence and strategy, how to crack the Twitter code, how to navigate burnout and the best hacks on how to use your social channels to drive an abundance of inbound leads/hire.. worth every second of the listen.


🚀 Start-ups to watch: 

Sora got bought by ADP this week and we love to see it – more details below👇


🔥Hottest GTM job of the week:

Customer Success Intern at CoinLedger, more details here.

See more top GTM jobs here


Alright Everyone,

That’s it for this week!

As mentioned, next week we have our official GTMnow launch – stay tuned💥

Enjoy the sun wherever you are☀️

SVD 🦄

Thanks for reading The GTM Newsletter! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.

Before helping found GTMfund, Scott spent 4 years at Outreach as Director of Strategic Engagement. He was in charge of aligning key relationships with VCs, BoDs, ecosystem partners and community members to drive revenue and strategic initiatives across Outreach. Scott initially ran revenue/partnerships for Sales Hacker (which was acquired by Outreach in 2018). Prior to Sales Hacker, he led and built outbound Business Development teams at Payfirma and MediaValet. Scott also advises for a number of high growth start-ups and is the host/author of The GTM Podcast and The GTM Newsletter. At GTMfund, Scott leads all fundraising efforts and runs the media arm of the firm. He’s also responsible for assessing investments, team management, LP/community relationships and GTM support for founders.

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