#62: Mandy Cole – VP of Sales of Startups such as Living Social, Zenefits and Stella & Dot

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Born in Atlanta, Mandy Cole is the founder of The Cole Method, a consulting firm that helps startups that have reached $1 million revenue to start learning how to go from putting balls in the basket to playing basketball.

It’s very important for someone that successfully broke into a startup to understand what a high functioning sales organization looks like. Listen in to find out how a high-functioning sales organization is supposed to operate. Mandy is an expert at not just building organizations but explaining how that looks like and establishing the necessary processes in place.

Among Mandy’s career portfolio include companies like Main Street Hub, Zenefits, Stella & Dot, and LivingSocial where she has served as VP of Sales.


Years in Tech 10+
Grew Up: Atlanta, GA
Current Job Founder
Date Recorded 8/2/2017

Show Notes:

[02:26] Mandy talks about her first sales experience during her senior year in school and some key sales fundamentals she learned from her mentor.

[06:35] Breaking down the components of a high-functioning sales organization, Mandy talks about sales being built on science and data, planning, process, and more.

[08:04] We talk about the importance of a sales pipeline, how the sales cycle is broken down, and how the sales cycle between an enterprise and small business differs.

[14:20] Mandy lays out the different career trajectories in sales and the different sales environments across organizations.

[20:18] Hiring an “athlete over” experience and the average compensation for various sales roles

[25:59] What they’re looking for in an SDR candidate, the estimate onboarding time for SDRs and AEs, and the road to VP of Sales

[32:21] Mandy explains VP of Sales not being long-term, their compensation package, her day-to-day role, who Mandy reports to and their types of conversation, and how her dashboard looks like.

[41:20] Mandy illustrates the current sales trends she’s seeing in general, the average time of a sales role in a certain company, and the characteristics of top performers.

[46:48] Why you need to create a mix of dynamic people in your team and how you can do that. Mandy describes the two types of interviews she gives to applicants.

[49:45] Mandy shares some pieces of advice if you want to achieve that 10X role and her future plans in the next five years. Find out one of the biggest reasons startups fail.

[58:12] How she builds those feedback loops into the engineering and product teams and examples of high-functioning sales organizations

Contact Info:

Mandy Cole

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/mandy-cole-03216/

Email address: mandy@colemethod.com


Articles & Mentioned Resources:

Personal Projects/Partnerships:

The Cole Method


The Playbook to Scaling Sales

Mandy’s YouTube video: Scaling Sales from A to B

Book Recommendations:

SPIN Selling by Neil Rackham

The Challenger Sale by Brent Adamson and Matthew Dixon

Predictable Revenue by Aaron Ross

The Sales Acceleration Formula by Mark Roberge

First, Break All the Rules by Marcus Buckingham

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