Ep. 19 | ShareRoot COO Misha McPherson On Building World-Class Diverse Sales Teams

Recorded on August 3rd, 2016

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Show Notes

ShareRoot COO Misha McPherson joined Helping Sells Radio to discuss how to create world-class sales teams. McPherson offers insights for building inclusive, highly effective sales functions and helping buyers buy.

Misha has an extensive and broad career in sales, starting off in sales because, as you know, if you are an English major in college, you either teach or you go into sales. Misha then got into sales enablement helping sales teams accelerate growth a places like Yammer, Responsys, and Mixpanel, before becoming COO at ShareRoot. We talked with Misha about her role as COO and she expressed it as making sure the company runs efficiently, which includes culture.

From there, it didn't take long before we started talking about the culture at ShareRoot.

It's Just So Berkeley

With San Francisco being "the" place for startups, Sarah had to know why ShareRoot chose Berkeley. Misha gave an answer that Sarah was not expecting, which had to do with a mashup of where the ShareRoot founders actually live, the astronomical cost of office space in San Francisco and the availability to shuttle services between San Francisco and Berkeley. It was all very business-like. 

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Gender Equality on Technology Sales Teams

The conversation inevitably turned, as it often does in the San Francisco bay area, to talent and recruiting and culture. Misha expressed her passion for gender equality in technology companies and especially gender equality in technology sales teams, which are traditionally made up of mostly men. When Misha arrived at ShareRoot she set a goal to increase the proportion of women to men on the sales team to 50/50. At the time she joined ShareRoot, the percentage of women on the sales team was 25%. In just her first four months on the job she increase the proportion of women on the sales team to one third.

Not bad at all. 50% seems a lot more doable. 

So, of course, Sarah and Bill started asking questions about how she was getting such positive results. We won't spoil the podcast here, but the core of the effort lies in being deliberate about it and about changing the culture. 

As the team grows in diversity, we also talked with Misha about how she gets diverse people to work together better to improve the overall performance of the team, and when it comes to her background in employee and organizational development, you can bet she set up a culture of learning to accomplish this.

How to Help Sales People Help Prospects Buy

We rounded out our conversation with Misha talking about how a helping sells approach can help buyers buy. According to Misha, "It is so much harder to buy today than every before. Buying is hard." Misha talked about how companies have complex buying processes with lots of stakeholders involved that make it so difficult to buy. She helps her sales teams help their buyers navigate those buying processes by helping sales people be more empathetic to that complexity and by helping sales reps coach buyers on how to buy in their organizations and how to help make the buyer look good. 

What could be more "Helping Sells" than helping prospects navigate their buying process?

We had a lot of fun and learned a lot from Misha, and we know you will love this interview. 

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Written by

Bill Cushard and Sarah E. Brown


Helping Sells Radio co-hosts, Bill Cushard and Sarah E. Brown, are Rocketeers based in Palo Alto, CA. Reach out to them by emailing marketing (at) servicerocket.com or on Twitter using the hashtag #HelpingSells.