EP 6 – Virtual Selling Across Different Timezones – Edward Purmalis

Presentation of the episode

On the sixth episode of The Virtual Selling Podcast, Edward Purmalis, Head of Community and Partnerships at Salescast, tells us all about virtual selling in different times zones.

He explains the benefits and challenges of working with clients across the world and managing a remote team across multiple time zones.

About Edward Purmalis

To learn more about Edward Purmalis and Salescast, click on the links below :

 

Transcript

With the pandemic that came upon us, the rise of video conferencing tools like Microsoft teams and zoom has led to more aspects of the sales conversation to occur virtually. And what began as a crisis reaction has evolved into the new normal, but how normal is the new normal we’re talking about how the strong shift from in-person to virtual selling has transformed B2B sales experience, virtual sales enablement, new organizations, KPIs.

Everything is evolving. In the virtual selling podcast we address these issues in depth, twice a week, with the experts and leaders of these transformations, heads of sales, sales, ops, and sales enablement of the most innovative companies in the field. This podcast is sponsored by sales deck.io, the new SAS platform to make your customer meetings more engaging and better prepared. Find out how you can shorten sales cycles, convert more leads and increase customer engagement. Virtual selling is here to stay. And so is sales deck.io.

All right. Hello, everyone. Welcome to another episode of the virtual setting podcast. I’m Gabriel, Debbie Schwebel, founder of SalesDeck.io and the host of this show. I’m excited to welcome today’s guest, Edward Purmalis, full cycle sales at Salescast.

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Doing awesome. Doing awesome. For my sleeping schedule, it’s morning. For you it’s already the afternoon, but we happen to live only one time zone apart. So crazy world.

It’s really crazy. Where are you based? You are in Latvia. That’s true.

Yes, I was born and I’ve lived in Riga Latvia for my whole life, but for the last six years ever since I was 19, I’ve been working in different American companies in sales capacities of sorts.

That’s really crazy.

And so at the moment you are working at salescast, can you explain us what you do for this company and what is your time zone and the way you manage to work, you know, in different time zone.

Yeah. So at Salescast, I am doing full cycle sales, my official title is podcast advisers since they also do some account managing and also some community work, but most of my daily duties revolve around full cycle sales, meaning that I prospect and I close and I take care of every part of the sales funnel. And as far as my schedule goes, I go to sleep at 5:00 AM locally. I wake up at around 1:00 PM locally. I am working on Pacific time and I wake up at around 4:00 AM Pacific time. So for any of my American clients or any of the people that I’m in touch with I’m one of those, you know, crazy early people that gets up at like 4:00 AM, even though I’m living the completely opposite schedule. And it’s interesting, right? I started doing that at a very young age. I started working like these specific, like timezones when I was 19 years old. So I’ve really gotten used to it.

There are definitely a couple of things that you have to keep in mind. First of all, I have to make sure that, you know, you have a way to keep your room dark, especially during the summer months. So something like blackout shades is great. Make sure to take your vitamin D, make sure to take your melatonin, but other than that, I really don’t mind this schedule.

Back when I was in school, I could never wake up at 8:00 AM local time. Never, like for me, the comfort zone is waking up at noon. So I kind of crafted my life around that.

So you are a never going teenager.

Yep. What do your parents think about that?

Yeah, I mean, mom got used to it at a pretty early age. I was big into gaming, so I’d spend all night on a computer and then I’d be, you know, completely drained the next day. And that was like the life cycle.

Is it difficult for you to work in a different time zone? Do people notice that you are in Latvia?

Do you tell them? What do you have on your LinkedIn account?

Yeah, I have that on my LinkedIn account. I’m super honest about it. I think we are part of a global economy and you know, some people, listen, some people are, especially if you’re in a sales role, you have to understand that you’re not always going to be liked by the person that you are prospecting into. And that can be a part of many different reasons. You know, people don’t say it out loud, but there’s, you know, guys who won’t buy from women, guys who are, you know, very, very… There are guys out there that will prejudice you for your race, for your gender, for your nationality.

And, you know, we have to accept the fact that that is something that is out there and that we as a society haven’t grown to a level where we can say that, yeah, this is a non-issue anymore. So that should not discourage anybody from taking these types of positions, because for every person that’s going to feel a little bit uncomfortable because you aren’t in the same country as them. There’s going to be plenty of others who are going to find it absolutely fascinating and are going to be a lot more inclined to actually work with you.

Okay. And so what do the reactions, you have bad reactions, but you also have very excited reactions. It’s what you mean?

No, absolutely. Yeah. So there’s people who’ve spent time in Europe or even around this region.

There’s only like 1.6 million of us currently living in this country. So we’re very, very small. I think the city of Paris has a larger population than our country does.

For the suburbs in Paris, it’s 10 million.

Exactly. So more than the whole Baltics combined. And even sometimes I meet people and I connect with people on LinkedIn and they’re like, Hey, actually, you know, my grandmother was from there, but they ran during world war II or there’s a lot of different stories.

And a lot of people that you meet with that are. That I have connections in some way, shape or form, or even have family members. And it’s already a much more unique conversation, a big thing in sales, especially if you’re working in a vendor heavy industry, is that you need a way to stand out and you can do that by either your product or you can do it with your personality. And it is definitely a good way to stand out.

Okay. That’s very interesting. Is there also a difference when you work from a different time zone making sales and this one, or after that you, you are conducting the sales the same way?

Everything is pretty much done as it would be if I was living in California currently. But to, I don’t really see a big difference and a big part of that is because I’ve literally never done anything else. It’s always been this type of schedule, always this type of living for me. I went to work as a recruiter for a couple of weeks for a Dar and Benelux based recruitment agency.

And honestly just wasn’t for me, I had spent so much time working with American clients that I had gotten to a certain level of conversation and a certain way of presenting myself that I was no longer ready to change that. Or, you know, try to make any adjustments. I was happy the way I was. So I found new opportunities there after my previous ones.

Yeah, that’s nice. For me it’s a new thing because I’m used to work on the French time zone with my marketing agency and my French customers and French customers for Salesdeck also. And I am extending my time and hours to be able to work also in the us and to make some podcast interviews in English.

Much more later for me than I’m used to. So I have days that are starting at 9:00 AM and finishing at nine or 10:00 PM, which makes long day, but I’m getting adapted to it and it’s what it is to bootstrap a product and launch it. And how are you managed by Salescast with the times? What is your relationship with your management and how are you managed remotely?

Oh yeah. I mean, Collin and Chris are doing a phenomenal job, they are definitely more lenient towards my schedule because, you know, even though I’m very good at keeping my schedule clean, there are still things that have their own restrictions. So for example, if I need to go to the dentist’s office or something like that, it is going to happen during working hours.

And you know, the people I work with are super nice. And they are insanely understanding on anything that happens or anything that’s needed. And being managed in a remote environment. I think it’s a lot more dependent. I think the hiring process is a lot more difficult when you’re managing people in a remote environment because you have to make sure that they’re actually going to get the job done. There are of course, you know, ways to control and there’s ways to install apps on people’s computers and track what they’re doing, but we don’t do any of that. At least not on my end. And you know, there’s a level of trust between me and the people that I work with that I’ll get the job done and that I’m putting in the needed hours to achieve the goal, that this might not be the same thing for people who are working on an hourly wage and, you know, aren’t really that tied with the results that they bring. But I think for sales positions, I mean, listen, if you have somebody who’s literally there to just waste their own time and to kind of wait out the day, then there’s a big problem. And you shouldn’t be having those people in your sales team.

Because you are commissioned based on your side?

Yeah.

Okay. How did you build trust with Colin and Decker?

Ah, yes. So I actually worked on one other company that he had before called monster white, but he fairly recently exited from, and yeah, we went in as a commission only role. I just needed something to do at that point in time. And from there, like he saw that I was putting in the hours, and offered a full-time position with a salary plus commission and everything else. And, you know, I was immediately good to take it. And I think I built that trust just by showing a go-getter attitude and also connecting with the people that I work with because it is one of the most important things that you need to evaluate as somebody who is looking for a long time position, isn’t exactly what you’re going to be doing, but who you’re going to be doing with, and you need to have like-minded individuals that here have a very good level of communication with that you see eye to eye on most things, but it’s still a learning experience. And yeah, I think that’s really important. That’s something that people really gloss over.

And so how do you connect? You have weekly meetings or do you have some other way to connect?

Yeah, the way I learned-

Did you meet them personally, physically, already?

No, but that’s in plan for Autumn currently to go over to Los Angeles. So let’s see if that goes through. But as far as spending time together and getting to know each other, I’m one of those people who really learns best by seeing an example and somebody who likes to put those examples to use. So I’m not somebody who you can just like drop like a 500 page book of this is how you sell my product and I’m going to go out and kill it. So from day one, I was brought into sales meetings and that’s how I learned. So we would do a lot of collaborative effort. There would be a lot of work that’d be done together, a lot of notes to be taken by seeing them in action and ultimately signed to implement those things into their own workflow. So that’s how the relationships are built just by working together and learning together.

Okay. And you learn with them doing podcasts or you were doing podcasts before?

Oh, podcasting was something that I had in my mind since I was very young since I was like 11 or 12 years old. I started listening to podcasts very early, and I always thought that it would be something I could be doing, but I didn’t really have the path or the resources or, you know, any idea how to do it. And lo and behold called and I started working together then Salescast took off. Then we went full-time into sales cast, and boom. I had an opportunity to have a podcast. So. That’s you know, life sometimes works out in the most mysterious ways. And for me, podcasting was a really big dream and it came through and soon to be about 30 episodes in and loving every second.

That’s great. And you use podcasts in your sales cycle?

Yeah. Podcasting is definitely part of the sales cycle. It’s a content creation tool. It’s a great way to build relationships with the people that you have on your show. And, you know, it’s not exclusive to that. I have people on because they have a cool story. I have people on because I’m just interested in having a conversation with them. But sure there’s definitely been people on my podcast that I’ve also wanted to be in business with, and those conversations have been much more smoother afterward.

Yes for sure. You have something else to add about the way you work and what it make a difference from the other sales people you know?

Yeah. I think the biggest thing that differentiates working super remotely versus just working from home while knowing that you have an office is that there is a lot of inner office socialization and just socialization, like impersonal socialization with the people that you work with that just does not happen. So you have to integrate ways on how to do team building on how to get a conversation going. And now there are so many tools out there to do that, and it works out very, very well. But you know, it’s still an element that I can’t even lie saying that, you know, I do miss that element of working together in a physical capacity, at least sometimes.

And what tool do you use? What do you do for team building?

Well, it’s important to have team meetings and office meetings remote zoom meetings to just chat and get, make sure that everybody knows each other and see if there’s maybe potential avenues for people to start conversations between each other. Talk about people’s interests, ask questions, ask for stories and build that level of comradery and coworking that ultimately helps people stay motivated to push towards the team goal. So that’s definitely important and it’s also important to leverage places like slack and just get the conversation going on, something casual and something regular.

Get that water cooler talk and get it to slack.

Okay. So you use slack a lot to do that?

Yeah. That’s definitely something that’s part of what we do.

Okay. And do you have other tricks to maintain this team-building and this cohesion between the team?

Well, listen, it’s all a work in progress, of course. And

we’re always figuring out new things to do, but yeah, I think at this point, you know, everybody’s … This again, reflects back to the hiring process because if you hire like minded people that all understand what the mission is, and they are all professional and they’re all polite and they’re all working towards the same goal then that type of team building, it becomes very easy as people feel comfortable around each other, even though they don’t know each other or don’t meet each other. So that is definitely a big part of it.

How many are you within Salesdeck?

Salescast?

Yeah, Salescast. Sorry.

So currently I think we’re a team of about 18 or 19. I’m not a hundred percent sure, but the sales team is just me on calling.

Okay. And then the rest of the team is about the podcast editors…And you don’t meet all together sometimes?

So we have our zoom meetings, especially when new members arrive or when we have like monthly reviews. So there is the, we do have those team meetings every once in a while. And that’s where people get to know each other and kind of understand each other’s personalities. And then from time to time, we do like team posts asking everybody a question, maybe to share some music or share a story. And that’s how people can get to know each other a little bit better and just humanize each other, right? Because I think a big part of not working together in a physical environment is that for a lot of people it’s different, difficult to add that level of personalization and humanity to a conversation that’s only happening through a screen. Now for the last two years, everybody who’s worked in the B2B sector has been getting a lot better at it, but, you know, there’s still a part of that human element that is of course missing. And I’m not going to tell.

And what other countries are represented? The US for sure. Latvia…

Yeah, we have the US, we have me and Latvia. I’m the only one. We have people in Mexico. We have people in Southeast Asia and I think other places too, but I’m not going to be able to give you that because we’re fairly dispersed and like I’m the only person from Latvia here. And that’s because instead of, you know, looking for somebody in Latvia, I was somebody looking for a position in the US so that’s how I got here. Nobody was specifically hiring here.

That’s great. I really want to do the same for my company and to have a fully global company with people working from everywhere using really the new tools to build links, to create a corporate culture without being in the same office and removing the boundaries. And that’s really cool that we can do that today. It was really interesting to have this discussion with you today.

This episode of this virtual selling podcast is over. Thanks for sticking around. We’ll meet twice a week for a new episode with new stories and challenges of giants in the field. If you enjoy today’s episode, we are always listening for your favorite. Share the show and subscribe on your favorite podcast platform. So you don’t miss any episodes. This episode was brought to you by Salesdeck.io, the virtual selling platforms that increase your sales team CVR and sales readiness, enables remote management and vamps sales operational excellence.

Book your salesdeck.io demo today to discover how you can close more deals with engaging and better prepared customer meetings. Thanks a lot Edward.

Thank you for having me on Gabriel.

 

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