Accelerate Podcast with Andy Paul
February 21, 2018

 

637: Are You Settling for Good Enough? w/ Andy Molinsky

Andy Molinsky, author of Global Dexterity: How to Adapt Your Behavior Across Cultures without Losing Yourself in the Process, Brandeis International Business School Professor and Harvard Business Review writer joins me on this episode of Accelerate!

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • Andy M. says the biggest single challenge salespeople face today is stepping outside of their comfort zone.
  • Andy M. steps outside his comfort zone by giving a pitch in French, as he used to do early in his career. When it was his job, making ‘the ask’ in French was easier for him than selling in his native English as it was a ‘disguise.’
  • We all have modes, or shades of ourselves, depending on the audience we are addressing. Sometimes we use modes that are not authentic to ourselves.
  • Reach discusses comfort zones. Most people have personal and professional growth objectives, the accomplishment of which takes us out of our comfort zones. Some try to avoid these challenges.
  • If you have been good at the same job for a number of years, are you stretching? Are you settling for competence or are you striving for excellence? Is being ‘good’ enough? It’s very important to know yourself. Are you happy?
  • In any enterprise, there is a distribution of performance from insufficient to excellent. Could everyone be an ‘alpha’? If everyone were an ‘alpha,’ who would follow?
  • Is your self-worth based on comparison to others or is it an internal gauge and experience?
  • Reach covers ‘necessary evils’ from Andy M.’s doctoral research into causing pain in the service of a greater good. This includes layoffs, evictions, doctors delivering bad news, etc. Andy M. explains comfort in that context.
  • Andy M. discusses three fear challenges of stepping outside the comfort zone. 1. Authenticity. 2. Likeability 3. Competence. Read more challenges in the book. Andy P. set a success bar when he started public speaking.
  • Success includes failure. Failure is data for improvement.
February 19, 2018

 

636: What is your Money Mindset? w/ Bill Carmody

 

Bill Carmody, speaker, leadership coach, and author of Online Promotions: Winning Strategies and Tactics, and the upcoming book, Millionaire, joins me on this episode of #Accelerate!

 

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • USA Today says less than 50% of Americans have $400.00 for an emergency. Andy shares a story about a law firm whose partners were living paycheck-to-paycheck when it collapsed. It’s not how much you make, but how much invest.
  • A middle-class truck driver can invest to become a millionaire. Start by paying yourself first. Take a certain percent of every deposit, and put it directly into a separate account. That is your wealth plan.
  • AARP asked people how much in fees they pay in their 401K and 75% thought it was $0.00. That is not the case. The average 401K has $150K — not enough for a comfortable retirement. Aim for $1 million or more.
  • The vast majority of financial advisers are broker/dealers. Look for a fiduciary adviser, instead. They must act in your interest and are paid a fee, not a commission.
  • Money is a taboo subject in most households. Parents are not teaching their children how to invest.
  • Before you can be a great leader, you have to lead yourself. Show leadership by your actions. Wealth creation is about applying leadership skills to your personal life.
  • Bill explains his ‘money imprint’ at age 12 when he chose to become an entrepreneur. Today, Bill helps people figure out their wealth strategies.
  • Don’t risk a dollar to make five cents; risk five cents to make a dollar. The psychology of wealth begins by saying, ‘That’s what I deserve.’ Know the strategies of the wealthy.
  • Bill’s book, Millionaire, starts with the psychology of money. What is the basis of your money mindset? You need the mindset of wealth creation. Don’t keep a poverty mindset. Look at the investment, risk, and the upside.
  • Buying an expensive car (liability) is a different mindset than buying a property (investment) that creates income for you to buy an expensive car. Delay your gratification.
  • Bill talks about an investment mindset quadrant of knowledge and experience. Balance knowledge and experience to be fearlessly effective.
  • 1. Pay yourself first. 2. Get a Fiduciary. 3. Educate yourself to take control of your wealth. 4. Get a strategy and create an action plan for passive income. Start now. “Follow One Course Until Successful.”
February 14, 2018

 

634: Tools That Actually Help Reps Sell w/ Adam Honig

 

Adam Honig, Co-founder & CEO at Spiro Technologies, joins me for the second time on this episode of #Accelerate!

 

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • Adam says the single biggest challenge facing sales reps today is staying focused on the most productive task among the number of concurrent activities demanding attention. Adam suggests a behavior that helps.
  • We need technology to tame and organize the influx of signals. Spiro uses technology to show what is most important and urgent and where action is needed.
  • Spiro started as a personal, individual sales assistant. Customers asked for a full CRM. Spiro is suitable for mid-sized teams. It is not disruptive to sales activity.
  • There is a lot of opportunity in CRM and a lot of room for innovation.
  • Adam’s ideal is that sales reps would sell and Spiro would do everything else that’s required, capturing and serving up information as it is needed throughout the day. It reacts with AI to your emails by creating contact records.
  • Spiro uses AI to understand your IMAP email messages. It is available in English and French versions. Spiro updates contacts and forecasts without intervention. Spiro is mobile and online, with built-in VOIP.
  • Adam envisions Spiro getting to be a platform that will make suggestions to a rep, based on where the rep is spending their time and where the prospect is. Adam wants to see Spiro chatting and setting appointments.
  • How do you decide in real time which prospects you should follow up with, first? Spiro understands the rep’s data to help them make better decisions. Spiro encourages the rep to play to their strengths.
  • As a rep acts on or disregards Spiro’s recommendations, Spiro learns more about the rep’s preferences. Andy and Adam discuss the problems with real-time advice from AI. The technology and algorithms are not yet competent.
  • Spiro purposefully limits distracting data to encourage ‘focus.’ This is a different experience from using Salesforce.
February 12, 2018

 

633: How to Build Authentic Relationships w/ Jane Gentry

 

Jane Gentry, Principal at Jane Gentry & Company, sales growth expert, executive coach, and global keynote speaker, joins me on this episode of #Accelerate!

 

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • Jane says the single biggest challenge facing sales reps today is trying to navigate technology and traditional relationship-building to find the middle ground among the many ways to connect with the customer.
  • We have to continue to build authentic relationships. Authentic people admit they don’t know everything and they might not have the right fit for the customer. They are teachable; they let the customer be the expert.
  • As a keynote speaker, Jane says people don’t want to see ‘a speaker.’ Audiences want to get to know you and connect with you. Clients are the same way.
  • Vulnerability, humility, teachability, open-mindedness, and empathy are necessary basic human traits. Are new generations not learning relational intelligence? A high reliance on technology causes gaps in social skills.
  • Skill gaps are solvable. Leaders should get past biases about different generations and assume a positive intent. Leaders have to learn to lead new generations differently than previous generations.
  • The biggest challenges in the new generations are skill gaps that are coachable and trainable. The ability of college students to empathize has dropped 40% since 2002. That lack needs to be addressed for sales teams.
  • Millennials and younger sales professionals tell Jane they want help to bridge these skill gaps. They want to be taught empathy. Cognitive empathy can be taught. As we act empathetically, we can become more truly caring.
  • Technology is a great servant and a miserable master. We are fundamentally wired to connect with people, not with emojis. You must come face-to-face to build trust. Jane talks about the future of B2B sales in view of automation.
  • Social media builds brands, not relationships. People who lack interpersonal skills will need to learn them to succeed in people-facing roles. Only 22% of companies are investing in teaching this age group how to engage.
  • People change as they age. The Boomers went from the counterculture to the C-suite and their behaviors changed. The difference with the latest generation is how technology has impacted them and its continued impact.
  • In order to communicate well with young people, leaders will have to coach them and ask great questions. Many of today’s young have never received criticism.
  • Managers are some of the least-developed people in corporations. They have been promoted but not equipped to lead. Don’t fix the Millennials, fix the leaders.
February 9, 2018

 

 

632: Leverage Channels to Quickly Scale Sales w/ Bridget Gleason & Dave Taylor

 

Bridget Gleason is VP of Sales for Logz.io and my regular partner on Front Line Fridays. Special guest on this episode is Dave Taylor, Chief Marketing Officer at Impartner, the number one SaaS Solution for Managing Your Channel.

 

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • Andy introduces guest, Dave Taylor, CMO at Impartner. Impartner recently conducted a study on the increasing difficulty of filling Enterprise sales roles. Impartner sells SaaS solutions that enable indirect channel sales.
  • Over the last few years, Impartner customers complained of difficulty to find qualified Enterprise salespeople. This inspired Impartner’s study. 74% of companies are lacking qualified reps and so are not hitting revenue targets.
  • Indirect channel sales are scalable. You can ramp up or scale down your team as you need. It is a reasonable approach to supplementing your sales team. Dave explains how to leverage the indirect channel reps.
  • The headaches of recruiting, hiring, and training are carried by Impartner, not by the client. The scaling company trains the reps in their product and process.
  • Impartner’s clients are 80-90% in tech. Some large manufacturers have been reaching out to Impartner. They were already using channel marketing. About 67-70% of B2B commerce is still done through channels.
  • Dave was a field sales rep for Intel, just as they were moved to “sales force automation” (CRM). They chose Siebel and it took a year-and-a-half to implement. At the time, it was a competitive edge. Now everyone is on CRM.
  • Impartner is built on the premise that if CRM works for direct channels, it should work for indirect channels. Customers tell them they have complete control over the direct channel, but their indirect channel is a black box.
  • Bridget suggests that startups need to be close to the customer, so it’s not helpful to move to a channel too early. Potentially, though, scaling is easier with channels.
  • Dave cites Atlassian, a SaaS company that went 100% channel from the start. That is easy with a SaaS model. For many startups, Dave recommends starting direct.
  • Andy asks more about the study results. Why do companies always look outside for sales? Shouldn’t companies invest in developing their people?
  • Bridget notes VPs would prefer to promote from within, but sometimes find it is not a good match when a position opens us. Andy sees we are on a slide in productivity. Dave gives examples of channel blends.
  • Channel sales reps are under the control of Impartner clients. The tools make it easy to interact. Dave explains client success examples. Meaningful engagement helps all parties. However, partner loyalty is passé.
February 7, 2018

 

631: Mastering the Basics is the Future of Selling w/ Tom Hopkins

 

Tom Hopkins, Speaker and Sales Trainer at Tom Hopkins International and author of How to Master the Art of Selling, and 18 other books on selling, joins me for the second time on this episode of #Accelerate!

 

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • Tom says the single biggest challenge facing sales reps today is keeping themselves disciplined to keep their momentum up even at the end of the year, so they start the year with new prospects. Send a Thanksgiving note!
  • Following up and keeping in touch to show appreciation has never been more important than it is today. Tom has 10 sample thank you notes for all occasions. Find them on the free resource page at TomHopkins.com.
  • Tom divides his clients into three groups: A, B, and C. He sends Christmas gifts to decision makers in the A group, letters to the B group, and emails to the C group. These create relationship feelings. Holiday parties are also good.
  • Besides following up and keeping in touch, Tom recommends giving more service than the customer expects, as great ways to keep yourself on the customer’s mind when they buy again or have referrals for you.
  • A key differentiator is to build a personal human touch. Make sure they have reasons to know, like, and trust you.
  • Tom talks about habits. At the end of each day he reviews the day’s activities, and the six priorities for the next day in order of importance. He sleeps better and wakes up better prepared. His days are more productive.
  • Don’t choose a job by income; find what you want to do when looking for a job. Wayne Gretzky told Tom “I had a burning passion for all aspects of hockey.” The happiest people are doing something they have passion about.
  • To go into sales, start with enough money set aside to support you for six months while you build a client base.
  • The greater the risk, the greater the reward. Tom got into real estate and had to become a master at selling. In his fifth year he sold 365 houses and was celebrated for it. Now he writes books and gives weekly seminars.
  • Tom wrote his first book in 1979. Since then the consumer is much more knowledgeable today than ever before. Sellers need to be better than in the past, and keep your attitude up.
  • Tom suggests a new salesperson should go to a bookseller and ask what book on sales goes out the door the most. That’s one to get. Tom suggests his own Selling for Dummies. Become a student of the art of selling.
  • In the future salespeople will have to be smarter, sharper, more talented, and skillful than ever before, to keep up with consumers. Master prospecting and the other basic fundamentals of selling and getting referrals.
February 5, 2018

 

630: Gamify Sales Training for Rapid Onboarding w/ Sam Caucci

Sam Caucci, Founder and CEO of 1Huddle and author of Not Our Job: How College Has Destroyed a Generation of Workers and How to Fix It and Closing in the Red Zone: 12 Principles to Finishing the Sale When it Counts, joins me on this episode of #Accelerate!

 

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • Sam says the single biggest challenge facing sales reps today is the battle to get upskilled today in sales roles. Companies are not investing in training programs, and it is up to the rep to keep up with tools and skills.
  • Information is more available than ever and customers are accessing it. We need reps to keep up with information and tools.
  • 1Huddle is a workforce training platform to help companies get their reps upskilled and ready to work. The training takes place on a game platform.
  • Sam explains the games. They can be single player games of about three minutes or large group multiplayer games of about 20 minutes.
  • Companies deploy new games on a weekly or monthly basis, as they need for how often their products change.
  • Sam explains how the games give managers a platform for coaching. The modules can be edited as easily as a spreadsheet. After the initial launch, companies manage their game design internally.
  • The platform is simple enough for managers to use without significant training in how to use it.
  • There are more distractions today than ever before, and employees tend to have little company loyalty. Recognition is essential for engagement with today’s workforce. Find the way to get the best from your team.
  • In games, we have a ‘restart’ button. In work, we can’t just restart with a customer. We have to be aware of the consequences of our actions. There are no easy fixes.
  • Sam suggests ways for recognizing or regarding your team members: the best parking spot for a week, a small gift, dinner with the boss. There must be an achievement tied to the reward. 1Huddle holds weekly team contests.
  • Be thoughtful with the rewards. Tie them to the company culture. Sam gives examples.
February 2, 2018

 

#629: Are there Universal Truths in Sales? w/ Bridget Gleason & Ken Lundin

 

Bridget Gleason is VP of Sales for Logz.io and my regular partner on Front Line Fridays. Special guest on this episode is Ken Lundin, Sales Leader Coach and Host of The B2B Sales Summit.

 

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • Andy introduces a guest, Ken Lundin. Ken recently interviewed Andy for the B2B Sales Summit. Ken’s background is 25 years in sales and, recently, consulting. He noticed a void in B2B so he organized the summit.
  • Ken perceived a significant gap in the knowledge, education, and training that sales reps and managers need. The chief difference with this summit is that the presenters are all practitioners and not there to sell tech.
  • Can the industry come to an agreement about universal truths in sales? From all the expert interviews Ken did for the summit, he says it was awesome that there were some universal truths they uncovered together.
  • There are definitely keys to success. Success leaves clues. People shift to opinions that reinforce their comfort zones and avoid opinions that force them to move outside their comfort zone.
  • Process methodology provides a framework for consistency. Reps have to figure out what resonates with the prospect within that framework. Is there a core set of values that salespeople need?
  • Core values involve respecting the buyer relationship. Are you customer-centered? Are you empathetic? Can you listen like the buyer? How do we hire reps for these values, and teach them?
  • Because sales is a service, everything needs to be built on service. Sales managers have done a poor job on coaching to solve problems for customers. Instead, they keep deals in the pipeline that may not belong there.
  • Ken interviewed Colleen Stanley for the summit about EQ in sales. EQ is more than customer empathy, it’s how you manage your own emotion to serve the customer best.
  • Being customer-centered sometimes conflicts with the culture of a team and a company. How the company operates establishes their culture. Andy cites Elay Cohen saying the sales manager is the custodian of culture.
  • Are the sales managers being coached enough on how to lead the team to embody corporate values? Ken says, generally, no. The biggest mistake of a new sales manager is to think their job is ‘reports’ instead of mentoring reps.
  • Bridget would say to sales managers who are not being well-prepared by their company that they should find a mentor, join groups of other sales managers, or take a manager’s training class, and otherwise continue to grow.
  • Andy notes confusion between tactical coaching, mentoring for growth, and managing for results. Ken suggests always defining terms in these discussions.
January 31, 2018

 

#628: Serve First in Order to Sell w/ Damian Thompson

 

Damian Thompson, Chief Customer Officer of LeadFuze, joins me on this episode of #Accelerate!

 

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • Damian says the single biggest challenge facing sales reps today is an identity problem. The average person’s view of sales is unfavorable. Reps use words other than ‘sales’ as job titles. Damian says reps should own the sales job title.
  • Reps have the wrong idea about their roles, making success harder. Their job is to serve, not to push. Sales is service, not manipulation. Sales solves problems.
  • B2B sales is a complex puzzle to solve. Reps who can solve problems make the best salespeople. But sales leaders advertise for aggressive hunters, not for curious, analytical problem solvers. ‘Closing’ is the wrong word.
  • Customer success is one of the keys to sales. As customers use your solution to their problem repeatedly, you create a long-term paying customer relationship.
  • Andy and Damian discuss the fallacies of probability-weighted forecasts. You have no idea what the buyer is really thinking. Do they even want a solution? The customer may even be afraid a solution will replace them.
  • Damian talks about the history of sales training, starting with IBM. Fifty years later, it does not hold up. B2B is not transactional. When a sales rep gets defensive about a deal, it is clear the deal is not going to happen.
  • Buyers do not plan to ‘string along’ sales reps. When there is no decision, the rep didn’t qualify or disqualify the buyer properly. It’s not the customer’s ‘fault.’ Serve your customer by helping them make their right decision.
  • The Internet has opened up information about the product, for customers, and about the customer, for reps. Customers are being deluged by emails. But people often answer their mobile phones. People can be reached.
  • Reps need to work past rejection and make multiple attempts to contact until they get into a conversation. Reps need passion and a firm belief in the value they add to the customer. Reps need persistence.
  • The customer is the judge of what is of value to them. The value you deliver has to be something the customer wants. If they invest time in you, they need value in return. The ‘first sale’ is the exchange of value and time.
January 29, 2018

 

#627: Boost Sales Effectiveness with Visual Technologies w/ Evan Nisselson

 

Evan Nisselson, General Partner at LDV Capital, joins me on this episode of #Accelerate!

 

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • Evan says the single biggest challenge facing sales reps today is finding the right customers that need the services that reps are selling. You need the right ROI on the time you spend to find the customer.
  • Long emails are not valuable. Put the ‘ask’ up front. Then, maybe, “if you’re interested, there’s more below.” Put the first word of each topic in bold, to make it easier to skim.
  • LDV Capital is a venture capital fund that invests in people building visual technology businesses — any technology that captures, analyzes, monetizes, displays, or distributes visual data. Evan lists some examples.
  • In August 2017, LDV Capital Insights predicted there will be 45 billion cameras by 2022. The report defines a ‘camera’ as a lens and a sensor. Smartphones have multiple cameras and will have more.
  • ‘The Internet of Eyes’ will be larger than the IOT. Inanimate objects will have cameras. An autonomous vehicle will have 25-30 cameras, outside and inside, not including RADAR/LIDAR. Where will the data be captured?
  • About 90% of the data the human brain analyzes is visual. For AI to mimic humans, at least 90% of the data AI analyzes will be visual. LDV looks at where the cameras will be to determine the investment opportunities.
  • Historically, pictures were for keeping memories. Going forward, the majority of visual data captured will never be seen by the human eye.
  • Will we be surveilled constantly? The value proposition is to balance privacy issues against benefits to society. Cameras may help you with a healthy food or fitness goal.
  • All types of robots, in a factory, or an autonomous boat, a drone, and others, will use visual data for operations, never displayed. ‘Display’ will be a minor visual data use. Evan discusses use cases of cameras in the home.
  • What are the sales and marketing use cases? Will some cameras be customer-facing, to help them on the buying journey? In airports, can billboards be personalized to the people walking by? Directed marketing helps customers.
  • Evan said he took a photo of shoes and a pop-up asked if he wanted to buy those shoes. Computer vision allows you to translate an image into a purchase. Customers’ micro-expressions can also be analyzed.
  • The B2B value proposition of image analysis is to get customers sooner to validate whether there is a problem to solve.