Accelerate Podcast with Andy Paul
April 29, 2017

#445. How Content Marketing Is Changing. With Sonia Simone.

Sonia Simone, Chief Content Officer at CopyBlogger Media, LLC, joins me on this episode of #Accelerate!


[1:40] Copyblogger is part of Rainmaker Digital. Sonia helps determine editorial content direction on Copyblogger, some of which she creates. She is the lead ‘word-put-togetherer.’

[2:46] Content marketing is a reality of the web, as people keep finding more bright and shiny objects to see. You have to continually add content to make yourself the most interesting thing in their field of vision, and worth their time.

[4:46] SMBs are still hesitating to create content. Sonia has an idea why. But some smaller organizations are realizing that by grabbing the opportunity, they give themselves a real competitive advantage.

[6:17] Companies are finding that a content marketing role is mission-critical to succeed and compete today. Dollars can be shifted from phone directory and other advertising. SEO professionals can help get them up to speed.

[8:11] Business owners need to start thinking like CMOs. Cash flow and customer acquisition need to be top priorities. Content marketing help with both. A blog is a good start, but consider video, and even podcasting.

[11:43] It’s not enough to be useful. Content needs a personal voice that engages attention. Content should have ‘art.’

[13:57] Make your advertising, or content, too valuable to throw away.

[16:48] Selling, marketing, and content all require art, “an expression that can’t be made with an algorithm.” An organization can see which sales professionals are performing, and which are not. The human element connects.

[19:08] We think that data drives us to make objective decisions, but that’s only true if we understand the data fully.

[21:19] Entrepreneurs and small companies boldly embrace the art of content marketing. Larger companies become less courageous as they grow, and tend to be less responsive. Think of yourself as small, lean, and fast.

[25:11] Constant learning keeps any job exciting. The objective of making 100 contacts per day eliminates the opportunity to research any of them to make an effective contact.

[28:02] Sonia recommends studying literature, plays, screenplays, and poetry, and to take improv, acting, music, and painting classes. Start with what excites you.

April 28, 2017

How Women Sell Differently than Men. With Bridget Gleason. #444

Bridget Gleason is VP of Sales for and my regular guest on Front Line Fridays. This episode also features guest Chris Orlob, Senior Director of Product Marketing at


[2:10] Andy introduces the first Front Line Friday guest, Chris Orlob of

[3:21] Chris connected with Andy by sending him an article about gender differences in selling. brings science to the sales conversation. Chris starts to explain the data.

[4:47] Chris tells how analyzed 30,469 B2B SaaS anonymous account executive sales calls recorded from December 2016 and January 2017.

[7:13] Correlations are barometers that can point you in the right direction for the qualitative side of answering a question.

[8:26] The study measured the silences in each part of the conversations. Who “listened” more (or were silent longer), men or women?

[11:31] The data in this study appears to be counter-intuitive, so what is it really saying? Watch for confirmation bias!

[12:59] Who interrupts more, and are interruptions necessarily bad? The study does not address the effect that interruptions have on the sales conversation.

[15:27] Are women compensating for their interruptions in other, positive ways?

[17:18] Interruptions need to be understood in context.

[18:38] Monologue lengths of men and women also differ, but whether a male or female account executive is speaking, is the customer paying attention for two minutes or longer?

[25:24] The study notes that women move more deals forward than men, and close a greater percentage of deals than men. But women are still greatly under-represented in sales. Why?


April 27, 2017

#443. What Stands Between You and Your Greatness? With Lolly Daskal.

Lolly Daskal, a leadership executive coach who works with many Fortune 500 CEOs, speaker, and author of the great new book, The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness, joins me on this episode of #Accelerate!


[2:02] Lolly talks about the greatness within each person. At certain moments it is felt, when the body is energetic, the mind is in flow, and life is in synch.
[5:24] Daniel Pink says, everybody leads. Lolly says, own your leadership — how you impact others, regardless of your title or position — and take responsibility for it.
[6:48] Lolly gives her definition of greatness. It’s about being confident of abilities, loyal, and trustworthy. It has the characteristics of what it means to be successful. She discusses a code of conduct based on core principles.
[8:30] Lolly noticed that her clients complained of seven issues, or human weaknesses. Lolly calls them gaps, that come out when we are stressed. She identifies archetypes, as taught by Carl Jung, pairing them against opposing gaps.
[12:31] If we’re no longer able to change a situation, we have to change ourselves. Lolly uses the acronym RETHINK for the seven archetypes and personas in her book. Rebel, Explorer, Truth Teller, Hero, Inventor, Navigator, and Knight.
[13:39] Lolly asks clients to consider themselves a work in progress. Without progress there is no growth. True leadership means transformation. What did you learn today, so you can be better tomorrow? Nothing stands still.

[14:39] Surround yourself with people smarter than you, so you can learn. Lolly has read a book a day for 27 years, so she can always learn something new. (She skims and retains it.)

[16:48] All of us have all the archetypes within us, and they show up in different kinds of ways, as needed by the situation. [21:56] Clients ask how they can be at the top of their game. Lolly redirects them toward knowing who they are, rather than how they should do things. People tap into who you are, and that’s how they align with you. People buy from who you are.

[24:40] Lolly explains the gap. The Rebel, driven by confidence, has a gap, the Impostor, driven by doubt. Do you want to stand in greatness, which is finding confidence, or do you want to lead with self-doubt? She explains luck is being prepared.

[27:35] Perfection is not real. Lolly substitutes excellence for perfection, by bringing excellence to everything she does. Bringing the best you have, is good enough.

[29:45] Two final thoughts from Lolly: read The Leadership Gap, and get a coach who will ask you questions, to go deeper.


April 26, 2017

#442. How to Fix Corporate Sales Training. With Ray Makela.

Ray Makela, Chief Customer Officer of the Sales Readiness Group, a leading B2B sales and sales management training company, joins me on this episode of #Accelerate!


[1:44] Customers are more engaged before the salesperson is involved, and more salespeople are competing for the same dollar. So, the biggest challenge facing sales professionals today, is to differentiate themselves in a meaningful way.

[2:43] Ray gives advice on engagement; knowing the prospect’s business issues before contacting them; and with that understanding, offering meaningful value that helps the prospect to move forward.

[3:51] You want the prospect to come away from your conversation with new insights into their business needs, and the interest to act on them. How will this differentiate you from your competition?

[7:27] Ray makes two claims: first, we do not ask the right questions to know whether we are getting our ROI on sales training, and, second, we sometimes make training the end goal, rather than the means to attain a goal.

[8:50] For the $2.2B that is spent annually on sales training, what should be a reasonable return? Are we satisfying the objectives for which the expenditure was planned? Are we spending enough, compared to compensation?

[12:10] Know the executive stakeholders behind the sales training, and involve them in defining the problem, planning the training, and following up on the outcomes.

[13:32] After the training event, where are the reinforcement and the follow up? Training is a mechanism for behavior change. What behaviors do you need to change, and how do you know they have been changed effectively?

[15:27] Sales Readiness Group workshops include a commitment from each participant on what they are going to do, and awareness of how they will be tested on doing it. Managers have accountability to go out on coaching calls.

[17:04] What is the reason companies cut back on training? What is the true cost of ineffective training? We need to look at how to train successfully, even if it takes more resources and time. Consider virtual classrooms and mobile learning.

[19:16] The fundamentals have to be present. Athletes practice the fundamentals every day. If sales professionals have to practice in front of the customer, that’s a really expensive way to do training!

[24:36] Ray talks again about stakeholders being responsible to oversee development, and to engage managers to be accountable for the success of their team. The manager needs to be the chief training officer for their team.

[27:59] Devoting work time to professional development sets the tone for its importance to the company, and strengthens the culture of engagement.

April 25, 2017

#441. How to Keep up With Digital Buyers. With Javaid Iqbal.

Javaid Iqbal, digital futurist, C-suite advisor on customer innovation, inspirational speaker and educator, longtime consulting executive with big five, a former customer engagement and success leader at, and now, co-founder of a digital transformation consultancy focusing on innovation in the customer space, joins me on this episode of #Accelerate!


[1:04] Javaid started at Ernst & Young, consulting on Y2K, then moved to PWC. He started some consultancies, began teaching, and then went to Salesforce, as well as consulting.

[2:44] As buyers rely more on mobile technologies, the technologies change how buyers learn and buy. Customers have more power than ever before, and demand more service and innovation. Javaid tells a story about buyer expectations.

[7:10] Javaid discusses how to get to ‘know, like, and trust,’ is a challenge in the digital market. He says that providing value is the key.

[12:17] Javaid explains how CRM changed selling and customer success, and how global markets are catching up.

[15:07] With new digital titled officers appearing in the C-suite, the buying committee is being redefined and redistributed. Javaid points out some confusion that obstructs companies from progressing. It’s late to be considering a digital strategy.

[21:31] Javaid says the intersection of industries converging to enable a new process or product innovation is where the magic happens. He uses the example of Uber. This also changes the process of reaching and retaining customers.

[23:39] The fourth industrial revolution is a hot topic. Marketing, sales, and service all move now in the same social channels. Javaid discusses in-app purchases and augmented selling.

[27:04] As more augmented realities and technologies kick in, buying decisions will be more automated. Javaid discusses how companies will need to be ready and agile.

[28:45] Sales today is covered with the fingerprints of the success, service, alliances, and leadership departments. Is the salesperson responsible for the close? The functions are blurring between sales, marketing, acquisition and retention.

[32:05] Customer Success is now responsible for more revenue than New Business Development. Salesforce helped by providing a program architect to mentor the customer for a year. Javaid describes different data systems in play.

[34:22] Customer Success gets to sell phases 2, 3, and 4 of a product. They have to be extremely savvy salespeople. Javaid points out that farmers are becoming hunter farmers. Sales compensation needs to be reviewed as responsibilities shift.


April 24, 2017

#440. Personal Branding that Moves Buyers. With Libby Gill.

Libby Gill, an executive coach, author, speaker, and CEO of Libby Gill & Company, joins me on this episode of #Accelerate!


[:40] Libby started in PR for a small company, and through acquisitions, and “raising her hand,” became a VP for Sony Television. She moved to Universal, and then to Turner. She then decided to start coaching, to help people succeed.

[2:57] Social media has granted easy access to all voices. Professionals really have to stand out to be heard. All your platform exposures need to come from one authentic core. Libby explains the importance of your brand.

[4:41] Technology has facilitated the “instant expert,” who competes with your audience for attention. Learning how to create your strong, consistent brand becomes a real challenge.

[5:50] Having too many options available to the buyer creates confusion. Confusion is the end of the selling cycle. You need to create clarity for the buyer.

[7:39] Libby says any store has dozens of choices for blue jeans, and she would prefer to leave, than to deal with them.

[8:26] Libby asks clients first about skills, strengths, passions, and what their market wants. With that foundation, they build values and content for a forward-looking brand that tells their story in a few seconds. Don’t let others set your brand for you.

[14:47] A brand can involve a slogan, a logo, and your backstory. What you do for other people is your business story. When those are married authentically, then it makes emotional sense to people, and it captures mindshare.

[17:53] Libby cites Starbucks as a multi-sensory 360-degree brand, that surrounds a customer before they even consider their coffee choice. See that your brand hits on multiple levels.

[20:33] Think about your endgame from the start. Know the buyer you want to attract. Chart your steps, customer touch points, and the messages you send, and how you will send them. When should you provide value to the buyer?

[22:43] Libby discusses demographics. The “Moms” and Millennials want to know your advocacy, and they will choose a company making a deep contribution. But don’t paint them all with the same brush.

[28:56] Having a social advocacy resonates with many customers. Gifts can be made as donations in the name of the customer, rather than chocolates or food gifts.

April 23, 2017

Accelerate! Expresso #03: Weekly Review Show – April 17 – 22

Accelerate! Expresso is a weekly round-up show that contains snippets from each interview from the previous week’s slate of guests on Accelerate!

These clips have been edited into a tight, short show that will give you just a taste of the insights you missed if you didn’t catch every episode of Accelerate!

In this episode, you’ll hear excerpts from my conversations with my guests during the week of April 17-22. That’s episodes 434-439 ( if you track Accelerate! that way).

Come listen as I was joined by the following experts: Larry Broughton, Barb Giamanco, Keith Rosen, Mark Ripley, Greg Head and my usual Friday guest. Bridget Gleason.

It will whet your appetite to go back and listen to an entire episode with your favorite featured guest.

April 22, 2017

#439. How to Transform Your Processes for Sustained Growth. With Greg Head.

Greg Head, CEO of Greg Head Consulting, and former CMO of Infusionsoft, joins me on this episode of #Accelerate!


[:40] Greg details his software sales career since 1987, starting at Egghead. He grew two companies to over $100 million, and then founded Greg Head Consulting in 2016. He likes helping grow companies that look crazy, before they look obvious.

[5:15] Helping companies grow is not easy, and there are treacherous obstacles. Greg discusses signs that show your growth strategy needs updating.

[7:13] The recipe for growth changes as a company grows. Rather than charting a smooth curve, it grows by steps, and each step is different.

[9:33] Greg explains the inflection points of growth from a sole proprietorship to a large company. He compares it to transitioning from ADD to OCD.

[12:04] When Greg was at Infusionsoft, they decided to stop being all things to all customers. When they focused on a particular customer need, and narrowed the product, they went from no growth to 50% growth in six years.

[15:01] To maintain growth in a high-growth company, you must reset the process about every 18 months. The first rule of the game is to know what game you’re playing, and the game is always changing.

[17:12] The sport of growth is like playing in the Pros. You will not play the same role in the same game for many years.

[19:14] A small company that starts off by “making stuff up” as they go, soon has to transition to a business plan. Things change in the maturing process. Amazon started by just selling books, and gradually shifted to a variety of merchandise.

[23:44] Greg talks about assessing past, present, and plans for the future, and suggests pulling your mind like taffy. Block the possibility of failure. Greg discusses a real estate growth firm.

[27:10] The big challenges still need addressing, and we need more entrepreneurs, companies, and people to aim high and go after them, like they cannot fail.


April 21, 2017

Keep Your Sales as Simple as Possible. With Bridget Gleason. #438

Bridget Gleason is VP of Sales for and my regular guest on Front Line Fridays.


[:53] Wake up each day telling yourself it’s a fantastic day! Start your day with a smile.

[2:27] Do you prefer treadmills or running outdoors? Does the weather make the choice for you?

[3:58] The topic is whether we are over complicating sales. The human connection is the key in any methodology. As in soccer, the fundamentals win the game, or the deal.

[6:03] Process may obscure the buying journey. When Andy reads a sales book, as he does for every author guest he interviews, the “gold” he finds is in the small stuff, not in big concepts. It’s all about human interactions.

[8:30] Bridget may not find a new concept in a book, but often finds timely reminders that relate to her current situations.

[9:20] The sales process is necessary, like “table stakes.” The differentiators are more nuanced, and are personal to the sales professional. They are independent from the process. [10:43] Many guests on Accelerate market the importance of the process. To compare sales to golf, you can learn all you want about the swing; the action takes place where the clubface squarely meets the ball. That will not change.

[12:06] Lessons in the fundamentals are more relevant than tools and trends. «Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.» (The more things change, the more they stay the same.) Humans are fundamentally unchanged since sales began.

[15:02] In episode #432 the topic was relationships. It goes back to that. People buy from people. Bridget is in the majority of buyers, in optimizing buying around trust.

[16:27] There is no sale without a connection. Andy created a mnemonic acronym for the fundamentals: BALD — Be present, Ask great questions, Listen without judgment, and Deliver value.

[19:00] Being present means not being distracted. Listening without judgment means letting the buyer disclose who they are. Don’t categorize them without knowing them. Don’t allow your confirmation bias to fool you. People are unique.

April 20, 2017

#437. Use Small Data to Compress Sales Cycles and Increase Conversions. With Mark Ripley.

Mark Ripley, VP of Sales for Insightly, a CRM and project management system, joins me on this episode of #Accelerate!


[:41] Mark sold retail car stereos in college, and fell in love with sales. He got an early start in technology in San Diego. He is now at Insightly, where the goal is to bring CRM to medium and small businesses around the world.

[2:06] In three years, CRMs have grown from 60 to 250, today. Insightly captures market share with its ease of use and simplicity. Insightly is the number one CRM globally for G Suite users, with almost half the market.

[4:40] The CRM market is not saturated. There are many large and small companies not using CRM. What is the big fear many companies have about CRM?

[6:23] Some of Insightly’s best features are the UI, and its integration into other extremely common tools, such as Gmail. Many Insightly activities are accessible through Gmail and Office 365. Ease of use makes adoption simple.

[8:15] Mark notes three values for SMB pain points: sales productivity; organizing all activities for a world-class red carpet customer experience; and data visibility for managing larger sales teams.

[10:33] Insightly CRM can help sales reps get a larger Return on Time (ROT). Automation manages drip campaigns and email logs. They are launching a call transcription feature this year.

[14:15] Performance and productivity vary per market and industry. Activity and skills drive productivity. If you keep effectiveness the same, increasing activity increases productivity, in theory.

[21:30] Mark sees through a customer lens and a salesperson lens. A good CRM provides pre-sale and post-sale service to grow the customer relationship through personal attention.

[25:30] Mark uses the term small data. The smart use of data should yield tangible, digestible, and actionable results in a time-compressed fashion.

[28:44] Accurate forecasting through the CRM is the next ambitious step for Insightly. CRMs will get better at putting more accurate forecasting at the fingertips of managers.

[30:50] Present forecasting methods are tied to the stage of the client along the funnel, which ignores competitors. “You can’t measure probability with a yardstick.” Mark looks at history to predict outcomes.

[33:28] Mark questions the wisdom in incenting forecasting. What problem does Mark see? It’s a very common thing to assume everyone on the team is forecasting the same way, but it is not necessarily so.