Accelerate Podcast with Andy Paul
October 18, 2017

#585 Be Obsessed With Serving and Learning. With Grant Cardone.

Grant Cardone, speaker, CEO of Cardone Enterprises, and bestselling author of several books, including, Be Obsessed Or Be Average, joins me on this episode of #Accelerate!

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[3:48] Grant says the single biggest challenge facing sales reps today is that they don’t think big enough. Don’t think about a quota, think about making some money that does more than paying your bills. Grant calls $400K warmup money. Think big!

[5:28] Grant compares a low financial goal to being in prison. He talks about a sales rep working for Cardone Enterprises who will make seven figures. Grant wants sales professionals to think how much money it takes to have freedom.

[8:29] Grant asserts that you need to get to $400-$500K a year to have financial freedom. Figure out how to do it where you are or go someplace else. The average real estate person can’t buy the house they’re showing.

[9:41] Andy sees passivity in sales, where salespeople are not committed to doing more, or being obsessed about earning a certain level of money. Grant says before teaching people how to sell, teach them how much money they’ll need to have.

[12:38] 75% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck. We should feel like we are living under threat in that circumstance. People say they’re in good shape until there is a crisis.

[13:42] Obsession is a scary concept because it implies doing more, and of life being out of balance. For Grant, Obsession is a means to achieve balance. Children think big, and Grant wants adults to do it, too. All great people are obsessed.

[15:30] People have become spectators rather than players. Be on the field. The game is played on the field. Grant is obsessed with serving others. Addictions are misguided obsessions.

[17:43] Andy recommends changing the education about money. Grant says a 15-year-old who knows how to make money, and much money they need to earn will figure out that to make that much money they will need to be in sales.

[19:46] Grant recently talked with rapper DJ Carnage. They talked about making money, keeping it, and multiplying it. Grant suggests after taxes and expenses you should have 40% left to multiply. Don’t have someone else control it for you.

[23:00] Managers are obsessed with KPIs because they’re not in control. People are on defense when they’re not on offense. The salespeople should be making more than managers.

[25:00] Grant gives his theories on the future of B2B sales. If you’re average, you should be feeling like T-Rex. You had better become great. Focus on kicking up your activity by 10X. Then get away from everyone that contradicts that message.

[26:42] Grant teaches a much tighter sales process. Don’t spend more time with the customer, but use a transparent, short sales process. Grant explains the sales model he uses.

 

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT

For Vice Presidents of Sales of high-growth SaaS companies and software service companies — Andy is teaming up with his friend Jacco van der Kooij, founder of Winning by Design and author of Blueprints of a SaaS Sales Organization, to launch the Sales Leadership Accelerator Mastermind, an intensive 12-month learning, coaching, and mastermind program for the Vice Presidents of Sales of high-growth SaaS companies. If the responsibility sits on your shoulders to scale your revenue team, to hit the $100 million mark and beyond, then the Sales Leadership Accelerator Mastermind will help you transform how you sell, scale, and develop the capability of your team to crash their goals. Enrollment is limited to a very small group, so, first come first served. Go to SaaSSLAM.com now, to learn more and enroll today.

 

October 13, 2017

#583. Should You Be Certified to Sell B2B? With Bridget Gleason.

Bridget Gleason is VP of Sales for Logz.io and my regular partner on Front Line Fridays.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[4:01] Andy starts the 101st episode of Front Line Fridays with the topic of professional certification for salespeople and sales managers. It’s time to embrace it as an industry.

[4:47] It can help in hiring and has value to buyers looking for knowledgeable reps as trusted advisors. Bridget has started a certification program at Logz.io. SMEI has been offering sales and marketing executive certifications for 80 years.

[6:39] Will employers start to ask for certifications as a prerequisite for employment? Bridget always looks for people who have had professional sales training.

[8:53] SMEI is starting to work with universities to certify coursework they are starting to offer for sales, to start graduates toward their own certification. Would one certification cover all current methodologies?

[10:01] SMEI focuses on certifying people on the fundamental enduring principles of sales, rather than certifying on the methodologies. There is an on-the-job experience component required, as well.

[10:53] Bridget agrees such certifications would be useful. Andy would like to see a standardized certification,  that employers could specify in their job postings, rather than seeing individual companies create their own certificates.

[14:07] Bridget says yes. Now, who will do it? Is there a movement? Andy hears more talk about it, including colleges starting to offer degrees in sales. Bridget used to hire interns from a college in Ohio for BDRs to work for SumoLogic.

[17:23] The issue in sales today is that it is very risky to hire new people. Anything that can reduce the risk is a welcome step towards the ultimate answer. An MBA does not qualify a salesperson to sell.

[19:50] Andy has talked to the CEO of SMEI, who told him sales managers are hesitant to approach their CEOs to take a certification course. They are unwilling to bring up what might be considered their lack of qualification or their need of help.

September 26, 2017

#574 How Superconsumers Drive Your B2B Sales Growth. With Eddie Yoon.

Eddie Yoon, Founder of EddieWouldGrow, and author of Superconsumers: A Simple, Speedy, and Sustainable Path to Superior Growth, joins me on this episode of #Accelerate!

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[5:34] Eddie says the single biggest challenge facing sales reps today is managing their emotions. They don’t deserve all the credit when things go well, or all the blame when things go poorly. They must elevate a client’s interests above their own.

[7:45] If you want something too much, you are less likely to get it. You control your inputs, not the outputs. Eddie suggests reps should ask clients to make decisions mindful not only of the performance of the business, but also of its health.

[10:08] Eddie’s book is geared for B2C. Eddie notes the difference between heavy users and superconsumers. A superconsumer spends a lot and cares a lot about the category and the brand. A heavy buyer just spends a lot.

[13:08] Eddie talks about a brand example: Gatorade. Eddie explains who the Gatorade superconcumers are, and their behaviors around sports drinks.

[16:05] Superconsumers tap into aspirations. Typical consumers buy at the rational level, on need and price. Superconsumers are motivated by image and hope.

[18:31] Superconsumers account for a large percentage of sales, and is not price-sensitive. Superconsumers are made, not born. They learn life hacks, and others can learn the same hacks. Normal and heavy consumers can develop passion.

[21:34] Superconsumers are brand-conscious. They spend their time posting about the category and brand, just as they spend their money buying it.

[23:38] In general, people do not know how to read big data. Spikes in the data are where the “good stuff” is found. Spikes are usually the work of superconsumers. Superconsumers in one category may be superconsumers in nine others.

[28:10] Eddie discusses how superconsumers affect B2B SaaS sales. Look for the superconsumers of time using the product. Know your stakeholders. Word of mouth in B2B is as important as in B2C. Meet the needs of the superconsumers.

[31:40] In B2B, you are not just looking for the heavy users, but for users who are very engaged in unique and alternative use cases. Eddie shares anecdotes of his experience.

[26:54] Superconsumers want premium experiences. Apple has the highest sales per square foot for retail stores. Superconsumers show you new use cases, revealing new lines of customers you never knew you had.

ANNOUNCEMENT

The new Accelerate! schedule starts on Monday, October 2, with episodes released on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

August 24, 2017

#550. Account-based Orchestration for B2B Sales. With Srihari Kumar.

Srihari Kumar, CEO of ZenIQ, and AI-driven account-based orchestration system, joins me on this episode of #Accelerate!

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[2:37] Srihari says the single biggest challenge facing sales reps in B2B today is that data is being collected, but not organized, and at the fingertips of the reps. He called Salesforce a logpile, full of data that’s not being examined.

[4:18] Data often feeds our confirmation bias. The underlying assumptions need to be understood. We need the correct tools. Srihari discusses AI that finds the next best account action to take. Salesforce Einstein is headed in that direction.

[6:09] There are two plans for AI in sales: do repetitive tasks and free up reps, or provide signals for reps to follow. Srihari talks of the Gartner Hype Cycle: peak of inflated expectations, trough of disillusionment, and the plateau of productivity.

[8:07] AI will not do the selling. Reps need to learn how to sell. There is a balance between massive data processing and sales informed by data. Srihari gives a concrete use case for AI data processing.

[10:41] Practical uses for AI do not involve inserting it between the rep and the customer. Srihari is still skeptical of automated email, but has seen convincing demos.

[12:48] Srihari founded a marketing automation company and sold it to CallidusCloud. He led the marketing division. It was marketing in a silo by automating leads. Next, came Marketing and Sales orchestration to buying centers, with multiple tools.

[15:22] ZenIQ is the result of building, from the ground up, an account hub and a people hub; one system of truth about all account data and external data, about people, companies, and activities. On top is the AI Next Best Account Action layer.

[16:50] Marketing and Sales Orchestration includes individual execution systems, such as ads, Marketing, and SDR emails, calling, and so on, all tied into one orchestration layer using a unified account view across the systems. Srihari explains it.

[19:18] Srihari, talks about software finding the right match for the person you want to contact, below the CXO.

[22:44] Marketing Automation is not moving the needle on B2B and SaaS sales. Srihari discusses ABM as it has changed since before automation. Srihari says orchestration is the missing piece.

[26:53] Sales technologies ought to be able to take a company to the next step. The tools need to be used to their best effect. The top companies have the right tools, but the smaller companies cannot afford all the pieces of the stack.

[29:30] Tools should help the buyer to make a better decision. All the emphasis is on how the tools help the seller. Srihari suggests there are tools for buying centers to access better data for their research. AI gets you to the buying center.

July 25, 2017

#520. The Key Traits of High-Performing B2B Marketing Teams. With Mathew Sweezey.

Mathew Sweezey, an author, keynote speaker, and Principal of Marketing Insights at Salesforce.com, joins me on this episode of #Accelerate!

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[2:53] Mathew says the biggest challenge facing sales professionals is understanding how people relate, how they want to be sold, and what they’re actually buying. A-type personalities do not often make the best sales professionals.

[4:17] Many sales postings ask for extroverts. These companies may not be around long. One third of the Fortune 500 has been replaced in the last decade. Old ideas are past. What a company sells, and how it sells, are separate issues.

[7:52] Salesforce surveyed organizations in 2016 to determine traits of high-performance B2B marketers. They used two self-selecting questions to identify the high performers.

[9:42] The questions asked their happiness with their position in their market, and with marketing outcomes. If these were exceptional, they were doing other things exceptionally. The top factor was executive buy-in, because tools are costly.

[11:41] Executive buy-in is the top factor in any organizational change. The CEO holds the organization accountable, and provides the funds to do it.

[13:22] High-performing organizations invest more in tools. High performers use 12 tools in their stack, vs. one-to-five. There must be a base level of technology in place to know the consumer. The C-suite is continually being asked for budget.

[18:22] Mathew shares his opinion on Gartner’s prediction that 80% of the B2B sales process will be owned by Marketing by 2020. Sales still works, but buyers have a new process. It’s the experience in total that matters.

[22:10] Customers will continue to have more information before talking to the salesperson. There will still be many touchpoints. Sales roles will shift and change. There will be a new relationship-building role between Marketing and Sales.

[25:15] The new role must be focused on the relationship. SaaS close rates are poor when the relationship is neglected. Andy cites Absolute Value. Matthew cites The Experience Economy, which places experience over product.

[28:07] People are learning. Skillsets, behaviors, and habits are going to change. The future of selling is about becoming more human, not less. Technology can only help you make better decisions. Matt quotes Tim Washer about blogs.

[30:03] Jacco vanderKooij writes about the emotional phases of the buying experience. Joe Pine writes about guiding the buyer to next question they need to ask through the buying experience. It is a human process of solving problems.

[32:05] The customer experience is about achievement, not about pain points. Support the customer on the story arc where they want to be.

June 30, 2017

#498. What are your sales principles? With Bridget Gleason.

Bridget Gleason is VP of Sales for Logz.io and my regular partner on Front Line Fridays.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[1:42] This is the books episode. Bridget has been rereading the Sandler books. Bridget likes speaking the same language as the team. Everyone in Boston has been Sandler trained.

[3:19] Bridget sees Sandler as a way of thinking, talking about upfront contracts, the pain funnel, and uncovering and understanding a situation before people will make a decision.

[4:20] “As to methods there may be a million and then some, but principles are few. The man who grasps principles can successfully select his own methods. The man who tries methods, ignoring principles, is sure to have trouble.” — Harrington Emerson

[5:32] The core principle of Amazon is, you start with the customer, and work your way backward. Sandler also has a focus on the customer. Bridget suggests that all sales methodologies revolve around the customer.

[8:01] Sales automation tech must help the customer gather information to make a good decision with the least investment of time as possible, or it is a method without a principle.

[9:42] The Predictable Revenue Model is tottering. It is driven by salesperson activity, without thinking about the customer. Bridget sells by the principle of serving the customer, and her methods assist her to serve them.

[13:06] About 95% of the conversations Andy sees on one online sales community are about process and technology, not about the customer. The trend will not end in a good spot.

[14:40] We go through phases of customer centric selling. It is time for another wave. Bridget brings Jacco van der Kooij in for training, and he stresses customers and techniques. Bridget says to find the customers first, and she wants tools to do that.

[17:17] The key need is for sales automation technology that comes at sales from the perspective of the customer. Who develops that, will transform the industry. Bridget talks about finding the customer’s preferred communication channel.

[19:04] Andy read a new book by Stephen Shapiro deprecating ‘best practices.’ Innovation doesn’t come from business ‘plagiarism.’ People stop thinking. Stephen says, “Don’t think outside the box; make a better box.”

[21:42] Adopt the “Indiana Jones Principle.” Go into the field and talk to your customers. Watch them use your product. This is missing from methodologies. We are too remote. Some customers do want to be remote.

[23:44] You can sell virtually, but still see the customer, at some point. We need to spend more time, in general, with customers.

June 28, 2017

#496. You Don’t Close Buyers. They Persuade Themselves. With Harry Mills.

Harry Mills, author of a new book called Zero Resistance: The Science and Secrets of Supercharging Your Sales by Eliminating Buyer Skepticism and Mistrust, joins me on this episode of #Accelerate!

KEY TAKEAWAYS
[1:10] Harry is in Queenstown, NZ, “one of the most beautiful areas in the world.” Harry discusses the natural features, tourist activity, and wine production.
[3:44] Harry sees resistance as the single business challenge that sales professionals face. He noticed in 2010 that shoppers had gone in one year from five web searches to 10 web searches for one purchase. This gave new power to the buyer.
[6:58] Sellers in all environments are finding it much harder to get early engagement. The average B2B seller is getting in 62% or later into the buying process. Harry says direct persuasion needs to be replaced by insight-led selling.
[10:03] Exaggerations by salespeople have created skeptical buyers, resistant to direct persuasion. Direct persuasion is using your reasons to influence the buyer. Self-persuasion is helping the buyer find their own reasons to buy.
[12:33] Harry explains why self-persuasion has not been implemented in sales processes. He set out to establish a methodology with tools for building an empathy bridge, giving customers a choice. This is how he wrote Zero Resistance.
[14:34] Harry compares old ways to build rapport with his way to generate trust. The empathy bridge was inspired by Nelson Mandela. First, eliminate friction to lower resistance.
[19:56] Harry discusses applying his model to selling SaaS. Research the client to understand their deepest fears and concerns, and find deep connections and commonalities with the buyer. This leads to an empathy bridge.
[21:37] After building the empathy bridge (after research), establishing fused identity, use stories to build connections.
[23:25] The inside sales model uses one meeting to establish rapport. Consider whether the buyer sees you as a friend or a foe. Does the buyer see you have their long-term interest in mind, or your own? Do they see you can deliver?
[28:43] The customer needs to help in crafting their solution, working with the salesperson on a sketchpad or whiteboard. Explore possibilities that would help the buyer; ask them to imagine the solution that will work for their needs.
[33:15] Insight is about what the customer wants; the vision of what they want to be. Harry asks the buyer about their imagined future. He cites Steve Jobs, Andy Groves, and
Jeff Bezos on looking forward and reasoning backward.
[37:18] A complex sale involves all the solutions tied into the strategic vision. Harry uses illustrations to capture one or two key points and leaves the rest to the imagination. Know more about the customer than the customer does.

June 21, 2017

#490. The Essential Steps that Influence Your Customers’ Decision-Making. With Barry Schwartz.

Barry Schwartz, Author of multiple bestsellers, including the classic book on decision-making, The Paradox of Choice: Why Less is More, joins me on this episode of #Accelerate!

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[2:10] Barry has moved cross-country after teaching at Swarthmore for his entire professional life.

[2:44] Andy mentions he first learned of Barry through a TED Talk, and bought his book immediately. Barry cites Daniel Kahneman, and discusses utility — experienced, expected, and remembered — in relation to decisions you make.

[5:03] Kahneman wrote that an experience is remembered by the average of its peak and its end. If it ended poorly, you will not repeat it. The duration of a vacation is irrelevant. Barry says we are clueless about the influences on our decisions.

[7:33] Barry discusses decisions of the buying process, which he describes as a series of separate experiences and decisions. A good first contact increases the chances that you will get a second contact. The peak-end rule is only one factor.

[10:25] Barry says automatic, unconscious processes (Kahneman’s System One), rather than conscious, deliberative processes (System Two), first influence our decisions. We may deliberate the automated response, to revisit our decision.

[14:14] Barry gives practical advice for B2B salespeople on influencing buyers towards your product. Show your product positives, and help buyers reinterpret any negative factors. Negatives standing alone carry disproportionate impact.

[17:12] Storytelling provides vivid examples that can crowd out some negatives. Savvy buyers may be less susceptible to their automatic processes, but they are still factors.

[18:43] Andy cites Simonson and Rosen, and Barry relates an example of Staples and their printed catalog. When Staples eliminated items in the catalog to save printing, they expected to lose sales. Instead, sales increased in all reduced categories.

[23:09] B2B buyers are not necessarily savvy buyers, because they buy large systems infrequently. There is a limit to how savvy one can be in a high-stakes decision that is rarely encountered. For instance, we’re expert on buying groceries — not homes.

[24:40] Barry explains Kahneman’s Prospect Theory. We’d rather take a small certain gain than a larger uncertain gain. With gains we are risk-averse; however, with losses we are risk-seeking. The neutral point between is easily manipulated.

[28:49] Barry describes the foot-in-the-door technique. A small commitment is easy, which then enables larger commitments.

[30:23] Barry talks about maximizers and satisficers, relating to the good-enough decision. It is miserable and long to seek the perfect solution in a complicated world. Be open to raising standards, but don’t be afraid to accept good enough.

June 11, 2017

Accelerate! Expresso #10: Weekly Highlights Show for June 5-June 10

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

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

In this episode, you’ll hear excerpts from my conversations with my guests during the week of June 5 – June 10. That’s episodes 476-481.

Listen in as I was joined by the following experts: Cory Bray, Matt Bertuzzi, Jeffrey Hayzlett, Oleg Rogynskyy and Ian Moyse. As always, Bridget Gleason was my partner on Front Line Friday.

Take a quick listen now. Then go back and listen to an entire episode with your favorite guest.

May 23, 2017

#465. Top Trends in B2B Sales and Marketing. With William Wickey.

William Wickey, Senior Manager of Content and Media Strategy at LeadGenius, and one of the authors of an ebook, 2017 Trends & Tech Guide for B2B Sales & Marketing, joins me on this episode of #Accelerate!

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[2:07] LeadGenius, Ambition, and Prezi Business collaborated on the new book, 2017 Trends & Tech Guide for B2B Sales & Marketing. This is William’s second book collaboration with Ambition’s Jeremy Boudinet.

[3:36] William explains how Trends & Tech guides are usually structured, and how this one varies. The authors looked for trends in B2B sales and marketing, and then mapped them to organizational needs, matching technologies to evaluate.

[6:38] William talks about LeadGenius, and the market they serve with analytics and insights. He sees the same challenges and trends outside of tech as within the tech market.

[8:18] William comments on the SDR function rising in inside sales, with the alignment of sales and marketing efforts.

[10:15] The book is intended to reach markets that have not fully embraced tech tools for sales and marketing. William cites manufacturing and construction as examples.

[14:09] William offers suggestions for adopting tech — outbound email solutions, such as PersistIQ, Outreach.io, and Yesware; and solutions for contact data strategy to allow targeted blasts to specific types of recipients.

[18:25] Division of labor allows your reps to spend their time on the highest value activities that they can. Audit your reps’ time on various activities, and look for technologies to make those activities more effective.

[21:31] Outbound can be personalized through mail merge and through targeting. The two efforts complement each other. William suggests a couple of ideas for targeting with the right data, accessing much more than name and address.

[25:31] There is a lot of homogeneity to outbound emails. Go against the trite, expected content. Be specific to the contact. Consider video email.

[28:58] Demonstrating relevance is a big step in the right direction. William is not impressed with zombie, auto-pilot email marketing.

[30:23] Poor marketing and outreach give sales reps a poor response and a bad reputation.

[31:55] Quantity over quality is not sustainable.