Accelerate Podcast with Andy Paul
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.

January 26, 2017

How to Shorten Time to Revenue with Account-Based Everything. With Jon Miller. #365

Joining me on this episode of Accelerate! is my guest Jon Miller, Founder and CEO of Engagio. Among the many topics that John and I discuss, are how Account-Based Everything (ABE) is not marketing automation but human engagement, methodically orchestrated, assisted by data; how ABE breaks down silos and aligns marketing and sales; and, how ABE shortens the time to revenue for the large, complex sale.  

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[:46] Jon’s BS is in physics, studying fusion. He was accepted by MIT into a Ph.D. program, but, instead, followed his friends into management. Engagio is Jon’s second startup. He cofounded Marketo — recently bought by Visa Equity.

[3:28] With Marketo, Jon fished with a net for whatever they picked up. They tried reaching out to spear big fish with outbound marketing tactics, but Marketo was not a fit for that. Engagio was built as a platform for account based marketing.

[5:48] Until recently, marketing has been a lead-centric business, not an account-centric platform, as sales has been. When marketing and sales work together on the same accounts, they are more relevant, focused, and personalized.

[8:56] TOPO says marketing alone will only get about 15% penetration into the target accounts. What does penetrate better is the account based sales development function.

[10:16] Account based sales development, working independently from account based marketing, builds silos. Engagio works to build all functions together under the same tent: Account Based Everything, a phrase borrowed from TOPO.

[11:06] ABE is a strategy for aligning and orchestrating marketing, sales, sales development, and customer success, into personalized interactions across the account — both for new business and existing customers.

[13:03] How does the ABE approach gives a shorter time to revenue than marketing alone?

[15:34] Account based outbound lets you target big fish, reaching high into those accounts, using the challenger model to create the opportunity, which puts you in a strategic place.

[16:24] The traditional sales model for large account has many hand-offs. The ABE model involves everybody in an orchestrated process. There are no marketing deals or sales deals, but team deals.

[20:36] Jon uses two analogies for Engagio: the orchestra conductor, making sure the right people come in and out at the right time; and the football play mapped out in a diagram, emphasising the elements of the team.

[23:16] This is not marketing automation, but human engagement, methodically orchestrated, assisted by data. Jon explains how it is the opposite of sales spam.

 

December 6, 2016

How to Use Deal Reviews to Close More Orders. With Cian McLoughlin. #323

Joining me on this episode of Accelerate! is Cian McLoughlin. Cian is Founder and CEO of Trinity Perspectives, a sales consultancy based in Sydney, Australia, and author of the new bestselling book, The Rebirth of the Salesman. Among the many topics that Cian and I discuss are the value of detailed Win/Loss Reviews, the surprising things that influence customers in their decisions to buy or not, and why ‘tier two’ salespeople are not your best choice for account management and customer success roles.

October 25, 2016

How to Accelerate the Growth of your SaaS Company. With Nic Poulos. #288

Joining me on this episode of Accelerate! is Nic Poulos, Founder of Bowery Capital, a thesis-driven early-stage investor backing exceptional founders. Among the topics Nic and I discuss in this episode are: why enterprise customers are becoming more willing to buy mission critical systems from start-ups, what strategies help a start-up to get through the growth stage, and how to structure an effective proof-of-concept trial that works for your buyer and you.

September 30, 2016

Is the B2B Salesperson An Endangered Species? With Bridget Gleason. #267

Welcome to another edition of Front Line Friday with my regular special guest, Bridget Gleason. On this episode, we focus our conversation on the changing role of the B2B salesperson in the face of rapidly evolving sales tools, automation, and systems. We talk about the sales behaviors and skills in the sales cycle that are “uniquely human”, and nearly impossible to replace with technology. Listen in as Bridget and I discuss how salespeople can develop the habits and behaviors that not only improve their current performance, but also secure their role in future.