Accelerate Podcast with Andy Paul
September 15, 2017

#567. Overcoming Resistance to Being Coached. With Bridget Gleason.

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

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[2:54] This is episode 97 of Front Line Fridays. Watch for Episode 100! The topic of this episode is coaching and helping people who have been promoted.

[3:40] Bridget asks about coaching reps who are resistant to coaching. One rep is aware of his distaste for it and admits it, which actually makes him quite coachable. Others resist it altogether. The feedback from your manager is important.

[5:32] Coaching is meant to be collaborative, not directive. It is encouraging. Ask questions, so people see for themselves what the problem is and have a framework to let them develop a solution for it, without feeling defensive.

[8:47] You cannot force someone to be coached. It is a joint activity. Wait until they are in a teachable condition. Let them stumble, and ask for help. If they don’t learn and don’t ask, they should be managed to another career. Don’t do their job.

[11:27] Another approach is to learn more about the account that the rep knows, and discuss the account with the rep. This was used on Andy in such a way that he knew he had some more work to do on that account.

[13:37] Andy comes up with another avenue: Find one thing on which to coach someone. Keep it small. If there is still resistance, that leads to a question: Is this rep in the right job? Bridget suggests hiring for coachability.

[15:54] Mark Roberge of Hubspot would have a candidate give a presentation, provide the candidate with feedback, ask them to leave the room, and then have them come back and repeat the presentation. Mark watched if they used the feedback.

[17:51] A person who doesn’t use the feedback is not aware of their situation. Observation and awareness is a very important aspect of sales. Listen intently and integrate what you observe.

[20:49] A person who visualizes the outcome of the coaching they receive, and then desires to go try it, is most coachable. They are curious. A person with poor performance is fearful to move out of their comfort zone, even to improve themselves.

[24:11] The lesser performers are those who complain about management and make excuses. The higher performers are always seeking new insight to improve themselves. You can only coach people who want to be coached.

[25:52] Where do you go for training at a company that has no experience in the job you’ve just gotten? Take a class, find a mentor that can teach you. Go and visit customers. Talk to product end users. Immerse yourself with customers.

[29:40] Being promoted from an SMB rep to an enterprise rep is opening many layers of complexity in one motion. You want a lot of support to complete the transition easily. Andy talks about doing it with no support. Build client trust. Be a pioneer.

August 9, 2017

#535. Why Best Practices are Stupid. With Stephen Shapiro.

Stephen Shapiro, Hall of Fame speaker, and author of a few books, including Best Practices are Stupid: 40 Ways to Out-Innovate the Competition, joins me on this episode of #Accelerate! 

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[2:23] Stephen says the single biggest challenge facing sales reps is the same challenge facing companies: differentiation. What do you do to help yourself to stand out? Stephen suggests recognizing what makes you special?

[6:21] Why best practices are stupid: replication is not innovation; what works for one, may not work for another; and best practices undersample failure. You hear about the successes, but not the failures from the exact same process.

[8:14] Stephen teaches best practices, with skepticism. Use the lens of, does this really make sense for me? Do I really believe this was what caused them to be successful? If you are going to be unique, why would you copy?

[11:53] Stephen labels best practices as business plagiarism. Don’t copy what everyone else is doing. Differentiate yourself. Fit practices to yourself, not yourself to practices.

[12:51] Asking for ideas is a bad idea. Everyone has ideas, and most of them stink. Stephen suggests shifting to an innovation program that is challenge-centric. Identify a well-framed challenge. Quantify evaluation criteria. Ask specific questions.

[15:52] Don’t think outside the box. Find a better box. Don’t think in abstracts. Focus on the right place to look for solutions. Stephen tells about getting baggage and passengers to arrive at the baggage carrousel at the same time.

[18:24] Goldilocks and the three questions: Some questions are too soft, or abstract. Some questions are too hard, or specific. Some are just right, and invite creative thinking.

[20:50] Become masterful at asking better questions, from a place of understanding where someone is, they will come to the conclusion themselves. They will have ownership, and you will have a solution tailored to their needs.

[22:03] Lesson from Indiana Jones: Don’t just survey your customers. Observe them in action. There is no substitute for seeing your customer. Stephen reveals a problem with big data, and a bigger problem with surveys.

[27:08] Confirmation bias is less taxing on the brain. Fight it consciously. Political divisiveness is a result of confirmation bias. Data-driven reporting can reinforce confirmation bias.

[29:23] Simplification is the best innovation. More features and functions confuse the buyer. In order to buy, a buyer needs to: be dissatisfied with the status quo, envision a better future, and believe the effort is worth it. Simplify the implementation.

[32:02] If your selling evinces core principles then you are making things simple for the buyer. Stephen contrasts jazz jamming with a symphony. Jazz is simplicity. When you have principles instead of procedures, you have adaptability.

July 12, 2017

#507. How to Identify Product Qualified Leads. With Mitch Morando.

Mitch Morando, Founder and CEO of Whalr, helping sales teams identify product qualified leads, joins me on this episode of #Accelerate!

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[:43] Mitch tells how a taxi driver used the challenger sale on him. He ended up giving the driver a big tip.

[4:07] Mitch says the biggest single challenge facing sales reps is training. He often meets reps who haven’t been taught the fundamentals of technique and the professionalism of sales.

[4:56] One alarming trend is the emphasis on the SDR or BDR function as a career. Prospecting is taught, but no closing. Promoting an SDR to an SDR manager removes them one step further from closing. Mitch offers advice to SDRs.

[8:36] SDRs should move out of that role within six months to a year, to coach other SDRs, or move into the role of an AE or a sales professional.

[12:32] The more tightly a role is defined, the less power the individual has to do things their way. Mitch and Andy would rather hire the ‘misfits’; misfits are coachable.

[14:05] Reps should have opportunities to develop their style, and to experiment. Mitch suggests identifying talents, and coaching to them, ‘C’ players can be coached into ‘B’ players. They need to be developed into the ‘A’ players, for growth.

[18:20] Mitch talks about starting Whalr. His background is in code. He sold to game developers, and he learned from their activities. He set out to apply player usage telemetry into the SaaS user experience, to inform his sales efforts.

[22:07] The Whalr platform converts data into identity intelligence. It starts with the user signing into the freemium model. What do they do within the product? This indicates the optimal time and way to reach out to them.

[23:54] Whalr monitors product use, and when it sees something ‘interesting,’ it pushes intel to Salesforce. The goal is to get it in front of the rep, with context, so the rep knows how to reach out and interact.

[25:17] Mitch explains the different types of intel and the context they provide. One example is a high number of users, in a short window of time. After highlighting interesting behavior, Whalr will filter for ‘firmographic’ information.

[28:15] Companies increasingly are directing contacts to sales before trying the freemium. Mitch blames this on new sales leaders. Whalr offers them user visibility. Freemium and credit card use is lead gen. Education of sales leaders is the key.

[30:49] The Whalr ICP is Bay Area (local), developer-focused, with open-sourced models, freemium models, or engineering development platforms. Whalr watches for resurfacing leads (used as a student, now using as an employee).

 

July 6, 2017

#501. The Value of Software Review Sites. With Bertrand Hazard.

Bertrand Hazard, VP of Marketing at TrustRadius, joins me on this episode of #Accelerate!

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[2:18] Bertrand says the single biggest challenge facing sales reps today is to personalize every single conversation they are having with their prospect.

[2:54] Buyers want to hear that the solution fits their specific use case, especially in complex SaaS products. They also want to know that the company behind the technology will support them. Sales and Marketing need to build trusted relationships.

[5:16] Bertrand believes the number one required skill is asking the right questions and listening to understand. Bertrand enlists existing and prospective customers to talk with his sales and marketing teams during training.

[7:16] Andy suggests listening must be without bias or judgment. Bertrand agrees that listening is not easy. It must be objective. Use a consultant for a win/loss analysis. Reps need to probe deeper with their questions, to get to truth.

[10:17] Bertrand tells young reps that marriage teaches listening, and fast understanding of meaning, even when all the words are not used. What you hear spoken is not necessarily the meaning. Companies should teach listening.

[10:58] After a response, ask questions that clarify meaning. Ask multiple questions to get to the core ‘why.’ Bertrand says all areas of a company need to listen, which will eventually help sales. Also, replay what was said. It shows actual interest.

[15:13] TrustRadius is known as a review platform for technology products, offering authentic, in-depth, peer user insight. For tech vendors, it provides them customers on the record, so they can use that content to engage with buyers.

[18:31] Any vendor can come to TrustRadius, have their product listed, and ask their customers to write reviews on TrustRadius in a standard template. This is completely free. There are also additional paid vendor services.

[20:09] The TrustRadius paid service is to run programs on the vendors’ behalf to get many more of their customers on the record. Once content is on the site, vendors can use it in promotions. TrustRadius can push reviews to the vendor site.

[21:08] Bertrand gives examples of large and small organizations that use TrustRadius. The ICP is a company who wants to use customers as their voice. The personas are the CMO and VP of Marketing, and sometimes, the VP of Sales.

[22:21] Customers more than ever have the ability to know beforehand what the derived value of a product is going to be. Bertrand says it’s scary to vendors not to be in control of product messaging. Bertrand discusses trust and reviews.

[28:06] Social trust is eroding. Bertrand says to review on TrustRadius you need a LinkedIn profile. A human will check if you worked for a competitor to the reviewed vendor. TrustRadius does not convert visitors into leads.

May 19, 2017

#462 How to Get the Most From a Sales Book. With Bridget Gleason.

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

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[3:28] The topic is books! Andy starts with The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness, by Lolly Daskal. The book helps you identify your type of leadership, what your challenges and strengths are, and how to stay out of the gaps.

[6:16] Andy recalls from the book, “We must let go of the life we planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us.” — Joseph Campbell, as quoted by Lolly Daskal.

[7:15] Bridget comments on the need for varying personalities and views on executive teams, to expose blind spots.

[8:34] Andy cites The Challenger Sale. Bridget’s first book is The Sandler Rules for Sales Leaders, by David Mattson, for a refresher on the pain funnel, discovery, exploring problems, and having standard rules for meetings.

[12:46] Andy’s second book is Zero Resistance, by Harry Mills. The premise is buyer self-persuasion overcoming buyer mistrust, through the seller’s helping the buyer find their own insights on what they want to achieve.

[16:04] Bridget wonders how much individuals deliberately integrate and actualize from what they read in a book. Andy keeps and integrates the one or two things that ‘jump out and grab him by the throat.’

[18:26] Just reading a book will not make you better at sales. If something jumps out at you, you have to jump back, and go practice it, if it is actionable, so it becomes a habit. Andy highlights interesting points and copies them into an Evernote.

[20:33] Bridget’s second book is Getting More: How You Can Negotiate to Succeed in Work & Life, by Stuart Diamond. It’s more about the emotional and interpersonal factors than the tactical and strategic. When you get emotional you lose power.

[22:06] The discussion moves to the interplay and dance between selling and negotiation. They both involve discovery and persuasion. They are all about problem solving.

[24:43] The discussion concludes with thoughts on the great aspects of the sales profession, and the career opportunities and challenges involved. Very few jobs exercise these facets of the creative mind and skillset.

May 2, 2017

#447. Winning with the Science of Selling. With David Hoffeld.

David Hoffeld, sales trainer, Founder of Hoffeld Group.com, and author of the new bestselling book, The Science of Selling, joins me on this episode of #Accelerate!

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[1:34] David started in sales by answering a newspaper ad, “No experience necessary. Make $100K your first year!” That sounded perfect! After two months, he saw nobody there was making $100K, but he went to a different company, and did it!

[4:10] David’s book is based on over 1,000 studies that reveal how our brains make choices. David had researched this for 10 years, after reading in a social psychology academic journal  an article that inspired some effective sales behaviors.

[5:41] The Science of Selling is about how the human brain processes information to make decisions. Science shows how brains perceive, so we can align sales with buying decisions.

[8:28] Science discloses reality. If you don’t know the principles of the science of decision making, you can unknowingly work against the sale. Everyone can get better results through understanding the principles.

[13:19] Perceptions are sticky, and lead to confirmation bias. Know how perceptions are formed, and get on the prospect’s good side. Little things can make a profound impact. Smile. It makes you seem more competent, and you also feel good.

[16:00] The science shows that having a few minutes of small talk before a sales call or a negotiation significantly increases the likelihood of a positive outcome. David changed his approach once he learned this, and he improved his results.

[17:38] Besides buying from people they know, like, and trust, people like to buy from people that like them. One of the top ways to build rapport is to show other people you like them.

[19:04] A positive emotional state influences perception. Talk about topics that are packed with positive emotions. Look at the prospect’s Facebook or LinkedIn profile to see positive current events in their lives.

[20:41] Ask people how they are feeling, and listen. They will usually say, fine or good, and they will see you as a friend.

[24:58] Even on the phone, be very mindful of where you look. What you see directs what you think. The prospect on the line can tell when your attention lapses.

[26:50] Balance your extraversion and introversion. Ambiverts combine the best qualities of both to outperform extroverts by a factor of 2:1. Don’t look for extroverts when hiring for sales.

[30:19] What about manipulation? David explains. Influence is leadership. Maintain an intention of service and your integrity. Sell people honestly what they value and need.

April 7, 2017

#426. How to Use High-Quality Content To Fill Your Funnel. With Eric Siu.

Eric Siu, CEO of Single Grain, and host of Growth Everywhere, joins me on this episode of #Accelerate!

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[:38] Eric has a marketing agency, Single Grain, and two podcasts: Marketing School, and Growth Everywhere. Eric’s mission is to build great online businesses with a foundation of education first. Eric explains the name, Single Grain.

[1:42] Single Grain works with technology and education companies to help them with advertising and SEO. They also implement their own strategies to grow their business.

[2:29] Eric sees conversion from one stage of the buying process to the next as the biggest challenge facing B2B clients. The process is a sales funnel with a logical sequence of steps.

[3:33] Eric recommends a mix of inbound, outbound, SEO and paid advertising. Eric explains his company’s inbound and outbound activities.

[6:15] Eric suggests looking at Buzz Sumo to find relevant topics for content marketing. Evaluate content for value and depth, and differentiate yourself by putting a unique spin on it. Be patient. Eric tells how his podcast downloads have grown.

[8:44] Eric explains Brian Dean’s skyscraper technique to get higher SEO results by getting more links.

[10:15] Link building is an important element of SEO, and will likely continue to be, for the next five years.

[11:06] Eric tells why content still works to push through the buying decision. Start building your brand, including content. It takes years to establish. People don’t make a final decision before talking to, or connecting with the seller; content counts.

[16:17] Eric covers stages of the funnel — top, middle, bottom, and purchase. Contacts at the top are invited to read a blog post. Contacts that have already engaged with your brand are at the middle of the funnel.

[17:28] Eric explains retargeting people who have visited your site, with ads on Google and Facebook. After retargeting, people move to the bottom of the funnel. Content for each level of the funnel should meet the needs at that level.

[20:10] It is important to be able to target people with content based on their behaviors on your site. It will increase your conversion rate.

[21:04] Eric talks about sales pages. They work. If you’re at the bottom of the funnel, it’s time to make a decision.

March 30, 2017

#419. How (and why) to Send a Cup of Coffee to a Buyer. With Braydan Young.

Braydan Young, CEO and Co-Founder of Sendoso, joins me on this episode of Accelerate!.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[3:43] Braydan and his coworker developed a concept to help reps effectively set up more meetings.

[5:49] Braydan explains how to send a cup of coffee to a prospect.

[6:11] Offering a cup of coffee is a human gesture, not a sales pitch. What difference does it make to the conversation?

[6:52] The operation is simple; a click triggers it in Salesforce, LinkedIn, or Gmail. Email opening is tracked.

[7:32] What’s coming in Version 2? Get ready for Account Based Gifting!

[9:55] Braydan talks money. Who pays for what?

[12:01] Braydan talks about Salesforce integration, and how activity is managed. Sendoso also works in Marketo, HubSpot, Microsoft Dynamics, Slack, Eloqua, and Zendesk.

[16:11] Braydan tells of a 75% open rate when users send an email through Sendoso’s platform. Be sure there is good content, beyond a coffee, to engage the reader.

[18:43] Sendoso works with SurveyMonkey to reward for taking a survey; Salesforce rewards registering for a webinar.

[22:24] Braydan names some great use cases. Anywhere on the client-facing side has a case for gifting.

[25:55] One company using Sendoso went from five to 10 demos a week. It also doubled response rate.

[27:42] Braydan describes additional success stories.

March 28, 2017

How to Achieve Your Goals with Passion, a Plan and a Purpose. With Jon Ferrara. #417

Joining me once again on this episode of Accelerate! is my guest Jon Ferrara, Founder and CEO of Nimble.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[1:49] Jon describes a pathway to achieve your passion, plan, and purpose in life — ideally by serving others.

[4:09] What is Dunbar’s limit of the relationships humans can maintain? What relationship stage takes the most effort?

[6:20] Jon discusses CRM, or, as he calls it, ‘Customer Reporting Management.’ What percentage of businesses use CRM?

[7:43] Jon describes how CRMs operate, and why he created GoldMine 30 years ago.

[10:57] Nimble unifies Office 365 or Google contacts, email, and calendar, and integrates them with your CRM.

[13:11] Nimble is a Microsoft launch partner for a Dynamics app exchange. Nimble can operate as a system on its own, or within whatever social sales and marketing system you use.

[16:53] Names put into Nimble are enriched with data, and a history of email, calendar, and social actions. You can build a manual cadence. A package for Q1 ‘17 automates cadences.

[19:08] Jon suggests how CRM will evolve. Salespeople want to manage relationships, not tools. Nimble’s CRM idea is to make the rep most effective as they engage with the customer.

[21:39] Simpler, smarter unifications of social, mobile, and big data will become the next generation of tools to help you achieve your passion, plan, and purpose.

[25:01] When the tools start to work for reps, in email, social, and mobile, then reps will use them to engage their contacts.

[26:38] Jon tells of his own experience preparing for a Microsoft 2015 conference using Nimble, and how it helped him win two bundling deals with Microsoft.

[30:55] Having automation doesn’t mean you should start spraying emails. Make the content count with added value, relevant to the prospects, even at scale.

 

March 20, 2017

Put the Customer First to Close More Sales Faster. With Jeff Shore. #410

Joining me once again on this episode of Accelerate! is my guest Jeff Shore, President and CEO of Shore Consulting, and author of multiple books, including Closing 2.0: How to Close More Sales Faster by Putting the Customer First.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[:54] Shore Consulting works with companies in the B2C space. They started in real estate, and have branched into other consumer areas, always focusing on the emotion-based sale.

[4:14] Jeff explains how his new book, Closing 2.0, answers current questions on serving the customer’s buying journey.

[7:38] What are two filters a salesperson applies when reading a sales technique book?

[8:46] Jeff explores the meaning of ‘closing.’ What word would he have chosen instead of ‘closing’? What is the buyer’s ‘decision-making rhythm’?

[10:30] Jeff discusses aspects of service and respect in the seller-customer relationship.

[12:34] On Jeff’s book tour, when he asked audiences to describe ‘a salesperson,’ how did they respond? How did they then describe people they know personally, who sell?

[14:12] Can a salesperson apply skills that are contrary to their authentic personality? How does a salesperson align behaviors and skills to core values?

[15:58] What does Jeff mean by ‘agreement’? Who makes agreements, and what do the agreements accomplish?

[19:24] How would you reverse-engineer your sales process to align with the buyer’s preferences? Jeff makes a suggestion.

[21:34] What is the highest predictor of urgency in a buying decision? What is the role of future promise?

[27:29] What factors should be evaluated and incorporated into the closing process?

[28:51] Should your closing question be well-crafted?