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.

July 28, 2017

#523. Coping with the Ups and Downs of Sales and Life. With Bridget Gleason.

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

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[2:14] Bridget cites a book about living a good life by not stressing about the less important aspects. Pay most attention to relationships, health, family, and purpose.

[3:19] Andy refers to another book with the same lesson. It’s easy to obsess about sales performance. Andy remembers his blood pressure going through the roof at age 23 in his first management job. Do the best you can, and let go of it.

[5:45] Calmness comes with age and practice. Surveys taken in retirement say retirees’ biggest regret is having worried too much. Worry is worthless.

[7:15] Bridget’s nature would be to worry. She works against that tendency, using mindfulness and meditation deliberately to calm the mind. She aspires to not go up and down with the sales number.

[8:43] Andy spent about a month doing little because of sickness. When he started to worry, he engaged in meditation. Bridget relates how she coached a new rep having a low quarter. It’s good to be resilient.

[11:24] The highs and the lows are transitory. Other things in life can compensate. If you put in the basic work, the score takes care of itself. Have patience during longer sales cycles.

[12:44] A man once worked for Andy who had a nervous tic when he was worried about his performance. He had good reason to worry. We need to get out of our own way. We may need to be shown our blind spots.

[13:56] Sales coaching is being neglected, which means reps are looking for direction from a trusted source. This should be their manager.

[15:48] When Bridget is being direct, she is giving constructive criticism, not destructive. She also appreciates that her team shares direct feedback with her.

[17:47] The most difficult conversation is to fire someone. Bridget had to fire a top rep, who had sabotaged the system so he got all the leads. She hopes he learned from it. Andy has had to fire people who had just experienced family tragedies.

[23:16] Though a termination is a business necessity, it is a hardship to the person terminated. The company should make every effort to coach the person before a decision is made. And they may go into a situation that is a better fit.

June 5, 2017

#476. How to Automate Sales Coaching. With Cory Bray.

Cory Bray, CEO of ClozeLoop, formerly known as CareerSofia, joins me on this episode of #Accelerate!

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[1:37] Cory distinguishes training from coaching. Coaching is a component of management. It enables employees to use the available tools to their best potential.

[3:32] Cory cites Bill Belichick as a great coach who established a system that works, and staffed it with raw talent he could help to become great. The system sets them up for success, and coaches help them continuously to improve.

[5:04] Cory went through Sandler sales coaching, and got a vision of what coaching can be. He went into business with a Sandler associate, to form CareerSofia. Sofia is from Sophia, wisdom, in Greek. Their focus is on sales.

[7:51] Cory discusses the vision of CareerSofia. They set out to make a software product inside Salesforce to deliver the minimum effective dose of coaching for the deal at hand.

[9:08] CareerSofia helps strategize against the competition, with the tactics a coach would suggest for moving a sale forward. Top sales reps and management curate content.

[10:13] CareerSofia supplies salespeople with tools they need to do the job from ‘Day 2.’ No long onboarding is required.

[13:09] The underlying principle is a knowledge base, structured so that relevant sales information surfaces as it is needed.

[15:46] Cory explains why testing is not a part of the CareerSofia platform. They started to include testing, and users didn’t want it. They just wanted coaching on time.

[16:48] Managers retain coaching authority. They coach one-on-one, and they supply CareerSofia with what works best in certain situations. Outside coaching is also encouraged. CareerSofia sells through sales consultant channel partners.

[21:38] The ideal end user has a a growing inside sales team of 5-100 reps, using Salesforce.com to sell one or two products. The ideal channel partner is a seller-doer sales consultant who wants to scale, without adding an associate.

[24:52] Cory sees three buckets in coaching: teaching the tools; teaching how to use them well; and teaching how to use them well under duress. CareerSofia helps the coach. Their future is in adding items to make the product more robust.

[26:53] CareerSofia has some secret sauce coaching tools coming up that Cory will announce at a future date.

May 26, 2017

#468 Using Questions to Mentor Sales Reps. With Bridget Gleason.

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

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[2:21] The President was on the way to NYC the day of this recording, so streets were closed, and cars were relocated.

[7:42] The topic is sales questions. Bridget asks how should sales reps go about getting more out of their managers — assuming the manager has something to offer? Reps can look for skills the manager has, that they want to learn.

[10:59] Top-performing reps may be self-sufficient, and not need much input from their managers. Their managers might ask how they can help top-performers achieve their goals. It’s important to have those conversations.

[11:31] Bridget talks about a potential manager interview, and how she ponders what her reps would learn from the manager. A person who has no apparent skills to teach will be eliminated.

[13:18] The biggest challenge of new sales managers is to determine how to add value to their reps. Andy tells of his first promotion to a manager. He studied sales books to improve!

[14:33] Bridget looks for inquisitiveness and self-directed learning in every person she hires. Her last manager hire was an aggressive, curious, and motivated learner.

[16:11] Andy looks for creative problem-solving. He recalls the pressure of his first management role. When he got past his initial tension, he looked outside the box to try new things. Bridget points out that creativity requires autonomy to design.

[19:54] Andy’s daughter sought advice from Andy on how to negotiate a better job offer. Then she did it her way instead, and the negotiation went as she wished.

[20:42] Bridget looks for people who will consider suggestions, but also use their own instinct, brains, and skills, to come up with better solutions, if they can. They may need to get  approval, but they shouldn’t ignore their own better ideas.

[22:31] Salespeople need to take risks. Andy’s career was built on risks he took with the sales system — because he was succeeding. Too much prescription may hold back success.

[23:38] Managers and repeatable processes sometimes make it difficult to experiment. Can reps color outside the lines, and still meet mutual objectives?

[25:16] Bridget talks about the one-on-ones she holds with her reps. Each one is different. She makes suggestions, and listens to their input, to come up with good expectations and meet the required numbers they all have.

May 4, 2017

#449. Coaching for Positive Behavior Change. With Michael Bungay Stanier.

Michael Bungay Stanier, Senior Partner at Box of Crayons — a consulting company that helps organizations do less good work, and more great work — and author of several books, including the bestselling Do More Great Work, and his latest, The Coaching Habit, joins me on this episode of #Accelerate!

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[2:49] Michael states the specific focus of Box of Crayons: to provide practical tools so that busy managers can coach in 10 minutes or less. Michael breaks coaching and being curious into seven questions, to teach habit change.

[5:12] Michael notes that 77% of people being coached report it has little or no impact, and 10% of those report it had a negative impact. Michael gives answers why.

[7:53] Michael shares a disastrous experience from his law studies days when a witness went ‘off-script,’ and applies it to sales representatives who don’t listen to learn.

[11:48] Michael talks about the ‘feedback sandwich’ formula of saying something nice, followed by something terrible, topped with something nice. Don’t use formulas. Have principles and core behaviors to apply when appropriate.

[14:05] Like NBA coach Steve Kerr, coaching at Box of Crayons is principled: provoke impact, be generous, pursue elegance, have fun, and nurture adult-to-adult relationships.

[15:48] Coaching behavior is staying curious longer, and ‘rushing’ to action and advice slower. Good coaching gives new insight, which leads to behavior change, which leads to impact. Michael cites John Whitmore on unlocking potential.

[18:00] Make training engaging, practical, useful, and use the wisdom in the room. On-the-job training works if people know how to learn. Ask: What was most useful and most valuable about this for you? (This question also helps after sales calls.)

[22:44] For survival, the brain tries to save energy, and goes with the most efficient method, which is usually a habit.

[24:06] Duhigg and Kahneman have both discussed habits that are so powerful, that adopting one, such as rising at 5:00 a.m., can change your behaviors completely. Being responsive is a keystone habit. People want to decide quickly.

[26:09] Tim Ferriss talks about the lead domino, that, when mastered, other dominoes fall in behind. To become better at your job, change your behavior.

[30:51] Sales is preparation, not improvisation. Have a slate of questions prepared. Ask more questions than you give answers, and before you give answers.

[33:27] Michael’s job when he is a keynote speaker is to engage the audience. The normal introduction is off-putting. Provide your own simple, but intriguing, and humorous introduction, that will raise audience status, and engage.

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!

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[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 19, 2017

#436. How to Improve Sales Productivity Through Coaching. With Keith Rosen.

Keith Rosen, CEO, executive sales coach, transformational expert, advisor to top sales leaders, and author of the number one sales coaching book, Coaching Salespeople into Sales Champions: A Tactical Playbook for Managers and Executives, and his most recent book, Own Your Day: How Sales Leaders Master TIme Management, Minimize Distractions, and Create Their Ideal Lives, joins me on this episode of #Accelerate!

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[1:01] Keith has created his ideal life. He has coached sales leaders for the last 30 years around the globe in over 60 countries, for all aspects of the sales process.

[2:27] Keith started sales in college, door-to-door, selling mortgages, remodeling, and home security systems. Keith focused on making salespeople into great coaches, and started his business to address that objective.

[5:31] Keith compares trusted advisors to coaches. In selling, the same questions apply as in coaching.

[6:39] Keith discusses best practices in three areas: questions we ask; critical questions we fail to ask; and changing what we do and how we think. Then he offers a simple way to change our behaviors. One key desired behavior is to ask questions.

[11:43] If you have to close someone, you’re not doing your job.

[12:48] Coaching wasn’t always common. When Keith started coaching, people wanted to know the team. Keith says the coaching gap today is with sales managers.

[16:53] Keith insists that technology and data do not replace individual coaching. Coaching isn’t to gather data, but to help improve behaviors. Data doesn’t reveal why a seller excels. Why is observation necessary?

[23:54] Hiding behind technology makes it easier to avoid personal connections. LinkedIn is for connecting, and building relationships, not for spamming.

[26:01] Consumer retail isn’t dependent on relationships, but  complex B2B certainly is. In B2B, you want to like the person from whom you are buying.

[26:59] A to-do list is ineffective, and usually you put things off, because there is no accountability. Anything that cycles consistently, needs to go on a calendar, not a list. Only one-time items belong on a to-do list.

April 1, 2017

#421. How to Solve Common Sales Problems. With Suzanne Paling.

Suzanne Paling, is Principal at Sales Management Services, a sales management consultant to small business leaders, and author of The Sales Leader’s Problem Solver: Practical Solutions to Conquer Management Mess-ups, Handle Difficult Sales Reps, and Make the Most of Every Opportunity, which is the winner of the USA Book News Award in the Business/Sales category in 2016.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[1:45] Suzanne wrote her book to solve the 15 most common problems of her clients. She walks leaders through solutions.

[3:12] Suzanne discusses the inconsistent sales rep, who misses regular quotas, and barely catches up by Q4.

[6:37] Before you solve a problem, how do you need to think about it? Do you understand the data? Why write a report?

[9:30] What is the role of your supervisor, in developing your plan for addressing the rep? When do you speak to the rep?

[10:05] What consequence is appropriate for inconsistency in sales?

[12:31] Suzanne says it is easy to deal with reps who never make quota. She talks about the bad effects of inconsistency.

[14:35] Are there common causes for quota inconsistency? Suzanne explains what she has found.

[15:28] CRM non-compliance — what causes this issue?

[18:58] Suzanne considers that CRM compliance can be boosted by hiring people who already do comply to using it, and requiring immediate compliance from current reps.

[22:54] If senior management doesn’t use the CRM, the reps notice. Reps should see them using it!

[25:29] Suzanne suggests taking the best notes in the system, and publishing them as the standard. Not all notes are clear. The more relevant information they provide, the better.

March 23, 2017

Using Data to Drive Effective Coaching. With Duncan Lennox. #413

Joining me once again on this episode of Accelerate! is my guest Duncan Lennox, CEO of Qstream.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[:37] Duncan is Co-Founder and CEO of Qstream, an enterprise SaaS company. Qstream helps companies drive capabilities of their sales force. Accelerate Episode 106 explains more on Qstream.

[1:29] On average, how much time does a sales manager spend, coaching each rep?

[4:28] Managers would benefit from data on the most effective coaching they can give. Why don’t managers coach better?

[7:36] Inertia keeps organizations back. Two curves are crossing: the pain of the problem, and the ability to leverage data. There is a need to act, and data capture is one way.

[12:19] Sales managers don’t have the data to know how to increases sales, and help reps succeed.

[14:18] Qstream started with the goal of changing behaviors for good. From data they gathered, they saw a second use: data-driven coaching. This became The Coaching Hub.

[16:45] The data is gathered from 3-minute tests the reps take. Scenarios are given, and the reps reply how they would act. What sorts of data do the results generate?

[19:19] An average of 94% reps participate the day they receive a scenario. What else can participation reveal about a rep?

[21:10] How does the dashboard inform the sales manager on the individual needs of the sales reps?

[22:03] How did Qstream rule out the sales problem one company had assumed? How did they uncover the actual problem?

[26:43] How does The Coaching Hub integrate with Salesforce? What kinds of triggers are available?

[29:34] Duncan gives an example of Qstream and Salesforce integration to prompt an appropriate coaching response.

 

March 10, 2017

#402 How to Build Fundamental Sales Habits, With Bridget Gleason.

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

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[1:55] The topic is sales advice. Sound advice is welcome. Shortcuts do not solve problems. New books usually teach old principles in a new way.

[4:43] Accelerate! is not a show about “the one thing you need.”

[5:17] “High anxiety” is not necessary for sales, in the long run. Does the expectation of immediate gratification cause anxiety?

[6:43] Do the basics well, and don’t worry about missing out on anything. Unfortunately that’s not what managers telling their teams.

[10:00] If a hack builds on a foundation, it may work. However, it’s unrealistic to look for “three quick steps,” to achieve consistently good results. Skill doesn’t come from hacks, but from learning and practice.

[11:43] When a CEO is anxious, how can a sales rep relax? Make your investment more about sales education than in sales training.

[15:29] Sales manager training yields a higher ROI than rep training. Companies are not investing enough in manager education.

[17:03] Processes are based on the successful execution of selling habits. Without effective habits, there are no sales. Strong habits reduce stress and make yourself more productively available.

[20:19] Part of building self-confidence is letting go of your anxiety.

[22:13] Well-intentioned hacks may tempt a rep to forget to study, learn, and practice good sales behaviors.