Accelerate Podcast with Andy Paul
May 6, 2017

#451. How to Engage the C-Suite. With Sharon Gillenwater.

Sharon Gillenwater, Founder of Boardroom Insiders, and CXO engagement strategy expert, joins me on this episode of #Accelerate!

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[1:35] Boardroom Insiders provides in-depth executive profiles to large tech vendors, to engage the C-suite on a personal level. Sharon was a consultant, and was asked her how to sell to the C-level. After research, she started the company in 2008.

[5:08] Boardroom Insiders has around 12K executive profiles in their database, which is constantly updated, and available by subscription. They have tracked some of the executives, from company to company, for almost 10 years.

[6:05] LinkedIn and contact databases tell you who to contact. Boardroom Insiders tells you what they want to talk about. If you call an executive with no credibility of your own, you won’t get a second chance.

[7:31] Sharon discusses decision makers outside the C-suite. Sometimes they come to no decision, which is a bigger obstacle than the competition. Teams demand integration between unlike products. C-suites can influence the sale.

[12:16] Sharon says you work with stakeholders, decision makers and the C-Suite. It is not simply a matter of engaging the CEO. Work all the levels.

[14:05] Sharon includes business unit heads in the C-suite category, as they make many of the tech decisions. The perception of what C-suite is has expanded as new titles have proliferated. Sharon discusses new digital expectations.

[15:57] Sharon walks through the enterprise sales process, including automation tools, brand presence, content marketing, and the one-to-one value proposition CEOs expect. Most sales teams save the CEO focus for the largest accounts.

[19:07] The ABM/ABE model needs to be in place at an enterprise for the Boardroom Insiders database to be useful. The data gives the opportunity to personally engage at the highest level, within a very targeted group of accounts.

[21:41] ABE allows you to define plays and develop playbooks. But a generic invitation does not work with the C-suite audience. It takes a personally relevant call from their executive peer.

[27:24] The human touch in selling is making a ‘comeback.’ There are no automated silver bullets.

[29:38] Sharon explores why field marketing controls the data, and feeds it to sales. Sales may not have the budget. It’s often the way SaaS is organized.

[31:12] Sharon would like sales to have better access to the data.

 

April 6, 2017

#425. How to Engage the Interest of Prospects. With Jeff Schmidt.

Jeff Schmidt, Senior Vice President of Global Sales and Services at ClearSlide, joins me on this episode of #Accelerate!

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[:41] Jeff got started in sales selling contingency placements as a search consultant. He moved into a full-time sales job for VMX, selling call processing software (early voicemail). He sold by cold calling on the street.

[2:08] Jeff tells of his SaaS sales journey, leading to his move to ClearSlide to sell solutions for sellers and marketers. Jeff is excited to be selling a product he uses everyday!

[4:00] The biggest internal challenge facing sales reps, is getting the sales stack to work effectively. The biggest external challenge, is aligning buying and selling processes effectively; knowing where the customer is, and what they need next.

[7:02] Sales reps already know how to send out emails, but as far as calling goes, they need to know better what their audience wants to talk about, to have it ready to discuss, and to conduct the interaction to move the sales process forward.

[9:19] Managers need to coach reps on their engagement skills, and also on their reporting compliance.

[10:22] ClearSlide, a sales engagement platform, has three pillars: Content (for interaction), Communications (reporting the interaction), and Insights (helping sellers prepare for the next conversation).

[16:18] The last mile of the buying journey is critical. Jeff tells how to inform the prospect, and align with their progress.

[17:44] Sales insight into stakeholders is crucial, whether in small companies or large.

[18:46] Jeff asks, how do you solve ‘hopecasting?’ There is a reticence to adapt processes to fit reality. Leadership must be accountable for insights; marketing must provide and curate content; sellers must be accountable for executing sales.

[21:59] “We can live and work with yeses and noes, but maybes are killers.” — Jeff Schmidt. Engagement data provides important qualitative insights.

[24:16] Proceduralize and understand what you want from each tool in the sales stack. Integration involves not only the technical flow of data, but insights informing the conversation.

[25:33] Jeff explains how to qualify prospects. Qualify properly, or disqualify properly. These directed events provide additional insight to work on productive leads. Percentage of conversion of pipeline is an important metric.

March 22, 2017

How To Create Value for Your Prospects. With Jack Kosakowski. #412

Joining me once again on this episode of Accelerate! is my guest Jack Kosakowski, Global Head of B2B Social Sales Execution at Creation Agency.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[1:58] A sales professional for 12 years — in manufacturing and tech — Jack found a niche in social sales. His passion is integrating social into B2B sales.

[2:55] Jack gives his straightforward assessment of the single biggest challenge sales representatives face today. He follows up by describing a general problem with the SDR model.

[4:35] What happens to the sales process, in companies under high pressure to grow?

[5:36] Jack talks about shortcuts that turn out not to be pathways to sales success.

[7:36] The discussion turns to training issues.

[8:40] Jack has advice for marketing and sales alignment.

[11:27] What is different about B2B selling today, than before the use of the account-based sales model?

[14:22] The Art vs. the Science of Sales: the Debate. Jack would like to know the sales equation, if there is one.

[15:10] Jack covers building the right team, creating the right processes, stacks, and sales training strategy.

[18:05] Jack talks about questions sales representatives ask.

[20:57] How to dig deeper.

[23:50] Jack has learned more empathy for the buyer by being pitched. What skills has he seen lacking, among sales reps who called on him? Could they have given more memorable value?

[30:11] How does social media selling allow the sales professional to sell proactively?

March 18, 2017

Small Talk Leads to Sales Talk. With Stephanie Melish. #409

Stephanie Melish is an inspirational speaker and certified business coach.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[4:09] Stephanie learned sales, and is certified as a business coach and trainer. She wants to impact her community.

[4:39] Stephanie finds the biggest challenge for salespeople today to be lack of experience. Stephanie’s experience came in fund raising. Some entrepreneurs have no sales experience.

[6:00] What does Stephanie say about process, procedure, and scripts? What is the role of knowledge and authenticity?

[6:54] Stephanie has suggestions to replace verbatim scripts. How does she feel when somebody reads at her?

[9:28] To build rapport, embrace who you are, and learn who the prospect is. Know the area code you are calling, and current events there, like sports, and research the social profile of the person. Small talk leads to business talk.

[13:33] Stephanie wrote an article on November 7, about her convictions on the election. What did she say that spiked her unsubscribe numbers?

[15:18] Is it necessary for one woman to break a glass ceiling, either in politics, or in the sales profession? Stephanie urges people to continue to improve themselves, and put their work ethic to good use, to strive to get ahead independent of their gender.

[20:10] Stephanie gives advice to females. Don’t think of sales as a dirty word. Salespeople build relationships. They don’t conduct transactions. Sales is a service. If you are excited about solving problems through relationships, that is sales.

[24:31] Stephanie wrote about Scandal, and Olivia Pope. What is a fixer, and how is a salesperson a fixer in a positive way? Sales is leadership.

[26:19] Stephanie discusses behaviors of a successful leader. What is most important?

[29:04] How do you discover prospect expectations? How can unknown expectations derail a deal? How can you make sure that you exceed expectations?

March 11, 2017

WOW Your Prospects to Take Their Eyes off the Price. With John “JD” Dwyer. #403

John “JD” Dwyer, CEO of The Institute of WOW, on the Gold Coast of Australia.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[1:45] The Institute of WOW is all about creating wow factors, to take your client’s eyes off the price. Andy asks how JD got Jerry Seinfeld to star in an Australian building society’s ad campaign. There’s a great story!

[10:02] Companies hope to be different, but “live in a sea of sameness.” Without a real wow factor, like the Apple iPhone, you’ve got to create an artificial wow factor. McDonald’s Happy Meal toy takes your eyes off the price.

[11:41] JD had a moving company differentiate themselves by offering a two-person holiday to the Gold Coast, to have Mrs. Homemaker take her eyes off the price.

[12:57] JD has a framework system for adding the wow factor. Identify your most profitable customer, and look for more who look like them; decide on the wow factor. JD has tested them all, and holidays, fuel discounts, and alcohol, are “evergreen.”

[16:38] A turf farm didn’t care to discount, but they had an end-of-season surplus. They offered a carton of Crown Lager Premium with every home’s worth sold. They ran out of turf, even though landscapers could have bought their own beer!

[17:28] Buyers of goods have short attention spans, decide quickly without analysis, want to satisfy a demand, and like something of value for free. So, capture their attention, and they won’t look at the price.

[18:50] How do B2B sales professionals create their personal wow? JD gives sales behavior advice.

[19:25] JD suggests you will double conversions by offering a premium and a deadline: “I will give you an XYZ bonus, if you make a decision by 5:00 p.m., Friday.” Or, “I’ve only got 52 of these available, and when they’re gone, they’re gone.”

[21:03] The law of reciprocation says offer something of value with every contact. Have a landing page to showcase your value. Most sales professionals don’t even do LinkedIn well, but a personal website of your own, with your video, is best.

[26:18] Everybody buys a solution to a problem. Theatrically highlight to the audience that you are the solution to their problem. Marketing and Sales share this tactic.

[26:40] People will pay more to eliminate pain, than they will pay to enjoy pleasure. They will pay more, if it is an enduring solution to the pain.

March 2, 2017

Boost Conversions with “Email-First” Cold Calls. With Conor Lee. #395

Conor Lee, is Founder and CEO of HipLead.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[:57] HipLead helps B2B sales and marketing teams scale their outbound sales, by providing very high-quality targeted lists. They consult with organizations to help run high-performing outbound sales.

[2:48] Conor discusses SaaS team “email-first” cold calling. Cold calling without email is extremely cold. HipLead ran tests that showed “email-first” cold calls produced a two-to-three times increase in prospect-to-meeting rates.

[8:15] The first 0-9 seconds of a call serve to put the contact’s defenses up. If the client has read an email, and is expecting a call, the SDR has a reason to follow up, and it eases the transition to the topic of the conversation.

[10:59] A pithy subject line is relevant, with industry specifics, or client specifics, or asks a relevant engaging question that matters to them. It passes the Turing Test.

[13:25] HipLead usually creates a matrix of the audience, their industries, why their industries care about this, and relevant body content. They make a second matrix of contact role to company size, and a matrix of pain points by organization role.

[15:44] The matrixes are divided granularly so that the pain point matches the group of contacts. It may not resonate with everybody, but it produces a predictable response rate. The more information provided, the better the response.

[16:50] A/B testing of emails is essential to measure results, and there is a cumulative effect with continuing A/B testing and branching on the positive side. The copy needs to evolve.

[21:10] Andy wonders exactly what Connor meant when he said that 20 years ago, selling was simpler! Conor meant today there are a lot of channels and tools being thrown at salespeople, and it’s a lot to balance. A key skill is prioritization.

[27:14] HipLead tags emails as interested, neutral, not interested, take me off your list, and no reply. They prioritize calls to the interested, and the neutrals, before not interested. Call everyone that replies, except for asking to be removed.

[31:52] If the list is very targeted, send out 50 at a time, and call everyone who opens it. Call each within 20 seconds, if possible. Call no later than five minutes after they open it.

February 23, 2017

How to Quickly Qualify Your Prospects. With Sean Burke. #389

Joining me once again on this episode of Accelerate! is my guest Sean Burke, CEO of KiteDesk. Among the topics that Sean and I discuss are the problems sales professionals have today with prospects going dark, how prospects should be more fully qualified before the reps spend too much of their time, and the NOTE process for qualifying, explaining, and closing deals.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[:52] Sean started sales with his mother at age 12, selling burglar alarms. His mother trained him well how to make money. KiteDesk is his ninth early-stage venture, in sales and marketing, for revenue generation; sometimes as the CEO.

[2:11] Sean sees sales reps struggling to find out what’s going on inside the buyer’s walls. There are so many influencers. Often, the prospect just goes dark, and you never know why.

Andy suggests this is a failure of qualification and discovery.

[4:15] Sean looks for landmines, to plan pre-emptively for them, such as budgets, product releases, or other projects demanding resources.

[5:40] Sean sees a lot of surprises he didn’t see in the 90s. Andy attributes these changes to technology, and behaviors related to new technologies.

[6:29] Sean sees BANT (Budget, Authority, Need, and Timeline) as outdated for new companies. (It still works for IBM.) Sean has come up with NOTE (Need, Opportunity, Team, Effect) to qualify leads based on the buyer’s needs.

[8:25] Sean was trying to find a way to make the discovery process extremely valuable, especially the buyer, and to be responsive and efficient with the time spent with buyers.

[12:29] Sean refers to Anthony Iannarino’s book where he said that if you’re in sales, you’re focused on outcomes. Sean wanted to lead with outcomes, not features or benefits.

[12:55] If the client doesn’t Need the outcome of the benefit of your product for the cost to implement it, then there is no qualified lead. Tell them there’s no good fit here. Either they will rethink their need, or you will save everyone a lot of time.

[14:52]  Some of the need is philosophical. Sean refers to the ‘find your why’ works of Simon Sinek. It’s great to find a company in synch with your philosophy.

[15:51] Opportunity is a pressing requirement. Is the need great enough to attack now? Sean uses a scoping method to determine ROI, and asks, does the proposed solution justify the expense? This gives the prospect a way to qualify in or out.

[19:49] Team is composed of multiple stakeholders with a sense of urgency. Defining who is impacted by the opportunity helps the client qualify themselves for the deal. There is also a team defined of the influencers involved to get to “yes.”

[24:33] Effect is the experienced value of the product or service to the buyer. It is not the opportunity. The full opportunity doesn’t result on Day 1. The effect is developing the working plan to get through the process and track it for success.

February 20, 2017

How to Network for Authentic Connections. With Jeff Beals. #386

Joining me once again on this episode of Accelerate! is my guest Jeff Beals, a sales speaker and author, and Vice President of a major real estate company. Jeff was also the guest on Episode 056 of Accelerate! Among the many topics that Jeff and I discuss are, Jeff’s multiple current jobs, the biggest challenge to salespeople in 2017, how to connect with prospects, how to do networking effectively, whether in person, or digitally, and what you should allow on your own social media.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[1:06] Jeff is a sales author, speaker, and strategist, who trains and speaks all over the world. His second job is VP of Sales and Marketing for a Midwest commercial real estate firm. He also does a weekly business radio show.

[3:30] Cutting through the clutter is the single biggest challenge facing salespeople in 2017. It’s getting harder and harder to reach people where they live and work.

[4:20] Jeff believes in grassroots selling — making connections with people at home or at work. Marketing is at a disadvantage compared to face-to-face interactions by salespeople.

[5:35] Jeff advises reps who use phone and email marketing, (1) to be exceptionally interesting, and (2) to be other-focused. [6:55] The demands on salespeople are not decelerating at all, while the difficulty of reaching contacts is accelerating. Any big data you have, your competitor probably has it, too.

[7:45] Jeff started selling 30 years ago, face-to-face, and by phone. The ability to know how to behave in a networking space can really help you do business in 2017. People crave the personal touch, if it is relevant and interesting to them.

[8:55] Andy’s trend prediction for 2017, is to start seeing the return of the human element in sales. The last mile of the sale is connecting from the data pipe into the client’s needs.

[10:44] Andy mentions Susan RoAne’s How to Work a Room, as a bestselling guide to networking. People know networking is key. Networking benefits Jeff, in both his careers.

[14:20] The goals of networking: clearly state in your mind the desired outcomes — “I’m going to get a prospect, or at least a very good lead on an opportunity, and I want to get valuable information, and meet valuable people, to further my goals.

[20:03] Use the Rule of Thirds. Spend ⅔ of the time with any one person asking about them and their interests, and ⅓ of the time on your own self-marketing expertise. People are self-obsessed; give them a fascinating reason to think of you.

[27:06] Always go to a networking event by yourself. Since that might be challenging, fill your mind with a vision of success. Act the part of a successful networker. Decide to be outgoing. You will incorporate those traits into your personality.

[30:33] Facebook and Twitter impact your personal brand. Don’t post anything there that your customers won’t like. Post photos and things, even family items, that will make you look good in front of your clients.

February 13, 2017

How to Use Dignity and Humor to Engage with Prospects. With Dianna Geairn. #380

Joining me on this episode of Accelerate! is my guest Dianna Geairn, The Irreverent Salesgirl. Among the many topics that Dianna and I discuss are Dianna’s intention to restore dignity to the profession of sales, how and why she uses a musical stage production with animation to teach sales principles, some sales myths Dianna debunks, and, how a company becomes sales ready.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[2:14] The Irreverent Salesgirl aims to turn sales myths on their heads, with humor. The organization’s tagline is bringing a dash of dignity to the art of selling. Their mission is to drive public perception of sales as a profession.

[4:06] Dianna writes, blogs, and does a stage show about sales. She says, she sells by day, and fights “sales crimes” by night.

[5:48] Dianna was transfixed by Eddie Murphy’s show “Raw,” and wanted to bring something similar to sales. People absorb new concepts much better through entertainment than other ways.

[7:39] Diana discusses two Sales Myths: Sales Myth 1: Never accept a “No.” Sales Myth 2: Salespeople must overcome objections.

[14:27] Dianna discusses her upcoming book, Sales Readiness and what it means for companies to be “sales ready.”

[18:44] Why Dianna suggests listening to what people are asking you to provide in order to learn what people are ready to buy.

[21:59] Why an entrepreneur must be able to sell their product before you hiring someone to sell it for them.

[27:20] What is the aha moment in sales?

[36:54] Why you need to allow your sales professionals to go off script, take risks, make mistakes, and unleash their natural genius.

February 8, 2017

How to Use Sales Intelligence to Engage with Prospects. With Sam Richter. #376

Joining me on this episode of Accelerate! is my guest Sam Richter, Founder and CEO of SBR Worldwide/Know More, and author of the bestseller called, Take the Cold Out of Cold Calling

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[3:37] A new salesperson starts in survival mode, and struggles to convince people to do something. It took a mentor to show Sam the nobleness of the sales profession — helping people.

[6:22] Sam’s core expertise is in sales intelligence — finding information on other people, to help your approach be relevant to what they care about.

[6:42] Your prospects are amazingly passionate about one thing. What is it? It’s themselves. What they care about is their problem, and their motivation might not be what you think.

[9:02] To determine if you are a salesperson, or a sales professional, ask yourself if you have ever recommended your competitor, or somebody else, to one of your prospects, when they were a better fit. If you did, it comes back in referrals.

[12:40] Sales professionals are underutilizing social media for sales intelligence. Sharing content is great, but also search out what the prospect cares about, so when you pick up the phone, you first address that matter, for a quick connection.

[16:12] Sam teaches the 3×5 method. Spend three minutes trying to find five pieces of information about a prospect. [17:07] Twitter has advanced searches you can save to find trigger events, such as new product launches, that give you ‘permission’ to call your contact.

[22:04] YouGottheNews.com is a filtered search engine, similar to Google’s News tab, that searches large and small news publications. YouGotSocial.com is a filtered search to mine Facbook for information about your prospects.

[31:03] Nothing sent through the Internet disappears — not even deleted email messages. Everything on your timeline is available, including friends, and what they put on their pages.