Accelerate Podcast with Andy Paul
May 20, 2017

#463. Leading Through the Turn. With Elise Mitchell.

Elise Mitchell, CEO of Mitchell Communications Group, and CEO of Dentsu Aegis Public Relations Network, as well as the author of a very interesting book, Leading Through the Turn: How a Journey Mindset Can Help Leaders Find Success and Significance, joins me on this episode of #Accelerate!

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[2:20] Leading Through the Turn looks at leadership as though riding a motorcycle. She started riding with her husband 10 years ago, and never looked back. She was hooked. Today she rides a Honda CBR300R — sleek, red, and fast.

[4:10] Key concepts are a destination philosophy and a journey perspective. The journey matters as much as the destination. Elise is naturally a destination person. She says her strength of entrepreneurship became a weakness as she hit extremes.

[5:35] Elise had to rethink how she was sacrificing important aspects of life to reach the destination of success. Motorcycling became the catalyst to make her rethink her journey. Now she savors it.

[7:28] Elise explains her drive was pushing her to burnout. She was missing many experiences. She wasn’t investing in living.

[9:09] Elise learned to ‘scrap the map,’ when the family moved away from her large corporate job. She had to decide if she would go, and be bitter, or go, and let change make her better.

[11:40] We can’t, and shouldn’t, control everything. Elise discusses adaptive leadership, about learning to solve new problems in real time, where there is no clear answer.

[13:00] Elise warns against building a company around a leader. She illustrates with a personal anecdote about letting go of control, and delegating — the entrepreneur’s challenge!

[16:09] Every step of leadership feels a little scary if you are ambitious, and want to grow and challenge yourself as a leader, and broaden your impact. Don’t let fear hold you back.

[17:41] A spirit of reciprocity is thinking outside yourself. Elise has a personal professional anecdote. She asked other leaders, “What can I do for you?” She cites Give and Take.

The Go-Giver is in the same vein. Help first.

[21:56] The called leader vs. the accidental leader. Elise has strived for leadership since her childhood. Accidental leaders have circumstances thrust upon them. If you have the heart of an explorer, it doesn’t matter how you got there. Go with it.

[26:41] The higher calling of leadership is to determine what good can you do as a leader. Can you create significance in the lives of others? You have so much potential to open doors.

[28:38] Leadership and significance starts with the individual. Elise discards the grandiosity of philanthropism for doing the right things, one at a time — changing that one person’s life for good; helping that customer further their opportunities.

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 12, 2017

#456 How to Outrun the Competition. With Bridget Gleason.

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

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[3:30] Discussion on running and races, because…

[5:37] …the topic is competition in sales. Bridget says there is always competition, and she offers two approaches. In either case, focus on the customer’s problem, and how you differentiate yourself to solve it.

[8:48] Price is not the competition. Solving the problem, with the greatest value to the prospect, wins the deal. Bridget tells how she was sold a pair of running shoes by a trusted vendor who solved her problem with value, and did it frictionlessly.

[12:13] No one wants blisters — on their heels, or in the buying process! Bridget went with the reputation of Marathon Sports, not the price, and found a salesperson who worked very easily with her.

[13:14] Andy also bought running shoes! His preferred vendor, Road Runner Sports, has excellent service and makes sure of the right fit and shoe. Unless you just have to buy the cheapest shoes, you will not walk out of there without new shoes.

[14:13] Andy likes being a member of the Road Runner Sports V.I.P. Club! He admits, he could wear shoes a little bit longer, but he loves having new shoes.

[15:17] Reps assume there will be a buying decision. Qualify the prospect’s problem, and make sure they understand the value proposition, to make sure it is so. The first discovery call sets the tone for the entire engagement.

[18:05] The buying decision has two parts: whether the prospect will make a change at this time, and, if yes, who the vendor to facilitate the change will be. Be there with the value proposition that fits the prospect’s desired change.

[19:26] ‘Selling past’ the initial buying decision, means that if the customer does decide to go ahead, they probably do it based on the competition’s value proposition, not on yours! If they buy from you, will they be happy? Bridget elaborates.

[21:39] The buyer may be confused between propositions they heard, so after each sale, call the customer to review the deal, from their requirements, to your proposal, to what they bought, and how and when you will deliver it. Communicate.

[24:38] If you don’t clarify with the buyer what they bought, at renewal time they may believe you surprised them, and they will look for an alternative vendor they can trust better. Andy calls the refresher call, the most important sales call you make.

May 5, 2017

#450 Are Sales Roles Too Specialized? With Bridget Gleason and Anthony Iannarino.

Bridget Gleason is VP of Sales for Logz.io and my regular partner on Front Line Fridays. This episode also features guest Anthony Iannarino, of SalesBlog.com and author of the best-selling book The Only Sales Guide You’ll Ever Need.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[2:12] Anthony has written an article about sales roles being broken down into too many pieces, as in an assembly line. He claims the division is disruptive to the client. Anthony explains his views about qualification.

[6:21] SaaS seems to assume that specialization is the right model. Bridget says that assumption should be challenged. Her Israeli company doesn’t rely on this American concept.

[8:25] Anthony compares and contrasts BDR, SDRs, AEs, and AMs, and Subject Matter Experts (SME). He lays out the case that none of this division appeals to, or adds value for, the client, and the client is not interested in it.

[11:26] The closing success in the SaaS industry is very low compared to traditional B2B sales. Anthony talks about how he targeted multiple stakeholders in 1979. “Bellbottoms are back.” Sales is a cyclical business driven by repeating trends.

[12:51] Bridget has not seen sales specialized to the degree Anthony describes. When she has employed SDRs, they have also closed some business. The way for people to grow is not to be confined into narrowly defined roles.

[17:17] SDRs serve their employer, rather than providing value to a client, and burn out in a year. Bridget says Logz.io truly is committed to the customer, and to the customer experience.

[19:56] You can’t qualify before discovery. You need to understand where the buyer is in their cycle, and how to help them. Not every future customer is ready to buy at this moment. “A lead is like a lottery ticket.” — Andy Paul.

[21:34] Anthony contrasts selling and the pipeline, and looking to a future sale. Help get them ready to buy, or your competitor will do that for them. Show them how to fix their root cause problem. Then they will be qualified.

[24:11] Bridget says BANT is a narrow way to qualify. A broader definition of qualifying involves understanding if the prospect has a pain or aspiration that you can partner with them to resolve, even down the line. Sales is problem-solving.

[27:10] Anthony has no regard for BANT, and current sales roles. Qualifying by BANT gives the prospect no value to listen, so you disqualify people who might have bought.

[28:24] Bridget would define BDRs and SDRs into roles that do more than BANT, because prospects will continue to shut them out. Anthony brings up AI taking over sales roles. Bridget has heard it before.

[33:03] Anthony calls out poor performers. The process itself cannot sell. Selling is a human role. The individual makes the difference. Anthony hails the new Account-Based Andy.

 

April 8, 2017

#427. Put Purpose to Work in Your Business. With Scott Beebe.

Scott Beebe, Founder and Head Coach of MyBusinessOnPurpose.com, joins me on this episode of #Accelerate!

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[1:32] Scott gives the rundown on his background in football, theology, corporate, church, and an NGO. After his position was dissolved, he hired a business coach, to start his business to liberate small business owners from the chaos of business.

[4:55] Entrepreneurs today find themselves busy playing every role on the team. Instead of planning how to grow, they haven’t even determined where they want to be in three years.

[7:27] Scott cites Michael Gerber’s E-Myth. You need to provide immediate service, while running a company, and always have a vision story for growth.

[10:24] Six months to six years is a good timeframe for a vision story. How does that differ from a goal? Vision requires time for finances, products, and personnel to mature.

[13:05] The vision story is the detailed snapshot picture of what the future looks like. How does it relate to your mission statement?

[14:21] Your vision story, and your unique core values drive your day-to-day decision making.

[14:44] Unique core values are personal to you, beyond the basic core values such as integrity. Scott gives case examples of how core values inform projects.

[16:43] Scott gives an example how one unique core value works ideally for one concrete contractor, but would not work for someone else.

[18:20] Core values also inform prospect and seller whether they are a good match for each other.

[21:14] Core values win deals. Scott gives another example.

[22:43] “[Unique core values] are the curbs along the side of the road you’re taking to get to your vision.” — Scott Beebe

[24:03] Scott explains by an example what kind of case would justify violating your unique core value.

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 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.

February 24, 2017

How to Have a Mindful, Focused Mindset. With Bridget Gleason. #390

Welcome to another Front Line Friday with my very special guest and co-host, Bridget Gleason. On this week’s episode, Bridget and I discuss a mindset of gratitude, dealing with problems and getting over the frustrations they cause without anger. We also discuss the addiction to digital messaging, and the pitfalls of trying to multitask in sales.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[:45] Bridget is grateful for life. Experience helps her look over frustrations as they occur, reflecting on past frustrations that were worse, of which the causes were forgotten. She deals with them, goes on, and models and shares this behavior.

[4:36] Give people permission not to get all worked up. Frustration doesn’t need anger, bitterness, or disappointment. It is an opportunity to address a problem, without hanging onto the emotion around it. Don’t be addicted to anger.

[6:43] Andy cites Simon Sinek on challenges Millennials have, including the dopamine-driven addiction to texts, emails, and replies. The anticipation for these creates a distraction. Bridget doesn’t crave the interruptions, especially in the morning.

[8:26] Andy gave a presentation to inside sales reps, and saw people checking their phones. He stopped and asked if they kept their phones on their desk while they were making calls. 100% of them raised their hands.

[9:23] Next he asked, who looks at it, if it buzzes while you’re on a call with a buyer? Virtually everybody. The science is absolutely conclusive. We do not multitask. Looking at a text while talking to a customer distracts you from the customer.

[10:41] Looking at a chat or text, to be “responsive,” to a buyer, while you are talking with another, only makes you less responsive to the person actually talking to you. You may only have this one opportunity with the person on the phone.

[12:16] Chat, with one person managing multiple chat windows, divides attention and concentration on any specific conversation. Invite the chat to move up to another channel that allows more personalized attention, even, maybe, a visit.

[13:49] Are older people going to have to incorporate these quick, short chats into their sales process? As humans, we are incapable of switching our attention rapidly and efficiently.

[14:44] Carnegie Mellon research shows that our test-taking ability (a measure of intelligence) falls after an interruption, to the point of making us 20% “dumber.” In a chat, each separate conversation is sub-optimal.

[16:52] Two multi-tasking people chatting with each other, makes the conversation doubly sub-optimal and unfocused.

[17:39] People who can’t resist trying to do two things at once are suckers for irrelevancy, according to Stanford sociologist Clifford Nass. It is efficient and respectful to focus on one thing. Put distractions away. Put your phone in a drawer, or away.

 

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 3, 2017

How to Accelerate Your Sales into 2017. With Bridget Gleason. #372

Welcome to another Front Line Friday with my very special guest (and Front Line Friday co-host), Bridget Gleason, VP of Sales for Logz.io.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[1:43] Bridget likes to finish with the panic before the end of the year. The last two weeks of the year, reps say, “I don’t have anything else to close this quarter.” Bridget says, “So start building up to where you need to be for the next quarter.”

[2:56] By the end of January, Bridget likes reps to be well on the way to meeting their first quarter goals. As VP of Sales, Bridget needs to have the year’s structure — territories, hiring, ramping — all set, to focus on the year’s success.

[4:45] Bridget sometimes postpones personnel issues until the new year, to focus on finishing the year well, but, as soon as possible in the year, has that difficult conversation.

[6:08] Andy says to have those conversations back in October or November — because the problem is evident by then — so you have the team composition in place that you need by January.

[7:01] In sales, the data identifies there’s something that’s not working. Millennials in particular, would like ongoing feedback. If managers provide feedback often and early, then the final conversation isn’t as difficult, because it’s not a surprise.

[8:58] Andy wants to see successes in January — milestones, closes, shared successes — to build team confidence. It is crucial to keep the team motivated.

[12:20] Angela Duckworth’s, Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance, says great performers are often made by the team, as opposed to great players making the team great. Bridget wants a team that makes people better for being on it.

[13:13] Andy believes a team gives you more people to hold you accountable, because no one wants to let their teammates down. Everybody wants to contribute.

[15:30] Bridget ‘feels that in spades,’ about her company, Logz.io. Team accountability applies not only to sales professionals, but to all levels of a company. It’s a mesh.

[16:35] What has inspired Bridget recently? Angela Duckworth’s book on grit, teaches that intelligence matters, but if others are smarter than we are, we can do a lot to counter that by persistence, and by hard work.

[18:19] Bridget shares a story of a personal sacrifice made by one of her managers, with quiet determination, to help close out the big year-end deals. Some sacrifices are needed and appreciated, without apparent martyrdom attached.

[23:05] In the first month, pay attention to what’s going on; get early successes for the team; and deal with problems, regardless of sunk cost, whether personnel, or projects that will never close. Take a hard look at everything.