Accelerate Podcast with Andy Paul
October 16, 2017

#584 How Leaders Engage and Inspire Others. With Kevin Kruse.

Kevin Kruse, Founder and CEO of, host of the Leadx podcast, and author of 15 Secrets Successful People Know About Time Management: The Productivity Habits of 7 Billionaires, 13 Olympic Athletes, 29 Straight-A Students, and 239 Entrepreneurs, joins me for the second time on this episode of #Accelerate! Listen to Episode 82 to hear Kevin’s first visit.


[3:44] Andy starts with a Vince Lombardi quote in which he connects winning, thoughts, beliefs, words, actions, habits, and character. Character is a word we don’t often consider in sales. The foundation for trust is your character.

[6:41] Kevin says the single biggest challenge facing sales organizations today is getting through the noise onto people’s schedules. Kevin contrasts cold calls of the past to getting a prospect’s attention today if they have no urgent need.

[8:20] There is a current pushback against accepting good enough or mediocrity. The buyers and organizations are not making time for innovation. This makes sales harder than before. Provide tremendous value to break through.

[9:40] Andy says sales is still hard, not harder than before, but different. People didn’t pick up the phone then any more than now. There is too much focus on activities and not enough on serving the customer. Scripting and stacks block authenticity.

[13:35] AI and machine learning will take over simple interactions. Reps who can connect with people will have greater value to their customers and their own companies. Others will be let go. Be a lifelong learner and invest in skills.

[16:01] It’s hard to predict the future, but it’s clear that a rep who can connect with a prospect and inspire them to take action will continue to be a valued team member.

[17:25] Kevin thinks many leaders today manage well but forget to lead. Having fewer employees will require fewer leaders. Managers should be coaches of people, not managers of activities. Kevin talks about Leadx AI research for managers.

[21:10] Should we be recording every sales conversation for AI to analyze for coaching? The technology exists.

[23:44] There is an AI app that will listen, transcribe, and provide call coaching in real time, but coaching is not about call tactics. It is about skills, strategies, and improving behaviors. The best reps have high EQ, which is hard to coach.

[25:48] Andy recommends reading The Coaching Habit and learning its framework of seven questions. Kevin discusses employee engagement, and how a manager can foster it.

[27:36] 80% of knowledge worker jobs are under threat from automation. 80% to 90% of people will have jobs, but many jobs will be minimum wage. Universal Basic Income may be coming as a social safety net, but public funds are insufficient.

[32:22] Kevin published “51 Tips to Win at Life (Reflections On My 50th Birthday).” Kevin covers two of the tips: purpose and impact. Kevin finds that life is more than money, but the more value (impact) you provide, the more income you will receive.


For Vice Presidents of Sales of high-growth SaaS companies and software service companies — Andy is teaming up with his friend Jacco van der Kooij, founder of Winning by Design and author of Blueprints of a SaaS Sales Organization, to launch the Sales Leadership Accelerator Mastermind, an intensive 12-month learning, coaching, and mastermind program for the Vice Presidents of Sales of high-growth SaaS companies. If the responsibility sits on your shoulders to scale your revenue team, to hit the $100 million mark and beyond, then the Sales Leadership Accelerator Mastermind will help you transform how you sell, scale, and develop the capability of your team to crash their goals. Enrollment is limited to a very small group, so, first come first served. Go to now, to learn more and enroll today.

July 17, 2017

#512. 10X Your Effectiveness with Engaged Leadership. With Stephen Moulton.

Stephen Moulton, President of Action Insight, and author of The CEO’s Advantage: 7 Keys for Hiring Extraordinary Leaders, joins me on this episode of #Accelerate!


[1:25] Stephen says constant pressure from managers puts sales reps in a panic, which makes them ineffective.

Pressure has always been there, but a slump can put them under extreme pressure. Then they enter fight-or-flight mode.

[4:00] When people have a positive outlook at work, they are 31% more productive. If they interact positively with their team, they are 10X more effective than people who are neutral or disengaged. Leaders affect engagement.

[5:58] Individuals need a supportive environment to be more productive. Managers needs to know their people, build trust, and develop a team ethos to build up each member.

[8:50] Senior management focuses on numbers. Direct managers need to be leaders and put coaching, training, and leadership development of their staff first, before numbers.

[10:41] Managers manage things, leaders lead people. In reality, managers fill both roles. They need to spend more time inspiring and helping their people than working the numbers.

[11:25] Focusing on numbers and the mechanics does not produce the kinds of sales experiences that customers want, that will grow business. Managers need to coach their people.

[12:25] Onboarding should include leadership training. Many companies don’t want to invest the time. Stephen tells of a past manager who discouraged his successful behavior.

[15:02] Managers may get uncomfortable when their people perform in ways outside the process. Instead, they could support the individual skills and strengths people have, and leverage these strengths for achievement.

[16:29] Effective selling inspires customers to go on a buying journey with the rep. People want to be motivated. Reps want to be motivated to be leaders.

[17:19] Emotional intelligence can be learned, if the person has motivation. It is a set of competencies. Stephen gives an example of how he would teach a behavior within an area of EQ competency.

[22:11] Leaders need to lead by example, not by control, but by modeling the standard of expectations. Stephen asks his team to call him out if he falls below his standard. Leaders need to be open to feedback.

[26:49] Hiring is challenging. 95% of biases are unconscious. Have a structured process to measure specific required competencies and behaviors. Test to get information, then evaluate afterward. Stephen’s system has over 90% reliability.


June 19, 2017

#488. How to Become a Top Sales Manager. With Kevin Davis.

Kevin Davis, President of Top Line Leadership, and author of multiple books, including his latest, The Sales Manager’s Guide to Greatness: Ten Essential Strategies for Leading Your Team to the Top, joins me for the second time on this episode of #Accelerate!


[1:07] Kevin discusses the reception his new book has received, and how readers pull from it what is most meaningful for the challenges their sales teams face.

[3:05] The sales manager has enormous influence on the performance and productivity of their salespeople. A salesperson needs internal drive and the willingness to engage, to be successful.

[4:08] Kevin talks about the internal motivation of a salesperson, and what influences it. He lists the top four internal motivating drives.

[4:53] Kevin cites Frederick Herzberg’s research, and adds a fifth motivating drive. Sales managers can touch and influence every one of those motivators.

[6:02] One company surveyed their 1,500 salespeople about the effect their sales managers had on their performance through feedback and coaching. Kevin explains the findings.

[8:58] Kevin explores sales leadership and sales management, and how they correlate. The company survey found sales managers were better salespeople than they were leaders.

[11:42] A one-on-one meeting between the sales manager and a salesperson is where coaching can be effective. Kevin talks about the loss review process, and how the sales manager can perform it effectively to reinforce best practices.

[13:53] Salespeople often blame a lost deal on price. The sales manager, with the rep, should call the lost customer, and ask them what went wrong, and how the process could have gone better. This can provide information the rep did not have.

[15:32] If the lost customer won’t talk, that shows there was never a deal. Sales managers need to be doing real-time coaching, so it is clear which deals are going to happen, and which are not real. Re-package accountability as a positive.

[19:18] As a manager, ask the questions that help the person figure out what to do. Management should not be criticism, but coaching. Kevin tells how his first sales manager helped him by letting him learn by doing, without interference.

[22:51] Sales managers are salespeople, and love the rush of sales. Transitioning to leadership requires a new mindset. Engage with your salespeople, not their customers. Only you, the sales manager, can coach and develop your salespeople.

[25:15] The discussion turns to the requirements of sales management. It is critical to know and understand them before accepting that role. Not everyone enjoys leading others. Have self-awareness before being promoted.

May 22, 2017

#464 How to Inspire Lifetime Loyalty with Employees. With Lee Caraher.

Lee Caraher, CEO of Double Forte digital agency in San Francisco, keynote speaker, and author of Millennials in Management, The Essential Guide to Making it Work at Work, and most recently, The Boomerang Principle: Inspire Lifetime Loyalty from Your Employees, joins me for the second time on this episode of #Accelerate! You can also listen to Episode #079, to hear Lee’s first interview.


[2:52] Lee explains the boomerang principle is that companies that encourage and allow former employees to return have a strategic advantage over those that don’t.

[3:07] Lee lists some effects upon culture from hiring back high performers. Boomerangs may stay longer, the second, or even third time back.

[4:27] Careers may span 50 years. Lee discusses the changes to companies and employees over that extended period.

[7:13] Some companies do not mention past employees or acknowledge their existence. Lee explains why not honoring their contributions is bad for company culture.

[8:23] Lee discusses Boomer attitudes, and how they’ve changed, regarding length of employment. The ‘myth of the golden watch’ still prevails, but the reality is quite different.

[11:33] There are reasons that people avoid applying at former employers, and reasons that they should apply. Lee explores these reasons. The key to relevance is to keep learning as an employee. No company is the same as it was a decade ago.

[14:40] Lee’s own company has rehired several former employees, and others are clients. About 90% of their alumni are positive contributors to their bottom line.

[15:47] Lee notes that in her experience, the continuing learning necessary for an employee to stay relevant is tremendous. Her company’s methods have morphed three times since she started it. Everybody changes to keep up.

[18:58] According to Tyler Cowen, people are switching jobs less, and moving less from state to state. Lee compares and contrasts this with her own observations.

[21:00] Lee defines the culture of appreciation. Lee’s father, a surgeon, told her, “If I said please and thank you in the OR, someone would die on the table.” She had to learn to appreciate employees. Research shows it boosts profit 7-21%.

[28:01] Lee discusses the culture of leadership. Millennials like to be acknowledged for leadership. Create an environment for Millennials to thrive, and everyone will thrive.

[30:09] Boomers experienced the best economy ever until the crashes of 2000 and 2008. That economy is over, and it will never again be what it was. Employees need to be relevant to be employed. Employers need the best talent.

April 4, 2017

#423. Increase Sales by Increasing Diversity. With Lori Richardson.

Lori Richardson, Founder and CEO of Score More Sales, and President of Women Sales Pros, joins me again on this episode of #Accelerate! (Please also listen to Episodes 19 and 71.)


[:53] Lori’s company, Score More Sales, helps mid-sized companies to solve sales issues. She also has a pet project to see more women in sales leadership. She shares her thoughts on leadership diversity.

[2:34] In the last year, Lori has been working to understand how women are influencing the B2B sales landscape. She suggests tactics companies can take to hire more women in sales.

[5:41] Lori talks about traveling to universities and colleges to speak to women about B2B selling. If they are thinking retail, can they refocus on B2B? Lori notes that most successful women in B2B had family role models they followed.

[9:30] Lori considers certification and degree programs to have an influence. The Women Sales Pros website is planning to feature more success stories, including the financial rewards.

[12:18] Recruiting strategies: using gender-neutral language in job descriptions, such as collaboration, helping, working together, and results, adds great interest for women.

[13:44] Sales research shows that on average, women perform at a higher level than men, so include them! Diversity improves a team. There is increasing diversity among clients, and sometimes a woman connects where a man does not.

[15:35] Lori attended a sales conference recently. Did she see more male or female presenters? Lori asks you to think about that at your next sales conference.

[17:46] Women Sales Pros are women sales experts. At first, they were not typically called to speak. Now, they speak on main stages, and at companies. Lori sees huge progress, and has great goals for more women in sales and leadership.

[19:11] Lori considers not hiring more women to be a costly sales management issue. Lori asks, If you could increase revenues by 5 or 10 percent, why wouldn’t you?

[19:45] Lori says to consider what an applicant sees in your company when they interview. Do they see a professional work environment, with an opportunity where they could be promoted? Do they see people like them in high positions?

[22:50] What does Lori say about pay inequity? There is commission, and then there is salary. How does territory allocation create inequity? Bad sales management has costs.

[25:35] Lori suggests evaluating the sales team, pipeline, and process, and making some very educated data decisions around accountability, when a salesperson gets lazy. They will often select themselves out, and solve a problem.


March 27, 2017

The Best Practices for Sales Managers. With Kevin F. Davis #416

Joining me on this episode of Accelerate! is my guest Kevin F. Davis, President at TopLine Leadership, and author of multiple books, including his latest, The Sales Manager’s Guide to Greatness: Ten Essential Strategies for Leading Your Team to the Top.


[:48] Kevin started selling for Lanier, and moved into their sales management, and then general management.

[7:38] Kevin’s latest book comes from his years of specialized experience at TopLine, presenting skills workshops to groups of sales managers. His book shares what he learned in the process, to provide value to busy sales managers.

[9:25] Sales managers need to stop and rethink their priorities.

[10:21] Executives should evaluate burdens they place on sales managers. What is really important to a sales manager’s success? What happens when they spend time on coaching?

[15:00] Kevin trains sales managers to lead themselves toward more observational sales coaching. Does a sales managers need to be everybody’s problem solver?

[16:37] What are Kevin’s two magic questions to reply to a rep’s request for help? What question should sales managers ask themselves?

[18:12] Sales managers hope that by solving reps’ problems, the reps will make more sales calls. Instead, the reps bring more problems. What happens when you take over for a rep?

[23:53] The most successful people have the greatest difficulty giving up the things that made them successful to begin with. As a sales manager, stop selling. Let your sales reps sell.

[25:58] Kevin discusses underperformance. What two perspectives does Kevin offer for observational coaching?

[28:55] If sales managers can’t define a good attitude, they can’t nurture it. What trait precedes coachability?

[32:40] Kevin talks about counterproductive behaviors of sales management. To build an elite team, which set of reps should be at the focus? Kevin explains about the ‘bell cow.’

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


[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, 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.

January 24, 2017

How to Convert Contacts Into Profitable Relationships. With Ed Wallace. #363

Joining me on this episode of Accelerate! is my guest Ed Wallace, Founder and CEO of The Relational Capital Group, and author of a couple of great books: Business Relationships That Last: 5 Steps to Transform Contacts Into High Performing Relationships and The Relationship Engine: Connecting with the People Who Power Your Business. Among the many topics that Ed and I discuss are the steps to you can take to convert sales contacts into relationships, the engine that turns leadership connections into relationships and how you should assess and strengthen your business relationships.


[:54] A CPA ‘in recovery,’ Ed was a senior executive at Vertex for 20 years. He was their 9th employee and they sold $1M; when he left, they had 1,000 employees with $120M in sales.

[7:43] There is great potential to improve the existing business relationships you have. It takes time, and it’s difficult, but 90% of executives say relationships are the secret to their success.

[9:47] Ed describes the concepts of the relational ladder and the relationship engine. Each type is appropriate for specific circumstances, with different goals.

[13:52] Ed shares questions to assess the strength of your relationships and shares a process for building strong relationships.

[16:05] Given that you have good intentions toward your colleagues and customers, what is the central challenge of relational leadership?

[16:53] Ed offers to you, Andy’s listeners, to take the Relational Quotient test, an objective measure of 35 human business behaviors, such as email response, call-back time, etc.
[18:35] If you are not getting validation from the people with whom you are trying to build relationships, look at your credibility, integrity, and authenticity. Something is missing. There are no neutral interactions. Trust either rises or falls.

[24:30] Worthy intent is a promise to put the other person’s best interests at the forefront of the relationship. Trust is the inevitable consequence of worthy intent. Asking relevant, topical questions shows your worthy intent.

[26:29] Relational GPS means Goals, Passions, and Struggles. Learning and sharing relational GPS is the universal framework for every business relationship. Let it flow naturally; don’t ask. Ed shares a $10M GPS anecdote of a deal saved by credibility.

November 9, 2016

How to Entice, Disarm, and Discover Your Clients. With Ian Altman. #301

Joining me on this episode of Accelerate! is Ian Altman, Founder and CEO of Grow My Revenue, best-selling author of two books, Same Side Selling: A Radical Approach to Break Through Sales Barriers, and Upside-Down Selling: An integrity-based Sales Approach to Avoid Being Predictable. Ian is also a sought-after keynote speaker, an expert in sales leadership and business growth, and author of articles featured regularly in Inc. and Forbes. In this episode, Ian and I discuss understanding the problems your product solves for the customer, how to qualify your customer by enticing them, disarming them and discovering their needs, and how to preserve the integrity of your sales process.

October 27, 2016

How to Have Better Sales Conversations. With Chris Orlob. #290

Joining me on this episode of Accelerate! is Chris Orlob, Founder and CEO of Conversature, a conversation coaching platform for sales teams. Among the many topics Chris and I discuss are how having visibility into sales calls (conversations) is essential for sales leaders today, how listening to actual calls services as a great sales coaching and auto-correcting mechanism and why sales leaders need to understand the important difference between skills and habits/behaviors in the context of sales coaching.