Accelerate Podcast with Andy Paul
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.)

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[: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.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[: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 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.

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.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[: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.

October 7, 2016

How Sales Leadership Begins with YOU! With Bridget Gleason. #273

Welcome to another Front Line Friday with my very special guest, Bridget Gleason. This week’s topic of discussion is on a specific aspect of sales leadership. When we hear terms such as ‘sales leader’, ‘sales leadership’ or ‘leadership’ in general, we tend to associate them with people having some type of a management role. However, I believe that sales leadership really begins at the individual level. And, in this episode, Bridget and I explore what it means to be an individual sales leader. Our conversation eventually morphs into a mini book club so make sure to join us now!

October 5, 2016

How to be a Great Sales Coach. With David A. Brock. #271

I am amped up to be bringing back my guest on this episode, David A. Brock, founder of Partners In Excellence. David is a fantastic blogger, sales coach, consultant, speaker, and author of a stellar new book, The Sales Manager Survival Guide – Lessons From Sales’ Frontlines. David and I engage on topics ranging from the evolving role of sales leaders in modern organizations to the qualities that make great sales coaches. And good sales managers. David brings to the table a wealth of hands-on experience and I’m happy to welcome him back to Accelerate!

September 3, 2016

When to Start Selling Your Start up Product. With Kyle York. #244

Acting as an advisor and board member for several fast growth start-ups, Kyle York, is also Chief Strategy Officer at Dyn, an Internet performance company based in Manchester, New Hampshire. In this episode, Kyle and I talk about one of the key questions facing entrepreneurs, which is “when and how to start selling?”. Join us as we discuss an array of topics, including; when it is the right time to bring in sales leadership, the types of sales leadership do you need to hire during the startup stages, how to make sales leadership a complementary part of your startup team, and why Kyle and his family have started an athletic footwear company.

July 20, 2016

What It Takes to Be a Leader in Sales. And in Life. With Rob “Waldo” Waldman. #205

Rob “Waldo” Waldman, motivational speaker, leadership expert, and New York Times & Wall Street Journal bestselling author of Never Fly Solo, joins me to discuss leadership in sales and in life. Waldo had a distinguished military career and has used that experience to become a leadership expert. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a CEO, entrepreneur, sales leader, sales manager, customer success manager or sales rep – knowing how to be a leader is an essential element of your success.

Among the many topics Waldo and I discuss in this episode are how you can learn to become a leader, the critical differences between leadership and management, finding growth on the other side of fear, and what it means to be fully committed to achieving your goals.