Accelerate Podcast with Andy Paul
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.

June 12, 2017

#482. Leading a Four Generation Sales Team. With Kelly Riggs.

Kelly Riggs, Creator of the Business Locker Room, author of Quit Whining and Start Selling, speaker, podcaster, and Co-Founder of Counter Mentors, joins me on this episode of #Accelerate!


[5:20] Kelly describes Counter Mentors, founded with his son Robby. A counter mentor brings the values of Millennials to Boomers in the workplace. The goal is an environment where both generations thrive, using the wisdom and skills of each.

[8:12] Between Boomers and Millennials are Gen X; after Millennials are Gen Z. Silent Generation members are still going strong In some companies, for five generations in one office.

[9:15] Gen Z grew up in the 2008 economic downturn, so they care about economic security. They are more entrepreneurial than Millennials.
[10:16] Over a year ago, Millennials became the largest population of the workforce. Boomers are retiring. Gen X are not ready to retire.

[11:49] Digital kids entering the workplace suddenly had to learn interpersonal skills. Millennials and Boomers both want respect, but their definitions of it differ. Millennials want their bosses to earn their respect, but respect goes both ways.

[15:57] Boomers need to approach Millennials from a leading position, but not from an authoritarian position. Be tolerant of questions, and be willing to explain the reasons. Don’t categorize any generation as being problematic.

[20:59] Millennials don’t see the Boomers as the revolutionary youth they were in the 1960s and 1970s. The generations have some commonalities. Each generation was raised differently. Each can be effective in the workplace, working together.

[24:01] In many companies Millennials are in leadership over Boomers. Leadership is harder than they thought! But they can do it.

[26:20] Millennials may see Boomers as hypocritical. People leaving an organization leave because of the people they work for. People promoted to leadership have not been trained as leaders. They become micromanagers, and drive people away.

[29:34] Management is not the same as leadership. The role of a manager is largely administrative. They know the administration, and the CRM, but not the key aspects of leadership. They have not learned to coach.

[31:56] Invest money in training sales leaders, or pay the price in missed quotas and turnover. ‘Calls per day’ does not relate to identifying the right contacts to call.

[36:33] Kelly learned his processes from the books of the masters. A coach needs to see each salesperson, with their strengths and skillsets, and guide them in those directions.

June 8, 2017

#479. How to Understand and Use Sales Data. With Oleg Rogynskyy.

Oleg Rogynskyy, Founder and CEO of, a sales management platform based on hard data, joins me on this episode of #Accelerate!


[1:45] Most of the decisions around managing a sales team are made on hunches and intuition, with little data. Oleg finds this to be the biggest challenge for sales managers today. If they use data, they use lagging indicators, such as revenue.

[2:26] Oleg comments on sales stacks, and how they generate silos of data that need to be managed. sets out to offer full transparency of activity information, and the ability to positively influence how sales is being done by the team.

[4:15] Multiple apps each cover their own piece of the stack. There is no unification of data between apps. makes sales management easier by making data accessible.

[7:45] Oleg says connects to 90 systems, and pulls in information in high-resolution about everything the sales reps do, and formats it to answer specific questions that sales directors have everyday.

[8:22] One example is ramp. tracks reps across multiple metrics, against successful or unsuccessful ramps. retrieves data about all the activity of the rep.

[10:03] Oleg addresses confirmation bias. He explains that will confirm or discredit a manager’s hunches, and reveal the factors behind their concerns.

[11:30] Oleg addresses the topic of correlation and causation and discusses’s use of AI, or “clever machine learning.” V2 will be more predictive.

[14:01] is attempting to add a layer of data to the interaction between manager and rep. Oleg explains why this is important to understand sales performance.

[18:44] There is a green field of opportunity for data impact outside of sales. Oleg considers sales to be the best data set to train the machine, in preparing to address other verticals.

[19:26] Other than revenue, it is hard for managers to know what makes a salesperson better. Oleg explains how this involves data issues, data education, Salesforce report limitations, and reluctance of sales managers to dig into data.

[23:07] Oleg points out that most people using Salesforce follow the same model of selling. People without CRM are still producing activities that are captured within systems. Data analysis can improve the performance.

[28:14] is ‘fully stack agnostic.’ They have customers who do not use CRM. The data sources are the email, phone, calendar and other systems they use to communicate.

March 28, 2017

How to Achieve Your Goals with Passion, a Plan and a Purpose. With Jon Ferrara. #417

Joining me once again on this episode of Accelerate! is my guest Jon Ferrara, Founder and CEO of Nimble.


[1:49] Jon describes a pathway to achieve your passion, plan, and purpose in life — ideally by serving others.

[4:09] What is Dunbar’s limit of the relationships humans can maintain? What relationship stage takes the most effort?

[6:20] Jon discusses CRM, or, as he calls it, ‘Customer Reporting Management.’ What percentage of businesses use CRM?

[7:43] Jon describes how CRMs operate, and why he created GoldMine 30 years ago.

[10:57] Nimble unifies Office 365 or Google contacts, email, and calendar, and integrates them with your CRM.

[13:11] Nimble is a Microsoft launch partner for a Dynamics app exchange. Nimble can operate as a system on its own, or within whatever social sales and marketing system you use.

[16:53] Names put into Nimble are enriched with data, and a history of email, calendar, and social actions. You can build a manual cadence. A package for Q1 ‘17 automates cadences.

[19:08] Jon suggests how CRM will evolve. Salespeople want to manage relationships, not tools. Nimble’s CRM idea is to make the rep most effective as they engage with the customer.

[21:39] Simpler, smarter unifications of social, mobile, and big data will become the next generation of tools to help you achieve your passion, plan, and purpose.

[25:01] When the tools start to work for reps, in email, social, and mobile, then reps will use them to engage their contacts.

[26:38] Jon tells of his own experience preparing for a Microsoft 2015 conference using Nimble, and how it helped him win two bundling deals with Microsoft.

[30:55] Having automation doesn’t mean you should start spraying emails. Make the content count with added value, relevant to the prospects, even at scale.


February 2, 2017

How to Get Your Sales Team to Adopt Your CRM Tool. With Timo Rein. #371

Joining me on this episode of Accelerate! is my guest Timo Rein, Co-Founder of Pipedrive, which is one of the leading CRM systems for SMB (Small and Midsized Business).


[2:19] After about a decade in sales consultancy, Timo Rein co-founded Pipedrive in 2010, to help salespeople around the world to manage complex sales processes.
[2:52] Timo grew up in the Soviet Union, which collapsed when he was a teen. The fall was hard on his grandparents and parents, whose pensions were lost. Timo was excited to be part of the nation of Estonia, independent again in 1991.

[6:21] Timo looked at the sales management tools available in 2000, and after a costly implementation for a business, found his sales people were still using sticky notes, instead of the CRM.

[7:34] Customers asked him about putting analog-style tracking tools into software, and that started them on the path to creating Pipedrive, as a tool to benefit salespeople.

[11:59] Pipedrive’s model is self-serve SaaS, so anyone in a company can use it. In some cases, management sees this usage, and makes it an enterprise purchase.

[13:12] The look and feel of Pipedrive is unique. It attempts to strike the balance between functionality and simplicity. It is a daily sales productivity tool, not just a reporting tool.

[15:23] What management wants, at the end of the day, is to sell in such a way that the focus is in the right place, most of the time. Pipedrive helps salespeople focus on the right opportunities — more on sales, than on engagements.

[18:15] The intent of Pipedrive is to close deals by the process of moving a contact from prospect to customer, helping you control your activities, to become more successful in sales.

[21:02] You can look at sales productivity mathematically. Performance is measured against results for a given period. Tools are productive if they move you towards results.

[26:10] Instead of focusing on the average sales cycle length (a result), if management saw the sales hours going into the cycle, they could focus on sales hours and actions, (controlled factors), to reduce the sales cycle length.

[27:43] Simplicity of use of the tool is important to getting the salespeople to use it. If it is not being used, it is not helping. If used, it helps performance, but the next step is helping real sales productivity.

[29:20] Business software was once considered difficult and clunky, but is now becoming consumerized. Categories of tools are blending. The more functions one interface can address simply, the better chances it has for adoption.


October 20, 2016

Simplifying the Process of Prospecting. With Nicolas Vandenberghe. #284

My guest today is entrepreneur Nicolas Vandenberghe. Nicolas is the co-founder and President of Chili Piper, an intelligent calendar system for sales teams. Among the many topics Nicolas and I discuss in this episode are best practices for the  routing of sales opportunities, the importance of the hand-off process from SDR’s to Account Executives and how to perform real-time meeting confirmations from prospects.

September 25, 2016


Sunday Special: Listener Favorites on Becoming a Better Sales Coach

Some of the more popular episodes on Accelerate have been about sales coaching and how sales managers can effectively coach the sales people on their team to help elevate their performance and productivity. In case you missed these the first time around, here are two recent episodes about becoming a better sales coach that are extremely popular with the friends of Accelerate!

Michael Bungay Stanier joined me on Episode #246 to talk about Strategies to Develop a Better Coaching Habit. Michael is a senior partner at Box of Crayons and the author of several books, including the bestselling, Do More Great Work, and his latest, The Coaching Habit. With all the talk about coaching that goes on in sales, what if coaching was simultaneously more simple to implement and more valuable in its impact than you thought? Join us as Michael shares some of the key strategies that he has used in training thousands of coaches. These will definitely help you become a better sales coach.

Bridget Gleason joined me on #170 to talk about Managing and Coaching Under-performing Sales Reps. In today’s episode, Bridget and I talk about managing and coaching under-performing sales reps. Sometimes, that can include respectfully coaching those reps into other career opportunities. Be sure to join us as we talk about multiple coaching topics including implementing individual sales performance improvement plans, how much time you should invest with underperforming sales reps to improve their results and how managers should factor non-work related factors into their coaching.


July 15, 2016

How You Can Be the Golden State Warriors of Sales. With Bridget Gleason. #201

My regular guest on Front Line Friday is Bridget Gleason, VP of Corporate Sales for SumoLogic. Steve Kerr, head coach of the Golden State Warriors, has built an incredibly successful team based on a team culture that’s built around 4 core values: competition, mindfulness, compassion and joy. In this episode, Bridget and I discuss these 4 core values in the context of selling and sales performance.

And we talk about how they can help you succeed both personally and as a team. Don’t miss this!

June 15, 2016

Aligning Sales + Marketing to Boost Sales Productivity. With Peter Strohkorb, #178.

Peter Strohkorb is an international business speaker, mentor, coach and author of a new book called The OneTEAM Method: How Sales + Marketing Collaboration Boosts Big Business. He is the creator of the OneTEAM Method for superior Sales and Marketing alignment and collaboration. In today’s episode, Peter and I discuss how effectively aligning sales and marketing collaboration can maximize close rates and increase customer satisfaction. Among the topics we discuss are:

  • The definition of sales productivity and how managers should measure it.
  • The specific steps Marketing can take to help boost sales productivity.
  • What are the sales challenges that Marketing can support?
  • Who needs to take the lead to facilitate sales + marketing collaboration?
June 14, 2016

Maximizing Sales and Marketing Alignment. With Ardath Albee. #177.

Ardath Albee is the best-selling author of eMarketing Strategies for the Complex Sales and Digital Relevance, and President of Marketing Interactions. (She’s also a member of the Romance Writers of America!) In today’s episode, Ardath discusses one of the key challenges for all organizations: how to maximize alignment between their marketing and sales efforts. Among the many topics we discuss are:

  • The primary reason there is a disconnect between marketing and sales.
  • Why the most important part of content marketing is engaging the potential buyer in a conversation.
  • The importance of defining a storyline in the buying process.
  • Why conversations are a series of questions and answers.