Accelerate Podcast with Andy Paul
December 1, 2017

#604. Happiness and Sales Success. With Bridget Gleason.

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

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • Bridget is doing fantastic in Boston, enjoying the change of seasons! Andy enjoys running in Central Park.
  • The topic is happiness. Bridget’s resting state is happy. There is a lot of stress she faces as a VP of Sales, and she wants to be imperturbable at work.
  • Andy cites author Emma Seppälä, about making work a place of calm, centeredness, and focus, to enable us to be more successful at work and in life.
  • Stress up and down the chain of sales has been ratcheted up. A recent study of stress showed 58% of people surveyed nationally report their level of stress is rising. In 2014, Gallup found employee engagement to be low.
  • Seppälä says decades of research have shown that happiness is not the outcome of success but the precursor to it. This resonates with Bridget. She doesn’t want her happiness dependent on future results.
  • When we feel burned out, we accept over-extension as a way of life. Then we blame ourselves for the burnout. Andy is not one of the 58% of over-stressed people. The perspective of experience helps him not to stress.
  • Emma Seppälä lists six myths of success. Andy comments on each myth. Seppälä isolates the actions of success from the feelings of happiness. Happiness is a state of heightened positive emotions that prepare for success.
  • Happiness leads to connections and is contagious. Bridget talks about how happy the VP of Customer Success at Logz.io always appears and how she asked him about it. She looks forward to encounters with him.
  • Seppälä divides happiness into three categories of benefits. On the intellectual level, it helps us learn faster and be more creative. Psychologically, it helps us bounce back from stress. Socially, it helps build relationships.
  • The turnover rate for SDRs (about a year) indicates they are not happy at work. As the prospect-facing team of the organization, it would be better for them to be happy. Can the inherent stress in their environment be reduced?
  • Seppälä considers there to be six keys to happiness. Living in the moment — being present with people — is the first. Andy explains the six keys. The last is to show compassion and be of service to others.
  • Andy hopes you will read the book and he invites your comments and questions about Emma Seppälä’s book, The Happiness Track, in the context of sales.

 

August 22, 2017

#548. 4 Cornerstone Habits That Drive Our Success. With Randall Bell

Randall Bell, CEO of the Landmark Research Group, and author of Me We Do Be: The Four Cornerstones of Success, joins me on this episode of #Accelerate!

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[2:22] Randall says the single biggest challenge facing sales reps or sales teams today is keeping it simple. Have a direct message that is simple, well thought-out, and to the point. It takes time and work to get to the simple messaging.

[6:08] Randall wrote his book after a career as an economist, traveling to disasters (WTC, BP oil spill, Chernobyl, etc.) to assess damages. The book is a formula for avoiding disaster and building success. He wrote it in 25 years of experience.

[8:43] Randall wrote, “Today’s habits are tomorrow’s destiny.” An ocean is filled with drops of water. Your daily habits add up. You build wealth a dollar at a time. Simple straightforward steps create authentic growth.

[9:56] Randall’s four cornerstones of life are Me (mindset), We (connections), Do (productivity), and Be (our future and legacy).

[11:20] Me refers to habits to improve the quality of your thoughts, beliefs, and feelings. Read to think more. Develop a mission and philosophy. Know and understand your feelings.

[12:33] Andy shares quotes on thinking and life. Randall recommends to leaders to take time in the early morning to develop their Me cornerstone, before the day’s distractions.

[14:48] Randall conducted a rich international survey of the four major English-speaking nations on success status and their daily habits, and correlated the habits with successes. He notes statistical success habits. (E.g., read, and be honest.)

[16:39] The survey was by self-assessment. There were some very direct questions on honesty and integrity. Andy’s father was a tremendous role model of integrity.

[18:02] We refers to building relationships. Randall ranks social capital higher than financial capital. Randall has a network of contacts all over the world, and they are critical to his work. He reciprocates as well.

[19:45] Randall’s success circle are 20-25 long-term contacts and friends who have been greatly successful. The advice they give is smart and reflects their success. We habits include being mindful of being kind. Watch your tone of voice. Wave.

[24:58] Randall explains social exchange. For every negative thing you say or do, say or do six positive things to counter it. Studies support a six-to-one balance of positive-to-negative to maintain social capital. Don’t create a bad first impression.

[28:05] Humility is another We habit. Authentic humility is attractive. A Type A personality needs to be mindfully humble. Randall talks about one of his humility heroes, Leo Fender.

April 17, 2017

#434. How to Live a Life of Significance and Intention. With Larry Broughton.

Larry Broughton, an award-winning entrepreneur, CEO, bestselling author, keynote speaker, and mentor to other entrepreneurs, joins me on this episode of #Accelerate!

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[:42] Larry has a variety of experiences — martial arts, Green Beret, motel night auditor, entrepreneur, speaker, and leadership coach. He is the CEO and owner of Broughton Hotels with 20 properties currently, and a goal of 80 in 2020.

[4:04] Some people seek success. Don’t chase success — be a great person, and live a life of significance. When you significantly impact your family, community, and investors, success is the by-product. Live a life of meaning, with a ‘why.’

[6:33] Build relationships. People want to do business with people they know, like, and trust. We tend to like and trust people living a life of significance and serving, more than we like those who just take.

[8:09] When you meet someone, find out how you can serve them. Be vulnerable. Larry learned in the Army to do the hard right, over the easy wrong. Success is just outside your comfort zone. There’s just one way to coast, and it’s downhill!

[9:48] Larry is a painful introvert. So he gets psyched up, and takes a wing person, and they play off each other. Larry uses small talk to break the ice, instead of talking business. It is clear if someone is assessing whether you’re worth their time.

[11:06] Sometimes the person you meet is not a good business fit for you, but you might know someone who can help them. Larry likes LinkedIn for the degrees of connection. Larry likes to build the know, like, and trust factor. Smile!

[15:38] Gordon Gekko did not get it right. The world is not a reward for greed. The competitive approach to success is hollow. Collaborative success is best. Larry elaborates on this.

[16:56] Larry believes that things are going to work out in the world, and what he can control is his own positive energy, and the way he responds to the world. Salespeople with positive energy are much more attractive.

[18:48] Larry speaks of 12 Keys to Greatness, including traits such as awareness, authenticity, being centered, gratitude, meditation, intentionality, loving self and others, self affirmations, talismans (symbols of accomplishment), etc.

[25:42] Jealousy comes from fear. There is enough opportunity, success, wealth, recognition for everyone. Larry’s daily affirmations helped him bless people he envied, until he could appreciate them. Good vibes come back to you.

[29:00] Liking goes both ways. When you are authentic, your “like” shows through. Larry’s office has a sign, “Authentic people delivering creative solutions.” The sooner we can be real, the sooner we can like someone, and they can like us.

[32:31] Larry prizes humility. He sees the need for advice. He has a board of advisors for his business, and a board of advisors for his personal life. Be more collaborative than competitive. Do something significant today.

April 15, 2017

#433. Follow Your Own Path to Happiness and Success. With Paul Kortman.

Paul Kortman, Founder of Connex Digital Marketing, and digital nomad, joins me on this episode of #Accelerate!

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[:58] Paul’s understanding of success has shifted. He notes that the American lifestyle does not coincide with Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. The pull of consumerism is strong in the U.S. The family now lives in Cancun.

[5:04] Paul feels guilty if he’s not working at 9:00 a.m., but there are billions of people who don’t work that way. He wants to do better for his children. He spends more time with them.

[7:52] Paul sold their Michigan house over two years ago, and the family of six flew around the world for a first adventure. They came back at Christmas, reconfigured the business, and bought an RV, and within months, they were living in Mexico.

[9:30] It’s a big RV. The children range from ages four to ten. They still obey! They are also homeschooled. Paul’s wife loves taking their home wherever they go. Living in 330 SF is a challenge. In an RV, you go outdoors more.

[13:33] Paul still manages a digital marketing agency. In Mexico they have unlimited 4G WiFi and data on their phones. They consume 200GB in a month, in streaming. Paul reconfigured his business model, after extreme losses.

[15:43] Most of Paul’s customers come because they know somebody who knows Paul. His network connections were not his clients, but they introduced clients to him. By Paul’s leaving town, his competitor’s business “blew up,” from referrals.

[17:23] Normal churn drained away most of Paul’s agency, and he lost 90% of his revenue. Paul explains what happened.

[18:17] In Paul’s trip back to Michigan, he rewarmed his network, but he was also able to develop a productized service, the “Holy Grail” in the service industry. He offered a simplified service at a flat fee, with no variations. It works.

[20:51] Paul is the only salesperson. Paul still networks. He found the sweet spot of pricing, need, and offer. Paul also says the key of search ranking is to offer quality content, with backlinks. He cites Brian Dean’s skyscraper technique.

[22:30] Skyscraper technique takes a topic that has proven successful, although with inferior content, and improves on the content. Paul explains how he productized that process for customers to double their site traffic in six months.

[26:30] Connex Digital Marketing offers the product at a fixed price per post; you set the number of posts per year. You describe your audience, website, and desired keywords. Paul explains how Connex moves forward from that point.

[30:44] Paul will not work with existing or supplied content. To guarantee the quality, and proven results, Paul has house researchers and writers to control the productized service.

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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 13, 2017

Push Your Limits to Achieve the Impossible. With Dan Waldschmidt. #404

Dan Waldschmidt, is a keynote speaker, business strategist, ultra runner, business owner and author of Edgy Conversations: How Ordinary People Can Achieve Outrageous Success.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[:53] Dan speaks to clients on ways to grow and dynamically scale ideas into massive money-makers. He also writes about concerns he faces and addresses in his own businesses.

[1:54] Dan pushes against what is “impossible,” by pushing limits — personally, with running; professionally, by strategizing to make “millions and billions” of dollars; and with clients, helping them to see the world differently, and to excel.

[2:30] Dan’s ultra-running goal for 2017 is to run another few thousand miles, in 100- and 50-mile races, and maybe a 200-mile race. Running gives him clarity for next steps. Transcendental Meditation and running keep him grounded.

[5:31] How did Dan cope when he wanted to quit, 20 miles into his last 100-mile race in the mountains of Alabama?

[8:14] Days after a race, Dan can reflect, “Dude, you didn’t even know that was possible, and you did it! What else don’t you know is possible, that is next on your list of things to do?”

[9:41] Instead of asking for salesmen to close better, ask why your business isn’t creating a brand or a customer experience so outrageously positive, that deals just automatically close?

[10:15] Dan couldn’t finish one race, because he had depleted his salt. Little things can have a fatal effect when you are trying to perform at a high level. The details matter when you answer the phone and how you brand.

[12:15] What are you prepared to sacrifice? Some people don’t progress because they have too many TV shows lined up to watch. Prioritize time. Your choices control your achievements. Be desperate to meet your goals.

[15:48] To perform at a high level, “burn the ships.” Make a list of five to ten things in your life that you need to burn right now, until you cross your continent and build new ships.

[17:54] To be amazing, you have to talk yourself down from your fears. You can learn not only to survive stressful situations, but to thrive, in spite of what happens around you.

[19:40] Successful people refuse to: excuse their mistakes; copy others (instead of building on their own strengths); or look down on others who are struggling (Dan tells of Jeff Bezos’s many years before Amazon turned a profit).

[27:09] Successful people refuse to: waste time doing things that don’t matter; or let the current chaos distract them from future success.

February 9, 2017

How to Increase Sales Productivity with Transparent Reporting. With Travis Truett. #377

Joining me on this episode of Accelerate! is my guest Travis Truett, Co-Founder and CEO of Ambition, an enterprise-grade sales productivity platform.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[3:18] Ambition is a sales productivity platform focused on employee experience and engagement.

[7:17] There are more Millennials in the workforce than any other demographic, and they are more willing to leave a job. Companies who want to keep them will accommodate them.

[9:06] Ambition connects your digital systems together, and allows a business team to tie KPIs around the data. You can track quotas, pipeline movement, activity metrics, and productivity metrics (such as the demo-to-opportunity ratio).

[10:09] On top of KPI classes, there can be layered gamification scorecards, goals, competitions, analytics, leader boards, to drive motivation and recognition. This transparency is effective for employees and the managers coaching them.

[12:17] Ambition is tailored to highlight what is important, and where an employee can improve, as opposed to just counting activities. Scorecards have customized daily activities, and weekly and quarterly objectives.

[14:23] Based on the scorecard, there is a productivity quadrant where employees are mapped on a graph, input against output. This is transparency that enables specific coaching, and even suggests helpful changes to CRM metrics.

[16:50] Ambition provides transparency, accountability, and the insights to have better conversations between manager and employee.

[17:29] Ambition outbound targets sales organizations, as the intended market, but other types of organizations have been calling Ambition.

[19:48] Using Ambition, Continuum has increased Salesforce utilization by 86%, because reps want their activities recorded, for the competition. When CRM is used, the data is analyzed.

[22:07] To use a paradigm of candy, aspirin, and vitamins, Ambition’s TV Leader Board (recognition) is candy, fixing a pain point for an employee (transparency, how they are doing) is aspirin, and the Scorecard (areas for improvement) is vitamins.

[24:40] Ambition takes training, but it helps change behaviors. Its objective is to improve the performance of the middle 70% that just need help, and want to do better. Employee retention is a benefit of Ambition through transparent real-time data.

[28:08] Ambition measures sales productivity by measuring average rate of input divided by targeted output. The quadrant changes in the month as inputs and outputs are entered.

 

December 1, 2016

How to Gamify Sales Productivity. With Jeremy Boudinet. #319

Joining me on this episode of Accelerate! is my guest
Jeremy Boudinet. Jeremy is Director of Marketing at Ambition, a sales productivity platform that drives people and process with goals, scorecards, contests, and analytics. Among the many topics that Jeremy and I discuss are the origins of Ambition, the transparency and accountability that gamification provides in sales, what kinds of sales organizations are a good fit for gamification, and how Ambition implements gamification to help improve sales productivity.

July 5, 2016

How to Get Unstuck in Life, Business and Work. With Jason VanOrden. #192

Jason VanOrden is an entrepreneur, author, and speaker who co-founded Internet Business Mastering, where he shares tips and resource about online business, content marketing, the science of influence and living with purpose. Jason helps thousands of entrepreneurs realize their vision of pursuing their passions, being their own boss, creating their own schedule and living a lifestyle they truly desire. In today’s episode, Jason and I discuss how to get unstuck in life, business and work. Join us to hear more about:

  • How Jason discovered his path to business ownership.
  • Creating baby steps towards change with Tiny Habits.
  • Surrounding yourself with success and support.
  • Finding an accountability partner, a framework, and a mentor.
  • Plan for success and start Now, don’t wait!
June 13, 2016

Transition, Transform, and Evolve: Moving to Your Business to the Next Level. With Steve Rodgers. #176.

Steve Rodgers, is a speaker and the author of From Lead to Gold: An Entrepreneur’s Guide Through Transition, Transformation and Evolution. He was formerly President and CEO of Prudential California Realty (a company owned by Warren Buffett.) In this episode, Steve discusses how to effectively use the power of transitions, both in business and life, to help you to transform and evolve to higher levels of productivity and satisfaction. Among the topics we discuss are:

  • What it was like to work for Warren Buffett
  • Why growing companies struggle to maintain their culture and vibe.
  • How to achieve more success by evolving from a money-centric mindset to purpose-driven mindset.
  • Recognizing the early warning signs of burnout. And what to do.