Accelerate Podcast with Andy Paul
October 11, 2017

#582 The Uniquely Human Behaviors We Need in Sales. With Geoff Colvin.

Geoff Colvin, Senior Editor at Large, Fortune Magazine, and the New York Times bestselling author of Talent is Overrated: What Really Separates World-Class Performers from Everybody Else, and Humans Are Underrated: What High Achievers Know That Brilliant Machines Never Will, joins me on this episode of #Accelerate!

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[5:43] Geoff says the single biggest challenge facing sales reps today is fully understanding and appreciating the degree to which they are threatened by technology. Forrester Research predicts that by 2020, 20% of B2B sales jobs will be eliminated. [8:14] The single largest employment of males in America is truck driving. Driving is threatened by technology. An autonomous truck has already made a commercial delivery.

[11:01] The industrial revolution put artisans out of work. The arrival of electricity put education in the forefront. The technological revolution is now lessening the strength of a college education, as knowledge work is being automated.

[14:24] Employers require administrators to have college degrees but college skills are not needed for administrative tasks. AI technology now does what young lawyers used to do — discovery of documents — better, faster, and cheaper.

[17:18] Law school grads are hunting for jobs. The meaning of being a great performer has changed. Technology can do the repetitive work, and even more complex work. Instead of being more machine-like, we need to relate more humanly.

[19:19] To look into someone’s eyes is the key to creating value. Talking face-face with someone literally synchronizes both brains. Turning away stops the synchronization. Various visual cues combine to build trust.

[21:03] In SaaS, close rates are not very good. SDRs burn through hundreds of thousands of leads to get the deals. Andy suggests for high-value deals, get on the plane and meet the contact. Conferences are becoming more important.

[23:03] Oxford Economics reports that employers will be looking for more right-brain employees in the next few years. Other research shows that empathy is trending down among students. These are skills needed for teams and leaders.

[26:57] The greater value an employer puts on empathy, the greater value it is to hire women for those roles. Geoff talks to students and asks whether men or women are better at deep human interaction. He gets one answer.

[28:17] Training and ongoing education of sellers has to focus on these selling habits of building relationships, not on tactical skills. Some employers think people cannot be trained in these skills, or don’t know how to train for them.

[30:39] These skills, added to product knowledge and customer knowledge, are your path to a long career in sales. Knowledge is being commoditized, but skills of engagement are still uniquely human. It’s all how you sell, not what you sell.

[32:38] These capabilities are in us. We can change our habits to build relationships. “Just think of what we’re being asked to do — to become more essentially human, to be the creatures we once were and were always meant to be.” — Geoff Colvin.

 

ANNOUNCEMENT

This month we are celebrating the 2nd Anniversary of Accelerate! Accelerate! has been downloaded well over one million times and recognized twice by Inc.! Andy would like to hear from you about your favorite episode, guest, or topic. See the complete list of episodes at AndyPaul.com. Leave Andy a message about your favorite episode to receive a free signed copy of Amp Up Your Sales: Powerful Strategies That Move Customers to Make Fast, Favorable Decisions, by Andy Paul. You will need to provide your physical mailing address to receive the book.

 

September 13, 2017

#565 The Five Hallmarks of High-Performing Sales Organizations. With Norman Behar.

Norman Behar, CEO & Managing Director at Sales Readiness Group, joins me for the second time on this episode of #Accelerate! Also listen to Norman’s first episode, #318.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[3:34] Norman says the single biggest challenge facing sales teams today is ‘qualification.’ There is a disconnect between the leads generated and the opportunities going into the sales funnel. Norman explains how lead qualification has changed.

[4:45] There is a high percentage of leads not being followed up. So many leads are based on content marketing, and those leads are often not market-qualified. Some companies have a team to follow up these leads, and a team for qualified leads.

[7:44] Sales Readiness Group, with Selling Power, released the “2017 Sales Management Research Report: The Five Hallmarks of High-Impact Sales Organizations.” It covers responsibilities of sales managers. A survey was sent to find best practices.

[10:23] Norman discusses the data from the survey. 17% of organizations have fewer than 25% of reps meeting quota. Assuming the quotas were set right, their managers are not as well-skilled or trained as managers are in the other groups.

[11:55] Sales managers at high-impact sales organizations spend more time coaching. There are two types of coaching: opportunity and skills. Skills coaching is harder for coaches promoted from sales. They haven’t learned the right skills.

[14:42] Survey questions included: Do they make coaching a collaborative process? Do they assess the sales person’s knowledge and skill levels? Are they developing personalized coaching plans for each one of their sales people?

[15:09] Do they plan and maintain an organized coaching schedule? Do they follow a defined coaching program? Respondents noted how important they felt these skills were, and how well they rated themselves on these skills.

[15:35] In high-impact groups, managers spent a higher percentage of their time coaching. Norman offers a suggestion for the ideal percentage of time for managers to spend on coaching, depending on the size and nature of the sales team.

[17:44] 73% of all sales managers receive no training on coaching. This is a missed opportunity. What is more important than training the trainers? Norman always first recommends sales manager coaching training.

[21:46] High-impact organizations are proficient at recruiting and hiring salespeople. Managers need to be trained how to hire. It is critical to know what behaviors are wanted, and how to ask questions to reveal them. Learn to ask great questions.

[27:45] Interviews are more effective if everyone interviewing asks the same questions of each candidate. You can compare consistent data points from each interviewer.

[28:46] High-impact organizations invest more to develop their sales managers, but they may not yet be spending enough. The lower groups are spending much less, if anything, on training their managers. A good program is $1,500 to $3,000.

July 25, 2017

#520. The Key Traits of High-Performing B2B Marketing Teams. With Mathew Sweezey.

Mathew Sweezey, an author, keynote speaker, and Principal of Marketing Insights at Salesforce.com, joins me on this episode of #Accelerate!

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[2:53] Mathew says the biggest challenge facing sales professionals is understanding how people relate, how they want to be sold, and what they’re actually buying. A-type personalities do not often make the best sales professionals.

[4:17] Many sales postings ask for extroverts. These companies may not be around long. One third of the Fortune 500 has been replaced in the last decade. Old ideas are past. What a company sells, and how it sells, are separate issues.

[7:52] Salesforce surveyed organizations in 2016 to determine traits of high-performance B2B marketers. They used two self-selecting questions to identify the high performers.

[9:42] The questions asked their happiness with their position in their market, and with marketing outcomes. If these were exceptional, they were doing other things exceptionally. The top factor was executive buy-in, because tools are costly.

[11:41] Executive buy-in is the top factor in any organizational change. The CEO holds the organization accountable, and provides the funds to do it.

[13:22] High-performing organizations invest more in tools. High performers use 12 tools in their stack, vs. one-to-five. There must be a base level of technology in place to know the consumer. The C-suite is continually being asked for budget.

[18:22] Mathew shares his opinion on Gartner’s prediction that 80% of the B2B sales process will be owned by Marketing by 2020. Sales still works, but buyers have a new process. It’s the experience in total that matters.

[22:10] Customers will continue to have more information before talking to the salesperson. There will still be many touchpoints. Sales roles will shift and change. There will be a new relationship-building role between Marketing and Sales.

[25:15] The new role must be focused on the relationship. SaaS close rates are poor when the relationship is neglected. Andy cites Absolute Value. Matthew cites The Experience Economy, which places experience over product.

[28:07] People are learning. Skillsets, behaviors, and habits are going to change. The future of selling is about becoming more human, not less. Technology can only help you make better decisions. Matt quotes Tim Washer about blogs.

[30:03] Jacco vanderKooij writes about the emotional phases of the buying experience. Joe Pine writes about guiding the buyer to next question they need to ask through the buying experience. It is a human process of solving problems.

[32:05] The customer experience is about achievement, not about pain points. Support the customer on the story arc where they want to be.

April 27, 2017

#443. What Stands Between You and Your Greatness? With Lolly Daskal.

Lolly Daskal, a leadership executive coach who works with many Fortune 500 CEOs, speaker, and author of the great new book, The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness, joins me on this episode of #Accelerate!

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[2:02] Lolly talks about the greatness within each person. At certain moments it is felt, when the body is energetic, the mind is in flow, and life is in synch.
[5:24] Daniel Pink says, everybody leads. Lolly says, own your leadership — how you impact others, regardless of your title or position — and take responsibility for it.
[6:48] Lolly gives her definition of greatness. It’s about being confident of abilities, loyal, and trustworthy. It has the characteristics of what it means to be successful. She discusses a code of conduct based on core principles.
[8:30] Lolly noticed that her clients complained of seven issues, or human weaknesses. Lolly calls them gaps, that come out when we are stressed. She identifies archetypes, as taught by Carl Jung, pairing them against opposing gaps.
[12:31] If we’re no longer able to change a situation, we have to change ourselves. Lolly uses the acronym RETHINK for the seven archetypes and personas in her book. Rebel, Explorer, Truth Teller, Hero, Inventor, Navigator, and Knight.
[13:39] Lolly asks clients to consider themselves a work in progress. Without progress there is no growth. True leadership means transformation. What did you learn today, so you can be better tomorrow? Nothing stands still.

[14:39] Surround yourself with people smarter than you, so you can learn. Lolly has read a book a day for 27 years, so she can always learn something new. (She skims and retains it.)

[16:48] All of us have all the archetypes within us, and they show up in different kinds of ways, as needed by the situation. [21:56] Clients ask how they can be at the top of their game. Lolly redirects them toward knowing who they are, rather than how they should do things. People tap into who you are, and that’s how they align with you. People buy from who you are.

[24:40] Lolly explains the gap. The Rebel, driven by confidence, has a gap, the Impostor, driven by doubt. Do you want to stand in greatness, which is finding confidence, or do you want to lead with self-doubt? She explains luck is being prepared.

[27:35] Perfection is not real. Lolly substitutes excellence for perfection, by bringing excellence to everything she does. Bringing the best you have, is good enough.

[29:45] Two final thoughts from Lolly: read The Leadership Gap, and get a coach who will ask you questions, to go deeper.

 

April 20, 2017

#437. Use Small Data to Compress Sales Cycles and Increase Conversions. With Mark Ripley.

Mark Ripley, VP of Sales for Insightly, a CRM and project management system, joins me on this episode of #Accelerate!

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[:41] Mark sold retail car stereos in college, and fell in love with sales. He got an early start in technology in San Diego. He is now at Insightly, where the goal is to bring CRM to medium and small businesses around the world.

[2:06] In three years, CRMs have grown from 60 to 250, today. Insightly captures market share with its ease of use and simplicity. Insightly is the number one CRM globally for G Suite users, with almost half the market.

[4:40] The CRM market is not saturated. There are many large and small companies not using CRM. What is the big fear many companies have about CRM?

[6:23] Some of Insightly’s best features are the UI, and its integration into other extremely common tools, such as Gmail. Many Insightly activities are accessible through Gmail and Office 365. Ease of use makes adoption simple.

[8:15] Mark notes three values for SMB pain points: sales productivity; organizing all activities for a world-class red carpet customer experience; and data visibility for managing larger sales teams.

[10:33] Insightly CRM can help sales reps get a larger Return on Time (ROT). Automation manages drip campaigns and email logs. They are launching a call transcription feature this year.

[14:15] Performance and productivity vary per market and industry. Activity and skills drive productivity. If you keep effectiveness the same, increasing activity increases productivity, in theory.

[21:30] Mark sees through a customer lens and a salesperson lens. A good CRM provides pre-sale and post-sale service to grow the customer relationship through personal attention.

[25:30] Mark uses the term small data. The smart use of data should yield tangible, digestible, and actionable results in a time-compressed fashion.

[28:44] Accurate forecasting through the CRM is the next ambitious step for Insightly. CRMs will get better at putting more accurate forecasting at the fingertips of managers.

[30:50] Present forecasting methods are tied to the stage of the client along the funnel, which ignores competitors. “You can’t measure probability with a yardstick.” Mark looks at history to predict outcomes.

[33:28] Mark questions the wisdom in incenting forecasting. What problem does Mark see? It’s a very common thing to assume everyone on the team is forecasting the same way, but it is not necessarily so.

February 5, 2017

Repeat: How to Sell More in Less Time. With Jill Konrath. #331

Joining me on this episode of Accelerate! is my friend Jill Konrath. Jill is a speaker, sales expert, and author of multiple bestselling books, including Selling to Big Companies, Snap Selling, Agile Selling, and her latest book, More Sales, Less Time. Among the many topics that Jill and I discuss are how she came to focus on selling more in less time, what she learned from her research about concentration, focus and how to eliminate distraction that waste selling time, how to make the most of the limited hours available each, and how you can take the More Sales, Less Time Challenge.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[2:19] After Jill wrote SNAP Selling, about selling to frazzled customers, readers asked her how to simplify their own lives. She had no idea how to help them, so she researched it.

[6:37] Research shows multitasking is an illusion. Learn what happens when you try to jump between two tasks and refocus your attention.

[8:20] How often the average sales person checks their cell phone each day. And how each interruption reduces productivity.

[8:40] To write More Sales, Less Time, Jill used herself as a test subject for the before and after metrics for each new strategy she tried.

[10:44] Jill shares how using your willpower impacts your ability to make decisions.

[14:20] Jill’s Time Master Manifesto sets rules to manage time, starting with getting seven-and-a-half hours of sleep nightly.

[17:28] How you should start each business day before turning on your computer and checking your email.

[20:12] Two books to assist salespeople in learning how to prioritize are Essentialism, and The One Thing.

[24:03] Challenge the status quo at all times, looking for a better way to achieve the end result.

[25:00] Jill shares the value of scheduling your activities into blocks of time. You are most productive while focusing on one activity.

January 5, 2017

How to Increase Your Sales Effectiveness. With George Brontén. #347

Joining me on this episode of Accelerate! is my guest George Brontén, Founder and CEO of Membrain, a sales effectiveness platform based out of Sweden. Among the many topics that George and I discuss are include whether there is a global crisis in sales effectiveness, war stories of sales gone wrong, and the factors that help a sales professional to be more effective.

 

December 16, 2016

Hiring, Firing and Knowing When to Leave. With Bridget Gleason. #332

Welcome to another Front Line Friday with my remarkable guest, Bridget Gleason. On this week’s episode, Bridget and I discuss, among other topics, employment-related questions people have asked Bridget, the sales team characteristics of companies in different stages of growth, whether personal growth or employment stability is more important to a sales professional, and how a manager should make the decision to terminate an underperforming rep.

September 29, 2016

Understanding The ‘Math Of Sales.’ With Bill Johnson. #266

Joining me on Accelerate! is Bill Johnson, Founder and CEO of Salesvue, a sales enablement platform that accelerates those critical activities that create and support revenue. Among the many topics Bill and I discuss in this episode Bill are: ‘The Math of Sales,’ optimum cadence timing, the dangers of “vanity metrics” and much much more.

July 27, 2016

How to Build A High Performance Sales Culture. With Ron Karr. #211

Ron Karr is the founder of Karr Associates, Inc., a leading sales speaker, consultant and author of several books, including the bestselling Lead, Sell, Or Get Out of the Way: The 7 Traits of Great Sellers. On this episode, Ron joins me to detail the 7 traits shared by great sellers, how to grow a high performance sales culture and how to increase your influence through significance. Ron also talks about “mastermind” groups, how they work and how you can benefit from membership in one.