Accelerate Podcast with Andy Paul
March 22, 2017

How To Create Value for Your Prospects. With Jack Kosakowski. #412

Joining me once again on this episode of Accelerate! is my guest Jack Kosakowski, Global Head of B2B Social Sales Execution at Creation Agency.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[1:58] A sales professional for 12 years — in manufacturing and tech — Jack found a niche in social sales. His passion is integrating social into B2B sales.

[2:55] Jack gives his straightforward assessment of the single biggest challenge sales representatives face today. He follows up by describing a general problem with the SDR model.

[4:35] What happens to the sales process, in companies under high pressure to grow?

[5:36] Jack talks about shortcuts that turn out not to be pathways to sales success.

[7:36] The discussion turns to training issues.

[8:40] Jack has advice for marketing and sales alignment.

[11:27] What is different about B2B selling today, than before the use of the account-based sales model?

[14:22] The Art vs. the Science of Sales: the Debate. Jack would like to know the sales equation, if there is one.

[15:10] Jack covers building the right team, creating the right processes, stacks, and sales training strategy.

[18:05] Jack talks about questions sales representatives ask.

[20:57] How to dig deeper.

[23:50] Jack has learned more empathy for the buyer by being pitched. What skills has he seen lacking, among sales reps who called on him? Could they have given more memorable value?

[30:11] How does social media selling allow the sales professional to sell proactively?

March 16, 2017

How to Optimize Your Sales Effectiveness. With Manny Medina. #407

Manny Medina, is CEO of Outreach.io.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[:47] Manny was a telco software developer. He moved to Amazon, then to Microsoft’s Windows Phone, and then, sales.

[1:40] Manny founded GroupTalent, as the main salesperson. They developed internal outreach software, but customers wanted the software, not their service. So he began Outreach.

[2:42] The declining number of hours reps spend selling is the biggest problem Manny sees in sales. Why has it declined?

[4:50] Could CRM syncing take less sales time? Manny also has ideas for getting real-time client information to salespeople. What can be automated in communication?

[7:30] As sales is a process, Manny asks, for each action, what is the value of that action relative to the expected outcome. How do you optimize your time to be most effective?

[9:02] Marketing Automation provides customers with a lot of information before they buy. Salespeople should have a lot of information about the customer’s persona, and the individual contact, and engage them to fit their needs.

[12:55] In B2B sales, you need to know the structure of the prospect firm. Who are the influencers, who makes the decision, and what value proposition engages each contact?

[15:30] How can you set up your system so that when your automated message is sent to the contact, it lands at the right place and time to work? When should you use testing?

[17:55] The sales process has two issues: how well does the process fits the prospects, and are people well-trained to have the right conversations to engage with the prospect? What message resonates with each persona?

[22:16] Sales process training is largely ineffective, and, when effective, it fades in the absence of continued follow-up. When Outreach.io works with a client, they check for a process; if it’s being followed; and lastly, if the results are being measured.

[26:36] Manny cites Bill Walsh’s The Score Takes Care of Itself, about a standard of performance, that when followed, produce repeatable results. SaaS needs a repeatable process.

[29:01] What relationship does Manny see between quota attainment, and CRM roll-out? Are shops actually using their CRM? How can Outreach.io fit into the process?

February 27, 2017

How to Climb to the Top in Any Sales Organization. With Lee Bartlett. #392

Lee Bartlett, is a sales expert, entrepreneur, and author of a new book titled, The No. 1 Bestseller.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[1:25] Lee wrote The No. 1 Bestseller as his interpretation of sales excellence — what top salespeople do differently from their colleagues and their competition.

[2:03] The book tells how a salesperson uses sales skills with a mindset and strategy, to work themselves consistently to the top of a sales organization.

[5:09] In Lee’s view, sales statistics can be viewed different ways, but there’s only one way to view a paycheck.

[7:01] Lee always aligned his expectations with those of the company. The company wanted $X million of new business; Lee calculated his sales and agreed on his salary to produce his part. Everyone was aligned, and they went to work.

[9:22] Lee worked both enterprise sales, and very high-value transactional sales, and the sales processes were always defined. Lee looked at the top salesperson to see how they worked.

[12:22] Lee asked customers how they wanted to be sold to, and then he aligned with their expectations.

[15:18] In his book Lee describes the level of preparation and responsiveness he applied to win these deals. In one year he won over 90% of the deals he pitched, with a product similar to competing products.

[17:55] Lee applied quantification to as many of the parts as possible, and built a strategy to be able to handle any situation.

[18:37] Lee explains “the magic” of a boardroom sales pitch. There is a difference in how a salesperson approaches, and adapts to the situation, depending on their ability to “read the room,” and engage with the influencers.

[20:49] In the pitch, behaviors and habits matter more than skills. Lee ended a pitch by pledging to help them through problems that may come up.

[24:05] Lee looked for new products, to be early in a business, and build it up, with a contribution to the culture of that product. Being involved with the right product that suited his personality was intrinsic to over achieving his goals.

[27:06] Lee didn’t personally work with scripting for cold calls. The minute someone took him off the script with a question, he would panic. So he learned the product, and internalized the message, which allowed an engaged dialog.

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.

February 1, 2017

How to Make Your Own Game in Sales. And Win. With Chris Brogan. #370

Joining me on this episode of Accelerate! is my guest Chris Brogan, CEO of Owner Media Group (which provides skills for the modern entrepreneur), a highly sought-after professional speaker, and the New York Times bestselling author of nine books and counting, his latest being, Find Your Writing Voice.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[1:54] Chris introduces his book coming out, called Make Your Own Game. The book has two sections. First is The Fast Book, for people who believe they are too busy to read. Second is The Real Book, for those who want it all.

[2:51] Make Your Own Game first teaches how to win a game, seeing it as story (who, what, and why you are playing), rules (how to play), and strategy (how to win). Second, it teaches how to create your own story, rules, and strategy.

[3:30] Some companies may say innovation is important, but then they retreat to, “That’s not the way we do it.” Innovation assumes risk, but proposes reward, and includes breaking out of the blue binder on the shelf.

[5:44] Chris tells how doing something extra on Facebook to connect, led to a third party’s offering him a business deal.

[6:33] There is a conflict in sales organizations between optimization of process and reporting through Big Data tools, and creating and nurturing human connections. Dashboards help, but people buy from people they know, like, and trust.

[10:31] It’s easy to see on social media what people’s interests are. Google your contact before your sales meeting. Find out what will help understand them better, and bond together.

[13:03] Your buyers are all involved in things outside the sale. There is great value in small talk. Chris would like to see it codified into systems. He admits to personally getting too familiar, too quickly, though.

[15:20] Teaching authenticity is like scripting improv.

[17:16] Andy suggests doing what you need, to be one percent better than the next guy. As the sales professional, you — not the price — are the first differentiation. Be your best you.

[18:44] Sales professionals need to spend more time learning about their clients and connecting to them. Uniquely human skills make the sale. Don’t show you are busy, show you are responsive to them.

[25:18] Sales is not about metric-driven methodologies. It’s about people. The biggest challenge in any sales organization is engaging with the prospect. It’s hard to put metrics on a sales rep’s ability to get others to ‘know, like, and trust’ them.

[29:47] Sales professionals, like most people, want to have a system. The sales challenge is to learn a really simple system to win the sale. Chris wants his book to help people with this, using self-permission.

January 25, 2017

How to Close Sales Without Manipulating Buyers. With James Muir. #364

Joining me on this episode of Accelerate! is my guest James Muir, sales trainer, speaker, coach, and author of The Perfect Close. Among the many topics that James and I discuss are why bad sales practices still abound, essential questions to help advance your buyer along their buying process and how facilitating the buying process builds trust.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[2:38] James wrote this book to help sales professionals that are uncomfortable asking for commitments in manipulative ways.

[5:11] A majority of meetings with prospects conclude without the sales professional asking for a commitment. You need to go into any encounter with an idea of what you want the outcome to be. Use advancing questions, such as, “Does it make sense to X?”

[7:28] Andy makes the connection to Neil Rackham’s Spin Selling, and asks if the prospect today still needs to be prodded from stage to stage.

[10:14] Asking, “What’s a good next step?” may reveal internal procedures that need to occur before anything external. That tells you where they’re at in their buying process.

[11:51] 50–60% of qualified opportunities end in no decision because sales professionals make assumptions without making a compelling case to change the status quo.

[13:10] Advancing questions show at each step if more justification is needed before going forward. Complex sales, particularly, may slow from insufficient justification.

[19:29] Endowed progress means that the closer one is to achieving a goal, the more one accelerates toward the goal.

[20:28] Commitment consistency is a propensity to sustain commitments, based on the psychological need to maintain internal coherence. Robert Cialdini addresses this in Influence.

[24:39] James tells about a client who refused to work with a sales rep ‘with commission breath.’ Closers who serve themselves are not serving the customer. Be a facilitator.

December 13, 2016

Collaborate with Prospects to Increase Win Rates. With Dave Stein and Steve Andersen. #329

Joining me on this episode of Accelerate! are my guests Dave Stein and Steve Andersen, co-authors of a new book, Beyond the Sales Process: 12 Proven Strategies for a Customer-Driven World. Among the many topics that Dave, Steve, and I discuss are how to (not) control the sale, which activities support the sales process and create a higher probability of success, and what kind of sales behaviors do today’s buyers require from successful salespeople?

November 28, 2016

How to Create a Sales Process. With Craig Rosenberg. #316

Joining me on this episode of Accelerate! is my guest
Craig Rosenberg. Craig is Co-founder and Chief Analyst at TOPO, a sales research and advisory firm. He’s also the founder of the Funnelholic blog. Among the many topics that Craig and I discuss are the current state of the sales process; how to build a sales process that supports the needs of you, the seller, and the buyer; how to relate and engage with your customer throughout their buying journey and the value of human selling vs automation.

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.

November 4, 2016

What’s the Value of Persuasion as a Sales Skill? With Bridget Gleason. #297

Welcome to another Front Line Friday with my amazing guest, Bridget Gleason. On this week’s episode, Bridget and I try to persuade each other about the value of persuasion as a sales skill.

Join Bridget and me for this episode of Accelerate! as we answer the question of a listener about how what you need to do to position yourself for promotion, attempt to define what persuasion is (what it can and cannot do), and examine the role that persuasion actually plays during the sales process.