Accelerate Podcast with Andy Paul
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.

April 19, 2017

#436. How to Improve Sales Productivity Through Coaching. With Keith Rosen.

Keith Rosen, CEO, executive sales coach, transformational expert, advisor to top sales leaders, and author of the number one sales coaching book, Coaching Salespeople into Sales Champions: A Tactical Playbook for Managers and Executives, and his most recent book, Own Your Day: How Sales Leaders Master TIme Management, Minimize Distractions, and Create Their Ideal Lives, joins me on this episode of #Accelerate!

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[1:01] Keith has created his ideal life. He has coached sales leaders for the last 30 years around the globe in over 60 countries, for all aspects of the sales process.

[2:27] Keith started sales in college, door-to-door, selling mortgages, remodeling, and home security systems. Keith focused on making salespeople into great coaches, and started his business to address that objective.

[5:31] Keith compares trusted advisors to coaches. In selling, the same questions apply as in coaching.

[6:39] Keith discusses best practices in three areas: questions we ask; critical questions we fail to ask; and changing what we do and how we think. Then he offers a simple way to change our behaviors. One key desired behavior is to ask questions.

[11:43] If you have to close someone, you’re not doing your job.

[12:48] Coaching wasn’t always common. When Keith started coaching, people wanted to know the team. Keith says the coaching gap today is with sales managers.

[16:53] Keith insists that technology and data do not replace individual coaching. Coaching isn’t to gather data, but to help improve behaviors. Data doesn’t reveal why a seller excels. Why is observation necessary?

[23:54] Hiding behind technology makes it easier to avoid personal connections. LinkedIn is for connecting, and building relationships, not for spamming.

[26:01] Consumer retail isn’t dependent on relationships, but  complex B2B certainly is. In B2B, you want to like the person from whom you are buying.

[26:59] A to-do list is ineffective, and usually you put things off, because there is no accountability. Anything that cycles consistently, needs to go on a calendar, not a list. Only one-time items belong on a to-do list.

April 13, 2017

#431. Improving Productivity with Sales Enablement. With Giles House.

Giles House, CMO of CallidusCloud, joins me on this episode of #Accelerate!

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[:49] Giles has been in sales and software for 12-13 years, with CallidusCloud since 2010. CallidusCloud’s mission is to become a top five cloud company, with ‘Lead to Money’ sales enablement.

[4:15] CallidusCloud offers a suite of connected sales and marketing applications, for a consistent, shared sales and marketing stack.

[6:43] Sales and marketing alignment involves shared information and consistent follow up. Giles explains the process.

[10:19] Giles gives his opinion on ABM. Aligned sales and marketing teams should be using it, but not exclusively.

[12:59] Lead to Money is a platform for generating more leads and prospect interest, helping marketing ROI, and providing rich information to sales for better buyer connection. It also involves sales training and coaching.

[15:14] Giles shares his understanding of sales productivity, concerning the organization and individual reps, with onboarding and goal attainment tracking.

[17:38] Productivity of a salesperson includes time they use for sales activities and tasks, and how effective they are. Giles considers CSO Insights’ report on quota attainment, and why it has been flat over the years.

[19:52] It’s difficult to correlate records between multiple systems in a typical sales stack, so history and other critical facts are not often available where they are needed.

[21:45] Giles discusses the concepts of productivity and quotas. He offers suggestions for setting quotas and commissions. Forecasting is critical.

[25:05] Giles would like to see quota attainment much higher than 50%, and he suggests how that could be done.

[26:55] Salespeople today carry great burdens of expectations, offset by great opportunities, if they can take advantage of them. The right technology stack is essential. The quality of the customer experience is critical to landing a deal.

[30:15] Giles says AI should refer to assisted or augmented intelligence. In Giles’ opinion, robots will never complete the complex sale, but machine learning is a great boost to sales.

April 6, 2017

#425. How to Engage the Interest of Prospects. With Jeff Schmidt.

Jeff Schmidt, Senior Vice President of Global Sales and Services at ClearSlide, joins me on this episode of #Accelerate!

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[:41] Jeff got started in sales selling contingency placements as a search consultant. He moved into a full-time sales job for VMX, selling call processing software (early voicemail). He sold by cold calling on the street.

[2:08] Jeff tells of his SaaS sales journey, leading to his move to ClearSlide to sell solutions for sellers and marketers. Jeff is excited to be selling a product he uses everyday!

[4:00] The biggest internal challenge facing sales reps, is getting the sales stack to work effectively. The biggest external challenge, is aligning buying and selling processes effectively; knowing where the customer is, and what they need next.

[7:02] Sales reps already know how to send out emails, but as far as calling goes, they need to know better what their audience wants to talk about, to have it ready to discuss, and to conduct the interaction to move the sales process forward.

[9:19] Managers need to coach reps on their engagement skills, and also on their reporting compliance.

[10:22] ClearSlide, a sales engagement platform, has three pillars: Content (for interaction), Communications (reporting the interaction), and Insights (helping sellers prepare for the next conversation).

[16:18] The last mile of the buying journey is critical. Jeff tells how to inform the prospect, and align with their progress.

[17:44] Sales insight into stakeholders is crucial, whether in small companies or large.

[18:46] Jeff asks, how do you solve ‘hopecasting?’ There is a reticence to adapt processes to fit reality. Leadership must be accountable for insights; marketing must provide and curate content; sellers must be accountable for executing sales.

[21:59] “We can live and work with yeses and noes, but maybes are killers.” — Jeff Schmidt. Engagement data provides important qualitative insights.

[24:16] Proceduralize and understand what you want from each tool in the sales stack. Integration involves not only the technical flow of data, but insights informing the conversation.

[25:33] Jeff explains how to qualify prospects. Qualify properly, or disqualify properly. These directed events provide additional insight to work on productive leads. Percentage of conversion of pipeline is an important metric.

March 31, 2017

How to Optimize Your Sales Process. With Bridget Gleason. #420

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

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[1:15] A sales process is subject to iterative improvement. Is it scalable? Do your salespeople have, or need, the skills to handle inbound and outbound? Examine historic sales data, from lead to close. Identify where the process needs change.

[6:24] Bridget’s team receives inbound and makes outbound calls. Outbound is tasked to reach into various departments of the prospect. SDRs help supply the inbound leads.
[9:12] A Logz.io sale usually starts with the manager of the end user, and it is critical for the account executive to involve other buyer contacts with more authority, to align the sales process with the buying process, from the beginning.

[11:19] Bridget discusses exit criteria for each stage of the sales process. How does the salesperson shepherd the buyer along the buying process, by inviting legal, security, procurement, and budget contacts to buy in?

[13:35] Has Logz.io settled on one sales methodology? Bridget talks about her Xerox training and SPIN Selling methodology. She also invokes Sandler training as an example.

[16:38] What parameters influence the choice of sales methodology? Are there great differences between most sales methodologies?

[18:29] What about compensation? How do you balance the needs of the company with motivating individuals? How does personal growth opportunity balance direct compensation?

[21:46] Is compensation the ultimate determining factor of performance motivation? Bridget reveals her opinion.

February 16, 2017

How to Capture and Record Activities to Optimize Productivity. With Patrick Hogan. #383

Joining me on this episode of Accelerate! is my guest Patrick Hogan, CEO of Tenfold, a revenue performance platform, based in Austin, Texas. Among the topics that Patrick and I discuss are how Tenfold leverages your technology through a focus on activities to maximize your sales productivity.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[2:10] In 2014, Patrick noticed a data issue in sales: the lax reporting of phone activities. He, with a group of co-founders, came up with a method to capture all activities: The Revenue Performance Platform, Tenfold.

[3:15] SalesForce could be used to capture all activities, if the reps entered them manually. But that is not what sales reps do. Tenfold now does that for them.

[4:56] The subscription revolution is the realization that the true value of a client is not in the initial sale, but in the continuing long-term relationship.

[5:20] If a client calls in with a complaint, and nobody helps  them, they will churn, and their long-term value is diminished. Tenfold deploys to an entire organization by connecting to their existing phone lines, and entering activity into the CRM.

[8:18] Tenfold has two benefits over other systems: since you use your existing phone system, you keep your great voice quality; and since there is no added hardware, you save costs.

[15:27] Tenfold captures data first, and pushes it to the right CRM spaces, then enables list creation, reminders, and simple sequencing.

[17:11] Patrick explains his emphasis on responsiveness. It is a factor of charisma, as studies show. Don’t be slow to respond. When a lead comes in, if no one follows it up in five minutes, it goes out as an email to reps and executives, as a danger flag.

[24:19] Contextual questions and responsiveness, distinguish top salespeople. Habits and behaviors are the keys to success. Get your prospect to the aha moment first. Take them off the market, by eliminating their incentive to talk to others.

February 12, 2017

Repeat: How You Can Stay Focused and Productive When You’re Crazy Busy. With Jill Konrath. #351

Welcome to Sales Kick-Off Week on Accelerate!

Joining me on Day Two of The Accelerate! Virtual Sales Kick-off Week is my guest Jill Konrath.

Jill Konrath is a speaker, sales expert, and author of multiple best-selling books, including her most recent offering: More Sales, Less Time: Surprisingly Simple Strategies For Today’s Crazy-Busy Sellers.

On Day Two of our 2017 Virtual Sales Kick-off Meeting, we’re going to focus on your personal productivity.

In this episode, Jill shares some essential tips and techniques to help you, the sales professional, jump-start your productivity in 2017. She provides time-saving and time-creating strategies that you can immediately put to use to stay focused and become more productive amidst the chaos of your daily sales life.

Want more selling time in 2017? Then listen to this episode now!

(Note: in this podcast, Andy refers to the previous episode with Jill Konrath as Episode 319, released on December 1. A scheduling change was necessary after the recording. The previous episode with Jill Konrath is Episode 331, released on December 15, 2016.)

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[1:16] Jill says the single biggest challenge facing sales reps in 2017 is ‘overwhelm.’ Sales reps are constantly running behind, in a time-draining digital swamp.

[3:16] Newly-added technologies take time to learn and may not connect with each other. The more time you spend online, the more overwhelmed you feel.

[5:44] Learn to segregate sales activities and online activities into different time blocks, and not to mix them.

[5:59] Research shows that constantly jumping in and out of email lowers female IQ by five points, and male IQ by fifteen points. Being addicted to email literally saps your intelligence.

[7:01] Jill researched physical and social sciences for her book More Sales, Less Time. One study showed the top 10% producers worked for an average of 52 minutes, then went off on a non-electronic physical break before returning to work.

[10:28] Trigger events, either within an organization, or external to it, suddenly change the organization’s priorities. Jill gives examples of internal and external triggers that change organizational goals and lead to sales opportunities.

[11:41] A sales professional who tracks specific triggers, can start a conversation before their competitors know about it.

[12:55] Be the prospect’s first contact, with your viable vision when it is needed, and you have a 74% chance of winning the business. People buy what is ‘good enough.’

[14:29] Plan a campaign at the start, including pre-written appropriate email messages, to roll out over the next month. Don’t rethink each contact step. Leverage your activities.

[18:15] Examine where the prospect is. Be rigorous with yourself. Do not delude yourself into thinking you have more opportunities than truly are there. Unclog the pipeline.

[20:59] Each morning, take a few minutes to ‘go quiet.’ Focus, settle into where you want to spend your time.

[22:57] Go quiet before a prospect meeting. Cut distractions, to be more present in the meeting. They’ll feel the difference in you, leading to a different conversation, and a higher level of trust.

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.

 

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 10, 2017

How You Can Stay Focused and Productive When You’re Crazy Busy. With Jill Konrath. #351

Welcome to Sales Kick-Off Week on Accelerate!

Joining me on Day Two of The Accelerate! Virtual Sales Kick-off Week is my guest Jill Konrath.

Jill Konrath is a speaker, sales expert, and author of multiple best-selling books, including her most recent offering: More Sales, Less Time: Surprisingly Simple Strategies For Today’s Crazy-Busy Sellers.

On Day Two of our 2017 Virtual Sales Kick-off Meeting, we’re going to focus on your personal productivity.

In this episode, Jill shares some essential tips and techniques to help you, the sales professional, jump-start your productivity in 2017. She provides time-saving and time-creating strategies that you can immediately put to use to stay focused and become more productive amidst the chaos of your daily sales life.

Want more selling time in 2017? Then listen to this episode now!

(Note: in this podcast, Andy refers to the previous episode with Jill Konrath as Episode 319, released on December 1. A scheduling change was necessary after the recording. The previous episode with Jill Konrath is Episode 331, released on December 15, 2016.)

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[1:16] Jill says the single biggest challenge facing sales reps in 2017 is ‘overwhelm.’ Sales reps are constantly running behind, in a time-draining digital swamp.

[3:16] Newly-added technologies take time to learn and may not connect with each other. The more time you spend online, the more overwhelmed you feel.

[5:44] Learn to segregate sales activities and online activities into different time blocks, and not to mix them.

[5:59] Research shows that constantly jumping in and out of email lowers female IQ by five points, and male IQ by fifteen points. Being addicted to email literally saps your intelligence.

[7:01] Jill researched physical and social sciences for her book More Sales, Less Time. One study showed the top 10% producers worked for an average of 52 minutes, then went off on a non-electronic physical break before returning to work.

[10:28] Trigger events, either within an organization, or external to it, suddenly change the organization’s priorities. Jill gives examples of internal and external triggers that change organizational goals and lead to sales opportunities.

[11:41] A sales professional who tracks specific triggers, can start a conversation before their competitors know about it.

[12:55] Be the prospect’s first contact, with your viable vision when it is needed, and you have a 74% chance of winning the business. People buy what is ‘good enough.’

[14:29] Plan a campaign at the start, including pre-written appropriate email messages, to roll out over the next month. Don’t rethink each contact step. Leverage your activities.

[18:15] Examine where the prospect is. Be rigorous with yourself. Do not delude yourself into thinking you have more opportunities than truly are there. Unclog the pipeline.

[20:59] Each morning, take a few minutes to ‘go quiet.’ Focus, settle into where you want to spend your time.

[22:57] Go quiet before a prospect meeting. Cut distractions, to be more present in the meeting. They’ll feel the difference in you, leading to a different conversation, and a higher level of trust.