Accelerate Podcast with Andy Paul
June 16, 2017

#486. Balancing summer vacations, travel, family and work. With Bridget Gleason.

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


[2:08] About the seasonality of sales: Does the summer have to be flat, due to vacations? Bridget ideally would sell more in 2Q to cover in advance for 3Q.

[3:32] Preparing for summer is a purposeful strategy. Different nations and cultures have different known holidays and preferred vacation months.

[4:34] For, specifically, the sales cycle can be 30 days or 60-90 days in some cases, and months, for enterprise sales. Bridget refers to a quote: “Pipeline creates confidence.” If you have enough pipeline, you won’t have much of a dip in 3Q.

[5:32] Andy considers the quote in light of research showing that 80% of pipeline ends up in no decision. But Bridget has more confidence in having pipeline than in no pipeline at all.

[6:19] Andy remembers summer sales traveling. “The amateurs are out traveling in the summer.” Bridget suggests the time to travel is when the clients are available to meet. Just keep moving along the plan. She presents an instance of that.

[9:01] Bridget explains her policy for vacations, and time off for life events, where the date is set. She does not have a policy of taking vacations in ‘slow periods.’ Slow periods have their purposes as well, such as planning.

[11:27] Germany passed legislation that employees are not required to answer emails after hours. Bridget wants people to separate from work on their breaks, and delegate to others to follow up, or at least, set a time ahead planned for check in.

[14:07] Andy would like managers and reps to discuss this ahead of time, so expectations are set. Bridget tells reps to be fully present with their family, and not worry about checking in daily. Or, they can block out work time purposefully.

[16:56] Global businesses have their own concerns. Bridget, when going to Hawaii, has to think about East Coast time and
Tel Aviv time concurrently. Bridget does not fully unplug.

[17:47] It’s a good time to figure out how you will share you mind between family, vacation, and work. Entrepreneurs often stay in touch. So, schedule time, if you can. Bridget wants to be fully present in family time, and also in blocked work time.

[18:59] Bridget has no vacation planned at the moment, except some weekends. Andy gives her an assignment to plan a vacation, and report back next week on the location and date. Andy likes TripIt for travel plans.

June 15, 2017

#485. Creating Campaigns People Want to Share. With Michael Africk.

Michael Africk, Serial entrepreneur, and CEO/Founder at Inmoji, and a recording artist, joins me on this episode of #Accelerate!


[1:40] Michael tells the story of his past as a recording artist, and touring with Britney Spears and ‘NSync. Those moments set him up with a feeling of entrepreneurism and driving towards success, no matter what.

[8:28] Music is a very fertile space for creative minds and the entrepreneurial spirit. Michael describes his ventures, and his network, that inspired them to launch Inmoji with Perry Tell.

[11:39] Michael picked up hustle from his music experience. He believes he was born with the entrepreneurial spirit. He compares live performance to sales. You need to have a thick skin, and you have to scratch and claw until you get there.

[15:35] People’s use of emojis inspired Michael and Perry to see that emojis could be clickable Trojan horses, linked to any sort of content, dropped into a message. They saw an opportunity to make an SDK for messaging apps with huge user bases.

[19:45] Emojis are tied to typed emoticons. Stickers are branded emojis. Inmojis are applets. When a sender clicks an Inmoji, it brings up brand information the sender can choose to include. The receiver can click on it for the same experience.

[21:54] Michael explains the process. A vendor runs a campaign. The SDK offers up their Inmoji in subscribing messaging apps. The sender clicks the Inmoji for rich media, and sends it to another, who can click it for the same content.

[23:10] Inmoji’s clients buy space in the SDK, and then the subscribing message app displays the client Inmoji, and tracks clicks, both of the sender and of the receiver.

[23:35] Inmoji charges per click, not per exposure, so the click is qualified. Michael gives a use case example. There are potentially several clicks per use. People can listen to songs or watch trailers multiple times, all within the messaging app.

[25:35] Michael says all sizes of companies use the service. A self-service portal just launched at You can select a precise geographic area to release your Inmoji.

[26:56] Michael talks about B2B applications. A tax accountant received great results from a targeted campaign. The portal is easy to use for this. Michael gives another use case example.

[30:07] Engagement rates and authenticity make Inmoji the most effective way to advertise, in Michael’s view. Everything is referral-based and pre-qualified. The person you text clicks on it every single time.

[32:21] Michael talks about expansion. He would love to be on Facebook, for example, but they are on some huge apps.

June 9, 2017

#480. Cold Calling — What it Means for You. With Bridget Gleason.

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

[1:17] Andy feels better now, but he tells about a recent unexpected severe illness that required hospitalization.
[4:52] People say cold calling is dead. That gives cover to those who don’t want to cold call. If you are above quota, then, maybe don’t cold call. Bridget wants outbound reps to be thoughtful. Cold call, only if the contact is a likely phone user.
[8:31] Field salespeople can use cold calling as a tool that works in some situations. People have never wanted to cold call. The ‘death of cold calling’ is confirmation bias at work.
[12:12] Andy notes that a recent event by sales thought leaders like Jeb Blount, Mike Weinberg, and Anthony Iannarino for proactive outbound, proves there is life in cold calling.
[12:47] Andy says salespeople reject cold calling without trying it, because they have stopped learning. Bridget says they are just stubborn about it, because it is so uncomfortably hard.
[14:44] You can learn to do something you don’t like, especially if it will help you. Andy never liked cold calling, but he does it. He fits it into his style. Bridget does not know very many sales managers who have eliminated cold calling from outbound.
[16:24] Some companies have stopped proactive outbound, but Andy sees them as a minority. The issue is, can you make cold calling work for you? Does your company give you the option to call or not to call? Bridget says reps in Tech must call.
[18:31] Andy tells of a 100-year-old company, the #1 market leader, with 60 field sales reps, will install their first CRM in 2017. That is the real world outside of tech. The vast majority of sales reps are not in tech, and have no sales tech or stack.
[20:32] The mission of Accelerate! is to share ideas, advances, tools, and technologies with people who are not in the tech bubble, to help them do a better job. Andy is a sales evangelist! Bridget is now even more enthusiastic!
[23:33] What is the penetration of CRM into SMBs across the U.S.? Andy suggests that could be the topic of an episode! There are companies that have homegrown CRM Systems integrated with their dialers, at best.
[24:55] There are companies that have no idea that email tracking is a capability. Tech is pioneering the way sales will be done for the next years, but it’s a thin leading edge. Andy invites Bridget to step out of the tech bubble sometime.

June 7, 2017

#478. How to Sell to the C-Suite. With Jeffrey Hayzlett.

Jeffrey Hayzlett, CEO of Hayzlett Group, Founder and Chairman of C-Suite Network, C-Suite TV, and C-Suite Advisors, joins me on this episode of #Accelerate!


[2:31] Jeffrey reviews his experience, history, and entrepreneurism, including being a global business celebrity.

[4:32] Jeffrey was CMO at Kodak, the world’s third largest patent holder. Kodak decided to protect film. That went badly. [7:06] Jeffrey explains why Kodak had a nuclear materials in the basement.

[8:33] The C-Suite Network is a network for CEOs. They vet everyone who joins. “When you get big enough, you can come in.” They have the first and largest all-business podcast network in the world, with strategic content for executives.

[10:54] The C-Suite Network has sponsoring partners. One way to get in front of the CEOs is to sponsor the Accelerate podcast, that is sent to approximately 500K execs.

[11:47] Jeffrey’s radio show on CBS is All Business with Jeffrey Hayzlett. The big challenges Jeffrey hears about: uncertainty over President Trump’s effects on the market (so far, so good); but mainly, hiring, motivating, and inspiring talent and people.

[14:45] Most people who try to sell to Jeffrey as a CEO do not do their homework about him or the problem. A CEO does not have time for ‘a cup of coffee.’ Be relevant and direct. Jeffrey is a ‘driver.’ He responds best to a two-option close.

[19:36] Jeffrey discusses buying decisions that involve C-suite officers. When he was Kodak CMO, he showed all major deals to the CFO, even when within his own signing authority.

[22:44] Jeffrey’s attention as a CEO is engaged by showing him the vision of what’s going to occur through his working with the salesperson. The business case is the way to sell to him. Smart questions can start the conversation.

[23:50] Jeffrey states the transformational rule of thirds. One third adopt early. One third get it eventually. One third never do. Companies spend too much time worrying about the lost third. As you transform, focus on the ones who get it.

[26:12] The ‘power of being irrational,’ is to go for the big stretch goal, when the real objective is to get to a goal along the way. Always go for more — but be careful not to overplay the hand. Don’t cry ‘Wolf!’ Be a great coach; don’t be devious.

June 5, 2017

#476. How to Automate Sales Coaching. With Cory Bray.

Cory Bray, CEO of ClozeLoop, formerly known as CareerSofia, joins me on this episode of #Accelerate!


[1:37] Cory distinguishes training from coaching. Coaching is a component of management. It enables employees to use the available tools to their best potential.

[3:32] Cory cites Bill Belichick as a great coach who established a system that works, and staffed it with raw talent he could help to become great. The system sets them up for success, and coaches help them continuously to improve.

[5:04] Cory went through Sandler sales coaching, and got a vision of what coaching can be. He went into business with a Sandler associate, to form CareerSofia. Sofia is from Sophia, wisdom, in Greek. Their focus is on sales.

[7:51] Cory discusses the vision of CareerSofia. They set out to make a software product inside Salesforce to deliver the minimum effective dose of coaching for the deal at hand.

[9:08] CareerSofia helps strategize against the competition, with the tactics a coach would suggest for moving a sale forward. Top sales reps and management curate content.

[10:13] CareerSofia supplies salespeople with tools they need to do the job from ‘Day 2.’ No long onboarding is required.

[13:09] The underlying principle is a knowledge base, structured so that relevant sales information surfaces as it is needed.

[15:46] Cory explains why testing is not a part of the CareerSofia platform. They started to include testing, and users didn’t want it. They just wanted coaching on time.

[16:48] Managers retain coaching authority. They coach one-on-one, and they supply CareerSofia with what works best in certain situations. Outside coaching is also encouraged. CareerSofia sells through sales consultant channel partners.

[21:38] The ideal end user has a a growing inside sales team of 5-100 reps, using to sell one or two products. The ideal channel partner is a seller-doer sales consultant who wants to scale, without adding an associate.

[24:52] Cory sees three buckets in coaching: teaching the tools; teaching how to use them well; and teaching how to use them well under duress. CareerSofia helps the coach. Their future is in adding items to make the product more robust.

[26:53] CareerSofia has some secret sauce coaching tools coming up that Cory will announce at a future date.

May 31, 2017

#472. How to Apply the 80/20 Rule to Your Sales. With Perry Marshall.

Perry Marshall, bestselling author of 80/20 Sales and Marketing: The Definitive Guide to Working Less and Making More, joins me on this episode of #Accelerate!


[2:27] Perry wishes he had had the 80/20 book when he got into sales after being laid off. There was so much he didn’t know. He got fired after two years. He got another job in direct marketing, and it started to click for him.

[7:18] Vilfredo Pareto figured out 20% of the people had 80% of the money. In sales, 20% of customers provide 80% of the sales. 20% of salespeople make 80% of sales. There’s always another 80/20 inside. It’s universal, and not only about money.

[11:32] 80/20 is a law of nature, because of positive feedback. Perry spells it out by examples. Past behavior reinforces future behavior.

[13:18] Perry tells how 10 salespeople start off on an even keel, but through positive feedback, one gets way ahead of the others. Some get negative reinforcement, and drift off course. Within a few months the top salesman sells 16 times more.

[15:24] Perry talks about a rock being eroded into the Grand Canyon. When erosion starts, you are on the way to a canyon. Inequalities multiply and compound. People try to equalize things. The best salesmen seek to amplify the inequalities.

[17:33] Perry lists five power disqualifiers. Apply each of these disqualifiers to contacts before asking for an appointment. You will learn which contacts are not leads. Sales starts with, “Well, who do I not pitch?” It’s a disqualifying process.

[20:44] Perry’s friend John hiked to Las Vegas at 17 to become a professional gambler. He met Rob, who taught him ‘racking the shotgun,’ to divide the ‘marks’ from the people paying attention. In sales, separate the prospects using natural law.

[25:38] Perry found that everything in his business matched an 80/20 pattern. You can use it predictively. Perry explains how, with 1,000 Starbucks customers as an example.

[30:19] Use the 80/20 rule to escape being in the 80%. Perry talks about sales styles. He calls his first boss a hostage negotiator. Others tell stories. Perry invented the Marketing DNA Test to help salespeople find their successful sales style.

[36:25] Align the way you sell with customers who buy the way you sell, and products that match your sales style. Perry says you can’t be a consultative seller as a cold caller. Find a role that matches your strengths.

[37:01] Perry writes books rather than cold calling. For him, cold calling would be a $10/hour job. Why do that when he can have the $1,000/hour job?

May 29, 2017

#470. How to Win By Being Nice. With Doug Sandler.

Doug Sandler, blogger, host of the Nice Guys on Business podcast, and author of Nice Guys Finish First, joins me on this episode of #Accelerate!


[4:29] Doug describes what it is to be a nice guy. It’s doing the right things even when people don’t see, going beyond expectations, showing empathy and gratitude, and catching someone doing something right. People are attracted to this.

[6:00] Negativity is more exposed now, because people post on social media the things they used to keep to say in private.

[8:47] Doug quotes Gary Shandling, “If you don’t think nice guys finish first, then you don’t know where the finish line is.” Doug uses niceness as his MO.

[13:11] Doug suggests assessing your own level of niceness: Do you show gratitude to your staff? Do you catch them doing the right things? He suggests mindfulness. Do you return calls and emails? Do you show empathy? Do you reach out?

[16:06] Doug has a program, “The Nice Guy 30.” It is not about getting anything in return. Create an environment of giving, without an agenda. It becomes more meaningful to you.

[17:13] Doug wrote a popular post, “24 Seconds that Will Change Your Life.” Send out two text messages a day to people you haven’t contacted in the last 30 days. Doug explains the responses you could get. It builds relationships.

[20:21] Winning in business is about winning relationships. Create an environment where people can know, like, and trust you naturally. Set unrealistic expectations, and exceed them every time. You have to do what you say you will do.

[22:27] You get more business from customers you already have, if you develop those relationships. New customers focus on price, while existing customers consider relationship value.

[24:51] Doug tells of a doctor’s appointment when everyone just looked at the PC. Doug asked, “Can we just have a conversation?” Treat everyone as a human being.

[28:15] Robert Cialdini says people like to do business with people they think like them! Being nice, concerned, and asking about them, sends a message. There is a need for instant rapport. Research first. If networking, ask leading questions.

[32:32] Sharing the discomfort of a networking event can open a connection. Show vulnerability, transparency, authenticity, and open up engagement. Doug talks on his podcast the same as with his best friend.

[33:51] Doug’s podcast, The Nice Guys on Business, was started as a channel to promote his services, is now the hub of his entire business, after two years and 330 episodes. Doug’s and Andy’s podcasts are featured on the C-Suite Radio Network.

May 24, 2017

#466 How to Facilitate the Buying Decision. With Sharon Drew Morgen.

Sharon Drew Morgen, Creator of Buying Facilitation®, keynote speaker, and author of multiple bestselling books, including Buying Facilitation, joins me on this episode of #Accelerate!


[2:00] Sharon Drew claims that, including email marketing and call centers, there is less than a 1% close rate on sales. Sharon Drew explains how salespeople are taught to fail, and expect to fail.

[3:27] Sharon Drew’s analysis shows that buying is a 13-step process. The decision to buy is only one point within those steps. Sharon Drew describes the system that controls buying.

[4:57] Systems try to fix problems internally. All elements have to be brought together. A system tries to manage disruption.

[7:06] Until the risk is less than the reward, the system will not choose to change.

[7:27] Sharon Drew uses a story to describe the system. The buyer must account for all decision makers before going forward.

[9:59] The buyer needs to learn the stakeholders. The system wants to get to excellence, with minimal disruption. The salesperson thinks a prospect is one who should buy. Sharon Drew says a prospect is one who will buy. Who helps them prepare?

[13:36] If a salesman does not take the buyer through the Buyer Facilitation process, there is no sale, unless they find low-hanging fruit who have facilitated themselves already. Sharon Drew tells a successful client story with a control group test.

[16:02] The process starts with a good list. Using Buyer Facilitation, there is a 35-40% increase in sales over control groups, over the 35 years Sharon has been teaching facilitation. Sharon Drew tells a client anecdote on how to question.

[23:49] All the facilitative questions help the buyer find their own excellence; they don’t pull data from the buyer to help the salesperson to sell. Sharon Drew describes how she helped KPMG facilitate a big solution for Boeing, through asking questions.

[27:29] The facilitation of the buying process helps the buyer and the seller, but sellers normally are trained to ask questions that are biased to help the seller. A seller can look for buyers who are ready, or they can help buyers to be ready.

[29:26] Through facilitation, the salesperson earns trust, and has credit with the buyer. The seller has taken the buyer off the market. Sharon Drew shares another story.

May 17, 2017

#460. How to use Systems to Accelerate Sales. With Mike Kunkle

Mike Kunkle, widely recognized sales transformation strategist, practitioner, speaker, and writer, joins me on this episode of #Accelerate!


[3:28] Mike defines the systems approach to sales, a logical way to set up an organizational environment that supports the sales function. Mike cites Kurt Lewen and Geary A. Rummler on behavior, environment, and process.

[5:24] Mike discusses the difficulty and complexity of sales, and focusing on the buyer journey and the problems to solve. Mike quotes Tony Robbins about the path to success. It helps to analyze the top achievers, and learn their behaviors.

[11:45] Mike talks about global studies made by Learning International (now Achieve Global) about behaviors of top sales performers, that Learning International then used to build their programs around those sales competencies.

[13:56] Mike says compensation is not what makes the most difference in sales. He lists his Fantastic Four systems that have the most effect on sales success. He also notes that the top 4% of sales reps are so good, they are above systems.

[16:41] The bell curve of sales still has not shifted in general, but the companies at the top end are not always the same companies. Mike tells how the top companies get to the top.

[18:00] Psychometric tests may not be widely used for hiring, or be used effectively. Mike suggests researching the tools and their application. Mike shares successes from when testing tools were used well, and thoughtfully.

[22:13] Management by anecdote does not match intelligent management backed by the scientific application of data. Tools and processes work to boost management success.

[23:14] Aligning the buying and selling processes assumes the buyer knows their best practices for buying. The seller may need to guide the buyer in learning their own process. The vendor must be flexible and agile to align to the buyer need.

[25:57] Individualized buyers, and company environments, make every buying process different. Mike refers to Aristotle as the first sales trainer. The key is to understand the individual and their goals.

[28:41] Mike is a trainer by being a subject matter expert, a seller, and a manager, not by the training profession. To be sure of his system, he verified it and measured results. He researches and plans in his work to drive up performance.

[32:30] Mike’s system includes a learning system, and a managing system, as two of the four system pillars, so the human element is counted into the methodology.

May 13, 2017

#457. Building and Hiring for a Startup. With Alex Berman.

Alex Berman, Co-Founder of Experiment27 (X27), a company that provides lead generation services for digital agencies, joins me on this episode of #Accelerate!


[1:56] Alex is a digital nomad, and X27 is a virtual company of 11 employees spread between Mexico City and various U.S. locations. Alex’s personal drive for becoming an entrepreneur was to get rid of the office. He wanted to travel frequently.

[2:47] Alex explains his why for the startup. He’s in Wichita now, specifically because it’s the “cheapest city in America,” for low overhead as he gets the company going.

[3:29] Alex travels to learn new things. After New York came Las Vegas, to see Tony Hsieh’s Downtown Project and share a drink with Tony, then to Chicago, L.A., and Las Vegas again, for family, and San Francisco, before Wichita.

[4:41] Alex finds the tech scene in every city is growing. Besides Las Vegas, he says tech in St. Louis is very welcoming. Since he can Skype with any customer, where he lives is immaterial, and all American cities start to blend for him.

[7:02] Alex had led a Marketing consultancy for Dom&Tom, and that encouraged him to start up a company. X27 does marketing for mobile app development agencies — UX/UI design branding. They act as CMOs and run the client’s team.

[8:42] Dom&Tom had used Alex as a contractor, and he ran the operation as needed. He discusses the outsourcing and internal hiring that led to X27. In eight months they grew from two to 11 employees. The goal is to have $2M AR by year end.

[10:01] Alex started the company doing all the sales himself by cold emails. Alex explains his effective email. Content matters, but targeting matters more. He reveals his secret for finding agencies that are good leads and discusses the email process.

[16:45] Alex hired two salespeople at the same time, based on advice from Jason Lemkin at SaaStr. He also learned not to hire in Q4. Sales went to $0 for two weeks over Christmas.

[18:14] Alex hired two salespeople, to check the process. They could both be good, both bad, or one each. If neither can sell, there is probably a process problem. If only one sells, the one who can’t has a sales problem. If they both sell, hire more.

[19:33] Alex interviews in two steps, the first to check for how they fit, the second to perform a task for an hour — to build a list and write an email. Most people refuse to do the test. He doesn’t check references. Bad hires will weed out.

[28:39] The discussion goes to hiring and onboarding procedures as the company scales. Will every employee be a self-starter? Alex learns as he goes along. Stress concentrates the attention!

[32:00] Alex describes the stack X27 uses internally.