Accelerate Podcast with Andy Paul
October 30, 2017

#590 The Future is Now in Sales. With Sam Mallikarjunan.

Sam Mallikarjunan, Executive Strategist at HubSpot, and author of Inbound Commerce — How to Sell Better Than Amazon, joins me on this episode of #Accelerate!


  • Sam says the single biggest challenge facing sales reps today is that the information power paradigm has shifted. The role of sales has changed from closing to guiding.
  • HubSpot did a correlation coefficient analysis of sales reps and quota attainment. Closing ability had a negative correlation. Domain experience led to a high correlation.
  • The first half of Sam’s book stresses competing for customer retention and competing for customers earlier in the buying process before they are set on what they want. That is still current knowledge.
  • Conversica studied sales reps. They sent idealized sales leads to companies. They found that less than half of the companies followed up on the leads, and less than a third followed up quickly or repeatedly. (Conversica sells bots.)
  • Initial prospecting — the SDR role — will either be by bots, or reps will have to add value beyond what they do today. Once there are no human SDRs, we will need to develop another entry-level role for sales.
  • Sam says to learn patience. AI will know what conversations to have with people, when. FAIR predicts reactions better than family and friends do. Reps will need to be good at having these known conversations.
  • Sam tells a sales story of his own experience illustrating a conversation that could not have been codified. There is not an algorithm to address every circumstance.
  • 2024 is the earliest estimate of when computers will have the same processing per second per thousand dollars as human beings. Sam sees the EQ of selling as the last thing to go but it will not be disruption-proof forever.
  • The buyer’s journey will change in several ways through AI. Buyers will select the experience they want. AI will be good at predicting what buyers want. It will also become good at influencing what buyers want.
  • Another HubSpot survey asks whom you trust. Teachers and doctors are at the top. Marketers are at the bottom rounded down to 0%. Sales reps are rounded up to 1%. They rank lower than bots. They lost to politicians in 2016.
  • This problem of low public regard for sales and marketing needs to be solved before any other problem can be solved. There are industries built around blocking sales and marketing from doing their jobs.



For Vice Presidents of Sales of high-growth SaaS companies and software service companies — Andy is teaming up with his friend Jacco van der Kooij, founder of Winning by Design and author of Blueprints of a SaaS Sales Organization, to launch the Sales Leadership Accelerator Mastermind, an intensive 12-month learning, coaching, and mastermind program for the Vice Presidents of Sales of high-growth SaaS companies. If the responsibility sits on your shoulders to scale your revenue team, to hit the $100 million mark ARR and beyond, then the Sales Leadership Accelerator Mastermind will help you transform how you sell, scale, and develop the capabilities of your team to crush your goals. Enrollment is limited to a very small group, so go to now, to learn more and enroll today.


August 18, 2017

#544. Books to Elevate Your Attitude and Change Your Behavior. With Bridget Gleason.

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


[2:45] This is a book episode! Bridget read What I Learned Losing a Million Dollars, by Jim Paul and Brendan Moynihan. There are lessons in failure. The book asks why someone stays in a losing position. Don’t tie your self-worth to external things.

[5:37] Research shows that specific direct goals are less attainable. Put some space between your personality and the ultimate achievement. This book was about a trader on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. He learned to be resilient.

[7:23] Resilience is a trait of a sales professional who will endure and move on. Bridget looks for examples of resiliency in her interviews. It’s not indifference, but self-acceptance.

[9:16] Andy recommends Humans Are Underrated: What High Achievers Know That Brilliant Machines Never Will, by
Geoff Colvin. It speaks directly to sales. The research on technology shows there will be changes, so provide value.

[11:11] Geoff Colvin states, “Look into someone’s eyes. That turns out to be metaphorically, and quite often, literally, the key to high-value work in the coming economy.” What is often missing in sales is face-to-face contact. Go visit your customer.

[13:12] Sales visits have to be used wisely, to contain cost. Andy used to visit overseas customers about once a quarter. Use travel strategically to make something happen. Consider the lifetime contract value. Group multiple calls in as trip.

[14:48] Bridget read The Halo Effect: . . . and the Eight Other Business Delusions That Deceive Managers, by Phil Rosenzweig. His premise is business thinking is shaped by delusion, such as assuming all aspects of a great company are equally great.

[16:58] Studies on successful companies like Google show we tend to underestimate the impact of luck, market conditions, and things outside the control of the company. The book notes the delusion of the single explanation.

[17:53] There are humans at the helm, executing plans and relying on chance. Avoid the hero cult. See past the halo effect.

[19:27] Increasingly our information is informed by Big Data. Andy refers to Everydata: The Misinformation Hidden in the Little Data You Consume Every Day, by John H. Johnson and
Mike Gluck. We err by shaping data to fit our world view.

[21:34] Pablo Mastroeni of the Colorado Rapids said, “Pundits … will look at possession … and … metrics that have very little to do with heart, and courage, and the commitment … The stats will lose to the human spirit, every day of the week.”

[25:11] Andy’s last book is The Lost Art of Closing: Winning the Ten Commitments That Drive Sales, by Anthony Iannarino. It’s about gaining customer commitments that each lead to the next step, all the way to the buying decision.

July 7, 2017

#502. From Crazy to Caring. Why Bosses Matter. With Bridget Gleason.

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


[:58] Bridget admits there are sometimes clouds in her life, and it just takes more effort to see through them to the sunshine. She will give a heads up to her staff if she is having a bad day.

[2:54] Bridget is not a fist-pounder. She says there is never any question about her mood, because her face says it all. Bridget does not get to anger very often, and it’s not pretty when she does. She is not a rager, but has worked for one; it was hard.

[4:40] Andy tells a raging president story. The petty, vindictive behavior motivated Andy to go abroad on a sales trip for every staff meeting. When he was told his presence would be required, he was soon out the door, selling at another firm.

[6:26] The raging president had VPs who were crazily loyal to him, in spite of receiving his abuse. Bridget notes that ragers can be amazing individuals, who haven’t learned how to master their emotions. It’s hard to do your best for a rager.

[8:14] One startup Andy worked for early had an insane CEO. After about a month, his crazy rages drove Andy away. Bridget finds that anger as a technique is not uncommon. Most of Andy’s bosses have been quiet, direct, and exemplary.

[12:15] One of Andy’s first managers saw Andy having a slump. The manager spent a day making sales calls with him. It helped turn the tide for Andy, and he remembers it like yesterday. Bridget describes coaching methods of her CEO.

[15:17] Send your boss stories to Andy! Andy worked for one CEO for three years. The CEO never defined the comp plan at the beginning of the year, but paid them well and fairly. The team was motivated by trust. Bridget sees trust at

[16:13] Andy had a boss who became his mentor. Andy tells a remarkable hiring story. There was immediate trust in the relationship. Andy learned to ‘stay ahead of the boss.’ Bridget aspires to be a memorable mentor and puts her people first.

[23:42] Andy sees the most successful people in sales are fortunate to work for really good managers, who care about them, put their interests first, and help them achieve what they want to achieve.

June 20, 2017

#489. The Key Traits of the Successful Salesperson. With Mark Cox.

Mark Cox, Managing Partner of In The Funnel, a sales consulting firm based in Toronto, joins me on this episode of #Accelerate!


[1:42] Mark sees the difficulty of the sales job itself as the single biggest challenge facing sales professionals today. He explains why, and mentions the basic tools and skills salespeople need to overcome this challenge.
[2:45] Mark suggests two reasons that B2B sales is getting to be more difficult. Mark believes the profession deserves more respect than popular culture assigns to it.

[3:45] Mark discusses demand generation, or cold calling. He says it has has been done very poorly for 20 years. The person you are calling has received perhaps 100 bad cold calls in the last 10 years and they want to get off the call.

[5:12] Besides phone and email contacts, Mark shares advice for salespeople about face-to-face, in-person meetings. He would like to improve almost every stage of the sales process. He wants more salespeople to see sales as a real profession.

[9:35] Mark sees consistent professional training as essential for improving the skills and image of salespeople. He cites Jason Jordan, saying there are no fundamental operating guidelines for sales. Business schools just do not teach sales.

[13:07] Mark remarks that startup incubators encourage sales coaching, and they give referrals to sales coaches such as himself. The most important factor for a startup is revenue, which is based in sales.

[15:50] Mark wrote a blog post, “5 Key Traits of a Successful Salesperson,” listing them as Resiliency, Natural Curiosity, Discipline, Strategic Thinking, and Resourcefulness. Mark explains how proper coaching can help develop all of these.

[18:36] Mark links optimism to resilience. A pessimist has a harder time becoming resilient. He describes his hiring interview process, and how he gauges optimism.

[20:03] Andy refers to the New York Times article on the “uselessness of job interviews.” Mark shares his thoughts,  cites Who, by Geoff Smart and Randy Street, and then mentions his own interviewing protocols.

[27:28] Natural curiosity is a gauge for the salesperson’s opportunity to develop business acumen. He shares an example from a coaching call. Curiosity can be developed if someone wants to learn it.

[30:31] Heavy scripting represses a sales professional’s curiosity. Mark prefers guidelines over scripts. Listen with intent, and consult the guidelines for direction, as needed. The intent is always to add value for that specific prospect.

[33:29] Scripts prevent insights. Mark suggests pausing, and saying, “That’s a really good question.” Some generic questions can be prepared in advance, to initiate useful and valuable conversation.

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.

March 25, 2017

Make it Easy for Buyers to Do Business with You. With Gavin Zuchlinski. #415

Joining me on this episode of Accelerate! is my guest  Gavin Zuchlinski, Founder at Acuity Scheduling.


[:44] Acuity Scheduling is an online tool to help small businesses and professionals manage their day-to-day events. Clients book appointments, and calendars sync.

[1:32] Gavin wrote Acuity for his mother’s business. He also tried it to generate leads for his own web development business, and that didn’t work, but people liked the product, so he grew it slowly, while still working in cyber security.

[2:35] Acuity allows scheduling while you are not available to answer a call, with no back-and-forth. What kinds of sales uses has Gavin seen?

[4:37] What important benefits has Gavin’s mother’s business received through using an online scheduler?

[5:53] Gavin describes Acuity’s market: it is “vertical agnostic,” so it is useful in many environments. Acuity provides excellent customer support, and is lean, easy-to-use, and powerful.

[7:20] Acuity principles: simplicity, brand customization, and automatic syncing to prevent double-booking of resources.

[10:03] Gavin talks about time saved with online booking, and the convenience to the customer setting the appointment.

[11:53] Gavin cites percentages of users who prefer to book online rather than calling for an appointment. He also mentions email notification of appointments.

[14:06] By reducing friction for the prospect, you boost successful connections. What sort of approaches does Gavin suggest to promote online booking?

[18:55] Acuity provides a variety of approaches and sequences to send appointment reminders.

[21:13] Gavin covers some of the platforms with which Acuity integrates, either directly, or with a connector. Customer service can guide you for your specific application.

[22:25] Gavin gives examples of custom uses, including bowling parties, donut delivery, salons, sales teams, and automatic setup of video meetings.


March 18, 2017

Small Talk Leads to Sales Talk. With Stephanie Melish. #409

Stephanie Melish is an inspirational speaker and certified business coach.


[4:09] Stephanie learned sales, and is certified as a business coach and trainer. She wants to impact her community.

[4:39] Stephanie finds the biggest challenge for salespeople today to be lack of experience. Stephanie’s experience came in fund raising. Some entrepreneurs have no sales experience.

[6:00] What does Stephanie say about process, procedure, and scripts? What is the role of knowledge and authenticity?

[6:54] Stephanie has suggestions to replace verbatim scripts. How does she feel when somebody reads at her?

[9:28] To build rapport, embrace who you are, and learn who the prospect is. Know the area code you are calling, and current events there, like sports, and research the social profile of the person. Small talk leads to business talk.

[13:33] Stephanie wrote an article on November 7, about her convictions on the election. What did she say that spiked her unsubscribe numbers?

[15:18] Is it necessary for one woman to break a glass ceiling, either in politics, or in the sales profession? Stephanie urges people to continue to improve themselves, and put their work ethic to good use, to strive to get ahead independent of their gender.

[20:10] Stephanie gives advice to females. Don’t think of sales as a dirty word. Salespeople build relationships. They don’t conduct transactions. Sales is a service. If you are excited about solving problems through relationships, that is sales.

[24:31] Stephanie wrote about Scandal, and Olivia Pope. What is a fixer, and how is a salesperson a fixer in a positive way? Sales is leadership.

[26:19] Stephanie discusses behaviors of a successful leader. What is most important?

[29:04] How do you discover prospect expectations? How can unknown expectations derail a deal? How can you make sure that you exceed expectations?

February 8, 2017

How to Use Sales Intelligence to Engage with Prospects. With Sam Richter. #376

Joining me on this episode of Accelerate! is my guest Sam Richter, Founder and CEO of SBR Worldwide/Know More, and author of the bestseller called, Take the Cold Out of Cold Calling


[3:37] A new salesperson starts in survival mode, and struggles to convince people to do something. It took a mentor to show Sam the nobleness of the sales profession — helping people.

[6:22] Sam’s core expertise is in sales intelligence — finding information on other people, to help your approach be relevant to what they care about.

[6:42] Your prospects are amazingly passionate about one thing. What is it? It’s themselves. What they care about is their problem, and their motivation might not be what you think.

[9:02] To determine if you are a salesperson, or a sales professional, ask yourself if you have ever recommended your competitor, or somebody else, to one of your prospects, when they were a better fit. If you did, it comes back in referrals.

[12:40] Sales professionals are underutilizing social media for sales intelligence. Sharing content is great, but also search out what the prospect cares about, so when you pick up the phone, you first address that matter, for a quick connection.

[16:12] Sam teaches the 3×5 method. Spend three minutes trying to find five pieces of information about a prospect. [17:07] Twitter has advanced searches you can save to find trigger events, such as new product launches, that give you ‘permission’ to call your contact.

[22:04] is a filtered search engine, similar to Google’s News tab, that searches large and small news publications. is a filtered search to mine Facbook for information about your prospects.

[31:03] Nothing sent through the Internet disappears — not even deleted email messages. Everything on your timeline is available, including friends, and what they put on their pages.


January 18, 2017

Accelerate Your Success by Investing in Your Development. With Mike Weinberg. #358

Joining me for the third time on Accelerate! is my friend Mike Weinberg. He’s the author of two excellent books: New Sales. Simplified, and Sales Management. Simplified. Among the topics that Mike and I discuss are how salespeople can stop being commoditized and how you are responsible for your own development and success as a salesperson.


[2:08] The biggest challenge facing salespeople today, is being commoditized, instead of being seen as value producers.

[3:12] Why it’s essential salespeople must view themselves as consultants, professional problem-solvers and value creators.

[5:20] Being responsive — which is crucial — does not require you to provide a proposal prematurely. Mike explains why.

[8:06] Take ownership of your sales process. Tell the client you need to meet with them for discovery, so the proposal will be relevant to them.

[11:17] Salespersons used to be mentored in their roles. Now, they are sent out untrained, with a quota.

[12:53] The customer is learning and growing faster than the seller. The buyer doesn’t need the seller for info — they are drowning in it. Provide value by consulting to their needs.

[15:09] Mike’s message: Listen to Andy’s podcasts and link to the guest content; buy the books, especially, Amp Up Your Sales, by Andy Paul, and watch your sales! Invest in yourself!

[19:43] Andy’s lesson: regardless of any training your company provides or fails to provide, you have responsibility for your success, and there are resources available all around you.

[21:03] It’s the top people who invest in themselves, and take responsibility for their individual development. Andy pays a coach, and joined a Mastermind group.

[21:40] Your prospect really is in a less-than-optimal situation. You can help them. If your motivation is to help the customer win, you’re going to win. Prospect them, by all means, with all you’ve got, and get in front of them for discovery.

[25:38] Phone and email outreach methods are still valuable. Don’t give in to people who say they aren’t. Use every channel that touches your client positively.

December 30, 2016

How to Reflect on the End of the Year and a New Start. With Bridget Gleason. #343

Welcome to another Front Line Friday with my remarkable guest, Bridget Gleason. On this week’s episode, Bridget and I discuss, among other topics, Bridget’s exciting new position, what to do about end of the year reflections, things that are really important, and determining what to do better next year.