Accelerate Podcast with Andy Paul
June 22, 2017

#491. A Pattern of Note-taking Drives Sales Success. With Derek Draper.

Derek Draper, CEO of Pattern, an application that’s an enterprise notepad for sales teams, joins me on this episode of #Accelerate!

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[:59] Derek sees ‘overwhelm’ as the biggest single challenge sales professionals face today. Sales is increasingly complex, and sales reps are asked to manage a lot of relationships.

[4:14] Salespeople do not have the advantage today of controlling the buying process. Today the buyer controls it to a greater degree than ever before. They make price and value assumptions before they ever interact with a salesperson.

[6:11] The book Absolute Value asserts that the abundance of information online gives a buyer a much better idea of the experienced utility they can expect from a product.

[12:31] Hiring for Customer Success, Marketing, and Account Executives, and other non-technical roles from the SDR pool is better for company culture and success than hiring externally, in Derek’s experience.

[17:32] Pattern is in the form of a digital note, that puts information back into Salesforce. Instead of using an off-the-shelf took, use a tool that is fully interactive with Salesforce. This is a strong fit for account executives.

[20:31] Derek explains the Pattern process, compared to using Evernote or Apple Notes. Derek says users have reported a savings of five hours per week over other note apps they have used. They no longer block time to update pipeline.

[22:02] Making notes on site gives a more accurate account, and more data, than filling out call sheets at day’s end. Derek says some reps like to refer back to their notes; others get the value from recording them. Pattern helps with ‘overwhelm.’

[23:54] Pattern can help you recap a meeting for the customer. The best customers are those who are happy with the process. Your attention to their needs is a big part of their satisfaction.

[25:40] Derek’s vision for the future: at some point there will be a portal where the buyer and seller can communicate effectively, and work together; not against each other.

[28:23] Andy cites the Challenger Customer, about the buying process. Companies have a strong approval process, but a vague buying process. Derek recalls his sales trainer told him, “Buyers want to be led.”

[33:00] If you skip a step, you have to come back to it, and it’s hard to get a customer on a discovery call when you’ve already given them your proposal.

[33:24] The book Getting Things Done, offers a five-step process, but responding to an inbound lead takes 24 steps. It requires discipline and thought to organize them. The top salespeople do every step 1% better than anyone else.

June 8, 2017

#479. How to Understand and Use Sales Data. With Oleg Rogynskyy.

Oleg Rogynskyy, Founder and CEO of People.ai, a sales management platform based on hard data, joins me on this episode of #Accelerate!

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[1:45] Most of the decisions around managing a sales team are made on hunches and intuition, with little data. Oleg finds this to be the biggest challenge for sales managers today. If they use data, they use lagging indicators, such as revenue.

[2:26] Oleg comments on sales stacks, and how they generate silos of data that need to be managed. People.ai sets out to offer full transparency of activity information, and the ability to positively influence how sales is being done by the team.

[4:15] Multiple apps each cover their own piece of the stack. There is no unification of data between apps. People.ai makes sales management easier by making data accessible.

[7:45] Oleg says People.ai connects to 90 systems, and pulls in information in high-resolution about everything the sales reps do, and formats it to answer specific questions that sales directors have everyday.

[8:22] One example is ramp. People.ai tracks reps across multiple metrics, against successful or unsuccessful ramps. People.ai retrieves data about all the activity of the rep.

[10:03] Oleg addresses confirmation bias. He explains that People.ai will confirm or discredit a manager’s hunches, and reveal the factors behind their concerns.

[11:30] Oleg addresses the topic of correlation and causation and discusses People.ai’s use of AI, or “clever machine learning.” V2 will be more predictive.

[14:01] People.ai is attempting to add a layer of data to the interaction between manager and rep. Oleg explains why this is important to understand sales performance.

[18:44] There is a green field of opportunity for data impact outside of sales. Oleg considers sales to be the best data set to train the machine, in preparing to address other verticals.

[19:26] Other than revenue, it is hard for managers to know what makes a salesperson better. Oleg explains how this involves data issues, data education, Salesforce report limitations, and reluctance of sales managers to dig into data.

[23:07] Oleg points out that most people using Salesforce follow the same model of selling. People without CRM are still producing activities that are captured within systems. Data analysis can improve the performance.

[28:14] People.ai is ‘fully stack agnostic.’ They have customers who do not use CRM. The data sources are the email, phone, calendar and other systems they use to communicate.

May 30, 2017

#471. Sell How Your Customers Want to Buy. With Kristin Zhivago.

Kristin Zhivago, President at CloudPotential, and author of Roadmap to Revenue: How to Sell the Way Your Customers Want to Buy, joins me on this episode of #Accelerate!

KEY TAKEAWAYS
[1:43] Kristin’s book explains how customers want to buy. In the years since she wrote it, revolutionary trends have arisen, due to mobile and Google. People find you, and want you to fulfill their needs right now.
[4:07] Sales organizations still do outbound, but they have to be prepared at the moment of need, with the desired product or service. Voicemail is a barrier to those who are ready to buy but have just one more question. Answer when they call!
[6:14] Andy’s book, Zero-Time Selling, is based around the urgency of the customer when they contact you. Customers have tools to find you. When you are found, be ready.
[7:30] Sellers need to think like the customer. There is a GAP (Gross Assumption Problem). Find out what the customer wants from your product. (It’s not what you are promoting.)
[10:37] Kristin says even between different industries, there are trends of what the customer needed from the purchase. Seven interviews with existing customers will reveal trends. Give them what they want, and they will buy. Use big data.
[15:23] The job of salespeople is to ask questions, listen, and find out where the customer is in the buying process, what their next decision point is, and not to bore them with what they already know, and to help.
[18:35] If sales methodology at an organization does not allow customer-centric behavior, it’s a problem to solve at the top. The CEO needs to understand it’s not just smiling and dialing.
[23:49] Kristin’s book covers four levels of scrutiny. There is a lot of skepticism, especially in the software industry. Everyone has been burned, and no one wants that to happen again. Explore issues with the customer, to see if there is a good fit.
[26:37] Salespeople must master deep thinking. The first answer to a question is not usually the whole answer. Don’t just skim the surface, but get to the customer motivation.
[27:47] The book Absolute Value shows that buyers can come very close to experiencing the value of your product, before they even speak to you for the first time.
[28:37] Kristin talks about the structure of a purchase, from need, through purchase and referrals. Kristin says to follow the scent. Map the real decision points along the way.
[31:47] The NADA notes that the average car buyer visits one dealership to buy a car. B2B is headed that way. The role of the salesperson is to answer the buyer’s specific questions, and have the tools available to do that, in a timely manner.

May 27, 2017

#469. Reduce Wasted Sales Time with Clean Data. With Shawn Finder

Shawn Finder, CEO of ExchangeLeads, joins me on this episode of #Accelerate!

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[2:33] Shawn is in Toronto, with teams also in the U.S. and Eastern Europe. ExchangeLeads is a B2B platform that allows sales and marketing reps in the U.S. and Canada to download targeted, validated, and filtered contacts.

[3:24] The ExchangeLeads platform dashboard is available 24/7, to download new contacts, upload and validate existing contacts against threats, and exchange old contacts for new contacts. Exchange makes a spreadsheet of validated contacts.

[4:59] ExchangeLeads subscriptions are $49 and $149 a month, for set numbers of contracts. Clients can also purchase additional credits at any time.

[5:59] Each contact is validated for email and phone, and is checked against 52+ threats. Credit is provided for valid contacts, which go into the main database.

[6:46] Shawn jumped into the field of lists because of dissatisfaction about the quality of databases available. The goal was 95+% quality contacts, with less than 5% error. ExchangeLeads checks contacts manually, and by automation.

[9:42] Manual checks start with lists for the paying clients, and move out from there. Other verification processes are in development to replace manual checks. Shawn recommends companies validate their email and phone contacts monthly.

[14:17] Even the largest companies do not have adequate data standardization in their existing lists. This is a service just launched by ExchangeLeads. When lists are validated, they can also be data-standardized, to make CRM searches simple.

[18:48] ExchangeLeads clears out the database every quarter for bad emails and phones, for a bounce rate of under 5%.

[20:13] Shawn has a wide range of client profiles. Many IT contacts, logistics, telecommunications, and computer software companies; many are looking for C-suite contacts.

[21:07] ExchangeLeads is sold either by subscription or by custom service, building lists, and adding LinkedIn profiles.

[22:23] ExchangeLeads offers freemium (50 contacts are free). The subscription model is sold by inside sales reps. Enterprise salespeople focus on the larger clients for custom service.

[24:33] Shawn has an upcoming sister product planned to help solve the challenge of getting from contact to appointment.

May 23, 2017

#465. Top Trends in B2B Sales and Marketing. With William Wickey.

William Wickey, Senior Manager of Content and Media Strategy at LeadGenius, and one of the authors of an ebook, 2017 Trends & Tech Guide for B2B Sales & Marketing, joins me on this episode of #Accelerate!

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[2:07] LeadGenius, Ambition, and Prezi Business collaborated on the new book, 2017 Trends & Tech Guide for B2B Sales & Marketing. This is William’s second book collaboration with Ambition’s Jeremy Boudinet.

[3:36] William explains how Trends & Tech guides are usually structured, and how this one varies. The authors looked for trends in B2B sales and marketing, and then mapped them to organizational needs, matching technologies to evaluate.

[6:38] William talks about LeadGenius, and the market they serve with analytics and insights. He sees the same challenges and trends outside of tech as within the tech market.

[8:18] William comments on the SDR function rising in inside sales, with the alignment of sales and marketing efforts.

[10:15] The book is intended to reach markets that have not fully embraced tech tools for sales and marketing. William cites manufacturing and construction as examples.

[14:09] William offers suggestions for adopting tech — outbound email solutions, such as PersistIQ, Outreach.io, and Yesware; and solutions for contact data strategy to allow targeted blasts to specific types of recipients.

[18:25] Division of labor allows your reps to spend their time on the highest value activities that they can. Audit your reps’ time on various activities, and look for technologies to make those activities more effective.

[21:31] Outbound can be personalized through mail merge and through targeting. The two efforts complement each other. William suggests a couple of ideas for targeting with the right data, accessing much more than name and address.

[25:31] There is a lot of homogeneity to outbound emails. Go against the trite, expected content. Be specific to the contact. Consider video email.

[28:58] Demonstrating relevance is a big step in the right direction. William is not impressed with zombie, auto-pilot email marketing.

[30:23] Poor marketing and outreach give sales reps a poor response and a bad reputation.

[31:55] Quantity over quality is not sustainable.

May 11, 2017

#455. How to Prioritize Your Hottest Leads. With Philip Schweizer.

Philip Schweizer, CEO of SalesWings, a sales engagement company based in Switzerland, joins me on this episode of #Accelerate!

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[2:36] Philip started selling at age 7. He took a shopping cart of items from the cellar to a village yard sale and sold almost all of it. He had fun, and saw he had a talent. After college he sold solar phone charging bags. He enjoyed working with people.

[4:54] Philip started SalesWings as a way to help smaller companies make the best use of technology for sales. SalesWings prioritizes strong sales leads for an organization. He wanted to provide a simple alternative to earlier solutions.

[7:13] SalesWings looks for buying signals of customers, through their website activity. Philip explains the principles, and application for B2B and B2C.

[11:03] SalesWings integrates with Gmail, Outlook, and marketing solutions like MailChimp, Sendloop, etc., to identify leads initially.

[12:23] Philip explains some of the tracking methods used to identify level of interest.

[13:21] SalesWings has introduced the world’s very first LinkedIn Inmail lead tracking. Philip explores how it works.

[15:49] Philip gives an example of tracking Inmail, and how that identifies interest, and improves responsiveness.

[20:06] The clients for SalesWings are companies as small as one-person, and as large as 5K employees with an outbound sales team. The sweet spot is companies of 30-300 people who look to get a better view on the strongest leads, for less cost.

[21:30] Simplicity makes the system more accessible to sales teams, without spending their time on analysis of leads. Some of the larger platforms take too much time to score leads. SalesWings works in real time, telling who is hot right now.

[24:40] The leads from SalesWings are top-of-funnel. Philip discusses other technologies available that provide complementary functions mid-funnel.

[26:48] Philip discusses the role of AI in sales. The last mile for AI is to translate data into actionable information for the company.

[28:49] SalesWings claims a loyal customer base of people who need to prioritize leads quickly.

May 1, 2017

#446. Perfect Your Screen-to- Screen Selling. With Doug Devitre.

Doug Devitre, Founder of Doug Devitre International, and author of Screen to Screen Selling, and wannabe sushi chef, joins me on this episode of #Accelerate!

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[2:48] Screen to screen selling involves the latest technologies to communicate your message or sell your product.

[3:44] Advances in technology have removed the fear of whether or not the connection will work. New avenues of creativity are opening. Video shows visual cues.

[4:48] More companies are mainstreaming video conferencing into their strategy. There are numerous screen sharing technologies today. Doug explains some advantages of Zoom.

[6:17] The best tool is the one the customer uses. Don’t make it unfamiliar to them. Doug says, if you can’t get your camera to work, you have a mindset problem!

[8:27] The major solutions are easy to operate. Engagement goes up when you can see somebody. Prepare 30 minutes before the meeting, with your links and content.

[9:37] Know the desired result of the call and have an agenda, then close down your instant messengers, so they don’t open in your sales presentation. Close windows except ones you will use. Don’t say, “Let me find that,” and waste time searching.

[12:09] Hide your phone and distractions. Be ready. Maintain eye contact. Save visuals until the customer says, “Tell me more.” That gives you permission to show what you have.

[14:52] Camera position is critical. You want to focus on the camera, so people see your eyes. Don’t have the camera in an awkward place. In a busy office, go to a conference room, or use a backdrop like Webaround. Use light, such as ChatLight.

[21:02] Doug demonstrates screen sharing. Doug and Andy roleplay a sales call, with drawing on the fly, using Doceri.

[26:02] Drawing on a sales call can reach multiple influencers at once in different locations.

[27:28] Doceri can overlay your slideshow to make annotations based on customer responses. Doug suggests marketing and sales can collaborate closely to prepare the presentation, and save prospect time. Doug discusses tech.

[34:27] Zoom can share your presentation as a PDF summary, including all the visuals diagrammed. Or use Gong.io for a recording and/or a transcription of the call.

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.

April 3, 2017

#422. Inspire Buyers to Action. With Doyle Slayton.

Doyle Slayton, CEO and Founder of Xoombi, joins me for the second time on #Accelerate!

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[:34] Doyle was in sports broadcasting, cold-calling for sponsors. He learned he loved sales! He moved to outbound prospecting and management, but started to find that nobody picks up the phone anymore! He saw there was a problem.

[5:27] It’s all about alignment. Doyle suggests how to get marketing and sales together to get sales moving. How does branding fit in the buying process?

[7:27] Doyle examines a variety of issues in sales today. Every consultant has a different take. What is happening on the front lines? Doyle gives his thoughts on simplicity.

[9:02] What are the must-have tools? Doyle talks lists, personas, multiple contacts, and accounts. Direct dial numbers and email addresses are key. What does Doyle suggest about marketing automation?

[13:19] The discussion turns to Saleswings, HubSpot, and other tools of the trade.

[15:09] How do you combine application with theory? Doyle gives a couple of case studies.

[18:20] The books, Influence, Pre-Suasion, and The Science of Selling, explore the emotional/psychological side of decisions. Doyle says canned demos are “where deals go to die.” Be different from your competition by being “of” your client.

[21:54] Doyle boils it down to inspiring buyer action. He makes points on web presence, cool factor, curiosity, scarcity, process efficiency, case studies, social proof, and an easy entry point.

[29:33] Doyle puts himself in the shoes of his clients. He identifies with them as he advises them. His passion carries into prospecting and sales calls.

 

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.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[: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.