Accelerate Podcast with Andy Paul
October 11, 2017

#582 The Uniquely Human Behaviors We Need in Sales. With Geoff Colvin.

Geoff Colvin, Senior Editor at Large, Fortune Magazine, and the New York Times bestselling author of Talent is Overrated: What Really Separates World-Class Performers from Everybody Else, and Humans Are Underrated: What High Achievers Know That Brilliant Machines Never Will, joins me on this episode of #Accelerate!

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[5:43] Geoff says the single biggest challenge facing sales reps today is fully understanding and appreciating the degree to which they are threatened by technology. Forrester Research predicts that by 2020, 20% of B2B sales jobs will be eliminated. [8:14] The single largest employment of males in America is truck driving. Driving is threatened by technology. An autonomous truck has already made a commercial delivery.

[11:01] The industrial revolution put artisans out of work. The arrival of electricity put education in the forefront. The technological revolution is now lessening the strength of a college education, as knowledge work is being automated.

[14:24] Employers require administrators to have college degrees but college skills are not needed for administrative tasks. AI technology now does what young lawyers used to do — discovery of documents — better, faster, and cheaper.

[17:18] Law school grads are hunting for jobs. The meaning of being a great performer has changed. Technology can do the repetitive work, and even more complex work. Instead of being more machine-like, we need to relate more humanly.

[19:19] To look into someone’s eyes is the key to creating value. Talking face-face with someone literally synchronizes both brains. Turning away stops the synchronization. Various visual cues combine to build trust.

[21:03] In SaaS, close rates are not very good. SDRs burn through hundreds of thousands of leads to get the deals. Andy suggests for high-value deals, get on the plane and meet the contact. Conferences are becoming more important.

[23:03] Oxford Economics reports that employers will be looking for more right-brain employees in the next few years. Other research shows that empathy is trending down among students. These are skills needed for teams and leaders.

[26:57] The greater value an employer puts on empathy, the greater value it is to hire women for those roles. Geoff talks to students and asks whether men or women are better at deep human interaction. He gets one answer.

[28:17] Training and ongoing education of sellers has to focus on these selling habits of building relationships, not on tactical skills. Some employers think people cannot be trained in these skills, or don’t know how to train for them.

[30:39] These skills, added to product knowledge and customer knowledge, are your path to a long career in sales. Knowledge is being commoditized, but skills of engagement are still uniquely human. It’s all how you sell, not what you sell.

[32:38] These capabilities are in us. We can change our habits to build relationships. “Just think of what we’re being asked to do — to become more essentially human, to be the creatures we once were and were always meant to be.” — Geoff Colvin.

 

ANNOUNCEMENT

This month we are celebrating the 2nd Anniversary of Accelerate! Accelerate! has been downloaded well over one million times and recognized twice by Inc.! Andy would like to hear from you about your favorite episode, guest, or topic. See the complete list of episodes at AndyPaul.com. Leave Andy a message about your favorite episode to receive a free signed copy of Amp Up Your Sales: Powerful Strategies That Move Customers to Make Fast, Favorable Decisions, by Andy Paul. You will need to provide your physical mailing address to receive the book.

 

September 1, 2017

#558. A Millennial Sales Rep Joins Us to Talk about Selling. With Bridget Gleason.

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

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[2:15] Bridget — who feels fantastic today, and just had a great family reunion — is joined by special guest Josh Phillips, head of the account management team at Logz.io in Tel Aviv. Josh is on the customer front line for technical help and other needs. [7:06] There are a lot of people skills in sales, and a lot of sales aspects in nearly every job. Josh says his generation is used to short-term targets and goals. Sales speaks to his generation.

[8:23]  Josh is from Manchester, United Kingdom. Andy and Josh bond over the Red Devils and the Romelu Lukaku transfer. Being a striker in football is just like being a sales guy. You’re the pointy end of the stick, and you need to be consistent.

[9:47] Josh says the stereotype of Millennial entitlement is real, for a specific reason. He talks about the educational process of constant targets to hit, for which you get Pavlovian rewards.

[13:58] Josh tells tips he learned getting his Master’s: If you only do as you’re told, you’ll excel; but that doesn’t work in the office. Millennials are surprised to be micromanaged; their supervisors are surprised Millennials want to be unsupervised.

[15:56] Andy says Boomers and Gen Xers misinterpret Millennials. Millennials want to know why things have to be ‘this way.’ That is motivated curiosity, not entitlement. They believe more in a meritocracy.

[18:01] Bridget agrees with the concept of meritocracy, and contrasts that with the Boomer mentality of ‘doing the time’ for the eventual reward. Millennial impatience is a good thing.

[19:45] Josh says technology increases transparency for a workplace of meritocracy. CRM lets everyone see everyone else’s work. Andy and Bridget remember the ever-present sales board. There has always been a ranking.

[21:29] Josh knows very few people who have been six years at one company. Andy notes that people not making their numbers were dropped quickly. You qualified to go to training.

[27:22] Josh says, the more tech comes into sales, the more it distracts the process. The customer buys the person, and the benefits they sell, not the product.

[28:58] Buyers think the Millennials are great at tech, but not as good at connecting with people. Josh says knowledge doesn’t close a deal. Bridget taught him not to have ‘happy ears.’ Proper listening is critical to selling.

[31:16] Technology can only replace some aspects of sales. Successful sales reps will be more human. Josh does not see his customers, so he looks into their social profile.

[32:34] Josh uses video on conferences sometimes. If the customer turns on the video feed, so does Josh. Some only want to chat or do email.

December 2, 2016

Where Will the Real Sales Revolution Begin? With Bridget Gleason. #320

Welcome to another Front Line Friday with my regular guest, Bridget Gleason. On this week’s episode, Bridget and I discuss, among other topics the connection between new sales technologies and enhanced sales productivity. Join Bridget and me for this episode of Accelerate! as we dig into the future of sales in the face of technological changes.

September 30, 2016

Is the B2B Salesperson An Endangered Species? With Bridget Gleason. #267

Welcome to another edition of Front Line Friday with my regular special guest, Bridget Gleason. On this episode, we focus our conversation on the changing role of the B2B salesperson in the face of rapidly evolving sales tools, automation, and systems. We talk about the sales behaviors and skills in the sales cycle that are “uniquely human”, and nearly impossible to replace with technology. Listen in as Bridget and I discuss how salespeople can develop the habits and behaviors that not only improve their current performance, but also secure their role in future.   

September 28, 2016

How to Bring A Personal Touch Back Into Sales. With Michael Sacca. #265

My guest on this episode is Michael Sacca, host of the business podcast, Rocketship.fm, and Head of Partnerships at Crew. Among the many topics Michael and I discuss are how sales professionals can succeed and thrive in a world where sales teams are at risk of being engineered out of the selling process; and, how the personal touch in sales can influence the emotional element of decision-making and become the differentiator that helps you close the deal.

May 31, 2016

On Accelerate! Now: Episode 167 with Tony Hughes. The Coming B2B Sales Disruption. How to Survive It and Thrive.

Tony Hughes is ranked the #1 Influencer for professional selling in Asia-Pacific by Top Sales World magazine and the best-selling author of The Joshua Principle.

Tony has some startling news for sales reps today. Based on a variety of industry forecasts, the number of B2B sales reps is projected to dramatically shrink over the next four years.

The driving force for this change is that too many B2B customers do not receive sufficient value from their interactions with sales reps during their buyer’s journey. Given the trove of information readily available to them online, newly empowered buyers are willing to go outside the traditional engagement with sales reps to gather the information they need to quickly make good decisions.

In this episode, Tony and I discuss the growing challenges for B2B sales reps and what they need to do become a lasting and powerful source of value to their customers. Among the topics we discuss include:

• The reasons why so many sales reps vulnerable to seismic shifts taking place in how their prospects and customers buy.

• The forces that could dramatically shrink the number of B2B sales reps over the next four years.

• The challenges sales reps must confront in order to continue to add value to their buyers. (And keep their jobs in the process.)

• How to inspire your buyers to follow you.

April 24, 2016

The Best of Accelerate! The Future of B2B Sales. With Regis Lemmens.

In this episode, Regis Lemmens, founder of Sales Cubes and a Professor at leading business schools in the UK, Belgium and the Netherlands, shares the key findings of his extensive research into the future of B2B sales. He describes what his research found to be the necessary and inevitable evolution of consultative selling to a true collaborative partnership with buyers. Among the topics we discuss in this episode are:

  • What is value co-creation and why is it central to the future of B2B sales?
  • Why buyers may start paying you to sell to them. And, what that means for the future of the sales rep.
  • How sales teams will continue to become more specialized. But, not in the way you might think.
  • How the hunter-farmer metaphor for sales reps will become obsolete.

If you’re in sales or sales management, then you definitely need to listen to this episode.

April 18, 2016

On Accelerate! Now: Episode 136 with Josiane Feigon. What’s the Future of Sales? Smart Sales Trends for 2016 and Beyond.

Josiane Feigon is a sales futurist and the founder of  TeleSmart Communications. She is the author of Smart Sales Manager: The Ultimate Playbook for Building and Running a High-Performance Inside Sales Team. For the past 11 years, Josiane  has written and published sales trends reports that lay out the significant macro trends that will transform sales, and business, in the near future. In this episode, Josiane and I discuss the latest trends that will begin to transform how we sell in 2016.

  • 10 must-have skills sales reps need to be successful in inside sales.
  • What is a No-Po and why can’t sales and marketing avoid them?
  • What sales reps need to do to stay relevant to their customers (and avoid being replaced by automation)
  • Why true authority will be defined by knowledge and merit, not title.