Accelerate Podcast with Andy Paul
June 23, 2017

#492. Are You Prepared to Achieve Your Career Goals? With Bridget Gleason.

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

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[2:30] The topic is assessing where you are as an individual contributor, where you want to go, and the next step to get there. Bridget talks about assessment, in context of life goals.

[4:13] An SDR position is usually of short duration. It is critical for an SDR to think ahead. Millennials sometimes have a hard time seeking out mentors. Bridget recommends having a mentor who is not your manager, to gain a different perspective.

[6:25] Prospecting for a mentor is like prospecting for customers. They need a pitch and a value proposition. For Andy, some reps have approached him indirectly, leading with questions, to build a relationship, without assuming familiarity.

[7:39] Earn the trust, and the right to ask the next level of question. The first person you talk to may not be the mentor that aligns with you. Enjoy the interaction of the time together, but be willing to be challenged. You need to be open to learning.

[9:18] The next step is to develop a point of view of what sales means for you. Formulate a philosophy — who you are in sales and what you stand for, to see the next step of your career. Your POV will change in time. A mentor helps with this.

[12:36] In tech, there’s always a new bright shiny object, and people rushing from one company to the next. Having a POV puts you in position to find a company aligned with you, so you know what you can offer them to engage in their success.

[13:45] An SDR may learn the steps to become an AE, CSM, or account manager. An AE can prepare for the enterprise side, or large enterprise, or to become a manager. Bridget suggests a gap analysis between you and your goal, including skills.

[16:43] Start by asking for feedback from your manager. You need to know where you stand. Even if there is personal friction, they can still be your ally for success. Peer feedback and mentor feedback is also helpful.

[18:15] Start reading books that will develop your business acumen, biographies of leaders, and broaden your worldview. Career progression involves additional responsibilities, so additional knowledge and a broader perspective is needed.

[20:52] A listener sent Andy a link to an article in which a CIO says he wants to hire people who understand human behavior — who have read Shakespeare. Andy suggests looking for opinions diametrically opposed to yours, and reading them.

[23:32] Some NYT readers are infuriated that there is a conservative columnist writing for the paper. For every POV, there is an opposing POV. Although it is a challenge, be open to learning about them. There is not only one way to sell.

[28:35] Sales leadership starts with the individual contributor. Andy cites Lolly Daskal’s book, and says, never stop learning. Consciously assess where you are, where are you strong, and where are you deficient?

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!

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[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 14, 2017

#484. What’s Your One Word? With Evan Carmichael.

Evan Carmichael, Author of the new book, Your One Word, joins me for the second time on this episode of #Accelerate!

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[2:42] Your one word is the one core value you stand for, more important than the others. When you identify it, you can build a life, and a sales career, that is on point, and is much more purposeful than reacting to others’ agendas for you.

[3:08] Beyond food, clothing, and shelter, people need to have meaning. People want to do work that has impact and is meaningful to others.

[3:54] Today, we have more models to follow, to be our own boss, and to get the results we want to get. Being an entrepreneur is not only easier, but sometimes necessary.

[5:04] Your one word comes from you, first. What do you represent as a human being, and how will you bring that to your business? It has to come from an authentic place, so you can make real connections with people, and stand out to win.

[6:58] Evan describes how his life evolved as an entrepreneur in a way that led him to write the book. It was his personal journey. First he thought changing the tagline of his company would help. Then he realized he had to find what he stood for.

[8:31] Evan’s one word is Belief. He then added the credo: Self-confidence, Passion, and Conviction. He recommends everyone to go through this exercise. Once he did this, every project he touched took off, and had success, and intention.

[10:41] This is the connection salespeople need with their buyers. It starts with how you stand out with your values. Evan goes to Starbucks because he loves Howard Schultz’s values.

[12:25] Product value has to be in context of core values. Even talks about a landscaper who “treats every lawn like it’s my Mom’s lawn.” Evan would hire that landscaper, just from that.

[18:51] Your one word is always something positive. There’s a piece of good in everyone. Find your good word. When you hire, lead with the value. Attract people who have like values.

[22:14] Evan tells a story about ‘the fat kid’ Nike ad, which he calls their best ad ever. It takes greatness to start. It’s what you see in yourself, that gets you started, that matters.

[26:24] Evan lives by Henry Ford’s statement, “Whether you believe you can or you can’t, you’re right.” Think of the quotes you love. Those will help you find your core value. Evan likes learning from successful people.

[28:37] Your one word is forever, not a 2017 resolution. What’s the one lesson you want to pass on to your children? Think about the happiest things of your life, the people who helped. Find common threads. Distill them to a value.

June 12, 2017

#482. Leading a Four Generation Sales Team. With Kelly Riggs.

Kelly Riggs, Creator of the Business Locker Room, author of Quit Whining and Start Selling, speaker, podcaster, and Co-Founder of Counter Mentors, joins me on this episode of #Accelerate!

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[5:20] Kelly describes Counter Mentors, founded with his son Robby. A counter mentor brings the values of Millennials to Boomers in the workplace. The goal is an environment where both generations thrive, using the wisdom and skills of each.

[8:12] Between Boomers and Millennials are Gen X; after Millennials are Gen Z. Silent Generation members are still going strong In some companies, for five generations in one office.

[9:15] Gen Z grew up in the 2008 economic downturn, so they care about economic security. They are more entrepreneurial than Millennials.
[10:16] Over a year ago, Millennials became the largest population of the workforce. Boomers are retiring. Gen X are not ready to retire.

[11:49] Digital kids entering the workplace suddenly had to learn interpersonal skills. Millennials and Boomers both want respect, but their definitions of it differ. Millennials want their bosses to earn their respect, but respect goes both ways.

[15:57] Boomers need to approach Millennials from a leading position, but not from an authoritarian position. Be tolerant of questions, and be willing to explain the reasons. Don’t categorize any generation as being problematic.

[20:59] Millennials don’t see the Boomers as the revolutionary youth they were in the 1960s and 1970s. The generations have some commonalities. Each generation was raised differently. Each can be effective in the workplace, working together.

[24:01] In many companies Millennials are in leadership over Boomers. Leadership is harder than they thought! But they can do it.

[26:20] Millennials may see Boomers as hypocritical. People leaving an organization leave because of the people they work for. People promoted to leadership have not been trained as leaders. They become micromanagers, and drive people away.

[29:34] Management is not the same as leadership. The role of a manager is largely administrative. They know the administration, and the CRM, but not the key aspects of leadership. They have not learned to coach.

[31:56] Invest money in training sales leaders, or pay the price in missed quotas and turnover. ‘Calls per day’ does not relate to identifying the right contacts to call.

[36:33] Kelly learned his processes from the books of the masters. A coach needs to see each salesperson, with their strengths and skillsets, and guide them in those directions.

June 10, 2017

#481. How to Get Your Next Job with Social Selling. With Ian Moyse

Ian Moyse, UK Sales Director at Natterbox, and a cloud and social selling specialist, joins me on this episode of #Accelerate!

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[2:05] Ian Moyse describes his own use of social selling to secure employment. Employment is about prospecting and engagement. Social selling tools fit these tasks.

[3:32] Instead of reacting to LinkedIn ads, prospect proactively. Find a role that is not out in the market yet, through your contact base, or differentiate yourself for a position that is already advertised. Ian presents a detailed path.

[5:56] In the tech sector, due to disruption, there is an incredibly high number of people looking for work.

[6:20] Ian says some salespeople shy away from social, because they misconstrue it as frivolous. He suggests using social to network with career-relevant prospects. He cites positive accidental interactions he has had.

[8:56] Ian warns against posting anything that could hurt your chances to find employment. He says networking gets easier as your network expands. He knows 25 people across the globe at one company he considered for employment.

[11:58] Ian tells how he reached out cold to a person at a global company, discussed an article of theirs he had read, his own interests on the topic, and what he could add. He was brought in for interviews. He was seen as a go-getter.

[14:49] Social selling approaches work well to engage with potential employers. If you don’t get the role, you’ve made new contacts. You may be able to add value at a future time.

[15:35] An employer who is offended at your Facebook post or Tweet will not tell you why. They just won’t hire you. Calculate your risks. Employers will look, so, have accounts. There are pros who can help your profile. Or — just change your name!

[20:15] Google yourself! Put your Twitter account on your LinkedIn, to show you have nothing to hide. Show a consistent individual brand that is professional. First impressions count.

[22:03] Include in your profile content of value about your industry. Post articles, with your comments, and comment and ask questions about the content others post. Show genuine passion and provide real opportunities for connection.

[24:51] Be strategic on where you want to be in five years.  Network with people where you want to be. Differentiate yourself, using social selling techniques, for roles that may not even exist yet. Raise your profile by being active. Start now.

[27:50] Consider it like working a large complex account. Show what you uniquely have to add. It’s all about connection. You will find opportunities present themselves that you didn’t expect. Be different. Put your best photo online.

June 1, 2017

#473. Maximize the Selling Time of Field Sales Reps. With Steven Benson.

Steven Benson, CEO of BadgerMapping.com, joins me on this episode of #Accelerate!

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[2:28] Steven notes that many companies go to market with outside sales, regardless of the trend to inside sales. The most competitive way to sell some products is in the field.

[3:57] Some business models, such as SaaS, do not support the expense of field sales. Badger has customers who have competitors using inside sales and the internet, and the Badger customers do very well against their competition.

[5:09] Field salespeople have always managed customer routes — either on paper or digitally. Badger combines maps, calendars, and customer lists, in one app, working together. Steven got the idea after working with add-ons to Google Maps.

[8:11] Steven clarifies how field sales routing differs from truck routing. Badger factors appointment times into the route.

[9:41] Is outside selling simpler than inside selling? The inside sales tech stack adds complexity. Steven reveals the name that he almost called BadgerMapping.

[12:15] With the Badger app the rep can see all the customers on a map, and filter them. Customers can be sorted by campaign criteria, selected by lasso, set up by time to see, and then routed quickly. Badger cuts the busywork of routing.

[15:32] Badger can be planned a week in advance. You can change the routes as needed, when new things come up. The more in the future you save a route, the more efficient it is.

[17:22] Badger enhances your CRM system, or it will work with a spreadsheet of your customer data. Badger pulls your appointments from your CRM and maps them by priority.

[18:40] Badger can send individual emails, or you can use your CRM mail merge. Badger has dropdowns to collect and capture activity data quickly, and send it back to your CRM.

[23:05] The measurable benefits include lower mileage, less drive time, and more meetings, with meetings more focused on the planned objectives.

[24:25] BadgerMaps is an interesting case, as an inside sales SaaS company whose product is for field salespeople. Do VCs see the long-term value of supporting field sales? A lot of field sales jobs will still be around in 25 years.

[28:26] Steven says there is no current trend away from field sales among their customers.

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!

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[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!

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[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 15, 2017

#458. Thinking Right Side Up About Sales. With David A. Fields.

David A. Fields, speaker, consultant, and author of The Irresistible Consultants’ Guide to Winning Clients, joins me on this episode of #Accelerate!

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[2:20] An irresistible consultant is one whose clients say, “I need to have you. I want you to help me solve my problem.”

David discusses how the heart of becoming irresistible is discovery.

[4:13] We hear about listening all the time, but we are not particularly good at it. David shares a case study about thinking right side up in a meeting.

[5:23] To succeed in sales, focus on the customer’s needs. This is a skill that can become a habit.

[7:32] Right-side-up thinking means putting the customer first. David suggests developing one or two habits at a time. He gives an example of a right-side-up behavior.

[9:30] David warns not to deflect customer invitations to talk about your company or product. Leave your agenda behind. Respond simply and appropriately. Say something like, “Here’s the problem I solve. These are the people I help.”

[11:16] David speaks of responsiveness, relationships, and agendas. The value of relationships can be monetized.

[14:39] The prospect has anxiety not only about their problems, but also about the risks and potential mistakes of the buying journey. You can address these anxieties.

[17:17] It helps to be interested in other people. Cultivate this if it is not natural for you. As you become more interested, you will find it easier to pay attention to them.

[19:06] David lists the six pillars of consulting success. The emotional pillars are built by paying attention to the prospect. Paying attention builds connection.

[21:45] David uses 2X3 charts rather than quadrants, to map where the need is, or ‘where the fish are.’ Don’t try to create demand. Find the demand you can solve.

[25:40] It’s easier to sell what people want to buy than to find people who want to buy what you’re selling. David shares a case study.

[27:37] Most consultant skills and expertise are transferable between industries. You can pick up skillsets; you cannot create client problems. If you are trying to reach the wrong industry, find one more in need of your services.

May 6, 2017

#451. How to Engage the C-Suite. With Sharon Gillenwater.

Sharon Gillenwater, Founder of Boardroom Insiders, and CXO engagement strategy expert, joins me on this episode of #Accelerate!

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[1:35] Boardroom Insiders provides in-depth executive profiles to large tech vendors, to engage the C-suite on a personal level. Sharon was a consultant, and was asked her how to sell to the C-level. After research, she started the company in 2008.

[5:08] Boardroom Insiders has around 12K executive profiles in their database, which is constantly updated, and available by subscription. They have tracked some of the executives, from company to company, for almost 10 years.

[6:05] LinkedIn and contact databases tell you who to contact. Boardroom Insiders tells you what they want to talk about. If you call an executive with no credibility of your own, you won’t get a second chance.

[7:31] Sharon discusses decision makers outside the C-suite. Sometimes they come to no decision, which is a bigger obstacle than the competition. Teams demand integration between unlike products. C-suites can influence the sale.

[12:16] Sharon says you work with stakeholders, decision makers and the C-Suite. It is not simply a matter of engaging the CEO. Work all the levels.

[14:05] Sharon includes business unit heads in the C-suite category, as they make many of the tech decisions. The perception of what C-suite is has expanded as new titles have proliferated. Sharon discusses new digital expectations.

[15:57] Sharon walks through the enterprise sales process, including automation tools, brand presence, content marketing, and the one-to-one value proposition CEOs expect. Most sales teams save the CEO focus for the largest accounts.

[19:07] The ABM/ABE model needs to be in place at an enterprise for the Boardroom Insiders database to be useful. The data gives the opportunity to personally engage at the highest level, within a very targeted group of accounts.

[21:41] ABE allows you to define plays and develop playbooks. But a generic invitation does not work with the C-suite audience. It takes a personally relevant call from their executive peer.

[27:24] The human touch in selling is making a ‘comeback.’ There are no automated silver bullets.

[29:38] Sharon explores why field marketing controls the data, and feeds it to sales. Sales may not have the budget. It’s often the way SaaS is organized.

[31:12] Sharon would like sales to have better access to the data.