Accelerate Podcast with Andy Paul
April 25, 2017

#441. How to Keep up With Digital Buyers. With Javaid Iqbal.

Javaid Iqbal, digital futurist, C-suite advisor on customer innovation, inspirational speaker and educator, longtime consulting executive with big five, a former customer engagement and success leader at Salesforce.com, and now, co-founder of a digital transformation consultancy focusing on innovation in the customer space, joins me on this episode of #Accelerate!

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[1:04] Javaid started at Ernst & Young, consulting on Y2K, then moved to PWC. He started some consultancies, began teaching, and then went to Salesforce, as well as consulting.

[2:44] As buyers rely more on mobile technologies, the technologies change how buyers learn and buy. Customers have more power than ever before, and demand more service and innovation. Javaid tells a story about buyer expectations.

[7:10] Javaid discusses how to get to ‘know, like, and trust,’ is a challenge in the digital market. He says that providing value is the key.

[12:17] Javaid explains how CRM changed selling and customer success, and how global markets are catching up.

[15:07] With new digital titled officers appearing in the C-suite, the buying committee is being redefined and redistributed. Javaid points out some confusion that obstructs companies from progressing. It’s late to be considering a digital strategy.

[21:31] Javaid says the intersection of industries converging to enable a new process or product innovation is where the magic happens. He uses the example of Uber. This also changes the process of reaching and retaining customers.

[23:39] The fourth industrial revolution is a hot topic. Marketing, sales, and service all move now in the same social channels. Javaid discusses in-app purchases and augmented selling.

[27:04] As more augmented realities and technologies kick in, buying decisions will be more automated. Javaid discusses how companies will need to be ready and agile.

[28:45] Sales today is covered with the fingerprints of the success, service, alliances, and leadership departments. Is the salesperson responsible for the close? The functions are blurring between sales, marketing, acquisition and retention.

[32:05] Customer Success is now responsible for more revenue than New Business Development. Salesforce helped by providing a program architect to mentor the customer for a year. Javaid describes different data systems in play.

[34:22] Customer Success gets to sell phases 2, 3, and 4 of a product. They have to be extremely savvy salespeople. Javaid points out that farmers are becoming hunter farmers. Sales compensation needs to be reviewed as responsibilities shift.

 

April 21, 2017

Keep Your Sales as Simple as Possible. With Bridget Gleason. #438

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

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[:53] Wake up each day telling yourself it’s a fantastic day! Start your day with a smile.

[2:27] Do you prefer treadmills or running outdoors? Does the weather make the choice for you?

[3:58] The topic is whether we are over complicating sales. The human connection is the key in any methodology. As in soccer, the fundamentals win the game, or the deal.

[6:03] Process may obscure the buying journey. When Andy reads a sales book, as he does for every author guest he interviews, the “gold” he finds is in the small stuff, not in big concepts. It’s all about human interactions.

[8:30] Bridget may not find a new concept in a book, but often finds timely reminders that relate to her current situations.

[9:20] The sales process is necessary, like “table stakes.” The differentiators are more nuanced, and are personal to the sales professional. They are independent from the process. [10:43] Many guests on Accelerate market the importance of the process. To compare sales to golf, you can learn all you want about the swing; the action takes place where the clubface squarely meets the ball. That will not change.

[12:06] Lessons in the fundamentals are more relevant than tools and trends. «Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.» (The more things change, the more they stay the same.) Humans are fundamentally unchanged since sales began.

[15:02] In episode #432 the topic was relationships. It goes back to that. People buy from people. Bridget is in the majority of buyers, in optimizing buying around trust.

[16:27] There is no sale without a connection. Andy created a mnemonic acronym for the fundamentals: BALD — Be present, Ask great questions, Listen without judgment, and Deliver value.

[19:00] Being present means not being distracted. Listening without judgment means letting the buyer disclose who they are. Don’t categorize them without knowing them. Don’t allow your confirmation bias to fool you. People are unique.

April 12, 2017

#430. Winning with Account-Based Strategies. With Trish Bertuzzi.

Trish Bertuzzi, President of The Bridge Group, author of the Amazon #1 bestselling book, The Sales Development Playbook: How to Build Repeatable Pipeline and Accelerate Growth With Inside Sales, joins me again on this episode of #Accelerate! (Please also listen to my previous conversation with Trish on Episode #77.)

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[:49] In 1998, Trish founded The Bridge Group, an inside sales consulting and implementation firm, focused on the B2B tech space. They have worked with over 300 companies, and if you are thinking about inside sales, she invites you to call!

[1:42] Trish sees changes in inside sales over the last year — the first being that the selling industry is waking up to the fact that they are boring buyers with lazy templates and approaches, and buyers have stopped listening.

[2:51] Trish says the evidence is in dramatically declining rates of engagement from inbound marketing. Whitepapers, webinars, and other offerings are not attracting many new contacts. In the sea of content, maybe 2% has value to buyers.

[3:40] Trish explains where buyers are seeking information today, and it’s not from vendors!

[4:11] Buyers are also not engaging in conversations with salespersons about the product, company, or salesperson. How do you address the buyers’ needs to engage them?

[4:57] To be successful in sales, you need to start with one thing: curiosity about the buyer. Trish goes in depth about the knowledge you should seek around your buyer to enable engagement about them.

[6:44] We need a learning culture. Challenge your sales team. Provide testing, certifications, and rewards for continuing their self-education. Give them opportunities to stimulate their mind. That’s how you will hire A players.

[7:55] The American Association of Inside Sales Professionals has a certification process, at a basic level. Sales is still not offered as a major at most colleges, so it would be challenging to have industry-wide certifications.

[9:15] The second trend is account-based strategies, or ABR (account-based revenue). It is more than outbound. It takes the concentration of all company resources on a set of accounts. You need an account story, and persona stories.

[14:28] Know where your sweet spot lies. It takes many resources to use ABR on any account, so pick accounts carefully. Sales and marketing must work as one. Trish gives details how to do this.

[16:24] The ABR pentagon is five sides of sequential preparation to launch an ABR approach: Strategy & Alignment, Account Selection, Players & Positions, Account Insights & Plays, and Tools & Measures. Trish these discusses in-depth.

[28:09] Trish covers a company case study of growth from $10 million to $100 million, by an Account-Based Strategy, after refocusing on account selection. They needed to pick larger accounts. ABR is ineffective on accounts less than $50K a year.

 

April 10, 2017

#428. Correctly Using Data to Manage Sales. With Greg Dalli.

Greg Dalli, Co-Founder of Clarus Designs joins me on this episode of #Accelerate!

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[:47] Greg became legally blind at age six, and soon realized he would need a different approach to problem solving. After college, he became a business intelligence analyst for a startup. He helped scale the firm from $15Million-$200Million.

[2:36] The purpose of Clarus Designs is to help sales and marketing teams make better decisions, and grow, using data.

[2:58] Greg tells how to find ‘the truth,’ which varies case by case. You start with clean data.

[4:13] Clarus Designs simplifies problems, to focus on what is actionable. Does it matter how many emails it takes, on average, to touch a contact?

[7:11] Clarus Designs helps teams look at metrics in relation to other changes, such as, new customer growth in relation to average sales price. Greg tells how the two metrics correlate.

[8:28] Clarus Designs suggests teams can tie activity metrics to success metrics. It’s not just how many emails they send, but how many people they connect with, as a result.

[10:30] Greg explains how success metrics might be applied usefully, or how they might lead to missing goals.

[12:00] Assuming from last year’s data that 5X pipeline coverage will yields your sales goal does not work. The pipeline will get filled with unqualified leads.

[14:18] The more stressful the situation, the more likely people crave control. They seek control through activity metrics, but activity metrics are not tied to outcomes.

[20:47] Greg contrasts time management with efficiency, or sales dollars per hour of selling time.

[25:10] Asymmetric metric variability represents a skewed distribution, in forecasts. It is easy to overestimate when the deal will close, and underestimate the discount to get the deal.

[29:25] Managing pipeline coverage must assume a significant percentage of the coverage will fall out from no decision.

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 24, 2017

Are You a Great Candidate for Your Next Sales Job? With Bridget Gleason. #414

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

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[1:54] Bridget is hiring for the Boston office of Logz.io! Hires must be a good cultural fit in this foundational group. Account Executives are needed for mainly inside complex sales of log management and analytics to mid-level technical prospects.

[5:55] Bridget has been using LinkedIn and in-house recruiters. One investor, OpenView, has been a great source. Bridget looks for signs of leadership on a resume. Listen to hear the other qualities she seeks.

[8:51] Don’t be overly modest on your resume. Include leadership roles, even if not titled as such.

[9:34] Schools indicate your background. A high GPA is positive, but not the determining factor.

[11:00] Attention to detail on a resume suggests attention to detail in sales. Bridget looks for two to five years of experience, and if you had a job in school. She wants ambition, hustle, self-directedness, curiosity, leadership, and teamwork.

[13:17] Bridget’s interviews: Candidates are phone screened for their narrative, then they present a mock discovery call to show preparedness and understanding. When they meet, Bridget looks for presence. The CEO Skypes each candidate.

[17:51] Bridget explores what she means by presence.

[19:11] Is it easy for a new salesperson to be ‘comfortable in their own skin’? How does that influence an interview? How does it relate to leadership? Bridget talks about a new hire on a non-traditional path, and how he interviewed with the CEO.

[21:39] How do military veterans fit into the Logz.io culture? In Israel, military service is compulsory!

March 20, 2017

Put the Customer First to Close More Sales Faster. With Jeff Shore. #410

Joining me once again on this episode of Accelerate! is my guest Jeff Shore, President and CEO of Shore Consulting, and author of multiple books, including Closing 2.0: How to Close More Sales Faster by Putting the Customer First.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[:54] Shore Consulting works with companies in the B2C space. They started in real estate, and have branched into other consumer areas, always focusing on the emotion-based sale.

[4:14] Jeff explains how his new book, Closing 2.0, answers current questions on serving the customer’s buying journey.

[7:38] What are two filters a salesperson applies when reading a sales technique book?

[8:46] Jeff explores the meaning of ‘closing.’ What word would he have chosen instead of ‘closing’? What is the buyer’s ‘decision-making rhythm’?

[10:30] Jeff discusses aspects of service and respect in the seller-customer relationship.

[12:34] On Jeff’s book tour, when he asked audiences to describe ‘a salesperson,’ how did they respond? How did they then describe people they know personally, who sell?

[14:12] Can a salesperson apply skills that are contrary to their authentic personality? How does a salesperson align behaviors and skills to core values?

[15:58] What does Jeff mean by ‘agreement’? Who makes agreements, and what do the agreements accomplish?

[19:24] How would you reverse-engineer your sales process to align with the buyer’s preferences? Jeff makes a suggestion.

[21:34] What is the highest predictor of urgency in a buying decision? What is the role of future promise?

[27:29] What factors should be evaluated and incorporated into the closing process?

[28:51] Should your closing question be well-crafted?

 

March 17, 2017

Books to Help You Sell. With Bridget Gleason. #408

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

KEY TAKEAWAYS
[:52] The topic is books! The first is Draw to Win: A Crash Course on How to Lead, Sell, and Innovate With Your Visual Mind, by Dan Roam. Dan was on Episode 387 of Accelerate! The book tells how to describe ideas using stick figures and shapes.
[3:12] One of Bridget’s clients consults businesses for conflict resolution, by visualizing with Legos. Visualization works!
[5:11] Dan Roam has found that his conversion rate on proposals improved substantially by using drawing, and by involving the prospect in the presentation, to co-create value.
[6:45] Search Inside Yourself: The Unexpected Path to Achieving Success, Happiness (and World Peace), by Chade-Meng Tan, teaches internal conditions for success, and to reduce stress.
[9:36] Everydata: The Misinformation Hidden in the Little Data You Consume Every Day, by John H. Johnson, is about the common misuse of statistics and data. This affects sales metrics. Don’t confuse correlation with causation! John is an upcoming guest!
[12:47] Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike, by Phil Knight. This reveals the perseverance, courage, and resilience of the founder behind the iconic brand. The rise wasn’t easy!
[14:59] The Science of Selling: Proven Strategies to Make Your Pitch, Influence Decisions, and Close the Deal, by David Hoffeld, an upcoming guest, summarizing research on the mind, influence, and sales, into a methodology for prospecting.
[17:22] The Coaching Habit: Say Less, Ask More & Change the Way You Lead Forever, by Michael Bungay Stanier is about behavior change, through the science of the way habits are formed.
[19:56] How To Sell On LinkedIn: 30 Tips in 30 Days, by
Erik Qualman tells about good selling behaviors on LinkedIn. It is one of the better books on the topic that Andy has read.
[22:04] Historical fiction! Bernard Cornwell has written several series, including the Saxon Tales, starting with The Last Kingdom, in 9th Century England, which sets the stage for the unification of England.

March 6, 2017

How to Accelerate Your Growth with Marketing and Sales Alignment. With Tracy Eiler. #398

Tracy Eiler, is Chief Marketing Officer at InsideView, and the co-author of a new book, with Andrea Austin, called Aligned to Achieve: How to Unite Your Sales and Marketing Teams into a Single Force for Growth.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[3:58] Tracy and her co-author, Andrea Austin, found that their clients’ sales and marketing departments had no understanding of, or trust for, each other.

[6:56] Sirius Research claims a 19% faster revenue growth when sales and marketing are aligned. Tracy talked to Sirius about their benchmark testing, which they did through surveys of behaviors, processes, and revenue figures.

[8:09] Alignment reduces process friction by coordinating lead data with CRM data, so leads go to the right group. There is also coordination of lead scoring. People friction is reduced by removing intimidation, and by adding communication.

[10:46] Tracy chairs a bi-weekly Smarketing meeting covers a six-week window, following up on past events, current activities, and upcoming plans. It holds teams accountable. It is a venue for ideas. Sales and leadership meetings also include marketing.

[14:24] Tracy found that in 25% of their six-figure deals of the last year, there were engaged in the sale, an average of 34 individuals per client account, representing sales, marketing, ops, IT, and so on, through webinars, website visits, trials, etc.

[16:37] The book has a test for marketers to measure whether their sellers trust them, with questions like, “Has your seller shared their account plans with you,” “Have they taken you on a call,” and, “Have they followed up your leads with feedback?”

[18:32] The alignment problem is getting worse. Tracy cites the messy MarTech stack. Examine if your tech is adding value to your marketing and sales alignment.

[24:45] Sales thinks of top-of-funnel, but marketing can help mid-funnel as well, with engagement. Have the conversation, and apply all the tools available.

[27:01] Aligned to Achieve uses a sideways figure eight from Forrester Research to replace the sales funnel, cycling through the Find, Engage, Close, and Grow stages of the account relationship.

February 28, 2017

Boost Sales by Building Trust Through Content. With Marcus Sheridan. #393

Marcus Sheridan, marketing and sales expert, Founder of The Sales Lion, and author of the new book, They Ask You Answer: A Revolutionary Approach to Inbound Sales, Content Marketing, and Today’s Digital Consumer.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[1:06] In 2001, right out of college, Marcus joined two partners to start River Pools. The ‘08 crash almost ended them. They needed traffic! To generate leads, Marcus used content marketing and social media, to answer real buyer questions.

[4:08] River Pools adopted a core philosophy, which Marcus teaches all over the world: “They ask, you answer.” With FAQ content, they became the world’s most trafficked swimming pool manufacturer website, with 500K visitors per month.

[6:39] The big five questions buyers ask are: Money, Negatives (How could this blow up in my face?), Comparisons, Reviews, and Best (What is the best — whether or not I buy it?).

[8:13] The three reasons companies don’t release prices are: fear of competition stealing the “secret sauce,” fear of scaring customers, belief they have “a unique solution.” All are false reasons.

[9:37] Marcus wrote another article, “What are the Problems with Fiberglass Pools?” This article owns the conversation, and it generated $500K in sales. Buyers seek knowledge. They will find the answers they need. To provide answers, builds trust.

[10:48] A prospect asked, if we don’t buy from you, who would you recommend? Marcus wrote an article the five best pool contractors in his area. But didn’t include his own company! Talk about trust building. The article generated $150K that year alone. A series of similar articles earned millions.

[13:54] Who is the “WebMD” of your space right now? If you can’t name it, it doesn’t exist. Your culture must be, to be the best teachers in the world, where people know they will find their answers.

[16:06] In They Ask, You Answer, there are multiple case studies where companies required salespeople to participate with marketing. Sales serves buyers by helping make purchasing decisions. Most of the decision occurs before talking to sales.

[18:22] Marcus praises revenue teams, where marketing and sales are combined. Sales training should include marketing; content creation should include sales.

[19:09] Marcus found that prospects who read 30 pages on their site before a sales visit, bought 80% of the time. If not, they bought 25% of the time. Marcus pushed content. They sold 95 pools that year; the average buyer read 100 pages.
[28:19] As Marcus spoke about River Pools, people doubted the principles would apply to them. So Marcus developed world-class case studies of companies that completely changed the game in their spaces, always by teaching.

[30:37] The book is for people who say, I’m going to do whatever it takes to be the best teacher in my space. CarMax is an example of changing the game by answering critical questions. Eliminate fears, and you are left with trust.