Accelerate Podcast with Andy Paul
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.

February 18, 2017

How to Align Sales and Marketing for Best Results. With Peter Buscemi. #385

Joining me on this episode of Accelerate! is my guest Peter Buscemi, Founder of Four Quadrant, LLC. He serves as an advisor and educator to Fortune 1000 companies and startups, and provides go-to-market resources. Among the topics that Peter and I discuss are the connections between sales and marketing roles, and a one-page Sales & Marketing Quick Reference Card that should sit by every telephone in your organization.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[5:32] Where is the dividing line between Sales and Marketing? Where do the SDRs fit? Peter quotes David Packard, “Marketing is much too important to leave to marketers.”

[6:24] Peter says Marketing either builds or maintains a brand, or helps build better products, or helps sell.

[6:58] Demand creation and field marketing functions are best handled by marketing. A salesperson is too expensive to use for development. Carve out tasks for the experts in that area.

[8:48] “Integrated Sales and Marketing” does not want Marketing Qualified Leads. It wants Sales Qualified Leads. The salesperson wants opportunities with high propensity to close.

[10:25] How do you align Sales and Marketing?

[14:16] Why companies need to plan with a longer planning horizon. It takes months between planning for opportunities, engaging them, and closing them.

[18:55] Peter offers a Sales & Marketing Quick Reference Card, to put Sales and Marketing on one page, for a SDR or a BDR to have in front of them on phone calls. It has a positioning statement, opportunity use cases, discovery questions, FAQs.

[28:03] Building a brand and maintaining it are necessary, but those are not sales messages. Sales needs to align with corporate messaging, but focus on client needs. Marketing needs to know sales messaging, to create leads.

 

February 10, 2017

How to Be Resilient in Sales. With Bridget Gleason. #378

Welcome to another Front Line Friday with my very special guest and honorary co-host, Bridget Gleason. On this week’s episode, Bridget and I discuss resilience, why you need it in sales, tips that help you develop it; ideas to lift your sights, such as tracking small victories; and the suggestion to help others reach their own objectives.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[1:39] Have you had setbacks yet in 2017? Andy and Bridget discuss resilience. It is best developed through experience. The Japanese have a saying, “Fall seven times, get up eight.”

[3:05] Keep doing it. There is positive reinforcement from doing something hard. Make that next phone call, and the next, until you get some positive reinforcement.

[4:53] People who are resilient are not unemotional; they just find a way to put one foot in front of the other and keep at it, and they are persistent against that goal.

[5:52] Focus on small victories. Andy remembers teaching swimming lessons, where he learned the most important thing is to give people immediate success, and build on the success.

[6:46] Decide what the smallest unit of success for your daily tasks would be. Focus on that. A great phone conversation, or any goal you can set and meet. It starts a cycle of success.

[7:26] Bridget deliberately set achievable goals she would meet. Not easy, but ones she knew she could do. She wanted to reinforce, “I am a person who achieves the goals I set.”

[9:00] Andy’s boss used to ask him, “When’s the best time to go get an order? When you’ve just closed one!” Success encourages success. Teams will score twice in succession, in the rhythm.

[10:18] When you feel down, read something inspirational by anyone who inspires you. Bridget quoted from Devotion: Love and the Power of Small Steps, by Kim Nicol. Bridget looks until she finds what speaks to her. Keep words of wisdom in mind.

[14:41] Do something physical. Bridget accomplishes a run in the morning before she starts he workday. Take a walk in the middle of the day. It gives you energy. Get enough sleep.

[17:55] One way to lift yourself is to go help someone else, either someone who needs mentoring, or someone outside of work, where you can volunteer. You will get a boost.

[21:25] Being resilient means paying attention to yourself. If you are having a hard time, don’t ignore it; acknowledge it, and take corrective steps, as needed. Celebrate small wins. Go help someone else.

 

February 5, 2017

Repeat: How to Sell More in Less Time. With Jill Konrath. #331

Joining me on this episode of Accelerate! is my friend Jill Konrath. Jill is a speaker, sales expert, and author of multiple bestselling books, including Selling to Big Companies, Snap Selling, Agile Selling, and her latest book, More Sales, Less Time. Among the many topics that Jill and I discuss are how she came to focus on selling more in less time, what she learned from her research about concentration, focus and how to eliminate distraction that waste selling time, how to make the most of the limited hours available each, and how you can take the More Sales, Less Time Challenge.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[2:19] After Jill wrote SNAP Selling, about selling to frazzled customers, readers asked her how to simplify their own lives. She had no idea how to help them, so she researched it.

[6:37] Research shows multitasking is an illusion. Learn what happens when you try to jump between two tasks and refocus your attention.

[8:20] How often the average sales person checks their cell phone each day. And how each interruption reduces productivity.

[8:40] To write More Sales, Less Time, Jill used herself as a test subject for the before and after metrics for each new strategy she tried.

[10:44] Jill shares how using your willpower impacts your ability to make decisions.

[14:20] Jill’s Time Master Manifesto sets rules to manage time, starting with getting seven-and-a-half hours of sleep nightly.

[17:28] How you should start each business day before turning on your computer and checking your email.

[20:12] Two books to assist salespeople in learning how to prioritize are Essentialism, and The One Thing.

[24:03] Challenge the status quo at all times, looking for a better way to achieve the end result.

[25:00] Jill shares the value of scheduling your activities into blocks of time. You are most productive while focusing on one activity.

February 4, 2017

How to Tell Stories, Teach Lessons, and Sell Products. With Jeremy Reeves. #373

Joining me on this episode of Accelerate! is my guest Jeremy Reeves, the CEO of Kaizen Marketing, and host of the marketing podcast, Sales Funnel Mastery.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[2:09] Jeremy sells by words, as a sales copywriter, through websites and emails, anticipating and overcoming objections without talking. He has helped clients generate roughly $50M.

[5:33] How does sales automation affect sales? Buyers buy some items for thousands of dollars, without personal contact, but does it maximize the sale?

[8:11] Jeremy recalls a client’s experience with a two-step online lead generation campaign. They had a salesperson call prospects who stopped at the first step. With a call, the client increased their qualified leads by 50% over their online results.

[11:00] Is the sales funnel, either online, or face-to-face, becoming obsolete? Jeremy suggests adding more relevancy by segmenting it into specific audiences — multiple funnels.

[15:15] Is Sales losing its value to buyers in an era of near perfect information?

[17:56] Recently, Jeremy has seen an emphasis on building relationships, or engagement. People respond to relatable, emotional vulnerability, in your stories that teach lessons.

[22:02] Jeremy puts personal relatable events into his emails, to create engagement. His copywriting is about getting people to know, like, and trust you and your product.

[25:05] In the current wave of disruption in sales, automation is not creating the necessary human engagement. Relatability is the missing ingredient.

[26:36] Jeremy is working on a new product, and he shares his progress in stories via email with his prospects. He is getting great responses from people looking forward to this product.

[27:35] A story transitions to a lesson, adding value, that transitions to the product. Jeremy gives an impromptu example. Stories work well, for face-to-face, or by email.

[33:08] Showing vulnerability through personal stories helps people relate to you, better than to the ‘robot’ that just visited with a script that didn’t speak to them personally. No one wants to talk to a salesperson, but they’ll talk to a friend.

[36:48] We all have stories. Look for them. A made-up story is inauthentic, so talk about real events, and memories, and real emotions, that lead to real lessons, to sell your real product.

February 1, 2017

How to Make Your Own Game in Sales. And Win. With Chris Brogan. #370

Joining me on this episode of Accelerate! is my guest Chris Brogan, CEO of Owner Media Group (which provides skills for the modern entrepreneur), a highly sought-after professional speaker, and the New York Times bestselling author of nine books and counting, his latest being, Find Your Writing Voice.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[1:54] Chris introduces his book coming out, called Make Your Own Game. The book has two sections. First is The Fast Book, for people who believe they are too busy to read. Second is The Real Book, for those who want it all.

[2:51] Make Your Own Game first teaches how to win a game, seeing it as story (who, what, and why you are playing), rules (how to play), and strategy (how to win). Second, it teaches how to create your own story, rules, and strategy.

[3:30] Some companies may say innovation is important, but then they retreat to, “That’s not the way we do it.” Innovation assumes risk, but proposes reward, and includes breaking out of the blue binder on the shelf.

[5:44] Chris tells how doing something extra on Facebook to connect, led to a third party’s offering him a business deal.

[6:33] There is a conflict in sales organizations between optimization of process and reporting through Big Data tools, and creating and nurturing human connections. Dashboards help, but people buy from people they know, like, and trust.

[10:31] It’s easy to see on social media what people’s interests are. Google your contact before your sales meeting. Find out what will help understand them better, and bond together.

[13:03] Your buyers are all involved in things outside the sale. There is great value in small talk. Chris would like to see it codified into systems. He admits to personally getting too familiar, too quickly, though.

[15:20] Teaching authenticity is like scripting improv.

[17:16] Andy suggests doing what you need, to be one percent better than the next guy. As the sales professional, you — not the price — are the first differentiation. Be your best you.

[18:44] Sales professionals need to spend more time learning about their clients and connecting to them. Uniquely human skills make the sale. Don’t show you are busy, show you are responsive to them.

[25:18] Sales is not about metric-driven methodologies. It’s about people. The biggest challenge in any sales organization is engaging with the prospect. It’s hard to put metrics on a sales rep’s ability to get others to ‘know, like, and trust’ them.

[29:47] Sales professionals, like most people, want to have a system. The sales challenge is to learn a really simple system to win the sale. Chris wants his book to help people with this, using self-permission.