February 2, 2018
#629: Are there Universal Truths in Sales? w/ Bridget Gleason & Ken Lundin
Bridget Gleason is VP of Sales for Logz.io and my regular partner on Front Line Fridays. Special guest on this episode is Ken Lundin, Sales Leader Coach and Host of The B2B Sales Summit.
- Andy introduces a guest, Ken Lundin. Ken recently interviewed Andy for the B2B Sales Summit. Ken’s background is 25 years in sales and, recently, consulting. He noticed a void in B2B so he organized the summit.
- Ken perceived a significant gap in the knowledge, education, and training that sales reps and managers need. The chief difference with this summit is that the presenters are all practitioners and not there to sell tech.
- Can the industry come to an agreement about universal truths in sales? From all the expert interviews Ken did for the summit, he says it was awesome that there were some universal truths they uncovered together.
- There are definitely keys to success. Success leaves clues. People shift to opinions that reinforce their comfort zones and avoid opinions that force them to move outside their comfort zone.
- Process methodology provides a framework for consistency. Reps have to figure out what resonates with the prospect within that framework. Is there a core set of values that salespeople need?
- Core values involve respecting the buyer relationship. Are you customer-centered? Are you empathetic? Can you listen like the buyer? How do we hire reps for these values, and teach them?
- Because sales is a service, everything needs to be built on service. Sales managers have done a poor job on coaching to solve problems for customers. Instead, they keep deals in the pipeline that may not belong there.
- Ken interviewed Colleen Stanley for the summit about EQ in sales. EQ is more than customer empathy, it’s how you manage your own emotion to serve the customer best.
- Being customer-centered sometimes conflicts with the culture of a team and a company. How the company operates establishes their culture. Andy cites Elay Cohen saying the sales manager is the custodian of culture.
- Are the sales managers being coached enough on how to lead the team to embody corporate values? Ken says, generally, no. The biggest mistake of a new sales manager is to think their job is ‘reports’ instead of mentoring reps.
- Bridget would say to sales managers who are not being well-prepared by their company that they should find a mentor, join groups of other sales managers, or take a manager’s training class, and otherwise continue to grow.
- Andy notes confusion between tactical coaching, mentoring for growth, and managing for results. Ken suggests always defining terms in these discussions.