The Razors Edge - Hosted by Barbara Giamanco

All things sales, marketing, service, technology and doing business in a digitally disrupted world.
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The Razors Edge - Hosted by Barbara Giamanco



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Apr 17, 2017


Sales coaching is a hot topic and one that is often misunderstood. Coaching isn't the same as managing and does require a different skill set to be effective. In this episode, I talked with Richard Smith about his perspective on sales coaching. We talked about:

The difference between training and coaching.

The disparity between sales leaders valuing coaching but not actually doing it.

Tips for sales managers to find the time to coach.

Coaching remote reps effectively.

Creating a coaching culture in your sales organization.

About Richard:

Richard Smith is a sales professional of almost ten years, selling SaaS solutions to SME and Enterprise organisations. He is currently the Co-Founder and Head of Sales for UK SaaS company. Refract - sales coaching and feedback technology for calls, demos, and emails. He is passionate about sales development and changing the broken culture and mindset towards sales coaching.


Apr 10, 2017

With quota's to hit and increasing stiff competition, increasing productivity is always on a sales manager's mind. How do they help their salespeople do more in less time? In this episode, I talked with Scott Amerson, VP of Sales at VanillaSoft, and we discussed:

  • How the complexity of inside sales has evolved.
  • How to measure productivity – call volume vs follow-up persistency.
  • Why automating call cadence should be the cornerstone of any sales technology.
  • Ensuring your best leads are being called on by your best sales reps.
  • Speed to Lead. How fast are you contacting your web leads?

Enjoy the interview!

About Scott:

As Vice President of Sales, Scott is responsible for leading VanillaSoft’s global sales team. He is a results-driven professional who brings more than 25 years of sales and executive-management experience to VanillaSoft. He is a proven veteran at building a scalable infrastructure for inside sales and call center teams by defining key performance indicators, sales process, and training programs.

Apr 6, 2017

In this special episode, learn about creating presentations that move deals forward with Victor Antonio, breaking barriers in sales and in life with Elinor Stutz, relational intelligence with Jane Gentry and the psychology of the purchasing decision with Jeff Shore. Once you listen to the best of, you'll want to go and listen to the full interview with each of these great guests!


Apr 3, 2017

Artificial Intelligence is increasingly showing up in more and more business processes and sales is no exception. In this episode, I talked to Dennis Mortensen about how artificial intelligence can be incorporated into one challenging aspect of selling, which is getting meetings scheduled with prospects and clients. We talked about:

Prospecting best practices for sales people for using AI when trying to set up first meetings.

The etiquette of using an AI to schedule their meetings.

Dealing with the social dynamics when they are dealing with important customers.

How artificial intelligence can be used to handle a variety of meeting time requests and multiple people's schedules who also need to be part of meetings.

Enjoy the interview!

About Dennis:

Dennis R. Mortensen is the CEO and Founder of He’s a pioneer and expert in leveraging Data and a serial entrepreneur who has successfully delivered a number of company exits on that theme. Dennis’s long term vision of killing the inbox triggered the formation of and the creation of an artificial intelligence personal assistant to schedule meetings. He’s an accredited Associate Analytics Instructor at the University of British Columbia, the Author of Data Driven Insights from Wiley and a frequent speaker on the subject of AI, intelligent agents, and the future of work. A native of Denmark, Mortensen currently calls New York City his home.

Mar 28, 2017

Being able to clearly communicate value to potential buyers is a real art and a key opportunity for you to differentiate yourself from your competitors. In this episode, I talk to Lisa Dennis of Knowledgence Associates about:

How value propositions are important to both marketing and sales people – and why this topic led Lisa to write her book.

Lisa's primary research on value propositions and what she found.

The differences between the value props salespeople use versus what marketing uses.

The top 3 ways to make a value proposition really “speak” to a buyer.

The most important thing to consider as a marketer or salesperson when developing or upgrading a value proposition.  

Enjoy the interview!

About Lisa:

Lisa Dennis who is President of Knowledgence Associates, brings to the table over thirty years of marketing and sales experience as both a practitioner and a consultant. The core focus of her business is to help clients to “see the world through their customers’ eyes.” She has consulted to companies like Citrix, CSC, Dell, FedEx, HP, Hitachi, IBM, Verizon, Wipro and many others.

She is co-author of the book 360 Degrees of the Customer: Strategies & Tactics for Marketing, Sales and Service. Her new book: Value Propositions that Sell: Turning Your Message into a Magnet that Attracts Buyers is due out in the Spring 2017.

Mar 26, 2017

Jeff shared his expertise with me about the psychological factors at play in the purchase decision. We talked about:

Some of the things salespeople do in a typical sales presentation that makes it difficult for a customer to make a purchase decision.

Whether or not you need to adjust your sales presentation when selling a complex product.

A few of the common mental shortcuts that customers take when they are making a purchase decision.

And the point when you cross the line from being an advocate to an adversary. In other words, how do you know when to stop pushing a customer to a purchase decision?

Enjoy the interview!

About Jeff:

Jeff is a highly sought-after sales expert, speaker, author, and consultant whose innovative and real-world selling strategies help you to change your mindset and change your world. His latest book, "Closing 2.0," is now available. Learn more at and follow Jeff on Twitter.

Mar 21, 2017

The sales profession is in the midst of a perfect storm. Buyers have more power, more information, more at stake, and more control over the sales process—than at any time in history.

Legions of salespeople and their leaders are coming face-to-face with a cold, hard truth: what once gave salespeople a competitive edge—controlling the sales process, command of product knowledge, an arsenal of technology, and a great pitch—are no longer guarantees of success.

Yet, in the eye of this storm, an elite group of top 1 percent sales professionals are crushing it. These Ultra-High Performers are acutely aware that the emotional experience of buying from them is far more important (and powerful) than products, prices, features, and solutions.

Do you want to know how ultra high performing sales reps do it? This is the episode for you.

In the book, Jeb shares the specific strategies that ultra high performers use leveraging sales-specific emotional intelligence to close complex deals.

Jeb and I talked about:

  • What motivated him to write the book
  • How Jeb defines what he means by ultra higher performers
  • Why Jeb is obsessed with win probabilities and why you should be too
  • The three processes of sales and why is it important that they are aligned

Sales EQ begins where many of the great books and sales training programs like The Challenger Sale, Strategic Selling, Insight Selling, and SPIN Selling leave off. It addresses the emotional side of selling and the human relationship gap in the modern sales process.

It was such a great conversation that I didn't limit this one to 20-minutes. So, strap in and plug in for the next 45-minutes. It will definitely be worth your time!

About Jeb Blount:

Jeb is CEO of Sales Gravy and a Sales Acceleration expert who helps sales organizations reach peak performance fast by optimizing talent, leveraging training to cultivate a high-performance sales culture, developing leadership and coaching skills, and applying more effective organizational design. Jeb has written a number of books including Fanatical Prospecting and his latest book Sales EQ.



Mar 19, 2017

In this episode, I talked with Ken about how to build predictable revenue in their sales organization. It all first starts with hiring the right people every time. Ken also talks about the importance of having a solid recruitment process in place to be building their talent pipeline consistently. We also talked about taking the emotion out of hiring, how to build a solid process, the elements of great onboarding, sales assessments and more

Enjoy the interview!

About Ken:

Ken provides keynotes, consulting services, training and products designed to improve business and revenue performance. His company Acumen Management Group Ltd. “operationalizes” sales management systems and processes that pull revenue out of the doldrums into the fresh zone. During the past 17 years, our consulting, advisory, and platform services have illuminated, motivated, and rejuvenated the sales efforts for organizations throughout the world.

Mar 12, 2017



Sales enablement as a discipline is growing although it still means different things to different people. In 2013, only 19% had such a program, function or initiative. And in 2016, 33% reported having an enablement program, initiative or function. But at the same time, quota attainment is decreasing (from 63% in 2012 down to 55.8% in 2016).

In a nutshell, only one-third of all enablement initiatives meet or exceed their expectations, but two-thirds are not. That’s a problem, and Tamara shared her views on why that is happening.

Enjoy the interview!

About Tamara:

Tamara Schenk is research director at CSO Insights, the research division of Miller Heiman Group, focused on all things sales force enablement, frontline sales managers, and collaboration.

She enjoyed more than twenty years of experience in sales, business development, and consulting in different industries on an international level. Before becoming an analyst in a research director role in January 2014, she had the pleasure to develop sales enablement from an idea to a program and a strategic function. At T-Systems, a Deutsche Telekom company, she the global sales force enablement and transformation team.

Mar 5, 2017

I talked with Tim Hughes about social selling and why integrating the use of social channels into your selling mix is a must. You'll hear from Tim how he defines social selling. Why using social as part of your sales strategy is important in today's business landscape. Tim will also share his views on where social selling is most successful, some of the common mistakes and pitfalls, as well as what it will take for you to become a successful social seller.

About Tim:

Tim is a transformational leader, best-selling author and top 10 Social Media influencer.  With a background in sales and sales management, Tim has been involved in Social Media for over 7 years, having built a following of Twitter of 170,000.  His book "Social Selling - Influencing Buyers and Changemakers" is a bestseller.  He is also an internationally renowned speaker, blogger, and writer.

Tim is the co-founder of Digital Leadership Associates a company designed to help companies make a transformational move to embrace digital and social.

Connect with Tim on Twitter
Connect with Tim on LinkedIn


Feb 27, 2017

Today’s topic is Emotional Intelligence and why it is going to be one of the hottest job skills needed by 2020. I kicked off the conversation by having Jennifer tell me who she got started with the work she does today. We then talked about:

  • What emotional intelligence means.
  • Why emotional intelligence is important, especially today.
  • Why assessments are important.
  • How can it be a tool for success, for both sales leaders and salespeople.

About Jennifer:

Jennifer Leake is Certified Management Consultant, speaker and trainer - and one of the most experienced authorities on employee selection, engagement, and performance.

Her clients are leaders who embrace the related concepts of Employee Engagement and Emotional Intelligence for a competitive advantage and greater results and profits. With the World Forum's prediction that Emotional Intelligence will become one of the top 10 job skills required by 2020, Jennifer is on a mission to educate and assist clients who want to master this secret weapon for success.

Connect with Jennifer on LinkedIn

Feb 19, 2017

I talked with Victor Antonio about sales presentations and how you can perfect a pitch that leads deals forward. Victor shared his perspective on why your sales presentation matters so much, the elements of a great presentation, and the best way to engage buyers in a way that leads them to say yes to meeting with you. We also talked about many of the common mistakes sellers are making today that get in the way of them achieving their sales objectives.

Enjoy the interview!

About Victor Antonio

A poor upbringing from one of the roughest areas of Chicago didn't stop Victor from earning a B.S. Electrical Engineering, an MBA and building a 20-year career as a top sales executive and becoming President of Global Sales and Marketing for a $420M company.  He has shared the stage with top business speakers: Rudy Giuliani, ZigZiglar, Paul Otellini (CEO of Intel), and John May (CEO of FedExKinkos). 

He's the author of 12 books on sales and motivation and recently released his Seminars On Selling course with 200+ sales training videos.

Feb 12, 2017

When a  new sales leader arrives on the scene, or when things in the sales organization aren't delivering the needed results, it is not uncommon to embark down the path of a sales turnaround. But what makes for a strong sales turnaround? 

In this episode, I talked with Andy Paul about what sales turnarounds are, when a sales turnaround is needed, steps managers can take to turn things around, whether the order in which you attack things matter and more.

About Andy Paul:

Andy is a best-selling author, top-rated podcaster, and blogger, speaker and sales coach. Andy’s top-rated 6-day per week podcast, Accelerate! with Andy Paul, is the go-to resource for a rapidly growing audience of sales leaders.

Andy is also the author of Amp Up Your Sales: Powerful Strategies That Move Customers To Make Fast, Favorable Decisions and the author of Zero-Time Selling: 10 Essential Steps to Accelerate Every Company’s Sales.

Feb 6, 2017

Closing more sales begins with having a pipeline filled with high-quality leads. In this Razor's Edge episode, I talked with Philip Schweizer at Saleswings about what it takes to drive strong lead generation in today's highly competitive environment.

You'll learn:

How Philip originally studied hospitality management and how that fits a career in sales.

The challenges he sees people in sales facing today.

How salespeople waste a lot of time on leads that go nowhere and how that led to him developing the Saleswings platforms.

Benefits of the Saleswings platform for both sales and marketing teams.


About Philip Schweizer:

Philip Schweizer. Philip is CEO and Founder at Saleswings. The Saleswings solution SalesWings uncovers your 5 to 20% most sales-ready leads, leading to better sales results. He is a start-up business development specialist, sales technology expert, and sportsman.

Feb 2, 2017

To achieve superior results as a leader, you must first understand why people follow. With this premise in mind, Scott and I talked about why employees and colleagues are motivated to comply with a directive—and why some are not—as well as how to increase their commitment to getting the job done.

We also talked about how Scott's book is different from the thousands of leadership books on the market. You'll learn the first cardinal rule of human behavior, tactical exercises that managers (or anyone) can use to build their leadership skills, and how to development your leadership skills on a budget.

About Scott Love:

Scott shows managers how to be the boss nobody will leave.  With over 20 years of empirical research, he gives managers tactical ideas to lead in a way that increases employee retention, reduces turnover, and attracts high achievers.  He is a successful entrepreneur, professional keynote speaker, the author of Why They Follow, and is a graduate of the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland.

Jan 30, 2017

I talked with Jane about Relational Intelligence, which is similar in some ways, but different from Emotional Intelligence. Jane and I talked about how Relational Intelligence impacts revenue growth, the drivers of Relational Intelligence, how you can use it to improve relationships with clients and everyone around you. You'll hear some of the challenges managers face as millennials overtake the workforce.


About Jane:

Jane Gentry has had a successful 30-year career in Sales, Sales Management, Consulting, Executive Coaching and Keynoting. Since forming her practice in 1999, Jane has helped senior sales leaders create engaging, collaborative and profitable client relationships. Senior Talent leaders bring her into coach managers on inspirational leadership and using Relational Intelligence to build high-functioning cross-generational teams and improve employee engagement.

Jan 24, 2017

In this episode, I talked with Ian about social selling and his top tips for building your online brand. And, we spent a fair amount of time talking about how social selling is more than just using the LinkedIn platform.

We kicked off with Ian's definition of what social selling is and isn't. Ian is a real advocate for making yourself stand out by using the best images of yourself and animations where possible. He shared his tips for making this work for you. Twitter was also part of the discussion and you'll learn from Ian why Twitter needs to be part of your selling arsenal and how Twitter can be used for B2B and B2C selling.

About Ian:

Ian Moyse. Ian is well known in the Cloud technology and Social Selling sectors & was awarded 2015 Sales Director of the Year in the UK by the institute of Sales & Marketing. He was rated #1 Social influencer on cloud in 2016 (Onalytica) #1 ITSM, #18 IOT, top 50 Data Security and top 100 Social Selling. 

You can follow and contact Ian at

Jan 17, 2017

I talked with Steven Rosen at STAR Results about executing with excellence. Steven shares his perspective on what it will take to be successful in 2017. We also discussed the biggest challenge companies face in terms of Strategy and execution, what the research says about business execution, why companies struggle and what companies can do to improve execution against their goals.

About Steven Rosen:

Steven Rosen, MBA and the founder of STAR Results, a leading sales management training and leadership coaching Company. He is the author of 52 Sales Management Tips – The Sales Manager’s Success Guide. Steven has been recognized as one of the Top 50 Sales Influencers.

Jan 9, 2017

Jeb and I talked about prospecting and why it is one of THE most important things you need to be doing to fill your sales funnel. The problem is that far too many sellers are not blocking the time to do the prospecting work. You can't prospect for new business ad hoc and expect that you'll always have a healthy sales pipeline.

Jeb and I talked about the kind of mindset you need to be a fanatical prospector, the 4 objectives of prospecting, the 3 P's that are holding people back, the golden hours of prospecting, how social selling is not the panacea to driving new sales opportunities and so much more.

About Jeb:

Jeb is CEO of Sales Gravy and a Sales Acceleration expert who helps sales organizations reach peak performance fast by optimizing talent, leveraging training to cultivate a high-performance sales culture, developing leadership and coaching skills, and applying more effective organizational design. Jeb has written a number of books and his most recent book is Fanatical Prospecting.

Jan 2, 2017

This is the first episode in a new "Best Of" Razors Edge podcast series. As we kick off a New Year, you'll hear from Mark Hunter talking about High-Profit Prospecting, James Muir talking about The Perfect Close, Anthony Iannarino talking about Mindset + Sales Skills and Stu Heinecke talking about How to Get a Meeting with Anyone. 

Each quarter I'll release another "best of" but don't forget to go and listen to each guest interview in its entirety. I tried to capture the best nuggets I could in this "best of" series but the full interviews contain knowledge bombs you don't want to miss!

Don't forget to subscribe to the channel so you never miss an episode.

Dec 31, 2016

Elinor Stutz broke through barriers long before doing so was popular. Against all odds she defied the theme, “women can’t sell” to become the top producer at every company she ever worked all the while ignoring attempts to get her to quit.

While on a stretcher with a broken neck predicted to be irreparable, Elinor saw two visions come to her. The first presented a report card showing it was her duty to begin empowering communities, and the second showed she was to become a worldwide speaker. She vowed with all her heart that she would rise to the occasion. Being the sales pro, she negotiated the outcome of healing 100%. The entire medical staff came to her recovery room to meet her and exclaim, “You are a walking miracle”. Stutz’ motto became, “Believe, Become, Empower.”

Moving full steam ahead six months later, she created Smooth Sale. Next steps to include ignoring all negativity:
• Her first book, Nice Girls DO Get the Sale: Relationship Building that Gets Results, is an International Best-Seller featured in TIME Magazine and on CBS-TV news.
• The Smooth Sale blog is distributed among corporations, entrepreneurs and media.
• Kred declared Elinor to be A Top 1% Influencer

Dec 21, 2016

I talked with Corey about what it takes to be a top sales producer in today’s ultra-competitive business environment. We talked about:

What led to Corey's own personal success in sales.
Top traits he thinks high performers have in common.
Ideas for being creative when trying to get to hard to reach buyers.
Metrics to measure and track.
Making it easy for your sales manager to support you.

About Corey:

Corey is the President and Founder of The Long Term Care Planning Group, a firm that specializes in delivering Long Term Care education and coverage to companies, high net worth individuals, and large organizations. Since 2001, Corey has devoted his career to Long Term Care as a result of multiple personal experiences. A neutral provider of Long Term Care Solutions since 2001, Corey brings a unique and comprehensive consultative perspective to this issue.

Learn about The Long Term Care Planning Group

Connect with Corey:
LinkedIn -

Dec 13, 2016

In this episode, I talked with Mike Kunkle who is the senior director of sales readiness consulting at Brainshark, Inc., which provides sales enablement solutions for faster training, better coaching, and more successful sales conversations. Mike has spent more than two decades helping companies transform their sales results.

Mike and I discussed how to improve field training & sales coaching quality with the ROAM method.

You will learn just what the ROAM method is, how a sales manager can implement the strategy, training, and coaching methods to support the process and what can sales organizations or companies can do to enable their managers to use ROAM effectively.

Mike has made this offer to listeners -If you want to watch a webinar recording about ROAM and especially more detail about the dashboard and the field training and coaching models that we discussed. Visit:

Learn about Brainshark -

Connect with Mike:
Website -
LinkedIn -
Twitter -

Dec 6, 2016

In this episode of the Razor's Edge, I talk to Mike Saunders at the Marketing Huddle about Authority Selling, which is also the title of his best-selling book. Today, more than ever, you need to be viewed as an expert authority in your field in order to move sales opportunities forward. Mike and I discussed:

  • The definition of Authority Positioning and how that is related to Authority Selling.
  • Why Mike believes that SEO as we traditionally know is almost "antiquated" and not as relevant as it used to be.
  • How to create and leverage to your advantage the Authority Positioning Porfolio.
  • The ZMOT (zero moment of truth) and how that relates to building authority.
  • How Mike helps entrepreneurs become Best Selling Authors without writing one word with his 3-Hour Authority System.


It was a great conversation that I hope you enjoy!



About Mike:

He is the author of Amazon Bestselling book Authority Selling™, contributor to The Huffington Post and Adjunct Marketing Professor at several Universities. As an Authority Marketing Strategist, I help business owners build their Authority and Expertise to enhance their Competitive Advantage and crush their competition by helping them become an Amazon bestselling author without writing a word using my proprietary 3 Hour Authority™ System. The result is a spectacular Authority Positioning Portfolio™ which is the solution for opening more doors to closing more business.

Connect with Mike on LinkedIn and Twitter

Nov 28, 2016

In this episode, I talk with Stu about his best-selling book - How To Get A Meeting With Anyone - and the creative approach that he uses to break through the competitive noise. We know that it is tougher than ever to get in front of buyers using traditional approaches like email and the telephone. That doesn't mean you throw out those approaches but I talk to Stu about other ways to stand out. 

We talked about:

  • How cartooning and marketing led to Stu's breakthrough approach to getting a meeting with anyone.
  • What contact marketing is and how it works.
  • How contact marketing integrates with today's Account Based Marketing strategies.
  • How you can get a meeting with anyone even if you don't have a skill in creating cartoons.

Enjoy the interview! 

About Stu:


Wall Street Journal cartoonist, DMA Hall of Fame-nominated marketer and author of the new #1 best-selling book, How to Get a Meeting with Anyone, Stu Heinecke discovered the magic of "Contact Marketing" early in his career, when he launched a campaign to just two dozen Vice Presidents and Directors of Circulation at the big Manhattan-based magazine publishers.  That tiny $100 investment resulted in a 100% response, launched his enterprise and brought millions of dollars worth of business.

The ability to connect with the people most important to realizing one's goals ultimately became an obsession.  While Heinecke regularly employs his own cartoon-based contact methods, he became intensely interested in how others have solved this age-old challenge.  As a result, he has uncovered a unique form of marketing that until now has had no name, yet it produces response rates as high as 100% and ROI figures in the tens, even hundreds of thousands of percent.  In How To Get A Meeting with Anyone, he not only gives Contact Marketing its name but provides us with a definitive guide to what it is, how it works and has cataloged twenty categories of Contact Campaign types.

Heinecke is also the host of Contact Marketing Radio and President and Founder of "Contact," a first-of-its-kind Contact Marketing agency based on Whidbey Island, Washington.

Nov 13, 2016

One thing I love about social media, which naysayers will tell you can't be done, is that I build friendships and relationships with people all over the world but may not have talked to them on the phone or met them in person yet. Such is the case with my guest Viveka Von Rosen. An admirer, I've followed Viveka for several years, we've communicated in social channels and developed a personal relationship. When we got on Skype to record the interview that was the first time we'd actually talked to each other personally. It was great fun!

In this interview, Viveka tells us about her latest book, and we talked about: 
  • Personal branding and why it is important for anyone in sales but Viveka's advice also applies to anyone in business.
  • Common mistakes people make when attempting to brand themselves on LinkedIn.
  • Tips from Viveka's book that goes beyond simply personal branding
Another great conversation that I hope you enjoy! 

About Viveka

Viveka is the author of best-selling: LinkedIn Marketing: An Hour a Day ( & contributing author (expert) to The Sophisticated Marketer's Guide to LinkedIn. I help entrepreneurs, corporations, and small business owners use social media for better business and personal branding & more effective conversations with their prospects.

Connect with Viveka on LinkedIn

Nov 6, 2016

In this episode of The Razor's Edge I talked with Anthony about his new book - The Only Sales Guide You'll Ever Need. We had a great conversation about what you need to succeed in sales today and in the future. This book is for you if you are in sales but your performance isn't quite where you want it to be and you don't know why.

In the interview, you'll hear how Anthony got into sales and by his own admission, it was kicking and screaming. Also, learn about core concepts from Anthony's book like the difference between mindset and skill set and why you need both in selling. We also talked about the two mindset and skill set element that salespeople need to work on now.
Enjoy the interview! 

About Anthony

Anthony Iannarino is an international speaker, best-selling author, sales leader, and entrepreneur. He's personally built businesses with annual revenue of $50M. He blogs daily at, a site that generates 130,000 page views monthly, and he hosts a weekly podcast called In The Arena. 

Connect with Anthony onLinkedIn
Nov 1, 2016

In my interview with Deb Calvert, we talked about the idea that salespeople need to stop selling and start leading. An extremely interesting concept that is backed by some very solid research. Deb and her research partners did some extensive work to understand what buyers want from the salespeople they choose to work with. We are talking about specific behaviors that lead buyers in the direction of doing business with you or not. 

We talked about: 

The buyer research and how buyers view seller behaviors? 

Several of the behaviors that buyers said were important to them. 

The one change that sellers could make right now that would lead to greater sales success. 

Enjoy the interview!

About Deb 

Deb Calvert, author of “DISCOVER Questions Get You Connected”, Top 50 Sales Influencer, President of People First Productivity Solutions, a UC Berkeley instructor (teaching the popular Sales Development Principles course), and a former Sales/Training Director of a Fortune 500 media company.

Connect with Deb on LinkedIn and Twitter

Oct 25, 2016

In this episode, I talked with James Muir, author of The Perfect Close: The Secret to Closing Sales. During our conversation, you will learn what promoted James to write the book. And did you know that the more often you try to close during a sales conversation, your chances of success actually decrease by a pretty significant margin? James also debunks some other myths about closing sales that just might surprise you.

We also talked about: 

The traps that salespeople fall into when trying to close the business. 

Why intent is a big deal in selling. 

Why James' makes a bold statement and says that his approach is 95% effective. Listen to learn what makes it work. 

The two questions that lead you in the direction of gaining commitment. 

And more... 

Enjoy the interview!

About James 

James Muir is a professional sales trainer, author, speaker and coach.  James has shattered records as both a field rep and manager.  His guidance comes from experience and the school of hard knocks.  Three decades of experience has given James a fresh and practical perspective on what works in real life and what doesn’t. 

He is the best-selling author of The Perfect Close: The Secret to Closing Sales that shows sales and service professionals a clear and simple approach that increases closed opportunities and accelerates sales to the highest levels while remaining genuinely authentic. 

Those interested in learning a method of closing that is zero pressure, involves just two questions and is successful 95% of the time can reach him at

Connect with James on LinkedIn and Twitter.

Sep 29, 2016

In this episode, I talk with Marietta Davis a seasoned sales professional with an extensive career in the technology industry. Our conversation focused on creating a unified customer communication strategy supported by a Customer Communications Management (CCM) approach and platform. If the goal of your organization is to have deep, meaningful relationships with their customers, relationships are built on communication. If organizations cannot communicate with their customers, then it’s difficult to have a long-term relationship. CCM provides the ability to effectively communicate with customers thereby building and deepening the relationships that organizations desire to have.

We talk about:
Where CRM leaves off and CCM begins.
Benefits of CCM to the organization.
The capabilities an organization needs to have to support a unified communications strategy.
How your strategy must map to the customer journey to deliver a stellar experienced
Trends that are causing digital disruption forcing companies to re-evaluate the customer communications strategies.
Learn more about a Customer Communications Management platform from Data Oceans.
Enjoy the interview!
About Marietta

Marietta Davis is a seasoned sales professional with an extensive career in the technology industry. She has held critical positions at IBM, Lotus Development, Ameritech, Tata Consulting and most recently the role of vice president of U.S. Dynamics at Microsoft Corporation. A seasoned professional, she was responsible for leading more than 400 sales, marketing, and technical experts as they serve Microsoft's business customers with Dynamics ERP and CRM Solutions. While at Microsoft, Davis successfully managed and grew multiple businesses at Microsoft to the $1B and triple digit growth milestone. Her diverse portfolio extends to mentoring strong leaders into key roles, acting in an advisory capacity to incubation and small startups. She currently sits on the National Board of Youth Villages; a private nonprofit organization dedicated to helping emotionally and behaviorally troubled children and their families. The organization assists more than 23,000 children and families each year from more than 20 states and Washington, D.C. 
A graduate of Bradley University, she also graduated with an MBA from Loyola University, as well as executive advanced leadership classes at Harvard University.  She was inducted into the Spelman College “Game Changer” Hall of Fame for her work in 2015 additionally, she has been a sought after speaker at Morehouse College, Georgia Tech as well as Women In Technology.
Connect with Marietta
Sep 1, 2016

Prospecting is a critical element in keep that sales pipeline full and revenue flowing, but as Mark Hunter points out far too many salespeople avoid prospecting like the plague. In this episode, I talk to Mark about his new book: High-Profit Prospecting. Excellent book - highly recommend you check it out! 

Mark defines prospecting as "an activity performed by sales and/or marketing departments to identify and qualify potential buyers. 

Mark points out that prospecting is not a complex process. He believes that when you are prospecting you are looking for people who can and will buy from you. It is the quality of your prospecting efforts that lead to the development of sales opportunities. Prospecting is NOT talking to friends or people nice enough to take your call. Your goal is to find qualified buyers and that means it is just as important to get a fast no, as it is to get a win with a yes.

Mark and I discussed:
  • How High-Profit Prospecting is different from his earlier book: High-Profit Selling (also a great read!)
  • Why salespeople look for any excuse to avoid prospecting, because “experts” keep banging the drum that there is an easier way. 
  • That not everyone with a pulse is the right prospect for what you have to sell.
  • The role social media plays in the prospecting process and why a nice profile, sharing content or some online conversations isn't all you need to have opportunities roll in.
  • Tips for breaking through the noise with a 14-second voicemail (or super brief email) to get your point across.
  • Attitude and motivation versus skilled and knowledgeable.
  • A few strategies Mark's shares in his book that you can start using right now.
Enjoy the interview!
About Mark...
Mark Hunter, CSP, “The Sales Hunter,” is recognized as one of the top 50 most influential sales and marketing leaders in the world. He is the author of “High-Profit Prospecting” and “High-Profit Selling: Win the Sale Without Compromising on Price.” Mark helps companies identify better prospects, close more sales and profitably build more long-term customer relationships. He is known for his energetic presentation style and ability to engage sales leaders. Not only does Mark have expertise in sales, but also knows how to communicate it to others. This is seen by the 50+ speaking events he does each year throughout the U.S. and Canada and around the world.  To find out more, visit Mark’s site at
Aug 23, 2016

In this episode, I talk to Gerald Vanderpuye - CEO of BuyerDeck. It is clear that salespeople need to adapt their selling approach. Buyers are blocking cold outreach, and in fact, Gerald shares a recent story about the number of cold emails he's deleted and why he didn't give them a second look. :)  

Gerald and I talked about the biggest challenges facing today's sales organizations, how deals are won and lost, how to use content to your advantage, but more importantly, how to know when buyers are interacting with your content - or not.
In this episode you'll hear about:
  • The changes that have disrupted sales and marketing because buyers don't behave the way salespeople want them too.
  • The biggest challenge facing today's sales organizations.
  • Why it is some important to analyze deals - both won and lost.
  • What salespeople can learn from the data and insights that BuyerDeck uncovered about how salespeople sell.
  • Whether or not salespeople should be creating their own content.
  • The best ways to use content to capture interest and attention and the type of content that does that best.
  • How to track the content journey and buyer interaction with content you share with them.
About Gerald Vanderpuye:

As a proud co-founder at BuyerDeck, Gerald has three passions: He loves sales, technology and creating happy customers. He has been in sales, marketing and delivering remarkable customer experiences the last 10 years. His last position was at Rackspace where he was responsible for developing sales strategy and driving business growth through existing customers and new Logo acquisitions in key markets. He led and managed a diverse team to deliver on new growth targets for both Enterprise and SMB's. He now leads the team at BuyerDeck to bootstrap the distribution of their B2B SAAS product beyond the initial traction of 12K buyers and sellers.

Visit BuyerDeck and sign up for a FREE trial IF you tell them that you heard Gerald's interview with me on The Razor's Edge.

Connect with Gerald:

Twitter:                            @Geraldvdp

Jul 28, 2016

In my latest podcast episode, I talked with Cian McLoughlin, Founder and CEO of Trinity Perspectives. Cian is also the author of a new book called: Rebirth of the Salesman: The World of Sales is Evolving. Are You?

We discussed the changes that have eclipsed sales during the past 10 years and why salespeople need to be thinking about how to adapt their approach. We talked about the following:


  • The driving force requiring salespeople to rebirth themselves.
  • Why storytelling has become the #1 skill to master in sales and business today.
  • How buyers really make their buying decisions. It might not be what you think.
  • The role of emotional intelligence in the selling process and the ability to be situationally aware of what is going on around you.
  • The greatest sales challenges facing businesses and how they can be overcome.
  • Why you need to "know they prospect".
  • Who will be the ultimate winner in the battle between salesperson and sales automation (and other tech tools in the stack).
  • The ways in which Win/Loss Analysis can redefine your sales and business success
  • The "so what card" and why you should use it in preparing every sales presentation you give.


About Cian:

He hails from Dublin, Ireland, originally, but spent much of the past 18 years in Sydney, Australia. With a sales career spanning almost 20 years, including senior management roles in a number of the world's largest software companies, Cian is the found and CEO of Trinity Perspectives. A boutique sales training and consultancy firm, Trinity is committed to helping businesses unlock the latent potential of their customer insights.

Cian has worked with and advised sales professionals from Brisbane to Bangkok, Christcurch to Cape Town and everywhere in between.
Author of the Amazon #1 bestseller Rebirth of a Salesman, and co-author of Secrets for Business Success, Cian is a regular sales and marketing commentator in the mainstream media. His blog was voted one of the Top 50 Sales Blogs in the world for the second year running by Top Sales World, and he is also a regular columnist with and the soon to be released MOB Magazine.
With ASX and Fortune 500 clients across Australia and the Asia-Pacific region, Cian is a passionate proponent of an ethical, honest and authentic approach to sales.
Jul 21, 2016

Tim Sanders Interview:  Dealstorming

In this episode of the Razor’s Edge, I talk to Tim Sanders about Dealstorming, a term he coined. Tim is also the creator of the Dealstorming sales process and Dealstorming is the title of his recently released book.

Tim’s book is so meaty and packed with great information that my book pages are already dog-eared, sections are highlighted and I’ve been writing notes in the sidebar. Really good stuff!

There are lots of great nuggets of information that Tim shares about the best way to brings deals to close. We also talked about: 

  • Today’s more complex buying process.
  • How salespeople and their sales leadership aren’t adapting more quickly.
  • What it takes to become an elite seller and how to create and elite sales organization.
  • Why solving problems not pitching features is what creates sustainable competitive advantage.

    The 4 levels of a sale today.
  • Why the lone wolf seller is a dying breed and more.

You won’t want to listen to this podcast just once! So listen and enjoy and be sure to get your copy of Tim’s book here.

Jan 26, 2016
I sat down to talk with Plutora's, Head of Marketing, Eric Mitchell to get his thoughts on the world of marketing today and in the future. Since sales and marketing go hand in hand, I got Eric's perspective on how the two camps need to align around a core objective - driving revenue. 
During the conversation, we talked about:
  • Advice for anyone getting into marketing today.
  • Trends in marketing like email/marketing automation platforms.
  • What today's social media landscape looks like and how that applies to sales.
  • Sales and marketing alignment the effect that alignment (or non alignment) impacts customer experience.
  • Tools still useful in sales... like the telephone.
  • The real scoop on social media vanity metrics and if they really matter when it comes to driving revenue.
  • 2016 marketing and sales predictions.
About Eric:
Based in the Bay Area, Eric is a passionate, digitally experienced leader who knows the SaaS community inside and out. The creator of the popular Social Hangout, Eric and his guests tackled the issues related to sales, social media, digital marketing, media, public relations and more. A straight shooter with boots on the ground experience has earned him the respect of a well known start-ups and companies throughout the Silicon Valley.
Connect with Eric on LinkedIn.
Jan 11, 2016

The 21st Century has ushered in the information age, and with it a new set of rules for success. In this current episode, I talk to Keenan about his new book – Not Taught. What it Takes to be Successful in the 21st Century that Nobody’s Teaching You.

Not Taught shares how the rules of 20th century and the industrial age no longer work and that if you want to be successful you must learn the new rules of success. Get ready for a dose of reality about work today and offers clear strategies on how to be successful in this crazy information-driven world. 

We talk about: 

  •        What’s changed in business today and why you need to change too. 
  •       The new keys to succeeding in today’s digitally driven world. 
  •       How to be deliberate in managing your career and your brand. 
  •       What happens when you digitally anonymous. 
  •       Why your degree doesn’t have that much relevance today. 
  •       Why experience is far less important than expertise and hard work. 
  •       The fastest way to start ramping up new skills. 

In his blunt, motivating and passionate style Keenan tells you why doing what you’ve always done is no longer an option!

Enjoy the interview. Then go buy the book

About Keenan: 

Keenan, is CEO of A Sales Guy Inc., a sales consulting and recruiting firm. He’s a Forbes Columnist, a Top 50 Sales and Marketing Influencer, author of the popular sales blogA Sales Guy and is a highly sought after speaker. Keenan is the father of three crazy (but in a good way) girls, a PSIA Level 2 ski instructor for Vail Ski Resort and a finder of the elephant in the room.

Jan 5, 2016

Sales teams who are the most successful sell differently, not just more effectively. Largely, according to George, this is being spurred by global competition and the internet. Makes sense that salespeople need to be able to differentiate themselves from the competition. You can do that by helping your salespeople become skilled at consultative selling, which is married together with a solid sales process that is consistently followed. Avoid the common temptation to simply measure activity, because the right activities should be progressing the sales opportunity forward. 

During the conversation, we talked about: 

-Why sales organizations need to institute a solid on-boarding learning and development process for their people. Get beyond teaching product features and don't assume your salespeople really know how to sell. 

-Setting salespeople up for success by starting with a clear set of expectations. Don't assume salespeople know. 

-Key reasons why salespeople need to follow a process and stop killing deals by skipping important steps in that process. Did you know it can take 60% longer to lose a deal and that's the result of not following a process consistently. Your salespeople need an actionable checklist that they can follow. 

-Sales coaching and why that's critical to ensuring that salespeople not only follow the process, but that you keep reinforcing the skills and behaviors that will help them achieve their sales objectives. 

Finally, learn how the Membrain platform drives the right sales actions with a solid sales process. I've started to use the platform myself and love it! 

Dec 31, 2015

In my latest podcast conversation, I talked with Stu Perlmeter about why sales organizations should conduct a thorough win/loss analysis to understand why deals either closed or did not. 

Those organizations that do some sort of win/loss evaluation are often making incorrect assumptions based on what their sales rep tells me or the data that they've asked the sales rep to try and uncover. 
Human nature being what it is, you will rarely get the full picture of what happened throughout the course of the decision making process that led to a go/no go decision. This is especially true if the deal was a loss to a competing company. Having spent time with the salesperson during the process and recognizing that time and money has been invested in trying to secure the business, buyers are often very reluctant to be truthful about what went wrong. This is where a 3 party can help.

During my conversation with Stu, we talked about:

  • What win/loss analysis is and why it B2B companies should care.
  • How sales leaders can learn from the analysis and use it to drive and improve sales performance.
  • The benefits to both the sales organization and the organization as a whole.
  • How to get the most accurate data when doing an analysis of deals won and lost.
And more...
Enjoy and feel free to share with others!

About Stu Perlmeter: Stu brings 30 years of marketing and research experience to 1st Resource, which he founded in 1996. Stu’s primary expertise is in understanding the market insights that tie to success formulas for companies seeking to grow their business in strategic ways. 

Stu is an expert in designing and implementing market research that incorporates a deep understanding of social psychology and behavioral economics. Stu leads a team of ten talented researchers at 1st Resource, covering all relevant components of research: primary, secondary, qualitative and quantitative.

Dec 18, 2015

Salespeople always seem to be looking for that quick fix, as if one actually exists. Rather than taking a targeted and focused approach, salespeople often resort to a "spray and pray" approach by broadcasting the same message to everyone. 

Now with social media, spamcasting has taken on a whole new level of "please don't do that". Broadcasting over social channels is a quick way to created a less than positive brand impression - for you and for your company.

In this episode, Barb Giamanco and Doug Lehman talk about the common misuses of social channels and why you should avoid them.

Dec 14, 2015

Most sales messaging is overly "me" centric and are focused on what companies and their sales people want to sell versus actually caring about what buyers want and need. 

"According to sales management, the salesperson's ability or inability to communicate value messages is the biggest inhibitor keeping salespeople from achieving quota." --SiriusDecisions

Can you really blame buyer's resistance to dealing with salespeople? Their experience is, more often than not, a waste of their precious time. The inability to create a value message is at the heart of this problem. Feature dumps don't cut it, and simply making more phone calls, sending more spam emails, or broadcasting your pitch to more people on social channels aren't helping you. Your sales messaging has to change!

Barb Giamanco and Doug Lehman talk about why your message matters and what yours is probably saying about you! 


Dec 9, 2015
The quota year is winding down for many of you, but that doesn't mean you can rest on your laurels. Learn how important it is to focus on solving problems for customers versus trying to pitch them.
While you are busy closing the deals you can in the final December push, don't forget that you need to be thinking ahead to the New Year. Planting the seeds for your sales future must be top of mind.
Sales acceleration is an inside job, and it is all about velocity. The common myth is that buyers slow down the sales process, but it might be a big shock to many sellers to know that they are the ones slowing down the purchasing decision.
If you sell, you have one job to do. 
Contrary to what you might think, it isn't to sell something.
Selling is about helping customers solve their business problems and make buying decisions. Think about delivering value in a different way. Think of adding value as providing information quickly, in order to move buyers one step closer to a purchasing decision. Make it easy for them to make a decision.
Dec 4, 2015

In this episode, Barb Giamanco and Doug Lehman chat about strategies for generating higher quality leads, in less time.

Access to decision makers is tough! An IDC study reported that inundated with data and sales pitches, buyers return only:
  • 10.5% of phone calls
  •  9% of emails from new vendors
Yet, pressured by management KPI's, every day salespeople use the same tactics - cold calls and cold emails - in an effort to convince a prospective customer to agree to a sales meeting.

In IDC's Social Buying Meets Social Selling whitepaper they concluded that "While time is scarce, trust and confidence can be even rarer. Buyers making high-impact decisions will gravitate toward methods that make confidence building easier."


Nov 30, 2015

In this episode, Barb Giamanco and Doug Lehman break it down for you in Lehman's terms. There is no easy button called social selling. Like all aspects of being good in sales, how you utilize social channels as part of your sales process takes work.  

Patience, planning, the right mindset and sales and technology skills all factor into the success equation too. In response to a different kind of buyer, salespeople and their leaders need to change their mindset and selling behavior.  

With 2016 right around the corner, now is the perfect time to put your strategy in place, or to adjust the one you already have. 

Remember, you cannot slap new technology - social channels - onto outdated sales approaches and expect to win. Cheesy selling, or is that sleazy selling, is still cheesy and buyers hate it. Adopting a new type of selling mindset means change. It means doing things differently, regardless of what worked back in the day. 

It all starts with a sound strategy, backed up with great sales skills and consistent execution of your strategy.

Jul 31, 2015

In my recent Razor’s Edge podcast, I talked with Robin Saitz, CMO at Brainshark. The focus of our conversation was sales productivity and specifically, we talked about what is behind the sales productivity gap and what companies can do about it. 

Though we’ve heard through the years from CSO Insights that roughly 52% of salespeople do not achieve quota each year (and that’s in a good economy!), Robin told me that the TAS Group reported that the number is as much as 67%. If that doesn’t keep a sales leader up at night, I don’t know what does! 

As with all my guests, I learned a lot in talking with Robin.

Sales Productivity Defined

She defined sales productivity as the yield per sales rep. In other words, hitting quota in the most efficient way possible. As I came to learn and as the TAS Group numbers suggest, productivity in sales is way off the mark.

What Causes the Gap

In particular, I was struck with Robin’s point of view regarding why we have such a problem with sales productivity at all. She told me that it comes down to several things, like: 

Lack of an onboarding process and specifically, a lack of focus on training selling skills. Some 38% of companies lack any kind of formal process or program for preparing new reps. 

Salespeople cannot find the content/information they need when they need it. Up to 40% of their time is spent searching or trying to create the content that they need. Breaking it down that equates to 2 out of 5 sales days each week. 

Sales conversations are not effective enough and there is a lack of visibility – on management’s part – in terms of understanding the behavior and knowledge of their salespeople.

What Companies Can Do

During the interview, Robin shared her suggestions for what companies need to do to close the productivity gap, who needs to be involved in addressing the issues and what to measure to ensure that you are closing the gap. 

With C-Suite and corporate Board members extremely concerned about sales productivity, this interview is certainly worth 35 minutes of your time.

Learn more about how Brainshark can help your organization close the sales productivity gap.

Follow Robin on Twitter.


Jul 2, 2015

According to Gallup, 71% of American workers today are disengaged or actively checked out of their jobs, which creates a serious problem for organizations.

Why? 70% of customers' brand perception is determined by the EXPERIENCE with people. I'm not surprised. I see this a lot in sales. From the first interaction or touch point with a prospect what perception are you creating in their minds? 

In my conversation with Jane, we talked about:


  • How inspired leadership makes a big impact on the bottom line.
  • Employee engagement and advocacy.
  • Most inspiring companies.
  • Characteristics of inspirational leaders and what that means for their teams.
When there are higher levels of employee engagement, companies see an increase in sales, customer loyalty, above-average productivity and higher profits.


Connect with Jane on LinkedIn or visit her website at 


Follow her on Twitter.
Jun 30, 2015

Recently, I had a conversation with Jill Rowley about selling in today's digitally disrupted world. She has some great insights into buyer behavior and the data that shows that when sales and marketing departments are working in alignment, the sales funnel is impacted at pretty much every stage of the sales cycle. While Jill told me that not enough research has been conducted to clearly shows how that inter-departmental alignment also affects customer advocacy, Jill feels strongly that there is a positive correlation there as well.

As Jill likes to say, today's buyer has choice and voice. If you don't stand out, you are locked out.
In this podcast, you hear about why alignment is so critical and why the "customer" should be at the heart of it all.


Follow Jill on Twitter.
Jun 26, 2015

Today's savvy salespeople are incorporating social media into their sales process. The understand that we are both sellers and marketers in a digitally disrupted world where buyers can block access via the phone and email.

In my conversation with Julio, you'll learn:

  • What social selling is all about and the role that content plays in B2B selling.
  • Why the announcement of rFactr's partnership is a game changer.
  • The importance of aligning sales and marketing to drive revenue results.
  • Characteristics of today's modern seller.

It was a great conversation that I hope you enjoy.

Follow Julio on Twitter.

Learn more about rFactr and their social selling platform.

Jun 24, 2015
Sales and marketing have had a love/hate relationship for years, but the truth is that a focus on revenue is a joint goal. With sales and marketing working together, all aspects of the sales funnel are impacted in a positive way.
In my Razor's Edge conversation with Tracy, we talked about: 
  • What's changed in the world of sales and marketing and how digital has disrupted it all.
  • How to start the process of aligning both camps.
  • Who is ultimately responsible for ensuring alignment happens. 
After listening to the podcast, check at a recent blog post from Tracy that followed up a webinar InsideView hosted on June 3rd with Forrester Research vice president and principal analyst, Laura Ramos.  
You'll also learn about how InsideView can help sellers and marketers leverage social listening and insights to drive the bottom line. 


Follow Tracy on Twitter.

Mar 25, 2015
Playing off a presentation I did last year, Doug Lehman and I rant about the things about sales and social selling that bug us. 
If you want to check out all the rants, you can view the slide presentation here
By the way, if you don't know Doug, he is a master at helping people leverage video as part of the sales process. Visit him at 
Feb 24, 2015

Recently, I sat down with Carter Hostelley and Karri Carlson from Leadtail to talk about how Leadtail social insights helps marketing and sales leaders develop the right social, content and engagement strategy to reach their targeted buyers. I first learned about Leadtail when Carter reached out to me on Twitter and asked if I'd be interested in their How Sales Leaders Engage on Twitter insights report. Of course, I was immediately interested. The report, which was a collaboration with Hoover's, provides fresh insight into how sales professionals are embracing social media to better perform on the job, share what interests them and engage in conversations with customers, prospects, and influencers.I found the report to be extremely insightful. And, of course, I was pleasantly surprised to see my name on the list of people that sales leaders mentioned most often on Twitter. Nice! Get your copy here. I'll know you'll find it worth the read. 

During the interview, Carter, Kari and I talked about:
  • Why the right kind of content is so important to your social engagement strategy.
  • Why they decided to publish these insights reports and whom they are meant to benefit.
  • The methodology behind the reports.
  • What influencer marketing really means.
  • How social insights reports benefit salespeople.
Leadtail is an innovative company with ideas about content marketing - what works and what doesn't. Enjoy the interview!