Inside Rule of 24, authors Robert D. Riefstahl and Daniel J. Conway show you how to not only survive, but thrive and dominate selling software in the new digital landscape. In this interview, you'll learn how the rules have changed —customers are more educated, resourceful and directive than at any other time in history. Future-proof yourself and your sales team, understand what’s coming next and how to deal with it.
About the Authors:
Robert (Bob) Riefstahl is the founding Partner of 2Win! Global, international training, consulting and software company specializing in complex product demos, presentations and demo video automation. The first 20 years of his career took place in the technology industry where he succeeded in sales and executive positions. Since then, Bob has brought his demo expertise to over half of the top 400 technology companies in the world including firms like Microsoft, Google, IBM, Siemens, and Dassault (Dasoo). Bob is a keynote speaker, consultant, sales expert, author of the global best-selling book “Demonstrating to Win!”.
Connect on LinkedIn
Daniel (Dan) Conway is CEO and Partner of 2Win! Global responsible for leading the company’s vision and strategy. Dan has spent over 20 years in the software and technology industry helping companies and agencies grow their business. Before joining 2Win! Dan held the position of Executive Vice President at Sungard, a leading international software enterprise. As a former 2Win! Client, Dan gained a direct appreciation for the value of the 2Win! Portfolio and how it helps companies engage with their clients across all mediums (video, web and in-person demos and presentations) employing 2Win! Techniques to improve company revenue and profit.
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Much has changed in the world of sales, and perhaps nothing has done more to affect sales effectiveness than changed buyer behavior and expectations. Stop Selling & Start Leading, a new book from authors Jim Kouzes, Barry Posner and Deb Calvert, combines proven buyer research with time-tested leadership strategies to help salespeople make extraordinary sales.
You might be thinking that there are thousands of books on sales and selling, so how is this book different? Good question. The answer is that unlike so many sales books that are based on either theory or focused on the tactics related to specific elements of selling (think prospecting), Stop Selling & Start Leading is a buyer-based behavioral blueprint of actionable steps that sellers can take to be far more successful throughout the entire sales process.
As you’ll learn from the buyer research we discuss during the interview, buyers have no interest in working with sellers who continue to pitch product features and insist on doing demos. Faced with increasing challenges to help their organizations remain relevant, competitive and innovative, buyers want to work with salespeople who can lead them to the right solution to their biggest problems.
When sellers stop pushing people to buy before they’re ready, and they start guiding buyers by transforming “values into actions, visions into realities, obstacles into innovations, separateness into solidarity and risks into rewards”, everybody wins.
As the title suggests, Stop Selling & Start Leading is a book about sales but it is also a book about leadership, which the authors say is not a “formal” position and is accessible to anyone. In the interview, you’ll hear why leading is so important in how we sell today.
As the authors conducted the buyer research for the book, they identified 5 preferences that confirmed that sellers would be far more successful if they dropped traditional selling behaviors (think stereotypical pushy, aggressive, pitchy, focused on themselves) and replaced those behaviors with the behaviors of top leaders. Learn what those preferences are.
Buyers were asked to name the one characteristic they felt was overwhelmingly lacking in sellers. In the interview, Deb talked about two of them. One of them was brought up frequently, and though it may be more well known to sellers, it continues to be a problem none the less. Buyers, frankly, are fed up with sellers who do not follow up or follow through on their commitments. This lack of follow-through leads to the inability to build the kind of trusting relationship necessary for success when selling products and services. Listen to the interview to hear about the second characteristic that buyers felt was lacking. What they said may surprise you.
Barry and Jim have conducted well known, highly respected leadership research in every industry and discipline, which resulted in the framework they call The Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership®. During the interview, learn more about the research behind these Five Practices.
To be more effective in working with buyers, learn how applying these Five Practices is the key.
In the final chapter, Jim, Barry, and Deb say that leadership is everyone’s business and that to be a leader is a choice. I asked each of them to tell me why it was important for them to close the book with this message.
Learn more about the book. Enjoy the interview!
About the Authors:
Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner have been working together for more than thirty years, studying leaders, researching leadership, conducting leadership development seminars, and serving as leaders themselves in various capacities. Their book, The Leadership Challenge, now in its sixth edition, has won numerous awards and sold more than 2.5 million copies worldwide and is available in twenty-two languages. Jim and Barry have also co-authored many other best-selling and award-winning leadership books.
Deb Calvert is the president and founder of People First Productivity Solutions, a consulting and training firm that builds organizational strength by putting people first. Deb's work includes leadership program design and facilitation, strategic planning with executive teams, team effectiveness work, and sales productivity solutions. Deb is a Certified Master of The Leadership Challenge® and is certified as an Executive Coach by the Center for Executive Coaching and the International Coaching Federation. Deb's first book, also based on buyer research, was the bestseller DISCOVER Questions® Get You Connected, named by HubSpot as one of the "Top 20 Most Highly-Rated Sales Books of All Time."
Connect with Deb on LinkedIn
Today’s episode topic focuses on Transforming Women Entrepreneurs (TWE) & Leveraging Millennials in the Workplace. I’ve been involved with Transforming Women Entrepreneurs for a few years now here in Atlanta, and I love the work that my guest is doing to help women business owners reach greater heights of success. My guest is also an expert in generations in the workplace and no topic is typically hotter than how companies need to think about millennial workers.
My guest is Nancy J. Lewis the founder and president of Progressive Techniques, Inc. where the theme of her organization is, "Developing a Better YOU!" Nancy has 25 years of experience in professional development, diversity and inclusion, leadership, and communication skills.
In the first few minutes of the interview, Nancy and I talked about how TWE got started as an organization. Celebrating 10 years this year, TWE was started to provide a forum for women business owners to provide them education, mentorship, support and so much more. I’ll be speaking at the March 8 event talking about how women can grow their businesses to the next level using social selling strategies.
Learn about other speakers during the interview too. If you are here in Atlanta, register for the event here http://www.twe.events/ You MUST register by March 1st due to the security constraints onsite at Coca-Cola where the event is going to be held.
Then we got into an insightful conversation about generations in the workplace, specifically the dynamics happening between millennials and boomers. We technically have 5 generations in this workspace says Nancy but the main generations are Boomers, Gen X and Millennials, which we discussed.
How do we bridge the relationships?
The biggest issue or war is between Boomers and Millennials. Gen X is often being excluded from the conversation due to their size being so much smaller.
Some key differences between Millennials and Boomers are:
Millennials have a reputation for coming into the workplace with an attitude of entitlement. Not everyone, of course. As Nancy reminds us, we should be careful about making sweeping generalizations. Certainly, these younger workers come in expecting to be promoted in a few months versus doing the job for a year or so as they develop the skills to progress when they are ready. It is also not uncommon for millennials to believe they already know it all and don’t need help. Of course, I’d say that’s probably true of every generation. I remember when I first entered the workforce. There is no doubt that I thought my way was better until I learned to listen, learn and be open to the fact that I’d not developed enough experience to “know it all”.
Boomers on the other hand can be resistant. They don’t trust these younger workers tethered to social media 24/7 who think they already know it all and resist any kind of feedback at all. What Nancy pointed out though is that Boomers created the Millennial generation and thus played a role in why their attitudes are what they are. Good point! These parents were providing positive feedback in all circumstances. And, by now, it is well documented that the Millennial generation is the first generation to get trophies just for participating. That certainly wasn’t case in my day. Winners earned the trophies. That’s life. We can’t all win and showing up is part of life. Still, Millennials find constructive feedback hard to hear.
What can be done?
It is important for Millennials to open themselves up to constructive criticism. Our experience and expertise develop over time. There is an opportunity for cross-mentoring of both Millennials and Boomers. Millennials can benefit from the experience, knowledge and social/people skills or Boomers. Boomers can benefit also by keeping an open mind about the ideas that Millennials bring to the table. That includes learning from Millennials how to leverage social media and embrace new approaches to do business.
Businesses can also adjust their onboarding process to be more customized to meet the needs of these younger workers. Setting expectations about what the job entails is important. As is putting someone in the position to resolve a particular issue if they believe they are now ready to move up if they’ve been on the job a short period of time. I loved that idea because it puts that employee into a position to practice and see that they may or may not be ready yet.
There is so much more in the interview, which I hope you enjoy.
Nancy J. Lewis is the founder and president of Progressive Techniques, Inc. where the theme of her organization is,
"Developing a Better YOU!" Nancy has 25 years of experience in professional development, diversity and inclusion, leadership, and communication skills. A former Dale Carnegie Instructor for thirteen years, and adjunct faculty instructor for Georgia State University, she is a seasoned professional leveraging practical skills to resolve complex workplace issues and conducts motivational keynotes.
As a facilitator and business/executive coach, Nancy has worked with many Fortune 100, Fortune 500, and government agencies. As a former Human Resources practitioner, Nancy brings the knowledge, wisdom, and understanding to her workshops. Nancy is certified in a variety of assessment tools, including DiSC, Strengths Deployment Inventory (SDI), and Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI).
Nancy has a quarterly event called Transforming Women Entrepreneurs (TWE) where she empowers, equips, and encourages women to be the very best they can be in an environment where true connections are made.
Nancy has an engaging and energizing style that creates an atmosphere where attendees are comfortable with sharing their struggles as creative ways of resolving the issues of work and life are provided.
In this episode, I talked with Jim Ninivaggi, Chief Readiness Officer at Brainshark. Our topic was about how first line sales managers can avoid extinction.
We started by talking about what the first line sales manager role entails. Jim said it was actually 5 roles:
Leader, Coach, Trainer, Recruiter, and Manager
Which of these roles do you see managers doing well today? Where are they lacking?
Most sales managers really play one role – manager of the forecast and pipeline. The aggregate and interpret the data that reps report to them, they massage the numbers before they push them up to the Chief Sales Officer or VP of Sales. While this is important, the missed opportunities are the coaching, training, recruiting and leading teams that the role also requires.
Even from a coaching point of view, many sales managers simply assume the role of “super rep” – they join calls not to coach – but to be the hero – which makes them just another rep. This remains a pervasive problem as reps are promoted into the role often with very little, if any, training to help them be successful in their new position. Lacking training in how to manage and lead their teams, they default to what they know - closing the deal.
Our title starts with the words “avoiding extinction” – how are managers at risk for extinction?
Artificial Intelligence certainly puts sales managers at risk. Think about it. If their primary role is to gather and communicate the forecast and pipeline information, with artificial intelligence the forecast will no longer come from the field but from data.
Without that need for “human interpretation”, that role of keeper of the forecast goes away. And if that is the only role that differentiates a manager from a rep – the role is no longer needed.
So how do managers avoid becoming extinct?
Expand their role and develop their skills as coach and trainer to their teams. What gets in the way of these things happening, according to Jim is that these things are not expected, not inspected and managers often lack the ability.
To address these managers need both strategic coaching and performance coaching to be effective in their role.
Since I'm a believer in "learn 2 earn", and I would suggest that if sales managers are not getting the training that they need to be successful, they should be accountable for investing in themselves.
Technology, including AI, can help in these roles with things like:
Leveraging video coaching technology to allow for asynchronous coaching.
Using AI to help guide managers to where they need to focus on coaching.
Using AI to create “sales simulators” in the same vein as “flight simulators” – allow a rep to simulate a call – and the rep and manager review their performance together.
Delivering “training in a box” digitally to help managers deliver learning to their reps during regular sales meetings.
There was a lot of meat in this discussion, so please enjoy the interview!
Jim Ninivaggi, Chief Readiness Officer at Brainshark. Formerly an analyst, Jim led the sales enablement research practice at SiriusDecisions – helping, in many ways, to define the space, and working at the research firm for 10 years, while publishing 200+ research reports and briefs. He has more than 30 years of experience driving sales productivity and great tips, anecdotes and best practices to share.
In this episode, I talk with Josh Miller, CEO of Deciding Edge and certainly the youngest CEO I have ever had the pleasure of interviewing. I have always been a believer that we should NOT box people in with our generational biases. I believe we can learn from anyone, anywhere and at any age.
During this segment, Josh and I discuss his Gen Z research in partnership with XYZ University. The study was conducted with over 1,000 Gen Z'ers, and the findings will likely surprise you, as they did me. And, like me, I think you will be inspired by Josh's passion and enthusiasm for the work that he does.
While Millennials remain a focus given the fact that they will make up 50% of the workforce by 2020, Gen Z is coming right up behind them and it is NOT too early to get ready.
I started by asking Josh what inspired him to become an entrepreneur at 16 years old.
Josh nails down the definition of Generation Z.
We discussed the research and studies Josh has been doing on the topic.
Josh shared some of the biggest insights that came out of his recently published white-paper. I found some of the research very surprising!
We talked about effective sales strategies to use for Gen Z members of your team.
Finally, I closed by asking Josh about his goals for 2018.
Download your copy of the research report here.
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Josh Miller is a 16-year-old student, entrepreneur, and thought leader on Gen Z. He currently serves as the CEO of Deciding Edge and Director of Gen Z Studies at XYZ University. He has spoken in front of some of the powerful leaders in the business world, been mentored by top executives, and discussed marketing strategy with Fortune 500 companies.
His work has been featured in prominent national publications. Equipped with a passion around leadership, entrepreneurship, and philanthropy, Miller founded Deciding Edge with the mission of creating a platform for organizations to better understand how to recruit, retain, and sell to Generation Z. As a regular 16-year-old, he enjoys playing basketball, tennis, and spending time with friends and family. He lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
In this episode, I talked with Ken Lundin. Ken is hosting the B2B Sales Summit, which we discussed in the interview. He was gracious enough to collect 28 of the top speakers to supercharge your sales activities by bringing you the whole experience free of charge. No pitches just pure content - it's an irresistible opportunity. Remember, learners are earners so take advantage of this incredible chance to jumpstart your B2B Sales Success. REGISTER NOW.
Here is what you will learn about in my interview with Ken.
For most listeners, their sales year has just kicked off, and for those listeners who are half-way through their sales year, Ken's nuggets of advice apply to you too.
Ken started off by sharing his actionable advice about the steps that salespeople both individual contributors and their managers do to set themselves up for success.
For anyone looking to fill their pipeline with more qualified sales opportunities, Ken shares his thoughts on the top priorities to focus on to get you there.
The sales cycle is often misunderstood, and Ken and I talked about the most misunderstood aspect of the selling process.
Learn what a salesperson or their sales manager can do today to improve their sales in the coming year.
Hear from Ken about why he decided to create The B2B Sales Summit kicking off on February 6, 2018.
Ken told me what surprised him most when interviewing some of the top sales influencers around the world.
Enjoy the interview AND REGISTER NOW for the B2B Sales Summit for FREE!!
Event Dates: February 6, 2018, to February 14, 2018
About Ken Lundin:
Ken made his sales bones by delivering $26,000,000 in contracts in under 9 months and being a part of a management team recognized as 1 of INC 500 Magazine’s fastest growing companies for 3 years in a row driving sales from under #2 million to $77 million in just 4 years. Today, he is a consultant for Span the Chasm, helping deliver sustainable sales growth for companies under $100 million in revenue and the Host of The B2B Sales Summit.
As 2018 kicks off, what is your process for achieving your sales goals? If you don't follow a process, you going to find it tough to meet your sales objectives. And, that's the topic for today's episode with Jim Brown of Salestuners.
Jim and I discussed:
If you don't have your process nailed down, do it now before you find yourself staring at an empty funnel.
Enjoy the interview!
Jim Brown has led two companies from $1 million to more than $10 million, and one from $1 million to $0. He now trains entrepreneurs who don’t realize they’re the VP of Sales and individual salespeople how to 10X their revenue using a step-by-step sales formula.
Previously, Jim’s sales performance led Slingshot SEO from $1.2 million to $11 million in revenue within two years. He was then recruited to Compendium to build and lead the sales function, which he took from $2 million in sales to an eight-figure acquisition by Oracle. After the Oracle acquisition, Jim left the well paying job and comfort of success that he’d known and raised $1 million for a B2C app startup. They had some initial traction but failed to execute the vision. This resulted in a 100% loss for himself and the investors.
Today, Jim hosts the SalesTuners podcast where he talks with world-class sales performers about the techniques, behaviors, and attitudes that listeners can use to close more deals and make more money.
This episode is all about building rapid pipeline growth, a challenge facing many salespeople today. My guest, Chris Bennett shared his strategies for building the sales pipeline that delivers sales results.
We talked about:
Why so many salespeople struggle to build the proper sized sales pipeline/ funnel.
The one type of question that is designed to fuel the funnel with the right kinds of sales opportunities.
The characteristics of a good challenge question that you need to be asking.
Chris shares examples of what a good challenge question sounds like.
Through his examples, Chris reveals that it is relatively easy to ask the right kind of question and yet, he talked about why more reps don't do it.
You'll learn what happens when salespeople are trained to use these questions properly. And Chris shared examples of actual sales results.
Finally, we discussed what sales managers can do to support their salespeople in this process.
Enjoy the interview!
Chris Bennett heads up Chris Bennett Sales Training. Chris has been helping businesses increase pipeline and crush quota for 24 years. He always measures for hard financial results. He has worked with companies like Dimension Data, CDW, SHI, Bell Canada, Royal Bank of Canada, TELUS, Cisco, AT&T, and others. The core of his teachings are built upon the foundation of; understanding, helpfulness and creating real measurable business impact. He believes in relentless follow up. He is happily married and loves recreation such as; fishing, skiing, golf, tennis, squash and mixed martial arts. He is an avid Chicago Bears fan and listens to classic rock turned up loud.
Connect with Chris on LinkedIn.
My guest in this episode is James Bawden, Business Development and and Sales Excellence Coordinator at Evalueserve. Our conversation focused on the importance of empowering and motivating your front-line sellers.
We talked about:
Why it is important to provide emotional support and guidance in order to motivate your team members.
James' suggestions for how leadership can grow and nurture their sales talent.
Where leaders can go wrong when working with new salespeople.
Tips for salespeople just getting started in their career.
How peer to peer relationships play a role in empowering the front line to be the best that they can be.
Enjoy the interview!
About James Bawden
James is the Business Development Manager and Sales Excellence Coordinator at Evalueserve. He is a sales professional with nearly a decade of experience in several industries, spanning from wireless retail sales to complex B2B sales. He has a unique vantage point on sales leadership, as he has continually been promoted to leadership roles and been charged with leading a team of salespeople that were once his peers. He truly knows what a front-line salesperson is like, as well as what it is like to lead a team. He is fiercely passionate about all things sales, especially providing a voice for salespeople who are just beginning their careers.
Curt Redden and Courtney Walsh are the co-authors of GOING PRIMAL, A Layered Approach to Creating the Life You Desire.
In this episode, we talked about A PRIMAL Approach to Accelerate your Sales Career!
I started by having Curt and Courtney tell me what this Primal thing is all about.
They talk about the idea behind the book and why they decided to work together on the project.
Based on Curt's years of great work in the area of learning and development for salespeople, Curt shares his advice about what salespeople need to do to improve their sales results.
Learn why attitude and perseverance is necessary now more than ever if you want to be the best in sales and in life.
We closed by talking about the best piece of business advice that Curt and Courtney want you to know about.
Order Curt and Courtney's book HERE.
Enjoy the interview!
Curt Redden is a speaker, talent-development and sales training expert, and author of 3 books on sales and leadership excellence. His most recent work, Going PRIMAL, is co-authored with colleague Courtney Walsh. Curt has spent more than twenty-five years working to support and encourage employees as they strive for success. He currently is the head of global talent development for UPS Capital. He is also certified by the Association for Talent Development as a master trainer and performance-improvement consultant.
Courtney Walsh uses her position as a communication and talent-development professional to help others achieve a healthy work-life balance. Originally from Daytona Beach, Florida, she now works for a Fortune 50 company in Atlanta, Georgia. When she isn’t working, Walsh enjoys spending time outdoors and testing out new culinary creations. She received a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida and has earned numerous professional certifications in learning and development.
For more information on Curt Redden or Courtney Walsh, please visit: www.primalsuccess.com
In this episode, I talked with Leslie Grossman, author of the book Link Out: How to Turn Your Network into a Chain of Lasting Connections.
So, I was curious. We all know LinkedIn but I started by asking Leslie what she meant by Link Out.
We also talked about:
When it comes to trust, the most effective ways to build trust with a customer or client.
How many people find typical networking ineffective in making sales, yet they force themselves to do it. Leslie tells me why she thinks that happens.
The most important communication skill you need to master to be successful in sales.
You will also learn how to build your own entourage, which Leslie delivered a TEDx talk about.
Finally, I closed by asking Leslie to share her advice to women looking to move into leadership roles.
Enjoy the interview!
Leslie Grossman is an award-winning entrepreneur who advises, trains and speaks on business development, leadership, and marketing, Her most recent book Link Out: How To Turn Your Network into a Chain of Lasting Connectors (Wiley) puts a spotlight on building trusted relationships to achieve your goals.
She is the founder of Leslie Grossman Leadership and speaks throughout the world about how trusted relationships transform your business and career. After leading a marketing agency for 12 years, Leslie created the Women’s Leadership Exchange, the first national conference series to propel the businesses of women business owners and professionals reaching more than 65,000 women through more than 100 live events and online programs. Leslie is an executive coach and Chair for Vistage International, the largest peer advisory board organization in the world. She is on the adjunct faculty for The George Washington University Center for Excellence in Public Leadership and coaches entrepreneurs and women executives to break-through to the top by building relationships and transforming habits that dilute their leadership potential. Grossman’s previous book SELLsation! How Companies Can Capture Today’s Hottest Market: Women Business Owners and Executives made her a popular speaker on business development for companies like Aetna, Axa, NorthWestern Mutual, IBM, Best Buy, American Express, and IKEA.
In this episode, my guest is Stephen Walsh, CEO of AndersPink. We focused our discussion on the art of content curation. You probably already know that part of your social selling strategy includes using content to connect and engage with new buyers. Contrary to what many "experts" tell you though, you don't have to create your own content. If you are able to do that at some point great but when you are first starting out, it just isn't that easy. Your job is to sell, right? Plus, not everyone has the time, inclination or talent to write blog posts. There are other ways to create content like recording audio tips, hosting webinars, etc. but that takes time too. That's why I like this topic. You can learn to curate content like a boss in ways that help you to engage with buyers and positions you as a thought leader in your field.
Stephen and I discussed:
What content curation is and what it has to do with social selling.
Why sharing other people's content is a good idea. Learn how it helps you.
Learn tips for finding great content fast without losing your day to the internet.
How you can be more targeted in how/when you share content with more than just the folks in your network.
How you should think about social selling and content curation as a team sport. You don't necessarily have to do it all on your own.
Finally, we talked about the FANTASTIC new ebook that Stephen and his team put out on this topic. More than theory, this is a "boots on the ground" field guide you will reference again and again. I've already read it twice! You'll find specific strategies that you can put into practical application right now to improve your results when curating and sharing content.
Enjoy the interview!
Stephen Walsh is the CEO and CoFounder of AndersPink. Stephen is passionate about helping sales teams stay smart, share better content, grow their business and keep learning every day. He's has worked in learning, sales, and marketing for over 20 years. He co-founded Kineo, an elearning company, ran sales and marketing and grew it to a $20m business before selling it. He's a co-founder of BuzzSumo, a leading content discovery tool and of Anders Pink, a new tool to help social sellers with content curation. He's written 2 books on learning and selling and is a regular blogger and speaker.
Kurt is the Chief Sales Officer at Vengreso, and he has been an early evangelist of the use of LinkedIn and social selling strategies in the sales process. We started off talking about how Kurt defines social selling, which depending on who you talk too has different meanings.
During the interview, you'll learn why salespeople need to be incorporating social selling approaches into their current sales process, and what happens if they don’t. Surprising there are still a lot of naysayers and fence sitters who haven't begun integrating social networks into their selling strategy.
Kurt shared his perspective on how an organization successfully implements a social selling strategy. He also shared tips for the individual sales contributor.
Content is widely promoted as a key part of any social selling effort. But it is fiercely debated about whether salespeople should create their own content. Kurt shared with me where he stood in the debate.
Lately, the “this or that strategy is dead” crowd has been rising up to suggest that social selling dead and that it doesn’t work. I asked Kurt what he thought about this… do these people have a point or is it simply click bait to get people reading their posts?
Kurt recently teamed up with other businesses to form a new company – Vengreso – to provide an array of services related to digital sales transformation. He told me what was behind his decision and what is Vengreso bringing to the world of social selling?
Finally, Vengreso has a new social selling boot camp starting on Sept 19. Kurt told me what people can expect to learn when they participate in the program.
Peeps, I want you to know that I’m an affiliate partner of Vengreso because I often have individual sales contributors or small business owners looking for social selling help. Since I mostly work with larger teams, I wanted to be sure I had a great place to refer folks too that I’m unable to support. So, go to my blog or company website and you will find program details there. Use my link to get yourself registered for the program.
Thanks and enjoy the interview!
Kurt Shaver is a co-founder and Chief Sales Officer of Vengreso. Kurt is an expert at getting sales teams to adopt new sales tools and techniques. Through a successful career in technology sales, Kurt learned what it takes to reach B2B decision makers. In 2011, Kurt recognized that LinkedIn would be the next great sales technology and that it would require expert training. He pivoted his business and now has over 10,000 hours of experience training corporate sales teams like CenturyLink, Ericsson, and TelePacific Communications. Kurt is the creator of the Social Selling Boot Camp and he frequently speaks at corporate sales meetings and conferences like Dreamforce, Sales 2.0, and LinkedIn’s Sales Connect.
In this segment of the Women in Sales Leadership series, I talked with Gavriella Schuster, Corporate Vice President in the One Commercial Partner team where she is responsible for global partner channel management and programs, with a focus on driving digital transformation for partners and customers.
I talked to Gavriella about what it means to build a career as a life long learner, and why you should too.
I asked Gavriella about her different roles with Microsoft, from sales to operations and now as Microsoft’s channel chief. Here's what she told me is the most important thing for everyone to keep in mind as they build their own careers. It is all about ongoing learning to keep growing your skills and opportunities.
Gavriella shared with me the constants she has noticed throughout changes in her career.
You will love Gavriella's story about how she took the stage at Microsoft Inspire with tens of thousands of people, both in the arena and watching online, for a keynote address. She shared her major learning from that opportunity.
You'll also learn what Gavriella feels she has learned in the past year or so. Things like leading teams through ambiguity, start with won't change, how to create clarity or yourself on how you, personally, can help achieve that outcome, why you should not work in a vacuum and more.
Finally, Gavriella shared her advice for women just getting started on this journey as a lifelong learner.
Enjoy the interview!
Gavriella Schuster is a Corporate Vice President in the One Commercial Partner team, Gavriella Schuster is responsible for global partner channel management and programs, with a focus on driving digital transformation for partners and customers. Gavriella’s team is responsible for the high-touch experiences of Managed Service Providers, Hosters, Resellers, Distributors and National/Local SIs. She is also responsible for connecting, enabling, investing in, and rewarding partners through high-touch and low-touch programmatic experiences. She has extensive experience in sales, marketing, product management, and partner development with a strong track record of managing customers, partners, and teams. Over the last 20 years at Microsoft, she has managed sales and marketing teams across the Server and Cloud business, the Windows Client Commercial business, Enterprise Services, licensing sales and marketing, field business development, training initiative development, segment marketing, worldwide partner marketing and training strategies and worldwide operations.
In this episode, I talked with Jasmine Sandler about The Importance of Social Branding and its intersection with Social Selling in Delivering Results.
I asked Jasmine to start by giving me the deets on how she got to where she is in her career today.
Jasmine's perspective on the intersection between Social Branding and Social Selling, and what she means by that.
You'll hear tips on how to build a successful social brand presence.
You learn why Social Branding is for everyone, and your social brand is useful for anyone from Entrepreneur to Executive.
Discover how the Social Branding of the Individual Executive supports a company's brand strength.
Jasmine provides tips for executives branding themselves online.
Finally, Jasmine talks us through a client case study, so you can understand the process she uses to help people build their brand.
Enjoy the interview!
Jasmine Sandler is a Google awarded Author, Senior-level Consultant and Keynote Speaker on Online Branding for global organizations and C-level executives. She is the Founder and CEO of Agent-cy Online Marketing, a NYC-based Social Media and Search Agency serving global brands including: CitiBank, Private Jet Card Comparisons, Fly Home Jets, Tuescher Chocolates, Diamonds International, Almod Diamonds and The Shade Store. She writes on SEO and Social Media Strategies for Fast Company, LinkedIn, Entrepreneur.com, SearchEngineJournal.com and ClickZ.com. She has a dual MBA in Marketing and CIS and is a former IBM Marketing executive. Her passions are Speaking, Singing and Hockey.
Today, in this segment of the Women in Sales Leadership series, I’m talking with Ellen Kindley is a dynamic revenue operations leader at QASymphony specializing in sales process, data management & analytics, strategy, and sales tech.
Ellen believes that sales operations leaders should think about internal operational improvements as if you are building a product with features. Your sales people are essentially your customers, and everything done in revenue operations is geared to support them in success. Operations should act as a product owner - creating a road map where key stakeholders can collaborate on which projects (product features) to prioritize and why.
How revenue operations are different from traditional sales operations.
The overarching goals of a revenue operations team.
How to best organize the business initiatives you need to prioritize.
How to stay in tune with what’s happening on the sales floor and bring that back into your operational roadmap.
Ideas for cross collaboration with stakeholders across your business.
Some of the common operational challenges solved with the approach that Ellen advocates.
Ellen Kindley is a dynamic revenue operations leader at QASymphony specializing in sales process, data management & analytics, strategy, and sales tech.
Ellen seeks to enable growth by facilitating strategic planning, infrastructure, and overall sales excellence. Ellen is passionate about laying the foundation on which SaaS startups can scale and grow - always striving to be the driving force for productivity improvement.
Starting at QASymphony in 2014, first as a consultant and then as a full-time employee in 2015, Ellen has successfully set the stage for hyper growth. Every step is data driven as she sets initiatives and priorities, evaluates gaps and executes improvements. Ellen's goal every day is to allow sales management and individual contributors to focus solely on revenue generating activities.
QASymphony's software testing and QA tools help companies create better software by improving speed, efficiency, and collaboration during the testing lifecycle.
I talked to Jim Burns of Avitage about how to support B2B value selling sales teams with the right knowledge, communication support, and situation-ready content.
High-performing content is your First Product and Currency with which you earn attention, interest, engagement -- this is the way you create value for buyers. Unfortunately, many executives aren't aware of strategic imperative of high-performing content and the impact on their business. Since most content tends not to be sales or situation ready, it generally performs poorly, often negatively, which does not reflect well on the salesperson or the company brand.
Jim and I discussed:
How to assess the current state of your current sales content assets.
What Jim believes to be the underlying causes of why content doesn't perform well.
The primary cases for using sales content:
How an organization should go about producing content that is high-quality, high performing and sales-ready.
What Jim recommends in terms of deploying content, or making situation-ready content easier for salespeople to access and use?
And much more.
Enjoy the interview!
Jim Burns is a sales professional with a unique expertise in sales conversation and content. For over 20 years his company Avitage developed sales content and software that improved the way sales professionals differentiated themselves and created value for customers through the way they sold.
B2B selling organizations of all sizes have benefited from breakthrough approaches Avitage provided to capture and incorporate selling knowledge into daily activities. They've learned how to create effective communication support and situation-ready content that fuels value selling models.
Avitage no longer produces content. They help organizations capitalize on methodologies and practices that create high-performing content, at scale, without compromise.
In this Women in Sales Leadership episode, I talked with Erin Bush. She is the Director of Revenue Operations at SalesLoft, the platform for modern sales engagement.
A Walker 2020 report revealed that by 2020, customer experience will overtake price and product as a key differentiator. There is no doubt that experience is a key priority for many organizations. Forrester reported that 72% of businesses say that improving the customer experience is their top priority. In a blog from NewVoiceMedia, their recent research indicates that companies lose more than $62 billion due to poor customer service. That's a big problem!
I talked with Erin about SalesLoft defines customer experience and who is involved in the experience process. From their point of view it is a team effort between Marketing, Sales and their Customer Success team.
We talked about:
How the teams work together to create seamless experiences.
How they make sure that the team is well informed and hand-off points are clearly defined.
How technology and systems are key to a successful workflow.
Enjoy the interview!
Erin Bush is the Director of Revenue Operations at SalesLoft, the platform for modern sales engagement. In this role, she works with Marketing, Sales, and Customer Success to create systems to more efficiently prospect, win, onboard, and support customers.
Erin is a veteran sales leader in the Atlanta startup community. An innovator in sales operations, Erin specializes in building a connected sales practice utilizing modern sales technology.
I talked with Katie Early, a sales leader at HubSpot, about her strategies for leading SDR/BDR teams to consistent sales success. Katie first talked to me about how she got started in a career in sales and what she loves about the profession.
We then talked about:
How Katie made the transition from an individual contributor sales role into a sales leadership role and the surprises she encountered and the lessons she learned.
Katie then shared her guidance for women who’d like to make the same transition into a leadership position.
Successfully leading teams to exceed monthly and annual sales targets on a consistent basis isn't always easy. Katie shared some of her strategies that help her lead her team to ongoing success.
We discussed the importance of hiring right, coaching, ongoing training.
How SDR/BDR roles are important in selling success and Katie's thoughts on how those front-line roles are evolving.
Katie recently moved into a new leadership role and made a move to Dublin. She told me about her new role and what led her to tackle this new challenge.
Enjoy the interview!
Katie Early leads the Corporate Sales Team for HubSpot in EMEA, focusing on growing the HubSpot's presence with large scale organizations. She started her sales career with HubSpot 6 years ago, where she worked as an individual contributor before moving into Sales Management in North America, and then later moving to the Dublin office for her current role.
I love this topic because it is a reminder that we are the owners of our plan for work and life! My guest in this segment was Lindsay Zwart, Microsoft General Manager of the US SM&SP National Sales Organization (NSO).
Lindsay is an advocate for women in leadership roles. She told me why that advocacy is so important to her.
We also talked about:
Why Lindsay believes women need to put more emphasis on building their brand and why she believes that it is important for career success.
To be successful, we certainly cannot go it alone. I asked Lindsay to share her advice for networking effectively – inside and outside of any organization where you work.
How Lindsay's international experience has been of value to her working for Microsoft and how she leverages experience that in her career.
Lindsay also shared her suggestions for women to help them identify their next roles and once those roles are identified, how to create a plan to get there.
Finally, we talked about work/life balance because Lindsay is an extremely busy executive, as all the women in this leadership series are. Lindsay talked about how she maintains the balance between work and her home life. Good stuff!
Enjoy the interview!
Lindsay Zwart is General Manager of the US SM&SP National Sales Organization (NSO) at Microsoft. Lindsay’s team manages Corporate Accounts Licensing and in SMS&P, Software Asset Management, Sales Excellence and CTM Strategy. Lindsay previously led the U.S. Dynamics Partner, Industry and SMB Sales organization, the Dynamics Country Lead for New Zealand, and led the consulting team within the Microsoft Services organization. Lindsay worked for IBM before joining Microsoft. She enjoys working in a vibrant, collaborative environment, and is an advocate for supporting women in leadership roles and empowering people through trust and accountability. When not working, Lindsay enjoys time with her husband and two girls, ages 12 and 9, keeping busy with sporting activities and adventures.
Are today’s buyers really different from the buyers of a few years ago? In many ways, yes and Mary Kay Hauer of MK Associates also shared her perspective on how some things aren't really all that different in today's market.
Questions we tackled include:
The difficulty many sellers have in selling to today's buyers.
Some of the strategies a seller can use to avoid these difficulties.
Ideas on how to best connect with a potential buyer who often ignores salespeople.
How salespeople can increase their win rates if they truly understand the drivers behind why buyer make their buying decisions.
Enjoy the interview!
About Mary Kay:
Mary Kay Hauer of MKH Associates whose personal mission is "Creating passionate salespeople who love their job as much as she does”. When you love what you do, and you are good at it, customers will want to buy from you. Her goal is to transition good people into passionate sales people who help their customers be more successful…and make good money doing just that.
Working with large companies such as Microsoft, HP, Kyocera, Southern California Edison, and Lands’ End to small start-up companies, Mary Kay has helped organizations apply the Solution Selling® principles, best practices and a framework that develops and enables salespeople to reach success with passion.
Want to know how to close more business, more profitably? In this episode, my guest Jeff Koser tells you how to do that by selling to zebras. Not the kind of Zebra you find in a zoo, but the Zebra that is the perfect customer for you.
Jeff and I discussed:
What he means by selling to a Zebra.
How the approach of selling to Zebras came to him when Jeff was working for a company called Baan.
In addition to advocating that sellers stay focused on pursuing business with Zebras aka their ideal prospect, Jeff told me why it is so important to get to the "power" in any organization.
Most salespeople can rattle off a value proposition but Jeff talked to me about why sellers need to quantify value in a way that they probably haven’t thought about.
Of course, we talked about the role of CRM and why salespeople often don't like it.
Finally, Jeff shared his advice for salespeople selling in a world that is vastly different from years past.
Enjoy the interview!
Jeff Koser is the spirited CEO and founder of Selling to Zebras, a sales tools Software company www.SellingtoZebras.com. Jeff is an award-winning co-author of Selling to Zebras, HOW to CLOSE 90% of the BUSINESS YOU PURSUE FASTER, MORE EASILY, and MORE PROFITABLY. In 2010, Jeff was recognized as one of the best sales authors of all time in the book, The Sales Gurus. Jeff has more than thirty years of experience in building businesses, speaking, consulting, executive sales management, business strategy, and business development.
Hiring the right people with the right skills is critical to sales organizations. In this episode, I talk with Katie Ng-Mak from HubSpot who shares her thoughts on hiring top talent and building a culture of inclusiveness.
As we kicked off, Katie told me what led her into a sales career and what she loves about the profession. She then shared her advice to women in sales who want to move into leadership roles.
According to the research, hiring is a top priority for many sales organizations. You'll hear how Katie believes that hiring right translates into achieving sales results.
We also discussed:
What the ideal sales persona looks like today and how that persona will evolve as we move into the future.
The role diversity and inclusiveness plays in creating a sales team of A-players.
Strategies for sales managers who may discover after hiring someone that they aren’t a fit for the role after all.
The most important thing Katie has learned about hiring top talent.
Enjoy the interview!
Katie Ng-Mak is a Sales Director at HubSpot where she manages a 65-person sales organization and is in charge of the company’s North America channel business. She developed her sales career at HubSpot where she started as a rep 8 years ago before moving on to sales management and sales leadership. Prior to HubSpot, she worked on Wall Street and studied at the Harvard Business School and Columbia University.
In this segment of the Women in Sales Leadership series, I talked with Mary Ford, Director, Sales Strategy and Operations at SecureWorks.
The sales operations team is often overlooked for the value that they bring to the sales force and a company's business overall. Mary shared her views on why might happen and what you can do about it. After Mary let me know how she got started in sales, we talked about:
Mary's definition of Sales Operations.
How to develop and evolve the Sales Ops team inside your company.
How the Sales Operations function has evolved over time.
Mary's suggestions for becoming a Sales Ops Rockstar.
Where the future of Sales Operations may be headed.
Finally, Mary shared her advice for women looking to move into leadership roles.
Mary Ford currently serves as Director, Sales Strategy and Operations for SecureWorks.
Previously, she was a member of the leadership team at Cbeyond, taking the company from start-up to a publicly traded, $450 million leading Cloud and Managed services provider to SMBs. She held a number of roles leading marketing, sales operations and learning and development functions.
Ford serves as chair of the Board of the Atlanta Track Club and as a board member for the Technology Association of Georgia Sales Leadership Society.
Ford is a graduate of the Leadership Atlanta Class of 2014 and serves in a variety of other volunteer roles. She holds a BA in Economics from the University of Virginia and aanMA degree in Telecommunications from George Washington University.
In this episode, I talk with Sebastien Denes, Senior Director SAP Digital Business Services. He talked with me about he incorporates social selling strategies into his sales process.
Sebastien began using LinkedIn about 10 years ago but said he really realized the power of social about 5 years ago when he moved to take a position in China. It was his way of staying connected with his colleagues in Europe. He also uses LinkedIn Sales Navigator to share content, engage with prospective buyers, stay in touch with customer and partners, and to plan for his sales calls. He also loves the educational value that LinkedIn offers.
Finally, we talked about Sebastien's keys to success using social media on a daily basis.
Sebastien Denes is a Senior Director and Head of RunSAP Center of Expertise APJ within the Digital Business Services organization at SAP. In this role, Sebastien leads the delivery of Run/Operations Services, overseeing a team of 120 professionals and managing the annual Run Services contribution.
His team advises CIO/CTO in various industries such as Banking/Insurance, E-commerce/Retail, Manufacturing, Oil & Gas, Utilities and Telecom.
Coaching done consistently is one of the best ways to ensure that all your salespeople are achieving their goals but coaching isn't the same as managing. Donald shared his thoughts on:
How he defines coaching.
Why it is so important, especially for a small business.
What an effective coaching session looks like for the sales rep and sales leader.
How often leaders should be coaching.
Ways to measure coaching effectiveness.
How coaching has helped Donald in his career and business.
Enjoy the interview!
Donald has a belief that “anyone” can sell if they have the desire. Early on in his sales career, Donald struggled with sales, but through the proper training and coaching, he became a top performing seller. He has since taken it upon himself to “evangelize” the message of effective selling to struggling entrepreneurs, salespeople and anyone looking to improve their sales hustle. Donald hosts a popular sales podcast call “The Sales Evangelist.
He works with small to midsize companies in developing effective sales processes as well as training their teams. He is an award-winning sales and motivational speaker. When he’s not training, speaking or selling, he loves spending time with his family in South Florida."
In this episode, I talk with Federico Winer, Head of Entertainment Industries EMEA at SAP. He talked with me about he incorporates social selling strategies into his sales process.
Fede got started some years ago when he realized the power and importance of building an online brand. He uses LinkedIn and LinkedIn Sales Navigator to share content, engage with prospective buyers and customers and plan for his sales calls.
You'll hear in the interview that Fede believes salespeople should be human and authentic. After all, people buy from people. He also thinks that doing your homework before sales conversations is important but that you shouldn't be over scripted.
Finally, we talked about Fede's keys to success using social media to drive sales opportunities.
Enjoy the interview!
Federico Winer has developed international business for media, sports and entertainment firms since the start of his career, with a firm understanding of how humanities and IT coexist. In his role as Head of Entertainment Industries for Europe, the Middle East and Africa at SAP, Fede is responsible for the generation of Entertainment industry revenue and pipeline. He is a trusted industry advisor for both SAP customers as well as SAP Account Executives across sectors like lotteries, betting houses, casinos, amusement parks, trade shows, game publishers and museums.
Account based selling and marketing are hot topics in business today. During this interview, Kristina shares research about what's working with regard to account based everything.
We discussed Kristina's views on:
The top trends in sales today.
How organizations should think about Account-Based execution.
How Account-Based changes the metrics for success for both sales and marketing.
Whether Account-Based is a realistic approach for most organizations.
An example of an account-based campaign that worked.
Finally, Kristina shares her perspective on what women in sales roles can do if they want to move into leadership positions.
Enjoy the interview!
Kristina McMillan leads the research organization behind all of TOPO’s practices. She works with TOPO’s analysts to develop best practice frameworks and actionable research that help clients cultivate world-class demand generation, sales development, and sales organizations. She is also one of TOPO's sales development experts and advises clients on all matters related to sales development. Previously, Kristina spent 12 years as a best practices consultant and practitioner helping build sales development and inside sales teams for companies such as Knova, Taleo, Eloqua, Five 9, Zmanda, and more.
In this episode, Lee Salz talks about sales differentiation and why it matters. We discussed:
Whether sales differentiation is a sales or marketing issue.
Why is sales differentiation is important…why it matters.
How you can differentiate yourself even if you sell a commodity product.
Though Lee developed 19 sales differentiation concepts, he discussed an example of a way in which salespeople can leverage sales differentiation.
Other ways that salespeople can incorporate sales differentiation into their sales strategy.
What is one of the biggest mistakes salespeople make when it comes to sales differentiation?
Mistakes salespeople make with sales differentiation.
What to do if prospect’s buy through RFPs (Requests for Proposal)…how can you use sales differentiation when faced with an RFP.
Enjoy the interview!
Lee Salz is a leading sales management strategist and founder of Sales Architects. He is the best-selling author of four business books with a fifth in development on sales differentiation that will be published by Wiley in April 2018.
His latest book “Hire Right, Higher Profits” is an Amazon best-seller and was the #1 rated sales management book on Amazon for 2014. His sales book “Soar Despite Your Dodo Sales Manager” was named by Amazon as one of their top 20 most highly-rated sales books of all-time.
He is also a featured columnist in the Business Journal, a member of the Sales and Marketing Management magazine Advisory Board, a member of the Sales Education Foundation Advisory Board, and serves as the Program Advisor to the Kansas State University National Strategic Selling Institute.
In this Women in Sales Leadership interview, you'll hear tips and strategies for running an effective sales discovery call, but first I asked Tonni about how she got into sales and what she loves about the profession.
Then we discussed:
How Tonni has prepared her sales team to run effective discovery calls.
How you earn trust and credibility quickly in the call to allow for effective discovery.
Tips for sellers who struggle to keep a prospect engaged throughout the discovery conversation.
Traits that women have that make them effective at discovery during sales meetings.
Tips for keeping discovery going throughout the sales process.
What comes first? Demo or discovery call?
Tonni's advice for women would are thinking about how to move into a leadership role.
Enjoy the interview!
Tonni Bennett is the Vice President of Sales at Terminus, a leader in account-based marketing software. She has scaled the sales team to 29 members over the past 2 years. (Terminus was ranked #2 at the Atlanta Business Chronicle's Pacesetter Awards as a top 5 fastest growing company in Atlanta.) Before Terminus she was a top producing sales professional at Pardot, PeopleMatter and SalesLoft.
I talked with Rob Kall, CEO of Cien about the deeper impact that artificial intelligence can have on the sales process. Cien's application helps sales leaders answer difficult questions with better accuracy. Questions such as:
I asked Rob about his thoughts about whether sales leaders are measuring what matters most to the business.
The impetus behind starting Cien.
The specific business problems that Cien is solving.
What he thinks about Salesforce Einstein.
And the benefits that artificial intelligence brings to salespeople.
Enjoy the interview! And don't forget to take the survey that Rob mentioned during the interview. Find it HERE.
Rob Kall is Swedish American serial entrepreneur, known for his data-driven approach to sales management and performance. His latest start up, Cien, is a new artificial intelligence app focused on helping teams increase their sales productivity by answering their most difficult questions.
I talked with Bridget about her leadership experience working in Israeli start-up Logz.io. During this episode, you'll first hear how Bridget got her start in sales.
Then we talked about her experience working for an Iraeli company.
How her experience working with an Israeli company is different from other start-ups she has worked with.
You'll gain some perspective on Bridget handles the time difference and what that means for communication among the leadership team.
Bridget shared a few of her biggest surprises.
Finally, Bridget shares her advice would to women in sales roles who want to move into leadership positions.
Bridget Gleason is VP of Sales at Logz.io and manages the company’s worldwide sales organization. She was most recently VP of Corporate Sales as well as Executive Advisor at Sumo Logic. Prior to Sumo Logic, she was VP of Worldwide Sales at Yesware and Senior VP of Worldwide Sales at Engine Yard.
In this Women in Sales Leadership segment, I talked with Jen Spencer, VP of Sales and Marketing at Allbound about building partner relationships that drive revenue.
As a kicking off point, we talked about how Jen got started in sales and what she loves about the profession. Then we discussed:
Jen's recommendations for engaging channel partner sales reps to drive qualified sales leads.
Some of the most common challenges sales teams face when the company sells both directly and indirectly.
The revenue benefits of building out a partner program and strategies for making that happen.
Finally, Jen shared her advice for women in sales who would like to move up in the leadership ranks, but aren’t exactly sure how to get started.
This episode is sponsored by Hubspot.
Don’t miss out HubSpot’s annual sales event – Inbound Sales Day – on June 6th! 30 leading sales experts will be sharing their knowledge and expertise. Register now for FREE at hubspot.com/inbound-sales-day
Jen is the Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Phoenix-based Allbound, an easy-to-use SaaS platform that helps companies accelerate recurring revenue with channel partners. Jen subscribes to the notion that “we’re all in this together,” and great communication leads to great partnership. She loves animals, technology, the arts, and really good Scotch.
Successful selling is all about the basics, but how well do sales teams execute on the basics these days? Jim Ninnivaggi, SVP of Business Development at Brainshark shares his views on why the basics in selling matter more today than ever.
We talked about:
Jim's belief that salespeople have to get “back to basics.” He talked about the basics he means and how sales teams have veered away from them.
How the factors that contribute to sales success have changed over the past few decades.
What has diverted sales organizations’ attention away from the basics, the repercussions and how can sales teams can get back on track.
Critical components to sales readiness – specifically onboarding, training, and coaching – and how to implement a back-to-basics approach.
An example of how organizations really excel at executing on the basics and what modern sales teams can learn.
Enjoy the interview!
Jim is the SVP of business development at Brainshark, a leading sales enablement and readiness solutions provider. He helps to shape and execute Brainshark’s partner strategy – driving key partnerships that extend the power of Brainshark’s solutions and platform.
Jim has three decades of experience in B2B sales productivity. He previously served as service director for sales enablement strategies at research and advisory firm SiriusDecisions – helping to build and define that practice area for both the firm and industry at large.
In this Women in Sales Leadership episode, I talked with Samantha McKenna from ON24. We talked about:
What led Samantha into sales and what she loves about the profession.
How she set herself apart with prospects and clients from the other reps she competed against. Think going bigger, stretching further and getting creative.
The core values that enabled Samantha's sales success.
Her advice for women in sales who want to move into leadership roles, and what she did to get herself promoted into leadership positions.
Enjoy the interview.
Samantha McKenna is an award-winning leader, who serves as a Regional Vice President of Sales for ON24, and has worked within the SaaS sales and marketing space for ten years. She is a thought leader in the demand generation and content marketing space, having spoken across the US regarding webinars, the use of technology in the marketing stack, the use of analytics for business development and lead generation, and how leading law firms and professional services organizations are leveraging technology to drive revenue. Samantha served four years as a board member for the Legal Marketing Association’s Capital Chapter and actively volunteers with financial literacy initiatives in Washington, D.C.
I talked with James Buckley at Cirrus Insight about his passion for sales, specifically the role of the SDR (sales development rep) in the selling process. We talked about:
How James got started in selling.
The types of sales positions he's held and what he's learned.
How his background in Writing Communications benefits him in selling.
The importance of social media presence in today's competitive climate.
Where James sees the sales industry headed in the next couple of years.
And, why James loves the position of SDR and the value he feels it brings to sales organizations.
James Buckley is a Business Development Manager and Sales Trainer at Cirrus Insight. He is originally from Miami, Florida but has lived in the Knoxville area for 12 years. James attended a small liberal arts college in Maryville, Tennessee Maryville College, where he graduated with a Writing Communications degree. James' focus and specialty is the Sales Development Role. He believes that these are long-term positions under-utilized in today's fast paced business models. James is a customer focused, results-driven professional with growth on his mind. He believes there is no substitute for hard work, and ultimately it's what helps him stand out.
Today is a big day! I am launching a special series devoted to Women in Sales Leadership roles in corporations across the globe. My first interview is with Lisa Muller, CEO of Lantevasin Sales Enablement and we talked about building a strong and healthy sales pipeline.
I talked to Lisa about:
Why she got into sales and what she loves about the profession.
Why keeping the pipeline full of qualified opportunities is a challenge for many organizations.
CRM information is used to forecast sales revenue, but is it always accurate?
Tips for sales leaders on how to improve the quality of the pipeline.
Why coaching is so important to great sales skills but also ensuring that the sales pipeline is healthy.
Finally, I asked Lisa to share her advice for women in sales who want to move into leadership roles. She shared her thoughts about some of the traits of individual contributor’s vs leaders?
This episode is sponsored by Hubspot.
Don't miss out HubSpot's annual sales event - Inbound Sales Day - on June 6th! 30 leading sales experts will be sharing their knowledge and expertise. Register now for free at hubspot.com/inbound-sales-day
Lisa Muller, CEO of Lantevasin Sales Enablement. Lisa has over twenty years of experience based helping organizations in the corporate and not-for-profit sectors. She has worked with small and large companies across the world, overseeing national and global sales teams, driving sales as a sole contributor and providing consultancy services to increase sales and commercial success. Her projects have spanned the achievement of a variety of revenue objectives from $2m to $64m.
Connect with Lisa:
Follow Lisa on Twitter @lantevasin
In this episode, I talked with Jonathan Jewett. Jonathan is the sales professional’s salesman - someone who has spent every day of his 22-year career on the front lines of sales. He’s sold for giants like Oracle and helped numerous startups build their sales organizations from nothing to millions of dollars in revenue.
We talked about The 40 Best Sales Techniques Ever, which happens to be the title of Jonathan's book. During the interview, Jonathan told me:
Enjoy the interview!
Jonathan Jewett is the sales professional’s salesman - someone who has spent every day of his 22-year career on the front lines of sales. He’s sold for giants like Oracle and helped numerous startups build their sales organizations from nothing to millions of dollars in revenue. Today, Jonathan is still in the sales trenches - observing, learning, and experimenting to find the perfect sales formula.
As a student of sales, Jonathan is obsessed with finding new ways to help salespeople close more deals and achieve greater financial success. Jonathan’s been the #1 producer in almost every company he’s joined and booked tens of millions of dollars in revenue by selling complex enterprise software to the Fortune 500. Jonathan may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Being a rock star sales rep doesn't necessarily mean that the transition to becoming a sales managers is going to be easy. Sales managers need training to help them transition because the skills that led to individual contributor success, sales rock star greatness aren't the same skills needed to be great in leading sales teams.
Kevin and I talked about:
Kevin is the president of TopLine Leadership, which provides customized sales training and sales management development programs. His 3rd book, “The Sales Manager’s Guide to Greatness: 10 Essential Strategies for Leading Your Team to the Top” is now available in hard cover, ebook and audiobook from Amazon.com. Early in his career, he worked for a Fortune 200 company in sales management and general management responsibilities. He, therefore, understands the unique challenges faced during the transition from sales to managing salespeople and the transition from managing salespeople to managing sales managers. Kevin is also the author of two sales books, “Getting Into Your Customer’s Head and “Slow Down, Sell Faster!” He lives in the Reno-Tahoe area.
Every year, strong salespeople get promoted to sales leadership positions, receive little or no training, and then just be expected to do their job. They put in long hours, trying to figure out what to do. Often they just don’t know how to go about solving some of the most common sales staff problems. In this episode, I talked with Suzanne about the guidance, training, coaching and mentoring that sales managers need to successfully lead their teams. We discussed:
The inspiration behind Suzanne's book.
How sales leaders attempt to solve problems.
The challenges that often impede their ability to solve problems.
Why, when things aren't working out, sales managers keep hoping things will change on their own.
A problem-solving framework. For example, your reps aren't prospecting as expected.
What sales leaders need to understand to be successful.
Enjoy the interview!
Suzanne Paling, who is a recognized leader in sales management, has over 25 years of experience in sales management consulting and coaching. She has helped more than 55 companies improve their sales performance and processes. Clients include product and service firms in the manufacturing, software, publishing, distribution, medical, and construction industries. Docurated selected Suzanne’s blog as one of their “Top 50 Sales Management Blogs.” She writes for Entrepreneur.com and American Business Magazine, publishes a monthly newsletter and was profiled in The New York Times Small Business column. Suzanne is the author of two award-winning books The Accidental Sales Manager, (Entrepreneur Press) and The Sales Leader’s Problem Solver (Career Press).
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.
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.
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:
Enjoy the interview!
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.
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!
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!
Dennis R. Mortensen is the CEO and Founder of x.ai. 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 x.ai 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.
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!
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.
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!
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 jeffshore.com and follow Jeff on Twitter.
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:
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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. http://www.digitalleadershipassociates.com/
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:
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 www.ianmoyse.cloud.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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 www.thelongtermcareplanninggroup.com
Connect with Corey:
LinkedIn - www.linkedin.com/in/coreyrieck
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: bit.ly/traincoach
Learn about Brainshark - www.brainshark.com
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:
It was a great conversation that I hope you enjoy!
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.
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:
Enjoy the interview!
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.
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!
Viveka is the author of best-selling: LinkedIn Marketing: An Hour a Day (http://amazon.com/author/linkedinexpert) & 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
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.
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 www.thesalesblog.com, a site that generates 130,000 page views monthly, and he hosts a weekly podcast called In The Arena.
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!
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.
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.
Enjoy the interview!
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 PureMuir.com.
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.
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.
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. :)
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:
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:
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.
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:
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.
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:
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
In this episode, Barb Giamanco and Doug Lehman chat about strategies for generating higher quality leads, in less time.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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:
It was a great conversation that I hope you enjoy.
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Learn more about rFactr and their social selling platform.
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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.