Tuesday Nov 22, 2022
Tuesday Nov 22, 2022
Tuesday Nov 22, 2022
When you’re nearing the end of the quarter, especially the fourth quarter, do you tend to panic and offer a discount in order to close any deals hanging fire? Oren Klaff, New York Times bestselling author of Pitch Anything and Flip The Script, discusses the downside of this neediness on today’s Market Dominance Guys podcast. Our two hosts, Chris Beall and Corey Frank, explore with Oren what happens to the status you have so carefully built with your prospective customer if you blatantly display just how needy and desperate you are to close the deal. Does showing your soft underbelly increase your chance of closing the deal? Or does your neediness kill the deal altogether? Oren’s advice is to stick to the sales process — and HOLD, no matter what. Join these three sales analysts as they caution the sales reps of the world about the pitfalls of a needy mindset when a sales deadline is looming on today’s Market Dominance Guys’ episode, “Hold Everything!”
Wednesday Nov 16, 2022
Wednesday Nov 16, 2022
Wednesday Nov 16, 2022
“It costs five times more to get a new client than to keep one you already have.” Today, Rick Elmore, Founder and CEO of Simply Noted, elaborates on his commitment to customer retention and to his company’s practice of over-delivery with our Market Dominance Guys’ host, Chris Beall. Rick believes that building relationships with clients is vital to any company’s success, so he begins by onboarding each new customer himself, answering all the frequently asked questions, and personally checking back to make sure the customer’s initial experience with Simply Noted’s products and services is a happy one. “When you’re truly on your client’s side, they’ll hear it in your voice,” Rick explains. Listen to this podcast, and you too will hear the commitment to customer retention in Rick’s voice in today’s Market Dominance Guys’ episode, “Focus on Over-Delivery.”
About Our Guest
Rick Elmore is founder and CEO of Simply Noted in Tempe, Arizona, a company that utilizes software and robotic technology to create personalized handwritten notes for its 300,000 monthly users.
Tuesday Nov 08, 2022
Tuesday Nov 08, 2022
Tuesday Nov 08, 2022
Who would have guessed that hand writing a note to 500 prospects would be a highly successful marketing campaign? Our guest, Rick Elmore, did! Founder and CEO of Simply Noted, Rick joins our host, Chris Beall, today to discuss his career path from college, to professional NFL football player, to a job in medical device sales and marketing, to a startup company now in its fourth year. It was the success of his handwritten-notes campaign that encouraged Rick to found his own business, offering this same service — now automated — to help individuals and companies utilize the personal touch of what looks like a handwritten note to reach out to their customers. Rick and Chris talk about the open rate of these notes versus the open rate of cold — or even warm — emails. You’ll want to hear it with your own ears on this Market Dominance Guys’ episode, “Duly and Simply Noted.”
About Our Guest
Rick Elmore is the founder and CEO of Simply Noted in Tempe, Arizona. Simply Noted is a company that utilizes software and robotic technology to create personalized handwritten notes for its 300,000 monthly users.
Wednesday Nov 02, 2022
Wednesday Nov 02, 2022
Wednesday Nov 02, 2022
Most sales reps think discovery isn’t sexy: Closing the deal is. But “Deals are won or lost in discovery,” cautions Sales Gravy CEO Jeb Blount, today’s podcast guest. This successful author of 15 sales-related books advises that “80% of your time in the sales process should be in discovery,” especially during a recession, when the discovery call becomes even more important. In this second of two interviews with Jeb, our Market Dominance Guys’ hosts, Corey Frank and Chris Beall, share sales-success nuggets taken from Jeb’s most recent book, Selling in a Crisis: 55 Ways to Stay Motivated and Increase Sales in Volatile Times. You’ll want to listen closely as these three like-minded sales gurus explain their own discovery-call practices for establishing trust and how they get prospects to open up to them. All of this and so much more in today’s Market Dominance Guys’ episode, “Discover the Power of Discovery.”
Tuesday Oct 25, 2022
Tuesday Oct 25, 2022
Tuesday Oct 25, 2022
What changes should you make when you’re selling in an economic-downturn period? Today’s podcast guest, Jeb Blount, is CEO of Sales Gravy and a successful author and podcaster. With 15 books to his name, including his latest, Selling in a Crisis: 55 Ways to Stay Motivated and Increase Sales in Volatile Times, it’s obvious that Jeb knows what he’s talking about when discussing sales techniques during these troubled times. His suggestion? You’ve got to pay close attention to patterns, as well as the signals you’re getting from prospects and customers. In this first of two interviews with our Market Dominance Guys’ hosts, Corey Frank and Chris Beall, Jeb shares his advice about selling a price increase to customers, and about honing and re-honing your message as fears about the current economy’s impact are revealed in your prospects’ objections. Jeb’s also a firm believer in selling alongside his sales team and listening to his reps’ calls to provide just-in-time coaching. Get ready to take notes as this master of selling practices lets you in on what works and what doesn’t in today’s Market Dominance Guys’ episode, “How to Dominate Your Market in a Crisis.”
About Our Guest
Jeb Blount is CEO at Sales Gravy, Inc., which is a global leader in sales acceleration and customer experience enablement solutions. He is the author of 15 sales-related books, including his most recent release, Selling in a Crisis: 55 Ways to Stay Motivated and Increase Sales in Volatile Times. Jeb is also the host of the Sales Gravy Podcast, the world’s most downloaded sales podcast.
Tuesday Oct 18, 2022
Tuesday Oct 18, 2022
Tuesday Oct 18, 2022
Most people look at a potential job from the standpoint of “What am I going to earn?” Austin Finch, Funnel Media Group’s podcast editor and today’s guest on Market Dominance Guys, talks with our host, Chris Beall, about an additional and very important way of looking at any new employment you’re considering. They suggest asking yourself the question, “What am I going to learn?” Austin cautions job hunters that even a high-paying job can be a dead-end job. When you’re looking at a new job — whether it’s in sales or another field — Austin suggests that “If you can gain experience, and move on to gain more, then there’s no reason to hold yourself back.” Listen to the whole podcast for more words of career wisdom from Chris and Austin in today’s insightful and helpful Market Dominance Guys’ episode, “What Am I Going to Learn?”
Wednesday Oct 12, 2022
Wednesday Oct 12, 2022
Wednesday Oct 12, 2022
Who’s behind the curtain making the Market Dominance Guys the great podcast that it is? It’s Austin Finch, an editor at Funnel Media Group, which produces Market Dominance Guys. In listening to this conversation between Austin and our host, Chris Beall, you would never know that Austin is the youngest guest ever interviewed for this podcast. Currently 17 years old, he has edited Market Dominance Guys for several years and has recently added Helen Fanucci’s “Love Your Team” podcast to his editing responsibilities. In talking with this intelligent, thoughtful, and insightful young man, Chris asks about the challenges of podcast editing, including the pruning and grafting necessary to increase a podcast audience’s understanding and to decrease the distractibility caused by any audio glitches or guests’ faux pas. Austin loves his job and sees his editing work as that of a translator for the hosts’ and guests’ messages, and his goal as “Helping to Get the Message Across,” which just happens to be the title of today’s Market Dominance Guys’ episode.
Wednesday Oct 05, 2022
Wednesday Oct 05, 2022
Wednesday Oct 05, 2022
Retaining your top talent and delivering results is a challenge for all sales leaders when your top talent can walk out the door without taking a single step.
The hybrid work revolution has made sales management the most pivotal role in the innovation economy—and simultaneously the most challenging. Our guest today is Helen Fanucci, Transformational Sales Leader at Microsoft, with 25 years managing hybrid teams and has an in-depth understanding of the problems facing sales managers today. Our Market Dominance Guys’ host, Chris Beall, conducts this second interview in his two-part conversation with Helen about her new book, Love Your Team: A Survival Guide for Sales Managers in a Hybrid World. In this podcast and in Helen’s book are details on not only what sales managers must be doing to thrive, but how to do them. It’s definitely a quintessential guide — with all the steps you need to know. But it’s even more than that as the title of today’s Market Dominance Guys episode states, it’s “A Blueprint for Success.”
About Our Guest
Helen Fanucci, Transformational Sales Leader at Microsoft is the author of Love Your Team: A Survival Guide for Sales Managers in a Hybrid World, available November 1, 2022.
Full episode transcript below:
Retaining your top talent and delivering results is a challenge for all sales leaders, when your top talent can walk out the door without taking a single step. The hybrid work revolution has made sales management the most pivotal role in today's innovation economy, and simultaneously the most challenging. Our guest today is Helen Fanucci, transformational sales leader at Microsoft, and has 25 years managing hybrid teams and an in-depth understanding of the problems facing sales managers today. Our Market Dominance Guys host, Chris Beall, conducts this second interview in his two-part conversation with Helen about her new book, Love Your Team: A Survival Guide for Sales Managers in a Hybrid World. In this podcast and in Helen's book are details on not only what sales managers must be doing to thrive, but how to do them. It's definitely a quintessential guide with all the steps you need to know, but it's even more than that. As the title of today's Market Dominance Guys episode states, it's a blueprint for success.
Chris Beall (01:25):
You have a team this big, you're going to have this much time spent on these one-on-ones, this much on these. These are the ones that have a fixed agenda. These are the ones that are event-driven, but they're probably going to flow at about this rate. Here's the blah, blah, blah. It's on and on. I mean, it's like an engineering breakdown. And folks, by the way, when you read this book, what you're going to get is love as both an emotional concept but also as an engineering concept. Love your team is something you do, not something you just feel. It's mostly something you do through these one-on-one conversations. There must have been a time in your career where you were going through the evolution of all this and you have all the pressures of regular sales managers, report this, blah, blah, blah, all this stuff, right?
Helen Fanucci (02:13):
Chris Beall (02:14):
Did you have to go through a transition or were you just like, "No, I'm always going to do it like this. Screw all you people"? Because I think for most people in the audience who want to do this, what they're going to do is they're going to read the book, then they're going to try to apply, say, some of the conversations of connection. I believe they'll probably start there because they're early and they'll notice that they didn't do one to introduce themselves to the team. And you have a great story about somebody quitting because she went to a group and never got engaged with by the audience. But you do have to go through a process of, "Gosh, I got to figure out this time management thing because that's the real constraint." Or is it just like, "I'm Helen Fanucci. I made my way through MIT. I must be able to manage my time"?
Helen Fanucci (02:58):
I had to think about time constraint, for sure. So, I used to do hour-long one-on-ones with my team. This was years ago. And somehow I thought that that's what was needed and maybe at the time that's what was needed. But I do a half-hour, actually 25 minutes now, and this is a new thing since COVID in the last 18 months is going from a half-hour conversation to 25 minutes. Because everybody's back to back and everybody needs at least a five minute break between a 30 minute or 25 minute conversation. So, I do that. Now, the other thing is I'm available on IM. So, one of the things that I talk about actually in the book in the first getting to know your team is how to communicate with me. People IM me or they'll text me, and so I'm also available for drive-by connection points in between our biweekly one-on-one.
So, I do biweekly one-on-ones with direct reports. And so my last team was 12 direct reports. I now have two managers that work for me and then about 30 people in my organization currently. And so I will do quarterly connections or things like that and sometimes more frequently with some of my skip level reports, people who report to the managers that report to me. And then of course, and separate from the one-on-ones, are the formal pipeline reviews. It depends on what is going on. So, it will happen twice a month if there's a hot deal happening and there's a lot of different moving parts or actions needed. It will for sure happen at least once a month. So, there are different requirements for forecasting in different organizations. So, I definitely pay attention to that and do the forecast reviews with my team so that I can be prepared when I need to report out and up to my management.
And one of the things I really emphasize, speaking of forecasting, is delivering three to 5% of the forecast. I don't value diving catches and last-minute deals in a way that maybe traditional sales managers might. Like, "Rah-rah, that is fantastic." Well, what that meant is it's a missed opportunity for us to get additional investments in our business if we didn't forecast that revenue. Because our investments in our business are directly tied to the anticipated and forecasted revenue. So, if we're under-forecasting all the time, we are missing out on a whole bunch of opportunity to actually increase our value to our customers and get more headcount and investments for our team.
Chris Beall (05:58):
I remember reading that in the book and going, "Oh yeah, that's right." As the guy who's on the other side making those investments, if the forecast is sandbagged, it's off, it's short, it's light just to look good, then it's like, "Well, how much are we going to put as a company into achieving that number?" If you take the thought experiment, you tell me you're going to make nothing, what am I going to invest in you? Well, nothing. I got to find somebody else to do the job. I want to switch up a little bit to you experiencing... You didn't just write a book, you actually do it. I've watched you do it now for, I guess, three years. And I've always been kind of surprised.
It's like sales management to me, when I've seen a lot of it, is, "Yeah, I put somebody in a territory, try to get a good rep, put them in a territory, hope they work out, tell them war stories about how great you were back in the day. Fire them if it doesn't work out and they go to club if it does." It's kind of like that's sales management. You have this very systematic step-by-step process or repeatable cycles within the process with these 17 conversations. My guess is that of the 17 conversations, one kind of conversation is the favorite, the one you look forward to it. If it's the first on the calendar in the morning, you get up a little bit earlier and are hyped up for it and ready to go, and you don't want any distractions and away you go.
And then there's always one kind of thing that you know you got to do, but it's not your fave. It's just it's there and you got to make sure you do it and do it well. But it's not the one that you... And I know you. You're going to do both of them. But what is your favorite? The one that really gets you jazzed. You've looked back on it, maybe you want to talk about it over dinner and wine in the evening. And then what's the, you got to do it, it's really important, but I don't love it that much?
Helen Fanucci (07:54):
Okay. So, I'll start with the second first. I don't love performance improvement, performance management conversations. What's so critical to any role, but particularly when your employees are remote, is you set clear performance-based expectations, outcome-based expectations, not activity expectations. And so what that means is obviously there's quota achievement required, but also for my team it is building stronger, deeper relationships with customers. So, I do a whole list of, if you will, hard expectations, hard numbers that are quantifiable, 3x pipelines, things like that, and then soft, like building a stronger relationship with your customer and increasing the executive engagement with a customer and things like that. So, when my team members, if they're falling short of performance expectations, I address that head on, I talk to them, and then they're on a performance improvement plan of some sort. I don't love that at all. So, that's my least favorite.
So, now that we have that out of the way, let me go to my most favorite, and that is account strategy and ideation and sales strategy. And I love talking with my team about that, brainstorming the next action. So, they'll bring to me a situation, it could be a customer situation, maybe a customer executive left and they're trying to figure out how to get in to see somebody else or the replacement, and so we talk about, "Okay, who knows who and how do we navigate and do we need to bring in one of our executives as bait in the bucket to get this executive to come and meet with us?" So, I love account strategy ideation. That's my favorite part. And a lot of it is asking questions to really understand what's going on and what is needed so that I can be helpful.
Because sometimes what's presented to me, it sounds like we need to have a discount or an investment, but as you get into it it could be that there could be a miscommunication with the customer. It could be that there are things that we need to do to make sure we really understand their business sufficiently that we can present the best solution for them. And maybe it gets redirected to a different offering or a different tactic, if you will, to keep the business moving forward, deal at hand moving forward. So, I love the strategy part of it the most.
Chris Beall (11:01):
Sounds like fun for me too. I really think that that part of business is always fun. When you're ideating, you're brainstorming, you're trying to figure it out. And also it's got to be fun when those action plans are put together and they're progressing to have those one-on-ones that determine, "So, how's it going? And are we achieving what we... We took a guess. We did a thing. Now what?" That's got to be fun too.
Helen Fanucci (12:06):
Yeah, it is, for sure. Yep. You bet.
Chris Beall (12:12):
Yeah. So, Love Your Team is directed at an audience of sales managers. It says so right in the subtitle. A Survival Guide for Sales Managers. Now, I suspect that your way of looking at the world and the techniques and that structure of having these important conversations probably is applicable to all management. But you're not going to go crazy and just say that's it. So, let's think of your audience as sales managers for a moment. As you think about that audience and you think back on writing the book, were there any of those conversations you thought, "This ain't the 100 level course, this ain't the 200 level course. This is where your skills are really going to be challenged"? There's a lot on the line. You have a whole section on skills, on conversational skills, which I've never seen before in a book like this, that says, "These are the skills you need to hold these conversations."
So, there's the skills. We're all lacking in different skills and we all have strong in different skills. And then there's the conversations. And we've never talked about this before. I'm just curious. Did you ever get to the point of thinking, "Oh man, this is like 400-level course stuff that somebody is going to try it, but it's going to be hard for them to do it because the skills required are going to be in short supply"? Or did that not ever come up? Maybe it's like, "Yeah, yeah, everybody can do this."
Helen Fanucci (13:35):
Well, it never came up because what I intended to do with this book is reflect on what I think is needed for sales managers to be successful. And I will say, this is B2B enterprise sales. And so that's my world, and so it won't be applicable to everybody. And I'm not trying to convert people who don't want to be converted, but if folks think that they have a challenge retaining talent or they want some new ideas, I'm hopeful that the book is helpful for them. To be honest with you, I probably am not the best observer of myself. So, while these conversations may seem obvious to me and straightforward and I broke them down and intended to make them accessible and straightforward, I really don't know what the audience of sales managers reading the book, I really don't know where the struggle might be. And I'd be super curious to know that and how I could be more helpful. But I'm kind of blind there, to be honest with you. I don't know.
Chris Beall (14:49):
Yeah. It was probably smart to be blind there because it would be easy to overcook some of these sections if you think that they're too difficult or whatever. I found in my reading of the book, and for the audience, just so you know, in its various forms I've probably now read it nine times, maybe 10 times, not always deeply, but this is a confession. Normally I don't read any book twice. I'm a very fast reader. I love to read. I don't read twice. I get something out of Love Your Team every time I read it. And that's on top of a very, very long career. So, I think that there's a lot of depth and subtlety in your description of these conversations.
As I think them through, I think this way of looking at the world and then putting it into action of having these conversations as a means of getting action, a means of getting results, some of which are, I'll call it action results like deals, revenue, et cetera, but some of which are really, we'll call them valuation results, that as companies are worth more now when they have great talent on board. You lose talent and you lose value. You lose your future as a company. You lose the option value of being able to do things with great people that you can't really do with either not great people or while you're trying to find people.
So, I've read it a bunch of times, but I kept coming back to, "Gosh, I wonder whether people are going to be able to do this or not." And I've come to the conclusion they will be able to do it. I think you've broken it down to the point... Give an example out of, say, the first of the conversations of connection. What is an example of a level of detail that you've provided that somebody might think, "Why is she telling me to do this? Of course, I'm going to do that," but in fact you probably suspect without the detail they aren't going to do that or we aren't going to do that?
Helen Fanucci (16:46):
Introducing yourself to your team. I have three PowerPoint slides that I show. I talk about, the first slide is about me, what's my career background, my family situation. And in fact, I did this introduction to new team members this summer, and I put our wedding picture on it because that was current and timely and that was on that slide. And then a little bit about me. And also, what are my favorite things? Like what's my favorite thing to eat or drink? And so my favorite thing to eat is anything somebody else cooks. So, I'm lucky that Chris likes to cook, and every meal that he cooks is my favorite meal. And then what I like to drink and things like that. So, just fun facts or things I like to do, hobbies or skiing or things like that. So, that's the first slide.
The second slide is my leadership approach and philosophy. I list out the things that are on that slide, like culture first and people first, results-oriented, clarity of results and expectations, no surprises, if there's bad news, communicate it early, things like that. And then the last slide is what's next? So, I make it clear that I'm going to set up one-on-ones with each of them and they don't need to come prepared. It's really just to get to know them. And I also talk about how to communicate with me. So, as I mentioned, IM and texting works great. And so that's what I put on the three slides. So, it's really short and sweet. And for my last team of 12 people, I had each of them introduce theirselves briefly and tell me a fun fact of themselves, like where they like to travel or something like that.
My current team of 30, I did not have everyone introduce themselves but I followed up in over a two or three week period. I met with each of them, all 30 of them, even those that report to my managers. I met each of them for 30 minutes, had a one-on-one with each of them. So, that's the level of specificity and detail in why I do it. And it may or may not work for the reader to be that specific, or maybe they haven't reflected on what their leadership approach or style is and what they care about. So, it's an opportunity for them to reflect on that. So, getting back to your last question as you were then talking, I thought about what might be tough for the reader. And I think what might be tough is the orientation to think about their team first, if that's not how they've been doing their role to date.
So, for example, I think about servant leadership. How can I amplify my team's success? And so when my team members are presenting to the deal review board to try to get a discount or investment or resources for their customer, I ask them, "Would it be useful if I take notes in the background so you can stay present in the conversation and your presentation?" And they all take me up on it. So, I will be off camera. I will take notes and including actions, and then I send it to them after the meeting and the call. And I think it might be tempting for sales leaders to be the ones that are doing the presentation in front of the top ranking executive in the company and the finance team and having that visibility.
Many sales leaders want that for themselves. I want to amplify my team and I want to help my team learn and grow. So, I'm in the background. And that might seem weird to some of the folks who are listening to this podcast or reading the book. And so it might not be everyone's cup of tea, but I'm authentically telling them how I do it for their consideration.
Chris Beall (21:17):
I love that thing where you take notes, and it's not so you can keep tabs on them or whatever. It's so the person who's reporting to you or reporting to the person reporting to you can focus on what they're doing and their internal presentation, say as the example you gave, and do a great job and be exposed. I really like the fact that... This one, I think everybody should think about. If you really love your team, you're going to help them get positive exposure for what they're doing, not just in the number, but in every day or as life is going on to the senior executives. And it might result in somebody wanting to pluck them out of your team and put them somewhere else. And that's okay. If that's what they want to do, if that's good for them, that's your job to help them and support them in that. I think that is the hardest reorientation for folks probably is, even if it means that that exposure or that help, that support, whatever you're giving them is going to let them go get another job, so to speak, that's still your job.
Helen Fanucci (22:23):
Yeah, for sure. I do have explicit career conversations with team members and my recommendations. That happens at least twice a year. Sometimes if there's a lot going on we'll talk more frequently. But my team that I just referenced, a team of 12 sellers, three of them now have management roles within Microsoft. So, the three of them I was involved in coaching. They shadowed me in some cases. And so I absolutely think it's a win and it's a success. If your team's not learning and growing, they're going to leave. And actually the data supports that as well. It's fundamental to what folks care about is that they learn and grow. And so I support that. And yes, it means I have to backfill them and hopefully they stay at my current company, which is Microsoft. And if for whatever reason they decide that Microsoft isn't serving their career anymore, well okay, that's okay too. But it's really success on their terms, not my terms that I aim to support.
Chris Beall (23:43):
I think that's such a big, big message and a big change between the Love Your Team approach and the standard approach. If we were just to boil it down to the one thing, it's their north star becomes your north star. And it's individual. It's one-on-one. And I think that's a radical big idea that to some people might sound soft or it might sound dangerous, like, "Oh my God." But your view is it's actually the safe route in a sense, right? It may sound different, but you're reliant on them anyway. You're already in the boat with them.
Helen Fanucci (24:17):
Here's the thing is, I need to model the behavior I want to see in them. So, I expect my team to work well across the organization with their peers and building trust and building relationships is foundational for me with my team, but it's also foundational for them with their customers. And so understanding what constitutes success for customers on their terms is critical for us to be able to deliver value and make sure that whatever we're selling actually meets their needs so they get to say so. So, it kind of goes downhill, so to speak, or it's a virtuous cycle where we all win if the customers are successful in getting what they want in return. And so it's, I'm modeling the behavior I expect to see in my sellers as well.
Chris Beall (25:16):
Well, on that note, I guess we've finally come full circle all the way around to what the other 140-something episodes are about, which is having trust-based conversations with customers, which in the Love Your Team system actually happens more easily and more naturally because what's happening on the inside is then happening on the outside. Helen, you and I have run out of time for this podcast. Thank God we haven't run out of time for each other. And on that, I'm going to say, Corey, we miss you. We love you. But Helen and I had a really good time making this one today.
I am so pleased that you could be on today, Helen. Your book again, Love Your Team: A Survival Guide for Sales Managers in a Hybrid World. It's out November 1st. This podcast will drop a little sooner than that. Everybody who's watching this, listening to it, doing whatever you're doing with it, mark it in your calendar November 1st, and if you're really smart, reach out to Helen and see God knows what, LinkedIn or whatever. She might actually do something special for you in the book department. I really don't know, but it's going to be an incredible experience for you. Thank you so much, Helen.
Helen Fanucci (26:28):
Thank you, Chris.
Wednesday Sep 28, 2022
Wednesday Sep 28, 2022
Wednesday Sep 28, 2022
In this scary new world of employment, where top sales talent has the power to stay with your team or leave you in the lurch, how do you hold onto that top talent? Helen Fanucci, Transformational Sales Leader at Microsoft and our guest on Market Dominance Guys, knows the answer to this question — and that answer has 17 parts. Helen has taken her 25 years of experience managing remote teams and turned that knowledge into a ground-breaking book titled, Love Your Team: A Survival Guide for Sales Managers in a Hybrid World (available on Amazon Nov. 1, 2022). In it, Helen details the 17 conversations that sales leaders must master with their team to successfully attract and retain top talent. Our podcast host, Chris Beall, questions Helen about her tried-and-true theories on why putting your sales team members first will get you the results you’re expecting. Get ready to take notes about this brave new approach to managing sales teams in today’s Market Dominance Guys’ episode, “17 Conversations That Matter.”
Tuesday Sep 20, 2022
Tuesday Sep 20, 2022
Tuesday Sep 20, 2022
What’s your Big Idea? And does your Big Idea solve your prospect’s Big Problem? Exploring this important aspect of a discovery call today are Chris Beall and Corey Frank. As Chris explains it, at the beginning of a discovery call, you don’t really know what problem your prospect is facing. And because prospects are generally reluctant to confess their companies’ issues and concerns to strangers, it’s often tough for you to determine whether this is a call that will lead to the next step in the sales process — or will lead nowhere. You can nudge a prospect toward the confessional with a few probing questions, but you can’t necessarily get them to sit down in the booth and open up. So, how do you find out if your product or service is a good match for their needs or wants? Listen in as Corey and Chris teach you how to subtly and expertly steer your prospect away from their initial apprehension of talking to a stranger all the way to the moment when they finally feel safe enough to divulge the information you’re seeking. Then, and only then, will you know if your product will truly solve their problem. As always, our two sales experts offer lots of helpful advice on today’s Market Dominance Guys’ episode, “Is Your Product the Answer?”
Full episode transcript below:
What's your big idea and does your big idea solve your prospect's big problem? Exploring this important aspect of a Discovery call today are Chris Beal and Corey Frank. As Chris explains it at the beginning of a Discovery call, you don't really know what problem your prospect is facing. And because prospects are generally reluctant to confess their company's issues and concerns to strangers, it's often tough for you to determine whether this is a call that will lead to the next step in the sales process, or will it lead nowhere. You can nudge your prospect toward the confessional with a few probing questions, but you can't necessarily get them to sit down in the booth and open up. So, how do you find out if your product or service is a good match for their needs or wants? Listen in as Corey and Chris teach you how to subtly and expertly steer your prospect away from their initial apprehension of talking to a stranger all the way to the moment when they finally feel safe enough to divulge the information you are seeking.
Then, and only then, will you know if your product will truly solve their problem. As always, our two sales experts offer lots of helpful advice on today's Market Dominance Guys episode, is your product the answer?
How do we unplug? I think we started this conversation, is it possible to rewire the brain from the way that we do Discovery and our good friend, Oren Klaff, talks about the way that we learn things chronologically from our bad bosses, from bad behaviors, from trying to wing it, is the way that we run them or that we talk about. And so I think you and I earlier were talking about the alphabet, ABCDEFG. If I asked you to go to K and then tell me the alphabet backwards, well, maybe you could, but most people couldn't do it because you didn't learn the information that way. And so usually folks, again, are learning about Discovery from who's sitting next to them, maybe their own persona, maybe how they were pitched themself on a product. And so they need to gravitate to the right way of understanding the emotional state, from what I hear you're saying, to help us rewire.
And we rewire this natural, what we think is a natural order of doing things, otherwise, we're going to constantly keep fighting this inclination to do it the wrong way all the time. And in the process, I think that what I hear you saying, Chris, is that what we're trying to reconstruct is how the buyer really cares about things, how the buyer really sees things. They don't care about how we learn about it. They don't care how we think about it. They don't care what our quota is. They don't care how we do our business. They don't care how we get our business. They only care about the information that they need to know in the order that they need to know it.
And they need to be motivated to learn, which is hard, right? Folks are motivated to learn about stuff that might solve a problem that they have right now. And this actually is similar to the cold calling, how do you get trust? Well, you show the other person that you see the world through their eyes, tactical empathy, and then you demonstrate to them that you're competent to solve a problem they have right now. The problem in discovery is we don't know what their problem is that they have right now. So how are we going to allow them or get them to be comfortable exposing it? Nobody likes to talk about the big problem that they have right now. That's vulnerability just like, here doctor, before we get started, I'd like to cut my chest open and show you this. It's like, no, I'm not there. So this rewiring is really hard and it's hard for emotional reasons on both sides. You have urgency on the part of the sales rep, you have apprehension on the part of the potential buyer or the prospect.
How do you get from there to a place where you're actually discussing the nature of their problem? The beauty is once you get there, you are an expert as the seller and the other party will get more and more comfortable telling you the details, the constraints, the importance of their problem as they realize that you are asking questions that are the questions they've been asking themselves about it. And as soon as that happens, then you're in this magic land. You're in the confessional. And you're both just mutually exploring the possibility that this is worth exploring further, because by the way, the POC ain't going to come out of that Discovery call, come on. There has to be some subsequent thinking and consideration that goes on. Even at ConnectAndSell, all we're seeking is a next step of let's just do something together. This test drive thing, let's have an experience together, but we're not having it in hopes of buying connect.
And so we're just having it because, frankly, our product's incomprehensible without having the experience, you may as well have the experience. We got there eight years ago and decided that that was an okay thing to be shooting for. It's a further discussion with action. It's like, oh, so you think that my approach to the golf swing might hold some promise. Well, would you like to go out and spend an hour and see what it's like? I'll take your left hand off the club, if you're right handed, and you're going to swing with so much weakness that you'll start producing good golf shots to your own surprise. It's that kind of thing. Is it worth that? You're not going to, mind you, I'm not a golf teacher. That's like being a lawyer without a license or something, but I have a theory. Well, if you like my theory, maybe you'd come out and experience it.
So it's such an interesting process because in the cold call we never really have a breakthrough. We have an agreement. We have a breakthrough we're bringing, but we have an agreement, a commitment that comes out in the end, but there's no breakthrough. In a Discovery call, we must have a breakthrough. And the breakthrough is into the confessional. And once we're in the confessional, as long as we are not trying to manipulate the situation, and this is the hardest part of sales. You really believe that you have a solution in certain circumstances that would really help somebody and would be worth their while to go down the road and spend somebody else's money. Remember, it's always somebody else's money. It's B2B. So they're spending their company's money or whatever it happens to be. So we really believe in this, but if we push for it and therefore our product is always the answer, we can't possibly be honestly exploring whether our product's the answer. It just doesn't make any sense. You have to be open to not being the answer in order to honestly explore whether you are the answer.
Yeah, sure. I like that. I think that after that emotional state is accepted, validated and transitioned from that apprehension to pride. And, again, back to our friend, Orin, here on the concept of the big idea, or even with our friend, Brad at Sandler, the big idea from the Sandler Sales Training is they both say. Orin talks about this big idea is we have to then get the prospect to see that there's a raising of the stakes, there's consequences and outcomes. There's a fear of missing out. There's an opportunity, something is being taken away.
But that first step of raising the stakes to get them to open up a little bit in the confessional, because if there's no raising of the stakes, there's nothing to talk about. And if they see the stakes are perhaps being raised, then they may feel a little bit more open to say, okay, well, it sounds like you're an expert and maybe we can talk about this problem that I have to create this little intrigue. What do you think about that kind of concept of the next step after moving them to a point of pride and less off of the apprehension?
I think it's huge. Oren talks about winter is coming as a way of framing something in the world as it is right now, this bad thing could be happening and cybersecurity where you guys do a lot of work, it's not very hard to imagine winter is coming. Winter is everywhere, but-
It's nerdy and it's always here. Winter is always here.
Exactly. So we've got to get to the point. In fact, you can look at it this way, you need to get to the point where you're comfortable enough with each other, that you can raise the stakes. Because if you raise the stakes too early, what you're going to get is just run away. They're just going to run away. It's like, so are you an expert? Are you on my side? Are you an expert and are you on my side? Well, it's easy to be an expert, and Orin teaches some great stuff about that. There were some things that happened on our honeymoon, by the way, doing our whiskey tastings in Ila where the flash roll that the [inaudible 00:09:35] talks about was so expertly done by this one young man, he was 19 years old and yet he's walking us to-
And he just nailed it?
And it was the pace, the comfort, the this is so routine for me and I'm thinking, wow, this is wild that they do this crazy stuff to make this crazy stuff. But if you drink it at 11 o'clock in the morning, you better be ready to, so the flash roll, great, establish you as an expert. It's a great thing to learn how to do. I think everybody should have a flash roll. And at ConnectAndSell we teach our reps that a very specific flash roll, they bring up our team today right now live, so you're seeing them live so there's some risk. There's no heightened tension because you're watching on the screen. You're seeing calls and the meetings being set and nobody knows what's going to happen. So a little uncertainty goes a long way right then. And then there's a description of how one of the reps on our team is doing today. Well, here's Steve and so far today he's used ConnectAndSell for two hours, 51 minutes and 17 seconds. And during that time, he's had 631 dials done for him.
And he's had 37 conversations. And he set four meetings and his goal today is 2.7 meetings. So he's probably feeling pretty good right about now. And it's like bah bah bah, only an expert would talk like that. It's not about teaching, it's about establishing yourself as an expert. And that's one of the main things I've taken away from Warren's work and put into my own repertoire is, remember you owe the other person a flash roll because they need to accept you as an expert. And the flash roll is not an attempt to teach them something, it's just to describe something in your world that you would not describe so casually, unless you were an expert.
Speaker 1 (11:34):
We'll be back in a moment, after a quick break. ConnectAndSell, welcome to the end of dialing as you know it. ConnectAndSell's patented technology loads your best sales folks up with eight to 10 times more live, qualified conversations every day. And when we say qualified, we're talking about really qualified like knowing what kind of cheese they like on their impossible Whopper kind of qualified. Learn more at connectandsell.com. And we're back with Corey and Chris.
It's almost like a quick mathematical proof of your expertise in a way. This couldn't have happened. I can't have juggled four balls casually while talking to and taking my hand out and I don't know, petting a cat or something like that, unless I knew something about juggling. So that part is, I think you establish yourself as an expert and experts know things about the world. You go to the dermatologist when they're looking at your body top to bottom, as they will do with us, the older we get and the more we grow up in Arizona, and they're going barnacle, barnacle, barnacle hmm. That hmm you accept. Then the dermatologist says, Hmm, that's like, whoa, my ear's perfect, what do you mean hmm doctor? And I think we might need to biopsy this or two whatever, and we accept it because it's an expert who's on our side.
We certainly are wired to accept experts perspective. And tonality has a lot to do with that. Listening has a lot to do with that. Certainly empathy, as you've talked a lot about, has a lot to do with that. The big idea is attractive enough and it's compelling enough, it's intriguing enough. If it's building enough tension, it elicits the emotion and the prospect that, oh, I'm in the hands of an expert. I should probably sit back and listen to them, examine all the different moles that I have on my body.
Is that a barnacle or is it something more interesting?
And we could finish it. We could talk all day about Discovery. I love picking your brain on this is that runner think it was, is two modes of narrative. You have narrative, straight narrative and then you have paradigmatic. Orin calls them hot cognition and cold cognition. And the paradigmatic mode is the mode of science and it's concerned with logically categorizing the world analysis, cold stuff. The narrative is about building meaning and describing human experiences through those stories. And these stories are human-like or intention with action, like the flash roll at the 19 year old in Edinborough, or the story with the ferry that you told me in Iceland before this, they capture people's explanations about what they want to do and how they'll go about achieving it, painting the picture of the future.
And so I think we have to be on guard of if we put people too much, because we're so happy about our product, in the paradigmatic mode, in logical, mathematical, analytical modes, they eventually grind on us. Bruner's argument was that if we stay too long in paradigmatic cold cognition world, they're going to constantly be testing the things we're saying for truth and falsehood and mathematical correctness. And they won't become interested in us as real characters and believe that we're honest and truthful and aspiring, and we're on the other side of this big swirling blue orb and they'll constantly be questioning and trying to trip us up. So what are your thoughts about that? Because we both sell very technical products and we work with clients that sell very technical products. And sometimes in the Discovery process, we can go a little bit too one way on the cold speeds feeds paradigmatic mode and that pushes us away from their trust in a lot of ways.
I think that's a big deal. It's very tempting to go for the paradigmatic stuff because it's ballistic. I say this, I say this, I say this, I say this. I say this. It is like reciting the alphabet. And I might think that I'm still flash rolling but at that point, I'm not. I'm not establishing myself as an expert. I'm establishing myself as a boring pedant who has got to be ignored sometime soon. And I'm also establishing myself as somebody who is tiresome to listen to. It's very difficult for most of us to do analytic work, analytic work is physically exhausting and some people can do more of it than others. And so take an example, I don't know if a puzzle, like a Sudoku puzzle, when you first approach it, it seems easy. And then you get this stuck feeling, and what that is is you've actually run out of analytic juice and if you put it away and come back, after two hours or whatever, you'll immediately be able to make the next-
You've run out of analytical juice. That's one for the ages, Chris, I love that.
And I'm an analyst by nature. I have people who have worked with me in these other ways know that I am annoyingly analytical. I spent two hours this morning buried in some spreadsheet in which I was trying to predict how much ARR would come out of a new product, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And I'm pretty comfortable with that but I recognize there's a point where I'm no longer too tired of that kind of thinking. When it's coming out of me, I have a lot more juice. When it's coming into me, somebody's asking me to go along with their analysis, then I have this other problem. And the other problem is I have to keep up with the analysis and defend myself against conclusions that might not be in my interest and that's exhausting. So the questioning that goes on in that the description that goes on paradigmatic description that goes on in a lot of Discovery calls is physically exhausting for the listener often. And if that happens, they don't tell you that they've turned off, but they're no longer hearing you.
It's that cartoon where the dog is just hearing their name, blah, blah, blah, blah, Ginger, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Very famous cartoon. We're like that. And it doesn't matter how good we are at analysis, we're like that. We have more juice when we're analyzing something where there's nothing at stake other than say getting to an outcome. I used to teach something, the audience probably isn't aware of this, but I developed the Unix and the C curriculum for bell laboratories back in the early 1980s. And I taught it to establish that the curriculum was usable. I taught it to admins, to secretaries. I taught them how to program in the C programming language for those of you who, but it is still being used today, actually oddly enough, and how to use the Unix operating system, because that's what they had. That was the desktop at the time for very advanced companies.
And what I learned very quickly was in the best case in a one hour session, they could learn three things. And those three things had to be taught in three 15 minute pieces with a break in between them to recover, doing something else that had nothing to do with the physical exhaustion of trying to learn how a pointer works or whatever it happens to be. We had huge success, but I had no success when I went to four. So I couldn't teach four things in an hour, but I could easily teach three in an hour, but that doesn't mean three close to each other. And the key was always to get the affect of the class, the emotions of the class together at the same moment. So the hard bit, there's always a sticking point in understanding anything, there's an aha hiding in there somewhere, could be something that most of the class had experience and then it would give them something to talk about and we'd do a little exercise later.
So that's the analytical juice running out as well as the example you gave of the Sudoku puzzle as well. Very interesting.
We don't sell a great deal of analytical juice, trust me. It's really funny. Our brains were evolved to move our bodies and they were not evolved to think about stuff.
So that's why an ideal Discovery is probably in that 20 to 25 minutes max range or so before you've got to do use both a favor and pull up stakes and continue the conversation another time.
Exactly. And that's why I like starting them slow. No urgency. If this turns out to be important, it will turn out to have been worthwhile, to have started in a way that took a little bit more time. If it turns out to be unimportant, then nothing was at stake. So why are we worried? You could have had no meeting at all.
Well, Chris, this is great here. See all that pent up wisdom from all that scotch that you consumed in the Shortlands, and Ed and Earl, et cetera, does have a purpose. We transferred all that to energy that will help all of us on the Discovery call. I'd like to do this again. As we had talked earlier, we need to bring in a guest expert for Discovery so we can run us a couple of things and folks who are doing it in the wild and we can chat about them. But until next time, Chris, any final thoughts on Discovery here?
Well, it's one of those rare things where the name of that holds the key. We go out seeking to discover, we're curious and open minded. And if we can maintain that mindset and then learn how to help somebody else along so that they can afford to be curious. We come in curious, we have to help somebody else afford to be curious. Make it safe for them to be curious then we can discover amazing things. And that's, in my experience, where the big deals come from. I've got in my deep past, a little bit of big deal history, the hundred million deal. And those deals when I go back and deconstruct them and reconstruct them, they had these characteristics. So the slow at the beginning, the patience. I was telling somebody a story about a particular company where I went and sat in their lunchroom for two hours each day for two months and just listened and talked to people. And that led to a deal that had a lot of zeros and commas and stuff like that.
And yet when it finally happened and I went back and thought, did I waste my time sitting there talking to people? The answer was, no. It took that slowness in order to get to that certainty where we could actually explore together.
Yeah. Oh, for sure. Yeah. We have to hear about the hundred million sale, a dollar sale one of these days too. So it's great to have you back, Chris, the post honeymoon edition of the Market Dominance Guys for Chris Beal, this is Corey Frank.
We are in the midst of an exciting yet seismic change across the profession of modern sales. Improved (and much smarter) marketing tools, more compelling sales methodologies, better-designed datasets, and even the introduction of Artificial Intelligence have all lent a hand to upgraded efficiency and higher close rates. The unshakable mission of a company, however, remains constant - if not all the more elusive: "Those that dominate their market are those that are going to win." Join Chris Beall and Corey Frank for a journey into the vast forces, best practices, and simple path that can propel your organization to reach true market dominance.
Chris Beall - Your Co-host
Chris has been participating in software start-ups as a founder or at a very early stage for most of the past 35 years. His focus has consistently been on creating and taking to market simple products that can be used successfully the first time they are touched, without taking a course or reading a manual. His belief is that the most powerful part of any software system is the human being that we inappropriately call a “user”, and that the value key in software is to let the computer do what it does well (go fast without getting bored) in order to free up human potential.
Corey Frank - Your Co-host
Corey Frank is – at heart – an idea guy, as well as a sales guy, who can take a good punch…repeatedly. He loves launching relevant technology, shepherding culture-rich and sales-driven organizations and cultivating teams to spark serious revenue.
From founding and helping early-stage technology companies from the kitchen table phase to helping bring them all the way to IPO or strategic acquisitions totaling over $625MM, he’s also helped pitch and raise over $200MM in venture and Reg A capital. He is a Partner and Pitch Coach with multiple #1 best-selling sales author Oren Klaff (Orenklaff.com) at PitchAnything.com.