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Sales Reinvented

We at Sales Reinvented are on a mission to change the negative perception of sales people. Each week we will be interviewing experts in the field of sales and sharing their knowledge, ideas and expertise with our listeners. They share with us in our vision of a world where selling is a profession to be proud of. The aim of our formatted show is to provide ‘snackable’ episodes that are short enough to listen to in one sitting but long enough to provide real value that will help you in your sales career. Welcome to the Sales Reinvented Podcast.
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Now displaying: 2020

At Sales Reinvented, we are on a mission to change the negative perception of selling. Welcome to the Sales Reinvented Podcast.

Jul 8, 2020

The negotiation process isn’t always easy for a salesperson to navigate. But mastering the process is paramount to your success. The bottom line: if you can’t negotiate well you won’t fare well in anything you do in life. In this episode of Sales Reinvented, Chad Burmeister joins me to talk about some of the parts of the negotiation process that salespeople shy away from—and how to change it. 

Chad Burmeister is the Founder and CEO of ScaleX.ai, which promises to deliver an “unfair competitive advantage” by helping your salespeople increase lead frequency and sales competency. He is the author of multiple books, including AI for Sales and Sales Hack. Don’t miss his stellar insight on the negotiation process. 

Outline of This Episode

  • [1:29] Our lives are built on negotiation 
  • [1:59] Salespeople aren't comfortable discussing money
  • [4:45] How to master the negotiation process
  • [6:29] Salespeople need to understand the customers’ problem
  • [7:58] Chad’s favorite negotiation closing technique
  • [8:55] Chad’s FUN acronym
  • [11:15] How one negotiation changed Chad’s life

The importance of negotiation

Chris Voss was the first to make the phrase “everything is a negotiation” popular—and for good reason. Chad points out that nearly everything we do involves negotiation. When you make a purchase, engage in a conversation, or play with your kids, some sort of negotiation is involved. Chad points out that it’s well worth any monetary investment to go from a ‘C’ level negotiator to an ‘A+’. Perhaps that change in status means more bookings, more revenue—maybe even fame and fortune. Whatever it is you’re trying to achieve in life can be benefitted from mastering negotiation. 

Understand that the negotiation process means you’ll talk about Money

The Objective Management Group has studied close to two million salespeople and found that only 54% are comfortable discussing money. A salesperson NEEDS to be able to comfortably discuss money in the negotiation process—yet most can’t stomach it. Chad sees that as one of the biggest roadblocks to a successful negotiation. 

Chad notes that the discomfort associated with discussing money is often associated with the way you were raised. Did your family have money? Were they savers or spenders? Did they avoid discussing money at all? If you can understand your money mindset and buying pattern, you can learn how to master this part of the negotiation process. 

Instead of letting a prospect walk away to “look at other vendors” you have to be comfortable pointing out what you discussed. “I thought we’ve discussed your priorities and requirements? You’ll save a million and increase sales by 5.4 million. Why do you need to look at the other vendors?” Chad shares another story about haggling in Mexico that drives the point home—so keep listening. 

Roleplay the negotiation process

When Chad completed his MBA, he took a class on power, politics, and negotiation. They spent a lot of time role-playing negotiations. Roleplaying in class with other students was the catalyst he needed to learn the negotiation process inside and out. 

Aside from consistent practice, Chad recommends taking a class or reading a book—you can even play poker. Learning the art of poker is a great way to learn how to see people’s tells, when they’re exaggerating, etc. 

Chad also believes you need to master closing techniques. Instead of “let’s schedule our next step meeting” at the end of a meeting, ask “If I could... would you…?” You’re essentially giving them an option to voice any objections they have to closing the deal in that meeting. 

To hear more of Chad’s advice—including his thoughts on gap selling—keep listening!

How Chad’s negotiation process changed his life

Chad’s second job out of college was with Airborne Express. He had set up a meeting with Uhaul about some packages they had been shipping with USPS They were shipping packages of license plates for $4.50. The Uhaul would meet the USPS truck in whichever state the plates were to be delivered. They send 12,000 of these a month. 10% of the time, the USPS truck didn’t make it in time and the license plates got shipped back. So Chad took the time to dig and find out the impact of the 10% of trucks that were missed.

Other than being fined, every once and a while a cop would sometimes pull over Uhaul trucks with expired plates and make them empty the contents from one truck into another. So with the fines, he calculated Uhaul was spending $5.87 to ship the new license plates. Airborne typically charged $6 to ship, but he offered to do it at $5 and demonstrated the total cost of ownership that would save Uhaul money. 

Chad won the account—1,000 shipments a month. Then he won the Canadian account, which was 2,000 shipments a month. He went on to become the #1 salesperson at Airborne. Eventually, he got recruited away to a job in southern California where he met his wife and started his family—all because of the outcome of ONE negotiation. 

Listen to the whole episode of Sales Reinvented for Chad’s insight on the negotiation process. If you’re looking to improve your skills—this is the place to start!

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with Chad Burmeister

Connect With Paul Watts 

Subscribe to SALES REINVENTED

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Jun 30, 2020

Relationship building is an important aspect of the negotiation process, according to Dr. Daniel Shapiro. Whether you’re negotiating with a prospective customer, negotiating with a spouse, or negotiating with another country—it all hinges on the ability to build a relationship. In this episode of Sales Reinvented, we talk about building relationships, attributes of a great negotiator, top 3 negotiation dos and don’ts, and much more. Don’t miss this one!

Dr. Daniel Shapiro is a world-renowned expert on negotiation and middle-east politics. He was the US ambassador to Israel from 2011–2017. He also founded and currently directs the Harvard International Negotiation Program. Dan consults regularly for government leaders and Fortune 500 companies and has advised everyone from hostage negotiators to families in crisis, disputing CEOs to clashing heads of state. He is also the author of two best-selling books, Negotiating the Nonnegotiable and Building Agreement: Using Emotions as You Negotiate.

Outline of This Episode

  • [1:06] Humans are constantly negotiating
  • [2:05] Changing the negative perception of negotiation
  • [3:49] Dan describes the pillars of his negotiation process
  • [7:37] The attributes of a great negotiator
  • [8:44] Allow your customer autonomy 
  • [11:44] Top 3 negotiation dos and don’ts
  • [17:05] Dan’s favorite negotiation story

The entire sales process consists of negotiation

The common misconception of negotiation is that it’s just one part of the sales process in which costs are debated. The reality is that the entire sales process is a negotiation. Anytime you interact with someone else with a purpose in mind you are negotiating. Most salespeople love their jobs and it’s simply one part of the process that brings them more stress. How do we change that? 

Dan states that you must change how you view the negotiation process. Firstly, you must focus on building a relationship with the customer. Many salespeople naturally excel in relationship building. Secondly, you must listen with intent: Figure out what your counterpart actually wants and where their interests lie. 

The process doesn’t have to encapsulate an “us against them” mentality. You should present options for mutual gains and invent new ideas with the customer. Be innovative with your approach so they don’t move on to the next salesperson. 

The pillars of Dan’s negotiation process

Dr. Dan emphasizes throughout the episode that relationship building skills are key. The first pillar that he sets forth is all about building the relationship. Building a relationship is your greatest source of influence now AND into the future. The more you can build a good trusting relationship with some sense of connection the more effective you will be in the negotiation process.

Per Dan, “The most effective negotiations by and large—in the business realm and the international realm—are side by side. They are cooperative.”

Conversely, no salesperson is in it just for the relationship. They are also motivated to make a good sale. Aside from building a relationship with the prospect, you need to be keenly aware of their interests. What’s motivating their behavior other than getting a good deal? Are they hoping for a promotion? Is their budget quite low? Dan acknowledges there could be 1,000 different reasons—but it’s your job to find out what those reasons are. 

With the foundation of a relationship and the knowledge of what motivates them, you can work to craft a potential agreement that meets their interests—and yours. 

The importance of autonomy

A great negotiator is an avid listener. They learn what their counterpart cares about, what they want out of the relationship, what they’re fearful of, and what they’re dreams and aspirations are. They don’t listen to exploit, but they listen to craft an agreement that works for everyone. You must remember that your counterpart wants the freedom to make decisions without it being imposed on them. They want autonomy

Dan first became aware of this concept when he was a teenager shopping for jeans at Gap. The slightly older teenager assisting him was showering him with compliments and telling him how great he looked in the jeans. Dan realized he couldn’t decipher if the compliments were real—or just being used to make a sale and therefore a commission for the pushy teenager. 

Instead of pushing someone into a sale, allow them the autonomy to make their own decision. Share the attributes of the product, why it meets their interests, and why your pricing is fair while allowing them the freedom to walk away. If they can find a better deal with someone else, then let them know that you won’t stand in their way. Doing this builds trust in your customer relationship. Having their best interest in mind speaks volumes.

The power of appreciation in relationship building

Dan believes that the power of appreciation is the single most important thing to apply to a negotiation. He emphasizes that in ANY human interaction we want to feel heard, understood, and valued—appreciated on a deep level. Yes, you want to come to a deal, but deals don’t happen on an emotional level if the other side doesn’t feel appreciated and respected. It’s more than a thank you. It’s listening to try and find value from their perspective. To find merit in what they’re feeling, thinking, communicating, and understanding. 

It isn’t an adversarial or antagonistic approach, but one bent on understanding their perspective and shifting into their seat on a psychological level. If you can truly understand their perspective and appreciate where they’re coming from, it can change the course of the negotiation. Dan shares a powerful negotiation story about how cooperation and understanding in a negotiation lead to more effective outcomes. Listen to the whole episode for more of his negotiation expertise. 

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect With Paul Watts 

Connect with Dan Shapiro

Subscribe to SALES REINVENTED

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Jun 24, 2020

Do you view negotiation as a conversation? Or a battle with clear winners and losers? Nicole Soames joins me in this episode of @SalesReinvented to start the conversation surrounding negotiation—and reveal why so many of the mindsets salespeople have regarding negotiation are faulty. She shares common misunderstandings, how to prepare for a negotiation, and much more.

Nicole Soames is the CEO & Founder of Diadem Performance, a commercial skills training and coaching company. She is passionate about applying emotional intelligence to negotiation conversations. Nicole is a best-selling author and sought after coach whose savvy advice is revealed in this episode of Sales Reinvented. Be sure to listen!

Outline of This Episode

  • [0:49] Nicole’s definition of negotiation
  • [1:07] Negotiation is a conversation
  • [2:52] Why salespeople don’t like to negotiate
  • [5:46] Negotiation isn’t a process—but a conversation 
  • [8:04] Emotional intelligence is the #1 attribute you must possess
  • [9:56] There are no shortcuts: negotiation preparation is key
  • [11:43] Nicole’s top 3 negotiation dos and don’ts
  • [13:24] Don’t engage in negative internal conversations
  • [14:35] How children are powerful negotiators

Common misunderstandings about negotiation 

Many salespeople mistake negotiation for haggling or bartering. If you shift your viewpoint to negotiation as a conversation, you’re better equipped to build a long-lasting relationship. People are only as powerful as the conversations they have. Nicole believes we achieve results based on the conversations we have with others. Everything is negotiable—but you can only receive if you first ask. 

Another faulty misconception is that salespeople are schooled in the philosophy that the customer is always right. So when they enter a negotiation conversation, they have placed the customer on a pedestal. By doing so, they cede control and power to the prospect and end up paying dearly for those relationships.

Salespeople are usually engaged with a procurement person—who is well-versed in negotiation tactics. Because each of these people are leaning on their learned skills, a negotiation conversation often ends in disagreement, deadlock, and disappointment. What is the easiest way to avoid that? Keep listening to find out!

Negotiation needs to be a conversation 

Most people who have received negotiation training are taught that it’s a process—it’s linear and theoretical. Nicole is quick to point out that it shouldn’t be viewed as a process but as a negotiation conversation. Thinking about it as a conversation changes the way you engage in the negotiation. You should approach your conversation by contemplating answers to these questions: 

Why should I feel confident? What will their challenges be? How will I handle them? Am I exhibiting an appropriate level of ambition? How will I break the deadlock?

Approaching your conversation with emotional intelligence is the largest differentiator and competitive advantage that Nicole can see. You must remember that you’re negotiating with a human. There is a real person on the other side of this conversation. It’s why Nicole advocates for face-to-face communication whenever possible (versus email). 

How to prepare for your negotiation conversation 

There are no shortcuts. Preparation for a negotiation is paramount to its success. One unique tactic that Nicole recommends is to “big yourself up”: write down all the reasons you should feel confident in the negotiation conversation. Build yourself up and read it to yourself. Don’t allow yourself to fall trap to inner conversations that say things like “They won’t say yes” or “Everyone is having a difficult time right now”. 

Secondly, you must prepare for any curveballs that may come your way. Nicole emphasizes that forewarned is forearmed. And while you want to prepare for variables, she believes that you should NOT prepare a walkaway point. Doing so is admitting defeat and claiming that it’s okay to fail. Nicole believes that you get the best results when you’re challenged and under some pressure. To hear Nicole’s top negotiation 3 dos and don’ts and her ‘ABC method’ keep listening!

Learn the art of the negotiation conversation from your children

Nicole admits that children are expert negotiators. What makes our children SO good at negotiation? Think about it—children are relentlessly ambitious. They use every overt tactic in the book and wind parents down until they get what they want. “All of my friends have this” or “All of their parents allow that” is a very effective strategy. Nicole admits she smiles every time she sees her children negotiating with her. They are ace negotiators and we can learn a lot from them. 

Talk about some unique insight. To hear the rest of Nicole’s thoughts on viewing negotiation as a conversation, be sure to listen to the whole episode! 

Connect with Nicole Soames

Connect With Paul Watts 

Subscribe to SALES REINVENTED

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Jun 17, 2020

Keld Jensen—today’s guest on the Sales Reinvented podcast—feels that many businesses struggle with the negotiation process because they aren’t focused on a collaborative negotiation. Unfortunately, they embrace the mindset of ‘needing to win’ at all costs and focus on squashing the competition. Keld shares WHY this is the wrong mindset to embrace and what a collaborative negotiation should look like. Don’t miss it!

Keld Jensen has over 30 years of experience in negotiation. He is the founder of the SMARTnership negotiation strategy—THE most awarded collaborative negotiation strategy in the world. Keld has written and published 24 books in 36 countries. He runs a consulting and training organization that works with governments and businesses around the world to change how they engage in negotiations. Don’t miss his years of expertise—listen to this episode now!

Outline of This Episode

  • [0:52] Keld Jensen weighs in on negotiation
  • [1:37] Revenue can only be created with negotiation
  • [2:30] Salespeople can be unconsciously incompetent
  • [3:30] Keld’s collaborative negotiation process
  • [5:15] The attributes a successful negotiator espouses
  • [7:06] What a SMARTnership looks like 
  • [8:54] Top 3 negotiation doss and don’ts
  • [11:32] Keld’s unique negotiation illustration

What does a collaborative negotiation look like?

Negotiation isn’t just about reaching a mutual agreement, but about improving collaboration. Keld points out that it’s not about winning something at the cost of the counterparty. The great negotiators don’t set out to be great, they set out to make a difference for their counterpart.

Negotiation is important because revenue isn’t created without it. The second you have to interact with another organization it requires negotiation. Embracing a collaborative negotiation strategy is just as important as a market strategy or a research and development strategy.

Yet many negotiators rely on out-dated tactics that are about winning at all costs. Listen to hear how Keld seeks to change the world of negotiation. 

Negotiate how to negotiate

Keld believes that salespeople don’t necessarily hate the negotiation process, but that they’re “unconsciously incompetent”. They don’t know how to properly negotiate. But once they understand the concept and the value negotiation creates it changes their viewpoint. The 1st mistake salespeople make when negotiation is that they don’t prepare.

A step that Keld believes is imperative is to negotiate on how to negotiate with your counterpart. You can’t walk into a negotiation thinking you’re playing a game of chess when your counterpart believes they’re playing tennis. So how do you remedy that? Keld recommends having a pre-meeting with the sole purpose of learning how to negotiate together.

If you take that small piece of time to make sure you are on the same page in the negotiation process, it removes wasted time. You’re setting the rules for the negotiation to follow and it transforms the process. 

The importance of listening

Keld believes many negotiations fail because too much time is wasted arguing. Too much time is spent on claiming why your product is superior. You must eliminate argumentation and product promotion and instead spend your time listening. Listen for what’s in-between what they’re saying. 

If the prospect asks you if you can deliver a product 2 weeks early, instead of immediately giving a yes or no answer ask: What is the value to you if I can move up delivery time? You need to think about their values and interests in every part of the process. 

Keld says to consider the question: “Are you willing to take a cost if the benefit to the counterpart is bigger than the cost and if the counterpart is willing to compensate you for that cost?” It’s all about figuring out who has the higher value compared to the lower cost. 

Your negotiation strategy should lead to a SMARTnership

Many negotiators embrace “zero-sum” tactics—which is winning at the expense of your counterpart. Instead of landing on a zero-sum strategy, Keld believes you should aim for a high-level collaborative partnership instead. His collaborative negotiation strategy is all about showing a genuine interest in your counterpart and building a relationship.

Keld also points out that up to 42% of the value in a negotiation is often left on the table. To avoid that, you must establish the NegoEconomics—the difference between your value and my cost. This needs to be calculated before engaging in the negotiation process. 

A collaborative negotiation process must involve transparency, openness, and honesty. If you’re honest, you will always leave the table with better results while generating a higher level of trust with your counterpart. If you generate a high level of trust, it reduces transactional costs, and profit tends to increase. 

Keld shares his top 3 dos and don’ts as well as his favorite negotiation story in this episode of Sales Reinvented. Listen to the end to soak up all of the value he has to offer. 

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with Keld Jensen

Connect With Paul Watts 

Subscribe to SALES REINVENTED

Audio Production and Show notes by
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Jun 10, 2020

Are you aware of how buying personalities influence the negotiation process? And that each different personality changes the direction of your negotiation process? In this episode of the Sales Reinvented Podcast, Sonia Dumas joins me to talk about how buying personalities influence negotiations. 

Sonia Dumas is the Financial Sales Expert with The Sales Experts Channel, a Cryptocurrency Strategist, and a Certified & Licensed B.A.N.K® Trainer. Sonia emphasizes the importance of understanding buying personalities and personality science in the sales negotiation process. Don’t miss her unique insight!

Outline of This Episode

  • [1:06] Sonia’s definition of negotiation
  • [2:07] Why is mastering negotiation important?
  • [3:06] The reasons WHY salespeople hate negotiation
  • [4:39] Sonia’s negotiation process: determining buying personalities
  • [9:24] The attributes a skilled negotiator must embrace 
  • [10:28] Sonia’s simple 5-step negotiation process
  • [11:25] How to determine a prospect’s buying code
  • [13:07] Top 3 negotiation dos and don'ts
  • [15:38] Sonia’s favorite negotiation story

Why we should change the word ‘Sales’ to ‘Influence’

Salespeople don’t love negotiation because they have to do elevator pitches, create countless proposals, answer endless questions in endless meetings, create marketing campaigns, and can chase down indecisive prospects for months. Sonia points out that instead of trying to find new sales tactics, you should focus on fixing your mindset.

What if salespeople stopped calling it ‘sales’ and started calling it ‘influence’? Wouldn’t everyone like to be more influential with their company, clients, prospects, and network? Influence isn’t just a sales tactic, but the fastest path to cash. Sonia also points out that the most effective way to be influential is to know how your clients and prospects make emotional buying decisions

Determining buying personalities should be your FIRST step

Sonia is all about making complex situations simple. Figuring out your prospects ‘buying personality’ or ‘buying code’ should be your first step—that you complete well in advance. There are four main buying personalities: assertive, amiable, expressive, and analytical. It’s far easier to influence people who make buying decisions just like we do. 

However, you must strive to understand the buying language of the other personalities. Once you understand their buying personalities, you can create an agenda and presentation to match their buying personality. You must focus on what’s important to them and tailor thenegotiation to what they need to know AND what they want to hear. This is Sonia’s #1 suggestion to shorten the cycle and get to more yeses. 

How can you determine a prospect’s buying personality? Sonia shares that ‘Crack my Code’ is what she uses to quickly determine buying personalities. A simple 90-second process for the prospect can change the way you negotiate

Sonia’s simple 5-step negotiation process

This is the typical strategy that Sonia follows to prepare and execute a negotiation: 

  1. Calculate buying personalities
  2. Craft an agenda/presentation based on that buying personality
  3. Determine questions to ask to discover if you’re a good fit
  4. Determine what you will say ‘no’ to at any point in the process
  5. Follow up on the negotiation based on their buying code

Per Sonia: “On some deep emotional level a prospect has already said yes to meeting you, yes to reviewing your information, they’ve said yes to involving other stakeholders, yes to revealing their buying code, yes to their emails and the phone calls you’ve made up until now...You have more yeses on your side than you do nos.”

Implementing a strategy based on their buying personality sets you up to create a relationship with a prospect—the revenue will follow. 

Communicate confidence in your products and services

As Sonia shared her lists of ‘dos and don’ts’ she emphasized that you must not come across as needy, desperate, or inferior (or what is referred to as “commission breath”). Prospects can sense that you NEED their business—which gives them the power and leverage in the negotiation. Instead, you must communicate confidence and level the playing field. 

Sonia implores you to focus the conversation with their buying personality in mind. Focus on what is high-value to them while also communicating confidence in your own products and services. They need to understand the massive value that you bring to the table. Providing them with a transformative negotiation experience will be a gamechanger. 

Listen to the whole episode for our in-depth discussion on buying personalities, the negotiation process, and Sonia’s favorite negotiation story. 

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with Sonia Dumas

Connect With Paul Watts 

Subscribe to SALES REINVENTED

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Jun 3, 2020

Negotiation preparation contributes to 90% of the success of a negotiation, according to Scott Chepow, today’s guest on the Sales Reinvented Podcast. The better prepared you are before the negotiation commences, the smoother the process will be, and the likelihood of a successful outcome is far higher. To hear more of Scott’s thoughts on negotiation, listen to the whole episode!

Scott Chepow is the Senior Vice President of Engagement Strategy for The Gap Partnership in North America. He works with some of the world’s largest organizations to help them create incremental value through negotiation. His 20+ years of experience in the industry is a welcome addition to this podcast. Don’t miss his take on the negotiation process!

Outline of This Episode

  • [0:46] What is negotiation?
  • [1:35] Why is negotiation important in business?
  • [2:23] Why don’t salespeople like to negotiate
  • [3:30] Scott’s negotiation preparation process 
  • [5:20] The attributes that make a great sales negotiator
  • [6:23] Tools + tactics + strategies Scott implements
  • [9:07] Scott’s top 3 negotiation dos and don’ts
  • [11:46] 8 fundamental types of negotiations
  • [13:48] Scott’s favorite negotiation story

What IS Negotiation?

Negotiation in its simplest form can be described as a buyer wanting to buy and a seller wanting to sell. But Scott points out that it’s far more complex. According to him, negotiation “Orchestrates the creation of value for your organization beyond the sale of your products and services.” 

Every organization has its own priorities—such as capturing more pricing or increasing distribution—that goes beyond the role of price within a construct of a sale. Businesses work diligently to define their drivers and set their priorities. Scott emphasizes that “The ability to negotiate within those drivers to achieve those goals is paramount.”

Negotiation can be uncomfortable

Many salespeople dislike the negotiation process because it’s uncomfortable. So they seek to alleviate that discomfort by rushing through the process. But in reality, the best way to overcome that discomfort is to embrace it: get comfortable being uncomfortable. A negotiation will never go smoothly, so you need to understand the risks that may arise. 

You can mitigate or even prevent those risks with proper negotiation preparation. 90% of the process is strategic preparation for the negotiation. The other 10% is execution and how you behave in the room. To strategically prepare you must understand the people, the nature of the relationships, and the balance of power. Want to hear more? Keep listening!

Negotiation preparation allows you to adapt your skillset

Scott references 14 essential behaviors of a negotiator that you should master. One of them is learning to think clearly and manage discomfort. If you master those skills, you can adapt to any negotiation you walk into. But that takes preparation, research, practice, and learning to understand the variables at play.

What’s important to you? What’s important to your counterparty? What are their pressures and priorities? You have to plan which direction you’ll take when things go wrong. If you have an action plan in place when variables DO arise, you know what to do and are confident that you’re prepared to deal with any realities that arise. 

Model the appropriate behaviors during the negotiation process

As you’re engaging in negotiation preparation, you must understand what type of negotiation you’re walking into and subsequently exhibit the appropriate behaviors. Scott states there are 8 fundamental types of negotiation and uses a clock face to demonstrate: As you work your way from 12-6 on the clock face you’re either bartering, haggling/bidding, hard bargaining, or dealing. 

As you move further around the clock, the relationship deepens as you work through concession trading, finding a win-win, focusing on joint problem-solving, and building a relationship. Different factors dictate where you are on the clock face. 

The level of dependency between the parties, the length and strength of the relationship, the level of trust, and how many variables are at play all move you further around that clock. If you’re in the haggling/bidding phase your behavior tends to be more aggressive, cold-hard, and dismissive. Scott points out that this is likely to be a one-off transaction.

However, if you’re in the “win-win” phase you are looking to be cooperative, collaborative, honest, open, and flexible. This is when you want to deepen the relationship and find a profitable and sustainable deal for both parties. 

To hear more about this process, the importance of negotiation preparation, and Scott’s favorite negotiation story—listen to the whole episode now!

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with Scott Chepow

  • Connect on LinkedIn
  • Scott on Twitter
  • Call at 802.734.0717
  • Email Scott: scott.chepow(at)thegappartnership.com

Connect With Paul Watts 

Subscribe to SALES REINVENTED

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May 27, 2020

Do you possess an adequate level of self-awareness? Can you accurately pinpoint where you are weak or could use improvement? Today’s guest on the podcast, Bob Apollo, believes that you must be self-aware to grow and improve—and become more productive. Listen to this episode for an in-depth analysis of productivity and what can help set you apart in the sales world. 

Bob founded Inflexion-Point—a UK-based B2B sales effectiveness consultant group—15 years ago and has a strong global footprint. He is an advocate for creating customer-value throughout every transaction. As an expert in the industry, we are fortunate to have him share that expertise in this episode of Sales Reinvented. 

Outline of This Episode

  • [0:52] Bob’s definition of productivity
  • [1:44] Why aren’t salespeople productive? 
  • [2:45] Develop a level of self-awareness
  • [4:10] Attributes of a productive salesperson
  • [5:22] Lobby for a more effective CRM
  • [8:05] Top 3 Productivity dos and top 3 don’ts
  • [17:20] A productivity challenge Bob has faced

Developing self-awareness as a foundation for productivity

There are a couple of personality attributes and characteristics that are important to productivity, but Bob points out that cultivating self-awareness is up there at the top. You need to be aware of what you’re doing and the impact and effectiveness of your actions. Without self-awareness, you won’t know what to change and improve.

It is the building block to effectiveness. Once you’re self-aware you can pinpoint your struggles and your weak points and develop a strategy to improve them. You can learn what works and what doesn’t. Self-aware salespeople are more likely to learn from others and grasp new concepts.

The right CRM can make a world of difference

Bob points out what many salespeople feel: the user experience and ROI of a CRM can be pretty disappointing. The vast majority of conventional CRM solutions are built around an administrative metaphor and record activities after the event. They offer no real sense of guiding the salesperson. 

There are many plugins available that try and rectify some of the issues but very few CRM’s that have adjusted. Bob recommends that if you feel your CRM isn’t delivering value, lobby for something better. There are options out there that may be better for you and your sales team—don’t be afraid to push your company for something better

The ability to learn is a key indicator of success

Bob believes that one of the best things you can do to improve yourself is to model your behavior after the most successful salesperson in your company. You must be willing to share your successes and failures with the team. The more successful your team is, the more profitable your business can be. Embrace the idea of collective learning.

But you must also embrace taking responsibility for your personal development. Don’t wait for your company to train you or blame them for your lack of knowledge. You alone are the master of your own destiny, so you must plan accordingly. One way you can do that is by setting up a professional development plan so you remain relevant and successful. 

Some tips and strategies to increase productivity

Bob gave us some tips that are too valuable not to share: 

  • Plan ahead: Don’t start any conversation or meeting without knowing what you want out of it.
  • Be open to fresh ideas: What brought you success in the past won’t necessarily repeat.
  • Focus your energy on value-creating activities: the more value you bring to the client the more likely they’ll be to move forward with your solution. It is a give-get process. 
  • Be strategic with unexpected RFPs: Learn to discern if you’re “column fodder”—as Bob put it—and if you have a chance to actually compete for the bid. Don’t waste your time if you’re the rabbit. 
  • Don’t prescribe before you’ve diagnosed: Really take the time to listen to your client’s needs and pain points—and do not fall into autopilot and start pitching before the time is right. 

Listen to the whole episode as we talk about eliminating sources of error, the greatest productivity challenge Bob has faced, and take a deep-dive into productivity. 

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with Bob Apollo

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May 20, 2020

Time management is something most people struggle with and salespeople are no exception. It can have a huge impact on productivity—so how do you manage your time effectively? How do you become more efficient and productive in the time that you do have? Mark Sellers joins Paul in this episode to share his take—don’t miss it!

Mark Sellers is the Managing Partner and Founder of Breakthrough Sales Performance—which has been operating for 24 years. He is the author of two books, ‘The Funnel Principle’ and ‘Blindspots: The Hidden Killer of Sales Coaching’. He is an executive coach who consults with small to medium-sized businesses to help them improve their sales. Listen to this episode of Sales Reinvented for his insights on productivity. 

Outline of This Episode

  • [0:59] Mark’s definition of productivity
  • [1:57] Salespeople need to focus on efficiency
  • [3:09] Focus on what is measurable
  • [6:41] Tactics to improve productivity
  • [9:36] What attributes or characteristics should a salesperson have?
  • [11:03] Mark’s weekly strategy: write things down
  • [12:15] The premise of Mark’s book: Blindspots
  • [13:26] Top 3 productivity dos and top 3 don’ts
  • [15:30] How Mark wrote 2 books and built a deck

Productivity is about time management and prioritization

According to Mark, productivity is measured by the function of energy multiplied by the task at hand. In other words, how long does it take you to complete a task? You’re more productive if you get things done in a shorter length of time. But time seems to be what all salespeople are short on—so the goal is to become more efficient with the time you do have.

Mark points out that one way to achieve efficiency is by only investing your time in qualified leads. You can’t continue chasing deals that are dead. You must also prioritize the things that move the needle on sales and achieving quota and everything else is secondary.

Sales managers need to focus on tracking what is measurable—which is why there is such an emphasis on goals, quota, etc. Mark is happy as long as he can see progress is being made towards a goal. But as a manager, you must know how many ‘calories’ your salespeople are burning to reach a goal. If they’re being inefficient, you can help coach them to be more productive and focus on priorities. 

Mark’s tactics to improve productivity

Salespeople need to stop running and reacting—if they can’t sustain their activity level it will catch up to them. To change, they need to plan better. Mark shared some cool strategies:

  1. The 6x6 priority management strategy: Write on index cards the 6 things that are important to you for the next 6 weeks (personally or professionally). You monitor those things for 6 weeks and evaluate your progress at the end. It helps you find focus and clarity.
  2. Practice necessary endings: Get rid of the things in your life that are no longer serving you and are distracting you. 
  3. Write things down: Mark sets aside time each week to write down 3 things: one thing to focus on for clients, one for business, and one for his personal life. He resets them weekly. If he’s nowhere near meeting his goals, he’s likely trying to do too much and adjusts accordingly. 
  4. Get coaching: No matter what level you’re at—be it CEO, sales manager, or sales rep—you can improve your skillset with coaching. Coaches can give us a different viewpoint when we are too close to the action and dealing with blindspots. 

Be sure to listen to hear our in-depth discussion of these topics. 

The attributes a salesperson should have

Mark believes the key to being a great salesperson, in general, is having a good vision. What you’re doing in pursuit of the vision will always move you in the right direction. You simply build your priorities around that vision and pursue them relentlessly. 

A salesperson must also know where they’re going to spend their energy, both personally and professionally. They have to have the ability to discern what to say no to and what opportunities to embrace. You can’t be successful if you say ‘yes’ to everything and end up burned out.

Mark’s tips and tricks to master time-management

Mark has learned a few tricks along the way that he shares in this episode that can help you maximize your time: 

  • Do a monthly funnel audit: It helps you reset your priorities and is a great way to hold salespeople accountable. 
  • Use your calendar for a 30-day plan: Go straight to your calendar and time-block and schedule appointments like you would for a customer or a Dr. appointment. 
  • Write things down: It’s hard to ignore something clearly written in your calendar.
  • Stay organized: Disorganization is the ultimate productivity-killer.
  • Don’t wait until the last minute: You will never produce quality work when you rush.
  • Learn to say no: Avoid taking on more than you can handle. 

Listen to the whole episode for an in-depth discussion on productivity, to hear about how Mark wrote his books, and the best way to knock out tasks. 

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with Mark Sellers

Connect With Paul Watts 

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May 13, 2020

According to Steve Hall, a customer-centric culture boosts productivity because you are able to focus on the right things. It isn’t about you, your sales goals, or your product—but about connecting with and understanding your customers and offering them something of value. 

Steve is a “C” level sales expert, a member of the Sales Experts Channel, and the Managing Director at Executive Sales Coaching in Sydney, Australia. He likes to categorize himself as a corporate storyteller who can help companies craft a compelling narrative. Don’t miss this engaging episode of Sales Reinvented!

Outline of This Episode

  • [0:49] What is productivity? 
  • [1:50] A lack of productivity is an organizational issue
  • [3:25] How to improve productivity 
  • [5:07] Attributes of a productive salesperson
  • [6:53] Tools or processes to aid productivity
  • [7:57] Top 4 productivity dos and don’ts
  • [10:35] Steve’s favorite productivity story

A lack of productivity is an organizational issue

Sales professionals are judged by their results. They need the ability to achieve more with the same or less effort while reaching their short and long-term goals. Steve believes salespeople aren’t productive because things are structured incorrectly on an organizational level. 

Sales teams are expected to do many tasks that could be delegated elsewhere. They’re prospecting, wooing the clients, and expected to close the deal—with all the administrative tasks tossed in. This is something that organizations can focus on changing.

A customer-centric culture boosts productivity

Steve points out that most companies overemphasize doing more activity while still expecting quality work. Those two things don’t typically go hand-in-hand. Instead, Steve believes productivity is better served by better understanding your customers. Sales professionals need to be passionate about helping their customers succeed.

If you learn to see things from the customer’s perspective and understand the needs of their business you’re more apt to close the deal. Steve stated, “Rather than have product knowledge, have problem knowledge”. Educate yourself on your client’s business—commit to offering them value. Be nice, be genuine, and help your client succeed. That is the whole goal of productivity. 

Steve’s tools and tactics that make an impact

Steve said to invest in things such as sales navigator and a simple CRM, but that his methods to increase productivity are more strategic. Here are a few thoughts he suggests: 

  1. Record your sales calls. Play them back, pinpoint what you can improve on, and use the recording to help make a transcript for calls. 
  2. Don’t invest time in busy-work. Don’t spend hours perfecting a presentation that may never happen. 
  3. Sell to people who want what you have. There’s no point wasting time if they’re not interested. 
  4. Don’t work too hard. Be sensible—don’t work until you reach a point of burnout.
  5. Know your objective. Why are you making the phone call? Why are you sending the email?

You need to focus on what’s important and not activity for activities sake. Listen to the whole episode for more suggestions. 

Try team-based marketing and sales

Steve is an advocate for people to work as a team. Most companies have salespeople who work as individuals, with individual targets and goals. They’re less motivated to help their team because it’s every man for himself. But you don’t work in a vacuum. According to Steve, when people don’t work together it’s a “hammer to productivity”. 

He had a client who decided to build their company with a team-based marketing department. They set team quotas and goals. Anytime there was a challenge to overcome, everyone jumped in to lend a hand. This particular company increased its sales by 35% that year. The next year they increased sales by 50%. They now own 75% of the market share in their area

The moral of the story is that companies need to create an environment that encourages team collaboration and productivity and a customer central culture. They need people who are focused on doing the very best they can for their customers. 

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with Steve Hall

Connect With Paul Watts 

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May 6, 2020

Salespeople are taught that it’s all about closing the deal. That it’s all about connecting with prospects and pushing them down the sales funnel. Today’s guest, Ian Moyse, points out that spending time on closing the deal may not always be in your best interest. Listen to this episode of Sales Reinvented to find out why

Ian Moyse is the EMEA Sales Director at Natterbox and an expert in telephony. He is known as a cloud social influencer. Thinkers360 recognized him as one of the top 100 #B2B Thought Leader and Influencers to Follow in 2020. He’s also a panelist on the sales expert channel, was awarded the prestigious UK Sales Director of the year award, and is one of the top sales experts. 

Outline of This Episode

  • [1:04] Ian’s definition of productivity
  • [3:00] Why aren’t sales people productive? 
  • [7:12] There is more than one way to communicate 
  • [11:18] Multi-level questioning and active listening
  • [15:41] Tools and tactics to improve productivity
  • [19:57] Top 3 productivity dos and don’ts
  • [23:08] Ian’s favorite productivity story

Productivity is about efficiency—not activity

Ian states that “Productivity is about doing the right thing, not just doing something”. It’s about hitting the results, not the metrics. Ian’s definition of productivity is doing the right things in the most efficient manner to secure a sale. There is too much focus on pure activity. Sales leaders want to push their reps to make more calls and force more connections. But more activity doesn’t equal qualified leads.

They’re also focusing on the wrong activities. Sales leaders want their rep to make a hundred calls to get 50 connections to get 5 leads—but what if a rep could make 50 calls to get 10 connections and 5 leads? The focus needs to be moved from ‘more’ activity to connecting with the right people. 

The level of activity needs to be different for every rep. Some reps need 20 visits to get 5 sales—others only need 10 visits a month. Each salesperson is an individual and needs to be treated as such. Everyone’s personalities and strategies are different, so we can’t hold them all to the same strategies and expect the same results.

Be willing to switch your preferred mode of communication

Ian points out that we need to take a step back and think about the fact that we all block calls and filter emails. Most people won’t answer a phone call with a number they don’t recognize or respond to an email from someone they don’t know. And while email seems to be the preferred mode of communication, it can leave a lot open to interpretation. You cannot properly understand someone’s tone and verbal cues through a written message—but you can with a phone call. 

It can also take 5 days of email communication to knock out what could be covered in an hour-long call. Ian states that you must be willing to switch modes of communication based on the information you need or the topic being covered. Email is more of a communication dialogue while a phone call is more conversational. You must keep in mind the differences between them. 

When productivity = NOT closing the deal

Productivity is about getting to the end result in the most effective and appropriate manner for your company and the client. The end result is not always a sale. Finding out that a potential customer is not a good fit still being productive because you’re reducing time spent on something that won’t achieve the desired outcome—a sale. 

Ian points out that sales reps need to learn multi-level questioning while actively listening. Taking a deep-dive with a potential client on the front end and listening to their needs will move you towards the desired outcome, or help you disqualify them. Ian believes many salespeople are so bent on closing the deal that they ignore key disqualifiers.

A great salesperson has to learn how to see those red flags and make hard decisions early. The amount of time you could spend on large bids will eat away at your productivity. Bring in your sales group and management to give a listening ear and let the bid go if it isn’t a good fit. You don’t want to waste your resources.

Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance

According to Ian, this mantra can save you a lot of headaches and give you better odds of closing a sale. He points out one way to put this into play: make a cold call a warm call. He suggests doing that by researching the person in advance. Learn facts about his or her business and different angles you can use to connect with them. You may not use all the information, but you are better informed and prepared.

He has another mantra closely tied to the first: Plan, Prioritize, and Push aside. You need to plan for your day ahead of time, schedule and time-block key things that need to get done. Then you must prioritize those things and push aside interruptions and distractions. If you qualify what needs to be done now, it’s easier to focus on the tasks at hand.

Listen to the whole episode for Ian’s thoughts on productivity, his ‘Ninja inbox’ strategy, and more.

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with Ian Moyse

Connect With Paul Watts 

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Apr 29, 2020

Better sales engagement is what drives sales, but many salespeople are fumbling with the concept. Sales engagement platforms give you the confidence to follow-up with leads and help guide your conversations with prospects. Many salespeople aren’t utilizing a sales engagement platform—but according to today’s guest, Darryl Praill, it’s absolutely necessary. 

Darryl Praill is the Chief Marketing Officer of VanillaSoft and is a marketing executive with over 25 years of experience in the industry. He excels with B2B marketing, is passionate about mentoring, and loves viewing obstacles as challenges. Listen to this episode for his rapid-fire advice. 

Outline of This Episode

  • [0:53] What is productivity?
  • [2:00] Why aren’t salespeople productive?
  • [2:49] Steps to improve productivity
  • [4:16] The 5 attributes of a productive salesperson
  • [6:27] Use a sales engagement software
  • [8:03] Top 3 productivity dos and don’ts
  • [10:24] Darryl’s favorite productivity story
  • [12:15] BONUS: Pitch-slapped

How to improve productivity

According to Darryl, productivity is doing what you say you’re going to do, in the timelines you’ve committed to, at the activity levels necessary to achieve your goals. While Darryl admits that it’s a cliche—sales IS a numbers game. You need to operate with the right frequency, cadence and activity levels. 

Most often, sales professionals struggle to be productive because they don’t plan. They struggle to manage their calendar. Darryl implores sales professionals to block time on their calendar and protect those time slots as if your life depends on it. 

He also recommends knowing your targets—to define your target and chase it relentlessly. You have to know your product inside and out, typical objections, and be able to explain why what you’re offering matters to your target. 

The 5 attributes of a productive salesperson

Darryl believes the top-performing sales professionals embody some of these traits—If they don’t, they’re working hard to develop them:

  1. Competitiveness. A sales professional should strive to have the highest conversion rates and the highest quality calls. They enjoy overcoming obstacles.
  2. Committed. They must be committed to knocking things out and hitting numbers.
  3. Measurable results. Focus on what can you improve and measure. Try different scripts and see which works better. 
  4. Brutal honesty. Acknowledge your shortcomings and weaknesses and get a plan in place to improve them. 
  5. Willingness to learn. Always improve. Model after those who are more successful than you. 

You need to invest in sales engagement software

Darryl is the CMO of VanillaSoft, a leading sales engagement platform. He points out that you don’t necessarily have to use VanillaSoft, but emphasizes that a sales engagement platform is something you need to invest in. It helps feed you the right leads so you can call (or connect) at the right time using the right channels. 

He notes that 48% of leads never get called, and if they are called usually only 2-3 attempts are made. Many salespeople wait 36-63 hours before calling a lead. All of these errors kill the ability to develop leads.

Darryl recommends using a sales engagement platform, because it “bridges the gap between marketing automation and CRM software”. It can help you improve your interaction with your prospects and increase close rates. They serve you the best lead and help you qualify and triple your pipeline. 

Learn to eliminate what distracts you

Darryl admits that productivity doesn’t come easily to him. Just like many others, he’s apt to get easily distracted by social interaction and technology. The few times he’s consistently kicked butt, he’s bent on being hyper-focused. He locks his door and refuses to leave until he gets the task done. Each step he takes he sees himself progressing against his goal. As he gets closer to reaching said goal he becomes more confident. Having that one productive day amplifies his entire week. 

Darryl also recommends scheduling important activities during times when you’re at your best. He’s not a morning person and works best in the afternoons. You can’t work well when you’re tired, hungry, fuzzy-headed, etc. Above all, don’t avoid doing the work that you dislike. Instead, focus on improving it. Listen to the whole episode for his recommendations in detail!

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with Darryl Praill

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Apr 22, 2020

Staying productive is an ever-evolving problem as a sales professional—but leveraging the power of referrals could help. Salespeople wear many hats: they prospect, write proposals, work with internal teams, handle customers, and more. Utilizing any tactic to help smooth the process can be a gamechanger. In this episode of Sales Reinvented, Joanne Black joins Paul to share her take. 

Joanne Black founded No More Cold Calling 23 years ago and has been helping sales leaders drive revenue for their teams ever since. She is a referral consultant, speaker, and author of multiple books on sales. Her goal is to help sales professionals ensure qualified pipeline leads and shorten prospecting time and increase close rate. 

Outline of This Episode

  • [0:19] Joanne Black joins Paul!
  • [054] What is productivity?
  • [2:00] Salespeople need to focus on discipline
  • [3:43] Do what’s closest to cash every day
  • [5:55] Attributes of a productive salesperson
  • [7:13] Joanne’s #1 recommendation 
  • [9:45] Top productivity dos and don’ts
  • [11:32] Joanne’s favorite productivity story

Sales professionals must face a hard truth

Joanne doesn’t mince words—she believes many sales professionals are lazy and lack discipline. She notes that salespeople do everything they can to avoid prospecting and connecting with customers. Salespeople resist CRM and systems because it is more work. It’s expected that marketing will source and send leads down the pipeline. 

But sales professionals are accountable for what they produce. They must take a long hard look at their behaviors and systems in place. Society as a whole wants the end results without the work that goes with it. Sales professionals must work hard to overcome the preconception that people have that they’re lazy. That starts by learning to be disciplined and staying accountable

Do what’s “closest to cash” every day

Joanne’s mantra is “do what’s closest to cash every day”. What do you have to do to move things along and meet your quota? Is it writing a proposal? Do you have to corral a team and strategize? She points out that your job is all about prospecting and proposal writing—and whatever it takes to move forward. 

To stay focused, you must prioritize and time-block what’s important. Limit how often you’re checking email and don’t get lost in the social media time-suck. She also recommends exercising and eating healthy. If you are tired and unfocused, you won’t be able to do your best work. 

STOP cold-calling and embrace referrals 

According to Joanne, it takes at least 8 touches to reach someone with cold calling. But if you get a referral? It’s one phone call and you’re in a conversation with someone who wants to speak with you. Her #1 recommendation to be more productive is to STOP cold calling and embrace referrals

This allows you to spend less time prospecting, shortens the sales process, and helps your conversion rates soar to over 70%. How? Trust. When a client refers someone to you, they have already forged a level of trust with that person. That bond of trust gets transferred to you and completely changes the conversation you have.

Focus on what customers are saying (or NOT saying)

Joanne believes many salespeople are so bent on “doing” that they don’t think to ask what customers actually need. Every customer needs and wants different things and you can’t assume you know what those needs are without listening first. Joanne believes, “Every individual has a different need to know at a different time”. It’s your job to find out what that need is and provide a solution. 

You also need to be able to know when a client is giving you the brush-off—by understanding their silence. Joanne worked for a company that was contacted to submit a proposal for what would have been a million-dollar deal. They were looking for some advanced sales training and their current vendor didn’t offer what they needed. But her contact gave her the runaround and Joanne ended up losing the deal. 

The constant stalling and dodging of calls was a red-flag that Joanne missed. Be sure you’re paying attention to a potential client to get a concrete answer—”maybe” or “not sure” isn’t good enough. Getting a concrete “yes” or “no” will keep you from wasting your time and lead to more productivity. Listen to the whole episode for all of Joanne’s strategies to stay productive!

Resources & People Mentioned

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Apr 15, 2020

Communication skills are necessary across all job fields, but Anthony Solimini adamantly emphasizes its usefulness in sales. You must be able to connect with prospects on a relational level. You need to effectively communicate the desired outcome of meetings. Above all, a salesperson must be able to ask for the sale. The foundation of a sales professional’s job must be excellent communication skills. According to Anthony, it separates the winners from the “averagers”. 

Anthony Solimini has worked internationally in London, Singapore, Bangkok, and Hong Kong in banking and sales. He is currently the Business Development Advisor at CSI Financial Group and starting his own training business—AGS training. He is the author of multiple books on sales and enjoys putting his comedic skills to good use on the side. He shares his expertise in this episode of Sales Reinvented. Be sure to listen!

Outline of This Episode

  • [1:10] Anthony’s definition of productivity and its importance
  • [2:42] Why aren’t salespeople productive?
  • [3:57] Steps to improve day to day productivity
  • [5:22] Excellent communication skills are an important attribute
  • [10:03] Tools you can use to improve productivity
  • [14:53] Anthony’s top 3 productivity tips
  • [19:17] Stop filling your pipeline with suspects instead of prospects

When salespeople confuse efficiency with effectiveness

When Anthony was in banking in Singapore, he was told by his boss that he needed to double the number of meetings he was having weekly to increase his sales. When he did so, his sales plummeted even more. What he learned was that doing more of the wrong thing makes you less successful—and less productive. 

Salespeople are often numbers-focused. They assume that if they schedule more meetings, make more phone calls, and get in front of more people that it equates to more sales. Anthony points out the error in this thinking and iterates that it’s about quality, not quantity. If you have fewer—but more focused—meetings you will have a higher closing percentage. 

He also notes that salespeople need to be in front of the right people who have a want, need, or desire for the product or service they’re selling. If they don’t, they are taking advantage of your time and expertise to gain information or knowledge. Don’t fall into this trap

Salespeople need to have excellent communication skills—and confidence

According to Anthony, salespeople need to be laser-focused on what they want to achieve. They should go into every meeting confidently, with the ability to take control of the situation. A good salesperson should walk into a meeting with an agenda and a specific outcome they're hoping for and be able to openly communicate that to their prospect. 

Anthony points out that most top-performers are great communicators. They have the ability to build a relationship based on trust with their prospects. They show that they aren’t just there to make a sale and move on. A good communicator can present their pitch in a style that makes the other person feel comfortable. 

Anthony knows that young up-and-comers in the sales world don’t immediately embody confidence. It takes time to become proficient at what you do. You’ll fail and learn from those failures. He believes that you can rely on the confidence your company has built—that it can come from the organization until you feel confident and prepared. 

Set the scene for your meeting 

Too often, sales professionals are laser-focused on their presentation and closing the deal that they forget about the human element. Anthony believes it is important to do your research—learn as much as you can about your prospect before you show up to that first meeting. Adding a personal touch is a means of differentiating yourself from everyone else pitching to them. 

Go into the meeting and set your agenda: clearly state what you’re going to talk about and what your desired outcome for the meeting is. Anthony believes that “The sales process is 70% setting the scene and 30% closing”. After you set the scene you must adapt to your audience, listen and learn, evaluate and explain—only then do you sign and seal the deal (His SALES acronym). 

Anthony shares his basic methodology in this episode, but you can get full details by reading his book that’s listed in the resources below. 

Stop filling your pipeline with suspects instead of prospects

Anthony inherited an account from his boss—an account that his boss had been trying to close for 2 long years. His company had been courting this person by taking them golfing, paying for elaborate dinners, and giving away tickets to sporting events. Anthony was fed up with this prospect. He was flying every time he met with him and it had gone on far too long. 

He finally switched tactics. The next time he met with the prospect, he prepared a summary of the last two years. At the end of his presentation, he said “I get the feeling you will never do business with us” and succinctly stated it was time to stop wasting each other's time. The prospect conceded that he wouldn’t be doing business with them.

When asked why he didn’t tell them sooner, his response was a simple shrug—“no one ever asked”. Anthony’s company had wasted years on this prospect when they could’ve spent 20 minutes discovering the reasons they could never do business together. The potential client would never ruin the relationship with all of the FREE stuff he was getting!

From there on out, Anthony adopted a new policy: He would meet with a prospect a maximum of 4 times (if they sale was under a million dollars) and then ask for a yes or a no. Salespeople sometimes forget that even if they get a no, they are still closing the deal and can move on to someone who does want their business. 

Resources & People Mentioned

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Apr 8, 2020

It’s a day and age where accountability is key to obtaining results, but seldom put into play. According to Kristie Jones, productivity is the ability to identify and execute on tasks that will result in providing the highest value outcome from that task. But you must hold yourself accountable to the goals you’ve set—and the quotas your company sets. Kristie joins Paul to share her thoughts on how sales professionals can become more effective in their roles.

Kristie has over 15 years of experience in SaaS management with expertise in training and coaching. In 2016 she founded the Sales Acceleration Group, which specializes in helping small and mid-size businesses increase their revenue. Kristie believes many sales professionals struggle to meet their quotas because they aren’t held accountable to their goals. Listen to this episode of Sales Reinvented to learn strategies to become a more productive salesperson. 

Outline of This Episode

  • [1:08] Kristie’s definition of productivity
  • [2:58] Why aren’t salespeople productive?
  • [6:04] What can salespeople do to increase productivity?
  • [10:56] Attributes of a productive salesperson
  • [15:26] Productivity tools that Kristie recommends
  • [17:43] Top 3 dos and top 3 don’ts
  • [19:44] How Kristie landed a job with accountability and consistency 

A lack of productivity may be due to a lack of accountability

Kristie notes that productivity is a blend of art and math. You need to understand your sales math and what exactly it takes to hit your quota. If you don’t know what it looks like to reach your goals, how do you know you’re doing what it takes to make quotas? Kristie points out that you must know how many prospects you need in your pipeline at any given time. 

You also need to know what your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) is. Wasting your time talking to the wrong people with the wrong businesses will halt your productivity. She recommends learning your niche—your specific region, industry, persona, etc. Once you’ve done these two things, you’ve laid the groundwork to improve productivity. 

3 ways to stay accountable to your goals

Kristie sees a shortcoming in the industry where sales leaders are not holding their reps accountable. It’s becoming a rampant cultural problem. Sales leaders need to understand their reps’ sales math and ICP. If they know this, they can track if their reps are on target to hit their goals. If they’re behind, they can step in and provide support and guidance. 

But they also need to set meaningful expectations on the front end. So how do they accomplish that? 

  1. Take advantage of coaching/mentoring your reps. It is critical, but many aren’t being coached. Sales leaders need to give their reps feedback from call monitoring or sitting in on virtual or live meetings. 
  2. Do a pipeline review meeting weekly: Kristie recommends a 15-minute meeting to go over the sales cycle checklist (link in the resources below) to look at your reps’ pipelines and gauge if they’re on target. 
  3. Complete a weekly tactical review: It’s a weekly (or monthly) one-on-one to go over goals and lay out a game plan for meeting quota. 

It takes discipline to yield results

Discipline is a character trait that nearly every guest on the show points out as an attribute a sales professional must have. Kristie also believes that past success is an indicator of future success. It’s one reason why she likes to hire former athletes—she knows they have drive and discipline. They have grit, determination, and understand the concept of hard work to reach goals. 

Kristie loves people who have a system in place. People who’ve done their due diligence and have nailed down a strategy that works for them to be productive. She knew a young rep who came in and did prospecting every day from 9–11:30 am, without fail. She refused to let deal prospects creep into her morning and was fiercely protective of that time. Anything else that needed to be done would land in her afternoons.

It’s all about finding a formula that works for you and staying consistent with it. Keep listening to hear Kristie and Paul discuss the mentality that athletes encompass that makes them ideal reps in the world of sales. 

Consistency and accountability go hand-in-hand

Kristie has found—both personally and professionally—that developing consistent (good) habits will yield more positive results. When you do the same thing every day, you begin to form habits. She believes you must hold yourself accountable to the structure that you’ve created for yourself.

Kristie was unexpectedly let go from a job she loved, and what she did next is what got her into her next job. She set up a home office and got up every day and spent her morning prospecting for jobs. She’d workout over lunch to get over the midday hump, then spent a couple more hours job-searching.

She set up networking meetings, sent out resumes, and watched webinars to continue learning and growing. She treated finding a job like it was her full-time job. After two and a half months of hard work and consistency, she landed her next job. She believes if she hadn’t kept herself accountable and followed a structured schedule her story might’ve ended quite a bit differently.

Listen to the whole episode for her top 3 dos and don’ts and more strategies to improve productivity!

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Apr 1, 2020

Today’s guest, Lisa Leitch, believes that proactive prospecting is key to productivity as a salesperson. It takes discipline, rigor, and drive to achieve results. It’s important to learn to be efficient and get into a rhythm. In this episode of Sales Reinvented, Lisa shares her take on productivity and a few key strategies that can help you become a more productive sales professional.

Lisa is the President and Sales Strategist of Teneo Results. She’s been a sales and training coach for over 15 years and worked with thousands of salespeople in over 250 different companies. Her mantra is “Be strategic. Be Proactive. Be Brave”. She brings years of experience in the sales world to this episode—don’t miss it!

Outline of This Episode

  • [0:53] Lisa’s definition of productivity and its importance
  • [1:56] Why aren’t salespeople as productive as they could be?
  • [2:58] Steps to improve day-to-day productivity?
  • [4:30] What are the attributes of a productive salesperson?
  • [6:10] Lisa’s foolproof strategies to improve productivity
  • [11:58] Lisa’s favorite productivity story

Don’t get stuck in the day-to-day

According to Lisa, being in the sales industry requires rigor and determination. You need to achieve results—and discipline and rigor are what get you there. But in the sales world, no two days are the same. It puts you at a disadvantage because it’s difficult to get into a rhythm and be efficient. 

Instead of focusing on improving day-to-day productivity, Lisa proposes setting 3-year goals. Where do you and your team want to be in 3 years? You can then break those goals down into yearly, quarterly, and weekly goals. You dissect those weekly goals into 7-day tasks. It’s about having a long-term vision for success and being future-focused. 

Be clear on your ideal clients

Salespeople are often so focused on making sales and creating revenue that they lose sight of their ideal prospects. It’s not all about getting a yes—sometimes it’s about saying no. You must walk away from clients who won’t help you yield results or who you know will be high-maintenance. 

If you have clarity on your ideal client it helps you focus your prospecting. It helps you attract and do business with the right people, where you can help them grow their business. One strategy you can use is to refer clients who aren’t a good fit to other people who “serve those types of clients better”. In that way, it’s not a hard no, but the offering of a better fit.

The concept of Proactive Prospecting

A strategy that Lisa has found greatly improves her productivity is Proactive Prospecting. Salespeople always want to be growing their business and keeping their pipelines full. Lisa blocks time to prospect, reach out to existing clients, schedule meetings, and more. She points out that to grow the business you need to move the needle on your dashboard. 

Lisa blocks Thursday mornings from 7:30 am to 8:55 am. She has found that this is the most productive time to be prospecting. You catch VP’s of sales (or other senior leaders) in their offices before their 9 am meetings. They’re also more likely to respond to an email or answer their phones. She sets a goal to make at least 10 phone calls in that time slot. 

Another strategy that Lisa finds simple but effective is the “Double Whammy”. People are more likely to use email, but it is easy to accidentally delete a message. If that’s your preferred method of reaching out she recommends following up with a 2nd point of contact with a different medium such as call, text, or message on LinkedIn.

Lisa’s tips to keep you efficient

Lisa points out that if you’re trying to be more efficient you need to maximize your time. If you’re traveling to a meeting with a client, always look for a 2nd client to meet with. She also recommends shutting off your email notifier. It’s an unnecessary distraction and your messages are likely not urgent. 

Above all, don’t be a transactional seller. Do your best to answer client questions and respond to whatever they need, but focus on being consultative. When you focus on building relationships with your clients and understand their needs you can provide solutions to their challenges—and be more productive.

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with Lisa Leitch

Connect With Paul Watts 

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Mar 25, 2020

Mark Hunter believes that productivity is best defined by the incremental value you provide customers as you help them achieve outcomes. It isn’t about being busy or crossing items off of a to-do list. It is about providing value. What does that look like? How does a salesperson accomplish it? Learn more in this episode of SaleReinvented!

Mark—known as the ‘Sales Hunter’—is arguably one of the greatest minds in the world of sales. He is an accomplished speaker, consultant, and author of multiple best-selling books. With an astounding 30+ years of sales leadership experience, he repeatedly helps companies find and retain better prospects. Paul picks his brain in this episode—don’t miss it!

Outline of This Episode

  • [0:57] What does productivity mean to Mark?
  • [1:51] Why is productivity important?
  • [2:41] Why aren’t sales professionals productive? 
  • [3:59] How to improve day-to-day productivity
  • [5:40] The mindset of a productive salesperson
  • [7:50] Productivity hacks that Mark embraces
  • [11:12] Top 3 productivity dos and don’ts
  • [13:33] A productivity challenge that Mark has faced

Where you spend your time is determined by the outcomes you desire for your customer

Mark is adamant that you cannot get hung-up on a to-do list. Instead, you must determine the desired outcome for your day and client. Once you have the outcome nailed down, you backfill the activities that will fill your day. In this way, you are more focused and not distracted by your list. 

He recommends staying on task by preparing for each day the night before. He writes down exactly what he hopes to accomplish so that he doesn’t spend an hour of his morning ‘dinking around’ figuring out what his day will look like. 

Mark points out that any professional athlete goes into their game with a game plan in place to win. They have a clear vision in mind. Sales professionals need to view themselves in the same way—as professionals with clear goals and outcomes in mind. 

A productive salesperson has the right mindset 

Mark states that you cannot “Allow other people to define your level of success—only YOU can define your level of success”. He often sees salespeople get discouraged because their performance doesn’t measure up to someone else’s. His message is clear: you must stop defining your success by someone else’s accomplishments. Instead, measure yourself against yourself

If you start each day with the mindset of an optimist, you’ll start to notice the incredible amount of opportunities available to you. You just have to be ready, open, and conditioned to recognize them. Mark starts every activity with the desire to influence whoever it is he’s dealing with, create impact for each party—and exit a better person.

Throw your to-do list in the garbage

Instead of relying on a to-do list, Mark lives by time-blocking. Once you have your desired outcome nailed down, block time in your schedule for each activity that advances you towards that outcome. When you define your time, you stop allowing the work to expand and overtake your time. YOU compact the work into the time you’ve made available for it. 

Mark is ruthless with his calendar, and other top-performers such as Richard Branson and Mark Cuban do the same. 

His second sage piece of advice is to do your most difficult task first thing in the morning. In his words, “The mountains are never high as you think and the lows are never as low as you anticipated”. Whatever you may be dreading won’t ever be as bad as you anticipate!

Mark believes you must think and process in the long-term but live in the moment. Following that reasoning, he states that everyone NEEDS a 25-year goal. If you don’t set long-term goals, “You go through life reacting to things, not acting to create them”. 

Marks tips and strategies to stay productive 

Mark operates by the adage that ‘tomorrow begins today’. So what are the things he recommends doing to get a head start? How do you continue being productive?

  • Build a list of outcomes and block your time accordingly. 
  • Celebrate success at the end of every day. 
  • Don’t start your day looking at emails—block them into your schedule. 
  • Avoid starting your day on Social Media. It can be critical to sales (but also a complete time-suck). Set a timer and move on when your time is up. 
  • Remember you don’t have to do it all. Delegate tasks and activities whenever you can. 

Lastly, Mark wants you to recognize that there will be times when you fail. He points out that every great baseball player strikes out more than they get to 1st base—but they’re still millionaires. 

Don’t kick yourself when you don’t get something accomplished. Stay positive and remember to focus on celebrating the good that has happened—because only YOU can motivate yourself. To hear the rest of Mark’s take on productivity and what you can do to achieve better outcomes for your clients, listen to the whole episode! 

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with Mark Hunter

Connect With Paul Watts

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Mar 18, 2020

Is your definition of productivity truly working for you? Are you stuck in an endless loop of activities? If you’re treading water and seem incapable of completing the sales activities you need to, it’s time to redefine what productivity means to you. Jeff Bajorek joins Paul in this episode of Sales Reinvented to help you rethink how you view productivity.

Jeff is a sales improvement consultant specializing in the B2B space. He’s co-host of ‘The Why And The Buy’ podcast and author of ‘Rethink The Way You Sell: The Five Forgotten Fundamentals of Prospecting’. In this episode he’ll share his thoughts on productivity, his top 3 do’s and don’ts, and what you should do to become more productive. 

Outline of This Episode

  • [0:54] What does Jeff Bajorek think productivity is?
  • [1:54] Why is productivity so important in sales?
  • [3:23] How do you increase your productivity?
  • [7:16] The tools Jeff finds effective
  • [9:18] Jeff’s top 3 dos and top 3 don’ts
  • [12:07] Jeff’s favorite productivity story

The definition of productivity is anything you want it to be 

Jeff points out that productivity is getting enough stuff done—and YOU get to decide what ‘enough’ is. Once you’ve defined what productivity looks like for you, you can implement systems and structures to knock things out. It gives you the freedom to implement what systems work best for you.

According to Jeff, you must be informed, intentional, and purposeful. Define how you’re going to be productive and then commit to it to reach your sales goals. He notes that many salespeople get stuck in “analysis paralysis”. They’re so hyper-focused on what needs to be done that the ‘how’ gets lost. 

Instead of getting lost in analysis paralysis, Jeff recommends deciding ahead of time what the important activities are. Avoid distractions and non-sales activities and follow the 4 steps of the sales cycle:  

  1. Identify who you can help
  2. Get their attention
  3. Communicate your value
  4. Get them to commit to the process

Whatever you do needs to lead to the advancement of those 4 activities. 

The attributes of a productive sales professional 

According to Jeff, the #1 attribute of a sales professional NEEDS to be the ability to be disciplined. Once you’ve identified what’s important, you must have the discipline to carry through on those tasks—especially when you don’t want to. For Jeff, this meant completing sales calls reports. He hated them but believes doing them made him more effective.

You must also be open-minded. While Jeff believes many of the tech tools available have the uncanny ability to get in the way, you must be able to evaluate and embrace them if they’ll make you more efficient. You have to be able to learn new tricks as an old dog. 

Lastly, Jeff points out that you must be humble. Be willing to admit you don’t know it all—and keep learning. 

Don’t be afraid to say NO

Jeff shares his ‘top 3 productivity do’s and top 3 don’ts’ and one concept that struck Paul was learning how to say no. To be productive you must prioritize and schedule what needs to be done. Everything else can be squeezed in around it. However, if you’re taking on too many activities and trying to fly by the seat of your pants you will struggle to hit your numbers. 

Don’t give yourself too much credit—don’t take on more than you can handle. Everyone is guilty of it at one time or another. You must learn to underpromise and over-deliver. Say yes to the activities that are important and don’t be afraid to say no. Jeff embraces careful consideration when he makes decisions, citing “Every time you’re saying YES you’re saying NO to something else”. 

Rethinking the process of productivity

When Jeff left a previous job, he wanted to implement some things that he had learned over his time there but were considered “risky”. He took a good hard look at his calendar and implemented a new system based on his research. He took the activities he knew moved the sales process along and got himself in front of prospects. He made sure his value proposition was clear and asked people to take the next step with him every single meeting.  

He changed the focus of his days and made sure every activity he completed was worth doing (and measurable). What he found was that he was able to cut down time spent working to ⅓ of what it was previously—but he tripled his sales activities. He had a 9x return on results to activity. It changed his productivity and his personal life. According to his wife, he became less stressed and more like himself. 

He points out that you must always ask yourself: “Are you spending enough time, doing enough of the right things, to get enough done?”. To hear the full conversation, be sure to listen to the whole episode!

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with Jeff Bajorek

Connect With Paul Watts 

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Mar 11, 2020

If you learn to define and prioritize high-value activities you will become a more productive sales professional. If you know what activities hold the highest value and act on those over lower-value activities you set yourself up for success. We have finite reserves—you get to choose where you invest your time, energy, motivation and discipline.

Amy Franko joins Paul in this episode of Sales Reinvented to chat about how she prioritizes her time to be successful in sales. Amy specializes in working with B2B organizations on sales effectiveness. She is a trainer and consultant, keynote speaker, and author of The Modern Seller. 

Outline of This Episode

  • [0:46] What is productivity?
  • [1:50] What makes us unproductive
  • [2:51] Improving productivity
  • [4:13] Attributes of a great salesperson
  • [5:07] Productivity Tools and tips
  • [6:30] Top 3 dos and top 3 don'ts
  • [11:34] Amy’s favorite productivity story

Learn to say ‘no’ to prioritize high-value activities

Amy points out that salespeople often have a huge list of sales activities to tackle. They’re often given the added burden of administrative tasks that they don’t need on their plates. This automatically lowers your ability to focus on high-value tasks. You must define what activity only you can do so you can delegate—or drop altogether—what isn’t a priority. Where are you going to devote your resources? What can you say no to?

How do you become a more productive salesperson?

A good sales professional knows the difference between just staying busy versus being productive. They are decisive about where they spend their time. Amy says you need to learn to focus on the big picture. Look at your week and set 3 goals—the high-value activities that will bring you forward progress.

Likewise, she does the same thing daily: she prioritizes 3 things to get accomplished. If you start with a list of 10+ activities, you will never get anything done. But if you narrow your focus and knock out the most important things, it can leave room to knock out whatever’s left. 

They time-block what’s important to stay organized. She recommends using a timer for each activity. It frees up your mind to focus on the task-at-hand instead of watching the clock. When the alarm goes off, you can re-evaluate where you’re at and either devote more time or move on to the next task. 

Amy also loves using agendas to stay on track with meetings. Lastly, she likes to keep it old-school and use a paper list to track what she’s focusing on in a particular day. 

Amy’s top 3 Productivity Do’s and Don’ts

What are some things you should—or shouldn’t—do to enhance productivity?

  • You must decide that your time is something you want to invest—not spend. 
  • Design an environment that supports your productivity. Amy invested in a co-working space for when she needs to focus and knock out projects. Her home office brought too many distractions, so she came up with a better plan!
  • Block your professional time AND your personal time in a way that works for you. 
  • Don’t say yes to every opportunity, but take time to decide if it’s right for you.
  • Don’t procrastinate on follow-up—do as many of those tasks while they’re fresh in your mind. 
  • Don’t forget to bring an agenda to your meetings with clients. You’ll be far more productive.

These are just a few of the things that Amy has found are imperative to her success that is easy for anyone to implement. 

What Amy learned launching her book: The Modern Seller

Writing a book is a huge undertaking. You aren’t just writing—you’re creating content, dealing with publishing, as well as marketing. Complex projects have a lot of moving parts, and Amy learned some valuable things that she wanted to share:

  1. To do something meaningful, she had to make trade-offs on other activities. She had to invest her time wisely to accomplish her dream of publishing a book. 
  2. She invested in an accountability partner. Amy hired a book coach and did a weekly call with her. Knowing she had to give her an update kept her on task and moving forward. 
  3. Big things are never accomplished alone. You need a support team so that you can focus on what your strengths are and the high-value activities that produce revenue. 

Amy is full of useful tips and tricks that she’s learned throughout the years. Take advantage of this opportunity to learn from one of the best and listen to the whole episode of Sales Reinvented!

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with Amy Franko

Connect With Paul Watts 

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Mar 4, 2020

Revenue = frequency x competency is one way that Chad Burmeister measures productivity. You have to be able to do more in a shorter period of time—you must increase your frequency. Over time, as you gain experience and focus on frequency, your competency will grow. This increases productivity and therefore increase revenue. Chad and Paul discuss this topic in-depth in this episode of Sales Reinvented.

Chad is the founder and CEO of ScaleX.ai—ScaleX leverages artificial intelligence and sales automation to automate up to 75% of sales reps tasks so that they can focus on higher-value work. He is the author of multiple Sales Hack books and a recently published book about AI for sales. Chad is passionate about helping sales professionals crush their quotas and increase revenue.

Outline of This Episode

  • [0:57] Chad Burmeister’s definition of productivity
  • [2:55] The reality of effective sales professionals
  • [4:48] Steps to balance the equation
  • [9:10] Attributes of a great salesperson
  • [11:30] Chad’s favorite productivity tools
  • [19:17] A story you can learn from 

Are salespeople really less productive? 

The prevailing statistic is that approximately 50% of sales professionals are hitting their quotas. Chad believes this isn’t accurate. He points out that finance departments are usually the ones setting the quotas for sales professionals to reach. Have they set the bar too high? Are they setting unrealistic expectations?

Chad points out that it takes ⅔ the amount of people to drive 1 billion in revenue compared to 5 years ago. They are actually ⅓ more productive! There are technologies in place that helps salespeople become more efficient and effective. In the long run, he doesn’t think sales pros are less productive—he thinks unrealistic quotas are manipulating the numbers.

Improving productivity is still possible

While Chad believes the bar is being set too high for quotas, there is always room for improving the productivity of a salesperson. He states that the average seller executes 50-60 sales activities per day—but that baseline can be improved. 

There is a lot of noise in selling. So much so that in the last two years alone, it now takes 10x more sales touches to book a meeting. To increase revenue, you need frequent meetings to make a sale. How can that be done?

Chad points out that email marketing is proving to be ineffective, with an average response rate of 0.5-3%. Social selling fares much better, with an 8-12% engagement rate. Ultimately, he believes phone calls are having a resurgence and is still one of the most effective ways to connect with your prospect. 

Getting on the phone with your prospect is the hardest part. This is where Chad recommends agent-assisted dialing. You initiate the dial, and a combination of software and human intervention navigates you to the person you need to connect with. Keep listening to find out why Chad believes this helps increase productivity. 

What attributes make a productive salesperson? 

According to Chad, a high-achieving salesperson has to perform at a better level than anyone else. He shares a story about an athlete who made Presidents Club three years in a row. He was a football player used to being pushed to do better and be better than the competition. He took that mindset into his sales position and blew his sales team out of the park. 

He did so by learning tricks and tactics that set him apart from the competition—and didn’t share them with anyone else. One of the tools he used was agent-assisted dialing. He would come to the office early and initiate calls on the East Coast and drive 1,000 calls to someone else's 100. 

Chad points out a simple tip to live by: know the metrics of your team and focus on increasing your frequency. Statistically speaking, more phone calls equals more conversations. And as you increase your conversations, your competency soars. Your revenue should increase. But it all starts with a willingness to do more than everyone else. 

Revenue = Frequency x Competency: Tools that help you balance the equation 

Chad is a firm believer that you must embrace the technology available to you and leverage it in a way that benefits you. It’s a given that everyone should have a good CRM. But what else does he think you need?

  1. LinkedIn Navigator: 90% of companies use this tool, and it should be 100%. It helps you build and nurture customer relationships on LinkedIn. 
  2. Agent-Assisted Dialing: Getting someone on the phone can be a monotonous process. Making calls that an $8 an hour worker could do is wasting your time, so he recommends outsourcing it. 
  3. BDR.ai (or another similar program): Something that executes social sales activities to allow you to focus elsewhere.
  4. Calendly or Chili Piper: Gone are the days of emailing back and forth to lock down a meeting. These tools simplify the process of connecting with your prospect. 
  5. FlowEngine.ai or Get The Lead: help find leads, ranks who you should reach out to, and even helps you gauge what to say to the leads. 

Chad is passionate about what he does. To get the most out of his expertise and hear in detail how he operates, listen to the whole episode!

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with Chad Burmeister

Connect With Paul Watts 

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Feb 26, 2020

A salesperson needs to utilize behavioral intelligence to be effective. What does that look like? It’s about leveraging your skills and abilities to follow through and accomplish goals. This is imperative to your success as a sales professional. Mary Grothe joins Paul to discuss productivity and how behavioral intelligence—and your behavioral quotient—impacts your ability to make sales. Don’t miss this engaging episode of Sales Reinvented!

Mary Grothe started her career with a Fortune 1000 company in an administrative role. She quickly excelled and demonstrated the necessary skills to transition into a sales position. Since then, she’s sold millions in revenue. She is the CEO and Founder of Sales BQ®, a firm geared towards helping businesses rebuild sales and marketing departments to achieve growth and increase revenue. 

Outline of This Episode

  • [1:08] Mary Grothe’s take on sales productivity
  • [2:21] Why aren’t salespeople productive?
  • [4:40] Improve day-to-day productivity
  • [6:30] Attributes a salesperson should have
  • [7:40] Tools, tactics, and strategies
  • [9:30] Top 3 dos and top 3 don’ts
  • [12:10] Mary’s greatest productivity story

A productive salesperson must learn to master the “in-between”

Mary points out that most salespeople are highly intelligent. They are product ninjas who know their marketplace and their competition. They excel at engaging with prospects and making them feel understood. To be productive, they must show up and do the work, day-in and day-out. They tend to excel at the core tasks of their position.

To Mary, being productive in all of these areas is important—but you must master the in-between. In-between phone calls and meetings, where is your time being spent? You must be smart and effective with every minute of your day and not let little things fall through the cracks. If a salesperson doesn’t excel at something, it’s easy for them to only focus their attention on their strengths. How is that remedied? Keep listening to find out!

Salespeople need structure to stay on-task

Mary states that some organizations are a “hot mess” and don’t have a good infrastructure in place to set their salespeople up for success. A good CRM, automation, technology, and a playbook are essential. Structure, guidance, and a constant feedback loop are imperative. If there isn’t a good framework in place, they won’t be productive—it’s that simple.

She’s also noticed that many salespeople aren’t detail-oriented. It’s not in their nature. If they aren’t held accountable through every step of the process, they’ll find activities to spend their time on that they find fulfilling. That is why it is of the utmost importance to have a guidebook and system in place. 

Organization and planning make a world of difference

Mary is naturally a very organized person (which she’s found is a HUGE indicator of success). It’s so easy to be overwhelmed by emails or distracted by social media. What starts as an essential tool can hinder your progress. She knows you must teach sales professionals how to prioritize their days so they enter the office with a game plan—not just winging it. 

The most productive people have a plan and know where every single minute of their day is going.It is a game-changer. When Mary first started in sales, she was the first person showing up at the office to knock out administrative work. She would leave for her day of scheduled appointments when most of her coworkers were just showing up

Mary became an accomplished salesperson because she was disciplined, organized, and planned her day in advance. She would map out her day the evening before and visually gauge where she was going and what she needed to do the next day to be on par with her goals. 

The behavioral quotient of behavioral Intelligence 

Mary defines the behavioral quotient as the “conscious decision to show up and perform every day at the highest ability”. It is changing your mental mindset so that being mediocre is never an option. Instead, you must have a winning mindset. There is no plan B, and a misstep is equal to lost revenue. 

Your mental mindset triggers feelings that dictate actions and yield results.

You must change how you think, how you feel, and how you act to change how you perform. She notes it’s amazing how these changes will impact your results and make you a more productive salesperson. 

Mary was willing to do whatever it took (ethically) to find success in her position and strives to help other businesses do the same. To hear her top 3 productivity do’s and don’ts and other tips for success, be sure to listen to the entire episode of Sales Reinvented!

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with Mary Grothe

Connect With Paul Watts 

Subscribe to SALES REINVENTED

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Feb 19, 2020

Goal alignment in business can be a powerful tool. It’s not only a tool—but a necessity. Are the different departments working in unison? Are you part of a sales team at war with the marketing team? If you’re ready to become more productive and ready to find ways to align with the goals of the company, listen to this episode now!

Christopher Ryan joins Paul to share his experience with goal alignment and how it was the key to his success. He is the CEO, founder, and Revenue Growth Catalyst and Execution Expert at Fusion Marketing partners. He is an expert in B2B marketing and helping businesses grow their revenue. 

Outline of This Episode

  • [1:00] Christopher Ryan shares what productivity means to him
  • [1:55] Why aren’t salespeople effective?
  • [4:55] What are the attributes of a productive salesperson?
  • [7:20] Tools, strategies, and tactics
  • [10:05] Top 3 productivity do’s and top 3 don’ts
  • [14:30] Christopher’s favorite productivity story

Knowledge and a desire to serve will set you apart

A productive salesperson also needs to master their niche. They should have deep product and domain knowledge. They know how to bring information and resources to the table that a competitor can’t match. 

A sales representative doesn’t need to be aggressive. In fact, Christopher points out that the best sales professionals have a desire to serve. They are people who really want to help, not just make a sale. They’ve mastered the art of friendly persistence and the ability to sell without offending the prospect.

Above all else, they recognize that their prospects are human beings. Human beings who aren’t looking for a transaction, but a relationship, a rapport. Successful salespeople have pleasing personalities—they want their prospects to feel happy and confident with the relationship.

Christopher’s favorite tools + tactics

Christopher shares his top 4 solutions for helping a sales professional stay productive. What are they?

  1. Use a CRM system: It helps keep you organized. It is a tool to help capture everything you’re trying to keep in your head. 
  2. Use a calendar tool: Christopher recommends Calendly or any tool that makes it easy for prospects to book time with you.
  3. Content Management System (CMS): What resources do you need at certain points in the sales cycle to facilitate the process of selling? Organize it here. 
  4. Find a content curation system: gather information so you understand what’s being talked about and what will help your prospects.

Christopher’s top 3 productivity do’s and don’ts

Christopher brought so much value in this episode and shared some of his best productivity hacks. These are the top 3 things he believes you must do:

  1. Understand and promote a unique brand promise. If you are different, unique, and offer something of value your product is set apart. 
  2. Work closely with your marketing division. You must agree on a process and recognize you’re on the same team. 
  3. Plug revenue leakages. What leads weren’t followed up on? Was something handled outside of the system? Make the process easier. 

What things shouldn’t you do?

  1. Don’t waste valuable time with unqualified prospects. Make sure you’re talking to the right people.
  2. Don’t do your own lead qualification. Allow your sales development team to handle this part of the process.
  3. Never stay in an unpleasant or hostile business. Don’t be afraid to leave. Happy and healthy employees produce the best results. 

Why goal alignment is so important

Christopher was the VP of marketing at a software company. The business didn’t have good processes in place. Sales reps were unhappy—and unproductive. With full permission, he met with his sales counterpart. They worked together to establish joint goals, defined what a qualified lead was, and implemented a nurturing process. 

The aligned their vision and goals. It changed everything.

The cost to acquire a lead dropped from $150 to $65. They went from less than 50% lead follow-up to over 90%. Lead leakage was lowered to less than 10%. That is the power of discipline and goal alignment. 

Christopher confidently stated, “If you put your minds together and look forward in the same direction, and have joint goals, you can do anything”. 

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with Christopher Ryan

Connect With Paul Watts 

Subscribe to SALES REINVENTED

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Feb 12, 2020

Critical thinking skills are an imperative attribute if you want to become a productive and successful salesperson. Why are they important? What does a productive salesperson look like? Today’s guest, Deb Calvert, answers these questions—and more—in this episode of Sales Reinvented.

Deb has been in the sales industry for 15 years and is the President of People First Productivity Solutions. Their goal is to build organizational strength by putting people first. She is a certified executive coach, author, and one of the most influential women in the world of business. Listen to this episode of Sales Reinvented for her unique insight and knowledge of the industry!

Outline of This Episode

  • [0:20] Deb Calvert joins Paul in this episode!
  • [1:03] What is productivity?
  • [2:00] Why aren’t salespeople productive?
  • [3:15] How to improve day-to-day effectiveness
  • [4:35] Attributes that make a productive salesperson
  • [6:05] Tools and strategies to increase productivity 
  • [8:40] Top 3 Do’s and top 3 don'ts
  • [11:00] Deb’s favorite productivity story

E = O (Effort equals Opportunity)

Productivity is about the ability to generate, create, and complete goals and it must lead to revenue production. Being a productive salesperson also means producing new ideas and creating relationships. If you aren’t able to produce the desired results, then you are not reaching your potential as a salesperson. 

Being productive isn’t just being busy—it’s about being effective and driving a result

Deb’s #1 rule of selling is E = O, in other words: “the amount of effort you put into any activity should be directly proportionate to the opportunity associated with that activity.'' She points out that the “big fish” should get more of your attention than the minnow. Deb notes that you need to be mindful of what you spend your time on and be sure it’s proportional to the effort you put in.

Delegate and automate whatever isn’t essential

Deb iterates that you must change your mindset. You can’t be stuck in the dark ages and refuse to use the technology available to you. Likewise, you must delegate whatever is not essential to the act of selling. Don’t fall trap to the mentality that only you can do something right—train others to take over non-essential responsibilities. 

Be willing to set up software and applications that liberate your time. Save that precious time and utilize it only for activities that produce sales. For example, Deb embraces ‘Calendly’ to manage her schedule. She opens up time in a schedule that she has blocked for appointments, and allows her prospects to schedule at a time convenient to them. This saves her the hassle of emailing back and forth to nail down a time.

Why critical thinking skills are essential 

The #1 attribute that Deb believes a productive salesperson must have is critical thinking. You have to be able to make smart and calculated decisions about where to spend your time and energy. The ability to think critically gives you the power to cut through the noise and distractions. It allows you to be more discerning. 

Deb is always looking for more effective ways to carry out tasks. If you have the necessary critical thinking skills required you’ll be able to discern what moves you need to take. Listen to the whole episode—Deb suggests some resources to hone your critical thinking skills that you won’t want to miss!

Deb’s top productivity tips

Deb has some favorite tools and strategies that she was kind enough to share: 

  • Crystal Knows: this is a personality profiling assessment tool that you can use to look at someone’s LinkedIn and other social media profiles (anything available on the internet) and gives you a snapshot of their personality. This can help you gauge whether or not to be more direct with someone, how to communicate, and so forth. 
  • Stop multitasking & start time-blocking: Deb points out that less than 3% of people can do quality work shifting between tasks. Instead, block similar activities or tasks together and focus on them until they’re completed.
  • Work on what you don’t like: a little bit of front-end preparation and knocking out the hard things first allows you to focus on the goals that you’re reaching. 
  • Experiment and find what works for you: there are so many strategies out there. Deb notes that you can’t be afraid to play around with different suggestions and find what works best for you—then stick with it.

To hear Deb’s favorite productivity story and other resources she shares, listen to this episode now!

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with Deb Calvert

Connect With Paul Watts 

Subscribe to SALES REINVENTED

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Feb 5, 2020

Bill McCormick has learned to leverage LinkedIn lead generation in a way that is both productive and efficient. In a world where it’s easy to get lost in social media and get distracted by shiny things, how does he stay focused? How does he use LinkedIn as a social selling tool and not a hindrance? Find out in this episode of Sales Reinvented!

Bill McCormick and his wife launched their Digital Sales Course in 2017—geared towards helping businesses leverage LinkedIn to build relationships. Now, he is the VP and LinkedIn Strategist for Social Sales Link. He’s become a master of social selling tactics. He joins Paul to lend his expertise. Don’t miss it!

Outline of This Episode

  • [0:20] Bill McCormick joins Paul!
  • [1:10] What is productivity?
  • [1:45] Why aren’t sales professionals productive?
  • [3:40] Steps to improve day-to-day productivity
  • [5:30] Attributes of a productive salesperson
  • [6:40] Tools, tactics, and strategies to increase productivity
  • [9:00] Top 3 Do’s and Top 3 Don’ts
  • [11:50] Bill’s favorite productivity story

A lack of productivity is akin to being busy and broke

According to Bill, “We need to put systems in place to be consistent with activities that will lead to desired outcomes”. If you’re a sales professional, that means making sales, signing contracts, and having money in your pocket. If you aren’t doing those things, you’re the equivalent of busy and broke

Bill points out that there are more productivity tools available than ever before, but unless you use them properly, they just become further distractions. So how do you refocus? How do you make the switch from doing busywork to engaging in productive work?

Improve day-to-day productivity by implementing systems

Bill’s answer is to implement systems to obtain sales goals. He quoted James Clear, saying that “We don’t rise to the level of our goals, we fall to the level of our systems”. Salespeople are good at setting lofty goals, but productivity will suffer if they don’t have steps in place to reach those goals. 

For example, Bill shares some tips from his daily morning routine. His job is selling social selling to other companies (his speciality is LinkedIn). So every day he checks his LinkedIn notifications. He looks to see who looked at his profile or interacted with his content. He makes connections, all the while keeping his end goal in mind. 

You must have boldness, persistence, and tenacity to be a productive and effective sales professional. Bill points out that without those attributes, you’ll make it a nanosecond in the sales world. 

The largest enemy of a sales professional is inconsistency

Bill further breaks down his systems strategy by setting daily goals that you carry out consistently. You need to get into a rhythm, a cadence. Above all, he points out you shouldn’t wing it. Don’t start your day saying, “Hmm, maybe I’ll do this today”. Write down the goals you want to achieve that day and break them down into manageable chunks.

Bill prefers to set timers for various activities so he devotes a set amount of time for each thing without getting distracted. He does the same things consistently, day in and day out. 

Always ask the question, “What system can I put in place to reach my daily goals?”.

Do you do cold-calling? Do you have a system in place to obtain phone numbers and contacts? How will you make those calls? If you nail down each step of your process and create a system, you will become more productive. 

Leveraging lead generation on LinkedIn

It’s no secret that Bill is passionate about LinkedIn, after all—he’s made a career of it. When he and his wife first launched their business, they were looking for the best way to get in front of decision-makers. What Bill found was that Linked in was like having someone’s Rolodex. An endless list of connections, online, completely free.

They started making connections and reaching out to businesses on LinkedIn. 30-35% of those communications led to an appt. Of that percentage, they closed 30-40% of those meetings. Bill calculated last year that approximately $450,000 of their closed sales were leads generated on LinkedIn

LinkedIn was the key to their success. It can be your greatest productivity tool with the right systems and cadence in place. To hear their full conversation, make sure to listen to the whole episode!

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with Bill McCormick

Connect With Paul Watts 

Subscribe to SALES REINVENTED

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Jan 29, 2020

Cultivating personal productivity is something that takes practice and persistence. You must be disciplined and have the drive it takes to reach your goals. How do you learn where to focus your energy? What activities and processes should be front and center? Dionne Mischler joins Paul in this episode of Sales Reinvented to share her opinion on productivity. 

Dionne is the founder and CEO of Inside Sales by Design and specializes in helping clients achieve their goals. She is passionate about sales and driving results and outcomes. With over two decades of sales experience, her insight is a welcome addition to this episode!

Outline of This Episode

  • [0:20] Dionne Mischler Joins Paul.
  • [0:45] What is productivity?
  • [1:10] Why is productivity important?
  • [2:10] Why aren’t salespeople productive?
  • [3:20] Hone and own your craft
  • [5:00] Success is about mindset
  • [6:10] The value of pen and paper
  • [7:30] Top 3 do’s and don’ts
  • [9:10] Dionne’s favorite productivity story 

Discipline and Focus are crucial to personal productivity

Salespeople have a bad rep for being “ADD” and jumping from one shiny object to another. But successful sales professionals are disciplined and focused. They follow Dionne’s definition of productivity: being engaged in the right activities at the right time with the right intention.

Dionne points out that things will come up that you want to run by product or marketing—but that they don’t need to be done now. Focus your energy and stay engaged in selling activities for the right length of time. Only then should you attend to other tasks.

Owning and honing your craft

Dionne points out that If you work in sales, closing a deal is glorified. The arrival mentality. What’s not focused on is the blood, sweat, and tears that go into a customer saying “yes”. There’s pre-call planning, rehearsing and proactive. You have to educate the customer on your product and advocate for its usefulness. 

Dionne notes that “people don’t see the sweat equity that goes into making it look effortless.'' 

To hone your craft and get to the point where your prospects consistently say yes, you must invest in career development. Dionne recommends choosing a skill every month and focus on improving that skill. You get to decide if you’ll become the next-level professional by the time you’re willing to invest to get there. 

Pen and paper drive productivity

Dionne advocates for utilizing pen and paper as a productivity tool. They don’t run out of batteries and serve up endless distractions. There is value in sitting down with a blank page and sketching out a plan for the future.

What are your goals for the year? The next quarter? What about the upcoming month or next day?

She has her clients sit down and go through this process as well. Dionne believes it helps develop the right mindset and lays out a plan for productivity. If you pinpoint a theme you want to carry throughout the year it can make a huge impact. 

You can’t soar with the eagles if you’re hanging out with turkeys 

Dionne points out that iron sharpens iron. Don’t engage with people who don’t sharpen you or push you towards greatness. Sure you can hang out with coworkers or have the occasional lunch with a friend. But focus on developing relationships that drive you to be better at what you do. Be intentional with all of your time and the activities you invest that time in. After all, you can’t soar with the eagles if you’re hanging out with the turkeys.

To hear Dionne’s top 3 productivity do’s and top 3 don'ts as well as her favorite story, listen to the whole episode now.

Connect with Dionne Mischler

Connect With Paul Watts  

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Jan 22, 2020

Productivity measurement begins with a plan. Productivity is what you achieve from what you’ve planned. You need to be able to get done what you set out to do. So how do you begin to plan? What steps should a sales professional take? Luigi Prestinenzi joins Paul to share how he continues to increase his productivity. 

Luigi is the Co-Founder & Head of Growth at Sales IQ Group and hosts the SalesIQ Podcast, based in Melbourne, Australia. He is a coach and consultant who aims to help businesses unlock the full potential of their sales team. To hear his take on productivity and what you can do to improve your sales, listen to the whole episode!

Outline of This Episode

  • [0:20] Paul introduces Luigi Prestinenzi.
  • [1:15] What is productivity? 
  • [1:50] Why is productivity important in sales?
  • [3:30] Why aren’t salespeople productive? 
  • [5:15] Steps to take to improve productivity
  • [8:00] Attributes a salesperson should have
  • [10:40] Productivity tools and tactics
  • [12:15] Top 3 do’s and top 3 don’ts
  • [13:50] Luigi’s favorite productivity story

Salespeople are paid to deliver an outcome

It’s simple. If a sales professional isn’t doing their job and closing sales, the business suffers. A salesperson is only as good as the last month of the billing period. There is a lot of turnover in sales because they hold the most visible position that is held accountable when they’re not productive. 

If they aren’t reaching goals or making quotas, then what are they doing? 

There are only so many hours in the day and Luigi points out that you must protect the limited time you have. A salesperson must learn how to focus on the tasks that reach the desired outcome. What are the metrics you need to achieve? What do you need to start tracking? You can’t achieve what you don’t measure. 

What can productivity measurement teach you?

The world lives in an age of distraction. Every smart-phone notification distracts you from the tasks you need to be focusing on. Social media can be a great asset or your greatest hindrance. Don’t get lost in a sea of communication that won’t deliver the outcome you’re looking for. 

Luigi states that 50-60% of sales teams are unable to reach sales targets. 

So how do you change that? Start tracking your performance. What are you doing when you’re being productive and actively closing sales? What were you doing then that you aren’t doing now? Know the tasks you need to do, schedule them in your calendar, and complete them. It requires discipline. 

To be a high-performing salesperson you must be proactive

A successful salesperson holds themselves accountable to the goals they’ve set. Many people don’t hold themselves accountable, and instead, they try and justify their actions with excuses. Luigi points out that finding success is hard, and if you don’t protect your time as your greatest asset, you won’t be productive.

Working harder, longer is not the answer. So what is?

Luigi states you need to get some productivity tools in place. Start using Calendly to schedule meetings and eliminate the back-and-forth of calendar volley-ball. You get to choose where people can schedule meetings. Use Seamless.ai to build lists for prospecting. 

Do you want to hear the rest of Luigi’s productivity hacks? Listen to the whole episode!

Prospecting is a key component in achieving success in sales 

Luigi is a strong advocate for prospecting and believes it’s fundamental to a sales professionals’ success. If prospecting is your weakness, you must spend time improving your abilities. Luigi points out a few key things that can help:

  • Know your persona
  • Know how many touch points you need over a period of time
  • Develop communication templates
  • Create a process that you can automate as much as possible

To be productive you must stop starting over and doing everything from scratch, every time. Templates allow you to be more efficient!

Luigi shares some powerful strategies in this episode. Don’t miss it!

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with Luigi

Connect With Paul Watts 

Subscribe to SALES REINVENTED

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