The Modern Selling podcast, hosted by Mario Martinez, Jr., is the go-to podcast for sales leaders, sales professionals, business owners, sales enablement leaders, and anyone responsible for generating revenue. Mario's guests are practitioners in the trenches, experts in their profession and influencers who are leveraging modern selling techniques to inspire you to create more sales conversations with your target buyer!
How to Use Behavioral Psychology to Sell More Effectively with Perry Carpenter, #175
What can sales leaders learn from cybersecurity awareness? A lot!
My guest in this episode of the Modern Selling Podcast is Perry Carpenter, author of Transformational Security Awareness: What Neuroscientists, Storytellers, and Marketers Can Teach Us About Driving Secure Behaviors, and he brings some great insights for sales leaders and marketers.
He currently serves as Chief Evangelist and Strategy Officer for KnowBe4, the world's most popular security awareness and simulated phishing platform.
Previously, Perry led security awareness, security culture management, and anti-phishing behavior management research at Gartner Research, in addition to covering areas of IAM strategy, CISO Program Management mentoring, and Technology Service Provider success strategies. With a long career as a security professional and researcher, Perry has broad experience in North America and Europe, providing security consulting and advisory services for many of the best-known global brands.
Listen to our conversation to learn three things your sellers should do to prospect more effectively.
1. Sellers Must Become Storytellers Any time your sellers are prospecting, they have to:
Tell a story about a gap or need within the prospect’s life, reminding them of something that is not optimal in their lives Tell the story about what the prospect’s life looks like without the solution you offer and then paint a picture of the hope, the joy, the risk reduction or whatever happens anytime the seller comes in and fills that gap. “In the security space,” Perry says, “it's all around, so if you do this or if you don't do this you're putting organization at risk, you're putting your family at risk. You've got identity theft or something like that that may happen. And, therefore, you need to either plug this product in, or change this behavior, or adopt this mindset or so on.”
Perry says that understanding the customer journey is very important for sales leaders looking to grow their sales pipeline.
“On the security side,” Perry says, I want to understand what is the equivalent of that for somebody just walking through their daily life. What is the journey map of a person as they move in and out of their daily life and make decisions that are related to security. And then what I want to find out is where are the intersection points that I can come in and meet that person so I do end up standing in their path, telling a story and then moving them where I want them to be.”
2. Sellers Must Use the Right Terminology Perry and I also talked about understanding the optimal terminology to use when speaking to clients and prospects.
“When it comes to describing security things, or products, I've learned that
I need to understand the terminology that my prospect is already using and I need to reinforce that. I might need to change the frame later on, but I need to start with the frame that they are already in, and that gets into a whole psychological principle: framing and reframing.”
Listen to the whole episode to find out how Perry learned about the importance of terminology when he was hypnotizing people in the streets of Las Vegas (hint: he used what is known as a neuro handle!).
3. Sellers Must Understand the Basic Principles of Human Nature Perry says that everything comes back to the behavior and the psychology of the prospect.
The prevalent spray and pray approach of most sales messaging lacks segmentation, personalization, and it’s overall a lazy sales methodology.
If you want real sales engagement, your sellers must show they’ve done their research about what makes the person and company unique.
Perry cites the research by Stanford researcher BJ Fogg, who created the Fogg Behavior Model, which is the basis of most apps and social media platforms.
Fogg says that humans are lazy, social, and they're creatures
How to Choose and Implement a Sales Methodology with Paul Curto, #174
With so many sales methodologies available, sales leaders ask themselves how they can pick one and how they can actually implement it and drive adoption among their sales team.
My guest in this episode of The Modern Selling Podcast is a sales strategy and methodology enthusiast who has great insights about this topic.
Paul Curto is the Head of Global Sales Methodologies at Juniper Networks. He is focused on accelerating the performance of Juniper Networks’ sellers, both direct and indirect. Paul develops and delivers a holistic framework for consistently improving the experience and capabilities of all of Juniper’s customer-facing roles from onboarding through ongoing development and seller excellence and skills.
Paul has a special passion for sales methodologies as applied in a consistent way to improving sales outcomes, as well as maximizing employee productivity, health, and impact.
Listen to this episode to learn from Paul about implementing a winning sales methodology in your organization.
Aren’t All Methodologies Similar? The short answer is that they all have similarities but also differences.
Paul was trained in the Miller Heiman methodology, but when he came to Juniper he had to learn the MEDDICC methodology. What he found is that they had many similarities.
“One example of the alignment I found,” Paul says, “was that the economic buyer in both methodologies has exactly the same definition: the ultimate authority to buy in a particular sale.”
Another example is the champion, which is the first C in MEDDICC, and who is basically the same as the coach in Miller Heiman, a person who you have credibility with and who has a lot of influence and control. They can even be the decision-maker that the economic buyer puts in charge of making the decision or the recommendation.
Listen to the whole episode for Paul’s insights about the alignment between these two sales methodologies.
What about the differences?
“One thing I found that Miller Heiman does very well that I don't see really
called out in MEDDICC is the use of the red flags,” Paul says. “Most sales professionals like feeling good about the deal. They prefer to ignore these red flags or just brush them under the carpet. But that is not conducive to strong strategies. We're trying to bring out the real vulnerabilities that we have that could actually kill us in this deal. Let's highlight those and let's come up with very strong actions that help us counter those. But we've got to be open, honest and transparent with ourselves with regard to our true position with the customer.”
The minimization or elimination of a red flag by means of strong smart actions is how you want to play the game of sales to win.
Choosing the Right Sales Methodology As a sales leader, you might be thinking about picking a sales methodology
for your organization to really focus on. How do you decide which one is the right methodology?
Paul thinks you can make almost any methodology work.
“I think familiarity and leadership support is one of the first keys to selecting the right methodology. And once it's selected, you've got to be able to stick with it and reinforce it at every level.”
When you're selecting a methodology, think about the accountability you need to that process. It’s very important to have a common language and a repeatable sales process in a sales system that you can rely on to improve your odds of winning deals.
“Once it becomes pervasive, once it becomes the common language throughout the sales organization, it really helps us get together and strategize together on how to win important deals and it also becomes the glue between different types of seller personas across the organization.”
Listen to learn how they applied a common language across Juniper Networks for the various seller personas who engage at different st
Sales Enablement in a Digital Sales World with Kyle Healy, #173
How do you get a traditional sales team to embrace modern selling techniques and engage with prospects digitally?
That is the topic of conversation in this episode of the Modern Selling Podcast with my guest Kyle Healy.
Kyle is the SVP of Sales Enablement and Strategy for NFP. A dynamic leader with nearly 15 years of experience in the insurance consulting and sales space, Kyle is a core member of the leadership team at NFP tasked with driving transformation inside the functions connected to the organization’s revenue growth. Kyle is a regular public speaker on progressive sales strategies for complex B2B buyers, as well as total rewards and human capital trends as a result of his background in benefits consulting.
Listen to this episode to discover how NFP has transformed its traditional sales force into a modern sales organization.
Focusing on Outcomes We started our conversation by talking about some commonly held beliefs about selling that he disagrees with.
One of those beliefs is that as a seller you need to talk about yourself at some point early on.
“We have a lot of our sellers sort of really vehemently believe that if they don't get something about them or us or their product early, it's a waste, that we need to convey value right up front,” Kyle says. “I don't believe I need to talk about me or us until maybe meeting two or meeting three. We've got a pretty long sales cycle.”
His advice is to avoid the product dump or pitch, to avoid talking about yourself as the largest, greatest, baddest in the world. You can talk, though, about your journey, your culture, and the process you have gone through helping others.
“Do not go in presuming you know exactly what their big problem is. Try to understand them and what's kind of keeping them awake at night. Let them lead based on what's important and unique to them.”
The magic word is outcomes.
Especially that first conversation that a seller has with the customer. What is the outcome that they are desiring and does that align with what we do?
When the desired outcomes match with what you deliver, you've got an opportunity.
But what about when they don't have a really clear sense of what the outcome they want is?
Kyle thinks sellers have a great opportunity there.
“The discovery meeting is really about learning about them and helping them discover things about themselves for their business that they weren't even really thinking about yet. That's the fun stuff.”
The New Digital Selling Environment Kyle says that the insurance industry went through a lot of prospecting challenges because of COVID. “It’s an old school industry and the average age of the typical insurance sales person is 58.”
Once they realized they couldn’t visit people in person, they went to emails, but that wasn’t enough. They need an omnichannel approach to build their sales pipeline.
“We are trying to get our sellers more comfortable with creating content through social, using video, going back to the phones. Something that we're continuing to hammer and coach and one of our big focuses is, okay, if you're only sending emails you're in trouble.”
The modern buyer has changed and sellers must use every available channel to reach their prospects in the channels they prefer.
“I don't love high-volume. I don't love Mass automation. There's a time and place for some of that stuff to create some efficiencies to just make business run better. But especially in the early sales motion, the early funnel when I'm trying to really establish that relationship, I think it's got to be hyper-informed, hyper-personalized, super-specific to the person you're reaching out to.”
This is at the heart of our own PVC Sales Methodology, which calls for personalization in your sales messaging.
Listen as Kyle explains their strategy to customize benefits to each buyer a
Product-Led Growth and the Future of the Sales Force with Doug Landis, #172
Sales and marketing have evolved significantly in the past few decades, especially in the SaaS space.
In the 90s, for example, we had sales-led growth, with sellers doing cold calling and hitting the phones. In the 2000s, it was about marketing-led sales or marketing-led growth, with events, inbound leads and SDRs doing outbound prospecting.
Now, according to my guest in this episode of the Modern Selling Podcast, we are moving into a new era of product-led sales.
Doug Landis is a Growth Partner at Emergence Capital. In this role, he is responsible for capturing, creating and sharing go-to-market strategies and ideas with the Emergence Capital portfolio companies and the greater SaaS community.
Join us in this conversation about the future of the sales force and how to better qualify your leads.
What is Product-Led Growth? “I would argue in this generation and especially over the next three to five years,” says Doug, “you're going to see a tectonic shift to product-led growth, meaning the product is leading every single interaction. Instead of us doing outbound prospecting to a brand new client cold, we're actually reaching out to people who are deeply already involved and getting value out of our product.”
He gives the example of Slack, Dropbox or Twillio, where people just go to their websites, enter some information and can start using the product right away, getting full value.
In this scenario, people have a need and instead of having a sales conversation with a rep or requesting a demo, they can try a product for free and immediately know and understand whether it is the right fit for them, the solution they were looking for.
After customers try the product, an SDR would call them and help them get more value out of it.
“So now an SDR’s role is different,” Doug says, “because I'm no longer cold calling people who I think are a good fit. I'm actually looking for signals in the product based on how you're using it to call you and help you learn how to get more value out of the product and in doing so you will then become a paying customer.”
This scenario implies we are moving from a Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL) or a Sales Qualified Lead (SQL) to a Product Qualified Lead (PQL).
And when working with PQLs, both sellers and marketers have a different role in the buying process. SDRs become Product Specialists, now having conversations with prospects who have tried the product, and marketers focus on leading people to a product trial, not a web form.
Listen to the whole episode to learn Doug’s predictions about the future of SDRs and how their role will dramatically change.
From SDRs to Product Specialists Here are some ways Doug sees the SDR and AE roles shifting:
Sales conversations will focus on discovering why a free user should turn into a paying customer. It’s all about upselling opportunities and how the product could be used more broadly across the client’s organization. Using data on product usage to create more sales opportunities. Although many SaaS companies are already doing this, Doug predicts it will be more common in the next two years, as companies ask themselves, how do we get people into our product with the least amount of friction with the most amount of value?
This is the future of the sales force and as sales leaders, we must think differently about the characteristics of our sellers and the metrics we use to measure sales success.
“What we're looking for is more product signals versus the prototypical marketing signals, like the MQL and the SQL,” Doug says.
Listen to the episode to hear how the PQL is more valuable than the MQL, and why Doug thinks the MQL actually doesn’t exist (Hint: they are just contacts until someone talks to them and validates they are a good fit).
Also learn why modern sales organizations must change the way they qualify l
Interviewing Techniques for Landing a Great Sales Job with Richard Harris, #171
Whether you are a sales leader looking for a new role or an aspiring sales rep looking for your first sales job, you will want to listen closely to what my guest has to say.
My guest in this episode of the Modern Selling Podcast is Richard Harris, a seasoned SaaS leader and consultant.
Richard has 20 years of sales and sales training experience with companies like Google, Visa, SiriusXM, Pager Duty, Gainsight, Salesloft. He is also the author of Owning Your Job Search: Your step by step guide from application, to salary.
The goal of the book is to teach people that they have way more control in the interview process than they think they do. It's all about the mindset.
“When you go to a job interview,” Richard says, “you're interviewing them as much as they are interviewing you.”
Listen to the episode to learn some tips on how to land your dream sales job.
How to Get a Sales Job These are the basic steps to apply for a sales position, according to Richard.
1. You have to update your resume -- that means LinkedIn Although you may still need a resume, your LinkedIn profile is your most up-to-date resume. And in Sales, people will surely find sellers on LinkedIn.
“Nobody wants to look at a four-page resume, but they'll scroll till the end of the Earth on LinkedIn,” Richard says. “So LinkedIn is my most optimized page.”
Listen to the episode to discover the type of information you should put on top of your LinkedIn profile as a sales professional.
2. Contact the hiring manager The second step is to go to LinkedIn, find the highest person in HR you can or find two or three people in HR and send them a message that says, “Hey, I just applied online. I'd love to know who I should follow up with directly.”
Whether they tell you or not, you should try to figure out who the hiring manager is and contact them. If you are connected to them you may see their email and phone number.
Richard says you should call them or leave a message. “So when I apply to a job, I'm not applying to a job. I'm applying to the whole company. I'm taking this much larger approach
because I already know it's going to be a six-step process, anyway, so I need to put my name in front of as many people as I can. And the beautiful thing about us in sales is that this will be seen as the right thing. It will show that we are tenacious, that we don't take “no” for an answer. When you hire me, this is what you get.”
We need to run a sales campaign about us as the product as much as if we were actually selling an individual product for a company.
3. Ask the right questions during the interview One piece of advice I give to people looking for a sales job is, “You get to choose who you work for and you get to choose the company that you work for. So choose wisely.”
Richard agrees and says you should be asking some key questions to the interviewer so you can actually choose wisely.
“I want to be able to ask politely, when it's my turn, what are the things that you see here that make someone successful and what you know about me so far, what do you think I have and what do you think I don't have?”
You want to ask that question to show that you can ask tough questions and you can handle the answers.
Another question is: If you could snap your fingers right now and three things in the sales world, in your sales environment can change, what would they be?
“They come back and they give me three things and I say, great, so what's preventing it from happening? Because that gives me insight into the culture of the organization and it gives me insight into this person's ability to push for it.”
A third question is: Aside from me hitting my number, what do you need someone in this role to do to help you be successful?
This is a good question to ask a potential boss because now they are thinking what those things are a
The Index Card Business Plan for Sales Pros and Entrepreneurs with Brian Margolis, #170
Most sales professionals operate without a strategy, which results in a reduction in sales productivity. How can we fix this?
That is the topic of discussion in this episode of The Modern Selling Podcast, with my guest, Brain Margolis.
Brian is a former environmental/fisheries scientist turned entrepreneur. He is the founder of ProductivityGiant.com and author of the book The Index Card Business Plan for Sales Pros and Entrepreneurs. His client list ranges from individual sales reps to Shark Tank entrepreneurs and Fortune 500 companies. Brian's Pillar System helps sales pros and entrepreneurs create a strategy so simple, it fits on an index card, but so powerful it’s helped create 7 figure earners and has been licensed by some of the largest companies in the world to train their sales teams.
The Need for a Sales Strategy Brian says that sellers can grind their way with their skills and work ethic, but at a certain point they will hit an upper limit, because there are just so many hours they can put into their work every day.
What most sales professionals never stick with consistently is having an actual strategy. A strategy is a predetermined place to focus those skills and work ethic. That way, they get the biggest return on investment instead of winging it and being reactive.
“When it comes to sales professionals,” Brian says. “I think there are two versions of everybody's business. One is the reactive version, where she just reacts all day, flying by the seat of her pants. And the problem with the reactive version of the business is most of the output doesn't give you anything back. The other one is the intentional version, where she determines ahead of time-based on good criteria, good thinking, where to put her skills, effort, talent, and work ethic so that she gets the biggest return.”
And the difference between those two versions of the exact same business, is the difference between failure and success.
The challenge that we have is salespeople don't know how to develop a strategy and how to focus on the right areas.
Building an Intentional Plan So, how do you build a strategic plan to be intentional?
Brian says there are three components or pillars of an intentional plan.
1. Consistency Pillar What are those things that you need to do consistently? What do you already know how to do effectively, that if you just did more of it, you would have the biggest impact on your business?
2. Effectiveness Pillar Many sellers are working hard but they are not getting better at their jobs. They don't become more effective at the skill.
“A lot of salespeople consider making 25 cold calls productive,” Brain says. “But yet if I said, would you be willing to spend an hour a week getting better at something, working on your messaging, working on your direct response copywriting, most of them don't see that
as work. And so you have to intentionally put time and effort into getting better at those skills so that when you do send the email you get a higher response.”
3. Strategic Pillar Make sure you're doing the things upfront that make everything else more effective. For example, a seller can just make 50 dials, but taking an hour each week to do research on the clients would make those same dials more effective.
Brian calls this the pillar system. A pillar is an activity that you control whether it gets done or not. As long as you hit your pillars every week, everything else takes care of itself.
Sellers should start every week with a plan of who they are going to call and what they are going to do every day according to those three pillars. Planning their week in advance will revolutionize their results.
Be sure to listen to this podcast for more tips and strategies to help your sellers become more productive and successful at their work. Plus, Brian talks about the Index Card Business Plan, whe
Fun and informative
Not only do I always pick up something new, I always get a laugh. High energy, focused and enjoyable listen. Download now!
I'm not only a guest, I'm a listener!
I've been a guest on a lot of great podcasts, but there are only a few that I've made the time to listen to and this is one of them
Thank you Mario for a terrific podcast: The hosting, the topics, the guest speakers — always engaging!