Wes Schaeffer: Sanjit Singh all the way from San Diego. Are you going to help us create a sale system. Is that what we're going to get into. Welcome to the sales podcast, man. How the heck are you
Sanjit Singh: I'm good, how are you?
WS: I'm good. So interesting. Let me see here...Helping B2B early stage B2B startups transition from founder led sales to creating a sales engine, man. It's not...we're not just gonna grind and just work harder? Can we just work harder?
SS: You can. That's always an option.
WS: So we actually need a system? Is that what you're saying?
WS: Are you saying sales are scalable? You know, but I mean, my business is different. I don't know. I don't know.
SS: Yeah, well, I've heard it. I've heard that before. And it sounds like you've heard it.
WS: Heard a few times. So in your current role. So we're gonna—I'll link to it—Boltt.io right?
SS: That's it.
So, are you, are you an outsourced like a fractional VP of Sales sort of role there?
SS: Yeah, that's exactly right. I think, you know, this sort of came up on its own. Because, you know, I was a little unusual in the sense that most cofounders of high tech companies don't have a sales background. At least most of the ones I've run across, usually it's a technical team that starts, you know, creates a technology that's really exciting. And then, so I watched a lot of my fellow co founders, you know, they were more technical really struggle on the sales and marketing side.
WS: Everybody struggles on the sales and marketing side.
SS: True that.
WS: See all these startups even bigger companies.
WS: Well, we got a good product. We've got already got an operations department. I mean, what can what can really be done? Is sales really that prescriptive that an outsider can come in, figure out the model lay it out and it actually works?
SS: I yes and no. What I do is I mean what's important to doing what I do is doing what you just said. But then also hiring a team training a team building weekly disciplines.
SS: Measuring the right KPIs and so on. I think all that together. Once you get everyone in the habit of doing these things, knowing what to measure knowing how to do the day to day and I think you've built a system that's scalable. I think training is a big part of making something scalable.
WS: Alright that's assuming you have good training.
WS: Is right, perfect, practice makes perfect.
WS: Right. I've seen. I've always said in my marketing and my sales and I'm talking to prospects that most salespeople haven't had sales training, they've had product training.
SS: You know, very true.
WS: Operations department comes in the marketing department. They tell me why this little gizmo it's a brighter screen and camera and
WS: How much does it weigh
WS: Go get them.
WS: Right, like
WS: Go get who
WS: And why, why do they want to
WS: Talk to me right because you you sent me something here. Where did I see it.
WS: How to get the name of the economic decision maker.
WS: And how to gain final meeting.
WS: More budget. So all of those
WS: That seems like that has never ever taught in sales training.
SS: That's a really good point. I think, and I guess I'm looking, it looks like you have a few gray hairs, like I do.
WS: The way you normally get out this
WS: Call is over. Bye bye.
WS: But you know like
SS: The, the, the environment that you and I came up in, I think,
SS: was different from the standpoint of, and I don't know how you got your training. But for me, you know, I went to a big company first
SS: And they put me through rigorous sales training. And we were doing you know role plays and, you know, so we were trained in a very classic way. And what I see today is a lot like what you're saying where
SS: It's, it's more product training and sales is sort of an afterthought. And there's a lot of really young people doing it, but not a lot of training and and i think it's it's tough on them. And I think
SS: You know, those, those kind of fundamentals that you just mentioned, you know how to find the economic buyer, how to get them to the final meeting are critical. And you're right, they're not taught
WS: So how
WS: How do you change that right how
WS: How do you get a company to open up and realize. Yeah, we have this issue because a lot of companies, if you really ask them really whatever you're selling right
WS: Right, if you're reaching out to them. They probably do not think they have an issue or they don't think it's that big of an issue. Whatever HR role.
SS: Right, or
WS: Services security, I
WS: Was training market social media marketing, right. No, no, we got that handled.
WS: Like, no.
WS: You don't have an handle here's
WS: How do you get them to listen.
SS: It's a great question. I think
SS: You know, one of the old sales systems, we used to use as you split, you know, quadrant you split a square in the four quadrants, and then companies are either in a trouble mode or and they're an even keel mode. I don't know if you remember that methodology, but
SS: You know, you look for companies that the ones that I end up talking to our they're sick and tired. They've been banging your head against the wall, the sales are flattening
SS: There's nothing you know it's kinda like a podcast, you were, you were talking about recently where when people hit rock bottom than their ears pop open right and
SS: I've been there, I've hit rock bottom. I know what it's like and I i get much more curious about how I can get awesome rock bottom.
WS: But how do we know if they're rock bottom. I mean prospects aren't going to say, yeah, sales terrible just
WS: Yeah, just, you know, look, I got I got half a million dollars. Just take it all come train my
WS: Pa. They're not going to say that
SS: Yeah, and that's a good. That's a good point. I think it depends on what you're selling mine consulting. It's a little different. I mean, you know, I end up building a lot of relationships and getting business that way. But if you're selling on a larger scale.
SS: I think it's finding things that I think finding things where you can see room for improvement.
SS: Like if you get a marketing email from a sales email. They see something on their website. See something they're positioning
SS: You know, you might be able to point out some things to them that you are already seeing where there's room for improvement with their slack and I think open minded leaders that want to really grow will will be open to that.
WS: So how do you reach them though because you say,
WS: You know how to get the names economic decision maker because
WS: Yeah. Again, most come until you really get
WS: Get in close get in tight. Yeah, get them to open up you know they're not just gonna readily share this information.
SS: Sure, sure. Well, you know, I think maybe that leads into some of the data that I've been looking at recently that I think answers your question.
SS: The data that I've been looking at this from HubSpot, and I think it's really important because it's like basically pandemic era.
SS: Sales trends, you know, like what's going on with sales people are they successful right now. Are they unsuccessful what's working, what isn't.
SS: So I think this data was through July and what they're seeing is that deals really are starting to take off now deals created and deals closed.
SS: But over the, over the course of the pandemic. You've seen a lot more email volume and and far worse engagement, percentage wise on those emails. It's about down that 25%
SS: And I think that that leads into what you've been saying all along. It's let's get back on the phones, let's let's do more personal outreach, so I think
SS: Getting back on the phones preparing for the call saying something relevant saying something that you indicates you know something about
SS: The company what they're going through what their challenges might be asking good questions. I think it's, it's just, again, it's back to fundamentals.
SS: And I think like what HubSpot certainly makes recommendations based on the data. They're saying, send less emails and it more personalized you know make phone calls. So because the same kind of things I've been saying, you know, maybe investing in chat.
SS: You know, trying to automate what you can, you know, letting people self serve. So these are, these are some things but you know once you get once you do engage somebody
SS: You know, and you're saying, How do I get to the decision maker. How do I really
SS: You know, you ask when you've asked the people that you can speak to you can get on the phone and you kind of you're able to pull their pain points out, and
SS: Have not only their pain points, but maybe the organizational pain points and then you can craft something that's compelling.
SS: That they feel proud enough to take to their boss and involve you one of the tricks I use is if it gets to a stage where we're going to talk about a proposal pricing, I might say, you know,
SS: So whose name should I put on the DocuSign
SS: That tells me who the decision maker. I said, great when we do have the final meeting. Is it at all possible with that person could join us so we can kind of I can answer all their questions, then that's the way I that's one of the ways I try and get
SS: The decision maker involved if they're not already involved.
WS: Yeah, if you're creating Doc, you sign documents, though. I mean, maybe that's early on, like for an NDA or something.
WS: You know, mate. Maybe is the economic decision maker always the decision maker, you know, if
WS: There's a, yeah.
WS: I mean, there's a
SS: Look at the CIO is signing off. I was gonna buy it, the CFO obviously has to
WS: authorize it and pay for it. But yeah, times different or do we need yeah both
SS: You know, I think, you know, the research that I've been reading over the last 510 years is just saying you know that the decision making units.
SS: Are larger and larger groups of people you know 5678 people and I've literally had it the case. Many times in the last 510 years where
SS: I put the I put the person's name on the DocuSign can't get them in the final meeting, but I have most of the decision making unit in that meeting, and it gets signed by that person who's never in any of the meetings.
SS: You know it's it's uncomfortable for someone like me who's grown up in it you know you're failing. If you don't get the decision maker there it's uncomfortable, but it's just the way things are going, and I think
SS: You know, it's good to understand that that that's just going to happen. These days, right.
WS: Is it
WS: Is it risky to move forward without that info, or is that just the way that it is and then you just got to be on your toes and hope you can uncover it as you go.
SS: Yeah, I think, I think it's the latter if
SS: You know, you certainly try you try to do you try to go with the I know the ideal scenario but you realize that you know sometimes these, these things are just
SS: More and more different than the way they used to be in terms of the way decisions are actually made
SS: But what you can do is in the process. You asked a lot of questions you you flush out all the people you know the names of the people involved in what they
SS: You know what might be important to them try to get them in the you know the next meeting or the final meeting and and then when you're at the final mean you got you kind of got what you got. And you you make your best pitch and then you try to get the, you know, try to get the deal.
WS: Is it harder to get that info. Now you know all over zoom versus being in person.
SS: It's a good question. I think I have not seen a big difference that way. I think if you're in a conversation
SS: And you are credible and you understand their business and you're bringing insights to them and you're showing you know how you can really solve some pain points. I just think that no matter whether you're on zoom or phone or whatever.
SS: People are much more willing to disclose information. And I think one of your one of your recent guests said about, you know, selling without selling if you
SS: You know, maybe it's just comes with experience. But once you can get yourself to kind of relax into the conversation and not be so quick to try and
SS: You know, slam that that proposal down or slam that hey let's let's have a demo, you know, you're trying not so hard to get to that and you're actually really listening deeply to what they're saying.
SS: You could draw a lot out of people know IE decision maker sales process, who's all involved all the things we really want to know.
WS: Yeah, I mean, I've worked for myself. Since 2006 you know I've sold software like HubSpot Infusionsoft since 2008
WS: And I pretty much have never sold it in person.
SS: Right right now.
WS: I used to do some some live events.
WS: You know, a little workshops, but I wouldn't sell it there, you know, the clothes at the end was to meet afterwards or set a time to review if they were interested and usually those would be remote as well so
SS: So you've been quarantined since 2008
WS: Yeah, I tell everybody we homeschool our kids like I know, leaving you know leading this quarantine lifestyle.
SS: Right. Right. And did you did it take some getting used to, to sell not in person.
WS: No, I mean it's it's all, it's all I've ever done. You know, at least on my own and I was in corporate America and obviously I sold in person, you know, going back to 97
WS: Even selling high tech tickets. You know, we would meet in person, but a lot was done remotely early on, you know, wouldn't just get on a plane at one point I had all 18 western states.
WS: flying out to Austin and I had
WS: 15 states early on.
WS: Early 2000s, you know, Texas, all the way up to Wisconsin over to Ohio not big territories and so
WS: Yeah, and I hate it. Just getting on a plane just because
WS: No. So I would really drill down and
WS: Before I went out so
WS: I don't know i i just ease right into and especially you know when you're starting out at your own business, you don't have the money.
WS: Right, right. And, and I'm selling marketing automation and email marketing software, right. So,
WS: You know, I want to pre qualify. I'm a drip on people. And then, you know, it still works. But I think maybe worked a little easier back then it was a little bit newer
WS: And people would say, you know, I, I signed up at three or four different people's websites and you're like the only one using the software.
SS: Eat your own dog food.
WS: And I'm like, wow, yeah. Well, good. Go ahead and order with me.
WS: And they would. I mean, it was an easy
WS: Advertisement Yeah, people don't use their own stuff, you know, it's like you're selling forwards, but you pull up in a Chevy. It's like
WS: Don't get caught doing that.
SS: I couldn't agree more.
WS: It's crazy.
WS: Um, so
WS: You know, but getting their name is one thing.
WS: Right, you got a pointer here about getting them at the final meeting.
WS: Do we need them at the final meeting you know cuz sometimes I like the example I gave you know sometimes there's a
WS: The, the guy or the gal that's going to sign off.
WS: They're going to take the recommendation of their person. Right. So when do you know like Matt gotta press really get the boss in this meeting versus. It's all good. Let's keep going.
SS: Yeah. Now that's a, it's a really good question and I don't think
SS: You know, sometimes it's got feel sometimes it's but I think, you know, if you have somebody you know is really pushing your case.
SS: And they're smart and you know you, they could take you, they can answer objections and they're credible within the organization, you know, the more they are that way to less than less. Perhaps you needed a final decision maker. Now for me, I, I'm going to try to get the person there anyway.
SS: But if you know if you don't get them in, you have a fairly good coach you know like a an advocate.
SS: Right then, and you're, you should be in pretty good shape.
WS: Yeah, you gotta have somebody pulling for you.
WS: Singing your praises, you know, cuz
WS: I remember I learned a long time ago. It's like
WS: 99% of the sale happens
WS: When you're not there.
WS: Yeah, you know, even if you're there for a two hour meeting. I mean, it's a 40 hour week right
WS: And if you're working on this for months and maybe you see him every other week for an hour or two. I mean, you start doing the math, you're not there. Whole lot
WS: So you got to be arming people to
WS: You know, sell on your behalf, at least, promote the cause, right, carry the
SS: Flag right
WS: How, how much should we
WS: Like, which when we find that advocate.
WS: I mean, okay. Is it possible to love on them too much or just go ahead and give them whatever they need and and let them make it happen.
SS: Yeah, I don't know if it's possible love on them too much. I think if you're giving them what they need in or not, you know, being annoying by giving too much of ourselves into their calendar.
SS: You know, like the old joke. I like to make is, you know, when someone when a software person says they're going to give me a demo. It's a I'm terrified of that. It's like it minute one they're going to start talking in a minute 45 I'm going to get a chance to ask questions and
SS: So I don't want to be that guy right so whatever I can do to kind of go along with their cadence as much as possible.
SS: certainly ask what I want to get out of it. But, but try to I try to go, you know, follow their, their cues to the degree that makes sense to do that, to the degree. It doesn't completely impede my sales process.
WS: But you know my marketing department said, I've got to go through all 418 slides and the 87 page brochure so
WS: I've got to go through all that
SS: Well, give it a try. My man I you know I hear that a lot, and
SS: But I think if we're following the golden rule, you know, increasingly, just try to say what would you know what would I want to hear from a salesperson. Okay, you know, let's just let's find out what's really important to them. And let's just let's talk about those things.
SS: Kind of get their permission, as we go along.
SS: You know, and the other thing I I read this other book that I, the other day, called essentialism by Greg McEwen
WS: Mm hmm.
SS: I don't know if you've heard of that book. I love it because he's so good at telling you
SS: To focus on the things that matter. I think in selling to me that's if you tell them 400 features. They're never gonna remember the three that really matter most. And that way you want them to remember based on the pain points, they had
SS: Yeah, but if you told them three, they're gonna we got a much better chance of remembering and it's much more impactful.
WS: Yeah, and. And the thing is, there are three
WS: Maybe different than what I think the top three are
SS: Right, exactly.
WS: Right, and that's where I always see people always ask me how you sell so much Infusionsoft and HubSpot
WS: We are these long meetings about like
WS: Because you're trying to boil the ocean.
WS: You know, they want to show them everything that they love. And I'm like, I remember a long time ago. So I was selling mobile homes in Mobile, Alabama.
WS: All right. And one time, these people came in and they're like,
WS: We'd like to look at some trailers, like a manufactured homes.
WS: And I said, you can call it whatever you want.
WS: You buy it for me.
WS: It's like, let's go look at some trailers
WS: Oh, so I don't care what you call it.
WS: Right. So, but I would use their language.
SS: Right, right.
SS: That's a sales guy who's listening. I mean,
SS: Yeah, you know, we've all sold to sales people who don't really listen to us. They're still using, they're like, well, the TX seven five. And they're just throwing out these little terms that they assume I know. And I said, I'm sorry, I don't know what that is. Yeah.
SS: Can you explain that to me.
SS: But you know if they want to call it something else will call it that. And, you know, if you find out what they what they really want to focus on and why
SS: And what problem it's solving. And we just talked about that because, yeah, there are a million things we could talk about. There's just not a lot of point and dragging them down all those roads.
WS: How do you take control, though, right, you get these hard chargers know the high Ds right on your Myers Briggs and
WS: You know. Alright, sounds good. Oh, I got you know i know we said an hour. But I only got 20 minutes and now go ahead just starting to show me the software and, you know, show me your consulting and, you know, I'll, I'll get back to you. So go
SS: Well, if you have 20 minutes. Then I want to be respectful of your time. And so I'm gonna, I'm going to try and target 20 minutes if they're, you know,
SS: I don't want to just come at a higher ed, you know, with my ID and just challenge them.
SS: Unless there's a good reason to do it there which there might be later. But, you know, at the outset. Hey, you want it. You have 20 minutes let's let's see what I find people who say that
SS: When we're talking about their issues, their problems solutions to their problems we're way past 20 minutes and they're not even looking at their watch anymore.
SS: And almost every time they say that. Have you noticed that as well.
WS: Oh yeah, I think it's a bluff.
WS: Yeah, and
WS: I mean, I personally I challenged him.
WS: What he saw yeah because they're, you know, Oren class talks about like absorbing frameworks.
SS: You sure
WS: If we agreed to an hour and you come in right you're five minutes late, and he only got 20 minutes
WS: I'm hitting it right there in the head.
WS: You. I'm like, I'm like, man.
WS: You know, we agreed to an hour and I don't really, I can do it justice so get your calendar in front of you. I mean, let's go ahead and figure out a time that works. We can get the full hour in so we don't want to shortchange this
WS: You know,
WS: I'ma call them under shit right then and there may because they're trying to push me around.
WS: Right, because they want to they want to get in control.
WS: Yeah. Oh, no.
SS: Yeah, no, I think, I think you sometimes do you have to challenge them. I don't know if that'll challenge amount of that. And I actually did read or in class book I've had a chance to meet him and I do like that framework. And I do think
SS: You know, if, like, I'd rather challenge them on if they're saying something that I have a lot of data, you know,
SS: To be able to challenge them on that has a lot to do with with a solution, we're proposing, that's probably an area where I would challenge, more, more so than on maybe the time
SS: Yeah but but i think challenging definitely makes sense when it's when at the timings when I feel the timings right but i guess every if if that works for you. I think it's great.
SS: Yeah, it's an hour.
WS: On their style. Right. I know they're like bomb Russian
WS: Yeah, it's you know when I'm buying. That's what I do. Right, I, I'm trying to get people off their game.
WS: You know, I don't want to pitch.
WS: Like don't
WS: Don't tell me this stuff that you know you've you've practiced and you know you're going to play your games and try to corner me into something
WS: Like I want the truth.
WS: Yeah. All right. That's why I teach my people, you know, ask questions that they can't answer.
WS: Yeah, because that's when you start taking them think yeah
WS: That's when you get to the truth. I just like to, you know, when you see the police. Right. You know, Where were you at 10:37pm, you know, August 2 you know what what and
WS: You know you if you weren't prepared for that question.
WS: Right, you're probably going to give me the truth.
SS: Because you there any
SS: Are there any safer questions you have that are like that.
WS: Well, it just depends on the scenario but I just in general.
WS: I don't want to be the one doing all the talking.
WS: Yeah, right. So you get a guy like
WS: That doing that bum rushing
WS: You know hey yeah well West yeah we want it. We want a demo of HubSpot, so go ahead, show us, you know, most people like
WS: Okay, here's the dashboard.
WS: You can configure and reporting.
WS: And yeah, and look, I'll show you admin. I mean,
WS: Yeah 5000 things for me to show you
SS: Yeah, yeah. Okay.
WS: I can't show you that software in six months.
WS: You know, so they always talk about
WS: Elevator having an elevator pitch.
WS: Yeah I call an elevator question.
WS: All right. Well, going, show me software. So I'd love to show yourself. Where, where would you like me to start. Well, I don't know. We've never seen it. I understand why are you even interested
WS: Tell me what you're looking for, or what you're lacking. And if the software does it, we can start there. Oh, OK. And then boom, now they're talking
WS: About they wanted to take control.
WS: I didn't want give them control.
WS: But I can't just say,
WS: No, I'm asking the question, I mean,
WS: By that right. Gotta be nice about
SS: It. Yeah.
WS: And then, then they just open up
SS: Yeah, that that's that's I think the parent, the same paradigm. I've always had the saying I heard a long time go here, who asked the questions controls the conversation.
SS: People want to know, how do you get control. Just ask questions keep asking really thoughtful questions were, like you said, they can't say yes, no, they don't have a quick answer.
SS: Because once you once you get them talking about their world.
SS: You know I love the idea of like you're saying, doing what they're not necessarily expecting from me and usually that's just listening. They're not expecting a salesperson to listen.
SS: Or their posture is not really ready for that. So when you really get them talking. They're there. They've go deep and they they share a lot of stuff and it's. That's great. That's what we want.
WS: Yeah, I forget who I need to go back and look ahead, it might have been on the CRM sushi podcasts, one of these companies that does
WS: They analyze the calls and they and they learn. It's like a little bit of artificial intelligence and it'll
WS: It'll start yeah not replies. Right. Yeah.
WS: Because it was interesting. So I always said you whoever's asking the questions is in control the conversation.
WS: You know, but what they discovered
WS: Was it was pretty much 5050
WS: On the talking, but the hard questions were asked and answered early in the
WS: Relationship you know and like on a complex sale you know you're assuming there's a couple of calls right a few calls. So the hard things were asked and answered. Okay, there might be something here. Then there was like a lot more of a dialogue.
WS: Versus a grilling.
SS: Yeah, yeah. So you're saying that better sales people are willing to ask those uncomfortable probing questions early. Is that what you mean.
WS: Yeah, oh yeah, for sure, you have
SS: To show. Yeah. That's, yeah. I've always said, I'd rather hear no
WS: Hearing no early is a win.
WS: Right, okay. Go, go ask the you know the prettiest girl in school, she was going
WS: Know like Well alright, it's kind of rude everybody's watching, I'm a little embarrassed. Maybe I just asked him prices is no. All right.
WS: My feelings are hurt. All right, I'll ask the second prettiest girl, you know, but it's better than hey you know you want to go to prom. Well, let me think about it.
WS: Then a week goes by in a month goes by, you know, right, three days before prompts like no I got another date.
WS: Yeah, now I'm host
SS: Right when right
WS: We're in a tuxedo gotta
WS: made reservations got a limo put a deposit down can't get my money back. And now I can't get a date because it's too late. You know, so yeah, I'd rather
SS: Early totally it's part of qualifying. I think there's a lot of sales people talking to all the wrong companies and they got to figure out what those real sales signals are and asset and start qualifying on those
SS: I totally agree.
WS: Why, it's just, it's so woefully inadequate, the most companies.
WS: Or companies are started by like techie people and so they just think, hey, we'll just we'll add a new blue Blinky button.
WS: And they'll buy. We don't really this thing sells itself.
SS: I think so. I think there's a lot of tech folks that don't have a deeper appreciation of sales and marketing.
SS: Or maybe that's an understatement. And then vice versa. I think sometimes we go out and we say, just put that do that feature in there and there's like that feature is, you know, six months of work.
SS: So it's, it's good to the extent we can understand each other's worlds better but you know Steve Blank, who's a big startup, guys. You may know
SS: He talks about, you know, to be a big success you actually need four personas inside of a startup and he calls them the visionary. The hacker
SS: The designer and the hustler and most startups that I need. Don't have a hustler. And that's, that's kind of what we do, you know, revenue business model sales, marketing.
SS: But you can't really be a big huge success in the startup world according to Steve Blank without all four personas, so usually they're not on
SS: The initial team and the, you have to find that person and add them. And that's I run to a lot of startups that are just way under where what they could be selling if they had just gone out and found somebody will earlier that knew what they were doing.
WS: Demos again the visionary. The hacker and a hustler. What was the other one.
SS: And the designer designer to route to really think through the customers experience. Yeah.
WS: I like that.
WS: Yeah, I mean, Michael Gerber talks about that case like the E myth right House about them.
SS: Yeah, that's right.
WS: The entrepreneur, the manager of the technicians.
WS: Three types. So
SS: Yeah, yeah, this is a little bit of a spin on that. That's right.
WS: Yeah. Yeah, that makes sense.
WS: How do you find those people though, you know,
WS: How do you onboard like that first that second that third person because you know so early hires that are so vital.
SS: You're talking about building the sales team are actually building out these for building a sales team. Well, that's why I exist in the
SS: In the startup that I'm in because
SS: I do run into a lot of people who have been they've had an SDR
SS: It's like, well, the SDR didn't really do anything. And then we had another SDR he didn't really do anything and like really let me dig in here. And, you know, if I had their value propositions.
SS: Really weak. They're not targeting well they're not asking all the right questions like, you're talking about. There's much deeper issues than just and of course they they may very well have not hired the right person, or even you know what to look for, maybe didn't write a scorecard.
SS: They're asking questions off the top of their head interviews, instead of a sort of a disciplined approach to that. So there's a lot of reasons they end up with, I think,
SS: A week team no team.
SS: Or they'll go out and another mistake we see is
SS: You know, they, they say, well, this guy was a VP at IBM. So he's going to be in charge of sales that are startup.
SS: Know there's and you know that guy hasn't made a sales call long time. You just kind of manages the
SS: Sales Team.
SS: So, so obviously that that ends up being expensive and often a disaster.
WS: Yeah, I had that exact thing. I was one of those startups. I was with
WS: I was in Austin. And I had the whole Western us and we were growing. And so I moved to California.
WS: You know, is more my territory. Anyway, and
WS: They hired a guy out of Denver and he came from a big company.
WS: Yeah and you know I like big come, he had somebody for everything.
WS: Looking his
WS: Travel, you know, I mean, just everything
SS: Didn't want to get his hands dirty. Yeah.
WS: I'm like, oh yeah, dude. Good luck with that he lasted six months. Right.
WS: The meantime I gotta chop up my territory on board him.
WS: Teach him, you know, hand over my stuff I've developed watch him just driving in the ground. And I'm like, how does a start up with 11 sales people.
WS: make that mistake, you know, hire this older guy, big, big company experience like because you know they were saying we were going to get that big right
WS: Right, we never got over like 35 million
WS: And then they imploded.
WS: Like, good grief. How do they make those fundamental mistakes.
SS: Yeah, it's. That's a really good question. I think it's I think it's, it's just stemming from the, the idea that you don't recognize the value of having
SS: A person from the same size company that's matched to where you want like if you're trying to grow from 10 million to go 2020 to 30
SS: Hire somebody that's gone exactly that route. If you can, because there's specific challenges in those revenue ranges that you're going to have to specific scaling type issues that you need to deal with and I think
SS: You know, it's just people don't really understand the importance of it like I had a guy, CEO of a pretty good sized company and he want to bring in a VP of Sales
SS: And the VP of Sales was super transactional and low relationship on the relationship building side. And it was a university market.
SS: You know, which are long sales cycles deep relationships. Everybody knows everybody and I just said, I'm telling you right now that's gonna be that's gonna be a disaster. And he took my advice. Thankfully, and I think avoided what would have been a really tough tough road.
WS: Do you get into assessments like personality new hire assessments.
SS: And I've seen them. I've actually looked at those various times and I've actually talked to lawyers about them and they say that
SS: There's, I haven't been able to find any that can really prove with data that they are trying to measure the things that we're trying to measure.
SS: And then have found that I can answer I can actually measure the things I'm trying to measure just by asking, you know,
SS: detailed questions in an interview and then they also said it could be considered prejudicial so I haven't really adopted any that I feel strongly about or
SS: I haven't seen enough data to convince me but I'm certainly open to them. And I think what they're trying to do is is is really helpful.
WS: How do you, how do you cut through the clutter, though, because a lot of times the
WS: The last sale.
WS: A salesperson makes
WS: Right is their interview.
SS: I think if, like, if you ask somebody, you know, kind of walk through the resume and you look at the time periods that replaces. How long do they stay
SS: You know I asked about that okay what deal size that you typically target, you know, what was your roughly how much did you close a month or how much did you close a year.
SS: And then you say, oh, well, you know, that's you kind of get a sense for that's pretty good performance and then you start saying, Okay, and so, you know, tell me what were the, the fundamental. Tell me about a time when you had a really tough sale to close and and you could tell us their stories.
SS: don't quite match what they're telling you in terms of their performance. And that's where the experience comes in, I think,
SS: You can start to figure out, like I say, wait a minute. But you said that you know this revenue on this deal was this much, but your averages here.
SS: So that means you would have to close this many per month. And so the numbers just start not adding up if they're not really being fully straight with you.
SS: And again, it takes a little bit of experiences, sort of like know how to think about these things.
SS: But yeah, that sometimes they will you'll try and snow you a little bit and I think just questions can flush it out. And, you know, tell me a time when those kind of story questions, instead of, you know, are you great at sales right
SS: Those questions work much better.
WS: So are you
WS: Are you trying to like teach this again part this knowledge into the brains of your clients. So you can kind of be removed. Like are you trying to work yourself out of a job.
SS: Yeah, I go, Yes.
WS: Knowledge to them, or is there like a system you can give them or
SS: Yeah, I mean,
SS: Yeah, I think there's so much that that a guy like you are a guy like me after doing this for so long. There's so much we know that
SS: You know, I can't teach them everything. But what I can do is say for your business. You know, this is the value proposition. I think will work best. We've, of course, tested it, we
SS: jumped on the phones and we're, you know, we're making calls. And then, you know, when we, when we have a system that's starting to work well. Then we we teach it to the reps and we you know we teach them how to hire people and we teach them weekly disciplines.
SS: So from that standpoint. Yeah, I'm generally trying to be out of there in three to six months because by the time they get to their around. Sometimes I'll even help them, you know, hire my replacement like an actual VP of Sales
SS: Right, but I am trying to build in to the organization, all the knowledge and training and everything that they've I think they'll need but that's appropriate for them as opposed to teaching everything you know I could possibly teach them about sales.
WS: So like, what's the size of the comic, as you mentioned, like an A round. So if you have like a sweet spot, you'd like to be
SS: Yeah, yeah, I like to be, you know, post precede or post seed, but usually by the time they get all the way to an A round and they have a, you know, sales team.
SS: Whether they're effective or not is irrelevant. They, they usually have somebody in there. And then it's, you know,
SS: It's, it doesn't. And also, I find that the earlier stage is really fun because they're open, they're open to changing their, their positioning and their the way they are crafting their pitch and all and later later stage. They're a little less open to it.
SS: But that's the fun part for me is, is, you know, really crafting and then saying, hey, maybe there's, you know, maybe we can also find some channel partners and some other ways to grow this business, other than just the sales team and we would, you know, maybe do both of those things.
WS: Are you ever brought back in layer, like, Oh man, that dude was a loser. Can you come back and
SS: It's funny you say that I got an email today from a CEO, I worked with and we finished my engagement. A couple months ago and he he sent me an email.
WS: To come back.
WS: So how, how do they find you, or how do you find them as it word of mouth now or do you have a little bit outreach.
SS: Yeah. Doodle but i do i do outreach to, you know, earlier stage companies, but this is the kind of thing where they have to have a ton of trust in you.
SS: More so than they would if I would just selling them a product or something like that. Yeah. So, so, you know, having a network and building that network has been really helpful for me to, you know, within the startup world to people who know that
SS: This company needs help in this area and then they think of me and I appreciate the referrals.
WS: And so do you have a small team of
WS: You all of you can do the same thing, or, or are you are they like your team or someone somebody hires you they hire your whole team of experts to
SS: Help yeah yeah they're hiring our team any I'm usually doing most of the customer interfacing
SS: And I, you know, at some point, I may get another one or two people like me. But for now, myself and my team can can handle quite a few customers and make them happy.
WS: Yeah. Cuz that like you don't have to be full time.
WS: Right, I mean as long enough you can see where the gaps are
WS: Right, exactly.
WS: But how do you keep some of the customer thinks, Oh, this is we're different.
SS: We know we're at the critical stage, you need to be here. We're doing 100 hours a week, you've got to be here. I mean, you're just gonna miss too many important things. If you're not here all the time.
SS: I haven't had that problem.
SS: And particularly, they're actually quite surprised at how fast we're able to get things done. Yeah, but it's kind of like, well, I know, I know where to turn the screws. You know, it's not like I turned 500 screws. This week I just know which ones to turn
WS: Yeah I equated to Jiu Jitsu Jiu Jitsu
SS: Yeah, actually.
WS: No, go ahead.
SS: I was gonna say I was in martial arts, a long time. I was hoping we get to talk about it more
WS: It was like the day I trained roll with a guy like I was just dragging the day. I don't know why I went to bed early. I was tired, yesterday I was tired this morning.
WS: I'm like, oh man, roll this big black belt first. And I'm like, Oh, man. Now I'm really tired, you know, it puts me this younger new white belt. Now, not to new but still white belt and
WS: I bet he's in real estate has been super busy, you know, hadn't been in a while.
WS: He used to give me fits you know i i control them, but yeah.
WS: It was effort.
WS: Yeah, like, a year ago when he was starting and
WS: I'm like today, you know I submitted them twice and, you know, was yucking it up and kind of picking on them and you know
SS: Yeah, it's effortless. Yeah, you've been training a lot more than he has and I'm
WS: Like, and I was. But, you know, and that was being tired. Right. I mean, yeah, I didn't show up with my A game, but because I'm just better
WS: You know tactically and strategically. Right. You know, I could I could defend his attacks and set up my attacks with less energy. Right. You know, and to come out ahead and, you know, and I because I've had to get better at that. You know, in sales, because I've always
WS: Succeeded early because I was a hard worker. You know, I didn't. I was just an energetic white belt in sales. Right. I was
WS: Gonna lose. Yes.
WS: I would grind it out.
SS: And that's exactly. Me too.
WS: You know, and, and I felt like, well, I've got to put in all this effort, they're paying me all this money. It's like, well, they're not paying me for effort, they're paying me for results.
SS: Right, right.
WS: Right. So let me just get it done.
WS: But do you ever have to hold back.
SS: You know, I feel bad. Sometimes
WS: In writing. Writing comes pretty easy to me.
WS: Yeah. And sometimes I'll hold back because like if if somebody is in a bind. I'll literally be like, I'll do a zoom call and I'll do their writing for them while they watch and give it to them. Like, oh my gosh.
WS: You know, but it's like
SS: I think I know what you're saying. You mean like overwhelming them well. Well, if they pay a lot of money. Oh yes it to be like this.
WS: This four month thing that you belabor over. It's like, Look, dude. The reality is, I'm gonna go have a drink. I'm a noodle on this while I sleep, get up in the morning, right, it
WS: Yeah, like you want me to. I can wait for months and send it to you or I can give it to you, the end of the week.
WS: Like you right but it's the same price, you know,
WS: They, they pay a lot to expect. All right, big
SS: Right. Right. Yeah, that's a that's I've thought about that. And I thought, you know, I don't want to do. I don't want to do business that way. I'm just going to charge a flat monthly fee and
SS: It's reasonable and it's you know it's a little bit more than they would charge for an SDR pay for an SDR and I'm just going to give them as much as I possibly can. And that's how we get referrals. So
SS: You know, and I'm I like being in the really fast moving you know game I
SS: Don't even if I could slow it down and make more money. It's just not. It's not fun for me.
SS: And it's fun. Like, like you said, you spent so much energy doing this stuff when you were younger, in your career. Now you can, you know, climb a mountain in one leap now. And so you want to do that. You want to
SS: Use the leverage that you have
SS: For the benefit of your clients.
WS: Yeah, for sure.
WS: Amen. Well, fantastic. So we mentioned at the beginning. So it's B. O. L tt.io right
SS: That's right and both.io
WS: Fractional sales leadership for startups. So, so those folks, kind of in that little sweet spot that you mentioned.
WS: Yeah, if they're needing some help. So, so I guess like they're there in between the like a Morpheus amoeba early stage, they're doing some stuff. But, like, just before you get to that next level.
WS: Like yeah man, and given that shot in the arm so they're positioned
SS: To get
WS: To get some real money and not waste it. Right.
SS: Right, yeah, they're there, they're just beyond the stage where they're kind of a blob and then now they're a blob with a little bit of funding and product market fit.
SS: And now it's a matter of, you know, help, you know, helping the founder, see that if we're going to create an engine, you're not going to have to do every sales call this is, you know, we're going to build something that's really truly scalable.
SS: Yeah, they love that. Yeah.
WS: All right, well, we will send them that way and then you ever come to Temecula for some wine tasting.
SS: I, I will soon as this things over the pan.
WS: Man, it's all outdoors. It's all good.
SS: Yeah, that's true. Maybe it will come
SS: Yeah, I did. They have a beautiful downtown that they're doing the Riverwalk right
WS: Yeah. Not really a river walk but yeah i mean i was i was in Old Town Friday and it was hopping. We sat sat in the patio and yeah the wineries, are you can't go inside and taste. You know, you just get your bottle, where we want sit outside
WS: It's all good.
SS: Sounds like a good idea. I think I will do that.
WS: So if you come up, let me know.
SS: I will fight.
WS: Very cool.
WS: Okay, Andy. Thanks for coming on, man. Have a great day.
SS: You, too. Cheers.