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Creative Ways to Shorten the Sales Cycle and Bring Effective Collaboration into the Work Force w/ Cliff Pollan [Episode 123]

Cliff Pollan is the CEO at Sococo, a company that helps bring distributed teams, located all over the world, together through a virtual office. The goal is to increase collaboration and trust among remote team members. He found that when team members located across the globe were able to build a real working relationship with one another, that’s when the real magic happened.

In today’s interview, Cliff and I discuss ways to disrupt the sales force team and the three ways anybody can make the sales cycle process much, much quicker.

What kind of discontinuities have you faced?

When people worked in an office, it was easier to solve problems quickly. We could also react and communicate accordingly with our team. Now, since we’re located all over the world, it is a challenge to communicate correctly.

What is Sococo?

Sococo recreates the personal proximity and functionality of a physical office in an online experience. You can now connect with others throughout the world as if they’re right next door to you.

Why do you think the sales force will change in the upcoming years?

The sales cycle is too long, which is expensive for both the buyers and the sellers. Everybody wants to shorten the process quicker. The majority of sales reps, around 50% of them, don’t make a sale. If half our kids were failing at school, we’d see that as a problem.

What can people do to change the sales force dynamic?

There are three ways to successfully do this. First, you need to adopt lean systems where the most urgent of tasks are done quickly with the right resources. Second, selling is a team sport; so are you using your team correctly? You can shrink sales cycles by having the best talent on your team. Third, responding to a prospect rapidly is key. When a client needs a response, don’t wait 3-4 weeks to respond. If possible, give them the answer at that very moment or as soon as you leave the meeting.

How can people create a more efficient and real-time sales process?

In Sococo, Cliff can see which of his engineers are available and open a quick chat with them to get the right answers to the client, on the spot. You can now visualize and see everybody as well as bring the right resources into the meeting without delay. You can also bring more than 20 people worldwide into a meeting, to pull together the necessary ideas and solutions in order to get the job done.

How do you know if this form of collaboration is paying off?

When you’re working with several people overseas, who do not see each other, Cliff found that employees weren’t able to trust one another. With a service like Sococo, you can all of a sudden see another person who is countries away from you and you can build not only trust, but a better working relationship as well.

Learn More About Cliff Pollan:

What’s the most powerful sales tool in your arsenal?


What’s one tool you use for sales management?

Sales Force.

Who’s your sales role model?

Annette Seley and Trish Bertuzzi

What’s the one book that every sales person should read?

Zero-Time Selling by Andy Paul.

What’s your favorite music to get you pumped up for a meeting or sales call?

Bruce Springsteen.

What’s the first sales activity you do every day?

Look at all the prospects who have signed up on Sococo.

What’s the one question you get asked most frequently by sales people?

Why aren’t they calling me back? Cliff’s response, “What value are you bringing to them?”