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Elevating Sales Readiness & Coaching Reps Out of Their Comfort Zones [Episode 656]

Patrick Lynch, VP of Enablement Excellence and Innovation at MindTickle!, and Bridget Gleason, VP of Sales for Logz.io and my regular partner, join me on this episode.


First guest: Patrick Lynch

  • Pat says the single biggest challenge facing sales reps today is the lack of effective and good coaching. Athletes need coaching to run plays. Why wouldn’t salespeople?
  • Andy clarifies the distinctions between managing, coaching, and mentoring. Pat calls the lack of coaching a plague. Begin with the end in mind. Pat shares research on increased win rates from a formal coaching program.
  • Pat finds that sales managers are not clear on what coaching and mentoring are. How can they coach better if they’ve never seen better coaching? A freshly promoted sales manager may never have been coached.
  • Big Data is a problem when leaders use it to confirm what they already believe rather than to question their existing assumptions. Do we want machine learning or should we be learning from what the data reveal?
  • Sales Enablement as a job title has skyrocketed recently on LinkedIn. Management seems to be aware that the overall quota attainment ‘bleeding’ needs to stop.
  • Pat cites Scott Santucci on sales enablement — “the person who is the fixer of broken things.” Pat says sales enablement should be focused on helping salespeople win. It grew out of sales support.
  • Pat shares a case study of a Fortune 500 company building a sales enablement team that was designed to do everything but help salespeople win. They left out the customer.
  • The top sales performers adapt and take risks when reality hits their sales process. Pat relates a story. A large company cannot be nimble, but they can build nimble teams. A rigid sales process is not nimble.
  • Trust plus empathy equals relationship. This is more relevant today than ever as technology leads away from the human touch. Learn how your customer buys.
  • Start with knowing that sales is a noble profession. Design your process to serve the customer from there.
  • Pat gives an example of ineffective training given to sales reps at various companies. Pat is not positive on LMSs. Instead, use a platform where the seller can learn while they are selling.
  • Sales stacks are not the best solution. Sales readiness measures proficiency. Reps need to demonstrate relevance to their customer. Always leave something of value. Pat details the history and mission of MindTickle!

Second Guest: Bridget Gleason

  • Andy shares a story of a sales cartoon: “That reminds me of the thing I was going to say next, regardless.” Are your reps over-scripted?
  • How do you help your sales reps break out of their comfort zones? Bridget reflects. Where do sales reps get stuck, or even hide? Do they take on cold calling? Being busy is not the same as being productive.
  • Managers set big-step goals but reps need repeated small-step successes to lead them out of their comfort zone or where they are stuck. Give rewards for success. Set a reward for yourself for reaching a small success.
  • When Bridget was selling she set up her cold-calling time at the beginning of the day and had a small reward for herself after it.
  • After repeatedly mastering one small step, a sales rep is ready to try the next bigger step. Andy recommends the Pomodoro Timer to reward with a break after 25 minutes.
  • Is deception a viable strategy to get reps to perform?
  • Repeatable small steps lead to ever greater successes.