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Learning the Complex Sale w/ Bridget Gleason [Episode 610]

Bridget Gleason is VP of Sales for Logz.io and my regular partner on Front Line Fridays. Special guest on this episode is Trong Nguyen, the author of Winning the Cloud: Sales Stories and Advice from my Days at Microsoft.


  • Trong introduces his book, Winning the Cloud. Trong worked at Microsoft for seven years, and the book follows his insights and experiences there, related to moving data and services to the cloud.
  • Trong loves sales and sees it as a craft. His book is intended to help salespeople accelerate their careers. Reps must know their customers, their customer’s business, their own competition, and their product case.
  • Andy compares bicycle racing to sales. How much are you willing to suffer to win the deal? Trong talks about sacrificing personal time, vacation time, and family time to win. Bridget asks what is the upside?
  • The extrinsic reward is, the harder you work, the ‘luckier’ you get, and the more money you can make. The intrinsic reward is to know the difference you are making for your customers, and how you have changed their business.
  • Research shows money is not the primary motivator for most salespeople. Trong discusses a maturity curve. Early in his career, he was driven by the money. Later on, he sought more the intrinsic rewards of helping people.
  • For Bridget, the money aspect was always important, because of the work and stress of sales. But what she loves about sales are the intrinsic rewards of serving people and solving problems.
  • Now that Trong starts with how he can solve customer problems, and help them grow their business, he is massively more successful than when he focused on deals and dollars. Now he builds relationships.
  • Trong talks about integrating work and life. He used to work 80 hours a week. Now he takes Karate to exercise, reads a book a month, and spends more time devoted to family, with no multi-tasking in their presence.
  • Andy states that being present, wherever you are, is the key. Put your ‘tech’ away when you are with someone. Extract the maximum out of every moment.
  • Being happy is essential to success in business and in life. One behavior is to stop trying to multi-task. Happiness and productivity go up when you are focused and present. Don’t be a ‘superchecker’ of your phone.
  • In your home, you might keep screens and devices out of bedrooms. Andy talks about how pervasive smartphones have become in the past few years.
  • Trong discusses The Challenger Sale from the point of view of challenging yourself as a salesperson. Often, the customer knows best, even about the product you sell.