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Process and Execution Rule in B2B Selling w/ Tibor Shanto [Episode 418]

Joining me once again on this episode is my guest Tibor Shanto, author, speaker, trainer, and sales expert. In this episode we talk about mistakes sellers make, and how to get in contact with buyers who are not easily accessible via the traditional channels.

Key Takeaways

  • Tibor offers training, speaking, and coaching, and he writes. He helps B2B companies get new business through process and execution. “Everything else is just talk.”
  • Tibor comments on research about social media influence on B2B. Is the research relevant and reliable?
  • Some buyers enter the market on their own. Some do not, unless approached; and they may not be on social media.
  • When you start content marketing, what happens when you run out of content? Tibor shares his experiences.
  • Tibor does not seek pain points. What does he focus on, instead? How does he help prospects become buyers?
  • ‘A’ players use tools to boost their success. ‘B’ and ‘C’ players hope tools will make them ‘A’ players. “‘C’ players should be seeking employment in the hospitality industry.”
  • A robust sales process that is followed, serves as a platform for coaching, hiring, and individual success.
  • Managers need to spend more time coaching their B players. 75% of their time should be coaching, but rarely is.
  • Some sales behaviors and traits can be taught. Can passion be taught? How does process help sales?
  • Statistics vary about buyers, regarding who initiates, and who is brought into the process. Embrace both types.
  • Sales complexity increases from the technology and apps being thrown at the reps to ‘help them.’ They hinder more than help. Look for helpful tech, not just new tech.
  • Tibor notes that tech doesn’t make the sale, but it does help reach the buyer. Learn to sell first, and tools can help.

Episode Transcript

Andy Paul  2:05  

Hello and welcome to the Sales Enablement Podcast. I am excited to be joined by my guest once again on the show. Tibor Shanto. He’s author, speaker, trainer, sales expert Tibor, welcome back to the Sales Enablement Podcast.


Tibor Shanto  2:35  

Great to be back, folks.


Andy Paul  2:39  

Yeah, well, in case somebody missed your first episode, I think way back almost to the beginning episode number 42. So maybe just for people didn’t hear that as it refreshes people’s memories. Tell us a little bit about yourself.


Tibor Shanto  2:55  

Well, as you said,a bag of sales related things. I do training as well as speaking to some degree coaching. And I tend to write quite a bit, both in terms of my own blog. I’ve had a couple of books in the marketplace. And I continue to work on one that I promise, at least to myself will be out in 2017. And I work with all sorts of companies, but the one thing they all have in common is they’re all b2b. And B, they’re all focused on new business acquisition. And generally one of two forms. One is the obvious: how do we bring on brand new logos and brand new customers? The other is more how do we go deeper and wider within existing accounts. So either pursuing new budgets, or in many cases, a new offering that maybe the previous buyer wasn’t aware of, or a simple example would be somebody that’s moving from selling a product to moving to selling managed services. That would be an example of new revenue. Still in an existing client base. We do a whole number of things around that. But primarily what we focus on is process and execution. Because as you know, my favorite saying is that in sales success is all about execution. Everything else is just talk and there’s plenty of talk in sales.


Andy Paul  4:28  

Yeah, it’s funny you brought that up because I was reading an article in Harvard Business Review that was just out recently, and the article was how b2b sales can benefit from social selling. And I barely got through the first three paragraphs for thinking you know, cites all this research that’s been done. Just thinking about how self serving most of that research that’s done. Um, it’s oftentimes done by companies trying to justify why people should buy their product. And it’s nonsense oftentimes. I mean, they have a quote in there that said about some study, they quote that saying, three out of four b2b buyers rely on social media to engage with peers about buying decisions.


Tibor Shanto  5:26  

And they’re absolutely right. But I think the problem lies so I agree with you. 


Andy Paul  5:32  

I mean, I’m willing to bet that 75% or three out of four b2b buyers would have engaged with peers about buying decisions prior to social media. And so it’s a big select that now they use social media. I mean, it’s just a fact of life, of course, they’re going to use it. So we all use it as salespeople. So what’s that really saying to us, and why is that important?


Tibor Shanto  6:01  

I don’t know if it’s that important as I was saying what I think first of all, I agree with you about the self-serving thing. I’ve always thought humorously and I hope that I don’t get punished by anybody for this. But you know, LinkedIn has their social selling index, their SSI, except the only thing that matters is your use of LinkedIn. Like it doesn’t go and see what I do on Twitter or what I do on Facebook or what I do on any other social platform. And there’s plenty of them available. Right. So I’ve had this blog lined up for a long time, you know, that basically, the headline asked the questions SSI, social selling index or self serving interests, but I guess I’m not the only one that’s thinking about that.


Andy Paul  6:42  

Well, it’s just sort of the point seems to be that there I was trying to make it there’s all this we talked about so much talking that goes on and sales. I mean, there’s all this research of sorts that’s occurring but it’s like nothing besides being self serving a lot of times it’s just drawing conclusions about things that really aren’t cause and effect related.


Tibor Shanto  7:12  

So I think that a lot of times I think, look, social tools are important, but as you say, they’re an evolution of what we used to do in the past, right? So in the past, we’d asked the guy at our, you know, gym or other social setting. Now I don’t have to leave my desk and I can get a wider feel for it. But I think the other part of it, I think that and you know, there’s a number of other stats floating around that are in that same neighborhood where 50 you know, buyers are 57% of the way through their buying journey before for reaching out to a salesperson, and I think that all those things are true. But they’re only reflecting half the reality. And that’s where I think they fall down. Because buyers are people who entered the marketplace on their own right, they put up their hands and they said, I have a need, or I have pain or I have something that I need to deal with. So when I’m hungry, I need to go out and get, you know, something to eat. But there’s a whole segment of the market out there. And we touched on this the last time but there’s a whole segment of the market out there that left to their own devices will not enter the marketplace. So from my point of view, the salespeople that I think that are really salespeople that are really good at the art and the science and the vocation of selling are the ones who can bring those people in on the sidelines, the ones who weren’t going to search engines, the ones who weren’t going to social media, the ones who if approached would have been completely happy and kept doing what they were doing before. And I think that part of it is social media, they don’t know social media exists, and they’re not impacted by anything you or I do on social media. And again, I’m not knocking social media use, but it’s only effective for a small segment of the market.


Andy Paul  9:16  

Yeah, I mean, one of the things that that the whole thing sort of brought to mind as I was reading that article, again, talking about too much talk in sales. Which I say is, you know, leading people to see cause and effect where they should see uncertainty and randomness instead. And you really see that because there’s a whole push about, you know, the science of selling and really to the exclusion of, I don’t call it the art of selling but the person to person selling part of it that goes on. And there’s some people, you know, fervently believe that the scientist is going to completely replace the art of selling. And I think that there’s so much randomness and complexity and uncertainty as commonly said, in people and in their interactions that it’s possible. And I think we see that we’re overstating the importance of the science of selling.


Tibor Shanto  10:27  

I think so. And I think one of the interesting things is if you look, there was, you know, there’s a school out there that talks about I guess the lack of post has gone through decision yet, you know, a lot of the decision makers out there are not there. They’re smart people. I mean, again, not only are they educated, but they’re also experienced and so on. And like you say, there’s a whole bunch of colors in how they do things as opposed to just black and white.


Andy Paul  10:56  

Yeah, well, that’s what makes people people, right.


Tibor Shanto  10:59  

Yeah. That’s what makes the whole thing fun.


Andy Paul  11:01  

Yeah. So, again, to your point is, yeah, there’s aspects of the science of selling that are important. But just hold back to talk about too much talk as what too much talk is leading, in some cases, people thinking that it’s paramount or actually I don’t think it is.


Tibor Shanto  11:22  

You know, this whole notion around content marketing, and everybody starts off doing content marketing, and then about two weeks into, they realize they can’t produce any more content. So whereas people ask me how I’m able to come up with, and I don’t think I’m a prolific guy, I do two blogs a week and I talk about I share my experience with people that I have every day in the course of either training or trying to sell my training or any of the other things that I do. So that gives me a lot of, as you say, relationships, people and things that I could borrow from and it’s that human experience that allows me to write and talk about what I talk about, because I just reflect what I see in the marketplace. And I think that if we bought into the science machine and all that, it may not be some of that stuff just wouldn’t be there. And I think, you know, that’s the one fear that I have for 2017 is, you know, all the people who were wearing the sales to all jerseys around 2009 2010, and then the rug was pulled out from under them with social selling. I think that they’re reconstituting themselves into the sales enablement camp. I don’t know about you, but I see more and more about sales enablement. 


Andy Paul  12:49  

Well, I think that’s true. I mean, I think that there’s a lot of repackaging that goes on. And that’s fine. I mean, that’s normal. I think that if you look at the course of human events. Yeah, there’s a lot of things that are considered insights that are really repackaging.


Tibor Shanto  13:12  

It’s like the new improved tide, but it’s still about getting your shirt clean and somewhat getting a shirt clean. 


Andy Paul  13:18  

Alright, so one topic you’ve written about recently I want to delve into is what you consider sort of a misguided focus on finding the customers pain points. As opposed to what you write about others finding where the customers want to be. So putting a bandaid on something versus helping a customer achieve something that they aspire to. So you sort of start the article saying sales haven’t fundamentally changed? Because we’re still sort of focused on identifying pain points. 


Tibor Shanto  13:58  

I look at a couple of things. One is when I do workshops, and I work with people out there doing this day to day, so it’s not, you know, we’re not dealing in a laboratory. And, you know, whether it’s the prospecting program, or whether it’s stuff around the process and territory management and so on. And the question comes up, when you first meet a prospect, what do you want to know, and the vast majority, they want to know the pain point, they want to know the needs, or they’re trying to get the prospect to confess to having a problem so they can sell their solution. But I think that even those people who have and recognize and are willing to admit to a stranger that they have pain, as I mentioned, in a different context a few minutes ago to me make up a very small part of the market. Plus, they come to the market on their own, you know, if somebody’s bleeding and they’re looking for a band aid, they’re not going to wait for the mobile pharmacy to drive by before they get one. They’re going to go and get it. So if somebody gets a large order, and they need to expand capacity, they’re not going to wait for somebody to come to them. So the question for me has always been How can I go beyond the obvious for two reasons. One is, I like to be alone when I’m selling as it were. So it’s not as crowded as the people who are putting up their hands and they’re saying, I’m ready to buy for the right price from the right person. And to me, it’s more interesting, what does it take to bring those people who we commonly refer to an industry as being status quo? What does it take to bring them into the market? And I think that that’s a lot more challenging. And I think it’s a skill that a lot of people don’t have and bring it full circle to what we talked about before. I think that’s where a lot of these, you know, social selling pundits are offering false hope to their audience and the numbers and the numbers prove it. I mean, what was it less than in what way that if they adopt these tools or If they just add this app or if they just, you know, take on this different way of looking at the world through different prism of social, some higher sales success is going to change. But if you look at, whether it’s CSO studies and so on, the number of people who’ve made their quota on b2b hasn’t substantially improved in the last three, four years. And in fact, some of the stats, right, and if you look at the people who ran with the SDR concept, their numbers are even more horrific. I saw stats presented at a conference in April that suggested that less than 20% of those people make their targets. Now we can make the argument that the targets are unrealistic, and so on, but let’s assume that their stretch targets more than 20% should be making them so where is all this success from social and I say this is someone who uses it. 


Andy Paul  16:56  

Well, I think there is a conundrum though, and you point this out. One of the articles you’ve written recently is that your contention is that the sales technology or serve in this golden age of sales technologies, and we’ve had an explosion, all these incredible tools. But you’re saying your belief is they only help the A players, you know, the most successful are the only ones that are really taking full advantage of them to succeed, and that they really are sort of hurting the B and the C players.


Tibor Shanto  17:25  

I think so because I think the players bring a whole bunch of things to themselves. And I think they look at the tool and say, Okay, how can I use this tool to help me do what I want to do? I think the B and C players are sitting there and saying, Please, to make me successful in areas that I can’t be on my own. And I don’t think that that works. So I think that if they use those tools and so on, sure, they can uptake a couple of degrees, but it’s not going to fundamentally change the way they sell their philosophy, their outlook. Tools are just tools and I don’t know who said it first, but we’re all familiar with the saying that you know, the tool is still a fool. Right? So I think that what makes A player’s A player’s is how and what they do when it comes to selling not necessarily the tools they use now because they bring up, shall we say smarter philosophy to it they probably choose their tools differently and probably apply them differently but if you took away their tools, they would still be A player’s and if you took away some of the B players tools you might find some of them are C players and C players should really be seeking you know, employment in the hobbyist hospitality industry.


Andy Paul  18:39  

Well, yeah, maybe unbalanced. That’s true. But I’ve worked with C players that have become great players. But not the kids, not the case. Right? Not the rule. That’s it, but it certainly does happen. So, what is the solution though, for B players C players because, again, there’s general acknowledgment that, the best path to sustainable growth is to have what I call your sales, middle class. Improve if they can improve five to 10%. That’s better than trying to have the upper stratum just improve five to 10%.


Tibor Shanto  19:22  

So I think that there is merit to focusing on the B players. The reason I talked about the C players, you know, so there’s only so many resources and time that a manager has, right. And I think the natural tendency is to ignore the players. And I think that that’s a mistake. I think the players are, you know, you want to make sure that they’re happy and you want to make sure that you can share their best practices and so on. So I think a certain amount of focus has to be put on the players. I think the majority of the focus should be put on the players because I agree if I can constantly improve the top end and keep bringing people up, you know, through that, then I’m going to have a certain number of B players who are going to graduate and become A players. And then I’m going to have the others continuously improve. Now, again, I don’t want to go down the jack welch route to, you know, get rid of certain numbers at the bottom and so on. But I buy what you’re saying, and I tend to agree with it. However, if after you’ve made a serious effort to help them and they continue to be C players, then I think the writing’s on the wall. And I’ve always come from the School of hire slow fire fast. So, yes, work with them, give them every opportunity to succeed. But after a point, you know, if you had another asset, if the copier wasn’t cutting it, you how many times would you give it a second chance, and I know there’s human beings involved here, and we’re talking about the C players, but at one point, they begin to be a drain on your energy, a drain on your resources, and they begin to impact the whole organization. I’m talking about the whole company, not just sales. So, um, you know, so I’m certainly not advocating that we be nasty to human beings. But on the other hand, I’ve got only so much love and I’d rather show it to the A’s and the B’s. 


Andy Paul  21:14  

Well, I mean, I understand that I think that one of the issues still in my mind is that I’m not sure I buy that. At least from my experience looking at managers and teams I work with, they spend so little time with the players because while managers are not necessarily self interested, they’re trying to ride the horse abroad there.


Tibor Shanto  21:43  

I think some are, and I would say again, clearly, that’s my view. What I find though, is a lot of managers will spend a disproportionate amount of time on the C players. And I think to some degree, and this isn’t again, across the board but in some instances, you know, managers will have a territory that’s empty. And in a panic, they’ll bring somebody in figuring we can, you know, we can help them, we can develop them, we can train them. You know, you asked earlier about the path, I think having a robust sales process that’s being adhered to, could serve as a platform not only for sales that are in progress, but also as a means as a platform for coaching as a platform for hiring and so on. So you should be able to identify who is going to make it and who’s not going to make it in a relatively reasonable amount of time if you have a sales process, because now you can look at various stages, see where they’re succeeding, where they’re not succeeding, and so on. So I’m certainly not advocating that we toss the players to the wind without effort, but I also think that a lot of times managers find themselves with somebody that isn’t ideal because they rush the process because they didn’t want to leave a territory empty much longer. Or they hire somebody because there wasn’t anybody on the horizon. So now they’re stuck with a rough diamond that needs to be polished. And sometimes it’s not a diamond, then instead of trying to polish it, you should deal with it for what it is. So I think part of it is, again, having that process because then everybody could follow it and sing from the same, you know, hymn book, but yeah, I don’t want to go down too far the path of what do we do with C players, but I do think at times, I see organizations I’m working with a company now that for the last two months, it’s been clear that one of the salespeople not only wasn’t cutting it, but had no intention of cutting it, you know, the, the salary was just nice, and it took him a long time to make the decision. Even though the writing was on the wall. I think their heart was in the right place. They were probably nicer human beings than I am, I guess in that light, but it cost them a lot of time and money. And it has an impact on the other players on the team.


Andy Paul  24:01  

No, absolutely. Well, in that case, that person’s only a C player if  you only have three tiers, right?


Tibor Shanto  24:12  

But I do think that, you know, managers do need to spend more time coaching and leading their business players. I think that’s where the opportunity is. But again, often I’ll ask managers how they go about their coaching and whether they have a formal coaching plan for each of their reps based on a number of factors. And a lot of times there isn’t the formal one. 


Andy Paul  24:43  

Well, there’s some that’s been written and written a lot of the reason I forget who it was, I’d have to go back and check by saying that the sales manager should spend 30 hours a week coaching.


Tibor Shanto  24:58  

I don’t know I don’t know how to measure 30 hours because one of them depends on how many reps you have. 


Andy Paul  25:12  

By the same token, we’ve seen books from people we know coming out this past year, about coaching, sales management, and the absolute dearth of coaching was taking place that, you know, managers, frontline managers are being dealing the push pull between coaching and satisfying, you know, those seniors that that want them to be focused on metrics and the big data and so on.


Tibor Shanto  25:40  

But those two aren’t necessarily mutually exclusive. You know, when I work with managers, I think, part of that is to acknowledge that Yeah, what you said sometimes goes a little too far. But I think metrics and measurements are important. If I’m going to help you do something then we need to understand where we are in now, and where we want to get to. So it’s a lot like sport. There’s nothing wrong with having some criteria and watching the game tape and measuring how fast you run from point A to point B. As long as that then is taken into a coaching program, which helps develop me as a salesperson as opposed to it being something that’s used punitively or, you know, two dimensionally, you know, where it becomes a reason to wag your finger at me, which I still see a lot of managers do. Not physically but you know what I mean? So to me shaming, yeah, to me, if I’m going to quote somebody, there are some basic stats that I want to know. And there’s some basic expectations that I would have of the team. But then I want to take those and use them to improve the individuals and by extension, collectively to the team so I don’t see those two as being mutually exclusive. I think going back to your point earlier, There’s a lot of stuff that I’m reading with management and coaching and so on, some of it does tend to be influenced by what it is that they want to sell, right? So if you’re selling a coaching software, you’re gonna, you know, espouse the virtues of doing it that way and so on.


Andy Paul  27:18  

Okay, so back to the original point. So the research that so many people talk about, which is the most common factor here is that coaching increases productivity or sales performance by 19%.


Andy Paul  28:10  

So what if you woke up in the morning and you were given a report that said yeah, all this research all these commonly accepted facts that we are statistics that we assume are facts about sales, yeah, less than 50% making quota, you know, certain close rates dropping you know, 19% boost from sales training, all these assessment tools that say that you can track you increase your higher mail higher of a players by you know, hundred percent guaranteed data. What if that was just all proven to be not personally wrong, but just not applicable? I mean, What do you do at that point? As soon as we started, what would you say we got this group thing going on? Well, we start all repeating the same statistics to each other. And maybe if we say one thing somewhat, perhaps that’s true. Yeah, let’s say the CSO insights on quota attainment because that should be a number that people sort of, it’s not being self reported, you know, it’s something not being reported by, by manager level, or executive level. Where we start to really sort of determine what really makes a difference.


Tibor Shanto  29:40  

So I think there are some things I mean, again, to go old school, there are some things that will add to a salesperson’s success, not necessarily ambition, which is drive, you know, knowing what they want out of life and so on. There’s a level of attitude that I think comes into it. That’s the non-scientific part that can build up again. I think, yes, they could be. So I think they could be demonstrated and replicated. I think will they ever get the passion? That’s difficult. I think that if you get them doing the right things, and they’re having success with it, and so on, then at one point you hope that that passion kicks in their fear of trying things, you know, dissipates and so on. But, you know, even now, and when I was selling, often people ask me why I got a deal. And the only answer I had is I wanted it more than the other guy. You know, so I think that you can replicate the behavior of that. So it’s not, you know, you could show them some of the things that if you do habitually, you’ll have greater success at achieving certain things. And if you achieve those things, with regularity, and again, along the process, that’s where the process comes in, because I don’t have to worry about teaching you everything at once. I can teach it to you in stages, right? So my end goal may be to help you, you know, get your view of attitude or get that attitude a bit more front and center. But I can lead you to that by helping you execute the process that should reflect success in your company. So I think there’s some things that aren’t necessarily textbook thoughts, but you can replicate behavior. And I think, to your point, you know, 30 hours of coaching, part of that needs to be showing them what behavior you want them to replicate. But there would be, I think, one of the pluses of these technologies and social things and so on is they give people a point of reference. They give people something that they can use to gauge where they are and where they want to go and so on. And I think without that, you know, some of us would be a bit more challenged than we are now.


Andy Paul  31:57  

Yeah, no, I agree. But it’s the think I’m trying to get people to think about the fact that my belief is that at the end of the day, while you definitely and I write about this in my first book, you have to have a process, you have to measure, you have to understand, but at the end, it still is gonna boil down to that person talking to a person.


Tibor Shanto  32:25  

It will and I think, again, it’s a question of what now you want to talk to them. And that’s why I make great distinctions. If you read my blogs, it’s maybe not as evident, but it certainly will be in the book, I definitely make a difference between a buyer and a prospect. A buyer made a decision and they’ve engaged a marketplace and it’s an entirely different experience that the salesperson needs to bring to conclude that transaction. 


Tibor Shanto  32:54  

A buyer self declared they got up and they have a need. They have pain. It’s that 10 or so percent of the market that’s actively out there looking because again, even let’s say it’s a pain, let’s say, you know, a meteor crash to a building, and they have to buy a new roof, right. But on the other hand, it could be that they just got a large contract. And they realized that they need to get a new machine to fulfill the contract. So it’s not a pain, it’s a pain if they don’t fulfill the contract, but I would say it’s a growth opportunity. So to me, those people who are called buyers entered the marketplace on their own


Andy Paul  33:30  

Right, and prospects are proactively developed.


Tibor Shanto  33:33  

Prospects are people who you had to bring into the market, entice them into the market, I don’t mean that negatively but left on their own, they’d sit on the sidelines, I have to say things that will a get them to engage with me and then be wants to engage, I actually have to show them how I can help them achieve some of the objectives that they’ve set out for their business, either on a personal level or a collective level. You know, it’s the ones that I reach out to when I cold call. And that’s why I get into these great debates about whether cold calling works or not to me, it’s side by side for a buyer, I can facilitate through social media, but for somebody that isn’t the buyer that would have not thought about sales training, unless I would have called them up. Those are prospects that I have to go and, you know, bring into the marketplace. Take them through the cycle and so on.


Andy Paul  34:32  

You know, back this whole idea of statistics, so you said the 10% or so that are self declared. So the other study that came out 2010 2011, I think was from Demand Gen that could have the source rug. I think that’s what it was that said that their study of b2b buyers found that 93% of b2b buyers said that they initiated their buying process.


Tibor Shanto  35:24  

It’s interesting. I saw a study that came out last year that looked at small businesses in Canada and the States, and I think they had about a sample of 1700 or so. It’s always important to ask that question, but what they found is similar to what you’re saying is that for upsells, not initial buys, but for upsells. It was about 48%. That self initiated as opposed to being approached by the salesperson. 


Andy Paul  36:02  

I mean, yeah, to your point is this, you know, proactive sit side by side with inbound. And you’re gonna need both unless you’ve somehow cracked the code and you’ve got an incredibly effective marketing machine that targets the right buyers and only delivers you. 


Tibor Shanto  36:26  

Yeah, you know, but stats are not scientific, but by show of hands, and I do a lot of workshops in a given year and presentations and stuff. And one of the questions I always ask is, can you make quota without bringing on new clients? So you know, from your base and strictly from referrals, and a large number, I’m not going to go into the stats, but when I look up, there’s more than not saying that they cannot make quota without approaching what I call prospects so people aren’t coming to that new business. So they have so to be successful. You have to embrace both and absolutely, you know, I don’t think you can say I’m this or I’m that. And that’s why I sort of laugh at, you know, some of the people that we both know that talk about, well, we’re just social selling and cold calling is old school. And I always thought it odd that on a regular basis, the social guy seemed to throw bombs over the wall and tell me that cold calling doesn’t work. And that’s fine if they believe it. But it seems to me that it’s working for me, and it’s working for a lot of my clients.


Andy Paul  37:28  

Well, I think we’re seeing a convergence, I think, where there’s an acceptance of the idea that the social is an incredibly important tool to help you prepare to have conversations with the people you want to business with. 


Tibor Shanto  37:54  

I agree. I mean, again, long before social, I’m sure you were on LinkedIn. Because it was a great place to get insights into different people, especially if you can follow them into the groups and things like that. I use the phrase earlier, you know, I think the challenge of the problem is, I see my role and by extension, the professional and you, me, and so forth and so on, is to truly help the person that we’re working with, as opposed to be sort of, you know, doctrine driven. And I get  sort of nervous when other people like me, whatever you want to call us, sales, consultants, trainers, whatever, all of a sudden get real religious and say, you know, it’s social, Uber rallis, you know, at that point, you know, I get sort of overalls. Yeah, I get sort of nervous. I prefer somebody who can say, you know, this is why I have the mosaic that I have, and here’s how it can change if things change.


Andy Paul  38:57  

Yeah, well, that’s sort of the path I was heading down from the beginning. Yeah, I’m very skeptical of the doctrine. And, you know, I think that all this supposed research sir supposes conclusions driven from much of this research. So it’s not valid. I mean, it’s not. And so what we need to be looking at as you start talking about, we’re gonna take a mix of activities and a mix of approaches to succeed to optimum level. And we need to determine what that mixes.


Tibor Shanto  39:31  

I think it’s interesting. I don’t know if you saw the stats that came out from the CB. Earlier this year, I think around the time that the conference took place in Vegas, but myself and a number of others were in DC in the summer where we got to look at some of these, but they show how most of the complexity that’s gone into sales has been as a result of technology and apps just being thrown at the salespeople, and most of the complexity in the quote unquote complex really cut his internal complexity as opposed to external complexity. And while there’s more and more tools being thrown at salespeople extensively to make them more effective or efficient, that effect efficiency is going down. And they CB shows how that’s actually impacting negatively returns and results. I did a post on that in October. I’m using their stats and so on. Showing that there’s actually a decline in financial results or at least quoted delivery by salespeople based on the fact that I think they’re overburdened by technology. So a little bit of a good thing. You know, the old saying too much of a good thing is not a good thing. I think the right technology for the right reason based on how it helps you and helps you customers a lot better than the latest technology that nicely plugs into whatever platform I’ve gone with, and most people seem to go with one.


Andy Paul  41:01  

Yeah, I’d seen that stat. And I think that there’s a lot of validity in that we sort of touched on that earlier in terms of what the impact false investment technologies are. I guess so. Where I’m leaving these days, and what push people think about, what, if all this technology went away, would you still be able to sell?


Tibor Shanto  41:31  

I would, and I don’t say that.


Andy Paul  41:33  

No, but I’m saying that in a hypothetical sense for the larger audience. And I think that’s where they need to think about in terms of their own personal development and the skills and the habits and the behaviors they need to develop, which is, you know, it’s still that person to person, right? If you can master that. Then, the technical part can help you in many ways, but it’s also not gonna hold you back.


Tibor Shanto  41:58  

So I empathize with salespeople. The one thing I do get, and I understand why they feel cold calling is frustrating, it’s a lot harder to get people on the phone these days, right? So while I buy into what you’re saying, and I tell the people I work with the same thing, at the end of the day, it’s going to come down to two people doing something. It’s harder to find a dance partner than it used to be, I’m sure, so I understand that frustration. So people are now desperately looking for ways and then you get the snake oil salesmen who see an audience and they give them what they want, at least on the surface level. So you know, you got this challenge around getting in touch while you’re doing the wrong thing. You really ought to be using this thing to slice their tweets this way or the other way or you ought to be using this thing. So that’s why the false hope comes up that I don’t think that if any single two or more He is going to help you overcome some of the other trends in society, Visa V, communication and so forth and so on. And I think in fact, the question you ask is sort of keeps coming back that I think maybe that’s how salespeople should learn to sell first is without technology. And once they’ve demonstrated their ability that they can actually sell without technology, then you introduce technology that makes them more effective and efficient. But right now, I think the formula is backwards. Here’s all these tools, you figure out how to use them, and by the way, make quota at the same time.


Andy Paul  43:34  

That’s a great, great way to finish up. Ah, so now we’re in the last segment of the show. I’ve got some standard questions, ask all my guests. you’ve answered the first set of standard questions I have. So now he has a repeat visitor, you get new, new standard questions.


Andy Paul  43:56  

So here’s just some rapid fire questions and give me one word answers or elaborate, if you wish. So the first one is, is it easier to teach in your mind? Is it easier to teach a technical non salesperson how to sell or teach a salesperson how to sell a technical product?


Tibor Shanto  44:15  

The ladder, I’d rather take a salesperson and teach them a technical product can be the other way.


Tibor Shanto  44:27  

As you said earlier, it’s a people’s game, right? So I would argue that I could sell almost anything because I could learn the product because to me, it’s understanding what the customer wants to do with it, and how my product can help them do that. So if they lack the understanding of what their customer is trying to do, and how they can help them, you know, technologists get too enamored by the technology. I’d rather have somebody that’s enamored by helping somebody knowing that everybody benefits in a number of ways is the result. And they’re also much more willing to learn then the technology that’s going to help them do That so I, I’d rather have a salesperson I’ve written several things about this that, especially for small businesses, they make the biggest mistake of hiring, quote unquote, the product guy, and they might as well just buy the coffin at the same time.


Andy Paul  45:16  

Okay, such a delicate way of putting that. All right. So one is what’s one non business non sales non marketing book? you’d recommend every salesperson read like, you know, is there one literary work you would recommend? 


Tibor Shanto  45:36  

I forget his first name, but he’s the guy that wrote the Eiger Sanction. 


Andy Paul  45:45  

Interesting. By that time, sure. I’ve read that one.  Next question. If you could change one thing about your business self, what would it be?


Tibor Shanto  46:36  

I get rid of the name of a company. I hate the word solutions. And at the time, it was a really good idea, but it was a short lived idea. Much like sales to Dotto so I would get rid of the names solutions out of the company name because I think solutions are hollow words.


Andy Paul  46:55  

So the last one do you have a favorite quotation or words of wisdom that you live by?


Tibor Shanto  47:10  

Yeah, I don’t know if it’ll mean anything to anybody. But you know, it’s the old line from a song that I like, you know, I may make you feel but I can’t make you think.


Andy Paul  47:30  

All right. Well, that’s a good one. So great. Thanks for joining me. And I’ll tell folks how they can find out more about you.


Tibor Shanto  47:41  

Well, they can find me at sellbetter.ca. And the other way is by email tiborshanto@sellbetter.ca. And if you’re old school like me just pick up the phone and dial.


Andy Paul  48:19  

I love it. Love it. So thanks again for joining and until next time, this is Andy Paul. Good selling everyone. Thanks for listening to the show. If you like what you heard want to make sure you don’t miss any upcoming episodes please subscribe to this podcast on iTunes or Stitcher.com for more information about today’s guests, visit my website at AndyPaul.com