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Revenue Performance, with Michael Tuso [Episode 824]

Michael Tuso is the Director of Revenue Performance at Chili Piper. On today’s episode episode we get into all things revenue performance; starting with what it means and who it affects. Then we dive into exactly how Michael works with the sales team and leadership to plan and measure performance improvement, before talking about new KPIs we can use to more accurately measure performance and performance improvement.

Plus, I introduce a new feature on the show this week where I’ll have friends stop by for hot takes on everything trending in the sales world both online and off. Our first guest is my friend Howard Brown, the founder and CEO of Revenue.io (and one of the most interesting people I know).

Episode Transcript

Andy Paul: Michael, welcome to the show.

Michael Tuso: Yes. Very excited to be here. Thanks for having me.

Andy Paul: A pleasure to have you, so where are you hiding out or where have you been hiding out?

Michael Tuso: Yeah, absolutely. I am in, uh, Southern Oregon in a really cool town called Ashland.

Andy Paul: Very cool town. Yeah, unfortunately, no Shakespeare this year. I imagine.

Michael Tuso: Yeah, I think, I think they’re doing something virtual, so I’ll have to check that out for sure.

Andy Paul: Yeah. Yeah, no, it was a very cool place. Um, so yeah, you’re normally in the Bay Area, right?

Michael Tuso: Yeah. Um, I’ve lived in the Bay Area, not for a ton of time. Um, I lived in LA before that, but yeah, I normally normally live in the Bay Area, but in the past couple of months I’ve been up in Oregon.

Andy Paul: So sort of in the middle of nowhere because it feels, I feel safer being in the middle of nowhere.

Michael Tuso: You know, um, I really love the outdoors. So, uh, psychologically it’s been really awesome for me in terms of like rejuvenation and, um, outdoor recreation. Um, I just got back from a five day trip or, you know, I haven’t put down a phone and computer completely for days on end in quite some time. So that was, that was kind of nice. Um,

Andy Paul: So you said you were doing a rafting trip, so you didn’t turn on your phone the whole time?

Michael Tuso: Yeah. I didn’t even use my phone for pictures. I let other people take pictures. That’s how much I wanted to disconnect.

Andy Paul: Wow that is extreme.

Michael Tuso: Yeah.

Andy Paul: And so well, so question follow up is, okay. So you’ve had that experience. What are you going to do differently? Going forward. I mean, has that inspired you to say, okay, well I gotta change my behavior. I look, I spend way too much time on my phone.

Michael Tuso: Yeah, I, you know, I think for me, it’s more of the question of, um, using self-care to feed your work. I think sometimes especially in the tech sales space and I’m guilty of this just as anyone else, like in our heads, sometimes we equate success with, uh, more like it’s always more and more and more and more and more.

And, um, you know, that just hasn’t been my experience in my career. I’m, I’m totally for working like really hard and things like that. Um, I think this trip kind of taught me and more and more reminded me of than anything that, uh, it self care is quite essential to high performance. Um, and that’s something that I’ve been, you know, really, really focused on.

And so, you know, the fact that it’s been years, uh, since I put my cell phone down, it’s just one little micro example for five days and didn’t look at it, you know, is pretty telling that I need to take my own advice, but, you know, I think it is a good, a good reminder that whatever it is that you connect with, um, you know, for me, it’s recreation and nature and rafting and camping and things like that. And I find that to be a real way to disconnect. When I came back to work, I’m able to, um, make the biggest possible impact.

Andy Paul: Well it’s sort of interesting thinking about this year and everything that’s going on with the COVID pandemic and so on is, is, yeah, I was thinking about this other day, is this whole point about self care is, and think about it even in my own context, it’s like, well, normally I take a lot of vacation and that’s like, Yeah, but I don’t really have any place to go that I would normally go that’s open and available and not clear that it will be for quite some time given sort of the current rate of what’s happening.

It’s like, I imagine probably like a lot  of peopleI’m just going to sort of thinking I’m just going to work through this. And, this time, that is to your point earlier is, is there’s this undercurrent of anxiety we all feel about it. Um, yeah, and I think they just think about that for all the people in a high stress job like sales. Is that, that’s sort of compounding, I imagine

Michael Tuso: Yeah. And then compounded on top of that like not leaving the house. And then, you know, I’ve been working remotely for some time, but then add that to a lot of people’s plate. Yeah. They haven’t been working remotely and then, you know, whatever fears and anxieties people have about themselves or their families, or, you know, uh, any given set of news and current events that people have gotten, you know, as stress, I think it’s now is the time, you know, very frequently I find, especially with sales reps, when they start getting stressed out, they stopped doing the self care things. And I’ve even caught myself doing that. And it’s like, it’s hard for cortisol to coexist with things like learning and investing in yourself and meditation. And, you know, things like that and you know, so I always like when a stressful event happens, I go, okay, where where’s the antidote to this. Where’s the way that I can rejuvenate faster and rest? And then, so during this time I’m sort of preparing for when we’re on the upswing, but also not like losing whatever opportunities are happening right in front of my face at that time. Um, so to your, to your point about vacation, like I had several plan for this year one, um, one was in Ireland, one was another place abroad.

So we quickly were like, well, we could say that, you know, this is happening to us. Or we could say, how do we adjust it and actually keep having fun, keep having really, you know, cool, plans and sort of involving other people around us in those plans and things like that. So, you know, that, that’s kind of how that the rafting trip for us was, was born. Actually, we were around a campfire or talking about it and just kind of came up and then we just did it. So adaptation is key.

Andy Paul: Is. It is. Yeah. Um, yeah, we’re still working on that. Yeah. I mean, we did adapt by leaving Manhattan and coming up to San Diego that, that helped quite a bit. So little more access to nature more immediately here, uh, and way fewer people even for a big city. So, yeah, well I imagine it could be a tough, it is already tough, but a tougher, you know, the parents that look forward to summer vacation, then look forward to the end of summer vacation is that may not be any different this year. I may still have the kids at home and you got two parents trying to both work and care for kids and that’s yeah. It’s quite something that everybody’s experienced at this time. Um, so self care, obviously, very important. So I remember. I don’t know we met, I guess, on LinkedIn, Cause I remember coming across something you wrote there and thinking to myself, what a smart guy, we should get him on the show. Um, and, and here you are.


Michael Tuso: for having

Andy Paul: Well, I’m glad we were able to get you on. So, so you’re, I’m interested in your, your job. So you’re Director of Revenue Performance at Chili Piper. So, well, first of all, just tell us a little bit about Chili Piper. So people know that, and then we’ll get into my questions about your job.

Michael Tuso: Yeah, absolutely. So we work in the, um, sales and marketing space. Um, most notably, um, uh, Chili Piper, uh, is, was born out of scheduling. Um, now we handle the scheduling of your inbound leads. And so there’s, there’s this problem of the not being connected to sales fast enough. Um, you know, Harvard released a study that if you, if you don’t get in touch with them within the first five minutes, the probability of getting connected with them decreases by 88%.

Um, uh, and Chili Piper basically solves that. People usually have tried to solve it with things like SLA and things like that. And at Chili Piper immediately schedules the meeting upon form fill. Um, we are, we also have some interesting, um, email collaboration tools that we’re in the middle of launching right now, um, as well. So that’s a little bit about us.

Andy Paul: Yeah, it’s interesting. You bring up those stats and actually I think, I think they all come from sort of the original sort of,.I think it was an MIT study actually with the insidesales.com had commissioned


Now, yeah, 15, almost 20 years. That’s like, it makes me wonder, is that still the case? Because this is, I was reading an ebook just last week that, that just been put out by, uh, another tech company, uh, quoting very similar, you know, the same data. We all have the same data, which I think is a problem, right? Is that we all, there’s so little actually researched done about sales, that when we get these data points, we all grab on to them and keep repeating them forever, this being one of them. But I mean, I’m a huge believer in this whole concept of responsiveness. I think, you know, a concept of speed to lead and, and, uh, being first has a tremendous competitive advantage. I mean, I think that, that, um, I’ll let you respond to that first. Do you agree with that? I mean, I, I imagine you guys do a Chili Piper.

Michael Tuso: Yeah, absolutely. And, you know, I agree with the point that that stat is outdated, uh, wholeheartedly and so that indicator to me, and sort of the underlying assumption that we’re making is that you have to be faster than that even, to be successful. And our data, you know, even though there are tons of, uh, data, uh, publicly available, um, out there, the data that I see at least with my own sales team and companies that I work with on a regular basis, that the faster you are at capturing that prospect at the point of interest, really the better off it is. And that’s been really consistent over the 2 million plus meetings that, you know, we see booked on the platform and more so I totally agree with the point of, you know, some of the data being. No outdated in that lends itself to be, we have to be even more responsive than not. So I totally agree.

Andy Paul: Yeah, well, I think it’s a good point is you have to be even more responsive. Um, and I think there are two aspects of that. One is, is what constitutes being responsive because I first wrote about this, this topic, exactly gosh, in my book in 2012 or 2011, talking about responsiveness. Responsiveness is just not speed is, is you can respond quickly to someone, but if you have nothing of value to give them an incentive to keep going with the conversation. Then in my mind, you’re not responsive, you’re just fast. And, and I think it’s that combination of speed and value that constitutes responsiveness. And I think that’s the critical thing is, is that if you can respond with value quickly, then part what happens is, is in my experience, shown over too long a time to count is that you start reducing the customer’s incentive to go talk to anybody else. And, and this is, this is a concept I find so interesting as sellers automatically assume that every deal is going to be competitive and that maybe the customer’s intent to talk to multiple vendors but when you look at the psychology of how people are making decisions is generally people want to gather enough information to make a good decision and not necessarily the best decision. If that’s the case being first with value gives you a huge leg up.

Michael Tuso: Yeah, I totally, um, I totally agree with that. I used to work in politics and I can remember one of the sort of mentors at the time would always tell me, you know, “don’t let great, good in a way of good” and many, many times I find that to be true, you know. Like perfectionists that I see, like on my teams, or even the perfectionist tendencies that I might have, um, a lot of times, you know, that will lend itself to, uh, to like being fearful and also at the expensive, um, of efficiency and just getting it done.

And so I think, you know, we do spend a lot of time focusing on execution in business. So I think, I think that’s where a lot of the decision making is coming from. Like, because once you execute, you can always like iterate, um, and execution is so important. And so I think that’s where a little bit of that, um, thinking comes from. And that I also really agree with the, the whole concept of providing, um, providing value, um, in addition to the speed as well. Um, yeah, I couldn’t agree with that more.

Andy Paul: Yeah, because I’ve, this concept I’ve used with, with companies in the past is we’ve talked about if you can have that level of responsiveness, so you can have some value in that first interaction that again, gives them an incentive to want to keep investing time in you. What you’re doing is, is what we’d like to call is, take prospects off the street. That’s that was our goal. Right. If we could make those first, the first interaction or the first couple of interactions, so strong that, and get so engaging that yea, we reduced their incentive to go talk to someone else and we effectively remove them from the competitive sphere.

Michael Tuso: Yeah. That’s like, this is one of the first, like actually the only LinkedIn article I’ve ever read, I’ve written credit, like blogs, but, um, you know, I, I always, uh, I’m like, I consider myself to be a coach for the sales team now, um, my first job ever, like as a teenager was a karate coach, basically, and, um, I asked like one of my mentors who I think is like an eighth degree black belt now. And someone, I really, really looked up to him and I, I said, you know, what, why did you choose the school? And he said, you know, uh, I called the school closest to mine, my house, and they didn’t pick up the phone. And then I called this place and they picked up the phone and 20-30 years now, he’s he’s been there. And it was literally because it was so easy for him to convert. Um, and, and, you know, that’s a really specific example, but that same thing happens in B2B sales every single day and people don’t do anything about it. Um, they don’t, they aren’t as scientific about like what’s actually happening at the top of the funnel. So then it creates like friction. For the buyer that they don’t even realize. So I always tell people, like, have you ever gone through your own cycle and like, ask yourself the question, how can and how can you make this, uh, this process, uh, how can you make this process? Yes. Better. And so frequently people don’t, you know, and then the second thing I always say is like, do you talk to their customer about what they think about your processes? And again, the answers to those questions are typically like, you know, I haven’t done that. Or a lot of that. So, you know, I think if you want to see problems that your own buying cycle, walk yourself through them or, or put yourself in the position of sales rep, um, I’m sort of experimenting with that right now. And, um, I, every so often, like taking on some of the accounts, so learn, okay, like there’s a problem here and I can’t quite get it through communication. Let me dive in and see precisely what’s going on, fix the, whatever the issue is. It also gains respect to the team and they see that, like, you’re not one of those leaders that doesn’t mind dusting the cobwebs off, making yourself vulnerable in front of everyone else and then, and then when you go back to, um, you know, just sort of strictly managing and coaching, it gains you a lot of credibility.

Andy Paul: Yeah. I mean, gosh, a ton there and your answer. Yeah. I think one thing for, um, companies that you talked about is yeah. Experience your own selling process as a buyer is really important. And I had a similar story to yours about the, your karate coach and, you know, started calling the one closest to this home and, and so on is remember years ago, had an ant infestation in a home here in San Diego area. And at that time went online, relatively rudimentary ads online at that period of time. But, you know, chose the one that came up first in the search returns and called them. They are a big name company and, and.

Yeah. And first of all, no one answered the phone and it goes to a message and they start patting themselves on the back about, we have such great level of customer service, we guarantee you’ll get a call back within 24 hours and I’m sitting there going, I’ve got a river of aunts about six inches wide streaming across my floor. I, I need to do something now. All right. So yeah, picked up, you called the next on the list and they came out in two hours and took care of it. And that’s who I always used. So yeah, if you make it. They were so proud of their process, but the fact is the process was a reason not to do business with them.

Michael Tuso: That’s so true. Um, yeah. Be careful what you pride yourself on, I guess is one of the lessons, my takeaways from that. Cause it might not be what your customers is looking for.

Andy Paul: Yeah. And you need to know that, so. Alright. So you’re director of revenue performance. So what does that mean? Cause you don’t see the title very often?

Michael Tuso: Yeah. Um, well, uh, yeah, I wrote a post recently about this and, um, I’ve actually did a, uh, a LinkedIn search and a Google search as well and spent quite some time looking and it didn’t find anyone with the title. Um, so I think I’m the only one with the title, but I hope that changes. Um, and I was, I was at a conference and, um, we were sort of talking about my promotion and, but, um, I, you know, told the CEO months earlier that I didn’t want to be a director of sales. I said if, uh, if it’s any indicator that, um, You know, the average tenure is 19 right months, I said to me, that’s not a big enough impact. I said, I want to make a really big impact at a company. And you simply can’t do that in that amount of time. And he sort of paused for a second and you could tell he was really internalizing it and, and, and, and, uh, you know, found it to be a really good idea, um, that I didn’t want to follow the same trajectory of maybe, maybe even some of my mentors did.

And instead he saw that I really wanted to carve my own pass and he sort of posed the question back to me and said, so what do you want to do? And I said, well, I want to do the things that, um, you know, that I am doing right now, but across the entire revenue funnel, plus I want to own special projects. The things that I owned at that time and still do work, coaching, training, enablement, um, and really the owning, the learning of everyone on the revenue team. So for us, we define that as SDRs, account executives and account managers. So I do training, enablement, onboarding, coaching, ongoing coaching. Uh, for, for all of those teams.

Um, and then we sort of came to the revenue, um, performance, as something that was all encompassing and focused on those key things. Um, we chose not to call it enablement, sort of intentionally, because we wanted me like really focused on each individual’s tailored performance by individual and holistically as a group. So that’s basically how we came up with director of revenue performance.

Andy Paul: You know, I like it. I like it. I mean, I, I, um, well, first of all, there’s, there’s still a fair amount of debate about what enablement really means. And so, yeah, having something that speaks specifically to revenue performance, I like, I like. Now why revenue performance versus sales performance. And this is, this is more driven by my curiosity. It seems like everything that previously had a sales title before sales ops, etc, it’s now revenue ops, revenue performance. So is there a, you know, is that a, just a matter of a distinction without a difference, or how are you guys looking at, uh, differentiate the two?

Michael Tuso: So I strongly favor, obviously, not just because it’s in my title, but I strongly favor this sort of like, almost like a movement, you know, you have CRO you have director of revenue operations, revenue enablement, you know, well, many different, and it, it really, for me, stems from the idea that no one single person is responsible for revenue. And I think sometimes we like to dump a lot of that responsibility on a VP of Sales and say, wave your magic wand and go do sales. And it’s just really a lot more complex than that. And really every individual in a company in one way or another is responsible for the business being, you know, succesful..

Well, if someone in CS isn’t pulling their weight, that hurts another department and, and, and vice versa. So, for me I am deeply passionate actually about, um, this like trend towards revenue, because I think for me it implies a more scientific approach and it also implies like we’re sort of all in this together and, and it, you know, it isn’t just sales job to create a business. It’s everyone’s job. And I think sometimes we forget that like, We’re all creating a business. It’s not just, it’s not just sales. So, um, I really liked the trend and that’s sort of part of my reason you’re really pushing for that instead of sales and in my own personal title. And I encourage others to do so as well.

Andy Paul: Okay. So who do you report to?

Michael Tuso: The CEO

Andy Paul: Interesting? So did your CRO have a problem with that?

Michael Tuso: We, uh, so we don’t have this CRO. We’re still pretty, uh, we’re still pretty small. Um, I was also their first management hire, like less than 10 employees. So-

Andy Paul: Alright, well, that’s good. Yeah. I mean, somebody’s gotta be there from the beginning and, and have the history of their organization and so on. So let’s talk about the, just idea of performance because, as people listen to the show know, it is one of my, one of my passions. So how are you defining performance?

Michael Tuso: That’s a really good question. Um, I really take an individual approach to your performance. And I really tried to manage, uh, to skills of that respective individual. And you can hear it on sales calls, right? You pull two random calls from two different people. Inevitably, they’re going to be different things that they do well and, and, and, and different things that they don’t do well. Uh, and so this idea of a cookie cutter approach to learning and development, or no approach at all, where you just say, here’s your number, go hit it. I really think that one of the biggest problems in sales and business today is we tell people here’s your quota and then we don’t show them how to do it. And, um, as, as, and you know, who is in a performance or enablement type function? I have been a top performer, you know, I have had a $20,000 paycheck in one month as a 25 year old. So it’s not sort of pipe dream. Uh, that I’m not docking up with either personal experience or data. It’s really rooted in this concept of learning. The reason why I was able to put up really big numbers as a top AE at a fortune 500 company is because I spent so much time learning and developing my own skillset, despite not having a manager who knew how to do that in other people. And ever since sort of that moment, I was sort of, you know, borderline obsessed with this concept of like, if you focus on this learning and development piece, everything from everything, from retention and attrition, like those, you know, it just gets so much better and retaining top talent. If you just spend time on some of these more intrinsic things like helping coaching them from one point to another successively through their careers. Um, you know, and even with like SDRs that has a very high turnover rate, if you spend a lot of time on this coaching and development piece, you can really get some amazing AE’s out of these people who are loyal to you, your leadership style and the company. And so I really focus on. Individual performance, but also collective performance in the collective mind chair. So I make people have a stake in it and not at don’t just do a top down strategy, energy, or a centralized strategy where everything comes from me and I’m the end all be all when it comes to all things sales, like we’re all constantly learning every day. And, and that’s really the mindset that I adopt when I. I’m leading the teams here.

Andy Paul: So how do you, and this is, excuse me, this is sort of the core question, is both comes from two angles, one is how much responsibility should you put on the individual for their own development versus what the company is responsible for. And, but sort of the flip side is as the individual, how much of your own development should you take responsibility for? What should your mindset be? Because I think that one of the things that I see is that to some degree, people sort of look at, you know, company provided training and sort of like an entitlement, right. We’re sort of the entitled to this complete suite of training  and development. and if I don’t get it, that’s part of my source of dissatisfaction, and, um, I may leave and go to the next place, but I’ve never experienced any environment that’s perfect in that regard. That is completely comprehensive and, and as you said, you’re trying to tailor it to the individual. They all have individual needs and interests and levels of curiosity. So, so how do you, how do you blend those? Right? What, what should the company take responsibility for? What does the individual need to take responsibility for?

Michael Tuso: Yeah. So I love this question. I think it’s something that comes up very often you can see it in the interview process. That’s the first thing I thought of when you said that is you’re sitting in the interview, you ask them about, you know, things that they do for growth and they sort of say, give a vanilla answer or they give something that isn’t really like profound. Um, I think leaders by the way, need to be setting the pace. You know, I don’t think that there’s a question that anyone on the team would ask if I spend time developing my own skillset. They know I practice, they know I read three books a month at minimum and listen to any of that content of other people can recite, uh, basically what every other company in this space is doing.

So there’s, there’s, there’s never that question in the sales reps head, like what is this person that is supposed to be leading me doing? They know the answer through action. So then, so I try to set that as like an example, and I really do think that people need to have more responsibility than I’m seeing, at least in the candidate pools that I do today of very vanilla answers when it comes to what are you doing in terms of your own growth and development?

And some of the things that you could do there, you know, you know, sign up for there’s so much free content out there today that people are doing. There’s, uh, inexpensive content that, that are out there that um, you can spend, uh, you know, time and, you know, I wanted to get into meditation one time. So instead of saying, okay, Oh, I’m going to do it. I paid for it. So that it held me accountable. Same thing with like the gym membership. If you are, if you aren’t doing the same thing with your growth and development, it’s definitely a red flag for me. So I think there’s a huge amount of that a responsibility that falls on the individual that frankly, I don’t see a lot of people doing.

Then the same is true of companies. I don’t, I don’t very frequently see robust programs, particularly in the area of continuous education, like post onboarding, post wrap, you develop people and let’s be real. Like sometimes sales can be monotonous and it’s fulfilled with rejection and that’s the perfect environment where you have burnout and you have people that aren’t connected meaningfully to their work, who feel like that they don’t have a voice or even a stake in what’s going on in the company.

And when people don’t feel like they have control in that sense, that’s when  they produce mediocre work and you get the same sort of results that we see across the industry today, where, you know, um, 50% or, you know, one of the most common, you know, I think, I think that’s one of the most commonly, feel free to correct me, but that’s the one I’ve heard consistently for the past 12 months, now it’s 50% of people are missing their quota and we don’t stop and ask why.

Andy Paul: Well, yeah, well that’s true. I mean, that’s theirs, so yeah. CSO insights puts out their annual report on sales performance on yeah, the trend over the last eight years has been declining. And I think it’s, you know, 50% or below and yeah, when rates are low in the SaaS business and you know, all these, all these data points, separate data points of sort of say, yeah, perhaps we’ve got a problem, but how do we really, really address it? And so one of the questions I’d asked you is, is what I’ve seen through again, throughout my experience, but it’s becoming more clear these days based on what’s happening is that if you say, okay, sales performance improvement, revenue, performance improvement, is a process that the sort of rate determining step in that process is actually improved performance on the part of the managers. So I think that’s, and that’s the part I think is overlooked as I don’t think salespeople can improve any faster than their sales leadership does. And so, and so unless, unless, but, you know, have you ever heard anybody use the term sales management enablement? The focus is the problem’s gotta be the sellers. And I say the problem. Yeah. Sellers have problems, but the real problem starts with the managers and the leadership and the same thing is true of frontline sales manager they can’t improve any faster than their management improves and it goes all the way up to the top.

Michael Tuso: Yeah, I agree. Um, I had been a manager for like seven years or more before, yeah. I think it was seven years before I ever got formal training.

Andy Paul: The average is 10, by the way, 10 years, as a manager, before you get your first training. Yeah. That was a, just interviewed a guest on the show about that. About a month ago, Peter Economy, you can read his book on first time managers. Yeah.

Michael Tuso: Yeah. And yeah. And, and, you know, if you have one bad sales rep, you know, that’s a problem, obviously, but if you have one bad manager, that’s up to, you know, I’ve seen up to 15 direct reports.

Andy Paul: Yeah, then you have 15 bad reps. Yeah.

Michael Tuso: Yeah,

Andy Paul: Or suboptimal reps. Let’s say

Michael Tuso: Exactly. Even if you have top performers on their team, you’re probably better that they could be better work that they could be producing if they had a, a better manager, even in books, like Extreme Wwnership, like it’s very common that like you can take a, a poor, you know, a better leader that was on a poor performing team and raise a results of that team by either through that, like replacement. So, I think that, you know, manager enablement is something that is very, very often overlooked.

Um, I cite this, I’ve been citing this studying this at study a lot over the past few weeks, but Gallup did a really good, uh, study on this and the state of the American manager. And they really break down yeah. Own this phenomenon in sales. And I don’t know why anyone not talking about this quite frankly, because it’s this whole phenomenon of you promote the top performers, the, you know, the, the whale killers or whatever you want to call it, you know, these really pejorative ways that we label people who are top performers and then, and then we don’t enable them. So then what happens is they start telling people the default, which is like how they did it, which isn’t always applicable, uh, to other, other people and being a coach.

Andy Paul: Usually not applicable. Yes.

Michael Tuso: Yes, exactly. Um, and, and exactly, and it’s not to say that a top performer can’t be a top manager. I totally kind of agree with that too, but the roles are different as it is what I’m saying, and you have to account for the differences. And right now we don’t account for those differences. We say that top sales rep equals top manager, and maybe it does for that specific person, but you need to be asking the questions of what constitutes a really good manager. And oftentimes it’s softer skills as well as the ability to drive change, um, in an organization. Um, and, and that, that study is really fascinating for me as someone who has spent basically all of my career as a manager. And I think those are things that are very often overlooked. Um, yeah.

Andy Paul: Well, and I think that last point you’re talking about is being able to drive change becomes one of the key attributes that, but certainly as a coach or a manager, as a sales leader, you need to be able to have is if you can’t drive change internally, it’s in some respects, you’d look at it on the surface and say, well, that’s, that’s what you’ve been doing in sales, your entire career, driving change. But it’s different internally than it is with, with the customer. I mean, some of the things overlap, but they’re not always not always the same. And I agree with you. That’s often times where, where promoted salespeople have a really hard time.

Michael Tuso: Yeah. And you kind of asked the question earlier about how much is on the company and how much is on the person? I think like one of this, this question has sort of been tugging at me for a while now. And I think that one of the things that I explored earlier this year is this idea of giving people a stake.

And, um, so, so one of the things I did was I had, I explored with some of our revenue team and I had them actually lead the trainings. And usually we think of like sales leaders only leading the trainings, you know, and, and all of the organizations I’ve been at a part of till this point, the sales leader always led the training and always led the coaching.

But I said, what if we reverse engineer this to give people a stake in what’s going on? And the results were crazy. We, we saw that on people, reinforcing concepts, without me having to say, anything they said, did you try doing this? Or, Oh, you could, you could try, you could try getting better at this. And it all, the only thing I did was I had, I did spend a ton of time with people and how to get the right content and coaching them on how to deliver it and how to get engagement from the team. And then I also was able to reinforce it myself through one-on-ones after, but that simple, active thing, Hey, I think you’re the right person to lead this will you help me with this and then them running with it.

I had one person that’s been 40 hours. I didn’t tell him to, he just did it on his own 40 hours crafting a presentation that he did in our sales training that we still cite regularly today. And so, um, for me, this is that crux of what you’re talking about, which is how much is on the individual and how much is on the company. And to me, that that was an answer that checked both of those boxes.

Andy Paul: Yeah. And I think that, that, I love the fact you’re doing that because I think one of the things that addresses as well is many people have heard this term, the study done by these, uh, I think Cornell sociologists, Dunning and Kruger that come up, the discovered what they called the Dunning Kruger phenomenon that people overestimate their capabilities and, uh, therefore underestimate what they need to learn in order to keep improving. And so they stop learning. And I think that if you yeah, take top performers. I think they know everything and forced them to teach something, they begin to learn pretty quickly that, Oh yeah, there’s a lot that I don’t know and maybe it stimulates their engagement in their own development in a way that maybe they had stopped before.

Michael Tuso: That’s so funny. You bring that up because I’ve had top performers who, you know, maybe, maybe it wasn’t, you know, isn’t always the easiest to get a top performer or someone with a lot of tenure to, you know, historically that’s been a tougher area of motivation than maybe somebody more junior or more junior to the company, uh, to engage in learning or the behaviors that you’d like. So again, yeah. I love that. I actually experienced that firsthand too. And you know, afterwards that sales person said, Oh my gosh, I don’t know how you do this every week. So at least I got some of the empathy out of it and was able to be helpful later on down the line.

Andy Paul: Perfect. All right. Well, Michael, unfortunately run out of time, but, uh, tell folks how they can connect with you.

Michael Tuso: Absolutely. I’m super active on LinkedIn. Uh, so if you message me, I will respond and more than happy to engage with people on LinkedIn.

Andy Paul: Great. Michael, thank you so much. We’ll do this again. I didn’t even get to half my questions.

Michael Tuso: Yeah, absolutely. Looking forward to coming back.