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04. Kyle Gordon (STANLEY Security, Vice President Sales and Marketing)

What does it mean to sell with purpose? How can you bring immediacy and purpose to every conversation, no matter what you’re selling? What if success doesn’t just mean one more closed sale, but one more life saved?

Join Andy Paul (Host of Sales Enablement Podcast) and Kyle Gordon (STANLEY Security, Vice President Sales and Marketing) for a unique conversation exploring what it means to sell with purpose in the era of COVID-19 and beyond.

Learn how STANLEY Security has successfully taken their sales teams remote and why selling with a sense of purpose helps you form stronger and more impactful connections with customers.

Learn more about Selling with Purpose podcast.

Conversation Transcript

Andy Paul: Kyle Gordon, welcome to the show.

Kyle Gordon: Thanks for having me. I appreciate it.

Andy Paul: Well, it’s a pleasure having you. So, um, where are you sheltering in place these days?

Kyle Gordon: Downtown Boston, uh, for about, uh, well, you know, about seven weeks I would say, but I’m also, um, I’m a new father, so we were doing thank you, maternity leave. Mmm. Did he leave all of that? So for someone who travels every week, yeah, 2020 has been an interesting year for me thus far.

Andy Paul: Well, I mean, in one respect, I guess the timing of this thing has worked out. Cause you know, you’re off the road. You’re gonna have a chance to spend this, this intense time with your son or son or daughter? I’m sorry.

Kyle Gordon: Yes. Very, very cool. I never thought I’d be able to, uh, yeah, the first, almost three months now, uh, I’d missed a grand total of one day. So, uh, very thankful in that regard for sure.

Andy Paul: Oh, that’s amazing. Yeah. I just remember when my first child was born. Was same time. I got promoted to take over international global sales for a company.

Kyle Gordon: Yes.

Andy Paul: So two weeks later I was off to Asia. So it’s like, yeah, that was not ideal. All right. Well, so tell us what you do. You’re you’re vice president sales marketing for Stanley security.

Kyle Gordon: Yeah. So, so, um, lead lead sales, um, and did lead marketing call call a heavy influencer with our marketing group lead the entire North American sales team, a field sales team for Stanley security, which is a division of Stanley black and Decker.

Andy Paul: And how big of a field sales team do you have?

Kyle Gordon: Call it a little over 300. So about roughly 35 managers, a few directors, and then a 275 field sales rep.

Andy Paul: Wow. And they are calling on end users, or do you also work through channels?

Kyle Gordon: Uh, end users. So it’s, um, we have a direct model, so, so we’re going, we’re going directly to our end users. And, um, we’re in, in our industry, we’re known as an integrator, which is another way of saying a reseller. Uh, so, so for the most part, and there is a caveat, but for the most part, we don’t make what we sell.

Uh, we resell. Others. And we’re a channel partner for, for other technology providers.

Andy Paul: Okay, so dealing with the end users, but you have, you know, over 200 people in the field who are now working from home. So talk about that transition for you.

Kyle Gordon: We have an outside inside sales team. Let’s call it the most challenging and most rewarding experience of my professional career today. Mmm. Yeah, we do. We have, we have guys and gals would get up every day and they’re on the road to an end users, um, location. Um, this is great. So that obviously safety and security measures, they should be looking at implementing within their business.

Um, it’s a very, it’s a very hands on relationship. There’s a lot of trust that goes into selling in this space and you can vary quickly lose credibility if you don’t do it by building relationships. And obviously. Face to face conversations. A lot of them paramount too, or kind of the bedrock, if you will, or the foundation to relationships.

So, Mmm. Taking that dynamic. Yeah, almost entirely. Uh, over the last couple of months, it has certainly presented us with a, with some well let’s call them opportunities for growth.

Andy Paul: Well, and starting with you, right. I imagine because you suddenly, you’re having to reorient completely your worldview of how you manage and develop your team.

Kyle Gordon: Yes. Yeah. I’m a big proponent of face to face training, personal development, role playing, and just honestly, a team building and all of the Mmm. How about the normal processes aside, and you just talk about having a team dinner or a beer and being able to relate to someone there’s when, when you’re able to build internally, um, I’ve found in my career that you will get out of a person when they know that you’re, um, you’re invested in them is a, it’s so much more so, so certainly building those relationships remotely requires a lot more effort, a lot more diligence. Um, and you really have to set yourself up for reminders because. Those things you, you, you almost in the past would do on your own while running the business. Now you have all these run, the business calls and you have to still make sure that you’re doing the little things that enable you, uh, to be a servant leader, and to inspire others.

So, um, yeah, very, very interesting challenge for leaders.

Andy Paul: Yeah. So let’s talk about starting with your reps then. And so, as you said, they were out every, on the field meeting face to face with clients. You’ve got these offices I noticed throughout the country. So what are they doing now? From a new business development standpoint, because we’re going to get into a second, how they’re supporting existing customers, but so what are they, how are they adapting to being an inside sales force?

Kyle Gordon: Yeah. So I think if you look at sort of what we’ve been. As pillars too our, call it transformation. You really you’ve got to break it down into a couple of different things. One is. Mmm. Well, if you look at how, for instance, adept, we are at social selling, social prospecting, leveraging things like LinkedIn InMail, as opposed to maybe a standard email or having a zoom call with face to face interaction, as opposed to maybe a conference call, um, because body language is, is critical to establishing trust and being able to convey a message. Um, so as we kind of looked at what their days are now versus what they were, let’s say in the beginning of January, Mmm. Our leadership team was very active and, uh, Building a course curriculum from a remote selling standpoint.

Okay. Things as simple as you know, how to effectively use zoom, how to create a background on zoom, if you want to do that. I mean, I think it’s important to note that in my industry I’ve got, Mmm. I kind of have a wide range of sales consultants out there, some who are, or early tenure, but a good portion who have been doing this for a long time.

And they’ve never had to really necessarily build out there LinkedIn profile or understand really how to leverage it. Mmm. Never had to host zoom calls and even if they were joining zoom calls in the past, they might just dial in while they’re on the road on their way to another customer. Okay.

Understanding and allowing for vulnerability. Especially with the sales population. Okay. As, as we all know, Andy, that salespeople tend to be prideful as a leader. You know, having our sales managers also kind of come alongside and say, Hey, I really struggled with this, but this is what helped me. Well, I think, I think there’s that internal training, which a lot of this right now is, it’s tough to change your routine. I mean, salespeople are creatures of habit. I’ve got folks, myself included who have been doing the same, nearly the same thing every day, years, if not decades. And all of a sudden we have asked them in the course of a, a week or sometimes less to fundamentally change how they operate.

So obviously making sure that they feel comfortable with the tools and the technology. Um, making sure that, that, that we overcome the victim mentality as quickly as possible. That was the first thing that said was we had, um, We had a lot of people who at first, um, we’re, we’re, we’re challenged what they would do cause it’s so different.

So getting over it mentality and that’s a lot of internal coaching. Uh, and then, and then fundamentally, how do you live in a remote selling world? And we brought in, um, just some people from our marketing team to talk about. We brought in some partners to kind of talk about best practices. Mmm. And so, yeah, it’s been interesting.

I will say Andy, we’re fortunate to work in an industry, um, where we’re, we’re what we do is, is valued now more than ever. So I think that’s, that’s helped, right? When you think about. Safety and security. Um, and you think about visitor management or access control now, now more than ever. Mmm. Companies want to know who’s in their building, why they’re in their building when they came in, who they talk to for obvious reasons that helps a little bit, because we have very timely and topical messages to convey, right?

Oh, a bunch of people trying to figure it out.

Andy Paul: So on the Stanley black and Decker website and which they say that this was our quote, a $14 billion revenue purpose-driven industrial organization. So what is that purpose?

Kyle Gordon: Uh, so at Stanley black and Decker, um, we did a purpose project and it must’ve been three years ago now. Um, our Mmm. During the project, Jim leery. We really just took a hundred. And at that time it was 175 years of purpose and excavated it, no, you didn’t want to imply that we haven’t been living our purpose for as long as we’ve been in to his credit, we haven’t necessarily articulated it or, or, or been able to speak to it.

And so for Stanley Black and Decker, Uh, it’s for those who makes the world and then every one of Stanley black and Decker’s businesses take that for those who make, uh, the world. And then they add on so, okay. Security or for those who make the world progress. So, Mmm. You know, as, as we sort of look at what we do in our business, not only safety, it’s not only security is taking, it’s taking this data that we have.

Mmm. And, and these, these end users who have really interesting rolls right. In, in, in the security world, you’re ranging from, Mmm. First responders, two, it Mmm. Taking all of this. Data and making it usable. I know that’s a super cliche. You can basically say that statement. It’s an opportunity for us to help organizations.

Mmm. Run more efficiently, run more safely. Mmm. And, and really. It’s it’s something that, that we’re, we’re especially proud of. And right now, more than ever, especially within the security business, where we have a healthcare business, we have an access technologies business, and we have our security business.

Mmm. Many of our customers are the heroes that you’re hearing about every day on the news. And so for us to be able to empower them, to make real time decisions about the, the wellbeing of they’re employees, of their staff. Oh, fair, um, community, the broader community that they serve. It’s a, it’s a really rewarding time.

And so I’m, I’m so thankful that. We, we took the time a couple of years ago to define our purpose because it’s something, uh, that the sales team and the organization in general has found a way to rally around. Um, during this time, um, you know, I was talking the other day on a council and. We were talking about sort of that everyone’s talking about it now, right?

The new norm. And how do you operate in the new norm? And one of the things that I shared with, with the, with the group there was. It needs to be more than metrics right now. I think in a normal world, we’re, we’re always looking for a little bit more inspiration, but, but you can get by knowing kind of where you’re at, where you’re at to quota and then working out, going for a run, seeing your family, things like that.

When, when you’re cooped up. And I know Andy, you can appreciate this too. When you’re cooped up in an apartment and really have to social distance, you feel that your efforts are being are, are driving a, a more. Aspirational purpose. That’s right. Hitting a quota or closing sales, but what you’re actually doing is contributing to the greater good, you know, one of the things and feel free to cut me off and because I’m a rambler.

Andy Paul: Well I do you have a question? This is, so do you find that this purpose, um, he was giving. Yeah. Intrinsic motivation to your, to your team at this point in time that, yeah, they’re feeling stressed. They’re doing 180 degree difference in their daily work routine in terms of interacting with their clients, but are they finding the sense of purpose animating their efforts?

Kyle Gordon: I like to think so. I mean, I certainly am. And I know that my leadership team certainly is it’s, it’s hard to, um, it’s hard to really bifurcate what we do on a daily basis and who we’re serving and not feel. A certain sense of obligation and responsibility, um, from, from police departments and fire departments too, a health care providers to frankly, our, our technicians.

Right? So, so our technicians, our call center operators, um, they’re essential workers and they’re going on site to. To fix emergency service calls, a door being down or in a call center, they’re there for a break and they’re physically showing up every day. Mmm. And there’s just, I know from walking around Boston right now, going outside and walking around, you live with a little bit more anxiety, so, Mmm.

Understanding, uh, that, that there’s people who, if the worst you have, it is you got to work from home and you’ve got to do zoom calls, which I remind our team all the time and you’ve got a pretty good Andy. And I think, I think our team has, has as thrived a little bit off that.

Andy Paul: Yeah, I think that to it as, as I was looking at the variety of customers you serve and, and just to your point about going outside and, and my case, walking through Manhattan, which is empty these days, eerily empty is it just small business after small business, after small business, that is just shut down. But I imagine it could be a good number of those are doing monitored security systems. I mean, the, the business owner has to be concerned about this facility is standing open, uh, or standing empty. And what’s  happened.

Kyle Gordon: Yeah. What we did. Mmm. To address that specifically, Andy, I think in general was the first thing we did. And I was so thankful to, um, you know, have, have a really good marketing team who was able to put some good stuff out there quickly. But the first thing we did when this was going, when we kind of had a feeling that this was going to be, um, something that was going take us weeks, if not months, which we’re now finding out.

Uh, on the 30th of April it’s months, I was put out as much content as possible around things that businesses could do that will cost them little to nothing that they can do themselves to secure their properties. So we put out a whole blog series and invited our  frankly, our competitors, as well as peers and industry folks to join in the conversation just around best practice.

So, yup. Going through and unplugging your electrical devices, taking valuable confidential information off site. Scheduling delivery times for your staff so that they can come in and come out to pick things up without bumping in to staff member, to make sure they’resocial distancing, turning off your guests. Yeah. Documented right now.

Unfortunately the cyber attacks are significant. Yeah. So, um, you know, we quickly brought a bunch of people together. A lot of our, a lot of our, um, Our engineers, our product people, as well as, as well as some of our field folks and said, Hey, what are some best practices that anyone can do right now to ensure that if they’re modifying their work hours or if they have to actually walk away from their premise, What are some, some best practices they can do that.

Aren’t going to cost them money that aren’t gonna drive them to a Stanley solution, right? Yeah. We just wanted to get a lot of really good information. So it’s a little thing. Mmm  but it was something we felt like we could do immediately that hopefully one business owner saw or one security director or safety.

Mmm. Safety director saw. Maybe it helps, uh, help them while they’re away.

Andy Paul: So a question for you. This is just a couple minutes. We have left us. So how do you see? So you’ve been intense. Sales organization. Right? So in sales, in general, we’ve seen more or less 10 years, the growth of inside sales. We’ve certainly seen a lot of hybrid sales models. Yours is one that’s pretty intensively field oriented necessarily.

What do you think it’s going to be like as we come back to whatever the, I don’t want to call it the new normal, I like to call it the next normal.

Kyle Gordon: I like that.

Andy Paul: When we get to that next normal, what, what is that going to be for you? Do you think.

Kyle Gordon: Yeah, I think it’s absolutely a hybrid. So I don’t think that, um, I don’t think we can underestimate and I started the conversation with this. I don’t think you can underestimate the value of personal relationships. Personal relationships are built, uh, quite often with face to face interaction, but we certainly, Mmm.

We certainly have seen a lot of benefits to the remote selling environment. Mmm. A couple of things. Got it really positioned us to do is, is look at our remote offerings. There’s a lot of things and I’m sure every industry is finding this out, Andy, but there’s a lot of things. Yeah. We, I used to do face to face just because we’ve always done it that way.

A lot of services, a lot of tools, a lot of Mmm, maintenance. Um, items that, that with technology these days and the right tools, you can actually absolutely do that remotely. It’s more efficient and effective customer and it’s more efficient and effective for us. So I think we’ll see increased remote selling, uh, whether that’s a dedicated team or if that may just be, but the team rolling that could be another portion of their, of their skill set that they didn’t have prior to this.

So.  the next normal is definitely going to be different, significantly different. In my opinion, I think we’ve, we’ve learned a ton. Mmm. And, and, um, you know, once we overcome this crisis, I’m excited for the skills that, that our sales team, the customers, no customers going to adapt as well. Right. I’m excited for what that.

Andy Paul: And last question for you. So if you had to say. A year from now or two years from now, whenever the wherever, whenever wrap that next to normal and you’re customers look back, how are they going to remember their interactions with your sales team during this time?

Kyle Gordon: I hope they remember them to be genuine. So that’s, that’s the one thing that , we’ve implored our sales teams to operate with because. Because of the industry that we work in, um, there are absolutely some alarmist tendencies that you see out there. Um, and, and, um, w we, we, we spent a lot of time walking our team through the role we play and, and it’s, and it’s something that, you know, when you’re in it.

Right. You know, you know, when you’re in a, a. A role defining period four. And we’re in one right now. And so how you act within the moment of crisis, I think is what defines you as a human. And so what we’ve asked our team to do offer as much as possible, because what we do absolutely helps our customers navigate this, but, but, you know, do it purely from a, from a, from a place of Mmm.

Selflessness. Okay. Wants to strike with a sales organization at the end of the day is to, is to drive orders. But understanding, I think that if you genuinely build, Mmm, trust right now with the market and you, you deliver really good content, that’s just helpful to people. The sales will come. Right. The sales will come when this thing clears and people will see you for what you are, which is hopefully an opera, an organization that operates with integrity.

Um, and so that’s, that’s what I guess that’s what I hope we’re, we’re remembered as right now as an organization, the approach customers, Mmm. With, with a human first mentality.

Andy Paul: All right. Well, Kyle, thank you so much for taking the time to join us. And, um, if people wanted to connect with you, what’s the best way to do that.

Kyle Gordon: I’m not too, not too active on the socials besides that. Beautiful. Okay. There’s a newborn and a sales team to run

Andy Paul: And what’s your son’s name?

Kyle Gordon: Grayson.

Andy Paul: Oh, great name.

Kyle Gordon: Great grace and Gordon. I gotta give a shout out to the real boss you want all the hard work.

Andy Paul: All right. Yeah. With everybody cooped up. Absolutely.  Alright. Well, Kyle, thank you so much for joining us.

Kyle Gordon: It was an absolute pleasure. Thank you for having me.