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The Laziest Salesperson in America, with Gessie Schechinger [Episode 783]

Gessie Schechinger is the VP of Sales at Zibtek and the CRO at OnCourse Sales Engagement Platform.

In today’s episode, Gessie and I dig into how sellers should think about automation as a vehicle for retention and the battle for the “soul of sales”.

Plus, we explore new ways to measure sales rep productivity.

Podcast Transcript

Andy Paul: My feeling is as a profession, we almost never hear, our focus is increasing win rates and individual sales performance, as opposed to we streamline our process, find out how we can process more activity and increase our velocity through the pipeline.

Gessie Schechinger: Some organization, they feel the biggest army wins, and then there are companies like ours where we’re a smaller shop and so we have to have the team with the best players because there is that army approach of process. And listen, we have 216 reps, but they’re not all marching in unison. It’s going to be sheer chaos. And so this scale of the whole thing becomes unmanageable without focusing on that process.

Andy Paul: Hi friends. Welcome to the Sales Enablement Podcast, I’m your host, Andy Paul. Now that was Gessie Schechinger. He’s the chief revenue officer at Encore sales engagement platform, and the self-described laziest salesperson in America, which as you’ll hear is not true. And Jessie’s joining me today on Sales Enablement, episode  783, to talk about individual sales performance.

We’re going to dig into how sellers should think about what will happen in the next two years of their careers and the areas that need to work on improving in order to compete in the next normal. We’ll dive into some new ideas about how to make sales training actually work for sellers. And we’re also gonna explore new ways to measure actual true sales rep productivity, all of this, and much, much more. But before we get to Jessie, I’ll let you know that the whole team of people who work to produce this podcast are incredibly grateful for all of you who support us. By listening to the show, telling your friends, sharing it on social media, and most importantly, subscribing to the show and giving us your feedback in the form of a rating and review.

And if you haven’t already connected with me on LinkedIn, please do LinkedIn, normal stuff slash realAndyPaul. All right, let’s jump into it Gessie, welcome to the show. 

Gessie Schechinger: Thank you so much for having me. Well, it’s a pleasure to have you here. So where are you joining us from? Salt Lake City, Utah.

Andy Paul: Salt Lake City!

Gessie Schechinger: Silicon Slopes. 

Andy Paul: Are you actually in Salt Lake yourself? Or one of the burbs? 

Gessie Schechinger: Yeah. So we’re a little bit south, um, kind of that Silicon Slope area is what they call it. And so, yeah, down here is Adobe, Podium and Caltrex and all those kinds of, we throw a little software community down here in Southern Utah. 

Andy Paul: You’re not so small anymore. And it’s not really Southern Utah anyway, is it? Not like you’re in St. George or anything like that?

Gessie Schechinger: Yeah you’re not seeing the arches of Moab.

Andy Paul: No, I’ve driven through that country several times. Yeah. So, yeah. Salt Lake is gorgeous though. I mean, not when you’re having to confine yourself to your house, but, um, as most of us are doing these days, so what’s going on in Utah. I mean, I’m in New York City. We’ve been shut up for two weeks now. How about you guys? 

Gessie Schechinger: Yeah, so we are, we are not as bad. Um, certain things are up in New York. Things have gone a little, uh, um, not as intense here. I mean, nobody’s going to the gym, nobody’s going to restaurants, all that kind of stuff. 

Andy Paul: School’s closed?

Gessie Schechinger: Schools are closed.  You mean, you want to talk? You want to talk about like, probably my wife’s worst day ever. I have two daughters and they canceled school for two weeks and then an email when out. That said it was going to be over until May 1st and just like silent and walked to our room. I did not sign up for this. Um, and it’s like, we’re all just kind of joking. And my, my boss, uh, he, uh, yes. He has four kids in middle school, high school. So he’s got like his wife deals with like 30 emails that day from teachers, that thing ever a good time for teachers to ask for a raise. It’s now everybody’s really seeing that value. Um, parents out there. 

Andy Paul: Yeah. Yeah. I know parents are sorry. My, uh, my wife’s oldest daughter is a psychiatrist, a pediatric psychiatrist. And she’s doing remote sessions now. Cause they’re not doing them in person. Basically parents are treating it like babysitting sessions, you know, they sent the kid in front of the computer and say, okay, see you later. It’s like, uh, no, you gotta stay here. So the kid stays kids don’t get up and walk away. So yeah. Alright, well, it’s a pleasure to meet you. We hadn’t had a chance to meet before. Um, so you’re self-described as the laziest salesperson in America. So what makes you so lazy? 
Gessie Schechinger: Uh, let me, I think that speaks for itself. Part of the sales really. Drew me to the job was much more of taking people out to dinner, steaks, maybe go to a ball game, all of that kind of stuff. I was like, you know, I feel like I could really excel at that. I can excel at eating expensive meals with customers.

Andy Paul: All stuff we don’t do anymore. 

Gessie Schechinger: Yeah, exactly. Right. Um, but, uh, you know, the other part of it is, you know, is incredibly valuable and it’s certainly one of those things where. Yeah, because, as everyone in sales knows, um, the minute you don’t keep doing outreach and stuff like that. Uh, it dries up, you got no one to call on. And so there’s some very important blocking and tackling things you do. Um, as annoying as that part of the job was, um, because I don’t, yeah, I think there are people out there that love the challenge, that love to cold call. Um, I’ve always enjoyed once, you know, you actually get somebody to engage. You’re taking that part in, um, you know, even in high school, I didn’t really like asking girls to dances. And so that was a nerve-wracking situation itself, the front part of the sales cycle, not attractive taking the accounts and moving it in very much so. Really liked that side of it. 

Andy Paul: Yeah. I was always into customer retention, even in high school. I had a girlfriend from like ninth grade through high school and, you know, for that very reason, is, once you found a good customer, hang on to them.

Gessie Schechinger:  Because finding a new one’s terrifying. 

Andy Paul: Yeah, exactly. It took all my nerve plus something to ask her out the first time, ninth grade, at an ice skating party. I remember it painfully well.

Gessie Schechinger: We all do that. And that one, she was perfect. She remains to be said today. But, you know, I mean, that’s the thing is like, so throughout my career, I’ve literally, I mean, an argument can be made. I’ve worked so hard at trying to not do that stuff. I was better off just doing it. Um, my mother would certainly say that, but the, uh, really trying to just automate the front of the pipeline with the least amount of effort possible. And that’s very much my mantra.

Andy Paul: Well, you’re, you’re again, you’re very much like me as I, when I started my first job in sales, years and years and years ago, um, is, yeah, it was a field sales job. I had to go out and make, you know, 30, 40 cold calls a day. And I thought, geez, you know, it has to be a better way than this because we had a certain goal we had to hit before they got us trained on the next level product for us to sell.  So we’re selling these, uh, desktop adding machines. This is decades ago and yeah, so we had to sell $5,000 worth of these, these, uh, you know, desktop adding machines when they were already obsolete. And so all my peers are out, uh, you know, saw and they cost about 300 bucks apiece. We had to sell $5,000 or so they had done the math and said, okay, we need to sell 25 of these. I thought. That seems stupid. We’ve got one model that sells for 2,500 bucks if I just saw two of those, but they were programmable calculators. I had, so I went home one weekend and they were programmed in hex. So I had to teach myself how to program in hexadecimal and found two customers. I designed a payroll system for one and a count suitable system for the other. And I was done. I mean, it’s like. I was that motivated. Cause I didn’t like it at that point. 

Gessie Schechinger: Well, and there’s, there’s such a certain breed of human. That’s very much like that. I mean, when I went to college Mmm. Graduate school was just definitely not in the dreams for me, laziness and graduate school don’t go hand in hand, but the other part was really like, yeah, you get that syllabus. And it’s like, alright, what’s the least amount of stuff I’m going to have to do this quarter. C’s get degrees to get past this puppy. Um, and you kind of back into quotas the same way and you kind of back into your bank account the same way it’s like you get these sales calls and you know, much like you a little bit different is my first sales job was telesales and we’d bang out like 300 calls a week and, you know, just kind of like chug and chug and chug, and you had to get like this certain amount. Um, and so for us, it was a medical record retrieval service. And I worked for lawyers, people gathering documents for cases, et cetera. We were selling the service, which was pretty fun, but can the amount of records that had to be retrieved like per month, and again, you kind of back into it and it’s like, okay, 

Andy Paul: So it’s a usage-based quota.

Gessie Schechinger: Exactly. Which is where you’re like, alright, well, here’s the deal. These guys are on suicide watch next to me, trying to bang on all these calls. We gotta reengineer this thing. And there wasn’t a lot of MailChimp and ConstantContact and stuff like that. I get my tablets out bang, but then you’d eventually to your point,  you’d find that one big fish. Um, and for us, we were selling to lawyers a lot. And I was sitting at a baseball game and here in Utah, there’s something called the WCS worker’s compensation fund. I’m just staring at this ad. I’m like, you know, those dudes probably need medical records. And then one call boom blew up. My entire year, I was taking an hour and a half lunches. Life was great. Everyone still liked me. It was fantastic. So always trying to cheat the system for better or worse, unfortunately. 

Andy Paul: Well, but I think there’s, I wouldn’t call it cheating the system. Right? I mean, you were trying to find something. What I found is that people that were, and I managed people like you, as well as people like myself, are yeah. I encourage people. If they thought there was a better way for them to hit their number, then the process I had laid out, more power to them. I mean, we’d give them enough rope to hang themselves virtually. Right? I mean, if, if, if, if they could have the innovation and the ingenuity to go out and say, look, yeah, you’ve been doing this. You’ve had some success, but I think there’s a better way that fits the way I sell. I have. I can’t begin to count the number of salespeople that blaze their own path that worked for me to success and I wasn’t necessarily the prescribed path 

Gessie Schechinger: And yeah, I mean, you know, to your point, we’re always going to look for that. I’m like, that’s one of the big, I think kind of tough things about being in sales leadership is oftentimes you’re like, one piano lesson in front of the students in some cases because I don’t know I was selling like this, but what do you feel? How are you doing? So, um, you know, hopefully hiring a talent does break the mold. Teaches you a couple of things. So those are all the things we look for. 

Andy Paul: So, uh, yeah, it’s setting aside sort of the pandemic environment we’re in right now when we’re recording this. Cause yeah. People hopefully listen to this episode for months and years to come is,

Gessie Schechinger: I think they’re going to cherish it, Andy, I think this particular episode, for many moons to come.

Andy Paul: I think so, because first of all, just the uniqueness of your first name, I’m going to be guessing. I have to listen to this episode, understand how we pronounce his name, but, and it’s Gessie by the way. And, um, but setting aside that is, so what, what is the biggest challenge for salespeople to that? I mean, say that again, setting aside the pandemic, if we just assume that wasn’t existing. But it sort of feeds into this whole thing is, but what, what is the big challenge? I mean, I, I, I serve one of my big fears is we don’t spend enough time focusing on performance. Right. We talk about activities, but we don’t talk enough about performance. How do people get better at what they do?

Gessie Schechinger: Well, and then you bring it back to an interesting point because I mean, here’s the thing. You have lots of sales tools out there. Um, they basically can work as machine guns. And one of the biggest challenges I would say is self-discipline in the sense that. You know, you have this overwhelming. Some people are selling things where maybe they really do only have 50 people. I know guys in the edu-tech space, who there’s only so many universities and there’s not going to be a whole lot more. So it’s very niche that you’re focused. Other than us, we can sell to millions of people. Um, the products can apply. And so you’re almost like a kid in the candy store where you have so many opportunities to so many people you can sell to. That’s a lack of focus and self discipline can really be challenging, biting off and saying like, okay, in one month, there’s these 200 leads. I’m going to truly work these leads instead of this kind of plow through a million people approach where it says kind of, I mean, where we were talking about high school crushes and things earlier, walking through a bar, you know, asking women to marry you. I mean,  maybe? Depending on the bar and the hour, um, but the, you know, Really, it’s just having the self discipline to say like, okay, these are the people I’m going to try to really conquer some land here. Definitely. It can be by business segment or geographical or whatever have you, but that temptation to try to gain so many prospects so fast, that it’s yeah, from an activity standpoint, you’re not really climbing a mountain. You’re just on a treadmill. To throw it out there. Does that make sense? 

Andy Paul: Well, it does. I mean, I use them, I phrase them a little bit differently is, and I wonder if you’re seeing this and maybe not necessarily in your company cause you’re running sales, but, but in other peer companies, is that, yeah, there’s so much emphasis on just sort of this volume. That to your point about walking through the bar and propositioning or proposing to every woman that you want by is you’re just playing the odds. It seems like for so many companies now sales is just a matter playing odds, playing the odds, you know, a game of chance and for me, it seems like it sort of defeats the purpose. I mean, you, you really have the ability, if you want to take the initiative to say, look, I, I don’t have to play the odds. I can improve the odds in my favor if I invest in my skill development and so on, or if the company helps me along that regard, but doesn’t seem to be a focus for too many companies.

Gessie Schechinger: Well, I think the challenge there is that, um, you know, in these broader facing companies where activities so focused on, um and there’s a lot of smarter people than myself that could talk about client profiles and building client profiles and those types of things. But. I think that the way we combat that is finding out what areas of business, where we can bring the most value. Who were, who are out there that have the biggest pain point that we can solve. And that’s how you kind of up the quality game vs the activity game. Yeah. Essentially, you can’t be a plumber knocking door to door asking if anybody’s pipes are leaking.

Andy Paul: So let’s look at your company. You sell a product as I understand that that’s a little more geared to the SMB market, right? 

Gessie Schechinger: Yeah. So, I mean, so we have, um, OnCourse, which is a sales engagement platform and-

Andy Paul: So define that. There’s a lot of definitions for sales engagement. 

Gessie Schechinger: Yeah. And we try to make our pixie dust, all the rest of them. I mean, it’s really, I mean, you do have CRM and the reason we call it something different is because we have all that generalized serum functionality when it comes to client history and information opportunity pipe, management task management, right? Why all that kind of stuff. Um, but we also hook up the actual communication methods to it. And so the tool, uh, you can email directly to the tool you can call as a dialer. It’s got kind of that MailChimp, constant contact stuff built into it, as well as the LinkedIn automation piece. Mmm, this builds into it as well. And so we have- 

Andy Paul: Explain the LinkedIn automation aspect of it. 

Gessie Schechinger: Yeah. So inside and people call them different things. We call them sequences that can be cadences campaigns, et cetera, or whatever, but we actually have a Chrome plugin that attaches to our platform that allows you to go in. Because, the one thing and to give you the history, um, very, very quickly about our company, in general, is that we are a software development services company, meaning that we help, uh, companies with their dev ops.

We help companies when they use outsourced integrations, things like that. And so we had this outreach, we had to do. Quite frankly, we just had a lot of bills, um, that we’re stacking up on the sales tool front. Like we were, we were swimming in a sea of SAS, so to speak. Um, and so well, like I thought we were paying 20 grand a year in tools and by the time people kept adding users, Susie and Debbie were flying high and now everyone’s got Calendly, everyone’s got- And I’m like, we’re $60,000 spent. Wow, this is getting crazy. And so we really pieced this thing together and we originally were just using it in the house as an internal tool. Mmm. And then our clients, we’re interested in what we’re using. We shared them for a while and then lo and behold, someone actually spent money on it, which was cool.

Um, cause money always helps people buy it and I was like, well, you know what the heck let’s get this thing, your shot. So that’s largely where we came from. And so what we like to focus on, talk about this pain point and the value or large corporations, they really do love Salesforce, unlike people that I want to help are the guys that are doing between, you know, maybe 5 to 50 million in sales really need all that juice, but like me, they kind of felt the pain of that’s a lot of logins on tools. And so that’s really where we hunkered down.  

Yeah. The non-Salesforce ecosystem, if you will, the other 80% of the market, they have a stronghold on that 19, and guys like me aren’t chipping away at anytime soon. 

Andy Paul: I find it interesting because in the CRM space, especially for small businesses is. Yeah, clearly, someone’s doing like you guys doing the calculation, that there’s a ton of opportunity here because Salesforce notwithstanding, there’s been a huge influx over the last five years of small business CRM systems.

Gessie Schechinger: No doubt. Like we actually we run it into the wildest competitors. I mean, there’s a company out there who has a CRM system specifically for elevator repairmen. I mean, it was not a niche I thought But when you actually think about all the elevators and all the hotels I should have thought of it first.

Andy Paul: Yeah. Well,  I think, well, certainly you can say there’s validity and trying to niche down as far as you can. So do you have specific niches that you guys are after? 

Gessie Schechinger: What we did is we made the tool as configurable as possible. And so the real thing is, is that your business was selling effectively far before a software came in to join the club, so to speak. And so the really thing is like, how do we bolt on and amplify your existing sales process and not try to convert you into the structure of how we can sell. So letting the tool really configure and niche down to what’s important about your clients, that proper sales cycle, we can do multiple pipelines.

So if you have lots of products that are solved in different ways, you know, we can facilitate all that kind of stuff. A lot of what, um, a lot of what the tool strives to do is we kind of handle that niche problem through configuration. 

Andy Paul: All right. So let me sort of diverge here, as automation helps salespeople.

Gessie Schechinger: Well, a guy like me, I have to absolutely say yes, not only because my paycheck counts on being saying yes to that question, but also that it has drummed up leads. And I think the more, uh, the answer that I would say is that it’s responsibility. What automation is going to do is it’s not going to take away from the personal touch of sales. There is something- 

Andy Paul: but it seems to, it seems to be heading. I mean, some companies implement it that way. Right. You would talk about before, we’re just it’s mass quantity. That’s all we’re really concerned about.

Gessie Schechinger: Blast through and you eventually find the person that you’re looking for. And it is a shame because it gives the generalist practice a bad name, but you can do it in such a way where you’re only automating the things that make sense to automate. And I’ll give you an example, right? So if you and I are on a phone call, I’m walking away and even this podcast, I’m going to walk off. I’m going to send you a thank you note.

Okay. And if we had something else we were discovering, we have a meeting, so I’m going to go and I’m going to write out that thank you note. Then while it’s fresh in my head. I want to think about the next three things that I ‘m saying to you. So I’m like, okay. I’m sending it to him on Wednesday, do this. I follow up on Friday and the second Tuesday. I’m gonna send this out. And that’s something where automation really helps because now I’ve kind of checked the Andy Paul box in my head. It’s like, all right, that guy’s covered. Tools will alert you and there’s all kinds of sales fail-safes around that for when you respond and things like that.

But as an example, something that you can automate delay and put them together, again, some of the basics, you know, thank you for connecting and you can, you can have. I mean, Sure. And I know that you’ve, you’ve talked about LinkedIn selling and previous guests and stuff like that. So I know that there is a lot to that and that people are getting basically propositioned every single day through LinkedIn, um, especially in this current climate, but.

There is a way to do that, where we all know the difference between we see somebody, and some of it does feel a little fake. I don’t think they really aren’t curious about my business to a degree, so I don’t think that’s really happening, but I do think there are, you know, organic. When you, especially when you come as you work the degrees inside, like your first degree, I think there are ways to create that conversation. And what we’re big on is literally all we do is just drill to find out if there’s a pain. If there’s a pain point that we think we can solve, we’re going to go hard on the paint and see if we can’t convince that person that we’re the right person to solve it for them. If it’s not, we just lose fast and move on and you do have to do a fair amount of automation to at least get to that first level. And so automating kind of that generic message of the first two steps. Will then allow you to focus and kind of personalize the second half. Does that part make sense? 

Andy Paul: Well, yeah. So give us an example of how you guys use that in your own business, then? 

Gessie Schechinger: So we will go and just let’s say, and by the way I LinkedIn puts rules on this, you can only, I mean, it’s, it’s actually our relationship with LinkedIn is quasi adversarial. They’re not thrilled about automation. Um, but we, you know, I’ve got a couple of really smart guys in Bangalore that can figure it out. And so you can only request a 100-115. You have to have 28 seconds in between those connections or you’ll end up getting thrown into the penalty box. And then you could also have so many invites, um, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.  So. Um, we’ll go in through those rules, through Chrome. We’ll always be reaching out to people and just we’ll have a very simple generic message of, you know, Because, you know, some of the people that same network would like to add you to that group, then we send a little thanks for connecting. And then a lot of times people are generally more polite on LinkedIn, even then on the phone I find. And so people will engage and then we’re doing more responding and questioning than we are actually. Um, kind of wham. Bam. Thank you. Ma’am. 

Andy Paul: So once, once they have accepted the connection, then they get the first substantive outreach. 

Gessie Schechinger: Exactly. Well, you say thank you. You wait a couple of days. And the whole point I try to tell my team it’s like raining in a bunch of pitbulls is just, don’t throw up the value prop just the same way. If you met him on the street, near an office, and how you would approach it, there’s a tactful way to go about this. Patience is a virtue and don’t go rushing at it because you can very much be offensive in certain situations when you do rush in, because they’re going to, their clients are gonna feel that yes.

And so automating the first half and then really drilling and spending your time where it’s the proper way to burn calories, right. And like the message being there’s stuff that we need our minds for. And we should burn our calories doing that. And then there’s stuff that’s going to dumb down. Little automated dopes and follow-ups and things like that, that we don’t really need to burn calories.

We’re really just saying, Hey, don’t forget about me. Yeah. Um, and uh, largely a lot of businesses that are thinking about automation. Everyone tends to, you know, we’re doing it in this conversation, but they really tend to focus on the outbound sales portion and they forget about how good automation can be for retention.

Communicating to your existing customer base, it makes sure you’re harvesting and staying close to the guys that are keeping the lights on and just as many of these automated practices. And they’re actually quiet, they’re much better received and effective with that retention piece and using that to just.

It’s the new product that’s coming out. Hey, how do you do it? We have lots of financial advisors that use our tool that, um, you know, it was like a couple of millionaire guys that they pay their attention to. They got like 120 clients. So they do want to send out SMS texts to those people, check in on them, happy birthday and all that good stuff.

Andy Paul: Sure. 

Gessie Schechinger: So that’s where I think you can be. 

Andy Paul: I agree. I mean, I think that that’s, the barriers are down at that point. You’ve already closed the deal, right. I mean, they’re not, they don’t look at your communications, like, Oh, he’s trying to sell me something. 

Gessie Schechinger: Yeah. And so you can leverage that automation a little bit more there you have the relationship.

Andy Paul: But my bigger point was the behind the first question was that, and I know there’s no good answer to this, but I like asking it anyway, is that, you know, if we look at sort of industry research reports that CSO insights, you know, Hey, sales performance, as much as at least measured by quota attainments been dropping year over year, the last X number of years.

Right? And, but that sort of coincides with the huge investments we’ve made as industries in this profession, in all these tools. So for me, it’s like, okay, there’s, I don’t think there’s a correlation there at all, but the point is. What do we still have to learn about how to use these tools in order to really improve the performance of the individual seller?

I think that’s, I think there’s still a gap towards our understanding of how to most effectively use them that are contributing to this, this performance issue. 

Gessie Schechinger: And I agree. One, I agree it’s a hard question too. Um, I do think that yeah. There’s a lot of different personality types in sales. And you know, when I think, for example, yeah, I kind of have that, that bloodline, right.

Or my dad was an entrepreneur, sales guy. His dad worked for DuPont sales and marketing his entire life. And when I talked to my grandfather and father. They despise literally every single thing I’m doing in the sense that for them, it was really like, everything was about the personal touch and every turn was knowing your customer.

And this is Bob Bob’s wife is Sue and they have three kids that get into football. You know, like my grandfather could just go like seven layers deep into what he knew about his customers. And they also did business differently from their customers’ loyalty. And so there was the end of the month. Hey man, I just need a PO to get me over the edge here. 

And it’s different for a lot of different businesses. And I think as a culture we’ve purchased more transactionally, which has kind of deteriorated that that’s made people more competitive and driven us to the activity levels. We feel it’s necessary because we know if I’m not constantly in front of them my competitor is, and there isn’t really a lot of brand loyalty.  And so everyone is trying to read the tea leaves to find the perfect formula that’s going to generate the most. And I agree with you. It can’t be very challenging. It does. I mean, in a perfect world, we’d all like to be my grandfather and have 20 great customers and never have to worry about them, know, do all those things, but unfortunately, in today’s market, especially in the Saas space, it’s  just challenging. Business can’t survive at that activity level.


Andy Paul: There’s always this balance, right? I mean, so if a company, a Saas company says, look, we need to have  X percentage of coverage of our pipeline every month. Let’s say 5X. You know, pretty much what they’re saying is we’re only going to close one of every five of our qualified opportunities.

And so there becomes this sort of thing, which for me, I think, unless a company serving an unicorn status, you know, hit the wave at the right moment in certain markets. I think those 20% win rates are unsustainable from a growth perspective. So I think we’ve got this conundrum that and it’s not just a Saas issue, it’s across the cost of war, I think, is that, uh, yeah, we don’t, we don’t focus enough on how do we become more effective within the timeframe because we have the ability to become a quote-unquote, more efficient, but we haven’t learned how to marry that with effectiveness.

And I think this becomes the big, big challenge for the sales profession in general, going forward. How do we do that? How do we, cause I think that we’ve taken that my feeling is as, as a profession, whether it’s a fortune 500 company or whatever, you almost never hear somebody really focus really well on. Yeah. Our focus is increasing win rates and individual sales performance. As supposed to streamline our process, find out how we can process more activity, increase our velocity through the pipeline. 

Gessie Schechinger: Well, you do have that, you know, so for some organization they feel the biggest army wins. Um, and then there’s companies like ours where we’re a smaller shop. And so we have to have the team with the best players win. I think that’s what you’re kind of highlighting a little bit. Um, and your question is because there is that army approach of process and listen, we have 216 reps. If they’re not all marching in unison, it’s going to be sheer chaos. And so this. The scale of the whole thing, it becomes unmanageable without focusing on that process.

To your point, though, it’s interesting to think about that. If you actually truly invested, I mean, we all agree that there’s a sales cycle to selling everything and that there are steps within that sales cycle and how can we perform the best at those different steps? I mean, obviously top of the pipeline, it’s the hardest. Right? And then everything gets easier as you close down. Um, but how can we do better at these certain things? I think there’s certainly an argument for what you’re saying. I’m into investing more into the individual players. I’m getting that because I would be, if you have a guy that could do 20 wins or you got 20 guys for each, get one win. The one guy seems easier to manage for my chair. 

Andy Paul: Yeah, right. We seem to be sort of focused on the other end again, I’m using we’d generically as sales, sales leaders and so on, but it’s, it’s, it’s this battle, I think for the soul of, of sales and. Yeah. I was just having a conversation yesterday where, when they’re, when people are looking at the future of marketing and this whole idea with like all context marketing, I’m just learning about it.

Um, but it’s, you know, we’re seeing more and more interactions throughout the process, whether it’s, you know, using a service like Drift, uh, for chat or LivePerson, their conversational commerce and so on is, is. You know, the humans are actually involved more to some degree, um, as it goes through this process.

And so it’s, it’s like, yeah, you got that. People are forecasting that, and I do as well as that, the future of sales and marketing, actually becomes more human, not less. And yet we’ve got this other phenomenon if you will. On the other hand where we’re trying to automate and script and. Blah, blah, blah, other parts of selling.

Gessie Schechinger: And I would say because we’ve talked about automating and scripted marketing, that kind of thing. I think some of that is a result of buyers having changed. Yeah. There used to be a time where you actually needed your sales rep to understand everything that there was to know about a particular process or product or how that product works and buyers are crazy smart.

And so they’re already coming to you with a lot of knowledge about your product already. Um, and so I think. It gets counterintuitive in the sense that sales has had to adapt because buyers have adapted and we’re getting, I know you’re going to hate this comment, but I think some of that stuff is becoming that because we just realized that like, all right, like I know, I know, everybody’s going to hate me for this, but the sales relationship is important. And I think that as a retention game, I think at the top of the funnel, there is something to be said for automating and getting a lot of climbing through the weeds, to find those people. And they are way more educated than before. So you can, you need to hone in those closing skills, the value of that portion, but some of the stuff you’d normally lead with where you basically gain their credibility and trust, it’s getting harder because the buyers already have that information at their fingertips.

Andy Paul: Well, I mean that, gosh, I could bring on guests on the show that I would argue the counterargument fiercely about it and there is a civil war of sorts and sales between yeah, the buyer’s pre-educated versus no, they’re not. And we’ve got to keep going proactive and, and I, I think both sides are right. 

Gessie Schechinger: I mean, to be very clear. I’m not the guy to argue my side. I’m a very, I’m a C student. I’m not the guy to do this one. 

Andy Paul: I said, that’s all right. I mean, they need to be proactive and you also need to be able to. I have a marketing campaign that generates inbound leads that are highly qualified, um, to the point where they, you know, up to the point where they have that first conversation, then you find off the track actually qualified, but, but you know, you need to have both and you need to have a way that I had more human way, I think, to deal with people.

But we’ll say that for another conversation. So, um, well, it’s been great talking to you. I’ve unfortunately run out of time here. So how can people get in contact with you and learn more about OnCourse.

Gessie Schechinger: Awesome. Well, yes, please visit us at  OnCourse.Com. You can sign up for a demo there, right on the website. You can also check us out on LinkedIn. Um, and you know, again, our biggest, I would say differentiator is we’re much more for small business guys. Yeah. We do have that in house implementation team. So we can get you at a tool move. It’s only you have to use any third parties or dev shops or anything like that. Um, and then we very much have a white glove, it’s an implementation. And so we are going to have meetings to find out how the tools we’re going to set that up for you. Cause you know, in our experience industries that have bad jobs go into tools themselves. And so we really like to get our clients selfishly understanding our entire product. So they get so sticky. They don’t want to leave. 

Andy Paul: Exactly. That sounds like a good stretch. So. All right. Well, Gessie, it’s a pleasure to meet you and talk with you and what we’re doing again. 

Gessie Schechinger: Awesome. Thanks so much, Andy. Okay, friends, that’s it for this episode. First of all, I want to thank you for taking the time to listen.

Andy Paul: So grateful for your support of the show. I know, I think Gessie Schellinger for sharing his insights with us today. If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe to this podcast Sales Enablement with Andy Paul on iTunes, Spotify, or wherever you listen to this podcast, you can also leave us a rating or review and less know how we’re doing.

We’d really appreciate it. And you can do all that on your phone in less than a minute. As soon as this podcast is over. Thanks for your help. And thank you also for investing your time with me today until next time. I’m your host, Andy Paul. Good selling everyone.