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The Truth about Selling, with Mike Weinberg [Episode 717]

Mike Weinberg, Consultant, Coach, Speaker, and author of three Amazon #1 Bestsellers, including Sales Truth: Debunk the Myths, Apply the Principles. Win More New Sales., joins me again on this episode.

Key Takeaways

  • In his new book, Mike Weinberg warns of nouveau experts. He rails against nonsensical sales advice found all over LinkedIn and contrasts it with the best practices he sees every day. The first myth is that prospecting by phone doesn’t work.
  • Mike refers to Episode #712 with Steve Norman on sales strategies for the middle of the funnel and recommends Steve Norman’s book. Andy encourages CROs to increase conversion rates instead of accepting a 20% win rate.
  • Keenan wrote, “No discovery; no demo.” Mike says salespeople are too compliant. He warns against falling into the ‘procurement pit.’ Differentiate yourself and your approach. Push back against objections.
  • Mike asks, Where are the sales mentors? Managers are not developing their people. Andy brings up discovery and qualification. Good discovery requires tactics. Mike cites Amp Up Your Sales. There are no shortcuts.
  • Mike shares a story of confusion and miscommunication between executives and their procurement team about what they really bought. In 100% of situations Mike has seen, the procurement team is the enemy of the sale.
  • Andy tells how to make negotiations procurement-proof. Wrap up the scope of the deal so tightly with the client that when it gets to procurement, it is untouchable. Do the trade-offs first. He compares it to a game of Jenga.
  • Mike talks about compromising to get the best result in the deal. He wants to win every deal he can and to produce the best outcome for the prospect. He talks about dealing with procurement to get the right outcome.
  • Andy relates how non-compliant he was as a salesperson. Mike says that the right talent has to be in the right seats so the manager can trust them. Also, you need the right manager to trust people over metrics.
  • “99% of all statistics only tell 49% of the story.”
    — Ron DeLegge II. Andy thinks it is less. How do we get past anecdotal thinking? Daniel Kahneman had to repudiate “priming” because studies were not replicable.
  • A study that buyers get 57% of the way down the buying journey before talking to a vendor was not replicable. Andy had a friend study specialized prospects vs. targeted accounts. The targeted accounts performed best.
  • Sales “experts” from Silicon Valley have a tech method. Sales methods are quite different in fields where BDRs and playbooks are not involved. In companies that Mike coaches, the top salespeople do their own prospecting.
  • Mike says you have to own the whole funnel. Use any appropriate, ethical means necessary to get in front of somebody for a discovery meeting. Stop whining about your product and your pricing. Start selling it.

Episode Transcript

Andy Paul

It’s time to accelerate! Hey friends, this is Andy. Welcome to Episode 717, that is 717, of Accelerate, the sales podcast of record. Hey, I have another excellent episode lined up for you today. I’m so excited. Joining me as my guest is my friend Mike Weinberg. Mike is a coach, consultant, speaker, and author of three best selling books, including his latest, which we’re gonna talk about today. And that book is titled, Sales Truth, Debunk the Myths, Apply Powerful Principles, Win More New Sales. Now Mike and I always have such a good time talking about sales, we get a little out of control. So I gotta warn you, up front, this episode runs a bit longer than normal. Because once we got started, it was hard to stop talking. So we’re gonna dive into some of the key themes in Mike’s new book, including debunking some of the popular myths about sales that are so popular online. Mike does a great job of talking about those in his book, we’re talking about why sellers need to be more discriminating about the sales advice that they follow. We’ve spent a lot of time talking about how sellers can avoid being stuck in the procurement pit – is a term Mike uses in his book – and talking about how they should be working with, or how they should be working in conjunction with, procurement in order to achieve the outcomes they need in sales. We spend time talking about management, sales management, and why managers need to really step up their game in terms of developing their sellers, why they need to make sure they get the right people into the right sales roles, then mentor them, and then get to the point where instead of relying on your metrics to manage your process, is trust your people. So we’ll get to all that much, much more. Mike, welcome back to the show.


Mike Weinberg  3:20  

Andy, it’s good to be back here.


Andy Paul  3:22  

It’s always fun to have you here. We’re here to celebrate the publication of your latest book titled Sales Truth, Debunk the Myths, Apply Powerful Principles, Win More New Sales. The first part of the book is a bit of a.. What do I want to call the first part of the book? I don’t want to call it a rant, but I mean, that doesn’t give it enough justice. So it’s, it’s a critique, let’s say.


Mike Weinberg  3:51  

Yeah! Part rant, part exposé, part righteous anger honestly, just from what I’m seeing. So yeah, I thought someone had to say it, you know.


Andy Paul  3:58  

Well I wouldn’t go as far as exposé, because if it was an exposé, you would have named names and you were very careful not to. So you lead off the book saying, “Hey, you have to be wary of nouveau experts and false teachers.” That’s a quote from one of your chapter titles. So as I was reading the first part of the book, I thought to myself “okay, this is a section probably a lot of people wish they had written.” So who are these people, these false experts?


Mike Weinberg  4:31  

Well, they’re everywhere. I was attempting to be respectful in not naming names. It’s more of the movement and the nonsense that I’m angry at, not the individuals per se or the or the medium. We’ll get into social selling in particular. But you know, what compelled me was really simple. What I was reading online, from those nouveau experts, particularly on LinkedIn, (I think that’s because LinkedIn is the cesspool for sales advice. There’s no there’s no barrier to entry, all you need is a name, and a login and a keyboard and you are a self proclaimed “thought leader.”) from some relatively popular sales experts about what it takes to succeed in sales today was very different from what I was seeing with my own eyes and real companies where I’m consulting, training, coaching, speaking, etc. So, over the last few years, my anger and frustration and concern just built, to the place where I said, I gotta call this out, I’m gonna quote these people, using their own words, from their own posts. This nonsense, this garbage, it’s pathetic what passes for sales advice today, and I’m going to compare that to what I’m seeing. 


That’s where the two parts of the book come in. Part one is, Here’s what I’m hearing the experts say, and then part two is here are the best practices I’m really seeing to create new opportunities, to advance them through the pipe, to own your process, to not get commoditized, and what are the very best sellers doing today? That’s kind of what drove me. The nonsense I’m mostly addressing in part one that you asked about is the message that’s very prevalent, which is, “everything in sales has changed.” And “nothing that used to work still works.” In fact, if you dare deploy traditional methods like prospecting, like the telephone, you’re not only stupid and going to fail, but you’re a Luddite from the Dark Ages, and we should ridicule you for even trying. That’s where I had to draw the line and go “stop.” I’ll wrap this part by saying, my anger and my concern comes out of the fact that it’s typically the gullible and weaker seller that falls for the nonsense. It’s like me, I’m fat because I eat too many carbs and don’t don’t have enough cardio exercise, right? Like, let’s be honest, like, but when when people online start preaching when you eat all you want, and you know, just if you just tweet and blog and put out great content, they’ll run to you when they’re 57%. Through the buying process. That’s not true. And that’s where I just felt like I had to address.


Andy Paul  7:06  

My assessment of a lot of the advice that’s online is that, yeah, it appeals to people that want a really quick fix, but it’s also disproportionately focused at the top of the funnel. What I see is that it’s not about selling, it’s about lead gen. I think that is one of the big holes that exist for many sales organizations. They invest a disproportionate amount of their time and effort on top of funnel. And even if they have opportunities, they do a really – excuse my french – piss poor job of getting smart where they can actually win. We have this whole SaaS segment that is subsisting on like 20% win rates, which, as I said when I was keynoting to an audience of SaaS sellers a couple of weeks ago, “that really sucks!”


Mike Weinberg  8:10  

It’s funny you brought up the funnel and the stages. I was just listening to get back in the mood and drink some more Andy Paul content and I listened to just one of your recent episodes with that gentleman from overseas where you were talking about the middle of the funnel now important is there. His name is…


Andy Paul  8:26  

Steve! Steve Norman.


Mike Weinberg  8:28  

Yeah, yeah. boy and his content and his book – solid content in there. I applaud you for having him on. I really enjoyed that. Win rates are a big deal, we could have a whole conversation about that.


Andy Paul  8:47  

But it seems like people aren’t really focused on it, though. And this is the part that drives me nuts. Yeah. I’ll talk to CEOs of prominent companies that are growing quickly. And I’ve talked about their growth rates. It’s coming to the point where basically they’re just playing the odds, right? If I get enough crap into the top of the funnel, I know a certain percentage is gonna flow through. I say “well, what are you doing to increase your win rates?” What are you doing be more effective at discovery, qualification, things in the middle of the funnel that that I believe make the difference between winning and losing. There’s no attention being paid or very scant attention being paid to them.


Mike Weinberg  9:20  

It’s bad everywhere. In my client base, it’s worse the other way. It’s worse where they’re ignoring the top of the funnel. When I get frustrated, where you’re going, is the lack of ownership of a sound sales process. And I’m relatively agnostic about process, you could approach it a lot of different ways. But I see this “demo first, we go in and pitch” mode, especially in the software world, everyone’s being evaluated on how many demos they set, so we don’t do good qualification. We don’t know what questions to ask, and we don’t understand the prospects current state or desired future state going into the demo. I read Keenan’s book, it’s great, Gap Selling – he does a great job articulating it, I love what he said there. He says, You know what? No discovery, no demo. And I’m like, standing freaking ovation! 


There’s the lack of ownership of the process there. And then later on where you’re getting commoditized, because we have weak sellers that are also doing whatever the prospect asks. I have a SaaS client, and one of their best salespeople is wonderful. But she’s also very compliant to everything that the prospect asks, because she wants to be likable, and she is! But a lot of times when we do everything they ask us, we end up falling into what I call the procurement pit. You’re just another vendor being put in a box and you haven’t differentiated yourself in your approach. Win rate is a big deal.


Andy Paul  10:46  

We’ll get back to the win rate, but to your idea about compliance. I think this is one of the real problems. We’re seeing relative to the growth of inside sales, largely sort of emanated out of the valley and spreading it to industries other than tech. But what I find ironic, especially coming out of the valley with software from SaaS companies is that their sales processes, the point you made before, are founded to be disruptive, but they rely on the most compliance, conformity-based selling processes. Sellers aren’t being given the opportunity to develop their own strengths and skills, develop their own unique sales process, taking advantage of their own strengths. I think this contributes to the problem.


Mike Weinberg  11:40  

Yeah, totally. It’s a mess. You’re trying to create cookie cutter people that aren’t allowed to sell in their own style, that’s a whole issue. Or they’re just not aware. I’m seeing salespeople that are not aware that you can push back on a prospect. So you know, “I hear you, Let me share with you however, what we found is better. I need to meet these other people, I need to have these meetings, if we’re going to help you sell this internally, if we’re going to get you the outcome you want, I need to do my job.” I’m not interested in just lining up the ducks, and filling in your boxes, and doing a dog and pony show. I need to tailor what we’re going to present to you. And if I can’t get that access, I’m going to consider backing away.


Andy Paul  12:26  

I’m sorry to interrupt, but don’t you think that’s a problem coming from managers? This idea about the culture that we talked about is: if I have this tightly defined, linear, stage-based sales process, with these tightly defined exit criteria, so on and so forth, people have no incentive to push back. What they want to do is check the boxes so they can tell their management. “This is what we did.”


Mike Weinberg  12:48  

Yeah, they’re being micromanaged through a very, very rigid process that they’ve over engineered. They’re trying to get through it. 


Andy Paul  13:20  

We sort of touched on two different ways now. I always contrast this. So the way I came up in sales, I worked for big companies, we had processes. But I had managers that said, look, go figure this out, right? The way that works best for you, you don’t need to be the same as everybody else. I was given that freedom and latitude to do it. I was given the rope to hang myself quite virtually. But the thing is, you know, it doesn’t it doesn’t happen as much these days because we want people to be clones.


Mike Weinberg  14:00  

You just you’re bringing back memories of my early sales managers and even senior executives who mentored me. One of my great frustrations, and it’s in a topic from another book, but where did the sales mentors go? Where are the managers that take pride in mentoring and developing their people, instead of checking boxes and living with their head buried in a screen? To your point, enforcing some overly rigid process that some engineer built. Where is the development of business acumen, and mentoring, and relational skill, and the things where you had great bosses like I did, that built that into us? 


One of my fears for the younger generation. I don’t see it, Andy! I’m not trying to hurt my business or yours. But some of the reason we have so much demand is because the managers in these roles are not developing their people and the consequences are horrible. You have these amateur sellers in the field getting commoditized, getting outsold with the win rate you’re talking about because no one has shown them. Whether it was my dad or bosses or managers or peers, I have story after story after story of top sellers who showed me what it’s like and what they brought to the job. Today, I don’t see that! I see everything, head down, in the screen, CRM. And that’s not helping. It’s not helping at all.


Andy Paul  15:28  

Over the last couple weeks, I’ve been talking to several AA-ISP chapters about discovery. There’s some very tactical things you can do in discovery that have an impact on your ability to win the deal. It’s the tactical smarts, right that plays into winning business. That seems to be, I don’t want to say completely absent, but largely absent from the way people are being brought up and mentored, to your point. There’s some things that I’ve taught, that I learned that, I’ve taught people that make a substantial difference in your ability to win a piece of business based on how you qualify, how you do discovery, how you do needs analysis, that that just seems to be lacking. When I’m giving these talks, it’s amazing to see people writing these notes down. These are senior people writing the notes down on 101 type stuff that we’re just not educating people in.


Mike Weinberg  16:35  

That’s awesome. I know we’re here to talk about my book, but I’m gonna talk about your book, Amp Up Your Sales. I think it might have written this in an endorsement, but what would happen if people implemented 20% of the sales process tips that are in Amp Up Your Sales? There’s no rocket science in there. But it’s exactly what has to happen to follow, and execute, and learn what you need to learn, so you speed up the deal. 


I don’t know who said it, but the reality is that sometimes to speed up the sale, you have to slow down the sales process. And you do the right things along the way, and people are lazy or they’re ignorant, and they’re looking for the shortcut, and they’re looking for the easy button and they think there’s a hack. “If I just do this thing, then everything will fall into place.” But that doesn’t exist in sales.


Andy Paul  17:25  

I think this whole sort of “hacking sales” mentality is really oriented to the top of the funnel, which is problematic because it’s really at the beginning where you build those relationships that enable you to do things that you talk about in your book, like, push back. The reason you’re able to push back on a buyer which, you know, this is sort of a la The Challenger Sale, but you know, that’s more of a mindset as you talk about it, which I always had, which was: the customer’s not always right. They are there to learn just like we’re there to learn. It’s very rarely that you run across someone who’s completely closed minded, a buyer, about a better way to do something.


Mike Weinberg  18:11  

Boy, that’s really good. I’ll tell you a story. I didn’t tell this story in the book. But it’s a story from my client, Teradata. They’re one of the few companies I talk about publicly because they’ve been public about our work together. One of their senior executives shared with me that one of the things they need to coach their sales force on more and more is pushing back on procurement. Because what’s happened a few times when they sell one of their major solutions into a massive account, the types of accounts we all know, these names in the tech world, in the retail world, the banking world, oftentimes the actual client, the business person, who was over the line of business that needed this solution will come back to the Teradata suppliers and ask “Why don’t we have this solution? What is this?” and they have to say, “Well, what you wanted, your procurement people didn’t buy for you.” What we went through the process and discovery and determined what you needed for your solution, at the end of the day, when it got down to negotiating, your procurement people took all that crap out, because they didn’t want it.” We can’t let ourselves as professional sellers get in the position where our actual client who’s counting on us to produce a really good outcome for them, looks at us at the end of the day, and says “wait a second. This isn’t what I thought I was getting!” The problem is because we got run over by procurement, who started pulling things out to get the pricing or the terms they wanted. It’s a very, very tenuous situation and we have to be really careful. 


I posted something from my chapter about not falling into the procurement pit on LinkedIn. And I actually got some pushback from salespeople who said “I could never do that Mike, if I push back I’ll lose, they won’t like me, and I don’t have the guts or the rights and my company will kill me.” And then a few procurement people commented said, “you know, Mike, you have the wrong attitude here. You should stop trying to defeat us and work around us. You should collaborate With us to get the right kind of solution. We have a role here.” I guess ideally what they’re saying would be true. But in practice, that’s not what I see. In 100% of the situations that I’ve been in, the procurement people are the enemy. And I don’t want to collaborate with the enemy. I want to defeat them badly. I want to tell them to pound sand. 


There are companies where salespeople are having a lot of success by holding their ground, and they’re confident, and instead of acquiescing to the prospect and to procurement, they’re pushing back and they’re dictating. And they’re differentiating themselves, and they’re having more fun, and they’re selling bigger deals at higher margins and increasing their win rate, because they’re not rolling over and letting procurement steamroll them. 


Andy Paul  20:45  

I thought that was a good part of the book. I think that I think the lesson for most salespeople is to take away from that is there’s a way to “procurement proof” your negotiations. And it’s through the trade-offs you do with the buyer. You know, your actual buyer, your customer, before it shows up in procurement. Because then when procurement goes back to the buyer and says, “well, we’re going to make this change.” But if you can get it wrapped up really tightly, once it is delivered to procurement, they can’t touch it because the whole thing falls apart. 


Mike Weinberg  21:29  

You’re sophisticated about it! I love hearing you talk about this.


Andy Paul  21:35  

That’s the whole point. You do all that trade offs, but this is what we’re not teaching people right? You do all that trade offs before it gets to procurement. So it says just wrapped up, bulletproof whatever we are call, it and he can’t touch it. I guess a Jenga maybe is the best analogy. 


Sellers don’t feel enabled. Again, I have to put the blame on sales managers. I worked for people who enabled me to say no to them. And, and as a manager, you have to learn to accept that maybe your people have a better way of doing things and let them develop.


Mike Weinberg  22:18  

You’re not going to win every deal, too. There are times – I’ve had this with clients – there are times when I’ll push it, push it, push it, holding the line, holding the line. And at the end, if I have to, I’ll acquiesce and play the prospect’s game because it’s too big of a deal. If I really feel like we’re about to get cut out, I’ll go, but I’m going to take it all the way to the limit, right? And then I’ll relent and do what they want. And then there are times I’m like, “No, I’m gonna push the nuclear button!” I’m gonna risk blowing it all up, because I don’t think my chance of winning is high enough if I play their game, so I have to play my own game. I feel like I’m giving myself every opportunity. I’ve been saying it this way lately, and I like how this has come out. I have two missions. Any professional seller should have few missions. Number one, I want to win every deal I get, assuming that me winning is in the best interest of the prospect. And number two is, I want to produce the highest and best value for the client that’s buying the service. So I want to win, I want them to have the best outcome. If the process that’s being offered to me by procurement or by the prospect doesn’t allow me to either have the best chance of winning or produce the best outcome for them, that’s when I draw the line. I’ll say, “No, I’m sorry, I hear you but I’m not going to follow those instructions. Because that’s not going to get you what you want, and I’m wasting time.” It’s amazing the respect you get – I hope salespeople hear this, especially the highly relational conflict-averse seller that’s hearing this going, “These guys have lost their freakin mind. There’s no way I’m gonna push back on these big companies.” I’m telling you, when you do this well, especially if you laid the relationship groundwork and you paid the relational rent with the key business people and the stakeholders in various areas of the client organization, it’s amazing how much traction you actually have, where you’ve got allies on your side that will push back for you, because they know you’re working to get them the outcome they need.


Andy Paul  24:16  

Right. Absolutely great. This goes back to a comment I’ve said before, but we didn’t really dig into it: to enable your sellers to feel comfortable doing that, you have to enable them to feel comfortable telling you as a manager, “pound sand, and I’m gonna do it my way!” You can’t have both. If you want them to be compliant to you in the office, they’re gonna be compliant with the prospects. 


Mike Weinberg

That’s really profound the way you said that. I like that. 


Andy Paul

It’s really important. I, you know, I had a reputation. And I’ve mentioned this on the show. I had a boss finally come to me once they said, Don’t you ever say yes to anything? I’d say no! Because you can come to me with advice. And or direction, say do something this way. And if I look at that, and say, if I do that, that’s gonna fail, then my butt’s on the line. So I’d rather have my butt on the line doing things, the way I think will have a greater chance of success. And so we have to enable our sellers to have that mindset because then they can do exactly what you talked about, go to the customer and push back. And if we don’t enable them inside, they’re not gonna happen outside.


Mike Weinberg  25:26  

Andy, you’re energizing me, that is so good. I’ll just add this on top of that, what you’re articulating, however, does require that management puts the right talent in the right seats, and we get the right people in the right roles. The average salesperson at most companies I observe can’t pull off what you just described. They don’t have the business acumen, the experience, the talent, the gravitas, it’s not there. So the manager can’t trust them at the level you’re advocating for. And that’s really where it all comes together. If you’re going to set people free, and let them have that type of autonomy, you better have talent in the job and stop being cheap and silly. You have to be really wise about job descriptions and who you’re putting in those roles. 


Andy Paul  26:13  

You have to have that in the managers as well. Because if we have managers that are being brought into sales whose only vision of sales is as a metric driven process, then they’re never gonna trust the people, right? They’re gonna trust the numbers. Look at this from a management standpoint, do you have the people in the management roles who have enough experience in sales to trust the people to go out and execute?


Mike Weinberg  26:46  

All I can say Andy is that I wrote this really simple book, and this is the most complex, deep conversation I’ve had about it yet. You’re opening up synapses in my mind.


Andy Paul  26:57  

I always find that, when I write a book and people ask me what the book is about, I say, “I don’t know. I haven’t talked to enough people about it yet.”


Mike Weinberg  27:05  

Hmm, that’s a great reply. I feel the same way. You know why? Cuz you’ve done this a few times. You released the book. Yeah, you wrote it, and went through the editing process. And then you went through it again, when they got proofed to check one more time and push back on the bad copy editing. And now I’ve read it once in real hardcover, and now I’m listening to the audible. And I’m still learning about the book and I honestly don’t know until I start reading reviews and everyone I talked to I say, please do me a favor. Would you share your takeaways with me? Now? Tell me about three or four things that you got whether they’re good or bad. I need to hear it because I’m with you. I don’t know. You don’t know what gets absorbed by others. 


Andy Paul  

99% of all statistics only tell 49% of the story, which I wish it was that optimistic. Yeah. I think it’s, it’s way less than that. But we have this problem in sales, it sort of speaks to a little bit to what you talked about in the book but it really speaks to what all of us talk about is there is no scientific data about sales, no scientific studies, longitudinal studies that says, this crap works and that crap doesn’t work, right? I mean, it’s, it’s and I’m as guilty as I write about what I know works, you know, in my sphere of the people that I work with and so on, but fundamentally, it’s still anecdotal. Right? So how do we what do we do? How do we get past this? This thing? Because I think it’s a problem. I think that we have this it’s hard to enroll people in doing what we think are the right things because we can’t point other than a few customer successes we can’t really point to saying and I’ve been part of the system to from the fact that you know, we look at some of these seminal studies have been done and behavioral economics like Daniel Kahneman, you know, Thinking Fast and Slow he he starts a book off setting out I was I think it was a priming or anchoring now settled science and then he has to repudiate himself because yeah, Studies can’t be replicated. What do we do about this? This is?


Mike Weinberg  30:04  

I don’t know. It doesn’t bother me. The anecdotal part doesn’t bother me as much as it bothers you, because you’re smarter than me and you’re looking?


Andy Paul  30:12  

I don’t think so.


Mike Weinberg  30:14  

No, and the reason that that I have that quote in the book in that chapter is because of one there’s really one reason it’s the CB challenger sale 57% statistic that got way too much play and got over manipulated and was used as a straw man statistic by so many manipulators and charlatans in our industry that wanted to tell you that because research said this one study said buyers get 57% through the buying process before engaging with a salesperson, which may or may not have been accurate, but what if my own eyes It wasn’t because that was not happening in clients. I was consulting and coaching as we were going to pursue people before they were shopping. But what happened was the Joker’s in our industry that wanted to tell you prospecting is dead. Don’t you dare bother pursuing something before they get this far down the path, because they’re not going to talk to you anyway, that’s where I feel like wait a second, we have to disabuse people of this notion. And I think that’s a myth. And now I was relieved when a serious decision study came out later that said, No, no, no, let’s debunk that. And then Mike Schultz from the rain group put out an awesome study about you know, 82% of buyers accepting meetings early on. And then half of those meetings are actually scheduled by traditional methods telephone and email. So I really felt like I had to say stop treating the 57% number as gospel because it’s hurting a lot of salespeople that are listening to the people manipulating the data. So that’s my that’s my take on why I put that there and I don’t wish back


Andy Paul  31:42  

To your point that you just made, diverging slightly is okay, so we now have, you know, these through inside sales organizations and we see a set specifically in SaaS, you know, these high volume outbound operations going on. There’s some yes it’s so bought into that some people think that this is the only way that you can prospect in those industries, which to me I don’t agree with right. And I had a friend who this is a six seven years ago was was did a study with one clients where they did you know purely sort of the Predictable Revenue model prospecting and they actually put a team of three people that worked as an account team so doing more of an account targeted account approach, and the targeted account approach far outperformed, you know, specialist prospecting and so on. So I know it’s not necessarily replicable you know, parts do the product size and complexity and so on but, but have we have we bought in too much into the this Hey, if Yeah, it has to be this way if you’re selling a subscription based product,


Mike Weinberg  32:52  

Don’t take this the wrong way. Because you live in New York and California. I had this conversation with someone else I lost Have this information and a lot of this advice comes from the coasts. It comes out of Boston, it comes out of Silicon Valley. It’s experts and sales elitists talking to tech companies and their sales forces. So it’s hard for me because I live even though I’m from New York, I live in St. Louis. I have clients all over the place. And in 90 plus percent of the organizations I’m in, from big defense, to big trucks to big data to distribution. These conversations don’t happen because they don’t have these highly defined roles and specialization. And I walk at some companies, they don’t even know what a BDR is. Right, Trisha for Tuesday’s book is like, what is the sales development playbook? Like, you need to read this, you know, there’s a so there’s a, there’s a disconnect, because I think a lot of the literature and a lot of the writing is is talking specifically to the tech world. And the guys that work for distributors, ships that Sell abrasives to manufacturing facilities in the upper Midwest, have no idea what we’re talking about when we get into those arguments. So that’s where it’s confusing for me, I don’t even know if I’m the right person to speak to have we taken it too far as specialization, because it’s, it’s just confusing to me honestly, in the companies, I mean, whether that’s thing, or big defense or whatever it is, mortgages, insurance, I mean, it’s all in every little nook and cranny. The top salespeople are the ones that do their own prospecting, they may get, they may get there may be an inbound marketing effort. They may even have some type of sales development or insight group that helps a little bit more than the beachhead. There’s but but the top people they own it all. They go, it’s my funnel, if it’s not full, it’s on me. One guy quoted in the book, he said this in a sales meeting, he says, Listen, stop whining and bitching about the quality and the number of appointments that BDR to creating. You should look at those as gravy. Kind of like we look at social security as a percentage of our retirement income like that. count on it, you’re screwed, but the extra so that in my messages as you gotta own the whole funnel, it’s yours. Don’t point fingers. Don’t blame the company don’t play marketing. And that’s why I be very careful about listening to the charlatans in the sales industry they tell you don’t pick up the phone, do it all use social jump one says use smoke signals use every appropriate ethical means necessary to get in front of somebody to get that discovery meeting. So that’s my take.


Andy Paul  35:26  

Well, I think that’s right because I think that what people are not being mindful of the fact that the pendulum swings, right, nothing stays the same. And yeah, have a related before a conversation I had with this senior he who I saw at a conference was someone I’d known for a little while and had been working in SAS business and and was complaining to me that he said, Yeah, you won’t believe it, but they want me to prospect. I said, Well, okay, well, let’s let’s look at this from Like so, alright. You don’t want to do this. This is No, that’s okay. They want your prospect. And on the other hand is Yeah, in general you’re in this business. You’re close, right your win rates probably what about 20%? Yeah. I said, Okay. Well look at from the perspective of employer, I look at you and say, Hmm, can’t prospect can’t close?


Well, I mean, if you could, if


you can only close if you want to win 20% of your business and my book, you can’t close right now. That’s so funny that Yeah. And so many of these companies, they’re hiring quote, unquote, closers in their win rates. 20%. It’s like, really?


Mike Weinberg  36:36  

Okay. That’s good. That really pauses you and makes you think, doesn’t it? That’s careful what you complain about.


Andy Paul  36:42  

Well, but also if you’re positioning yourself that I do this, and believe me Yeah. At the beginning of my sales career, and I’m, yeah, it’s for decades. I off to it.


Mike Weinberg

You’ve earned it. Yeah.


Andy Paul  40:05  

Perfect, Mike. My pleasure as always. Thank you, Mr. Paul. All right. We’ll do it again shortly. Thanks, friends for listening to talk to next time.