The Sales Hacker Podcast
The Sales Hacker Podcast

Episode · 3 years ago

46. How to Use Procurement To Your Advantage in Enterprise Selling w/ Donna and Chris Donato

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

This week on the Sales Hacker podcast, we speak with wife and husband duo, Donna and Chris Donato, who founded the Same Side Sales Movement focused on bringing enterprise buyers and sellers together to drive business innovation.  Donna is a career procurement professional currently at American Express and Chris is a career enterprise seller. Between the two of them, they walk us through how to properly engage a true enterprise and deliver outstanding sales results at any level.  

One, two, one, three, three. Hello everybody, welcome to the sales hacker podcast. We've got a really interesting show for you this week. We've got Chris and Donna Denado and they have started a consulting movement focused on bringing buyers and sellers to the same side of the table and it's called the same site movement, the same side movement. So Donna works at American Express in their procurement department and Chris is a consultant but used to be an enterprise seller. If you want to understand what procurement is thinking about and how to navigate procurement and how to use comprocurement to your advantage, this is the episode for you. Now, before we get there, we want to thank our sponsors. The first is chorus DOT AI, the leading conversation intelligence platform for high growth sales teams. It records, transcribes and analyzes business conversations in real time to co trips on how to become top performers. With chorus DOT AI, more reps meet quota, new hires ramp faster, leaders become better coaches, dogs become more behaved and only urinate in the appropriate place and everyone in the organization can collaborate over the actual voice of the customer. In all seriousness, chorus is a fantastic platform. The entire categories fantastic. You need a solution like chorus if you've got a sales team, because there's no other way to figure out what they're saying unless you have a solution like chorus. So I highly encourage you to check it out. CHECK OUT CHORUS DOT AI forward sales hacker to see what they're up to. Our second sponsors out reached. That's outreach that I owe the lading sales engagement platform. Outreach supports sales reps by enabling them to humanize communications at scale, from automating the soul sucking manual work that eats up selling time to providing action oriented tips on what communications are working best. Outreach has your back. Coming up in March, outreaches running unleash. Two Thousand and nineteen. It's the sales engagement conference. It's going to be the definitive sales engagement conference. It's going to be a fast, fantastic thing. March ten through twelve San Diego. I will be there, many people will be there, Max will be there, many will be there listeners. The pod get a hundred dollars off simply for entering the code S H pod. So hop over to unleashed dot outreached io and use the code as hpod to save a hundred dollars off your ticket. It's going to be amazing. So, without further ado, let us listen to this addition of the sales hacker podcast. I hope you enjoy it. Hey, everybody, it's Sam Jacobs. Welcome to the sales hacker podcast. We've got a very special episode today. We've got the first time we've ever had two people on at the same time. And not only the two people, but they're two very tightly connected people because they're married. So this is going to be super, super exciting. The two folks that we've got on the show today are Chris and Donna Donado. Now, Donna comes from American Express and she's going to she's going to let us know that the view she expresses our her own and she is not speaking on behalf of that multibillion dollar conglomerate, but she's VP of strategic pursing and business enablement for global supply chain management at American Express. And Chris is the founder of esel US which is a consulting organization, but most recently he was vp of global sales at DXC, where he was responsible for sales and revenue of the companies one point two billion dollar business process services unit. Now they're not just a husband and wife duo, but they come at sales, particularly enterprise sales, from opposite sides of the table. They represent buyer and seller. I guess Donna's Russian, so they represent Russian and American, which is a very important combination on this day and age, and they're going to talk to us about strategies for sales when you're working through procurement process with a large enter prize, which is something that we all struggle with and deal with on an ongoing basis when you're in an enterprise sales. So I think it's going to be an incredible show. They call this movement the same side movement. So, Chris and Donna, welcome to the show. Thank you. This is really excited to be part of the community and that opportunity to speak to your audience and the Nice introduction say, and that was great. Thank you. You're welcome. So I gave a little bit of a background on both of you, but it would. It's always nice to get introductions. You know, I gave the the the headline on the title. But Chris and Donna, tell us who you are, what your experiences and then we'll dive into, you know, into the topic of the day. Fantastic. How Man I start? So I'm Donna, D and the Donado, and I've been a buyer pretty much all of my life, even though from will, stumbled into this as a profession, you know, unexpectedly, but if you think about it, we were buyers in everything we do, right from the selection of our home to a little all the daily decisions to more complex ones. So I love it. I love buying on the daily basis. I love it as my profession. As you mentioned, I came from Russia to initially to study to the United States, you know, because I sourced pretty good opportunity, I would say. You know, I scored a full time scholarship. So who could turn down education for free? That was my first, probably really good lesson, you know, on when you see go good deal, take it, and that's how I...

...started my life here in America. After that, I am joined a number of companies, you know, large healthcare, farmer companies and then American expresses, you mentioned, in various roles running establishing strategic sourcing procurement organizations and managing a billions dollars of spend, solvent business problems and really enjoying it great and this is Chris. Like Donna, I've been doing my I have had this chosen profession probably since about the third grade. Then it was magazines and candy door to door, and then it became mega deals and and large global relationships. I've worked for some of the largest companies, HP accenture, and have had my own hand at startups and again, as you mentioned, I've started a company a few months ago Calli sellis always in some former fashion in sales and growing businesses. It's great to have you both on the show. So walk us through your working on this, on this concept called the same side movement. So walk us through the core tenets, the core principles and just give us an idea of this philosophy when it comes to, you know, bringing together buy or and seller. Yeah, I mean and and it originated, honestly, for you know, around the dinner table done I and I have been together for twelve years and every day we're sharing stories. It started with frustration, sort of why do you do this and why do you do that? And it became really we became much better at what we did, buying or selling, as we learned from one another and listen to, you know, the other side. So that was kind of the core and we thought, well, we're really we're really learning and becoming more effective. How can we kind of turn this into something, codeify it? We're seeing between the two of us we structured hundreds of deals and have been responsible for billions of dollars of transactors or relationship. So and we didn't see this conversation happening and we started to put together a platform in some and some core principles. Yeah, but I think that's so spot on. You know, the frustration is what led us to revelation and remember so many conversations like why do you do this to us, you know, and Chris would be the would ask the same question. Why does procurents, you know, create this road box and ask so many questions? So when we unpacked it, you know, they're really three things that fundamentally we thought if we could change, will make our interactions just much more a productive and enjoyable. So so, look, you got a bit purposeful and mindful really about everything that you do. You know, I had my list of grievances and frustrations with the sales process in the cells interactions, so did Chris. We also said that how often we step into an office and forget that we're humans. Are, I said, really approach a transaction from such a kind of game and ship almost perspective, you know, and we forget that we need to really think from personal you know. Yes, we say business is not personal or it's just business is not personal, but it really is. Understand who's motivated, why would drive the transaction. So we thought that we should really anchor on that and then we'll trust trust as everything and we really unpack the concept of trust. We anchored on transparency is being the major driver of trust and any relationship. So we said, you know, radical transparency. It's something that we would like to push for because that, you know, consistently yielded as better results in any you know, negotiation, relationship, etc. Are. So if we're Chris, if we're if we're if we want to to the point of these comments, unpack on face value, these can be, I don't mean to belittle them. They're great at they're great values, but they're but they're somewhat, you know, broad. So how do we be specific? When you say being mindful about your approach and actions, give us an example of somebody not being mindful or, you know, making a mistake, and then what a good practice would be, particularly when it comes to buyers, dealing with sellers, for curement, dealing with salespeople. Yeah, perfect, good question. So let's take mindful. I think there is a lot of pressure to do more, more outreach, you know, cast a wide net, cover of, you know, a large territory and see what comes back. So it's I'll just take mindful in the sense of just, you know, getting, you know, the relationship started and finding that that right target. I see, we all see, we you. You can go on Linkedin any day and see people griping about the impersonal approach to prospecting. It's as if you're not thinking through it. You're not. You're not mindful about who you're, who you are approaching and, most importantly, why. You know, with the sort of the common anectove for that is, will do your homework. So let's take that deeper. What does that mean? Do your homework. It's beyond personalization of a message. How many sellers out there are listening...

...to earnings calls, reading ten CAS, diving deeply into a perspective customers business to really look for those pain points and have evidence of those pain points and using all of that insight into a very thoughtful, mindful reason why you think you can help this customer, you know, solve a problem or achieve an opportunity. That alone isn't happening. So that's just one small example of just going into this with a with a clear strategy, be very, very mindful about why are you approaching this customer? Why do you think you can to help etc. That that's yeah. Now I'm just going to add, you know, maybe simple, but not to do so. The day in the life I'll give you. You know, as a percimered professional, I get emails, I mean every single day, from company saying we need to meet, and I used to just ignore them, if I just looked at them, scan them and said they're irrelevant. You know from what I thought of the first clans. But I started actually responding and very quickly, just, you know, fire and right back tell me why. It's really basic. You know when to say why should it in some of them I would say specifically you're asking for my time. It's really precious, you know. So let's be thoughtful for both of us not to waste time. Tell me why should we meet? And if you don't start, was that kind of end in mind? You know that you want to get to a meaningful conversation, then you really frustrated the buyer. Yeah, same, I think. A message for for that seller and I look, we all have we all have empathy for that person that's on the front line and a number of listeners are in an str type role and they are under pressure to go and do more. But more should be more depth, not more not not cast a wider net. So that's just one example of kind of being mindful in your approach. So, Chris, when you're talking about SDRs, you know one of the reasons that they're trying to do more is because they have specific you know, they have specific targets in there. So we understand that there needs to be a level of personalization. Now that one of your third principle is strive for radical level of transparency, tell us what you mean by that, particularly when it comes to you know this what types of transparency should we be striving for and and what's an example of not looking for that same degree of transparency or what's an example of a bad practice? Look, I think we have a tendency to want to tell a compelling story and be bold and it's cultural, it's kind of the the business we operate in and you know, we like to make certain claims of of savings, of savings we can drive or big claims about what our product can do. I think I think that is a that is a that is not a level of transparency. That's that's just sort of bold for being bold and trying to grab attention. I think on the other side of that is sort of, you know, being more clear about what your capabilities can and cannot do, how you how you fair against the competition. Maybe even it could be in a competitive situation where you fall short to a competitor competitors capabilities. We have a tendency to want to just fly through an objection or or, you know, skate over a potential blemish in the capability that we might have or or a negative review. I think those are opportunities where you actually can be human, be real, be transparent and actually develop a higher degree of trust with your customer. That you're being you're being open and transparent. Okay, Donna, when you're tell us about you know, you mentioned people say you know, you we I'd like to set up a meeting and you say why do you want to meet? I think that's interesting that people are reaching out to somebody in procurement. Normally procurement sort of like in the middle to end of the process, but it is interesting because we don't have somebody from procurement on the phone all the time. You know in the podcast. What is your day to day like? What are your key challenges? You know, what are your pain points? If we want to craft a message that's relevant to somebody in your position, what should that message be? That's a good question. I look at my function, first of all, you know, as this connector of external capability to the business. So my team every day, you know, since with that business partners internally to figure out what's important and how external capability can help solve or the business challenge or create an opportunity. So my value is really driven by bringing the most relevant capable suppliers to the table that can deliver. So the more I know what's going on, especially from the competitively, you know, landscape some point, the more I understand, you know, how certain solution could differentiated, how it could fit into our ecosystem, that will be lur that will be relevant. Cost stating, so, you know, is one of the lovers, but it's not the most important one, even though I think we have really better wrap, you know, associated with driving this...

...cost savings and negotiating hard on just pure cost. I think the bricumum function has really been involved into be that value and, pardon, trusted partner to the business. So the more you could help me to establish that credibility was a business, that will help to move, you know, the needle. That's what I'm looking for. So you're looking for information and and, you know, sort of like market intelligence. Does that help you become a more valuable partner back to the organization? Absolutely, absolutely so. It starts with information and an insight. You've talked about this sometimes within your own organization, getting your finger on the pulse of of WHO's operating within the organization, what kind of capabilities you have a you know, a hand good knowledge of it but it when salespeople bring to you that insight. Hey, we connect to this, this system, we fit into that ecosystem and you're using it in this part of Your Business. That level of internal insight you've found to be very valuable. Absolutely. Yeah, so it's an internal and external inside actually that's help pull them to package together and then, in turn, you know, the very transparent was the you know, sales, you know and visual to say, okay, this is where you fit. You know whether it's really worth way, you know, spending news time here or not. It'same. We you know, just this point of use. You mentioned procurement. Where they fall in the in the kind of the buying process it's traditionally and with Don is driving, and I meet a lot of picurement leaders and professionals that are driving a different agenda and I would bring I from large sales organizations that I mentioned that I'd bring down it in to present to us to talk about what's going on for that procure that kind of, I'd say, a more progressive procurement mindset. We are all looking for that entry point right and we don't we know as sellers that we're having interact with many more people in a particular purchase. So you've got, you know, you've got to figure out, well, where is? Where's a great place to start. I encourage this. You know, you know listenership, to think about how finding that that sort of progressive mindset and in procurement on their in their customer base and leverage that resource. Don't wait for it to happen at the end. Leverage that resource, meaning, to your point, reach out to procurement, develop a relationship. Does that it might interpreting that correctly, you are. Yeah, that's exactly right. Are there one of the this this is sorry for being a little tactical, but you know it's coming directly from personal experience. Are there pricing models from your perspectives that are in favor or out of favor as it relates to how a supplier should present their pricing back to an enterprised solution? And I say that because there have been situations where, you know, many SASS businesses present their fees as a recurring revenue and many enterprises are still requesting sort of a one time perpetual license plus professional services. How do you both see that landscape evolving, just in terms of how companies are presenting the commercial model through which they deliver their services. It depends, I would say. Probably don't have, you know, the staffs of my fingertips to see kind of which direction we're tipping into. But I mean I see deals, you know, of both Mino kind of structure and it depends on what we're trying to accomplish with any given you know, transactions. So trying to find out the real outcome, you know what's the you know we're what we're trying to do and go to why they would be asking for those pricing models, you know differently, is probably most important and I think I think you got to think about usage as well. So you know, of obviously a large organization's going to going to, you know, carefully consider what will they consume. The lure of this whole sat the evolution of Sass and cloud has said, well, it's going to drive down cost unnecessarily. Know that. That's yeah, true. It certainly easier to digest in a light. You know, Percy license model, but there are plenty of firms out there that have sold that model to an enterprise customer and I want to say probably knowing that, hey, there's you know, they're going to run up a big ticket and only later to come around and look for for sort of hey, you owe us, you've overconsumed what you thought. So I think it's is again back to building those models and being transparent about it. But I think also in general, if I were to say that, I mean we're looking for unlimited enterprise wide license, you know, that covers everything at the best possible cost, right. I mean you want to make sure there's no surprises, none of those kind of audits. You know, driven, you know remedy, you know recoveries, that that he you have in a couple of years. So ideally, yeah, I would like to have, you know, an enterprise unlimited license. That's going of you start there and not every project, you know, deserves that level of probably enterprise. It's just not necessary, you know, consideration. But those so kind of the general...

...principles, you know, want to be moved on down. What's your level of appetite for? Again, another observation from personal experience, which is there's sometimes a disconnect between the business units desire for innovation and the overall purchasing process at the enterprise, which is long, the labored and capital intensive, and so, as a consequence. Really, the only companies that can make their way through an eighteen or twenty four month sales cycle, if that's what it is sometimes, are the companies that almost definitionally do not present innovation. They present a big balance sheet with which they can weather the vicissitudes of the enterprise buying process. So how do you balance the tension between the reality that innovation is coming from small companies that probably need to do business in a reasonable time frame, versus the realities of the requirements, both from a security and regulatory perspective, that come with being a fortune one hundred customer? Yeah, we talked about this alto. Yeah, because you hit under really really good and very relevant point. So it's a big question because it's not just the business but the procurement. You know, would want to drive innovation as well, but we also have a tremendous responsibility to make sure that we're not introducing, you know, NTO risk that could not be mitigated. Right. So part of the to there are two parts, I would say to the you know, Earth p process. One is figuring out is this, is this the right solution, and that will drive innovation and, you know, move the business forward. And that part, I think, is something we can actually probably assis relatively painlessly. Right. So, but then there's a whole element of how does this fit into an ecosystem? What are the risks that this would potentially trigger? And I think you know all of the different industries that I worked in on farm and financial services. You have all the different pillars. You know that could potentially be triggered and it's our responsibility to to guard it right. So any transaction in that sense introduce triggers. You know this level of review and those are due to to review that most efficiently it it's an interesting strategy question. As a seller, do you you know when the hearts and minds of the business get them very excited about the capability, knowing that you're going to need a lot of inertia to overcome they you know the challenges of selling within a large company and all that. You know all the antibodies that attack the new innovative thing. So so one strategy is, well, let me get the business really routed up and excited and find that champion that can, quite honestly, you drive something to an organization. You're going to need that. But you know, I've seen I've seen, you know, sellers try that but then then ignore the rest of the you know that internal buying ecosystem, which I think is is, is not a smart strategy at the right time. You have to work with the buyer to figure out, okay, this has implications to other systems, to other to other departments, to and and and partnering with your buy or Your Business Fire to figure out where those potential integration points challenges are early. Because too often, how many times have you heard this, Sam, you know, somebody has that business buyer and they and they and they both. You know, they really want that deal but they can't get it through their own organization. You know done. It works for I know that. You know is prestigious organization that that is, you know, built. It's taken many, many, many, many years to build this brand. There's nothing that this firm will do to put that brand at risk. You, as a seller, have to be thinking what risks do I introduce? You got to think about that early and often and often think about how are you helping the buyer address the mitigate those risks? That's got to be part of your plan. That makes sense. That's a really good point. Yeah, makes perfect sense. Here's a question that a lot of young companies don't get a chance to ask as they as they try to pursue an enterprise opportunity, which is what and Donna, you don't have to obviously we understand you're not a spokesperson for American Express, but based on your years of experience, both of your collective experience, there's a framework that is presented to the seller, meaning to the vendor, as these are our requirements, and in my experience, many of those nonnegotiable requirements are in fact negotiable. So when you think about the nonnegotiables, the true nonnegotiables and the areas where it's policy, but not a savvy but you know, an informed vendor understands where the parameters are and where the flexibility is. Can you give us some examples or some ideas so that if somebody's out there listening, they understand what's a real road block and what's something where they need to get creative? That might be like sock to or some kind of security audit that maybe you need or maybe you can. Maybe you just flagged as like a higher risk vendor up through the security and and procurement process. So walk us through, you know, what's nonnegotiable and what's negotiable and give us maybe some specific examples when you're encountering a sophisticated enterprise buyer. Yeah, it...

...do. You questions kind of almost two part right. One is really nonnegotiable in the risk assessment part, and then the other one is around the requirements for the solution itself. Right, because you also get pretty specific requirements, often in the North Pea for how you need to respond. Right. Right, I mean, I yeah, and I mean more specifically the sort of the former, which is the you know, again, speaking just again, this is maybe like so personal that it's Embarra, you know, it's like I'm reading my diary. But the point is that, you know, a young company, a company that's only a couple years old, they're not going to have a sock. They might not have a sock to audit. Yeah, a vendor might say, give us three years of audited financials, and they'll say, we've been around for three years and we certainly are not going to spend our precious capital hiring PWC. Yet will get there. So, when it comes to just the ability to buy from a company putting aside the requirements of the business solution, what do you perceive to be nonnegotiable and what where are their flexibility? Where have you seen flexibility in the buying process? So I would say anything that has to do with data and privacy. You know, the company handles customer data. It's you know, this is the topic and I think that is an industry, but in the world, you know, is is pretty critical. So those would be nonnegotiable, right. So any kind of risk in the system that potentially exposed customer data to any kind of a breach, I would say that's a hot button. For other items, such as financial stability, like you mentioned, I think those could be more negotiable. So they're not necessarily check box just to see us. We got you three years. So out of the financials, but more let's have a conversation, and that often have, you know. So suppliers very effectively volunteer, you know, their cefos or some other senior leaders to get on the phone and really talk through some things that are not in the public. You know that may not domain, obviously, but not even you know, maybe backed up by, you know, a CPA kind of firm. So I think financials is something because you can also more creatively structure deal that could help a company not fail, and that's one of our goals, is the not just to get to contract but to get to sustainable, good relationship. I would say financials or more agotiable. Reputational risk. They to privacy risk. I would say not negotiable and should really be understood probably upfront. When you say reputational risk, tell us what would be examples of sort of bad reputational risk. You know there's probably because some of the Labor practices. It's really important to think for companies, global enterprises, you know, to make sure that you know there is no surprise on how you know supply chain is really kind of managed, where materials are being sourced, you know the you know an ethical practices and the supply chain will definitely dig go to those, especially if there's manufacture and involved. So it's a reputational risk. From that standpoint that makes sense. You know, in any of these introduced are opportunities for understanding why they need the three years of audited financials. What is it that they're what compute risks? Are they seeing as maybe one one stuff like around negotiating or just even getting to to a to a, you know, good place. But any of those present opportunities to understand what what's driving it and and maybe there's another way we can solve the ISSK that you've identified, by not giving three years of financials, but but in some other, some other way to address whatever the risk you've got, you know, the customer presented. I think in general those are you know, you've been I know you and firms I've worked with have the openness to okay, but you got to get underneath. If you're talking to someone it's policy, well, of course you're talking to the wrong person. You got to get above the hey, that's just our policy. To here's why that policy is in place. Yeah, yeah, well, I think again it's probably it's refreshing for, or hopefully encouraging for some people to hear, because I think some people a don't realize that there's might be a different person to talk to and to they don't realize that anything they're being presented is possibly negotiable. Totally agree on Reputational risk and certainly data privacy, Chris, when you're thinking about you know, Donna mentioned the RFP process, it's her job to and this is where, you know, let's get to the same side on this. It's her job to present to the business an accurate assessment of the ecosystems capabilities, which means that she does not want to present just one vendor. She needs to make sure that you know that the at least the procurement team, is doing their due diligence and saying there's four major players in the space, we've looked at all of them, they all filled out the RFP, etc. So what's your response, particularly a for example, when you're receiving an RFP and you and by definition, you're going to be in a competitive process? Some companies don't even fill out ourfps. What's your approach to the RFP process and how do you sure that, when you know you're in a competitive sale, you're still positioning yourself in the best possible way? It's such a it's an important question. I came from a business. My last firm was DXC technology. Twenty five billions are coming. That did a lot of RF responses and then there's this wave of sentiment that came through. It said we're not responding...

...to RFPS anymore and however, you know, have a you know been part of lots of different opportunities that started with an RP, often a blind RFP. I do think. Look, there's some telltale signs that an RFP is actually a real smoke signal from a buyer that there's a problem, and part of that is the level of access that you're you're getting from the organization that you're selling to. If it's if you see that, hey, you know, you can't talk to anybody else in the organization. Their warning signs are they? You know, they are they really looking for looking to get the right solution, or are they really trying to control? Is it a is it a spreadsheet exercise? So I think you know right away it's just okay, I've got an RFP. My first reaction is going to be, all right, there's a smoke this, this is a this is a sign a company has a problem, and so I learn otherwise, I like you know, then there are, you know, there are vendor forums as a kind of a next step in some cases with RPS. I know people going to those processes and say, okay, you know, let's keep let's just keep our questions to a minimum, let's because I don't want to give away some competitive insight that I might have. I actually teach and coach just something opposite. That says when you go into those open forums and you're bidding, I want to be the most knowledgeable portion in the room if I have insight that I could share regalless of mother my competition has it or not, and that means even an incombent sharing information that they may have. I think that positions you in a better light that you're out to solve the clients problem, that you have the insight. So you know, I really coach being, you know, going into these RFP processes believing, okay, this is this client has good intent. They have a problem, until I learn are otherwise. And you can see that throughout the process when you're not getting the kind of access, you're not getting the information, you know that that helps you form a solution. When you try to veer off the road and an offer them an alternative proposal, if they stick you right back into knows there's forms and there's spreadsheets again, another warning sign that you're you know, you might be column fodder. So if if you're getting that those warning signals, does that mean bail out and just say sorry, we're not going to complete the RFP because, you know, sometimes you're getting it from American Express. You want American Express as a customer and you're probably terrified that if you say, you know, take a hike, that it's going to reflect poorly on you. I do. I think it isn't a you know, black and white no answer. I do what I often hear when people do turn down an RFP. One of the reasons they site is, well, we don't think we're position to win. We're not, you know, which is why we're bailing out. I mean, I think you know again, know is a very powerful tool in sales and we don't use it enough. I think we like to chase a lot of different things, especially when you see an important logo out there, but it is, you know, it's a clear yellow light. Slow down, voice the concern. You know. I'm trying to develop a solution that exactly meets the needs of the business, and here's where I think I'm going to fall short of that. And based on how you're organizing this process, I'd like to be able to do it. And here's what I would ask in return for my investment. Of My time in my teens, my team's resources, and you paint it a very clear here's what's in it for you. Here's what I need. I think very, very early and often we have to, I done, and I talked about this. You have to, you know, create a two way street. We often feel on you know that it's often a one way street. You know you're the important brand and you're going to dictate the rules of how all this is all going to work. Well, you know you've got a cleverly, you know, authentically figure out. Okay, how do I establish? Here's a here's what I need in the process in order to give you what it is that you're looking for, and that's a dialog. And if you're not, if you're not having that dialog and or they're not willing to entertain it, that is a clear red light. Yeah, let's cool with that. There we go. Worth the price of an emission, because what I'm hearing is ask for access and ask for dialog, and if you can't get either one, then score the deal negatively. At least. Don't don't commit it to your forecast. Yeah, perfect, when you're when you what are your best tips or recommendations. Is Lots of companies out there trying to sell the enterprise. They hope that maybe they have like a two year sale cycle and they hope that bringing in a VP of sales or some sales leader, commercial leader, will will shorten the sales cycle. So you know, is that a false hope? And if it's not a false hope, what are the things that companies can do, particularly growth companies, to make sure that the vendor, I mean the did, that the purchaser, that the customer, meets the criteria, meets the deadlines and that the process stays on tracks so that they can commit this deal and forecast the deal. I did. Let you want. I'll start on this on the on the what a senior leader can...

...do. And I think if you're hiring somebody when when I think about hiring for that level of a of a leader, it's one is just that that level of experience. They've been through the enterprise buying process. So we know it's not a straight line. We know there's always surprises, are always challenges. They're navigating these large organizations. It is it is more than an art form. You know, there is a there is it requires a lot of experience when when this thing happens, oh, it's not time to you know, to panic. You know here's here's the work around or work through that. You know that situation. So I do think. Look, if you're hiring of a vice president of sales, I think you're going to want to know and your and your target is enterprise clients. I'd like to understand the track record and who they've sold to and and and dissect a deal, because I think that's important. That that is a head of sales can help you navigate that and it will improve speed, no question if they've if they've done that before. And of course, you know a head of sales is going to bring in the kind of talent around him or her that that has had similar experiences. I do think betting, putting it on the back of one individual is a is a is a dangerous strategy. I do see this. And you know there's some there's some great companies out there with great capability. They've built this, you know, this this new thing and they think the answer is, okay, let me just hire the the sales horse power, without really understanding what it takes to get the market. So if you're going to hire that sales leader, the sit the CEO and the front the group that hires them has to understand what it takes and give them that, you know, that that are cover in the room to operate. But I also you know, we all know, I'm hopefully believe, that selling is no longer an individual sport. It's a team sport. So bringing, you know, a good sales leader will orchestrate a selling engine that includes, you know, a team on his and his or her side, that includes leadership that include moods, different people along that buy our journey. So enough. That directly answered your question. I think you know there's just no initial thoughts wanting to add their I don't sound that you were going there as well, in terms of bringing somebody in front of a client or potential client. I don't think the title, you know, kind of our escalation is going to matter. You know, the VP of sales or s VP of sales for special smaller companies does not make that much of a difference. What matter it says adding something, you know, open expertise or credibility to the process and can help actually to manage the process, you know, with stamina that it will require you know, for this company to stay in it and keep it, you know, it can engage in and eleven add something, and I think that's why I shared along by articles, you know, so add something, you know, but in it kind of inject, you know, in additional point of view or been another insight. You know that that would be helpful for client to make a decision, but not just for the sake of like seniority. That doesn't really matter as much unless the person has relationships and, you know, can help really navigate the enterprise. That makes a lot of sense. We're coming to the end of our time together, so I have just a few more questions. This has been a great conversation. One of the things that you've talked about in the past is that this moment between buyers and sellers in the enterprise is fundamentally changing and we need to rethink how we sell, how we go to market, and specifically, procurement and sales need each other in this new paradigm. So I guess my very simple question is why? Why do sales and procurement need each other and what, what value is each side providing to the other? Let me talk with that in somewhat of a metaphor. You know, we think about selling as the traditional metaphors, like the hunter or the herd or the the the farmer, you know, the kind of you know that that's sort of mental model and that's a sort of this, you know, Lone ranger that's out on their own doing doing, you know, performing some sales motion. I think there's a very different metaphor and it and it looks more like hurting and it's imagine, you know, what you're doing is you're leading a group of people from point a to point B and you want to get them over probably a very rough terrain and you want to get them there safely. And to do that you can't do that alone. You're going to need a team, but you're going to need a team from both sides of the of the table, so to speak. So I believe if you find the right, you know, the the right orchestrator on the by side, and I think that can often be a procurement who has a broad, holistic perspective, imagine you as the curator seller, the seller as the curator of this buying experience, teaming with someone on the other side and moving this this group of buyers from again from from point a to point b. that's what I mean. What it's all changing. So you got to think about it in that context. I mean it's angry.

You should see Chris as hand gestures here. So I need to just anchored. You know, so many other questions that to be asked. You know that the world is just getting more complex. Actually, even though we're introductional coinds of technology, there's also introduction of when your risks, the ecosystem that we all uperate is very complex. I mean thinking when I want to think of my process map, but what it takes a deal from idea to purchase is massive in terms of the inputs and people you need to talk to and, you know, sell it to and get input from. So having a sharp really you know on the inside you want that and their mutual benefits for percureum, because that's our limit, is to provide value to the enterprise and the way to do it is to bring the best capabilities. How I know it. If I have the right trusted partner on the other side, that then the transparent and effective way could help us, you know, get get somewhere, and that's a message. Same for the sellers. That are on that front line. It's hard and I know that. You know every day in a day out, it's you know that question. Did I move the needle? Did I did? I advanced the ball. They should understand the complexity of this and that's why I use that metaphor, that that the complexity of moving these buyers and how much of a team effort is required. The how you know how challenging it can be. They shouldn't get discouraged, but they should recognize I got to have stamina, I have to have a plan, I have to have a team. So hopefully that makes sense. Yeah, it makes a lot of sense. Last last question before we sort of we have a segment where we try to pay it forward, and so we want to talk about some of the people that have influenced you in some of the books that you've read. But before we get there, one of the things that you've said to me in the past is change your version of more. So walk us through you know what that means to you and when you say that, what are some of the ideas that you know that you want us to rethink? When I think a lot of your themes are don't just go, don't just do more, but do it's more specifically. So walk us through with that means. Yeah, and I guess I'm probably go back to that earlier example about more outreach, so to speak, and I love a lot of the technology that exists in the market right now to help improve that in that initial engagement be I'm I'm, you know, optimistic that it's going to actually improve outreach. A versus just sort of that spray and pray. So more would be let me cast a wide net and so go wide and see who see, who reacts. That's the, I think, an older definition of more and we see. Look, that kind of, you know, that broad way of going about it perpetuates, unfortunately, the negative perception of sales and marketing that were Pesky and persistent and and not thoughtful. So the more the new. More would be more research, more homework, more time spent, you know, developing a relationship, more time spent helping a customer, you know, manage that buying journey. More would be not more first meetings, but we don't talk enough about more second meetings. You know, met I'd measure second meetings with versus and conversion versus measuring, you know, how much activity I have at the top of the funnel. Those are the some sort of thoughts on that. Changing the definition of more makes a lot of sense. Chris and d thanks so much for being on the show. First of all, let's talk about who your influences are. So if we if we want to understand who inspired you, or if there are certain books or or pieces of content that you know you want us to know about because you think they've informed you, know, your worldview, tell us who are those people? What are those pieces of content, so that we can you know, we can get better and we can improve. So I'll use two and then I'll mention a book. But I wrote this article on Linkedin and I got a lot of feedback around it. It was it was entire entitled the best boss I ever had. His name was is Shawn Donovan and he was a sales leader at a very pivotal point in my career. It was I was I was, you know, having my fair share of struggles and in the role that I was in and I had worked on a on a deal for a long time. And in the article it describes what happened to me. But the reason he was he was so impactful as he stood up for me in a time and I wrote it now because I'm hearing too many I'm getting too many calls from too many people saying, Gosh, I'm not getting the support that I need. Look, we are in a tough business and you need air cover, you need time and I I hope that's not changing, but I am seeing wins a bit. We're loot, we're lacking patients and if you know if there's a sales leader on the on this who's listening to the PODCAST, my article says find the courage fight, the good fight for your people to to sell with confidence when they when they play scared and sell scared. It's it affects everything. So Sean was that person who looked after me at a very important part of my career and made a big difference. The other is I played basketball in college for a guy named s speedy Marris, and when you play where to play basketball?...

It was a Lasalle University, Wall Catholic School in Philadelphia. I was a walk on on the team and and speedy. The reason I bring up him is is couple things. He Tree I was the thirteen man and he treated me like Lionel Simmons, who was our who is the number one player in the country that year that I that I was there. So it is about how you treat people, whether you're the starter or he was a NY Smith winner or the thirteen man. And he's also someone that, you know, while he reached fame at he was a high school basketball coach that then ended up in a pretty, you know, significant division one level roll. He never moved from his row home in Philadelphia. He kind of always kept his roots in his humility. And the last thing is he just he just made everything personal. I get a handwritten note from him every every couple of years now. It's been a couple of years because he's he's getting older now, but so he could always made it personal. And those are attuutes I took from just coach, a coach who's been, you know, formative for me. You want to comment or yeah, sure, I'm going to embarrass your problem is because, in terms of the influence is so the people who influenced me, Chris Definitely, you know, my husband, and that's really for pushing and pushing me to look good different, you know, from a different Lens, to get on the same side and understand things from a different perspective. So I love that. And again I feel like me as a human, you know as professional, just made me so much better. And then, you know, I had a string of really tough and all sentiment and bosses that made me better again from the critical standpoint to that that pushed you know, my thinking, pushed you know what I thought was possible to achieve. So I always kind of challenge, always welcome those environments. And then on the book front, Gosh, I go through them. So you know, every month there's a favorite one. So the one would probably land on right now the two that's been swirling probably on the topics we discussed. One is the team of teams by General Stanley Win Crystal, and that's really feel like spoke to me when I think about the complexity of our world and how to motivate engage, you know, the teams to really be purposeful and really were purposes. Or you know trump's procedure, because you can't script everything, you know. So thinking more and principles, going to principle based up of approach. I really spoke to me. And I would say the books on trust. You know, I really passionate about the topic of trust. So the trusted advisor book by and Charles Green, you know, is is really, I think, wonderful and opened up whole book load of relationships for us. So that's great. That's great. Stephen Covey also wrote a great book called the speed of trust about how trust to all right, yeah, you know, I actually brought speaking of pushing each other, so Chris in a broad Franklin Covey to do training for his sales teams over his career. And you know, when I listened to the content with their with they're we're teaching, I was like wow, that's pretty interesting because like you should be doing this for percurement, because since I could the same concept do. You go and you build relationships. Was your internal clients. Understand the business was the end then mind, et CETERA, move up the solution, you know, some of the beautiful, beautiful principles, you know, taught. So I actually brought the Franklin Covey to do the training for procurement and achieving a both objective but look into things from different perspective, but also gained amazing skills. That's wonderful. That's great. Chris in D if if folks want to get in touch with you, maybe they've heard, maybe they want to hire you or maybe they have questions. Is that okay? And what's your preferred to the point of personal and not not casting to wide a net, but what's your preferred mechanism for for outreach for people that are listening to get in touch? Yeah, so there's a couple of ways. One is we did, we've taken this next step sort of in taking and creating a blog page, website called move same side is the name of it, and that's where you can learn a little bit more about the movement we're driving. There's a to get in touch with us through that. Number One linkedin. Of course, we both have profiles and you can connect through move same side to our linkedin profiles. That's been our are, you know, good source for us to build those networks. We love as a starting point, just having this conversation. You know, whether it's companies who are struggling with a relationship, we've helped advise on how to improve that relationship. If it's sales organizations that are looking to, you know, inject a different type of thinking, we can. We can, you know. So the best place to start would be just, hey, invite us to have a conversation with your sales organization or even with you and your customer. We've done we've done work like that. And then lastly, I'd say my email is Chris at e Sellis e selascom always available through the emails well, and I'll if someone wants to get in touch with Donna, have him come through me and if it's relevant for when we can philly can be helpful to what they're trying to do, then I'll absolutely get, you know, get don engaged and we'll both engage. That sounds great, Chris Donna. Thanks so much for joining us on the Sales...

Pacer podcast. Will Talk to you in a couple days for Friday fundamentals. That's great. Thank you, Sam. Thanks for the opportunity. Hey everybody, it's Sam Jacobs. This is SAM's corner. Really Interesting interview with Chris and D Donato, the husband and wife team that are part of the same side movement trying to connect buyers and sellers procurement specifically in sellers and D has a very senior position on the procurement team at American Express and Chris is a long time enterprice seller. I think I think we heard a couple things in there that are probably pretty interesting for us to consider and we'll talk about them this coming Friday as well. But first of all, just the idea of transparency. That's I think that's a big one for everybody to think about a specially in enterprise sales. You have to understand that the remit of the procurement team is to provide market intelligence and to provide transparency on the market ecosystem. It is not their job to take your offer, run it through, you know, to final red lines and get everything signed without understanding what the rest of the market is doing. So what does that mean? That doesn't mean that they are your adversary. That means that they can be your ally if you treat them as such. So go to procurement, bring them insights, bring them intelligence, bring them information. If you can do that, you can be an allied to percurement. Also, bring them into the fold earlier in the process and make sure they're part of the process, not something that you sort of encounter later on in the process. I think if you do those things you'll have a lot more success. One more quick tidbit, just to make sure that we all remember it. You receive an RFP, and you know there's two types of our fees. There as an RFP that is a genuine RFP and if you if there's anybody out there that doesn't know what it stands forwards request for proposal. So a company will say this is a requirement, this is a business problem that we have and we're articulating the way that we want it solve and you'll as a vendor, you will receive that RFP. Now there's two types and I've been involved in both types. One of the types is a true RFP, meaning it's a truly competitive process. They have not predetermined the winner and in that case that's an opportunity to potentially win some business. There's another one where the somebody in the organization, based on some of the procurement factors I just talked about, is paying lip service to the idea of a competitive process, but they're not they're not really engaged in a competitive process and they don't really want competitive process because of course it's a pain in the ass. And so in that case you need some tricks, you need some tactics to understand and try to tell the difference. Now, if you don't know the difference at all, that's obviously one big red sign, right, because sometimes the vendor is part of drafting the RP and in that case you know that it's not a competitive rp because you help right it. Those are obviously the very best kind. But what Chris told us in today's conversation is if you can't get the right level of access back, if you have questions or if you want to deepen your relationships in the organization and you're being prevented from getting access to other folks in the organization, if you have questions about requirements or you want to understand deeper about why certain things in the RFP are stated as they were, and they refuse to answer those questions. Basically, if you're being kept in the dark, that's a red flag and red flags can be a signal that you should abort the RFP process completely and not compete, because the act of completing an RFP or an RFI is the act of Documenting Your Business Strategy and your competitive differentiation. So do that, but do it very intentionally and be careful and cautious and use tactics, use use some heuristics to understand when you're in the good kind of RFP and when you're in the bad kind of URFP. At any rate, this has been SAM's corner. Thank you so much for listening. You'll find us, of course, on on itunes or Google play or anywhere that you receive and here your podcasts. We know you're kind of a big deal, so if you enjoyed this episode, please share it with your peers on Linkedin, twitter or elsewhere, and if you've got a great idea or guest or feedback, get in touch with me. Find me on twitter at Sam f Jacobs. I recently deleted twitter for my phone, so I may not be as responsive. I'm trying. It was making me angry and I'm trying to be less angry. So one place I'm not as angry as Linkedin. Find me on Linkedincom the word in and then, Sam f Jacobs, we'd love to hear from you. Once again, big shout out to our sponsors for this episode. Chorus, the leading conversation intelligence platform for high growth sales teams, and outreach, the leading sales engagement platform. I hope to see you in San Diego for unleash sh pod as a code. TALK TO YOU NEXT TIME.

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