The Sales Hacker Podcast
The Sales Hacker Podcast

Episode · 3 years ago

55. How to Ensure 500 Pieces of Sales Advice Get Executed by Your Sales Team w/ Travis Huff

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

This week on the Sales Hacker podcast, we speak with Travis Huff, Director of B2B Sales at Wayfair. He discusses how Wayfair transforms spaces to mimic company culture. He dives into how he effectively trains sales coaches and how his sales team is able to take a piece of advice (sometimes 500 pieces of advice) and execute it. Tune in for this week’s episode.

... Jacobs. Welcome to the salesacker podcast. We've got a great show for you this week. We've got Travis Huff, who runs be tob sales for wayfar he's managing over a billion dollars in revenue through his team and he's just an incredible sales leader and has a lot of great insights about how to coach up people so that anybody can compete with the top performing wrap and so he comes from the Rob Jeps in School of coaching, which is a great school and it's a great conversation. Now, before we dive in, we want to of course thank our sponsors. The first one to show pad. Show pad is the industries only unified sales in a moment platform, combining sales content, training, coaching and conversations. It's a onestop shop for your sales team to prep and deliver the best buying experiences for your clients, using most comprehensive data on successful sales interactions. Show pad fuels ai to discover, replicate an automate what works for top performer. So learn more at show padcom forward saleshacker. Our second sponsors, outreach outreaches, the leading sales engagement platform. Outreach support sales reps by enabling them to humanize their communications at scale, from automating the soul sucking manual work that eats up selling time to providing actionary, too tips on what communications are working best. Outreach has your back. So rely on outreach and also get the new book, the new sales engagement book, if you haven't, written by Manny Max and mark the three Ms from outreach. It's an incredible book and it'll teach you so much about how to deploy an effective sales and a woman's strategy. Now before, without further ado, before nothing, without further interruption or ad or any other thing that might get in the way. Now let's listen to Travis Huff at wayfarer talk about delivering and preparing and building a sales coaching, sales development framework and system for Wayfar. Hey, everybody, it's Sam Jacobs. Welcome back to the sales hacker podcast. We've got a great guest today. We've got Travis huff on the show. Travis has been leading sales teams and working in sales across financial services in technology for over twenty years. He's currently the sales director for be tob sales at wayfarer, but before that he spent time at Equity Advisor Solutions, tdamer trade, my time and a variety of other places. He has a well respected leader, speaker and coach and trainer across the sales community. Travis, welcome to the show. Pay thanks for having me. We're excited to have you. So, Travis, as you may or may not know, we like to get a sense of you and frame and contextualize your expertise before we dive into the interview. So we call it your baseball card. So your name is Travis Huff, your director of be to be sales. For those five people out there in the universe that don't know what wayfarer is, tell us what the company is, what the company does? Yeah, so wayfarer is a company where? I mean we basically help businesses make good spaces great. So, you know, we come into companies and we give you a visual representation of your culture, you know, one that inspires your customers and inspires your employees. So basically, for companies, once they're building a new office or rehabbing an office, once they have the dry wall up, we cover them floor to ceiling, so furniture, decre lighting, fixtures, you know, we do it all. That's fantastic. And it's a public company, so we can look up the K's and queues, but tell us rough revenue range, growth rates, things like that. That'll impress the listeners. Yeah, so two thousand and eighteen we did over six billion dollars as a company as a whole. Bob is almost kind of like a start up inside of the larger company, and so we did a billion dollars last year. That's up from three hundred million dollars two years ago, just over, just under three years ago actually. So you know, in the B Tob side...

...of the business we've been we've been growing it over a hundred percent year over year, and so we're not stopping. That's that's incredible growth. How big is to tell us about your organization. You run the B tob sales effort. What is that entail and how many different functions do you have? All of the bells and whistles, SDRs, account executives or how you structured it? Yeah, so it's interesting. We actually have a number of different sales teams. You know, over the last two years we've grown from about seventy sales people to over five hundred, and so we've gone in and we've really structured the company differently than what it was a few years ago, that we've got the SDRs that are working with all of the inbound leads. Our Marketing team does an unbelievable job. They drive about eighty to a hundred thousand leads a month into the business, so we are blessed in that regard. We have an SDR team that that takes those leads and gets them into what we call our on boarding teams, and those on boarding teams are really responsible for curating the customer experience and really helping them understand the value that we provide. And during that ninety days in the Obam teams is what we call them, we're really looking to determine do they want a one to one relationship and and with with an account executive, and if so, we will move them kind of into our mid market teams or into our enterprise teams, depending on the size of the company in the scope of the projects that they work on throughout the year. So a lot of different layers and really designed around the experience of the customer want and is the customer buying? It doesn't sound like I mean, it sounds like a transactional sale. Are they purchasing, you know, office equipment and furniture and everything on the walls, or is it? Is there subscription element to it or not? Really there's not a subscription element to it. I think what we find on the B Tob side of the business is that customers are coming in and for a lot of people, you know, they think of wayfarer and they think of furniture or so a lot of customers come in not really knowing the services that we provide from a design aspect to curation aspect all the way to the delivery and the installation. So most companies that are working with US really fine that we're giving them an employee that they don't pay for, so somebody that can do the design function, the curation, the sourcing of the product, of delivery, installation. It's a full cycle that we provide to the customer and they love that. That's amazing. So how'd you hawd you get into sales? Let's go back a little bit. You know, we want to dive into the experience that you've just had growing going from three hundred million to a billion, which is incredible. But you know, you've also been doing it for quite a while. So tell us a little bit about your background and sort of what some of the highlights were, a milestones over the course of your career. Well, I think you know, it's funny. The first sales experience I can remember was when I was a kid and the teacher gave us a box of chocolates and said go out and sell, sell this chocolate, you know, like every kid does, and I remember with with one of my little buddies, you know, we're walking around the neighborhood and we were selling these candy bars for fifty cents and I remember thinking I said, you know, if we sell them for a dollar, every everyone that we sell, we can we can eat one. And so came back and, you know, we'd sold them all and had chocolate all over my hands and my dad was like a you know, sounds like you're eating your profits. I said now we're selling for a dollar set of fifty cents, and and he said, you know, I love the mode nation, but we're going to have to square that away a little bit. So you're going to have to be true the price structure that somebody else who owns the company is setting. So we figured that out early on. But I think for me I was I was always really intrigued by cells and I think the thing that I loved most about sales was that he had the opportunity to give yourself a raise any time you wanted. And you know, I watched other people in other industries that we're working and we're working really hard, but seemed to be limited in their ability to earn more. And so I think pretty early on, right out of college,...

I started working for a company selling computer training, and this is back in the day when it wasn't online. You went into companies and you sold them Qu Pons and they brought post keupons back to the company and they came in and took an excel class or a coding class, and that went really well and I loved it. And the one thing that I found that that I was really good at because I was really good at helping other salespeople become better. And so was invited to to an event where Stephen Covey was speaking, you know, the author of Seven Habits of highly rights people, and just fell in love at that event with what they were talking about and had a conversation with one of the executives there and talking about coaching, and back then it was nobody really knew a coaching was, and so I was telling what I was doing with sales people in our organization and they invited me to come over and work for them and help them to find the principles around coaching and what it was. And so I spent ten years as a consultant going into companies and helping them build sales coaching environments and how to set up sales teams and which ended up landing me a tdamer trade where I really started in the role of running sales teams and stepping out of that consulting environment, which I absolutely loved, and continued on in the finance industry across the number of different companies like Bank of America, Scott Trade. But I think ultimately I wanted to be in the tech industry and I think the finance industry, you know, was so regulated it didn't move nearly as fast as I wanted to go, and so landed a position at a startup company and fell in love with the tech industry, fell in love with how fast things move fell in love with the idea that you were able to make mistakes and and learn from that and move forward, and so spent time there, learned a lot from a startup CEO and love that experience and that led me, led me into wayfarer. So I've just been in love with sales from the moment I started in it. I mean it's impressive and and especially figuring out, you know, the power of pricing, that if you sell it for a dollar, you can eat eat the snickers instead of give it to somebody else. I like that. So sales coaching is really the hallmark of your career. And to your point, there's often different definitions of sales coaching when you're thinking about out the right framework to let's say I'm a manager and I hear this podcast and I get religion and I want to put in a sales coaching framework. What should I do? How should I start? What are the core elements? Just give us a little bit of, you know, the one hundred and one when we're thinking about sales coaching, so that we can we can know enough to be dangerous. Yeah, I think you know when you're when you're talking about sales coaching. I think when people think about that, they think, Hey, I've got to go in and I've got to know everything and I've got to tell a represent a rep, how to do everything. And you know, I think when you start in sales coaching, number one thing is you just got to have enough coaching sessions with with a rep to understand what's going on. And so you know, when we go and we look at setting up a sales system inside of wayfarer, it was not a coaching environment initially. And so you know, the first thing we did is we said, let's just have the right number of coaching sessions. And so the way that we looked at that as we said, every single month we've got to have at least two of what we call strategic coaching sessions. So this has to be centered around where the where the rep currently is, what we need to do to get there. And then for each strategic session we need to have what we called three skill sessions for each strategic session. So each one of those skills se sessions were related to that, that initial coaching session, and so we framed it. We framed it around that. The second thing was we needed to make sure that we were coaching to what we call the lowest form of broken behavior, and I think this is probably the biggest key to sales coaching because I think when you go in and you sit down...

...with a sales rep, and for us a lot of our sales reps are new to sales in general, and you get in there and it's easy to identify ten or fifteen things that are broken in the sales process, how they're speaking to the customer and me just there's a lot wrong there when you're teaching somebody new. And so a lot of managers go in and they lay out ten things for the sales rap and you can imagine it's just incredibly frustrating for that sales wrap to try to change ten things. So what we do is we say look, find the lowest form of broken behavior. If they're opening or their seven second open in the sales process is broken, there's no reason in the world why you're spending time teaching them how to close better because they're not creating enough opportunities to get to the close section of the sales sales process. So stop trying to coach them on clothes. Get them to have more opportunities moving deeper into the sales funnel. So we work on their seven second open until that behavior is changed. So, you know, one of the things that I say to people all the time is, look, if behavior doesn't change, nothing changes. So from a sales coaching perspective, you've got to become really, really good at changing behavior and the way that you do that is lowest form of broken behavior and stick with it and tell that changes and at some point you're going to figure I can either coach this person up or we have to coach this person out of that role because that chair has a specific revenue associated with it and we've done very well with that. So let me ask you a question. First of all, is my math right that you need to strategic sessions and for every strategic session you need three tactical sessions. So we're talking about eight total meetings per rep per month. Is that accurate? Yeah, correct. And the split second sessions can be thirty seconds long, it can be, you know, fifteen seconds, right. I mean so you may you may be coaching somebody in an area of a seven second open and you may have certain criteria. That has to be in an opening. You know, when you when you make a first connection with a customer and if you're working on that, you may just pull two or three calls and say, Hey, I listen to these. This looks great, this one doesn't. So we're just reaffirming, right, the behavior that we're working on in those Split Second Coaching sessions. And is it accurate that in the coaching sessions we're not talking about pipeline, we're not going doing a deal review or not figuring out what they commit and what they don't commit? They're purely about kind of behavioral improvement and behavioral change. Is that accurate? I think that's accurate. Generally, I think the deeper you get into the sales funnel, right, you know with the REP depending on which behavior is broken, you might start diving into, you know, Opportunity discussions and moving what it takes to move an opportunity from stage to stage. But generally what we're trying to build as we're trying to build correct and accurate sales behaviors, and so that that's what our number one focuses in the coaching interaction. So if what's your response, because I'm sure you get this a lot and I'm sure you have a great response. What's your response to people that say, Travis, what you just outlined is fifty six. You know, if I'm a manager managing seven reps and there's eight touch points per rep, we're talking about fifty six touch points over the course of a month, plus pipeline management and forecasting. I barely have time. I don't have time to do what you just prescribed. What is your response to that, which must be the most common objection you here? Yeah, I think that's a common objection and I think it's a I think it's a reality in the sales world today. Our goal is to have our managers spend sixty percent of their time in a coaching interaction. So I think you know, one it becomes a huge responsibility of sales leaders at the top of the organization to one remove certain responsibilities or activities from frontline sales managers so they can do their job more effectively. But...

...what I find is it a lot of times when you sit down with these managers, they're creating reports that don't need to be created because they're probably created somewhere else. If they're not, then you know, the SALESOPS team should be responsible for giving and supporting those sales teams in those sales leaders so they have the data that they need. But the bottom line is we have to cre I mean, look, technology is awesome and date is awesome and all of that stuff is great, but if your salespeople can't have a great conversation and create a great customer experience when they're on the phone, then everything else is just bullshit. It's just it's lost. So we have to spend time where we have to create great salespeople and thus create a great customer experience. So we've got to get to that percentage of spending time with our people. And is it also true? I mean there's a certain level of infrastructure that you need because probably the you need the right level of managers to I mean they if they have fifteen direct reports, it's not going to be possible for them to spend six percent of the time coaching. So you got to manage those ratios super tightly. So the next question is, because all of your leverage, it sounds like, which is, you know, the common refrain that I hear is the frontline manager is where the business lives and dies. And so what is the coaching that you provide to the frontline manager to make sure that they in turn our effective coaches. Yeah, I think I think that is a super great question because, you know, we spend so much time setting up coaching interactions and coaching methodology or framework, but we don't drop down and make sure that our our sales managers are great sales coaches. And I think that takes time and I think it takes a consistent effort over a prolonged period of time. And so you know, one of the things we do is we have a continuing education program set up just for our frontline managers to understand and a few things. So one we teach them and help them understand kind of the art of the cell. So what is quality sound like? What is good sound like? We're talking about sales principles. Were reading the right books, but we spend a lot of time on what we call the science of sales. So when a sales manager looks at the metrics, are they one able to identify the lowest form of broken behavior? So I think that's that's probably the biggest key. So when you look at our sales model, then you look at the four stages of our sales model, we align each stage of the sales model with a specific activity metric and then we dive into the ratios between those metrics, so, for example, attempts, connections, connections to presentations, presentations to closed opportunities, and so we look at let's identify the lowest form of broken behavior. So I may have somebody who has a lot of attempts and very few connections. That's going to tell me they're broken in the very first engage section of our sales model, and so we need to dive in there and find out what's going on. is at the seven second open? Is it, you know, fear of being on the phone? But certainly we've got to increase the number of connections so we can get to quality connections. That's makes a lot of sense. And one of the things that you talk about, and I think you share this with another Utah Resident, Rob Jepson, is it's not just about activity but about the quality of activities. Talk to us a little bit about insuring that we're not just driving more, but it's the right type of more. Yeah, you know, it's crazy because I've gone through this implementation in a number of large companies and I think you find the same thing starts to happen because I mean I'll say to people all the time I think standard quotas and minimum activities are crap generally across the board. Right. So, and what I mean by that is, you know, when you look at setting a minimum standard of attempts or connections and presentations, those minimums for the company doesn't guarantee...

...quota attainment. And so until you start to personalize these these metrics, so every single rep in your organization knows personally for them, based on the science for them, what's the number of attempts I need to get to the number of a connections that I need to hit my quota? And so I think what you give from a lot of people is you get when you implement this. Hey, you know, we're just going after numbers. Why are we just going after numbers? Why are we just going after a certain number of connections per day? Right? And what you'll see a sales reps will start to dial in and they'll get a voice mail and they'll hit pound and all they're trying to do is get to the connection number, right, and so they start gaming activity and I think you have to be aware that sales people will kind of run along that path. If you're not really transparent and really open about what the right activity these are. And so when you know when we have a quality connection, what is a quality connection? Is that a connection that is over three minutes long? Is it a connection where you've gained a an agreement from the customer to move forward in the sales process? So for us, we look at certain agreements along the way with customers that give us an idea of what is quality and it's generally driven by customer behavior and what they're willing to do in the process with us. and Are you verifying those agreements through integrations with your crm so that when the rep says the customer agreed that they would like a presentation, we can look at the email and say, yes, that happened. We can we can look at the email looking at customer sentiment from Sales Call Analysis. So I think there's a lot of ways that you can do it and I think in the early days for us a lot of that was super manual. So you know, is we move forward and we grow, we look at ways to automate that through companies like chorus or Gong and utilizing systems like, you know, outreach that allow us to be able to do those things more effectively. But early on for us it was super manual and we were pulling calls out of Collabrio and we were just diving in and, you know, like we would say, Hey, we've got to verify the quality of these connections, and so we knew a connection for us was any outbound call over three minutes. And so we started to pull data and we would look at calls that were cut off right before three minutes. Why didn't that turn into to a connection? And we did a lot of call calibrations early on and we still do. But I think you have to be willing to dive in at that level and again I think that's all part of the coaching time and percentage that you spend instead of, you know, creating reports. Can Your salesofs team give you the reports that you need that identify the the inflection points in the process and then spend your time with the Reps and coaching to those calls and other activities? So remind us of how big is your team right now? So are my team's just over five hundred salespeople taking in a number of different different roles. So you see so much. You have a huge per view. And again, you're part of and running a billion dollar business within a seven billion dollar business. So when you think about your point the lowest forms of broken behavior that are most common across you know both your team and, because it's five hundred people, that's a representative enough. You know sample set to say most sales people. Potentially. What are like the top forms of broken behavior that you consistently see time and time again? I think there's really too that you you find most off and I think the the very, the very lowest form of broken behavior. Somebody doesn't want to pick up the phone, right, I think in sales, so you you get sales people that, for one reason or another, just don't want to pick up the phone and make as many at so and I think you find that more with people coming into the sales industry have never been in sales before and to really wrap their head around the...

...number of connections you need to make per day and the number of times you've got to stand at the plate and take a swing. I think once you get into the call the number one form of broken behavior is being very transactional. So one of the things that you know, we noticed early on is it's somebody would call in and they would say, Hey, I'd like, you know, to buy, you know, five chairs, and this may be a lead that came in. They wanted to be a part of the business program we reached out to the customer and the customer says, yeah, I've been looking at five chairs and our reps would say great, let me let me get that taking care of for you and they would punch in an order for the five chairs and we would be off the phone. And so I think the problem with that for us was obviously those five chairs were going into a space and we weren't doing a really good job of needs analysis and understanding the client, and so we weren't asking what space is that going into and are you know there are other areas of the office that you're you're building a rehabbing and finding the greater opportunity in the initial project. And so I think you find that in sales quite a bit. It's transactional. I speed to the close as fast as I can because I get excited when I hear the customer wants to buy something. And you know, we've really worked on slowing ourselves teams down and saying just take a couple of minutes, start asking the right questions, understand the client, understand what's going on in the business and really find where their pain points are and and what we found is that generally there's a much bigger project and a much bigger opportunity associated to what they were looking at us for. That sounds that sounds probable, that sounds like that would probably work. When you're thinking about the evolute, you know you've been doing this quite a while, but have those broken behaviors change shifted? We always are talking about, you know, the changing sales landscape and the information asymmetry that's been removed. When you look at how things have changed over the last twenty years when it comes to sales and salesmanship and sales effectiveness, what are the key themes that emerge for you or the key trends? I think probably the biggest key trend is that for a long time everyone was focused on revenue, right, so I mean every goal was centered around revenue. Just get to revenue, do whatever it takes to get to revenue, and there weren't a whole lot of conversations around the behaviors associated with getting to the revenue. So, like you know, one of the things that you know. Matter of fact, I just had this conversation a couple of days ago with a rep who said, hey, look, you know, I'm hitting quota, but I'm not hitting the minimum number of required, you know, connections per day and I just want you to leave me alone. Just, you know, let me do what I'm good at. And so, you know, we had a real good conversation around that. Revenue is not something that you can control. Revenue is it's a result of all the behaviors leading leading up to that. And so, you know, I think there's two conversations you have in the sales world and one is the one we have most often, and those are the people that are not hitting minimums, they're not hitting quota, they're not doing the required behaviors. But on the other side of it you also have this conversation and we tend to leave these people alone in the organization because they hit quota, but the reality is sometimes they're just not working nearly as hard as they possibly can and it's really a conversation about the cost of complacency. So great you're hitting quota, but how much activity are you doing and do you have the ability to do more. And if you do, how much money are you leaving on the table, not just for the company but for yourself, like, does that extra revenue hit you into accelerators, drive you into a higher income bracket? Right? So we are pretty focused on having conversations on both sides of that. But I think that's one thing that you've seen over the years as people have started to move...

...away from this concept of focusing on revenue and being much more focused on the science of sales and understanding individually what those numbers tell you. Because if you and I are on a sales team together, it may take you ten connections, quality connections per day to achieve that quota. It may take me fifteen or sixteen quality connections per day. But the beautiful thing about that is I can compete with you at the highest level and not be as skilled as you if I understand what my metrics are individually. And so I think that's the big shift that I've seen. People are starting to take quotas and minimum activities and they're starting to align it with the individual metrics for the rep so they know what they're what they need to do every single day, not what the organization says they need to do. Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. Now there's, you know, there's the science of sales and understanding your formula and what your conversion ratios are, but there's also the art of how to talk to somebody and how to have an engaging conversation, and you do a lot of work around, you know, behavioral sales. So what are what does that mean for you, and what are some of the you know, some of the simple things that you're teaching people that maybe aren't obvious in terms of how to have a conversation effectively. That leads to, you know, a partnership, meaning a close deal with yeah, I think, you know, that's a really good question. Is something I love and I'm actually surprised how few companies really dive into this behavioral aspect, and so I think you can look at a lot of tools that are out there, like disc and a number of other tools like that. But basically we focus on not personality types but behavior types, and the reason we make that distinction is because, you know, when you look at the four main behavior types and an individual Agual, you've got, you know, controllers, performers, analyzers, empathizers and and they all buy an interact and talk in different ways, and so we choose to look at behaviors because behaviors can change and behaviors can change in a sales interaction. So, for example, somebody who is an empathizer and high end empathy. So these are really people that are more rapport oriented, their softspoken. If you cold call into somebody like that, they generally and they don't know who you are and you're interrupting their day. They don't generally respond in an empathizer behavior type. They respond more in a controlling way. Right, who is this? Why are you calling? What are you calling in regards to so we find it's much more effective to be able to interact with customers in their in their behavior style, so we can move. So in general we say, look, you can talk to the customer in your language, but if you can sell to the customer in the way that they like to buy and talk to the customer and the way that they like to be talked to, you will be much more effective. And I think that's opposite to what a lot of people say. Right, they try to interact with people in the way that they're most comfortable with, and so one of the key things that we try on in phone sales as we get people to understand the pace in the tone of the customer and understand and identify the behavior style of that customer of the phone and we found that we'd been able to do that, you generally within the first thirty seconds, if not in the first ten to fifteen seconds of a phone call. And so when we do that and we change our behaviors, we're much more effective and we drive a much better customer experience along the way. That's fantastic. So within the first fifteen is so give us some of those heuristics, give us some of those guidelines. What is how to different give us some examples of different phone styles and how they translate to buy our behaviors. So I think if you're if you can picture a, you know for quadrant, you know chart in your head at the top of the quadrant, on the left hand side you...

...have controllers and on the on the right side you have performers. So and then on the bottom left you have analyzers and bottom right you have empathizers. So really people that are on the right side of the quadrant, performers and empathizers, are real rapport oriented their people, people right, and on the left hand side of the quadrant you've got controllers and analyzers who are much more data oriented. And so what's interesting in the sales world, for example, you may have you have a lot of performers, right. So these are the people that are your best friends at the party. They know all the greatest jokes and you know, they love to tell stories, they love to be recognized and they're they're loud and outgoing. And so when they get on the phone and and on the other side of it, the customer picks up in the customers an analyzer who's very low key, very data centered, factual. Those styles don't mix very well. And so you know, if the performer understands, Hey, I've got an analyzer on the phone, I'm going to soften my tone, I'm going to slow my approach, I'm going to be I need to get into this data and relevant data that can be proven right, and so I need to not say things that are just kind of the way I feel, but I need to know that this individual is going to want facts and proof, and so I need to be I need to be ready for that. Well, vice versa. If you have an analyzer, who's the cells person and a performer, who's the buyer? You're going to board the buyer to death if you start giving them all the analytical data and sending them all the white papers, because one they're never going to read it. And so you've got to be able to first identify my pace. Do I need to move faster in the in the in the discussion, or do I need to move slower? Do I need to be more people were oriented or do any more data oriented? So it really has an impact along the way if you if you understand what the language is and and how to move forward with those behaviors. That's it's great advice, just perfect advice, and it forces also forces are up to be listening because you know, so many of the so much of the time reps, people in general like the sound of their own voice, but they're not listening to the clues in the information that's being provided from the buyer. You know, it's super interesting. I had a sales rep just the other day. She is an empathizer, high empathy, called in to a controller. So these are very dominant, dictator, dictatorial, decisive doers, data oriented, you know, and we were talking about it, because that's the one behavior style she struggles most with selling to. And I said look, you're taking so much time asking about their family and their kids and you have to understand that some of those styles love that. This style does not love it. They don't want to hear that. And so I said you're going to hear people, you know, emotionally saying get to the point. We were on a call and the guy actually she was saying, Oh, so, how's your day and what did you do this weekend? And you could just tell the guy was frustrated and he said, Um, can you just get to the point, like why are you calling? And it was just a verbal recognition of everything we had talked about in those styles. And she got off the phone and she said I get it, I get it. I need to change my style of communication to meet the customer where they're at if I want to be more effective in the sales process. So we spend a ton of time on that. It seems to me that, to your point right, the hallmark and the the calling card of a great sales organization is an investment in sales coaching, and to do that you need a group of people that are coachable. So how do you do? You have specific interview questions or an interview process designed to understand if somebody is going to be coachable, if they are capable of modifying their behavior in response to feedback? How do you make sure that you've got five hundred people that can all hear a piece of feedback and action it? That's a super good question and I think we're actually in the midst of...

...that currently and building that out. I don't think that we've done a great job of that in the past. I think you know, once people have come into the organization, we've had a better idea from the sales leadership of whether or not those people are coachable, and so in flight you know they're already with us. I think through the coaching interactions you start to determine if I'm having the same conversation with you over and over and over about the lowest form of broken behavior. So, for example, if the lowest form of broken behavior is you know you're supposed to make twelve quality connections per day and you're making five, well that's a pretty big broken behavior and I it's a pretty simple thing to solve and if I can't solve that with you pretty quickly. We're probably going to be coaching you out of the organization and not not up through the organization. So I think that's that's workforce. But I think it's too late in the process to figure that out. And so we're actually in the in the process right now of going through and we're taking our sales organization and we're looking at the top percentile and then the bottom percentile. We're looking at, through the behavioral assessments that we have, what are the commonalities of our most successful reps and what are the commonalities between, you know, our least successful reps, and so I think that's given us some really great insight into, you know, what characteristics are are the most important and for us one thing that's really interesting is that in a lot of sales organizations somebody really high and empathy is is a red flag, and it's not it's not a bad thing, it's just it's a red flag because people that are real high and empathy are really good at the front of the sales process, you know, identifying the customer, engaging with the customer, doing this in the needs analysis and connecting with the customer. The one thing they struggle with, though, is they struggle with asking for business because they take it personally when someone says No. But I think in our business what we're finding is we procure for the customer and we do the design and the implementation and so we become an employee that the customer doesn't pay for. So in that design, in that creative space, empathy is super important for us. So we're building out that right now in the midst of it. What are the top ten characteristics of our most valuable of people in the sales organization? And then how are we going to align that across the interview phase? And coachability has been one of those things that we've identified. So one of the things that we're looking at doing and have started to test in the interview phase with coachabilities. We actually in the interview we actually give a role play that we know and is intended for for the rep to fail or the interviewee to fail, and then we stop the interview process and when we say listen, here are some feedback and we don't really give you all the information, but I think if you have this feedback and if you approached it from this perspective and we don't really care that they get it right. We just want to identify that the REP actually changes their behavior in the interview, makes the attempt to change the behavior, and that just gives us an idea. Can we score them higher on coachability? If they don't change the behavior and don't follow with that feedback, then we score them lower on coachability. So we're really diving into that now and think we're making some great strides to deal with it at the front of the hiring process and not once they're in flight. It sounds like it's going to be an incredible exercise and you've got a lot of folks to test the data against. We've all we've all got a time for a few more questions, and so I have. I've won more before. Would love to hear about your influences, the books that you think are most important. But one one last sort of substantive question is you've just taken a business from three hundred million to a billion in revenue. What are your key learnings from that growth trajectory and how it does? How do you think it differs from some...

...of the earlier stage companies that you worked on? What what are the key differences, do you think, between this massive organization that you're responsible for and, you know, a tiny little startup that only has, you know, three or four reps and is still figuring out how to grow? Yeah, I think I think the biggest, biggest challenge for me was, you know, when you're in a smaller environment, things can be much more hands on. Things can, I think you can. They're much more manual in some cases and you're able to make some shifts pretty quickly. I think the larger you grow and the bigger you grow, all of a sudden scalability becomes a huge question because everything that you're building at that scale has to live in that environment and there's so much going on on the technology side of things, building into other systems in the organization and so making sure that any of the changes that you make, any of the processes that you create, have been really vetted through a pilot process or an AB testing process so you know that when you make those changes, you're going to be good living in that environment for a little bit of time, because it's going to take some time to unwind that if you've made a mistake. But I think for us as well, we love making mistakes, and I think we make a lot of mistakes, but I think we recover really well and we and we recover quickly, and so that's been a key to or growth as well. That's fantastic, Travis. It's been amazing having on the show. When you think about again, you know it's it could be books, it could be podcast it could be people that have influenced you, are inspired you. We like to pay it forward a little bit and give people some bread crumbs that they can continue to follow along their their ex journey of exploration. So what are some of the great books and sales that you think have been particularly influential, or maybe even just great sales leaders that you look up to that have inspired you? I think some of the books that I love and I read constantly. I read probably one to two books a week. You know, in regards to sales, I think there's so much great information out there. I think Anthony I and Areno, I've been loving his content lately, put a book out called the Lost Art of closing. I think it's super relevant to the way that the industry is changed and the way customers are looking at the buying process. I think it's just one of the best best books. Think Don Miller wrote a book called Story Brand and I think that is so relevant today because I think with all the technology we're in, I think people are forgetting how to tell a story and I think you have to be really good it, telling the story of your company and sharing the value of that company through story and it motivates people. People remember stories that remember Your Business. So Don Miller story brand, I think that's a that's a great book, Great Book for leaders, because I think most leaders are trying to figure out how do we stand apart from the competition? I think if you follow that road map that they utilize on building a story brand, I think it's super relevant. And then kind of a personal book that I loved is Steven Cottler wrote a book called the rise of Superman. I'm a sports geek. I love extreme sports. He talks about the extreme athlete and the growth that they've made over the last decade. If you compare them to relevant businesses in the market today, extreme athletes of the made the greatest gains across any industry, and so we talks about that and how that happens and what they do, and so I think those are three great books I love to read I recommend to everyone I meet in the industry. That's awesome. Thank you, Travis. It's been great having on the show. If folks want to, I think people are out there probably inspired by what you're doing and maybe want to understand what what it might be like to work at wayfarer or just reach out to you for some advice. If is that okay, and what's your favorite form of communication?...

If so, can they email you? Can They linkedin message you? What's your preferred mechanism and they can send me an email. My email is tea huff at wayfarercom or hit me up on Linkedin. I'm I'm on there all the time and love talking sales and love answering questions for people that are new in the industry and would be glad to help in any way I can. So reach out to me for sure. Awesome, Travis. Thanks so much for being on the show. It's been great and talk to you in a couple days for Friday fundamentals. All right, sounds good. Man. Hey, folks at Sam Jacobs and you're listening to SAM's corner on the sales hacker podcast. Another great interview. This time with Travis Huff, who has built a billion dollar business over the last couple of years at Wayfarer, which is just absolutely incredible, and Travis talked a lot about the importance of coaching. We spend all this money hiring people and building these teams. We have to invest in them if they're going to be successful. And so Travis Talks About Sales Coaching as the number one priority and focusing so much of sales coaching is focusing on more activity. But that's not enough. Travis talks about we have to focus on the right activity. We get so focused on working hard, but we have to be increasing our output on the right activities. So we have to have a focus on quality. Simply working harder doesn't equal success. At some point you have to marry working harder with quality. So I think that that's just a really, really important statement and philosophy. And the other thing that he talks about is how we need personalized quotas, we need personalized development plans. We need personalized development plans where each rep is focusing on the set of activities that they specifically need to use to improve and to become a top performer. And you know, Travis and his emphasis on coaching and training and enablement. I think you know he worked with rob jets and from exfoyant. I think that comes from that school. I think it's such an important philosophy and idea that you have to build a framework in an organization that invests in your people and that means, frankly, some of the tools like our sponsor show pad and maybe tools like outreach as well, but it also just means you've got to take the time. There are a lot of different meanings that have to take place. You can't focus on two many things. It's like, as they say, a golf swing, or really anything, which is you have to focus on improving one to two key aspects of your sales discipline every month or every quarter, as opposed to trying to fix everything all at once. And you have to focus on the right activities, because simply doing more across the Lord to organization just isn't going to work. We need personalized development plans. We need to understand every person, every he or she or they in the organization. What do we need to do to help them accomplish their professional potential? And I think that that's just an incredible lesson now if you want to reach out to me, if you have feedback, linkedincom forward slash in forward, Sam f Jacobs. Big thanks to our sponsors, the first to show pad, which is the only unified sales enablement platform combining content, training, coaching and conversations, and outreach, the leading sales engagement platform. Thanks so much for listening and I'll talk to you next time.

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