The Sales Hacker Podcast
The Sales Hacker Podcast

Episode · 3 years ago

9. How to Sell Enterprise Software Solutions w/ Todd Caponi

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

On this episode of the Sales Hacker podcast, we talk with Todd Caponi, CRO of PowerReviews about how to sell enterprise software solutions with increased transparency in the sales process.

One, two, one, three, three, quote. Before we get started, we want to thank this month's sponsor introducing Gong Dot ioh the number one conversation intelligence platform for sales. Gong helps you generate more revenue by having better sales conversations. It automatically captures and analyzes your team's conversations so you can transform your team into quota shattering supersellars. Visit Gong Dot io forward slash sales hacker to get in on the action and see it liest. And now on with the show. Hey, everybody, welcome to the sales hacker podcast. Really excited about today's guest. Today I've got todd Capony, who is going to be a very famous and wellknown to a lot of the people out there in the world fairly shortly, but let me give you a brief background. In his words, he's a nerd for all things sales, philosophy, learning theory and his new nerdery, decision science. He spent the last three and a half years building the revenue capacity of Chicago's power reviews from the ground up as their crow, their chief revenue officer. Prior to that leadership rolls with three other tech companies, including exact target, who we all know, where he helped drive the organization to both an IPO and a two point seven billion dollar exit through the acquisition from sales force. He is a former American business stevie award winner for Vice President Worldwide Sales and is also owned and operated a sales training company. His first book, the Transparency Sale, is going to be released in the fall and it's got a lot of interesting content that we will talk about today. So welcome todd to the show. Thanks Sam. I'm disappointed I'm not already famous, but you're right, I'm working on this. Is All part of our master plan. Perhaps name it's this, then Kanye will tweet about you and then everybody will know who that's right. I need a song exactly. Let's quickly, as we do your baseball cards, so we can go over some just quick stats so we know why we should be listening to you. Your name is Todd Capony. What's your current, almost recent, title? So I was chief Revenue Officer of power reviews here in Chicago for the last three and a half years. So now still helping out as I'm moving into this transition phase, which is writing the book. Awesome for those that are not in the know. WHAT DOES POWER REVIEWS DO? Who? What are power reviews? So power reviews, you know, if you're on a website, are retailer or brand and you're looking at a product, we scroll down, you look at the ratings and reviews. That's power reviews in many cases. So we help primarily brands and retailers collect and display ratings and reviews, and Qaa, so jetcom crocks, you know a lot of the big ones. That's kind of white labeled. Power reviews a run in the background. Are you guys competitors with, and I might have asked you this before, but like yacht po or trust pilot? More Yacht Po, so that the two primary competitors that we would run into would be Yatpo and bizarre voice. Okay, awesome, great. So what's the revenue range of power reviews? Power reviews has got a really interesting story, but right now they're running in that twenty five million to fifty million rr range. The cliff notes version is they were acquired by bizarre voice, the Department of Justice shut it down, force the divestiture and then I came in in two thousand and fourteen to rebuild the sales force from a cold start once the Department of Justice ruling cleared. That is a story I've not heard before. And start up land, the DOJ came in and shut it down. Wows and their post merger. So what essentially happened is I was two thousand and twelve. You know, they're two companies primarily in the space doing ratings and reviews and bizarre voice felt like it would make sense to blend the two and the power reviews customers apparently were upset about it complained it was under the line that the partment of justice is normally look at. They filed suit, they won and Matt Mogue, who is the CEO of power reviews, restarted it in the summer of two thousand and fourteen with about thirty employees and seven reps, and over the last three and a half years we've built that to about a hundred and fifty employees and my organization, as I'm on my way out, now, has a little over sixty people. Wow. Well, congratulations on...

...restarting the start up. That's sounds incredibly difficult. So tell us. How long have you been in start up land? What's your background before power reviews? Well, I you know, back in the the S. So dating myself here, I was doing the big companies. So I did computer associates, I did SAP in one thousand nine hundred and ninety nine sap it. For anybody who's been around in the text base from back then, there was this thing called the year two thousand crisis, where as the clock moved to January first two thousand, people thought that planes were going to fly out of the sky and nuclear bombs are going to go off and we're all going to die a fiery deaf and as a result, companies were going to the SAPS and the oracles of the world and saying, rip out what I've got, put in a whole new infrastructure. So one thousand nine hundred and ninety nine, I did eight hundred and seventy two percent of my number and I thought my shit didn't stick. Like I am awesome, and I realized that it was like working at a drive through window. Companies are just pulling up and throwing money out at us. So great situation to be in. It was great, but, you know, being really all about money at the time, I saw all these startups that were coming, you know, kind of blasting out of garages and these guys that like. There was a guy that I knew that was selling wooden palettes, came to sap for like three months, went to a start up and then cashed out for a million bucks and I was like, all right, I could outsell that dude. In a minute, I'm going to go jump out and do the startup thing. And so in March of two thousand is when I started that. And that also happen to coincide with the bubble bursting. The top of the market and the tech bubble. Was March of two thousand, the day I left, and it was all downhill from there. I did a fantastic job or running startups into the ground for a few years. I feel like you're describing my cryptocurrency investment cycle. Just as everybody's out, I'm deciding now is the time to buy a theory and exactly those bastards. And so two thousand, the world is ending. I remember it well. I know that in ninety nine nine was my roommates out of college. We were all talking about what businesses we could start in them. By two thousand we're happy. We work in finance again. So to what are the startups that you worked on after sap? Well, I did. There was a couple. There was a company called ICG commerce back in two thousand that was just throwing money around. We were burning money at a pace that was unbelievable. It was headquartered in Philadelphia second floor of an office building where the first floor was an outback steakhouse, so we would get in at about seven in the morning and they would already be cooking those damn blooming onions and you could smell them in your conference room. But we were just cranking away. That just didn't work out. That the CEO felt like if we didn't become the largest company in the world it was going to be a failure. And it was a eaper cayramit technology, like all right, dude, get a little bit over. I Ran, too, a company called a Recipio, which was in kind of the digital marketing space, just kind of starting out with. It was kind of like a qualitative feedback engine for retailers, which was pretty cool. But I did that for about a year and a half and then after September eleven there was just no money and no spending going on and I found myself out on the street. I went to Hyperion, which is a big company, again and that was when I discovered that my true passion was for teaching and growing and learning, and I ended up throwing caution into the wind. I took all of my money and bought a sales training company and did that for a few years. So let's dive into that, and I think that should lead us to the book, because I'm really interested in sort of the concepts behind the book. But some of that actually sounds a little bit like John Barrows, who, I think he was working yes so and then decided to start his own sales training company. So what was the methodology? You discovered this passion for sales? What were you training people on? Was it sort of Sandler's stuff? WAS IT Miller Hyman? Were you using other people's ideas, or did you have a specific innovation that you were bringing into the market? And now I wasn't that smart, so I bought a franchise. It's not a wellknown franchise and I'm not even sure if they're still around. Primarily, the focused areas were cold calling techniques, you know, teaching that. You know it's not about your opening, it's about how you respond and conversationally turn around negative responses. That A lot. And then we also had a forecasting methodology which...

...was really interesting, a way to visualize your pipeline so that not only were you very realistic in where deals were in their stages, but you could come in visualize your pipeline and know how much prospecting you had to do that day versus how much do you need to be pushing through the back end of the final for me, you know, I didn't make much money doing it. It was a grind. I did it for three years that I look back. I never got an MBA, but running my own business for those three years and then working with countless sales organizations and seeing what they do well and what they don't and becoming a total nerd for selling methodology, I feel like it was a ten x investment over if I would have gone and got my Mbi. So it was a fantastic experience that it set the rest of my career on the path. That's been one of the benefits, I think, of being a consultant that I think some of us fail to appreciate sometimes. Speaking from experiences, you get dropped into all these different companies and you get to see people that do things well and do things poorly. When you looked at all of these sales organizations and saw or the common themes that they didn't do well, you know, and I'm sure some of them are pretty obvious, but any surprises? When I was doing that company, I wasn't selling or training tech companies, although there was a couple. I was training banks and recruiting firms and it was really span the whole gamut of what companies sell and for me that was really interesting because I'd been technology for that, you know, the ten years leading up to when I did that, and I've been tech ever since. It was really interesting. When you think about people in a business development wrap at a bank, you probably have a senior vice president title. So congratulations, and your cold calling businesses to get them to switch the bank that they're using to the one that you're selling. And Gosh, you talk about something that's crazy and none of these business owners are waking up in the morning saying wow, you know what, my bank, they hold money in a really pretty safe and I like it to be in this other set it. The difference is it was such a commodity and some of these bankers are selling as though there's something really special about their smile and the glimmer and their eyes that's going to make these business owners suddenly just pull all their money out of one bank and move it to another. And we really had to work on programs that were about nurturing and establishing trust and providing succinct value and every interaction. Otherwise it was just a wasted effort. And so there were companies like that, that commodity sale that I'm just glad I'm not in. How do you sell a commodity or how do you put position value in a short interaction? And what were some of the lessons that you brought to those organizations? That's a good question. I mean every interaction that you have with a potential buyer instead of having your sales had on, and I'll talk about this when I talk about the book a little bit, that our brains are all wired to resist being sold to, and the second that we feel that somebody is trying to sell to us, the blocker goes up and as a banker that's calling or anybody who's selling a commodity. We need to disarm that what I called the limbit filter. These buyers to want to build a relationship with you in the way that you do. That is essentially provide what I call succinct value, which is every interaction is not about you and your bank or whatever commodity that you're selling. It's about a what can I do to make your life, potential buy or a little bit better and do it in a brief way that allows you to get on with your day immediately. And so it was just building pay learn about their company, congratulate them with something good is going on, find different things that other companies like there's are doing that you can send over different press releases about their competitors. Just be helpful and eventually, when the time comes when they becoming the market or they realize that their current situation is no longer sustainable, you're definitely going to be on the list of people they call. That's interesting because part of what it seems to be talking about as almost up in nurturing philosophy to the sales process. And did you find push back from, I don't know, managers...

...or even sales people that were saying, todd, that's all well and good, but that doesn't help me structure the interaction or drive enough urgency to close this deal on the timeline that I need to close it on. Yeah, I mean it's a really good point. Being in a space like that. It's quite an investment. Like thinking about power reviews, for example. So why don't we switch back to tech, since there probably more your audience. You know power reviews. We collect and display ratings and reviews on retailer and Burrand website. If you go to bizarre voices site, that's what they do. You go to yacht post site, that's what they do. So how do you create an environment where, when everybody looks exactly the same, that you're creating opportunities for yourself? There are numbers to it. They're absolutely are. But you've got to make every one of those calls matter. And I could go on a big tangent about how the brain works, but essentially your planting seeds in a buyer's brain every time that you're interacting with them, and if that feels like you're selling to them, those seeds end up establishing a stronger filter to which they're not going to want to work with you. Let's move to the book you've mentioned a few times. The brain is not program to be sold to and probably there's some kind of fight or flight, you know, mechanism or some kind of chemical that's emitted when we feel like we're being pressured into doing something we don't want to do, or maybe we just don't like being told to do anything. And and how do you disarm that? And then how does that relate to some of the themes in your book, which I guess is called the Transparency Sale? So I assume that the point is that try to be more transparent, but walk us through the philosophy. So at power reviews, obviously we do a lot of studying for our clients to understand what works. And you know, these companies like crocs. They want people to come to their site, they want to be able to provide all the information they need to make a purchase and then they want them to purchase. One of the studies we did found that on a five scale. So you've got your star Ratings, one hundred twenty five. That conversion. So sales is at its highest when your star rating is between a four two and a four five. So what that means is that a product with a four point two score sells more than a product with a five and what that also, when you think about taking that to the sales world, we have all been taught to sell as though our product is perfect. It's a five, and being taught to sell that way actually puts up the limbic filter, which means that your buyers, what are they doing? They're checking, they're asking you for references, they're back channeling you, they might be checking the gartners and the foresters of the world. They're trying to understand the full picture because that's what their brain requires. And in a transparency sale you actually embrace and lead with your vulnerabilities from the first conversation. And when we've been doing it at power reviews, it is amazing what's happening. But it's beating sales cycles, it's disarming buyers to where you're building faster, trusting relationships and it's actually setting up the implementation so post sale, much more collaboration there because you've actually built in an understanding that you're not perfect. What's an example of, like a pitch pre transparency? That would be like a more common pitch, and we can use power view, since I think we all get the category. And then like, what's an example of how you modified it such that to your point, because the one of the points that you made, which is really interesting is the increased sales cycle. If maybe we can buy being more honest, we can shorten the sale cycle. I think we're all we're all interested in that. So, like, what's it before and after? Could I give you a crazy example? First, love crazy example. I'm sure you've been to an Ikea, right? I have. Yeah, so ideago of my own accord, because they're awful, horrible places. So Ikea, if you're selling against Ikea, wouldn't you think it would be incredibly easy? You have to go in, you find the product that you want, you have to write down or take a picture with your phone the codes. You can find it yourself in the warehouse. You can go downstairs, you get a cart with crappy wheels. You try to load this thing on the cart, then roll it out to your car, which you have to come move to a designated spot. You load it into the car, you drive home with a few minor injuries. You get home, you open the...

...box. There are literally no words and the instructions it's all visuals that look like a child drew them. Yet Ikea is the largest retailer in the world five years round, furniture retailer. So why? Well, it's because they're proud of that. They make the point to every customer and consumer that, Hey, listen, there's some things about your experience that are not going to be it's good, so that the other parts are going to be fantastic, and those parts are, you know, modern design, a cost that you can deal with, you know, not having to pay for shipping like some of those types of things. They've come out and overtly said this is what we're not good at, this is what we're good at. Now the company like power reviews. One of the examples is I went into there was a big apparel retailer up in New York. You know, I ran a team, but I had a rep that was like, Hey, this client wants to meet with somebody next week in New York. Can you come with? And I was like Hey, I'm in New York right now, let me go see him, and so he set it up. I went in, I went and saw this guy that afternoon. He brought a whole team in and he said, Todd, listen, I'm looking at you and I'm looking at your primary competitor tell me, and he was a total New York guy, like really aggressive. He's like tell me why you're better, and my pitch was he can I actually start with why we're not? And the guy kind of looked at me funny and I said, Hey, listen, our competitor has been developing an ant celary solution to what our kind of our core ratings are views that they're focused on this part that's called bad tech, and it's really interesting. There's a lot of companies that are seemingly liking what they're working on. I got to be totally honest. It's not something that's even on our road map. And the guy looked at me and he was like, all right, well, that's not something that we're interested in anyway. And we were focused on this area, like all right, well, we're making that sacrifice so we can be really good at our core and here's what we do about her. And once we did that, the guy's demeanor changed, the whole room changed and at the end of the meeting, with about ten minutes left, he kicked everybody out of his office. He pulled out a spreadsheet. I've never had a client through this. This is a VP of ECOMMERCE. He pointed at the budget line that said exactly how much he had. So it's his whole budget. He points at the line. He's like, can you hit that number? And the deal was done in about three weeks when with a big apparel retailer like that it would probably have taken three to six months. We just cut through the crap. He had made this decision by the end of that meeting. But just the way that I went about being as transparent as I possibly couldn't just laying our flaws out in the table to start with. So there was never a time where he felt like he was being sold. That's a great example. That's one of the apparently, the keys. Right. Lead with your am I getting this right? That the first part is, of course, the books not going to be available to the fall, but lead with your weaknesses. Is that the essence of it? Are there're more sort of pillars of the transparency sale that we should be mindful of? Well, yeah, there are. That first one. It's the way that I put it in the book is that you think about selling as though you're a four point two to four point five and stop up selling as though you're five and I'll talk about different techniques that you can use to figure out what are the right vulnerabilities that you can lead with, so it's not a young sales rep started in the conversation with Hey, this is why we suck good the yes, exactly. Then the the other two concepts that I've learned an awful lot and studying for like why, why does the Brain Act this way? One of the things that has been talked about so often in neuroscience, and it's talked about in marketing a lot but not as much in sales, is that it's been confirmed that we make decisions based on feelings and then justified them based on logic, and it's a hundred percent of the time. To the point where I found a research study about a guy who had a tumor on his feeling center, which is that limbic part of your brain. When they removed it, they did some damage to the connection and the guy literally lost his ability to feel and have emotions. And what ended up happening? He got divorced, he lost his job, he literally couldn't decide to get out of bed in the morning, like getting out of bad he just sit there for two hours until somebody dragged them out of that. The point there is that as sales professionals, we've always been...

...taught to the cell focused on logic. Hey, here's the Roy here's the features, here's the benefits, but are we inspiring feelings in emotion and painting a picture for the client? Because that is what drives the sale. It's the feeling and in the end they'll back it up with the logic. So that's that's point number two. And then point number three again, and another neuroscience piece here. But what all this research is also shown, and you've probably heard about this, but again not really made its way into selling foundations yet, but ninety five percent of all the decisions that you make in a day are made subconsciously, meaning, as somebody's listening to this podcast right now, after every sentence they're making a decision subconsciously as to whether or not they want to stop it and go do something else or keep listening. And we don't think about that when we're putting together our emails, when we're pitching, when we're giving presentations and even when we're negotiating. And I view those three things that the transparency and that decision science is a real opportunity to have sales professionals or anybody who influences, whether it's recruiters, whether it's your CFO that has to pitch to a board, to use all of that data and all that science that I've done down to an eighth grade level, essentially for good, not evil. So how do we do that? And some of this is reminding me, I'm sure if you're pronounced it Chieldani or seal Deanie, but anyway, Robert Saldane in that destinus book influence. But how do we take advantage of the emotional undercurrents of a sales cycle and also the fact that the subconscious is really the person or the thing that is driving decisionmaking? Give us some ideas about how to do that? Yeah, so what the subconscious part is really interesting. The fact that we're, you know, a buyer. Our goal in a sale cycle is they get that buy or to make one decision at the end, which is the buy whatever we're selling, that they're making literally thousands of Micros decisions along the journey as to whether they'll continue down the path with you. So when you think about every email interaction, like what are the types of things that you're doing to make somebody feel in those emails, feel good about themselves, feel related. You know, one of the the concepts that you think about is an example that I talked about is imagine that you're with a body and you're in a town you've never been in. You're walking down the street and you see two restaurants. There's one on the left and the one on the right and you're hungry, so you two of you are deciding where you're going to go. The one on the left looks pretty empty. The one on the right has a couple of people out in front. Like which one do you go to? I go to the launch of people out in front right, and why? Because there's people there. There's no reason. You didn't read yelp reviews. Nobody told you about it. It's literally a couple of people out in front and that makes no sense. subconsciously, right, there is the element of making a potential buy or feel like there's volume, there's people there. There's little techniques like that that you can use to know, subconsciously drive a buy or to think differently about your solution. Just that as an example. Would an example be like if I'm emailing with the buyer and I say and they say, can you made it eleven am? Can we do the call at eleven? And I say, actually, I've got another client call at eleven, but I can do thirty. Would that being example? Or what's this specific example that a a rep listening to this can take away? That's a perfect example. My mother had knee surgery scheduled for just before the Thanksgiving and the day before they realize she hadn't had an ekg done, so they canceled the surgery. My mom was like, Hey, I'll get the kg done this afternoon. Can we do the surgery the next day? And the doctor said no, we've got to wait for weeks. That's the next opening. And she was angry, but I was excited because if the guy said well, when you want to come in, I got nothing going on, it tells you that he's probably not very good. That is a really good example so that when we're leading with our prospecting efforts, specifying in our prospecting when you are available to me, the minute that I hear a sales rep say hey, when can you meet? I'm open all week next week, like that's like the...

...doctor example. That tells you that. Wow, nobody else is talking to you, but if you're very specific around your ask around the time and day, Hey, let's meet Wednesday at ten o'clock, it does subconsciously create that perception that you're in demand. Wow, that's very useful. When you think about the best way to deploy, is it redesigning the sales cycle, like, is there a methodology that you'd hope that you know, vp of sales listening would employ to Redo the sales process, or is it really training that accelerates our augments the existing sales methodology? Hey, you continue to do spin or value base selling if you want, but these are tactics and strategies. This is a philosophy that's going to essentially improve when rights through the course of the conversation. Yeah, it's definitely the latter. When you talk about the evolution of sales, and I listen to your podcast number two, it's Steve Denton and he talked about how selling is changed. This really isn't a methodology shift. If you think about what he talked about and what I'm sure all salespeople are aware of, is because there's so much information available to buyers, they don't need you like they did before. So you had to change your language and your approach into what is called insight selling, or formalized with the Challenger Sale. But now buyers have tons of information about why you're good and why you're not. It's very easy for them to find out your flaws and when you think about it, these buyers, they're going to look for your flaws and in many cases they're going to find them and not come back to you. You know, it freaks me out when I look at a pipeline and see the next step is I'm chasing this guy, or I haven't heard from her for a while or they've gone silent. A lot of it is because they've gone out and they've taken a look and found out why you're not very good and the momentum has fallen by the wayside. If you're the one that's presenting those flaws, their brain actually doesn't drive them to go look elsewhere as much, and that's why you can speed sales cycles because they stay with you. The same exact thing happens on websites. One of our clients of power reviews was a bookseller that didn't have ratings reviews on their site, and what we found in looking at their analytic data is that people were looking at the book, So let's say it's the transparency set or whatever comes out, and finding that there's no reviews. We could actually see they were going to Amazon and we were making the assumption that they just from looking at the IP addresses, that they were not coming back because they were finding what they needed over there and then making the purchase there. Leading and being transparent and selling as though you're a four, two to four, five verses of five is going to keep your buyer with you, keep that limbic filtered disarmed and make them trust you. And I promise you that sales cycles are going to speed up. And that's a philosophical change. Yeah, I mean, I guess the immediate, but there's an answer to this question. You need it. Red Flag or not a red flag. But the thought that comes to mind as well, what if the weeks is is the central value proposition of the product? But I guess in that case you're going to have to find a new job. So what I found is if you go through an exercise and you understand who your competitors are and where they're better than you, you know one of the things that leading with your transparency is going to help with is help you qualify deals better and save you an awful lot of time. Now, imagine if I led with that add tech example, at that retailer up in New York and add tech was the most important thing that they cared about at that time. How is that going to sell around it if that's nowhere on our road map, not something that we support in any way? Eventually I'm going to lose that deal. Eventually. I need to be focusing on the deals that are really in our core and our sweet spot, and they're going to figure that out. So either I need to have a really good answer for that or I need to go focus on a different type of client. And I think that that's part of this core here is you don't necessarily have to if there's things that they're better than you at. You know, one of the things that you can do as an exercise before you go in the talk to a client is figure out, like, which are the differentiators that aren't going to matter as much to them, and you could lead with those because again, it still serves the purpose of making them feel like you're not selling to them and you're a trusted partner here that's trying to be transparent and making sure that you're illuminating some things that they might care about that somebody...

...else might be better out. Yeah, I like it a lot. I'm actually thinking about it in the context of, you know, the company where I'm working right now, behave ox. One of the things that it sort of brings me back to, which is a point that I emphasize a lot, is just the incredible importance of qualification and discovery and how much of the sale is one or lost at the beginning of the sales process. Yeah, absolutely. One of the things that I laugh about is that when I hear people still using Bant as their qualification, I think that that time is kind of come and gone and that in training and some of the fundamental things that I see, we don't spend as much time on qualification skills. There's maybe we should. I think this transparent approach it should help. We found at power views is trying this thing out, that it was helping us to vet deals and build stronger advocates faster. But yeah, it's a really good point. As your point that bant is necessary but not sufficient, or that it's not relevant at all. You know, when I think about ways of figuring out whether the deal is worthwhile or not in an enterprise sale, there's a lot more to it and a lot of it relates to the consensus that we have to build within the people that are essentially below the power line that are going to influence the people that are making the decision. But I do find that figuring out okay, do these people know how much money it's going to cost and who's going to be making the decision and when are they going to be making it? I still find that helpful, but I'm always happy to change. Is there a better qualification methodology that you have? Well, right, greedy for the cheese and called this taking the customers tamp and so t MP is the acronym and you know the first T. is there a trigger in the organization that makes them understand that their status quo is no longer sustainable? It's, you know, like what used to be called the compelling event, but are we able to identify whether or not the buyer feels the exact same way as us? That trigger is an important thing because we lose what eighty percent of our deals to the status quo. The E is engagement with our reps. the one thing that I'm rep is never heard me yell at anybody. It's not my approach. But they know that if there isn't a next step with the specific date and time that's shown on the buyers calendar to they're not engaged. And what I mean by that is, you know, evidence of an engage customer is shown by their willingness to make more time for you and put you in their calendar. You know, similar to you're going to go to the dentist in ten days. Like what do you start doing now? Probably Start flossing right. What we find with buyers is if it's in their calendar, they're going to be prepared for it and they've shown that they're engaged through that willingness to put you in their calendar. The them is for Mo Bizer, which is a corporate executive board lingo for to have we identified the person in the organization that can mobilize change in the organization. So it's not that we're just dealing with an executive, but is it somebody that is going to make things happen, and there's techniques for identifying that and then the P is there a plan, meaning you know it's kind of the timing from Bant, but do we understand if their status quo is no longer sustainable by when? And if we started to work backwards with them, do we know when a decision is going to be made? And so the temp again is is there a trigger? Are they engaged? Do we have a mobilizer and have we identified a plan with timing that's going to get us to a decision? Those are the four that I've used. The reason that Bant, for me, is not been great is the budget is sometimes challenging, especially in a challenge or sale type of era. A lot of times, if we're dealing with a true mobilized or an organization, they're going to go find budget. If we find out they don't have budget, that shouldn't disqualify the deal if there's an enough of a compelling trigger in the organization that says that their status quos and sustainable. Yeah, and then the timing is a lot of times off to I can't tell you how many deals where the initial timing that we discussed in no way reflects reality. That's certainly true. The budget thing is a super interesting question. To your point. One of the things I use it for is just to figure out do they know how to buy software in general, because I've been surprised at the number of enterprise those conversations...

I've been in where it's a group of business users. They ostensibly, they sort of theoretically have budget, but they've actually never purchased anything before, and so figuring out, and that's what we need to mobilize your for Fi, helping them understand how to buy and how to go get budget if they don't have it, as often a task that I need to do for them to help them through the process. Yeah, I mean I think that that planet elements. You know, plan is different than timing in that, if you're really good and you're transparent, one of the ways that you can disarmed that the buying feeling, that kind of limbit filter that I talked about, is if you're able to go in and say, Hey, listen, if this is common, like I'm probably not teaching anybody. They anything they don't know, but to go through a sequence of events that's mutual with the buyer and say you listen, we've worked with a lot of companies like yours. Here's some of the curveballs that are likely to happen and lay it out into a sequence of events or a plan and have them agree with you. And if you're teaching them about the pitfalls and their organization that they don't know they're going to face because you face them at five other companies, that's really valuable and beneficial and you end up with a timeline that's a lot more accurate and easy to forecast. That speaks back to your broader point of transparency, which is something I try to employ, which is, hey, these are the five things that are going to happen, these are the clauses in your MSA that we're going to have an issue with, and this is the one we really care about. These the ones that we don't care about. By the way, you know one of the things I've been doing. I'd be curious on your thoughts on it. As I start giving a discounting schedule, I say like, we're going to send it to procurement. The procurement person's job is to get the price lower. We're happy to lower the price. Here's the ways that we lower the price and typically for me it's a certainty of closure or timeline. So Hey, if we can hit these deadlines, we can lower the price and also, if you're willing to be reference or give us case studies, we might be a lower the price as well. But just so that I'm not it doesn't feel like I'm negotiating with sort of like a trick behind my back, but I'm saying, Yep, I understand you want a lower price, here's how to get it. You are going to love the chapter on transparent negotiation. There's much but that's essentially yet. I mean a lot of times we've been taught to negotiate as though we're in a Texas hold them tournament and we got to hide our towels and work sunglasses and not like, not twitch. And you know, transparent negotiation, it's exactly what you said. It's going in like your silence ask. It's going in and saying, Hey, litsten, here's the four things that we can pay you for in the form of a discount. Will pay you for committing the more volume, to paying faster, to committing longer and helping me forecast, and you can roll your own deal. That's what transparent negotiation is and if you're working that in the first time you talk about pricing. When you deliver the proposal and at the time you actually get down to negotiating, it's flawless. You'll get bigger deals, you'll get better forecastable deals, you'll get longer commitments and you'll probably get head faster. Yeah, I love it's good stuff. I mean it's just, you know, the reason I do it is because I'm so fucking impatient. I don't want the back and forth of have something be obscured and then debating with myself whether to reveal it. I'd rather just say here's everything that I know about myself and about you and like let's start from there. So and again, a lot of it's just driven. I just want to get the deal done quicker. So, you know, if there's going to be an issue, I'd rather find out about it sooner rather than later. Well, yeah, I mean we just did a big renewal with one of our apparel manufacturers at power reviews and I literally laid that out for him and had them roll his own renewal because he came after me and said, todd space is commoditizing, we need twenty percent off. Okay, here's how you get twenty percent up. You know, commit longer, pay faster, and like here's the percentages that aligned to those and he said, all right, I'll do ten percent off and I'll commit for three years. It sounds an amazing when you give people a framework and it just structures the whole conversation. The same thing happened to me recently where they said, well, we want to low our price, happy to do that, if you sign by may first, I can give you x percent off, they say. And now they are the ones emailing me saying, hey, we really got to get this done to hit that may first deadline. I said, well, yeah, I'll tell you there's two. I'll leave you a two last tips. They're one is wrapped. Since the beginning of time have had...

...deadlines proposals and most of the time buyers don't understand why. And so the minute that I taught our sales reps, and I've been doing it, to explain why that date matters, that hey, listen, Mr and Mrs Buyer, there's value to our organization and us being able to forecast our business. So this proposal expires the end of May and there's five percent and there for you, because there's value to off. So we're paying you in the form of a discount to get this done by the end of back and just that language changes it so that when the end of May comes up and they say, Oh, you know what, our buyer is on a freaking boat in Atlantis and like there's no cell phone signal and he's probably going to get swallowed into the ocean, can we sign this in June and hold the price, you can tell them I don't know, remember what we talked about and to May. Here is why, and it becomes a much better conversation than just saying no or just saying yes and having the deal slide the June automatically one hundred percent in agreement. Very, very useful. By the way, reminds me of I don't know if it's condiment or if it's Cldini, but that word, because it's when you explain, because they've done all these psychological studies and you know you can say, I think the example was in one of the books was can I cut in line? Nobody said yes, and then can I cut in line, because this is the reason why, because I'm really in a hurry, which is, by the way, I just a way up saying can I cut in lines, the compliance, you know, the willingness of people to give you what you want. When you just provide an explanation, it trigger something in the brain that that makes them more amenable. As we say. Yeah, Clbni stuff is great. Is Newer one. Persuasion is a staple for me. It's fantastic and it's one of the things that got me really excited about neuroscience, which I don't know if the kind of the world isn't paying enough attention to it, but the advance is they're making in understanding how the brain works are incredible and I think it's an opportunity for salespeople. Like if you know how the brain works and how the brain makes decisions, shouldn't you know that as a salesperson? Shouldn't you try to take advantage of that? And that's what I'm trying to do, and I know Cldini and a lot of these guys have been doing it. More focused on marketing, but there's a lot in sales that we can learn about brain function and decision science. They're going to help US aid the buyer in making better decisions, make faster decisions, make decisions they can be proud of and that's what I'm trying to bring that. The funny thing is, like I've been reading all these like pure neuroscience books and, by the way, there's so many advancements happening in like how we can we treat autism, how can we treat Alzheimer's? They're finding all of these little things, like I think the next twenty years are going to be fascinating around that. But they speak at such a doctoral level that in the book what I'm trying to do is take it down to like an eighth grade level that even I can understand and make it as useful as I can for sales people. If it's as good as it sounds like it's going to be, then I will definitely buy a copy. I will download it to my kindle and my e reading device. Nice. Thank you. You'll be the one. Exactly. You're the one listener to my podcast and I'm the one reader of your book. It's right your mid scheme. We can employ. Let's pay it forward a little bit. We we're sort of a you know, a few more minutes in the interview and I'd love to. It's always really interesting, especially with people that have been doing it for a little while to hear who their influences are and who are the people that inspire them across the range of personalities are in startup land. So any them VPI's of sales or crows or sort of sales leaders? That particularly because I'm in New York. I'm a Big New York guy. I know a lot of people in New York. I don't know that many people in Chicago. So who should we know about from the world of sales and selling that's been an influence on you? Well, I'll tell you. You know it's Chicago, but I think you'd be shocked at the ecosystem of TAC that's blossoming in Indianapolis, of all places, you know, which is where exact target was founded then and exploded with growth and ended up with that fantastic I said. You know, I know he's not a Croro, but he was a CEO and the cofounder, Scott Dorsey, that guy, you know, he really came with a sales first type of approach to building an organization and he's one of those guys that even when he's mad,...

...he's smiling. So that the culture that he oozed from the top. I think is just fantastic. And then he hired a guy like Andy Cofoyd. So Andy Cofoyd was the senior vice president of sales and now he's the chief operating officer overseeing the entire marketing cloud for sales force. Wow, but you guys, they just epitomized how I would want to model my approach, which is encouragement. How do you get better results out of people by making them better at what they do and making them like build within themselves this for learning and getting better. And so those two guys have been fantastic. Man, I've worked with lots of them over the years. You know Dj Paoni, who is now the president of Sap North America, is a guy that he and I started together back at CEA and sap back in the S, and it's just a quality human being that just does things the right way. So there's a lot of stars in Chicago and the overall Midwest. Well, Indianapolis was not a word I expected to hear on this podcast, and so you have parady done something unexpected. What about on the personal side? Any books that you're reading that you think we should know about? You know you mentioned a few to me about neuroscience. If we wanted to sort of get started there, what are the one or two introductory, you know, references that we should be reading? Well, it's funny you ask that writing a book. So if anybody ever who's listening to this is thinking about writing a book, reach out to me. I've learned so much in this process. One of the funny things that I just found is that there's this place and it's called a library and they have free books that you can borrow that don't make any sense. How does the library business exactly? It's like. How does the bottled water industry say in business? I can just get it from my tap. I've had to spend a lot of time because they're doing the research for this book. It's quite an effort. At any one time I've got eight books checked out at a time. You know. Right now a lot of what I'm reading and focusing on is the the neuroscience stuff, and man, there's some really, really good ones that you know. CLDANI and some of those guys around brain science are really interesting. There's a book called Brain fluence by Roger Dooley and again it's marketing focus, but he has like a hundred little tips around. If you know how the brain works, you can modify your marketing efforts to better what you do and there's some interesting kind of sales takeaways from that one. You know, there's a bunch of podcast so it's into there. There's two neuroscience books that I've read lately that are incredibly interesting. I might be the only guy that would think so, though, but there's this book called De Carts error by Antonio Demascio and it talks about those different regions in the brain and what happens when you have damage in different reasons of the brain and tell stories about how people's lives have changed based on them, and it is incredibly interesting to hear stories like there's. There's one of this Guy Phineas Gage, who would be building a Realis gages famous. He's got the thing through his head, the spike, exactly. DEMASSIO talks about that story, about what happened in his life as a result of the limbic kind of the midbrain being taken out with the Post. He lived like for a long time after. I mean it's crazy story. Yeah, and he was actually joined the circus for a little while and would show people the pipe and showed people the hole in his head. But another guy that couldn't make a decision and his whole life fell apart after it happened. That one's super interesting. There's another one called the man who mistook his wife for a hat and at the the title sounds crazy, but it's again, it's a neuroscience one around different brain issues that have that Oliver Sachs Im it is. Yes, Yep, he's just passed, a great writer. Oh, I did know that. That said, to hear that super interesting stuff. It's okay. We neither of US know them. That's all right. We wish him the best. That's right. Resting pace exactly. Well, toddless, this has been fantastic. I'm super, super excited for the transparency sale. I'm frankly quite interested in thinking about and ruminating on temp, which is trigger engagement. What's the M finding the mobilizer? Mobilizer, and then P is planned a plan. So temp. I'm actually going to try think about using...

...that, because I do believe so strongly and some of those concepts and I'm excited for your book and I really appreciate the opportunity to get to know you more. So thanks so much. If folks want to get in touch with you, how do you prefer it? You know, anytime on. It's transparency salecomen. Just how it sounds. If you want to sign up for updates, I promise I'm not a spammer. I don't have a newsletter, but you can go. It's really easy to find that. I've got some other resources on there, but all my contact information is on transparency salecom. Awesome. We will get in touch that way. Thank you so much for joining the sales hacker podcast and I'll talk to you soon. All Right, say that was fun. Hey, everybody, it's SAM's corner. Another great conversation, this time with Todd Capone, who used to be sorrow at power reviews. Now he's writing his own book. The transparency sales sounds quite good and there's a bunch of little interesting tidbits that I picked up on. One of them was this concept that you need to, or can create almost the illusion of the appearance of scarcity, and so one of the ways that todd and I talked about doing that was not just telling a prospect that, hey, my calendar is wide open, I can do any time between eight thirty am and seven PM, but really managing your calendar as if, even if you're not busy, giving the appearance of being busy with other client conversations to imply and to impress a plan the prospect that there are other people that are interested in the product that you're selling. So that may be a specific proposal of a time, saying hey, I'm free at ten PM or ten am, and I'm also free at three PM if you want to call me then, or it may be some other mechanism to convey that your time is valuable and scarce and that's because it's driven by clients. Now, one of the things I will say is, please don't make scarcity a function of your personal vacation schedule. I've often canceled meetings with reps when I wanted to get a demo or I actually wanted to have a more substantive negotiation, and they say, well, I'm actually going to be out of town the next four days. Can we do it next Tuesday? And at that point I typically request a new REP or cancel the conversation altogether. That's because, a, I'm a little bit of a Dick and be because I want the conversation to be about the prospect, and me in that case, and not about somebody's personal vacation schedule. Now, if you are somebody that I've done that too, I apologize in advance. But you know, the lesson from my perspective is make it about the prospect while still creating the illusion of scarcity if the reality is not quite there yet. But make it about the product in the business, not about when you need to get to the gym or often need to work out, or when you into go on vacation or whether you and your family are going to be in the Palmas or anything like that, and I'm sorry if I've pissed you off by using specific examples from your real life. This has been Sam's corner and I'll talk to you soon. To check out the show notes, see upcoming guests and play more episodes from our incredible lineup of sales leaders, visit sales hackercom podcast. You can also find the sales hacking podcast on itunes or Google play or anywhere that you consume your podcasts. If you enjoyed this episode, please share with your peers on Linkedin, twitter or elsewhere. Special thanks again to this month's sponsors at Gong see more Gong Dot io, forward sales hacker. And finally, if you want to get in touch with me, you can find me on twitter at Sam f Jacobs, or on Linkedin at linkedincom and slash Sam f Jacobs. SEE NEXT TIME.

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