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 thismonth'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 capturesand 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 actionand see it liest. And now on with the show. Hey, everybody, welcome to the sales hacker podcast. Really excited about today's guest. TodayI've got todd Capony, who is going to be a very famous and wellknownto a lot of the people out there in the world fairly shortly, butlet me give you a brief background. In his words, he's a nerdfor all things sales, philosophy, learning theory and his new nerdery, decisionscience. He spent the last three and a half years building the revenue capacityof Chicago's power reviews from the ground up as their crow, their chief revenueofficer. Prior to that leadership rolls with three other tech companies, including exacttarget, who we all know, where he helped drive the organization to bothan IPO and a two point seven billion dollar exit through the acquisition from salesforce. He is a former American business stevie award winner for Vice President WorldwideSales 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'sgot a lot of interesting content that we will talk about today. So welcometodd 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 theneverybody 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 justquick stats so we know why we should be listening to you. Your nameis Todd Capony. What's your current, almost recent, title? So Iwas chief Revenue Officer of power reviews here in Chicago for the last three anda half years. So now still helping out as I'm moving into this transitionphase, which is writing the book. Awesome for those that are not inthe know. WHAT DOES POWER REVIEWS DO? Who? What are power reviews?So power reviews, you know, if you're on a website, areretailer or brand and you're looking at a product, we scroll down, youlook at the ratings and reviews. That's power reviews in many cases. Sowe 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'skind of white labeled. Power reviews a run in the background. Are youguys competitors with, and I might have asked you this before, but likeyacht po or trust pilot? More Yacht Po, so that the two primarycompetitors that we would run into would be Yatpo and bizarre voice. Okay,awesome, great. So what's the revenue range of power reviews? Power reviewshas got a really interesting story, but right now they're running in that twentyfive million to fifty million rr range. The cliff notes version is they wereacquired by bizarre voice, the Department of Justice shut it down, force thedivestiture and then I came in in two thousand and fourteen to rebuild the salesforce from a cold start once the Department of Justice ruling cleared. That isa story I've not heard before. And start up land, the DOJ camein and shut it down. Wows and their post merger. So what essentiallyhappened is I was two thousand and twelve. You know, they're two companies primarilyin the space doing ratings and reviews and bizarre voice felt like it wouldmake sense to blend the two and the power reviews customers apparently were upset aboutit complained it was under the line that the partment of justice is normally lookat. They filed suit, they won and Matt Mogue, who is theCEO of power reviews, restarted it in the summer of two thousand and fourteenwith about thirty employees and seven reps, and over the last three and ahalf 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 sixtypeople. Wow. Well, congratulations on...

...restarting the start up. That's soundsincredibly difficult. So tell us. How long have you been in start upland? What's your background before power reviews? Well, I you know, backin the the S. So dating myself here, I was doing thebig companies. So I did computer associates, I did SAP in one thousand ninehundred and ninety nine sap it. For anybody who's been around in thetext base from back then, there was this thing called the year two thousandcrisis, where as the clock moved to January first two thousand, people thoughtthat planes were going to fly out of the sky and nuclear bombs are goingto go off and we're all going to die a fiery deaf and as aresult, companies were going to the SAPS and the oracles of the world andsaying, 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 twopercent of my number and I thought my shit didn't stick. Like Iam awesome, and I realized that it was like working at a drive throughwindow. Companies are just pulling up and throwing money out at us. Sogreat situation to be in. It was great, but, you know,being really all about money at the time, I saw all these startups that werecoming, you know, kind of blasting out of garages and these guysthat 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 thencashed out for a million bucks and I was like, all right,I could outsell that dude. In a minute, I'm going to go jumpout and do the startup thing. And so in March of two thousand iswhen 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 twothousand, 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 twothousand we're happy. We work in finance again. So to what are thestartups that you worked on after sap? Well, I did. There wasa couple. There was a company called ICG commerce back in two thousand thatwas just throwing money around. We were burning money at a pace that wasunbelievable. It was headquartered in Philadelphia second floor of an office building where thefirst floor was an outback steakhouse, so we would get in at about sevenin the morning and they would already be cooking those damn blooming onions and youcould 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 becomethe largest company in the world it was going to be a failure. Andit was a eaper cayramit technology, like all right, dude, get alittle bit over. I Ran, too, a company called a Recipio, whichwas in kind of the digital marketing space, just kind of starting outwith. It was kind of like a qualitative feedback engine for retailers, whichwas pretty cool. But I did that for about a year and a halfand then after September eleven there was just no money and no spending going onand I found myself out on the street. I went to Hyperion, which isa big company, again and that was when I discovered that my truepassion was for teaching and growing and learning, and I ended up throwing caution intothe wind. I took all of my money and bought a sales trainingcompany and did that for a few years. So let's dive into that, andI think that should lead us to the book, because I'm really interestedin sort of the concepts behind the book. But some of that actually sounds alittle bit like John Barrows, who, I think he was working yes soand then decided to start his own sales training company. So what wasthe methodology? You discovered this passion for sales? What were you training peopleon? Was it sort of Sandler's stuff? WAS IT Miller Hyman? Were youusing other people's ideas, or did you have a specific innovation that youwere bringing into the market? And now I wasn't that smart, so Ibought a franchise. It's not a wellknown franchise and I'm not even sure ifthey're still around. Primarily, the focused areas were cold calling techniques, youknow, teaching that. You know it's not about your opening, it's abouthow you respond and conversationally turn around negative responses. That A lot. Andthen we also had a forecasting methodology which...

...was really interesting, a way tovisualize your pipeline so that not only were you very realistic in where deals werein their stages, but you could come in visualize your pipeline and know howmuch prospecting you had to do that day versus how much do you need tobe 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 didit for three years that I look back. I never got an MBA, butrunning my own business for those three years and then working with countless salesorganizations and seeing what they do well and what they don't and becoming a totalnerd for selling methodology, I feel like it was a ten x investment overif I would have gone and got my Mbi. So it was a fantasticexperience that it set the rest of my career on the path. That's beenone of the benefits, I think, of being a consultant that I thinksome of us fail to appreciate sometimes. Speaking from experiences, you get droppedinto all these different companies and you get to see people that do things welland do things poorly. When you looked at all of these sales organizations andsaw or the common themes that they didn't do well, you know, andI'm sure some of them are pretty obvious, but any surprises? When I wasdoing that company, I wasn't selling or training tech companies, although therewas a couple. I was training banks and recruiting firms and it was reallyspan the whole gamut of what companies sell and for me that was really interestingbecause I'd been technology for that, you know, the ten years leading upto when I did that, and I've been tech ever since. It wasreally interesting. When you think about people in a business development wrap at abank, you probably have a senior vice president title. So congratulations, andyour cold calling businesses to get them to switch the bank that they're using tothe one that you're selling. And Gosh, you talk about something that's crazy andnone of these business owners are waking up in the morning saying wow,you know what, my bank, they hold money in a really pretty safeand I like it to be in this other set it. The difference isit was such a commodity and some of these bankers are selling as though there'ssomething really special about their smile and the glimmer and their eyes that's going tomake these business owners suddenly just pull all their money out of one bank andmove it to another. And we really had to work on programs that wereabout nurturing and establishing trust and providing succinct value and every interaction. Otherwise itwas just a wasted effort. And so there were companies like that, thatcommodity sale that I'm just glad I'm not in. How do you sell acommodity or how do you put position value in a short interaction? And whatwere some of the lessons that you brought to those organizations? That's a goodquestion. I mean every interaction that you have with a potential buyer instead ofhaving your sales had on, and I'll talk about this when I talk aboutthe book a little bit, that our brains are all wired to resist beingsold to, and the second that we feel that somebody is trying to sellto us, the blocker goes up and as a banker that's calling or anybodywho's selling a commodity. We need to disarm that what I called the limbitfilter. These buyers to want to build a relationship with you in the waythat you do. That is essentially provide what I call succinct value, whichis every interaction is not about you and your bank or whatever commodity that you'reselling. It's about a what can I do to make your life, potentialbuy or a little bit better and do it in a brief way that allowsyou to get on with your day immediately. And so it was just building paylearn 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 overdifferent press releases about their competitors. Just be helpful and eventually, when thetime comes when they becoming the market or they realize that their current situation isno longer sustainable, you're definitely going to be on the list of people theycall. That's interesting because part of what it seems to be talking about asalmost up in nurturing philosophy to the sales process. And did you find pushback 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 theinteraction or drive enough urgency to close this deal on the timeline that Ineed 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 thinkingabout power reviews, for example. So why don't we switch back to tech, since there probably more your audience. You know power reviews. We collectand display ratings and reviews on retailer and Burrand website. If you go tobizarre 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? Thereare numbers to it. They're absolutely are. But you've got to make every oneof those calls matter. And I could go on a big tangent abouthow the brain works, but essentially your planting seeds in a buyer's brain everytime that you're interacting with them, and if that feels like you're selling tothem, those seeds end up establishing a stronger filter to which they're not goingto want to work with you. Let's move to the book you've mentioned afew times. The brain is not program to be sold to and probably there'ssome kind of fight or flight, you know, mechanism or some kind ofchemical that's emitted when we feel like we're being pressured into doing something we don'twant 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 tosome of the themes in your book, which I guess is called the TransparencySale? So I assume that the point is that try to be moretransparent, but walk us through the philosophy. So at power reviews, obviously wedo a lot of studying for our clients to understand what works. Andyou know, these companies like crocs. They want people to come to theirsite, they want to be able to provide all the information they need tomake a purchase and then they want them to purchase. One of the studieswe 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 whenyour star rating is between a four two and a four five. Sowhat that means is that a product with a four point two score sells morethan a product with a five and what that also, when you think abouttaking that to the sales world, we have all been taught to sell asthough our product is perfect. It's a five, and being taught to sellthat way actually puts up the limbic filter, which means that your buyers, whatare they doing? They're checking, they're asking you for references, they'reback channeling you, they might be checking the gartners and the foresters of theworld. 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 fromthe first conversation. And when we've been doing it at power reviews, itis amazing what's happening. But it's beating sales cycles, it's disarming buyers towhere you're building faster, trusting relationships and it's actually setting up the implementation sopost sale, much more collaboration there because you've actually built in an understanding thatyou're not perfect. What's an example of, like a pitch pre transparency? Thatwould be like a more common pitch, and we can use power view,since I think we all get the category. And then like, what'san example of how you modified it such that to your point, because theone of the points that you made, which is really interesting is the increasedsales cycle. If maybe we can buy being more honest, we can shortenthe 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 takea picture with your phone the codes. You can find it yourself in thewarehouse. You can go downstairs, you get a cart with crappy wheels. You try to load this thing on the cart, then roll it outto 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 wordsand the instructions it's all visuals that look like a child drew them. YetIkea 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 thepoint to every customer and consumer that, Hey, listen, there's some thingsabout your experience that are not going to be it's good, so that theother 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'vecome out and overtly said this is what we're not good at, this iswhat we're good at. Now the company like power reviews. One of theexamples 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 waslike, Hey, this client wants to meet with somebody next week inNew York. Can you come with? And I was like Hey, I'min New York right now, let me go see him, and so heset it up. I went in, I went and saw this guy thatafternoon. 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 tellme why you're better, and my pitch was he can I actually startwith why we're not? And the guy kind of looked at me funny andI said, Hey, listen, our competitor has been developing an ant celarysolution to what our kind of our core ratings are views that they're focused onthis part that's called bad tech, and it's really interesting. There's a lotof companies that are seemingly liking what they're working on. I got to betotally honest. It's not something that's even on our road map. And theguy looked at me and he was like, all right, well, that's notsomething 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 bereally good at our core and here's what we do about her. And oncewe did that, the guy's demeanor changed, the whole room changed and at theend of the meeting, with about ten minutes left, he kicked everybodyout of his office. He pulled out a spreadsheet. I've never had aclient through this. This is a VP of ECOMMERCE. He pointed at thebudget 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 apparelretailer like that it would probably have taken three to six months. We justcut through the crap. He had made this decision by the end of thatmeeting. But just the way that I went about being as transparent as Ipossibly couldn't just laying our flaws out in the table to start with. Sothere was never a time where he felt like he was being sold. That'sa great example. That's one of the apparently, the keys. Right.Lead with your am I getting this right? That the first part is, ofcourse, the books not going to be available to the fall, butlead with your weaknesses. Is that the essence of it? Are there're moresort of pillars of the transparency sale that we should be mindful of? Well, yeah, there are. That first one. It's the way that Iput it in the book is that you think about selling as though you're afour point two to four point five and stop up selling as though you're fiveand I'll talk about different techniques that you can use to figure out what arethe right vulnerabilities that you can lead with, so it's not a young sales repstarted in the conversation with Hey, this is why we suck good theyes, exactly. Then the the other two concepts that I've learned an awfullot 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, andit's talked about in marketing a lot but not as much in sales, isthat it's been confirmed that we make decisions based on feelings and then justified thembased on logic, and it's a hundred percent of the time. To thepoint where I found a research study about a guy who had a tumor onhis feeling center, which is that limbic part of your brain. When theyremoved it, they did some damage to the connection and the guy literally losthis ability to feel and have emotions. And what ended up happening? Hegot divorced, he lost his job, he literally couldn't decide to get outof bed in the morning, like getting out of bad he just sit therefor two hours until somebody dragged them out of that. The point there isthat 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, butare we inspiring feelings in emotion and painting a picture for the client? Becausethat is what drives the sale. It's the feeling and in the end they'llback it up with the logic. So that's that's point number two. Andthen point number three again, and another neuroscience piece here. But what allthis research is also shown, and you've probably heard about this, but againnot really made its way into selling foundations yet, but ninety five percent ofall 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 decisionsubconsciously as to whether or not they want to stop it and go dosomething else or keep listening. And we don't think about that when we're puttingtogether our emails, when we're pitching, when we're giving presentations and even whenwe're negotiating. And I view those three things that the transparency and that decisionscience is a real opportunity to have sales professionals or anybody who influences, whetherit'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 toan eighth grade level, essentially for good, not evil. So how do wedo that? And some of this is reminding me, I'm sure ifyou're pronounced it Chieldani or seal Deanie, but anyway, Robert Saldane in thatdestinus book influence. But how do we take advantage of the emotional undercurrents ofa sales cycle and also the fact that the subconscious is really the person orthe thing that is driving decisionmaking? Give us some ideas about how to dothat? Yeah, so what the subconscious part is really interesting. The factthat we're, you know, a buyer. Our goal in a sale cycle isthey get that buy or to make one decision at the end, whichis the buy whatever we're selling, that they're making literally thousands of Micros decisionsalong the journey as to whether they'll continue down the path with you. Sowhen you think about every email interaction, like what are the types of thingsthat 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 thinkabout is an example that I talked about is imagine that you're with a bodyand you're in a town you've never been in. You're walking down the streetand you see two restaurants. There's one on the left and the one onthe right and you're hungry, so you two of you are deciding where you'regoing to go. The one on the left looks pretty empty. The oneon the right has a couple of people out in front. Like which onedo you go to? I go to the launch of people out in frontright, and why? Because there's people there. There's no reason. Youdidn't read yelp reviews. Nobody told you about it. It's literally a coupleof 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 thatas an example. Would an example be like if I'm emailing with the buyerand I say and they say, can you made it eleven am? Canwe do the call at eleven? And I say, actually, I've gotanother client call at eleven, but I can do thirty. Would that beingexample? Or what's this specific example that a a rep listening to this cantake away? That's a perfect example. My mother had knee surgery scheduled forjust before the Thanksgiving and the day before they realize she hadn't had an ekgdone, so they canceled the surgery. My mom was like, Hey,I'll get the kg done this afternoon. Can we do the surgery the nextday? 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 becauseif the guy said well, when you want to come in, I gotnothing going on, it tells you that he's probably not very good. Thatis 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 Ihear a sales rep say hey, when can you meet? I'm open allweek 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 specificaround your ask around the time and day, Hey, let's meet Wednesday at teno'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 hopethat you know, vp of sales listening would employ to Redo the salesprocess, 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 toessentially improve when rights through the course of the conversation. Yeah, it's definitelythe latter. When you talk about the evolution of sales, and I listento your podcast number two, it's Steve Denton and he talked about how sellingis changed. This really isn't a methodology shift. If you think about whathe talked about and what I'm sure all salespeople are aware of, is becausethere's so much information available to buyers, they don't need you like they didbefore. So you had to change your language and your approach into what iscalled insight selling, or formalized with the Challenger Sale. But now buyers havetons of information about why you're good and why you're not. It's very easyfor them to find out your flaws and when you think about it, thesebuyers, they're going to look for your flaws and in many cases they're goingto find them and not come back to you. You know, it freaksme out when I look at a pipeline and see the next step is I'mchasing this guy, or I haven't heard from her for a while or they'vegone silent. A lot of it is because they've gone out and they've takena look and found out why you're not very good and the momentum has fallenby the wayside. If you're the one that's presenting those flaws, their brainactually doesn't drive them to go look elsewhere as much, and that's why youcan speed sales cycles because they stay with you. The same exact thing happenson websites. One of our clients of power reviews was a bookseller that didn'thave ratings reviews on their site, and what we found in looking at theiranalytic data is that people were looking at the book, So let's say it'sthe 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 assumptionthat they just from looking at the IP addresses, that they were not comingback because they were finding what they needed over there and then making the purchasethere. Leading and being transparent and selling as though you're a four, twoto 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 promiseyou 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 answerto this question. You need it. Red Flag or not a red flag. But the thought that comes to mind as well, what if the weeksis is the central value proposition of the product? But I guess in thatcase you're going to have to find a new job. So what I foundis if you go through an exercise and you understand who your competitors are andwhere they're better than you, you know one of the things that leading withyour transparency is going to help with is help you qualify deals better and saveyou an awful lot of time. Now, imagine if I led with that addtech example, at that retailer up in New York and add tech wasthe most important thing that they cared about at that time. How is thatgoing to sell around it if that's nowhere on our road map, not somethingthat 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 ourcore and our sweet spot, and they're going to figure that out. Soeither I need to have a really good answer for that or I need togo focus on a different type of client. And I think that that's part ofthis core here is you don't necessarily have to if there's things that they'rebetter than you at. You know, one of the things that you cando as an exercise before you go in the talk to a client is figureout, like, which are the differentiators that aren't going to matter as muchto them, and you could lead with those because again, it still servesthe purpose of making them feel like you're not selling to them and you're atrusted partner here that's trying to be transparent and making sure that you're illuminating somethings 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 contextof, you know, the company where I'm working right now, behave ox. One of the things that it sort of brings me back to, whichis a point that I emphasize a lot, is just the incredible importance of qualificationand discovery and how much of the sale is one or lost at thebeginning of the sales process. Yeah, absolutely. One of the things thatI 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 intraining and some of the fundamental things that I see, we don't spend asmuch time on qualification skills. There's maybe we should. I think this transparentapproach 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 necessarybut 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 ornot in an enterprise sale, there's a lot more to it and a lotof it relates to the consensus that we have to build within the people thatare essentially below the power line that are going to influence the people that aremaking the decision. But I do find that figuring out okay, do thesepeople know how much money it's going to cost and who's going to be makingthe decision and when are they going to be making it? I still findthat helpful, but I'm always happy to change. Is there a better qualificationmethodology that you have? Well, right, greedy for the cheese and called thistaking the customers tamp and so t MP is the acronym and you knowthe first T. is there a trigger in the organization that makes them understandthat their status quo is no longer sustainable? It's, you know, like whatused to be called the compelling event, but are we able to identify whetheror not the buyer feels the exact same way as us? That triggeris an important thing because we lose what eighty percent of our deals to thestatus quo. The E is engagement with our reps. the one thing thatI'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 andtime that's shown on the buyers calendar to they're not engaged. And what Imean by that is, you know, evidence of an engage customer is shownby 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 tendays. 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 tobe prepared for it and they've shown that they're engaged through that willingness to putyou in their calendar. The them is for Mo Bizer, which is acorporate executive board lingo for to have we identified the person in the organization thatcan mobilize change in the organization. So it's not that we're just dealing withan 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 understandif their status quo is no longer sustainable by when? And if we startedto work backwards with them, do we know when a decision is going tobe made? And so the temp again is is there a trigger? Arethey engaged? Do we have a mobilizer and have we identified a plan withtiming that's going to get us to a decision? Those are the four thatI've used. The reason that Bant, for me, is not been greatis the budget is sometimes challenging, especially in a challenge or sale type ofera. A lot of times, if we're dealing with a true mobilized oran organization, they're going to go find budget. If we find out theydon't have budget, that shouldn't disqualify the deal if there's an enough of acompelling 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 tellyou how many deals where the initial timing that we discussed in no way reflectsreality. 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 tofigure out do they know how to buy software in general, because I've beensurprised at the number of enterprise those conversations...

I've been in where it's a groupof business users. They ostensibly, they sort of theoretically have budget, butthey've actually never purchased anything before, and so figuring out, and that's whatwe need to mobilize your for Fi, helping them understand how to buy andhow to go get budget if they don't have it, as often a taskthat I need to do for them to help them through the process. Yeah, I mean I think that that planet elements. You know, plan isdifferent than timing in that, if you're really good and you're transparent, oneof the ways that you can disarmed that the buying feeling, that kind oflimbit filter that I talked about, is if you're able to go in andsay, Hey, listen, if this is common, like I'm probably notteaching anybody. They anything they don't know, but to go through a sequence ofevents that's mutual with the buyer and say you listen, we've worked witha lot of companies like yours. Here's some of the curveballs that are likelyto happen and lay it out into a sequence of events or a plan andhave them agree with you. And if you're teaching them about the pitfalls andtheir organization that they don't know they're going to face because you face them atfive other companies, that's really valuable and beneficial and you end up with atimeline that's a lot more accurate and easy to forecast. That speaks back toyour broader point of transparency, which is something I try to employ, whichis, 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 thatwe don't care about. By the way, you know one of the things I'vebeen doing. I'd be curious on your thoughts on it. As Istart giving a discounting schedule, I say like, we're going to send itto procurement. The procurement person's job is to get the price lower. We'rehappy to lower the price. Here's the ways that we lower the price andtypically for me it's a certainty of closure or timeline. So Hey, ifwe can hit these deadlines, we can lower the price and also, ifyou're willing to be reference or give us case studies, we might be alower the price as well. But just so that I'm not it doesn't feellike I'm negotiating with sort of like a trick behind my back, but I'msaying, Yep, I understand you want a lower price, here's how toget it. You are going to love the chapter on transparent negotiation. There'smuch but that's essentially yet. I mean a lot of times we've been taughtto negotiate as though we're in a Texas hold them tournament and we got tohide our towels and work sunglasses and not like, not twitch. And youknow, transparent negotiation, it's exactly what you said. It's going in likeyour silence ask. It's going in and saying, Hey, litsten, here'sthe 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, tocommitting 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 youtalk about pricing. When you deliver the proposal and at the time you actuallyget down to negotiating, it's flawless. You'll get bigger deals, you'll getbetter 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'twant the back and forth of have something be obscured and then debating with myselfwhether to reveal it. I'd rather just say here's everything that I know aboutmyself 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 donequicker. 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 atpower reviews and I literally laid that out for him and had them roll hisown 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 percentagesthat aligned to those and he said, all right, I'll do ten percentoff and I'll commit for three years. It sounds an amazing when you givepeople a framework and it just structures the whole conversation. The same thing happenedto me recently where they said, well, we want to low our price,happy to do that, if you sign by may first, I cangive you x percent off, they say. And now they are the ones emailingme saying, hey, we really got to get this done to hitthat may first deadline. I said, well, yeah, I'll tell youthere'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 timebuyers 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, thathey, listen, Mr and Mrs Buyer, there's value to our organization and usbeing able to forecast our business. So this proposal expires the end ofMay 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 doneby the end of back and just that language changes it so that when theend of May comes up and they say, Oh, you know what, ourbuyer is on a freaking boat in Atlantis and like there's no cell phonesignal and he's probably going to get swallowed into the ocean, can we signthis 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, andit becomes a much better conversation than just saying no or just saying yes andhaving 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'scondiment 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 inline? Nobody said yes, and then can I cut in line, becausethis 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 inlines, the compliance, you know, the willingness of people to give youwhat you want. When you just provide an explanation, it trigger something inthe brain that that makes them more amenable. As we say. Yeah, Clbnistuff 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 aboutneuroscience, which I don't know if the kind of the world isn't paying enoughattention to it, but the advance is they're making in understanding how the brainworks are incredible and I think it's an opportunity for salespeople. Like if youknow how the brain works and how the brain makes decisions, shouldn't you knowthat as a salesperson? Shouldn't you try to take advantage of that? Andthat's what I'm trying to do, and I know Cldini and a lot ofthese guys have been doing it. More focused on marketing, but there's alot in sales that we can learn about brain function and decision science. They'regoing 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 bringthat. The funny thing is, like I've been reading all these like pureneuroscience books and, by the way, there's so many advancements happening in likehow we can we treat autism, how can we treat Alzheimer's? They're findingall of these little things, like I think the next twenty years are goingto be fascinating around that. But they speak at such a doctoral level thatin the book what I'm trying to do is take it down to like aneighth grade level that even I can understand and make it as useful as Ican for sales people. If it's as good as it sounds like it's goingto be, then I will definitely buy a copy. I will download itto my kindle and my e reading device. Nice. Thank you. You'll bethe one. Exactly. You're the one listener to my podcast and I'mthe one reader of your book. It's right your mid scheme. We canemploy. Let's pay it forward a little bit. We we're sort of ayou 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 alittle while to hear who their influences are and who are the people that inspirethem across the range of personalities are in startup land. So any them VPI'sof sales or crows or sort of sales leaders? That particularly because I'm inNew York. I'm a Big New York guy. I know a lot ofpeople in New York. I don't know that many people in Chicago. Sowho should we know about from the world of sales and selling that's been aninfluence 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 foundedthen and exploded with growth and ended up with that fantastic I said. Youknow, I know he's not a Croro, but he was a CEO and thecofounder, Scott Dorsey, that guy, you know, he really came witha sales first type of approach to building an organization and he's one ofthose guys that even when he's mad,...

...he's smiling. So that the culturethat he oozed from the top. I think is just fantastic. And thenhe hired a guy like Andy Cofoyd. So Andy Cofoyd was the senior vicepresident of sales and now he's the chief operating officer overseeing the entire marketing cloudfor sales force. Wow, but you guys, they just epitomized how Iwould want to model my approach, which is encouragement. How do you getbetter results out of people by making them better at what they do and makingthem like build within themselves this for learning and getting better. And so thosetwo guys have been fantastic. Man, I've worked with lots of them overthe years. You know Dj Paoni, who is now the president of SapNorth America, is a guy that he and I started together back at CEAand sap back in the S, and it's just a quality human being thatjust does things the right way. So there's a lot of stars in Chicagoand the overall Midwest. Well, Indianapolis was not a word I expected tohear on this podcast, and so you have parady done something unexpected. Whatabout on the personal side? Any books that you're reading that you think weshould 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 ortwo 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 tothis is thinking about writing a book, reach out to me. I've learnedso much in this process. One of the funny things that I justfound is that there's this place and it's called a library and they have freebooks that you can borrow that don't make any sense. How does the librarybusiness 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 alot of time because they're doing the research for this book. It's quite aneffort. 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 onis the the neuroscience stuff, and man, there's some really, really good onesthat you know. CLDANI and some of those guys around brain science arereally interesting. There's a book called Brain fluence by Roger Dooley and again it'smarketing focus, but he has like a hundred little tips around. If youknow how the brain works, you can modify your marketing efforts to better whatyou do and there's some interesting kind of sales takeaways from that one. Youknow, there's a bunch of podcast so it's into there. There's two neurosciencebooks that I've read lately that are incredibly interesting. I might be the onlyguy that would think so, though, but there's this book called De Cartserror by Antonio Demascio and it talks about those different regions in the brain andwhat happens when you have damage in different reasons of the brain and tell storiesabout how people's lives have changed based on them, and it is incredibly interestingto hear stories like there's. There's one of this Guy Phineas Gage, whowould be building a Realis gages famous. He's got the thing through his head, the spike, exactly. DEMASSIO talks about that story, about what happenedin his life as a result of the limbic kind of the midbrain being takenout with the Post. He lived like for a long time after. Imean it's crazy story. Yeah, and he was actually joined the circus fora little while and would show people the pipe and showed people the hole inhis head. But another guy that couldn't make a decision and his whole lifefell apart after it happened. That one's super interesting. There's another one calledthe man who mistook his wife for a hat and at the the title soundscrazy, but it's again, it's a neuroscience one around different brain issues thathave 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 knowthem. 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 aboutand ruminating on temp, which is trigger engagement. What's the M finding themobilizer? Mobilizer, and then P is planned a plan. So temp.I'm actually going to try think about using...

...that, because I do believe sostrongly and some of those concepts and I'm excited for your book and I reallyappreciate 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 aspammer. I don't have a newsletter, but you can go. It's reallyeasy to find that. I've got some other resources on there, but allmy contact information is on transparency salecom. Awesome. We will get in touchthat way. Thank you so much for joining the sales hacker podcast and I'lltalk 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 ownbook. The transparency sales sounds quite good and there's a bunch of little interestingtidbits that I picked up on. One of them was this concept that youneed 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 wasnot just telling a prospect that, hey, my calendar is wide open, Ican do any time between eight thirty am and seven PM, but reallymanaging your calendar as if, even if you're not busy, giving the appearanceof being busy with other client conversations to imply and to impress a plan theprospect 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 PMif you want to call me then, or it may be some other mechanismto convey that your time is valuable and scarce and that's because it's drivenby clients. Now, one of the things I will say is, pleasedon't make scarcity a function of your personal vacation schedule. I've often canceled meetingswith reps when I wanted to get a demo or I actually wanted to havea more substantive negotiation, and they say, well, I'm actually going to beout 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 conversationaltogether. That's because, a, I'm a little bit of a Dick andbe because I want the conversation to be about the prospect, and me inthat case, and not about somebody's personal vacation schedule. Now, if youare somebody that I've done that too, I apologize in advance. But youknow, the lesson from my perspective is make it about the prospect while stillcreating the illusion of scarcity if the reality is not quite there yet. Butmake it about the product in the business, not about when you need to getto the gym or often need to work out, or when you intogo on vacation or whether you and your family are going to be in thePalmas or anything like that, and I'm sorry if I've pissed you off byusing specific examples from your real life. This has been Sam's corner and I'lltalk to you soon. To check out the show notes, see upcoming guestsand play more episodes from our incredible lineup of sales leaders, visit sales hackercompodcast. You can also find the sales hacking podcast on itunes or Google playor anywhere that you consume your podcasts. If you enjoyed this episode, pleaseshare with your peers on Linkedin, twitter or elsewhere. Special thanks again tothis 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 canfind me on twitter at Sam f Jacobs, or on Linkedin at linkedincom and slashSam f Jacobs. SEE NEXT TIME.

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