The Sales Hacker Podcast
The Sales Hacker Podcast

Episode 174 · 3 weeks ago

Friday Fundamentals: Don Addington

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Hey everybody, it's Sam Jacob's welcome to the sales hacker podcast. Happy Friday. You're listening to Friday fundamentals. You know, Friday fundamentals a short five to tend minute format where we bring you actionable insights to help make a difference in what you do today. Um, we've got this week's guest back on the show, Don Addington, the CR OH chief revenue officer at tackle, and Don is going to talk to us about his pieces of advice, his advice for you as a seller, as we are navigating what is, as I mentioned earlier this week, it protracted economic malaise, a recession. Something right. We're not sure what's going on in the economy, but we know that things are different and they're changing and we need to arm ourselves and equip ourselves with the right mindset, the right mentality, the right practices to to steer our way through this difficult period, and Don's going to give us his advice on that. Now, before we get there, we want to thank our sponsors. We've got too for Friday fundamentals. The first is outreach. Outreach triples the productivity of sales teams and empowers to drive predictable and measurable revenic...

...growth by prioritizing the right activities and scaling customer engagement with intelligent automation outreach makes customer facing teams more effective improves the visibility to what really drives results. Were also brought to you by pavilion. Our private membership connects you with the network of thousands of like minded peers and resources where you can tap into leadership opportunities, professional development, mentorship and other services made for high growth leaders like your make sure you take advantage of the pavilion for teams corporate membership and enroll your entire go to market team in one of our industry leading schools and courses, including our upcoming recession pack. Selling through an economic downturn, marketing through an economic downturn and leadership through an economic downturn. FIND OUT MORE AT JOINT PAVILION DOT com. Now, Don thanks for bearing with us. Welcome back to the show. Say I'm great to be here for to be back. We're great. We're excited to have you back. So the question we have for you is this. What is your what is your advice that you would give to sellers that are about to navigate what for them, may be the first time they've ever seen, you know, an number that goes down and not...

...up when it comes to the economy, the job market and got and and spending and purchasing habits of their customers. What do you what advice do you have for us? Yeah, great question, and a lot of it is really relevant to what we're doing at tackle and Um. And you know, we'll we'll turn this into, hopefully, a couple of tips for sellers to to think about. Um and in a in a way we've we've been through this a bit in the early days of Covid. I mean I think what we saw in the early days of COVID was everybody freaked out right all of a sudden everybody's working from home. Um, I don't know last company you sold to where legal, procurement and the business all worked really well together when they were under one damn roof, but when you put them all at home and trying to make them all work together, every freaked out and they said, hey, stop buying stuff, no more buying, you know, no no new vendors. Uh. Software companies said, hey, freeze the hiring plans and we don't know should we reduce our number for the year? We're going through a lot of those things again right now. And what we saw...

...the tackle Um during covid is, you know, tackle helps our customers leverage the cloud marketplaces like a US and Azure and GCP and red hat um to sell their software right, and the way that works is you can essentially, you know, do a deal with your customer and landed on a pre existing cloud bill. And the value in that for the for the buyers in early covid days was, hey, maybe I really wanted to bring on this new software vendor, but all of a sudden vendor managements locked up, legals locked up. You know, I can't bring on new new vendors. Ah, but if I could land this new software provider on an existing bill, Um, that actually was, you know, kind of an end around. Um. We saw budget that was available Um for cloud budget, cloud spind Um and being able to tap into that cloud spend because you're landing your software on that cloud bill. Um. So those are some of the things we saw...

...early in in in covid Um and we're they're starting to repeat again now. and to to make that more generic for sellers, you know, what I would say is a couple of things. Number One, for me, it all starts with discovery and how you engage with a prospect and how most sellers want to engage is, I know you have a problem, I know I can solve your problem, so let me tell you all about how I can solve your problem. Well, you need to slow down and take a step back and really get genuinely interested in am I actually understanding your problem right? Do you maybe have another problem? Do you like where are you at? And so the discovery process, I find, is generally geared to ask, you know, a couple of questions to confirm what you think you already know. So your prospect can shut the hell up and you can get to your demo. That is not going to work Um, and so, you know, my first tip is, you know, figure out how to do authentic...

...discovery and have an authentic conversation. For us here at tackle, we sell the software companies. You know, we, most of us, have been software sellers, you know, for at least a couple of years, if not many, you know, a dozen or more years. So we can show up with empathy, we have understanding for the business and we can start to ask a lot of questions that are like hey, before I dive into what tackle can do for you or what marketplace can do for you, let's talk about Your Business. You know, what do you sell? Who Do you sell it to? Where do you find the problems in the in the selling process? Um, and really engaging, like out of curiosity, you know, not out of a rush to go. You know, okay, great, tick the box on three questions and I can jump in my demo. Your prospect can smell that for a mile away. They're like, Hey, you don't care about me. You know, you're just you're just trying to sell me whatever you got in your bag and you don't really know about me yet. So I'd say authentically engage now more than ever, right, and understand, you know, what the true need is. The second thing that's really important, um, is understand what the most advantageous way for your...

...buyer to acquire software is. And you know, that is a nuanced conversation, but I think early on we tend to do it way too late in a sales cycle. Right, Um, we tend to to, you know, do all the selling and, you know, get all the agreement and, yeah, we want to buy it and then you get and come to like, okay, let's get this deal done. Well, it turns out you're too expensive. I don't have enough budget. That budget got cut. You know, you're gonna hear budget got cut about a million times, you know, in the next six months or more. And so what's your plan? You know, how do you? How do you get around that? Um, I'd say earlier on shifted to the left and the conversation talk about one of your most advantageous ways to buy software, and one of the questions you can ask is, what's your relationship with the hyper scale cloud providers? Where are you spending? Are you spend a lot of money with aws? Spend a lot of money with G CPS? You know, and your buyer, even if you're selling a marketing automation tool or, you know, something that's not even in the I t stack, is probably gonna go. You...

...know, why do you care about that? It's a perfect opening to talk about your company software being easy to acquire and whether you want to go direct or when you want to go through a channel partner, or landing on a cloud bill that already is existing. And, by the way, cloud spent is not decreasing even through a downturn, right, um. And so that's you know, we really care deeply about the marketplaces because we think that they can help accelerate sales cycle. We think that they can open up budget dollars Um and even if the preferred route purchase isn't through a marketplace, you know, finding out early on in the process, how do we get this done? What's the path to getting there, instead of going through a process and finding out the end like we can't. It sounds like very simple math, but it doesn't happen a lot today. So those are a couple of things that I think are just more and more important and relevant to sellers as they try to navigate through what's going to be, you know, tricky waters for the next little bit here. Yeah, absolutely. And and so the keys...

...from your perspective are let's make sure we're doing great discovery and really listening authentically, and also let's make sure we understand the buying process and how these folks buy correct awesome. Uh, Don it's been amazing having you on the show this week. Remind US if folks want to get in touch with you, what's the best way? Yeah, I mean the fastest, easiest way is to go to Linkedin. Um My linkedin profile there's UH actually share the same name with my dad, so you might find another Don Addington. Just make sure it's the one who's the C R o a tackle and uh, that's the fastest way to get to me. Awesome folks want to reach out to me. A Ken Linkedin DOT COM. Forward, slash the word in. Forward Slash Sam F Jacobs. Thanks again to our sponsors, pavilion and outreach. Don Great having you on the show and everybody else. We'll talk to you next time.

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