The Sales Engagement Podcast
The Sales Engagement Podcast

Episode · 8 months ago

Beyond Science: The Art of Discovery w/ David Morse

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

People hate to change. We love the comfort of the status quo.

By our very nature, salespeople are agents of change. But what does that mean for discovery?

In this episode, I interview David Morse, Chief Customer Officer/Chief Revenue Officer at TrueMotion, about the art and science of discovery.

What we talked about:

  • The role of discovery in the sales process
  • 2 changes in discovery today: time and information
  • The psychology of change

For more engaging sales conversations, subscribe to The Sales Engagement Podcast on Apple Podcasts, on Spotify, or on our website.

Welcome to the sales engagement podcast,this podcast is brought to you by outbreach the leading sales engagementplatform, helping companies, sellers and customer success engaged withbuyers and customers in the modern sales era, check out sales,engagementcom for new episodes, resources and the book on sales,engagement available on Amazon and Barns and noble or wherever books aresold. Now, let's get into today's episode, hello and welcome everyone tothe sales engagement podcast actually feels like I haven't, hosted one ofthese for a little bit yeah. I was out last week, but it feels good to be backand I missed all the listeners thanks a rocking with us for the next thirtyminutes, or so I have a fantastic guest on today. Today, I'm joined by DavidMorse, who is the chief customer officer and chief Reveni officer overat true most motion. Daved. Welcome to the show thanks nice to be here. ScottHappy Happy, well, happy Thanksgiving for US happy past Thanksgiving for youyeah yeah yeah. I was I was saying before this: It it's one of my favoriteholidays and I don't even celebrate it, because it's like this weird chill day where everyone in theUS is just you know with family and Im, get to just you know, do creative workand things that I love to do so. It's Nice for me in in a different way yeah,but I did call my mom, so you know I got some. I got your good si in thereyeah gool well, David, I'm very excited torent through the topic, and what Weulwe talking about is the science and art of discovery, hugely important topic. Ithink any sales leader will tell you that discovery is the most importantpart of the sales process. At least it will be mentioned in the top three ineveryone's lesser excited. To get there...

...before we go. You've had an incrediblecareer. You know many that that listen to this you know we have a big mix ofanyone from a BDR. That's the on the first week of their new job to seasontecat executives to leadership and Seros, like you, but many anspired tohave acreer like like you have had. How did this all happen and I usuallyframe it this way. You know if you were to tell people the superhearo originstory of David Morew. What would that look like? Well, so you know I grew up New York,New Jersey in a very blue collar background. I think that has somethingto do with it. My Dad was a prison guard for riker's island and my momlast secretary, so we always had a long list of chors and you know a work ethic was reallyimportant. I went to the University of Delaware, but my where I got my firstsales job, which was actually selling advertising to put myself throughschool. So if I didn't sell, I didn't go to school, so that was great and inin school. I was always getting elected to things like student councilPresident Fraternity President, and so I thought, okay, I should go intopolitics. So after chooing to work for a congressman thought I was going tolaw school, but it turns out government super boring. So I wanted somethingexciting. So I joined the Marines and I was an infantry officer, so I startedout as a lieutenant promoted to captain led teams of anywhere from forty to ohundred fifty marines, and it was just at twenty thee years. Old T isleadership ondre an one amazing foundational experience for my career. So then do my sit in the Marines and Irealized that companies were hiring Geni military officers out of theMarines and the other UN forces so into capital one. I started off in a callcenter leading a call center team on the night shift, because I was thejunior guy, but four months get promoted. We got a hundred fifty peoplereporting into me and I had the responsibility of leading this serviceto sales conversion for the whole five hundred Percon contaxt ener, soteaching service raps had as Sel. So I...

...was like my first sales managementsales process job and I'm like. Okay, I'm good at this business thing I likeit. I should probably go get my Mba and just like any good blue collor guy, I'mgoing to go to night school at George Mason, because I was Dan in DC and Isaid: Let's do it, but, as turned out, I ace the G Mat. I went to Harvardbecause when you Applye to Harvard get in I'm like all right, I'm going to goto Harvark and so harver mis school is awesome. You know great education,great networking there would transformed me into the softwarebusiness. This was a turning point. Was I read a case study about Scott CookWos, the founder of intuit know they make quicken quick books mitten and hewas a proctor and gamble marketer and he created accounting software. I'mlike how did you do that? Well, he just took great sales and marketingtechniques and applied them technology, and I said: okay, software is going tobe awesome and they need great sales and marketing people. That's my path,so I joined a startup which was acquired so for the first five years.My career, I did like product marketing product management. I went to a companycalled right now, which was at the time the sales forsecom of customer service.In the cloud I did business development sales, where I convinced Indian callcenters to Oemr R SAS software. Eventually I was there for the IPO andthe company eventually got quired by orcle. Then this is two thousand andfive. I get my first enterprise sales job at a company called thim or said so.This was a SASS company that did sales and service performance managementsoftware, which is a fancy way. It's to sitting its money ball for call centers,but the best part was. I was actually selling to people whose jobs I had done.So I had an incredible degree ofempathe. Even if I didn't have a lot of salesexperience, I was a business man first and I became a salesperson, soeventually became the number one rep vpof he east in Canada. Doing megamillion dollar deals with Verizan Bank of America, United Health Coca Cola.You know we grew that company to seventy five million sold it to anIsraeli company called Nice, which is a...

...multibillion dollar company. That'sfamous for your call may be recorded for quality purposes. Yes, I tried thata few times it think yes yeah. I wont some companies do that so and when we got acquired I ran theeighty million dollar business for a company and another one, but I left tostart a company called Kindu, which was like Youtube for sales people. Sobasically using video anmobile to train salespeople Aguilt, the software withcontractors got the first few customers abut what I realized was. It was avitamin and not a painkiller, and it required a lot of effort on thesalesperson to practice and do things like that, so I figured right. Let mego, do something different, that's more of a painkiller, so part time, VP sales for two SASScompanies for six months and then I found true motion and demotion isWhit's known as a telematic service provider. So think of us is like ifapple health and GA monster had a baby, so apple health. W. We measure how youdrive using your smartphone and if you drive safe, Ye, could save money andthen on the GM on starside will even use the smartphone to detective you'vebeen in a crash, get you help and then streamline the whole process. You knowwhen you get in a crash and intact number one insurance. Canada is ourMarqui customer up there progressive if Geiko. So I was the first businesshiher. So VPF sales coming in is the first right number. Thirteen in thecompany we had like no customers, no revenue, so I go get the firstcustomers and then I start building the team and growing the business over fiveyears, five and a half years, and so we've gone a true motion from zero to amultideckamillion dollar arr business and my team o by the end ofq one willbe about thirty between sales marketing, customer success, tech support and Yeat.As you mentioned before, I love training. I love teaching. I LoveCoaching, I love good discovery, and so I felt motivated to write a book tokind of give back to all the people who would helped me along the way get goodat it. I love that and if, if the listeners kind of jaws aren't on thefloor, while you're listening to that that story, I don't know what whatbackground will will possibly impress...

...you. I have this little smallwhiteboard that I take notes. Oe like got okay. I want to circle back to that.I want to striccle back to that. Usually it's about half full by thetime the episode ends. I have tout hole now. The whole thing is full becausethere's so much like dad being a prison guard, I want to quickly touch on that.How, as that experience growing up, was he as as as strict as one might think, a prisonguard that would be with you. He was he was well. Actually he was just areally awesome, loving man, he 's only told us. He was proud of us so likefrom that perspective, like he wasn't like super severe, he was as supertough. So yea, who would lift waigts with US wrestle with us we'd, alwayshave chores. He always instilled like this, because he always used to workextra shift to make money in so e was instilled in us just like reallyworking HARF. That was the thing I think I took from him and just he wasjust good at his job he's a tough man he's really respected by his staff and other prisoners reallygood leader, so very, very fortunate to have him as my father for sure, yeah, it's so interesting, trying to likepiece together where Itall all kind of comes from, because you know you takethis leadership lesson from from Your Dad. You go into to college and you seemingly get youknow. You said I kept getting kind of Electiv to things. What do youaltribute? That to was that something annate? How did you put yourself inpositions to be elected to like the student councel and things like that? Probably it's just. I never really thought about it. Ithink I just was blessed with of a good optimistic personality and could communicatereally well was funny. You know- and things like that, so, as is always anthe just care, you know and worked hard and so to change things that were, youknow, maybe be a part of something...

...bigger than myself yeah, and so youknow e, just us always just used to step up an into leadership positions orjust felt natural yeah yeah. It's interesting trying to define the actualquality that that brings people to want to follow, follow someone, but I thinkit he did a great job there and then there's all sorts of ther things. Iwould love to bag more into the like your experience in the Marines and thengoing into this. This call center motion, but because we only have thirtyminutes or lacquisition, there's all all sorts of things in the background,I'd love to go in, but I want to give ample time to really dive into thistopic, which is incredibly important. You're writing a book. How far along,are you on this book? So I am still in the middle of writing. My first draft,so the old saying, Mark Twain if I wouldhave written your shorter letter, if I had more time probably I will apply alittle bit to today, but hopefully I'll make up for it. With a little bit ofexperience with this stuff yeah, I feel like there's there's about three booksin my head right now, Yeah N, this topic, I love that's actually one of mymy favorite quotes and I write a a newsletter every week and that thatthat quote pops into my head every time and I go back and just strip out, likeprobably half of it. So I can. I can and that's so that's another thing- I'dlike to dive into separately, but here we are, let's get into it: the art andscience of Discovery. Let's start by defining whatwhat is discovery like what is discovery in the sales process? Yeah,it's got the way I define it is. I think it's the practice of learningabout and developing the buyers needs and buying process. I think when mostpeople think about discovery, they just equate it with questions andinterrogations, and I don't think that's true. I think it's you know youare learning and you know most sales. People don't doenough of that. They do more pitching...

...than they do learning and then, in theother hand, they're not potentially pitching in the right way like you candevelop by our needs. By the way you tell stories by the examples, use notjust doing a feature barage of what your saw of where it does. So I thinkit's a it's a process of listening and then that's a process of activelycausing change. I would say in the process so yeah the praciss oflearning about and developing he viras needs and buying process, yeah, okay,so learning what the buyers needs, I'm learning about the buying process andwhere does that? Where does the art come into it and where there's thescience come into it in your in your eyes, yeah well, so on the artside?Well, let me take the science side first yeah, because I think there isyou know I was you know. thereare call recording solutions out there like Gongand chorus, and some of these others that have actually quantified a lot ofwhat's happening inside the sales call, and you know things from a scientificperspective like the ratio of listen to talk for a salesperson. As I listen sixty percent of the time I talk forty percent of thetime about you know that more effective discoverycalls don't just ask all the questions up front and then have the bier talkfor the rest of the time you sprinkle them throughout. So there's all sortsof data on these types of things, there's all sorts of data, likepsychological studies around how people respond to different types of questionslike how questions are better than why question. So, if you cound phrase yourquestion as a how Instiad of a, why is probably going to be less threateningto the buyer, so there's all sorts of stuff, that's on the science side ofdiscovery and then on the art of discovery. What I would say is you knowas a sales person, you need to be prepared, so most tales, people don'trite their questions down. They don't know what questions they want to ask on.Ta, Givand sales call recuarse those things, but at the same time you haveto be ready to let go of that plan and go with the buyer in the moment, butalso gently bring it back to because...

...you don't want to wander so it's likethis, I would say it's almost like you know what a control chartist it's like,there's the there's the mean, there's the averady Han a the upper and lowerbound you kind of want to oscillate and bring it back to the to the goal of thecall but be willing to go places with the buyer, where they wantn' to go andbe in the moment, rather than I just got my list of questions. I said Iwould ask it on this call. Let me just ask those things if I get it done hisgreat, but you have to be responsive and you know one of the things wetalked about, I'm also an imp of comedian and my spare time and one ofthe things that's really taught me is to be present and to listen and tolisten to the very last thing that person said in really keyin on that most people, the art of it, is they'rethinking about the next thing, they're going to say, and they miss we miss theopportunity to connect to go deeper and do those sorts of things. So you knowthat's how I that's a that is just a sampling of what isinvolved when I say the science in the art of discovery, so yeah, I'm I'm right there with you.We've all been in those situations where it almost feels like what wouldbe a good analogy like going like bowling and your you're going this wayand t t you're like bumper cars, and they won't. Let you go in certaincertain directions, exact. Well, that's actually what I what I want, and thatcan be incredibly incredibly frustrating, particularly with a moreinformed byer right, we're seeing buyers that are are smarter than everright. They've done their research, there's all sorts of dat out there.That's that's helling us, hey there theire halfway to a biing decision bythe time they talk to you, they know their stuff. So when you're withholdinginformation, it can be incredibly frustrating what's different in youreyes from discovery today, with this new kind of digital age, we're allselling from home, there's more information than ever then say evenfive years ago, which I think many people are still teaching...

...yeah. So I, if I were to summon up intwo words, what's different, I think it's time and information, so you hiton one of the central points. You know I think time is scarcer to so number.One buyers have so much more information today than they ever havehad in the past. In you will you can typically arrive lateto a process when they decide to call their three options in to consider whothey're going to go with, and so there you have less time to influence thedeal. Second thing is, you know we talked about on the prep call gardenersbeen doing amazing work in this, the buying committee right, it's comprisedof five o fifteen people, so chances are, you are not going to have time tomeet influence on them. Personally, I think there's more people involved inthe buying process, O Tey, especially at the enterprise level, and then thelast thing is, you know I think gardener also, this is a statistic fromthem. Is that at fifteen to twenty percent of the sale, cycl o the buyingcycle time, the byeril actually engage with suppliers. So now you're splittingthat time with two to three other competitors, and so you really havefive percent of the sale cycle to directly influence the outcome, and sowhy? Those are the reasons why and when you actually do the math, how manyfailures for each opportunity can you really afford to have when you do getin front of somebody to gather information and really develop theirneeds and the buying process? Not many yeah. You said a few, a few thingsthere that I want to Houn in, and I agree with with all of it and and Ithink we're it's going to just get worse right. People are going to thisthis problem of this time. Problem the'll be more information less time.That's that's the direction we seem to be going, but you said something thereHese these larger buying committees and I'm hearing a lot of frontline repsstruggling with. So they get. Let's say...

...all the right stake holders. They gotfive of the the right people in the room hut. They have a thirty minute.Zoom call to do their first kind of discovery. Kickoff needs analysis and it's simply not enough time to goto each individual and truly understand each individual needs because theyprobably have hade different different needs. Ind Different wants anddifferent KPIS and all sorts of things. How do you coach people to do properdiscovery when it's not just a one on one situation? Does it does it changeit does? So you will find yourself in those situations and you have to do thebest job. You can gaining participation. However, you think, even in thatsituation, therere things you can do so you could still develop a champion andhave several calls with a champion to lay the ground work and get thisinformation. Your champion probably knows a lot right, so I call it. Youknow: preri wiring, the meeting or pregaming the meeting or preparing justwith your champion like if your champion is your champion and they're,really a mobilizer as a guy as got gardener, calls them they're going toknow a lot of this information. So even though you won't have all the time youcan ask for more time, you cald spend more time with your champion. You canmake a good impression and say woald. It make sense for us to talk more. So sometimes you just got to take whatthey give you make. The most out of it and really make a good impression. Thisis why you can't stumble and wander. This is why you have to be so practicedand rehearsed and prepared and know why you're asking these questions in adeliberate way, because again, if that is thats, nms move yourself momentright, you have it right. There N don't waste it, but there are options. Ithink there are options and some some of those options will happen. Some ofthose options won't happen and at the end of the day, you try to make themhappen and you do the best you can yeah move forward yeah.

I agree. I follow a question to that.So when you have the right people in the room and I'm trying to impressright, it's my it's, my lose lose yourself moment. I love thatdescription and you know it's hard to press some might say by only just askingquestions. Of course, if you're asking really thoughtful questions, you canshow a level of knowledge there. Do you suggest you teach weaving in storiesgiving them some? You know we always talk about giving value or is it tooprecious and we need to extract as much information as possible. You know, Ithink I saw something that described it very well, my philosophy onest so goinghas a really good video on discovery. I think around the call if the discovery,prompter Oky, so the idea of that is either telling a story or sharing someexamples of problems that you saw for whatever persoona happens to be infront of you, and you demonstrate that you understand you demonstrate that youhave experience and then you could ask questions so that is another way of Ithink finding information from people were you say, like look, you know Scottand my busess are you: Are you concerned that the variablesyou're using to price insurance don't have the predictive power that theyused to have specifically prior loss, history? Absolutely and Yoa Niht? Yes,so let me tell you so right. This is a good example. This is why talematics ishappening, and let me tell you about when another ensurer saw when theyadopted telematics. If because those other vareols were becoming weaker, butI felt like they were a a disadvantage against the competitors that actuallyuse it so there what I'm demonstrating is like. Okay, I've identified aproblem that you definitely care about. I understand it o only don't Iunderstand it, but we've helped somebody solve that problem, and so now,...

...what have you learned? Scott about thepredictive nature of prior loss? History, tell me about what you'reseeing right, so that allows me to transition into a question after I havesaid. I understand you, I'm an expert. Go there with me. Trust me to ask thesequestions because I have a certain level of expertise. Yeah yeah, I likethat. I like that ot all right last question and then I want to kind of getinto some takeways and these will probably bleed into each other a littlebit as you're. Writing this book and you're sitting down and you're. Really,you know thinking through discovery. The Art in the science were there anything that almost seemed counterintuitivethat maybe you've been doing your whole career, but but didn't understand ituntil you actually sat down and reallythought about it put another way. What were some of the lightbolb moments inthat in the book, so I don't know thate. It was a superpipiny because, like a lot of the things I'm writing about, I feel likeI've known, and I do you know somethings better than others, ofcourse. But what I would say is what I really thought deeply about. Is thepsychology of change more than anything else like I'vealways known this, but I think I've known it at a surface level, not atlike a biological and psychological level. So, for example, like we thinkof ourselves in sales as we sellchange but the fact Thas people hate change,they love the status quote. They Love Comfort, they love what they alreadyhave right, even if it's irrational, even if it's suboptimal right because B,when you ask somebody that jus change, it brings really three different typesof things. One is the risk of loss. It may actually get worse. I mean losesomething right: Beso thit's lost the version to is this cognitive distance?I view the world is this way I have what I have and I view we shouldoperate this way, you're introducing something new to me, and that is liketwo fighters in my brain duking it out...

...over this concept. It makes meuncomfortable and I will do anything to resolve that discomfort. Thatis doesbiologically what's happening in your brain and then the other. The lastthing is it insites fear, so fear is nothing more than potential things thatcould happen down the road that I'm afraid of that may or may not come topass like ill, lose control I'll be perceived as the guardian of the oldsolution and not with it anymore, like just all this stuff that happens, andso, if you can understand this and make it easy for people to change and be achange agent, that's really important and I used to think that the saleperson was the doctor. The sales person was the expert they ai, you know thesales, the doctor diagnoses, they prescribe they treat they have allthe answers. This is not true, I think, of the salesperson as a chainge agent,who is on one part, you are a whaldiou call it a like, like anadvisor teasing out the best solution, O your coach, encouraging them to change your an advisor helping themfigure out like what do I need to do to actually make this change happen and ifyou think gof yourself like that, rather than I know it all, I'm askingthe Question D. You answer my questions. I'll tell you what to do. I think that's a really am I alwayskind of knew that, but I feel like I've crystallized that thought process the more I've just justwallowed in it yeah I like that a lot so be the the changeagent, not the doctor. I remember starting out. That was certainly what Iwas told by all my. My leadership is now you're, just you're a doctor. Youknow you're the expert, but I agree with that, and there was a lot of goldin there. I would. I would go relisten to that last that forty five secondswith the psychology of of change, because that's some some powerful SteffTat Act David. So I could probably talk...

...to you all day about this, because I'ma massive sales, nerd and you're a wealth of knowledge, but we're runningagainst time here. So my last question is always this: You can take it one oftwo ways: People are busy. Someone could be, you know working out blockingthe dog whatever and you can only absorb so much information. So ifpeople only remember you know three things from this episode or just threethings that you'd like to to tell the listeners. What would you want? Thosethree things to be yeah? I thought about this cind. I give three thingsfor reps and three things for managers. Yes, absolutely I so loim I'll, take itofl, all right awesome! So for the reps, I think it's write down your questionsand practice them. If you don't do this, and do this before every calleventually to get comfortable and have them handy during the call, so if youget off track, you can kind of come back and remember just remember, you're,going into a call with a goal of learning. Some things make sure you dothat you're prepared to is just get really good at asking. Where is thebuyer? It doesn't mean they're located in Texas. It means where are they inthe buying process? So are they in the wareness phace the consideration phasethe decision phase, because I think you can make assumptions about wheresomebody is and do the wrong thing and so always ask early ask other people,because different people to see if o might be here and the VP of marketingmight be here and then. The third thing is when you hear something interesting,Wallo and wait and dig because a lot of times you know like let's say I'mselling you'll be like Oh David great, you have talematics, I've been lookingfor Telemaxi and I would say great. Let me present to you my solution. Instead,what I should do is that's really interesting and a lot of people arereally fired up without it right now. Can we take a step back and tell melike how is it that you came to this decision that you need telematics in dig, because I think that's whereall the specifics and all the gold are and like when you get to the end ofthes Salcycle, that deal is not going...

...to push it's not going to take forever.It's going to be what you're going to spend your time on the right thingswhen you get that information, because the other thing is the surface thing,so write your questions down a practice and where's the buyer. When you hear Fsomething interesting wall for the managers, I would say: Ask problemquestions early when somebody puts something into the discovery phase inyour pipeline. Ask a lot of specifics like what problem are they trying tosolve? Who has this problem was the impact of solving that problem, and ifyou do not hear specifics, like really good details, you know it's not gooddiscovery. Right. Second, is coach reps before their meetings to focus on thequestions they're going to ask and roll play with them. So until you get thehabit of doing this, that's H, you know o lot of times thesales manner say. Well, what are you going to present to the prospect today?Yeah everybody knows what they're going to present. What are you going to learntoday? Is the other thing you should be asking, and then the third thing Iwould say is use call recording for postmeeting reviews and you could buildfilters that will look for things like engaging questions and you cand sharethe nippats and thing. So I think it's like this technology is here beforebefore we had this technology had to kind of do a remembrance review of whathappened on that call. You don't have to do that anymore. You could actuallylike hear it, which is freaking amazing, that this is just so democratized now yeah, that Wall Yeh, that Wasonquestions an only coach up, premeeting and then use recording yeah. I lovethat the two things that stuck out to me because hey've had a personal impact.Is You R, your wallowing weight tip? I remember getting that one at one pointin my career and it changed the game. It was a light bod moment I used toTese to give me like. Oh Yeah, we've been huge fans, but oh that's, awesomeand then move on, but you can use that be. Oh amazing. What made you such hugefans and then they just like go on this montage and they give you so much gold.I love that one and Tand the other...

...other one for leaders of what you'regoing to learn in this call is a really healthy mindset, switch that thatchanges the Game David. Thank you so much again, like I said I could. Icould talk to you for probably the next hour, we'll haveto have a followup episode when your book does drop, so all the listenersout there. We can't pick it up yet do we have a a work on name or shouldpeople just Google David more in three months. Tat Yeah worry about that.I'm still playng with titles, it's not important now. I will certainly be checking out whenit drops we'll do a follow up when it does Davit think you so much foryourtime and to all the listeners. We will we'll see next time, yes, cot. Thankyou for having me it's a lot of fun and really appreciate the work you do.Thank you rether Arigh. This was another episode of the Sales Engagementpodcast join us at sales, engagementcom for new episodes, resources and thebook on sales. Engagement now available on Amazon, Barns and noble or whereverbooks are sold to get the most out of your sales engagement strategy, makesure to check out outrage the leading sales engagement platform. Se You onthe next episode.

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