The Sales Engagement Podcast
The Sales Engagement Podcast

Episode · 2 years ago

How the Sales Experience in B2C is starting to Affect B2B Sales w/ Tim Flynn


What if you had a crystal ball?

What if you could see the trends and changes that would take place in sales over the next few years? Well, that's sort of what Tim Flynn has. (he says he doesn't, but we're not convinced).

A seasoned expert, Tim came on The Sales Engagement podcast to talk about a shift he expects to see in the B2B space.

Welcome to the sales engagement podcast.This podcast is brought to you by outreach dot ioh, the leading sales engagementplatform helping companies, sellers and customer success engaged with buyers and customers in themodern sales era. Check out sales engagementcom for new episodes resources in the bookon sales engagement coming soon. Now let's get into today's episode. Hey everyone, welcome back to another episode of these sales engagement podcast. I'm your host, Jovi, a senior content managing editor over at outreach, and today weare joined by Tim Flynn, a season veteran successful director of development which fora number of companies and he, through his years of experience, has lookedinto the future and has seen the next transformative moment in sales. I'll letthat sink in for a moment. He's going to look into his crystal balland let us know what's coming. Before we get into that on the Tazzabonover to Tim, who can't introduce himself and tell us a little bit abouthis background. Tim, thank you so much for being on the show today. No, thanks so much, Joe. And Yeah, Crystal Ball, I'mnot quite sure, and do appreciate a lot of the trigger words andIntro but yeah, I've been been in a wide variety of sales rolls overthe years, pushing about ten years of experienced from startups to establish Polka Jackcompanies and once again appreciate the opportunity to join the podcast today. Hey,I appreciate you being on the show today and we're going to be talking alittle bit about sales experience. We've talked about customer experience a lot, butthe sales experience maybe a floor in term to some of our listeners. Canyou give us a background on how you started getting focused on on sales experienceand kind of the experiences and potential impact you see it having on sales?You just so you know, there's only so much we can actually control andsales right and so over the years I've found, you know, especially inlarger deal cycles, more of your typical enterprise level sales, that the wayto truly differentiate yourself is what you provide of a becoming that trust to giveadvisor, which the catalysts of that usually is the experience you provide to thefolks you're dealing with, and a lot of the Times that expands across youknow, business functions and rolls of various levels. So you know the topicthat you know how to bring to attention. It's not like I'm looking to pullthe, you know, fire alarm here, but I think it's somethingthat I think it would be valuable for individual contributors and, most importantly,a lot of our sales leaders out there at least keep on the radar.And where this stems from was I was sitting as late two thousand and eighteen. It CXTOS has more experienced stocks down to Atlanta and the keynote there wastalking about this huge paradigm shift on how...

...these even large Portune five hundred companiesare going about transforming their products and weary really the design side to then howthey're getting in front and providing value to their consumers is really been flipped upsidedown. So the whole time I was looking down my notebook and I justthe question just kept resonating with me on what does this mean to sales?You know, we live in such a digital technology driven society now and weknow that's only going to exponentially grow. So if they these other functions aregoing to market differently, we need to start to think about how, then, we are going to actually cute and bring that to market through a saleslens. So that's kind of what brought me to a really starting to diginto this topic and hopefully surface up some good info that would be beneficial forother seals professionals. Any that gives us a good starting point, a littlebit of background before we kind of dive in. But can you give ussome more context around what you're seeing and what you're talking about, maybe someof the experiences that you've you've gone through that have helped shape this? Yeah, yeah, so, I mean let's think about you know, whatever organizationyou work with, if you're, you know, in the services side oryou're in Sass sale side and you're selling a product or multiple products, it'susually this inward outward view of like are we have this great product or service, we're looking to go in the market. Let's talk about messaging, let's figureout these various prompters to show the value we could provide companies. Andthat is, you know, from what I've seen and heard, and Ihave some examples here on you know, that really has been turn upside down. So what would I you know. But big takeaway from the CXOX andAtlanta was that you know companies, and we're talking you know the Ubers ofthe world, you know to you know Walmart and Erebnb, and I'll givea few examples here in a minute, have really started that discussion and howthey design product or service on the experience level. So let me explain thata bit. So they're designing and intentional. By intentional, they they're looking atthe experience as the focal point and then what is the best way,in the best experience, to provide and backing into you know, what typeof organizational structure? What do we need to support this on a delivery side, etc. And you know, really thinking about sticky brands. The folksthat are really driving that experience in the largest impact on that experience and theirhyper relative relevant on that experience level are going to be sticky in nature.So let's talk about a few examples here. So we have uber. It wasjust announced that a red an article the other day Uber partnered with anothercompany, being starbucks. So let's say... land, you get the firstdeparture flight, you have a business meeting once you landslated for about an hour, but you had a thirty minute flight delay, you really need your caffeine, you're struggling big presentation and what they've done is designed the experience where,Oh yeah, your ruber driver picks you up and it's not only they couldbe playing your favorite music, but they also have your favorite starbucks beverage toenjoy on that ride. And then, you know, another one are BNB, airbnb and the use of the nomenclature experiences, so that's not only hey, I can go rent someone else's property, but they can also leverage that localnetwork of provider services companies to really round out that kind of all inclusivetrip for you, your family or a business trip, making a real seamlessand easy for the individual that's looking to maybe visit a certain or new areaaround the world. And then this is the one that really interests me andis it's talked about removing all of the day to day minutia that we haveto deal with when we're I know we're super busy in our day to daylives, but you know, Walmart, for example, is partnering with alot of the smart refrigerator manufactures, such as Samsung. We're not only willthey let you know where you you know your staple items are within being Oh, you're almost out, or Oh, you know, this one's getting yourexpiration. But it will automatically paying someone like Walmart, and Walmart will thencome delivered. Not only deliver, they want to put that product in directlyin your refrigerator. So you're completely removed. So you know, I know that'sa lot, you know through the Lens of a B Toc, butthinking about that level of an experience, you know, and and then usand the SASS sales be tob side. Those experiences are going to translate toexpectations throughout all industries and also functions. So those are those are some examplesthat really sparked my interests of really understanding what that means to us as salesprofessionals. And then what do we need to do to make sure that we'renot reactive if the shift does fully get adopted in the market? And Ithink you're totally right here that those expectations that are being set by the BTCexperience are absolutely being transferred over to be tob as sales. I mean,HMM, on demand. You want things fast, you want things now andyou want things at an affordable price. I mean, Amazon has ruined meright. I don't go to the story where I order everything, and thefridge thing kind of freaks me out. It's like, well, this isyour fourth beer delivery this week, Joe. You know, like whill am Iis going to know how much I drink. But what other than,you know, monitoring my alcohol and Dake? What are some of the other commonthemes that you're seeing in this, in the shift, this more customerfocus shift that's happening? Yeah, yeah,..., you know, you lookat those examples. You know, just to make a simple here.So we have, you know, the refrigerator, we have the UBER,we have the the trip through here BNB. Once again, there's are all thinkingabout the end consumer and what that provides. So to make my lifeeasier or add value through that Lens. So a big thing which you know, for the folks operating in the sales force ecosystem as an SI, oris be type partner or sales force directly telling various you know, they're cladapplications. There's a very large ecosystem of individuals out there and you know rightnow for my own experiences, there is it's kind of company by a companyon what that Alliance and Partnership Network looks like. And all of those experienceonce again span outside of hey, this is my product or this is myrole of my company and the direct benefit of you buying something more, oryou know, you booking this trip through my application. You know, thesespan across companies because these companies are being proactive and understanding that, yes,maybe that I don't get the monetary direct impact from that starbucks Mocha that youordered, but if you choose me as Uber over lift because this is thevalue I can provide you as a consumer, I know that you're going to bebooking me over another option out there. So that's where I see partnerships beinga very big aspect of it. And then the third being what welove talking about, his data and insights right. So the hard thing,and I'm so excited to see what Gen Z is really getting to disrupt.I feel they're going to be hyper once again and focus on leveraging technology.They're going to be grinders and they're going to be super efficient and not putup with laborious tasks out there that could be automated. So we think aboutthose Kpis, we truchually measure on sea sat scores Or, you know,whatever effectiveness of client retention. Those metrics and those Kpis are going to haveto then extend experience servant across platforms. So I also view that is goingto be one of those barriers for companies to truly adopt. Because where doyou start? What are those measurements look like? I'm different than Uber.I sell a SASS product. What do I measure? So it's going tobe a lot of transformation in regards to how we gage success and it's goingto be focus on the experience and then understanding the various levels of impact thathas throughout that relationship. And let's talk about that impact. Okay, let'sassume that successful companies are going to spot this change happening, the shift happening. How is this going to impact directly how they how they sell, howthey engage with prospects and customers in the...

...future? Yeah, so, youknow, I alluded to this earlier, but my view on experience is justthink about any experience you had in your own you know, personal life orbusiness life. Those stick with you. You know the good, the bad, the ugly, you know. So experiences are not silod they translate acrossall aspects of our lives and then those set future expectations. So we talkedabout, you know, earlier my example of yes, partnerships, alliances.We're going to have to do better for us to align with that whole sellingecosystem to provide what that experience looks like to the end purchaser, and that'sgoing to be on a executive level down to we'll see, an end usertype level. And also that means sales team structures need to change. We'veseen recently, Joe. You know, five years ago what was sales enablementand people would be like, all right, what's what do you mean by that? Are you a trainer? And and now that's like every SASS companyprobably has at least one, if not a whole team built out with them. Seales ops another, you know, new term. So I see thattranslating the sales experiences because in experience, once again, it's not just thebuying experience but the more macro aside. So the experience and the BEOB spacestems from a sales development. How we're reaching out, how we're educating,getting the attention of her potential buyers demonstrating, because a lot of things are doing. You know, before they contact us around research and then from theirwarranting engagement. So there is going to be a big impact done. Hey, I don't think the str Oh, yeah, you you're interested. Here'smy three boxes to qualify you. Now I'm going to introduce you to,you know, Tim Flynn, and then we'll now I get introduce you tothe solutions engineer. So, long story short, it's going to be notonly and the nice thing to have the alignment between sales marketing services in delivery. There's going to be half of that alignment across all of the various businessfunctions, especially if it's client facing rolls. So the risk being, you know, the folks that are less agile, maybe some larger companies that can't reallychange structure. I see that being a big potential risk for them.I mean, and I bet you a lot of the listeners here today havebeen through some form of change the lens of scales, either it's adoption ofa sales automation tool like outreach or a crm or a sales process and especiallyif you're a sales leader, you know how long that takes. For trueadoption and then that being standardized acrossed the entire sales organization. So that's why, you know, when we talk about the alignment, I think that's goingto be a mentally key for us to be successfully here moving forward, ifthis integration of the experiences truly gets to...

...the level that it's been clipping attoday, and then we're going to have to make sure that we translate thatthrough all aspects of client facing roles moving forward. I mean it sounds likethis is going to take a lot of effort and rearranging of moving parts thatmost sales teams have currently. What you say to a sales leader who saysnow, I mean, what we're doing right now is working just fine.It's going to continue to work. It's where it's in the past and there'sno reason for me to worry that the consumer experiences that we're our customers aregoing through every day is going to alter. You know how they how they lookat what I'm doing like. What do you say to that person who'sjust like, I'm going to stick with the status quo? Well, we'veseen all that. I mean, let's look at the sales leaders that stuckwith a status quo and then they're on Prim application turned assass you know,like that's that was a huge transformation within the market. Anybody that is notthat thinks that status quoted day is going to work tomorrow, is not goingto be successful. You know. So, once again, like I don't havethat crystal ball, even the Joe, you know, you get wonderful introhere. So you know, so it's so, yeah, so.So my my goal here, once again is I think this is a veryimportant thing for at this point, we need to at least keep an eyeon, for us to discuss as sales leaders, as sales professionals. Toptalent, your sales eagles out there will always adapt. They know experiences arekey and their success and they also know when a company's not set up tosuccessfully deliver on their product or service, they will go elsewhere. So,you know, I think that's a great KPI from a leadership standpoint, isunderstanding. Well, why are we having such turn well, we've probably madeit harder to sell because we're not delivering potentially the same experience as our competitoris, which once again, as a differentiator. So, you know,moving forward, where I planned to hopefully start answering some of these questions andprovide some more context, you know, is that this cannot be a silodiscussion from just sales folks, you know. So it's the understanding, you know, a wide variety of industry, is a wide variety of purchasers andtheir influence on the decisionmaking process of what's define that optimal experience from an evaluationstandpoint. But then let's take a step back and and let's talk about thegood and also the bad experience you had on that full relationship with that company. And when I did some sales training throughout my current employer informer the bigthing I stated, folks, is, you know, really truly listen.Don't listen with the intent of responding. But if you ever hear the wordyou know, Oh, you know as a vendor, or you get referredto as a vendor, you need to stop the conversation and say, allright, I'm doing something wrong because I'm...

...seeking a partnership which you know you'reproviding value in return for that. There's a transaction, and then what's theright way moving forward where I'm not selling that Shiny object I'm here to youknow, provide value and help you in some aspect of the business. Sothat alignment, once again, is going to really be a critical here movingforward within I view experience as being a big transformation within the sales but also, we're seeing now in products, and you know, it's really looking forwardto getting some of the feedback and I plan on distributing a lot of contentaround this on the be tob space and then providing some more examples, asthe AIRBNB and Ubers of the world on where we see the experience and Texside really have an a large impact within you know, a lot of listenerstoday around SAS sales. So if you wanted to leave our listeners with onetakeaway, maybe something that they can start doing soon or today to prepare ifand when this this shift happens. What can they do? Listen, youknow, go out there and truly you can sit there and wipe board outthe best sales cadence, you can build out the right messaging and your ninestep sequence, you know, but the end of the day our job isto gain the attention, to warrant the engagement through someone believing you can providevalue. So if you feel that you may not be providing the most optimalexperience. Where you're getting beat in that area, then pick up the phoneor stay it off the forefront, which can also gain you a lot ofcredibility as a sales professional that you state to anybody you're working with at anystage in that that you know buying cycle, regardless of the outcome. I wouldlove your honest, candid feedback on your experience dealing with me and areasthat I could improve and also areas that you enjoyed. And then you focusing, if you're an icee individual contributor, on doing the best you can todeliver what you can control. And then you see in sales leaders out there. Once again, you know, listen to the boots on the ground.You know if you're hearing a common theme of individuals that they're getting caught upon this aspect of the sales cycle or something's going wrong, and you seethat theme, trying to figure out if it's not just a marketing, youknow, type messaging or a piece of collateral. But dig into the areasthat we traditionally do not within this field, which is experiences, and we can'ta lot of folks, I would say the mass majority, it's notsomething you can run that shows up on your daily or weekly or quarterly automatedreport. So it takes conversation. It's a bit of the qualitative side,but once again, on their very you know, we've all heard this twoyears one mouth right. So the more you can take in and and thathumility with that feedback, the better everybody...

...will be. So that that wouldbe my one piece of vice here, Joe. No, I love that. I think listening part doesn't matter or how many times you've heard it.You got to hear it again, right. He continue to listen in hopes ofproviding value and being that partner and helping helping another company achieve their goals. I think that's fantastic to if people wanted to get a hold of you, take your brain, maybe hear some more about the shift that you're seeingin the customer experience, sales experiment experience space. How can they do that? Yeah, so the best way, Joe, is going to be reachingout to me on Linkedin. I did actually able to gobble up the customlinkedin url of sales experience, but you can usually find me. You know, Tim Flynn, that's fl Y and and I wish it was like backin the old days where you can grab like a Web Url and and monetizeit later. But maybe one day, maybe I open up a few issuesaccounts. But yeah, that's probably the best way to get ahold of meand I try to get back to anything you know shoots me a direct messageand, I like to say, as active as possible. So please checkout some of the posts and articles that have written around this topic and ifyou are in a certain industry, a sales leader, if you're in schoolor you are in str first, you know year in, please don't hesitatereaching out. There's a great ecosystem of professionals out there that truly are opento helping others and the biggest thing I see with folks they're not asking.So, you know, just reach out. I'm more than wanting to help andany regard and also if you have any perspective, if you agree ordisagree, that's I would love all all points around the sales experience and whatthat may mean to our profession and then us to get that information out tothe rest of us here within the sales profession to take this information and anduse it as needed moving forward. Yeah, and I encourage you all to findhim on Linkedin and to debate him on this if you don't think it'sthe way things are going to go. You know the lively discussion is goingto elevate, you know, the entire space. So to find them,talk to him about it and I'm pretty sure you're right. So thank youso much for being on the show, Tim I really appreciate it, andthank you to all of our listeners once again for tuning in and we willsee you next time on the sales engagement podcast. This was another episode ofthe sales engagement podcast. Join US at sales engagementcom for new episodes, resourcesand the book on sales engagement coming soon. To get the most out of yoursales engagement strategy, make sure to check out outreach di I oh,the leading sales engagement platform. See you on the next episode.

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