The Sales Engagement Podcast
The Sales Engagement Podcast

Episode · 3 years ago

Why Sales Engagement is Much More Than Setting Appointments

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Mark Kosoglow, VP of Sales at Outreach, talks with the always insightful Jacco vanderKooij, as he shares his industry-changing definition of what sales engagement could (and should!) be.

Welcome to the sales engagement podcast. This podcast is brought to you by outreach dot I oh, the leading sales engagement platform. I'll being companies, sellers and customer success engagement buyers and customers in the modern sales era. Check out sales engagementcom for new episodes, resources and the book on sales engagement coming soon. Now let's get into today's episode. Hey, everybody, welcome to the sales engagement podcast. I have with me a legend of Silicon Valley CEO and founder, Jacko Vander Koi. My boy. What's up, Jacko? Not much of our dre mark chilling and Seattle having fun. I've been looking forward to this conversation. My Times with you are my favorite parts of my day. Let's see if we can make that happen today. All right, and just so everybody knows, jockoes wondering who the other smart person on this podcast is going to be. He's a genius. I'm just you know, Joe Key, stales guy. So, Jocko, Hey, we're having this podcast on sales engagement and I would be very interested for you to just take the time machine back and take a look at like five years ago and like, when you think of sales engagement, what it is today and what it was five years ago, like tell me, like what you're seeing, like what is the difference? SEALS ENGAGEMENT OR SEALS ENABLEMENT? Let's do sales engagement. Okay. And when you when you say sales engagement, what is that? What do you mean of that? Are Well, that's partially what I'm asking you. I think, like a lot of people, are still trying to define and understand what that means. I know we have a specific meaning of it here at at outreach, but I'd be interested to know, like what years is in an unbiased way. Okay, y'all, like if I see, if I go back, and I may go back ten, fifteen years ago, and they go back or even twenty years ago, to the roots of my career. What a sales engagement was was primarily when a company signed a contract with me. My company ends one right and those days was Phillips in the early days, and later I was a company called Sky Stream. When they signed that contract, then the engagement follows after that contract, which primarily was a three thousand and sixty day of deployment cycle, either of software or hardware. If it was a lot of a lot of routers or anything. It took a little bit longer, could take as much as six to twelve months, and which time they would install the equipment that was sold and therefore the engagement was the post install twelve month installation, will post insult, three months software installation. That's what it was ten or fifteen years ago. To you. That's right. What is it today? Well, I think that what we have seen is that revenues have shifted, and so revenues, or profits are rather have shifted. When we are looking at a SASS contract, primarily the true prophets are not coming towards the other end of the first month. Even if you sign it twelvemonth contract, the profits often need a year, two, year three of the contracts to really, you know, become reality. Compare this to a heartware, which was bought on a five to seven years twenty years ago, and software, which was bought on a three to five year contract with eighteen percent annual a great and support and of that profit pretty much were like sixty to ninety days after, you know, like the product was purchased, installed, insulation could be only ten percent was held back on insulation. Completeness. Look at that. Today, I am not making much profit. Now. This is the result of a shifting of the risk mark. If I sell you five million dollar worth of hardware and you're the buyer and I'm the seller and I sell you bad stuff, it doesn't work. You're the buyer, we're twenty years ago. Who takes the risk of that? Who's going to get hit on their career? Well, both of us are. I think I'm not going to buy from you again ...

...and I'm gonna look like an idiot for buying for me in the first place. We're going to get fired. Yeah, I am, okay. What do you think that they're going to do with my company twenty years ago, ten years ago, when I sold you five million dollars, and you can they're probably going to buy you a bottle of Scotch and give you a high five. Now, why don't we talk about at five? At five million dollars, we talked probably about a Brillim BMW right, and that is the problem. The problem is that the risk of those days was all of the seller. If today, Ay, if I buy a month to month contract, where does the risks it of the boat? Does the buyer carry or risk, because the seller carry Le Risk. If seller carries all the risk, Yep, it has totally flipped. That does not that is a big, big change. Even on a twelvemonth contract, the buyer really doesn't carry it as much risk, by far not as much risk as that carried in the past. Now, mind you buying an intrinsic platform like a crm or marketing automated system, it's a little bit different. Like those systems off in our bottom multi year, long term a agreement. You don't just, you know, hop over once here around to another stagram ash and established company. So those things are long term. But all the other SASS APPS you buy on top of that, they really have a shifted risk profile. And with the shift the risk profile, everything, engagement, the enablement, you name, everything that follows as radically changed weight. Here's interesting. I find asked ten sales leaders and ten thought leaders what sales engagement is. Most people would kind of silo it into pre sales, SDR type of work. That's get the initial meeting. You're talking about. This is post sales work to for I'm guessing you know and your I know your model. So you're thinking about like not to just laying you then expand later. Right. So why do you characterize it in this silo, which is kind of like on boarding deployment in order to go out to a larger expand mark where you have a headache and you go to the store to buy some you know, like whatever pill to solve your heading? Right, what would you buy a leave of what would you buy for a headache? Well, I just suffered through the headache. I don't believe in medicine, but if I did, I'd buy advil. I knew you and I were coming. Actually, it's in the okay, but let's see. You Buy Apple? Do you buy apple because the box looks great? No, I don't. Do you buy appvill because the price is right? Now, I don't. Do you buy apple because the person behind the counter or the best freaking sales person that you ever met? No. Why did you buy Anvil? Because there's a first thing I saw or I know advil be. Could you have a headache? There you go, even better answer. You have a pain. This is the problem. When we talk to seals enablement, we're not there to sell them. The whole sales engagement process is not focused on getting them to to buy what we're selling. The entire process of the engagement process is to solve the customers problem. And you think that that happens mostly post sale, post Aquistar bought in the perpetual model, bought first year, bought something like whatever, I think, six hundred thousand dollars worth of test equipment from me. You know how? Well, you don't know. In subsequent years they probably bought, you know, like a couple hundred million dollars worth of equipment from me. Right, gentle MC goolden school, mcschooler. Yeah, still today. I consider him a good friend and person who helps me consider, you know, like what sales really is about. Do you really think that the first sale is there an enablement, like three months before I close the deal? That's where the enablement started. Engagement started now, the engagement started after I sold them a successful product. That's successfully sold it. And you know, like that's what point in time when the rules, the seals, comes into play. Today's business, a single customer does not generate enough profits by itself, other than you all like if you win a big one, but you need to essentially always win renewals, Earth grades, Cross cell, if nothing else, from an existing account. Then we're looking at a recommendation from the customer into another account. Everything happens. After all, the great thing happened after you...

...successfully help the customer solver a problem. So how do you guys, you know, and for people that I don't know, Jacko runs a consultancy that helps people with their go to market strategy and land and expand strategy. So how do you guys look at helping sales reps with this kind of engagement piece, as you define it, which is post sale? I think that, first of all, is real realizing that the sales follow doesn't end that the closing of a contract. I think the word by itself closed is already wrong. We like to speak of commit and you know, we encourage all our clients do to speak in a language commit, mutual commitment, when it's not one side. It's not one sided either way, and not towards the seller or towards the buyer. It's a mutual commitment to achieve the impact that we both thought we could achieve. And so, yeah, all like that to us is an important that means that, you know, we have three faces before that commit awareness, eduction and selection. Now, mind you, that we speak from a customer perspective. We less like to speak from a cell US perspective. From a cell US perspective, awareness would be marketing, education would be prospecting and selection would be selling. So I could say marketing, prospecting, selling leads to a close. I think that that is a wrong way of doing it. I think generating awareness, educating the customer on the different options and helping them during the selection process leads to a mutual commitment. I think that's a better way of thinking about it when we are trying to achieve a multi year commitment and, you know, both have a profitable and growing relationship. That is followed by three more stages. On board, successful on boarding. The next one many would call you usage. We do not believe the usage by itself. We think usage is primarily a concept that a product is successful. Therefore, it's still centric. We believe in achieving impact as the fifth stage and the final stage is not like expansion, but is growth expansion, once again, is really the perception from the from the cell US perspective. I want to sell more now, y'all, like these stages and these sales funnels as of within a few weeks. So we talked about late September, or what is it? A week from now? All these concepts will be launched on lucid chart where you can provide all of you where you can find all our designs and blueprints in as part of their seals. That's new, by the way. It's an announcement I'm making your channel. Well, yeah, now it's coming out, and so all our blueprints will be made public and open source through loose it charts. So that's actually I just wrote on my little note here, Jakoda, to ask you about that. So the one of the things that like drew me to you is the first time we met it was a Middlo Park where talking there and you delivered to me a thirty footlong, three foot tall thing that like literally was on my office wall for probably a year and a half. That just made the sales process and the customer acquisition and make them happy process. It just like was so thoughtful. So it's probably the most operational, process driven thing I've ever seen around how that should all work. tweeter. To take this like little segment here that you're defining a sales engagement, like what are the areas of the process that you think people are missing most on. Well, first of all, they're missing moth on mark. Is Why they need to do it, because if they don't know why they need to do it, then everything that else that follows is meaningless. And here's why they need to do it. If I'm selling multimillion dollar pieces of satellite equipment, like I used to, then been closing one. If I have a ten million dollar quota, or one year I had a twelve million dollar quota and vins on my team, so close to ten million dollar Disney deal split over two years, five million dollars. That's what we call like a big bang on a number right, five, twelve. That's how we got so we call those people superstars who close those a superstar. Sales is very much focused on winning a few deals a year. When you do not, there's a concept called potato concept, and what that means is that twenty percent of the deals generate eighty...

...percent of the revenue. Now, with the big deal sizes, that was always the case. If twenty percent of my staff, here's a rule for you, okay, if twenty percent of my staff closes eighty percent of the business, how much business does it. Remaining eighty percent of my staff close twenty percent. Twenty percent. Hold that number in thought. Okay, carry it over. Okay, today what we see is that superstars don't have that impact as much. A superstar performer that selling at twenty, thirty, forty K deal can still make a reasonable more impact, but not like a lot. They're not closing multimillion dollar deals. Well, we found is that twenty percent of the superstars today only generate thirty percent of the business. Now, if twenty percent closes thirty percent of the business, what does the remaining eighty percent close? Seventy percent. Seventy percent. What is this? What is the B team earlier on? Close twenty percent, twenty percent. This is the typical challenge that SASS companies have. There be performers have to nearly outproduced by three acts what their previous generation of be performers had to do. HMM. So how are you guys helping people close the gap? Like? What's that well, like, what's the number one or two things that you would tell somebody? They like a evaluate this to see if you have a gap. So now you know. Well, were you look at that? What the production capacity is of your top superstars. And if you see that your superstars and not carrying the lines share of the revenue, then you know you're going to have a all we call a process issue. As soon as you know that, as soon as you come to the conclusion that you have a company that's dependent on every performer, no, not on a few superstars, you have to act like any other company. was ever experienced that, and we're not the first. You got to go to process. Process is the only thing that can make an average performer perform consistently and perform yo pro not only consistency for that person but consistency across different people. As the result, we say that says has become superstar immune and as a results, as is essentially a function that's driven by process and not by superstars. So, but I think most companies would say they have a sales process. Why do they not have the process you're talking about? When we talk about sales process, we're not talking just about the seventh stages that occurring in sales force. The seventh stay you are seven or eight some real maximum ten stages and sales force we talked about defining the key moments that occur during a seal if you would be buying a solution from me. Let's say. Yeah, like I'm a salesperson selling you a new gadget of some sorts. Right, we're not a few key moments that you really interact with me? It's start. Probably starts off of me reaching out to you. Right, that's probably the first one. Sure, okay. After that, give me a handful of key moments where you really are depending on me or we really want to have like a good, solid experience for me. You want need to discover me. Well, like I need to feel like you're trying to figure me out. Yep, Yep. We need to have some kind of alignment call or I have I understand. Are you demo something that shows me that your solution can align and fix my problems? Yep, Demo we call it. One we call the diagnosed, the other one we called the prescription. Yep, Yep. Then I'm going to want to see some kind of technical validation that lets me know for sure that your technology works in my environment and aligns with all the other systems I have running, as we call that assisting to buy. Go ahead. And then probably the last one is is we just need to come down a commercial terms and figure out, like, can we make this work within the budget that I have and with the main power and Resources I've available? Okay, so now we call that to trade rather than a negotiate. I think there's a few more after then, after you've signed, you want to have an instant, warm feeling and you don't want to have that, y'all, like a buyers guild or buyers remorse that you bought wrong Sushi. So we think that every sales person, like any athlete that works with a...

...bull sport. You don't stop your leg on impact that, you don't stop the Bat on impact of the racket or whatever. You keep swinging through the motion. So to do. We believe that you have to swing through to the sill. You cannot wait on the comment. You got to go through and they all there's a few more key moments. All I'm saying is these are, let's say you picked four key moments right. First contact, which is the way how I reached out you, discovery, Demo and proposal and trade rite. Those were like, if I get them right, give or take sure. Okay. Well, if you go into that, can we define what a really, really good experience looks like, and we believe that you can what we call blueprint, as you have seen some of art. You can blueprint each of these key moments and know how to even give somebody who's a bee performer, give like an an experience. Not The reason or that we know that we can do that is the following. If you repeat what the customers perceived to be right, a great behavior, you need to deliver an eighty percent of a top performers. Whether you have a good day a bad day, you were feeling it, you would not feeling it. I don't care. You could be sick, puking, you know, your gouts out, but you got to call. You still need to deliver eighty percent. That's reason why you're a professional. You see this in sport, to see this in any job. Even under the strain of all the illnesses, a professional still at eighty can still operate at eighty percent. Do you think that's fair? Eighty percent? I would hope it's fair. I mean, listen, if, what if Aaron Rodgers only performs at eighty percent on Sunday, like, people are going to be pissed. So maybe eighty percent is low. Right. Eighty percent is low. But that is on a top performers. That you only have to do once in a while, right, we're talking about persistent perform yeah, right. And so I think that, you know, like eighty percent. In order for somebody to produce eighty percent, there's two options. Either you gain twenty two three years of experience over a career, or twenty two thirty years, and then you will be able to do that simply the amount of years will give you that experience. Sure you know. The unfortunate part is are people and younger and earlier in the career don't have twenty years of time, twenty to three years of time. They need to know that we've like three to six months. That's where process comes in. So why if I go talk to ten sales leaders and I'm like, Hey, listen, we're going to have to blueprint out and create the choreography for each one of these steps, nine out of the ten are going to say to me, my reps won't do that. What do you have to say for those people? You probably hire the wrong reps. what if the answer isn't that easy? What do you do? Well, to me, it's, you know, like I have to understand if everybody going to try to do it their own way, and if I then only get that twenty percent of the people perform, that ain't good enough for me. Is the business mark. That ain't good enough. And so most people don't, you know, like live with that. Now what we have seen with quotea performance is the quote of performance of the superstars is, on average, the same. It's somewhere between a hundred and hundred and twenty percent of quota. That's the reason why they're superstars. You probably have a few on your team. We all know and love those folks of the superstars. Okay, but we already said it's AD sales. I can't have enough superstars. It's not. I mean like they are not there. I got to make the be performers work. Now what we have seen with the be performers traditionally they have not only fallen below quota, they fall in far below quota. We have like twenty, thirty, forty percent of the seal steam are falling as much as at thirty percent, forty percent, fifty percent of quota. That gap can no longer be filled by the superstars. The gap that has been left behind is causing all these vpiece of sales their career. Now, unless you have a product like a slack or engage your own product right it's flying off the shelf, then you don't have to worry about it that much because people lie. I want to buy from you, but everybody else that is simply selling, and as need to find the right buyer and make them...

...aware of the problem. Have to do all that due diligence, folks. That's a lot of outbounding, a lot of work that has to be done at superstar performance. And if these folks come in at thirty, forty, fifty percent of quota, you know it's going to cost you as a VP, of still as your job. Yeah, it's just so interesting and I think for a lot of especially your specialty is Sass and early stage technology, so much. Sure, yeah, it's so much a recurring revenue. So much of that. Of those products are an educational or evangelical say. Oh, like, you're not selling something that exists, like your example of satellite hardware, or those guys have been buying satellite hardware from. I disagree with you, but I think that that's what we want. I want you to understand when you use the word evangelical. You're making a wrong assumption. Okay, tell me why. I exactly I know what you're trying to say. If I have an innovative products, most startup has a have a form of an innovative product. Right, they're kind of like, Hey, I'm going to do this differently. I are a different business model or different solid right. You know yourself are a great example of that. Yeah, so me buying, in this case, an outreach, is not an evangelical solution. If it's pretty you and a competitor, I may say, Oh, I'm going to go Xoy, right, I'm going to go one religion or the other. Yeah, but when I'm selling technology, innovative technology, I'm not selling x versus. Why? I'm not comparing you against a competitor, but I'm comparing you on end of the problem. I'm comparing you against what I'm currently are used to. That means that I have to break through your thinking. Now, one common way some of your listeners may know, is a phone call. Challenge. You're selling, where I challenge you. What we found is that most sales organization that you work with today cannot just pick on one single sales method and work with it. What we found is in your organization, between the prospecting and a setting up the meeting and fulfilling the meeting. In which role is challenging the customer provoking the customer more important? Is it more important to get to the meeting or is more important to deliver on the meeting? Well, it's a I think it's more important to get the meeting it, otherwise you don't have a chance to deliver on it. Exactly right. Who are getting you the meeting? What depends on how your sales or structure here to read ours. Yeah, as the are Urs. Now, if I tell you challenge you're selling, is that the most advancedals methodology to they or the least advanced? I don't know, I would think. I think it's fairly advanced. It's fairly advanced. Yes, that's not a natural emotion, are you, as they are the most skilled and trained, or are they in many cases early on in their career? They're early on in the career, but there are specifically change for their specific purpose. Right now we've dead said. That means that my SDRs have to master, early on in their career, one of the most advanced skills, being provocative selling, Aka challenges, outing to provoke the customers thinking, preferably at cxo level, and they have to do that, you know, like in the time that email and phone calls are more detested, to be operated, to be responded to them ever before. Right, it doesn't sound that hard, Jocko. To this is that this is a challenge and we can address that challenge. I have no problem with addressing that challenge. But that is meeting the challenge head on. That is like telling it the way it is and arming these people, early on in the career, of the right tools, with the right engagement, whatever we need, but we an army of the right skills to do it. If we, however, say wow, it's easy, why they just make a few calls, blah, blah, blah, that just to just a level of hard work, then we're not enabling for success. Then what we're doing is setting them up fulfilling yeah, I think what we see down here. I'm we're not shying away from from having these folks do that, but then let's train them properly, let's give them the right tools to do the right way, let's give them the right content and...

...so on and so forth. Now that is meeting that the challenge had on knowing what it's really about to doing it right. Yeah, and I think unfortunately for especially for a lot of young companies in young sales teams, they can have some preliminary success with that kind of like bashing, bashing bashing approach, in all that does is like reinforced bad habits that they have to them break later when they try to get more strategic. That's for sure being go and that's said Mark. We believe that, you know, like and we're coming up with a new book, sells as a science, you know, the sad sales method, and what we're doing or retreating sales as assigned, and the book is called the sad sales method and what we will focused on is for one brief book. We saying as like, let's stop looking at seals as an art, let's look at it from a science, let's really apply proven blueprints, let's try to improve everything a little bit. And what we've seen is once we start looking at it that way, we can't teach people early on in the career about the wiselves. We can give them turn by turn directions. We can show that ten percent improvement across seven steps to one point. One, to the power of seven equals to X. Want to double your sales. Improve in seven of these key moments by ten percent. You will double your seals. We believe that this really, ultimately, is the way how the next generation of seals can be treated by young professionals who can be taught, trained and then able to do it right. Man, I love how you think. I think we will have you definitely on another episode of the podcast and I just always learn a lot the way that you think about things. Shacks very unique. I appreciate it. Thanks for sharing with us your mode. Welcome. With that said, I want to thank you and your listeners for having me today and really appreciate that we could jam like this my friend. Yeah, man, we'll tell people where they can find you if they're interested in hearing more about Jocko. Well, none about Jocko. I think that, more importantly, it's about winning by design. We were a group of sales professionals who've done this before all across the world. So we now operate almost in every country, all across China, Australia, sow Paolo, Toronto, Vancouver, Austin, taxes, London, ever, Amsterdam, every your Belgium, we're everywhere and it's all the same. We believe that US sales professionals are here to help the next generation, and so look us up in the country of where you're up listening to this, but look us up to wwwwncom. Cool. Well, that's it for today. Thanks, Jaco parks man here. By Bye. This was another episode of the sales engagement podcast. Join US at sales engagementcom or new episodes, resources and the book on sales engagement coming soon. To get the most out of your sales engaging strategy, make sure to check out outreach that I oh, the leading sales and usement plant. See you on the next episode.

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