Podkast
Never Motivate for Sales Enablement : Drop the Pom Poms

Never Motivate: Drop the Pom Poms

What separates Sales Leaders vs. Sales Managers? … Leaders are intentional about the culture they are building.

Shawn Buxton, Director of Sales Enablement at Acoustic, joined us on the Abstrakt Podkast to talk all about motivation in sales organizations.

Sales Managers spend time trying to get people hyped. Sales Leaders create a culture where self-motivation is expected, incentivized, and celebrated everyday.

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Greg Reffner  0:00  
Hey, everybody, this is Greg Reffner, host of the Abstrakt Podcast. And we are joined today by Shawn Buxton, Director of Sales Enablement at Acoustic. Shawn, please take a moment and say hi,

Shawn Buxton  0:14  
Hi everybody. Excited to be here. Thanks for having me.

Greg Reffner  0:18  
Absolutely. We’re excited to have you, Sean. So before we kind of dive into some of our talking points or questions today, it always helps to give our listeners a little bit of background on kind of how you got to where you are in your career. I think one of the best parts about working in tech is that no one goes to college and goes, I’m going to go work in tech, specifically, I’m going to go work in sales in tech. And so kind of give us the Cliff Notes version of of how Shawn got to you Director of Sales Enablement at acoustic.

Shawn Buxton  0:52  
Okay, I’ll give you the short version because I might be older than a few of your listeners. But yeah, I actually went to college to be a pastor, and after college, Graduated, went to my first pastoral and I was like, wow, I really don’t like doing this. Like, that’s, that’s unfortunate. So anyway, I didn’t have any problem with the man upstairs. But the job itself was not what, what I thought it was going to be. But I learned a lot, I learned a lot of skills that I’m that I was able to parlay into the sales world, you know, I was basically selling something that you couldn’t see that you can touch. 

You can you can feel, you know, but But you got to change your whole life to get it right. Yeah. And so it was pretty easy, actually, for me to transition into the sales world. And as long as I could sell a product ethically, you know, I was all about it. And so over the last 20 years or so, I’ve either been selling things as an individual contributor leading sales teams, or coaching sales leaders and sellers and, and I typically will sell you know, for three to five years and then take some time off and go do enablement. And then I come back and sell and do enablement and come back and sell and I like to keep going back and forth because it keeps the you know, the X sharp. And I know if I stand up front and enablement audience that I have credibility, because I’ve done it. And I tell people, I’m not one of these enablement people that talks about it because they can’t do it. 

I’m a sales guy first enablement guy second, and I just love selling and so that’s the short version, leave out all the mistakes and, and failures.

Greg Reffner  2:29  
Well, there’s some interesting things to dive into there. And I’ll first begin by saying, I, I’ve known a lot of sales enablement folks over the past eight years and tech sales. And the ones that are successful are the ones that were successful in sales. And realize they enjoyed helping enabling teaching coaching more than selling. They weren’t the ones that failed their way into enablement. And so I think you’re there you’re spot on with kind of sharpening your AX because so much changes, specifically in the world of like, how technology enables sales, that, how do you know how it’s impacting sales people on the front line if you’re not doing it every single day, right?

Shawn Buxton  3:16  
Yeah, absolutely. And you guys are a great example that what you’re doing there at abstract with, you know, you’re on the cutting edge of what’s happening in a new generation of technology that people never had access to before. So it’s exciting.

Greg Reffner  3:28  
Yeah. Well, let’s dive into the second thing, pastor to director of sales enablement, a tech company. So I instantly like that sounds maybe kind of like a sharp diversion in career choices. But I almost think there’s a lot of similarities there in terms of how to get people to buy into your vision, you’re selling something that’s not tangible. You are often standing up in front of a bunch of people trying to clearly articulate a methodology thought process, use cases as they apply to their lives in sales. So I actually think that there’s a lot of similarities, probably in what makes up a successful pastor, and the Director of Sales Enablement or sales leader in tech in general.

Shawn Buxton  4:17  
Yeah, it’s interesting before I ever spoken any conferences, or whatever, I had already preached in churches, 2000 people before so I was comfortable doing that getting on stage and speaking in a ska, oh, it was just a different topic and different audience, but it was still you know, a big room full of people. 

So I feel like it really prepared me for that. But more than anything, I feel like studying to be a pastor. It prepared me in the way that I knew I needed to connect with people and treat people as human beings right and understand that we’re all we’re all flawed and making mistakes and people need help to get to the next level. And to me, that’s what leadership really is. We talked about sales leadership and enabling sales leaders, which is my favorite thing to do. 

Now, you know, I define leadership is helping people get somewhere they could never get on their own. It’s not getting people somewhere they can never get on the line. It’s a partnership, it’s helping people get somewhere they could never get on their own. And yeah, I think that that definition probably comes from, you know, my early, my early years in the initial path I thought it was going to take,

Greg Reffner  5:15  
yeah, well, I hate public speaking. Which is why I gravitated towards being able to sit behind a computer and sell software all day. 

So maybe after I tried this whole software company thing, I’ll go back and be a pastor for a couple years and groom my skills for public speaking a little bit better. Let’s dive into some more questions. So you have your day job. But there’s also kind of something that you’re trying to do on the side. And regards to kind of enablement and consulting around culture. And you’ve kind of experienced some of these things firsthand, and how culture can really kind of make or break a company. But we’ll focus on like a sales sales order in a company today. 

Tell us a little bit about that. And maybe why you decided to kind of pursue this side hustle of yours.

Shawn Buxton  6:06  
I discovered over over the course of my career, that culture is the single most important thing to drive sales success, and to build a high performance team. It’s really it starts with culture. And what I noticed is, I’ve been really lucky to work with like some of the world’s elite sales leaders, I mean, people that crushed the quota not just hit quota, but like crushed it. And I would notice in my enablement sessions, a lot of times, especially when I would train managers, you know, when we say, hey, is there anything else you guys want to talk about?

In addition to the agenda day, and over and over and over again, people would say, hey, how do we motivate our teams? How do we get our teams motivated? We want to talk about that. And so I started thinking about that, and given a lot of thought to, you know, of course, initially, I was just getting kind of the same BS answers that you always get, well, you know, make sure you’re listening to them, make sure they have a voice, you know, and it’s not that that stuff isn’t, isn’t true, but it’s just so you know, old and tired and generic. 

I mean, we all know that you can get on LinkedIn, and just read post after post of people saying, you know, people don’t leave their company, they leave their boss. And you know, that kind of list is like drivel. It’s not enlightening anymore, right? We’ve all heard that. But I initially started with that. But then I started digging deeper and start reading a lot of books on motivation, and watching like the world’s best motivational speakers, and listening to podcasts and all this. 

And then thinking back through the sales leaders that I saw, that were successful, and what they were doing that was different, you know, then maybe like a mediocre sales manager, you know, these elite sales leaders, what were they doing that was different. And they were getting very intentional about the kind of culture they were building. And they started with this kind of foundational principle, I call it never motivate. And it’s very, it’s very contrary to what we’re taught, as sales managers and people in sales, you know, I say, Why would, why would my job be to get people pumped up to do something I’m already paying them to do? And that’s where this never motivate concept comes from. 

When we think of like what you’re doing there. And abstract. Greg, you know, you might have a great team, with you, and I’m sure you do, I’ve met some of your team already. And they’re top notch, you might have a great product, you might have great, great spouse, you might have a great former boss, whatever. But ultimately, like in those those late nights, when you’re trying to accomplish the vision, and really anything that we have any of us are proud of that we’ve accomplished in our careers or our personal lives. 

Who did that? Well, the answer for all of us is I did that you did that, right? Like you had people to support you. But ultimately, to accomplish something great that we’re really proud of, we have to look inside of ourselves and find that self motivation, right, we can’t expect others to get us pumped up to accomplish something great, it’s just not going to happen. But yet sales managers spend so much time and this is one of the key differentiators between a sales manager and a sales leader for me, sales managers spend so much time trying to get people hyped right to do the sales role. Instead of creating an environment in a culture where self motivation, self motivation is expected incentivize, encouraged, celebrated every day. And I as the sales leader will give you the tools, the resources, the support, you need to do that. Right. But you your part of the agreement is you’re going to bring your A game every day, if you don’t want to do that, that’s fine. 

We can go have a beer and be friends, but you’re not going to be on my sales team. Right and setting that expectation upfront with people. And that’s what I saw and, and leaders that were able to build that intentional culture with that foundational principle. That’s that was kind of like the first thing that I locked. And I thought man, like the light went off in my head. And I started sharing that message with, with, with my sales managers and conferences and stuff, I do a talk called Never motivate. Right? And I started sharing that with people. 

And they’re like, whoa, like, I think we all know this. Intuitively, we all know that this is true, but we like to play this little stupid manager game where, you know, Hey, come on everybody. And it’s not to say that you don’t recognize people for great things. That’s part of a great culture. It’s not to say you Do spiffs and have fun, that’s a part of a great culture too. It’s when we expect things that are that are temporary, which is really inspiration, that’s what we’re capable of is inspiring people temporarily. And when you inspire somebody, basically what you’re doing is, you’re helping them imagine something doing something great, right? But that’s very temporary. And that’s really all we’re capable of, to really, truly motivate somebody, we just don’t have the ability to create that in some insight of somebody else. 

If you think of motivation, you define that as, as people actually having a drive inside of themselves to accomplish something great not to just imagine it and give them the warm and fuzzies and feel good, but really to do something to execute that comes from within, plugged into the right kind of culture. So that’s a long answer your question, but what I’m doing now is I’m focusing on with my team at acoustic and then I really would like to work with more and more startups, establishing that up front, it’s so much easier to establish the kind of culture you want upfront, because culture is going to happen. 

Anytime you get people together. The difference is, you know, do you want to accidental culture? Or do you want an intentional culture, and I work with leaders to build intentional cultures where they outline, this is what we’re trying to accomplish.

These are the things we’re going to do to get there. This is the way in which we’re going to execute. And if you want to be part of that, awesome, if you don’t, that’s okay, too, but you can’t work here. And so that’s, that’s what I’ve what I’ve learned really from, you know, the best sales leaders on the planet in my career, and I’m just trying to spread that message to others.

Greg Reffner  11:29  
Why thank you just gave us enough to for the entire podcast. So we’re done. Nothing let’s talk about. So this morning, I was listening to you. So do you know who David Goggins is Sean?

Shawn Buxton  11:44  
Yeah, yeah. I like I, your feet are bleeding, keep running that guy.

Greg Reffner  11:51  
Yeah, he talks about this 19 hour race that he did. And he was sitting in an ice tub after. And he, his mom called him, he was like, You need to go to the hospital. And he’s like, Yeah, I know, I need to go to the hospital. But I’m gonna just sit here and enjoy this pain for a second because I just accomplished something that no one said I could ever do. And it just makes me realize there’s such a difference between motivation versus inspiration. 

Inspiration is fleeting. Inspiration falls apart the moment adversity strikes, motivation allows you to keep going. And I ultimately think that that starts with starts with why Simon Sinek wrote a great book on Start with Why. And so when you build an intentional sales culture, you have to kind of start with that foundation, like why are we bringing these people on board? And then why do they want to be a part of our team? Is it because they want to make a good salary? Great, they can go make a good salary anywhere? Do they want to cool a sellable product? 

Cool, then go sell a cool product anywhere? Do they want a ping pong table? Like is that what culture means to them? Great, you’re not going to work here. And so, so much of that, I would say, Shawn, please feel free to disagree with me start with how do you identify cultural fit in the interview process, so that you’re building that intentional culture and not allowing it to be accidental? By by allowing people to bypass or kind of fake their way through the interview process and accidentally land up on your team?

Shawn Buxton  13:31
I think that’s a great question. I would back up just a little bit, though. And I would start at the beginning, I would say most sales managers that aspire to be sales leaders. And if you don’t, you kind of see a pattern here with me, right? Like I like to define words, I get into semantics. But I feel like the more you can define the word, the more action you can take on it. So it’s not to say that these are black and white definitions, and they’re absolutely 100% true in every case, but I like to almost present them that way. 

Because it helps me helps me make sense of the thoughts and take action faster. If you think of a manager, somebody who mainly monitors and measures and reports, things that have already happened. Like they’re very reactive, right? It’s not that that’s bad. It’s important. That’s an important skill. But the truth of matter is, most people can learn how to do that. It’s basically like you as my boss, if you’re my VP of sales, you teach me how to read, read the report or submit the report you want you teach me how you like me to forecast and almost anybody can do that. 

Whereas a leader is is more visionary, obviously, like they’re saying, Okay, here’s what we’re going to do. Here’s the things we need to do to get there. Here’s the way we’re going to do it. And it’s moving forward. It’s working in the present. So to answer your questions like how do you interview for for culture fit? I would say, you have to know exactly what kind of culture you’re building and most sales managers don’t know that most of hell, most VPS don’t know that. They’ve never sat down and thought about what kind of culture Am I trying to build? If you ask him something like that? They’ll give you some, some kind of adjectives usually they’ll say something like, well, I want it to be fun, I want to be inclusive. I wanted to be competitive, that’s great. Those are components. But you got to walk people through an exercise where we define the vision, mission and values, and I have them write it out, and really give some thought to it. But people are challenged even with this buzzword world we live in, people are challenged, even which is discerning between what’s the difference between a vision and a mission, right, I’ve seen companies corporate HR, run out, roll out something and call it their vision, it’s really a mission. Like, we really just throw these terms around. And we really don’t understand them. 

If you think about a vision, you define it this way, the vision is where you want to go or what you want to be known for. So if I’m working with a sales manager, or even a director of VP of sales, I say, Okay, imagine that you’re going to be leading this team for the next three to five years. And according to statistics, if you’re at a sales manager level, or director level, that’s probably the case, especially in tech, you’re gonna lead him for three to five years, and then they’re going to move on, or you’re going to move on, you’re going to get promoted, you might go to a different company, what have you, right? So this isn’t like my lifelong vision, like my legacy, but it’s also not, you know, next year. So a vision is not to go to President’s Club or to get our beta to Circle of Excellence. 

That’s a goal, right? A vision has to be something aspirational, almost like so big date, it kind of sounds crazy that you even think you can do it, right, because that’s what people are going to get excited about. That’s what they’re gonna want to get on board with. It isn’t freakin hitting quota. That’s not a vision, that may be a goal, that should only be a goal for you know, the next two quarters after we do it, then we should stop talking about quota and move on to you know, bigger and bigger numbers and stretch ourselves. But I digress. 

Vision is where you want to go, what you want to be known for, at the end of your time leading this team mission, then is what actions are how are you going to get there? What actions do you need to take? Or how are you going to get to this destination, the vision, and then the values, which is what a lot of leaders think about when they think about culture, they start rattling off these values or adjectives is, in what way? Are you going to execute the mission to achieve the vision?

So I walk them through this whole exercise and we get really down, you know, in the nitty gritty, and really look at exactly what do you want, once we have that established, then this becomes their North Star for building their culture. So then when I interview somebody, I know I’m looking one of my values is self motivated. Right? So when I’m interviewing somebody, now, I’m going to say, Hey, Greg, tell me about a time where you had to dig down deep inside of yourself, to find the motivation to complete a really difficult task or project. 

Yep. Right. So that’s how but if you don’t know, if you don’t know what you’re aiming for, then that you know, Zig Ziglar said this, you know, if you aim for nothing, you’ll hit it every time. And the same goes true for interviewing, we go into interviews, and we just look for people basically, that are cool, or that are like us, or say some of the things like, Hey, do you like to work on a team and work hard? Oh, yeah. Okay, great, boom, you’re hired, right? Can you show me a quarter to a performance that may be real, maybe not be real? 

Great, you’re hired, instead of saying, Here’s my vision, mission values, here’s the culture. And what our team has been doing here at acoustic is they’re using that to hire and they’re sharing their vision, mission values with potential candidates, and engaging reactions and responses to that. And we’ve got a lot of positive feedback, actually, because you know, we’re all looking for the Rockstar reps, right? 

So you kind of get in the mode where you’re trying to convince them to come work for you, at the same time that they’re trying to convince you that they want to, you know, that you should hire them. And so they’ve been using that. And we’ve been really successful down, they’ve said, Hey, we, you know, we haven’t seen this anywhere where somebody, somebody has a vision, mission values lined out, and they present that to us in the interview. The last thing I’ll say about this is it sets the expectation, right from the beginning to pay. I don’t know if you’re looking for professional cheerleader, but I dropped my pom poms a long time ago. That’s not what you’re going to get from me. For me, you’re going to get support coaching the tools and resources you need. But from you, my expectation is that you bring your A game every day, because I’m not going to get you pumped up to do a job or you hired you to do like, that’s part of the partnership. Right? 

That’s the agreement. So that’s the again, I’m really good at giving long answers. And I guess it’s just because I can’t give these like little to line answers to these big, big issues. But that’s how in interviewing, I would begin to suss out is this person will be a cultural fit, you got to start at the beginning, which is defining your vision mission values.

Greg Reffner  19:20  
I love that. So one of my favorite interview questions is, tell me about a time you failed and how you overcame it. And if you can’t answer that question, if you ever have if you’ve never experienced failure before, I don’t want you on my team, because you haven’t built up the calluses to be able to push through tough times. Yeah. And then the second question I asked people is, you know, what’s the most pain you’ve ever been? And how did you deal with it?

And if you’ve never been in pain before, you’ve never felt pain, like you have no business I don’t want you on our team because Being in, you know, a startup startup software startup, like, there’s more bad days than good days, like, especially for the first couple of years. And I need to know you’ve hardened yourself, I need to know that you have built up the calluses, the mental strength, the emotional dexterity, to push through crappy situations. 

If you’re able to prove to me that you can do that, I know you can go find a way to hit quota. Like that becomes secondary to me. Because I know that like, you know how to persevere through tough times. And like that’s, again, it aligns to kind of the vision that we have for abstract and the mission. And that kind of permeates down through the people that we want to hire and the people we have hired. So I’m right on board with that. I know that’s tough for some people to swallow, Shawn. And it might not be the most popular opinion on things. And it’s easier to kind of take sound bites from, you know, LinkedIn posts about what kind of interview questions we should be asking. 

But it’s no wonder why 50% of sales teams fail. And attrition rate on sales teams is so high, it’s because you’re not getting down to the nitty gritty of what you should be asking for in the interview process to bring those people into your intentional sales culture in the first place.

Shawn Buxton  21:23  
Yeah, and what I think is interesting is that sales, I think most sales managers expect what you just said. But they don’t outline it. They don’t ask a great question, like you did to really suss that out. But then also, they’re not telling them what, what the endgame is, they’re not casting a vision. It’s just like, come on, you know, I know this tough grind, hustle, try harder, sell more, do better. But that’s it’s so you know, Fugazi, it’s like up in the atmosphere. We don’t know what that really means. 

Right? Yeah. But when you define the vision, mission values, always I’m going to go back to that when you define that upfront. Now I have something to point to. So when things are going shitty, then I can say to my team, Hey, guys, I know it’s tough right? Now remember, our vision is to be the leader in this industry is to be the number one solution for call coaching, or whatever the vision is, right? Our dream is to be the number one team in North America, our dream is to be the number one team globally, you know, at this company and sales, whatever it is, you drive them back to the vision you say, hey, don’t forget, we’re on our way there. 

We’re making progress. It sucks. You know, we’re gonna have to take some pitstops sometimes, but we’re making progress. If you don’t have that to point to then people just like, What, uh, why are we even doing this, and then some recruiter comes along and says, Hey, over here, it’s perfect. It’s amazing. And we do have ping pong tables and free drinks, all you want snacks, everything, you know, come and sit in our massage chair, we have an amazing culture. And they’re gonna, you’re gonna lose them. 

Right? Yeah. Because you’re not getting the picture of the future.

Greg Reffner  22:53  
So let’s do let’s dive in something a little bit more tactical, what how do we apply this? So this is easy to do. At a smaller organization. This becomes increasingly more challenging as you’re adding in a VP level, a director level, a manager level, maybe a team leader level type of thing? How do you work with a company to ensure that what’s in the CEOs mind the CROs mind in terms of the vision and the vision and mission? I just combine those two made up my own word? How do you get that the permeate down all the way to that frontline str, who is working at home 1000 miles away from their leader, and probably couldn’t even tell you the CEO of the company was this is what

Shawn Buxton  23:53  
this is why I like working with startups. Because you’re right, it is easier, it’s almost more possible to do what we’re talking about. Because, you know, if I was working with abstract, you know, I’m gonna meet with you, right? You’re, you’re the you’re the guy. And then if you were to hire a director, or VP, then you would have already cast your vision mission values, and then that VP then plugs up into that he has to or she has to make sure that her vision mission values aligned with yours. 

It’s not that it’s going to it’s not that it can’t be a little different, because let’s face it, if you and I were both selling at the same company, we’re both frontline sales managers. It’s going to be different to be on Team Reffner. Then on Team Buxton, we could be saying the exact same thing. We’re both super cool dudes, right? But our cultures are gonna be a little different because the values are a little different. And that’s okay. It really happens mostly in the US. But as long as my values don’t contradict my bosses values, then we’re all good. It just makes us different. Right? But if my boss’s value is teamwork, and my bosses and my values are, you know, whatever it takes be a lone wolf that’s cool by us, you know, just Just get your number. 

That’s when you start having, they start talking to each other. Yeah, but you’re right. I mean, it’s it’s not easy. And if the CEO is bought into it, and especially if like your car Oh isn’t bought into it, I didn’t say like the CRO, you know, may the CEO doesn’t have to be bought into it because he or she is thinking about your company culture, right? And those, those values are good. But let’s face it, I mean, they’re not super meaningful to an SDR or an AE. Because they’re not sales driven. 

They’re largely around like everybody getting along, are they listening to each other? Again, nothing wrong with those. But I’m trying to manage a team of sales killers here, right? They’re not so excited about, you know, empathy. They maybe are for their customer, right. But they don’t care if HR understands them or not, they want they’re here to make some freakin money, right and to sell to do it ethically, but to but to sell, right. So that’s just a different. That’s why I only work with sales organizations like I don’t, I don’t do leadership training for HR for finance, or accounting, or like, we just don’t speak the same language, I think I’m a weirdo. But if we’re talking sales, and we’re driving performance, that CROs vision mission values, if he or she sets that, then your your VP comes under he or she sits there. So that plugs up into there, and director and sales manager. 

Some people I’ve heard some people were like, especially up high, this is a new kind of concept for them. And so senior leaders get kind of nervous because like, well, you know, then they’re not going to be able to read, they’re not going to know what our vision is, you know, the company vision, they’re not gonna know what our values are, because we’re gonna get them all confused with all these different? And my answer to them is they don’t know that anyway. Like, I know, you did that one, I know you did that one hour webinar, and you thought it was really great. Half of them weren’t there, and the other half weren’t listening, they were checking their email during it. And they you can go up to them and any SK Oh, they’re not gonna be able to tell you what your freakin values are of your company. 

But you know, what the where they live every day and what you care about, which is them selling. And to your point as people remote them feeling like they’re part of something other than their, you know, kitchen table that they didn’t know about. That message comes to them frequently from their manager that comes from the director, they do, they are able to say, my team vision is to be number one in North America. Our values are drive in, you know, whatever, whatever values you want to come up with, right? Innovation, discipline, whatever. It could be anything. 

 

So yeah, it’s not easy. It’s not easy. That’s why most people don’t do it. Most people just would rather be like, they would just rather talk about culture, and we have a great culture. And, you know, that’s about as far as it goes.

 

Greg Reffner  27:37  
So, I don’t like working with other parts of a company. But What’s always interesting for me, being in sales is it when leader of a company gets up there and touts, you know, here’s what we’re going to do and we’re all going to perform. 

And then in sales, I feel like I’m everybody else is kind of allowed to not do their job well, like products allowed to miss deadlines, customer success, a lot of lose customers, marketing’s allowed to not hit their number on HR is allowed to not hit their, you know, happiness score, whatever sales team, you know, if you miss your number, right, like you’re screwed, I feel like you if you’re gonna take that approach and align that you can’t contradict yourself, you can’t be hypocritical if you’re going to be a leader of a company, like the that the culture you establish, has to permeate through every part of your organization, or sales will start kind of going like, well, they’re not doing what they’re supposed to do. Like, how important is that? Right? Have you ever seen like I’ve experienced that? 

Maybe I’ve just kind of lived in a bubble in my experience. But have you ever kind of experienced that kind of holding sales to maybe a different standard than other parts of the company?

Shawn Buxton  29:05  
Only every place I’ve ever worked in sales? Yes. Yeah, it kind of comes to the territory, I think. I think that that happens, not for malicious reasons normally, but because I think it’s so hard to measure what a lot of these other departments do, and I’m not trying to talk bad on them. Obviously, I love sales. And I think it’s the best that’s why I’m in sales. 

But that being said, I think it’s hard to, you know, like you’re struggling to come up with example, how do you measure HR? Like, happiness score? What the hell is that? Right? That’s what I love about sales as you can look at the scoreboard and say, Okay, we won or we lost, right? We need numbers. Yeah, it’s numbers. Right? And so that’s the beauty and also the same time to the hardest part about sales is that you are constantly being watched and measured. I think what’s important is you know, we talk I have a program I put my sales leaders through called the sales leader training and And part of that is, the third part is overcoming obstacles for performance is the third area we focus on. And the concept behind that is, we want our sellers laser focused on what they’re there to do, which is to sell, right, don’t get caught up in all this drama. 

The obstacles that are that are in front of us that we can control are usually breakdowns and communication amongst the team amongst us and other departments, things like that. I think the danger comes when we let them get focused on things that are beyond the control, even many times the frontline manager, right. And if you’re, if you’re held by private equity, or if you’re a public company, you know, it’s beyond even sometimes the VPS sphere control. And so in that part of the training, we talk about, hey, let’s focus on what we can control what we can measure, which is driving sales, we know that if you’re scared that you’re getting acquired, and you’re going to lose your job, there’s one good way to make it look like you shouldn’t lose your job. And that’s the crusher number. 

You know, if if we’re going public and you’re worried about the best answers to crashing out, that’s always the best answer. And sales is to focus on what you can control, which is the number. And then the role of the manager then is to go and to advocate for his or her team. And, you know, try to even the playing field like that. 

But I you know, I wish I had a great answer for you. I’ve seen it a lot. I kind of think it just comes with the territory.

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Author

Greg Reffner - CEO

As one of the very first power users of Conversational Intelligence as an Account Executive, Greg fell in love with how technology enabled his success. As Abstrakt's leader, his vision and "why" is to help every sales rep and leader avoid the pain of missing their number.