The B2B Revenue Executive Experience
The B2B Revenue Executive Experience

Episode · 1 year ago

Purpose Drives Profits: How to Really Be Customer-Centric w/ Lisa McLeod

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

A noble purpose isn’t something that just happens.

 

It’s not like you need Bill Gates’ success to have one.

 

In reality, it’s the other way around. 

 

Today, I’m joined by Lisa McLeod, best-selling author of Selling with Noble Purpose and Founder of McLeod & More, to discuss why finding purpose is such an important step for any successful organization. 

 

Lisa explains:

 

- Why you need a purpose

 

- How to find your aim and your lane

 

- Why success means being able to sit with uncertainty

 

- Why your customers should value you and not just your product

 

This post includes highlights of our podcast interview with Lisa McLeod, best-selling author of Selling with Noble Purpose and Founder of McLeod & More.

 

For the entire interview, you can listen to The B2B Revenue Executive Experience. If you don’t use Apple Podcasts, we suggest this link.

You need to be just as specific aboutthe impact you have on customers, as you are about your own internal metric, you're. Listening to the BTB revenueexecutive experience, a podcast dedicated to help in executives traintheir sales and marketing teams to optimize growth, whether you're lookingfor techniques and strategies were tools and resources. You've come to theright place. Let's accelerate your growth in three two one: welcomeeveryone to the B tobe revenue executive experience. I'm your hostChat Sanderson today we're talking about what it means to have a noblepurpose in business and why it goes beyond andproving. Just the financialreturns of the organization to help us were like had with is Lisa Ma cloudbest selling author of selling, with noble purpose and founder mclaud, moretes said. Thank you so much for taking time and welcome to the show thanks Ofesyure to be here chat. So we always like to start with, like a nice breakerquestion, something a little off the off the cuff kind of always curious toknow, people put a lot of time into their. You know public persona and allthat stuff, but Curiouso now something you're really passionate about that.Those that might only know you through work might be surprised to learn. People might be surprised to learn howmuch I care about the experience that young people have going into the worldof work, and it shows up kind of on the edges of my work, but when I thinkabout a young person in their very first job, that sets the tone for whatwork is going to be like for you absolutely and what a lot of peopledon't realize when you set the tone for what work is going to be like for ayoung person. You also set the tone for what life is going to be like and theway they experience that job is going to have a dramatic effect on not onlytheir ambition, their career success, but also the way they are inpartnership if they have a partner and the way they parent, eventually yeah. Ilove it that that is probably the one...

...of the most interesting I've heard in awhile that has a nice ancellery benefit across the entire spectrmum of ourexistence. I remember, unfortunately, my transition from college to work, andI remember and is VIP burned vividly in my head forsomberson we're talking. Imean those that can't see me. These are platinum highlights on my cotethes arnot gray hairs the first job I got. I was really intomusic and it was working for a magazine and I had a count executive. Look at meand say: That's cute. You will no longer have time to enjoy anythingassociated with the arts and he was rather aggressive about it and it just stuckin my head. I was like. I don't think I want to work with him in anytime reaization like that. Well, and so many people, sadly- and itdoes relate to my work, but people are often surprised to know that this islike a an emotional trigger for me. So many people in that first job get thefeeling I'm working for the man O ncertain amatic and in reality that'soften not the case like that magazine or not. You know we work with biotech,we working construction a lot of times. These companies really are improvinglives for customers, but that first job is so far removed from that you can getvery jaded and it is. It breaks my heart because it is a lost opportunityon behalf of the employer and also the young person starting their job. Ohabsolutely, I couldn't couldn't agree more all right. So, let's start with adefinition from a business perspective of what we mean when we say noblepurpose. Let's set some context for the conversation. People often think thatnoble purpose is reserved for the doctors, the teachers, the nurses orthe big sexy companies. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth.Your noble purpose is simply: How do you make a difference to your customers...

...and when you put that at the fore ofYour Business, everything changes the challenges? A lot of organizations havethese aspirational purposes, but when it comes down to sales, it'sshow me the money n w. This is a lost opportunity. Well, and you mentioned,as we were, preven Yo mentioned that sales organizations with a noblepurpose, often out, perform those that don't have one or maybe are too focusedon this show me the money aspect: you go a little bit deeper in that. For me,that's right, and the thing you have to understand is purpose drives profit,not the other way around. A lot of people think well make enough money andthen we'll be a goo corporate citizen. The purpose that I'm talking about is not good corporate citizentry. I'mall for that, and Bravo, you and I'd encourage that. But what we'veidentified the research tells us that organizations whose noble purpose is toimprove the lives of their customers and who put that at the center of theirorganization out, perform the market by a three hundred and fifty percent,because they are laser focuse on customers and there's a nuance herethat I want to be really clear on that. A lot of people think we want to be acustomer, centric organization. We want to do right by our customers, that'sgood! That's better than saying you know. We want to be a funch of jerks,but where we go is one step burther, and that is clarity about the impactyou have on customers. So it's not just about pleasing your customers. It'sabout improving your customers and it's a really crucial difference wet. Solet's go a little bit deeper that when we say improving the customer, are wetalking improving quality of life, educational landscape, wetre like whatis that? What are some of those metrics or aspects that when we look at theimprovement of the of the customer, really resonate with the organizations?So what you have to do when you are finding your noble purpose is: Chooseyour aim and your lane, and so I'll...

...give you an example. One of our clientsis a bank and their purposeis weepual prosperity. So imagine the difference.You have all these and we've all seen the bad bag sales people imagine yeah.Perhaps you bin a Yeswe, have and Sohad even made consistently the front page.I the world street turtle so but imagine if instead, your boss said ourpurpose here is to fuel theclient's prosperity. So that means we need tofigure out. What is prosperity mean to that client? How can we improve it andit seems simple, but what you do when you do that, is you change the NorthStar of the sales organization, and so we had another organization. They werein the concrete business and their purpose was we're going to redefinethis industry and they had some very specific ways. They were going toredivine the way customers experience them and what it does. Is it pointsyour people because m most of the time in business, we point people to specificity on thenumbers, but vagueness on the customer experience and you need to be just as specificabout the impact you have on customers, as you are about your own internalmetrix, when organizations have been investing, whether they have the rightfocal point or not right, you go back to you, O Amazon and Virgin Atlant likeDisney, even they've. All used this customer experience approach. What isreally interesting is that that, to me seems like a means to the end offulfilling a purpose rather than the end itself, and most organizations havea tendency to use customer experience as the end goal. That's what we'reafter it sounds like what we're talking about is going one step further,getting more specific about, not just hey. I made it to this point, but thisis the impact getting to this point. I had not only on my organization, but mycustomer base as well. Is that a fair...

...assessment that is, and so I'll giveyou an example of how this plays out? One of our clients was provided ITservices to small businesses cmit. They were pretty well known. They were inthe news about this and imagine the difference between them. When theleader says, okay, Chad, you're going to go out and call him this smallbusiness, you need to find out. How are they measuring success? How are wegoing to improve it? How are we going to move the needle for this smallbusiness? Go Get Hem, Chad versus your competitor that the boss says Chad, youneed to go close. This deal right now sounds good, but who would you ratherhave calling on you? The person whose organization has said improve life forthe customer find the biggest boldest best way you can do that and go to townwith it versus the person that said close it close it close it. The datatells us a very famous study. Now, an a Michigan State University. The personwho was told make a difference to the customer will sell a bigger deal,they'll sell a sticker deal and they will have more tenacity in the face ofsetpacks. Well, that's because I would I would assume I mean I'm very much thesame way right. So if I'm not passionate about, I can help you solvethis problem or we can drive these types of impacts for your org or yourcustomers. Somebody just driving me going close clothes, close, that'sgoing to come across in the way I present myself. My word choice. Thechannels in which I reach out to you and what I say in those things itreally could be. I could see situations where could be detrimental to the brandas a whole, not only if the individual sales rat, but of the organization,that's e, representing that's right e. We were dealing with Clina bars, whos chief revenue officerfor a global firm, and when everyone went virtual, you know they likeeveryone else is worried about the revenue, but this particular Cheprevenue officer had the wherewithal het came to us and said I want mypeople to be seen as helpful, not scavegers and Tis exactly I because thething you have to understand is the...

...internal conversation becomes theexternal conversation, and if your internal conversation is only about,how can we close it? How can we close it? You haven't given yoursalves people,anything compelling or interesting to take to the market, and it's going toshow up in every little way that they behave with customers yeah, and I thinkit goes even beyond just the the customer approach. It very much is thathuman human, like you, need to be curious about what that other person isexperiencing. You need to be able to understand what theyre, what problemsthey're trying to solve and if you're ethical, which I know some people,would challenge some sales people on that part. But if you're ethical, youhave to be willing to admit that they could be focused on things. You can'thelp them with right now and that that's okay, that it's just notsomething it's not going to make any sense to jam the You Know Square Squarepeg into the round hole. It really is 't about making sure you understand,where they're at when we did the research for selling, with noblepurpose. For the second edition, so I wrote the first book about eight yearsago, and then we implemented this with over two dozen firms and we saw hugeexponential growth in revenue and they're all outlined in there. One ofthe things that was really interesting when we were researching the secondedition and we were identifying the habits of the salespeople that were thetop performer. So the first thing we identified first blush was: They have apurpose begger than money, and customer impact is Ur in game. But the secondthing this was super interesting was they had the ability to sit withuncertainty, and it was because they had enoughconfidence that I can probably help most customers. So we can get into aconversation about what their needs are. Where they're going, and I'm prettyconfident that in most cases I will be able to help these people, so that gavethem the capacity and, if you've ever...

...been with a salesperson who was like?Oh my God, Oh my God, this conversation's going wrong. I've got TaCloseit, but it's it's so obvious, the customer, but this this one norte starbigger than money. What we call the noble purpose pointed them in adifferent direction, and then this second skill, the ability to sit withuncertainty made their sales calls so much more collaborative. Well, that'snot a skill said that a lot of sales people have, like I mean joke with some of our clients. You knowsales sales people typically have really really really big egos, butthey're very fragile and uncertainty becomes one of those places where youcan kind of shake ou the foundation right. It shows up it's one of thosethings where there's this sense of control. Now the question for me wouldbe is the way that my organization is structured, an dor targeting me as asales wrap is the internal complan processes internal. You Know Dayto Day.Is that what is impacting the way I am perceived by my customers, or can an individualsales rep, even in the face of all of that, still identify something closerto a noble purpose for themselves and still be effective in that mal storm ofkind of historical performance right? So yes, and yes in most organizationsthe infastructure, we call it. The sales ECO system pulls the cellartowards the transactional everything they see on the crm. When are you goingto close it when going to close to everything boss? Sets you down when Yin a close out, mhich is going to be all those things are fine, but in theabsence of any other larger story they will take presents but to your point,Canan, individual seller, here's what we found that the top Tiar performer,the top ten percent, it didn't matter what their organization was doing. Theyheld on to this Norte Star of I'm here,...

...to make a difference to customers, nomatter what, and so so what that tells us is that good news for individualsellers, because the individual seller and what we did in the new version ofthe book was we made it some really practical models for individual sellersto get your mindset right, because we we've all been in that organization,where maybe everything's going negative and a couple F people still say: No,here's what we can do you know we've all seen were individual mindset cansuperseed what's happening in the organization. So that's the good newsfor individual sellers. The good news for organizations is when we looked atwhat we call the malleable middle, the people most heavily influenced by themanager, the CRM, the executive language, an we looked at those folks.What we found was noble purpose was not innate to them, but it still could betaughkt excellent that they could. They couldlearn it. So that means you can learn it on your own or, ideally, your wholeorganization will do it yeah I idealy. It would be great. I mean nobody wakesup in the morning since I want catastrophic change in my life, but ifwe had to change management approach that made it organizational and whenyou work with an organization, so you go in some, you got to start with somessessment understand where they're at now, but whate are the first areas thatyou seeu need to be touched, evolved shifted. Where do you see the first wes,the first sign that were off track? One of the first signs is when we lookat how the sales meetings are run and howexecutive town halls are run and we look at the language of those. If allof that language is pointed internal and there's no stories or examples ofhow we're improving life for customers, we know not only is that organizationand danger, but we also know this is a fast, easy fix. Ightbecause if you areselling something that people are...

...buying they're getting some improvementoff. It you've got some customer impact stories there do we know that they'rethere we just have to find them and start telling them. I want to go backto something that you said, though, that I want to challenge folks on thisbelief that people don't wake up and want change, because we have this belief that nobodywants to change. If that was true, no one will get married and no one wouldever have a baby. What we found, what we don't want is wedon't want some change enacted by senior leadership that has no benefitfor us, and so one of the way things that welead with when we go into an organization it's rather than startingwith. Oh, this is how we're going to make more money this. How we're goingto do this? What we lead with is- and it's true is this- is how you're goingto enjoy your job more, and this is how you're going to better connect withcustomers in a way that's more meaningful and instead o be sitting athome. Feeling, like all you do, is just hassle. People for money we want tocreate some meeting and happiness in your job is is the same reason. Peoplehave a baby, not because they go sign me up for late nights, but because theythink Oh, this is going to be something that I'm gonna get some joy out of, andso that's the one of the problems with so much of the change is that companiesgive the business reason for it and they think all the milions will comealong. Instead, we want to lead with here's the wind for you right, becausethe money follows the meaning and that's hard for a lot oforganizations. I mean that's a hard, that's a hard shift for anorganizational structure depending on the generational spread. You know allthe stereotypes exist for reason right so t. what's the generational spreadcan make it challenging because the generations that are typically going tobe in those midlevel roles at this point, they're, probably going torespond to that a lot more effectively and with less skepticism than those whomay be- and I know this is a huge...

...overgeneralization, so bear with meaudience, but those at the top probably have a little bit more grey hair andprobably a little bit more skeptical just from an upbringing standat. How doyou bring them all together? How do you get them all in the same page, soyou've got to meet people where they are and is someone who is older, whocamo flashes her gray hair with hair this? What I had to finally bringtogether in my own life was the connection between the money and themeaning. So I grew up in sales im x, proctor and gamble sales. I ran a salesleadership. Consultancy birm before I started my own firm and the idea ofmaking money is rilling to me. It's so exciting to me, because W N, when you,if you've ever been in a company that wasn't making money its horrible yeah,worried about it every night, you you know, depending on how bigger smell youcan't make pay rolly go firebut, it's awful, and so what we've got to do? What we do whenwe go in with senior leaders is we show them the clear data about? Why embracing this noble purposewill make you more money, because that's you got to meet peoplewhere they are it's the same model. You need to follow customers. If seniorleaders are looking at this piano. Looking at this pipeline saying, howcan you affect this? We got to meet him where they are other people are saying.Please make my job better. You got to meet them when they are, and I do wantto be clear. This is not a magic bullet that in one quarter, will make you moremoney, but what we have consistently seen is in the course of twelve monthsI mean we've had some clients double revenue and it and the thing the thingthat I would ask is I use a really simple example is imagine asalesperson's being coached and one leader says when you going to close it and how muchis it going to be in the precall planning...

...and another leader says when you Gointo close it? How much is it going to be, and then after they ask that they ask?How will this customer be different as a result of doing business with US yeah, it's a subtle shift and powerful,very powerful from what you know what that rep walks away from. Do you findhy, you ask it last right, because it's the one thing you want it's the it's,the primary foval point right, so they're always going to remember thatone last. Do you find that reps struggle sometimes to answer thatquestion they do, which is what it's so important to ask it. So we call it thegame changing question: How will the customer be different as a result ofdoing business with us and when you ask a celler that early in their salesprocess, they do struggle, and that tells you we got to do some discoveryhere if you're asking them that before they're about to make their big pitch,that means whoe. We don't have a very compelling bitch, but what we find inorganizations that, where we coach the sales managers and again this isn't abig leap- ask all your normal pipelane questions just in Sert this one at theend. What we find is that shifts everyone's mind. You know we oftento,you know mindset and language. We often think are these fluffy things, butmindsetting language and sales is everything because your customersmindset ind the language they use with. You is to tell about how they feelabout you, and so what you're doing when you ask? How will the customer bedifferent as a results of doing business with us you're flipping thesalesperson's mindset, instead of being pointed over here in the East Theyrepointed towards the north, now rest for impact and then the language that theyuse to describe it? That's the language you want on the sales call, so that'swhy we call it the game changing question when we work with companiesover the course of a year or so when they introduce new products, every newproduct that comes out is everyone wants to know. How will the customer bedifferent as a result of this product,...

...we're going to tell you that changesyour prodate launches yeah? It has wide reaching effects on the entire oo theystructurally and perspectively, but it also then lends itself to it removesthe transactional nature of the sale, which is, I think, where one of thethings that you've mentioned was thet. Transactional sales is dead, and so, ifI'm not just focused on the transaction, I'm focused on the outcome of thecustomer, how they will be different if leasn, that game changing question. Isthat what you mean when you say transactional sales or debtors, orsomething else that that I'm missing? That's what I mean I want to be clear.People mean different things by different things. A transactional saleis a sale wore of the customer place, es no value on you. I like that definition yeah. So I cango to a fast food place and it can be transactional or I can go to a fastfood place and it can. I can, it can be more than transactional. I can buy amultimillion dollar system and it can be very transactional or it can be moreand what we know is if the customer places no value on you, the person, thecompany, doing business with them and the sole value is on the functionalityof your product, you're going to be dead in the water, because that deal isgoing to go up forbid the next year. That deal is going to come down toprice, even if you've got the coolest functionality in the world, yourcompetitionis going to have it, and so, if you, your sales, people are sellingvery transactionly feature function. You're in big trouble, yeah absolutely,and so I have to ask how you se, you said: You publish the first edition, Ithink said eight years ago yeah. How did you find yourself getting behind orchampioning this idea of noble purpose and business where to could? Where wasthe genesis? It was a study that I did for a biotech company. They asked us tostudy their sales team and they wanted to know what differentiated the topperformers, and so we did a blind study.

We went in the field, we worked withgood performers and exceptional performers, but we didn't know who wasHo, and so we looked at all the things you can imagine how throw it all thecellars Torno doubt every salesperson listening. This is going o God, but wewent out watched how many calls they make, how many questions they ask. Wedid interviews with them and we were near the very end of the study and Iwas Wat this one representative in Phoenix Arizona. I sitting her in hercar about to get out in the blistering hot heat hoofe my way up to theterminal at the airport, and I just wanted to take a minute in that airconditioning. So I asked her a question. I said what do you think about when yougo on sales calls and she said why I always think about this one particularpatient. She says a grandmother came up to meone day in a doctor's office, I'm wearing my company named badge and shesaid: Are you the Rep for this trog she's? Yes ma'am? I am she sais alittle old lady looked up at her and said. Well, I want to thank you forgiving me my life back because, prior to taking this, I couldn't go anywhere.Do Anything and now that I've taken your drug, I can. I can play across thecountry and visit my grandkids and get out of the floor and play with them,and so this sales trep says. Well, you know, I think, about her every day,rainy Friday afternoon, other reps go home, not me she's. My purpose, I thinkabout her, and this was about ten years ago and when she was saying it I couldfeel something in my heartshift right and I had been a longtime sales trainer,and I thought this is different. This is that intangible thing, so I wentback and I looked at all the other interviews for that sense of purpose. Ifound four other people that had it one guy talked about his dad being adoptor hejust want to make the doctor's life easier couple. Other things at theend, the biotech company said. Who Do you think our top reps are? I said Ithink it's these five and that's who they were. I was ahundred percent right and I knew at that moment that I had spotted something...

...not just magical but but I hopedscalable something that was a real differentiator and so the biotank bunchof scientists and finance guys Saiv will. How did you know what was thedifferent you because now they think I'm magic right andiand. So this is tenyears ago, and so I said well, you know the top sellers now that I know theyare.I said they all have this different story in their heart, and so thefinance guy is guy love that you know- and I gave me a little morerole because i'me just identbye the top five and I couldn't quite articulate it,but that was I knew if we can bottle this. If we can scale it, if we canteach it, we can create magic and it only took a scant decade later. AlRight. Well, I mean there's a lot of you knowwhen you think about a human motivation in general uni. I think of I think itwas Daniel pinks work on Damto, yeah, atonomy, master and purpose, and thatpurpose is the one that, when it comes up, t is the hardest one for people toauthentically put their arms around an express in my experience. They may haveit, but to share it sometimes is. I is a level of vulnerability that if we goback to that sales structure, where it's closeit Closeto closeit, it's notnecessarily the most welcoming environment for those types ofconversation, and that's why we have to change that yeah. It becomes aselffilling propiter, and it also I do want to be clear. So I first discoveredthis in this setting where they were selling drugs, that save people's lives.But what we've since found out is we have in a concrete company, we have inTa plumming company, we havenit in a bank and if you think, banking,concrete and plumbing are not noble purposes, just try living your lifewithout a Ri. Are you good? So you know, one of our clients is Dave and busters.We champion Laugh Ou loud fine, I mean it doesn't have to be curing cancerright and, and so what we find is when...

...you can establish an organizationalpurpose that goes beyond. We want to be the number one provider be a goodcommunity citizen be good to our Employe Bla Bla Blahblahblah, when youcan have clarity about here, is how we are making a difference to customers that gives everybody something to rallyaround, because yeah people want once we get beyond food and shelter, peoplewant belonging and significance, they want to be part of something biggerthan themselves, and so one of the things I always say is revenue is not the purpose of a salesforce. It is the test of its falidity. Thepurpose of assails force is to improve life for customers and when are doingthat, the revenue is the proof yeah. I like it. I love it. It's a greatperspective, one when I could not be more on board with, and I think morepeople need to embrace, let's Change Direction here, a little bit. We askall of our guests kind of two standard questions at the end of each interview.The first is simply as as an author as a revenue executive yourself. Thatmakes you a prospect for sales professionals out there and I'm alwayscurious to know. If somebody doesn't have that trusted in that referral intoyou Y, how do they capture your attention and earn the right to yourcalendar? What do you find works best for you, so I can tell you that whar works bestfor me is the same thing. We teach our clients, you have got to have somemeaningful content. That shows me your point of view with no pressure Mo so don't be saying hey. I can helpyou do this on on your first. You know email or enmail. You know, that's likesaying: Hey I'd make a great husband want to go out on a date. It's exactshim ANAE, yet yeah instead and every company shouldbe doing this, and even if your...

...companyis, not you can do it on yourown with a blog post or you can even find something but find something thatsays. I looked at Your Business and I thought this would be helpful to you and so help me first and especially now,when everyone is, you know, zoomed out calendars are full youre a going tocompete for Wyfi with you know your kids d and You know who are O my soopsop Wor, I mean be like your customers are in a spot now and so be helpful.First give before you try and Togein yeah. I love it and one hundred percentagain agree. So last question called our acceleration insight. If there wasone thing just if you had only one piece of advice, you could give tosales marketing or professional services piece of people, one piece ofadvice that, if they listen to you believe, would help them hit theirtargets. What would it be and why identify very specifically, logisticallypsychologically and emotionally, how you make a difference to customers, be really clear on the impact that youhave on customers and look to bring to find more places to do that. Thesecond part is important, find more ways to do that, not tell them in thefirst sentence, but find more ways to do that, because selling with noble purposis aboutbringing the money and the meaning together, it doesn't mean you're, just doingcharitable work. It means at the center of your commercial model. You haveabsolute clarity about how you improve life, for customers, you're excitedabout it and you're. Looking for more places to do that, to show up as thebiggest boldest most helpful version of yourself, you can possibly be that willmove the needle for you. I love it. I...

...love it least. If te listenersinterested in talking more about these topics or getting copy the book. Wheredo you prefer we send them? How do we have them get in touch with you sellinga Nevel Purposecom? Do you get a copy of the book there or connect with us? Follow US follow me onLinkdon and we do a linked in live every Friday. A hundre and thirty isfree, and if you're interested in USconsulting with your company or we've got a ninety day sales transformationprocess. Pik Me on Linkedon, and we will jump right on it. Som Lisa. Ican't think you enough or taking time it's been great having it on the show.Thank you. It was such a pleasure, I'm glad to be with a like a likemindedsales driver, all right, everybody that does it forthis episode, checks, hat a btob revexaccom share the episode of Friends,Families Coworkers! Let your kids listen to it. If you need to distractthem for a little while in the current environment nd until next time, wehavevalue selling associates with well nothing, but the greatest success. You've been listening to the BTOBrevenue executive experience to ensure that you never miss an episodesubscribe to the show in Itunes or your favorite podcast player. Thank you somuch for listening until next time.

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