The B2B Revenue Executive Experience
The B2B Revenue Executive Experience

Episode 256 · 2 months ago

Transparent Sales Leadership with Todd Caponi

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

“What do you sell?”

“To who do you sell?”

“Why do your clients buy?”

Many organizations train their individual contributors, but few invest in their most critical asset to success; sales leaders.

As a sales leader, it is your responsibility to get the best out of your team, clear the field, create an environment where you are inspired, and predict the future.

Every sales leader needs a clear structure, process, and method to know in which direction to go.

But what are the actual responsibilities of a revenue-generating sales leader?

To share more about the importance of effective sales leadership and how you can use it to increase the intrinsic inspiration of your workforce, Todd Caponi, speaker, trainer, sales historian, and author of The Transparent Sales Leader, the best-seller book that teaches you how the power of sincerity, science, and structure can transform your sales team’s results, joins us in this episode. Todd covers the five Fs of sales leadership that are required to develop the focus of your team.

Join us as we discuss:

  • The five Fs and their importance in sales leadership
  • How you should apply the 5 Fs
  • It is difficult to attract and hold on to top talent nowadays 

Now that you know the importance of effective sales leadership… It's time to learn how to lead your team, company, or organization to success. Check out the full list of episodes here: The B2B Revenue Executive Experience.

You're listening to the B two B revenue executive experience, a podcast dedicated to helping the executives train their sales and marketing teams to optimize growth. Whether you're looking for techniques and strategies or tools and resources, you've come to the right place. Let's accelerate your growth in three, two one. Welcome everyone to to be, to be revenue executive experience. I'm your co host, Carlos No Che, and I'm joined by my co host, Lisa Schnare. Say Hi, Lisa, hi everyone, thanks for joining us. Gotta get rid of those co hosts. It sounds repetitive. Today we are talking about sales leadership. So many organizations invents in training their individual contributors, but few invests in their most critical asset to success, which is their leaders, the individuals that really lead the sales culture of any organization. And to help us out with this topic today we have the one and only todd capony, who is a two time author who recently released the transparent sales leader. He's also a speaker, trainer, podcaster and coach of the transparency sale program that he developed himself. Todd, thank you so much for taking the time today and welcome to the show. Hey, thanks for having me. This should be fun. So, in full transparency, I have note todd for over ten years and I think the world of him. So I'm really excited about this podcast. Don't let me down, all right. So here's our starting question. That kind of see how interesting you are. We say this on every podcast. The question the start is, Hey, what's something about you, todd, that most people that only know you through work may not know about you? Something you're passionate about? Well, I mean there's something that I wear on my sleeve, which is when cool people are doing cool things. On the weekend I'm digging into an early nineteen hundreds book on sales or sales management. I've got a whole collection of the weekends. I'm scanning Ebay and a books trying to find like somebody found some books in Gramma's basement like that I can go auction and try to grab. But that is a huge nursery for me. Is just digging into the brilliant and sometimes wacky minds of a hundred two, a hundred and twenty years ago and the kind of the underpinnings of what it truly is modern sales. So I don't know if that makes me interesting or a super nerd to a totally different level, but I'm thinking it's probably more the latter. So we're talking like traveling salesman, like knives, or earlier, when you say eighteen hundreds, like was that the knocking on doors, or was it even more primitive? Sure so, back in the early nineties that was really the dawn of what we call modern sales, which looks an awful lot today. Like today. There's a Guy John Patterson, who founded MCR Corporation, but he was truly the father of this idea of let's hire our own sales people versus having manufacturers, reps that travel around, drummers, bad men there used to be called that would represent lots of products. Let's hire our own, let's train our own, let's give them dedicated territories, let's give them variable compensation plans, let's treat them like the way that we look at things today. And it almost mirrors it exactly. And so that's the beginning in the eighteen nineties. But the problems, the challenges, the approaches from nineteen hundred through nineteen forty look exactly like today. To the point where I could literally pull paragraphs from books in Nineteen Sixteen, drop them in the linkedin today and people would be like wow, that's brilliant and they have no idea that. I really hope you do that thinking that all the time and you don't even know it. Hey, folks, we just learned something new about take that insight. I just things from the early nine rip and replaced. I got some old books. I gotta give to look for it. I got some old sales book that I picked up at a like a garage sale a gazillion years ago. How about to look for him time? You probably already have them, but I'm gonna look for well, I'll tell you. I mean, I was blessed that somebody said that my first book is one of the greatest sales books ever written, and I was like that's awesome and total BS. I mean literally, like the writing back then is brilliant. Some of these individuals, the way that they wrote and the pictures that they created through the words that they used were amazing, and it's about what we do today, and so that's something that I just find fascinating and I can't get enough of. I feel like you're going to end up finding that like Dale Carnegie and Stephen Covey and all these guys, they just did the same thing. Well, it was like cyclical. I don't want to go down that route, but I'll tell you. I mean how to win friends and influence people. It's basically there's pieces from books that I...

...see from nineteen o five to nineteen twenty that are all pulled together. He did a fantastic job, don't get me wrong, but like, he didn't invent all those ideas. So there's a lot before it. That's just super fascinating. That's amazing awesome. Well, so, on that same thread, can you tell us a little bit about your story and how you went from sales leader to sales nerds self described, and advocate? How did that all come about? Well, I think I mean to take a step even further back. I was always uh, what I call like a B B minus salesperson. I was okay, right, like they were going to fire me, but I did like I was hard working, but I was always a nerd for methodology, philosophy, all of that, and I always knew that coaching and teaching was my jam, but nobody would ever give me the opportunity to do it. In two thousand three, like a crazy person, I quit my job because I was stuck like I couldn't get promoted because I didn't have any experience. Quit my job, took everything I owned and sold it and a sales training franchise. The good news is that taught me how to facilitate, how to own a room. It gave me the opportunity to work with tons of different sales organizations and learn what works what doesn't. But I ran that into the ground, right and so by two thousand and six I popped out. I joined a leadership team for an early stage tech startup. I grew that up with the help of a company called visualize and it resulted in a Stevie award right. It was amazing, like they were the thing that really triggered US turning the company around and getting the four year over your growth. Went and did it again with another company, did it again and the next thing you know, the C R O of Chicago's fastest growing tech company called power reviews in two thousand fourteen to two thousand eighteen. And then there was an idea that triggered the first book, the transparency sale and I thought it would suck because I've never written a book before, but people seem to love it and built workshops and speaking around it and the rest is history. Now I've got the new book out and I'm out teaching and speaking about that constantly and I've pretty much replaced my old income and the difference in savings is in my investment in Adville, which is pretty cool. You Buy Shares, I sell shares, because my need for Adville has gone way down. I think I've added years to my life getting out of the going out and doing this. Your stomach. Thanks you exactly. One thing to give you credit. A lot of people want to write a book. Few quit their job and make it their job for a year. So I just wanted to say that because you know, for our listeners sometimes, Hey, yeah, I want to write a book, writing a couple of sentences on Sunday morning over coffee may not cut it. Yeah, I mean, I'll tell you. Being the sales history nerd I am too, I didn't want to write a book that's been written before and nobody gives a crap about my opinion, nion on things. Some people do, which makes you weird. But I wanted to make sure that this is really founded in behavioral science and data right. And so with the first book and the second book, it involved Gil Dot, starbucks, go somewhere and getting my zone and right and then go to the library, get online. I've got access to different research databases and I was pulling secondary research to tie up. I'm talking to people, I'm pulling data from different studies to just make sure that this isn't founded in one dude's opinion. Instead, it's founded on actual behavioral science and research applied to the sales and sales leadership of profession in a way that's unique, that's different, that's never been told before. And until I got to that point the book wasn't going to come out and I thought the first book would suck. The second one I'm actually really proud of, like I knew it was better. I feel like I know how to write better and the ideas in it, I hope, are going to make a real difference in people's careers and the company performance. Well, I had to say because when I first wrote my first article that I posted on Linkedin, I probably hung on too that for months before I had the courage to post it because I was just so scared of the world and how mean y'all can be. So I guess, like, how did you really push the confidence after it, like taking that time off and publishing it? Did you like close your eyes and hit you know, like well, I mean, it was through until here's the thing for everybody that's gonna write, if you're going to write a book, make sure first of all you do an outline first, right, because you will get stuck and they have an outline to guide you're gay. You'd wake up in the morning, I'm gonna write about this today and you just you get out of that. But the number two thing, and it's a quote attributed to Hemingway, and he says the first draft of anything is S H I t right, like good ship like. That's his quote. First draft of anything is crap, and I promise you the first draft of your book will be crap. Make sure you find a good editor. You get an editor...

...that can get you out of your bubble and really read a manuscript through the Lens of who you want to care about this. They're gonna find things. My first draft of my first book was terrible, apparently, but having a good editor makes a great book because they find all that stuff. And so book number one I basically wrote twice. Book number two I had to rewrite different chunks, cross out entire pages. But a good editor makes a good book. That seems like really good advice. Yeah, you need the outside eyes right, like you get way too in your own head like that. I mean, I have nowhere near the experience, but just even writing one article, I was like I need my marketer friends who are copywriters to look at this and be like tell me how garbage this is right now. But then for me it was also the fear of the comments, like of the disagreements, of the challenges and things like that, just like the Internet can do. And I was like do I really want to because I talk a lot and write a lot about strs and prospecting and like everybody's kind of got their own opinions there, and I was like do I really want to open this up? And so you've got to kind of overcome that and and also feel confident that, like and tell yourself it's the Internet. Everybody's got a different opinion. You can't make everyone happy, so you have to sort of like internalize that as well before you really put something out there. Yeah, that was my dad's advice to me growing up. My Dad was always somebody that would like MC different events and he was the guy in front of the stage right and he told me he said in every engagement five percent of the people are going to hate you and that five percent might come. If there's a hundred people, it might be five in a row that come talk to you, and just remember that loved it. Listen to the five percent. If there's lessons to be learned, embrace those, but really focus on the and make their experience even better next time. And that was something that advice he gave me a long time ago that I really held close. And sure enough, like the first time I started teaching, I have somebody come up to me afterwards and go, I hated what you said about that. I'm like cool, tell me about it, like let's talk about it. But then everybody else raved about it like hey, how can we make that experience better? And it made me better at what I do. That's really good advice. Awesome. So kind of changing tack back to the book, is you talk a little bit about the five fs for building revenue capacity. Can you walk the audience through sort of where that perspective comes from, how you came up with that? Yeah, and I'll just give it to you too. Here was the thing, and Carlos kind of set it up at the beginning. As a salesperson, you grow up, you've always got a structure and a process, right, that's there's methodologies, there's all this stuff. When I got promoted into sales leadership, I got the call from my CEO saying we think you're at right. That would have been my life's work. That's what I wanted to do. Cool, I'm so excited. Forty eight hours later I'm like, Holy Crap, I'm like a dog chasing a car down the street that every day, my day is guided by whatever direction the car happens to go and I don't know where it's going. Could be a recruiting issue, a deal issue, a forecast issue aboard me go one on one with my CEO every day was just like chasing and I was always way too much of a nerd for that and I hated not having a structure or something to fall back on. So I got myself in front of a flip charter whiteboard and I was like, all right, what are my responsibilities as a leader and let's chart. But like what the job requirements? And then I realized pretty quickly they all fall into one of five categories, and what I ended up doing is categorizing them. Then I'm too much of a dumbass not to make it a literative so they all start with the letter F. But I like I structured it in a way and internalized it so that I always had a thirty, ninety day plan in my pocket, that I always could have a structure by which I was looking at the day, so I could be proactive instead of reactive. I always had an agenda for an all hands, a board meeting, one on one with my boss, a due diligence, a interview, like you can use the structure for everything and when the bullets start flying, you had that to fall back on. And so I can list off the five us for everybody, because I'm telling you, listen to the five us, internalize them. Within thirty minutes listening to this podcast, you could go do a plan for yourself, like you always have in your pocket. You don't no longer have to go call your buddies and go anybody have a good template for Alan a Copley Times, that you'll have it always and you could fall asleep after this part of the podcast and be I had a cent of the rest of the leadership world. That's the dog chasing the bumper down the street. All right, so here goes all of your responsibilities as a revenue leader. So it doesn't even have to be sales. Could be client success marketing fall into one of five categories. The first is you've got a responsibility, initially an ongoing to develop the focus of your team. Like your team members, the people on your team. They've got one thing in inventory that they can change turn into revenue and that's their time. You've got a responsive relity to make sure that that time is focused on...

...the right companies, the right firm, a graphics, the right demographics, the right prerequisites. When they wake up in the morning they know where their time is going to be spent. No science projects. So number one's focus. Number two is you've got a responsibility, initially and ongoing, to optimize the field organization, the team that takes the field every day, the individuals on that team, the right experience, the right locations, the right places, the right territories, with the right tools and the right resources. So you build a field to attend to that focus, and I will argue you around the order. You want to establish your focus before you build a field versus the other way around. I see companies get that wrong a lot. So you've got your focus, you build a field to support that focus. Now you've got that field, you've got to make sure that. The third F is they're getting the fundamentals right, right the things they have to get right. They have to be it right consistently and that's a responsibility of you as a leader. Their messaging, positioning, prospect and discovery, qualification, negotiating demos, present presenting all that stuff. That's on you to make sure that they've got that honed. Your fourth responsibility, always an ongoing is who knew the forecast? You've got a responsibility to predict the future right. So you've got to get the forecast right and the KPI S and metrics got to be able to measure things so that you can be proactive instead of reactive. And then the fifth F, which I'd argue is likely the most important and also the cheesiest, but it's too fun like. You've got a responsibility to create fun which is creating a culture where your team wants to show up every day, wants to stay, wants to do their best and wants to go advocate for you and your organization. Those are the five right focus. Build a field to support that focus, get that field doing the fundamentals right. You've got a forecast, and then build a fun culture where your team stays, does their best and advocates. All of your responsibilities fall into those five. Think about them every day, use them as your structure, and I'm telling you, you just won the game of leadership. I love that. I know we have a question about culture, Carlos as a question about culture in a second, but I have to ask the five fs that you it sounds like you really kind of had this epiphany and put this together on your own. But were you inspired by any of your leaders along the way, or was it more of a they taught you what not to do? Because that happens too. To the point about we don't really train. When I go out and I do these transparent sales leadership workshops for companies, that's always the first thing I asked too, is, hey, listen, this was my experience. Nobody ever trained me in sales leadership or revenue leadership? How many of you have a structure or have been trained and like literally, I look and tumbleweed blows through the room. Where did that come from? I thought we had walls? But the second thing is where did you get your style and your approach? And across the board, including me, it's you take the lessons learned from the people you really respected and enjoyed working for and go I'm going to do more of that. And then there's those idiots that you work for that did some crazy stuff and you're like, I'm not going to do that, and that becomes your approach. In methodology, I had some fantastic ones. I had a couple of terrible ones too, and so my approach was really born from that overall. I'll tell you, though, from a culture perspective. I know we're going to talk a little bit about that, but I grew up in a time where the culture of leadership was hey, you're lucky you have a job today, and that was never the way that I felt like I did my best work, that I woke up in the morning excited to get to it, that my approach was always I want to create an environment where my team feels like we're peers. I'm not any more important than they are. As a matter of fact, in revenue and sales leadership, salespeople are probably making more than I am, but I wanted to create this environment where he listened. I'm no longer, no more important than you are. We're peers, we just have different responsibilities. My responsibility is to help get the best out of you and to clear the field of the crap, continue way and create an environment where you're inspired, and my responsibility is to predict the future and to build a hone this team and, like your responsibility is to go out there and build that revenue right and do your best work and if we understand that, can help each other. That's when they start filling out the C R out right, that's when they start giving you the pieces that you need and you start giving them an environment where they can go be their best. And that was always the way that I took it. had a CEO that was like, todd you gotta be in them a little bit more, and I'm like, I think me. Sorry, you're not going to be happy with my style that. Yeah, it's so. I'm just thinking back. So after I became a manager and my first year was successful as far as hitting my number, but I still remember Brett Caine sitting down his office and I was like a rooster with his tail feathers in the air, and his line was hey, yeah, it was a good year. How about next year you try to become the manager, because basically I was a super rep while year and after I kinda turned around like Hey, he had good point, and I again talk about good...

...leaders that make you better. I spent the next year talking to the team and one of my lines was, hey, help me understand what you guys need to be successful. You're either gonna push me up or push me out if you want my job. I think that's awesome. Either I gotta stay ahead of you or I gotta get out of your way, because maybe I should be reporting to you. So kind of thinking about you know, where peers all working together on this major journey, not I'm your boss sort of crap exactly. But some of that we've all worked at different places. Some of them were dysfunctional, just to say it nicely, and some of them just had amazing culture, a culture that you felt like you belonged and you felt you were part of something bigger, something that was going somewhere, and that kind of cause us all to kind of go above and beyond. So when we think about establishing in your book you talking about establishing consistent culture, I think it's critical. You say it's critical to kind of get everyone to buy in, but I'm also thinking about it today, especially in this day and age. It's where it's so difficult to attract and maintain top talent. I think not having a cultural is one of those huge challenges organizations have right so love to get your perspective. What do you think is behind us? In fact, you also talk about behavioral science, of intristic inspiration. Hey, I can't even say big words like this. So why don't you tell our audience what you mean aby all this stuff? Oh yeah, so, first of all, the one thing. So I've got a whole chunk of the book that's just dedicated to intrinsic inspiration, which is intrinsic meaning comes from within. Right. EXTRINSIC would be money, bonuses, toys like all that kind of stuff that comes from the outside. Intrinsic is you wake up in the morning and you're like, let's go right and so that that's the definition of what I mean there. But I kind of start the section of the book with a comment that's meant to be a bit controversial, but it's this idea that when you go out and you look around at posts and all that kind of stuff, you hear a lot of people in the old school that are like hey, sales, well, their coin operate. Well, if you think their coin operated, you're right. If you're doing it wrong, that when you create cultures like you just described, where I get variable compensation as a reward for doing work I love to do with people I love, instead of it being the reason I do the work, that's when you win and that's the science of Intrinsic Inspiration is how do we optimize that again, alterative. I have a model in the book I called the praise model because there's six categories that contribute to optimizing culture and Intrinsic Inspiration amongst your team. Happy to rattle those off for you too, but to kind of give you the short answer of that question, culture is about thinking beyond this idea that it's money and like hey, how do we alter the variable compensation plan to get the results and behavior we want. Well, you're thinking about one part of it. There's five other parts that you've got to think through that when your team is truly inspired and on a mission man, you don't need to alter the COMP for them to want to achieve and accomplish things that are beyond just their paycheck. Well, he kind of reminds of another ahamament had along the way, is we're all motivated for different reasons. So when we think about what motivates someone to do their job and what they want out of it, that's a dummy. When I started this thing and I haven't gotten much better. Hey, they're all like me. They want the same thing. They want the bigger paycheck, they want the promotion. I took a step back and I interviewed each one of the people that I had just hired a year before about what do you want out of the role? What's going on in your lives? Hey, and we all grew up todd in the stick age, I call it. You're happy, you got a job and we beat you with a stick. These days it's the carrot stage. Hey, all right, would you like? What kind of water would you like today? So there's not a lot of that. I learned a lot from my team because, even though we're all expected to travel, the person with the new maybe may like to travel a little bit less and the person that doesn't have kids, hey is might be willing to travel more if they're appreciated for it. So it created a we've actually shared that across the team and it really created a better bond with each other. Like, Hey, todd, if you're willing to go coast to coast, I'll give you this. In fact, I'll take over that other thing you got. And it created a team versus a bunch of individual contributors trying to maximize the revenue. So I'm happy to talk about that. I do have a complaint about your book. It's a complaint I got about my own even process. We call it value selling, and in reality it's so much more than just selling. And I know it's transparent sales leader, but isn't this much more than just sales? You touched the pod customer success. There's marketing, there's product teams, just especially in organizations that are a SAS model, it requires so all these roles to be working together. So love to get your perspective. Well, it's funny you say that there's so many ways like a go with this. But...

...yes, you're right that, if you're in any kind of revenue leadership role, the people that get so much out of the five fs are early stage entrepreneurs, right, that are trying to build an organization and they think that selling is I got to go put on a plaid jacket and some gold chains and off I go, right, and having the five F's is a great opportunity for them to get that focus, to build a team to support and get the fundamentals right, figure out what metrics, two measurements that they can forecast and creating cultures right. It works for all of them. But I'll tell you this. So right now we're kind of in this recession right, things are getting tighter. I have always been a believer and it's part of the reason that my teams have been successful is I believe, from a focused perspective, in this concept called extreme firmographic focus, which means instead of trying to cast a wide net and be all things to all people, which I could with this based on what you're saying there, I'm a believer and going hey, here's the lane that I want to be an expert and I believe that during a recession, companies should be thinking about this way too. Right that we, as things get tight, we tend to want to cast a wider net and go hey, our solution goes for manufacturers and services and pharmaceuticals are all over the place. Pick a lane and go really tight on it and become an expert in it and become somebody that people look at as hey, that individual knows my business and can be an asset to me instead of a necessary evil. And so that's why transparent sales leadership. That's my expertise, that's my lane, that's my background, that's where all my expertise is. You're absolutely right. This applies to just about everybody and I think I'm biased, but I'm hoping that people who read the book that aren't in sales leadership get a ton out of it. But I'm really coming at it from that revenue perspective and I want to be like the foremost authority on sales leadership as it comes to modern ways of thinking about the role, and hopefully other people can get a lot out of it too. Remember when we talked like ten years ago, talked about your journey and how you got the company from going hey, we can do anything to anyone. Hey, here's what we do to WHO. And it's so funny because today, in fact, I have a call coming up after this and my new way I can engage a new accounts like, well, before we get into sales training or do? I just got these three core questions. What the Hell do you sell to? WHO AND WHY DO THEY BUY? And if I start with well, it depends. It could be anything. Uh, until we figure that out, it is really hard to have a consistent process where we established differentiation. When you don't, it's a moving target exactly. I mean that was two thousand nine for us that we had a solution that worked with pretty much anybody and we decided, hey, listen, we've got only a couple of customers, but they both happened to be in aerospace and defense. Why don't we become aerospace and defensive experts for a while? I know we can apply to all these different manufacturers. So we like we hired a consultant that was a nerd on that could teach us the lingo, teach us all we needed to know mark getting focused on bringing in those customers that could teach us about what they read, what they care about, how they're measured. Hey, show us your inbox, like, show us what stands out in your inbox. Right, all of a sudden my team becomes experts in aerospace and defense and everything they see reminds them of it. And instead of having to tell them, Hey, your account territory of two hundred accounts, we only want you to call on ten. By just enabling them to become aerospace and defense experts, we didn't have to take anything away from them. Instead, those are the ten they wanted to call. And the next thing you know, we get Boeing, we get SESSA, we get Gulf Stream, we get spirit, we get all of these and Northrop Grumman, and we go, wow, that's amazing. Let's go a little wider. And we went a little wider and we did like oil and gas and happy manufacturing, and we a little, a little wider for automotive. The next thing you know we're growing four year over year. Now. We're barely keeping the lights on before that. But developing that fermiographic focus is so valuable gives you so much confidence, and confidence is contagious to your buyers. You so much. All right, one other thing that was in your book. You talk about some myths regarding motivation. Can you share with us some of your thoughts there? Oh, there's so many. Can I share one? I don't remember if it's in this section, but something that struck me that is a bit counterintuitive that I'm hoping to change the world with sounds good. There's this behavioral scientists professor at Duke University named Dan Ariali. I don't know if you've ever heard of Dan but like he's got Ted talks. He's the guy is brilliant. I read one of his books and he's got a study in it that only me, being the NERD I am for sales, would see it through this lens. But here's the study. I want you to imagine people coming into a lab and they're broken into two groups. Each group is going to have the same responsibility and they're gonna be paid the same amount for it. Right, same job, same pet with you so far. And basically what it is? It's a forty piece lego model. It's called a bionicle. So these people they get to the they sit in front of the practitioner the practice and there...

...says build the model. We're gonna pay you for it, like, all right, I build it. Here it is. The practitioner in group one pays you and then takes the model, puts it on the shelf behind them and goes here's another one. Build it. Pay Them a little less for each one, but the goal is let's see how many they build before they're like, screw it, not worth it anymore. All right. So that's group one. Group Two, same exact task. Here's the model, build it here, I'm gonna pay you for it. Here's another one to build. But the difference is that in group two they're not taking it and putting on the shelf behind the practitioner. What they're doing instead is disassembling it and putting it back in the box, and then you'll be asked to rebuild it as the third one right in the fifth one. And so basically everything that you're building is being disassembled in front of you. Same Job, same pay, same environment. The difference is you're seeing your work disassembled in front of you. Now I looked at that and thought, Hey, you know forever at the end of the year we start reps over at zero. Right. We go, Hey, thanks for building that. We've just disassembled it, so you get to start at zero again this time build it again. We're gonna pay you a little less for it because your quote has gone up and your percentage as a result of that has gone down. And Yeah, like and do more. What we're doing when we do that is we are literally rewarding our bottom performers and we are disengaging our top performers. Right like, if you're a top performer, you're like, I'm back with these losers again at zero, and the losers are the same. Yeah, back at zero, here I am. I'm not in the bottom anymore. I am not saying that we need to get rid of that whole concept of starting over at zero, but I do believe one of the elements of intrinsic inspiration is to what you talked about, is about mission, purpose, impact, the aim of your work. But one of those there's the macro level, but there's also the micro level of me as a professional, once you see the impact of my work, not only this quarter but over the long term. I think companies are missing out on a huge opportunity to keep their top performers engaged by making sure that they can always see the fruits of what they've built and how that's contributed to the mission of the company and the foundation and the growth. I've seen a couple of companies that have like a logo wall of like the logos that reps who are still they're brought in with their names on it, right and when they did it, like that kind of stuff. So reps walk by and go, Yep, that's me. There's other organizations that are doing lifetime achievement awards within companies and going Hey, you get a bonus for your million dollar and you're two millions and you're ten millions, you maybe get title raises for that over the long term. But companies that basically cleared the deck and go hey, last year was last year. You're only good as your last quarter go. They are incentivizing the wrong people and the wrong behavior and they need to stop it in that so that that's just one right but there's so many others, man like we could talk for a day and a half year, but that Chapter I talk about a few of them, like the concept of fear as a motivator. Sure, fear is a motivator, like if you're in a boat and there's a shark behind you. You'RE gonna be motivated to get the hell out of there, but that's not sustainable, right and as leaders that create these fear induced motivation and environments. Sure it works in the short term, but long term you don't see it working. There's plenty of sports analogies. You look at some of the hardest driving leaders in sports. They get great results over about six months, but they don't stay in their jobs for more than a year or two. So, like, there's submits like that that I just think that we need to take a look at perks, for example, like hey, let's bring in more ping pong tables, Popa shots, beers on tap. You're not gonna work win the perk inflation war. People don't come for that. It sets a new expectation. Like there's a million of them. I could go on forever, but yeah, rethink those things because they do not contribute to the core of what you want on your teams. Yeah, it's no secret. Time I work with a lot of Dr Teams and have always. My whole career in corporate before joining value selling, was with leadership and str teams and that is so prevalent. Like you're trying to motivate people with beer and pizza when they're barely making rent. Like it's just so I always have thrown that out the window. And just also going back to what you said about like lifetime achievement, my SDR team has had a logo wall because my constant rhetoric to them was like, you are a highly respected revenue generator. You are not the bottom of the ship pile like everybody treats you. You are like you are, but because it is unfortunately we're still running into it, but the culture around the SDR team is that it's a it's like a Frat House, whereas it's like, if you're good at that job, you should be on top of that leader board in front of everyone every time, because that is a really hard job to do and it's basically rejection therapy. And like you open the door with those big logos, like you are winning big time and you are moving the needle for this company, directly impacting it. So,...

...yeah, I used to talk about that. I love everything you just said there. I'm going to copy and PAT R and D that off on Linkedin. Yeah, and so when we talked about this, so many people that you've worked with might be doing it wrong and there's a lot of myths that are still out there and we're still advocating to get rid of those. But can you share a few that people are getting right, like when you've worked with you've worked with a lot of people over the years, but when you saw something that you were like yes, this is really good, what are some of the things that you've seen? There's one company here in Chicago where one of the things that I talk a lot about is expectation setting right. That like, we don't buy when we're convinced, if we do, we're probably angry about it two days later. We buy when we can predict and we are satisfied when our expectations are consistently met. Right. So what that means is, for example, over promised, underdeliver. Terrible idea. Don't do it, and we see that obviously right. Under promise over deliver, I would argue, is also bad. Now when you talk about that question, Lisa, I see it in the interview process with leaders a lot. When you're bringing in recruits. You see so often leaders that over promise and underdeliver. Right, and the over promise under deliver is Hey, you're gonna come in here as an str and in six months you're gonna get promoted and then there's a leadership or we're gonna grow so fast we're gonna have all these leadership roles available and you're gonna be that happens all the time. It's the stock grants over promise, which is we're giving right and like the employee brain goes, well, Gosh, if this becomes the next Amazon, I'm gonna be a millionaire. Well, it's not going to become the next Amazon. Sorry, but the under promise over deliver is also a bad idea too, and I'll give you an example of that in a minute. But there's a C R here in Chicago that I was talking to about these concepts. One of the things he does during the interview process, which I think is brilliant, is he literally brings the data of his team's quota, eavement and compensation to the interview and so as a candidates coming in, he's just like, Hey, listen, just so we can set proper expectations, your salary is gonna be x, your o t is gonna be why? And here's the team distribution of the salaries, the attainment, the quote attainment and how much reps made. So, yeah, we had one rep that did two x there o t, which is fantastic. We had six of the reps that didn't get to their ot and then we had another ten percent that were way under it. And here's why we believe that to be the case. We're trying to do that, but that setting of expectations and cards face up. He said that when people came to come work for him they were so engaged because expectations were set properly. Now the under promise over deliver. I can't let that one go because a lot of people are like I always under promise, over deliver. That's great, you know what, and I did sound like the key bler Elph or whatever they're. Here's the thing. I want people to be careful with trying to be the UNDERPROM US over deliver champ. Here's why it's a form of line and it becomes unsustainable, and that the story I always tell is there's a restaurant here outside of Chicago. When you go to a restaurant, you sit down right, they give you the menus, they take your drink order, they bring the drinks, they take your regular order, they bring your food and at the end. They go, do you want dessert now? Cool, here's the check. Right. That's how restaurants work. This restaurant. So it's me and my wife, my two kids who, at the time, I think we're nine and seven. Same process, right, to sit down, to take a drink, to take your order, to get your food. You asked for the check. But wait, the check came. A glass of milk and warmed, warm chocolate chip cookies for the kids. Right. The kids get this and they're just like, Whoa, this is the greatest thing ever. Right. So under promise, over deliver means that was not an expectation. They were surprised and delighted by. It's a short term satisfaction spike. Right. We leave the restaurant. They're like we gotta go back there. That was the greatest thing ever. So we go back again. Same thing next time, milk, warm cookies. They're excited, but they're not as excited as they were last time because now it's the new expectation. Third Time we go in, check comes milk cookies. Cookies aren't warm this time. Apparently they probably remained an hour ago right there, like room temperature. The kids are like, let's suck like they're they're pissed. That to me. I looked at that again my sales nerd mind and I was just like, listen, now they leave angry, like they literally left angry. No other restaurant gives milk and cookies, yet this one, because the cookies were not warm, created that they had a new expectation that could not be sustained. And so, for all of you that subscribed to the under promise, over deliver model, you're going to be better served by creating consistent expectations that you know you can meet. That is the spike of satisfaction where teams will run behind you because they can predict and we, as human beings, are prediction machines. So let make sure I get this straight. So you create a false expectation of greater...

...reward and if you at all falter now, you're not meeting expectations exactly. Yeah, right, we are prediction machines. The way that our brains are wired is if predictions are met, we build confidence in future predictions, and when we are able to go to bed at night knowing what we're getting ourselves into the next day, that's when we sleep our best and when we sleep our best, we perform our best, we're at our high and creativity and our I q goes up. We as leaders, have a responsibility to create predictions for our team and consistently meet them, and that's when your team will have optimal performance. So my low I Q is just due to me not sleeping enough. Got It well, I know we're running up on time, but I did want to touch on one topic that's very topical right now, and that is the fact that the companies are staring into an economic downturn. A lot of budget belts are tightening, we're seeing layoffs on linkedin every day. Unfortunately. As a leader, particularly in sales, because a lot of sales teams are impacted by this as well, how do you handle that type of knowledge, because you always know before you have to actually execute this kind of thing. I've been on both sides of it now in my career. I know you both have as well, and when you talk about transparent leadership, you so desperately want to like warn your team during a time like this. How would you recommend handling a ton? And I know you've got a story around this, so I'm excited to hear it. I do and I'll tell you. There's two stories, but the first one I'll keep really short. Back in January I predicted this downturn based on history. If you go back to early nineteen twenties, we experienced this exact same scenario back then, to the point where in nineteen twenty one, the sales community experienced seventy seven percent turnover and in nineteen twenty two it was, and that was involuntary, what I call the great salesperson purge of the early nineteen twenties. You can, like, do a Google search. I've written about it, I've podcasted about it because I found it so fascinating that events leading up to it look exactly like the last six years, so creepily exact. So we kind of knew this was coming, first of all. But the second piece to kind of answer your question is one of the things that I've been advising everybody to do is based on a story that I read about Japanese death row inmates. And, like, I know that sounds crazy, exactly if you're in Japan and you've been sentenced to death right, you've got your own little wing of the Japanese prison. Here's the thing. They don't tell those inmates what day it's coming. All right, so when they go to bed at night, they don't know if he is tomorrow, the day now, as crazy as that sounds, last year so those inmates got together with their lawyers filed a class action lawsuit against the Japanese government, claiming that that practice was inhumane. There on death row. But that was the practice that was worthy of a class action lawsuit and called in humane, that it was driving them all insane to go to bed at night not knowing what they were getting themselves into. The next step. So here's the tie to leadership and what's going on. I've been advising every leader, CEO on down two with your teams, make sure that what you're certain about, you are transparent about. Get everybody together and whether it's good news or bad news, get everybody together and say here's the state of our business and the way that we're thinking about it. So embrace certainty because, again, if they're going to bed at night and nobody said a word right, there's nothing. You don't know if it's good news or bad news. They're like the Japanese inmates that they don't know if the next morning, when they're seeing all their buddies and the news getting hacked, whether it's going to happen to them. So embrace certainty, get everybody together and go here's what we know. Embrace what you're uncertain about. All right. So by doing that, you're saying, Hey, here's what we don't know. We can't predict how deep it's gonna go, we can't predict exactly how it's going to impact us in the long term. But then number three is to give them a predictable time when they're gonna find out, and what I mean by that is, Hey, next Thursday we're gonna get everybody together again, we're gonna do another update and then two weeks after that we're gonna do an update on these things that we're uncertain about, so that at least they can make the unpredictable predictable. And to go back to your question, lead. So let's say you're a leader and you know what's going on. For you to be certainly create certainty around when they're going to find out what's going on is a piece of certainty that will help them sleep and help them perform. It's hey, here's what we know, here's what we don't know, and for the things we don't know, we're gonna give you updates. And these days companies did that really well during the covid shutdowns and the uncertainty in March, by getting everybody together and going, kick here's what we're doing, here's what we're not sure about, here's the plan to figure that out. And those reps stayed and they performed. The ones that were like hey, just keep working and we'll we'll let you know when we know. Those are the ones with the rep went to bed at night like Japanese invents.

Amazing Story. I love that. Good Advice. I have one of those horror stories. Where how is that? A company? They got bought out and we had an all hand, company hand call, which was basically, if your manager hasn't talked to you, when you get back to your office, you'll have your packages. So what does everybody do? They turned around in the manager, Hey Todd, did you forget to talk to me? And you're just you're looking down. You're like so, not only was it a crappy way, then everyone on your team felt betrayed. Yeah, yeah, it was kind of it was a low point. Yeah, people will forgive you if you're transparent? Yeah, I mean that's the thing with everything. You'RE gonna make mistakes, you're gonna handle things the wrong way. If you're transparent upfront and things happen, people will forgive you right and that's you have to learn lessons from that. But the minute you try to hide the truth and then throw it out there, you're messing with people during that whole process and they'll never trust you again. So it's a combination of that. But for right now I just for all the leaders out there and everybody else, it's like, embrace what you can be certain about, but also embrace what you're uncertain about. Create a plan around that uncertainty and your team will appreciate you for it and they'll sleep out. You know, I know what you can't you're uncertain about. It's also kind of important to tell people. Hey, for example, if you work for a public company, Hey, I can't tell you where our numbers at today right I can't tell anybody until we figure that out. So and the reason I just say that is I think sometimes we assume that employees know that exactly and they don't. They haven't run a company before, they haven't run a public company before. It isn't like school taught them right exactly. So sometimes you know yet this is how the company works. So I love that you're transpired about what you don't know. Maybe be transferred about some of the targets and why we need them to be where they need to be and how you're counting on them. So they kind of know what we're setting the bar. Yeah, exactly, exactly. I think it goes to active culture too, so I think that's awesome. Yeah, yeah, I think that's one of the things and some of the startups I've worked for that we actually made it very clear, like what Ebida and CAC and all those different equations actually meant, all like in front of the entire company, because it was like, this is how businesses run, these are the things we have to consider and this is what runway means and this is what going for investment means and the commitments that come with that. And so I think that that kind of transparency really helped and I would love to talk to you all day long, todd, and I think we could, and I will definitely invite you back again someday because I think our listeners will really enjoy this as well. Could have been a Joe Rogan like a three hour and a half the time where the where the guest says hey, can I go to the bathroom? Exactly, exactly. Yeah, we should have budgeted more time for this, but we've all got sales calls to get to, so I want to make sure we wrap things up really quickly. And here you may have noticed on other episodes that we asked two questions at the end of every show, and the first is that as a revenue executive yourself, your entire career, you've been prospected too. So what are some of the things that people have done that really caught your attention and built credibility when they did not have a referral into you, when there was no warm introduction and it was a cold prospecting connection, request or attempt? Well, I think at its core just remember this. I used to look at my inbox like instant lottery ticket right where there might be a winner in there, but odds are it's a loser. So I had to check and remember. Like empathize with your leaders that for me I was getting a hundred to a hundred and fifty emails a day and I was in thirty to thirty five meetings per week. So I'm checking my email in between meetings on my phone and then on my train ride home, while I'm drooling through the awful day I just had, I'm trying to clean those out. Here's the thing. Just remember that, all of us as leaders, all of your inboxes, there's a subject line and then there's a preview, right, of ten words. Are you optimizing for those and are you making them about me as the target, or about you? Because remember, as I, let's say, I was a sales and revenue leader. Right, my priorities are my team, my prospects and our customers. Right, those are my three. I look at the preview and go, all right, is this email here to help me or to sell me? And if it's here to sell me, it's select all delete right, especially I can tell because you start with the left, the word I. I just wanted, I was checking. I wanted to see if you got my last fourteen emails. Right, you might be saying, I just want to give you a million dollars, but I never see it because after I see I just want to I have to select all the lete. I love you. I'm sure what you're selling is fantastic, but my priority is my team, my customers, my prospects. So to answer your question, two things. Number One, get rid of the eyes and we s and the first ten words of your emails made me smarter about my business. So number two, to answer your question, is there was a company that did that fantastically well. They right after I posted a job description for open roles in Chicag for str positions. The next day they sent...

...me an email saying, todd, here's an str salary study for Chicago, based for what strs are making in the Chicago market. And I'm like, there's a sea of white noise if I just want to, and then in it it's like SDR salary studies Chicago. I'm like, Holy Crap, I just posted rolls. I opened that. That was the email. Two Sentences Tom we saw you posted some open rolls here. Thought this would be helpful. This is awful, that's fantastic. Two weeks later, quarter ends, I get another email from them. Todd, here's a C R O board deck template. I open it up. Todd, here's a C R O board deck template. We understand you just finished your quarter. You're probably prepping, hopefully this saves you some time. I believe I might have burst into tears at that point. I was like, who are these people? Who Love Them? And I looked and obviously I clicked on the link on their signature panel and I went to their site. It had nothing to do with board deck templates, nothing to do with salary studies, but I clicked on that. They get a notification that I'm engaging with them. They call. It's the one cold call that I answer right. So the short answer is, you wouldn't go to a bank, and this I stole this line, so don't give me credit for it. You wouldn't go to a bank to make a withdrawal before you've made deposits. Make deposits. Make me smarter about my business, not yours, and I'll take your call. That's awesome. You're saying add value. There's right and there's the people that make you smarter are the ones you want surround yourself with. We talk about doing value based interruption. If you're gonna interrupt them through their day through your email, provide something of value. So that is the perfect story to go with it. All right, one more we call it acceleration insights. It's basically, Hey, what's that one piece of advice you'd give our listeners to help them be more productive and get there? I'll let you pick it and I will tell you. I wish we had more time, because I think today the other aspect of this thing we talk about. You talk about leaders. I think some people are managers more times than that coaches. So when we say the word leader, I see him more as someone that coaches us and makes us better as an organization. So I didn't mean to fill in your answer for you, but go for it. Give us our acceleration in sight. Your one big takeaway by one big takeaway. That's there's so many guys. It goes back to my first book actually, but I think the big takeaway is realized that transparency not only sells better than trying to pretend you're perfect, but leads better. There's a reason why all of you read reviews before you buy something online, but, more importantly, read the negative reviews first, and I know you do it. You read the four threes, twos and ones before the fives and you know that you don't trust a product that's got a perfect review score of only fives. Right. We, as human beings need the negative because, like I said earlier, we don't buy when we're convinced, we buy when we can predict, set accurate expectations by being transparent, share what could go wrong with the risks are what you might not like and the things that you love. And I'll leave you with this piece of wisdom from a supermodel, because why wouldn't we hire a banks coined the term flawsome you as an individual, your products, your solution, your team. You've got flaws, but know that you're still awesome. Embrace that and the way you lead and the way you message, position and run entire sales cycles, and I'm telling you, you will draw people to you who will buy, stay, buy more and become advocates for you. I love that. It's all about putting the humanity back into sales. Otherwise, why wouldn't we just let the robots take over? Exactly? Yeah, yeah, amazing, Todd. Well, if a listener of ours was interested in talking more about today's topics with you, what is the best way to get in contact with you that you prefer? Yeah, there's the Google machine, but it's todd capony. Dot Com is probably the fastest path, but the books are available anywhere you buy them. I do share a lot of my nonsense on linked in, so follow connect. If you connect, let me know where you heard me and I would love to be a resource for you in your team. And definitely follow them on twitter as well, because you'll learn a about how we almost got arrested the other day. We won't tell that story, but I saw that tweet. That made me laugh, so you'll have to go check that out, dig through twitter and find it. Todd honestly, cannot thank you enough for coming on the show today. Thank you so much for the time. We really appreciate it. My face starts from smiling. Thanks for having me. Amazing everyone. This does it for this episode. I know you're as sad as we are to wrap this up, but please check us out at www dot B two b REV EXAC DOT com. Share this episode with your family, your friends, your dogs, your kids. Get them off screens for a little while and listen to something that might add some value to their day. And if you like what you here, please do us a favor and throw us a five star review on itunes. I'm Lisa shnaire. I'm joined by my co host, Carlos No ch and until next time, we wish you nothing but the greatest success. You've been listening to the B two B revenue executive experience. To ensure that you never miss an episode, subscribe to the show and Itunes or your favorite podcast player. Thank...

...you so much for listening. Until next time.

In-Stream Audio Search

NEW

Search across all episodes within this podcast

Episodes (256)