Why does Amelia Taylor strive for greatness and how did she advance in her career?
Since she didn't know what the acronym stood for when she began out in sales as an SDR, Amelia Taylor challenged herself to be the best version of herself. She finally developed a hybrid position to bridge the gap between sales and marketing, and today, as a mother of two in Tampa, Florida, she works tirelessly to demonstrate daily that she is capable of doing more than she claims.
Why are there so few women in leadership and management positions in sales?
One sentence summary of the response: Many women believe that the sales industry has a "Bro" culture, where males in positions of power treat women with contempt and fail to recognize their potential as leaders.
Main Issue: How can businesses and rivals work together and help one another more effectively while also being accountable and sincere in their support of diversity?
Organizations and rivals should work together, be supportive of one another, and hold each other accountable for their year-round, not just one-day, support of diversity.
Marcus Cauchi: Hello. And welcome back once again to the Inquisitor Podcast with me Marcus Cauchi. Today, my guest is Amelia Taylor. She's a Rev Ops Leader who helps companies build strong foundations to scale and grow. She's currently driving sales within the Carabiner Group, and she's a huge advocate for women in sales and she trains and coaches SDRs to leverage their EQ and their IQ.
So Amelia welcome.
Amelia Taylor: Thank you, Marcus. I could not, could not be more thrilled to be a part of this to join you and just talk, learn more about you, learn more about what we can come up with.
Amelia Taylor's history of being SDR
Marcus Cauchi: Fantastic. Would you mind giving the audience 60 seconds on your history please?
Amelia Taylor: Absolutely. So I started out in sales as an SDR, not even knowing what the acronym meant.
I jumped in to a SDR role about four or five years ago. And I went in and decided, all right, I'm gonna get this job. Didn't really know what I was doing. Jumped in. And first day went straight to leadership and said, "Who's the person I have to beat for the most meetings that had been held and set for the very first day, for the first week, for the month?". Because I'm such a "I wanna challenge everything".
I wanna make sure that. I'm I'm doing the best. But I'm, I'm challenging myself. I'm going against what everybody else says that you can or can't do. You know, I wanna make sure that I'm going to stand out and I'm gonna say, and do what I'm gonna do. So I ended up putting a cap on the whole SDR team. After my first month when it was uncapped because I did three times what I was actually supposed to do, supposed to quote unquote.
And it was where I said, okay, I'm pretty damn good at this. So I'm gonna advance a bit more. So I wasn't a lot of growth. So then I jumped into another SDR role. Um, and then I decided to make my own role actually, which it was more of a hybrid role, figuring out that, all right, sales and marketing, aren't talking right now.
How do I make them talk? So marketing couldn't stand me. Sales was kind of like, "What are you doing?". And leadership just ran with it a little bit, but nothing changed because no one wanted to just understand that there needed to be changes to happen. No one wanted to deal with that. So I'm trying to bridge these gaps.
And so I, that's kind of where I got to today because I didn't realize I was doing revenue operations type of work when I was trying to bridge things that weren't working. So, but I'm in Tampa, Florida. I am a mother of two little girls and that's my why. I wanna set out to prove every single day that I can do more than I say that I can.
Marcus Cauchi: I discovered a few weeks ago that I was the third or fourth monkey to have randomly written Shakes-, Shakespeare's entire works through random typing. Um, because I came up with fantastic idea. And then as soon as I started talking to people said, "Oh, you should read this book and you should read that book".
And I was really pissed off if I can be perfectly honest to begin with. And then I thought, well, you just saved me probably about two or three years of research. Uh, so I can build what you've already done. So I'm quite grateful to be the fourth monkey. But I do
Amelia Taylor: Yeah. Yeah.
Women in Sales Management and Leadership
Marcus Cauchi: So tell me this, let, let's start out with women in sales.
Why is there not in, uh, more balance in, uh, the sales profession generally and in particular in sales management and leadership?
Amelia Taylor: Yeah. I think a lot of women find it to be a "Bro" culture. I think that there's a lot of men in these leadership positions or these C-Suite roles are sitting on their throne and it's where these women think, alright, I don't even wanna deal with it.
I don't wanna deal with you guys because literally you're gonna look down on me, whether I'm sitting on the throne next to you or not. I personally have not been firm to the extent where some women have been where say their counterpart, who they are. Same role, same everything. They're getting paid double what this, you know, individual is getting this, getting paid this woman.
And so there's stories like that. That I'm thinking, "Holy shit, this is awful". But I haven't experienced that. But I, and I choose to never experience that. I, I need everything disclosed first and foremost, because I do know that that is such a well known topic right now. I mean, if I get tagged in one more thing about women in sales and you know, who are the women to follow in sales.
I think I might lose my mind but it has become such a big topic because there aren't the leaders. And truthfully, I think it's because men just will push, but not all men. Let me clarify. Not all men. But a lot of men in these, these levels and positions, they will not look at women as having the mindset or the emotional capability to take on a leadership role. So there's this scare almost, or there's the opposite too.
Marcus Cauchi: Okay. Well, let, let, let let's pretend that there's some veracity in that, uh, holy horse shit claim. Let's pretend there is. There must be a why male leadership chooses to not pick from at least 50% of the population and get an alternate perspective. It strikes me as an act of gross misconduct.
Amelia Taylor: Right.
Marcus Cauchi: And negative to do that.
Amelia Taylor: Mm-hmm
It does. And I wanna say it's pride. Completely. That there's not a, I don't want someone stealing what I have come up with, or I don't wanna be seen as a male who this woman have this better idea than I. have. Or able to accomplish what I can accomplish. I think there's a plethora of things. I think that's just one that kind of comes to mind and that pride is the, I mean, that's one of the worst things that you could possibly have. Do all sales people have it ? Abso-, absolutely. And does it take acknowledgement and self-reflection to understand? Okay, I need to set this down.
Even an ounce of it to be able to be better. Because it's not like these women are gonna make people better or worse, you know, going into the leadership roles. I truly, I don't know why more people aren't open to it.
Marcus Cauchi: I get the sense that there is an element of ego and, uh, a sense that, uh, some, something is being threatened. But the more I cooperate with people and the less attachment that I have to the outcome, my piece of the pie and all of that, the more the pie grows, the bigger my piece gets and the less effort I have to make. I'm really looking forward to someone that, uh, someone you and I know may, uh, Aamir Kadri uh, put me in touch with Catherine Reid. Because I'm looking at the big picture and I'm thinking China's on the ascendant and there is nothing we can do about it. All the economic indicators suggest that they will continue to grow.
Amelia Taylor: Yeah.
Marcus Cauchi: And they are a dominant force and they're, and the at the same time is on the decline. Now it doesn't serve China to have a weak U-- uh, US economy, because you're a massive market. There are 437 million of you guys buying Chinese products. Um, and the Chinese government wants to increase the wealth of the Chinese population. Because it means that they don't end up being overthrown. So how do we get both sides to get the win?
How can we work with our competitors who are really good?
Marcus Cauchi: And, you know, I'm thinking, you know, at a smaller scale, why are we not thinking the same way in terms of our competitive landscape? Why are we not thinking: "How can we work with our competitors who are really good?"
Amelia Taylor: Right?
Marcus Cauchi: And maybe something better that the two of us can bring to the customer.
Amelia Taylor: You're nailing it 100%.
I mean, I had this conver, this is going off a little, but I had the same conversation with a competitor of mine. The other day, we both came up with this plan of how we can work together on this one thing that we are trying to face. I reached out to him and said, "Hey, what are your thoughts on this?".
Because there's ways to work together in the competitor space, do better for customers. Because selling is helping. Selling, that's gonna be the core thing. You're if you're not helping, if you're out for your own good, then go kick rock. Like there's nothing you're gonna be doing. You're not that money's not coming in,right?
Marcus Cauchi: Yeah.
Amelia Taylor: So going back to the question in and of itself. There's a difference between being an ally for women in sales and being, you know, having this
Marcus Cauchi: Compass?
Amelia Taylor: Yes. 100%. I mean, there's, there's a difference. For example, on International Women's Day, there were post galore that went out on LinkedIn with "here are these women to follow or let's support women in sales hashtag international women's day".
Threw-. Totally just threw me off, drove me nuts. Because I thought, all right, well, it is great to speak up for one day, but why are we not doing this year round? And who's keeping who accountable for whatever they're saying, they're gonna do?
Marcus Cauchi: You see the same kind of surface level, uh, green washing, if you like, uh, with Eni. Because you hire people of color or, uh, of different orientation because you want to tick the diversity box.
But you fire them for not fitting in. You make it impossible for them to stay. So I think we really need to have a rooted branch rethink about what makes great leadership, great management. What makes great sales people, great marketing. And we've got to start thinking differently because it's, we, we are heading for the worst economic conditions we have ever faced.
And I, this my fourth, sorry, this is my fifth recession. And I'm only 50--, and a bit and
Amelia Taylor: 49.
Marcus Cauchi: Yeah, 49. And what struck me is that we always make it through. And whilst there is a huge amount of hardship. The reality is how you respond to those situations largely determines your ability to take action and to make good decisions or bad decisions. Now again,
Amelia Taylor: Absolutely.
Marcus Cauchi: What's really interesting is having a very diverse range of eyes on the problem. Means you end up with much more robust, effective, sustainable solutions that, um, are more elegant and tend to work for longer because you know, the kinks have been iron out.
Amelia Taylor: Right.
Marcus Cauchi: And this is, this has to be a massive argument for having more women in sales, more women in management, more women in leadership and in engineering and everything.
Amelia Taylor: Yeah. I mean, there's women who now I'll speak for myself. I'm a single mother and I had to get out of a marriage that was failing. And I found myself in a really bad position where I was very blindsided by a lot of things that I was very naive about. And I was young. I did not realize a lot was going on in my life.
And because I, I thought that I had this dream of, okay, this how my life goes. Let's get married, have babies. Boom, boom, boom. Have the white pick a fence. That's what life is, right? That's the dream. No, it wasn't. It was never my dream. I thought it was. I always have been a super independent person to where if I write it down and I say, I'm gonna do it, then I'm gonna find a way to do it.
And I'm going to make it through. And I I've always resorted back to that. Everything is figureoutable. Everything is figureoutable in some way, shape or form. So I think women have this mindset too, of, and I, I say women in such a general term, but I, I, I don't think this speaks for everyone, but I do know that there are a group of women who truly, truly think the way I do when it comes to everything is figureoutable. Let's not panic. Let's not throw a bunch of tools into the tech stack, whatnot, you know, and just say like free for all sales people go have at it. Or growth equals let's had a shit ton of sales reps and that's, let's call it growth and call it a day. You know, there's the whole, let's go deeper into all of it.
Let's figure out what's working, what's not working. Let's analyze. Let's really get to the root and the core of things and take our time to do so. I'm not a patient person. So I don't necessarily wanna do all of those kind of themes to figure that out. But I'll do that for other people's companies. Cuz that's what I'm good at.
I'm good at talking. I know how to talk to people. I know how to listen to people and respond based off what they're saying. So there's the emotional portion and there's also the analytical portion. I think the play into that.
So that's what you're talking about where you're leveraging EQ and IQ?
Marcus Cauchi: So that's what you're talking about where you're leveraging EQ and IQ?
Amelia Taylor: Right. A lot of the, "how to read a room".
I feel like common sense is so uncommon these days.
Marcus Cauchi: Infairness it's never been that common.
Amelia Taylor: Never has. You're right.
Marcus Cauchi: But certainly not in my lifetime. Um, and certainly not around me.
Amelia Taylor: You're right.
Because it's not, you know, I can say these days, but really you're right. It, when has it ever been common? Because those who challenged the status quo and whatnot. Those are the ones who are doing the common sense things. No, those are people just genuinely doing the right things and doing challenging things and making shit happen.
Marcus Cauchi: I have a meaty question for you and you may not have the answer, but-
Amelia Taylor: Mm-hmm.
As a woman in sales, what seems impossible that if we could crack it, we could, that would change everything?
Marcus Cauchi: As a woman in sales, what seems impossible that if we could crack it, we could, that would change everything?
Amelia Taylor: That is a meaty question. That is a large question, because I think there's so many things that need to be cracked. Truly. If I'm going to pick one thing, it's going to be that really, whatever you're doing, whatever your sole purpose is, what your day job is, how you're making money, how you're feeding your family, whatever it is that you're doing, that intentions are actually going to be pure. I don't think that's something that can be necessarily fixed. I think that's just the human race being not good. I think people genuinely, I wanna believe people are genuinely good at their very core. But I also have seen firsthand people who have completely going back to the blindsided thing, blindsided.
People and ways that it just is like, are you kidding me? You can't go do things on your own or trying to find the cheat system, the work around the easy way, and then jump ship. Let me go figure out what's the simple way. How can I get ahead of everybody else? And not share my findings or whatever it is. Let me figure out how to do-
Marcus Cauchi: And, and this is really interesting because I'm seeing that there are certain types of sales people who have that lone wolf, individual contributor, win at any cost, who have been elevated since then put on a pedestal for a long time. But actually it, that that's fine in a transactional environment, as long as you don't care about the long term relationship with that customer.
Amelia Taylor: Yeah.
Marcus Cauchi: And there are plenty of sales people out there selling stuff that can be solved that way. In your experience, are those the ones that customers refer come back to people want to work with?
Amelia Taylor: Absolutely not. None of it. I've had people come to me saying I'm not gonna work with your colleague based off of X, Y, Z, but I know you well enough to know that I can trust you based off of X,Y,Z's told me I can and I work with them. So, you know, there's that aspect of it. That's very, it's interesting too.
Marcus Cauchi: So tell me this then. If you're good at playing nicely with other, you're open to sharing your toys, you are honest, you're transparent, how much of your business actually is generated purely cold versus how much of your business is generated hot?
Amelia Taylor: Purely cold? I would say 10%. I mean, all 90% of my stuff is honestly it is coming through slack channels, LinkedIn, through social selling, through helping, jumping on calls just to be a soundboard for people.
Marcus Cauchi: But you're way under target, aren't you?
Amelia Taylor: I just started, so I'm not under target. I'm actually right on target, which is great. Um, I, I went through a walkthrough yesterday.
Build a warm pipeline by going back to people you already know
Marcus Cauchi: In a new job. You are actually able to build a warm pipeline by going back to people you already know. Good Lord.
Amelia Taylor: Absolutely.
Absolutely. That was one of the reason. Well, I don't know. And it's so crazy. I mean, I, I spoke to a teacher, who transitioning teacher yesterday, who is going to be done after this year and she wanted to go travel for the summer.
I said, hell, if you could go do it, go do it good for you. And she said, "I, I have this amazing opportunity with this amazing company, this consulting firm that I truly believe in. And I believe in what I can bring to the table, but I don't know shit about what they do. I don't know if I can do it". And she said that "I believe in myself enough to know that I can, I'm gonna start in August cause I asked them to push this three months later after they wanted me to start and they cared enough about what I brought to the table as just an individual, me personally, being able to speak to people and understand people's needs and being patient and listening and responding correctly. Opposed to being jump the gun, let me just say what I'm already thinking of my next thing I'm gonna say to you while you're talking". Cause people can sense that they can read that completely. And so, I mean, it was really cool to hear her story and seeing, okay, cool. There's companies out there. Who, who can, who give a shit?
I mean, I, the company I'm with now Carabiner group, they flew me up to New York because they wanted me to meet them. They flew me back that evening too. I was able to even pick up my kids from aftercare, which is, I mean, it was real early, real, real, early getting back too. And so I, I flipped to New York, met with them, signed my doc, sign on my phone because I thought, "You know what?
You guys got to know me as me first and foremost". And I've never been in an operational, you know, role. I've never, I've gone from SDR to hybrid stuff to slightly AE to figuring out what it is I'm, I'm good at and what I'm not good. Uh, you know, which is equally important. And having these ABM approaches to a, you know, ABX, if you will, if we're gonna go with this, this, this crossroad, you know, little term. And they got to know me as me and saw what I brought to the table, what I was able to do through the relationships I've built.
So in the pre-onboarding phase, how did you show up on day one differently?
Marcus Cauchi: So in the pre-onboarding phase, if you look back to your previous jobs where people didn't take that level of personal interest compared with this one, how did you show up on day one differently?
Amelia Taylor: I had already a lot of people that I had reached out to, to where I had said, "Hey, here's where I'm going, here's my transition". Yeah sadly, and maybe not sadly too, I would say six out of ten people said to me, "I've been waiting to see this kind of transition happen. I'm so excited for you and can't wait to figure out how we can work together". Because they did not see, they saw the value of what I could do and brought to the table. They did not-, chosen a transactional sales role before and selling a product versus service, which is totally two different realms. But the, the product aspect, it was where the reputation was not always the most promising and people strayed away from that.
So I would hear from people I really admired and looked up to and absorbed their content and just their wisdom. I would jump on calls with them just to learn from them. And you'd be surprised that many people give their time when you are an honest God, good human, who just wants to learn and better themselves.
Marcus Cauchi: Well, I've definitely noticed that. I mean, the generosity that people have shown me over the years. Yeah. Just because I've reached out and asked for help has blown me away. And that, yeah, there almost, isn't a day where someone isn't helping me through my network and it's blissful.
Amelia Taylor: It absolutely is, but that's the power of building that network and that's so missed, but it's also not taught.
Salespeople who believe in building the relationship are poor performers vs the ones who don't?
Marcus Cauchi: There are organizations like OMG Groups that says specifically that salespeople who believe in building the relationship are poor performers. Whereas the ones who don't believe in building the relationship tend to be top performers. What would you say to their evidence?
Bullshit.Bullshit. Because that's not true. Great, good for you if you wanna have that close-minded view of things, but there's certain people who have certain characteristics who make them better with the relationship driven aspect of selling. There's other people who wanna just go, go, go, go, go. Great. Good for you. But check yourself in a year and see if those people are gonna stick with you. See if they're gonna come back. I would love to see what that is. Honestly, I would love to see what the ratios of those who have the churn and who don't after a year of who had a smaller pipeline. More focused on building these relationships with champions within who are going with them up the chain of command to sell who they've built, that, you know, let's ar-, let's let's link arms, and let's go up and skip up the hill and whatnot to those who just decide, Hey, we're going to just go as hard and as fast as we can, and we're gonna make as much money as we can, as quick as we can. And we're, like I said, we're gonna throw a bunch of reps in and we're gonna call it.
Again, customers have to pick up on this. If the culture is hustle culture.
Amelia Taylor: Yeah.
Marcus Cauchi: We project out. And, you know, people pick up on it cuz you know, when you're being pressured and unless you are one of the 2%, 3% that is in the market to buy that thing at that moment, then the rest, your effort, the 97% is wasted. and to my mind, that strikes me as a, a, an unholy sin to waste that amount of effort of all the people on your certainly your SDR team.
And to a large extent, your AEs as well when you're spending so much money and then you just run outta cash, you don't have to be an asshole to lead well.
Amelia Taylor: Mm-hmm absolutely, but that goes, you know, you don't have to be driving the best cars, making videos in your cars, telling people they need to be Googling the billionaires of the world every morning.
If you are not you're you shouldn't even be a salesperson, which I've heard before, which I thought, dear God, this is these, some of these kids are fresh outta college. You think their minds are gone "I need to Google first thing in the morning who are the top billionaires are"? I don't think so. They just need to have the roots pour, you know, have this water poured into these roots that they're trying to establish within this soil of this company.
And people don't know how to water those roots well. They don't know how to pour into their people. I'm, I'm such an advocate for these bootstrap companies who are smaller doing the smaller things, making the bigger impact and the bigger splash at the end of the day. Opposed to these hyper growth throw as many people in as we can.
And then let's find the people who perform the best for say three months, six months. Put 'em in leadership, but let's not give them any of the resources to lead well. Let's not give them the, the tools that say, Hey, this is how often you should actually have one on ones with your, with your team. This is what you should have conversations about.
Okay. How did they react? This goes back to the EQ IQ, you know. How did they react? How did they, what was their body language like? You know, you don't have to be, you don't have to know all of these things. It just kind of common sense, figure out what it is, how people are best coached, how they best learn, what isn't working, what is working, praise where you can, construct where you can, you know, pivot where you need be.
But have the conversations the right way.
So how do you make space to coach when most coaching is based on a grow model, how did you learn to coach like that?
Marcus Cauchi: So how do you make space to coach when most coaching is based on a grow model, uh, which is, it tends to require more time? Managers need to be able to coach operationally on the job in the moment at the point of need. And it's a quick and dirty type of coaching.
It's two, three minutes, you know, three, four questions, and then, you know, they, they go off on their way. How did you learn to coach like that?
Amelia Taylor: I have never said yes to any opportunity that has come my way of leading a team, because I don't feel as though it would ever have been in my best interest for anyone else's best interest because my time would not have been dedicated enough to these people.
So I think the let's say yes, because that's gonna push me up the ladder of where I wanna go in these growth model companies. People will say "YES" to that because leaders above them are saying, this is where we want you to go. People don't leverage the power of "NO" enough knowing that they're not going to benefit themselves or others. If they go into this kind, I'm gonna help lead and coach people. I'm I do that, but on my own accord, without it being those within a company that I'm with, or that I was previously with, where I could have had a team of, you know, 10 people that I'm taking care of every day while also trying to meet my quota while doing X, Y, Z, you know?
Is it ever possible for a player manager to be successful at both and be effective at both?
Marcus Cauchi: Right. Well that, that then raises that other really important question. Is it ever possible for a player manager to be successful at both and be effective at both?
Amelia Taylor: With the right communication? I think so. Yes. I think smaller teams have to be had. There has to be the right people and you have to figure out who, who meshes well, who clicks with who, who works well together, also who takes the right, the, the feedback in the way that you approach it in the very best way.
You know, if you, if somebody is gonna go hunger down a corner, because you did a little wrist slap. Then learn how to deal with that person the right way. And they're probably not fit for sales. Let's just point out the obvious on that. Uh, but you know, I, I go back in time, I think of my, my high school basketball coach.
He's my mentor to this day still. And he just learned me. He learned how I worked, how I was best approached. And specific scenarios, you know, into the game, whatever we gotta go make this shot, Amelia, whatever, but it would be this, like you can do it, let me instill power in you kind of thing. And that's where my mindset goes of I can do anything I say I'm gonna do if I visualize what it is. So there's, there has to be the understanding of how other people work, learning people, getting people. Realizing they're humans and they're people and you can't just be like, go do this. Boom. You're not robots. People aren't robots.
Marcus Cauchi: Uh, and again, this is really interesting because what I see in so many managers is they have a command and control approach to their management style, which creates dependency.
Now. The problem with having dependent, uh, team members is that you'll typically become a bottleneck as they delegate up, you then get overwhelmed and run ragged. And then what tends to happen is you create the conditions to hold people back, slow things down. Now, if you become a little bit more, self-aware your performance over time may improve and you'll move into a challenge phase because the awareness has co forced you to look at the changes going on and what needs to be changed and makes you ask questions.
Amelia Taylor: Where does that time? Where's that time come in? Is, you know, going back to your question, what do you, I mean, it, it is interesting because there, the hyper growth. And they want these, these managers and leaders to lead a group of people. Where do they have the time to learn how to manage and coach and do well with it?
Marcus Cauchi: And you've, you've hit one of the most important nails on the head there, which is that most managers are, or, um, uh, around half of the managers in the UK are accidental managers. They woke up one morning, someone trapped him on the shoulder and told them Amelia. We fired your idiot boss. You're now the idiot boss.
Congratulations. You go. Yay. And then you think, what the fuck do I do now? And that that's your runway. So I, I think there is a really strong case for a management apprenticeship as managers. If you're hiring, you need to establish those people who want to move into management and you start them on day one on that runway. So that they start coaching, onboarding, training, get them into interviews, get them running sales meetings, get them forecasting, get them planning, training, all of that stuff.
So they've got 18--
Amelia Taylor: Take courses, right? There's a plethora of courses you can go take how to be a better leader.
Marcus Cauchi: Yeah.
Amelia Taylor: And how to lead people. Put your people in those, it, it's not gonna take, it's gonna be for the betterment of the company as a whole. But that's not the, that's not the mindset from the top of the funnel.
The top of the funnel is looking at what's the revenue look like? How much money are you guys bringing in? Are you bringing in money? If you're not you're gone.
Marcus Cauchi: But this is really interesting because there is so much confusion. We, we hear all the time from, uh, venture and private equity that, uh, we are meant to be following Milton Friedman's um, you know, "everyone's serve shareholder" value, but I don't know a single person who is motivated by making their shareholders rich.
Amelia Taylor: I have no clue. The only thing that people are motivated by it's more of a scare thing. I gotta look attractive to my shareholders. I've gotta look attractive to what I bring to the table. So I'm scared. So I'm gonna just do, I'm gonna go kind of rogue on this.
Marcus Cauchi: Okay. But--
Amelia Taylor: And yeah.
Marcus Cauchi: But again, where is the sense in this? Because if you create a constant steady stream of adrenaline and cortisol floating through your sales people's systems, they are less likely to think rationally and more likely to think with their lizard brain.
They're going to be reactive, which means that they're more likely to discount, to panic, to say stupid things, uh, to not prepare to perform piss poorly in front of customers. So why would you continue to do this and be complicit in propagating what clearly doesn't work for the many, it works for the few.
It's really good at working for the few. If you have few, those few souls.
Amelia Taylor: Mm-hmm I, yeah, I'll tell you quick little story. So I had, I had a guy call me. I actually had two guys call me on the same day. It was the end of April. They called me and they were from the same company.
So it was same product. I just was in their dialer. So they both ended up calling me. One of them clearly did not click the right thing of like, well, this isn't our right person, whatever their button is. And so I, I pick up the phone, I see who's calling, I pick up and I listen to this pitch and I think God, Almighty, this is bad.
But I thought you have not, this is a massive company too. I thought this guy has not had his, any kind of training on what to do, how to talk to people, how to listen and respond because I gave him very clear, clear, clear, clear ways in. So I said, I said, "Do you have any questions for me?",before he, and he said, "What do you mean?".
And I said, "Do you have any questions at all?". And he said, "I don't think so". And I said, "Do you want me to one, take 15 minutes, so you can meet your quota because I guarantee you're behind, and take a little meeting for you just to give you a boost. Or two, do you want me to take 10 minutes outta my time and help you be a better SDR?".
I said, you gotta pick one of the two because you can't keep dragging, you, you're not gonna thrive doing this at all. He goes, I would love that. So I, I sat down, had my phone. I'm talking to this kid. And I hear him just scribbling in the background. He's just taking notes and I just thought, God, no, one's poured into you.
This kid. No, one's poured into him. Second guy. Same thing. So 20 minutes outta my day, just to help people be better at what they do. It's not as though I necessarily gaining anything from that, but I don't know what ROI comes back from that in the future from simply helping. But there's the protection of your time too, right?
Marcus Cauchi: I can say with, uh, from experience that the stuff that you do put out will come back. Not necessarily as you expect it, but I'm having people come back to me. Uh, 10, 12, 14, 17 years later, referring back to a moment, a conversation that we had where I stopped one fantastic business owner from inflecting himself as a life coach on the rest of the world.
And thank God he followed that advice cause he's in some brilliant business and you know, he's putting, uh, food on tables of 200 people. So it is worth doing. What I'm, what I'm really curious about is as I look at the kind of blind spots you're touching on from leadership and management, it seems that a lot of old school management, which, who thankfully is coming to the end of their shelf life,
Amelia Taylor: Yeah.
Marcus Cauchi: Is very much of the opinion that you come to work to do a job. And that's what we pay you for. And that's the extent of their duty of care. And you are a resource to be exploited. Now, I don't think it's, unreasonable or entitled for someone to come to work and expect that their employer will provide a safe environment where they don't feel threatened. Where they don't feel that they're being treated unjustly. Where their manager is dedicated to and committed to helping them achieve their full potential. Where their coworker on--
Amelia Taylor: Those people shame on them. Honestly, I mean, no, I'm, I'm kidding because what in the world that is the that's--, who thinks in the inverse, you know, who's thinking of this is so, and you're right. It could, it very much could be this old school way of doing things. You come in, you clock in, you do your job. Boom. You're done. I don't have to feed, you know, I, you can feed yourself because I'm giving you money to do so.
Cuz you're in my business. It's not let me pour into my people to make you better human.
When you have highly engaged staff, they produce higher profit per employee
Marcus Cauchi: Well, the evidence is very clear when you have highly engaged staff, they produce 400%, 500% higher profit per employee, 120% higher revenue per employee, 40% lower churn in this economy. If you are not hanging onto your people, you are an idiot unless you want those people to go. Of course. Um, but it, it a 20% higher daily production.
Amelia Taylor: Right. The crazy-, it's crazy. It, it blows my mind.
Marcus Cauchi: Annual compound share price growth in the S & P 500 was 316% higher year on year than the others companies where they had low levels of engagement, uh, with it, or average to low levels of engagement within their staff.
So I'm curious how come there is so little invested in them (middle management)?
Marcus Cauchi: Now it strikes me that the single biggest catalyst for change is fixing that middle management layer. So I'm curious how come there is so little invested in them?
Amelia Taylor: Because they're, I feel like they are very much so in the shadows. There's the SVP of sales. There's the. Other leaders within who are over they're over top of them.
So where these leaders right underneath, who are actually the shepherds for these people who are guiding them to this promise land of hope and all the things that OTE water, right. They're, they're trying to guide them there, but they don't have the right, right ways to go about doing it. I think they're just they're time consuming.
People don't wanna take the time to invest in that middle tier. Why? That's a great question.
Marcus Cauchi: Well, they, they're also the single biggest obstacle to your revenue operations, seeing, uh, exponential break. Cause in my experience of dealing with managers over the last 20, 30 years is that they make or break a team.
I was chatting to my pal Simon Bowen and he was heavily involved with the Australian hockey team. And the coach, a guy whose name escapes me, but it'll come to me in a minute. He only lost three, his, uh, Rick Charlesworth, his name is they only lost three games in the 10 years, uh, that he was the manager and they won three Olympic gold.
They won championships and whatever, but, uh, in all that time they won, they lost three games and then he left.
Amelia Taylor: Wow. That says a lot to what he poured into his people. But I, I think that goes into, I'm gonna learn on my own too. Where does the personal accountability come in, of okay if I'm been this manager role, if I'm not being invested in one, either I go find a company that's gonna invest in me or two, I'm going to keep myself personally accountable for what it is that I'm supposed to be doing and should be doing and can do.
Because I said yes, whether it was by happenstance, circumstance, accidental, just leadership roles that appear, but you're there. So invest in yourself. Because it might not show this immediate ROI, but like we're saying, it's, it all comes back around.
Training delivers a 36 X higher return on investment
Marcus Cauchi: Well, a good bit of advice. If you are a junior salesperson, so an SDR or a junior AE invest in management, leadership, literature, and courses, because then you will better understand what your bosses are trying to accomplish.
And the closer you can align what you are doing to their objectives, the less likely you are to get friction from them. A lot of what you need to learn in the workplace is about how to manage your colleagues and manager. So the, the middle management layer represents both an enormous, uh, latent potential, because if you can free up middle management and move them away from this command and controlled type of management style and really focus on the inquiry led operational coaching, where they're coaching in the moment based on what they see, on the job, at the point of need in the real world.
None of this can buy our cuddles and, you know, calf down, whatever it's quick and dirty. It's the stuff that we need in the real world. When, uh, your salesperson person choke when they're talking about money. Or a price increase, or an introduction of a new range or dealing with a difficult customer, you need to be able to give them that help in the moment. Not two weeks later, uh, when they've forgotten what it felt like.
Amelia Taylor: Right. Cuz that's the fear that they have right then and there, these salespeople, you know. I don't know what to say or I don't know what to do. Right. You talk about it right afterwards because you've got that person right there. Um, I don't think companies have people who are surely there to coach and lead. Which I don't know why.
Marcus Cauchi: Because it's that soft, fluffy shit. And we're not bringing people to work in a fucking holiday camp mentality. It's idiotic because what we, what we know is that with one hour, a week of ongoing coaching, uh, or actually it's, I think it's three hours a month of ongoing coaching, reinforcing, training. Training delivers a 36 X higher return on investment.
Then if people know that, why aren't they doing it? Because they do training because it's a tick in the box exercise. They don't train people because they want performance to improve. They train people because they want to check a box that says we've done training.
Amelia Taylor: We look good. Here's your, this is here's our glitter and goal, and you should join us because we're growing and look what you get. You get training. You get this, you get that. No, you don't.
Marcus Cauchi: That is rolling a turd in glitter. You can't polish one. The problem is that the emphasis is on the wrong things. I, I keep saying time and again, the emphasis is on symptoms, not causes. The emphasis is on, um, the stuff that matters, the least, which is the exit and what matters the most, which is looking after your customers, your employees, your partners, your community, the planet heaven forbid.
And actually giving a damn about your customer's outcomes and not just seeing them as an organic ATM machine.
Amelia Taylor: That's what a lot of these hyper growth companies see. And they, I find these companies all the time to where I'm having conversations daily with these C-suite level people, but I'm also making time to build the relationship with that middle tier, because they know what's going on really at this ground level, my people don't have the right resources. We've got six different tools that we don't even know how to use them, cuz no one taught us how. You know, the operational things that have to be figured out or we don't know how any, we put everything in Excel sheets because we don't know how to use Salesforce.
The basic things that sales people need to be able to have those tools to be able to thrive and do better. But they also there's those aspects, the tangible things, and there's the intangible of the right human being pouring into them and giving them the words and the affirmation and the coaching and the slap of the wrist or the pivot here: "Let me turn your shoulders physically. Let's look this way, opposes this way. Let's think in a different way". A lot of people have this leaders say, we think this way leaders say, we're gonna do this. C-suite says we're doing this. We should be doing that. No. Wh? Why is my question? Why do we have to think that way?
I, and I've always challenged that. And I think that's why I'm where I'm at today because I at my previous role, I challenged a lot of things subconsciously, really, because I saw so many gap.
What would you do differently in that design and how would you make their, their lives better and easier?
Marcus Cauchi: Well, that mean, there's an awful lot wrong. But what can we do to make it better? I, if you were starting with a blank sheet of paper and you were designing the man--, the management function and the management layer, what would you do differently in that design and how would you make their, their lives better and easier?
Amelia Taylor: Gosh, if it were from scratch, it would be let's reevaluate who's leading this whole thing. Let's make sure that whoever's gonna lead this thing and we're gonna become this unicorn and so on and so forth that your values match to their values. Let's have a value match, little competition first to see, and then let's also do a little trial.
Give people this trial almost of like, "Hey, this works or this doesn't work because you say one thing and you do the total opposite".
Marcus Cauchi: Yeah. There is quite a lot of that going on. Isn't there,
Amelia Taylor: there really is. And I, it is, uh, you know, we could go on and on about the, the faults, right? Like you just said, But it, there has to be a change, nothing changes till something changes.
And if you want things to change, you gotta invest in your people.
Marcus Cauchi: Right. So, but let, let's, let's get down to the practicalities of it if you had-
Amelia Taylor: Yep.
Marcus Cauchi: Um, the opportunity and you knew you couldn't fail, but you were gonna design this perfect, middle management ramp up, uh, layer, if you like. What would you do differently that do as an SDR you looked on in horror, the things that were being done and the stuff that your managers do no better were complicit.
I'd love to what that, you know, that better future looks like.
Amelia Taylor: That's a, um, a very interesting way to put it, but it is so true that they were just very, they were complacent. They let it be, they didn't initiate the changes that needed to be done, even if they saw the red flags everywhere. Because I think that goes to the leadership, says we do this and I'm gonna look good for them and do what they say.
So I know there's not this whole fluff thing that you need to bring in. I think ev- a coach is everything, but flaud. Yeah, I think that's everything but. If I were to start things from scratch, I could just erase it. All. One, I would implement a coaching system, something, or have a certain amount that goes towards that middle tier management that is invested in those people where they have that be part of their quota, where they have to go.
And.. Get whatever it is certification saying I completed this, but I went through these courses to be better for the organization as a whole, for the people as a whole, because that's what matters, people at the end of the day. So I, that would be one big thing that I think that I not com companies aren't necessarily doing that.
And is that the right way to do it? I don't know. But in my mind, I just think that's something so highly missed. There has to be people who know how to coach. So teach those who are in a coaching position and a manager position. So bring someone in who can navigate these people who are just hands up in the air rogue, running around, not knowing where to go, what to do, or an advice into people that might be where they're completely turned off forever.
And it always shapes the forms of fails of not understanding that what their strengths are, what their weaknesses are, where it be. Go into a SWOT analysis, go figure out what it is that you are good at what you like to do, what you don't like to do. Break it down and figure out who you are. So people don't think that way that there's, there's gotta be the coaches and the mentors and the people who are in these manager positions, giving these resources to their people saying, "Do this.
Let's figure it out together because I'm gonna be with you and alongside you. You're not by yourself figuring this out". So-
Marcus Cauchi: It really is very interesting cuz the, um, level of isolation that a lot of managers feel because they don't get the support from above and they're feeling the pressure from below because they know that they're wanting. But they dunno what to do. And that often makes them very brittle.
Amelia Taylor: Yeah.
Marcus Cauchi: And it's such a shame because you end up losing a perfectly good manager, uh, or perfectly good sales person promoting them into management. You end up with a double whammy.
Amelia Taylor: Mm-hmm.
Marcus Cauchi: And then you end up creating flight risks for the people that they end up managing. And in this economy, you cannot afford to be creating flight risks. And there, there is a methodology called Starwards was developed specifically, uh, for managers to deliver on-the-job operational coaching. And that's now being turned into software so they can deliver that at scale to thousands of people simultaneously.
It's brilliant. So I'm very excited about what potential there is there, particularly when you combine it with very clever mental models to explain the, the level of complexity that your teams are facing and create an opportunity for them to practice, uh, the skills that they're being coached on. Really excited for a lot of small businesses now that are gonna bypass a lot of that bureaucracy from corporate.
Gen Z and Millennial : "You know, enough is enough sick of working for them"
Marcus Cauchi: And because there are a lot of people in Gen Z and Millennial generations that are leaving, and they're saying, "You know, enough is enough sick of working for them".
Amelia Taylor: They're smarter than it. They're be--, they're, they've got so many resources right now to where they're smarter than what they're being told to where they're reading the bullshit.
And it's becoming very evident. And they've got people who are saying, "Hey, check this out. This is way better over here when you don't have this hyper growth kind of thing". Not against it, but do it the right way.
Marcus Cauchi: But again, it is hyper growth, what you really want. Or do you wanna build a really rock solid, sustainable business that has intrinsic value?
And that will be around in 5, 10, 15, 20, 30, 50 years time, cuz you built it right in the first place. But most people are just like property developers who come in to flip a piece of land, uh, and you know, get in and out.
Amelia Taylor: Well, it's the cookie cutter neighborhood you go into, right? Where you get to pick like five different styles of homes and that's who you get to.
That's what you are, right. This, you can be one of these five things and that's it. And you don't get to design anything else. This is how this is your cookie cutter box. You stay in your box, right? That's the bonus, right? But like the hardwood floors, they're gonna tell you what you're gonna be walking on because ultimately we're gonna do the whole analogy kind of thing.
That's your foundation. So they're ultimately deciding your fate in how you're gonna do things. If you don't try to figure things out on your own, one, you're in the wrong company, if that's what you're having to do, I'm sorry, humans . But it also is the trial of figuring that out and learning that you have to look out for number one, being yourself and figure out is, "Do I align with this company well, or do I not. Do my visions, my goals, my aspirations, my values align with what they say and do?".
Marcus Cauchi: Hmm.
Amelia Taylor: If not, you're not there. You're not ignoring the place you need to be. Yeah. I I'm in the place where I'm at right now with Carabiner and it's really cool. We are bootstrap completely, very much so cashflow positive. We have a box, a suite at the SAP center in San Jose that with a lot of our marketing budget that we decided let's get deeper into really building relationships cuz that's where it's at and let's have people and let's, let's be partners with pavilion. Let's have these really solid partnerships that we trust these people. And let's hire really good humans who know the skills, but also have the, the life skills that are going to make them good. That are they're teachable. They're coachable. I mean, we have a Navy Seal who is starting in June, who he had to take about three months. He left and now he's ending the three month, little stent of time where they're making him just kind of be on pause and breathe after, you know, being in the Navy.
And so he'll start with this in June, never done sales before in his life. Never. But the way his mind works is so extraordinary because he's been in these situations where he had to think really strategically on his feet report to people, lead people and operationally say, this is the guide that we're gonna do.
This is the route we're gonna take. And it's cool that that's a higher that we made because of the core values and the things that he brings to the table. He's gonna be a killer. He's literally. Going to be a rockstar.
Marcus Cauchi: Again, this is really interesting. And, uh, unfortunately we've, we've hit the top of the hour, but I'm really, really very curious about, uh, one final thing, which is, uh, I have a fundamental belief that salespeople should be intelligently lazy.
We know when to put the effort in. We know when,
Amelia Taylor: Yeah.
Marcus Cauchi: Uh, we should be reaping the benefit of the early, early work and in the military, Carl Von Clausewitz who, um, uh, wrote a book called "On War", which is the
Amelia Taylor: Mm-hmm.
Marcus Cauchi: Bible for most military establishments, uh, used to hire officers for the same reason. So minimum effort, minimum loss of life.
Yeah. And, um, sales people. I. The hard work you can get out of people, but the hard work with really deep thinking. That's something that is missing. And what I'd like to do is explore that in another episode and maybe get a few, uh, of the next generations of sales and business leaders.
Amelia Taylor: Yeah. Uh, honestly, that would be really interesting to--. That'd be a great conversation to hear, the perspectives and the mindsets of those who aren't thinking the way I'm thinking or you're thinking. Or just a different generational gap. You know, this is, well, this is how things go or confusion of, why would you think that way? I would love to have that conversation in just a intelligent debate.
Marcus Cauchi: Okay. So for the audience then, would you be interested in maybe if we hosted a LinkedIn live every month or every couple of weeks taking a current big topic and a question and have lots of people come at it, uh, and answer it from their different perspectives? If you would then please comment somewhere, either on LinkedIn or, uh, on Podbean or Apple, wherever, uh, you leave comments.
You've got a golden ticket and you could go back the two or three years to, uh, speak to the idiot Amelia age, 20. What one bit of advice would you whisper in her ear?
Marcus Cauchi: Um, but just let me know, uh, to see if that's something that you'd like to do, cuz it's an idea that I've been toying with. And uh, I think this could be a really good way to kick it off. Amelia. Thank you so much. Tell me this. You've got a golden ticket and you could go back the two or three years to, uh, speak to the idiot Amelia age, 20.
Um, and what one bit of advice would you whisper in her ear?
Amelia Taylor: If you're not being served at the table, at the seat, you get seat that you're sitting at where you're you're push your chair in all of that. If you don't see that you're being served for. Yeah. In any, in a figurative level, figurative way, or just honest God, this money coming in, right?
Like if you're actually reaping the benefits of what you're bringing to the table, if you're not being served back, get up and move your chair. There's so many tables out there. So many.
Marcus Cauchi: Really one things I really love about your generations is that you just don't take this shit anymore.
Amelia Taylor: I don't take shit for, I don't, I won't take shit. I won't do it.
Marcus Cauchi: But I, I was, I was talking to, uh, someone else. And he was saying that the US Military's having a real problem because Gen Zs just won't take the shit.
Amelia Taylor: They won't take the shit and they're standing up for what they believe in. And I think it's amazing, but it also scary, but it's, it's, there's pros and cons as a whole another topic too.
Marcus Cauchi: Lordy Lord. Okay. What would you recommend people read what, or listen to?
Amelia Taylor: Green lights. Matthew McConaughey.
Marcus Cauchi: Fabulous book. Love it. The audio version is fabulous.
Amelia Taylor: The audio version is amazing. I would highly, highly, highly recommend it.
Marcus Cauchi: Absolutely. I couldn't recommend it highly enough. And, and how can people get a hold of you?
Amelia Taylor: Shoot me a LinkedIn message. My Calendly office in my About section, reach out. I have 15 minute coffee chats block up time. I would love to learn who's listening, who is looking for guidance help, or how they think that they can help me vice versa. It goes both ways. If you think that there's something that you can do, they could benefit me, or if I can benefit you let's chat. I would love that.
Marcus Cauchi: Excellent. Amelia Taylor. Thank you.
Amelia Taylor: Thank you, Marcus. This is a joy.
Marcus Cauchi: So this is Marcus Cauchi signing off once again from the Inquisitor Podcast. If you've enjoyed this, then please like comment, share and tag someone who would benefit. And in the meantime, if you feel the urge, then whip across to Apple Podcast and leave an honest review.
And if you wanna get in touch with me, email@example.com. In the meantime, stay safe and happy selling. Bye bye.