From the standpoint of the client, why do organizations frequently seem compartmentalized and disconnected?
Organizations frequently lack a customer-centric approach to client acquisition and are more concerned with optimizing for speedy lead acquisition and handoffs throughout the sales process than they are with the experience of the customer in the process.
What is the main thought process involved in starting a new revenue operation?
The idea behind creating a revenue operation from scratch is to conceive in terms of simple frameworks and use account-based selling to find, engage, and convert the organizations that are the best fits for the business.
How does Jason Bay advise a team to link to LinkedIn Sales Navigator in order to close deals with current clients?
In order to acquire introductions to and prospects for the people that the company has worked with in the past to close deals, Jason Bay advises having everyone on the team signed up for LinkedIn Sales Navigator and adding a customer list or other first degree connections to it. Additionally, he suggests doing client interviews to learn about their objectives and the issues they need assistance with in order to develop a successful outbound process.
What are the problems with modern sales teams and their approach to sales techniques?
The modern sales teams have a problem with valuing blind obedience over innovative thinking, and focus too much on techniques rather than understanding the customer and developing business acumen.
Marcus Cauchi: Hello and welcome back once again to The Inquisitor the Podcast with me, Marcus Cauchi. Today, we're gonna bridge the generation gap. I have Jason Bay or JBay as his younger crowd know him is, uh, Chief Prospecting Officer at Blissful Prospecting. What do they do? They help people land large deals and help them stop getting the crappy responses from their cold emails and from their calls so that they stop wasting and creating dead time for themselves. We're gonna be talking about things like burnout, the more-more-more mentality. More technology, more metrics, more complexity, more layers. And we're also gonna explore, um, what we think about the, uh, the future of sales.
Marcus Cauchi: Particular favorite topic is why pro people make prospecting so difficult for themselves. So that's kind of what we're gonna cover today. Jay Bay welcome.
Jason Bay: I'm excited for this man. I'm used to either interviewing you, which I've done on my podcast. Or hearing you interviewed and you're just like, woo!
Jason Bay: Bring in the heat. So I'm curious what it's gonna be like being on the other end of the . Ah,
Marcus Cauchi: It's very gentle. Everyone walks away feeling refreshed, meditative almost. Amazed I manage to do that considering my lack of skill.
60 seconds on your background
Marcus Cauchi: Okay. So can you tell us all about 60 seconds on your background please?
Jason Bay: Yeah, so I got started in sales 2008.
Jason Bay: My very first sales job was going door to door, selling house painting services. We call it college here in the US. You guys call it university. Same, same kind of difference when I was 19. Right. So I've always been kind of the, the cold outreach. How do we scale this activity of proactively finding customers?
Jason Bay: So I spent a lot of time with that company as a sales manager. Became a marketing director for them about four or five years into that. And the way I got it into inside sales is this company would generate a couple hundred thousand leads on a yearly basis and maybe 10,000 homeowners would paint their homes.
Jason Bay: So we created an inside, you know, call center inside sales team where we'd have, you know, 20 reps making these outbound calls, I to a cold list, to the existing list, to people that didn't buy. And they would set up appointments for the field. And since 2013, I, I left that company to consult and help other companies implement this type of thing.
Jason Bay: And in the last four or five years, the specific, I've moved specifically into B2B inside sales, which is, which is what I help now with. We used to do the prospecting four people, and now we train in and coach sales teams. Uh, I work with BDR teams that have three people all the way up to AE teams. I've worked with with 120, 130 folks. But always the focus is how do we do outbound in a more efficient, you know, productive way that's gonna get the attention are the people that we really want to meet with.
Marcus Cauchi: Okay. So my, my question really is this, you've done both sales and marketing, and now you're doing outbound inside sales.
Jason Bay: Yeah, I've got that, right.
Why are most organizations so badly siloed and disconnected?
Marcus Cauchi: Okay. So you've seen those three key frontline positions and you've worn out shoe leather and knuckle skin knocking on doors. So you you've been at pretty much every end or every, every point in the revenue operation. Why are most organizations so badly siloed and disconnected? Because from the customer's perspective, that must be a very jarring and disappointing experience.
Jason Bay: Well, you talked about this actually the last time that we spoke, it's this lack of customer.
Jason Bay: Customer centric, focus in how we acquire customers, you know, for a lot of companies, customer service that starts after we close the deal. Right?
Marcus Cauchi: There's normally called customer complaints, isn't it?
Jason Bay: Yeah. Customer complaints. And, and we had a lot of those back in the day. I think that people aren't thinking about if I wanted to create a long term relationship with this person, that we want to paint their home, cuz we could do a lot of other stuff for them or this business that you know, is.
Jason Bay: Whatever, you know, enterprise deal or wanna work with them multiple years. I don't think that people are thinking about the journey. It's not engineered that way. It's, they're optimizing it for what is going to get the lead in the door, the quickest. What's going to get customers to take calls that are quote unquote qualified, which we could talk about that for an hour.
Jason Bay: And that we're only gonna talk to people that are qualified, and then we're gonna hand them off to two or three people throughout the sales process. There isn't a customer-centric approach to, Hey, what does this process feel like to the person experiencing it? The process is always well, what's the SDR gonna do after they talk?
Jason Bay: How are they gonna qualify the person? How's the AE gonna be able to prep for the meeting? How's that handoff gonna work? Uh, what's the AEs process of taking it through? There, there is rarely when I, at least with the companies, I work with a customer centric approach to what does it feel like participating.
Jason Bay: In this process. That's, that's the big thing that's missing from top down.
Why the customer-centric approach is missing?
Marcus Cauchi: So the obvious question is why is it missing? What's stopping people from realizing that if they were the customer, they would see this and think, you know, this is a piece of shit?
Jason Bay: Yeah. You know what, that's a piece of shit.
Marcus Cauchi: Well, do you know this whole process of being bounced from one to the other, and then having to start over again and go through what the fuck they call those automated, uh, dial systems.
Marcus Cauchi: And then you eventually have option 17 after having about, uh, been on hold with music for, uh, 42 minutes. And then you wonder why people get frustrated.
Jason Bay: Yeah, well, I would use, and then these analogies have been very overdone, but if we used a simple dating analogy, yeah. Think about what your behavior's gonna be like if you're going out on a Saturday night and your goal is to, is to go home with someone or take someone home so you can hook up with them versus you having a long term thinking of, you know, what my goal this year is just to hopefully meet someone I could get married to your short term behavior is driven by the long term thinking.
Jason Bay: Right. And these companies are, I mean, they have a lot of pressure. They have a lot of pressure to hit targets and the people that are managing the frontline folks are those managers. And then they're being managed hopefully by their directors. And these are people that it's a risk for them to think long term, because it hasn't been done before.
Jason Bay: It's not getting revenues quickly in the door and a more customer centric approach that takes time to imple that that's like a huge culture change. Within a company that takes time to implement and there's, it's probably gonna get harder before it gets easier. So I, I it's really, I don't have a special answer.
Jason Bay: It's it's lack of long term thinking in that short term, thinking drives the, the short term behavior.
Marcus Cauchi: Generally, will that come down to what your ultimate paymasters are demanding and, uh, whether or not they encourage or punish risk taking that doesn't work. No one will bother you for, um, taking a risk. If it pays off, they might, might sort of say something.
Marcus Cauchi: Yeah. Um, but they'll forgive it.
Jason Bay: Yeah. And let's think about the, because I work a lot with the frontline reps, you know, and when working with a company, the frontline reps and the frontline managers think about what the advice is for someone that does prospecting, whether that's an account executive or an SDR/BDR.
Jason Bay: The advice is that if they're not ready to buy right now, we don't wanna meet with them. So it's, let's only pick out the 2% or 3% of low hanging fruit people that actually are interested in taking a meeting right now. I mean, you know all about this, man. You talk about this a lot. What about that other 20%, 30% of folks that that could be influenced, you know, that are not necessarily looking for something right now, but they they're open to a better way of doing things when you don't take a relationship based approach to that.
Jason Bay: And it's just, Hey, let's just set meetings with people that wanna meet. And my AE is gonna reject something unless they're ready to buy right now. So that thinking, I mean, that's, how could you possibly create long term relationships with customers if not by accident? That's the way that the meat grinder.
Marcus Cauchi: Yeah.
Jason Bay: You know, cuz that's the problem. If you think about it, the problem is how do we get the attention of the people that, that can buy from us? And there's kind of two ways that people are attacking that problem. Right on one end, one, very extreme end do you have this, mass blast murder by numbers. We're gonna fix this problem with volume.
Jason Bay: We're gonna use the auto dialers. We're gonna do all that other stuff. And then on a, the other extreme end is, which is also not great is I'm going to personalize every individual thing that I do to everyone I reach out to. And we gotta find a balance between those two things. And the balance is like really hyper segmentation and looking for people that have patterns . And, and no, no great company, no senior level executive is gonna take a meeting with, with someone that reaches out to them in a really shitty way. They just aren't. You know, so people aren't are, are they aren't thinking about the concessions that they're making short term. It's just very short term. They're looking for very short-term results.
Jason Bay: What can I get this quarter? You know, and that, and that drives this short term behavior.
You're building the revenue operation from scratch, what's the thought process working backwards?
Marcus Cauchi: So you've got a blank sheet of paper and a magic wand.
Jason Bay: Mm-hmm .
Marcus Cauchi: And you're building the revenue operation from scratch.
Jason Bay: Yeah.
Marcus Cauchi: What's the thought process working backwards?
Jason Bay: Yeah. The thought process working backwards is I, I mean, I think of things in really simple frameworks. You know, from an acquisition standpoint, when I think outbound getting those first meetings, I think of identify.
Jason Bay: What are the best fit companies for us and the people that we need to, uh, reach out to? Engage. How are we gonna get their attention and start a conversation? Convert. How are we gonna get the sales process started secure those first couple meetings? When I think about it through that framework, identify what we want to do is look at our company's history and look at what are the best deals for us.
Jason Bay: What makes the most sense for us to go after and let's create that hit list of accounts. I know this sounds like really basic stuff, but I work with companies, markets that's that don't even do account based selling right now.
Marcus Cauchi: Mm-hmm.
Jason Bay: There's no account based approach at all. And they sell mid-market enterprise. They sell big deals and they just give their reps a list of leads to call.
An enterprise account is a marketplace
Marcus Cauchi: Yeah. And, and they're always after the new logo, instead of maximizing the revenue potential within those accounts and the wallet share, and then the lifetime value and then the ecosystem. Yeah my pal Brian Sullivan taught me that, uh, an enterprise account is a marketplace.
Marcus Cauchi: It's not an account. There's the alumni. There's supply chain. There's joint ventures. There's strategic alliances. There's customers' customer. There's family tree, sister company's parent, companies subsidiaries. All of those, you could get referred to. But most people will go off and they'll just beat their head against the wall, doing the dial in slam if they even get that outbound.
Jason Bay: Yeah. They do outbound on hard mode. You know, that's like playing the video game on the hardest level possible. Right. And yeah, you might beat it and stuff and that's, that's kind of fun. Or you might have a lot of pride in it, but it's not a very smart approach, you know. It's, it's one thing I come back to that we might talk about today and Tim Ferris always says to solve this problem.
Jason Bay: Is there a way that we could subtract instead of that? Instead of doing all this crazy stuff and looking for all these other things, it's how can we just get back to the basics? So the identified piece is what are those accounts? And if it's really big enterprise stuff, it's, we ha we're, we're in probably a lot of those accounts.
Jason Bay: And how do we create a network effect? That's still prospecting. You know what I mean? Getting referrals from people that's, that's a prospecting activity.
Marcus Cauchi: Yeah. But you don't get gold medals for that. You don't get pat on the back and told that you're a hero.
LinkedIn Sales Navigator strategy
Jason Bay: Yeah. Another completely under looked strategy is, you know, LinkedIn sales navigator has all of the technology built in for what you would need to get your entire, your team link.
Jason Bay: You could get everyone on the company signed up using LinkedIn sales navigator, and it'll tell you all the possible people, just even within your company and you could add customer list or whatever to it for people that have a first degree connection that likely know the person that you want to talk to at those accounts.
Jason Bay: So that that's what I would do first is get like really, really focused on that. The people that I tend to interact with through the sales process, cuz that's another thing again, it's basics Marcus, none of the stuff I'm gonna blow people away with. It's like really getting back to the basics of let's reverse engineer, all our best deals in our current clients. And who were the people that we interacted with in, in what order need to close this deal?
Jason Bay: Those are people that we need to get introductions to and prospect to. So get really centered around who are we going after. And I wanna take that a layer deeper too. What are the typical priorities of these people? What are the problems we help with in their language? So I, I would interview depending on the size of the company, even as a chief revenue officer, I would, I would view the customer interviews.
Jason Bay: I would talk to 10, 15, 20 customers. I would see if we could record those calls, I'd build those relationships so that I have the relationships with the customers so that I could ask them to do a fireside chat with my team. I could bring them on board and allow my team to pick their brain for 30 minutes, you know. But I would have such detailed stuff.
Jason Bay: I'll give you a quick example. I'm about to start work with the company today, a robotics company. And they sell an automated welding platform that's super badass. But the way they do outbound is it's very focused on, "Hey, we can replace welders". That's the entire message.
Marcus Cauchi: Mm-hmm.
Jason Bay: They don't talk at all about what a, an executive, the people, the chief operating officers, the VP of operations, the VPs of manufacturing, the CEOs of these companies they wanna break into.
Jason Bay: They don't talk about. A strategic thing that those people are trying to accomplish at their company right now of the amount of welders that are coming into the workforce is growing at a rate of 4%. And the demand is growing at a rate of 7%. They need this. There's, there's an, there's an end game here that doesn't look good for people that need welders.
Marcus Cauchi: Mm-hmm.
Jason Bay: But they aren't educating the market on that. That was a no, no part of their outbound process in their messaging. So I get like really, who are we reaching out to? And what are those bigger priorities? Let's think outside of your solution for a second. Cause that's where people always go to, oh, well, we can help. I was like, take the word we out of this.
Jason Bay: I want you to talk first person perspective as a VP of operations. When I prioritize my week on a Monday, what are the two or three things that are top of mind for me that are gonna dictate how I spend my time? You can just ask people these questions. It's, it's, it's pretty easy actually to get this information, if you have the customer relationship.
Jason Bay: So I'll go ahead and pause there. That's that's where I'm getting started because that's gonna drive every part of the outbound process.
Marcus Cauchi: I I'd go one step further and you are already, you know, two thirds of the way there, uh, in terms of really mapping out the true customer journey. Which again, if you have a disconnected revenue operation, people only see their bit of it.
Marcus Cauchi: And so they don't really understand what gets the customer to the point where they start making space to solve a particular problem or to create systems, processes, whatever it happens to be. Then they go into passive looking and it's at that point that you can start nurturing. But you cannot contact them directly without expecting pushback.
Marcus Cauchi: Because they're just not ready to buy. And whilst people still maintain the numbers game philosophy, you're never gonna break that pattern because it's only when they're actively looking that they're ready to welcome a call from a salesperson, whether it's an SDR and AE or whoever.
What do you say to people who think that sales is a numbers game?
Marcus Cauchi: So what do you say to people who, um, think that sales is a numbers game?
Jason Bay: Well, I'd say, how has it worked out for you so far? Let's just look at the data?
Marcus Cauchi: Well, we're doing okay. You know, we're hitting our numbers.
Jason Bay: Yeah, you're doing okay. And you're hitting your numbers. Let's look at, I call this the rep load. What is the load for a rep to even bring in a meeting? Take all of the activities on a monthly basis, emails, calls, LinkedIn, whatever, and then divide that by the number of meetings that they bring in. Qualified meetings.
Jason Bay: Whatever sales accepted leads, SQ, whatever you, you call it. The activity is like atrocious. It's hundreds of activities to produce a meeting. That's a really heavy load on that reps spec that's we're talking burnout today. That's a recipe for burnout. That's how you manage burnout is you look at that.
Jason Bay: This is not a metric you would see on very many dashboards. But number of activities to generate the result that you're looking for. It's not sustainable. Look at the average tenure of the people that, that stay on board. Like the thing that you're doing is not sustainable.
Marcus Cauchi: Again, there's a philosophy that people are expendable. That salespeople are always out there.
Marcus Cauchi: But the reality is that if you look at the hundreds of touches and hundreds of activities. What's more depressing is once you get those meetings, how often you blow it? Because 88%, the first meetings on average, do not result in a second. So now to get to a second meeting, you are talking thousands of activities.
Marcus Cauchi: The average is in the region of 3,240 touches.
Jason Bay: Yep.
Marcus Cauchi: Or activities along the way to get one meeting to second. In what universe, what the law of conservation of energy? That's really moving towards entropy and inertia. Then. Yeah. The, the whole thing comes to a grinding halt.
Jason Bay: It's just way too hard to produce the result. I, yeah, it's way too hard.
How do you break the old school manager cycle? Is that even possible?
Marcus Cauchi: Okay. But you've got, you've got old school managers who think that it's a numbers game. And who, instead of stepping back and saying, "What could we do less of and do it better?" They simply use brute force and throw more warm bodies at the cannon. How do you break that cycle? Is that even possible?
Jason Bay: Think it's on the. I don't think a manager, um, the managers can break that cycle. And the reason for that is I think of the, the managers as kind of like the boots on the ground. If you use, you know, military analogy. It's like, they're the people out there leading the troops, they're just taking orders. The managers don't dictate what the system is, what tools they use, what the goals are.
Jason Bay: They don't dictate any of that kind of stuff. Nor do they have any of the training that they would need in order to properly train and coach their reps either. It really has to start at the top. And I can talk on and on about managers and, and what we need to do for managers. But that's, that's the biggest problem I think right now.
Jason Bay: When I work with companies, typically the first engagement is to, is to help them with their reps. And what we start to reveal through that is every manager wants more help too. How do we coach them? How do we do really basic stuff like call coaching? Or helping our reps select the right accounts.
Jason Bay: And how do we actually coach them? Not just tell them. Anthony Ian Reno. I don't know if you've spoken with him before.
Marcus Cauchi: Yeah.
Jason Bay: Big fan of his work. One thing he talks about is, you know, we're not trying to transfer knowledge here. We're trying to transfer competence, you know. That's something that needs to be taught to a manager.
Jason Bay: Most people are terrible. And I would include myself in there. Well, I wasn't like a born teacher. I didn't know how to do this stuff. I had really good training as a manager. But how do you actually transfer skill and competence, not, not knowledge?
Marcus Cauchi: Well, thi this is one of my huge bug bets with the training industry, because trainers don't focus on the thing that people buy training for, which is I want my results to improve.
Jason Bay: Yep.
Marcus Cauchi: I'm doing a round table with, uh, five, uh, buyers of training. Later this week. Sales training.
Jason Bay: Oh, cool. Okay.
Marcus Cauchi: And so I, it's gonna be an ask the buyer session, what they actually want. Cause I think that there's a disconnect as well, because I think a lot of buyers of training, particularly from, uh, learning and development, focus on things like retention.
Marcus Cauchi: I don't care how much you remember. What I care about is have you actually improved your performance? That's why I'm spending money on training for every dollar I put in, I want $10 back or whatever it happens to be. And it needs to be reinforced. But again, I don't think trainers spend anywhere near enough time fighting the case and saying, you know, by all means, get someone in to come and do a, a dog and pony show, but you're wasting your money.
Marcus Cauchi: If the results don't improve, call me back. I think there's not enough standing up to the customer. But equally, I don't think the customers know how to get what they want from trainers. It concerns me because I think over the next 10 years or so, a huge number of entry level sales jobs will disappear.
Marcus Cauchi: And if managers don't know how to develop people, if there isn't that runway, that apprenticeship, then as a professional, I think we're in deep trouble. And I think the trouble's already started, but too few people are responding to it.
Jason Bay: The buyer needs to be reeducated. I'm a hundred percent on board with you with that.
Jason Bay: And I compete with, in SaaS, at least when I'm selling into SaaS, I compete with a lot of the top training, either companies or individuals.
Marcus Cauchi: Mm-hmm.
Jason Bay: And, uh, my selling point against them always is, oh, so these are, they're gonna come in and do two, three hour sessions with your team.
Marcus Cauchi: Yes.
Jason Bay: What happens after that? What, what are the anticipated outcomes?
Jason Bay: How are the skills reinforced? Do they meet with the leadership team? None of that kind of stuff, man.
Marcus Cauchi: Yeah. It's bizarre.
NOKIA and the smartphone
Jason Bay: None of it. It's kind of tough. I mean, I get kind of coming from their position. They're giving the buyer what they, what they want instead of what they need.
Marcus Cauchi: Yeah. Kind of like NOKIA inventing the smartphone.
Jason Bay: I'm not familiar with that story actually.
Marcus Cauchi: NOKIA invented the smartphone . Their Management was saying, we've got to do this. And senior management said, well, that's not what made us successful. We're gonna continue churning out the 3310 and the brick. It's interesting how tradition, habit, what you used to has such a hold.
Marcus Cauchi: How do you make sure that when you bring these concepts into an organization that they stick with them? Because inevitably under pressure, our temptation is to fall back on what, you know, we were taught first.
Jason Bay: Okay, I'm glad we brought this up. Cause I feel like we're getting a little bit more into my zone of, uh, expertise and that that's coaching and, and training and creating buy-in.
Jason Bay: Let's think about it from a really basic standpoint. Let's put ourselves in that consumer and of a coach-trainer working with one, that's trying to create behavior change for us. We have, there has to be a belief that it's gonna work. And how do you create the belief? I have to try something small.
Jason Bay: Get some sort of result, some sort of positive result with it. And then he got me hooked. Right? And if we used personal training or personal fitness, as a, as an analogy, it would be helping someone lose a couple pounds in the first week. Doing something that maybe they didn't think would be possible or whatever it might be or making small little tweaks here.
Jason Bay: My mentors always, always say, uh, small hinges move big doors. I love, I love that saying. It's those little small things that, oh shit. I, I, I lost like a pound this week, two pounds or whatever. I haven't been able to do that for me, outbound it's I have to give them a little bit of what they want in the very first session.
Jason Bay: So I typically do the first engagement with me as, really, I call it an outbound accelerator. But it's really a foundations program. It's, let's make sure we're doing all the basics. The very first day I'll go through a checklist that I call the five rights and I'll go through with all the reps and I'll say, Hey, there's five areas right now.
Jason Bay: I'm gonna go through, you can use it to troubleshoot what you're doing right now. And I'm gonna give you one actionable thing. I want you to pick one thing to try and you're gonna report back in two days, what the results are. So one of those things is, "Hey, are we going after the right accounts?". And I really go look into that and say, "Hey, are there any accounts that you've been prospecting into for like literally just months and gotten no results?".
Jason Bay: And "When's the last time you refreshed that accounts list and added a new account to it?" That's usually one big thing. Another big thing is, Hey, when we reach out to people, statistically, what we need to do in order to grab their attention? Almost all the data we'll show you is they need to get 10 to 15 touches over the course of 30, 45 days between email, phone, social, whatever it might be in order to secure a meeting. So how could you get some extra email touches in there? Oh, Hey, when are there any prospects that haven't responded to an email in forever? Let's just reply and say "Any thoughts?". That right there. What always happens, Marcus is people literally do it that day.
Jason Bay: Two days later, they say, oh, I got response from someone that hasn't responded to me in forever. And he said, yeah, let's meet and like that right there. That's how you create buy-in. I think that people look at transformation, they look at it in this huge, big, we need to change the entire strategy. Know how do we break this up into bite size chunks?
Marcus Cauchi: Yeah.
Jason Bay: And give people little things that they can do right away and get a result. I want something that can get a small result in 24 to 48 hours so that people are bought in. Cause once I do that on day one, like their attention is mine for the next six weeks. They'll listen to anything that I have to say.
How do I create buy-in?
Jason Bay: And that's what I think most sales leaders don't think about is how do I create buy-in. If I had to approach this like a trainer or an outside consultant with my sales team, how would I do that? They treat it like, oh, I'm a VP of sales. I'm a CRO. I'm just gonna tell everyone what they need to do. And then the managers need to like, basically bully the reps around and make them comply with this process.
Jason Bay: That's how they approach rolling out a, a new strategy or approach.
Marcus Cauchi: I think the strategy of looking for little victories is really important because that's how you give the positive reinforcement. And I think far too much of sales management in practice is beating people with a stick or a carrot. They don't get to eat the carrot.
Marcus Cauchi: They just get beaten with it. Incentives. Uh, another huge area that I think is poorly understood. You know, competition, SPS, all those kind of things seem to have, except in a few exceptional circumstances and negative effect. The number of times I've spoken to sales leaders and said, you know, we're running an incentive, but it doesn't seem to be working .Or it's Mike is gonna win it.
Marcus Cauchi: So no, no one bothers to participate. And I think there's not enough attention is paid on the individual reps' needs. So often you'll see training happen because the manager wants to avoid telling Tim that he's dim. So they say, well, we put everyone on training and I've seen that happen time and time again as well.
Don't force them to do something that they don't want to
Jason Bay: Yes. Do you have a, a really good analogy for this? Is, do you have a dog or ever owned a dog before?
Marcus Cauchi: Yeah. Yeah. We have a very drooly, uh, labrador.
Jason Bay: Yeah. Okay. We have a little toy poodles named Pepes, 12 pounds. So in maybe this is, I don't mean to treat your reps like dogs or animals, by the way, through this analogy.
Jason Bay: So hopefully no one's listening to it like that. But what's really important when you train a dog, is that if you're, if you're trying to get the dog to do a basic thing, like sit or go potty outside or whatever what's really important is that you don't force them to do something that they don't want to do.
Jason Bay: So when the dog is not sitting, you don't just grab its butt and push it down to sit. You actually make it sit by itself. And then you mark the behavior. Yes. Or clicker, whatever you use. You give them a treat for willingly doing the right thing, even though they don't even know what the hell they're doing.
Marcus Cauchi: Mm-hmm .
Jason Bay: And you think about that approach, uh, again, helping a dog when they're scared of something too. So our dogs, he's a little scared of heights, so he's a little weird around the edges of decks and stuff like that. So anytime we catch him, you know, being a little weird and scared of stuff, we try to treat him when he actually attempts to go over there, instead of pushing him into something that he doesn't wanna do.
Jason Bay: How does this relate with, with reps? Well, think of what we do. We force them to comply to a process. They don't like, don't feel comfortable with, aren't properly trained for, and we don't reward them for any of the effort based things, the behavioral things that will drive the result. We only reward them for the end result.
Marcus Cauchi: Right. I agree.
Marcus Cauchi: So if we look at our processes and look at why we do things very often, that's steeped in tradition and we end up with a culture where someone new comes in and they're very quickly told, and their wings clipped where "That's not how we do things around here".
Jason Bay: Mm-hmm.
So much of selling is formulaic
Marcus Cauchi: And I think that's speaks to another really interesting aspects, uh, to sales, which is the, uh, modernity of most sales teams. They talk about being, um, an equal opportunities, employer and welcoming, diverse groups of people. They make it impossible for people who are different to stay.
Jason Bay: Yeah.
Marcus Cauchi: Blind obedience is, uh, a quality treated with more value than innovative thinking or entrepreneurship or risk taking.
Marcus Cauchi: And I definitely see that as being a major problem. Which is why it's so, so much of selling is formulaic and it's focused on tactic instead of really understanding other human beings. What drives them.
Jason Bay: Yep.
Marcus Cauchi: I'm really quite looking forward to that call on Friday to understand why the why there is so much emphasis on technique.
Jason Bay: Yeah.
Marcus Cauchi: Cause it always feels like you're having something done to you when someone uses a technique to try and manipulate a particular reaction from you.
Jason Bay: Oh, it drives me crazy cuz I know what people are doing. But we're in sales, right?
Marcus Cauchi: Yeah.
Jason Bay: We've been around the block. One of the things that people do so much to me is those no oriented questions. That,"Hey would it be a bad idea Marcus?", and people go, "Hey, would it be ridiculous if we did this? Hey, would it be ridiculous to get a response to this? Would it be ridiculous to...". I'm like, dude, no one talks like that, man. Yes, stop please. But the, the problem it's really basic, you know, coaching and teaching philosophy. It's called 4MAT.
Jason Bay: It's the number four and then MAT. I don't know if it's a worldwide thing or if it's mostly focusing in the United States, but it's, it's really just a concept of why, what, how. When we're teaching something to people, do we explain the why behind, um, the approach? You know. Do we explain the why behind the quality-first approach?
Jason Bay: Do we explain what, what to do? What are the bullet points and then are able to bridge that to a how. The focus a lot in sales right now is on how. Say this exact opener, when you cold call people. They, they don't go a step, a couple steps above that and say, "Hey, when we cold call people, let's, let's think about what does the person on the receiving end of this need to experience in order to just go past the first 10 or 15 seconds".
Jason Bay: What familiarity are we bringing into the equation? Are we introducing ourselves? What's our tone like? How do we come off? Are we demonstrating business acumen as soon as possible that we know something about them? Then what to do? Permission based opener.
Jason Bay: People go straight to the how with this. And that's what I see as the two extremes. They there's way too much why in theory, in how we approach it and say, "Hey, here's what you should do, and, and why you should do it, good luck". And people don't bridge it to the how cuz they don't know how, I don't think they don't actually know how to do that.
Jason Bay: Or they focus so much on how and don't allow reps to be resourceful. They completely rob people of their resourcefulness by telling them exactly how they should do things. You gotta have all three of those things. You gotta have why, what and how. You gotta, that's gotta be fabric. Every part of your training has to include the entire array of how people learn.
Marcus Cauchi: One missing element of that again, which I think is really essential, is getting customers involved in the training. And really excited by the, um, the idea of having customers come in and play the part.
Jason Bay: Yeah.
Marcus Cauchi: And give feedback. Being on the receiving end of that, that was terrible, or that was great. But the, the piece that you touched on, which I think is really critical as well, is business acumen. And almost no training focuses on developing that. No coaching. You know, almost no coaching develop, um, develops that either, certainly if a management level.
Marcus Cauchi: And that lack of insight means that you can never really put yourself into the context in which the customer lives and works. And if you don't understand that, how can you possibly, you know, look at that 20% to 30% and influence them?
Jason Bay: You can't, unless you get lucky.
Marcus Cauchi: Yeah. So, and lots of really shitty strategy.
Jason Bay: That's what people do is they're playing just law of numbers, right? How many, if I can get into the thousands, tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands of data points of my outreach, I'm gonna get lucky where I catch someone that happens to be thinking of this. But that doesn't really fit into the 20%, 30%.
Marcus Cauchi: And the other thing it does, and Dan Sullivan said, the price of free marketing is all the people who will never do business with you.
Marcus Cauchi: And I think people don't because if they have short term thinking and short term behavior, they don't think of a long term price. That's a very heavy price.
The approach that doesn't prioritize the buyer
Jason Bay: Yes. You know what one of my clients was dealing with before we started working together is when you have dozens of reps trying to break into an account and people are prospecting to C level folks, you know, what they do is they, they blacklist your domain so that none of the emails come through into their company.
Jason Bay: This is a company that you will forever never be able to communicate with through email. And then if the people ask to be put on the, do not call list, you can't email or call the people that you need to talk to at this company. It's, it's an opportunity that is forever burned. That's happening right now.
Jason Bay: That's how, I don't know when, if, and when we'll get to this in terms of future of sales, but that's, that's something I think is very scary. That people aren't thinking about as the long term consequences of really shitty messaging, a really shitty approach that doesn't prioritize the buyer that doesn't demonstrate that you know about them.
Jason Bay: It isn't va-, you know, creating some sort of value and putting content and education either through your webinars, whatever it is that you're doing, you're doing nothing to educate customers. And you're gonna be forever banned from communicating with people at that company. It's it's happening a lot right now.
What advice would you give to a blacklisted rep because of predecessor?
Marcus Cauchi: So if you are new to a role and you found that you are getting blacklisted. Or you've been blacklisted because of your predecessors. What advice would you give to a rep in that situation?
Jason Bay: What advice would I give to a rep? That's....
Marcus Cauchi: They've just inherited a bunch of accounts where company's name is mud.
Jason Bay: God, it's so hard for the rep. I thought you were gonna ask me what I would do as a leader, but I would, I would personally reach out to these people through a personal email address.
Marcus Cauchi: Right.
Jason Bay: And yeah, and be totally humble and say, we totally messed this up. We'd love to get feedback from you on how we can do this better. And we'll pay you for your time. You know, to get that feedback is what I would do as a sales leader.
Marcus Cauchi: Right.
Jason Bay: As a rep, God, that's been handed accounts like that. My, my advice would be obviously you can't use email and, and phone. We gotta, we gotta figure out a LinkedIn game. . First, but I would talk about why that happened. Let's talk about the people. There's a really basic Skip Miller has a book I love "Selling above and below the line".
Jason Bay: There's a really basic concept of why do executives choose to take meetings and how do they buy versus a manager director, or someone that uses a product? You know, there's just really basic things, uh, "Selling Above and Below The Line".
Marcus Cauchi: And by?
Jason Bay: Skip Miller. Yeah, really great book. I read it's super short read. But the concept for those listening, cuz you're, you're probably very familiar with it Marcus is that above the line, your VPs and your C levels, generically, you know, are gonna be more strategic. They're gonna care more about strategy. They're gonna care more about three months, six months, nine months, three years from now.
Jason Bay: And it's gonna be very, "how does this help us grow our revenue, increase our profit or reduce our, our, uh, expenses. And how does it help us reduce risk in some sort of way?". These are people not typically using the products yet. We try to pitch demos to these people, right? The below the line folks, the directors, managers, users of products, whoever, and either one might be your way into a company, by the way, it depends on what kind of product you have, but they're gonna be very tactical.
Jason Bay: They're thinking about what's gonna help me today. What's gonna make my life easier this week. What's gonna make my team more productive and all of the time I see messaging to C levels that sounds like this: "Hey, we help product teams that, uh, have to pitch their roadmaps to non-technical buyers to get buy-in, or we make that job easier".
Jason Bay: And I'm like, well, when you reach out to a C level, they are the person that's being pitched the roadmap, dude. Okay. They're not the one doing, they're not the ones that need help. The people that work under them are the ones that need help. And just that basic, I see this just rampant, especially when messaging is not provided for people.
Jason Bay: It's this generic, here's messaging that's gonna apply to everyone. It needs to be hyper specialized by persona. And then you need to do that by the individual, but I'm working with a company right now. There's, I mean, there's eight different business lines that they sell into at hospitals. It's like, Hey, we have to, and there's multiple personas within those business lines.
Jason Bay: We have to come up with messaging for every single one of those.
Marcus Cauchi: Absolutely. And th- this is where I think the future of selling and marketing really requires much greater alignment. Because if marketing is able to create those talk tracks and those, uh, message themes, then you can, uh, hyper specialize. I don't think you can personalize at scale that I think is one of the biggest myths that the marketing industry has pedaled. But it's a lie.
Jason Bay: Yeah.
Marcus Cauchi: You can be relevant at scale. But personalizing at scale, no, an impossible. Unless you're micro segmenting. And unless you're creating those tailored messages for those tiny groups, then you're just gonna be bouncing off them. Constant.
Jason Bay: Yep.
What should young reps really be doing in terms of developing themselves?
Marcus Cauchi: So what should young reps really be doing in terms of developing themselves so that they're ready for this very savvy environment where buyers have access to the sum total of team and knowledge with a few strengths of the keyboard?
Jason Bay: Yeah. If I'm a seller and this is my advice to everyone is I'm getting really, really intimately familiar with the priorities of the people that I talk to. And then the problems that get in the way of those things.
Jason Bay: And those are very different things in my mind. The priority is what do I get up every day? And I, I don't, I don't get up in the morning and say "What problems do I have to overcome today?". You don't really think like that. It's more of an aspirational, you know, kind of thing. Hey, we know that we need to hit this revenue target, right?
Jason Bay: And this is the thing that I'm working on related to that. The priorities, I need to understand what gets these people out of bed and how they prioritize their time. And then I need to understand the relevant problems that we help with it they can get in the way of that. And I wanna be intimately familiar with those things.
Jason Bay: If I'm a BDR/SDR, I'm doing really basic stuff, like the AE better be, be recording all of the sales calls, the discovery, the demo, whatever. And I, I listen to all of the discovery calls and demos for the meetings that I set. I'm really intimately familiar with in Salesforce, looking at what are the inbound deals coming in?
Jason Bay: What are the job titles? What are people putting in descriptions? What are the notes that salespeople are taking from those conversations? I wanna be able to have those higher level conversations. And that's really, I, I want this mode of understanding why. I wanna understand why. I wanna be intimately familiar with who we sell to why they buy what they're working on, how it fits into the grand scheme of their business.
Jason Bay: Not just the product that I sell. I really wanna get familiar with those people. That's the thing that's gonna help you do really well as an SDR/BDR and get the promotion to AE. And that's the thing that's gonna help you crush it as an AE is being able to talk to people exactly like them and say, "I talk to all dozens of people like you. And, and here's what they tell me".
Jason Bay: And you rattle off a couple things and people are like, okay, cool, Marcus. He knows what he's talking about. Right? This, this guy he's, he's got business acumen. He talks to people like me. He knows my world that that demonstration of business acumen is totally missing. For most rookie reps and a lot of it's experience too, it takes time to get those things, but-
Marcus Cauchi: It, it does. And I think it's important that reps understand their responsibility in terms of their own learning. I'm firmly of the belief that we need to stop calling it training and call it learning and put the emphasis back on the individual to develop themselves, to ask questions, to seek out help. To study. I think part of the problem is that the majority of people end up in sales by accident.
Jason Bay: Yeah.
Marcus Cauchi: Very, very few people as kids said, you know, I wanna be a salesperson. And because of that, they always certainly for the first few years, they're probably thinking it of it as a stop gap whilst they try and get a proper job. And then those habits are ingrained and then they get promoted through tenure.
Future Focus: Management Development
Marcus Cauchi: And maybe ,yeah, because they're a higher performing rep into management, but they don't know how to transfer the skills. So one area that I think we really need to focus on in terms of the future is management development. Your thoughts on that?
Jason Bay: Oh, absolutely. Just doing something would be a step in the right direction.
Jason Bay: Most companies have zero training for managers, but just really basics. Like think as a rep, what we expect of a rep, we'd expect you to know how to manage your time. And we expect you to know what the ideal week should look like. We expect you to do this type of learning and all this other stuff to have these conversations with customers.
Jason Bay: Well, how come with managers, how come they aren't taught? Well, ideally what are the buckets of areas I should be spending my time in? And when it comes to my job, coaching training, hiring, leading my team, what are the skills associated with all of those things? But yeah, doing anything would be a step in the right direction for most companies. There's literally zero stuff done, you know, you're laughing, you know, this is true, Marcus.
Marcus Cauchi: Yeah.
Jason Bay: There's literally enough for managers.
Marcus Cauchi: Well, it, it goes to the next level as well, which is that managers to not receive anywhere near enough coaching. So again, that speaks to the leadership level. There isn't that cadence there, there isn't that culture because we hire grownups.
Marcus Cauchi: And we don't wanna be mollycoddling them or interfering until we do. And then what you end up finding is that those interventions tend to be the death nail for that person's career, or certainly their job.
Jason Bay: The other big thing with management too, I think the challenge is that because there isn't this, you know, transfer of competency, is that when a manager doesn't do well or they do okay, it's a major pay cut if they did well as a rep.
Jason Bay: So we're putting these people in positions where it's much harder. They end up working more and they get paid less and they get less support. That's a broken system, man.
What are the glimmers of hope for a broken system?
Marcus Cauchi: Mm-hmm. It definitely is. I I, so what are the glimmers of hope?
Jason Bay: Well, I think the glimmers of hope are, one ,being able to recognize that, you know. Two, if you're a manager, I don't see managers don't invest in themselves much at all.
Jason Bay: Investing in yourself. If you're not getting it from your company, invest in yourself. There's lots of really good training programs out there and coaching programs and all kinds of stuff for managers. There's a lot of great resources out there. Just because your company's not gonna bring those resources in, invest in yourself.
Jason Bay: That's where it starts invest in yourself. People will do the thing. If you can become a top manager at your company, doing some of these things that you spend investing in yourself and learning outside, people are always in sales, gonna wanna do whatever works. And if you make that work, be the case study internally for your, for your company.
Marcus Cauchi: So the obvious pushback at that point is, well, why should I?
Jason Bay: Okay. If, if you're happy being overworked and underpaid, keep doing what you're doing. I'm not in the business of selling people on why they should get outside help. I, I really don't don't wanna do that. You know, I don't wanna sell people on why they need coaching and training.
Jason Bay: If you're not open to the idea of doing something differently and you wanna improve, I, I don't wanna talk to you, you know. I don't wanna talk to you. So, so if you're that person that's giving pushback to looking outside of your own company for stuff. If you're happy doing what you're doing then no, maybe don't do it then.
Jason Bay: I'm totally fine with, with walking away from that.
The biggest challenges that you're seeing young reps face at the moment with the pandemic
Marcus Cauchi: Excellent. Okay. So to wrap up then, talk to me about the biggest challenges that you're seeing young reps face at the moment with the pandemic, with this rise in technologies spaghetti, that they're all getting forced into, the lack of support, what what's all of this culminating in? And where will the change come?
Jason Bay: Oh man, there's a lot of challenges for reps. I mean, we've talked about a lot of them, but I think in, in general, the, the big challenge is the phone is a really good tool and it's, it's very hard to get pe- people to pick up the phone these days when you look at pick up rates.
Jason Bay: And I have a lot of opinions on that because I, I cold call for my clients. So I, I try to have a consulting client or two at a time. And part of what I'll do for them is, is cold call. And the reason why I do that is I wanna be really in tune with what they're doing. It helps me work out messaging and all this other stuff.
Jason Bay: But part of it, I think is a lack of intensity in using excuses, because for some reason, when I call and I don't use a dialer or anything, fancier special is I have like a 30% connect rate. You know, when I, when I call people, when I cold call people in the sort of industry average for at least everything, from what I hear is under 5%.
Jason Bay: To get people to pick up the phone. So there there's some sort of disconnect there, but I think getting people to pick up the phone, that's a really big thing. Being a little bit more clever and having a reason. And being able to use multichannel using email, phone, LinkedIn, using all of these things together to deliver your message.
Jason Bay: I think the second thing too is. What I see a really big, and I'm thinking of my clients right now, a, a really big weakness is just basic copywriting skills. Their ability to put together an email that's three or four sentences is, uh, it's astonishing. You know, most of the stuff that people are sending are freaking novels and they sound really good on the phone.
Jason Bay: And they're able to communicate that message through phone. They're aren't able to translate that into what an email would sound like. You know so I think that the communication through written and verbal communication, like those are tangible skills that you could work on. But, um, I think the lack of copywriting skills is a big one.
Jason Bay: And the other thing too is, and again, this kind of goes back to a learning thing, but a lot of people are visual learners. How are you being more visual? And the way that you do outbound and in the way that you sell? How are you incorporating? You know, last time we talked, you have a genius model that I saw, right?
Jason Bay: How are you teaching through models? Uh, one thing that I'll do when I coach and train is I have a little camera here. I'll share my desktop. And it's like a whiteboard on a piece of paper where I'm right. Your ability to do things like that and make a virtual setting, more visual, just because someone see you and you can share a screen, that's not what I'm talking about.
Jason Bay: How do you actually visually teach people and engage them when you're doing outbound, when you're selling? Those are the really big things that I think people need to need to really think about is, and it's a total. It's a huge pattern interrupt when you can do that.
Marcus Cauchi: It's an enormous shift away from just the $300 a day or hide behind email. You know, this, this actually takes real intelligence and thought and my pal Ben Eliza has a view that the, uh, necessary IQ to be a salesperson is going to consistently go up. So it's around 120 at the moment to be, uh, moderately successful enterprise salesperson.
IQ requirement will go up as technology becomes more sophisticated?
Marcus Cauchi: But as technology becomes more sophisticated, as you have to work more with strategic alliances, you have to work with competitors. That IQ requirement will go up. Um, your thoughts?
Jason Bay: Yeah, absolutely. Because all of the stuff on the, you know, the bottom end of what a rep is doing is easily automated or fixed with tools.
Jason Bay: You know, it's, uh, your ability to pump out volume is no longer something that, uh, is the necessary scope because tools will do that for you. Your ability to find and consume information, there are tools that will gather all of that information for you too. They'll show you buying intent. They'll gather triggers for you. They'll scrape a person's LinkedIn profile. All of that stuff is gonna become, you know, table stakes as they say.
Marcus Cauchi: Yeah.
Jason Bay: So, yeah, I agree. A hundred percent. I think those are gonna be the only people that make it in a sustainable way too. I mean, you look at an enterprise sales rep. How many years does it take to become competent, really, a really competent enterprise sales rep for system one that's selling something SMB, super transactional?
Marcus Cauchi: Yeah.
Jason Bay: You know, and we're gonna really move away from sales people needing to be heavily involved in those transactional sales, for sure.
Marcus Cauchi: Well, Phil McGann says that salesperson hits their stride in a job after three years.
Jason Bay: Yeah.
Marcus Cauchi: And that, that's what he did his PhD thesis on. And with the turnover, with the, uh, constantly shifting priorities, the latest, uh, technology, did you, people get distracted. And I think you need to do the basics well consistently. Over time and mean it. And that seems to have been forgotten.
Marcus Cauchi: Excellent. JayB, look, we've come to the top of the hour. So we need to wrap up. You've mentioned one book already, which was the
Jason Bay: "Selling Above And Below the Line"
What would you recommend in terms of developing copywriting skills?
Marcus Cauchi: "Selling Above And Below the Line" by Skip Miller. In terms of developing copywriting skills, what would you recommend?
Jason Bay: Oh, damn copywriting skills. Well, one really basic thing you need to do right away. If you don't have, it is install Grammarly on your, uh, on your Google Chrome browser. To level up your copywriting. There's a couple of things that I really at Donald Miller's story brand, I think is really good in terms of just understanding how to tell stories. The other thing that I would recommend God from a copywriting standpoint is, uh, I really like the blogging websites.
Jason Bay: I think it's copy blogger. They might have turned into a different company by now. But if you consume a lot of the content online, that's for people, uh, to help people with blogging and writing articles, it's the same concepts it's active versus passive voice, right? It's how to be more succinct, how to load a sentence with the important stuff at the beginning.
Jason Bay: It's those types of things. So I love copy blogger. I'd probably start there. I'd look at the best resources online and, and copy blogger, I believe is the name best resources online and, and courses for, for people to help them with their writing. That stuff's totally gonna translate into how you write, uh, from a sales context as well.
Skills development for cold calling?
Marcus Cauchi: Excellent. And for cold calling?
Jason Bay: Man, unfortunately there's not a lot of great stuff on, uh, cold calling. I do like "Smart Calling" by Art Sobczak. That's a really great book. That's the one that I always recommend. And then our podcast is pretty good, Blissful Prospecting. I'd listen to that. What I would stay away from is get overlooking for the best way to introduce yourself on a cold call.
Marcus Cauchi: Yeah. The technique
Jason Bay: Get, get to like the messaging components, the things that you need, like the chunks of information you need to go through and the questions that you need to ask.
Marcus Cauchi: Yeah.
Jason Bay: That's the big thing. And there isn't a lot of really great stuff out there on cold calling, in my opinion on, and I'm really how to use the phone properly.
Jason Bay: Art's book is probably one of the best that I've seen. It's very comprehensive.
How can people get hold of you?
Marcus Cauchi: Excellent. How can people get hold of you?
Jason Bay: blissfulprospecting.com's the best way. So there's a ton of free stuff there. If you're just looking. We got podcast, we run webinars on, you know, usually a couple times a week, all of that's there on demand.
Jason Bay: We got guides on how to do video, how to send email, all of that kind of stuff. And then we also work with both individual reps and companies. So if you're looking up to level a level up your outbound, and maybe you're an AE, let's say, and you're doing full cycle sales and you wanna fill some of your own pipeline, check us out.
Jason Bay: And, and if you're a company, especially that once you're reps to prospect more in the way that we're talking about here today, reach out to me at blissfullprospecting.com. We, we might be able to help you out.
Marcus Cauchi: Excellent. Jason Bay. Thank you.
Jason Bay: Thanks for having me Marcus.
Marcus Cauchi: So this is Marcus Cauchi signing off once again from The Inquisitor Podcast. If you've liked, enjoyed this, then please like, comment, share, and subscribe and feel free to leave an honest review on either Apple or Google Podcast. If you wanna get hold of me, marcuslaughs-last.com. In the meantime, stay safe and happy selling. Bye-bye.