CEO Sales Insights

CEO Sales Insights with Karen Beattie from The Growth Faculty

December 3, 2021

CEO Sales Insights

Sales IQ Global has a worldwide audience of sales leaders and professionals operating in B2B environments. Tony Hughes is Co-Founder of Sales IQ Global and a best-selling author. He hosts a live monthly CEO conversation shared with an online audience sharing CEO insights with peers looking to drive sales, and aspiring sellers seeking to better understand how to engage a CEO.

​CEOs have a unique perspective on what it takes to drive sales. In this episode, Tony talks with ​Karen Beattie, Managing Director and Founder, The Growth Faculty. Karen is self-confessed progress junkie with an inherent curiosity for learning from the people and things around her. Regularly working with some of the world's brightest mind, Karen has a wealth of knowledge to share.

​In the exciting CEO Sales Insights series best selling author and Co-Founder of Sales IQ Global Tony Hughes speaks to CEOs who share their insights. This look inside the C-Suite brings value for both senior executives looking to see how peers drive sales, and for aspiring sellers seeking to better understand how to engage with a CEO.


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Tony J. Hughes
Co-Founder / Globally-Awarded Sales Thought Leader / Best Selling Author and B2B Sales Expert
Karen Beattie
Founder and Managing Director, The Growth Faculty

[00:00:00] Tony Hughes: Welcome to the CEOs Sales Insights Podcast. I'm your host, Tony Hughes. And I am so excited to bring you real world insights from legendary CEOs on how to drive and sustain top line growth and create a customer centric culture. Whether you're an aspiring or seasoned corporate leader, you'll hear wisdom with real world application that can make a real difference in your life.

But we also provide insights here for sales professionals seeking to elevate to the C-suite as a seller, you would better understand how a CEO actually thinks and what it really takes to own a conversation. Let's jump in with this episode's CEO.

So without any further ado, I'd really love to introduce my next guest. And I just love Karen. She's a fantastic leader. She's built an incredible business. So she's founder and head of content at the growth of faculty. And she started a business in 2003 from a small Sydney office and she set out to achieve her ambitious mission.

To give business leaders access to the world's best strategic thinkers and high achievers. And wow, she'd done an incredible job of that. She's had people like Nobel laureates on for, for her members. Hillary Clinton, previous secretary of state for the USA. She said president Barack Obama, Michelle Obama Ted talks, sensations like Simon Sinek and Tim Ferriss, even after George Clooney.

And she makes those people available. Two leaders around the world. She had to do a big pivot in COVID and she'll actually talk about that. But through the growth faculty, she's had the privilege of living her personal mission daily, which is provoking change and growth in business NP. Through industry leading insights and powerful, considered connections.

She has over 20 years experience in curating and producing events and content. And the growth faculty is now educating business executives and leaders across the globe. So without any further ado Karen welcome and thanks for being on the program.

[00:02:11] Karen Beattie: Thanks Tony. Good morning. It's a pleasure to be here. Thank you for that warm introduction.

[00:02:15] Tony Hughes: You're absolutely welcome. Huge fan of the business. And I had the privilege of my first visit to a physical premise after the COVID lockdowns finished, about four months of lockdowns and Sydney was with you and your team. And I really enjoyed working with your sales leader, Steven, and the team at the time.

So you've got a great business. Yeah.

[00:02:32] Karen Beattie: Thank you. And they really enjoyed it too. And they've been applying what they've learnt and it's making a difference. So thanks for.

[00:02:38] Tony Hughes: That's great. Hey yum. Why don't we kick off? Would you mind providing just, just a brief overview of your company's value proposition, maybe even how you started the business, but then the value proposition and what you'd go to market strategies.

That'll really help people contextualize the information that you're going to share with them.

[00:02:56] Karen Beattie: Sure thanks. So as you said, you know, back in 2003 I launched the business and really came out of a experience that I had with MYB. Actually we managed the GST seminars and what we did was you know, it was a FIFA service.

I was a management fee for service event provider. And in, during the transition, they wanted to provide half day seminars. But they business owners and bookkeepers around what to expect with the GST. So what happened as a result of that is we ended up, you know, registering 40,000 business owners over 140 seminars across Australia.

And through that process, which was pre online registration, by the way, back in 2000 we, we were on the receiving end of. That's right. And, you know, they're, they're frustrated, you know we were hearing about all their challenges. So, you know, at the end of that, I was thinking, wow, you know, what if we could do, and that there was such an appetite for this, you know?

And it obviously came out of fear, you know, like we don't know what to expect. You know, and when you're a business owner, anyway, this is always about uncertainty. And I thought, well, what if we can provide outside of GST, you know, content for these business owners to help them with their own leadership and to grow that.

So we launched the business with a gentleman by the name of Michael Gerber, the author of the email. Have you heard of him?

[00:04:10] Tony Hughes: No. I'm a huge fan of the E-Myth book. Every entrepreneur should read that book. It's a central.

[00:04:16] Karen Beattie: Yeah, absolutely. So so I launched, it was the first time I, I mean, my background is in advanced right.

Organizing the best, but it's the first time I actually took, you know, say, I'm going to take ownership of this. I'm going to, I'm going to take the risk on it. I'm going to promote this. I will pay the speak-up bring them across. And and at that time conferences were about a thousand dollars a day. You know, it just really wasn't good.

The small business operators. So we had hopped a, you know, $175 and we had two and a half thousand people turn off. Right. So that was my first event. I thought, wow, this is great. Let's do more of this. So that's where we started and, you know, it was, you know, an operation of one and two. I had my first employee in 2000 full and we slowly grew and we started bringing out other speakers that really the idea was to give us trillion business owners access to the world's best thinkers.

Right. So primarily internationally. So so that's what we did pre pandemic. Obviously the profile of the speakers grew and grew, you know, we had Jim Collins as well, pat Lencioni, Marcus Buckingham, all those leadership speakers. We delivered our content primarily through live in person events. That, of course the pandemic hit in 2020.

And it was two weeks before our biggest event where we had 12,000 people going across three events with a speaker called Simon Sinek. So we had to move pretty quickly to a cancel that event and then move it virtual which we did. And so since then, You know, we've kept on mission, right? So we do still bring the world's basket.

We do it on a virtual platform now, and we now move to an e-learning platform and a value proposition, you know, since we iterated, we started with masterclasses. We were wrapped that people would start to buy because a lot of content online is free. And when they still saw the value, we had the. An 80,000 base really took to market to as well, which was our history since 2003.

So we went to market with masterclasses and over the last 12 12 to 18 months, we now have produced a leadership pass, which gives everyone unlimited access to all laboratories. Over 12 month period. Right? So for 400 Australian dollars, you can still get the likes of Jim Collins, pat Lencioni, Marcus Buckingham.

And you can come in and out as you want. So it's high value. So it's, you know, we going for the volume game, it's really that education at scale. And we've actually tapped into a new market because primarily before we were CEOs of mid-market companies that didn't really have the budget to bring in these speakers and, you know All the customers, which began to town generally do to now, you know, we've brought in sort of the L and D and executive teams within large organizations.

So we now have two markets opened up, right? So it's been absolutely an amazing journey of the last 18 months. The opportunity is, is, is quite extraordinary and we're on a learning curve. We sort of back in startup mode, but our membership has quadrupled. In the last 12

[00:06:56] Tony Hughes: months. So we're really excited.

Karen, that's amazing. And I'd really like to dig into a couple of things here you've had to well, not had to, but you've changed your business from an event. Business where you're selling a one-time ticket to a one-time event to, I guess, more of a subscription business, right? Where it's, it's more like a membership and, and I get a 12 month pass.

That's the holy grail for every business these days, right. They want to smooth out their, their revenue and create a compound growth curve with revenue as well through subscriptions and annuity. But here's the really interesting thing. You're competing against just tons, tons of free content out in the world.

Like you've got a reasonably big sales team now. So how do you compete against free?

[00:07:46] Karen Beattie: I think it's the, again, it's the value proposition. So free generally means that there is a sale on the end. Right. So you know, all that content on YouTube you know basically you get snippets of it. What we do is we provide it in a 90 minute session is it's an education 19 minutes.

Right? So interestingly, you know, when we did Simon Sinek, you know, in, in November, 2020, you can see in Simon all over the world yet, you know, we still had people paying because they knew they were getting, you know, five hours. You know, directed questions, really tailored to the learning journey. Right? So I think people have come to understand, I think with the growth faculty, the quality of content that we provide, and generally because our biggest competitor was actually the sales seminar.

They bring in speakers to sell product at the end of it, which is, which is, which is one style of business model. Whereas with purely education and we were not necessarily selling anything on the back of that either. We're not selling a $10,000 products. This is what it is. And so people are paying for it.

So the production value has to be incredibly high. The content has to be incredibly high and the quality expectation of quality of speaker is really high. And, you know, once we, once we secure a speaker, we never have any worries about that. You know, we always know that the quality of content is gonna be quite.

So people will pay for that. They pay for what they get.

[00:09:08] Tony Hughes: Yeah. Let's, let's talk about your sales team. So for all organizations today that have maybe blended models of, of that outbound person that creates leads and then the people that seek to close them and then manage the client inside and outside sales functions, everything is, has turned into being inside sales.

How has your sales team adapt? In the pandemics you've changed the way you're delivering your product. Did it make any changes to how you sell as an organization?

[00:09:38] Karen Beattie: Oh, absolutely. You know, as you said, we were live in person advanced business, so it was highly transactional. Right? So we've moved to a membership subscription model.

It's, it's very, very different. With, with the live events, live events business, you have a deadline, right? So there's an event that's happening on this day. That's it it's a moveable. We also have the scarcity and exclusivity factor because we would bring international speakers in. So there was general knowledge that, you know, Jim Collins doesn't come here very often.

You know, Marcus, Buckingham's not here, you know, Hillary Clinton. So people understood that it was a once in a lifetime or once in a five-year kind of opportunity. So that was easy for us. Right. So people were either available. They were fans or not. And it was it was an easy sell, easier sell. We we've membership.

However, we don't necessarily have that deadline date. So it's a lot more consultative. Right. And and it's actually a lot more interesting because you really have to understand the problem of your customer. You it's a consultative process. What problem are we solving? And whilst. Honestly believe we've got a differentiated product in the market.

And we can compete with the free content and the LinkedIn learnings and all the other education providers. We still need to take the time to explain it right. And we have to do demos and and once they see what it provides, then, then it makes it a lot easier for us. So there is more of a journey to the close and we really have to understand who the customer is and what problem we're solving.

As you say, what trigger events are happening around them. What's delightful for us at the moment. We're really talking to the challenges, you know, the product market fit right now. Obviously, you know, everyone's talking about break resignation, but really underneath that that's around engagement is around culture.

You know, it's around re-skilling your, your team in order to keep them. So they're not moving. And our product really talks to that. Those three, I think primary pain points, I think for a lot of organizations.

[00:11:35] Tony Hughes: Right now. Product market fit is so important for, for any business. I find so many CEOs that are frustrated with growth.

Haven't really done the hard work of honestly considering product market fit and therefore their ideal customer profile. Now they're just thinking the whole world's a market for what they do and you know, why aren't these sellers doing a better job? So, you know, we need to nail product market fit, even though.

Product led marketing product led selling strategy. That's all entered by people. So this really leads me into my next question. To, to me, you've got a great sales team. What, what do you look for in salespeople? So for other leaders that are watching this, one of the toughest things that we do as leaders is to hire the right sellers, right.

It seems to be incredibly difficult. So, so how would you define the ideal sales person in your kind of world?

[00:12:26] Karen Beattie: I hungry, humble. And.

[00:12:30] Tony Hughes: So hungry, humble, and smart. That's something we can all remember

[00:12:35] Karen Beattie: that Patrick Lencioni. So I've got to give credit where that Stu, but when I talk about hungry, they really want to own their numbers.

Right. And they want to be accountable. They also not afraid of. Like pick up the phone and make the phone calls. They want to reach their targets. They're competitive, you know, there's, there's healthy competitiveness within the team. So that's the hungry element. The humble is they're always asking questions.

They want to learn, how do I do this better? You know how can I improve my skills? How do I get to know the customer better? And, and tapping into the collective intelligence of the team, right? So it's always learning and smart is really knowing the product, right? Understanding the customer. And really understanding the art of the close potentially when to move in when, when not to, but it's just around skill base of that salesperson.

So I think those are the three.

[00:13:24] Tony Hughes: So a lot of those are personality, mindset, intelligence things. And I agree with all of them, w when it comes to actual skills, things that you can develop in people, what are, what are the skills you're looking for in someone? So, so you want a mindset where they're not afraid to pick up the phone and call, right?

What are the skills that you look for?

[00:13:45] Karen Beattie: I guess it's the skills really, and I don't know, this actually pulls into personality as well as the ability to handle rejection. Cause you get a lot of nos. Right. And it's kinda like this next mentality, but again, that comes down to mentality, you know, I think 90% of it is headcase, right.

And 10% is. I honestly believe that. And so from a skill cause you can teach skills you know, handling objections, I guess, you know being able to handle that and being able to address their needs as they needed. So that that's just the consultative process, I guess, you know, in the challenge of sale.

So being able to you know, establish rapport really quickly and understand when to move in when to back off and when to kind of close. So I feel that's teachable if you've got the right mindset.

[00:14:32] Tony Hughes: Yeah. I, I really agree with that. And, and being teachable, you know, is so important because although we can teach the skills unless they are teachable, it's kind of a waste of time.

The, the thing that frustrates me so much, Karen is I, I predict them a latest book, tech powered sales that a third of field sellers will disappear this decade. In the circles that I move in, which is largely software and technology companies, it's common for 40 to 70% of sellers to not be making the number.

And the thing that just frustrates me so much is salespeople can make as much money as doctors, dentists, lawyers, accountants, airline, pilots, and all of those professions have to be 100%. To stay in current, you know, like an airline pilot, he's reading about every ache, a crash investigation report. They stay current on all of the updates on the aircraft.

They fly by have to develop their TQ, their technical question. They've got, they must learn how to use all of the tools and taking their profession. And yet, so many sellers act like, you know, Hey, I'm great at relationships. You know, I, I, I don't really need to learn anymore. So if, if they're not teachable, you can't teach them.

So you see you're right. It all comes back to mindset. It all comes back to mindset. Yeah,

[00:15:47] Karen Beattie: I agree. And that's the hungry pod is, and it's your own, it's your own determination to be better, you know, you're competing against yourself and, you know, I just, the experience, I mean, sales people can make, you know, be one of the highest earners in any organization.

You know, just the opportunity to earn is, is unlimited. And yeah, if you need to put in the work, the effort in the right.

[00:16:10] Tony Hughes: Yeah. Hey, Karen number, we're going to move to Q and a at 10 minutes. So I just encourage everyone watching this on LinkedIn live, please type your questions for myself, but ideally for Karen, if you can type them into the comments, I will we'll move into acute.

Section at the end of this Karen, Karen let's maybe change gears. We've been having a conversation designed to really help CEOs or leaders trying to drive growth. And there's been some great, some great insights from you with that. Let's maybe now turn to some insights for salespeople. So for an aspiring sales person, that's wanting to figure out how do I actually get to, and then engage successfully someone in the seat.

So if you look at, at your own sales team and how they operate, but then also consider people trying to sell to you because you're a business owner let's contrast how many LinkedIn InMails, you may be getting a week, how many emails you receive in a week versus how many people actually call you?

And w what do you think is the most effective channels to talk about those three channels and, and what tends to work for you? If someone's trying to break through.

[00:17:19] Karen Beattie: I hardly get any phone calls. That's, that's very rare. So mainly from real estate, actually at the moment and they're obviously doing very well at the moment. So LinkedIn majority, most of them come by LinkedIn. Right. And I guess my, my, my pet hate about LinkedIn because I think it's a very effective sales tool.

If it's used correctly. Is that people want to connect with you. And then immediately as you connect, the sales message comes straight off to, and it's a long message about what they can offer you. And it's just this blanket. It's it's extraordinary, missed opportunity, really. So I really dislike that.

And interestingly, I mean, I really, except most people on LinkedIn, I I've moved from kind of, oh, I need to know them and moving in the same, same circle to like accepting everyone, but I know who the salespeople are and when I accept without doubt, within the next two minutes then comes to the. I smile. I smile.

There's very few that I actually, I don't think there's any ever responded to it's the phone calls that I have. And as far as emails, I do get the odd email. Absolutely. I think people are aware that we have moved, obviously, you know, technology-based, you know, live events that's delivered virtually, so we have.

A few reach outs by email on platforms, et cetera. So I think email and LinkedIn can be more effective, but it's the phone calls. It's the phone calls that really happen and, you know, the best time to, for me, you know, eight to nine in the morning or, I mean, just don't call on a Monday Mondays meetings and dotted but eight to nine, potentially an odd lunchtime.

And you know, and potentially Fridays, because I leave my Friday's open to kind of fill in as needed for planning and anything that's come up during the week that I can close out for the week. But

[00:19:11] Tony Hughes: yeah. Let me just summarize some things here for salespeople, because this is all gold and this is a consistent theme.

When I, when I talk to all CEOs, the message is universally the same hardly anybody calls. So I would really encourage you to get back on the phone if you're wanting to break through to a CEO. And I share Karen's view when I was CEO running the Asia Pacific region for north American multinationals.

For me as well. It was meetings Monday. So, so Monday was just filled with meetings. I tend to do my travel during Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday. I never liked to travel on a Friday because getting back into a big city on a Friday evening is just, that is just chaotic and a nightmare. And it's a bad way to try and start your weekend.

I like Karen, I would get in early. So for me, I was always in the office working by about seven 30 in the morning because I thought I've got that one hour to 90 minute window where people aren't standing at my door and my day goes to hell. So you said to get an hour in the beginning of the day before everybody's working.

So, so that one hour window before the normal Workday is gold. I agree with Karen that, that, that the lunchtime break. So you should really consider as a city. Making your lunchtime early. So I'd encourage you maybe to start work at seven 30 instead of nine 15, and begin your day with a red bullet coffee and phone calls to, to the CDC.

And then maybe have your lunch early between 11 and 12 and then between 12 and one 30, you know, you're on the phone again. So generally avoid Mondays before people before most people have started work as a great time to call CEO's lunchtime at lunchtime can be good. And, and Karen for you, Friday's generally a pretty clear day, whereas Monday is a busy day with meetings.

Is that. That's correct.

[00:21:02] Karen Beattie: Yeah. So I generally meet with my leadership team on Monday on one-to-one and to get the week started and yeah. And so by Friday I tend to keep that free. Yeah. And you'd find most CEOs are in some sort of routine that suits their. You know, they're weak. I mean you have the time.

That's also very interesting as the end of the day, you know, when they're winding, winding down, you know most Yosef you'll find them off to five o'clock between five and seven wrapping up five and six 30. So that's another opportunity time to, to reach out.

[00:21:33] Tony Hughes: Yeah. And, and the other thing for salespeople watching this if, if you are going to to, to, to accompany fund number, rather than someone's cell phone directly those shoulders of the day are often when the EA is not screening.

So, you know, you tend to get the person directly. So Karen let's just circle back to LinkedIn. So you tend to get bombarded in LinkedIn, by people trying to sell to you. So we will need to remember the rule, never try and connect. You want to separate the process of connecting with somebody to then providing some value for them in the coming weeks, I would suggest, and then you can run some outreach.

So then it's no longer cold and you need to do that in a way that's not disingenuous. So it really needs to be authentic. So LinkedIn is the number one platform that people are trying to use, and you're not getting a lot of emails. I find a lot of leaders are getting bombarded with email as well.

Let's look, let's maybe pivot though, to message. You know, what, what are your thoughts about the right message? What do you see with most salespeople to try and contact you? Where are they missing the mark? What's your advice to them? Well,

[00:22:39] Karen Beattie: they are telling us all about them. It's like, this is what we're doing, but you might be interested when really they should be starting is like, you know, I understand this may be your problem right now, you know, can we help or, you know, what's, what's missing for you right now.

What's your pain point right now? I mean, open up a level of questioning, I think in order to establish whether you can, whether you have a product that you, the CEO actually wants. So I just feel you've got to start with, you know, your, your framework of why change, why now? Why us, everyone starts with, why are.

And, and most of the time, I think 90% of the time you don't even needing the product that they're actually reaching out to about. So I think as identifying whether you can engage in whether I'm the CEO or whether you're selling to is, is looking for change, you have to identify that

[00:23:33] Tony Hughes: first. Yeah. And for everybody watching this, the really interesting thing is that if we talk about us and what we do.

We'll typically appeal to only 3% of the market. So at any point in time, 3% of the market is actively looking for what it is we offer. And if you make a hundred phone calls or send a hundred emails, maybe three out of the hundred, if you're lucky, we go, actually we're in the market for that. The problem with that is often it's this red ocean, because your competitors are all talking to them already as well.

But if you can build a conversation narrative about how that person can drive improved results in their. So if you've got some genuine insights on how they can improve business results. So you talk about the opportunity to drive in, put improved results at the top level. That's what you lead with. And then under that, you talk about the strategy that's used to achieve the results.

And then under that you finally get to what it is that you do that actually enables it. If you can, if you can flip the. To use a big, big Holden's term. If you can flip the script to actually reverse it, you'll appeal to sort of 43% of the market rather than just 3%. So, so that's really important.

[00:24:42] Karen Beattie: Yeah.

And as, as a whole, I mean, you don't have to know exactly what's going on. We have a general sort of industry knowledge. So for instance, you know, when the pandemic hit, everyone's obviously moving to virtual right now. The big thing about virtual everyone's talking about is, oh, well, the networking opportunity.

Around live virtual events, being able to connect with people and giving it a really fantastic virtual experience for people rather than just sort of streaming through. So, you know, a great place to start would be well, I see you, you've moved to live virtual events. What about your customer experience while, you know, during that live experience, you know, are you, are you able to cater?

Is that something you want to improve? Because that's the number one. That's number one challenge that people that run library events wants to improve is that, that engagement process during the live experience. So that it's just not a one way conversation and you, and you have your viewers that are not necessarily engaged in the process.

Right? So if you can nail that. And sort of, and that was a general kind of challenge that everyone was trying to solve. And obviously in the last 12 months, there's been a lot of technology providers that are trying to solve that problem in the features of just obviously, you know, escalated massively.

So there's so much choice in that, in that area right now.

[00:25:54] Tony Hughes: Yes. Karen ballpark level, what percentage of salespeople meet your expectations? Like, so when, when you look at all this cells outreach coming at you, mainly in LinkedIn, what percentage of, what percentage of it do you think nails it versus misses the mark

[00:26:17] Karen Beattie: 3%.

[00:26:19] Tony Hughes: Wow. That's for, for, for all the salespeople watching this, most salespeople are not good at what they do. That like it's, it's a big problem. Corporate executive board now on by Gardner did some research as part of the challenger sale book and body of research that was done. They surveyed 5,000 people that make buying decisions.

So they weren't just people in procurement. There were people in the C-suites and the response to that survey was that 85%. All the engagements with sellers fail to meet expectations. Karen saying 97%. Could Karen give me an example of where it really did work, right? The seller did a great job and, and how that made you feel and how and how you responded.

[00:27:10] Karen Beattie: There's few years ago now I think about three or four years ago. And I, you know, I'm not sure if it's a trigger event, but we weren't contemplating all. We really need an app and event. You know so that we can, you know, live in person events, we can sort of engage our delegates, you know, on a greater level.

And I did get a call out of the blue. And it was, you know, it was sort of tossing it up at that time. So and I remember gentlemen was, was really fantastic. It came straight in. You engaged. I mean, if you can, you can have a conversation within five minutes and you're not wanting to get the person off the phone.

They know they have your attention. So I don't know whether that was good luck from his perspective. But his timing was absolutely perfect. And so we, we ended up engaging and, and running with the app. And I think we probably did that a lot sooner than we had anticipated. And that was really down to him and really, you know sort of displaying the features and, and really talking to the, the stuff that we needed to do at the event.

And I remember at the end of that process, I was so impressed. That I actually asked him if he wanted a job. You know, it just happens so infrequently. He was based in Melbourne and unfortunately was moving internationally with his girlfriend at the time. But you know, the level of service, the responsiveness, I had a thousand questions.

I wanted to answer this the first time we sort of entered into this, we were buying off the show. What else can you do? You know, we do this and he was able to address every single one of those and make us feel comfortable about making that initial investment. So you know, is everything, you know, as you say, around a trigger event.

And so even if, even if a buyer is not looking right now and they're thinking about it, you know, they're starting to think about that process. That's the time, right? So the window is actually little larger than some people anticipate. It's like, okay, we want to, this is the time we want to purchase. There is some full process that goes to that prior, you know, but no idea on length of time that can obviously vary, but you can influence a buyer pre you know, before they're even ready.

I believe if you have the, if you have the right features for.

[00:29:10] Tony Hughes: Yeah, the really interesting thing is Karen you've mentioned a few times are trigger events and that that person that called you contacted by way. Did they phone you? Was it a phone call? It wasn't vocal. Yes. Okay. So, so that person that called you happen to be in the right place at the right time.

On the right channel, which was the phone with the right context. And you know, I, I believe that the future of selling is where buyer intent meets seller relevance. And we use technology to figure out where those inflection points are and monitoring for trigger events is really important, but Karen, you did right.

If the seller can talk, talk to the buyer. Even pre actively looking for a solution to their problem that is by definition, strategic selling, right? So we're engaging early at senior levels where educating them about the business case and the opportunity for a much broader future, how they can get there in a white, the best managers that risks have that can build the business case, get the team on board.

And again, if you have a conversation narrative that's about you and what you do, you'll only appeal to the 3% that are already looking, right. We need to build a conversation about how they can drive improved results. So, so, so I really liked that if you look, if anyone's looking for more information around trigger events, I've got a section on trigger events in tech powered sales kind of let's, let's move to another piece here to give some sellers, some real insights into the mind of a CEO.

When anyone in your organization brings a request to make a, to, to, to purchase something or it's a purchasing decision. What's your criteria for prioritizing? Cause every business leaders got lots of different things, clamoring for their attention and screaming for resources. So how do you prioritize a binder?

[00:31:01] Karen Beattie: We, I think we, we prioritize prior to the, you know making that decision on, on vendor for instance. So we have a fairly substantial decision log for every sort of new purchase that we want to make. And obviously we've moved into the technology space. So therefore any new vendors, we have a very extensive decision log.

We have two or three you know, obviously vendors. You know, up for the I'm in, for the run, I guess. It comes down to what we need to like what our priority. What's gonna move the needle in the business right now. Right. So we prioritize by, what's the one thing we need to solve right now. That's going to help us with everything down the line.

So we identify that through our weekly meetings and quarterly business goals. So that's number one. But when you have. Come to make the decision. We have a decision log and primarily it was also around the serviceability, you know through that sales process as to which vendor will win out in the end outside of features as well.

Like it's very close. Cause not everyone's gonna supply you with everything that you need. So generally we make a final decision on, on the, the level of service we've received during the sales process and the understanding of what, whether we're going to be a, a small fish in a big pond once the sale is done.

And whether that extends beyond that. So is, is that the question you were asking, Tony? Does that answer your question?

[00:32:20] Tony Hughes: And again, there's absolute gold there for salespeople and we'll move to questions next. So thanks Dawn. And thanks Luke, for your questions. I'll ask them to Karen in a moment. Yeah, look that that is absolute gold.

The thing, all of the research shows is that more than 50% of the decision waiting in deciding who to go with, come from that experience, they had an engaging them through the Salesforce. The brand is about 18%. The product or service feature set the features and functions service level piece is also 18% really surprisingly for those watching this in the research done again, corporate executive board research, a 5,000 sample set.

So, you know, a good, strong, empirical data. Price was only 9%. And yet most sellers, if you ask, Hey, why did you lose the deal? They go, well, we lost based on price, but when you talk to the people, making the buying decisions, it's less than 10%, more than 50% is that engagement experience. So, so I, so I really liked that.

And that, that, that definitely rings true. Hey Karen. Oh, sorry. After you go for it,

[00:33:24] Karen Beattie: the point I wanted to make that, but what's been interesting over the last couple of months, you know, have enough selection is when we have decided on which vendor wins out. The ones that have lost a come back and say, okay, well, we'll give you a 40% discount.

That's happened on a number of occasions. And and then the CEO chimes in and sends an email going, Hey, you know, is there anything,

[00:33:46] Tony Hughes: oh, I've really got to stop you on us. You question. How did that make you feel when they said we can give you a 40% discount now that you selected somebody else? It,

[00:33:56] Karen Beattie: it didn't sway me at all.

And I felt, well, why didn't we start out? At that price, you know, and how, you know, your other customers going to feel that a paid full price. Yeah, because that's the challenge I've had with events as well. You know, when we were doing live in person events, people come and say, can you give us a discount?

Because you've got seats going, there's seats available. You know, we will come for half the price. And I remember having 45 minute conversations with people. This is in the early days. I'm not dropping the price, the seats going, I'd rather the seat go and drop the price to honor everyone that's paid the right price.

And I didn't want to undervalue the product either. And so there's last minute sales for your available. So and then that stopped, there was an X, then there was an expectation that we would drop the price as the event got closer, if we had seats going. So you know, because most people are last minute anyway, so they're not waiting last week.

For the drug. Right. So, yeah. I mean, it's really interesting how the technology businesses are doing this. There's like 40% and then you go, well, that's great, but how are you going to service this after? And then are we going to be a small customer? You know, you know, you know, lodge a pile, if that makes sense.

Right. So,

[00:35:11] Tony Hughes: and, and, and does that 40% discount go away at renewal time when we go back to that original price, which they never give you a straight answer on. And Karen, I agree with you in the technology sector, especially in the software game. That industry has done an incredibly good, but really bad job of educating buyers.

If you just wait to our points of desperation, end of quarter, end of financial year, that's when you get your deal and we've conditioned people to get discounts. And I love the fact that you, as the owner and founder of the business are a true believer in the value of what you want. And you've instilled that belief in your sales team, right?

So we don't sell based on price. We don't offer discounts as an incentive. The intrinsic value is there and what we offer. I really love that. Hey, young kid, can I move into some questions? So Dawn Rollings has got a great question. What would be a one newest sales skill we need to have today versus sort of 10 years ago, or maybe even two years ago.

So maybe thinking about. Pre-digital virtual selling because of the pandemic versus posts. So what's a, what's a new skill. You think that people need


[00:36:22] Karen Beattie: ability to sell over zoom.

[00:36:27] Tony Hughes: So, so you, you and I see the bad examples, maybe go we'll do or do you want to talk about the bad examples of how people try and sell them?

[00:36:37] Karen Beattie: Well, interestingly, we had an example of someone turning up in their, what seemed like pajamas, you know you know but it seems like most things go right now and people can get away with a lot. Right. But yeah, I think still the professional on-time. You know, there's always this running a couple of minutes late, but really making sure that you allow the 15 minutes between meeting and meetings.

You're not just hopping out of one and into another. I think that's really quite important. You know, that you're there on time and. As your prospective buyer turns up, but definitely online digital, you know, because you have to communicate, you have to connect. And I personally think it's harder. I, I, you know, I present both virtually and in person, even to my team and I find so much easier to do it in person than I do on zoom or whichever technology we use.

[00:37:29] Tony Hughes: That's all great advice. Let me give some people some tips as well, so that you lighting. So I've got a light behind my camera rather than a bright window behind my head. If you have a bright light behind you, your face is so dark. Nobody can see your facial expressions. Don't have yourself frame down here in the thing, right?

Don't don't have the laptop on your lap, looking up your nostrils in the ceiling, because you're looking down at somebody. You want to look peer to peer, learn to look people in the case. Create emotional connection by looking them in the camera, rather than looking down here the whole time, the whole time.

I've seen people with second screens going on, where they're talking to the person looking over here at them on the screen to their right or their left monitor. That goes on. Absolutely. A lot of that's crazy. Just remember, you're trying to create emotional connection. Look them in the camera, get them to turn their camera on.

And that's the first big challenge. Find a way to get the other person to turn their camera on. Sot your audio. Yeah, just these basic technical question again, you're meant to be a sales professional. You're meant to be a sales professional, sought out your tech. Now I know we can't control bandwidth issues, you know, that's just horrible.

But do all the Cantor manage the things that you can manage. So, so thank you. That was

[00:38:38] Karen Beattie: really important to Tony. Like Tim had the same background, right? So there's no, this is just the. Right.

[00:38:46] Tony Hughes: Yeah. And Ben, by the way, if you using virtual backgrounds, remember that obviously a green or a blue screen behind you.

I've got a real bookshelf here, but you need to contrast if you've got, if you've got a white colored shirts and then a really light or white colored wall behind you, your shoulder will disappear and you'll become Casper. The friendly disembodied sales ghost with just your head though, your hands, all disappearing.

The technical term is Chrome. Right. And you solve that by contrast in the background. So Hey, got a question from, from, from Luke Anderson. Hey Karen, how do we get inside your head? I K the CEO's head regarding our top of mind trends, topics issues, you know, the, the proverbial, what keeps you awake at night as a CEO?

[00:39:33] Karen Beattie: I could find that online. Really, you could do the research on the industry and broadly, you know, what keeps this, there's lots of research out there at the moment about what's going on, particularly in the pandemic for sort of consulting firms, the accounting firms, they've all got research and, you know so, and they're producing papers all the time.

So you can really gather that information online before you make the. And then you narrow it down potentially to the Oak and then get down to the organizational level. So what that particular organization may be dealing with and because it's quite broad, you know, What keeps CEOs awake at night?

There's no one, there's no unique problem that a CEO has. That's not sort of generic. They, most CEOs have. And that's the thing that I learned quite quickly, you know? So you look at it at the industry level, you know, at the position level. So what their, what their role and responsibility is. We'll do some research around that and then potentially, you know, at also the organizational level within the industry and what challenges and, and potentially on their website, you can see, you know, what, what changes they making sign up to their blog, you know, sign up, sign up to their newsletter.

And you can get a pretty excited, it's all about research really and spending the time before.

[00:40:48] Tony Hughes: Yeah. Great advice question here from, from the co-founder of sales, like who, my business partner, Luigi Preston NZ. How do you manage to persuade such awesomely great speakers to present at your events outside of payment?

Obviously you paid them to speak, but, but how do you convince them to come and speak for you? Well, we,

[00:41:07] Karen Beattie: It's a good question. Give away my trade secrets.

[00:41:11] Tony Hughes: What do you pay amazing money? How could they say

[00:41:15] Karen Beattie: combination of both? I do value their time, so, you know and in order to deliver high quality content we do value their time.

I think it's, there's a trust element as well. There's a massive trust element. So it's a relationship. And what they're doing is, and especially, you know, the high profile speakers, you know, that they're handing over their brand to you because we are motor of them. So they need to trust that you're going to do the right thing.

Hey, you going to position them in the way that they are meant to be positioned the quality of the event, whether it's virtual or whether it's in person is of their standard and that you are going to look after their brand and represent them well. So what you're going to deliver, what you say you're going to deliver, you actually do deliver.

So it's really around trust and building trust, and we have built a reputation amongst, you know, So the speaking faculty around the world business for 20 years, so it's getting easier, you know, at first it was. It was quite tough. And even if you're paying people to come out, it's an opportunity cost, right?

So like what, what is the ROI? Because most of us speakers want to have impact, right? And the one time they're giving in this, there's going to be a multiplier effect. So at first I was like, oh, come out to Australia. We'll, we'll throw up. We'll give you a holiday, you know, sit in that. They're like, I want to know what impact I'm going to have on your audience.

Yeah. I to know what sort of rate you're going to get, and most of our speakers want to have impact. And if you can prove that out, then, you know, you you'll have their ear. So.

[00:42:50] Tony Hughes: And for everybody listening to this as a seller, that's the intent that you want to convey. You are all about your customer success, their brand, their results, managing their risks rather than yourself.

And Karen. I've got to say that that was my experience being a paid speaker for the growth faculty, right? Like when I was invited to speak, I felt privileged. The experience that I had was incredible. And I loved the fact that this was helping me extend my reach in the marketplace to make a difference.

It wasn't about the money. I, I, I didn't even ask you what the fee was going to be. Like you said, it's a paid engagement. I didn't ask. I just thought this is an organization with an incredible brand. This will help extend my reach and influence on. And isn't it interesting and never came down to well, what's the speaker's fee, so, so that's fantastic.

Hey we've really just gone a fraction of the time. So I just want to wrap up Karen with my last two questions, but I ask everybody the first one's really easy. What's the best way for people to follow and connect with.

[00:43:52] Karen Beattie: LinkedIn

[00:43:54] Tony Hughes: and they can go to the growth That's your website. Yes,

[00:43:59] Karen Beattie: yes, absolutely.

Yep. And thanks Tony, for picking up for me there

[00:44:06] Tony Hughes: and, and for all leaders are aspiring leaders are really encourage you to buy one of those 12 month passes to the content. It's incredible to get access to people like Jim Collins and just amazing speakers. He's my. If you could magically go back in time and meet the 25 year old Karen Beattie what advice would you give yourself?

[00:44:35] Karen Beattie: Don't compare your life with others. You know, it's your journey. It's your timing. You know, you live your life, you and I mean, everyone, I'm not too sure if you've heard of the Steve jobs, commencement speech back in 2005, there's, there's a, there's a line in there. I think actually as a 25 year old, everyone should read that commencement speech.

It's quite extraordinary, but there's a line out of, there is that he says is you know, your time is limited. Don't waste your time, living someone else's life. I think that's really so.

[00:45:10] Tony Hughes: Wow. Well, and that's a, and that's a beautiful way to finish. I'm sorry. We didn't get to all of the questions. Thanks everybody for attending. We'll see you at the next CEO sells insights. Show. Really encourage you to go and visit sales IQ, An amazing array of content for salespeople. Karen Beattie. Thank you again so much for being on the show.

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