The Revenue Engine

Powering the Revenue Engine by Selling Without Selling Out, with Andy Paul

August 5, 2022
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The Revenue Engine

Each week, Revenue Operations expert Rosalyn Santa Elena shines the spotlight on founders, CEOs, and Revenue Leaders from hyper-growth companies and dives deep into the strategies they implement to drive growth and share their learnings. Rosalyn brings you inspirational stories from revenue generators, innovators and disruptors, as well as Revenue Leaders in sales, marketing, and operations.

For 30 years, Andy Paul has been in the sales world, leading sales teams, podcasting, consulting, advising, coaching, and even authoring three books.

In this episode of the Revenue Engine podcast, Andy joins Rosalyn to share many learnings, insights, and advice on how to accelerate revenue, shorten deal cycles, and increase win rates. With over 194K followers on LinkedIn, you’ll want to grab a notebook with your headphones for this one.

🔗 LINKS

Connect with Andy on LinkedIn or at his website. His podcast is called Sales Enablement Podcast with Andy Paul. Find his book Sell Without Selling Out on Amazon.

Follow Rosalyn on LinkedIn.

The Revenue Engine is powered by Outreach.

The opinions expressed in this episode are the speaker's own and do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of Sales IQ or any sponsors.

Rosalyn Santa Elena
Host @ Revenue Engine Podcast + Chief RevOps Officer @ Carabiner Group
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Andy Paul
Author, Sell Without Selling Out
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[00:00:00] Rosalyn Santa Elena: Welcome to the Revenue Engine podcast. I'm your host, Rosalyn Santa Elena, and I am thrilled to bring you the most inspirational stories from revenue generators, innovators, and disruptors, revenue leaders in sales, in marketing, and of course in operations. Together, we will unpack everything that optimizes and powers the revenue engine. Are you ready? Let's get to it.

Andy Paul is a legend in the sales space. He was doing podcasts before podcasts were cool. He's not only the host of multiple podcasts, but he's also a longtime sales leader, a coach and consultant, and a bestselling author.

Today's podcast is sponsored by Outreach.io. Outreach is the first and only engagement and intelligence platform built by revenue innovators, for revenue innovators. Outreach allows you to commit to an accurate sales forecast, replace manual processes with real-time guidance, and unlock actionable customer intelligence that guides you and your team to win more often. Traditional tools don't work in a hybrid sales world. Find out why Outreach is the right solution at click.outreach.io/RevEngine.

In this episode of the revenue engine podcast, Andy shares his perspective, his lessons learned. And his advice for others as a culmination of 30 years of experience, learn about selling without selling out how to embrace selling behaviors that are aligned with your values, how to create a positive buying experience.

And so much more. So please take a listen to this episode, grab a notebook, cuz you'll definitely want to take notes. So excited to be here today with Andy Paul, who has way too many accomplishments to even properly introduce him in a one liner. Andy's currently the founder at the sales house, but he's also a long time sales leader.

He's a coach consult. Speaker and author, and that's just to name a few things. So welcome Andy, and thank you so much for joining me. I'm so excited to just unpack your story and learn about, learn more about you and your journey.

[00:02:27] Andy Paul: All right. Well, Rosalyn, thank you for having me on the show.

[00:02:28] Rosalyn Santa Elena: Awesome. Awesome. So let's talk a little bit about that career journey and some of your back story, right. You know, kind of prior to starting your own business. I mean, you've had a long, impressive career in, you know, Sales roles, business development roles. And I saw that your first job was selling shoes at JC Penny.

[00:02:46] Andy Paul: Yeah. Yeah. In, in high school I was a yeah. Holiday staff added for the holiday rush and yeah. Sold women's shoes. That's awesome.

[00:02:56] Rosalyn Santa Elena: So can you share more maybe about how you started, you know, how does, how you started out in sales and you know, what did that journey look like?

[00:03:02] Andy Paul: Yeah. Well, you don't have to start in women's shoes that's for sure.

My first professional job was, was selling computer systems and to sort of midsize companies primarily in the construction industry was sort of one of my specialties and yeah, not too far from where you were I'm in the bay area based off Oakland and yeah, it was it was a shock. What else can you say?

Never been, I mean, selling shoes is one thing, but going out, making cold calls completely different thing. You have an introvert. It was a hard transition to make. And, but it was, yeah, the time was great training because, or experience let's say because yeah, we got kicked outta the office every morning at eight 30 and we went out to wherever we gonna make calls.

I had a line of business, not a geographic territory, but still, you know, I'd head to a place where there a lot of conservation construction companies and. Yeah, we just get outta the car and make calls. So yeah, it was, it was great, like a great experience to go out, be in, in person face to face when having to navigate through receptionists and admins and so on and be able to speak with decision makers.

And what I learned relatively early on was that cuz I, I knew nothing about business. I knew nothing about construction industry. As most people coming off college don't. And, but I found that that CEOs and business owners would spend time with me. It invest their time with me. And it was because I was curious, I was asking questions.

I, I was never comfortable being in their little heavy start pitch mode and not, not a hyper personality and not one of these people go out and yeah. Dream to give my pitch to somebody. I don't know. but instead, just try to engage in conversation, really understand what was important to them, but also just, I was interested in their business and I wanted to learn what they were doing and they sensed, I guess, that I was there and authentically and sincerely interested.

They gave me their time. So for me, the first couple years of my career were. an MBA, just learning from business owners.

[00:05:18] Rosalyn Santa Elena: That's awesome. You know, you've, you've shared that, you know, the inspiration, I think for starting your comp your own company, like over 20, 20 years ago, right. I think it's back 2000.

Was your experience of sort of assuming your responsibility for your own career. Right. And you kind of talked a little bit about this, about this curious and learning and always asking questions and trying to figure things out, which. Is, you know, kind of a natural fit, right. I think into sales but using sort of that day to day learning, you're always growing to, you know, power your way to success.

Can you talk more maybe about this and you know, how this inspiration took you down this, you know, career path, kind of this coach and advisor path?

[00:05:54] Andy Paul: Yeah. I mean, it, it is not a straight line and I think this is an important lesson for a lot of people. I look at life as being sort of a matter of chapters, right?

Mm-hmm so yeah, my first chapter was, was selling computer systems, you know, field sales. The next chapter I show is, you know, inside with Well, I worked at apple in the early days, you know, oh, wow. A staff role. And, and it's sort of a marketing channel marketing channel sales roles. And then next chapter was enterprise sales and the next chapter was starting.

My own thing is, but even then as is once I started my own thing, it was, I was start off as a consultant. I, my real expertise at that point in time was. how do you sell really big deals working for small companies that have no brand name, no track record. And I'd found a lot of smaller companies were hesitate to go hesitant, to go out and, and compete for bigger pieces of business.

Cuz they're afraid that they couldn't compete. So yeah, I worked with a number of companies to help them in that regard. And then I decided to write my first book and I. Had wanted to do it for a long time. And that opened up a whole nother chapter. Right. where, so from doing just a lot of consulting work and a lot of sort of fractional VP work to, yeah.

People wanted to read what I wrote and so led to multiple books. And then the podcast we started seven years ago. So it's it's, I couldn't have predicted any of that. If you'd asked me, gosh, maybe not 10 years ago at this point, but let's say 12 years ago, at this point before I started writing my first.

Would I be at this position today? I could not have anticipated that at all.

[00:07:35] Rosalyn Santa Elena: Wow. You know, kind of looking back at those years, I mean, is there anything that maybe you wish you knew then that, you know now, or maybe any advice for others who are thinking about going out on their own?

[00:07:47] Andy Paul: Well, I think I, I don't think it has to do specifically with going out on your own.

I think that one of the fabulous things about today that didn't exist when I started my career. Are tools like let's say LinkedIn right. Is, is, cause I think it's really important to be able to establish a real sense of confidence in who you are as a salesperson. Right? As, what do you stand for? What do you, when you are going out and talking to a buyer?

What do you want them to perceive you to be right? And how do you want them to receive you? And the vast, vast, vast majority of salespeople just go about their daily work and just don't even really think about this. And so I think that getting back to LinkedIn, I think one of the important things about that is, is you need to not just be an observer on the platform, but use that as an opportunity to start creating, right, as, as.

What do you stand for? What do you believe in? And it doesn't mean you have to have this huge audience and so on, but it's just get in the habit of, of putting yourself out there and saying, yeah, these are things that are important to me. These are things I think about in this profession or in this industry that I serve and start, you know, building up who you are and it's through the act of actually writing and talking about these things that you begin to understand, right.

Is, is I thought I. Exactly why I did certain things in sales and so on, but it wasn't until I really started getting involved in writing about it that I was like, oh yeah, that's what I did. Oh yeah, this is, yeah, no that, yeah, I confirmed. Or, or maybe I found out something completely different about myself.

So I think it's really important for people who are younger in their careers take advantage of the resources that exist, social media. So, I mean, particularly LinkedIn, if you're in sales and start putting yourself out there, And define who you are. You know, there's a stat that was in a recent book written by several authors from, I think the lead author is Jennifer Cosmo, president of a division of Franklin Covey.

It's called strikingly different selling. And they'd commissioned this research firm to go out and do this in depth research, talked to thousands of people on the buy side and B2B buying and what they came found. From the buyer's perspective, virtually half of sellers, that number I think was 42%, but it's just rounded up to half the buyers considered half of sellers to be completely unmemorable.

Well, that's, that's on you as an individual, right? You can change that. You don't have to be unmemorable you, but if you're just sort of going along with the flow and you're yeah. Following the steps that are laid out for you, by your boss or whatever, then yeah. You're gonna be one of those people that buyers just don't.

and the fact is at the end of the day, it's research has shown is that more than half of the buyer's decision is based on their experience, working with you as an individual seller, the experience you create for them. So this, this idea is the thing that I think people should learn and be really focused on is yeah.

Who are you? Who do you wanna be? How do you wanna be perceived by the people you're dealing with? And. Doesn't happen by accident and it requires operating with a level of intention that doesn't exist for most sellers.

[00:11:10] Rosalyn Santa Elena: Yeah. Yeah. That is great advice. And I, I, I think about how the social media is just such a I'm obvious it's.

Exploded the last, you know, I don't know, five, 10, I guess, maybe even longer now years, but back then, there wasn't that right. There were literally business cards, yellow pages. right. You're literally flipping through a book and then you have to actually, you know, walk, what do they used to say? Pound the pavement, right?

You've actually gotta go out to some, these physical location to get FaceTime. Versus now you can reach. Just a volume says huge, a larger volume of the people, your population just be out there just easily at your fingertips from your home.

[00:11:46] Andy Paul: Yeah. Or from anywhere. But I, I think that, yeah, that's absolutely true.

But combine that with the fact that when you reach out to people, if they, before they make a decision, they wanna talk to you. What do they do? They look you up on LinkedIn. That's right. and what are they gonna find when they go. Somebody with no connections, someone with no followers, someone with no posts, someone with no activity, just sort of a cipher, somebody that's just, you know, bland.

Yeah. How does that help you? It doesn't. And so not saying everybody has to be as active on LinkedIn as I am, you know, I post multiple times a day, but that's, that's my business. Right. I mean that's, as a salesperson though, is, you know, look at the people who. In some cases now transitioning into becoming thought leaders of a hugely successful individuals contributors.

They started a while ago sort of putting themselves out there and. Helping define not letting somebody else define them, defining themselves for the buyers. I think that's really important for, for people to keep in mind.

[00:12:45] Rosalyn Santa Elena: That's great advice. Thank you for sharing that. I think that's, that's really great advice.

You know, I think about, you know, for more than two decades, I mean, you've been advising, you've been. Consulting you've been coaching. And then obviously you've written a number of books, right? So you have zero time selling, you have amp up your sales mm-hmm . And I think most recently the sell without selling out, which I love.

Right. I love the title. And, you know, I saw, you know, on your website about your third book, you know, about making the choice to turn your back on the cringeworthy. Kind of the wordy salesy behaviors, right. That are embedded in modern sales. And I think that really resonates with a lot of people, definitely resonates with me being on one side of the house, kind of enabling sales, right.

And revenue teams to go out and sell and, you know, build out their brand and. You know, obviously some more product, but also on the other side, being a recipient of all of these sales calls and outreaches. Right? Yeah. So definitely resonates with me. So can you talk a little bit about, you know, sort of, what was the inspiration for writing this particular book and maybe how each of those books are different?

[00:13:45] Andy Paul: Sure. Well, the inspiration for this one really came from. The work I do with clients and all the interviews I've held on my show and talking to sales leaders and sales people is this, this thought, which I firmly believe that. Despite all of the advantages of technology that we have when it comes to B2B selling, we're actually not getting any better at it.

and why is that the case? Why shouldn't, why shouldn't we be so much better at it than we were 10, 15, 20 years ago. And, and some people make the case, arguably we're, we're worse at it than we were 10, 15, 20 years ago. And so I wanted to explore that and, and for me, what it really boiled down to is that we've become.

so reliant on process and methodologies and technologies that we've sort of strayed away from this idea. Hey, this is still a human business sell selling. It's still human business. And we know from research that their buyers are making their decisions in large part based upon their experience with the human seller.

Why aren't we focused more on that aspect of things as being sort of the missing piece in our ability to perform at higher levels? Because it hasn't technology. Hasn't proven that technology enables to do more things, but. I make the case and the other side, others make it as well. Is that, you know, if you say how much revenue is a gen is a salesperson generating per hour of selling time today.

That's our basic unit of productivity today versus 20 years ago. That hasn't changed. In fact, again, arguably perhaps even less than it was so. I just wanted to address what I thought was the missing piece, which is, yeah, we, we do a great job of training humans, how to be sellers. What we're not doing very well is, is training sellers, how to be human.

And it's being human part that enables them to be more effective with their buyers. And I think ultimately increase their win rates, which to me is, is sort of. The bottom line for most sellers.

[00:16:03] Rosalyn Santa Elena: Yep. And that actually kind of feeds right into sort of my next question was around, you know, one of those concepts in that framework that you presented in this book is around creating that positive buying experience.

Right. Mm-hmm that shortens decision cycles, it increases win rates, which is what, you know, all of us want. Right. We want more revenue faster. Right. So shorter cycle times and better conversion. So what are you seeing, I guess, you know, you touched on this already a little bit, but what are you seeing?

Some of the organizations really doing wrong when it's. When it comes to creating that positive buying experience, you know, I guess what other advice do you have for them?

[00:16:38] Andy Paul: Well, I mean, it's, it's Lott just is due to serve traditional sales behaviors that, that unfortunately seem to be embedded in the culture and it's almost like we have to help people unlearn these things.

And yeah, I talk about cringeworthy behaviors. I mean, certainly one is, is. and I see it all the time as , as I'm the recipient of it. I'm sure other people are is yeah. People doing sort of mass outreach, just not even giving a care really about researching the individual that reaching out to trying to personalize or even more so humanize the message that they're sending.

I mean, we can certainly personalize and throw first names in there and grab other data to more, you know, personalize it. But is it really. you know, you connecting with the person, are you really humanizing? It example I always like to give with, in my cases is, gosh, how this happens. Ly frequently is people that reach out and suggest that on LinkedIn.

As a matter of fact, they usually reach out and suggest that I'd be a great candidate to start my own podcast. And I'm like, okay, you realize I've been doing this for seven years. I've got nearly 1100 episodes. It's not a secret. You know, if you spend 20 seconds. Yeah, yeah. You've been doing a Google search me you'll this will come up.

And so I, I actually, I called somebody once. I usually don't cause. Yeah, I don't wanna sound obnoxious and say, oh, you know, you hate you're doing this wrong, but I just, one was so egregiously bad. I reached out to the person and said, you know, you realize if you're contacting me on LinkedIn, if you had spent even 20 seconds looking at my profile before you messaged me, you would've found out, Hey, I do have a podcast.

And the response was well. Yeah, but we don't have time. Oh my goodness. But this is, this is not, this is not uncommon. We all experience. And yet it's still occurring at a high rate or yeah. People coming in and, and we train sellers to pitch before they really understand what the buyer needs. Mm-hmm but what's the value of that, right?

Because why are we pitching before we understand what's important to the buyer? And that just creates this disconnect where suddenly from, in the mind of the buyer, the sellers just there are looking out if their own interest. Yeah, right. And in my book that's yeah, that is the very definition of I call selling out is when you put your interest ahead of those of the buyer, right?

I'm I'm here to persuade you to buy my product. Mm-hmm well, but you don't understand anything about me? Well, it doesn't really matter, cuz my job is to persuade you, to buy my product and this unfortunate way a lot of selling is conducted. And it's I think when you begin to educate people, people read my book and sort of get their eyes opened up.

It. Oh, yeah, I don't have to do it this way, even though I'm sort of even being encouraged to train, to do it this way, I don't need to do it this way. I need to grab control of how I sell, because that's not who I am as a human being. Mm-hmm and if I can show up as a better human version of myself to my buyers, I increased my odds of being able to connect with them in a conversation and have them, you know, build a level of trust while they're open up to me about things that are most important to me, to them that then enables to, you know, start down the path of, of making a decision, ultimately.

[00:20:06] Rosalyn Santa Elena: Yeah. Yeah, I love that. I think, you know, I've, I've obviously been the recipient of a number of outreach kind of emails out to me, similarly, you know, at, you know, trying to sell me something for a company that I haven't been at for three years. Right. Oh, again, if they just do a quick look at, you know, what I do or what I'm doing, or they try to sell me the same services that the organization that I worked for today.

Exactly what we provide, you know, mm-hmm, , so there's a lot of that. And I just feel like, you know, to your point, you feel like it's getting, it's actually getting worse in the way of, you know, having some automation and having the data and having some of this technology where people are just almost become lazy, right.

Where they're just using the technology and just kind of sending out these templates and not doing the research before they before they actually reach out.

[00:20:52] Andy Paul: And I think, sure, I don't. Imply that yeah. All sales people are lazy. Cause that's certainly not at all. Yeah. It's, it's a hard, it's a hard, hard job.

Yes. But, but there's, people are sort of encouraged to act this way and yeah, there's always this debate about, oh, we're too focused on activity levels versus the quality of what we're doing and so on. And they're not mutually exclusive. The fact is. as much as people hate sort of, when you say it as sales ultimately is a numbers game, we all have, we all have ratios, right?

It's I tracked mine for decades. In terms of, yeah, we have so many outreaches, you yield so many conversations, yield to serve many meetings, yielded proposals, whatever we all have. 'em. The point people are missing is, is that we're doing too much of the activity to yield a conversation that yields, you know, a meeting that yields whatever that we want.

And that's, that's the problem in my mind is too little focus on the quality of what we're doing. So that, and a perfect example when I unfortunately serve harp on too much, perhaps on podcasts, clue my own, but. Yeah, win rates are really low across the board and in so many industries and unnecessarily, so, and it's partially cuz we've, we've become so adept at generating deal flow through the funnel.

Mm-hmm that? Yeah. We get a little complacent in terms of what the win rate should be. And I just start with the argument is, you know, if you are consistently winning. Less than 50% of your qualified opportunities. Then what you're doing is you're getting more practice losing than you're getting practice winning.

Yeah. Yeah. And that in any profession I think is really problematic. Yeah. It affects your confidence. And yeah. Various other factors going forward. So. so, yeah, you know, the bottom line is you should engineer your processes to say, what do we have to do to yield a higher win rate mm-hmm and maybe that changes the quantity of activities we need to do at top further up in our funnel in order to get that point, maybe that we do fewer.

Things. And I would again, would make the argument to, and I have on my podcast to guys that see 'em guests are like CEOs of companies that sort of focused on top of funnel activities. And I'll say, I think the issue is that we don't have enough opportunities in sales these days is we have too many. Yep.

Yep. And as a result, we're not paying enough attention on the things we need to do in terms of really effective discovery and qualification. and we should, if we're doing that well, we should end up working fewer opportunities and closing a higher fraction of 'em and we'll achieve the same end end result, but in a much less, you know, I dunno the word I started escaping, but in a way that much less in a way that much less likely to cause burnout and other frustrations that you get with sellers that are just, yeah, overwhelmed.

[00:24:05] Rosalyn Santa Elena: Yeah. Yeah, definitely better efficiencies. And then just a better experience for the buyer. Right. And better, better brand. I mean, just a whole better experience and better outlook for the organization.

[00:24:16] Andy Paul: Yeah. Of sort of. I sometimes call drive by selling. Yeah. yeah. When you have low win rates, that's basically what you're doing.

[00:24:25] Rosalyn Santa Elena: Yeah, yeah. Yeah. So I guess that kind of feeds into the next question around, you know, obviously you've had an opportunity to work with so many different sales organizations over the years. I'm sure you've seen lots of ups and downs, you know, changes with sales trends, methodologies, right. Different approaches.

And I'm sure there's been a lot. Pretty good and some bad, you know, some that have kind of outlasted the time. And some that probably have died out really quickly. You know, and I think with all the shifts and the changes and, you know, just the pivots over the years, right. We talked about, you know, the explosion and technology, you know, mm-hmm, just, you think about the global pandemic and just the market, kind of the changes in the volatility that have been happening over the last couple years, especially right.

What are you seeing I guess, in the industry? And do you have any predictions for kind of where sales is headed next?

[00:25:11] Andy Paul: Yeah. I don't know it's I mean, yeah, you, it was a famous Neils, bores, famous Danish physicist who was back in the, you know, part of the Manhattan project, developing atomic bomb. And he said, you know, paraphrasing, I said, you know, prediction is really hard, especially when it's about the future.

And yeah, I. It is hard. We're gonna see more automation come into the space. We're gonna see a, you know, greater role obviously, of, of AI and machine learning, taking over, you know, really repetitive tasks. And we're seeing some of that already. And I'm sure we'll see more of that. But one thing I don't see is I don't see a, a lessening of importance of the human in the whole transaction.

I think there's a lot of people that think that, Hey, we can just, we're gonna get to a point we're just gonna dispense with, with humans and it's just gonna be, you know, machine to machine and yeah, I'm sure in some environments that will be the case, you know, things that are highly transactional. sure because, you know, Neil RAAM wrote, you know, spin selling, wrote a great book called rethinking them the sales force or rethinking the modern sales force.

Everybody thinks act title. He wrote a over 20 years ago, but I always remember this, this part of the book where I said is, is that, you know, when all the things are equal, buyers are gonna choose to buy from the channel that adds the least cost to the transaction. So when you think about that in a more transactional environment, then.

Yeah, over time, you can see, okay. Yeah, you don't need, you're not gonna need the people, but that's still such a broad that's, you know, just a fraction of what we do. There's still such a broad swath of, of products and services that are sold that are complex by nature are not transactional require humans to be involved.

And I think the role of humans in that environment is as even more automation goes into the, comes into those environ sales environments. you have to think about the role of the human as being the differentiator. Yeah, right again. Is, is it's true today. If you look at many markets. Yeah. One mark, I always like to talk about is like the conversational intelligence space where maybe three or four years ago, there were half a dozen companies in that space.

Now there's literally dozens, dozens mm-hmm . So if you're a buyer in that space is, well, how do you choose. Right. The products and services are basically all alike. Mm-hmm they offer the barrier to entry is obviously pretty low, cuz all these companies have jumped into it. Mm-hmm . And so when somebody's looking to make a decision, if everything else is equal from a product and pricing standpoint, what makes the difference and more often than that, that difference is their experience with the salesperson.

Yeah. So you as a human. Retain this ability. And I think your ability to, to be the difference. And I think, well, actually, this, this will become more important going forward. And so if, if you, as a salesperson are just gonna be bland, vanilla salesperson just are remotely following this process and playbook laid out for you.

Yeah. Life could be tough yeah. In this profession, but if you're one that's constantly learning and adapting and. Really leaning into your curiosity and learning how to effectively connect with other human beings that are your buyers and helping them make yeah. More informed decisions than, yeah. There's always gonna be a role for you.

Yeah. And that. Perhaps even a more important role.

[00:28:44] Rosalyn Santa Elena: Yeah. I love that. And 100%, I mean, as a buyer, I think, you know, who we buy from, you know, who we trust. We have that credibility. We have that relationship with that person is much more important. I mean, I I've oftentimes even paid more, you know, to have that.

You know, you have that relationship and that credibility because you have that partnership, right. Price is important and all these other factors, but yeah, definitely as people buy from people, right. Mm-hmm and they buy from people that they trust. So 100%.

[00:29:11] Andy Paul: Well, yeah. Yeah. I mean, I, yes, in general, I think that's, that's true.

And it's, it's, I think sellers just have to keep in mind and this is hard for salespeople to think about, but I like to ask a salesperson, a question. Which is all right. Think back to the last deal you won. What was your margin of victory? How much did you win by and people like confused or what, what are you talking about?

Yeah. It's like, well, no, I mean, were you 5% better than the competition? 10% better than the competition. Can you even quantify it? And the answer is no, mm-hmm you can't quantify it. So you have to keep in perspective that really. you only have to be 1% better than the competition. Yeah. And it's hard to know what that 1% is, but I think when you think about this idea as a salesperson as well, Hey, I'm selling a product that's yeah, not exactly a commodity, but you know, the example you have four conversational intelligence, got tons of competitors out there in the minds, eye of the buyer.

We're basically all alike. How am I gonna stand? Well, that's the right question. How are you going to stand out? You as a salesperson? Cuz that's gonna be the difference maker. You are the tiebreaker. Yeah. Not your product. You are the tiebreaker. Yeah. And so yeah, you always said you only have to be 1% better to win.

well, what's that 1% that that could be, Hey, you really asked them great questions. Got them to think more deeply and broadly about the challenges they faced. Mm-hmm and perhaps even the outcomes they could achieve that hadn't really thought about before. Well, that's some value to them, right? Or you help them get through their process more you know, that every time they interact with you is they consider it a good use of their.

Hey, you stood out cuz believe me, not many sales people can make that claim. Yeah. So it's these little things. That add up and it's just, I said, you just have to think about it. You just have to be 1% better. What's how what's that margin. Those are the actions that you take that you are completely in control of as an individual.

[00:31:22] Rosalyn Santa Elena: Oh, that that's really great advice. I really like that. You know, as I think about the revenue engine, I think about this podcast, I always hope, you know, others will be able to learn how to accelerate growth, right. Revenue growth, and really power that revenue engine As someone who's, you know, been in the trenches for, you know, 30 30 plus years, from your perspective, you know, what are the top, maybe two or three things you think that all revenue leaders should really be thinking about today to help grow and retain revenue?

[00:31:47] Andy Paul: Why? Yeah. Focus on win rates, learn how to sell. I mean, this is, and it you think about it is we're heading into an environment where the economy's gonna slow down. I mean, it's slowing down whether we go into a recession or. Yeah, who knows, right? Who knows, but we are in for a period of slower growth, if not actually, you know, negative growth.

So if you're in an environment where you've got tons of competitors, as I described before, as one example you've got more, basically you have the same number of competitors competing for a smaller pool of dollars, right? Mm-hmm cause people are gonna slow spending down there. It's going to spread it out.

Well, when you're in that environment, then that becomes way more competitive and. If you don't know how to actually sell, if you don't know what you need to do to differentiate yourself in the eyes of the buyer to win the business. And you still think it's about product and pricing, then that's gonna be hugely problematic for you.

And I think companies are seeing it already. So if you're a revenue leader, you need to focus on learning how to, what do we do that wins? mm-hmm and if you're not heavily engaged talking, or in having a consulting firm come and help you understand why you're winning, right. Understand the experience your buyers are having with your sales people and how that influences the decisions they're making.

If you're not doing that, then you know, it's not about training your people more. It's always good to do more training mm-hmm but that's sort of the default that people wanna go to is, oh, let's do more training. It's like, yeah, we've trained people within an inch of their lives. This is what we need to do is teach them.

As I mentioned before is not how to become better sellers, how to become better humans, right. To be the differentiation. And so focus on that. Be really conscious about how do I want my salespeople to be received and perceived when they go talk to buyers. And this is. As a result of yeah. Training you in the sales methodology, it's nah, you gotta really focus on them as individuals and understand that every person on your team is gonna go out and they're gonna represent themselves differently than the other people on their team because they're unique human beings.

So how are you gonna work with them? Coach them. to ensure that they show up as the best version of themselves. I love that. And sort of move away from this idea that you can make everybody a clone of each other. And, you know, the technology we have is great, conversational intelligence, you know, it's perfect.

The, one of the greatest learning tools that exists for salespeople, if we use it the right way. Yeah, and it can be used the right way, but it's again, used to help people become the best version of themselves. Cuz I don't sell like you, you don't sell like me, no one sells like me. I don't sell like anybody else.

Right. Mm-hmm I mean, if there are 5 million salespeople in the world, there are 5 million unique ways to sell. And when you look at, you know, people are chronically successful in sales, they're all gonna be different. They all do things slightly differently. So. yeah, you can be the best version of yourself if you get the right support from your leadership and that's what leader should be focused on is you, how do I develop my individuals to go out and represent themselves as, as this unique differentiated, you know, curious individual?

Oops. I knock my microphone over and really understand from your buyer's perspective, what they need from your sales people. And this is a, is another, you know, missing link. Got it. Cause. Talk to sales leaders, they're getting ready to hire people and I'll ask, what are you looking for? What are you hiring for?

And you always get sort of the same things that they want or experienced person, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And then I'll say, great. So if you ask your buyers what they need from your sales people, cause they have a job, they've got a job to be done. Your buyers basically hire your sales people to help them.

get a job done, which is to make a decision on this particular product or service they're looking at. So if they're hiring you to get, help them, get a job done, what are the qualifications and attributes they need from your sales people? and are you aligning those in any way? That's, that's really

[00:36:08] Rosalyn Santa Elena: great advice.

I like that. And never thought about, I think when people ask, when they're interviewing sales people, they are always asking about, oh, we want this experience. We want them to have sold to this persona. We want them to, you know, have done, you know, whatever different types of performance metrics, but think about what is it that your buyer needs.

I like that perspective of the fact that they are, your buyer is hiring your sales rep to help you with some task, right. To make a decision.

[00:36:31] Andy Paul: That's awesome. Well, what buyers and I talk about this in my book, what buyers are very, their job's pretty simple. they wanna, I mean, it's complex and there's, you know, but at heart, if you wanna describe it, their job that they're trying to get accomplished is they want to quickly gather and make sense of the information they need.

Mm-hmm to make an informed decision with the least investment of their time, attention and resources possible. That's what they want. Help me gather and make sense of this information. Mm. To make an informed decision without having to spend endless amount of time on it. And if you can accomplish that and I lay out the path, how to do that in the book is yeah.

You're gonna be a much better position than your competitors. That's great.

[00:37:18] Rosalyn Santa Elena: Well, thank you so much for joining me, Andy. But you know, as wrap up. Yeah. Thank you. But sure. As we wrap up and before I let you go, I always ask guests two things. Sure. So one, you know, what is the one thing about you that others might be surprised to learn?

And . And two, what is the one thing that you want everyone to know about you?

[00:37:39] Andy Paul: Oh gosh. One thing

[00:37:39] Rosalyn Santa Elena: Sometimes it's the same thing I have guesses say. It's kind of the same thing.

[00:37:44] Andy Paul: I, I dunno. I mean, it's it's yeah, I'm not. Yeah. Other than LinkedIn, not really. It's sort of active on social, so you don't see a lot about me out there?

Well, I don't know. Gosh, . I split my time between New York city and San Diego, I go back and forth. I don't know. That's, that's hugely interesting, but it's fun. It's you fun to be on? Yeah, both coasts.

[00:38:04] Rosalyn Santa Elena: Both coasts.

[00:38:05] Andy Paul: Yeah. I, I yeah, married the was fortunate enough to be able to marry the first love of my life. Ah, 38 years after we met. Wow. Which served back in 2010, we just had our anniversary, our 12th anniversary. And yeah, so my wife I met with, she was in New York at San Diego. So we got married. We sort adopted this back and forth lifestyle, which is. fun. Not as fun during pandemic, but.

[00:38:31] Rosalyn Santa Elena: Yeah, love that. Love that.

[00:38:33] Andy Paul: Things remember about me as well. For me. It's, you know, if you read my, my stuff, it's, I'm a huge believer that it's, it's all about you. You are the difference maker. You as the human are the difference maker at the end of the day. you should welcome that as salesperson to know that yeah. You can make the differences and yeah.

Is it just, it's not all about hard work. It's it's about learning. It's about being curious about being open minded, about being responsive, all attributes that you and yeah. My experience over decades has shown and there's no way I'll ever be dissuaded from this. That. Yeah. At the end of the day, it's all about you and you can make the difference. And that's where we're trying to help sellers become. The difference.

[00:39:21] Rosalyn Santa Elena: I love that. Well, thank you so much, Andy, for your time. Really appreciate all of these great insights and I can't wait to go back and listen. I always like to, after we go through the, the episode, I always like to go back and listen to everything and just kind of take notes and, you know, glean from it, cuz to your point, always learning, always learning and I learned so much, so thank you.

[00:39:39] Andy Paul: Thank you for having me. It's been fun.

[00:39:41] Rosalyn Santa Elena: Thank you.

This episode was digitally transcribed.

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