Published on March 13, 2009
Insight on Coaching Coaching the IT and Service Salesforce Transcript Prepared for: Prepared by: Insight Educational Consulting Ubiqus Reporting (IEC)
Time Speaker Transcript 0:30 Tom Floyd Hello everyone and welcome to Insight on Coaching. Insight on Coaching explores the many facets, flavors and sides of the emerging professional coaching field. I’m Tom Floyd, I’m the CEO of Insight Educational Consulting and your host for today’s show. Well this week our topic is Coaching the IT and Service Salesforce. We’ll provide a big picture overview of what we mean by the term services. We’ll talk about the challenges sales representatives have in selling intangible technologies and services. And most importantly, we’ll discuss how coaches are working with sales teams to improve their ability to sell and articulate the value of intangible services. With me to explore this topic are four guests, and let me give you a quick overview of who we have with us today. Our first guest, Dave Munn, is President & CEO of the Information Technology Services Marketing Association (ITSMA). As a membership organization, ITSMA works with the world's leading technology, communications, and professional services firms to generate new business, strengthen customer loyalty, and increase brand differentiation. Since joining ITSMA in 1995, Dave has played a central role in expanding the organization’s offerings to help companies improve marketing, sales, and business results. Today, ITSMA serves over 100 member companies, representing close to half of the total Technology & Telecom services revenues generated worldwide. . Welcome to the show, Dave. 1:46 Dave Munn Thanks Tom. 1:47 Tom Floyd Our second guest, Tony Parinello, created his own brand of sales training called Selling to VITO™, the Very Important Top Officer. Today, the majority of Fortune 100 and over 2 million sales people in more than 30 countries create bigger deals in less time using his programs. Now, through his keynotes, seminars, books, and audio programs, he’s personally trained more than 1,000,000 salespeople, his six books have sold in excess of 500,000 copies and he has an Internet Talk-show, “Selling Across America,” dedicated to salespeople and the art of selling. Welcome to the show, Tony. 2 | Confidential May 22, 2008 Page 2 Coaching the IT and Service Salesforce Transcript
Time Speaker Transcript 2:19 Tony Parinello Thanks Tom. 2:21 Tom Floyd Our next guest, Keith Rosen, is an executive sales coach and best selling author. Keith has written several books including, Time Management for Sales Professionals and his upcoming book, Coaching Salespeople Into Sales Champions. For his work as a pioneer in the coaching profession, Inc. magazine and Fast Company named Keith one of the five most respected and influential executive coaches in the country. Keith is a frequent contributor for Selling Power Live, CBSNews.com, Sales and Marketing Management and is currently the Sales Coach and Expert Advisor for AllBusiness.com. Welcome to the show, Keith. 2:53 Keith Rosen Pleasure to be here. 2:54 Tom Floyd Pleasure to have you. Our fourth guest, Gregg Steinberg, is the President and Chief Operating Officer of International Profit Associates. The numerous companies constituting IPA combine to form the largest consulting firm in the world, delivering a broad spectrum of management consulting and other professional services to businesses. Mr. Steinberg is widely quoted and published on issues relative to business in North America and is seen as an expert resource relative to small business and entrepreneurial issues. He is also a contributing author to Consulting Leadership Strategies, Industry Leaders on the New Benchmarks for Success, a recently published book through Aspatore Books. Welcome to the show, Gregg. 3:30 Gregg Great to be with you today. Steinberg 3 | Confidential May 22, 2008 Page 3 Coaching the IT and Service Salesforce Transcript
Time Speaker Transcript 3:32 Tom Floyd Well today’s show focuses on three primary types of intangibles: IP or technology based solutions, professional services and support services. I’d like to share some information our research team put together to define these categories a little further and to set the stage in terms of why they’re important. According to the book, The Intellect Industry: Profiting and Learning from Professional Service Firms, the Professional Services industry, (which according to the book, include marketing services, accountancy, commercial law, investment banking, management consulting, headhunting, market research, website design, and a wide range of other people businesses) is among the fastest growing of any industry and already employs as much as 17% of the workforce in Western markets. In a recent study highlighted on the Information Technology Services Marketing Association’s website, Support services—which are defined as including hardware, software, and network maintenance; technical support and customer support; managed services; applications maintenance outsourcing; installation services; and all other services designed to enable ongoing operations for technology infrastructure and applications—are an important source of growth and profitability for many technology companies. And yet, as support becomes more automated, more predictable, and less critical, companies are losing their ability to use support to demonstrate value to customers. And the July 1st, 2002 issue of the Harvard Business Review cites the importance of customer loyalty when dealing with the IT and service sales force: “The best customers, we're told, are loyal ones. They cost less to serve, they're usually willing to pay more than other customers, and they often act as word-of-mouth marketers for your company. Win loyalty, therefore, and profits will follow as night follows day.” Investing in customer loyalty requires a look at “direct product costs for each customer but also all associated advertising, service, sales force, and organizational expenses.” Now Dave, I’d like to start with you. First question, in addition to professional services and support services, any other primary categories of services that we’re missing or that weren’t mentioned? 5:53 Dave Munn I think a couple of the others, did you mention educational services, training? 5:58 Tom Floyd I didn’t. 4 | Confidential May 22, 2008 Page 4 Coaching the IT and Service Salesforce Transcript
Time Speaker Transcript 5:59 Dave Munn That’s typically a revenue source for most high-tech companies. Some of the other emerging categories and I believe you mentioned managed services, some people will say everything is moving to managed services or software of service, so we spent a lot of time just debating what’s included in the category. 6:20 Tom Floyd Now in Silicon Valley managed services is a term I’m familiar with in working with High Tech companies especially, but it might not be familiar to many of our listeners. From your perspective, what exactly are managed services? 6:32 Dave Munn Well the opportunity for technology companies is to take over management of certain activities that otherwise would be managed in-house with an IT staff. So whether it’s managing the desktop support function within a company or it could be a business process, managing the bill payment process within a company. When you start adding those up, some people call it outsourcing. Some people call it managed services. But both are significant opportunities for companies to take over operations that a company traditionally managed in-house. 7:06 Tom Floyd Okay, got it. Can you tell us a little bit more about the Information Technology Services Marketing Association’s survey in terms of you know why support services in particular are an important source of growth and profitability from any technology customers? 7:22 Dave Munn You know on the support side, support revenues, maintenance and support contracts have traditionally been significant revenue source and profit source for companies. When you look at one of the reasons why Oracle bought PeopleSoft, its been well documented that the maintenance base of PeopleSoft was a significant piece of the acquisition. So those support revenues, those maintenance revenues for some companies can be, have offer profit margins of 65 or 70% for software companies. For hardware companies, they’ll be lower than that, but many companies that are dealing with commoditized products are looking at growing their support services as a revenue source as well as a significant profit source. 5 | Confidential May 22, 2008 Page 5 Coaching the IT and Service Salesforce Transcript
Time Speaker Transcript 8:11 Tom Floyd And do you think a lot of companies realize just how much they can really make off of services in terms of that margin or are there still some companies out there that you know just aren’t seeing that? 8:23 Dave Munn Well there’s a couple factors involved here because of the wide portfolio of services. Support and maintenance revenues are a sexy business to be in for companies that offer products and they need to get their sales models in shape and setup the right way in order to sell those; have a high attach rate, have high renewal rates, have low discounting, but other services that’s just managed in outsourcing service even professional services do not have those kind of profit margins and some companies fall into the trap thinking everything will have those kinds of profit margins. 9:01 Tom Floyd Got it. Interesting. Now Gregg, from your perspective why are industries that include professional support services among the fastest growing, and how important are services in the market today? 9:15 Gregg Well I think part of the issue is that its becoming more complicated in terms of various Steinberg technologies that are out there and while the consumer and the customer are more sophisticated in terms of what their needs are with their buying, their ability to be able to technically understand what they’re buying and to be able to modify it and change it and implement it is becoming more difficult therefore its much more necessary for them to be able to retain services of a professional nature to be able to handle those issues. And on top of that, the maintenance of those systems is much more difficult and therefore the services necessary to handle that are required. 10:01 Tom Floyd Exact same question that I asked Dave too, from your perspective why don’t some organizations see the value of offering or selling services yet? 6 | Confidential May 22, 2008 Page 6 Coaching the IT and Service Salesforce Transcript
Time Speaker Transcript 10:13 Gregg I think part of that issue really comes down to the cost of retaining and hiring and Steinberg training the people that have the technical skills to be able to provide those and on top of that, it’s the ramp up of the cost required to have those people on staff versus their ability to generate that revenue and if it’s a new line of service that they’re providing where they don’t have the ability to really understand the sales cycle that’s required, it’s a Catch 22 that they’re caught in. Dave said they hire first and then go out and sell or if they’re selling it and they don’t have the talent, then they have to outsource that to someone else which means they’re back into that loop again. 10:57 Tom Floyd So its cost, its making sure they have enough people to support the service, its understanding the sale cycle things, things like that? 11:04 Gregg Correct. Steinberg 11:05 Tom Floyd Okay. Tony, the Harvard Business Review article mentions the importance of customer loyalty when dealing with the IT and service sales force. Fromyour perspective, is customer loyalty even more important when selling more intangible technologies and services than tangible products? 11:23 Tony Parinello I think customer loyalty is always an issue pointing back to you know the sales process. It seems to me the biggest mistake that salespeople make today when they go in and try to sell services and try to build that loyalty, they call on the person or the department that they’re going to be placed. And to me, that’s like “hey, how are you doing today? We’re going to replace your department. And so yeah, give me your card, give me the information and we’ll get back to you in about three years when I’m getting ready to retire.” So I think what happens with salespeople and pointing to the sales process is they get off on the wrong foot by calling on the department, via HR, via IP, via whatever department that they have this outsourcing service for which is a big tactical mistake. And that really impacts the sales process and the viability of making the sale. 12:10 Tom Floyd So who is the best group to call on? Is it Sales, is it the Field - who is the ideal customer? 7 | Confidential May 22, 2008 Page 7 Coaching the IT and Service Salesforce Transcript
Time Speaker Transcript 12:18 Tony Parinello Well I’m not sure I understand who the ideal customer is, but once you understand the ideal customer that seems to be the ideal person to approach in that organization speaks to the topic I have been teaching on since 1995 is getting to the very important top officer, the person all this stuff rolls up to, the person who has the ultimate responsibility for the P&L and economics of the company. 12:40 Tom Floyd Okay. 12:41 Tony Parinello And if you build loyalty there, then you’re sent to the departments with the grace of God so to speak. So for me, its like it’s a natural dance, it’s a natural answer to say “hey start as high as possible away from the department that you have an outsourcing or a managed services for.” 12:58 Tom Floyd So don’t focus on the group that you could potentially be putting out of business, really go after the key decision maker? 13:04 Tony Parinello Yes and what that speaks to, is forgetting about the service you’re selling and looking to the result that it creates in as much as long-lasting positive impact on the top, middle and bottom lines. So I think once you move away from the product, you get into the more economic discussions which lends itself to the top officer opinion. 13:23 Tom Floyd Okay. Keith, how important are consultative selling skills when selling intangibles like technologies or services? 8 | Confidential May 22, 2008 Page 8 Coaching the IT and Service Salesforce Transcript
Time Speaker Transcript 13:33 Keith Rosen Even more important than selling tangibles, not to dismiss the importance of it at all, but think of it this way. If you’re going out and buying a car, you’re going to be able to experience, you feel, touch, drive that car firsthand. When you’re selling a service, quite often if there is no try before you buy, the first time you’re really going to be experiencing that service and the quality of that they’re delivering is when you finally signup with that vendor. S o what I find is when I coach salespeople on selling services, its more about focusing on the types of questions that they’re using to better qualify the prospect, uncover what that proverbially pain is for them, so that they can then fill in that gap. But the difference now is, they’re not spending 25 or 30 minutes on a call explaining how great they are. They’re really asking the prospect to do the work for them by uncovering that opportunity. I call that filling the gap. 14:30 Tom Floyd So its almost less talking on the part of the salesperson and more probing and listening to understand first what the customer’s pain points are? 14:39 Keith Rosen Yes, and truly asking the right questions. And I qualify that because I see a lot of salespeople asking questions, but they’re asking the wrong questions. They’re asking questions that are not actually moving the sale process forward. They’re actually sabotaging the sales process by the questions they’re asking. So its really being strategic with the type of questions you’re asking to uncover something to the point where you’re service is no longer just well that’s nice to have, but its really a need to have. So how do you create that shift from a nice to have to a need to have? You really need to be able to get the prospect to articulate there’s a need to make a change. 15:20 Tony Parinello And Tom, if I could add to that, its also not so much the “what”, but it’s the “why” is it that this prospect or this potential customer needs what they think that they want, that causes that buying decision to be [unintelligible]. 15:40 Tom Floyd So its really looking at the reason driving the actual decision itself? 9 | Confidential May 22, 2008 Page 9 Coaching the IT and Service Salesforce Transcript
Time Speaker Transcript 15:44 Tony Parinello Correct. As was just said, its both the “what is causing the pain” and “why is that pain really hurting” and “what happens if that pain disappears”, where is the benefit to that. 16:00 Tom Floyd Okay. Well lets go ahead and go on pause. I’m starting to hear the music for our first commercial break, so stay tuned everyone. More from Insight on Coaching when we return. 10 | Confidential May 22, 2008 Page 10 Coaching the IT and Service Salesforce Transcript
Time Speaker Transcript 18:36 Tom Floyd Welcome back to Insight on Coaching. I’m Tom Floyd. Today the topic is Coaching the IT and Service Salesforce. With me are Dave Munn, President & CEO of the Information Technology Services Marketing Association, Tony Parinello, Author, Radio Talk Show Host, and Professional Sales and Marketing Coach, Keith Rosen, Author and Executive Sales Coach, Profit Builders, LLC, and Gregg Steinberg, Author and President of International Profit Associates. For those of you just joining us today, we set the stage in terms of what we mean by selling services and technology. For the next part of our show, I’d like to focus on the challenges associated with selling these intangible services and technical solutions. Some more data to set the stage: Sales management expert Michal Nick, best described the challenges of selling intangibles such as services and information technology when he said: “A sales rep for a construction accounting software company expressed to me his frustration in dealing with the cost sensitive prospects in his vertical market. He said, “Companies are happy to spend a couple hundred thousand dollars on a new piece of construction equipment because they understand how it will make money for them. It is much harder to get them to see the benefit of spending a similar amount on information technology, even though it can produce equal or better returns. The reason is they can’t “see” the return.” One of our guests on today’s show, Tony Parinello explains his take on this in an article he wrote for Entrepreneur Magazine titled “Selling Your Services, How do you sell something that’s intangible?” Tony writes, “Can't deliver tangible value? Don't despair. Your marketplace and the prospects that are in it will get just as excited when they see intangible value--value that's harder to measure, but just as important. Some examples include: less risk of losing key employees to the competition, less worry about downtime during the busy season, a better image in the marketplace, improved labor relations, enhancing employee attitudes toward the company, greater focus on core business initiatives and so on. Unlike tangible value, intangible value is articulated primarily by means of descriptive words and phrases. Numbers just don't play a role Dave, from your perspective, why is it more difficult to sell intangible services than tangible products? 11 | Confidential May 22, 2008 Page 11 Coaching the IT and Service Salesforce Transcript
Time Speaker Transcript 20:52 Dave Munn As some of the things you already talked about are really good points with products you can touch, you feel you can see it with a service. You have to experience it or you have to go to a reference site or you have to talk to a rep. So many product sales reps who are used to talking about product features, even product benefits and showing it, you struggle with talking about services. So there are a number of things that companies can do to help improve success with that. 21:22 Tom Floyd And can you give a few examples there? 21:25 Dave Munn Yes, some of it with product sales forces like anything you need to provide them with knowledge, with skills, with tools, with support, with the right motivation and compensation. A lot of it is giving them knowledge about why people buy services, what are the benefits to them, who are the specific buyers, give them cost justification or price justification knowledge and skills so they can justify why certain prices and then give them specific marketing and sales support tools. 21:59 Tom Floyd What would you say is really the biggest WIIFM statement, the biggest “what’s in it for me” or real benefit to people? So things like, if we’re talking about service contracts, consistent renewable revenue streams for example? What are some of the main benefits or pain points that really helps drive it home? 22:18 Dave Munn For a sales rep, its customers need services to be successful with their technology products. And those that buy services are typically much more successful, are better references, will buy more products in the future and ultimately its more money in the sales rep pocket. 22:39 Tom Floyd Okay. Now Gregg, I’d like to turn to you. The sheer breath and complexity of the technologies that are out there can make them more difficult to sell. Is the average sales rep expected to have more knowledge and technical acumen than they needed to in the past, and is that contributing to the problem? 12 | Confidential May 22, 2008 Page 12 Coaching the IT and Service Salesforce Transcript
Time Speaker Transcript 23:01 Gregg Well, I think that part of it is getting the customer or the prospective customer to really Steinberg understand where the benefit is. The technical knowledge of the salesperson whether its great or limited only has an impact on the customer in terms of their buying decision if the customer understands what the benefit of making that buying decision is. And while it is an intangible product that they are buying, there’s still a tangible impact at the end of the day. And that tangible impact at some point can be translated into dollars and cents and numbers. So whether its an impact on efficiency, its an impact on productivity, its an impact on capacity utilization, its an impact on retention of employees, at the end of the day there’s a way of putting numerical value to what that utilization of that service is and therefore adds in the buying decision. 24:00 Tom Floyd And same question that I asked Dave. Anything you would add in terms of why it can be more difficult to sell intangible services than tangible products? 24:14 Gregg I think it goes back to that very issue I just mentioned which is the ability to convert Steinberg the intangible concept into a tangible understanding where that line is drawn between a fraud and descriptive words to numbers on a page and the ability for the customer to see that line between the two. The salesperson that can draw that mental picture both verbally and draw the tangible picture in terms of the dollar benefit is going to have a greater chance of closing that sale. 24:49 Tom Floyd If we focus on converting the benefits to numbers, what are some typical metrics in that case that are going to get a customers attention? Is it things like customer satisfaction? What are some examples there? 25:00 Gregg Clearly increasing customer satisfaction is going to be a piece of that. Steinberg That’s not quite as tangible in terms of ease of measuring as profitability enhancement is going to be or retention enhancement is going to be. 13 | Confidential May 22, 2008 Page 13 Coaching the IT and Service Salesforce Transcript
Time Speaker Transcript 25:15 Tom Floyd Okay. Tony, can you tell us a little bit more about the prospective you shared in your article. Why is it important to articulate intangible value from your perspective using descriptive words and phrases? 25:26 Tony Parinello Thanks Tom. Here’s what I think. I think the further you get away from the product you’re selling, the more impactful either hard or soft dollar value, tangible or intangible, whatever you want to call it. I don’t care if you’re selling a piece of hardware or a piece of software or a piece of airware. If you get far enough away from your product that you look at what it does rather than what it is, you’ll find that most everything will rollup into four most important metrics, most important results that top officers are looking for: increased revenue, increased efficiencies and effectiveness of revenue generating employees, mission critical employees and mission critical processes, containment of costs for elimination of costs, and doing all those three and staying out of jail at the same time or being in full compliance. So I firmly believe the further you get away from your product, the easier it is to articulate either hard dollar value as Gregg was saying, or the soft dollar value as I wrote about in my article. 26:22 Tom Floyd So just to recap, the three you mentioned, you mentioned increased revenue, containment of costs, what was the last? 26:28 Tony Parinello Well the first one was increased revenue and then it was increased efficiencies and effectiveness of revenue generating employees, mission critical employees or mission critical processes, and then cost containment for elimination of costs, and then doing the first three in compliance you know to get in compliance with state or government or industry regulations. 26:60 Tom Floyd And do you change which of those you will talk about or focus on depending on the audience that you’re speaking to? For example, if it’s a business audience or a sales audience more versus an IT audience? 14 | Confidential May 22, 2008 Page 14 Coaching the IT and Service Salesforce Transcript
Time Speaker Transcript 27:00 Tony Parinello Well you can, but here’s the problem I see with salespeople. They all say they’re going to do research on the prospect but they never quite get around to doing it. And so if you’re ever in doubt, if you ever don’t have time to do the research, then go to this list because it’s a great default list. But I agree with you. The more you know about the industry, the more you know about the client in that industry, the better off you are. 27:20 Tom Floyd Okay. Keith, I’d like to use a technology example from a recent article in Information Week and according to some research that Information Week conducted, 51% of 325 business tech professionals recently surveyed, site difficulty measuring or proving return on investment as the primary reason that they couldn’t justify the cost. In this case, it was integrating a unified communication system into their companies. The question I have for you is, from your perspective, why is articulating the ROI, of technical and service solutions difficult? 15 | Confidential May 22, 2008 Page 15 Coaching the IT and Service Salesforce Transcript
Time Speaker Transcript 27:57 Keith Rosen I think we need to be careful first about putting out a limiting belief for those salespeople out there who are selling nontangibles because there is something to be said and I’ve heard it through this conversation that there’s more emphasis on having salespeople develop that technical acumen. But here’s the problem. The more emphasis that gets focused on the technical acumen of the sales product or the service, what gets left behind is the sales acumen. I coach thousands of salespeople and their managers every year. What I find is its not that it comes down to difficulty selling the intangible versus a tangible. It comes down to the salesperson and their approach and how effectively they’re able to build out their sales process. For example, if I told you to go outside and dig a hole with a spoon, do you learn the lesson “well gee, I guess I can’t dig holes very well” or is it more about “well wait a second. If I actually had the right tools, the right approach, the right language, the right questions, yes, then I’d be able to generate the result by desire.” So what it really comes down to is that its developing that compelling reason. What is that end result of the benefit that whether you’re selling the tangible or not, if you’re selling that intangible, at the end of the day, there is a benefit. There is an ROI. How can you qualify that and how can you quantify that? I’m hearing certain things around you know the financial end of the ROI, but there’s also other things as well. I mean there’s that time savings. There’s the stress on that decision maker that you might be reducing. There’s making them look great and not have egg on their face at the end of the day. There’s more staff retention and increased productivity. So what I find is I do spend more time with salespeople that are selling the nontangibles, but the time we invested as we’re talking about here is what is that message that you can deliver? What is that compelling reason that would grab someone’s ear, motivate them enough to listen more to what you have to say? And that is the end result of what they’re going to experience. So the more the salesperson can articulate that through customer surveys, through speaking to prior customers, and then wrap around a measurable to that, the greater the impact and the greater success they’re going to have around their sales efforts. 30:18 Tom Floyd Its almost like really have a compelling story around it, too. 16 | Confidential May 22, 2008 Page 16 Coaching the IT and Service Salesforce Transcript
Time Speaker Transcript 30:20 Keith Rosen Exactly right, yes. 30:23 Tom Floyd Anything that anybody else would add? 30:25 Dave Munn Tom, this is Dave. I wanted to weigh in on the topic. We do a lot of surveys with customers on how they choose technology providers or providers of solutions, and we ask the question about return on investment, project justification and so forth. There’s in general a very high lack of credibility that most vendors have in our ROI clients and so there’s a lot of discussion about ROI, there’s a lot of money being put into ROI calculators. Sales reps can benefit from knowing the pieces to that point ROI and what benefits are important to customers, but also paying attention to some of the soft benefits. A lot of customers will justify products based on both hard and soft numbers. 31:13 Tom Floyd Good to know. Well let’s go ahead and go on pause. I’m hearing the music for our next commercial break. Stay tuned everyone. More from Insight on Coaching and Coaching the IT and Service Saleforce when we return. 17 | Confidential May 22, 2008 Page 17 Coaching the IT and Service Salesforce Transcript
Time Speaker Transcript 34:00 Tom Floyd Welcome to Insight on Coaching. I’m Tom Floyd. Today the topic is Coaching the IT and Service Salesforce. With me are Dave Munn, Tony Parinello, Keith Rosen, and Gregg Steinberg. Now in our next segment, I’d like to focus specifically on how companies are using coaching as a tool to retain sales and IT professionals, and help them improve their ability to sale intangible services as well as end to end comprehensive solutions that include technologies and services. Now before I dive into some coaching specific examples, I wanted to share a tidbit from a 2002 issue of Forbes Magazine to paint a picture of how much it can cost an organization that loses a senior sales representative who has been with the company for awhile. According to the May 13th, 2002 issue of Fortune Magazine in an article titled “ROI on Coaching Confirmed”, author Edward Poll writes: “Metropolitan Life Financial Services put part of its retail sales force through an intensive coaching program, and afterward found that productivity among those salespeople increased by an average of 35%, while 78% of the sales reps embarked on the pursuit of a new license or professional designation, and 50% identified new markets to develop. Perhaps most important, Metropolitan retained all of the salespeople who had coaching. The program, which cost about $620,000, delivered $3.2 million in measurable gains.quot; Now on an IT front, in another Fortune article from February 2000 titled “So You’re a Player: Do You Need a Coach?, Allamerica, a $ 2.8 billion financial services company, was used as an example. According to the article, Allamerica used coaching as a means of improving retention among their 850 person IT staff. They saw turnover fall to 8% in just one year.quot; Keith, I’d like to start with you a very big picture question. In terms of the type of coaching you do in the typical engagements when you’re working with sales reps or service sales reps or IT reps, are you typically coaching individuals or are you coaching entire teams? Is it working with both individuals and their managers? Is it a combination? Is it all of the above? What does that typically look like? 18 | Confidential May 22, 2008 Page 18 Coaching the IT and Service Salesforce Transcript
Time Speaker Transcript 36:49 Keith Rosen I’ll answer it this way. The deepest and long-lasting impact is really a collective approach where you’re starting at the top, you’re working with the managers, you’re working with the executives, and at the end, you’re working with that person on the front line whose in the trenches. And the reason why is you’re working with that person on a one-to-one level. You’re creating that safe atmosphere. You’re not in a team environment where there are other people and they’re worried about being critiqued or judged. Its just the person being coached and the coach. And to me, that’s where you can make the deepest meaningful impact with that person. Then of course you want to get the managers involved because they want to drink the proverbially Kool-aid as well where whatever you’re teaching as someone said earlier on the show, whatever you’re teaching and imparting to that salesperson, if you’re adjusting their philosophy, their mindset as well as their tactical approach to sales or prospecting, you want that manager to be on board with that as well so that when that coaching engagement is over, that manager can then continue the ongoing training and support that that salesperson was exposed to during the coaching program. 37:57 Tom Floyd So its not necessarily that the manager is involved in the same conversation that you’re having with the individual sales rep. Is it more like you’re keeping them in the loop and giving them fairly regular updates on progress and things like that? 19 | Confidential May 22, 2008 Page 19 Coaching the IT and Service Salesforce Transcript
Time Speaker Transcript 38:13 Keith Rosen Well I find it to be fairly eclectic. I think every engagement that I’ve done regardless of company size or industry, it really changes depending on the culture. At the end of the day, there’s no cookie cutter solution to coaching. It really does need to be customized around the specific needs of that client whether it’s the company or an individual. Sometimes I do have the manager and the salesperson on a call – it depends on what the issues are. Sometimes it might be a team call. Sometimes I might have a one-to-one with the manager and then a one-to-one with the salesperson, then afterwards, have a meeting of the minds and get everyone together and just be that facilitator of the conversation especially if there are other issues involved and those issues can range. For example, if there’s any animosity between the salesperson and their manager, how else does it get diffused? Well the only way you can - either you live with that big pink elephant sitting in the living room or you bring an outside source in to hopefully ease that process and develop a uniform mind share where those two people can work in greater harmony together. 39:19 Tom Floyd Its interesting how much it comes up on the show - a desire to really make sure that when we’re talking about coaching in general that its not being positioned or that people aren’t thinking that it’s a fix-it solution. Do you come across situations and if so, how do you handle them, where you’ve got a sales manager or district manager or whoever coming to you and saying “my sales reps are terrible. They need help. I want you to fix it. Coach them. They need help doing this.” How do you handle that? 20 | Confidential May 22, 2008 Page 20 Coaching the IT and Service Salesforce Transcript
Time Speaker Transcript 39:49 Keith Rosen Typically when I hear that question, Tom, my response is “I’m sorry. I don’t do remedial coaching.” To qualify that a little more, in my next book which is coming out in February of 2008 entitled Coaching Salespeople Into Sales Champions, I speak specifically on this topic. And my feeling is if you’re offering coaching, the most profound way to offer it where you’re going to get full buying and enrollment from the people you want coached is by positioning it as a perk. Where we are bringing in an outside coach because we feel that you truly are our most valuable commodity, our most valuable resource. We want to invest in you, we want to grow, and we want to build and develop you to play you for your succession, we want you to experience greater success, and by doing so, we’re going to team you up with a coach who can support you in that process. That is going to be the most effective way to position coaching because once you position it where you have that broken wing mentality where hey my salespeople are broken and they need fixing. Well I personally don’t believe anyone’s broken. And if that’s how its positioned, you’re now creating an environment where its more consequential. You’re creating an environment which driven by fear, scare city and consequence. And that is really not the best atmosphere you want to create when you’re having someone looking to improve and take full accountability for their career. Positioning it the other way where it’s a perk. Now you can focus on the person’s goals or aspirations, their dreams, and the results they need to expect coming from more of a positive and empowering place. 41:26 Tony Parinello This is Tony here. Early on in your comment there, you mentioned the word safe, a safe atmosphere. I think that is the total key in successful coaching because its going to work for salespeople. They need to know it’s a safe place for them to tell you where they’re screwing up, how they’re screwing up and gees, I really need help. 41:42 Keith Rosen Amen to that. 21 | Confidential May 22, 2008 Page 21 Coaching the IT and Service Salesforce Transcript
Time Speaker Transcript 41:43 Tony Parinello I think that’s really [unintelligible] classic. That’s in my mind, the most effective way to coach and to make sure that rep knows that big brother or big sister or big momma ain’t watching. 41:51 Keith Rosen And thank you, Tony, because you know this is a point that I don’t think is given enough credit on this. The one advantage, I’m sure we’re going to talk about the distinction between internal coaching and external coaching, but internal coaches for companies already have a disadvantage. And the disadvantage is that they work for the company. When I come into the company, I tell people listen I don’t work for you. I’m not your boss. I’m not here to analyze you. I’m here to support you. My only commitment is to your goals. I have no hidden agenda here. 42:24 Tony Parinello My trust of you goes up automatically and instantly when I hear that. 22 | Confidential May 22, 2008 Page 22 Coaching the IT and Service Salesforce Transcript
Time Speaker Transcript 42:28 Keith Rosen Yeah, and that to me is where how much more important the messaging from that manager needs to be to get the point across where hey you and I, we might have the same goals, but I’m truly and unconditionally committed to your success. That is a lot harder to prove and substantiate from an internal coach because they’re dealing with political agendas as well versus someone outside like me. And even to the point I’ll take you further to say and Tom, you made a comment on this about well Keith do you then report back to the manager about what you’re working on with that salesperson? Well the answer is yes and no actually. And let me explain what I mean. Yes in the sense that I offer aggregate information. So if I’m sharing, if I’m working on time management or cold calling or prospecting or how to deliver an effective presentation, with that salesperson I’m coaching, that’s the type of Intel I’ll share with the manager. But I say with very clear certainly when people hire me I say listen if you’re expecting me to be a spy for you, you got the wrong person. That is not what coaching is all about. Okay because the whole point of it is they’re going to share with me what they’re not going to share with you. So if I violate that trust, the coaching relationship is done. 43:47 Tony Parinello Yeah Keith, Tony again. Thanks for using the word unconditional because that speaks to what you just said. 43:52 Keith Rosen Thanks, Tony. 43:53 Tom Floyd I have to admit from a consulting perspective I’m smiling, too. We get the exact same thing you know on the consulting end as well. We’ll come in and whether its working with salespeople or doing a stakeholder analysis or something like that, its like you constantly have to reinforce “we’re not spies and everything we do gather is confidential” yet somebody consistently pushes you for the names.
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