Nov. 11, 2021

It's all About the Buyer's Journey! with Chuck Marcouiller

It's all About the Buyer's Journey! with Chuck Marcouiller

People like to buy, but they don’t like to be sold. This might sound like a straightforward sales idea, but it is something so many salespeople get wrong. As a salesperson, you are responsible for shepherding the customer through their buyer’s journey. Your goal is not simply to make a sale. Instead, it is to get the customer to a future state. Today's guest, Chuck Marcouiller, has been in the sales game for over 25 years, having worked in sales, sales leadership, and sales leadership enablement. Currently, Chuck is a Senior Director of Revenue Enablement at Jobvite, a leading recruitment software company. In this episode, we talk about the buyer’s journey. Chuck explains what this is, along with shedding light on the salesperson’s role in guiding the customer through it. We hear about some of the mistakes salespeople commonly make, and Chuck weighs in on where those in sales should be placing their focus. Being in sales means you never stop being a student, and this is something all the best salespeople, like Chuck, are fully aware of.

Key Points From This Episode:

  • Get to know Chuck, and how he became an accidental salesman.
  • Why Chuck is so passionate about sales and why he has stayed in the industry as long as he has.
  • How sales have changed since Chuck became a salesman over 20 years ago.
  • What the buyer’s journey means, according to Chuck.
  • The three components of the buyer’s journey.
  • Unpacking the role of salespeople and how they facilitate the buyer’s journey.
  • The importance of helping the buyer through every step of the journey.
  • Using Peloton as an example of how creating a community makes a sticky product.
  • Why you need to decide what kind of company you are.
  • The buyer’s journey does not end with your sales; it’s about getting buyers to a future state.
  • Some of Chuck’s tips on how to best master the discovery call.
  • One of the biggest mistakes Chuck sees salespeople making continuously.
  • A lesson from one of the best salespeople Chuck has ever worked with.
  • Be a student of your customer and your craft.
  • Think about how you like to buy and apply it to your work. 


“Sales is the art of helping people, if you do it really well.” — Chuck Marcouiller [0:05:23]

“The buyer’s journey really is the psychology of how people buy. It's understanding the steps your buyer goes through in order to acquire your service or product.” — Chuck Marcouiller [0:10:19]

“It’s the salesperson that has to understand where their ideal customer is today, and the future state that the ideal customer wants to go to and help bridge that gap.” — Chuck Marcouiller [0:32:56]

“Great salespeople meticulously understand what their process is and take notes and learn from them. They become students of their own sales program.” — Chuck Marcouiller [0:43:12]


Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

Chuck Marcouiller on LinkedIn


The Challenger Sale


Sam Capra on Linkedin

The Sales Samurai B2B Sales Podcast


Title Sponsors:


Speaker 0    00:00:01    Coming to you from Orlando, Florida, Orlando, Florida, and streaming around the world around the world. You're not tuned in to the sales samurai podcast. The only B2B sales podcast, providing unfiltered unapologetic views and tactics directly from the sales trenches. Here's your host, Sam Capra.  
Speaker 1    00:00:30    Welcome to episode 21 of the sales samurai. Thanks for listening. As always, before we begin, do us a favor, take a moment to subscribe and download on today's show. We're going to be discussing it's all about the buyer's journey. And I have a very special guest to help us tackle that subject. Chuck mercurial is a senior director of revenue enablement for Jobvite the leading provider of recruitment technology, Chuck to split the last 25 years in sales, sales, leadership, and sales enablement leadership positions in a range of software as a service high growth organizations. He has a passion for salespeople is a consummate student of the sales process. Show up, welcome to the show. How are you, man?  
Speaker 2    00:01:12    I'm doing well. Thank you, Sam. How about yourself?  
Speaker 1    00:01:14    You know what? It's been an okay day. It can't be too bad. It's a Friday and I can't complain too much,  
Speaker 2    00:01:20    You know, every day that you can do one thing that you're good at. It's a good day. And today, this morning I make coffee. So it is a fantastic day, sir  
Speaker 1    00:01:28    Is awesome, man. Well, Hey, I sincerely appreciate you coming on the show. I know we've talked a number of time offline and communicated offline. So I'm really excited about today's show and this is actually a different type of topic that we've actually covered from a buyer's journey standpoint. So I'm really interested to get your thoughts on this, cause this is something that's really top of mind for me as well, but before we do, can you give the audience a little bit of context around kind of your background, Chuck, and just kind of a walkthrough of that if you don't mind. Yeah,  
Speaker 2    00:01:57    Yeah. You know, like what you had said before, my background is a little bit different. I'm sort of like the accidental sales guy, I'm a west point graduate. So I was trained by the government to take over a small third world countries and blow stuff up. And now I sell sling software for the past 25 years. So yeah, that's a little bit of an accidental journey. I was trained as an electrical engineer with a degree in international relations and then, uh, got out of the military after I realized I don't like getting shot at, by other people fighting the first Gulf war, watching the Berlin wall come down and got into the whole business gig, you know, because I was tired of being really poor and military doesn't pay that. Well, you know, started working in operations for a company that got bought by ADP.  
Speaker 2    00:02:39    I spent 20 years with ADP and was doing operations and helping a, an area grow from like three people up to 75 people when we got bought by ADP and they figured out what we were doing. And then they had me do an acquisitions and we were the proverbial dog that caught the car and they said, Hey, you got other people who can run this thing operationally, but you seem to the only person that actually knows what this is and you can talk to people about it, right? So you're now sales. I said, I'm not sales. They said, you're sales. I said, okay. So I guess I was sales. And that was my first foray into sales. And I don't know if it was my curse or my luck. I had a manager who gave me the proverbial mushroom management style, you know, kept in the dark and fed crap that I became a lifelong journey of studying the art of sales because he sure wasn't going to teach me how to sell. So I had to go out and learn to sell. So I started to go out and read voraciously, everything that I could about sales so that I could survive and started doing sales and sales leadership. And I've never looked back sales, sales, leadership, sales enablement, and I've never been doing that in my journey ever since for the last 20 plus years.  
Speaker 1    00:03:50    That's awesome, man. You know, it's funny you bring that up that, you know, poor leadership, not a lot of training. And I think we all have those kinds of horror stories, but you know, you bring up a fun fact around, you know, you took it upon yourself to equip yourself self-develop and figure things out and no way shape, form effect should be that much on the person by any stretch the imagination. But I just think back to those days, I remember early on in my career, like it was not as easy as it is today to get information. Like there was no podcast back then there was a webinars.  
Speaker 2    00:04:22    I don't want to be that guy who said, yeah, I went to school, climbed a hill barefoot backwards on broken glass kids. You have it easy, but yeah, with podcasts and YouTube and all of the resources that are out there, it's fantastic. You know, Hey kids, we had books with no pictures and we had to learn how to sell, but that really was the way. And I read a sales book or a book every week to week and a half for the past 20 years. I can tell you all of the really good books and a heck of a lot of really bad books on how to do it. And that's how I, you know, we got into this topic and I became passionate about is the buyer's journey.  
Speaker 1    00:04:56    That's awesome, man. Hey, so I always ask, because I know that's kind of landed you in sales. Like what keeps you interested in sales? I mean, sales, it's not for everyone to your point earlier, the guy says, Hey, you're in sales now. You're like, I don't think I should be in sales, but what keeps you interested? Because this is not a, an industry, a profession that's a for the faint of heart, that's for sure.  
Speaker 2    00:05:15    No, and I love sales and I love working with sales people. I think it's absolutely fascinating what we do because sales is the art of really helping people. If you do it really well, right? It's the art of helping people. And at the same time, nothing in a company happens unless something is sold, right? Nothing in a company happens because it's the heart of the business. It's the intersection of the company and its customers. And sales is the art of learning and working with the customer to make the product or service happen. A company sits there and I do as a side hustle, I work with a lot of small entrepreneurs and I coached them on sales and marketing. And it's funny because they have this concept, you know, I meet a lot of these brilliant engineers or product people, and they have this concept of a product and I'm coaching them on sales. And I said, you can have an ideal of what you want, but until you start talking to the customer and really learning, how were they going to use it? And what do they want out of it? You do not have a product. And that's what we do in sales is we spend a lot of time talking to the customer and understanding the reality of the products and services and adapting it to the marketplace. That's what I think is so fascinating and so fun.  
Speaker 1    00:06:22    You know, I always say that, you know, I've probably said a million times, people probably can go back to every podcast and they get finds its way into it. You, as a sales person, there needs to be a natural sense of curiosity. Right? Natural sense of just trying to understand more and trying to get to the Bob. What was I going to investigator, if you will trying to understand a little bit more, I understand where you're coming from. So you've been doing this a long time, even though this over 20 plus years, I always ask this question and I always like to hear the different answers. And actually sometimes there's quite a bit of overlap in your opinion, in that time, from the time you started to now, like how has sales changed for the better and for the worse, give me both sides in your opinion, in that span of time.  
Speaker 2    00:07:02    I really think that it's interesting. Some things in sales have not changed at all. And that really is the heart or the psychology of selling and buying. But the need for the salespeople has changed dramatically. You know, when I teach new salespeople, I go back to my father. My father was a sales guy and he worked for champion lumber and you've heard of the architect, Frank Lloyd Wright. So my father was Frank Lloyd Wright's wood guy. So he helped Frank Lloyd Wright, ghettos, what, and my father detested Frank, I mean just absolutely hated working with Frank Lloyd Wright in order to build a magnificent buildings that he built had to have people who were experts in the different products like wood or steel and cement, they had to have the guy or gal that person who was the expert in that area to help them. Right. And the reason that my father did not like Frank is because Frank had my father chasing his tail to try to find the perfect pieces of this lumber.  
Speaker 2    00:07:58    And one of the great family stories was my dad spent months trying, you know, ho teak wood, beautiful Teakwood Rick wanted, uh, a huge, massive piece of unbearable. Teakwood Cheekwood by its very nature comes with little knots and Frank did this huge piece of wood without any knots in it whatsoever. And my dad chased his tail, chasing his tail. Finally procured one had a ship from Burma, brought in and Frank immediately painted black and lacquers and my father cries because it's the most beautiful crease of natural, you know, creation and Frank destroys it. And my father goes, if you were going to do that to it, why did you do it? And Frank said, because I knew it was perfect. And it was just like, oh, but it was like, at that time with Frank wanted that piece, he had to have a guy like my dad to go find that piece of wood or to know where it was.  
Speaker 2    00:08:47    But today you don't have to have a guy. Your guy is Google, you got uncle Google, uncle Google could find almost anything out there. So there's no lack of being able to find high quality information out there. Now the biggest change is, is that we as salespeople, our value is in context. Can I trust the information is out there? Can you humanize it? Can you sort it down for me? And that's the biggest change from like my father's time early on when I started to sell pre internet is everywhere kind of thing. And now we're internet is everywhere and we have unlimited information. We just don't know what to trust and know what to bleed. Right.  
Speaker 1    00:09:22    It makes sense. Now that's good. I mean, I, you know, as I thought through sales, you know, between then and now that makes perfect sense. I remember my dad back in the day, he was the, you know, they took him at face value. If you tell them a brown piece of something was red, they would trust it because that was our only source of information around the product that doesn't exist. So, I mean, I just think of car dealerships in today's day and age, where you set the wheel and deal, those days have gone because of the deliberation of information on the internet. So that's actually the first time I've heard that. That's actually a great answer, Chuck. And I think that makes a lot of sense. So that actually segues pretty nicely into our conversation today because we talked about offline. It's all about the buyer's journey, right? That was the conversation. That's the context of our conversation today. So before we just kind of just jump right in, when you say the buyer's journey, what does that really mean? Just for the audience? What does the buyer's journey in your mind, or just in general kind of refer to  
Speaker 2    00:10:19    The buyer's journey really is it's the psychology of how people's buy, it's understanding. What are the steps that your buyer goes through in order to acquire or buy your service or product. Do you do really understand that? Do you understand what they do with, or without you, in order to be able to get that thing and you know, consciously or subconsciously, we all do the same stuff. And it's funny because you know, when I work with salespeople and I've been in the sales enablement gig for about the last 15 or so, or the 25 plus years that I've been doing this stuff and I've been asking salespeople and I'll go, Sam, do you enjoy working with salespeople? And inevitably people will go, well, what do you mean? Yeah, I worked with my peers every day and I'm like, no, no, no, no, no. When you buy as somebody, do you enjoy working with sales people and 90 plus percent people will go like, no, I go, wait, what are your sales person?  
Speaker 2    00:11:13    What do you like or not like working with salespeople? Well, all they're pushy and it's their agenda. And you know, I feel manipulated and I go, but then you're a salesperson. I think, well, that's not me. 90% of the people that I talk to all the time as selling, you know, how could that be? But every time they encounter a sales person and suddenly the buyer's journey is, you know, nobody likes to be sold, but everybody likes to buy. I love that quote. Nobody likes to be sold, but everybody likes to buy. And the thing is the role of the salesperson is to facilitate, help people buy. And we go through two very distinct modes as a buyer and really a buyer's journey is awareness, education and selection as a patient and selection. And it's, you know, there's all sorts of other ones that are more complex.  
Speaker 2    00:12:00    There's the 16 step, the 12 step. But really it boils down to really the three. What is this thing that you have? I don't even understand if I was to sit there and say, Sam, you're in charge of our organization and we need you to buy Microsoft mesh. You're like Microsoft smash. I know what meshes and I know what Microsoft is. What, what is this mesh Microsoft thing? It really is. It's cool. It's a cool technology. Have you heard of this thing? It's brand spanking new. It is awesome. My friend, it is awesome. I'm blown away with what Microsoft. Maybe it really does exist. You can Google it right after this. I will Google it. It's definitely worth a Google. So Microsoft has come up with this thing where you can put doggles on glasses right now and you and I both have these glasses on and we can enter a virtual world, almost like a zoom call.  
Speaker 2    00:12:45    And we will be in 3d avatar world where we can manipulate data together. So we could be in this thing and see a model of a city and you and I with our hands could pinch and move the data around. And we could be living in this 3d world and working in data simultaneously, we could be working on machines. We could be working on things in this data model world, all in this virtual kind of environment in Microsoft and that's Microsoft mesh. And the whole thing is, is if I told you it, since you don't know this, the first thing is awareness. What the heck is this awareness is, I don't know what it is, educate me, help me learn what it is. And I adapt and I go through this, all right, let me understand it. The next thing is education going, okay, now that I understand the concept of this Microsoft message, what would it apply in my world?  
Speaker 2    00:13:33    I work for Jobvite, which is the recruiting software company. And I go, okay, in the recruiting software world, if I was to acquire this, cause I buy technology, you know, not only do I teach salespeople, but I buy stuff to arm a sales team and help them be successful. And if Microsoft was pitching it to me, I'd be going, okay, so what does this mean for us? And you know, how would I use it? What would be my requirements by the way? Who else has something like this? Do I need Microsofts? Or does Salesforce have something like this? Or does Google have something like this? Because nobody has anything in a vacuum. If somebody has it, there's another person who has it as well. So then we develop our requirements and go through those elements of the process of what do I want and who do I want it from?  
Speaker 2    00:14:13    And then I start looking for inevitably I do my research and all of this happens prior to usually ever engaging the salesperson. And I educate and I learn and I learn, and then I engage a salesperson to start going into selection. What can you do? And what can your product do Sam versus then I go over to Google. Cause I found out if Microsoft has a Google hesitant or Amazon and say, what do you have and how does it work? And then I start going into the, what I would call the decision stage. So there's the learn phase. And then there's the decision phase and it's important. And I, and the reason I'm passionate about this when I work with salespeople is because if we go back to the fundamental principle of no one likes to be sold, but everyone likes to buy our role as salespeople is to help facilitate them through this normal journey of helping them make their decision and helping them buy.  
Speaker 2    00:15:05    Right? So if you're a professional sales person selling something complex or even not so complex, how do you help them buy? Because back to your original question, Sam of how has it changed? There's so much information out there. How do you weed out? What's good. And what's not, we're just in the data. We're awash with information, but we're starving for knowledge. I mean, we don't know what's good. And I think back in uni, before this podcast, we were talking about it really struck me when I was buying a TV, let's go back to something we've all done by TV and about a little over a year ago, just before COVID hit, you know, my wife has a marketer and she was helping a friend who has a home entertainment company. And they put in these high-end theaters into houses and he came to us and he said, Hey, you guys, if you guys want to upgrade your TV, my wholesalers are selling off TVs.  
Speaker 2    00:15:55    They've got this amazing disc. I can get a cheaper for you. I'll give you my original cost. And it's cheaper than anything that Amazon can do. And we're like, whoa, we don't want a chicken dinner. I don't have a 4k team yet. Let's get a 4k TV. So I started looking at these things and I, you know, I'm a smart savvy buyer. I'm a sales guy. So I started reading all of the stuff of Sony versus Samsung versus LG. And I narrowed it down top Samsung, top Sony. And I'm looking at the YouTube reviews and I spent hours because I'm going to do it. Right. Right. I'm like a dog I'm chasing the tail and going around in circles. And I'm like, oh, I don't know. My wife looks at me and goes, you're an idiot. She says, just go to best buy. Look it up.  
Speaker 2    00:16:30    So I do, I go to best buy. And I'm looking at the wall TVs. Have you ever seen the wall of TVs there? Can you tell the difference between one TV? Not at all. And neither could I, so it didn't help there. I am standing in front of the wall of TVs going, oh my gosh, what am I going to do? And this guy walks up, that's by guy in a blue shirt, walks up and he goes, thinking about a TV. And I, you know, it's like, I'm thinking to myself, well, that's obvious I'm standing here. Aren't I? And he goes, let me ask you two questions. Uh, said, sure. He says, what are you going to watch? And how dark is your room? I look at him like, well, those are two very interesting questions. All right. And I go, just out of curiosity, why do you ask?  
Speaker 2    00:17:07    He says, well, he says, it seems to me because where you're standing, that you're looking at the Samsung and the Sony. I said, yeah, he said, which level are you looking at? I said, I'm going for the top line. He says, okay, that's good. He said, it still comes down to those questions. What are you going to watch? And how dark is your room? And I go, okay, why? He goes, well, Sony is a movie theater and everything that they produce is designed to maximize the movie experience. Their darks are really for movie theaters, very, very dark and very, very rich. And their sound is very rich. And so if you're going to watch a movie in a very dark room, there was no one better than Sony, but Samsung realizes that Sony is a movie theater and they're never going to compete against Sony as a movie theater, but sitcoms are shot at a rate at a different brightness.  
Speaker 2    00:17:51    So they're going to capture the very best for sitcoms. So if you're in a bright room and you watch something other than movies like sitcoms or episode TV, you should go with Samsung. And he looks at me and he turns around and walks away. It's like mic drop. He just nailed it. Right. I'm like, okay, all right. Dark room, movie, Sony. Right. Room Sitka, Samsung. And I'm like, I had spent hours going with refresh rates and things and warranties, but it was that simple in the end, you know, that Samsung is not going to tell me that  
Speaker 1    00:18:25    It's funny because almost is the antithesis of what we were talking about earlier, when you were saying, Hey, before we didn't have the information, it wasn't so readily available. It was a lack of information. Now we have it so readily available. It's an overload of information. And so you just, you're trying to decipher through it all. So it's two problems, right? One lack, one way too much. You're still left at the same problem. How do I make the decision? But it's funny as you're saying that, that's where I thought through you spending a couple hours on YouTube and everything else.  
Speaker 2    00:18:58    Yeah, it's true. And it comes back to the value of salespeople is we have so much high quality. Every vendor has so much high quality information out there. We don't know what to trust, right. And so I need a human being. I need a sales person to then help me put context to it. But here's the challenge, Sam, that we sort of have a salespeople is at the same time, the customer is looking for a reason to say, can I trust you? And can I believe you, can I trust you? And based on our behavior and how we interact with them, they're going to either believe in trust in us or not. And so if you've read Brett Adamson, their book, the challenger, and the other things that they have out there, it's the sales experience more than the brand, more than the price or the product itself that determines, especially in business to business, whether they're going to go with brand a and brand B because only, you know, less than one in five times, is it the uniqueness of the product itself? And I thought no way, it couldn't really be that. But I mean, think of it. I mean, what's the difference between, and please forgive me if you work for eight EMT, sprint Verizon or the rest, but probably between you and I, what is the difference between those companies, especially in cellular, what the services, they all say they do 5g, they have the best coverage. They all say they have the best price. If those things are true, what is the difference? Yeah.  
Speaker 1    00:20:17    W what's the old saying in the marketplace, there's nothing new that built anymore. Right? Everything's out there. It's just building it better or a different kind of feature or better mouse trap, but there's nothing net new. So you're right. I mean, so you may have one little nuance to it. That's a little bit unique, but for the most part, all on a semi level playing field when it comes to the technology stack itself.  
Speaker 2    00:20:40    So in the end, I choose to go with a Verizon or choose to go with an at and T or choose to go with a T-Mobile based upon my experience with a human being who makes it easiest for me to buy with that? I can trust because the products themselves are almost indistinguishable, maybe a little coverage area in one, versus the other, depending on the state of the location that you live in, but really it's almost indistinguishable. And in most business to business services and softwares and other things like that, they're pretty close. It's nuances like Sony and Samsung, very, very small nuances. They can both show a really good football, right.  
Speaker 1    00:21:18    But without a doubt, that makes perfect sense.  
Speaker 0    00:21:22    You're listening to the sales samurai podcast. We'll be right back after this break  
Speaker 3    00:21:31    Sales samurai is excited to announce the launch of the largest database of B2B sales resources on the planet, 600 plus resources with more added every single day, searching sort and filter and leading software providers, podcasts, books, blogs, and so much more, the best part. It's absolutely free to search, go to sales, to start your search.  
Speaker 1    00:21:59    Okay. So, and think you and I talked about this offline when we were kind of prepping and having a conversation shop and that buyer's journey. And I don't think, and I'm going to say this before. There's nothing easy about selling any complex enterprise level deal. Right? Take that initially before I start the sentence, but you know, if someone's got a defined, I'm gonna take Salesforce, you know, big or big behemoth in the space known for CRM. If I'm talking to someone that it's a rip and replace, they have a CRM there's budget there's requirements. There's a known process to buy that technology. That's a different buying journey in a different sales process or a different sale with the sales person, if you will, to help guide them along because it's established. If that makes sense, we were talking about what if it's not established? There's a lot of these, I think you call it core versus non-core. I think I called, you know, nice to haves versus need to have like, there's these solutions out there that are, I'm sure you deal with them all the time. Like if I don't have it, it's not going to kill me, but man, it might make it a little bit better. Like it's not a pain pill, it's a vitamin pill kind of deal. How does that change the buyer's journey? If it's not as defined or even they don't even know that it should exist, if you will.  
Speaker 2    00:23:11    And I think what you have to do, especially when it's not what you would call a foundational kind of technology or a foundational kind of thing, you know, when your heater doesn't work, you're going to get a new heater and wants to make sure that there's hot water in the hot water tank. Not much  
Speaker 1    00:23:26    Of a sale there, that's  
Speaker 2    00:23:27    Not much of a sale there. You've got to, you're going to get it. It's not a question of, if it's a question of how soon can you get out of here kind of thing. But if you sit there and there's a lot of other things that we bring home on a regular basis with echo, what were you thinking? You know, what is this thing? So in the non foundational kind of core technologies or non foundational core thing, and most there are, there's only a few handful of things that are absolutely critical to a business. The thing that you have to do is help someone through that education process becomes so fundamental and recognizing that all buying the steps within the buying process, human decision is we are emotional creatures that make decisions that we wrap with us a very thin layer of logic. So you have to understand very clearly who is your ideal customer and what are the results that they achieve as a result of using your product or service.  
Speaker 2    00:24:20    And can I find other people who are like that and then help amplify it and rinse, wash, and repeat that. And that's really the core to success in non foundational kind of things. Because if you find that person who loves those kinds of things, and I look at something like, let's take something that's taken off Peloton Peloton. I couldn't believe that my wife came to me and said, we've got to have the bike that goes nowhere. We don't need the bike. That goes nowhere. We're not huge gym rats. And it was never one of those things I've done fine in my life without a stationary bike. We are not big bike people. You know, we've got bikes, we'll occasionally ride them, but we're not big bike people, but you know, when the pandemic hit, she was like, you know, we're not able to go to the gym.  
Speaker 2    00:25:04    We're not able to do the elliptical training that we normally do and we're getting on walking. Okay. But we live in Seattle. So it rains a fair amount. We should get a Peloton. And I'm like, you're crazy. If I could go, is now work. Now she goes, no, it's more than that. It is, you know, it has these classes, it as meditation is weightlifting. And as all this other stuff, it's really the classes that are online and the quiet quality of the classes that are going to go on that, you know, we're going to get hooked and we'll get the kids hooked as well. And I'm like, I don't think so. She goes, we're going to try it. You're going to see you. And if you don't like it, you know, we're going to see and sure enough got it in. And within a year, I'm already up to almost my two hundreds ride.  
Speaker 2    00:25:43    She's up to her 300th plus ride. The kids are all up there and I could've swore it. He would've told me that I'd be a Peloton guy. I would've your no, but what Peloton has done better than anybody else is, they've created a very, very sticky product with their courses in the high quality courses and the variety of things and their gamification and their badging to market, to a very specific niche and then have that niche amplify their product. And that's what you've got to do, whether it's, you know, an online marketing solution or whether it's a social selling training course or whether it's a, you know, it really doesn't matter what the product is, is you've got to say, okay, so what is that thing? And how does it help my specific customer and why would my specific customer want it? And what they did with Peloton is Peloton.  
Speaker 2    00:26:33    They realized that if you just try to sell a stationary bike, you're going to lose. But what they created is a community. My wife and my daughters are on Peloton social community, and they have Peloton groups for this, that, and the other thing. And they, they compete against their age groups and they have different programs that are going on and the stickiness of the software has just made it so that they're, I don't know what they've been drinking, but the Kool-Aid is there anybody who's owning this contraption have really bought into a deep and they amplify and they echo that this stationary bike and stationary bikes have been around since the early seventies, but never have they taken off to this extent.  
Speaker 1    00:27:13    You know, it's funny. Cause Chuck, on that, I remember when our conversation and I 100% agree with you, right? I mean, you just said, you have got to be so dialed in. You've got to know that ICP. You have to have a very distinct value prop for that ICP where it resonates. And I remember you telling me that, Hey, vagueness is the killer. Like you've just got to have that drilled down. Like you've gotta be able to hunt and diagnose better. And for two reasons, Hey, to move the deal or figure out this is maybe not the right ice. Maybe I missed the mark here, but it's not spring wide and hoping for the best, you're actually getting very, very, very, very narrow because you know, within right there, that's my customer because of X, Y, and Z. Is that fair to say?  
Speaker 2    00:27:57    Yeah, absolutely. And then listening to that customer and what that customer has and getting to know that customer better than your competitor does and then taking care of that customer in the way that they want to be taken care of. And you're going to have to do a lot of AB testing along the way. And that's partnering sales, partnering along with marketing and product in order to be able to get that customer absolutely dialed in. So if you read with Peloton is they spent time and recognize that it was the courses and it was the community that they were creating them, amplified the hardware, the hardware page, secondary to the software and the subscriptions. They could give the hardware away and just charge the subscriptions. And you know, the monetization of all their merch, oh my God, a hundred dollar t-shirts. My daughters are now buying, forcing me to buy a hundred dollars. T-shirts you know, it's not, you know, $50 water bottles. They're the same plastic water bottles next to the ones that, you know, we're giving away at the old club.  
Speaker 1    00:28:52    And you know what, Chuck, on that light, I agree with you at Peloton. My daughter is all over Peloton. They've created this way. No doubt about it, but I kind of associate, they didn't create, they may have created that little model that like that of hardware. And then the service, I see that very closely to what apple did. Like apple was the one, like be a premium, right? Cause it's just, you want apple, like it's kinda saying thing, there's kind of an exclusivity. It's kind of cool. It's I'm part of the club. I'm an apple guy. And so I think that they've just maybe evolved it, but I've seen that now a couple multiple times, but that just resonated when you were talking about,  
Speaker 2    00:29:29    When you talk about something really interesting and it's the two different decisions that a company has to make. Are you a market share company or you are sheriff customer company and Peloton and apple are share of customer company. When you look at the iPhone and I love the story of the iPhone and if you haven't figured it out, now I'm a story guy. So the iPhone itself, this is the most widely recognized phone on the planet, but it has less than a 25% penetration in as far as users yet everybody I've traveled around the world. I helped open up a EDR shop in Serbia, Belgrade, Serbia. Everybody wanted to have an iPhone there. They all want apple products. Now they're fiercely expensive over there, but everybody wants them. Why? Because it's a status symbol there, but everybody, most people have an Android they're kind of there because Samsung and the others it's a lot cheaper, but apple doesn't care that they only have in some places less than a 20% marketplace penetration, because do you know how many devices the average apple user has?  
Speaker 2    00:30:26    Oh, without a doubt. I was at four or five. Yeah. Four or five. I thought, you know, I'm not an apple guy. I don't personally, I'm not a Mac guy. So I'm like, you know, I'm not a Mac guy, so I'm not an apple guy, but then I counted it up. There are 22 apple devices in my house and I'm not an apple guy. The heck I'm not, they've got me deep, deep, end bad. We've got iPads, we've got iWatches, we've got iPhones, but I'm not an apple guy. Right. Oh, I can be as delusioned as I want best companies these days like Peloton, Peloton realizes it's the, how many different decisions of my ideal buyer. Can I help once they have made the decision to go with me? So it's hardware, it's subscription, it's merge. It's those other things. And so great companies today are realizing if I find that ideal customer, how deep can I go with that ideal customer to service the whole life cycle of their nuts.  
Speaker 2    00:31:23    Salesforce does that fantastically apple does that fantastically. I work for JobBite in the recruiting area and we're looking at all of the different areas within the life cycle of recruiting. You know, all of the applications that could go on in that, that we could service ideally. And that's what I think the best is a hallmark of some of the best companies out there and best salespeople and salespeople. It's not that my product has to be a single source, but if my relationship with my customer, am I thinking, can I be the conduit of not only my company's needs, but all of the other needs that are within that ecosystem that my customer has to make in order to use my customer well, and can I connect them to my partners, whether there's formal and can I make informal relationships? Because then I become interesting and valuable for my prospect or my ideal customer.  
Speaker 2    00:32:13    And that goes back to that whole non foundational core because I look at the customers that, I mean, the technologies that I've brought in to my organization who were not considered core, you know, like data analytics, business analysis, AI, some of the other stuff from some other discreet function kind of tools. And the ones that I've chosen to work with were the ones that said, Hey, Chuck, we can do this unique thing. But the cool thing is, is that we're connected with all of these other things that you already use and we can enhance your current investment. Plus we can help when you're ready with these other things that you aspire to do. If we can help paint this complete picture of where you want to go. And it's the salesperson that has to understand where their ideal customer is today and the future state that the ideal customer wants to go to and help bridge that gap.  
Speaker 2    00:33:05    And that's part of the buyer's journey. And you have to understand the buyer's journey is, does not end with your sale, but if they're trying to get to a future state that you're helping drive them towards and your product is only an element within that future state, unless you understand that and how to help people get to that or to help them believe that you've helped others get to that future state, you're going to struggle because your only value is in your product without, and if your only value is in the product, then they should just drive sales through the website. They don't need salespeople.  
Speaker 1    00:33:38    Okay. So talking through this and we talked about, you know, the awareness, the education, the selection, you really did boil it down. I think you hit the nail on the head there. We've kind of transitioned that things that are core non-core. But because we were talking about this as well, you know, the tactical components of how do we do that? Like how do we get better at understanding the buying journey and helping, guiding, being a facilitator to the buying process? Right? So March it forward, like how do we do that? I think we were talking about sharing and asking and tell, like, walk us through how as a sales person we'd become better equipped to be a better sales individual around those areas.  
Speaker 2    00:34:14    I think one of the things is, you know, one of the sales leaders that I had the opportunity to work with is you've got to share this with me. And, uh, you gotta be a master of the discovery call. And the discovery call is it's the coffee date before the dinner date dating these days, or, you know, meeting people, you don't want to jump right in. You can't do too much too fast, but you've got to master the short little meeting saying, Hey, we hope that there's a possibility here, but we've got to discover things first, whether we're compatible enough to really make an investment. And so you have to master the art of understanding and sharing in a limited amount in the coffee date, before the meal, meaning the demo we're going into the big, long piece. And so it's in the discovery call.  
Speaker 2    00:34:57    And one of the best processes that I've seen successful used over and over is I like to use the methodology rope, just the acronym rope, what are the results you're trying to achieve? What are the options you're considering? What are the problems you're encountering and what are the executable, meaning what are the other programs or things that you have going on? If I understand holistically sort of, Hey, where are you at today? What are you trying to go at to, in order to be able to sing? What are the options you're considering in order to get there? But most salespeople stop. There they go. Hey, what are your goals? And then what are you thinking about in order to be able to achieve their goals? They hear one buzzword that sounds like what their product can do. And they launch into their verbal demo. That's a rookie mistake.  
Speaker 2    00:35:40    The really interesting thing comes in when you start to ask, so what problems have you encountered? This sounds like you've had this for a little while. How have you tried to tackle this in the past? And what problems have you encountered? And that's where the rich stuff comes. Because always remember, whenever you ask a question, it's a stream of consciousness. They didn't know what you were going to ask. So they're just listing off stuff and you're going to have to mine a little bit and then say, okay, this sounds like this is important to you. What other programs or projects are going on? And that puts it into context of their holistically. What's going on within the organization. They may have to get done their Workday implementation before they can move on to the next software fee. So they were putting in a whole manufacturing process and we can't do that until, you know, B gets done or we have to wait for, you know, whatever it may be.  
Speaker 2    00:36:25    Those things are important too. And the language matters. It's really funny because it's one of the best sales engineers I ever had the opportunity to work with this really sharp lady out of Philly. Her name was Jackie and I was listening to Jackie and I said, what makes you so good, Jackie? She says, I don't know. I'm like everyone else. And I said, no, the best people work with you open your top of the leaderboard all the time. How do you do this? She goes, I don't know. I just do my process. And I, you know, I sit there and I work with them and I look for the opportunity to steal them. And, uh, Stu what is Stu, she goes, you know, ask the questions, what questions, stupid questions she goes, share with me, tell me, you know, explain to me, describe for me to walk me through.  
Speaker 2    00:37:03    She goes to the who, what, when, where, why that just puts people on the back, you know, they sort of know, but if I soften it and I go, well, sort of share with me what you're thinking about. Oh yeah. Tell me about that. Oh, explain to me that's really interesting. Oh, describe that for me. Walk me through. And she just changed the language and I just sat back and I listened to her on calls. She can get someone's social security numbers, mother's maiden name and pin number in 30 minutes every time, because she is just so nice and so relaxing. You can't help, but like Jackie and you just the way she asked those questions and she would ask and listen, ask and listen. And I think one of the continuous mistakes that I see salespeople make is they'll ask a question or two, and then they'll jump in.  
Speaker 2    00:37:50    They'll hear a buzzword going, oh, we can do that. And they want to share their verbal demo. Stay in the question mode. It's not about you salesperson stay in the question mode, stay in the question mode too. You get all of the questions asked, then sum it up. Here's what I heard Sam, from what you shared, did I understand this? Correct? Is this really what? And then ask another probing question or to really get down to the heart of it going okay. If, if this is what you want, if I understood you correctly, you're trying to do this. This is what you want. This is the problems that you had. And if you could really do this, this is where you would want to go. If so, I think we'd be a good fit because I can, and there, then you launch into now it's your turn and that's good. So there's a couple  
Speaker 1    00:38:33    Of things that I took from that there a lot of things, but just kind of boil down the ocean, you know, obviously rope, I think that's a good process. So rewind for 15 seconds. The two key things is none of this was, ad-lib like, there's a process and I don't want to go down a rabbit hole, but I've always been a firm believer that the best sales people, I don't want to say scripts, but they have a process to what they do. And they do it very, very, very effectively, but they don't go. I think the old days, people just think that, you know, sales, Wheeler and dealers, and they're just off you add live. And you're just a natural born seller, the best salespeople I ever found follow a stew, they follow a rote process and they do it so effectively. It's natural, it's genuine.  
Speaker 1    00:39:17    And that's what separates them from the pack. So that's where I love when I heard that, love the stew, you know, tell me the situation, you know, tell me about that, explain it, you know, walk me through it. And then the rope, obviously, results, options, problems, executable. Like those things are, you can get your head around that chop that makes your life easier. When you have something that you can lean on versus trying to figure out now, where do I go? We seem to make it hard for ourselves. Maybe I'm under simple oversimplifying it, but my thoughts,  
Speaker 2    00:39:47    Yeah, we don't have to re-engineer we don't have to re-engineer and there are some very basic fundamental processes that can guide. And, you know, going back to the whole idea of the coffee, you know, we share to ask to tell you, share a little bit in order to be able to have the right, to ask the questions before you tell them about you. And, you know, uh, gone are the days when we can show up and do the, Hey Sam, uh, I'm here with ABC corporation. And let me share with you, uh, here's the slide of our organization and here's our NASCAR logo slide of all our customers that we serve. And here's our locations around the globe. And here's the slide of all of the different products that,  
Speaker 1    00:40:27    And a few of those early on in my, in my day. So I'm very familiar with them without a doubt. Yeah. You know, you're right though. Those, even that I'm a big acronym guy. I think there's a ton of acronyms. Like, you know, the sat, you know, the share the ass to tell there's a method to the madness there. Those are the things that I think you call the rookie mistake, you know, and it really is. And it's hard to learn when you don't have a process, right. If you don't know what you're aiming for, how do you know if you've actually hit it? So therefore how you learn from it. So it's kind of the dog chasing his tail again. Right. I don't know how to get better because I don't really follow a process.  
Speaker 2    00:41:00    Exactly. And one of the best salespeople I had an opportunity to work with. And folks, if I can give you one thing that, you know, from one of the best students, that sales is a guy by the name of Eddie and Eddie was a master sales guy. He had maybe one hour of college by his own admission, one hour college, but he was one of the best streets psychologist I have ever met by far. It was scary what Eddie could do, but any would every day when he would get on the phone or when he would work with a customer, he kept a notebook and he called it this golden notebook. And he would write down what he shared with people and how they react, what he shared with me. And he was meticulous with his notes and he would study those things. And he would AB test his stuff on top tracks that worked and didn't work and he would refine it and he would refine it.  
Speaker 2    00:41:47    And every day was not, you know, an accident every day was a very meticulous process. And Eddie was one of those people with ADP. He was one of the first million dollar producers in Seattle. And then people said, well, Eddie, the only reason that you made a million bucks was able to sell a million bucks. And this is time when the average deal was less than 10 K only reason you were able to do that was because you had downtown to Seattle. He said, fine. Give me the worst territory in all of Washington and I'll still sell you all. And so they gave him the farm country of Yakima, you know, imagine turning that around. He said fine. And he sold a million dollars out there too, because he was very meticulous on, I don't care if you give me the opportunity to try out and test, I will learn what my customer needs and I will fit what my product does to that ideal customer in every area.  
Speaker 2    00:42:37    He said, I believe that if I have a good product and you give me a territory where there are people who can buy that product, you have to give me a territory where people could buy the product. And if I've got a reputable product in a territory where people can buy the product, I will figure out the right combination, the right process to use with those people, to help them see the value of what we have to offer. And by God he did it, he did it over and over and over again, which made him one of the most successful salespeople that I've ever had the opportunity to study other. And if I could recommend we have these programs and you can listen to podcasts, you can watch the videos, but great salespeople meticulously understand what their process is and take notes and learn from those. They become students of, you know, their own sales program and they refine it and they say, okay, this worked, this didn't work. This work, this didn't work. And no single day is an accident. And even though the losses or this didn't work today, they don't give up. They tried a couple of times, you know,  
Speaker 1    00:43:37    That's just as valuable, right? Absolutely. So I think the big takeaway that you read my mind was kind of going to final thoughts and you kind of led off with, Hey, what I want to leave you with guys. So to kind of tie that off is be a student of your craft, right? I mean, test feverously. If you will, to learn what works, what doesn't, and then, then obviously, you know, replicated and expanded across obviously your portfolio or your business line, if you will,  
Speaker 2    00:44:03    And be a student, not only of your crappy student of your customer, you exist to facilitate the customer's buying process. And the other thing is, is sell how you'd like to buy, sell how you like to buy. Don't forget how you would like to buy things because your customer is a human being just like you and likes to buy the same way. So offer them the same respect that you want to be offered when you buy something and sit down and learn, what is it that you're trying to achieve? Imagine you're trying to sell to someone who's very close to your family, but you don't know them well. And you've got to take care of them because if you don't, it's going to come back to grandma. And so if you have that same kind of care and ethics that you have to learn, and you have to do a great job with them, then you're going to do the right steps. You're going to pay attention. You're going to come with a servant's attitude. And that's the kind of care that the customer is going to realize and recognize and reward you with a sale.  
Speaker 1    00:45:00    That's awesome. Hey, Chuck, how do people learn more about you? I know you're all over LinkedIn and things, but how do people reach you engage, you connect with you, all that kind of fun stuff.  
Speaker 2    00:45:09    I am a link thin guy. If you want to get ahold of me, drop me a note on LinkedIn and we can start the discussion from there.  
Speaker 1    00:45:16    That's awesome. And we're going to include Chuck's information on the show notes, like always a couple of the reference points. He brought up some good individuals, some books and the challenger and things of that we'll list. All that in the show notes, as well as the highlights from the episode, Chuck, it was an absolute pleasure. Thanks for spending some time with us.  
Speaker 2    00:45:31    Sam was a pleasure talking to you too.  
Speaker 0    00:45:34    Thank you for listening to the sales samurai podcast with your host, Sam Capra. Be sure you subscribe to our podcast and visit sales and join the conversation. Access show notes and discover bonus content.  

Chuck Marcouiller Profile Photo

Chuck Marcouiller

Sr. Director Revenue Enablement

Chuck Marcouiller is the Sr Director of Revenue Enablement for Jobvite the leading provider of recruitment technology. Chuck has spent the last 25 years in sales, sales leadership and sales enablement leadership positions in a range of Software as a Service high growth organizations. He has a passion for sales people and is a consummate student of the sales process.