Aug. 19, 2021

Sales Coaching Tactics That Drive Sales Success

Sales Coaching Tactics That Drive Sales Success

Episode 9: Sales Coaching Tactics That Drive Sales Success with Andy Paul
Rather than prescribing a set of rules, true sales coaching is more about helping sellers learn how to think for themselves. As a world-renowned sales coach, nobody understands this better than Andy Paul, and we are lucky to have him on the show today as our guest. Andy is the author of two Amazon bestselling books and is also the host of the top-rated sales podcast, Sales Enablement with Andy Paul, which has over 930 episodes and millions of downloads! Andy also on LinkedIn’s list of the top 50 global sales experts where more than 180 000 people follow his daily posts. One of the biggest takeaways from our conversation with Andy today is his unique approach to coaching which rests on the belief that mentorship is about self-development. We dive deeply into the subject of how companies and sales leaders can learn how to apply this. Andy weighs in on how mentors can help sellers become more self-sufficient and find an internal source of motivation to help drive their problem-solving abilities. He also makes recommendations for how budgets can be more effectively spent in a way that prioritizes coaching and how this will result in an uptick in sales. Andy makes several great call-outs today about many different aspects of how sales is taught in organizations, so be sure to tune in for this one.

Key Points From This Episode:

  • Andy’s background in sales, how he got into sales coaching, and his approach to his podcast.
  • Personal development and what true sales coaching is all about.
  • Finding what is most important to your students and clients.
  • The issue of the rise of prescriptive sales coaching despite the effectiveness of other mentorship approaches.
  • How sales leaders can get better at mentoring their sales staff.
  • Using the POPE acronym to prescribe how sales leaders should spend their time.
  • The need for organizations to be adaptable and how the POPE method can help.
  • How vital sales managers are to the success of sales staff.
  • The irony that very few dollars are spent on training sales managers.
  • Hiring specialists to help train the seller rather than hiring more sellers.
  • Ideas for how to reallocate sales training budgets to better train sellers.
  • Andy’s recommendations for the best kinds of software to aid a sales training process.
  • How sales managers can get better at prioritizing coaching their teams.
  • The reality that the cost of setting aside time to mentor staff is far smaller than the return.
  • Getting better at connecting with clients by nurturing a wide range of interests.
  • Final tips from Andy for how beginner and advanced leaders can benefit from mentorship.


“If you are coaching an employee, it is about personal development. It is about helping that person become the best version of themselves. And this is what sometimes gets lost in sales.” — @realAndyPaul [0:09:23]

“Our job is to listen to our buyers and make sure we really understand what the most important thing to them is and how can you help them get that. That’s also your job as a coach when you are dealing with individual employees.” — @realAndyPaul [0:12:15]

“I was very fortunate to work for two or three managers at critical points of my career that mentored me and let me make mistakes and challenged me to think.” — @realAndyPaul [0:13:30]

Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

Andy Paul

Sales Enablement with Andy Paul

The Coaching Habit

Sales Samurai

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 nine of the sales samurai. Thanks for listening. Before we begin, do us a favor, take a moment to subscribe and download on today's show. We're going to be discussing sales, coaching tactics that drive sales success, which I know is going to be really top of mind for a lot of our listeners. I'm excited to have the conversation as a sales leader and myself and I have a fantastic guest. That's going to really help us tackle this subject. Andy Paul is the author of two Amazon bestselling books, as well as a host of the top rated sales podcasts sales enablement with Andy Paul is he's done over 930 episodes, millions of downloads and Andy's podcast is really the go-to resource for sales leaders and top sales producers. To add to that, Andy is on the LinkedIn's list of the top 50 global sales experts, where more than 180,000 people follow his daily posts.  
Speaker 1    00:01:24    Andy, welcome to the show. Thanks for being with us. Thanks for having me, Sam I'm thoroughly excited. This is, you know, I, and people used to say, you say this to all your guests and I do to some degree say this to all the guests, but this is actually one I've been really hyper excited to have, because this is actually a big challenge for me as a sales leader is sales, coaching, mentoring, the whole thing that goes into that whole big bucket. So I'm interested to get your thoughts and feedback, but you're also someone that has done a lot of things. And he's, I want to give the audience some context. You've written two books, you're leading one. Think you have either the top or one of the top B2B sales podcasts going right now. And you've been doing a lot of different things. Do you mind kind of just sharing with the audience a little bit about kind of your background in the wholesale space?  
Speaker 2    00:02:11    Sure. Well, I've been in sales since I think covered wagons across the west. Yeah. I've started grew up at the tech industry really. And in my business, I start off selling computers that took up part of room to all of our rooms now are dwarfed and powered by what's in the phone and we carry around every day, different sorts. Those computers sold for hundreds and hundreds of thousands of dollars. And yes, the PC revolution started hitting. I worked at apple in the early days. Uh, variety of startups spent number in the satellite communications business. So I was selling really large complex systems, a huge companies around the world cycle, every continent, but Antarctica and I had no desire to go there. And then about 20 years ago start my own company. And it was really the impetus to do that. Was that what I'd been doing in my own career.  
Speaker 2    00:03:09    I was working for small companies, selling large systems competing against really large entities. And so, you know, company has no track record, no brand name, no nothing yet going out and winning big deals. And I thought there was a real dearth of expertise among smaller businesses about, Hey, I'm trying to grow my business entrepreneur trying to grow my business, but I can only go after the big stuff because I can't compete for that. Right. And so, yeah, I started a company to teach small companies how to go sell and win big deals and did that off and on for, oh gosh, 10. I said off and on. I worked extended period of time with some clients during that period of sort of fractional VP, but yeah, published my first book in 2012 second, one, 2015 and it got third one coming out next year. Congrats started the podcast sick almost six years ago with my son as my business partner and yeah, worked up so 935 and counting and the podcast was acquired a little over a year ago, a year and a half ago by a company called ring DNA.  
Speaker 1    00:04:19    And yeah, we're just having fun. That's awesome, man. That's great to hear. Hey, I'm always curious, like usually no one grows up and says, I want to be in sales. Usually they kind of fall into a third dad did it. Like I always like that origin story. What was kind of your origin story? What made sales for you? The  
Speaker 2    00:04:36    Lack of discernible job skills I think was, was really what drove it, graduated from college with no plan at all, and actually spent the summer after I graduated working on campus for the university where I graduated and they offered me a job to come into the administration. I didn't want to do that. So I'd like to say I sort of had two qualities if you consider that one is, you know, insatiably curious and extremely competitive and that sort of indicated perhaps I should try sales. That's awesome,  
Speaker 1    00:05:10    Man. You know, it's funny. Cause every time I had that conversation, I've yet to hear someone say, no, I was four years old and I, I was trying to sell a pin to my dad. I've never heard it yet, but maybe it'll happen. But you at 935 episodes on your podcast. Yeah.  
Speaker 2    00:05:28    I've heard a couple people say they're born into it. Their parents did it. Or they were extremely entrepreneurial as kids. Yeah. I mean, yeah. I've really said graduate college, liberal arts degree. I had no idea what I wanted to do and, but it stuck. Right. And I think it was, it was that combination of one is, you know, I am an unsatiable learner. I continuously, you know, reading. Those are my well that's the whole reason of doing a podcast is to learn and yeah, going and talking to my first job was for several years was on these large computer systems to entrepreneurial driven companies. So hearing founders stories and our, they grew their business as, just as it was like a mini MBA, if you will, just every day going out and talking to people that have started companies successfully. And then yeah, I liked winning. So,  
Speaker 1    00:06:19    You know, uh, our stories are not too dissimilar. I come from an athletic background. My dad was a sales guy. He had me working for him every summer, like selling nose pads, wherever he was selling that that year. And I was coming from athletics. I was ultra competitive. I liked getting to meet different people. I had a natural curiosity for most things. So it's kind of cool to hear those things kind of bubbled to the surface for others. So that's great, man. Appreciate you sharing that and congrats on 935, I think you said, right, man, if I'm around 935, I'm going to be very weathered because I don't know if I can do that many.  
Speaker 2    00:06:55    Well, you know, it's hard from time to time, but because we, the show has said we can go an extra mile with ZF, unlike a lot of hosts. If there's a guest coming on, which I have all the time, who've written a book, I figure I have to respect the guest enough to actually read the book. So I don't yeah. Oftentimes guest books, they might have lists of questions to ask about this is not, I'm going to read the book and because I'm, again, I'm interested in learning. And so yeah, figuring out these 935 episodes is part of the last six years, I've probably read 500 sales books or sales related books, but it is sucks to tell people it's perhaps the most selfish thing I've ever done. Let's do the podcast because I am learning and I take away a lot from it. And yeah, it keeps me current keeps me abreast of new developments and all sorts of different fields. I mean, it's just, yeah, I'm closer to the end of my career than the beginning of my career. And yeah, it's just been a great way to learn. And I think the people listened to it every day. There's a lot as well  
Speaker 1    00:07:54    Without a doubt. That's awesome, man. Well, Hey, I want to hop into it cause I know, you know, this is something I am excited to talk about, uh, sales coaching and what we're really here to discuss a sales coaching tactics that really drive success. Right. And I'm curious because as a leader of a sales team, I always feel handy and I want to actually have you define kind of like a lot of people, bucket sales, coaching, and training. Some people say they're kind of one in the same other, say they're really two different things. I want to get your thoughts on that first and foremost. But that is one of the type of things I always seem to struggle to find. Like, it sounds weird. I'm a sales leader. I should, that should be the first thing I find time for is coaching and mentoring. And like, but in the natural rat race, I always find that's the first thing that typically gets pushed to the side is that piece for whatever reason. So I want to get your thoughts on all the above.  
Speaker 2    00:08:46    Yeah. Well I think it gets pushed to the side. Cause that's, it's a lot like making cold calls, is that until you're really comfortable doing it, you want to stay away from them. Yeah. Yeah. So yeah, the buckets sorta gotten confused. Right? And so really the way most sales leaders define sales coaching, these days is deal coaching. Right? We're going to go through your pipeline. We're going to look at your opportunities and that's really not what coaching is meant to be. Right. I mean, coaching in, it's more commonly used term, we'll say outside of sales, but you know, if you're a coaching employee, it's about personal development, right? It's about helping that person become the best version of themselves. And this is why a lot of times it gets lost. Okay. Sales because sales managers default to, well, Hey, we've got a number to hit and we're going to talk to, you know, talk about your pipeline.  
Speaker 2    00:09:42    We're gonna talking about the opportunities and what gets lost oftentimes. So because one of the real prime goals of, I believe of coaching is to turn person you're coaching is to help them become a better problem solver. I took a more self-serve efficient, right? And for me it's okay like a spur to creativity because we know we want our sellers to be creative in the way they, and curious about the way they look at the problems the buyers are trying to solve and how they might help them achieve their goals. Right? So if all we're doing, it's just being served prescriptive in the coaching about let's talk about this deal or what's, you know, what do we need to do? Yada yada, yada, yada, it's not really hitting that goal is saying, how can I help this person become better? I might tell you a few things to do, but the golf coaching really is to help people learn how to figure those things out themselves.  
Speaker 2    00:10:30    And that's really, my career had worked for a guy who he was perfectly willing, you know, he'd come in and I would sit in his office to make him any CEO of this company. And somebody come in and say, I've got a question and there's this cultural moment they're trying to solve a problem. They had a recommendation for what they want. And the CEO did a great job was always sort of saying, yeah, great. I think you should go do that. But I remember one time sitting in there, this person came in and walked in and I said, you know, that's no way that's gonna work. That's gonna be a huge fail. And he goes, yeah, but that's how they're gonna learn. But right. So that was a beautiful moment of coaching, which was, and I'll let this person figure this out. Right. And they're going to come back and we're gonna have a further conversation about, Hey, what could we do differently next time when you get in that type of situation, what are the variables or the factors should be looking at?  
Speaker 2    00:11:20    So, but he could have just easily said no, do this, but what would they have learned? Right. So I think this is sort of like dichotomy. And so I think that sometimes it's more useful. And again, the words have meaning, so that it's little confusing premises and say, look, find, do your pipeline coaching. And we'll call that coaching. But this personal develop thing, let's call that mentoring, right. Be a mentor to the people. And so when you're mentoring someone, if you take that obligation seriously, it is your job as a sales leader is to understand, you know, what's the most important thing to that person, right? And then how are you gonna help them get that? Right. And the thing that's so interesting about this is when you put it in those terms is that's really what sales is about. Right. As a seller, our job is to listen to our buyers and to make sure we really understand what's the most important thing to them, right.  
Speaker 2    00:12:20    And how can we help them get them? That's our job in sales, right? That's your job as a coach when you're dealing with your individual employee, has, I need to really understand this person, what their goals are, their aspirations are, what's the most important, one of those to them. And then how can I help them get that? What's the plan we can put together for me to help this person achieve this particular goal. So we have this dichotomy and we, instead of trying to shove it all into one job description, let's, let's separate it. So I'll call this one coaching, it's called the other mentoring. It's probably more reasonable  
Speaker 1    00:12:54    Way to look at it. That makes sense. And you know, it's funny, I remember early on in my career, coaching looked a lot different than what we're talking about now, where it's more developmental, it was more directive back then. It was like, here's the problem. Here's how you go fix it. Now it was more of a kind of a tell and go do it and then repeat, repeat, repeat, and then hope for the best, right? I mean the back of my Cintas days, just thinking back 20 years ago, has that shifted much since then?  
Speaker 2    00:13:23    No, it's gotten worse, I believe, but I think I've always been dependent on the manager and I don't think it was really a function at the time. I was very fortunate to work for two or three managers at critical points in my careers that yeah. Mentor me and let me make mistakes and challenged me to think more deeply about the things I was doing and apply more rigor in my decision-making and my analysis. And we're not prescriptive at all. And that's, yeah, there's a lot less of that. These days are a lot more, I'll say being prescriptive a lot less autonomy for sellers. And I think this is certainly something I talk about a lot is that you need to be the less in love with your process and more in love with the outcomes that you're going to achieve. And there's, everybody has a different path to achieving those outcomes.  
Speaker 2    00:14:13    And we try to use the technology to make everybody a clone of everybody else. And that's just not the way humans work. And I think there's a reason that, that even though we're in the midst of this golden age of technology, is that if you look at the research reports that individual sales performance and B2B world seems to be not very good. And there's a lot of reasons that contributed to that. So I don't paint things with too broad, a brush, but I think one contributing factor is that managers don't spend enough time trying to help people and enable their people to become that best version of themselves, to experiment to new things, to come up with their own sales process, our own sales methodology enables them to achieve what they need to achieve. But in a way that's more in alignment with who they are as humans.  
Speaker 1    00:15:02    Yeah. So let me ask you this because it's good insight. There, there seems to be a lot of misconceptions around. So like you said, pipeline coaching, that's kind of been, has been all been wedged together. Like what are the most like when you're out there and you're talking about this and you're writing about it and you're on your podcasts, like, what are the most common misconceptions when you're talking to sales leaders and how they verbalize, how they coach their team? Like, what do you hear that you're like, whoa, stop the presses.  
Speaker 2    00:15:30    Well, yeah, the biggest disconnect between the two is that managers believe they're coaching and sellers say they're not receiving any coaching. We're not the only one I've done this, but on my LinkedIn account, a couple of weeks ago, I ran a poll asking what percentage of sellers say there? How often do you get coached and or never. And yeah, about 75% signed, they get one hour or less per week. 75% of sellers respond to it several thousand respondents, one hour or less per week of coaching. And yet there are other surveys that have been out where saying that, you know, 80% of sales leaders say the number one priority should be to coach. So there's a big disconnect. And either the coaching just doesn't happen or the form it's taking is not noticeable as being coaching. And I think it's, I think what most sales managers assume is that when they talk about opportunities and do a pipeline review, they think that's coaching, right. And it's not right for the purposes of this conversation. We're calling it that, but in general, it's not coaching. It's just detailed sales manager.  
Speaker 1    00:16:39    No, you know what? It's a good call out because it's very easy to fall into that trap that that is coaching. Like I am coaching, I'm giving pipeline reviews. We're talking about stakeholders and deal velocity and all that fun stuff. But is that actually helping my rep be better doing what they're supposed to be doing? And you're right. Those two things are separate and they shouldn't be separate. Not, I don't think deal coaching is bad. I think you should be doing it.  
Speaker 2    00:17:04    Yeah. Yeah. Just don't call it. Coaching development coaching I like to do is fertile sales managers say, okay, you can fall into one of two categories. You can be a sales leader or just a sales boss and sales leaders coach and develop and know that their success flows through how well they develop their individuals and sales bosses. Think it's just the process. And if they just hammer people enough, they'll get stuff done. And unfortunately I have too many sales bosses and too few sales leaders.  
Speaker 1    00:17:40    That makes sense. So for those that, whether they're tenured or met new leader sales leaders, like how do they get better? How do they go about being better at coaching? I mean, is it, how do you recommend that process look like?  
Speaker 2    00:17:54    Or what is your take? Yeah. First is your PR going in perspective, which is, you're not there to fix things, right? You're there to help people learn how to fix things. That's a good  
Speaker 1    00:18:06    Call out. That's a great call out because usually the mentality is I got to fix this,  
Speaker 2    00:18:10    So yeah. Yeah. And that's not your job. And sometimes I said, you have to let people fail. You have to know, let them go. And knowing they are going to fail or less, there'll be a high probability of failing. And then in the post-mortem you can again start getting into, well, what would you have done differently when it was just so important to you? You can, you know, there's a fabulous book on coaching, but everybody that's a sales leader should read. It's called the coaching habit. And it's written by a gentleman that Michael Bungay Stanier, that's huge, huge bestseller. And he's been on my show three times. This is the book on coaching, I think, sold over a million copies and it just lays out a simple seven step process, but it's very simple. So don't get intimidated by seven steps, but seven step process questions you should ask to help people, help your people, put their problems in the context to find the problem and the issue that we're really trying to solve, give them the tools and the insight to think about how they could solve this and why this thing is so important to them.  
Speaker 2    00:19:17    And as I said, you're empowering them. You're enabling them to operate more self-sufficient really, which is really should be your goal as a sales leader, right. Is I want my people to have this autonomy to go out and make good decisions. And I have confidence. They'll make good decisions because of the way they've been helping them develop. And then, yeah, cause you have more time to spend on either additional coaching or helping people close deals, however you can bring value to it. But what we're really in today is sort of this period of micromanagement in many respects where we feel empowered by this fact, we have so much transparency into the sales process, given the tools and texts that we have sales tech we have, but we're not using it in a way that helps people get better. Right. And it's just being used for command and control primarily right now. And yeah, that's an area that's available for improvement across the board.  
Speaker 1    00:20:14    Yeah. What's your thoughts on this? And you know, as you know, I used to have someone in my background that used to kind of preach that a lot of sales, leadership, sales management, I think there are different, but you know, it's love, it's about time management. You've got to know what to allocate time for, where the, where it's important to allocate time for it, not get caught up in things that are just not going to help your team get to the promised land or get better. And those things should be blocked off on your calendar. Like those things not be, I do not book over this, do not do anything with this time. This is my time dedicated. Are you a big believer in that or not? Like what's your thoughts on that?  
Speaker 2    00:20:53    Yeah. I think that that's our four areas looking at us as a sales leader. One is, yeah. We'll just generally call it your process, right? You're gonna manage the mechanics of your team and what they're going through in order to sell it. That takes a certain amount of time. You have your opportunities. So you've got your process, you've got your opportunities. And then the fourth one is people we just talked about, right? Developing our people. That's the third one. And then the fourth one is your own education as a sales leader, what are you doing to, for your own enrichment? And so that's a, a little acronym that I use called Pope P O P E, which is process opportunities, people, education, and yeah, I believe you should spend at least 5% of your time educating yourself. Probably shouldn't be spending 30 to 40% of your time on developing.  
Speaker 2    00:21:50    Your people will say, well, 10 on education, 40 on people, 30 on opportunities and 20% on process, not a hundred percent. And I think that's a good breakdown for sales managers, but we're seeing is that they're spending way more on the process, which includes reporting to management and other things, part of what has to happen. Yeah. Sales leaders need to push back. You know, some of the demands for reporting are just really kill us and they need to take a stand as a site. And I don't people I say this and people sort of say, you can't do that. Of course you can tell your bosses. I have the conversation. What's the point of some of this reporting, right? Where is it benefiting you? And let me tell you what I'd be doing with my time. Otherwise they'll have way more value for the organization as opposed to filling out and completing a report or a forecast or whatever.  
Speaker 2    00:22:43    Not that you don't need forecast last, you only reports, but you just simplify it. You need to make sure that the early focused on the things that are most important, because yeah, there's lots of instances where a sales managers to your point very early in this conversation are just torn because they want to do all these things, but they started default to, well, the boss wants this so on to get this for him. Right. And sometimes you got to manage up as well as down and pin written about sometimes help your bosses understand that. Yeah. Let's have a more rational way of doing this. What are the things that you really need to understand besides the fact that a lot of it's available on dashboards anyway, without reporting, right?  
Speaker 1    00:23:27    Yeah. You hit the nail and they had earlier that this is that fine line with technology. Technology has brought so much to the table, but it's given you so much access to data that you can get paralysis by analysis and you can get reporting 60 ways to Sunday. And most of the reporting basically says most of the say, like you're recreating reporting. Just that basically say somewhat of the same thing. Just looks a little bit prettier on one screen, but it's easy to get caught up in that. I know that that's a good call out. And I like the four because it boils it down. Like, like to your point, like pipeline would be considered coaching. And that is one element and the opportunity element of what you're talking about. But there's process, there's the opportunities. There's people that's really where you should be spending your time. And then obviously there's your education for yourself? How are you getting better?  
Speaker 2    00:24:14    Yeah. Well, I mean, you think about, you know, the first P process is really about developing your capacity as an organization. The always opportunities, the second P that people's developing your capabilities as an organization and the E is developing your own capabilities as a sales leader. And yeah, if you're not improving, if you're not consciously focused on spending, what turns out to be my recommendation half your time on developing either others or yourself. Yeah. It's quite problematic for you. You're going to have a shorter career because the world's changing world changing rapidly. And there's a lot of things you need to learn. And a lot of ways that you need to change either your behaviors or habits to adapt to the changes as you had written about this a while ago is because somebody that's R said as in conversation, and I don't try to change as an AI and they'd talk about the survival of the fittest.  
Speaker 2    00:25:14    And I said, well, you misunderstand what Darwin said. What Darwin said is those who survive are the most adaptable, right? Right. Species have survived and evolved. They've adapted in response to changes around them. And this is what we need to do as, as sellers and as sales leaders that as the world continues to change, we need to adapt to that. Well, that's just not knowledge that's being handed to us as we have to go and acquire that knowledge. And we have to spend time developing ourselves and we need to help our sellers also perhaps be provided that knowledge. So there's no escaping it. You can try to ignore it, but there's, they'll come back to bite you if you're not devoting and investing time, serving those proportions that we talked about, you  
Speaker 1    00:26:02    Know what I also find? And this goes to your last, the E on Pope is, you know, a lot of leaders, right? Wrong indifferent. We're never equipped to be a leader. Like they were a good sales person. They got promoted. And that person just did what his boss did to him. Right wrong. Like there doesn't seem to be that mentor. I don't know if I'm saying the right word that, you know what I'm saying? I think, you know what I'm saying, Andy,  
Speaker 2    00:26:25    It's a big problem. And so the big problem is, is that to your point, precisely is we'd take people who are good at one thing. And we assume that they'll be good at something else. And we assume that they have the tools and the knowledge to do it. Well, I mean, we wants to make an assumption. They don't train them, but yeah, the amount of training that sales managers get is very small, especially on the, on the sort of startup environment and so on. So yeah, it's a, it's immensely unfair to them is yeah. We put them in these situations where it's very hard for them to succeed, but a lot of expectations. Yeah. And I think to start throw out the hypothetical and say, okay, well we spend the figure that's out there at roughly $20 billion a year on sales training in the us of which I haven't seen a figure, but my guess is maybe 10% of that is spent on training sales managers.  
Speaker 2    00:27:27    So, okay. So $19 billion being, or $18 billion being spent on sellers, $2 billion on sales managers, what would happen if we flipped that $18 billion on managers and $2 billion on sellers? Yeah. What do you think? I think what happened is that sales would go up, right? Right. Because ask sellers, if you survey sellers and say, well, how did you learn how to sell? Overwhelmingly people say, well, my manager first and foremost, before they, I even say training right on my list training. Yeah. As at the bottom. Yeah. I learned from managers, I learned from peers. I learned from customers, maybe even customers, more than peers and formal training training I got in my day was laughable. So if we think so, and there's been other studies have shown that the single biggest impact you're gonna have on the performance of an individual seller is to provide great effect of coaching.  
Speaker 2    00:28:23    So that's the case invest. Why don't we buy the training managers, how to coach. Yeah. That would seem to be a logical step. Not that logic and common sense play a big role in sales oftentimes, but yeah. Senior leadership above the sales managers has a service Smith assistant. Yeah. The way we're doing it. It's good enough. Right, right. Yeah. That's works sort of, I mean, yeah, of course. What we're seeing is that sales managers, senior sales, leadership is turning over every 18 months. Yeah. Salespeople are staying in jobs as you know, 14 to 16 months and they're churning and the cost to an organization of having to retrain. And re-skill every petty and have people adapt to a new manager. I mean, it's, the disruption costs are huge. Right. But we're bringing it on ourselves. And if we're a little more foresightful about this, then we might have a different outcome.  
Speaker 2    00:29:16    Yeah. One idea, right. Is I throw out there quite a bit and challenge people to answer. Hmm. Why don't we say that coaching is not a part of a manager's job and we have hire coaches and this is not unknown. I mean, lots of other industries out there like sports, professional sports that are performance based professions, just like ours and sales. And do you, what, tell me your soccer fan. So you look at the top soccer clubs in the world have done in terms of their coaching staffs and their analytics, the coaches. And so on far exceeds anything we're even close to trying and sales. Right. And need to be that way. I mean, we could have specialized coaches. Um, we can have a coach. That's why I posted on LinkedIn today. Uh, one of my favorite shows is the shell billions and right. But who's the most important character on that show for is Wendy, the staff psychologist, right.  
Speaker 1    00:30:14    She's the glue, right? So  
Speaker 2    00:30:16    If you had a sales organization with 50 salespeople that say, what would it cost you to hire a Wendy? What would the ROI beyond having a Wendy on staff? I mean, it's nothing, it's nothing. What we'd rather do because is let's stick to this old school way of thinking that, well, let's just hire another seller. Now we know distribution that 20 per our sellers provide, you know, 80% of the revenues. So we're gonna hire a sellers, high chancellor to be underperforming seller, working for a sales manager. Doesn't really know how to enable them rather than hiring a specialist that could elevate everybody. Right. Right. Or, you know, the, my, my favorite examples is, uh, my favorite soccer golf is Liverpool and they have a coach that's on staff. I'm sure they pay a couple hundred thousand dollars a year to that. Coaches just throw ins, that's it Thrones right now?  
Speaker 2    00:31:16    You're thinking, oh, that's crazy. Well, it, yeah. Last year though, not the season just ended the season before Liverpool won the premier league championship. The year before that they won the European champions league. Of course it makes a difference, right. We just have to, and it starts at the top. It's have to think outside the box instead of just counting every penny is let's count pennies a little differently as we'll get a bigger return, have more profit, more sales. If we say, look, how can we really, really help our individual sellers be better, become the best version of themselves. And we don't invest in that hardly at all.  
Speaker 1    00:31:56    You know, if this statistic is staggering and it, like you said, there's, you know, 20, some odd billion dollars that's being spent. We don't know how much it's being spent, but it's probably a fragment year, right. Of what's being spent on the sellers. If you flip that on its head, it's pretty powerful. What could happen if you just rethink that dichotomy and that upside down pyramid where it's being spent. So that's pretty powerful stuff.  
Speaker 2    00:32:18    Hey, well, that's a challenge for sales is how do we break free of, yeah. I hate to sort of say it, but it's true is that sales today, even though people like to put the word, the monikers modern on it is not very modern. It's the same things with a layer of technology that sellers have been doing for decades. When you look at, I was just part of writing my book. I was looking at studying sales process and, and spent a lot of time online Googling, you know, B2B sales processes. And there's hundreds of thousands of tables you can see out there. But when you look at all these diagrams and you look at these stage based sales processes, well, they look the same 30 years ago, 20 years ago, and 10 years ago, they haven't changed. The only difference is we're automating some of those functions with the sales processes. Funnels are the same. We need to change that because it's not working effectively for us and really hasn't for a while. But I think it's getting worse.  
Speaker 1    00:33:17    You know, one of the things I was going to ask you, Andy, is, as we're having this conversation is yes, there's an education gap that maybe they weren't trained up from the company standpoint, but then there's, self-education you should be doing as a sales leader to your point the last day. But I don't wanna say there's a third option because I think as you're educating yourself, I don't think anyone can be a master of everything. Like I wish I can master everything, but you should also, as a sales leader, please disagreement me. If you think I'm wrong here is if you have a gap in your skills. So like I'm not good at prospect, I'm learning, I'm trying to get better, but picking up the phone is never my wheelhouse. There's no harm in actually find like providing your team resources that can fill in that gap, right?  
Speaker 2    00:34:01    Yeah, yeah. Or do something more innovative, give stipends to people there's so much content and sales training stuff, sales, training content, or sales development on demand online, right? I mean, it seems like every sales author in the world's got an online course or two on a varying quality, but the, some that are quite good and effective and, and some will be effective for some person and maybe some won't be, but then others will be effective for them. But if you're a company to say, well, rather than spending a thousand dollars or $10,000 or 15,000, $20,000 to bring a speaker in is divvy up that money among your individual sellers and say, look, you've got thousand bucks to spend this year. You have to spend it. And it has to be spent on courses where, you know, you're tested and we can see the results. Would you go choose the ones that you think based on our work on together, we're going to help just sort of discover what your true requirements are. Then you go find the ones you think will fit your needs, you know, do something different enabled.  
Speaker 1    00:35:08    So that happened. And he was like, that seems like a logical easy smart. Why doesn't that happen more you think?  
Speaker 2    00:35:15    Cause it's logical easy and smart. Um, that may be it. So yeah. I mean, it's just different. Y we know that like classroom training has its limitations, right? It's not because the content that's being presented, it's the way it's being presented. As, you know, humans don't retain things extremely well, especially if there's no reinforcement built into it. So, but that's still the dominant mode of training, right? So let's try something different and do something that's that has a better chance of sticking, but also that helps people's lives or find that way to become the best version of themselves. And so what I, you and I may have the same problem. Let's say may, we're both missing quota by a little bit, but when he diagnosed that we have different reasons why that's happening. So we shouldn't have the same training. I should, I should go one way. You should go. The other  
Speaker 1    00:36:13    Fair point, any tools. And I know we've been talking about technology, we've been talking about the pros and cons somewhat like knowing that changed is really technology and the benefits of technology, and then the downside of technology. But like from a tool standpoint, like the gongs out there for listening to recordings for coaching purposes, like ring DNA, definitely like, are those the things like, if you're saying, Hey guys, here's how I want to say, minimize your coaching. That's not what I mean, but to maximize your efficiency, like those are the things they should be adopting. Those are the things you should be leveraged to have  
Speaker 2    00:36:49    Slowly. Yeah. Start with ring DNA since they yep. DNA also the best product out there, conversational AI products. But yes, you can, if you can have the capability of recording calls and have the calls analyzed so that you can draw out specific coachable moments, you should be doing it. It gives otherwise, if you're not using that, what you're doing is just relying on anecdote about what happened and what transpired in the call. We've moved beyond that, right? I mean, we can now record them all. We can listen to them with Cigna. We can buy that. We can coach or excuse me, search and analyze for key words or word patterns and, you know, talk time and all sorts of different variables. Why wouldn't you want to take advantage of that? Because now what you're going to doing is you're creating a series of coachable moments.  
Speaker 2    00:37:41    That's specific to how the call, the outcome of the call that, that somebody was on and that lead to the next call. And so on the dangerous, some people draw too many conclusions based on that. That's a different problem. But I think that as a tool for individuals to start with the coach themselves, right, and you can listen to your own calls, right? You've gone through a coaching session with your, your manager, and they've given you some points to look for because you've gone through the call. So you can listen to listen, to go back and listen to your calls from the week. Well, why wouldn't you do that? Listen to calls from one of your peers, listen to Jennifer who maybe is the top person in your office who sells to a similar type of account that you do. What's she doing different? Listen to Jennifer's calls. Yeah. So you have this self coaching opportunity that presents. And then I said, as a manager, you can be served up these calls. You can set criteria and say, I want to hear calls it, you know, meet these criteria, but then you can coach. I mean, it's, you're crazy if you're not using it. I mean, and they're not that expensive the tools, especially for the ROI you get on it. So that is just one example of technology that works great. Yeah.  
Speaker 1    00:38:51    So you brought up something earlier, I'm going to loop back to it. Cause you said there's a big disconnect between sellers. How much coach you getting? They say less than, you know, an hour a week, but you ask the sales later, I'm doing it 80% of the time. Right? That's the economy,  
Speaker 2    00:39:07    Something like that is there.  
Speaker 1    00:39:09    And I don't want to boil it down to, you got to do two hours, but is there some statistics, some studies, some thoughts, some feedback, some something you found, Andy that, Hey, you should be spending minimum two hours per, is it gotten that finite or is it pretty fluid still? I mean, what's your thoughts on that?  
Speaker 2    00:39:27    Yeah. I mean, there's a lot of variables that play, right? The people you're working with a year, your own capabilities, so on and so forth. Yeah. I think in general that as a sales manager, you should be spending, as I'm talking about 4%, 40% of your time, some sort of development activity with your people and coaching, or it could be training of some sort or whatever, but, but you should be thinking about that in that surf rough frame. And it's, that's a challenge for a lot of people because the way we started the conversation is I can find lots of excuses, why not to do it. And I'll give you an example. A few years ago, I was sitting in a sales, big sales conference. There was a panel up on the dayas and there was a, I don't know, four, I think VPs or CRS of venture funded SAS companies.  
Speaker 2    00:40:17    And one guy started off the conversation. The conversation was about coaching. He said, yeah, we don't do one-on-ones anymore because they just don't work. And I'm thinking, oh my God, you know, the problem is not that one-on-ones don't work. It's promise is you is you don't know how to do it. Right. If you knew and understood what the purpose of that was, what the purpose of coaching was, what the objective of coaching was, what, how are you going to help your people with it? Instead of just blowing it off, you'd have an interest in learning or ask somebody to ask for resources. So you could learn, take a Canada, lots of courses online. There's a bazillion books on coaching. You can read this. I went to coaching habit, which is fabulous. There's no excuse for that. Right? So human behavior that's SIM sales business is all about, you know, it affects how we interact with each other, how people get managed, how they get coach, how they get developed. But we had just to put more focus on it. There's always lots of distractions without a doubt. But I think as a sales manager, what perspective you should have is if you don't sort of think about any moment of the day, just think to yourself in this moment, what am I doing this more important than coaching my people. Right. That makes sense. And just ask yourself, yeah, you're working on something to say, Hmm, is this more important than coaching? My team chances are, most of it's not.  
Speaker 1    00:41:42    I think just you referenced a 30, 40% of your time should be spent on people. Just looking. I've actually been trying to think through my week and where I'm spending my time. Because when you really look at your week, it's clear, there's time to do it. It is. I mean, you gotta be strategic and you gotta figure some stuff out, but you also gotta be diligent with your time. You can't let these arbitrary, meaningless internal meetings that you have 48 of them. Like you've got to manage up to your original conversation around. I got more important things to be doing coaching my team. It's like, that's a great call out there. Yeah.  
Speaker 2    00:42:16    As I say, it takes courage with a small C to have those conversations with your boss, but they're serious conversations you need to have because everybody, to your point earlier in the conversation, you know, you as a sales leader, your boss boss's boss, CEO, or chances are they're doing things the way they thought it was done before them. Right. And they think, and that somewhat rationally, you might say, assume that's the way things should be done. Yeah. And yeah, it's not the way they should work today.  
Speaker 1    00:42:50    Well, one of the final things have we, and I want to get your thoughts and you've kind of touched on it. I want to beat this. I want to hit this again, really in today's day and age, there's really no excuse for not self-improving right. From a sale. Whether you're a seller, a leader with everything at your disposal, like you said, the on demand libraries from all these salespeople podcasts, like we're doing here, webinars. If you're not getting it from somewhere, like there's no reason you can't take, like, take what you want from corporate. They shouldn't be helping you. But from a self-improvement standpoint, right? Imagine left field with this Andy, or what's your thoughts on  
Speaker 2    00:43:24    That? It's an age old question, right? How much time should people be investing in their own development? Now the assumption that sort of exists in corporate America is yeah, go do that on your own time. And that's problematic, right? It shouldn't be that way. And so we should be able to set aside time for people to not be calling customers, to not be following up. That's dedicated just to learning. Yeah. That guest early on in my podcast to an entrepreneur from the North Carolina, I believe he was located. And what he did is he would stop work for an hour every week. And they had like a company-wide book club and they all read the same books and they would, they would sit and discuss books in smaller groups. And it's like, you can do that. Right? Any sales leader, you can do that when we say, oh, I don't have time for that.  
Speaker 2    00:44:23    It's like an hour. What's an hour. It's one 40th. They have 2% of your week or something. That's a 2.5%. It's, it's nothing. It's absolutely nothing. And the payback is huge. So one is we have to make time in the day for people to do it and not say, and the reason I think it doesn't get done today largely is because the assumption is you'll do it outside of work. Right. And that's just wrong. It should take place as part of daily activities. Yeah. And people don't have to become experts in everything that, to a point you were making before, you know, there's a great quote that I love from a British writer who was in 19th century, Thomas Huxley, who said that in life, you should try to learn something about everything and everything about something. Right. And I think if you're in sales, that's a great watch word is you want to be able to know a lot of things about a lot of different areas, but you want to be an expert in them, but there should be one, whether it's the product and services you're selling, that you should be an expert at.  
Speaker 2    00:45:26    And you know, the benefit of that is that, you know, when you go into a customer's office is, you know, you're meeting one of 7 billion random people in the world. And if you're trying to form a connection with that person who knows what they might be interested in them. So the more you know about what's going on in the world and the more you've done your research about this customer and the more things you're interested in as a human, the more likely you're going to have an area of intersection of interests with that other person. And for me, that's just, that's how I've lived my life. I read voraciously, I still enjoy TV and movies. I don't deprive myself of that. I'm not a drug like that, but yeah, that's amazing. Yeah. Yeah. The conversations I've had with people over the years, just from things I sort of knew, let alone things I needed to know for work. Yeah. So long story short. Yeah. We just need to, we need to, as a profession, as sales leadership set aside time during the day and support people with the money is that you get this idea of, you know, give people stipends to go use online courses. Yeah. And you'd go ahead and vet them, but there are resources they've done some of that already and just make it easier for people to learn.  
Speaker 1    00:46:38    Yeah. So final thoughts, Andy. And I want you to break it down into two buckets for that new sales leader though. People that are just making that move into leadership, maybe some tips, ideas, feedback, just recommendation, wherever you want to bucket it as, and then the guys that have been doing it for a while, maybe a little bit on their old habits. It give some ideas for both sides of that coin, if you will, as we wrap it up. Yeah. Well, I  
Speaker 2    00:47:02    Think we've touched on some of that is if you're new is remember your success flows through your people and you're no longer in sales. Your job is really just to be several problem-solver for the people that are working for you. And yeah, from time to time, they're gonna want to use your on deals and so on. Great. Just even in the context of those deals though, is you don't want to undercut your people, right. Is you want them to be the star of the show. You're there as a supporting actor. Maybe they there to validate that, Hey, that's a real company, yada, yada, yada. But nonetheless is there the star, everything flows through them. Everything you do flows through your people, you're going to succeed if they succeed and not, if you go out and try to close every deal yourself. So that's probably the best piece of advice.  
Speaker 2    00:47:51    And then yeah, read some of these books on management. If you're not getting trained gap, the coaching habit, start there one book, it doesn't complete your education. But for that part of it is about how you helping develop your people. That's a, a gym. Yeah. If you've been in sales for awhile, one thing that I would recommend for people is get an external coach or an external mentor, right. Even if you spend a little of your own money is, and that's sort of the work I do. In addition to the podcast aside, I do have some people over the years that top and performers top end managers, that really just want to a different perspective on what they're doing. That's so valuable, right. If you've been a sales manager for 20 years, yeah. You're going to have all sorts of habits. You're going to not have to say, take shortcuts.  
Speaker 2    00:48:41    What are you going to say? You make a lot of assumptions about what you know, and don't know, and yeah. You just need to adapt and sometimes you need a different perspective. So yeah, a couple of years ago I was coaching a guy at one of the top five software sales, SAS software people in the United States, probably that's making well over a million dollars a year, but he wanted help, man. Yeah. We helped him. So it's not just people that you think, okay, I'm in trouble or marginal. I just need to look at pro golfers. That's always the example that's given, but they have an entourage and their entourage includes a coach. And yeah. What these people can do with the golf clubs, men and women professional golfers can do with golf clubs and the ball's amazing. Yeah. But they still want somebody to look at what they're doing and help them get even better. And so if you've been in it for a long time, I would say, find a mentor, find a coach, somebody to be willing, to spend time with you, whether you have to pay for it or again, if it's, someone's willing to help you out, but don't be afraid to pay for it because you want to keep on succeeding.  
Speaker 1    00:49:43    I think those are both great pieces of feedback. And then I think mentor that's when things helped me change it to your point, just to bounce ideas off of get some third party, you just, the unbiased feedback, not the internal mumbo-jumbo that it was so valuable. So I think that's a great call out for, especially for our sales, you know, more mature sales, right.  
Speaker 2    00:50:05    And it doesn't need to be a lifetime commitment just to find somebody that you're comfortable with, but you think you can learn from, and that can help provide some new perspective. Now do it for six months, do it for a year. Maybe you do it weekly for six months on monthly for another six months. Then once, you know, once every two months thereafter just always have resource. And I largely I've had that throughout my entire career. I've always had one or more people that I could pick up the phone and call and talk to. Yeah. That'd be willing to say, yeah, what's going on and they all talk about it. Yeah,  
Speaker 1    00:50:43    That's great. Hey, Andy, sincerely appreciate your time. And I've really enjoyed the conversation. Thank you so much for being on tonight.  
Speaker 0    00:50:52    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.  

Andy Paul Profile Photo

Andy Paul


He is the host of the top-rated sales podcast, Sales Enablement with Andy Paul. With more than 930 episodes to-date and millions downloads, Andy’s podcast is the go-to resource for sales leaders and top sales producers.

He is also the founder of Zero-Time Selling; a sales consulting firm where, since 2000, Andy has helped companies and individual sellers around the world to transform their sales results.

Andy is on LinkedIn’s list of the Top 50 global sales experts where more than 180,000 people follow his daily posts.

Andy is the author of two Amazon best-selling books: Amp Up Your Sales: Powerful Strategies That Move Customers To Make Fast, Favorable Decisions; and, Zero-Time Selling: 10 Essential Steps to Accelerate Every Company’s Sales.

Prior to starting his own company in 2000, Andy had a successful sales career during which he sold over $600 million dollars worth of complex systems and services to some of the world’s largest enterprises.