Episode 10: Stop Managing and Start Coaching with Zach Barney
In today’s episode of The Sales Samurai, we continue to explore the theme of coaching in sales and discuss why it’s time to stop managing and start coaching! We are joined by Zach Barney, Vice President of Sales Enablement at Vehlo, who has extensive knowledge and insight into the intricacies of leading and coaching an exceptional sales team. In his work, Zach handles the onboarding training in tech stack implementation for eleven portfolio companies, which is a considerable responsibility, and also serves as the interim Vice President of Sales for various companies when needed. One of the biggest takeaways from our conversation with Zach is the importance of allocating enough time to coaching within your sales team. He also emphasizes that one size does not fit all and why it’s essential that each employee gets treated as an individual that needs guidance in specific areas. Another key takeaway concerns the importance of training managers and leaders, not just the individuals responsible for earning sales quotas, since they often come from a sales background and need support in learning the skills required for managing a team. Listening in, you’ll hear Zach share his best practices for establishing and maintaining a thriving coaching environment as well as his observations on what he deems to be the biggest challenges to coaching. Later we discuss the role technology and revenue intelligence plays in maximizing efficiency and Zach shares his advice for new sales leaders. For all this and more, join us today as we delve into how to lead and coach an exceptional sales team!
Key Points From This Episode:
“Leaders need to be incredibly unselfish with their time that their focus needs to be on helping anybody and dropping everything to help build the culture, build the competence, build the skills of their team, which in turn will help them hit their numbers.” — @zachbarney [0:06:26]
“That sales muscle needs to be exercised, that training needs to be exercised in order to stay strong.” — @zachbarney [0:12:29]
“Training should be for everybody. A huge focus of mine is helping enable leaders to do their job better. So the first quarter of the year, I basically built that, like a sales school for our organization.” — @zachbarney [0:16:30]
“You should absolutely put in a very in-depth extensive training course for your quota carriers, but also your leaders as well, for sure, that's absolutely something that can make or break a business unit.” — @zachbarney [0:30:13]
“There’s a reason why Gong is one of the fastest-growing SaaS companies in history. They’re a really damn good tool, but they provide a ton of value, right? And there's a reason why there are so many competitors popping out there.” — @zachbarney [0:38:33]
“There's a reason why all the engagement tools are building their own conversation intelligence piece because they've realized how incredibly valuable that technology is.” — @zachbarney [0:38:51]
Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:
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 episode 10 of the sales samurai. Thanks for listening. Before we begin, do us a favor, subscribe and download on today's show. We're going to be discussing, stop managing and start coaching. This is specific to our listeners that are leading a sales organization and sales team. And I have a very special guest for us to really help us tackle this topic. Zach Barney is the VP of sales enablement and below where he not only handles onboarding training and tech stack implementation for 11 portfolio companies. Yes, 11 portfolio companies, but also serves as interim VP of sales for various companies in their portfolio as needed outside of Vilo. Zach does startup sales consulting and absolutely love spending time with his wife, Erica and their five children. He loves running and biking as well as watching basketball, fun fact, Zion Williamson hit his stride as an NBA. Megastar, Zach will be a very happy camper as he currently owns 30 plus XY on a rookie cards. I think that's how Zach plans on retiring
Speaker 2 00:01:34 Zach man. Welcome to the show brother. Happy to have you man.
Speaker 1 00:01:39 Fam. I'm glad to be here though, man.
Speaker 2 00:01:42 It is awesome, man. I sincerely appreciate you coming on. I know it's a tough time for you. I know the jazz, like you said, is a dumpster fire. I think that was your exact terms. I don't think we'll get sued by the NBA for using that term or using an NBA name, but if it's worth it,
Speaker 1 00:02:00 They deserve to be called the dumpster fire right now with the best record in the NBA and then go out and play.
Speaker 2 00:02:13 That's an entirely different podcast, man.
Speaker 1 00:02:17 I could go off on that for a long time, but
Speaker 2 00:02:20 Also man, Hey, do me a favor, kind of get the listeners. You've got your sales. Journey's been pretty fast help the listeners understand a little bit more about your sales. Your, I know right now your head of sales, VP of sales for, for, uh, for an organization has 11 portfolio companies. But give us a little bit more of the background, kind of what kinda led you to where you're at.
Speaker 1 00:02:42 Yeah, happy to do it. So I stumbled into sales out of college. I thought I was going to go work for NSA and be due to a whole bunch of stuff. I just ended up not working out for my knee apart, got married, whole bunch of things. Like I was really excited to not go that route, but I thought that I was going to do, like once I realized that I wasn't going to go move to DC and monitor people's phone lines, I figured I might as well go do that in sales monitor my sales reps phone lines. So I applied to a job posting for a little startup, found out. It was literally just the CEO ended up jumping on board there working with them for about three years. It was a, it was a mortgage tech startup. We were trying to fix all of the issues with undisclosed fees and just people getting taken advantage of by their lender.
Speaker 1 00:03:37 So I did that for about three years, realized that, you know, I, I had a different vision for the direction of the company than the CEO. He wanted to keep bootstrapping things and I wanted to scale it big. So we went our separate ways on good terms. And I've been in the startup scene ever since really everything from hire number one that, uh, you know, sales software to building out a team of SDRs at a meeting management company called team that was ultimately acquired by. We were not, I spent three years working for a publicly traded company out of Australia called mere map. Basically Google earth on steroids is how we used to describe it, did that for about three years, helping them build out the U S business. And now I am the vice president of sales enablement for Vilo, which is a growth equity firm focused on the automotive industry. And with that role, I, I kind of have two jobs, one I'm in charge of the training and onboarding, uh, for both the sales reps and the leaders within our sales org across 12 different companies. And then I'm also, um, an interim VP of sales as needed for, for different members of our portfolio. If they, they need a little help getting to that predictability and scalability that I've been able to figure out all my career I'll go in and help them for six, nine months.
Speaker 2 00:05:01 Fantastic man, across the 11 portfolio, how many sales leaders, sales individual country,
Speaker 1 00:05:08 Probably six, seven, um, dedicated sales leaders, um, on the front lines. And then we have a couple of SVPs of sales, 40 50 sales reps. Wow. That's pretty awesome.
Speaker 2 00:05:20 Talk to me a little bit about, I remember we got to know each other through Altra that would blah blah. And that's where we met the AI ISP. I don't know, it feels like
Speaker 1 00:05:31 6, 7, 8 years ago, 10 years ago.
Speaker 2 00:05:34 It feels like that was a different life. Talk to me a little bit about your transition from a contributor to leadership. Like what was the biggest learning shifted mindset for
Speaker 1 00:05:45 You? So the best articulated explanation of the difference would be from Mike Weinberg. I don't know if you you're very familiar with him written several books. One of no nonsense doesn't care if it hurts your feelings or not types of guys and talks about stark difference with a sales rep, with a quota carrying rep, they need to be incredibly selfish with their time and their efforts. Like it should be about them because the company hired them to bring you deals in the door, right? Not to go put stickers on swag bags for SKO or anything like that and go get pizza. And then leaders need to be incredibly unselfish with their time. Their focus needs to be on helping anybody and dropping everything to help build the culture, build the confidence, build the skills of their team, which in turn will help them hit their numbers. Right. So that's, I would say the biggest thing that a lot of people miss on that transition is going from being selfish to unselfish
Speaker 2 00:06:51 The learning curve for you. Or was that a pretty, I don't wanna say easy, but was that a pretty, somewhat simplistic transition for you?
Speaker 1 00:06:59 It was, it was actually really easy for me because I've never been a pure individual contributor ever. Like, I mean, in my earlier career days, I was an individual contributor, but just because we had so few people with the goal of heading up a department like that first company, I, you know, we grew the team to seven, eight people and they all reported to me and then an outro. I was the head of sales, but I was the only salesperson for awhile. So I did the sale with the vision of building out an organization. So I was always thinking in that mentality, but I mean, everybody's heard that, that saying where you promote your best rep and you gain your worst manager. That's typically because of that, they may think like a rep style as opposed to like your manager.
Speaker 2 00:07:47 Yeah. And I think that's going to lead into our conversation because I think that is a big reason why coaching is a challenge. Like I think that is a big component of things. So I wanna, I wanna, I wanna get back to that. I'm always curious, you kind of gave me the mortgage thing that was kind of your first foray, but you, you also said you stumbled into sales. That was NSA was your calling. Then you stumbled into it. Like what, what I mean, will you just go through the classifies? Like why sales? Like why was that the fallback
Speaker 1 00:08:18 I needed money, right. Like, no, for real, like, that's what it was. I'm like I, um, I waited tables through college. I tried selling life insurance for a little while. And I remember telling this group of ladies that ultimately introduced me to my wife. I was waiting tables. And I told them I really enjoyed my job. It was good money. And in my head as a 22 year old college kid, it was really good money. And I remember one of them kind of under her breath. That's something like, honey, you have no idea what good money is right now. And like, she wasn't trying to be rude, but it was true. Like I so happy and proud to be making 15, 20 bucks an hour as a really good waiter, you know, at a fast casual, like low end chain. And that's that got me thinking like, yeah, what am I doing with my life?
Speaker 1 00:09:07 Like, I mean, I obviously don't want to do this for forever. I want to, I want to be able to afford to do cool things for myself, my wife, my kids, you know, nothing else that you know, that I had options to go and do really appealed to me mostly due to earning potential, mostly due to the fact that, you know, here's your base salary and you might get a 10% bonus if you do everything fantastically throughout the course of the year, that wasn't appealing to me. And then I, you know, I, I see people just crushing their life and controlling their earnings, even, you know, a really young age because you control what they earn based on how they perform. So that was, that was something that was really appealing to me. Just the entrepreneurial spirit, the ability to control my own destiny.
Speaker 2 00:09:54 That's awesome, man. Hey, so let, let let's, let's get to the brass tax. This is something I'm excited to talk about. This is actually, this will be a back-to-back show. We've had one guest on, who's a fantastic guest talking about this in a little different way, shape, form, or fashion, but it's such an important topic that I wanted to have you on as well, because I want to make sure this is actually one of the things that we're heard for listeners. Like this is a big, hot topic for sales leaders. Hey, how do I do it better? How do I do it more efficiently? And then also for sales reps, they're saying, Hey, I'm not getting any training or w what is this coaching? I never even heard of it. Like I get maybe 10 minutes in a, one-on-one talking about my deals and that's about it. So we're going to talk about a stop managing and start coaching. So our very first question for you sack is when you think of a manager versus a coach, what do they look like? Let's just break it down at that level.
Speaker 1 00:10:48 You kind of just said it in a round about way like a manager tells you what to do, right? That's what it is. They tell you what to do. And they, you know, a sales environment, they ask you about your number. They ask you what you're working on. They don't like their job is to hit a number. It's not necessarily build people, right? But if you do attack things from a, from a coach mindset, you realize that investing in your people, they aren't just a number. They aren't just butts in seats to help you hit your, your, you know, your target. They are their investments. You invest in your people by helping them get better. They're going to not only be happier and give everybody more satisfaction in the job that they're doing, but ultimately going to accomplish that number goal as well, exponentially as time grows, because you're, you know, you're developing them as people and teaching them how to fish, as opposed to just putting them there and seeing what happens. Right.
Speaker 2 00:11:49 Um, and so I think for some people, they view that rule as one in the same when they are starkly different, right? I mean, they're, they're astronomically different. Um, w what do you think the biggest misconception around sales coaching is right now? Like what, what, what do you like when you, when you talk to people that are like, Hey, yeah, I coached my people. Like, what is the biggest misconception for leaders around coaching, in your opinion?
Speaker 1 00:12:16 I think like once you've trained somebody on it, your job is done. We implement a new methodology. You guys all know what it is. Great. You're good. You know, they, they forget about the fact that we're humans and we forget things. And you know, that, that sales muscle needs to be exercised. That training needs to be exercised in order to stay strong. So, so they figure, Hey, you've got it handled. You're a smart person onto the next thing. Uh, when in reality, like everybody that is success, it's practice, it's repetition, right? He's had his entire career. If he needs one, to help him with his golf swing, then absolutely. We need coaches to help us with our, you know, our sales skills
Speaker 2 00:13:02 Without a doubt, Hey, I'm going to, I'm going to take a little different approach here on our conversation, because I know this is really close. I mean, this is what you live in breathe. And I know in our offline conversation, it's just something I'm extremely passionate about. I'm going to give you kind of my six things that I think is leading to the biggest challenges around coaching. This is not coming from an expert by any stretch of the imagination. It's just me trying to be better and learn. I want to pick your brain and say, Hey, do you agree with it? Do you think that, is it, or maybe there's another one that you like, I would add this to that list, and I want to get your opinion on them. And then I want you to elaborate if you agree. And maybe if you disagree, say, Hey, go fly a kite Zander bullshit.
Speaker 2 00:13:42 One of the reasons, um, Hey, the biggest challenge is this is obvious, but I'm going to say it anyway. There's just fundamentally not enough time spent not being spent on coaching just fundamentally. Right? I think according to ring DNA, one of the top initiatives for most sales organization is more coaching. But then I was just looking at a LinkedIn poll that have like 1800 votes, 76% of reps say they get less than an hour a week at most. So there's a big disconnect. Right? So do you agree? Like I know that's a very, that's a very macro question. Like, Hey, you're not giving enough time, but I mean, is that the biggest chink in the armor? And there's just not enough time being spent, not, it's not prioritized. Why, why is that? If you agree with that? Well,
Speaker 1 00:14:31 I, 100% agree with that and thinking on the reasoning, like, I think people take their eye off the prize and they get desperate like, oh, and the month, and the quarter ends a year. We have a number to hit screw all of that. We need deals closed now. Right. And they forget that things come and go and ways. If you, if you operate on that level, if you're not consistent in everything that you do, then you're going to have really strong months and you're going to have really weak months as your focus changes. So, so I would think that would be the biggest thing. They just take their eye off the prize and get distracted by whatever sales period numbers. And also, I would say a lot of leaders don't know how to coach, because they were that top rep that was, you know, they kind of figured things out naturally. They were the lone Wolf. If you go off of the challenger sale methodology. Right. And they just, they figured it out on their own. So the company is like, great. This promote this person to a leadership role. They have no idea what they're doing. They have no idea how, how to coach the reps. They figured I figured it out. You can figure it out too.
Speaker 2 00:15:35 That's actually one on the list. I'm glad that we're, we'll get there on that one. I think that's perfect. My question to you is it is a challenge. Like how do you do like w w cause you're managing 60 some odd reps, seven, eight, I think you said frontline managers. And obviously they're doing a lot in that coaching, but like how, how do you, how do you Zack start to say, okay, here's how we're gonna tackle this. We're not gonna let this slip, this is a priority. I expect X amount of coaching a week. Like, how do you guys get your arms around it? What's the best practices that you can share within kind of your world?
Speaker 1 00:16:10 Yeah. There are a couple of things that I would say have made a really big difference for us. So number one is you can't forget about the leaders, right? Training is not just for new employees. It's not just for the, for the young reps, for the SDRs that were promoted to a year for that new SDR training should be for everybody. A huge focus of mine is helping enable the leaders to do their job better. So the first quarter of the year, I basically built the best sales school for our org. And it was an eight, maybe nine week course. And in that course, I mean, we have guided videos and quizzes and surveys, and, you know, role-play homework as well as live sessions. But in addition to that, we have leadership sessions that were completely separate, that where we were talking about helping the team implement, how do we go about making sure this is enforced?
Speaker 1 00:17:09 So, number one, you can't forget about the leaders and that's, that's where the scalability happens, helping train them to be successful. And number two, I can't go through an eight week intensive training course with dozens of reps every quarter, if I have other responsibilities as well. So, so what I do is every Friday we have a group coaching session and it rotates. So we rotate between, I call it a constructive roast of their cold emails, where people that are willing to volunteer, submit their cold emails. And I pull a panel judges from the LinkedIn universe, from internal experts at our company and myself, and we grade them based on how effective that email would be to me as a buyer. And we incentivize the reps by, by offering them a a hundred dollar Amazon gift card if they ever get an A-plus great. And then from there, we rotate through all of the core tenants of salesmanship.
Speaker 1 00:18:12 So we go through call coaching, we go through demo coaching, and we also go through, when we call it the deep dive, where we do an analysis on a recent win, a recent loss and a deal got a ref needs help with the idea of let's use the methodology that you've already been trained on, reinforce it as a group, um, on a weekly basis. Um, from there, I, I encourage all of the leaders to do daily call coaching sessions with their team. And then it will be one one-on-one session with every rep on a weekly basis
Speaker 2 00:18:50 As well. If you, if you look at that from a leadership, which all that's great, but the expectations of your frontline, like I can't do it all. Like we're doing the team that I have other responsibilities. Here's why to view leader. What do you think that boils down to? Okay, one-on-ones an hour. I'm just brainstorming here, talking out loud an hour, an hour every day with phone, like, what does that look like? Is that 30% of their time, 15 hours? Like, how do you translate that into, okay, you're being effective or you're not being effective.
Speaker 1 00:19:21 Yeah. And then once you're through like initial like methodology sales, 1 0 1 training, this more, just staying consistent. The framework that we have is every, every sales team should have a weekly team meeting, like for an hour, right? Typically on Mondays, where they go through product updates, help build the comradery and the culture of the team. Maybe give other people a chance to lead and train each other on something. And then I recommend the other four days of the week, a call review session slash role play. So, you know, using a conversation intelligence tool, send out a call the day before and have the reps again, using scorecards from the methodology that we use, we use winning by design, score the call, and then come in, ready to talk about it and role play, how to do it better. So that's four days a week for a half hour.
Speaker 1 00:20:10 So now we're at one hour on one day, a half hour for four more days, a total of three hours. And then each rep should get one live call drawing from their manager every week. So an additional hour plus some prep, or it may we'll call that an hour and a half. So overall four to five hours a week of coaching is what we do at an, at a bare minimum. Like that one hour, that one call per week is the minimum that I've said. Some, some managers do more, some are spread a little bit thinner and that's even pushing it for them. But I would say that's a pretty good minimum.
Speaker 2 00:20:48 That's awesome. Good. So let's move on to number two. This one, I, I see a lot, quite a bit, either. Even with me, I I'll be quick and I've done it before. And maybe to some degree, I still do it. I need to be better at it. Kind of a one size fits. All right. Not letting the numbers determine the training. It's just like, we're going to talk about prospecting for everyone needs it. We're just going to talk about, versus this person may be killing it at prospecting. Why put them through that training while this person is really struggling? So you're not, you're not leveling up your team. You're kind of keeping them all at the same level for whatever reason thoughts is that, is that truly an issue where leaders just kind of say, okay, we're gonna talk about prospecting. That's the training subject. Okay.
Speaker 1 00:21:30 Yeah. There's a really great book by Marcus Buckingham, Gallup called first break, all the rules. I don't know if you've heard of it, but it's, it's incredible. It talks about how the best managers in any environment are ones that treat their employees like individuals, right? And they recognize this person might need to be managed a little bit differently. I've got five kids got to keep up with that stereotype. And I need to parent my kids differently based on their personalities, based on what resonates with them. It's the same thing with, with managing and coaching reps. Some people respond differently to different things. I've got one rep who's been with one of our companies for literally like 15, 16 years, Sam. And he consistently like a bad month for him is 80% of this quarter. That's a really bad month for him. Normally he's right on or above, but he's flat out, told me I get anxiety with, you know, you joined in my calls.
Speaker 1 00:22:29 I, I it's like a clinical thing. I've gone to doctors, whatever. Like it's not something that's comfortable for me. So I would appreciate it if you didn't join my live calls, Hey, I don't want to add extra pressure onto this guy who is consistently hitting his number and doing a really good job. So I'm not going to write as long as he's able to do his job, as long as he's performing and contributing to the positive culture of the team, which he does a great job with. Like, am I really going to be improving the culture of our team by causing him extra stress? No. And there, there are other people who work really hard, but they just suck. It calls they, they just, they're not good. They don't have a lot of experience with it. Yeah. They need to be coached differently. It might be a little bit harsher with them. He might need to join twice as many calls with them. I, I think absolutely. You should not take a one size fits all approach to any sort of management sales or, or anything else.
Speaker 2 00:23:30 Obviously I would agree. It is an easier path, right? That's the most comment that the easiest thing to say is we're doing it. And I do see value. And I, we, we do this, you are bringing it up, cut that team meeting and how you guys structure with the tenants and prospecting, I think from a team, if you're bringing a team together that can't get so personal, you can't cater a team event. You know what I mean? Like you can't talk with one person. So I do think there's those elements of team training, where it should be, Hey, here's what I'm seeing across all the individuals as a sore spot, or maybe as an opportunity, let's all talk about it and train on it together. I think that's fair, right? I mean, exactly. A hundred percent.
Speaker 1 00:24:13 Yeah. A hundred percent. I mean, in a team setting, one of the reasons is so that you can learn from each other, right? Like, I don't know everything. I mean, I know I seem like I know everything, right. But of course, I don't know everything. Right. I have reps that are way more experienced than me that know more than me about the industry, about the product. Absolutely. So it's an opportunity for them to collaborate and teach each other different things. And that's something that everybody should absolutely participate in. Absolutely. But when I go in and you know, I'm, I'm joining a, you know, a ride along call with one of my reps, I'm going to coach them based on their needs. Right. And you know, I always start, I always start, you know, uh, an a real live call prep with, I go through our, you know, our, our methodology and I ask them, Hey, what's their situation?
Speaker 1 00:25:04 Give me the number, what pain are we trying to solve for them? What's the impact of that pain? And I know how, how involved I need to be on this call based on the preparation of the rep that they can tell me everything. If they can tell me what their goal of the call is, what questions they're going to ask. Then I literally, I, I sit back, I introduced myself as a coworker, not even as a manager or a boss or whatever. And I just sit back and let them roll with it because like they're doing their job. I'm just here to provide feedback and do a little postop with them. Others, others need a lot more involved than it shouldn't be that way. It should be based on their individual needs.
Speaker 2 00:25:42 That makes sense. Uh, number four, the need on this kind of ties to what you just said, Hey, I don't know everything, but there are managers that almost view it. Like I should know it. Like I should, I should know that. And the fact of the matter is in group with me, disagree with me, like we all got, we don't, we're not masters of every aspect of the sales process, whether it's prospecting deal management, you're going to have strengths and weaknesses. My theory is there's no harm in saying, Hey, I'm not the best at that, but let me get, let me outsource. Let me bring in someone who is better that can actually help my team. I see that as a big issue with maybe that ego, I don't want to call it ego, but maybe Hey, if my boss sees, I can't train that, maybe I'm out of a job. I don't know what the thought process is. Do you agree with that? Do you see that?
Speaker 1 00:26:34 I see all the time. Yeah, absolutely. Like pride, right? People being prideful. They're probably, yeah. Element of worry. Like, Hey, I, this is my job. I'd better know how to do this. So I'm going to fake it till I make it. Like you think about the best salespeople that you've bought stuff from. You ask them a question. They don't know the answer to. Like, I hate when people tell me they know something and then they end up not knowing. I appreciate the honesty and the candor. Okay. I don't know. I guess though, I'm going to go find out a way to solve that problem. That's the value. So why in the world, wouldn't it be the same probe will either course, like if somebody asks me how to do something, if somebody asks me how to, you know, how to, how to tweak one of our software tools to better fit their specific workflows. If I don't know how to do it, I'll tell him, and then I'll go become that expert or I'll find somebody that can solve the problem for them. Absolutely. Yeah.
Speaker 2 00:27:28 I actually, you know, that was a big learning for me, Zack, even late. I mean, th that didn't Dawn on me like 10 years ago, like, like that was something I, you know, the people that I want to do it myself, I should be able to do, you know, that was, that was a big, that's a big tweak. That's a big change for me that, that took some coaxing. And I don't know really the reasons, the thought process behind it. But since I've started that, Hey, I don't feel like the world's on my shoulders. Hey, like I'm trying to do everything and be a Jack of all and a master of none and B I'm doing what I should be doing. I'm giving my reps what they need. I'm not shortchanging that based on my inability, at least that's my goal. So this one I know you're going to agree with, because we've already talked about it. Training and education we talked about is typically the best rep and that you get promoted. Good luck, figure it out, have a great day. Like how, how big of a role does that play in their ability to coach and mentor and all that kind of good stuff.
Speaker 1 00:28:30 So, can you clarify that real quick? Like the training of managers, how, how does that affect their ability to cope?
Speaker 2 00:28:37 I came in as an account executive, I just got blown into a sales leadership standpoint. Maybe there's some type of one week training or whatever the case might be. And then the rest of the dollars are typically spent on the individual contributor skill learn. Prospecting, do not. A lot of investment is put to the leader to, Hey, here's how you coach somebody. Here's how you get them up and running. Here's your weekly schedule. Here's how you should do a ride along. Here's how you should do call analysis. Here's how you should do the scorecard. Here's what you're listening for. Those things. I can honestly say when I came at a much different time, I think I was given a two week with my manager. Hey, here's kind of how you want to have one on one. That was, I could be shortchanging. My previous employers don't get me wrong, but I don't remember anything different.
Speaker 1 00:29:23 Yeah. That's, that's pretty common. I, I mean, I've, I've gone into roles where I was hired in a leadership role and I was, I was told, Hey, here's your computer? Here's your headset. Go watch some of our webinars. That's how you're training for real deep, as the training went. And they just expect to know everything as a manager, like, you already know how to do that. That's why we hired you. That's not the case. It's a new role for a lot of people. And, you know, we should, number one, we should be screening for those capabilities rather than, Hey, did you hit your number in the past? You'd think a great manager. Let's, let's talk about what, what would make you a good manager? What do you think you should be doing? Like what makes you different? Like somebody should be answering those questions and showing an inclination toward helping other people right before they're placed there, but you should absolutely put in a very hairy in-depth extensive training course for, you know, your, your quota carriers, but also your leaders as well. For sure. That's absolutely something that can make or break a business unit,
Speaker 2 00:30:27 You know? And one of the things that you bring up a good point, obviously it's a new role. So that alone should lead to, to training and not just initial training, but ongoing training. But the thing that kind of, for me is even more reason why, and I can't remember, and I'm going to give Andy a quick shout out on our podcast yesterday. I think he said $28 billion is spent in sales training every year. And his estimate was, and he was just off the top of his head. Maybe five, 10% is actually spent on the leaders, the rest of his spend on the contributors. So the madness is crazy, but the thought processes, you and I both knows that. And everyone listening, how fast sales is it change? It's just changing, right? If you're not equipping your leaders to keep up, how do you even get ahead of like, just even keep up on the new topics, on social, selling on LinkedIn, on all the things they should be doing and helping their teams. They can't effectively ever coach if they, if they're not even up to speed on what's new in the market, does that make sense? Am I going down a rabbit hole? There is that fair?
Speaker 1 00:31:32 Totally. That, I mean, there are people that, you know, that claim to be really great coaches, and then you go in and you know, they haven't updated their LinkedIn profile in five years. Okay. They might still say that business is all about relationships and it's all about that relationship sale, which, Hey, maybe that worked for you and your individual contributor role. It certainly doesn't scale. Right. I have a hard time blaming that leader if they weren't trained up high there by their company. Right. Yep.
Speaker 2 00:32:02 W w where do you think, and this is always kind of can be a kind of a divisive question, because obviously people work for organizations, but like what role does the company versus your own? Like, self-improvement like, like, do you have a leg to stand? No, my company did provide me the training. That's why like, w w where do you fall on that? Like, Hey, if you ain't got it, go figure it out. What's the thought process? How do you kind of approach that subject of, Hey, I don't get any of that training in my company. That's why I don't know how to coach. Where do you fall on
Speaker 1 00:32:33 That? I suggest people take extreme ownership approach. Like you're hired to do a job, so you'd need to do it, right. You're a rep you're hired to hit a quota. You need to hit a quota. It's not marketing's quota. It's not your STRs quota. It's your quota. Right? Same thing with sales leaders, you have a number to hit. You have goals to hit. You might have, you know, additional, additional things tied to your compensation, outside of a number like, you know, I have hiring and ramping and training, training goals, tied to my bonuses and like, it's my job to do that. And if I don't know how to do it effectively, it's my job to figure it out. I accepted the role and I acknowledged what my responsibilities would be. Nowhere did it say, and the company will do everything for me. It's never said that for me, it's not in my contract of employment. It's my job to do it. And if I'm not getting it, like it's not going to hurt me to go out and learn it on my own. That's how I figured things out most of my career, because I've been in startup world where it was me and 1, 2, 3, 4 more people, and nobody knew what the heck we were doing. Right. So yeah, you go, go read some books, go listen to podcasts, read some blogs and figure it out. Absolutely people should take that responsibility on themselves. Yeah.
Speaker 2 00:33:52 You know what I did? And I've had this conversation multiple times, but I think it dovetails so closely to what we're talking about is that there there's no, there's no time. At least when I started 20 years ago, I mean, to learn something, you actually have to put some work in. You had to go to a bookstore. He had to go find a book, read it, pop, maybe a cassette in a deck, whatever. Like today, it's just so accessible. Go to an on demand library of one of these great sales trainers, listen to a podcast like this. Every other day, tend to webinar, listen, follow five, 10 blogs, and set aside some time each and every day to listen to one podcast. Even if it's one a week, one webinar, one book a month, whatever those nuggets like, even what I'm always baffled by Zack is like, well, Hey, there's a cost. Invest in yourself. Like, I mean, even if the company doesn't give you a stipend, which I do believe a company should, at least, if they're not going to give you the training, you should get a stipend for, self-improvement only behooves them. But thoughts on that? Like, Hey, that's fair. Right?
Speaker 1 00:34:59 I think companies should not all companies do. And not all companies will, but even there, like you should know that going in. Like, if you're, if you're a sales rep, if you're a sales leader, if you're trying to get into leadership and you're interviewing with the company and you accept a role, if you didn't ask about that, that's on you and you still got the job. So number one, ask about it. If it's not too late, ask about their investment in training. I love it. When, when reps and leaders asked me that, right. They asked me what kind of training and coaching is provided. I love that when people ask, make sure that they know that that's a focus of yours, like I'm trying to get better. I'm trying to make sure that I stay on the cusp of technology, um, tactics of methodologies, networking, all of those things. Cause that makes me a better leader. So are you willing to support me as one of your employees and invest in me to make sure that I, you know, I stay valuable to you. That question very rarely goes wrong. And if it does, you're probably not wanting to work at that company.
Speaker 2 00:36:08 Uh, another thing that I, I think you may agree on, but I want to get your thoughts on it, especially I think for even definitely for an individual contributor, but I think maybe leaders lose this. Once again, it goes back to that. Pride is mentors. You, you should have someone to bounce ideas off of outside your organization that you could talk through, Hey, I'm running into this. I agree. Like you should find a mentor. You agree with that. They not necessarily, what's your thoughts around that?
Speaker 1 00:36:36 Yeah. I'm probably guilty of not having true mentors in my way. I have tons of people that I bounce ideas off. I collaborate with. I have regular phone calls with I text back and forth that are smarter than me and more so I don't, I don't have anybody right now in an official like mentor capacity where they're dedicating to amount of hours a week, a month or whatever I've done it in the past. And I think it's incredibly valuable. And I think people should be looking to others for that outside view. I've had companies that have paid for me to have mentors paid for me to have a sales coach, an external person outside of it. And I've really appreciated, even if I didn't didn't implement everything that coach was giving me like the fact that I've had somebody to bounce ideas off of, to, to vent, to, to collaborate with and challenge me on things where I wasn't getting challenged. And, you know, in-house was very valuable as something that is worth paying for in spades. For sure. I,
Speaker 2 00:37:40 I go back to my days at a company, I won't name the company and I wasn't getting coaching. I wasn't really getting a whole lot of great management, but I had a job to your point. I still had hit quit. I had to provide for my family. It's nothing like I had to make money, you know? So I went out and found a mentor. I went out and spent the money to improve. Like, those are things that I think that think that is the key to some degree around the ability to take it to another level and set yourself apart from the rest of the crowd, if you will. But they're all great tools and all great resources for you. I'm going to go to number six and I actually have one other one, but number six, lack of technology, or how to use technology to drive efficiency, agree, disagree like a gong, a chorus to maximize call recordings, those types of things. W w what do you think?
Speaker 1 00:38:33 Well, there's a reason why gone. That's one of the fastest growing SAS companies in history. They're a really damn good tool that provide a ton of value, right? And there's a reason why there are so many competitors popping up there. There's a reason why all of the engagement tools are building their own conversation intelligence piece, because they've realized how incredibly valuable that technology is and how, you know, how much more scalable, you know, makes that leader. I, I think, uh, revenue, intelligence, conversation, intelligence, whatever you call that and category, something like that is an absolute necessity. If you have people that are selling on the phone, absolute necessity and makes a huge difference. If people say they don't need it, and then it's too much, they don't know what they're talking about. They haven't looked at it, right.
Speaker 2 00:39:30 That's one, I fundamentally, I'm going to, I'm going to expand it a bit. I do agree to conversational one. I still don't know if I'm actually doing, doing enough with it. I try and I I'm getting better, but I think I need to learn better, but I think it goes past that a bit. I'm assuming you agree about get your thoughts. Like you should have a, you should have requirements around your entire texts. Like you should have a sales tech stack, like the days of not having tech, other than a CRM. I was like, I got a tech stack. I got a CRM. No, that's one piece of the puzzle. Like if you're a leader in today's day and age, you've got to be always looking to drive efficiency. And your tech stack not only helps you with, from an efficiency, but to your point, it also layers into your coaching style and your coaching ability, because you can give real time coaching with those tools in feedback, across the slack channels and all that kind of good stuff. What's your thoughts around just the tech stacks,
Speaker 1 00:40:27 Absolute necessity. And I think there are some things that every company should have. If they have a sales team, they should have a really good CRM. In fact, I probably eight, 10 months ago, I did a podcast with, I was calling steward over at predictable revenue on investing in the right stuff, right. Not the bare bones, cheap stuff early on, because it's really expensive to change later. Right. But good CRM, a good sales engagement tool, a good coaching software, revenue intelligence, again, conversation intelligence. I would say those three things. And then based on who you sell to some sort of way to build your leads right. And build the people you're outbounding to whether that be zoom info or lead IQ or, or anything like, I mean, that's the core four right there. That should be non-negotiables. You should absolutely have all four of those things. And again, based on who you sell to how big your company is and the types of sales cycles that you have, there's a whole bunch of other things that, that go into play there as well with marketing automation and account based marketing and so forth. But, you know,
Speaker 2 00:41:36 I think the one thing I want to make sure we tie that back, why I kind of went down that path from a tech stack because really time is fine. Everybody's got the same amount of time each and every day. And the technology allows you to maximize that time. So I want to make sure that we're hitting that home and B that's rich data that, that should help educate where you're training your team and where the deficiencies or opportunities are and where people are struggling. That's the conversational analysis, the tool you're referring to deal cycle, deal, velocity, CRM, data that you get average deal size. So you understand what are we penetrating, all that thing, all those elements that technology allows us to create or understand should be helping you from a coaching standpoint. Agree.
Speaker 1 00:42:22 Absolutely. I can just think of, okay. If I have eight reps reporting to me and I'm trying to spend at least an hour live with each of them every week. Right? Okay. There's a fifth of my week. That's 20% of my time already gone outside of internal meetings inside of team trainings, outside of one-on-ones and so forth. Right. And that's one call. What if my rep has another deal that he needs to collaborate with me on, right. Or strategize a lot. It's a lot easier to go into the recording, cut out the, you know, to cut out the dead space where you were put on hold, or they're waiting for people to join. Like it's so much easier to go through and still get all of the contexts that I need to coach on and half the time thanks to good. So I can do twice as much by using those tools. And that's be twice as effective in my, in my field work. Right.
Speaker 2 00:43:22 I think this leads to my last one. I want to get your thoughts kind of brought it up. It's a different, right. If I'm managing one, two reps versus leading 7, 8, 9 reps, right. That that's, that's a different beast. Right. And that, that requires, I don't say a lot more, but that, that requires more from a leader. Like how, how do you approach it? How has your team, how have you seen, what is the difference between someone leading one or two leading that in coaching there versus someone coaching seven, eight people.
Speaker 1 00:43:50 Yeah. So we're running into this right now. We've got an inside sales office in Oklahoma, and we have, we have one guy in managing that office. We have reps from four different portfolio companies there that he's managing. So not only does he have to be proficient in several different platforms, but also just has a lot of people that he's he's over. And he, he wants to do everything that, that he knows he should be doing. It's just, it's hard. So with a lot of trainings to go into your reps, training them on the importance of all of this, to help hold him accountable and making sure that they keep it as a priority. And don't give him an excuse to cancel a meeting, to not show up. They need to be the ones going in and booking an hour of his time, not him saying, okay, I've got this list of nine reps, but let's go and check their calendar. Let's go check their calendar, just doing that. It's going to take him a crap ton of time. So training them on the importance, holding them accountable to it toward they are taking the initiative to find time to do it all with him has been a big, big difference maker, as opposed to, you know, a manager that has two or three direct reports. It's far easier to schedule time with them.
Speaker 2 00:45:07 W what is your thoughts on this? This question is kind of got, it has been a little bit divisive in the past. I fall. I kind of can be swayed on either. I see value both ways. I see the downside one way, but I see the value and that specific scenario, if you've got a couple of eight players, like the guy you're talking about, maybe not, but he's been around, he's doing a great job. He knows the training. He's very well. Maybe enabling him to be kind of a mentor coach take on some of that. I know it detracts from his numbers. And maybe he's like, what's your thoughts on that? I've seen people implement that type of a kind of train the trainer and give them some tools to be successful in maybe their next career. It's a win-win.
Speaker 1 00:45:49 So as a general rule, I hate the player coach role as a general rule, we've had issues here. I've had issues elsewhere. If you sacrifice your number or you sacrifice the team's number. Absolutely. That being said, I think there is a case to be made for not, not an official team lead capacity, where you're responsible for the performance of other people, but Hey, you know, we're going to, we're going to bump up your base salary a little bit. If you'll help do this, or even better, keep it all the same, but they have expressed a willingness and a desire to move up to management, but don't have that experience. Hey, this is your opportunity. Like it's not an official capacity. It's more of a dry test run. Would you be willing to, you know, we'd be called coaching sessions on Tuesdays and Thursdays, right? Like you're, you're, you're already analyzing the call yourself.
Speaker 1 00:46:45 Anyway, as part of your individual homework, would you be willing to just run the meeting, take on that one thing that's no additional time. It's just an additional thing that you say in that same time period, or would you be willing to, to train on this, you know, this product feature, this objection, this integration in our weekly team meeting, things like that, I think are incredibly helpful. They help people up let their skills, don't distract them from their number. I, I really like that approach. I, I am very, very against giving somebody a hybrid quota, even if you're lowering their individual number. I don't think it works.
Speaker 2 00:47:30 That makes sense. Talk to me a little bit about just final thoughts and I want to get, I wanted to get a couple of things. I did this the other day, and I think it was a good final thought. What would be your final thought tips, recommendations for a new sales leader? Who's just taking on a new role versus tips, recommendations for a tenured person. That's been doing it a while, but is looking to get better or we're looking to be, you know, make a change, whatever the case is.
Speaker 1 00:47:59 Yeah. For, for a new sales leader, don't get locked into what you think the role should be with dashboards and stuff like that. And building Excel spreadsheets. The most important thing you can do as a leader is spend time on calls with your reps, whether that be recordings or live calls, spend time with them actually doing the work that is by far the most impactful thing that a rep will tell you, you will have on their career. And it will be the most impactful thing on the end number as well, because you'll win more deals, try everything else out. If you have to and make that your number one priority that you can't miss and things will be exponentially better for you.
Speaker 2 00:48:46 What about for a more senior sales leader?
Speaker 1 00:48:50 I, I would say the advice is the same. Don't get caught up in your seniority, right? People appreciate the managers that spend time with them and don't call them and ask them about their forecast. Right. I don't don't get caught up in your experience or title your seniority. Remember what got you to where you're at. Remember what got you promoted and keep focusing on that because that's the valuable part.
Speaker 2 00:49:15 That's good feedback. I'll piggyback off that because I think those two are phenomenal. And I think you're right. It's not that big of it. Like I think that advice transcends new re new leader, tenured leader. It transcends it. You brought this up offline. I think we've kind of talked about it, but as I would say, as a sales leader, and I've tried to be better at this block off that time, be really hyper diligent. This is my coaching time. And I put in my calendar in asterix, do not book over because I have people that just think they can access my calendar, book, everything for me block off the time. If you're just getting down that path, start small, don't over commit because you've says you start to over commit all the wheels, fall off, start building, keep growing it. And then I think you brought up a great point layer in the right technology. There's those fundamental technologies you have got to have. Don't be afraid to fight for the technology to get the technology, to help grow you as a sales leader through efficiency. And I think my last thing would coast to the numbers, right? Zack is not, everyone's built the same. Like you mentioned a book that they're individuals, so one may need the other may not be, those are the three things that I've tried to kind of take and digest and figure out along the journey for myself. So thoughts on that Greenville that are on that
Speaker 1 00:50:41 Side. So I want to comment on what you found, what we were talking about with walking out. Yeah. You need to be religious about that and like, not just about blocking it off, but pushing back on people that don't treat that calendar time. I mean, I have an example of that. I was asked to be part of the pricing strategy group that required like an hour and a half of my time for eight weeks straight for a company that I'm not directly involved with. I flat out told them I'm happy to join my can, but there is no way in how I can commit to that because those sessions are, that's what I was hired to do. So I'm happy to help contribute, but I am not canceling those because that's far more important, a hundred percent. Not only do you need to block it off, but you need to.
Speaker 2 00:51:37 So what you're saying is, and I know it's almost managing up, right? You got to manage that. That's not just the peers. I think you gotta be hyper diligent. He was senior leaders like,
Speaker 1 00:51:48 Oh, for sure. They're the biggest culprit, overtaking calendars.
Speaker 2 00:51:54 Hey Zach. So where can people connect with you find you all that kind of good stuff.
Speaker 1 00:52:00 LinkedIn is the easiest way. I regularly post my cell number. Like I, I'm a very big believer in texting. You can call text me and it's not going to offend me, find me on LinkedIn, connect with me as long as, you know, as long as you're not a spam bot. And as long as you don't try to pitch me, which does happen 80% of the time, right. As long as like, don't do that and you'll stick, you'll stand out and I'm happy to chat and happy to provide insights for you to bounce ideas off me as my calendar. That's
Speaker 2 00:52:37 Awesome, man. Yeah. And we'll also provide a link to a LinkedIn profile on the show notes. So it's easy for you, but that may sincerely appreciate you taking the time brother.
Speaker 1 00:52:48 It's been a blast, Sam. Thanks for having me have a good one.
Speaker 0 00:52:52 Thank you for listening to the sales samurai podcast with your house, Sam Capra, be sure you subscribe to our podcast and visit sales <inaudible> dot IO and join the conversation. Access show notes and discover bonus content.
VP Sales @ Vehlo
Zach Barney is the VP of Sales Enablement at Vehlo, where he not only handles onboarding, training, and tech stack implementation for their 11 portfolio companies, but also serves as interim VP of Sales for various companies in their portfolio as needed. Outside of Vehlo, Zach does startup sales consulting, and absolutely loves spending time with his wife, Erika and their 5 children. He loves running and biking, as well as watching basketball. Fun Fact: Should Zion Williamson hit his stride as an NBA megastar, Zach will be a very happy camper, as he currently owns 30+ Zion rookie cards!