The Pavilion Podcast
The Pavilion Podcast

Episode · 7 months ago

Ep 69: Sales Is An Infinite Game w/ Kris Wiig

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Ep 69: Sales Is An Infinite Game w/ Kris Wiig

Part of the "Thank God it's Monday" series hosted by Tom Alaimo.

All right, welcome back to the RevenueCollective podcast. Thank God it's monday. This is your host Tom Alamohere to bring you the tactics and strategies that revenue leaders need tobe successful in 2021. So thanks for joining. Thanks for listening. Butbefore we get to today's guest, I want to give a quick shout out to oursponsor quota path. So quota Path is a commission tracking software built forsales, operations, finance and accounting teams. If runningcommissions and payroll has you running for the Hills, quota path is for youquote, a path helps organizations track and manage commissions and pay theirteams accurately and on time every time. Keep your team motivated and on target.Simplify your commissions. That quota path dot com slash revenue dashcollective and give your reps the gift of transparency for this episode.Really excited. I talked to chris, wig. Chris is the VP of partnerships over atfree will, has a ton of different startup experience, you know. Fun factis that she's worked out almost a dozen startups now and every single one ofthem has either been acquired or still maintaining a healthy business rightnow. So she essentially comes in as you know, either the first salesperson oryou know, the first VP of sales and comes in and creates all the processesand gets the job done. And one of my favorite takeaways from ourconversation was about playing the infinite game. It's something thatChris has kind of labeled out on her linkedin and is a really interestingconcept about, you know, a finite versus an infinite game and I thinkSimon's and recently wrote a book on it as well. So I think you're really goingto enjoy this conversation. If you do make sure to give us a shout out onapple podcasts, you can subscribe, leave a review. It all helps to growthe show. So without further ado, let's get straight into my conversation withchris, quit. All right, chris wig. Welcome to the revenue collectedpodcast. Good morning, Good morning tom. How you doing? I'm doing excellent. Howare you doing? Well? My team is one deal away from hitting goal, so alright.Really, I'm pace to meet our goals in the quarter, which is always nice.That's great. That's great. It's a good feeling when you're a week away fromthe end of the quarter and all you have left is one deal or if you have alreadyhit, so you're probably sleeping by the end of this conversation, I anticipatewe will have hit goals. So that's exciting. That's good. That's you sleepa lot better the last few days of March, when that's the case. Very true, Verytrue. The fun part of the emotional roller coaster that is sales totally,totally. And are you out in new york city right now? When Covid hit, Iactually moved out to my house in an area called Hampton based on a longisland. So I've been out here by the beach and in the woods for about a yearnow, but I'm not born and raised in new york city, grew up on that small littleisland of Manhattan and got into all my early trouble there. So I'm a city forsure. Nice. That's awesome. But I always love to know how people arespending their covid days. If you were one of the few that remained in, in newyork city, I'm one of the few that remained in san Francisco. So it's like,you know, it's our own like playground out here. No one's out here. So, Butyeah, hitting the beach. Nothing, nothing wrong with that either. Yeah,I've gone back into the city once or twice to see some friends and go out todinners in those like little igloos and see what the city life is like. But I'mcertainly enjoying a walk every day with my dog down to the beach andseeing some trees and I'm now into bird watching, which I never thought in mylife I'd be saying that. But uh, it's fun. Probably like a good way to kindof like flip off your mind from like all of the like hard work and stressand focus of sales and leadership. Yeah. This has actually been a reallyinsightful year in terms of what, you know, what we'll get into probably isthat I see sales as a craft that can be mastered and that we as a salespersonor really the instrument and we have to...

...keep our instrument really finallytuned. And this last year of getting a lot of unplug and a lot of alone timeisolated time has actually been this tremendous opportunity to really tunemy own instrument and start to realize some of the other habits and thingsthat we can be doing to keep ourselves as sales people really, really tunedthis past year, instead of doing, let's take everybody out and get the drunkenparty because we couldn't. I actually sent out foam rollers to my team and wehad a physical therapist who specializes in using breathwork andpelvic floor strengthening to calm your body and get into rest and reposebecause that's when your brain is actually most creative and were able tomost tap into the communication we're having with others. And so these arethe types of strange little things I've been figuring out during Covid that Iprobably wouldn't if I was in the shit storm of new york city startup life.Yeah, that's amazing. I was just talking with someone yesterday aboutthat. How most of, you know, your sales day to day is like you're jumping fromone thing to the next, you're prospecting your call and your on demos,you're following up, you're updating salesforce, whatever, and then, but thebest moments, the most creative moments come, like when you take that step backand you reflect, you take a walk, you watch some birds, you do breathwork,whatever it might be. And I find that to be definitely true for for myselftoo. And I think Covid has allowed maybe some extra time since you're notcommuting and some of these other things to be able to like give yourselfthat space totally. Yeah, I refer to that as this concept of like lettingthings marinade because exactly like you said, it's go, go, go, go, go allday long. I myself I'm in back to back zoom calls literally like switchinggears, conversations. Sometimes it's an internal strategy call. Sometimes it'sme coaching one of my other sales leaders. Sometimes it's me working witha rep who might be overperforming or underperforming. Sometimes it's, youknow, actually joining a call to do a pitch and all day long you're you'reswitching switching gears. So it's really important to find some time tolet it all sink in so you can figure out what to synthesize, take with youlearn share or what to shed. I love that, I love that. And I want aplace that I want to really kind of kick us off is you know, I noticed anddoing some linked in research, like one of the headlines that you have on yourprofiles that you're an infinite Player and I could try to take a stab at whatI think that means. But I'd rather if you just explain it and what that meansto you. Simonson neck is making this concept popular. A lot of what you'llsee, positive psychology and business books doing today are bringing togetherideas that have been discussed by ancient civilizations. So the conceptof being infinite and being an infinite participant is not new whatsoever. Thespecific term infinite player is in regards to how we behave in businessand the reasons why and how we're labeling success. So many businessesunfortunately are chasing things like increasing their stock price,increasing the value or the valuation I should say, of their business andthey're not necessarily looking towards how are they actually being positiveparticipants in the overall, whether it be the economy or the community. So Italked about with my sales team, this concept of being a triple impactsalesperson or a triple impact player and that is focusing on selfdevelopment, focusing on team development and focusing on yourcustomer development. And that's really part of being an infinite player. It'show are you constantly contributing? Because in this game it never ants.There's always something that you could be doing better. There's alwayssomething that you could be doing that would help somebody else. Or there'salways something that you could be learning and sharing with the broadercommunity that you serve. And it literally never stops and that I Iimagine helps in a number of different ways, right? It helps you to when thereare these inevitable ebbs and flows of sales right to be able to shake off abad day, a bad week, a bad quarter...

...because if it is an infinite game, thiscould just be seen as a minor valley in, in an otherwise like, really successfulcareer, which is hard to do in zone out. But also like taking aside your ownquota, the only thing, your own things that you care about and focusing onwhat benefits, you know, the people around you. Like, you know, I heard aquote fairly recently that's really stuck in my mind, like play long termgames with long term people and I love that and I feel like it's a similarconcept. It's the same. That's what I mean. Like so many people are aware ofthese concepts and now more and more we have speakers and authors who are usingso saint language to capture really, really big ideas. So how do you as aleader instill that in the team and you know, on a day to day, on a week toweek? Like how did how do you keep that top of mind for I guess I'll share withyou some things that my team says to me about first and foremost, I show up, Ibelieve I spend a lot of time trying to figure out how a person can trust meand that usually means I have to be the vulnerable one in the beginning. So youknow, these are all forget about leadership really as a word, becauseit's really about like how are you building connection with somebody? Howare you creating a report where they're gonna be okay letting you see theirweaknesses because if I'm their coach and leader and I don't know their weakspots, we're not going to get anywhere right if they're spending too much timetrying to cover up their weaknesses, especially in a fast moving startup,Those weaknesses are going to get revealed later on and it's going toscrew us all up. So I try to spend a lot of time, first and foremostbringing people on the team that have a growth mindset and I'm very, verydirect in the interviews that it's like I I use words like love, right? LikeI'm gonna demonstrate to you that I care about you that I love you, but I'malso gonna give you direct feedback and I'm going to try to not give youcriticism until you understand that the only reason I'm doing it is to help youget better. So if you want to get better, I need you to get comfortablewith me and vulnerable with me so I can help you to get there or I can at leastshow you some ideas or some pathways that you can explore. But if you'respending all your time just focused on hitting quota just to make commissionand you're going to do all the tricks and hacks to get there and you're notinterested in a deeper learning and a deeper mastery of the craft. Don't comework here, right? There's a concept of different reps, maybe you've heardabout the sales learning curve, there's the renaissance rep, the enlightenedrep in the coin operated rep. I tend not to hire coin operated reps, but Ialso work at very early stage companies, so we don't have the luxury of hiringin somebody and handing them a recipe because we're all still creating thatrecipe for the first five years of a business. For the most part, you'rereally still figuring out what's the product market fit, how's the productadoption curve, moving? Are we selling to the right buyer personas? So Ireally try to hire people that I can see are very coachable that have agrowth mindset that have that internal motivation and then it's my job toinspire them and every single person is little different. I'm sometimes muchbetter at reaching others and there's always people that you know, theregrets in my career are people that I realized I never got them to trust meand that's on me. So that's that's what I believe the leader is doing is it ismy responsibility to figure out what type of environment to create for you.So you trust me enough to let me help you. Mm How do you kind of like sipthrough that ability, that coach ability the growth mindset like in aninterview process. And especially now that all interviews are remote and havebeen probably for the last year or so. So sometimes it's through some simplequestions about really their their life, right? So I look for otherdemonstrations of mastery. You'll see sometimes I'm linked in. I'll getmyself in a conversation where someone's talking about hiring athletes.I'm a former division one basketball player myself. I've also been abasketball coach for 23 years. I don't give a shit about hiring athletes. Igive a shit about hired people who...

...mastered something. So I have hiredmasons, I have hired mathematicians, I have hired gymnasts, I've hired peoplewho are chess masters. I've hired professional golfers, power lifters. Idon't care what it is that you learn to do. You could be a chef if you havegone through the pain and the joy of mastering something, I can teach youhow to sell because it's all the same really like Yeah, I talked to this guya while ago that was he was like a power lifter and then he took that towriting and then he took that to to business and it's like it's the sameexact thing, you know, instead of lifting this much weight, you'resending these emails or you're preparing the, you know, sushi orwhatever you're doing as a chef. Like it's all the same process. You justkind of replicated for each of the different crafts, right? And then it'sreally where you know where do your interests align? So I'll usually talkto people about, tell me about times when you've mastered something and thatthen I get to also see if they're not excited about telling me somethingthey've mastered. That's also because unfortunately I know a lot of peoplewho they were forced by their families, guardians, parents, to pursue a certaintrack of mastery, but they hated it right, just because they were gettingrecognition. I know I played basketball Brown, which is an ivy league schooland if you get if you get into an ivy league school and you are playing asport, there's no scholarship that you lose if you stop playing. So youactually see, whereas other types of D1 programs, you're usually getting moneyor financial aid or scholarship money only because you're playing. I saw alot of athletes quit the sport that they had spent 10 plus years perfectingBecause they finally realized, oh I don't have to do this anymore. And Iplayed on the team for all four years at the bench a lot. But like I wasobsessed with basketball and um I would go out and play in the public schoolplaygrounds as a little kid when I was like 10 or 11 years old. I was the onlylittle kid that age playing with men because I loved it. I got my buttkicked all the time. I love to play. That's why I coach. I think similar insales when people come in, it's a job that you can make a lot of money, right?And you can apply process. But if you really want to have a lifelong careerin sales, you have to get to a much deeper level of joy and seeing thatit's, it's truly a craft and not just something to hack your way to a quotaor commission check. You mentioned using the word love in like theinterview process and with your team. And I'm curious this is a little bit ofa tangent, but have you, have you seen the netflix, like documentary seriescalled The Playbook? No, I have not. So it's like 30 minute episodes aboutthese different coaches of all these different sports. And one is with DocRivers who is one of my idols, especially from his Celtics days. Andit just talks about, you know, he talks about the worst advice he ever got wasdon't care about your players and he talks about how important it is to givea shit about the people that you're working with and that sometimes it'snot gonna work out, Sometimes they're not going to reciprocate. Sometimesthey're not going to be vulnerable back with you or we're not going to get itand that happens. But like to not put that effort into not be vulnerablefirst as a leader is you know, the worst advice that he ever got, he kindof flipped that and that was kind of his superpower. So I'd highly suggestthat for anyone that's out here that especially if you're such a basketballnut. I mean he's just great. Yeah. Well, so I've been with a group calledPositive Coaching Alliance for about 15 years. Doc Rivers is part of thatorganization. It's a nonprofit that focuses on transforming you throughcoaching through sport. And that's, that is literally the crux of it. Isthat forget about the scoreboard. If you are a youth sports coach, you arethere to ignite the flame and these kids and you're, you know, I don't knowif you've ever been to a youth sporting event, parents and coaches are losingtheir shit, right, yelling, screaming up, right? I mean there's like a lot ofviolence that goes on from the adults...

...at youth sporting events. And so thistype of mentality, this when at all costs mentality or this wack mentalityis something that a lot of leaders have woken up to that it doesn't work. I'mreally happy to see that there's a ton of professional coaches out there,olympic coaches that adhere to this and they understand that it really is aboutthe people on their team. And if you're only focused on the scoreboard, you'regoing to lose their trust pretty quickly. Yeah. And isn't it interesting?You mentioned that you don't hire or tend not to hire like the coin operatedrep for the reasons that you mentioned. But isn't it interesting that if youactually take one of those other two approaches and play the long game, thatactually probably nets you more money in the long term, right? Because you'reyou're building your skills and so like you might not get that extra deal thisquarter, but if you build your skills over a long enough time period, thenyou have the most opportunities later in your career, like Yeah. What wouldyou say? That's true. Yeah. But so let's maybe though, the importance whenyou're in a sales role of the short game is literally keeping your job. Sothis is where and I'm part of the system, right? Like I manage a team totheir quarterly goal. The first thing I said to you when we got on is we'reabout to hit goal that the antithesis of the win at all costs mentality,right? Because I'm sitting here being like, yeah, what if we weren't? I stillhave to love my team, right? They have to know that I love them even if wedon't hit this quarter, right? But part of this is we got to rally peoplebecause we haven't overarching responsibility to the organization.We've joined to help that organization thrive. So when I look at my career,you know, we talked about, I've had the opportunity to work at several startups.I usually come in, sometimes it's even pre zero year meaning like a couplepeople come up with some cockamamie idea and I'm the person that go to tostart talking to the market about the vetting this idea. And then I get, I'mreally good at getting user feedback because I'm tuned in that even if aperson saying something, I can see that they may not fully agree with what theyjust said. Ask the person then like, well, you know, would you actually usethis tool in this way? And then I get the real answer and then we build agood product. That doesn't mean that I stayed at those companies. Sometimesit's because our teams can't get to the numbers that we put forth to investorsin B. C. S. Right? So this concept of an infinite game and work beingpurposeful hits a hard reality wall because of the way that businesses areset up. Right? We, I mean I come in, somebody hands me a plan, I parachuteonto this crazy terrain and they say hey take this one million that we havein revenue and find a way to turn it into 10 million in this amount of time.And if you don't put that done in this exact amount of time that when we madeour models and pulled some bullshit out of the air, we don't even have a fullybaked product then you might not have a job here anymore. Right? So all thecompanies that I've worked for have either been acquired or still inbusiness today and I was a foundational piece of building that, but I'm not atthose businesses anymore. Right? So sometimes a lot of the work and thefoundation that you're putting in does not bear the fruit until six months,nine months, 18 months, 24 months later, particularly when you're selling intothe enterprise software space. Right? I mean, we know that an enterprisesoftware deal at a minimum is going to take you 4 to 6 months and that's likethe luckiest fucking deal you ever found yourself in, uh, throughenterprise sale, right? More likely when you first start out and a productis new to market, you might be signing deals three years later that youpitched your first week on the job. So a lot of what I do is also educatingthe founders and business owners that I work with about the reality of averagecontract value. How many meetings can we possibly get done? What's ourpotential wind rate? But most importantly, what's the actual salecycle length? Because people say like,...

...oh, you should be able to ramp up a repin three months in what world And what was using the wheels that were already90 of the way closed. Right? So I think there's sometimes with this infiniteplayer mentality, it's really hard because you do have moments where it'slike if the numbers aren't being put on the board. there are a lot of peoplethat you have to answer to and in a startup environment, that also meansyou're know what like sales is floating to business, right? If we're notfeeling teams don't grow, if teams don't grow, people might start gettingfired. So I take a very deep responsibility of if you are at anearly stage company and you are a sales leader, you are literally keepingeverybody their employees. Mm So you mentioned, which is really amazing.Every place that you went to is either still alive or five of them have beenacquired. So I think, I feel like part of that is the work that you've donethere, which we talked about and part of that is choosing the right company.So I'm curious like, do you have a process or a filter used for what typeof opportunities that you look for? I mean, early in my career, not so much.So my first start, right out of college, I worked at Bloomberg. I graduatedbrown in 2001. That was one of the many worlds, you know, financial recessions.And I thought I was gonna go into finance like so many other people do.And thank God I did not. But I generally went into finance because afriend said, hey, you know, Bloomberg is hiring for salespeople, I thinkyou'd be great. He was already working there. And when I walked in the firstinterview was they just threw me in a role play and I was like, this is thefucking job I'm in like this one that was fun and I was actually the to my,the best. So what I know what they told me at the time, I don't know if it'sstill true. I was the first person they ever hired right out of college intotheir terminal sales program instead of putting me into what they call theanalytics or help desk for like a year or two. I talked about of thetraditional track that a college grad. So, and then I became the secondhighest selling person in their new york office, and I became the 14thhighest selling person in the world. And that was when I was like 24 yearsold. So they commissioned. But what I realized was so then I started lookingand what happened is I got recruited by a financial tech startup that wasselling to the new york city and Tri state area hedge fund community, whichin 2000 to 2000 and three was popping meaning like everyone was leavinginvestment banks and going to start their own hedge fund and all these. SoI got to work with hedge funds. It's very much like startups, it's a coupleof guys usually and they're in an office the size of a closet and they'rejust grinding all day and many of them hit really big. So I was really luckythat I got exposed to fast growth companies in a fast paced environmentthat was also demanding if I showed up to talk to a hedge fund manager and Ididn't know my shit, you're literally thrown out of the office, right. Ilearned very early on good habits and then from there I got recruited toother types of fintech startups because of my ability to a crack into the hedgefund community, but also the trust that I had built and these hedge funds weretrading all different types of financial instruments and they were allnew software companies popping up for each one of these. So I had a lot ofsuccess in the Fintech world, went through one acquisition, we went from 0to 5 million in about two years, got acquired by a company called Moody's,which is a big publicly traded financial company. Then I went backinto startups and I decided I didn't want to be in finance. But at thatpoint in time I had built up my skills and reputation of being a startup salesbuilder and that I could, you know, basically navigate all these differentindustries within finance. And then I moved to SAN Francisco and took over asthe West coast head of sales for a small media tech start up. And so I'vealways been lucky that I'm I call myself like I've worked for the frenchmasters of the world, you probably don't even know what friendster is.Everyone knows what facebook is. Before there was Myspace before Myspace, therewas Friendster, right? So like facebook...

...was not a new idea is just the one thatpopped right. So, I've worked for a lot of friends stirs, meaning I was veryfortunate my career to see that these were trends that we're about to takehold, but it doesn't mean that I was at the business that grew the fastest orthe best or that hit it at the right momentum. But we were lucky enough andwe had the right idea and built the foundation of a technology and acustomer base that they're either they've either been acquired or they'restill in business today. So I've worked in like mechanical engineering software,I've worked in texting and wireless mm SMS and messaging. I've worked incannabis technology, which is going to be a booming software um, in terms ofall the tracking. So like I've seen so many different business models, butit's really all the same shit. What are we building, who's going to use it? Whyare they going to use it? What value are they going to have And how do wethen continue to iterate and and help that community. So how do you like, howis it that you find those opportunities in the friendster phases it that theypitch, they pitch you or you meet them and then you, you're like, oh this isgoing to be big, or do you keep your high out on all these different markets?Like oh this is gonna be big, like I need to find a company that fits intothis. Uh so I have this concept of paranoia instead of paranoia, is thatthe universe is conspiring in my favor. Right? So it's so lucky that I justtalk about shit I care about and when you do that people around you and youencourage people around you to talk about the ship they care about, youjust start to jam with each other. So every single company I've worked forexcept you know, I've done some stints at large companies where I went throughthe proper interview process, but including that one I believe everysingle job I've had, they found me and not because I post, it doesn't even, Idon't even have a website, right. I have a consulting business. I callraising startups, but I get a text and email or a phone call from a friend ora friend of a friend or somebody I helped for free and they say, hey, Iwas talking about you with this person, Could you chat with them for 2030minutes? Sure. Or I might be on something like this and somebody hearsme talk and they reach out to me or I used to do a lot of like sales panelsor little workshops for free and several different times, founders andCeos would chat with me and I would originally offer my time for free a lotbecause I enjoyed it. I started to having to not do that because Iliterally don't have enough time And now, you know, I'm on the board fordifferent startups as a, you know, incentivized advisor. I'm on the boardof nonprofits because I love to do it. So for me, I've been really fortunateand then I get to choose who, who do I have the best energy with. Right, wherecan I be? The most useful is really what I look for. I once took a job. Idon't even have it on my resume purely for money and really didn't. It onlylasted a couple of weeks because within the first few weeks it was like, thisfucking sucks. Now it is and you quit. And what was the mutual like this is, Ican't get somebody on the team that closed the deal, the largest deal inthe company's history. And I gave that person who was a former athletethemselves and enjoy things like high fives. And the ceo of the company madea point of telling me that this was not the type of culture where they gavehigh fives and I said, well you want me to run a sales team when you don't wantme to, you know, hype people up and I don't run it like a frat house. Youknow what I mean? This is not boy, we're going to celebrate our winds.Yeah. I mean a high five is that it was like, like this. Yeah, That's bizarre.So you're obviously very passionate about growth mindset. You know,positive psychology, things like that. I'm curious. Like I love books and Ilove all the stuff that we're talking about. So I'm curious like, are therebooks that you have your your team read that you find yourself rereading thatyou give to people that you suggest...

...people read? Like any topic is fairgame, but I imagine there's probably some in this realm that have it beenimpactful For you. Yeah, I mean there's so what I try to do is because this isprobably 25 years worth of me reading and like a wide variety of differenttopics that I draw in, a lot of different topics. So what I'll usuallytry to do with my team is find snippets or excerpts and we'll do workshopsaround like, you know, I saw that you you have many podcasts ago, youactually spend time with chris voss, right? Never split the difference. Suchsimple stuff in there, but it is not easy. Yeah. Right. And so that's what Ifind most sales books, it's like, here's a really simple sentence, but noone has any idea how to break this down and into specific skills that you canpractice that are accessible. And the reason why I think I look at it thisway is I've been a basketball coach mainly with little kids for many years,right? So I play D one ball. I know how to say to somebody really succinctlanguage about executing a play. But if I turn around and say that to a bunchof 89 year olds, they got no idea what I'm talking about. They don't know whata pivot is, They don't even know how to jump, stop. They barely run up and downthe court with their shoelaces tied. Right? So coaching little kids inbasketball really taught me about if you go in teaching the novel and theydon't know the A. B. CS, nothing's going to happen. So I spent a lot oftime trying to figure out what are the skills and the deliberate practice wecan do around each one of these things that these big books talk about. SoI'll read a lot on positive psychology is really about a different mindset.But how do we turn that into practice? Right. Like, um, I think in your lastpodcast, in your Millennial Development podcast, you did a section on habits,right? Good habits and atomic habits. These are the little things that wehave to keep breaking down, Right? So how do I get a rep to start making 100calls a week? I don't tell them immediately. Make 100 calls a weekbecause they're going to make 100 shitty calls. Yeah, I got to get themfirst passionate about making a good call and making it fun and turning itinto something that they're gonna look forward to do because if they'relooking forward to do it, then they're going to naturally just do more of it,right? So, um I could I could keep going on and stuff like that, but ifyou want to keep peppering in different questions, that might keep me on track.No, no, no. I mean like, I'm good with it and like, it all kind of goes intothis this topic that you emailed to me last week, earlier this week when I sawit, I was like, My excitement level went from a 10 to an 18 out of 10. Uhyou said that sales is now, I might be misquoting you, but like, a path todeeper self understanding and personal growth, which if you're not asalesperson, like the everyday person on the street would be like, that is aridiculous statement, but it really resonated with me. So I'd love for youto just talk a little bit about like how sales has helped you understandyourself as a person more and maybe even vice versa. The more youunderstand yourself, the better salesperson needs to come. Yeah. Okay.So we can maybe forward engineer and then reverse engineer this response.Right? So when you look at sales, there's a couple of magic math formulasthat are going to tell you if you're doing well or not. One that stands outto me most is sales velocity. Right? So that's literally number ofopportunities you're working times the average contract value times your winrate divided by how long it takes you to close the deal. So let's break down.How do we, if you want to improve if you wanted to double your salesperformance in the course of a year, what are all the things you have towork on and they're all hidden in that formula? So number of opportunitiesworks is probably the fastest one I can start cracking at by just repetition. Ican book myself more meetings. But if I keep selling a $10,000 product Insteadof a $20,000 product, I got to do a lot more meetings or I got to dramaticallyimprove my win rate. So now we go...

...through a lot of times it's difficultfor rep to control the contract price, right? It's the cost of the product.However, there is usually an opportunity to sell more of it, right?So if you're selling a license software, its number of seats. So instead oftaking a 10 C deal, You're trying to get that 50 seat deal because you knowthe business can support that. The win rate though is where a lot of thispersonal development And the sale cycle length is where who you are as you showup to your client, that's where you impact those two. Right? So what Ibelieve by that is what does the win rate mean? If you've got a 20 win rate,that means out of 100 deals, only 20 of them close. Well, what the fuckhappened to the other 80 if you don't go back and say, why did I lose 80deals? Right? Why did I lose these 80 deals? Was it something that I did? Wasit me chasing a customer that I should know better about? So then I'm going tolook at ideal customer profile by your persona. I'm going to look at thingslike what customer challenge Challenger talks about, which is mobilizes andtalkers. Do I have sales happy ears, right. Did I have the right peopleinvolved? Did I stopped following up appropriately? Right. So, and then thesales cycle length why you deals drag on? Because there's no urgency createdbecause you haven't done a good job from the very first meeting, convincingyour customer that there is a problem that they need to solve immediately.Right? So, I mean, we could go on for hours, literally. This is like thewhole crux of of um, Teaching sales is there's always something more until youwere at 100 win rate, something in that formula is wrong, right? It kind ofgoes back to like you're always seeking mastery, but you'll never attain it.You never will have 100 win rate at the highest deal number of a billion dealsa month, you know that, but you can always continue to to try to kind ofimprove on that formula. And that's exactly why. Looking for people whounderstand mastery is important. The best athletes in the world practice allthe fucking time and they are the best at what they do yet. They are the firstones in the gym. Yeah, right. Because they know it's not just about slippingback, it's about continuously improving and getting better. Also as asalesperson and also an athlete, you start to realize that some of theskills that initially get your career going are honestly not sustainable,right? There's like a certain mania in the early years of selling that I don'tI don't have energy for that right now, but the same way I play basketball, itused to be, I would run the court, I would, you know, I was a streetballplayer now as an older lady that wants to protect my knees, my ankles and myhips and my fingers. I know how to play a much more set offense. I know how toget people open. I know how to be more useful in a totally different way. Igot to know who who's your team, Who are your favorite players? Let's talkbasketball first. No, like this this is a funny part. I will talk coachingbasketball and my personal love of basketball all day. I got I don't Idon't watch tv, I really don't like down and so I got no fucking idea whoseeven a super is a is a friend and someone you know, so that's my favoriteplayer. So the legend team. Yeah, she's a friend. Huh? She's a friend. Yeah,I've known um there's a group of women that I've been playing basketball withrecreationally for after I graduated college in new york city. And Sue isvery good friends with one of them. So she's actually spent a lot of time withthe crew. So it's, yeah, she's somebody I know and Megan, I've met, you know, acouple of times as well, but it's, it's, she's a normal awesome person. Yeah.She's a legend. Yeah. That's awesome. I know we're getting somewhat close ontime. I want to make sure you spend a few minutes just talking about likenetworking and leveraging community. Obviously we're talking about therevenue collective podcast today. So I'd be curious like one, you know, howyou leverage that community and just in...

...general, like I think that also alignsto your mentality on on the infinite game of building relationships withfolks that maybe can't do anything for you today, right. They're not customerstoday, but maybe down the line, they'll be a customer, a partner and employee,a friend, whatever it might be. So I'd love to hear your take on this specificcommunity and then just networking in general. Sure. I had known aboutrevenue collective for some time. I've been curious for a while. The impetusto join though was when Covid hit, I knew that I was going to be suddenlycut off from a community that I could just go to a sales panel and tap into.Right or go to a networking event and tap into in terms of getting feedbackon what other sales leaders are experiencing, like what's happeningOverall in the way the buyers are interacting with sellers. And what Ifound really useful was revenue collective does surveys and basicallycreates like benchmarking reports. And so during COVID to be able to say, Hey,you know, 25 of sales Organisations are basically cutting staff or, and they'recutting staff by 50 or in these industries, sales teams are growing,right? So it was allowing me to keep a pulse on what is successful duringCovid, right? What is because you might be quote unquote failing. But thisfinance taught me this too, right. Like it's, there's relative and there'sabsolute, in absolute terms, Covid was a pretty shitty year for a lot ofpeople in relative terms, there were some real shining stars, right? Sorevenue collectives, data and community was a great way for me to understandall the different things that sales organizations were experiencing and tokind of figure out where my organization was at, what I might beable to do better and what I should keep my eyes open for particularly witheverybody moving into remote and like what are your leaders doing to juststay connected to their teams? Yeah, I love it. And how about networking ingeneral? Like is that something that you spend a little time on? A lot oftime on? Not really much any, you know at all or have used to spend a lot moretime in my career networking I think in recent years really specifically likethe last two or three years I've been so focused on networking with my ownteam. Right, Saturdays and Sundays were texting or chatting, not about work.Right. How are you as a person? What's going on there? You know, we're justshooting the shit and joking around. They know that they can be real with meand that's been a game changer, particularly during covid where if youare showing up to work and your personal life is falling apart or youare mentally emotionally just drained. You're not going to be able to perform.So if I'm coming in and I'm talking to you about why aren't you hitting yournumbers? I'm missing the whole point right now. Because it's highly likelybecause it's one of two reasons either I hired the wrong person or you don'tbelong on this team or something is going on for you. That's keeping youfrom being able to do what I thought you could do, right. So I take a lot ofresponsibility and if you're on this team is because I believe in you andI've seen the skills demonstrated. But we all have these emotional tanks andwhen your tank is drained, you're not gonna be able to perform anywhere nearyour peak. Right? So I spend a lot of time networking with my own people andhelping them to build community and build trust with each other becauseright now people were doing this all day long, right, zoom calls all daylong and then you finally unplug and for the most part you're either in yourhouse with your family or your in your house by yourself. Right. And it's like,well now what? And so we at the company amount right now free will we reallytry to figure out how can we support the whole individual? How do we createdifferent just pockets? Like you would little communities like you would on acollege campus, Right. Because every single one of us needs to feelconnected networking to me for the sake...

...of networking and shaking a hand orsharing a name that doesn't mean Jack shit to me, it's are we going toactually connect? Is there a way that we can be helpful to each other and not?And then in like a superficial climate kind of way, but I've also, because Ido know so many people I've worked with so many companies, I get a text or anemail or a phone call on a regular basis saying, hey, can I connect youwith? So, and so I really think you'd enjoy a conversation or I think youwould be able to help them with some insight. So at least two or three timesa week There is a total stranger that I'm talking to either, it's a founderof a company, somebody who's been running a sales organization for 25years and is maybe looking for new opportunities and ideas. It could be acollege student, it could be somebody who you know, is in their first job andit's kind of like I don't want to do this for the rest of my life, how do Ibecome the ceo tomorrow and getting everybody to kind of reframe theperspective that they're looking at their career or their life up. I loveit, I love it. Alright. My last question for you, I want to go back tothe pro neue because that is going to stick with me. I already know for therest of the day. I gotta, I gotta ask like, where how do you cultivate that?Like where do you spend time? Like is that when you're like doing some birdwatching on the beach and you're like chilling and you're kind of likethinking about stuff or like, are you a journal or or meditate or anything likethat? Or like how does that, how does that come within you? All of the above?Right. So the paranoia is just, I didn't come up with that term, right?But when I discovered it probably like 12, 15 years ago, there was a bookcalled Paranoia and I was like, right, it's really this belief that as long asI'm following my inner compass to the best of my ability, writes the wordslike integrity mean a lot to me then whatever life is throwing at me ismeant to help me, even if it's really fucking hard, right? Because when Ilook back and I see the hardest, most challenging moments of my life, whetherit be professional, personal romantic, whatever, there's post traumatic growth,right? So that post traumatic growth is one of the most powerful things topropel us to evolve. Post traumatic stress can propel you to spiral, right?So there's this really big flip of I could be spiraling or that same exactshape of a spiral is actually an evolution up. And so I believe that allthese things that are knocking us on our ass if we can find a way to notreact, but we can find a way to just get into a calm state for a moment intime, try to chill out on the anxiety and take a good, hard look at what justhappened. There's an amazing lesson in there for us that to me, the best partthat is I I go try and share that new knowledge and wisdom with anybody thatwill listen to me. So that's what I mean by paranoia and I usually welcomegetting my ass kicked because I'm confident at this point I'm going tolearn something that I needed to learn. That's awesome. I think that's a,that's a great uh finishing point. And you know, I think we, we actually gotconnected because I put out a post, I said, hey on linkedin tagged the bestsalesperson that, you know, I want to interview him for the podcast andsomeone had tagged you and I can see why. And I'm glad that we got to spendthe time, I appreciate you being so generous with your wisdom with yourtime and you know, just before we kick off for anyone that wants to learn moreabout you or free will or anything else related to you, like what's the bestplace for folks to connect with you? I do love Lincoln, but I despiseimpersonal messages. So if you just shoot me, so just like if you actuallygive a shit you want to connect with me, let me know who you are. But like Ialways say to people, like talk to a stranger like you would your friend,right? I mean, I find something that you might, you know, actually genuinelyenjoy about them. But if you're, you...

...know, if you don't put effort into it,then why, why do you even, you know, why do you care? So Lincoln is a greatway if you can figure out how to connect with me or send me an email.But again, you know, like I'm not sitting there just trolling my messages,waiting to respond to people. So give me a couple of days sometimes,especially towards the end of record. Uh, it's a great way. And free will Dotcom is our organization's website. We help nonprofits to fundraise throughmaking it free and easy for donors to donate through their will through stockthrough iras. And we are purpose driven company. So we're trying to move $1trillion In donor dollars to non profits over the next 10 or 15 years.So pretty aggressive mission and were 2.5 billion there in less than aboutthree years of being a company. So yeah, you can find either through free willor through linkedin awesome. Thanks chris. I appreciate your time. Thankstom. Great to meet you. All right. Thanks for checking out that episode ofthe Revenue collective podcast. One more quick shout out to our sponsor.This episode was brought to you by quota path, quota. Path is the firstradically transparent and to end compensation solution from sales repsto finance, get started for free at quarter past dot com slash revenue dashcollective. If you'd like to learn more about revenue collective, definitelyhit them up. You can have me on linkedin. My name is Tom Allama workover at dawn and we'd love if you could subscribe any review to the show onSpotify or Apple, wherever you're listening. Otherwise get after thisweek we're back next monday with another episode piece. Say something. Mhm Yeah,.

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