The Pavilion Podcast
The Pavilion Podcast

Episode · 1 year ago

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

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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 Revenue Collective podcast. Thank God it's monday. This is your host Tom Alamo here to bring you the tactics and strategies that revenue leaders need to be successful in 2021. So thanks for joining. Thanks for listening. But before we get to today's guest, I want to give a quick shout out to our sponsor quota path. So quota Path is a commission tracking software built for sales, operations, finance and accounting teams. If running commissions and payroll has you running for the Hills, quota path is for you quote, a path helps organizations track and manage commissions and pay their teams accurately and on time every time. Keep your team motivated and on target. Simplify your commissions. That quota path dot com slash revenue dash collective 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 at free will, has a ton of different startup experience, you know. Fun fact is that she's worked out almost a dozen startups now and every single one of them has either been acquired or still maintaining a healthy business right now. So she essentially comes in as you know, either the first salesperson or you know, the first VP of sales and comes in and creates all the processes and gets the job done. And one of my favorite takeaways from our conversation was about playing the infinite game. It's something that Chris has kind of labeled out on her linkedin and is a really interesting concept about, you know, a finite versus an infinite game and I think Simon's and recently wrote a book on it as well. So I think you're really going to enjoy this conversation. If you do make sure to give us a shout out on apple podcasts, you can subscribe, leave a review. It all helps to grow the show. So without further ado, let's get straight into my conversation with chris, quit. All right, chris wig. Welcome to the revenue collected podcast. Good morning, Good morning tom. How you doing? I'm doing excellent. How are 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 from the end of the quarter and all you have left is one deal or if you have already hit, so you're probably sleeping by the end of this conversation, I anticipate we will have hit goals. So that's exciting. That's good. That's you sleep a lot better the last few days of March, when that's the case. Very true, Very true. 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, I actually moved out to my house in an area called Hampton based on a long island. So I've been out here by the beach and in the woods for about a year now, but I'm not born and raised in new york city, grew up on that small little island of Manhattan and got into all my early trouble there. So I'm a city for sure. Nice. That's awesome. But I always love to know how people are spending their covid days. If you were one of the few that remained in, in new york 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, But yeah, 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 to dinners in those like little igloos and see what the city life is like. But I'm certainly enjoying a walk every day with my dog down to the beach and seeing some trees and I'm now into bird watching, which I never thought in my life I'd be saying that. But uh, it's fun. Probably like a good way to kind of like flip off your mind from like all of the like hard work and stress and focus of sales and leadership. Yeah. This has actually been a really insightful year in terms of what, you know, what we'll get into probably is that I see sales as a craft that can be mastered and that we as a salesperson or really the instrument and we have to...

...keep our instrument really finally tuned. And this last year of getting a lot of unplug and a lot of alone time isolated time has actually been this tremendous opportunity to really tune my own instrument and start to realize some of the other habits and things that we can be doing to keep ourselves as sales people really, really tuned this past year, instead of doing, let's take everybody out and get the drunken party because we couldn't. I actually sent out foam rollers to my team and we had a physical therapist who specializes in using breathwork and pelvic floor strengthening to calm your body and get into rest and repose because that's when your brain is actually most creative and were able to most tap into the communication we're having with others. And so these are the types of strange little things I've been figuring out during Covid that I probably 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 about that. How most of, you know, your sales day to day is like you're jumping from one 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 the best moments, the most creative moments come, like when you take that step back and 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 myself too. And I think Covid has allowed maybe some extra time since you're not commuting and some of these other things to be able to like give yourself that space totally. Yeah, I refer to that as this concept of like letting things marinade because exactly like you said, it's go, go, go, go, go all day long. I myself I'm in back to back zoom calls literally like switching gears, conversations. Sometimes it's an internal strategy call. Sometimes it's me coaching one of my other sales leaders. Sometimes it's me working with a rep who might be overperforming or underperforming. Sometimes it's, you know, actually joining a call to do a pitch and all day long you're you're switching switching gears. So it's really important to find some time to let it all sink in so you can figure out what to synthesize, take with you learn share or what to shed. I love that, I love that. And I want a place that I want to really kind of kick us off is you know, I noticed and doing some linked in research, like one of the headlines that you have on your profiles that you're an infinite Player and I could try to take a stab at what I think that means. But I'd rather if you just explain it and what that means to you. Simonson neck is making this concept popular. A lot of what you'll see, positive psychology and business books doing today are bringing together ideas that have been discussed by ancient civilizations. So the concept of being infinite and being an infinite participant is not new whatsoever. The specific term infinite player is in regards to how we behave in business and the reasons why and how we're labeling success. So many businesses unfortunately are chasing things like increasing their stock price, increasing the value or the valuation I should say, of their business and they're not necessarily looking towards how are they actually being positive participants in the overall, whether it be the economy or the community. So I talked about with my sales team, this concept of being a triple impact salesperson or a triple impact player and that is focusing on self development, focusing on team development and focusing on your customer development. And that's really part of being an infinite player. It's how are you constantly contributing? Because in this game it never ants. There's always something that you could be doing better. There's always something that you could be doing that would help somebody else. Or there's always something that you could be learning and sharing with the broader community that you serve. And it literally never stops and that I I imagine helps in a number of different ways, right? It helps you to when there are these inevitable ebbs and flows of sales right to be able to shake off a bad day, a bad week, a bad quarter...

...because if it is an infinite game, this could just be seen as a minor valley in, in an otherwise like, really successful career, which is hard to do in zone out. But also like taking aside your own quota, the only thing, your own things that you care about and focusing on what benefits, you know, the people around you. Like, you know, I heard a quote fairly recently that's really stuck in my mind, like play long term games with long term people and I love that and I feel like it's a similar concept. It's the same. That's what I mean. Like so many people are aware of these concepts and now more and more we have speakers and authors who are using so saint language to capture really, really big ideas. So how do you as a leader instill that in the team and you know, on a day to day, on a week to week? Like how did how do you keep that top of mind for I guess I'll share with you some things that my team says to me about first and foremost, I show up, I believe I spend a lot of time trying to figure out how a person can trust me and that usually means I have to be the vulnerable one in the beginning. So you know, these are all forget about leadership really as a word, because it's really about like how are you building connection with somebody? How are you creating a report where they're gonna be okay letting you see their weaknesses because if I'm their coach and leader and I don't know their weak spots, we're not going to get anywhere right if they're spending too much time trying to cover up their weaknesses, especially in a fast moving startup, Those weaknesses are going to get revealed later on and it's going to screw us all up. So I try to spend a lot of time, first and foremost bringing people on the team that have a growth mindset and I'm very, very direct in the interviews that it's like I I use words like love, right? Like I'm gonna demonstrate to you that I care about you that I love you, but I'm also gonna give you direct feedback and I'm going to try to not give you criticism until you understand that the only reason I'm doing it is to help you get better. So if you want to get better, I need you to get comfortable with me and vulnerable with me so I can help you to get there or I can at least show you some ideas or some pathways that you can explore. But if you're spending all your time just focused on hitting quota just to make commission and you're going to do all the tricks and hacks to get there and you're not interested in a deeper learning and a deeper mastery of the craft. Don't come work here, right? There's a concept of different reps, maybe you've heard about the sales learning curve, there's the renaissance rep, the enlightened rep in the coin operated rep. I tend not to hire coin operated reps, but I also work at very early stage companies, so we don't have the luxury of hiring in somebody and handing them a recipe because we're all still creating that recipe for the first five years of a business. For the most part, you're really still figuring out what's the product market fit, how's the product adoption curve, moving? Are we selling to the right buyer personas? So I really try to hire people that I can see are very coachable that have a growth mindset that have that internal motivation and then it's my job to inspire them and every single person is little different. I'm sometimes much better at reaching others and there's always people that you know, the regrets in my career are people that I realized I never got them to trust me and that's on me. So that's that's what I believe the leader is doing is it is my 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 sip through that ability, that coach ability the growth mindset like in an interview process. And especially now that all interviews are remote and have been probably for the last year or so. So sometimes it's through some simple questions about really their their life, right? So I look for other demonstrations of mastery. You'll see sometimes I'm linked in. I'll get myself in a conversation where someone's talking about hiring athletes. I'm a former division one basketball player myself. I've also been a basketball coach for 23 years. I don't give a shit about hiring athletes. I give a shit about hired people who...

...mastered something. So I have hired masons, I have hired mathematicians, I have hired gymnasts, I've hired people who are chess masters. I've hired professional golfers, power lifters. I don't care what it is that you learn to do. You could be a chef if you have gone through the pain and the joy of mastering something, I can teach you how to sell because it's all the same really like Yeah, I talked to this guy a while ago that was he was like a power lifter and then he took that to writing and then he took that to to business and it's like it's the same exact thing, you know, instead of lifting this much weight, you're sending these emails or you're preparing the, you know, sushi or whatever you're doing as a chef. Like it's all the same process. You just kind of replicated for each of the different crafts, right? And then it's really where you know where do your interests align? So I'll usually talk to people about, tell me about times when you've mastered something and that then I get to also see if they're not excited about telling me something they've mastered. That's also because unfortunately I know a lot of people who they were forced by their families, guardians, parents, to pursue a certain track of mastery, but they hated it right, just because they were getting recognition. I know I played basketball Brown, which is an ivy league school and if you get if you get into an ivy league school and you are playing a sport, there's no scholarship that you lose if you stop playing. So you actually see, whereas other types of D1 programs, you're usually getting money or financial aid or scholarship money only because you're playing. I saw a lot of athletes quit the sport that they had spent 10 plus years perfecting Because they finally realized, oh I don't have to do this anymore. And I played on the team for all four years at the bench a lot. But like I was obsessed with basketball and um I would go out and play in the public school playgrounds as a little kid when I was like 10 or 11 years old. I was the only little kid that age playing with men because I loved it. I got my butt kicked all the time. I love to play. That's why I coach. I think similar in sales 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 career in sales, you have to get to a much deeper level of joy and seeing that it's, it's truly a craft and not just something to hack your way to a quota or commission check. You mentioned using the word love in like the interview process and with your team. And I'm curious this is a little bit of a tangent, but have you, have you seen the netflix, like documentary series called The Playbook? No, I have not. So it's like 30 minute episodes about these different coaches of all these different sports. And one is with Doc Rivers who is one of my idols, especially from his Celtics days. And it just talks about, you know, he talks about the worst advice he ever got was don't care about your players and he talks about how important it is to give a shit about the people that you're working with and that sometimes it's not gonna work out, Sometimes they're not going to reciprocate. Sometimes they're not going to be vulnerable back with you or we're not going to get it and that happens. But like to not put that effort into not be vulnerable first as a leader is you know, the worst advice that he ever got, he kind of flipped that and that was kind of his superpower. So I'd highly suggest that for anyone that's out here that especially if you're such a basketball nut. I mean he's just great. Yeah. Well, so I've been with a group called Positive Coaching Alliance for about 15 years. Doc Rivers is part of that organization. It's a nonprofit that focuses on transforming you through coaching through sport. And that's, that is literally the crux of it. Is that forget about the scoreboard. If you are a youth sports coach, you are there to ignite the flame and these kids and you're, you know, I don't know if you've ever been to a youth sporting event, parents and coaches are losing their shit, right, yelling, screaming up, right? I mean there's like a lot of violence that goes on from the adults...

...at youth sporting events. And so this type of mentality, this when at all costs mentality or this wack mentality is something that a lot of leaders have woken up to that it doesn't work. I'm really 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 about the people on their team. And if you're only focused on the scoreboard, you're going 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 operated rep for the reasons that you mentioned. But isn't it interesting that if you actually take one of those other two approaches and play the long game, that actually probably nets you more money in the long term, right? Because you're you're building your skills and so like you might not get that extra deal this quarter, but if you build your skills over a long enough time period, then you have the most opportunities later in your career, like Yeah. What would you say? That's true. Yeah. But so let's maybe though, the importance when you're in a sales role of the short game is literally keeping your job. So this is where and I'm part of the system, right? Like I manage a team to their quarterly goal. The first thing I said to you when we got on is we're about 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 still have to love my team, right? They have to know that I love them even if we don't hit this quarter, right? But part of this is we got to rally people because 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 couple people come up with some cockamamie idea and I'm the person that go to to start talking to the market about the vetting this idea. And then I get, I'm really good at getting user feedback because I'm tuned in that even if a person saying something, I can see that they may not fully agree with what they just said. Ask the person then like, well, you know, would you actually use this tool in this way? And then I get the real answer and then we build a good product. That doesn't mean that I stayed at those companies. Sometimes it's because our teams can't get to the numbers that we put forth to investors in B. C. S. Right? So this concept of an infinite game and work being purposeful hits a hard reality wall because of the way that businesses are set up. Right? We, I mean I come in, somebody hands me a plan, I parachute onto this crazy terrain and they say hey take this one million that we have in 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 made our models and pulled some bullshit out of the air, we don't even have a fully baked product then you might not have a job here anymore. Right? So all the companies that I've worked for have either been acquired or still in business today and I was a foundational piece of building that, but I'm not at those businesses anymore. Right? So sometimes a lot of the work and the foundation 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 into the enterprise software space. Right? I mean, we know that an enterprise software deal at a minimum is going to take you 4 to 6 months and that's like the luckiest fucking deal you ever found yourself in, uh, through enterprise sale, right? More likely when you first start out and a product is new to market, you might be signing deals three years later that you pitched your first week on the job. So a lot of what I do is also educating the founders and business owners that I work with about the reality of average contract value. How many meetings can we possibly get done? What's our potential wind rate? But most importantly, what's the actual sale cycle length? Because people say like,...

...oh, you should be able to ramp up a rep in three months in what world And what was using the wheels that were already 90 of the way closed. Right? So I think there's sometimes with this infinite player mentality, it's really hard because you do have moments where it's like if the numbers aren't being put on the board. there are a lot of people that you have to answer to and in a startup environment, that also means you're know what like sales is floating to business, right? If we're not feeling teams don't grow, if teams don't grow, people might start getting fired. So I take a very deep responsibility of if you are at an early stage company and you are a sales leader, you are literally keeping everybody 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 been acquired. So I think, I feel like part of that is the work that you've done there, 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 type of 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 graduated brown 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 a friend said, hey, you know, Bloomberg is hiring for salespeople, I think you'd be great. He was already working there. And when I walked in the first interview was they just threw me in a role play and I was like, this is the fucking 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's still true. I was the first person they ever hired right out of college into their terminal sales program instead of putting me into what they call the analytics or help desk for like a year or two. I talked about of the traditional track that a college grad. So, and then I became the second highest selling person in their new york office, and I became the 14th highest selling person in the world. And that was when I was like 24 years old. So they commissioned. But what I realized was so then I started looking and what happened is I got recruited by a financial tech startup that was selling to the new york city and Tri state area hedge fund community, which in 2000 to 2000 and three was popping meaning like everyone was leaving investment banks and going to start their own hedge fund and all these. So I got to work with hedge funds. It's very much like startups, it's a couple of guys usually and they're in an office the size of a closet and they're just grinding all day and many of them hit really big. So I was really lucky that I got exposed to fast growth companies in a fast paced environment that was also demanding if I showed up to talk to a hedge fund manager and I didn't know my shit, you're literally thrown out of the office, right. I learned very early on good habits and then from there I got recruited to other types of fintech startups because of my ability to a crack into the hedge fund community, but also the trust that I had built and these hedge funds were trading all different types of financial instruments and they were all new software companies popping up for each one of these. So I had a lot of success in the Fintech world, went through one acquisition, we went from 0 to 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 back into startups and I decided I didn't want to be in finance. But at that point in time I had built up my skills and reputation of being a startup sales builder and that I could, you know, basically navigate all these different industries within finance. And then I moved to SAN Francisco and took over as the West coast head of sales for a small media tech start up. And so I've always been lucky that I'm I call myself like I've worked for the french masters of the world, you probably don't even know what friendster is. Everyone knows what facebook is. Before there was Myspace before Myspace, there was Friendster, right? So like facebook...

...was not a new idea is just the one that popped right. So, I've worked for a lot of friends stirs, meaning I was very fortunate my career to see that these were trends that we're about to take hold, but it doesn't mean that I was at the business that grew the fastest or the best or that hit it at the right momentum. But we were lucky enough and we had the right idea and built the foundation of a technology and a customer base that they're either they've either been acquired or they're still 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 in cannabis technology, which is going to be a booming software um, in terms of all the tracking. So like I've seen so many different business models, but it's really all the same shit. What are we building, who's going to use it? Why are they going to use it? What value are they going to have And how do we then continue to iterate and and help that community. So how do you like, how is it that you find those opportunities in the friendster phases it that they pitch, they pitch you or you meet them and then you, you're like, oh this is going 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 into this. Uh so I have this concept of paranoia instead of paranoia, is that the universe is conspiring in my favor. Right? So it's so lucky that I just talk about shit I care about and when you do that people around you and you encourage people around you to talk about the ship they care about, you just start to jam with each other. So every single company I've worked for except you know, I've done some stints at large companies where I went through the proper interview process, but including that one I believe every single job I've had, they found me and not because I post, it doesn't even, I don't even have a website, right. I have a consulting business. I call raising startups, but I get a text and email or a phone call from a friend or a friend of a friend or somebody I helped for free and they say, hey, I was talking about you with this person, Could you chat with them for 2030 minutes? Sure. Or I might be on something like this and somebody hears me talk and they reach out to me or I used to do a lot of like sales panels or little workshops for free and several different times, founders and Ceos would chat with me and I would originally offer my time for free a lot because I enjoyed it. I started to having to not do that because I literally don't have enough time And now, you know, I'm on the board for different startups as a, you know, incentivized advisor. I'm on the board of nonprofits because I love to do it. So for me, I've been really fortunate and then I get to choose who, who do I have the best energy with. Right, where can I be? The most useful is really what I look for. I once took a job. I don't even have it on my resume purely for money and really didn't. It only lasted a couple of weeks because within the first few weeks it was like, this fucking sucks. Now it is and you quit. And what was the mutual like this is, I can't get somebody on the team that closed the deal, the largest deal in the company's history. And I gave that person who was a former athlete themselves and enjoy things like high fives. And the ceo of the company made a point of telling me that this was not the type of culture where they gave high fives and I said, well you want me to run a sales team when you don't want me to, you know, hype people up and I don't run it like a frat house. You know 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 I love all the stuff that we're talking about. So I'm curious like, are there books that you have your your team read that you find yourself rereading that you give to people that you suggest...

...people read? Like any topic is fair game, but I imagine there's probably some in this realm that have it been impactful For you. Yeah, I mean there's so what I try to do is because this is probably 25 years worth of me reading and like a wide variety of different topics that I draw in, a lot of different topics. So what I'll usually try to do with my team is find snippets or excerpts and we'll do workshops around like, you know, I saw that you you have many podcasts ago, you actually spend time with chris voss, right? Never split the difference. Such simple stuff in there, but it is not easy. Yeah. Right. And so that's what I find most sales books, it's like, here's a really simple sentence, but no one has any idea how to break this down and into specific skills that you can practice that are accessible. And the reason why I think I look at it this way 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 succinct language about executing a play. But if I turn around and say that to a bunch of 89 year olds, they got no idea what I'm talking about. They don't know what a pivot is, They don't even know how to jump, stop. They barely run up and down the court with their shoelaces tied. Right? So coaching little kids in basketball really taught me about if you go in teaching the novel and they don't know the A. B. CS, nothing's going to happen. So I spent a lot of time trying to figure out what are the skills and the deliberate practice we can do around each one of these things that these big books talk about. So I'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 last podcast, in your Millennial Development podcast, you did a section on habits, right? Good habits and atomic habits. These are the little things that we have to keep breaking down, Right? So how do I get a rep to start making 100 calls a week? I don't tell them immediately. Make 100 calls a week because they're going to make 100 shitty calls. Yeah, I got to get them first passionate about making a good call and making it fun and turning it into something that they're gonna look forward to do because if they're looking 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 if you 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 into this this topic that you emailed to me last week, earlier this week when I saw it, I was like, My excitement level went from a 10 to an 18 out of 10. Uh you said that sales is now, I might be misquoting you, but like, a path to deeper self understanding and personal growth, which if you're not a salesperson, like the everyday person on the street would be like, that is a ridiculous statement, but it really resonated with me. So I'd love for you to just talk a little bit about like how sales has helped you understand yourself as a person more and maybe even vice versa. The more you understand 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 formulas that are going to tell you if you're doing well or not. One that stands out to me most is sales velocity. Right? So that's literally number of opportunities you're working times the average contract value times your win rate 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 sales performance in the course of a year, what are all the things you have to work on and they're all hidden in that formula? So number of opportunities works is probably the fastest one I can start cracking at by just repetition. I can book myself more meetings. But if I keep selling a $10,000 product Instead of a $20,000 product, I got to do a lot more meetings or I got to dramatically improve my win rate. So now we go...

...through a lot of times it's difficult for 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 of taking a 10 C deal, You're trying to get that 50 seat deal because you know the business can support that. The win rate though is where a lot of this personal development And the sale cycle length is where who you are as you show up to your client, that's where you impact those two. Right? So what I believe 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 fuck happened to the other 80 if you don't go back and say, why did I lose 80 deals? Right? Why did I lose these 80 deals? Was it something that I did? Was it me chasing a customer that I should know better about? So then I'm going to look at ideal customer profile by your persona. I'm going to look at things like what customer challenge Challenger talks about, which is mobilizes and talkers. Do I have sales happy ears, right. Did I have the right people involved? Did I stopped following up appropriately? Right. So, and then the sales cycle length why you deals drag on? Because there's no urgency created because you haven't done a good job from the very first meeting, convincing your 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 the whole crux of of um, Teaching sales is there's always something more until you were at 100 win rate, something in that formula is wrong, right? It kind of goes 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 deals a month, you know that, but you can always continue to to try to kind of improve on that formula. And that's exactly why. Looking for people who understand mastery is important. The best athletes in the world practice all the fucking time and they are the best at what they do yet. They are the first ones in the gym. Yeah, right. Because they know it's not just about slipping back, it's about continuously improving and getting better. Also as a salesperson and also an athlete, you start to realize that some of the skills 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't I don't have energy for that right now, but the same way I play basketball, it used to be, I would run the court, I would, you know, I was a streetball player now as an older lady that wants to protect my knees, my ankles and my hips and my fingers. I know how to play a much more set offense. I know how to get people open. I know how to be more useful in a totally different way. I got to know who who's your team, Who are your favorite players? Let's talk basketball first. No, like this this is a funny part. I will talk coaching basketball and my personal love of basketball all day. I got I don't I don't watch tv, I really don't like down and so I got no fucking idea whose even a super is a is a friend and someone you know, so that's my favorite player. 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 with recreationally for after I graduated college in new york city. And Sue is very good friends with one of them. So she's actually spent a lot of time with the crew. So it's, yeah, she's somebody I know and Megan, I've met, you know, a couple 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 on time. I want to make sure you spend a few minutes just talking about like networking and leveraging community. Obviously we're talking about the revenue collective podcast today. So I'd be curious like one, you know, how you leverage that community and just in...

...general, like I think that also aligns to your mentality on on the infinite game of building relationships with folks that maybe can't do anything for you today, right. They're not customers today, 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 specific community and then just networking in general. Sure. I had known about revenue collective for some time. I've been curious for a while. The impetus to join though was when Covid hit, I knew that I was going to be suddenly cut 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 feedback on what other sales leaders are experiencing, like what's happening Overall in the way the buyers are interacting with sellers. And what I found really useful was revenue collective does surveys and basically creates 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're cutting 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 during Covid, right? What is because you might be quote unquote failing. But this finance taught me this too, right. Like it's, there's relative and there's absolute, in absolute terms, Covid was a pretty shitty year for a lot of people in relative terms, there were some real shining stars, right? So revenue collectives, data and community was a great way for me to understand all the different things that sales organizations were experiencing and to kind of figure out where my organization was at, what I might be able to do better and what I should keep my eyes open for particularly with everybody moving into remote and like what are your leaders doing to just stay connected to their teams? Yeah, I love it. And how about networking in general? Like is that something that you spend a little time on? A lot of time on? Not really much any, you know at all or have used to spend a lot more time in my career networking I think in recent years really specifically like the last two or three years I've been so focused on networking with my own team. 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 just shooting the shit and joking around. They know that they can be real with me and that's been a game changer, particularly during covid where if you are showing up to work and your personal life is falling apart or you are 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 your numbers? I'm missing the whole point right now. Because it's highly likely because it's one of two reasons either I hired the wrong person or you don't belong on this team or something is going on for you. That's keeping you from being able to do what I thought you could do, right. So I take a lot of responsibility and if you're on this team is because I believe in you and I've seen the skills demonstrated. But we all have these emotional tanks and when your tank is drained, you're not gonna be able to perform anywhere near your peak. Right? So I spend a lot of time networking with my own people and helping them to build community and build trust with each other because right now people were doing this all day long, right, zoom calls all day long and then you finally unplug and for the most part you're either in your house 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 really try to figure out how can we support the whole individual? How do we create different just pockets? Like you would little communities like you would on a college campus, Right. Because every single one of us needs to feel connected networking to me for the sake...

...of networking and shaking a hand or sharing a name that doesn't mean Jack shit to me, it's are we going to actually 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 I do know so many people I've worked with so many companies, I get a text or an email or a phone call on a regular basis saying, hey, can I connect you with? So, and so I really think you'd enjoy a conversation or I think you would be able to help them with some insight. So at least two or three times a week There is a total stranger that I'm talking to either, it's a founder of a company, somebody who's been running a sales organization for 25 years and is maybe looking for new opportunities and ideas. It could be a college student, it could be somebody who you know, is in their first job and it's kind of like I don't want to do this for the rest of my life, how do I become the ceo tomorrow and getting everybody to kind of reframe the perspective that they're looking at their career or their life up. I love it, I love it. Alright. My last question for you, I want to go back to the pro neue because that is going to stick with me. I already know for the rest 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 bird watching on the beach and you're like chilling and you're kind of like thinking about stuff or like, are you a journal or or meditate or anything like that? 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 book called Paranoia and I was like, right, it's really this belief that as long as I'm following my inner compass to the best of my ability, writes the words like integrity mean a lot to me then whatever life is throwing at me is meant to help me, even if it's really fucking hard, right? Because when I look back and I see the hardest, most challenging moments of my life, whether it be professional, personal romantic, whatever, there's post traumatic growth, right? So that post traumatic growth is one of the most powerful things to propel 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 exact shape of a spiral is actually an evolution up. And so I believe that all these things that are knocking us on our ass if we can find a way to not react, but we can find a way to just get into a calm state for a moment in time, try to chill out on the anxiety and take a good, hard look at what just happened. There's an amazing lesson in there for us that to me, the best part that is I I go try and share that new knowledge and wisdom with anybody that will listen to me. So that's what I mean by paranoia and I usually welcome getting my ass kicked because I'm confident at this point I'm going to learn 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 got connected because I put out a post, I said, hey on linkedin tagged the best salesperson that, you know, I want to interview him for the podcast and someone had tagged you and I can see why. And I'm glad that we got to spend the time, I appreciate you being so generous with your wisdom with your time and you know, just before we kick off for anyone that wants to learn more about you or free will or anything else related to you, like what's the best place for folks to connect with you? I do love Lincoln, but I despise impersonal messages. So if you just shoot me, so just like if you actually give a shit you want to connect with me, let me know who you are. But like I always 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 genuinely enjoy 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 great way 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 Dot com is our organization's website. We help nonprofits to fundraise through making it free and easy for donors to donate through their will through stock through iras. And we are purpose driven company. So we're trying to move $1 trillion 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 about three years of being a company. So yeah, you can find either through free will or through linkedin awesome. Thanks chris. I appreciate your time. Thanks tom. Great to meet you. All right. Thanks for checking out that episode of the Revenue collective podcast. One more quick shout out to our sponsor. This episode was brought to you by quota path, quota. Path is the first radically transparent and to end compensation solution from sales reps to finance, get started for free at quarter past dot com slash revenue dash collective. If you'd like to learn more about revenue collective, definitely hit them up. You can have me on linkedin. My name is Tom Allama work over at dawn and we'd love if you could subscribe any review to the show on Spotify or Apple, wherever you're listening. Otherwise get after this week we're back next monday with another episode piece. Say something. Mhm Yeah,.

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