#82: Listen as Matt Austin, Head of Global Inside Sales at Comfy, discusses the sales mindset. He shares his experience with building high-achieving teams, the importance of setting concrete goals, and how to break goals into achievable parts.
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Check out the full transcript of this episode below:
The Sales Lift Podcast
Sales Mindset: the 3 Pillars for Sales Success w/ Matt Austin
Hosted by: Tyler Lindley
[00:00:00] Tyler Lindley: Hey, Sales Lift Nation, it's your host. Tyler Lindley. Today, I have Matt Austin on the podcast. Hey Matt. How's it going?
[00:00:09] Matt Austin: Awesome, Tyler. Excited to be here, man. Thanks for having
[00:00:11] Tyler Lindley: me. Yeah. Excited for you to be here too. Matt is the Head of Global Inside Sales at Comfy and today's topic is sales mindset curious, Matt, why are we talking about sales mindset?
Why is sales mindset important?
[00:00:26] Matt Austin: That's a great question. Tyler, as I look at all of the people around the world of sales, one of the things you see, a lot of our tactics and techniques that I can go take and make my emails better or make my voicemails better. But one of the things that not enough people I'd think are talking about is what is that mindset that I need to take into each and every day as a sales professional, in order to capitalize on that success and not just keep printing out short-term wins and be able to stack those over the course of the.
[00:00:55] Tyler Lindley: I totally agree. It does seem like that's the case. We're both on LinkedIn, pretty active on there, and it is a lot more tactical where it's around. How do I write a cold email or how do I do this cold call? Or how do I say these words in this right order, but less around the mindset, which is almost like the foundation.
[00:01:11] Matt Austin: Absolutely. The tactics are great. And there's a lot of people putting really great things out there. But if you don't take those tactics and look at them and how they fit into an overall methodology and how they're going to work for me as a sales individual, in a sales professional, you can get lost trying 25 different things in a week.
Some are gonna work. Some are not gonna be. But I never know which way to go if I don't have some consistency about
[00:01:34] Tyler Lindley: I'm so glad you brought that up. It's interesting. Why is it mindset discussed more than it's almost like we should start with mindset when we're onboarding or when we're just ramping up a brand new sales rep.
We should start there, but it seems like we skipped that we skipped straight to product or straight to tactics or straight to learning this tool. Why is it mindset? The foundation? That's a great
[00:01:52] Matt Austin: question. And I don't have any idea. I think maybe because it's a little bit more of a softer. Yeah, it's very easy to talk about how many of the right words to put into an email what's the right way for a call to action.
How do I handle this? Objection better. Those are very tactile things. I can really wrap my hands around it. When you talk about mindset, it's a little bit more of a Misty subject, not as easy to grasp and really understand, but I think part of the biggest problem is that people don't really have a set way to implement.
In their day-to-day lives. And so it becomes this really nebulous thing of, I know I should show up to be my best self today, but I don't really don't know how to.
[00:02:29] Tyler Lindley: Do you think that's where it starts? Does it start with, how do I show up every day? Is that the first thing you think of when you think of sales minus.
Actually, I think that's point
[00:02:36] Matt Austin: number three, I've got a three-step way that I walk people through. And the people on my team that listened to this podcast are going to roll their eyes, hear this. It's a big part of what I talk about with my team every day, every week in all of our meetings, I'm constantly talking to them about this.
I really think that the first part of developing that strong sales mindset is really being clear about your, why, why are you doing what you're doing? And the easy answer for a lot of salespeople is I want to make a lot of money. That's great. That's how I started in sales. I wanted to make money and I knew for every deal I closed, I would make X amount.
It was very predictable. I knew what my commission checks were going to look like. And that was great. But the problem is that when things get hard and you start to bog down and you're in that week or that two weeks of that month where things aren't happening the way they're supposed to happen money for me, didn't keep.
[00:03:25] Tyler Lindley: That makes sense. I totally agree. And that is the most common answer you hear? Why are you in sales? I want to control my income. I want to be able to work as hard as I want and get paid for all that extra efforts. Always tied back to money, but money can be part of the reason, but it can't be the whole reason.
Don't you agree?
[00:03:40] Matt Austin: Absolutely. How many people do is they put it to the five whys tests. I want to make sure. First question why I want a fancy car. Okay. Why? And really get down, use that disciplined about getting through all five of those whys and ask it for a number of different reasons about why you would want to be in sales.
That'll get you down to the core of really what you're doing. It's Hey, look, I want to be able to control my own destiny and have financial independence. That's a great goal. How does sales do that? And so that when I'm in those months where I'm bogged down and things, aren't going the way I want them to go and I'm getting set up.
We don't have a great product or we don't have great marketing or we don't have whatever. I can go back and focus on it. Look, this is what I'm setting out to do. This is why I decided to do it this way and tell to me in my career kind of weather the storm of those slower or down periods and kept me moving.
[00:04:31] Tyler Lindley: Um, I'm so glad you brought this up. I was just talking to a brand new rep who has only been the role of six weeks or so, but it's had a rough couple of weeks, like, oh man, feeling down. I don't know. Do you have any advice for what I can do? Because I'm really struggling. I'm not doing as well as I thought I have high expectations for myself and I asked this exact question.
I said, why are you in sales? Why are you working hard to try to make these extra committed? Why are you doing this? That's what you need to be reminding yourself of because that's, what's going to keep you going and you need to put a note, put some physical reminder on your desk of your, why so constantly be connecting.
Why am I making a hundred cold calls? That's why, why am I putting up with all this BS? That's why, that's why I'm here. And you've got to constantly be reconnecting yourself to that wire.
[00:05:12] Matt Austin: Absolutely. And that ties right into part two of developing his mindset is have concrete goals. That you're looking to achieve.
Let's run off this same idea. I want financial independence. What does that look like? I want to say enough money for a down payment on a house. That's a great goal, but what does that really look like? If I need to save 20% on a $500,000 house, I need to have a a hundred thousand dollars couch. I can take that and then break that down as a process to accomplish by the end of the year, end of two years, I know how much my expenses are.
Every. I know how much of my income is, I know what I need to do and how much I need to save if I'm going to achieve that goal by taking that goal and that understanding of the why converting the why into a goal and breaking that goal down into steps. Again, it allows me not to get overwhelmed by having the hat kind of goals, big, hairy, audacious goals, because those can be intimidating sometimes, but if I can break them down into smaller bones, that will allow me to still feel good about myself when I'm in process, even on the months where
[00:06:08] Tyler Lindley: things aren't going.
Exactly. And sometimes that's all you need is to break it into those smaller chunks, because it can seem so audacious when you say this Beehag or this huge thing I need to make all this money or do this. It seems like it's. Unachievable, but if you just talk about what's the first step, what do I have to do first to get moving in that direction?
And then it's snowballed back. I can just keep going. I like how you talk about, it's not just goals, but it's concrete goals. It's granular goals and it's breaking those down step by step. Do you work with your reps? Do they know how to do that themselves? Or do you have to teach people how to create concrete goals?
[00:06:41] Matt Austin: you have to teach people. So I just onboarded a couple of STRs through rendition by the way, additions. Awesome. Go take a look at them. If you're looking to bring people on board, that's one of the modules I put into my onboarding is how to set goals. It's been a career changer for me, really getting specific about the goals that I want, why I want to accomplish them.
How am I going to step by step, piece by piece? Get that done. And then giving myself actionable pieces that I can do a day at a time, a week at a time to work towards by the end of the time period, I've set that goal for being pretty close to
[00:07:14] Tyler Lindley: getting, did you have a mentor? Did someone give you this piece of advice, Matt, you need to go out and create concrete goals for yourself.
What was the impetus for you doing it for yourself for the first
[00:07:23] Matt Austin: time? Part of it's been mentorship. I've been fortunate to have really good mentors and people that were willing to give back to me as I was up and coming. The example that I always use is I remember the first year I got a million dollar sales and I'm sitting at my desk on January 2nd, going there is absolutely no way I'm going to hit a million dollars this year.
And I called my mentor and told him the same thing. I think I need to go look for a job. There's no way I've never done this before. I can't do it. And he says, all right, let me walk you through this process. Let's break it down, said, okay. It says, if you have a million dollar quota, how much do you have to do every quarter, 250 grand.
What's your average deal size right now? It's about $25,000 per deal is okay. So you need to do 10 deals, a quarter that's a little more than three deals. How many opportunities do you need based on your close rate to get a deal. And we worked this thing step by step backwards, backwards, backwards. I knew that every day I needed to send, I don't remember what the exact number is.
I just send the 35 emails and make 50 phone calls. And if I did that based on the math and knowing my conversion. By the end of the year, I'd be pretty close. And what that allowed me to do is have that daily goal. I have a day that I get hung up on six times. People yelled at me. My emails came back balanced.
I knew that I did my 35 emails in my 50 calls. I could feel good about myself at the end of the day. No matter what the outcome or the result was. Oh, that very independent moment in the grand
[00:08:44] Tyler Lindley: scheme of things. I think not a lot of people know the math like that. They hear a number from their manager. You need to make 50 calls a day, but they don't attach that number to the concrete goal and then attach it to their why I'm doing a program with Kevin Dorsey right now through pavilion.
And he's teaching about that math. And I think he takes his reps through a similar process to break it down granularly so that then you can attach it to that larger goal that you're trying to. Not a lot of people do that, but like you said, at the end, it makes it such that as long as you do the inputs every day, you can feel good about yourself.
The outcomes will hopefully come, but if you're doing the inputs, you're taking care of at least the controllables and then everything else is going to be based on probably how good you are and probably some dumb luck involved too. But at least control the country.
[00:09:31] Matt Austin: And I preach that to my team every day, focus on the things that you can control, because there's so much in sales that we don't control prospects of budget.
Do they change jobs? And there's a thousand things that can go sideways in a deal. But if I can stay focused on what I can do and what I can control. The outcomes tend to happen if you know your math. Kevin's awesome. I learned some of the goal-setting tactics I used from a class that I took from Kevin, Doris.
[00:09:56] Tyler Lindley: Yeah. Kevin just teaching us off until I'd seen kind of some of his framework and now you're reinforcing it. I hadn't ever seen it broken down like that. I had never had conversations with my. Sales managers, or I, as a manager was never having those conversations with my reps of breaking down all of these things.
So that basically we're just getting aligned on a plan. And then the math is the math. At the end of the day, sales is part math. The numbers don't lie either. If you want to succeed, here's the math and here's what you gotta do. And if you don't then don't do it. It's there in front of you. So it makes it a lot more black and white.
[00:10:26] Matt Austin: back. I think a lot of people were never taught to do it that way. And all they were taught was, Hey, here's my number? Go crank. Always be closing. I followed Josh Braun a lot on LinkedIn to see a lot of his content and I can absolutely relate with his idea of salespeople in that commission breath.
I can almost see it and people are pressing to get that deal because, oh my God, I can't let another deal slip. They're so focused on that outcome. That there are pushing and pushing and pushing and actually making themselves less successful than if they would just focus on executing the process the right way each and every day and let the results take care of
[00:11:02] Tyler Lindley: themselves.
Exactly. It's funny. You say you can see it. You really can. It's almost like commission breath. You can feel it. It just pervades the room. Whether it's a zoom room or it's in person, it makes everyone in the room uncomfortable. It. Pushes you further and further away from reaching your coals, which is ironic because the reason it's happening, because you want to reach them so bad, but it's like you squeeze it too tight.
Sometimes you have to let your goals come to you. As long as you're running a planet. Absolutely.
[00:11:28] Matt Austin: And I know that because I was guilty of it earlier with my Salesforce, we all are, I didn't know any better, which push, push, push, push, push, push, which actually made everything harder for me, every time a deal would slip or someone would tell me, no, I would take it personally.
And that goes back to why I think mindset in sales is so important because you can let that stuff bill off your back. If you're focused on the right things and not just focused on outcome outcome outcome in each
[00:11:55] Tyler Lindley: individual. Yeah. That makes a lot of sense. So you mentioned that there were three things you said the first one was you're clear about your, why?
The second is those concrete goals that you need to break down. What's the third bucket
[00:12:06] Matt Austin: mat. My winds from yesterday, don't matter today, just cause I got a deal close yesterday and we welcome to sales. What happens on the first of every month? The counter goes back to zero and I've got to start all over again, but I can't worry about what's going to happen tomorrow because that's going to screw up me focused on my process today.
I can't worry about the rejection that I had yesterday or the wind that I had yesterday. It's all about what do I need to do today? How do I prep for that call? How many calls do I need to make? How many emails do I need to. How many demos do I need to do? What does the math that I need to do? And what is my daily focus to get that done?
Because then I can worry about getting that stuff done for today and not about what might happen next week or on Thursday when the draining outside. And I didn't bring my umbrella to work and I don't know about anybody else, but I had the ability to case some of these things and just run with them for awhile in order to avoid that future tripping that happens in your mind.
If I can stay focused on what do I need to do today? How do I show up my best self? Just. How do I improve a little bit today off of what I did yesterday? Again, it allows me to stay focused on that process, which will get me closer to accomplishing those goals and really realizing that why that
[00:13:15] Tyler Lindley: I set up again.
Totally agree. It's hard. You're talking about being present in that day and trying not to have, look ahead syndrome to where what's coming or look behind what happened. What can I control today? Cause that's really all we can impact is what's happening today. But if we let. That future or past thinking cloud today, it's going to impact today, but this is easier said than done.
How have you tried to internalize this yourself and actually put it into practice in your day-to-day Matt start
[00:13:44] Matt Austin: small. Um, there's that old saying out there? How do you eat a whale? One bite at a time you've got to start small with these little pieces, get yourself some small wins, start to build that momentum.
And then once you've achieved some small wins, then start to build on that. Do you know this from talking with Kevin about the goal? Write them down. If you write them down and you put them in front of you, you put sticky notes on your monitor, on your desk, at home or at your destiny office. It really makes those things come real in control.
So that would be point number one, right? Number two is know your math. You can break things down into daily activities. If you don't know what those daily activities need to be or should be. And so that's where I started. Look, I'm 15 years into a sales career. I would say maybe in the last five I've gotten really good at.
[00:14:30] Tyler Lindley: So it took a while to get your sea legs going and really start internalizing this. It sounds absolutely.
[00:14:36] Matt Austin: It's been a process for me. I still have a lot of learning to do. I'm not consistent about it every day. It doesn't happen. But what I am is I'm more consistent now than I was last year. And I was more consistent last year than I was the year before I've still got work to do and ways to continue to improve on this.
I'm not perfect by any stretch, but having this process and having a way to think and go about. Makes it easier to do on a daily
[00:14:59] Tyler Lindley: basis, a hundred percent. And that's the bonus one that I would tack on. I love your three clear about your why concrete goals focus on today. To me, three B or the fourth one for me would be that continuously learning mindset.
Staying curious, being focused on your own professional development. To me, that is a mindset of. I like to say sales is like golf. You can't win golf. You can't win sales. You can only try to get better and be the best you can that day or that quarter or that year, but there's no winning it. So it's a lot of between your years.
And what are you doing to focus on getting better in your role and your conversations and your mental. And all of these things, how are you controlling that professional development? To me, that's such a huge mindset and the people that have that have such a leg up in sales, because it cannot be taught either you want to improve and be better and learn.
And you're always curious to know more and to do. Or you don't, there's just, no, there's nothing else. You
[00:15:56] Matt Austin: can apply this same process to making yourself. I talk to my team about 1% better. It doesn't have to be these giant leaps and bounds of improvement. Right. But how can I be 1% better today than I was yesterday.
We're doing a book club on my team with atomic habits and they talk about that. Where if I can be incrementally 1%. By the end of the year, I'm 37 times better than how I started out the year. I'm making little incremental improvement by half my goal of, Hey, look, I want to get 1% better every day, this year.
How do I do that? Here's one way, once you've broken it all the way down, I'm going to read 10 pages of professional development, literature, whether that's sales books, whether that's goal setting books or whatever. If I read 10 pages a day, guess what? I've learned something today that I didn't know yesterday.
Yep. And you can apply that one day at a time. 1% better and continue to build and get better
[00:16:41] Tyler Lindley: that whinge. Well, exactly. And that's the stuff that it's not required. You don't have to do that. You can be fine and get by in sales without doing that. But that's what separates the a from the B from the C players, the ones that take control of all of these things take ownership of this sales mindset.
Your manager can give you great ideas. Like it sounds like you're doing a great job of enabling your team with a lot of these great ideas at the end of the day, they each individually have to take ownership of these things. And they're the
[00:17:09] Matt Austin: ones that are responsible for putting pen to paper. I can fill your head full of great ideas and things to think about and in processes, in which to do that and to make them a reality.
But until you step up, pick up the pen and put that pen to paper, you haven't actually done anything yet. We've just talked about it. I forget who said it, but goals without a plan or just daydreams. And that really hit home for me. Cause that's true because for a long time, that's how I did it. Oh man. I want this big house on the beach, but I had no idea how to get from where I stood at that moment.
To being able to accomplish that goal. And so that's why once I learned this and I started to have some success with it, I became fanatical about it because it's just had a dramatic impact on my success as a salesperson, but just my home contentment and happiness with day-to-day life.
[00:17:53] Tyler Lindley: I totally agree, Matt, any closing words of advice or thoughts on sales mindset that you want to leave?
[00:17:59] Matt Austin: mindset and sales is a competitive differentiator. If you were a salesperson that is striving, not just to get by. But to actually dominate in any sales organization that you're in, don't worry about the tactics and the techniques. Those can be taught. It's your mindset, right. And the successful
[00:18:15] Tyler Lindley: follow-up awesome.
Matt, great conversation. If my listeners want to find more about you online, how can they be? Yeah, you can come
[00:18:23] Matt Austin: check me out on LinkedIn.
[00:18:24] Tyler Lindley: Perfect. Awesome. And we will link to your LinkedIn profile in the show notes. So everybody head to the sales, lift.com and check those out. Matt really appreciate the conversation, had a blast, and I hope all the audience learned a little bit about their sales mindset today.
[00:18:37] Matt Austin: Thanks for having me, man. I really appreciate it. All right.
[00:18:39] Tyler Lindley: Awesome. Thanks Matt. See you see you
[00:18:40] Matt Austin: later.
[00:18:44] Tyler Lindley: Thank you so much for listening to today's. You can find all the links discussed and the show firstname.lastname@example.org. That's the T H. Sales S a L E S lift L I F t.com. Have questions for me. Email email@example.com. We look forward to seeing you back here next week, and we hope today's show brings you the sales lift.
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Don’t feel like listening? Read the Episode Cliff Notes instead below:
Importance of the Sales Mindset (0:26)
Tactics are great, but if you don’t look at how they fit into an overall methodology, you can get lost trying too many things at once.
Some tactics will work, some won’t, but we never know which way to go if we don’t have some consistency.
Part of the biggest problem is that people don’t have a set way to implement these tactics in their day-to-day lives. So it becomes this nebulous thing of, “I know I should show up as my best self today, but I don’t don’t know how.”
The first part of developing a strong sales mindset is being clear about your “why.” Why are you doing what you’re doing?
Get down and ask it for several different reasons you want to be in sales. That’ll get you down to the core of what you’re doing.
Then remind yourself of those whys every day. That’s what will keep you going, so put physical reminders on your desk.
Concrete Goals (5:12)
Having concrete goals allows us not to get overwhelmed by the big picture because it can sometimes be intimidating. If we can break them down into smaller bones, that will enable us to feel good about ourselves when we’re in the process.
It’s not just goals- but concrete goals and breaking them down step by step. This gives us actionable pieces we can take a day or week at a time.
It helps to focus on what we can control because there’s so much in sales that we don’t.
The numbers don’t lie. If you want to succeed, look at the math of what you have to do. It makes everything a lot more black and white. Sometimes you have to let your goals come to you.
Putting it into Practice (12:08)
Every time a deal slips or someone would tell us “no,” it’s easy to take it personally.
We can’t worry about the rejection we had yesterday because it’s about what we need to do today to take the next step toward those goals.
If we can stay focused on today, show up as our best selves, and improve a little bit from yesterday, it allows us to remain focused on our process. That will get us closer to accomplishing concrete goals.
Focus on small goals. Write them down and put them in front of you on sticky notes on your monitor or desk.
Know your math. And keep a continuous learning mindset. Finally, stay curious and focused on your professional development.
The ones that control all of these things take ownership of a sales mindset.
I am an accomplished sales leader with a passion for bulding high-achieving teams. There is nothing that brings more joy in the workplace than to be able to watch professionals grow in an environment where being human is the center of our interactions.
Now on my third sales organization build-out, I have developed a deep understanding of the metrics that drive a SaaS business and the requirements necessary components of a Go-To-Market organization to drive growth.