Effective Sales Org Management with Andrew Deutsch

Effective Sales Org Management w/ Andrew Deutsch

#4: Listen as Andrew Deutsch, CEO of Fangled Tech, shares his insights into how to better manage your sales organization. Andrew shares his ideas on sales enablement, coaching techniques for sales managers, copywriting for sales, and where CRM fits into your sales process.

Episode Highlights & Links

Let’s face it, there are multiple features and benefits that exist in products. And the salesperson is the one looking the buyer in the eye can see his eye light up when he hits on a benefit that really matters. So the marketing team could be building our entire platform on five things that differentiate your company’s product from somebody else’s. But those five things don’t matter.

Important Links:


Share this episode!

The Sales Lift Podcast with Andrew Deutsch

Tyler Lindley 0:00

Hey, how's it going guys? Welcome to The Sales Lift. This is Tyler Lindley, your host. Today I'm joined by Andrew Deutsch with Fangled Tech. Hey, Andrew, how you doing? Welcome to the show.

Andrew 0:10

Doing great. Thanks for having me.

Tyler Lindley 0:12

Yeah, thanks for being here. I appreciate it. I'd love to kind of kick off and just have you have you tell our audience a little bit more about you and about Fangled Tech?

Andrew 0:22

Well, Fangled Tech is a full-service consulting, business in marketing and sales. We we really, we focus on helping hone the message of companies work with their branding and otherwise, and create marketing programs that actually help salespeople, get in front of customers and do what salespeople do best, which is sell.

Tyler Lindley 0:42

Interesting. Yeah. We're kind of talking a little bit before the show about that marketing and sales alignment and how sometimes that can be very misaligned. Is that what you see more often than not, or, or kind of what do you typically see when you're going in and trying to help a company?

Andrew 0:56

Anyone who who's in business and hasn't seen the conflict that exists in most organizations between marketing and sales are blind. The marketing teams in so many companies build incredible programs that the sales team have no part in and no interest in and can't implement. On the other side, the sales team have incredible information insights. They're the ones who actually know the customers that the marketing team could be using to build programs that work for the whole organization. So that's, it's just incredible to me that the level of conflict, even in big Fortune 500 companies, where the marketing team builds, I’ve equated it to throwing incredible design parties that the sales team has no interest in inviting people to join.

Tyler Lindley 1:47

Right? Yeah, it does seem I would agree that you know, marketing sometimes tends to focus on that message or how it might look or the style of a video versus maybe listening more. Do you think You know, you mentioned kind of salespeople listening and gathering, you know, some real on the on the boots on the ground data like that. Do you think it's the sales teams then responsibility to relay that that back to marketing? Or should the marketing be listening in on those conversations themselves?

Andrew 2:15

Absolutely, as long as it doesn't turn into a situation where your sales team is spending all of its time in meetings with the marketing team, rather than being in front of customers. Let's face it there, there are multiple features and benefits that exist in in products. And the salesperson is the one looking the buyer in the eye can see his eye light up when he hits on a benefit that really matters. So you know, the marketing team could be building their entire platform on five things that differentiate your company's product from somebody else's, but those five things don't matter. Years ago, when I was living and working in Brazil, I was helping. This is a great example what I'm talking about helping an American company that manufactured upholstered furniture trying to get into the Brazilian market.

In the US, people who buy very high-end upholstered furniture are enamored with hand tied springs and demonstrations of what's inside the sofa. So they built these materials out there to show people this incredible handiwork. And then when you took it to the high end Brazilian furniture companies, they would go, my customers want fabric that looks nice, that's durable, and they buy the sofa with their butt they couldn't care less if you made the sofa out of gold, as long as they believe it's going to be sturdy in last, a show is a prestigious fabric, a great look and feels good when they send all of those marketing materials that brilliant marketing materials for hand tied meant absolutely nothing to the consumer.

Tyler Lindley 3:48

Mm hmm. Interesting. Yeah, I definitely think it's a it's definitely a big part of what we talked about a lot here on the sales, lift, marketing and sales alignment, which I feel like is a big key component of what sales enablement actually means. it's kind of the intersection between marketing and sales. Curious Andrew kind of, you know, as you as you think about sales enablement, what what does that mean to you? What does sales enablement mean to you?

Andrew 4:12

Well, so sales enablement, at its core, is creating programs that allow salespeople to do what they do best, and to encourage and provide the tools so that they can do it. So sales enablement could be as simple as a, in the old days a brochure that actually walks through the benefits of a product so that they have a demonstration piece to be able to hit on and feel out with their with their customer. What are the things that matter to them so that they can hone. Sales enablement could be helping create a list of extremely beneficial probing questions that are three or four deep to help coach them or tell a sales coach show their people how best to create that rapport with the customer based on benefits that matter. You know, one of the one of the things that drives me nuts is you talk about people out there talking about the features and the benefits of their products. And I'll tell you today, the features don't matter. It's the benefits that matter. At the end of the day, you can buy a car because it's got a heated seat, or you buy a car because you've got a seat that keeps you warm and comfortable in the in the wintertime when it's cold. Mm hmm. The benefit is keeping you warm. The feature is that it's got a heater.

Tyler Lindley 5:26

Yep, exactly. One of the things you mentioned there was sales coaching. I've been on a lot of sales floors, where I see very little sales coaching. Is that something that y'all try to help? You know, develop? is a is a coaching type program or are just why do you think in general, a lot of managers out there aren't coaching more with their sales team?

Andrew 5:44

I think many of the people aren't coaching more because they really don't understand what it means to be a coach. I was talking with a client not long ago, he considers himself to be a sales manager, sales coach. And there was there was an issue where the salespeople weren't weren't hitting their numbers. And his response was, you know what I'm going to do, I'm going to get in my car, I'm going to grab a random customer to show those guys how to make a sale. And I said, you know, I'm not a sports guy, but I've never once seen the coach go out on the field and grab the ball. Right? It doesn't happen.

Coaching is really is really so much more about helping those those guys really look at things in a different way become more efficient and recognize how to win, how do we enable them to do the things that will get them to the win. And not so much about I did such a great job here so, follow me. It's about getting them to grow their skill set. There's some really interesting research on coaching and a question comes up all the time. You've got high performers, sort of middle performers and low performers on your team, who do you coach, where do you spend most of your time and typically, you'll talk to a bad sales coach, they will I have to spend a lot of time with those guys that really are at the bottom of the list Because they need a lot of help. And the reality is, that's not the case. The guys at the bottom, probably you can do them a big career favor by helping them move on with their, with their career to do something else. The top performers will perform more with the more coaching they get, but the guys in the middle that have the potential to grow are where you spend most of your time. Mm hmm.

Tyler Lindley 7:22

Yeah, that's interesting. I think I've seen that before too. At the end of the day, you either want to be in sales or you don't. And I think obviously, there's a lot of turnover in sales, but maybe sometimes in those circumstances people are maybe just in the wrong profession. So focusing on that bottom group, could be futile, I think, in some circumstances. So how do you so if you're if you're, if you need to focus maybe on that middle, that middle half, middle third, or maybe even the top tier, getting them to really overperform that you how do you think a manager learns how to do that? When it seems like maybe a lot of, a lot of what they're being told is let's get these people at the bottom up. How do you learn how to not maybe go straight to the bottom and instead focus on that middle, that middle half?

Andrew 8:09

Well, the first thing you got to do is not do what got you in that position in the first place. All of the stuff that you do as a hunter, a guy who's a high performance sales guy whose met, grown business quota and all, all of those skills have to be put away. Because that isn't, those aren't coaching skills. Those are what you're coaching to. The second thing is to really understand the motivators behind the the guys that you're working with, because we all think that everybody's motivated by money. And money's important. If you're in sales and you don't like money, you're probably in the wrong profession. But I can give you an example. There's there's an organization, Brooks Consulting, they're one of the best sales consulting training companies out there. They do evaluations for sales teams. If I remember right, it's called the tri metrics, which really looks at the attributes of the salesperson and how they're wired as a salesperson and how they compare to high performers. And through it, you start to look at the different styles of salespeople that exist and understand who they are, whether they're hunters, whether they're farmers or otherwise. But when you when you really dig into it, you may have a guy on your team that money's important, but more important to him is being known as the number one sales guy on the team. You as a coach talking to him about what he's doing, and saying, "Yeah, you're going to be commissioned on that" may not be as impactful as, "Hey, if you do this, and you hit your numbers, and you follow this path that we're designing together, you could be the top guy on the team, number one." That's a bigger motivator for that person. Others are in sales, because they really, they're there, their goal is make people's lives better. They like to keep score with wins more than than otherwise. And that's a different guy and you coach that person to that to that attribute differently. So

Tyler Lindley 9:54

So if companies shouldn't be looking then maybe for necessarily the top performer who may not necessarily make the best coach. What skills or soft skills or, you know, skills that might show up on show up on a spreadsheet? might they be looking for when they're trying to find that coach? That sales leader, that would be a better fit to actually lead the team?

Andrew 10:14

Yeah, I look for a few things that may be a little out of the out of the realm for others. I look for someone who shows me that they're tenacious. I look for someone who's curious, who's creative. Those are, those are top skills for me. Because they're, the the market gets more and more complex in terms of how you can get in front of someone, especially if you're expecting people to do what other companies call cold calling. I don't cold call. I find other ways to get in that aren't so cold. When creative people have the ability to do things that others don't. Tenacity is is you know, getting that "no" doesn't bother you. It invigorates you to find a way to get past the "no" So those are some of the skills I'm looking for.

And then the other is, you know, just how are they as a communicator? Can they write in a way that's clear? Do they have a background, not necessarily in my product group but in dealing with similar buyers. I rarely hire somebody from my competitor, who's now unemployed for a project, because chances are, they're going to be coming with all the bad habits that they had at the previous place. And I don't believe for a minute that they're going to bring their book with them. You know, it's my my experience has been somebody who leaves one company and goes to another is lucky if they get 10% of their past customers to join them in the first couple of years. Because at the end of the day, people do business with with companies. They like their salesmen, they do business with their salesmen. But when that when that salesperson is no longer in that company, their business is based on what they've been buying. So the chances of them making that shift are pretty slim.

Tyler Lindley 11:53

Yeah, it makes sense. One of the skills you mentioned there was being able to write. I wrote a post on LinkedIn that talked about how copywriting is, is a is a really important skill as as a as a sales rep. I think it's something that a lot of marketers focus on. Do you think that we should be teaching sales reps how to write copy? Should that be a part of sales training? And if so, how do you think we could best do that?

Andrew 12:20

I take it back a step. Writing copy is part of what the marketing team should be doing, or or freelance getting freelancers involved in doing it. We're not asking the sales team to be marketers. What we are asking the sales team to do is to write intelligent emails, intelligent correspondence. If they're if they're texting with a customer, rather than writing which happens more and more. Are they writing things that are immediately understandable and impactful? Or are they just using jargon that nobody knows? Most lost customers are because the communication got them to lose people. To become lost. So, you know, a lot of times, I'll get an email from somebody who I intended to do business with. And I read the email and go, what's wrong with this guy? You know, is it too personal? Is the grammar wrong? Did they not? Did they care enough to recognize that they misspelled three words? You know, is the subject line, impactful enough that I don't have to read through the rest of the correspondence to know what this person is trying to get across? Those kinds of skills the sales team needs.

But like for example, I'm a big proponent of CRM's designed by the sales team for what they need. Not teams not CRM's designed by the marketing team because we've got a whole bunch of glorious data and things that we want them to do the work to gather for us. That can be done automatically at the CRM setup, right? So when it comes to those notes, now it's not correspondence and writing that's going to the End User I want a sales guy who's creative and intelligent enough to create notes that are beneficial to the organization. But don't take them his entire Saturday to do. So. You know, it's it's those kinds of writing skills that matter. And by the way with the new tech, I don't recall the last time I actually typed notes into a CRM, I talk them in and go back and just do a little bit of editing if there's something that isn't isn't intelligent, because at the end of the day, the CRM isn't what I go to work to do. The CRM is how I keep track of and make myself organized and professionalize what I'm doing. It's, it's not maybe I don't the CRM isn't the babysitter that makes me want to, makes me want to work that extra 20 hours a week.

Tyler Lindley 14:43

Right. Yeah, you talk about setting up the CRM I think that is a big piece of of enablement in that the CRM is this is one source of truth for for all these teams for sales for for marketing for service, any team is hopefully working off of that one source of truth. When you when you're when you're setting that up, what do you think is? How do you set that up successfully? You mentioned kind of a marketing team setting it up with with their goals in mind. But in an ideal in an ideal situation, how would a company going about go about setting up a CRM? What do you think are some best practices there, given that it's, it is important?

Andrew 15:19

It's a big part of what we do at Fangled. We work with various CRMs. There's, you know, the big boy on the block is Salesforce.com. It's a great CRM, there's a lot of other alternatives depending on what your needs are, and also what you want to spend. But at the core, the CRM is not set up by the IT department. You don't let finance set up the CRM, and the marketing team should assist so that the sales team gets something that works for them and doesn't become a side gig. Where they're there's they're wasting time. At the end of the day, sales enablement is about doing everything that you can, so that the sales team can spend the most effective time they possibly can in front of customers and closing and winning deals.

So so when you go to set up the CRM, number one is the myth of the pipeline. So a pipeline is you know, you've got a sales process in place of, from what the time that you you're aware that a customer exists to when they become a lead to an account or however you set that up. And each of those through data crunching, they should not be wasted on time with the sales team can give you a ballpark idea of where you are in your in your sales funnel, you know that when you first meet someone, maybe you got a couple point percent of winning. And by the time you've proposed, you're and you're following up and getting your deal those those percentages change. Pipeline's important.

But pipeline is only as good as the system that's developed and whether or not you're asking your sales team to lie. And I mean that clearly. So a bad sales manager says "Guys, there's not enough stuff in the pipeline to win. I want that pipeline filled. Go out there and prospect." So the sales guys will "Hey, I'll tell you that the deal that was really $100,000 deal is $150,000 deal." And this customer who I really haven't even entered yet, I want you to know that. So since it's so important that my pipeline, I'll say, I did it, and then they create it. Then the next month, the sales managers "Well the pipeline is full, but you guys aren't closing everything, I need to see conversions." And then all of a sudden, the House of Cards falls. The pipeline needs to be set up in a way as the core through a real sales process, so that you can get predictable numbers and you're not asking your sales team to be dishonest.

The second part, the second part, then is automations that actually enable the sales team. So if we know from experience that most customers are going to make a decision, say within 72 hours of receiving a proposal, then there ought to be some sort of a task or some sort of a reminder for the sales guy to know that and also be able to adjust it so that they're not trapped. So and I like buttons that click and drop downs, not things that take you to write. So imagine we visited a customer today. And we presented the proposal and the guy showed excitement. But he said to me, we're making a decision next month on the 1st. You should be able to in the CRM, click a box to know that a few days before that you want to touch base and get a reminder for it. So those types of automations are there.

The other is the ability to give feedback to the marketing team, without having to write an email, pick up the phone and call and do those kinds of things. So that when they're following up on leads, this marketing team can find out did we create leads that actually mattered to my sales team. Without having to have one more meeting, one more sit down, one more. So all of those types of things can be automatically built in. So that simple checkboxes and simple dropdowns provide the sales team the ability to provide feedback without taking time away from being in front of customers, and doing things that they're supposed to be doing, you know, to grow the business.

Tyler Lindley 19:09

Yeah, I do agree with the sentiment of simple dropdowns versus write-in fields, because at the end of the day, that's only going to make the data less clean and more confusing and make it less likely that sales rep would even enter in and enter in any data at all. Whereas if you give, you know, if it's a multiple choice test, at least put something even if that's something is other, and you're learning and you're learning something with other maybe than you would just with a blank write-in fields.

Andrew 19:39

Yeah, the last part of that is then that the dashboard that you create for the salesperson. Sales guys, for the most part, aren't interested in looking at complex data that they have to sort through and go through. There should be simple visual things to show them where they are along the path of whatever it is that they're working on. Sales goal, conversions simple, simple graphs and things. And if they strike curiosity, they can click on them and dig into the data and really understand what's there. But I don't typically hire salespeople that are also data analysts. So they're in the other department. And they're there to enable the sales team. So, so all of that is part of that whole sales enablement process. How do we at what do we do to encourage salespeople to spend as much quality time with customers getting wins and closing deals, then that's sales enablement.

Tyler Lindley 20:31

Mm hmm. And who do you think should be as you talk about setting up a CRM like this and in the most efficient manner for everyone involved? Who do you think should be responsible for doing that? What what part of the organization do you think is best suited to kind of set that up and make it such that it is, it is realistic for a salesperson to actually go in and use and insert in this data? What person in the organization do you think would be suited for that?

Andrew 20:59

It's an interesting question because, again, you don't want to inundate and take your sales team off the road. But this is one of those meetings that I think justifies, the sales component of the CRM has to be supported, has to have buy in and has to work for the sales team. So representatives from the sales team have to be the core of that component of the CRM. Now the the marketing side and the customer service side of the CRM, they should have input. But those need to be set up so that the marketing team can properly use it and understand their dashboards, their functions, being able to interface with what the sales team needs, and the customer service portion of it, whether it's cases or or customer, customer contact or otherwise, post sale needs to be set up in a way that they're going to want to use it. The biggest problem CRM has is it gets up and running and everybody thinks that it's you're going to turn it on and this great software is going to start making sales for you and start servicing your customers. It, you know, my car doesn't go anywhere until I'm in the seat, and I've got fuel and I turn it on. yep. and actually hold the steering wheel and go They're not Autobots that that somehow run our businesses except maybe in some rare e-commerce situations with the CRM involved.

Tyler Lindley 22:15

And we're talking mainly about a considered purchase where a sales rep would be involved in taking them through taking them through a process. So yeah, well that's I really appreciate you know, all the insights I'd like to kind of finish up with a few lightning round style questions. And and then we can tell the audience where they can find you. So what a just curious what one software tool or app could you not live without Andrew like what is what is one tool, software tool on your phone or on a computer that you absolutely need in your day to day?

Andrew 22:48

Go back to basics Outlook, or similar, to organize my correspondence, organize my tasks organized my schedule and calendar.

Tyler Lindley 22:57

Okay, awesome. What book had a big impact on your life or your career. What one book?

Andrew 23:04

Absolutely. And we talked about this going back, there's a book called "What got you here, won't get you there" by a guy named Marshall Goldsmith. And basically, the crux of the book is, how do you go from being a hunter to a manager? And how do you manage people because they're two completely different sets of skills. And what do you need to do as a person to improve yourself to be effective now leading people instead of banging on doors and growing business? Brilliant, awesome.

Tyler Lindley 23:30

Awesome. And I'll link to that in the show notes. What is your favorite home cooked meal? Whether you're cooking someone in your family's cooking, but it's cooked at home. What's your favorite home cooked meal?

Andrew 23:41

Anything on the barbecue?

Tyler Lindley 23:43

Okay, and what what do you like to throw on the barbecue?

Andrew 23:47

I would say my favorite is beef, Brazilian style beef ribs slow cooked for about 12 hours on the smoker.

Tyler Lindley 23:55

Nice. That sounds delicious. So And finally, before we sign off here Andrew, where can people find you online if they wanted to get in touch with you?

Andrew 24:04

Right there. My, my website is fangledtech.com. And I can be reached through that for that site. You can also find me on LinkedIn. My name Andrew Deutsch. And I'm always open to learn and be part of other people's other people's network.

Tyler Lindley 24:20

Perfect. Yeah. And we will link to Fangled Tech, obviously in the show notes and as well as your LinkedIn profile. Great conversation. appreciate you joining Andrew. I really enjoyed our time together. And thanks for joining today.

Andrew 24:31

Thank you so much. I really appreciate it.

Tyler Lindley 24:34

Thank you. All right. Bye.