Sales Pipeline Radio

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High-level trends and intimacy of insight.


episode-card-250-don-gregory.jpgOur guest this episode is Don Gregory, the founder of On-Demand Consulting.

Some of the points covered are:

The importance of gathering market insights, marketing intelligence, doing research to understand what the markets is interested in.
About the importance of having those insights at the front of the process to guide and help navigate product development, message development, et cetera.

If you are highly confident that you know your customer, you know your marketplace, your competition, emerging trends with your consumers, you can argue that you don’t need to get insight early on in the process of going to market and figuring out how to take products and services to market. The reality is that most companies and most leaders really don’t have that insight. What makes it worse is that many of the companies in my opinion who are providing market research are providing facts and data, they are really not driving to try to understand the consumer, what the consumer is looking for whether it be B2B, B2C, it really does not make any difference, the process is the same.

Matt asked, "Why is it so important to make sure you are approaching this research right? Maybe a different way of asking that is what it is sometimes dangerous to have company insiders do their own research?"

Don responded with, "Their bias to start with. And they don’t know that many… I do the research completely inside and go out I bring a natural bias to me, with me as I do that investigation. And the rigor has to be impartial and has to be neutral. When I am looking for an answer to a question, I have to have integrity in process and in actions to make sure that I work an honest answer to what I am looking for versus – here is my assumption on what the answer is therefore am going to ask the question to assume and get the answer that I am looking for.

And it is subtle because when you are on the inside I don’t think you understand that bias that you carry and that’s why I think the rigor for having somebody or some organization from the outside who has the expertise in looking in at business situations as well as the business savvy to really look and understand sort of what the key questions are. Once you understand what they key questions are, the areas of investigation are, then to effectively find out the answers to those questions."

Listen to the full episode to learn more.

Matt Heinz Top 10 Reading List of Business Books 2016


250-no-guestpng.pngMatt's annual, "What he read in the year" episode is here. This is a great place for a filtered reading list. Some familiar authors in this list and some you may not have had a chance to read. I love the One True Barbecue and how it applies to business. Have recommendations? Add them in the comments. 

Pre-Suasion: A Revolutionary Way to Influence and Persuade by Robert Cialdini

Anything on the science of influence is absolutely fascinating to me – whether it’s about influencing fans, customers or myself.  Cialdini’s book Influence is a classic, and this sequel/prequel is a must-read to understand how your sales team (and marketing/content teams) can set the conditions for influence and conversion better in 2017.

The Only Sales Guide You’ll Ever Need by Anthony Iannarino

If it weren’t for all the other great sales books on the market (this year and in recent years), I’d say the title of this book is 100% the truth. Anthony is one of the very best sales bloggers and speakers working today, and this book summarizes much of his very best advice.  I highly recommend expanding your sales library, but if there is just one book on the shelf, this should probably be it.

The Great Beanie Baby Bubble: Mass Delusion and the Dark Side of Cute by Zac Bissonnette

A fascinating and fast read, with numerous business lessons included.  What differentiates a trend from a fad?  How can you tell you have something sustainable and repeatable?  The story of the rise and fall (both fast & dramatic) of the Beanie Baby craze is chronicled with a great combination of business advice and juicy insider stories.  A fun read with value.

High-Profit Prospecting: Powerful Strategies to Find the Best Leads and Drive Breakthrough Sales Results by Mark Hunter

The most important, eternal, fundamental sales skill is prospecting.  Whether you’re working ice-cold leads or warm inquiries from your marketing team, you’re still prospecting.  Activity and volume isn’t enough.  This book features new trends and research, plus a proven framework of habits to accelerate your sales pipeline-building results in 2017.

More Sales, Less Time: Surprisingly Simple Strategies for Today’s Crazy-Busy Sellers by Jill Konrath

Every one of Jill’s books have been fanastic, but this might be her best yet.  She’s previously covered how to work with crazy-busy buyers, now she addresses the problem every single sales rep I know has – how to make best use of their time to increase active selling time, external impact and results.

The One True Barbecue: Fire, Smoke, and the Pitmasters Who Cook the Whole Hog by Rein Fertel

I’ll give away the punchline – according to Rein, the only “true” barbecue is 1) whole hog, 2) cooked over wood in 3) a masonry pit.  A difficult combination for amateur BBQ enthusiasts to replicate, but this amazing book covers the history of whole-hog BBQ while simultaneously covering the history and anthropology of the Carolinas.  If you like BBQ or history or good story-telling, you’ll like this book.

Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike by Phil Knight

What separates this book from so many other business autobiographies is its focus, candor and detail.  It’s not an ego-driven puff piece, nor does it sugar-coat what growing a business is like.  The book starts with Phil’s inspiration to start the business, and ends before the IPO.  In between, he highlights the numerous times Nike almost didn’t make it, almost ran out of money, almost went out of business – yet somehow figured out (or stumbled into) how to keep moving forward. It's a story of humility and gratitude.  One of the best books I’ve read on the real story of entrepreneurship in a long time.

The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement by Eli Goldratt

This book was originally written in 1984, but I re-read it earlier this year to reinforce Eli’s Theory of Constraints.  Think about your business today – what’s the #1 constraint keeping you from growing, that when alleviated would help everything else work more efficiently?  This book is a great example of business fiction (if you’ve read Five Disfunctions of a Team, you know the format).

Spinach in Your Boss’s Teeth: Essential Etiquette for Professional Success by Arden Clise

This book is a differentiator.  It covers what all too often is a lost art of habits, manners, mannerisms and more that get noticed, differentiate you as someone special, and can material help you win more business.  Maybe not on your “mainstream” business reading list but it should be.

Resilience: Hard-Won Wisdom for Living a Better Life by Eric Greitens

Published as a set of letters to a struggling and fellow former SEAL, this book pulls deeply from ancient literature and lessons on what resilience means, how it applies to our lives, and how to apply it to make ourselves better – personally, professionally and in all points between.  This is the last book I read this year and might be my favorite of the bunch.

REQUESTING YOUR ASSISTANCE - Trying to find who orignally said, 

"The Path to Success: There is no elevator, you have to take the stairs."

Profit Center Marketing


250-no-guestpng.pngMatt Heinz and Sales Pipeline Radio producer, Paul Roberts talk about Profit Center Marketing. Here's how you know if you are doing it right. IF you can related to any of the next three points, it's time to make a change:

  • If your marketing team is more focused on picking the right t-shirts for an event, rather than driving opportunities into the sales organization.
  • If your marketing department resembles an arts and crafts department.
  • When you report on operational metrics as opposed to business metrics.

CEOs don't care about clicks and retweets, about your open rates and probably don't care about your qualified leads.

So changing the thinking to changing it up to become a profit center requires this type of question: What do we have to do to get a blank check from the CFO of marketing?

"Give me a dollar and I'll make you three." THAT will gain their interest and they will then ask, "How long can you do that? Can you do it every month?" THIS is how you get the blank check. Keep listening. Matt will give you a to-do list to head toward this goal.


Selling ABM Internally with Jessica Fewless


episode-card-250-jessica-fewless.jpgThe buying committee internally is getting larger and more complex. We are talking about account based marketing and strategies to get into the fold of these more complex groups of decision makers.

What is Account Based Marketing to you?

Jessica says, "Account Based Marketing (ABM) is really understanding who is your target audience and building a marketing mix around going after that target audience. And, along the way, building your sales force in the mix so you can align the sales messages with the marketing strategy. THis helps them close more deals, faster and with a larger contract value. It makes your entire sales orgnaization more efficient. Instead of throwing them over the wall and hoping they make it, ABM lines up the budget behind those targets and budgets with these goals."

A number being quoted regularly is that six people are typically involved in the purchase process. Many times it's way more than that in enterprise companies.

You need to focus on the person who is actually signing the contract, but you have to gain buy-in by the committee. This reuqires that sales brings the same message developed by marketing. Jessica has a list of tips in this show. Get your pen out.

About Jessica Fewless, DemandBase

After 3.5 years at Demandbase (and 20+ years in B2B Marketing), Jessica has seen it all when it comes to Account-Based Marketing. Playing an instrumental role in Demandbase’s rollout of an ABM strategy, and educating over 1000 B2B marketers on the principles of ABM over the last 18 months, Jessica has become a resident expert. From building the right target account list and understanding the impact of ABM on marketing programs, to selling ABM within an organization and finding budget for your strategy, Jessica has worked with organizations to build, hone and measure the success of their own ABM strategies.  

Sales Story vs. Sales Pitch - Quick tips to create both


episode-card-250-paul-smith.jpgStorytelling is a compelling way to build interest, get to know prospects, build trust and create connections. Paul Smith is THE utlimate storytelling coach. He's a best selling author of three books on this topic. Learn this tool to put everyone at ease, give you more enjoyment from prospecting and building relationships and make you more memorable.

Some of the questions Matt will be asking Paul Smith:

  1. What exactly is a sales story? How is it different from a sales pitch and can you give us an example?
  2. Why do you think stories are so effective? 
  3. What separates a great sales story from a simply good or average or boring one? 
  4. Would you share tips on how to choose the right story to tell, and how to determine the right time to tell it?
  5. You suggest in the book that great stories -- even great sales stories -- have a surprise ending. Why is that necessary? And how do you create a surprise ending in a story that isn’t surprising?
  6. How long should a sales story be?
  7. One of the questions you asked professional buyers when you interviewed them was, “What is it that makes a sales pitch sound like a sales pitch?” How did they answer that question? And how can you avoid sounding like that?
  8. What are some of the most common mistakes you see in storytelling?
  9. Is it okay to make up a sales story? Or does everything in a story need to be 100% true?    

About our guest:

book-leadwithastory.jpgbook-sellwithastory.jpgbook-parentingwithastory.jpgPaul Smith is one of the world’s leading experts on organizational storytelling. He’s a keynote speaker, storytelling coach, and author of the books Sell with a Story, Parenting with a Story, and the bestseller Lead with a Story already in its 8th printing and available in 6 language around the world. Paul is also a former consultant at Accenture and former executive and 20-year veteran of The Procter & Gamble Company.

As part of his research on the effectiveness of storytelling, Paul has personally interviewed over 250 CEOs, executives, leaders, and salespeople in 25 countries, documenting over 2,000 individual stories. Leveraging those stories and interviews, Paul identified the components of effective storytelling, and developed templates and tools to apply them in practice. His work has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, Inc. Magazine, Time, Forbes, The Washington Post, PR News, and Success Magazine, among others.

Paul delivers professional workshops and keynote addresses on effective storytelling for leaders and salespeople. His clients include international giants like Hewlett Packard, Ford Motor Company, Bayer Medical, Abbott, Novartis, Progressive Insurance, Kaiser Permanente, and Procter & Gamble.


The Perfect Close and 7 Deadly Sins of Closing - James Muir


episode-card-250-james-muir.jpgJames Muir, the author of The Perfect Close. He's an accidental sales person. Started out in operations assisting sales team. He was drafted without knowing how to advance a meeting to the next stage. He created this method as an outcome of his own experience.

Statistically, what happens is no question is asked to advance the sales. 50-90% of sales meetings end without a salesperson asking for any commitment, depending on industry. This number is way higher than those who ask "incorrectly" - at least they ASK.

WHat is it in the psychology of sales or people that prevents them from asking for the sale? If sales people are not comfortable with the method they've been taught - manipulative - they won't do it at all.

Teach them away that is in aligment with their personal values, there is no difficulty asking

Visit - free report - 7 Deadly Sins of Closing

In this episode, James Muir covered:

1. Fear of asking to early or being pushy.

2. Fear of the "No".

Both of these involved in feeling maninupulative or moving the process too fast. You need to have an idea of your ideal outcome of the meeting, but you should also have a couple of positive alternatives.

Catch this full episode for more tips and check out James' site - 

The many challenges of channel sales enablement & engagement with Justin Johnson


episode-card-250-justin-johnson.jpgHost, Robert Pease welcomed Justin Johnson, CEO LeadMethod. This is about the challenges and opportunities of a scaled distribution model - through partners, resellers, distributors, outside reps.

Some of what LeadMethod tackles is the fundamental challenge unique to channel partners distribution vs. opt in, direct method. To get the critical feedback to better understand who is where in your pipeline. This is a challenge they tackle to add to your efficiency.

There are so many different elements that companies are creating in order to come together to collaborate and communicate that sometimes it falls apart.

How do you get enough data to draw conclusions on what is actually working with partner networks? It becomes a black hole of information.

Engaging the distribution group and collecting the critical feedback --THIS is key.

You have to look at why CRMs were built. Understanding what the the customer bought, who they bought it from; and then it morphed into a lead management system. But they take a lot of training.

Listen to more of the clarification and reasoning behind channel sales enablement in this episode.

The Continued Evolution of the Sales Enablement Function



Our guest today is Jim Ninivaggi, Senior VP of Strategic Partnerships at Brainshark, Inc. Some of what we are covering in this episode is:
  • How do you define sales enablement?
  • Can you walk us through the evolution of the sales enablement function? What did it look like five years ago? What’s the state of sales enablement today?
  • Where do you see sales enablement one year from now?
  • What are some key, top-of- mind issues that sales enablement leaders are focused on?
  • What are some issues they may not be focused on, but should be?

About our guest:
Jim Ninivaggi is senior vice president of strategic partnerships at Brainshark, Inc., a leading sales enablement solutions company. He has three decades of experience studying and driving sales productivity. Prior to Brainshark, Jim founded and led the sales enablement research practice at research and advisory firm SiriusDecisions – publishing hundreds of research briefs, reports and blog posts during his 10 years at the firm, and helping shape and raise awareness for the sales enablement space.

Ways to connect with Jim Ninivaggi and learn more about Brainshark:
  • Brainshark, Inc. ( – a leading provider of sales enablement solutions for training, coaching and buyer engagement, helping companies close more deals faster.
  • Brainshark Integration Engine – newly announced, this connects all the content, data and applications in organizations’ sales enablement ecosystems.
  • Continual enhancements to Brainshark for Coaching, Brainshark’s award-winning sales coaching solution. Brainshark for Coaching empowers sales managers to coach their teams anytime, anywhere – so reps are prepared to capitalize on every sales interaction.

Unpacking insights from a bounced email to create 4 connections using ABM



Campaign refined emails are the key. Can't just put it in the byte bucket. Everyone is too busy. Lead Gnome is that solution to find the pockets of value the rest of the market is ignoring. Matt didn't see any solution to accomplish what he needed, so he built it. It's looking for insights into the internal buying machines. Surprising enough you can gain a lot of insights from "out of office" messages. You will basically be given the org chart of the company. 

They looked at trigger events and campaigns around bounces. A bounced email happens when someone leaves the company. "Matt's no longer with the company, but Sally is here..." This gives you a lot of information and opportunity for an introduction and you can look for Matt at his next company, which is probably in a similar position. You can get two contacts from the one bounce. Who did Matt replace? Where did Sally leave to take Matt's old job? This is 4 contacts from one bounce. 

This is about unpacking the information in the body of the email, this is not scraping. This is human written information in the body.

This was just in the first 8 minutes. You need this replay!

About our guest, Matt Benati:

Matt Benati is the CEO and Co-founder of LeadGnome, an innovative Account Based Intelligence web service that mines email responses to deliver account-specific contacts, enhance existing leads, and provide actionable sales intelligence. Matt is a passionate believer that sales and marketing alignment, transparency, and communication optimize revenue generation, and he champions this philosophy in his teams and writings. He participates actively in the market-changing FlipMyFunnel, Account Based Marketing, and Account Based Everything communities. Matt is a contributor at the Account-Based everything hub. Matt’s previous positions include VP Marketing at LogMeIn, VP Global Marketing at Attunity and senior roles at Netezza and IBM. You can follow Matt on Twitter at @mattbenati.

Social Selling Mastery Tips from Jamie Shanks.



Our guest, Jamie Shanks tells us he was doing Sales 2.0 and went BK doing so. He needed to change with the buyer and he was missing that step. Social Selling became a survival mechanism. He reversed the selling process to leverage social media. That's how it started.
03:45 : 
Matt asked, "What is your definition of social selling in late 2016 and what does it mean for professional sales people?"
Jamie asked us to picture three circles, like a Venn diagram.
The intersecting middle is what social selling is.
There are three types of sales processes
  • Insight based selling
  • Trigger based selling
  • Referral based selling
Conversion of those three processes is what social selling is.

His new book is Social Selling Mastery and is available on Amazon. It has become a go-to resource for social selling.


Matt asked if Jamie still sees the companies that continue to block social media sites in house and see it as a distraction. REALLY? That still goes on? You may be surprised at Jamie's answer. You'll have to tune in to hear his observations.

"I get that we have those tools and that they can amplify our messages and brand to our customer..."
About our guest, Jamie Shanks, CEO, Sales for Life:

Jamie Shanks is a world leading Social Selling expert, responsible for pioneering the space. Jamie Shanks has trained 1,000’s of sales professionals from Fortune 500 companies to solopreneurs.