Sales Pipeline Radio

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Stop selling & start leading - dialogic vs. diagnostic



Sales and sales training have been our guest, Deb Calvert's, passion since she was a child earning money for extra weeks at summer camp. You need to catch the beginning of this show to hear how she was originally motivated to get into sales. 

She talked about 8 reasons we'd ever ask a question are summarized in DISCOVER (this is an acronym). Most sales people only ask questions for 3-4 reasons. If you open it up to all 8, you open yourself up to be of real value in the conversation and prospects will share the same with you.

Let's start within the first five seconds of meeting someone to make you more elegant and effective at advancing sales.Shoot her an email and she'll send you this list of questions.

Her site has a lot of free tools to getting prospects to the point of curiosity fast to learn more about what you are offering. Visit

She has a great book: DISCOVER Questions(tm) Get You Connected – LISTENER SPECIAL! BOOKMARK this page. It is continuously updated.  Some of what she and Matt are talking about the survey that asks you "When were you at your personal best?" This goes through March. This is how she gathers valuable information. 

A bit about Deb Calvert:
Deb Calvert, “DISCOVER Questions® Get You Connected” author, Top 50 Sales Influencer, UC-Berkeley instructor. Deb leads the Stop Selling & Start Leading movement and offers sales training, coaching and leadership development programs. Deb is certified as an executive and sales coach and is a Certified Master of The Leadership Challenge®.

Building Organizational Strength by Putting People First. We focus on the people parts of business, including:

- Coaching for Executives, Managers & Sales Teams
- Leadership Development for Leaders at Every Level
- Training for Managers and Sales Professionals
- Consulting on Team Effectiveness, Sales Productivity, Sales Selection
- Keynote addresses on DISCOVER Questions®, sales productivity, leadership connectivity

- MBTI Certified Practitioner
- Certified Executive Coach, the CEC (ICF)
- Full curriculum for sales team training, customized to your industry & market
- Author of the DISCOVER Questions® book series and questioning model

Augmented Intelligence vs. Predictive Analytics with Lara Shackelford


episode-card-250-lara-shackleford.jpgOur guest is Lara Shackelford of Altify. Altify sells to sales professionals. With their software, every sales rep can sell like your BEST sales rep. More reveals followed at DreamForce as it ties to AI and Einstein.

Matt asked what AI means to sales and marketing leaders. Lara told us, "It's important to bring the augmented intelligence piece to help humans perform better. An example - a sales rep is working 4-5 deals critical for the quarter, with our software they can be notified if a change is noticed affecting their influence on the sales decisions by looking at more than past data." 

Matt then asked if there is there a difference between augmented and predictive analytics and intelligence. Lara gave a quick overview:
  • Predictive - predicts what will happen in the future based on a lot of data. This involves high quantity of data.
  • Augmented takes knowledge and context into providing a solution and be able to flag insights to alert the human to be more effective and generate results based on the data and knowledge.
This has been the missing piece - the CONTEXT. This helps guide the next best step. Catch the replay of this show to get more insights from Lara Shackelford.

More about Lara Shackelford:

Lara is a leader in marketing strategy, innovation and execution, building market prominence for some of the largest technology enterprise companies as well as the most innovative Silicon Valley startups. She is known for creating a culture of success that enables brands to clarify, amplify and elevate their share of voice in a crowded marketplace. As EVP and CMO of Altify (Formerly The TAS Group), Lara is responsible for driving market leadership, global awareness, alliances and channels, demand generation, product marketing, content marketing strategy, and strategic events.

Underground B2B Content Marketing tips from Joe Chernov


episode-card-250-joe-chernov.jpgOur guest today is Joe Chernov. He's VP of Marketing @InsightSquared. He also lends a hand to startups and wildlife causes when he can. Diving right in, he says, "It's unbelievable what you can get done if you don't care if you get fired!" Talking about his experience at Eloqua, "If we were to publish something that is valuable, we could edge our way into deeper coverage by the media." 

Scorecard - even though we're not supposed to keep score: 
16 articles after spending 2 years developing a product and writing up the release.
An infographic got 800 articles. Very eye-opening.

Joe says, "Content marketing is what happens when a marketing department shifts its thinking from knowing that the company that signs their paychecks needs to shift to the customer signs the paycheck." That shift in mindset turned collateral into an ebook, a self-serving whitepaper into a more valuable, lengthy piece of content.
Shifting strategies from serving the executive to serving the buyer changes everything.
Q. Is there a concern we are flooding the world with content so much so that it will no longer work at some point?
A. There is more content marketing happening which makes it more and more difficult for signals to be heard, but that's only the surface. 50% of a company's content never gets used. It puts more pressure on originality. We've rested on our laurels a bit. 
Definitive guides, whitepapers - been done years ago by the industry leaders.
Q. What are the ways you distinguishing your efforts at InsightSquared to stand out?
A. Trying to apply some of the ethos that makes good content marketing - serving the BUYER. Applying it to direct mail. Rather than a coffee mug or t-shirt with logo on it. Something more original. If we close loosely - demo, in funnel - we try to accelerate them coming back. Postcard: Come Running Back - link on back to enter your shoe size. Gets them a pair of Nikes WITHOUT logo. The deal isn't done. 
Think creatively. Be memorable. Keep the conversation, interest and value going.
Hear more solutions, reveals and ideas in the full replay.
Get to know our guest, Joe, a bit better.

Obvious Business Etiquette to give you an edge.


episode-card-250-arden-clise.jpgNationally respected business etiquette coach, Arden Clise is our guest for this episode. She has just published her book, "Spinach in your boss' teeth" available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and on her site: . This is a great gift for your team or for you. Many of the tips SHOULD be obvious, but perhaps you weren't paying attention when your mother tried to clue you in. She covers dining, online etiquette, business tips to make your value shine. Her specialty is assisting clients to confidently and comfortably navigate business situations.

Some of what we covered in this episode includes these highlights:
When is it appropriate to use your digital device in a meeting?
Boomers are really bothered by people pulling out devices in meetings, texting, etc.

If you are in a meeting, do not pull out your phones in the meeting. Start with that.
If you are leading the meeting, set the tone at the beginning of the meeting. "Please put your devices away during this meeting."
When you pull devices out, not only do you miss subtle clues and information, it signals to them that the phone is more important than the person in front of you. This should be obvious. It's become a pacifier for people in meetings - something to fidget with.
We know some people use it as a note taking device.If you have to use your computer/device - let them know that's what you are doing - taking notes and then ONLY TAKE NOTES - DO NOT get distracted.

Use pen and paper - you actually learn it better, retain more AND there is not doubt you are taking notes and not pretending to take notes while checking the game scores or Facebook.

When you are using a laptop/tablet to take notes, you are not able to be as present and you miss some of the non-verbal cues. Multi-tasking is a myth. Non-verbal cues can be the difference between building the relationship and wasting everyone's time.

On the phone: Without body language cues, we have to rely on our TONE on the phone - a warmer tone - really helps. SMILING while you are talking. It immediately puts warmth in our voices. Sounds corny, but it works.

PLEASE JUST STOP saying my name every few seconds - it is SO phony - it makes us cringe. Use the name of the person ONCE perhaps twice, beginning and end, but that's it.

Interrupting people. Without body language you can't tell when they are wrapping up. Let them pause and end before you jump in! You will get your chance. A bit of air in a conversation can draw more attention to what you say next. Use that to your advantage.

Dining etiquette:
Find out if your guest has food restrictions. No sense taking vegans to a steakhouse.
Don't put the decision of "where" on them. Suggest a great restaurant for them after you know their restrictions or preferences.
Make the arrangements - make it easy on them and arrive early.
Avoid the awkward check grab - have cashier/maître d run card as you're leaving and arrange with server ahead of time.
Round table full of settings - which parts are yours, which are your neighbor's? Simple thing to remember: BMW - Bread (left) meal (middle) WATER (glasses on the right).

Networking question: Hug or handshake?
Ask, "Can I give you a hug?" - let them make a move - if you already know them and have met.
Handshake is ALWAYS appropriate.

Who is the book for?
ANYONE who has ever wondered how to handle etiquette dilemmas in the workplace.
Amazon or Barnes & Noble or to buy the book. Visiting Arden's site will allow you to sign up for her newsletters, too.
You'll have to listen to the full episode and TAKE NOTES.

Guide for the first time sales manager



Jim Obermayer sitting in for Matt today with guest, Ken Thoreson, of Acumen Management Group. Their firm is focused on execution, discipline, accountability to the sales organization.

He has just published his fourth book in a series:

The other three in the series are:

Some of what is covered in the book includes:
  • How do you on-board a new sales manager? Within 6 months, new sales managers are usually slammed.
  • Leadership and management skills playing together don't usually get taught.
  • Lifespan of a sales manager is about 18 months.Marketing will go back and write a new plan, but the sales managers get fired.
New sales managers seem to focus on micro issues, tracking numbers and activity, and forget they need to have emotional leadership and inspire people to execute. It is the manager's job to instill work ethic, intensity, high levels of performance and interest in creating high levels of results.

The sales manager typically will ask, "What are you going to do today? What are your goals for the day?"
The stunned sales person stammers a defensive reply, "I'm going to get on the phone...I'm going to call prospects.."

At the end of the day, what determines the level of success you had for the day?

On there are a ton of free tools, including, Top 40 actions a sales manager must activate to create predictable revenue."

Jim asked Ken,"What is the biggest challenge you see a new sales manager has in the first 2-3 months?"

First, you have to set priorities based on the situation.

Assume you are walking into a turnaround role - sales are poor...observe, reflect, make a few changes so the team sees that things are getting fixed.
Then you go about setting priorities, goals and then expressing your vision of what you want to achieve over the next 90 days to 6 months.
Most act too quickly or chew off more than they can achieve.

If you are walking into a role where you are replacing someone successful. Then it's sitting back again and understanding the players, building trust first.

Ken finds that there is a lot of talk in struggling organizations about "them" and "us" or "those people." There is a line between WE as a team. That line needs to be broken down immediately for the vision, direction and belief of where you are going. This is building culture.

Listen to the full episode to get more insights.

Demand Generation Trends Today



Content Marketing, the term didn't exist 12 Years ago - let's review - We used to create a 10 second TV ad to send consumer to a website to fill out a form. We've evolved into industry, job level, geographic filters, rather than simply send the inquiry to IT.
The precision of targeting has become so much more sophisticated. There is then a splintering of attention. We are talking MICROSECONDS for the initial and ongoing conversations.

"The noise and clutter are at insane levels." NetLine addresses the HUMAN side of business. Problem-solving centric. You speak to the millisecond mindset. Perhaps you convey this with an image that displays the problem-solving you will do for them in the ONE glance to get them to stay and read more or take another action.
As you've grown in NetLine, what have you learned?
"DELEGATION is key. People take it for granted that it's easily done. This is something that would impede my success if I insisted on controlling all aspects. This includes being more communicative in my team and with our partners."
9:45: Where are you seeing some of these things going - precision of campaigns, splintering, attention span?
"This backs into the stage of the consumer lifecycle. Video is certainly really hot right now, but it's not predisposed to lead generation." He also covered infographics, user expectations that a lot of this should be ungated. eBook success has been huge. If they are done well, they take complicated topics and distill them into humanized value points with more personality." This is the evolution of whitepapers. 
To get more "where we were, where we are going" insights, listen to the full episode.
About our guest, David Fortino:
David Fortino, SVP Audience and Product at NetLine Corporation brings a wealth of expertise in developing strategic distribution partnerships. His core strength lies in expanding targeted and contextually relevant audiences through strategic relationships and channel partnerships spanning leading industry marketplaces. 

Why companies are failing to hit their sales numbers.



It starts with the sales managers, and it then goes to the training, coaching and support THOSE managers receive. How can they pass it down unless they know it as they breathe?

Steven Rosen has over 15 years of executive experience. His fresh approach to corporate leadership, strategy development, execution and team-building in the pharmaceutical and packaged goods sectors defined his success. His expertise in aligning sales and marketing initiatives to achieve key business results and exceed customer expectations has continually exceeded sales objectives from his days as a sales rep to his achievements as a VP of sales for Alcon and Biovail.

If you manage sales managers, check out and sign up for any guide you can find there, including the The 2016 Managers' Survey:

Key takeaways
  • Coaching
  • Key performance
  • Hiring
  • Business acumen
  • Leadership
The answer to sales related problems can be an app, a program, a widget - but it may not solve the problem of RESULTS.
  • Sales Management coaching drives more sales. 
  • Managers ranked the lowest on coaching.
  • 53% of companies are providing some sort of coaching, training and development.
  • Only 44% of companies had a well-defined, well-understood coaching program.

Why Predictable Prospecting follows Predictable Revenue

Let's start with her first book, Predictable Revenue. Page 42 - formula in the Predictable Revenue book. Dogear it, bookmark in your Kindle version. This is what you need to focus on.

Her latest book, Predictable Prospecting, is the result of the thesis of page 42. She spent five years developing this book by working with clients in the field to consolidate and fine-tune, grow the formula, scientifically focus to get benchmark of conversion rates and ratios that will add up to a predictable revenue framework.And then honing in on specific pieces, buckets, and components to put this channel in as part of a mutli-channel marketing effort to generate revenue in targeted accounts with the highest likelihood of closing with the highest revenue potential.

Blending the knowledge of marketing, flipping it sideways and pulling out the pieces that will resonate with those at the top of funnel - this is one stream - OUTREACH for large accounts that close quickly.

Premise in Predictable Revenue is the separation of roles. Let's start with 
Hardworker = habit, consistency
That is the role of a prospector. They have to make calls, they have to have conversation.

Top of funnel we worry about 5 different levels of awareness.
  1. unaware 
  2. disruptive awareness
  3. problem aware - but not sure what the solution is or could be
  4. found solution
  5. found where to get the solution

How do we figure out where they are, how do we start the conversation and how do we move them along?

Catch this full replay here.

Marylou tells us, "I’m Founder of Strategic Pipeline, a Fortune 1000 sales process improvement consulting group. Our client roster includes prestigious companies - Apple, Bose, AMA, Talend, CIBC, Gartner, Prudential, UPS, Logitech, Orkin, AAA and Mastercard.

I’m also co-author of the #1 Bestseller Predictable Revenue. It's sold over 50,000 copies with 250+ reviews (avg. 4.3 stars). And my new book (McGraw-Hill August 2016) is titled Predictable Prospecting: How to Radically Increase Your Sales B2B Pipeline.

I specialize in optimizing top-of-funnel sales process and implementing predictable new sales opportunity engines. My approach walks clients through a 7-point outreach process/framework that is part behavioral, part predictive and part creative (persuasive storytelling)."

Connect with her:

High Profit Prospecting with Mark Hunter

Mark Hunter is here to talk about sales. His new book: High Profit Prospecting, and his best seller give him the credibility that you need to listen in, take notes. We dove right in.

If you have to discount the price to close the deal, that means you are prospecting the wrong people. You can't make a WalMart shopper into a Nordstrom Customer.

Social Media without Social Community is Social Stupidity. It's a conduit. You must have something to share that is of value.

Think about this, too - how to leave an 8-11 second voice mail message. Stop embarrassing yourself.

Matt reminds us that phone and email are NOT dead. The phone is the most valuable tool he uses.

Stop being afraid to prospect and defaulting to social media. Don't hide behind social posts, tweets, likes, and emoticons. PICK UP THE TELEPHONE. It's an amazing tool when used right. You should learn one piece of information about them in the first call and begin to engage them.

Do you have call or prospecting reluctance?
Why? You don't have to close them in the first call. Your objective is to earn the right, privilege and respect to be able to call them again. COLD calling is dead. NOT CALLING, COLD CALLING is dead. You need to know something about them, their industry, their pain.
There are valuable tips in this episode, questions you need to ask yourself and your reps.

About Mark Hunter: (LinkedIn) (Twitter) (Website)
Mark Hunter is "The Sales Hunter." He helps companies and salespeople find and retain better customers. He is also the author of the best-selling book, High-Profit Selling.

He is recognized as one of the "Top 50 Most Influential Sales and Marketing Leaders." All of this has him traveling globally nearly 230 days per year, working with companies to help them grow their top-line sales and bottom-line profits.

He is known for his sales growth strategies and consultative selling approach to business. Mark Hunter is frequently quoted in the media and is a keynote speaker at major conferences on the subject of sales and sales leadership. His sales techniques are in use today by salespeople on 5 continents and in more than 100 different countries.

10 step pipeline performance checklist.


episode-card-250-pease-10steps.jpgGuest host, Robert Pease went through this pipeline performance checklist. Get your notepad out for this one. A few of the steps included:

1. Understanding our target customer. 
What makes the best customer for the product you sell? What makes for the longest term customer?
The goal is to get into the consumption patterns of this optimal customer. You have to be stingy with sales time and efficient with marketing spend. You don't want to reach out to marginal prospects.

2.Knowing what a qualifying customer looks like.
It isn't just the person who has downloaded your most recent whitepaper. They are most likely not ready yet.

3. The message that you use. 
Speaking to your ideal customer profile to attract the qualified leads you are looking for. Understanding their problem and provide the solution they are seeking.
Understand a day in the life, the pressure - LISTEN first. 

Be patient with the overall sales process. 07:00

You can't close in the first contact. 07:15

4. Understanding your Conversion rates. It's not about quantity.
Don't like the numbers? It's either you are not giving them what they expect on the landing page, your content stinks or they were not your target in any way.
5 visits and 3 conversions is better than 100 visits and 1 conversion. This is simple.

5/6. Follow up and Engaging context.
If you tell someone your going to do it, do it.
If you promised to follow up with information, do it, send it.

You'll need to listen to the full show to get all the tips and explanations.