26 Mar Keys to Effective Sales Processes for STEM
In this episode of The Faces of Business, Damon Pistulka and Wesleyne Greer’s discussion focused on keys to effective sales processes for STEM companies. Wesleyne Greer is a well-known STEM Sales consultant at Transformed Sales. Wesleyne helps STEM (science, technology, engineering, and manufacturing) companies develop their sales leaders and processes to improve their sales results.
Damon started the conversation by asking Wesleyne to tell him a little about her background because he couldn’t figure out how a chemist becomes a sales professional, assisting others in selling more or better.
Wesleyne explains how they help companies build better sales teams by building better sales leaders. Wesleyne and her team have created a proprietary 7-step sales leadership blueprint that identifies the blind spots, gaps, and inefficiencies in the sales process, teams, and management of technical fields.
Wesleyne explained she worked in a lab, experimenting with plastics. She needed to figure out why these actual things failed in the field while producing this plastic cup. She was always perplexed why she was doing this.
She talked about her experience. She found herself in sales when she got into sales, and it was as if someone had dropped me in the middle of the ocean and told her to swim. And then I’m like, “I’m drowning, and I don’t know how to bring them with me.” She realized that one of the most significant gaps is in sales leadership. Nobody ever teaches you how to lead a sales team. So that’s what we’re concentrating on. We assist businesses in developing stronger sales teams by developing stronger sales leaders.
Then Damon Pistulka continues their conversation by asking when they should talk to someone about the sales process, and they’ll say that they need a CRM that does all of this for you.
Wesleyne explains this, Sales enablement is like product training; it’s not sales, but a strong CRM, or a powerful system. It has away. As a result, larger companies typically have wholesale enablement departments. As a result, they concentrate on truly assisting salespeople in learning. And many times, simply learning the products is not the same as learning how to sell.
Damon agreed with Wesleyne’s vision; she was correct; it is something that can be taught if the process is followed. Because this is one thing that stops a lot of sales managers, or even salespeople if they have to do this, and they build the process.
Wesleyne Greer is a STEM Sales consultant at Transformed Sales, where they are Gap Selling Certified sales trainers who will assist people in cultivating a sales strategy that not only provides leadership coaching but also improves team performance and strengthens communication between Sales Managers and their team.
In 2020, she will be the Director of Business Optimization. She is also a prominent official member of the Houston Business Journal Leadership Trust. She was previously an International Senior Manager, Sales, and Marketing at Materia. From 2011 to 2017, she worked as a Regional Manager, Sales for Anton Paar USA.
In terms of education, she graduated from Alcorn State University in 2006 with a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry.
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Keys to Effective Sales Processes for STEM
The Exit Your Way Business Round Table Live Stream
salespeople, sales manager, sales, people, sales team, process, pay, sales process, teach, company, sell, elevator pitch, problem, thinking, negotiate, talk, wesleyan, build, kurt, person
Damon Pistulka, Wesleyne Greer
Damon Pistulka 00:04
All right, everyone, welcome once again the faces of business. I am Damon Pistulka, your host today. And with me, I am happy to say I have Wesseling Greer, thanks so much for being here today, Wesley.
Wesleyne Greer 00:17
Thanks so much for having me. I’m so excited to chat with you, oh, it’s
Damon Pistulka 00:20
gonna be fun. It’s gonna be fun. I want to mention your company to transform sales. Today, we’re going to be talking about keys to effective sales processes for STEM companies. And when some people talk about STEM, they may talk about it like science, technology, engineering and math. And you kind of use it that same way. But what does stem mean to you?
Wesleyne Greer 00:43
It’s science, technology, engineering, and manufacturing, because math is in everything that we do. And manufacturing is really where the focus is. And that’s an industry that operates the same as engineering and tech companies. And they all need sales consulting. So M for me is manufacturing.
Damon Pistulka 01:01
There we go. Awesome, Wesley. Well, tell us a little bit about your background, Wesley, because when you look at your background, you just wouldn’t figure you to turn into a sales professional helping other people sell more or better.
Wesleyne Greer 01:16
So I always start with I am a recovering chemist. And that means I went to college, I got my degree in chemistry. And then I worked actually, in a lab playing with plastics, I say it was a failure analysis lab. So I had to figure out why are these actual things failing in the field, when you make this plastic cup? Why does it break? And so I was always so curious. I was like, Well, why am I doing this? What did you guys do to make this happen? Like, give me the story, I’m not just gonna give you data, I want to paint a picture, tell a story.
So what I found myself in sales, and I tell people I got when I got into sales, I finally figured out what I wanted to be when I grew up, because I loved everything about it. Everything about it from convincing people to buy from me negotiating hard, everything about it. And as a new salesperson, there were so many resources, so many tools to become really, really excellent sales, books, podcasts, everybody selling to salespeople. But then I became a sales manager.
And it’s like, somebody dropped me in the middle of the ocean, and said, swim. Now bring all these little fish with you. And then I’m like, I’m drowning, and I can’t figure out how to bring them along with me. So what I realized that one of the biggest areas, one of the biggest gaps is sales leadership. No one teaches you how to manage a sales team. No one teaches you what to do day to day, really, no one teaches you that everybody on your team is not a mini me. And so that’s what we focus on. We help companies build better sales teams by building better sales leaders.
Damon Pistulka 02:54
Yes. And I think he said it well. There’s a lot of things to teach a person how to sell better. But when it comes to how do you manage salespeople motivate you know, and teach them what they need to know to be successful? It’s, it’s a, it’s like you said, you’re in the middle of the desert?
Wesleyne Greer 03:12
Yeah, it’s like nobody. And the thing is, it’s the companies these days, one thing that’s really been rallying me up is that on LinkedIn, all these platforms, everybody’s like, they’re marketing to the salespeople. I’m like, the salespeople suck, because their bosses suck. Like, let’s fix the boxes before we fix the people, because you’re trying to get these salespeople to sell better cold call better do this close more, but they have no leadership. And that is the problem, the lack of leadership, that ineffective leadership is leading to ineffective sales teams. Yep,
Damon Pistulka 03:46
that’s for sure. That’s for sure. So as you’re coming through your sales career, what were some of the things that inspired you to go Listen, I need to this I want to be a sales manager. What I mean, Chris, salespeople kind of be more independent and doing that, why? Why did you really want to be a sales manager?
Wesleyne Greer 04:07
So I’ve always had this heart for being a teacher for being a coach. So I can even remember, in college, I was like, Okay, I need to make some extra money. And I decided I was going to tutor people and that experience in college tutoring people. It really set me up for success and what I do today, because it helped me understand that people learn differently. I could just read something and be done and I got it. But everyone didn’t learn the same way.
I had to find ways to break it down to say, Okay, now you repeat it back to me. What did you hear me say? You explain it to me teach it to me, right? So really close that loop. So going throughout my career as a chemist as a salesperson, I’ve always I was always that person that people would lean on as a mentor or asked to be a coach or can you help me with this? And so I tell people, I have a heart of a teacher.
And as the heart of a teacher, I knew that I wanted to lead people and teach them how to become better salespeople. Because again, yeah, there are resources out there. But MC now it’s becoming more of a norm where there are degrees that you can get in sales, you can go to college and learn how to be a salesperson. But back in those days, there was nothing. It was just like, okay, maybe I have a marketing degree, maybe you have a chemistry degree, maybe I have this or that, but nobody taught you how to be a salesperson.
Damon Pistulka 05:25
Yeah, yeah, that’s for sure. That’s for sure. So when you first got into sales management, what was the toughest part for you?
Wesleyne Greer 05:38
It was so hard to let go of doing. I still wanted to sell, like, I was like at this, but I love selling. Why can’t I sell anymore, but I want to go call on the customers. I want to save my office and run reports and listen to call up and do this. Yeah, that was the hardest part. And it’s the hardest thing for sales reps. Because like that is your passion and your joy. And you don’t realize you’re not gonna get to sell like your joy is gonna come from seeing your other people sell like your wins are their wins now. And that was the hardest thing that I didn’t get to be involved in the sale?
Damon Pistulka 06:19
I bet I bet because he’s Yes. Because you came from wanting and getting to close those deals and make those sales and, and you want to see your people be successful, but you want to be involved in it. So as you made the transition, then what are some of the key things that you really said, I have to start doing this if I’m going to live in this position.
Wesleyne Greer 06:43
So one is a mindset shift is knowing that your success is your people success, when they fail, you fail when they when you win. So that’s one of the biggest keys that sales managers have to make is a paradigm shift of understanding that it’s not about me. And that is very hard because most sales managers are like top salespeople. So yeah, yeah, being the up at the top doing all the, you know, getting all the handclaps and awards and the trips. And so I would say that is the single hardest thing that you have to realize. And the second thing is, not only do you have to manage your people, but you have to manage up and you have to manage across.
So when you manage up, it’s like, Hey, boss, my team needs this, can we do this? Instead of your boss just always pushing things down your throat, you have to be able to negotiate with them, you have to be able to go to the boss and say, Can we do this? Is this okay? No, that budget is unrealistic. That’s not gonna work. I don’t care what you think 20% growth is unrealistic, but finding those words, so you don’t just internalize and get burnt out and the managing across.
Because in sales, we work with finance, we work with operations, we work cross functionally, and knowing how to work with your colleagues that are on the same level as you you cannot say marketing sucks, Operation sucks, and be successful in sales, it doesn’t work like that.
So really understanding that you no longer really exist as an island just focused on selling your product or selling your service that you have all of these different things. And you have a number that you have to hit. So that’s why I say the sales manager’s job is so hard. It’s not just managing people, they task. It’s like you got to hit this number, you have to manage these people, you have to do all of these different things. And that’s really what makes us one of the hardest jobs in organization.
Damon Pistulka 08:39
Yeah, there’s a lot in there. There’s a lot in here. So we’re gonna do that. We’re gonna put that thought on hold just for a second and go back to you. So do you think you’re a better sales person or sales manager?
Wesleyne Greer 08:54
Hmm. Put me on the spot there, huh? Hi, I think that there are some aspects of being a salesperson that I think that I was amazing at. Like, I was awesome. Closer. I don’t want any of my clients to hear me or anybody. I’m mentoring, but I really did like prospecting. Like I was not my fake. Yeah.
So if I didn’t have to prospect if I didn’t have to do any of that, before the actually got to the demo on the clothes. I really enjoyed that. But I would say that as a sales manager that I was able to not just close for myself, but I was able to help 10 or 20 or 30 people close also. So really being able to see what I can do through other people. I think that that’s probably where my true joy lies. And so I would probably say I don’t know, I was pretty good sales person. But yeah, sales manager too. So I don’t know.
Damon Pistulka 09:59
That’s Interesting, I think about that one myself in engineering and I was I was good engineer, but much better manager. I think as I got as, like you said, for the same reason that you said at the end there about if I lead people, right and taught them, right, I could do, I could make so much more of an impact on the organization, if they were doing the right things the right way and, and getting things done. Yeah.
And when you see that, as a manager, I think that’s, and I think that’s one of the reason why I brought it up is a lot of people, you know, like you said, it’s the best salesperson becomes a sales manager, or in the worst case, the one with the longest tenure, that can be really bad. And we’ll talk about that in a moment. But you know, that is quite a transition, as you said, you spoke through the transition that you really have to make, if you’re going to be a successful sales manager, it’s not about you doing it anymore. It’s about enabling your team, get everything they need, the training, the habits, the whatever, they need to help them, do it, do it. And you succeed when they succeed.
Wesleyne Greer 11:12
Absolutely. And I think that really thinking about, where do I operate in my best self, because it’s okay, if you’re a lone wolf, and you just want to be alone, there’s some people that are like, never want to be a sales manager. I worked with a team recently. And I was like, Well, who can you mentor? Because your goal of the sales managers to work yourself out of a job, so you can move up the ladder? Right? Yeah. And he was like, nobody, there is nobody on my team that wants to lead. And so it’s like, Is it because you’re a bad example, as a leader? Or is it just because they don’t want to do it? Not everybody is innately made to be a sales manager.
And that’s okay. But the key is understanding that, hey, when I’m looking to build out my team, or I’m looking to promote someone into leadership, I am looking for core qualities of leadership. It’s not about winning all the deals, if you have a salesperson that is always at the top of the leaderboard, but they have challenges with other people within the organization, they’re most likely not going to be a good leader, because they don’t know how to communicate. They don’t know how to use their words. They don’t know how to not bulldoze through. And yeah, I see a lot of talk about this.
Can you be a good sales manager? And not be have been a good salesperson? I’m pretty adamant. I say no, because there’s no way that you can tell me what to do when you haven’t walked in my shoes. And so if you’ve never hit your quota, how can you tell me to hit my quota? Like if you never knocked on doors? How can you tell me what to do? Right? It’s just like when your kids are like, did you do that? Did you like then that doesn’t matter, right? But it’s really true. Like that is one key thing. If you’ve never hit your quota, how can you expect me to hit my quota? And how can you give me tips and strategies in order to do that?
Damon Pistulka 13:11
That’s a good point, because it’s almost it’s sales is a form of technical leadership almost, you know, it’s like, if you’re managing engineers, you better know engineering. You know, that’s okay. Because there’s some problems they’re going to need help with and sales is very similar in those respects is, you have to be able to show the technical ways of how to do it and what needs to ask a great point. That’s a great point. How many times do you see that happening? Where people Oh, you’re gonna be the sales manager, but they’ve never done sales.
Wesleyne Greer 13:42
So there’s a phenomenon where sometimes it’s a phenomenon where sometimes the person who wields the loudest or rubs elbows the most, they get promoted, and sometimes it companies, it’s just like, you were a horrible salesperson. And instead of a company, letting the person go, they’re like, let’s put them in another position. So they’re not affecting our revenue, but they can just do something else. Like, why why would you ever do that? There was a person who I mean, he was a really, really smart guy, but he had never sold a day in his life.
And he had a PhD and they’re like, but he’s smart. And he knows the technology, but he didn’t know anything about sales like, and that happens a lot in our technical fields, right? Because it’s like, oh, you’re smart. Oh, you know, the technology. Oh, you know this, and then they, they just, you know, slide them in. And then I have this other phenomenon I call your competitors rejects that I talk about a lot you know, in hiring people tend to hire their competitors rejects because they’re just very singularly focused and they only focus on their specific industry.
Damon Pistulka 14:55
Yeah. Yep. phenomenon. Oh, I think about that, because that’s not good. When is that many people that you call them phenomenon? That’s, and you’re right, though. I mean, there’s a there’s a lot of places where the sales team is literally the last people standing. I mean, as far as the people that haven’t quit, I’m trying to get find the right words for him. That’s in some regards when they’re not supported when they don’t have the right processes and systems.
And it’s because sales anymore, they don’t ask you some questions around this, because we’re going to talk about the keys and your kinds of companies that you’re helping people with. The sales is not just going out and beating on doors anymore. I mean, you have to have data, you have to have systems you I mean, to really be effective at it. And you’ve got to have it’s a, it’s a lot more than just doing that anymore, isn’t it?
Wesleyne Greer 15:50
Absolutely. It’s not just pick up the phone and call is not just show up with your item and do a demo it is you really need to understand the problems, the challenges, the issues that your prospect that your buyer is facing. And really the challenge is now, especially if we take just one specific area that I focus on in manufacturing, the workforce is aging.
And so with an aging population, there’s not a good transference of knowledge because the salespeople, sales managers, even the people within the company, as they age out, they’re not leaving behind all of that knowledge, because nothing has really been documented. It’s just in their head, right. And so you have to slow down and make sure that you have a documented process. You want to be able to hand someone something on their first day and say, Hey, this is how you sell this widget. You do one you do, too, if you hear this, you do this, if you do that, you do that.
So really having a documented process, something that people can follow is really, really the key to switching from a people dependent sales organization to a process dependent sales organization. We want process dependent, not people dependent. If a person leaves and your sales organization falls apart, you did something wrong. It’s not the sales team’s fault. It’s your fault as a leader for not having processes and things that they can lean on.
Damon Pistulka 17:21
Yes, yes. So then how much of your time is, is spent now in your work with clients, just working on the process?
Wesleyne Greer 17:33
Process process process. So I follow a framework, I call it the three P’s. It’s people process, people plus process equals profits. So we have to make sure we have the right people in the seat. Because sometimes, you know, people want me to turn water into wine, like, I just can’t do that. I paid if you have to, like do anything. But happy salespeople. So first, let’s make sure we have the right people in the right seats. And a lot of times it’s a reshuffling. It’s maybe not that you have the wrong people, but they’re not in the right positions, then we focus on the process. Because I want to make sure that as we’re building out the process, we actually have people to execute the process.
We actually have people that can say, Yeah, this works. No, this doesn’t. And so a lot of what we do is we’re developing the people and creating the process it together. And that leads us to profitability.
So we do each of those in a silo. If you just say, Okay, I’m going to spend six months hiring the right people, we’re going to spend six months developing the people, then you have a whole another batch of people you have to hire and you have no process. If you just focus silo on the process, and then you don’t have the right people in the seats, then we’re not making money. So you really it’s a form like that’s why I use the formula. And that’s my chemists brain coming together. People plus process equals profit.
Damon Pistulka 18:54
Yeah, yeah. And you have to, you have to work on them. Or in parallel, really, because without any of them you won’t either one. You won’t get
Wesleyne Greer 19:03
it done. Absolutely.
Damon Pistulka 19:06
Yeah. Kurt stopped by and said hello. Hey, Kurt. We see we see Kurt once in a while, don’t we? Yeah, good stuff. Okay. We got to yep, yep. Good stuff there. So when we’re talking about this people, profit people plus process equals profit. Now, when we talk about process, the sales processes that you see today, you know, you can talk to somebody and they’re gonna say that they need a CRM that does all this kind of stuff for you. And there’s other people that say, Oh, we do it in Excel.
And I don’t think that either one of those is really right for everyone. But what are some of the in the kind of clients that you’re working with? What are some of the, just the high-level key things that you really see they need systems wise so the salespeople can be effective.
Wesleyne Greer 20:04
So really, when you think about sales, person effectiveness, sales manager effectiveness, it goes back to this phenomenon of sales enablement tools, right. And so larger companies tend to have whole sales enablement departments. So they focus on really helping the sales people learn. And a lot of times just learning the products is not learning how to sell. And so when you hear, say, sales enablement, it’s like product training, it’s not sales, trainings, product training, but a strong CRM, actually, or a strong system, it has a way, it has a two way feedback.
So if you say, hey, the first thing that you do when you make an outbound call is you try to schedule a discovery call, right? If you are tracking this in a spreadsheet, or tracking in a CRM, and he’s somebody made 50 calls and they schedule two meetings, there’s something broken there, right?
So I always look at the conversions, I don’t care about the actions, it could take you 10 people to make five meetings, then you’re done with that activity, move on to the next thing, maybe it takes you 50 To book five meetings, that means we have to work on building your skills. So again, when we think about a process, we have to think about what are the metrics we’re looking at in the process. And for me, it’s all about conversions.
I don’t care about the sheer numbers, I care about how you’re converting. How many calls are turning into demos, how many demos are turning a proposal, how many proposals turning into close sales? Like and that’s the simplest process that you can build out? Right? It’s a four step simple process. And so if we’re if something is broken ahead, right, so we call those leading lead indicators. So if we’re not converting enough phone calls into discovery meetings, we’re never going to hit our numbers. So why are you just running reports looking at how many courses we have?
The problem is way up the pipeline, right? And so when we think about the process, we have to think about how do I help my people enable my people to actually do make the best phone calls? How do I enable them to have the best scripts? How do I enable them to do the best demos, right? And so those are the things that sales managers need to think about. Whereas usually sales managers are just thinking about closing sales and hitting their number. Yeah, you have to think about that. But it’s way upstream that the problem has come.
Damon Pistulka 22:29
That’s a great point. Because we were, we were helping a client here last fall. And they had somebody that was, was trying to help him with sales. And they were resisting the fact that you shouldn’t be thinking about what happens in a phone call and helping people’s at least script talking points and other things in a phone call, and then emails and anything other subsequent conversation. And I didn’t really, because the salespeople and they eventually worked it out. But you’re, you’re exactly right, though, to get that conversion rate up, we have to have a consistent process in the words we use and the way that we talk to people in each part of the process, don’t we? Mm hmm.
Wesleyne Greer 23:20
Absolutely. And a lot of times when you’re building out these processes, don’t build it on your a student. Like they’re gonna always get it. You got to build it on those BNC students middle of the pack, right? Not and not the local farmers. What are the what’s the middle of the pack doing?
What’s the middle of the pack need? Let me listen to their calls, right? So yes, you listen to the top performance, because you want to get best practices, you want to see what they’re doing. But holding everyone to that standard is gonna demotivate the team, because they don’t have the same skill set. And so you’re right. It’s not this is not cookie cutter. These are suggestions you use option A, B, or C. Again, I don’t care which one you use, just get it done. And I just want to hear that we’re transitioning as we move through the process, and I should see growth week over week, things should get better.
Damon Pistulka 24:13
Mm hmm. Oh, did I hit that again? Sorry, I didn’t shut that off. I didn’t. Sorry. But that’s right. It’s, uh Yeah, I was thinking about that. And I lost my whole train of thought I was I was thinking on that hard because you’re right, you have to work with the middle of the pack. And if you build your sales processes on your a player, not everybody is going to be like that or your star.
You know, because let’s face it, a lot of time the star player is doing it their own way and they’ve done it their own way and you kind of don’t want to say leave them alone, but they kind of are in their own world of way they do things. But I like your idea and how you’re applying it of building to the mass the majority of people so that we You have a good system that you can bring a lot of people in, and you can scale it that way.
Wesleyne Greer 25:04
Absolutely. And really what happens when you think about because the sale your sales team is kind of like a bell curve, right? Yeah, you’re gonna have some really high performers, you’re gonna have middle of the packing and have your low performers. And if you build things or you thinking about, Okay, I’m starting to build out a sales process, what does the middle of the pack need to level up, right? Your top performers, because they’re top performers, they’re going to soak it up. And so it’s actually going to help them level up even more, and your low performers are either going to get it or they’re not.
And they’re going to eventually wash away, right. And so if you can get that middle tier, which is usually 50, or 60%, if you can focus there, instead of focusing on Hey, these are because there’s the 8020 rule, right? There’s that Pareto principle, we always want to focus on, hey, you guys are generating the revenue, what do you need? How can I help you grow more, and then the rest of the people, either you spend too much time spinning your wheels, or you don’t give them enough attention? And what you really have to do is figure out how can I help them? Your job as a sales manager, as a sales leader is to enable your people to do their job, not do their job for them? Yeah.
Damon Pistulka 26:18
That’s, that’s great. Enabling the people because I’ve got a, I’ve got some follow up questions on this. Because how many times when you go in, because I’ve thought about this a lot? How many times do you go in and you go and see a sales team that’s not performing very well. And it is just the system? And not just it is the system and process? It’s not the people compared to it being the people?
Wesleyne Greer 26:51
Well, you know, it really kind of depends on the size of the organization, the smaller companies tend to have more people problems, just because they’re not, they don’t have a really good selection criteria. And they’re just kind of, they’re trying to gobble everyone up, because they’re in growth mode. And they’re like, We need salespeople, we need salespeople, right. So in larger companies, it tends to be systems.
And it could be systems in two different spectrum, right? There was one company that I worked with, and I was like, Okay, I’m gonna do a sales process audit, you know, I’m thinking I’m gonna get in their CRM, I’m gonna do it, they send me a 76 page document. I’m like, No wonder your salespeople are not following this, no one’s gonna read 76 pages of sales process, right? And then on the other end, they’re just focused, and they’re so dependent on. Okay, this is what the top performers do everybody do that. And that’s the process that they use.
So it can be too regimented, or way too loose. And so the goal is, let’s get somewhere in the middle. And if you have an established sales team, you really just have to get people in the room, and you just start asking them questions. Hey, Bob, when you get an inbound lead, what’s the first thing you do? Okay, so Ryan, what about you? How do you handle that, right? And then you literally are aggregating what they are doing today, not trying to fit a round peg in a square hole. But let’s use what the team is doing today. And what works. And then you as a leader, you kind of take all of that data and all that information, and you build it out into your process.
Damon Pistulka 28:30
Yeah. Yeah. And it is it really does start with that, doesn’t it? It just asking people what they’re doing now. Because most of the time, you really don’t know until you sit down and do that deep dive first. And just really, step by step.
Wesleyne Greer 28:48
Absolutely. One of the tools that we use is a sales person evaluation. And a part of the evaluation is the salesperson has to record a video of their value proposition and their elevator pitch. And they’re laughable. It’s IV, like, when I played them back to the CEOs or to the sales managers, they’re like, is that what they’re saying in front of customers? Like, it’s even the basic like that, like, what is the elevator pitch? What is our value proposition? The last one we did if there were like, 10 people, and they like read it?
Or they’re like, Oh, we sell this? And we do. I mean, it’s just horrible. It’s just that and so it’s small things like that, like your salespeople don’t even know how if they’re in the line at a grocery store, and somebody sees the emblem and they’re like, What do you do? They can’t even tell somebody in 30 seconds distinctly what they do. So when you have challenges like that, it’s like well, okay, it’s not is it a people is it a process? That means during your onboarding, you did not teach them that right?
Damon Pistulka 29:53
Yes. Yes. Well, and it’s it is the details. It’s like everything The devil is in the details and every bit, because when you first said this, I was thinking value provinces in sales pitch and I would be just frozen to do it until I thought about it. And I realized I do it every day. But the salesperson that comes in and understand and doesn’t understand if you didn’t say this is our value proposition, you can say it how you want this is the meaning of our value proposition. And then they can kind of give it their own spin the same thing on the sales pitch or the elevator pitch. Yeah. But yeah, they then you just think about you think about that salespeople.
So you got to say you got 10 salespeople that are out there for you today. And they all don’t really know. And it’s all different across the board based on their experience and what they’ve know about the company or what they don’t know. That little bit alone. Right there, just making sure that hey, everybody knows your value proposition and your elevator pitch for your company. It’s like, as you said, standing in the grocery store, if someone said, hey, where do you I see you work at blah, blah, blah. What do you guys do there? There’s your elevator pitch tie. Oh,
Wesleyne Greer 31:09
yeah. And yeah, and you know, the higher level, I just need something consistent initially, but the higher level elevator pitch and value proposition is, hey, I know this is counterintuitive, but nobody actually cares about you. They want to know how you can help them. Right.
So what does your company do to help them? What solution does your company provide? How right? So it’s not just like, we provide software and we do this? And we do that we do that? No, it’s like many times a person has this challenge and this challenge, and we help them overcome that challenge, right? That is like, oh, yeah, I know somebody who has that, because that’s the whole point. Like you want somebody to say in 30 seconds. Oh, yes, I can identify?
Damon Pistulka 31:54
Yes. And you’re, you just brought up I think a very, very, very, very, and I’ll say very twice more on top of that important point in, in looking at an elevator pitch that we would have used 20 years ago, and about an elevator pitch today. Because if you’re not, because my thought was an elevator pitch, when you’re when I first when you first said it was well, this is what we do.
But that’s not really a good elevator pitch anymore. That’s kind of a book, you know, but if you do it, well, it is that’s what it is just not relevant to people because they don’t care. But if you just said, we help people do this, that’s a lot better than we make, you know, we make cars. Now we help people do the things they want to do get where they want to go or something like that, you know, it’s a lot different statement. When they do that. That’s a great point. And that elevator pitch and also the value proposition as well. If you’re starting talking about that, it’s it’s not what we do. It’s the problems we solve and how we do that.
Wesleyne Greer 32:57
Absolutely. I make your life better. How we can help make somebody’s life better. Absolutely.
Damon Pistulka 33:03
Yeah. Ah, that’s great. points there. Great points there. So as what is the thing that you just absolutely love seeing today in sales?
Wesleyne Greer 33:18
Huh, hello, seeing good salespeople, like, if I am if somebody pitches me, I’m like, Oh, my gosh, you’re a good salesperson. Because there’s so few out there these days like salespeople are, they’re so focused on just hitting their number that they really they’ve taken the human being out of being of sales, right, and I can’t fault them that much I fault. You know, me, I always talk about the leaders, it’s the leaders fault for putting all that unnecessary pressure on them. But when I talk to a salesperson, first of all, if somebody cold emails me, and it actually is not about them, I will respond. Some people say they respond to everyone. I’m like, I don’t have time to respond to foolishness.
But if they can identify something with it, like, Oh, I really enjoyed the podcast that you just saw, I really enjoy it. Like you spent five minutes this, it only takes five minutes to do some research on something that is about me, that is really good. And then when we get into a discovery meeting, you don’t just vomit your product. Like I don’t care about you, like ask me questions. You shouldn’t be talking that much. So really seeing somebody who is a strong sales person. That is one thing that I’m like, Oh my gosh, this is so refreshing. And the thing is, they’re out there, but sales people some people say they’re born, I say that they’re made right.
That’s why I my tagline is the science of selling stem because as a science, it can be taught. So even if your sales people are not that good, or even if your sales leader is not that Good, you can teach them, you can mentor them, you can coach them, you can get them to where they need to be. We never tell people to fire your sales people, we never say, we say it’s going to take six months, it’s going to take 24 months, it’s going to take this long to get them to baseline, do you want to invest the time? And sometimes they say, yes, sometimes they say no, but that’s your decision. People can get there. It’s just about how much development you give them.
Damon Pistulka 35:26
Yeah, cuz you’re, you’re right people, some people think that, Oh, you’re just a natural salesperson. And that’s very, very, very few people are our natural salesperson, or salespeople. And even at that, they’re not a skilled salesperson.
Because skilled sales people understand, like you said, they learn about a the process of sales, and, and how their product really does solve problems for their, their customers. And, and can speak to those kinds of things. And then to there’s that, that fine mix of, well, there’s just so much stuff, I’m my brains going because you’re right, it really is something that you can teach, if you really step through the process. Like he said, we talked about this a while ago, you know, with scripts and talking points and understanding the steps in your sales process.
And how that works, is as simple that you and I have talked about that before, it changed my world. And we in our business when we developed a sales process. Now it’s like, oh, yeah, we’re in this step. This is what we usually do here can go a little more of a little left. But these are the things we want to accomplish here. And when you have an effective sales process, and you know what happens at those steps, your salespeople can follow that they can navigate what they need to a little bit here and there and do that, like I said, teaching the people how to how to be effective.
Wesleyne Greer 36:55
And, you know, the also the key with building out sales processes, one of my clients told me probably about six or eight months ago, like less laid as much time on my hand. Now, I don’t even know what to do with myself. I was like, now it’s time to hire some junior salespeople so we can get up and running. But when you take because what’s happening is the salespeople ask you 50 questions a day, because they don’t know what to do.
And so they have a process, they just ask you a question, if there’s something broken in the process or something deviates from it, or they can’t figure it out, they’re not always running to you, for you to do this. And to do that. And I say that’s a module we teach to stop being the savior, it is literally the first thing we teach, when we’re working with sales manager, stop being the savior. And when you stop being the savior, and you really focus on hey, let me give you a process to follow. Let me give you something that you can at least go one plus one equals two. And then you come to me for coaching advice and help.
Damon Pistulka 38:02
Mm hmm. Stop being a savior. That’s a good one. Well, because it is the natural thing to jump in and want to help. But you’re right, they need to be able to go back and say why is someone asking this question? And is it something broken with our process that we need to fix? Or we haven’t given the salespeople the right training? And so they can answer the question next time? Because if you answered the question today, you’ll be answering the question again tomorrow, probably.
Wesleyne Greer 38:32
Absolutely. Absolutely. 100%. And another thing that’s really hard for sales managers, and I would say managers in general, is sometimes you have to let your salespeople lose, you have to let them fail. Because that’s a part of that stop being the savior. Because if you’re always there to rescue them, they’re never going to learn, right. And so sometimes you can be on the sidelines, seeing a you can be on the sidelines, seeing something going really downhill. And you have to decide, is this a teachable moment?
Is this something I should teach? Is this something I should allow them to fall? Right? Or is it something that I need to rescue them? And usually it’s going to be let them fall? Because they’re not going to ask you advice until it’s almost about to fail. It’s gonna be like, 90% loss, and then you’re like, oh, my gosh, I’m gonna lose this big. This big deal. What can you do? How can you help me? Right? And it’s like, no, you messed up at step two. That’s where the challenge happened. And so it’s really hard because maybe it’s the end of the month or the end of the quarter, and you feel like you’re on the line, but that people will never learn unless they learn how to do it themselves.
Damon Pistulka 39:46
Mm hmm. Yeah, that’s a great point because there’s a fine line between letting somebody fail to learn and and something where you should step in as for sure.
Wesleyne Greer 39:56
Absolutely. Yeah, absolutely. Well,
Damon Pistulka 40:00
Kurt says you’ve got an awesome sales process in baseball analogies. There we go. Can’t talk. But yes. So let’s hear your baseball analogy with the sales process.
Wesleyne Greer 40:12
So we talked about those fours, you know, like, boom, boom, boom, right? And so if you think about a baseball diamond and a really simple way to think about it, it’s like, okay, and my first what, how do I, how do I get to first base? What steps do I need to get to first base? Okay, what if I go too slow? I’m gonna get out, right? So it’s like, I go from first to second, then okay, how do I get from second to third? Okay, what am I doing?
And that’s why I talk about the conversions. It’s not about the actual step. It’s about thinking about the conversions. And then it’s like, Okay, now it’s time to run home. What do I need to do? Okay, if I, Okay, I gotta watch everything. That’s all around to me. And so if you just think about your sales process, as a simple baseball diamond you like, as I go from here, to here, to here to here, here to here.
Okay, that’s all I have to do. And so if you think about it, that simply because in its simplest form, that is what sales process is, when you make it too complicated, nobody’s going to follow it. And if you don’t have a process, nobody’s going to follow it because they have nothing to follow. So start as simple as what does it take from first touch to getting a first call? What are all the different ways that you guys as a team do that? What are some of my best practices? How can we get from point A to point B? That is how you build this process out?
Damon Pistulka 41:35
Yep. Yep. And you shared that with me before. And I’m glad Kurt brought it up. Because I think this is one of the things that stops a lot of sales managers, or just salespeople if they have to do this, and this themselves is to build the process. And it is as simple as just go, what does it take to get to this step?
And what do I need to learn? And what’s the state to get the next step? And what do I need to learn? And how many times do you find Yes, So first of all, I was my head flew far forward, because I know there’s another question I want to ask you. But it is it’s as simple as doing that and just developing the steps and going in what you’re doing. So how many times do you think that people are rushing the sale? Ooh,
Wesleyne Greer 42:28
oh, man. You just want me to go all the way on all your hitting all my hot buttons of things, but at ease, right? They rush the sale all the time, because they want to go from first call to purchase order or credit card in like, two days, two minutes, right, like so they always do. And you know, you’re rushing the sale. One, if you’re not moving at the pace of the buyer of your prospect.
Yeah, if the prospect asking for pricing after two minutes, that means because they’re trying to price shop you and they don’t care about the product, right? Yeah, move at that pace, you need to build value, it is about solving their problems, not the little pain that they have right now the little niggle the problem. And so a great analogy that I like to use is Okay, so let’s say I sprained my wrist, that’s fine. I get a brace. I keep working. No problem, right?
So if you come and you try to sell me some magical cure to help my wrist, I don’t care cuz I’m still working, and you’re not affecting anything. But let’s say I break my wrist, okay, I break my wrist, so I can’t drive. Okay, you can’t drive so you can’t go to work. You can’t go to work. So you don’t get paid. You don’t get paid. So you don’t pay your mortgage, and you get foreclosed on. So if you come to me and you say, Hey, if you I have this magical pill that costs $100 $1,000, however much it costs to save you from foreclosure, you’d be like, Wait, hold on, how did you get from a broken wrist all the way there. You paint that picture in their mind?
You help them imagine the thing that they’re not thinking about. That’s the magic of going slow and having a process because it’s your job as the salesperson to help that person understand how their pain is really a problem and have that problem manifest into a bigger issue. Because most of the time we are selling our product is to avert risk. Simple. We’re trying to alleviate risk in some way. So that is really, really like I said you had me on my soapbox.
Damon Pistulka 44:54
That’s awesome. No, no, I wanted you to talk about it because it was one of the points that I want I wanted to bring up because I think that we lose so many sales when we rush the sale. And you talked about building value by showing painting the picture, first of all is like, Hey, if you break your wrist, and you’re gonna, you could potentially lose your house, and we’re going to prevent you from losing your house by protecting your risk with this little guard. Right, exactly. That’s what you need. That’s why you put this risk are on because we want you working tomorrow, just like you were today or doing whatever you want to do. And we don’t want you to lose your house.
Wesleyne Greer 45:38
And the thing is, if you if you just sell that book, say it’s a magical pill, right? Yeah. They just say, Oh, I can’t go to work for a week. Oh, I’ll pay $100 for that. But if that magical pill will prevent foreclosure, they’ll pay $100,000 for it, like so you can.
And again, sometimes we have that discretion within our products, that there’s not a list price, there’s not a finite price. But even if there is if it’s $100, and you are able to convince that person that hey, this $100 is going to save you this, this $100 is going to prevent this, that it’s like, oh, it’s just 100 bucks. Let me swipe this card like I’m done. Right? Yeah. Well, that is our job as salespeople Our job is to help take our buyers on a journey to help them understand where they are and where they need to go.
Damon Pistulka 46:36
Yes, yes. That said very well. So you said it very well. Because it is, this is one of the things I think the pressure, the corporate pressure, or the just business pressure, not necessarily corporate pressure to generate sales, right? Well, we got to generate a million dollar sales this month, blah, blah, blah.
So people think they have to rush through the sale, it’s not necessarily rushing through the sale, because you won’t get as many sales. And it’s like you talked about before, sometimes you have to slow down to go fast. And maybe it’s the fact that it’s not that I have to rush the sales I have, I have to have more sales in my pipeline. So I can take the right amount of time and convert, as you said, a lot more of those sales we have in the pipeline.
Wesleyne Greer 47:19
Absolutely. And it’s also important to know that sometimes you’re breaking your back and you’re breaking your neck to close the sale. And not all business is good business, right? So sometimes it’s okay to walk away from a deal. I literally just walked away from a five figure deal because it was four months too late.
I was like you’re a hot mess now. Like, if you would have hired me four months ago, we could talk but now you lost 50% of your sales team without telling you you’re gonna lose your sales managers God, like I know, it’s gonna be way too much for me. And so thanks, but no thanks. And so not all business is good business. And sometimes you’re breaking your neck for a bad deal. Like if you have to do so much and you have to you’re working too hard. You should have enough in your pipeline where this one falls that it’s okay. Something else is gonna come in.
Damon Pistulka 48:14
Yeah, yeah, exactly. Wow, excellent. we’ve gone for nearly 50 minutes. And I feel like we just got started.
And now you know.
Damon Pistulka 48:26
This is awesome. This awesome though. Kurt. Kurt says, so good. Yeah, exactly right. Time to take notes today. Wesley Wesleyan was wisdom. Yeah, got a hashtag for you now. So I just want to go back over a couple things, then we’re going to talk about a couple other things really quickly.
But you know, you’re talking about the importance of process and training salespeople, you can train salespeople, and then we talked about the building value, building your sales process around the middle of your sales, not your top performers, not your bottom performance about the people in the middle I just wanted to cover go back over these keys again, because I think there were some really important things that people looking at their sales process and the other one I did forget now that to ask your salespeople what they’re doing.
This your current sales processes are like even if you think you have some to see if you really do have some. Absolutely you go down a whole load of thing on that, but we’re not going to so March is Women’s History Month, and today is equal pay day. Tell me a little bit about that.
Wesleyne Greer 49:43
Yes, so today is the day that women literally catch up with making I would say I guess for every $100 that a man-made in 2021 Today’s the day that women caught up with him. So it took takes them have a full 15 months if you will to get to a man’s $1. And this day is so important and significant because in sales, the pay disparity is, is high is really high, because typically men tend to negotiate higher salaries. So they start out at higher levels. Women don’t negotiate their salaries as well. And so the pay disparity, as people tend to go up and grow in leadership, it gets wider and wider and wider.
So here’s a very important day. And there’s actually somebody who I was connected with on LinkedIn. And she said that this day is so important to her because literally a year ago, today, she was let go for bringing up a pay disparity of 50%, from her male colleagues. And so it’s real. And a lot of times, if you don’t know what to say, or what to ask you just it goes unnoticed. But what I would say it is the responsibility of everyone. It’s not just the responsibility of women to say, Hey, I’m not making enough, it is the responsibility of male leaders, female leaders to say this is not okay. And we need to fix this. So there’s an even playing field for all. Hmm,
Damon Pistulka 51:14
no doubt, no doubt. And like, like you said, in sales, it just seems like it’s a lot more my wife had talked to me about that in sales and happened in her companies. And then we’re big companies. And it’s not just little companies or anything like that it and, and I, I personally can’t remember what happened because we in the companies that I was running, but we I never really hired salespeople, right. So if you’re looking at an engineer, an engineer is an engineer, that positions a position. And but yeah, that’s crazy to think that, that it’s, it’s this time of year now. And it takes that long for women to make the same amount than men did. That’s cool.
We’re talking about it, because you’re right. It’s not It’s, everybody’s got to be aware of it. Like, like any of this stuff, right? Any of the stuff, we’re talking about pay diversity, you know, because there’s unconscious bias, I mean, just the all the kind of junk that we run into, that we don’t do, we don’t eat a lot of it, we don’t know a lot of we do know, and choose not to address, which is BS, quite honestly. And we just, we just need to take care of some of this stuff. And not just all of it, the stuff that we need to take care of.
Wesleyne Greer 52:31
Absolutely. And I think I’ll kind of wrap this section with one way that I mean, their companies can do what they can do to fix pay disparities. But I always advocate or I tell women always negotiate like, never have a year’s salary, never just accept a new job with what they give you ask for more like, what if they take they’re not going to take the job away.
And the second thing is, as a hiring manager, offer whatever you offer to one offers all I was a company, and somebody was coming in, and they negotiated really hard, and they asked for like $20,000 more. And that leader went back and bumped up everyone male woman that was in the same position, actually increase their salary, that is equity, right, that is to do to ensure that you’re not like, Well, I’m gonna give you $20,000 Because you ask for no, everybody within this pay band is gonna get the same base salary. Yeah,
Damon Pistulka 53:34
that’s a great point. Now, what you just described, I think that’s something that happens a lot, especially in today’s job market, right? Just to just go across the board and anybody today. So say, I’m an entry level worker today going into a place that the pay has gone up by two or $3 an hour now that I’m going in?
Did they go back and raise everyone else’s pay that two or $3 an hour and it doesn’t happen a lot of times? That’s a great point of showing just that I’m not talking about equal pay day, but that’s a great point is that this is across the board the kinds of things that we need to make sure we’re doing on this. I love your idea about negotiating now negotiating a wage, you should always be able to do that. Because you’re right. What’s the worst I’m gonna say? No.
Wesleyne Greer 54:22
Right? I actually I helped somebody and you know, anyone. I’m pretty active on LinkedIn, men, women, anyone reached out to me, I’d like to talk and there was somebody who we connected a little while ago, she’s getting a new job. She said, Wesley and I had two offers.
What should I do? I spent like 30 minutes on phone. I said, this is what you asked for. This is what you do. Ask for six months of guarantee commission ask her sign up, but I was like all of this stuff. And she’s like, really? I was like, yes, literally every single sales job I ever held. I asked for a sign on bonus guarantee commission and they say yes, there is a ramp up period like ask for it. They say no, maybe it’s not the right company for you. Yeah, somebody else will come. So just ask for it.
Damon Pistulka 55:06
Yeah. Great, great advice. Great advice. Leslie, thank you so much. So Wesleyan, if someone wants to get a hold of you. You said you’re active on LinkedIn, is that the best place to find you?
Wesleyne Greer 55:18
It is absolutely the best place to find me just Leslie and Greer. Um, they’re posting lots of content, engaging in your amazing content, Damon and Kurt and everyone else. So that is the best way to find me.
Damon Pistulka 55:31
Okay, well, awesome. Well, thank you so much for being here. Today was lean. We had I just had a ball talking to you. And I got a little scattered once in a while because it got you’re just going and I was like, Oh, I had to catch back up. But it was great talking to you. And if people if you didn’t get the list of the whole thing, stop back in and listen to some of these points at Wesleyan had shed a lot of good keys for salespeople, sales managers in the sales processes that can help you sell more. So thanks so much for being here today, Wesley.
Wesleyne Greer 56:04
Thanks so much for having me. It was a blast chatting with you. Awesome, awesome.
Damon Pistulka 56:09
Well, we’ll be back again on the faces of business everyone. Thanks for listening. Thanks, Kurt for the comments. Man can’t you know I just can’t thank you enough Kurt for doing that. We have a bit of fun when we get on as well. But we’ll be back again and Thursday with another basis of business. Awesome.