We had the pleasure of sitting down with David Weiss - published author, trainer and sales leader for sales enablement powerhouse, Outreach.
David has spent over 15 years working as an individual contributor and sales leader for the likes of ADP, Monster and Outreach. In this episode, David will unpack;
- The value of blending different sales methodologies across your sales process
- MEDDPICC and how it underpins his sales process
- The transition from being an Individual contributor to successful Sales leader
Hello and welcome to the shop sales podcast. My name is Will Chivers. I'm driving my cars for sale calm. And we're here to interview some of the world's most influential sales leaders, revenue officers and executives on the planet. episode eight, we disrupt sounds podcast, dude, we're on the show tonight. What are we gonna be talking about? Today we're sitting down with David wise, enterprise sales director of a company called outreach. David is an author, trainer and sales leader who is going to be sharing with us the value of blending different sales methodologies across your sales process. Why med pay has to underpin everything, the transition from being an individual contributor to becoming a successful sales leader. After virtually living in prisons for five years in a row. David led to the likes of ADP, monster, and now sales engagement powerhouse outreach.io. The same? Let's get straight into it. Brilliant. Let's get into the episode. David, super excited to have you on the show. Perhaps if you can start off with giving us an introduction in terms of who you are and what you've got you into sales. Absolutely. So who I am. I have been in sales for 13 years. It feels like a lifetime. I live in Houston, Texas, with my wife Aaron, who's a psychologist, my son Ian, who's a mini me that's six years old. And already as crazy as I am. He's an awesome little dude. I grew up in the New England area, and went to school in upstate New York. And you know, what got me into sales. I graduated college and it was kind of this decision of Do I go and get a professional degree? Like get my PhD versus just a Bachelor's in psychology that I had? Or do I go into the professional sphere and start making money? And it was a really easy decision. My parents called me and said, okay, David, you're on your own. Go have fun with life. Though there there is, man. All right, let's go make some money. So yeah, man, that's that's kind of where I decided to go into sales. And never look back. never look back. A lot of failure and trials and tribulations along the way, but never looked back. Yeah. So after all those journeys, can you kind of share what you're working on now and who you're working for? Yeah, so I'm working for outreach. For folks that don't know them. They're the number one sales, engagement customer engagement platform. So the whole concept is, let's use technology to do things like automate, prospecting, and to serve up real time actions for sellers to you know, allow them to sell better. So I just joined outreach a few weeks ago. The, the reason I joined them, it just aligns so well with who I am, what I spend, every single waking hour of my day doing is trying to help salespeople sell better. And what they do is give technology to empower salespeople to sell better. So it's just, it's one of those perfect fits that I'm really excited about. So David, I've loved hearing about your sales experience and what you've been doing. I think, for me, the biggest thing is is how you approach your sales process. So can you kick off with a little bit about how you approach your sales process? And what you think the great makeup of the sales process is? Yeah, I think there's some, I'm gonna answer this in two ways. There's a process. And then to me, there's a checklist. So the process is, you start with, of course, prospecting, inbound, outbound, however, you need to get a meeting. And in order to get a meeting, you should probably know a little bit about who you're speaking to, or a lot a bit about who you're speaking to their industry, their drivers things along those lines. So you can, you know, accurately have a good insightful conversation with them. So once you've actually set a meeting, the the process goes pretty clearly. And it's funny, I've got a whiteboard right next to my office that details it. And it starts with a first meeting, followed by doing some sort of discovery or an analysis. One of the big mistakes that people make is that they try and jump into a demo way too soon, before like in the first meeting, or as a second meeting. And if you don't do an analysis or discovery, you don't really know what you're speaking to you're trying to help with. So it starts with a first meeting, then a discovery, then a demo. Then after the demo, this is what I'd consider an alignment step, which is you told me this is what you were trying to solve for. This is what I presented to you. Did we hit the mark and what maybe needs to change and get getting really tight. On next steps. That also includes typically at the alignment phase, you're creating some sort of mutual action plan with what the rest of the deal looks like. And you can do that during discovery, you can do that during alignment. But it's often happening right around there. And then you get into what I call late stage, which is, you know, okay, we've agreed that I know what you're trying to solve for, I've presented you with trying to solve for and I've, and I've met the mark as far as solving for it. So now we're kind of in this late stage process, where it's like, okay, who else? Do we need to make sure that we get to sign off on this? Did we miss anybody? Is there anything that, you know, would preclude us from you know, really getting into a contracting phase, and it makes sure we, you know, cross T's dot eyes. And then we get into what would be a contract and kind of a negotiation phase, and then you've customer success after that, so, and then renewals. So that's kind of what I see is kind of the the lifecycle of a deal. So how are you measuring success across your sales process them? Yep. And that, and that's kind of where the the checklist comes in. So the, the, the checklist is, called med pick is the one I use m EDDPICC. m is all about the business case. So at some point, you know, to measure success against the deal, at entirety, you're gonna need some sort of business case, otherwise, there's not necessarily a compelling reason to make a change. So if you're anyone in your audience is listening to this, and they lose a lot of their opportunities to status quo. In other words, the same the people just doing what they've always done and not making a change, it's probably because you didn't have a really well defined business case for that change. He is your economic buyer. That's the person that can sign the agreement. They can they have budget, but more importantly, they can create budgets. So if they like your brilliant idea that you're trying to sell them, they can actually create money, find money in the organization to go pay for that thing. So that's your, that's your E, then you have your two DS, decision process, and decision criteria. So decision process and decision criteria are typically done in that discovery and analysis phase. And you really understand, you know, what success looks like is if you truly truly get, okay, I know everybody involved, I know when they want to make a decision, I know when they want to go live, I know all the reasons why I know all the things they're looking to buy and why I know all their wish list, I know all feature functionality. I know our I know how well our solution aligns to their desired future state, it's kind of that really deep understanding of exactly the path and their desired you know, journey along that path. So though, that's me DD, you have the P, which stands for paper process. And that's really getting granular on legal step is that alignment step is really, really good for nailing starting to nail the paper process, and the and getting ready for negotiation, because you really want to get a deep understanding of all of the of everything that goes into deal, who could sign it, when they could sign, potential red lines that you're looking to get out of it, all of that stuff, right around alignment, and negotiation. So that's success there. And then you have your identify pain step. and identify pain is kind of something you're doing an analysis, something, you're doing a demo, you're kind of wrapping up by alignment. And really, that step is critical to know because it's the other side of your business case, you have your business case, and then you have your pain. And if you can align those two, you have kind of like the hard and soft issues that are going on, you have the finances, and then you have the feelings, which is pain. So then you kind of marry those two together. And that's how you knock people off status quo. And then you have the two C's, which are competition, and coaches and champions. So competition man, like you're you know, and that's something kind of that goes across the whole deal landscape is if you know who your competitors are, you know, where to make strategic recommendations to your buyer on areas that they should dig into. So if you know that their pain is this, this and this, and you solve it in these ways, and your competition solves it in these ways, and you're better aligned in a couple of those things than they are. You can set landmines for them and say, hey, look, I want to make sure you make the right decision. And really, it's all about them making the right decision. I want to help make sure you make the right decision. So you may want to dig in a little bit here and here to ensure that you're getting the right solution. And lastly, just having a coach or champion in the deal, which is someone that's going to give you insight information, someone that you can work closely with you know, things like That. So that's the process and then the checklist to define success against the process. Yeah, so in effect, what you're saying is, you know, you've got, you've got your sales process, you've got your methodology that kind of overlaps the sales process, and it's a matter of kind of using that methodology to, I guess, constantly qualify throughout the sales process, you know, so, so, you know, taking med pick as a methodology. It's not, you won't necessarily apply all of med pick in that first call. But that first call will give you elements of what's important within, you know, the M, or the P, or the IE, and, and so forth. And as you start maturing along that sales process, you start understanding Ah, okay, let's use med pick as a qualification criteria to understand well, where are the potential gaps? Or? Or actually, maybe I could do this differently, or, you know, maybe I'm lacking this champion. That's somebody who I need to go out and explore. Well, that would that be fair, nailed ever seen? That's Dude, that's exactly right. And by doing it that way, and keeping them separate, one informs the other. So if I'm going into a call, and I look at, and I look at med pick, or I look at my checklist, and I say, Oh, I don't know this information, and I'm for calls into my process, I should probably spend this this call figuring these things out, and filling in my gaps. And that's kind of the concept. So so just to follow up on that. So I was introduced to medic, probably halfway through my career, right. So I've been doing this what I think 1520 years, and it was only sort of 10 years in, I discovered on med peak. Wow, you know, I've been missing this. And it sort of, for me, kind of changed the game slightly. But for you, you know, what was your journey to med pick? And can you can you talk us through maybe some other sales methodologies that you thought you were using, that you like, and so forth? Yeah. So my journey to medpac and shout out to Gregory Donovan. Gregory is one of my mentors, Coach friends, he was my boss at one point, I mean, great guy. And one of the first things he taught me when I met him was, was med pick. And he had used it at other organizations. And it kind of changed the game for me, you know, I'd always been a 110 120 Producer percent of plan. But once I layered started layering bed pic, and really identify blind spots and gaps in my deals. That's where things went from, you know, 110 120 to, you know, 180 200 300% of plan pretty consistently. So, that's, you know, it, if people are looking for something to like, legit, like, next level. That's, that's what medpac did for me. Awesome. So, we see a lot now that organizations typically do always have at least one methodology, but something that we're seeing increasingly when you blend methodologies, depending on where you are in the sales process, so you could use SPIN Selling, for example, for your discovery call. And then for the demonstration, it could be challenger selling, what's your view on that? And do you try and incorporate different methodologies, depending on where you are in the process, man, you've got to blend them all. Like, I'm not I'm not saying there's one silver bullet or right answer. Um, you've got, you know, frameworks like Ace for running first calls, you've got frameworks like BANT. You've got med pick, I mean, there's there's probably 1000 acronyms in the sales space for different methodologies and processes. And then you've got you know, guys out there that are writing amazing books like Kenan writing gap selling or like CB writing, you know, the challenger sale or, or you know, in a Reno writing the last art of closing like, there's, there's so many great ways of approaching sales and how to handle objections and how to prospect like, if you want to learn how to do the different steps or different methodologies, man, there's a book are 100 bucks on everything. So I look at it as you need to be a student of the game. Okay? If If you are looking at sales as a legit career, you need to look at it like a professional career. And when I look at things like professional careers, I like to relate them to professional athletes. And if you think a professional athlete, doesn't read every single book, and publication and, you know, webinar and coaching and, you know, seeking out mentors and other people that are better than them at the sport and playing the game with them and learning from them. You're crazy. They do. They all do. And but so many people in sales, don't treat it that way. They read one book, they read one methodology They get taught something by their company. And then they just stumble and wander throughout their life's journey of sales. And they don't treat it like they're a professional athlete leading a professional career. And that, to me is a difference between the people that, you know, make six figures in sales low six figures meet, and then the people make medium to high six, and even into seven figures you want to you can, it's one of those professions that you can make more money than doctors and senior executives and just about anybody else out there. If you treat it like your professional athlete, and dig in, so like I said, to round it out, I mean, look, there's not one answer. It's, it's being a student learning as much as you can, and then molding it together with who you are to make something work. Absolutely, and I couldn't agree more like, you know, my, my biggest ethos is, if you felt failed to prepare, you prepare to fail. And you know, to do that you need to practice and understand the art of selling. And to do that you need to read as as much as possible. And so for you, at the start, you sort of mentioned your, I guess your sort of pre called prep and before you know, before you go into a call, you want to understand as much as possible. So for you, what does good, pre call prep look like? What does a good pre call plan look like? I start with the person who are they as a human? That that's often you know, LinkedIn, I don't go so far off to as like Twitter and their Facebook, I think there's a line maybe not, I don't necessarily want to see the the CMU and your bathing suit, like hey, like, that's cool. I mean, hey, um, but I made you look you up on LinkedIn, and try and see some of the things you care about. to do with Davidson, some, some people would pay to see that To be fair, I've no doubt, no doubt. Um, so I try and figure out who they are as a human, then who they're connected to, and what do they share? And what do they comment on? And what do they like? What do they follow? So I kind of get a sense of, you know, what does this person care about? And what's this person's voice and what's this person's stance on things. And I'm looking just for alignment. An easy one is where they went to school and where they live, and the jobs they've had, and the things that they say they have done and that they're proud of. So most people put that stuff on LinkedIn, LinkedIn is made it really easy to to understand humans. So I try and understand someone a little bit of a human level. And you can learn a lot about through people's writing and comments about who they are. And so that's kind of you know, who you are as a person, then I go to who your company is. So that's understanding where that person sits within the organization, what they do for the company, and how they impact the organization, then how the company makes money. Then any news articles about them, if they're a big public company, I'll read their annual reports, I'll look at 10 Ks. So I'm trying to understand like, how does this company, you know, what, what, what drives this company? What is this company looking to accomplish in the world? And then how does my solution aligned to the company to the person and then trying to wrap all those things together? Then I take it one step further, and understand who they compete with. So then I want to start looking at, okay, if this organization is in this space, what's that space all about? And where do they fit into the space? And what makes them unique? And what makes them different? And what are their competitors are are doing, the thought there is I want to be able to bring unique, unique insight to them. I also want to understand if my company works with any of their competitors, so then I can help tell stories back on how we've helped other people in the space. And all along the way, I'm trying to form some sort of hypothesis. I'm trying to figure out, okay, based on everything I'm seeing, here's how I can probably help these guys. And then I'm trying to think of Okay, what value can I bring to the call? What insight Can I bring to the call and to make it productive and give them something that they maybe weren't expecting. So those are all those things. And then lastly, I get fired up for the call. And I make sure that I bring my a game and my mindset is right, and I'm excited and energetic and passionate in a good place to go have a conversation with somebody because you can do all the research in the world, but show up terrible. And I've seen that you do all the research and then you want to throw up on someone or you're not passionate about delivering the research. You know what so much of communication is excitement and getting people to wrap Behind your energy, and then the things you say as well. And if you can do both, that's going to be a pretty successful call. No, that's, that's awesome. And moving that forward, then so. And so taking the information that you've got, and you've got, you've got onto that discovery call, you've got onto that first call. What What is great discovery look like for you? What are you trying to get out of that cool. So great discovery looks like to me, I'm understanding what someone's trying to achieve, why they're trying to achieve it, what it means to them personally and professionally. What the financial implications are for not making the change. So you know, what happens if you don't do anything. And then also, what happens if you do do something, and what those financial implications are. And, you know, Keenan does a brilliant job of talking about that, and gap selling. It wasn't new, he did a great job articulating it. But that's in theory, how great sellers have been selling forever, which is, you got to have a really deep understanding of current state, and all the components of it. And then you've got to, and you've got to really understand what's toxic about the current state, and what's unsustainable about the current state. And then you've got to paint a beautiful picture of realistic one of what future state could look like, and how you're going to help them get to that desired future state, and the implications and financial implications of it. So the thought of discovery is, let's, let's discover what would push someone away from what they're doing today. Draw them to what is their their future is going to look like, and then your job as a salesperson is to connect those dots really clearly, in all follow up stages, when you moved into management. What was the step like from becoming a master of your own business, and mastering your sales process to then trying to kind of delve into other people's sales process and managing help helping them manage that, then I I fucked that up so bad. Oh, man. I feel bad for the for the first people I lead, I'd say the most the most recent people that I lead would say that I do a pretty good job. And they're lucky, um, and I love them dearly. But there's a lot of trials and tribulations along the way. And the biggest thing that and, you know, I'm not the only one, but I'm sure I messed up maybe more than others is that when I first got into leadership, I treated myself like, like, I was just the best salesperson. And so therefore, I'd be the best leader. And I would just tell everyone to do what I've always done and make them meet. And I very quickly learned, no one is me, and I am not them. And we are our own everyone unique special snowflakes like, we're all different. And well, what makes you special is different than what makes me special. And what different than makes the same special, like we're all unique. So what I quickly learned over time, is that my goal more of a leader was to press the reset button. And here's David Weiss, the salesperson, here's David Weiss, the leader, David Weiss, a salesperson, you know, maybe at the top of the mountain over here, but I'm at the bottom of the mountain over here. And I need to crawl and I need to crawl, walk run back up to the top. And so that reset button is simple man, it's, you know, you got to relearn yourself as a leader, you got to read books on leaders, what made you great at sales by finding mentors in reading and staying in the process and learning all the ins and outs? You got to press reset and start your journey over? Because leadership and sales are unique paths. So learning that, you know, what I've discovered is that you need to figure out what each person is play to their strengths, learn what makes them special. And then set expectations of where they where the what the end result needs to look like. Like where they need to get to like, hey, look, the expectation is, you hit this much of your target. By this time within the year and by this time within the year and this is your goal for the year and you got to hit it. But how you get there? Well, I'm going to try and figure out what help you need and be the leader you need. And each of those things you need to do. So if it's prospecting, I'm gonna find out Look, are you an expert? Are you good? Are you new? like where are you in that? Then where are you in handling a first meeting? Where are you in doing discovery? Where are you doing a demo? Where are you on the alignment phase? Where are you in negotiating. So if you, if you look at the phases of the process, where's this person in that face, and if they're experts at all of it, peace, I'm gonna get out of your way. And I'm just gonna co let you do you. And if you need certain levels of help, along it, I'm going to meet you exactly where you are, and give you what you need to be successful. And that could be high, high, high direction, and exactly the path and exactly the recipe and heart accountability. Or it could be I do nothing and let you run, and it's everything in between. But it's breaking everybody down by those individual tasks, understanding their strengths within the tasks, understanding where they are in their development in the tasks, and then meeting them where they are. So I guess after taking the step into management now, would you say that always a great sales rep would make a great leader? No, man, hell no. Hell, hell no. I'm great salespeople, and great leaders are very different. In leadership, your customers are your people, you need to choose to want to have that customer, okay. And if you don't make that choice, and you were forced that choice upon you, and you think it's going to be this great thing, and you just, you know, are gonna go, you know, do leadership, because you are great at sales, you're gonna hurt the team, you're gonna hurt the company or hurt yourself, you're gonna burn yourself out, you're gonna hate it. So companies need to assess first, what's leadership capability, and then there's plenty of systems out there to do it, and then do you want to do it, and then whoever actually wants to sign up for this game of leadership, then you need to put them in leadership development programs, you need to give them tons of books to read, you need to grow them, as leaders, give them people to mentor, then give them people to coach, then give them people to informally lead, then give them people to formerly lead at a small piece, then give them a team. Just like you would a salesperson, you start them as an SDR, you give them a book of business that's small with lower size accounts. You give them a book of business that's medium with no bigger accounts. And then you give them bigger territories. And then you give them enterprise, okay? It's the same damn thing. It's the same process we take from newbies, to experts in sales, newbies and leadership to experts in leadership. That's how you grow it got approached at the same time for organizations looking to identify their next manager, and internal hire one of the key things that you would do to assess people to understand their leadership capability. So what should people look for in a good leader? interview the leader as much as the interview you ask them? What's your leadership style? Do you subscribe to one? What books do you read on leadership? How do you up your game and leadership? How do you constantly improve? When you run into conflict with your team? What do you do? When you in a team member disagree? How does it go? When you guys are shredding on a deal, what does it look like? When I'm selling with you? What does it look like? What are our one on ones look like? What are your expectations of me? Like, interview the leader, they're interviewing you interviewing right back? There's no harm in that, and then go talk to their team. If a leader won't let you speak to their team, do not work for them. When people interview with me, I literally tell them, here's all the names of every member of my team. If you want to work here, they need to sign off on you just as much as I do. And go ask them. How am I as a leader? Don't take my word for it. Don't like go talk to them. And ask them any question you want. We are we are a family. We are an open book, go ask them. And I give them frickin phone numbers. And I text all the people, hey, this person is going to be reaching out to you. Tell them whenever they ask. Be honest with them. That's it. You want to know a good leader talk to the team? They'll tell you. Nice. So David, before we finish up, I'd love to finish with a few quick questions. So what are the three key traits you look for in a new business sales rep. I'm looking to see what they've done in the past. Past performance is predictors of future success. So with entry level people man all day long, it's just I hire for will coachability capable and personality like that's it. If they're coachable, figured out enterprise still. I'm looking for past performance past success. I am looking for someone who is a expert in sales. And I mean like their frickin athlete. Like I can ask them what their sales process is. They can define it. I can ask them how they identify blind spots and deals. They can define it. I asked them how they do every single step and they can freakin go deep. Like you do that. You've probably done it before. And as we talk about their wins and ask them talk about that. Family, ask them talk about what they're passionate about. Because if you can't be excited about your, your bests in the in the most exciting thing, you you don't have the you don't have that fire, I'm looking for fire. I'm so past performance, deep expertise, and fire in the belly and passion. And lastly, I'm trying to assess coachability. Because I don't care what you've done in the past, I don't care who you are, I do. But what I mean is, if you can't be coachable in a new role, and you're gonna come into this, like I'm, you know, the King of the Mountain, and I've done all these great things. So I'm amazing. And you don't learn the new culture and the new people and assimilate that you can be the the best in the world. But the if you think about a new company, like the human body, if you attack it, and you don't assimilate to it, it will reject you. So they need to be able to assimilate into the new culture successfully. So those are I'm looking for people who can do that, too. What is your favorite sales book? And why? As a leader, john Maxwell 21 irrefutable laws of leadership. David, it's been an absolute pleasure. Thank you for your time. And for the people that were keen to reach out and understand Maury, where can they find you? Is that okay? Yeah, no, I and I've got a policy man, you reach out to me on LinkedIn. I will respond to you within 24 hours. And I will likely even speak to you live at some point within the next week. So feel free, I love coaching salespeople, I don't charge when I coach salespeople. I make enough money in my day job that I coach people for free. Because I can't, and I want to give back and I want to help people. So if you're looking for help, you're looking for guidance I can be of assistance to you. You know, reach out. I'm here for you. Awesome. And you also have a book as well, David? Yeah. I wrote a book for people thinking about our career. I don't want to be the last name you think about in sales. I do want to be the first. So I wrote a book for high school and early early stage college students on what it what is the profession and sales, why you should go into it, how to get your first job and what success kind of looks like in your first year or two. It's called your definitive sales career guide. You can find it on Amazon and I sell it at cost. I make no money on it. I literally blood sweat and tears when writing it. I don't make any money on it. I don't care. I'm trying to help people. So if it will help you go pick it up. Read it. Let me know your thoughts. David, thanks so much for your time. It's been a pleasure. Thank you guys. It's been awesome. I appreciate it. Transcribed by https://otter.ai