B2B sales enablement expert Ian Altman joins the B2B Reimagined podcast to share entertaining stories and words of wisdom for pairing insights from sales guidance software with best-in-class coaching.
B2B Reimagined hit two big milestones recently. In February we hit a new record of monthly listeners, a reflection of the growing popularity of the show in a competitive B2B landscape. Thank you for your continued interest in the show! We recently hit another big milestone, the 50th episode, which featured sales expert Ian Altman and Zilliant General Manager of Commercial Excellence Barrett Thompson offering fresh perspectives on how B2B sales managers can better train their teams to consistently hit revenue numbers.
Ian, who will also deliver a keynote address at Zilliant MindShare, brought his signature combination of energy, wit, and expertise to the conversation. You can listen to the full episode below, but here’s a preview in the form of three quotes that are as entertaining as they are insightful.
On how sales reps deal with pricing pressure:
“There are scenarios that come up every day – like pricing pressure – that people have no plan to deal with, but there are things that will never come up that they know exactly what to do. The classic example is if your clothes catch fire, what are the three things we’re supposed to do? Stop, drop and roll … however when I ask professionals what are the three things that you do when you face pricing pressure? People just stumble and they don’t have an answer. Someone usually shouts out ‘Stop, drop and roll,’ which is kind of true because what they do is they stop what they’re doing, they drop their price, and they roll over.”
On activity versus accomplishment:
“Managers will often say, ‘Look, we’ve got to grow our number. So, I want you to make more phone calls and get more meetings. You’ve got to do, you know, 60 dials a day.’
And the rep will think, ‘That's great news. I thought you needed me to increase revenue. If all I have to do is call people, that's great. Oh, you want more proposals? I can do more proposals with people who aren’t qualified.’
What I see time and time again is the top performers are often A) curious, because they're asking great questions, and B) in addition to being curious, what they're doing is they're actually being very judicious with their time. So they're not about broad numbers. It's more finding the needle in the haystack, qualifying, and doing their research before they contact people.”
On supplementing science-driven opportunity insights with effective talk tracks:
“A customer in the food business might be buying pepperoni and peppers, but they're not buying cheese from you. You can say, ‘Hey, I know you're not buying that. Do you want to buy that from me?’ And now it sounds like you're selling something.
Or when you get that type of guidance, you can say: ‘You know, I feel like I may have dropped the ball. Many of the people who I work with when they buy pepperoni and peppers, they also buy cheese from us because they know that we've got amazing quality cheeses. I notice you're not, which tells me I probably dropped the ball and didn't mention this to you. Did I mess up there?’ and let the clients say, ‘No, you didn't mess up. In fact, I just didn’t know.’
Technology gives you a prompt. If you combine that with the right training, now you get the multiplier effect.”