The Audible-Ready Sales Podcast
The Audible-Ready Sales Podcast

Episode · 2 years ago

08. Being Elite: 3 Lessons Learned as a Revenue Leader w/ John Kaplan

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Elite leaders make the choice to work at their craft. 

In this episode, John Kaplan shares a few lessons he’s learned as a sales leader, the mantra he follows and the one new hire that became an example of what not to do as a sales leader. 

Check out this and other episodes of The Audible-Ready Podcast at Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or our website.

I had to prepare something for this podcast and and just thinking about it, I was really struck with a memory that this has really stayed with me. You know, for probably the last twenty years, you're listening to the audible ready podcast, the show that helps you and your team's sell more faster. Will feat your sales leader sharing their best insights on how to create a sales engine that helps you fuel repeatable revenue growth, presented by the team at force management, a leader in BB sales effectiveness. Let's get started. Hello and welcome to the audible ready podcast. I'm Rachel Clap Miller with force management. We know a lot of you listening out there are sponges for information and you're also passionate about leading your teams, and leadership is going to be the focus of this podcast today, and there's obviously no better person to talk about it than our own John Kaplan. Hi John, Hi Rachel, Good Morning,...

...and I'm really looking forward to this topic. Yeah, I think if you listen to this podcast, and we hear from a lot of you frequently, so thank you for reaching out. But you naturally want to absorb information that makes you better at your job and great leadership is something, like you said, John, that you're excited about, but I know you're really passionate about it day in and day out for this time topic. When I think about leadership, a lot of leadership is the nate or DNA, but the part that's most impactful for me is the the leadership that's learned, and that's why I love the topic, because everybody can be a leader. Yeah, and I want to talk to you about your own experience, John. I know you'll we even your famous stories and our conversation today. You've been a sales manager, ahead of sales now obviously one of the leaders charting us to incredible growth hair force management, and I think this podcast will be a lessons learned conversation. And so one of the concepts I've heard you mentioned frequently, and...

I know a lot of people out there who've been in your trainings and they've probably heard our other facilitators use the concept a lot. It's called being elite and sales is an elite profession. And we mentioned leadership can be learned, is learned, and when it comes to leadership you really make the choice if you want to be elite. Yeah, I love the way that you just said that. I really believe that. I think you make the choice. I think elite sales people they they make the choice to work at their craft constantly and they and they really believe that they're that there professionals. And I find the same thing with sales leaders that, you know, they make the same choice, and the choice that they make is to be great coaches and developers of town. Yeah, that talent is critical and I know even every keynote that we've worked together on, John, I believe we end that keynote with what you do, do matters, which goes into that talent concept,...

...and I know that that phrase, what you do matters, that concept is a favor of yours and really relatable to leadership both up and down in the organization. Yeah, I all elite sellers and in sales leaders, they they all believe that what they do matters. I mean you can see it in their eyes, you can hear it in their conversations, because if it doesn't matter then they just can't do it. And so they also have the ability to get others emotionally connected to what they do matters. And so sellers do this by leading a customer through a discovery process which connects current challenges to the negative consequences of not fixing the challenge. And in sales leaders do this with their teams by helping attach what they do, what you know they do, as an offering or as a solution to the biggest business issues facing the customer. In the end, it really does revolve around that concept of what you...

...do matters. I think to I think I've heard you say, it's you know, you're not selling whichet's, you're solving giant business problems that, if they're not solved, people lose their jobs and there's great impact to not getting those things done, as you've said. What do you think that there's a time in your experience when you made a mistake as a leader and it became a turning point for you? Okay, where do I begin? But I had to prepare something for this podcast and just thinking about it, I was really struck with a memory that this has really stayed with me, you know, for probably the last twenty years. And you know I once had a great talent that I recruited to the company, and this is a previous company that I work for, and I did a great job recruiting them but an awful job coaching and developing that talent. So I was really, really excited...

...about getting this seller on the team and in the reps first year with the company they became the number one newcomer, and that's not an easy thing to do. And so I think if you're listening this, you'd say, well, Kaplan, I thought you said that you did an awful job. So I told you I did a great job recruiting them, but I did an awful job of developing them, and let me tell you why. So they were brand new to the company and a very good opportunity to developing their territory. And you know, at the time I had to have this deal and I remember it vividly. So kind of came to that point in the quarter where some of the other deals were slipping and this deal was developing, and so what I did was I just jumped in. And you know, the deal developed into a monster, and I'm not telling you the story to say Oh, Kaplan jumps in and the deal becomes a monster. It was going to be a monster with her without me. And the only problem is everybody but the REP assisted in the deal and I didn't teach him a thing during...

...the sale cycle. I think I only asked them to go pick up the PO at the end of the quarter for the deal and and that's the truth. And so at the end of the quarter, for a lot of different reasons, and we were having a good year and you know, I got promoted and the new sales leader took my spot and I was happy about that. And you know, I vividly remember the day that I got a phone call from the new sales leader and basically I just traveled with this rap and he was shocked and he was just like Hey, John, you know x, Y Z person. They just I can't believe that they they lack in this, you know, the basic skills. And my stomach was just killing me. And six months later, that number one newcomer the year before quit the company and I actually got a call from our CEO asking me how in the world could the number one newcomer, which they gave me all the great accolades for, and now I was accountable for that number one and these listen...

...up folks. You know, I was accountable for that number one newcomer, you know, quitting the company and I I just I took my medicine and I told the you know, I told the CEO, I said it's completely my fault. I didn't teach them a thing, and I will tell you, it stuck with me forever. This helped me to become a much better coach and developer of talent. And if you're out there doing deals for your rep right now, you think you're helping them, but you're actually crippling them. So you got to focus on, you know, coaching and developing, because it matters, and now today I know vividly it matters. Thanks for that story, je one. I think that as you're telling that made me thought think of a phrase that you often use. That or you encourage sales leaders to get away from the opiate of the number and that drive to close...

...the deal, to hit the number, sometimes really can make you crazy if you're not focusing on your leadership skills, you're just focus on closing a deal and meanwhile there's a lot of casualties that can come from that. And in this case it was not coaching the REP to success or enabling that person to really swim on their own. Totally. I mean I was completely focused and you know, quite frankly, a little panicked about maybe not taking the number and as a sales leader I have to understand that it's really it. It's not about making numbers. It's about growing individuals and growing talent and growing opportunities and coaching developing. If I do that, the numbers are always going to be there and that's a great, great lesson that I learned. So it's not that I'm not focused on numbers, but I truly believe the numbers come by doing the right things as a sales leader and coaching and developing the talent.

Great Spirit for us today as we take on this week, this month, this quarter. Thank you. Thank you, John. My pleasure go get. Thank you to all of you for listening to the audibilready podcast. At force management we're focused on transforming sales organizations into elite teams. Are Proven methodologies deliver programs that build company alignment and fuel repeatable revenue growth. Give your teams the ability to execute the growth strategy at the point of sale. Our strength is our experience. The proof is in our results. Let's get started. Visit US at force MANAGEMENTCOM. You've been listening to the audible ready podcast to not miss an episode. Subscribe to the show in your favorite podcast player. Until next time,.

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