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

Episode 76 · 9 months ago

An Interview with John McMahon Part 2

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Part 2 of our conversation with Author and Sales Leader Veteran John McMahon. He joins John Kaplan to discuss themes in McMahon's new book, “The Qualified Sales Leader”. McMahon has been the Chief Revenue Officer at five public, enterprise software companies – PTC, Geo-Tel, Ariba, BladeLogic and BMC. Now he sits on the board at several public software companies including Snowflake and MongoDB.

More Information:

- BUY THE BOOK: The Qualified Sales Leader

- https://amzn.to/3zOwQt9  

- How to Ensure You’re Selling for a Great Company

- https://bit.ly/3i9RTQN  

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

I see a lot of the first time managers that they're just glorified scorekeepers, that they never understand the why or how come my people aren't successful and what are they doing? The coach from to be better. 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 BTB sales effectiveness. Let's get started. Hello and welcome to the audible ready sales podcast. I'm Rachel Clap Miller. Today Part Two of John Kaplan's conversation with the John McMahon. We walk through the concepts of his new book, the qualified sales leader. It's a great conversation, it's a great book. Here we go. Enjoy. You told me a lot of people have been following up with you post the books that they've read the book. They're reaching out to you on Linkedin or through emails and they're asking you questions like Hey, John, what does this really look like? In you know, what should I be looking for in a company? And one of the things you set a little bit, but I want to pull it out of you right now. You simplified things really well, I think. When you talk about just having an understanding of the three wise, what do you mean by the three wise? Well, it's two cases for Yousem the three wise right. So first is if someone stands up in front of me and says, you know, I'm going to tell you about my forecast and they go, let's talk about ABC account, I'm not really going to take them through the qualification methodology of medpick yet, but I am going to ask them the three wise. I'm going to ask him first of all, tell me why the customer has to buy. Why do they have to buy? And what I'm looking for there is, what is it major? Have they figured out a major, quantifiable pain that the customer has, and that pain has to be what I call pain above the noise, right,...

...because companies have hundreds and hundreds of pains that they can live with every day, just like you and I. We stub our toe, you break a fingernail, we hit our finger with a hammer, we cut, we slice our finger and we could put a bandaid on it. We can live with those types of pains, but if I fall down off my bike and I separate my shoulder and break a couple of ribs and I have a concussion, that's going to require a third party attention. So where is the are we looking for pain that's above the noise, really high quantifiable pain, right. So then, if I have really high quantifiable pain, what I really want to know there is what job measured does that effect? Like who suffers in the organization and what suffers? And what I mean by that is who's the person that suffers the most because their job measure suffers the most? And then that tells me that that's the ideal person that we have to get to it right. So that's the why you have to buy. Now, what about the next one is, why do they have to buy from us? Can't they do this some other way? You know, are there other more ideal solutions to solve this pain than our product? So tell me how are ideal unique or are unique differentiators aligned perfectly to the pains that they have and solve those pains, and solve those pains in a way in which we can quantify the cost justification and drive a really high average deal size, because the customers getting a lot of quantifiable business value on their side. So we should be able to drive a hot, purportant proportion, a higher average deal size. And the last one is tell me why they got to buy now. Why is the pain so urgent that they have to buy now? Why can't they wait? And a lot of times if people say, well, they're going to buy the by the end of the quarter, will well, why are they going to buy by the end of the quarter just because it's our quarter? You know, tell me why they have to buy now. Why is...

...the pain so intense that they have to do it now? Love it in the book, when highlight that in yeah, and then it's like that in met pick and the identification of pain. You're looking for the pain above the noise. That's what you're looking or met pick right, love it and above the noise. And the second way in which I use the three wise is when companies ask me, Hey, can you come be an advisor? Could you be an salting? Could be a board remember, whatever it is. You know, I don't come out directly and ask him the three wise, but it's disguise, you know, in the conversation, but I'm basically asking three wise, because why is that important? I want to know when this company selling their product, what do the salespeople say across the table from the customer? And if they can't answer those three wise, it's time for me to look at my watch and get out right so powerful. Let's recap those three wise. That John, I think that's so powerful. First one, why buy anything? Second one, why buy from you? And three is why buy now? Why buy anything? It has to be why do I have to have to buy? Yeah, yeah, are you? Word Smith? Three, Remember Word Smith, and me do nobody's for a little bit, because it's why do I I? Is this a forecast session? You're not going to accept what I told you. Okay, go ahead, I'm going to qualify you on the qualified sales leader. Yes, you are. No, it's listen to the words. Why do I have to buy? So the have to buy is what everybody hears. That's means that there's a pain. But remember what I said is we also have to identify who that I is. I love that furs and what job measure suffers. Right. And then why do they have to buy from us? Because we're uniquely qualified and differentiated to it. Then why do they have to buy now now. I love that and I think that's a big point in your book. When you're talking about pain above the noise, intimacy around aligning people with the right...

...accounts, there's knowledge, skills and character associated with that. And when you're looking at a forecast and people have those types of accounts on a forecast where the pain is supposed to be above the noise but they don't have the skill set to get above the noise, and you're managing a forecast and looking down at a rep that's on an account that it's going to that's going to need that, it's where of the whole story comes together and that QB are. It's so rich said last one. Why do I have to buy now? Is You know, you can also ask you a different way. What are the negative consequences of them not buying now? What? Yeah, but what happens? Yeah, so what? Right? Right, so, if I fell down off my bike and had a separated shoulder and three broken ribs and I was cut up, and you ask me, well, what happens if he doesn't go to the hospital now, I mean we can think about it very specifically, right, and that should be the same thing in a sale situation? What happens if they don't buy now? What's a negative consequences? Really good, Johnny, really really good. We're going to link in the show notes a conversation that you, myself and cedric had at a town hall, or fireside Chat, I think we called it, from mango DB, and it was such a joy because I know a lot of people are asking, Hey, John, where do I find like companies that do this and and more importantly, I think you were saying how do I know I'm looking at? How do I know I'm looking at a great company? And just for the listeners, I thought that you did a incredible job and that in that fireside chat you talked about great technology companies with great technology companies with large and fast growing markets. And then this third one, which might have surprised some of the listeners that were thinking about asking that question, to do companies that invest significantly in employee development. And that's really sums up what you've done your whole career. Do you have any comments on that? Well, first, I think you know I still think of myself as a student of the game. I think the day that you think that you are, you know...

...everything about sales. I mean it's time. You're going down, you're not going up anymore. Right. So you have to think of yourself as a student of the game and what are all the subtleties, what are all the idiosyncrasies of the game? And the more that you can try to master those, whether that's knowledge or, a lot of times it's a skill, the better off you're going to be, not only as a performer but also as a great coach or great leader. So I tell people you have to look at the market size. How big is the market, does it and how many competitors are in that market? You have a market that's a billion dollar market and his ten competitors, it's not a lot of room for him right acquire, comes in and picks one of them or two of them, the other eight or in dire straits. Right. So how big is the market, because that floats a lot of boat. You and I were at a company called PTC and we were selling cadcam and we went from zero to one point one billion and nine years. But what happened? The market was only two and a half billion, so we ran out of space really quickly. So market size is important. Market Growth. You know those types of things. But if you really want to be a student of the game, you really want to learn, you really want to grow, tell me how much more, how much they're investing and training and developing their people. That's so important. I love that and I I think that it comes out in the expectations of the playbook that you highlights so well and the book the qualified sales leader. Until now, it's test time ready, so you know I'm going to. I'm do a little test. I know your test, your testing me, and these have been when I was working for you. These didn't go so well, so you might have to give me a break. But you told me you wanted to turn sideways or in the forecast. Yeah, and it's getting harder and harder for guy like me to turn sideways, Buddy, so that's a problem. Well, here are my takeaways for your book. Okay, I really, really love for me, and I could hear you saying this, you and I've known each other for twenty five years and...

I was very, very blessed to work for you and to work in the organization that you were leading. So here my big takeaways you. I remember you saying to me, if you want to be successful, and this was in a interview in a Denny's in Detroit. It remember it well. Yeah, well, I remember it because I'm not sure you looked at me through the entire interview. You were looking outside and I don't know where you teach that and recruiting, hijine, but I was thinking. You said you're supposed to be present, but you're looking at they were. There was a bunch of cranes outside that you were looking at. You always hate that thing. Very carefully what you said in qualify? Getting Ready for my next qualified question? Okay, okay, but here's what you told me. It was incredible. You said you want to be successful in this job, John, you have to be a voracious qualifier. Yes, that term came from you, and I think about what that created at PTC. Forty three straight arters, ten plus years of never missing the number to Wall Street. John. If you ever seen anything like that before? No, no, never. Do you think it? I mean, I hope somebody's going to do it. Maybe they'll read your book and they'll be able to break the record. But that's an incredible that'll do it. Yeah, that's an incredible and I'm not talking about sandbagging. I'm talking about double digit, profitable revenue growth. But the takeaways for me, voracious qualifier, the other thing that you said to me is you have to trust the process. You have to accept that we've put together a process that's going to lead you to a great outcome. And John, you probably don't remember this, but you actually drew it on a Napkin. You drew the sales process on a Napkin and you said and I said, okay, so you're telling me that's all I have to do to be successful here to PTC and you said yeah, and he said, but a one caveat, and I said what? And he you said, if you skip any of these steps, you ain't going to make it here. I can guarantee you that. You said, if I follow this, I'll...

...make three times the amount of money I was making it Zerox. If I don't follow it, I won't have a job. Yeah, and yeah, I fail. And that's a takeaway from me. And you highlight some great qualification. You have great mechanics. You encourage companies to really identify a solid sales process. Who's doing what when by roll, by customer buying stage, and it's a huge takeaway from me in the last one was recruiting a players and then coaching and developing them to the playbook. Those are the three takeaways that I had from the book. I probably the reason why I had those takeaways is because I experienced them at PTC with you. To just outstanding results for a company. Would you highlight any others that just jump out at you? I'm trying to summarize them the top three. Do you have any others that you'd had? Like too many first line managers said that are first time first line managers managed through activity, Kpis. I see that all the time and and it's nothing wrong with, you know, keeping school. I call them in the book or fight scorekeepers, and the reason I do is because all they're doing is man activity. So that would be equivalent to like a hockey coach saying hey, we've took forty eight shots on net tonight, okay, but did you win the game? That any go in? Or a baseball coach saying, you know John Kaplan today, he got up four times. He took three swings each time, so total of twelve swings. Great, did he get any hits? And if he didn't get any hits. Why? How come? What did he do right? What did he do wrong? What does he need to work on? What does he need to practice? What does he need to know? Those types of managers aren't curious, they're not trying to understand the why or the how come. And I think that great sales leaders are managing deal advancement, deal progression. Now, why did that deal move from step to in Stage two, two, step...

...three in Stage two, or why did it not move? And what is Kaplan doing, right or wrong, that doesn't allow him to ever get past that step? What skill does he need and knowledge as he need to get to the next step right? That's really what I think. I see a lot of and first time managers that they just glorified spot keepers, but they never understand the why or how come my people aren't successful and what are they doing to coach them to be better? Tell me the story. We had a belly laugh over a sandwich a couple of weeks ago when we were remembering back in the day when you got on a forecast call. Don't say the name of the person because I'm sure they're a listener. So when you got know, but it actually wasn't a forecast called, but go ahead. Yeah, oh no, that's right. You were calling. Will you tell the story? You tell the story by and that is calling. Highlight when I like, but highlight the glorified sales. A score keeper also lacks intimacy of knowledge and maybe cut and maybe being curious. So I guess second line, maybe even third line manager at the time. Yeah, and on one of the biggest deals on his forecast, maybe the biggest deal on his forecast, and it was a pharmaceutical company in New Jersey, and I asked them about the deal and he said, well, the REP said. Then he told me a bunch of stuff. So I called him in the next week and I said, hey, how's that deal gone at the pharmaceutical company? Well, the REP said, and he told me again. So then I took the phone and I said, what the hell do I need you for? And I hung the phone up and he called me back over the course of the next three days, but I never picked up the phone. I let him stir in the fact that he was not intimate with his people and not intimate with the biggest deal on his forecast and he wasn't super intimate with the...

...biggest deal in his forecast, then that meant he wasn't intimate with any of the deals in the forecast. Right. You could almost make that jump. Well, the next week when I called and I said how's that deal going at the pharmaceutical company, you would have thought that person was a sales rap. Now you would have thought he was working at the pharmaceutical gun though. He's working at the pharmaceutical company. He was now intimate with the deal. So you know, otherwise, what do you need those people for? If they're just going to keep score and they're going to fly a desk? They're going to get behind the desk and look like they're really important, but they're never really working on anything. They're not helping their people, coaching their people, they're not trying to move deals along. Then you know, what do you really need them for? So many golden nuggets in there, John so again. The book is called the qualified sales leader by John McMahon. Go to Amazon downloaded, order it, what have you, but get on it as soon as you can. I think it will be a fantastic outcome for you, brothers. We wrap up. Is there anything we haven't talked about or anything that I've that I didn't ask you that. You would have expected me to ask you. As it relates to just some of the impact of this book, I think we talked about it. I mean, to be a great sales leave. We talked about the fact they have to be in the moment. You have to yes here, you have to listen off, you have to be a great qualifier, you have to be a student of the game and, most of all, you have to be selfless. Right, you have to decide that it's about everybody else, it's not about you, and then when those people are six ass will you'll be successful. Right. So I think that's a big part of making sure that people understand you know what you need to do to be successful as a as a leader. I love it so brother, it's hard to believe I've known you for twenty five years. Hiring me at PTC absolutely changed me and my family's life. I'm going to be serious here for a little bit. I don't know if I've ever I don't know if I've ever had the chance to really say this...

...to you, so thank you for that. You will helping US launch force management. Grant and I both, Grant Wilson, the cofounder force management, both of us work for you back in the day at PTC, helping US launch force management with introductions into your journey, or helping us pulling US along with your journey at blade, logic, BMC, mango, DB, Snowflake, Oct done, and the list just goes on and on and on. And now, John, just a little bit selfishly in a way, this book has benefited force management tremendously. As you know, you've been telling people and we also I got an email the other day from somebody that's that. I spoke to John mcnahan and he basically said, if you want to learn how to implement this playbook at Your Company, call the folks at force management and I just can't thank you enough for for sure. Yeah, the for the continued support. You just been a great, great supporter. Okay, so, folks, if you have not purchased the book, do it now. The qualified sales leader, written by the most impactful enterprise sales leader on the planet. Nobody's done it better than my good friend John McMahon. Brother, I hope to see you soon fishing. We of thing in totopwest Heroorda. I need a little bit of time because some of those donuts that I've been eating that I'm a dude. You hurt me bacting, you're casting, you're hurting it. I know I'm a little weak since our last accountability session, but I will, because you qualify me on what I'm eating and how I'm working out. But I can't wait to see you again soon. Realise, crispy Kreams, brother, I'm going to. I'm going to. Hey, brother, congratulations on such a great contribution to thank our line of work, to the marketplace, the qualified sales leaders just an a plus effort. Congratulations. Thanks for of course, 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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