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

Episode 63 · 1 year ago

How to Make Sure You're Working for Great Companies w/ John Kaplan

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

How do you ensure you’re selling for a great company or moving to a great company?

Part of believing that what you do matters, means loving what you do. Companies make great promises when looking to hire top sales talent or retain top performers. Be confident you’re in the right spot and making the right moves in your sales career. John Kaplan shares his opinion on how elite sellers ensure that they’re selling for great companies, including:

- What evidence to look for

- How companies enable salespeople to operate at an elite level

- How to test the internal operations and traits of a sales organization

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

Here are some additional resources on picking a great company:

- How to Ensure You're Selling For A Great Company

- https://bit.ly/2RqFk8B

- Signs You’re Working for a Company That’s Staged for Growth

- https://bit.ly/3vGHQGG

- Four Questions Every Sales Organization Needs to Answer 

- https://bit.ly/3uhR4Jb

Does the company have a sales culture where sales is seen as the tip of the Arrow and the entire company as the line behind them? You know, an elite company sales as a prime and Napler for the growth strategy. You are listening to the audible ready podcast, the show that helps you and your team's sell more faster. will feature 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 audibilready sales podcast. I'm Rachel Club Miller. John Kaplan joins me today. Hi John, Hi Rachel. So today we are going to talk specifically to those of you out there who are working to grow your career aligned to great roles at great companies. So many companies have a great pitch when you're interviewing right, we've all heard those, but...

...when you jump through that door you see the facade. So how do you ensure you're selling for a great company or you're going to be moving to a great company? Yeah, this is a great topic and it's really fresh for me right now. I just participated in a fireside chat with the team at Mang goode be a couple of great friends, and centric pass, who's the crow, and John McMahon, who's a board member there. And so during the conversation one topic really resonated with me and cent their cast. If one of your kids were to come to you for advice on how to choose a company to pursue, what would that advice be? And I thought about it for a second and I thought how do elite sellers ensure that they're working for great companies? And and so probably, you know, a really cool topic for us to discuss today, right, because, especially in high tax so many companies are making these great growth promises. You, we've got funding,...

...we have all this great technology. Those promises will fall short quickly if you don't have the right system in place to execute sales. Yeah, and we with John McMahon, who's a great friend not only of the firm but a personal friend of mine. He shared a couple of great key insights on this topic. And you know, he said you need to find a company with great technology that's in a large and fast growing market and then also make sure you're working for a company that's investing significantly in employee development. And then the last point that he made is there has to be a strong emphasis on accountability and finding an Organi the station that as a culture of people owning their roles and success, so culture of people like participating in their own rescue. And then, you know, and I was listening to John, I thought about his comments, reminded me of something that I heard Nick Sabin, the head...

...coach of Alabama College Football Team, when he was talking about mediocrity and he said mediocre people don't like high achievers and high achievers don't like mediocre people. In the finished that statement with so, which one of these people do you want to be? Yeah, that's great. Seven always has some great gems for us to I wonder if he knows you. He helps us so much with our our contest. Well, let's hope he doesn't charge as a royalty. True, true to but that really is solid advice to find a company that's working in a way where you can operate at an elite level and you're not settling for mediocrity. I know you have some additional way sales people can really look for evidence of companies with those traits and that first is to look for that alignment piece. Yeah, really great, really great point on evidence. So the company should operate without silos, you know, or leadership should...

...at least be actively working to diminish them. And it. Does the company have a sales culture where sales is seen as the tip of the Arrow and the entire or company as a line behind them? You know, an elite company sales as a prime and enabler for the growth strategy. So next, is the company outside in or is it inside out? Do they operate from a customer centered perspective or an internally focused one? Do they put the customer first and all that they do? Do they create a world class customer experience through all departments used common language and discussing their value proposition? You know, a good way to test for a customer centered focused in a company is to assess the for essential questions of value. Right. What problems do you solve? How specifically do you solve them? How do you solve them better and are differently than your competition? And where have you done it before? Yeah,...

I've linked a blog on those questions in the show notes and you should feel free to ask when you're joining a company those questions. Another way to test the inside workings of the Sales Organization is to test leaders on the sales process, the actual process. Yeah, does the company have a sales process that it that it's leaders can explain to you simply? So we often say, can you fit their sales process on a single sheet of paper? Is the sales process map to a customers by buying process? I see a lot of sales processes out there and there's no evidence of a buyer interaction. It just has stages that are totally about you as the selling company. It should be clear who does what, when, by roll by stage, and does this process include the customer, meaning what is the customer supposed to be doing by stage? And does the sales process lead to success and does everybody follow...

...it? So it's great that you have a sales process, but if nobody follows it, it's an absolute train wreck. And so so McMahon actually hired me at PTC. It's, you know, the company that I work for before starting force management. And during one of my interviews before joining PTC, John and I were sitting at a denny's in Detroit and I asked him to explain the PTC sales process to me and without even batting an eye, he sketched it out on a Napkin and it looks so simple that I had to ask you know so, so this is all I have to do in order to be successful? And his response was like epic. He asked me how much I was making in my job at Er Rox and you know, I told them and he he said that if I followed this process that I would make triple the amount of money. And then he followed up with one other thing. If you don't follow this process, you're out, and I will never forget that meeting. Everybody's willing to be led, provided they believe that...

...you and your process can get them to a place they cannot get to on their own. And it was clear that day that I was willing to be led. There's reassuring to knowing that there's a playbook that you can execute when you're joining a company. So the last step, I know that you have in these best practices is to find a company that has the right culture of doers. Yeah, you mean. This is so crucial for me. It's like, I like to call this a culture of Patriots versus mercenaries not. I want to be careful because I don't want to use this analogy as a political statement. But you know, more is the concept to relate to the work environment. So to whom and to what are you committed? Mercenaries are very talented people, but they are different than patriots. You know, mercenaries are motivated by the rewards and patriots are motivated by the cause. You know,...

I've seen this distinction in my work life and have learned a hard way about the difference. If anything happens that challenges the reward system, the mercenaries are the first to leave and on the other hand, for the Patriot, the cause becomes the reward. So mercenaries laid down their weapons and go home and patriots melt down their furniture to make more bullets. So you know, they are committed to the cause. The questions of what do we believe, why do we believe it, and where will this belief take us have always been more critical and building a great culture than what's in it for me and the what's in it for me is definitely the phrase and the question of the mercenary. So more and more what we consume today as customers. You know, they are not products, their services, and this reality means that more and more sales jobs will continue to utilize a collaborative sales process that requires support...

...from a company's ecosystem, and nothing highlights the difference between patriots and mercenaries more than this type of environment. So the big question you need to ask yourself is, will you be able to count on the people you go to work with every day? Yes, it's such an important question. You, John, as we're talking here, we're making a point that when you're looking for your next great opportunity, but there is a use case where these traits of a company might be in place where you're at right now. Yet such a great point, and I thought about that when I was actually speaking to the folks that great companies like Mongo and you know, a lot of times we get we come up to tough situations and we get a little bit of Amnesia, we get blinded a little bit, but sometimes what we're speaking about is right in front of you in the current company that you're at. And so I don't want to leave you with the message of you know, wherever you are, you're not in the right company. Go find a different company.

Many times when I speak with men and women out there, they come to the realization that where they're at is pretty darn good and the grass is not always greener on the other side. When you go look at the other side, make sure you use this criteria, but also use this criteria to sometimes wake up and realize I'm going a great company today, right. That's so true. Appreciating where you're at is also important. Amen. And so, for those of you listening out there, I think, John, you've given us some great food for thought here wrap it up with with some final thoughts. I know you have some some great final thoughts on this topic. As you pursue your career opportunities, be honest with yourself and the process, dig in hard on the critical activities needed to find your next great opportunity. So over the years I've learned a lot about the concept of time management. In my first lesson is that time management is a fallacy. It's not about time...

...management, it's about energy management. So time is finite, energy she is renewable. You have to be honest with yourself and ask, will this job give me energy or will it take my energy? And I've had I've made some mistakes in my life when contemplating this question, because the questions not about can I do this job? The question always should be will this job give me energy? So go find the job that gives you energy. Find one that creates a flow state, you know, a state where your mind is challenged and fed by experiencing new levels of mastery in these environments where elite salespeople flourish both personally and professionally. And I often use the phrase what you do matters, and there's no truer words to me when it comes to the profession of sales. You have to believe what you do matters, because if you don't, you're going to fail. So you can't fake it for very long.

Find a job that allows you to be authentic, believe in what you sell, and if you don't, it will always catch up to you. And and the last thing I'll just end with, Rachel, is one of my favorite quotes and it's from Steve Jobs and he's the cofounder, obviously, of Apple these you know he's passed away, but he said to some graduates of the Stanford graduating class of two thousand and five at their commencement address. Here's what he said. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. And I always like to add the following words to this quote at the end. And the only way you can love what you do is to believe that it matters. So go find a job and a company where you can wake up in the morning and say what I do matters.

That is it, John. Thank you for this conversation today. My pleasure. All right, and hopefully those of you listening out there has got some great advices you're considering your own career pass we always appreciate you listening to the audible ready sales 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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