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

Episode 63 · 8 months ago

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


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


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


- Four Questions Every Sales Organization Needs to Answer 


Does the company have a sales culturewhere sales is seen as the tip of the Arrow and the entire company asthe line behind them? You know, an elite company sales as a primeand 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 featuresales leader sharing their best insights on how to create a sales engine that helpsyou fuel repeatable revenue growth, presented by the team at force management, aleader in BTB sales effectiveness. Let's get started. Hello and welcome to theaudibilready sales podcast. I'm Rachel Club Miller. John Kaplan joins me today. HiJohn, Hi Rachel. So today we are going to talk specifically tothose of you out there who are working to grow your career aligned to greatroles at great companies. So many companies have a great pitch when you're interviewingright, we've all heard those, but...

...when you jump through that door yousee the facade. So how do you ensure you're selling for a great companyor you're going to be moving to a great company? Yeah, this isa great topic and it's really fresh for me right now. I just participatedin a fireside chat with the team at Mang goode be a couple of greatfriends, and centric pass, who's the crow, and John McMahon, who'sa board member there. And so during the conversation one topic really resonated withme and cent their cast. If one of your kids were to come toyou for advice on how to choose a company to pursue, what would thatadvice be? And I thought about it for a second and I thought howdo 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 growthpromises. 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 placeto execute sales. Yeah, and we with John McMahon, who's a greatfriend not only of the firm but a personal friend of mine. He shareda couple of great key insights on this topic. And you know, hesaid you need to find a company with great technology that's in a large andfast growing market and then also make sure you're working for a company that's investingsignificantly in employee development. And then the last point that he made is therehas to be a strong emphasis on accountability and finding an Organi the station thatas a culture of people owning their roles and success, so culture of peoplelike participating in their own rescue. And then, you know, and Iwas listening to John, I thought about his comments, reminded me of somethingthat I heard Nick Sabin, the head... of Alabama College Football Team,when he was talking about mediocrity and he said mediocre people don't like high achieversand 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'sgreat. Seven always has some great gems for us to I wonder if heknows 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 reallyis solid advice to find a company that's working in a way where youcan operate at an elite level and you're not settling for mediocrity. I knowyou have some additional way sales people can really look for evidence of companies withthose 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... least be actively working to diminishthem. And it. Does the company have a sales culture where sales isseen as the tip of the Arrow and the entire or company as a linebehind them? You know, an elite company sales as a prime and enablerfor the growth strategy. So next, is the company outside in or isit inside out? Do they operate from a customer centered perspective or an internallyfocused 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 anddiscussing their value proposition? You know, a good way to test for acustomer 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? Andwhere have you done it before? Yeah,...

I've linked a blog on those questionsin the show notes and you should feel free to ask when you're joininga company those questions. Another way to test the inside workings of the SalesOrganization 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 explainto you simply? So we often say, can you fit their sales process ona single sheet of paper? Is the sales process map to a customersby buying process? I see a lot of sales processes out there and there'sno evidence of a buyer interaction. It just has stages that are totally aboutyou as the selling company. It should be clear who does what, when, by roll by stage, and does this process include the customer, meaningwhat is the customer supposed to be doing by stage? And does the salesprocess lead to success and does everybody follow... So it's great that youhave a sales process, but if nobody follows it, it's an absolute trainwreck. And so so McMahon actually hired me at PTC. It's, youknow, the company that I work for before starting force management. And duringone of my interviews before joining PTC, John and I were sitting at adenny's in Detroit and I asked him to explain the PTC sales process to meand without even batting an eye, he sketched it out on a Napkin andit looks so simple that I had to ask you know so, so thisis all I have to do in order to be successful? And his responsewas like epic. He asked me how much I was making in my jobat Er Rox and you know, I told them and he he said thatif 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 thisprocess, you're out, and I will never forget that meeting. Everybody's willingto be led, provided they believe that... and your process can get themto a place they cannot get to on their own. And it was clearthat day that I was willing to be led. There's reassuring to knowing thatthere's a playbook that you can execute when you're joining a company. So thelast step, I know that you have in these best practices is to finda company that has the right culture of doers. Yeah, you mean.This is so crucial for me. It's like, I like to call thisa culture of Patriots versus mercenaries not. I want to be careful because Idon'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 andto what are you committed? Mercenaries are very talented people, but they aredifferent than patriots. You know, mercenaries are motivated by the rewards and patriotsare motivated by the cause. You know,...

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

...from a company's ecosystem, and nothinghighlights the difference between patriots and mercenaries more than this type of environment. Sothe big question you need to ask yourself is, will you be able tocount on the people you go to work with every day? Yes, it'ssuch an important question. You, John, as we're talking here, we're makinga point that when you're looking for your next great opportunity, but thereis a use case where these traits of a company might be in place whereyou're at right now. Yet such a great point, and I thought aboutthat when I was actually speaking to the folks that great companies like Mongo andyou know, a lot of times we get we come up to tough situationsand 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 thecurrent company that you're at. And so I don't want to leave you withthe message of you know, wherever you are, you're not in the rightcompany. Go find a different company.

Many times when I speak with menand women out there, they come to the realization that where they're at ispretty 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 agreat company today, right. That's so true. Appreciating where you're at isalso important. Amen. And so, for those of you listening out there, I think, John, you've given us some great food for thought herewrap it up with with some final thoughts. I know you have some some greatfinal thoughts on this topic. As you pursue your career opportunities, behonest with yourself and the process, dig in hard on the critical activities neededto find your next great opportunity. So over the years I've learned a lotabout the concept of time management. In my first lesson is that time managementis a fallacy. It's not about time..., it's about energy management.So time is finite, energy she is renewable. You have to be honestwith yourself and ask, will this job give me energy or will it takemy energy? And I've had I've made some mistakes in my life when contemplatingthis question, because the questions not about can I do this job? Thequestion always should be will this job give me energy? So go find thejob that gives you energy. Find one that creates a flow state, youknow, a state where your mind is challenged and fed by experiencing new levelsof mastery in these environments where elite salespeople flourish both personally and professionally. AndI often use the phrase what you do matters, and there's no truer wordsto me when it comes to the profession of sales. You have to believewhat 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 tobe 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 justend with, Rachel, is one of my favorite quotes and it's from SteveJobs and he's the cofounder, obviously, of Apple these you know he's passedaway, but he said to some graduates of the Stanford graduating class of twothousand and five at their commencement address. Here's what he said. Your workis going to fill a large part of your life and the only way tobe truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And theonly way to do great work is to love what you do. And Ialways like to add the following words to this quote at the end. Andthe 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 inthe morning and say what I do matters.

That is it, John. Thankyou for this conversation today. My pleasure. All right, and hopefullythose of you listening out there has got some great advices you're considering your owncareer pass we always appreciate you listening to the audible ready sales podcast. Atforce management, we're focused on transforming sales organizations into elite teams. Are Provenmethodologies deliver programs that build company alignment and fuel repeatable revenue growth. Give yourteams the ability to execute the growth strategy at the point of sale. Ourstrength 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 podcastto not miss an episode, subscribe to the show in your favorite podcast player. Until next time,.

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