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

Episode · 4 years ago

The Force Management Process

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Casey Jacox, Kforce President of Client Strategy & Partnerships, talks through best practices for applying Force Management methodologies in your sales organization.

Hello, thank you for joining us for this podcast. I'm Rachel Clap Miller and I'm joined today by Casey Jacox. Casey is the president of Client Strategy and partnerships at K force. Casey, thanks for joining us. I am so happy to be here. Rachel, appreciate the opportunity. Casey, we've been working with K force for several months now a variety of areas and today I'd like to talk to you about what it's like working with us, and you can feel free to give the good and the bad right but also I want to get your perspective on what it takes to make our methodology successful in an organization. So let's first tell me about your role and what you do. A K for sure, I am. I've been here almost eighteen years, which just I still can't believe that. So I'm very, very blessed to work for a company that has a lot of tenure and we have great leadership. But my role is is got four parts. I serve as a executive sponsor for one of our largest customers. That's about thirty percent. Thirty percent of my job is helping drive a similar type success at a hand selected five or six other accounts thirty percent of my job, which is really, really fun. Part I got to lead a mentorship program for our top performers and the only way you get put into that group you have to get referred in by our region presidents and I work with them for between about six months and were we really drive down metrics to ensure value. And in the last ten percent, which I think is larger than ten percent, is some thought leadership work I do. I do blog articles, I do some intro speaking and then obviously the helping with I'm also a train that train of trainer, which will go onto in a second, but just driving more adoption of the force management methodology. Awesome. So I ok. Force is a pretty strong Barand but just for everyone listening, talk about what K force does for its clients. Yeah, well, it's funny. If I would, if I would answer that a year ago, I would have said something completely different. It probably would have been the traditional marketing speel and if you asked someone in...

...a different office they might say something completely different, which is why we're talking to day. But K force really where. You know, we're a large professional staffing and services firm and one of the things we do is we solve for key problems, we help clients acquire town more efficiently, we help provide the maxis to strategic guidance. A lot of times we ensure external compliance and internal compliants and then, lastly, we really help clients complete projects more successfully. That's great. Thanks for that background you. You've been in sales a while, like you said, almost eighteen years here at K force. I'm sure that you've been through your share of sales methodologies, as any veteran salesperson has. I'd like to hear from you from your perspective. What made command in the message different as as a sales methodology. I think the B it's a great question, I think. I think the biggest thing that made it different for us was it put structure around what we you do. One of the one of the my biggest enjoyments of working with with you guys, specifically the sales commudgeont, I mean Dave Davies. Sorry, Dave, I just ared you out there. Was He is very communcingly sometimes. Was You know, John Kaplan told me you are the subconsciously competent and I wasn't sure. I think that's a complant. I'm not sure and what force management taught us is the structure, the Vye base framework. How do I how can I teach that to a three month rap but one day old rep a sixmonth roup it? How can I tweak a three year veteran that's been here to get them to do something differently and without buying at the top from us from a leadership perspective and all in approach, it wouldn't have been successful. But I think that the tools that you guys gave us, it taught I'll taught us a lot about. You know, Tim Cato set a great the learnings in the struggle. At times it was it was frustrating going through nothing to to the discredit of force management more about just K forth. We got to get out of her own way, right. We like frustrating people sometimes, even...

...though that maintime negative. You do it well, right, but that learning really is in the struggle. So would you say kind of really what made command of the message different? Is that kind of peeling back the onion a bit and and getting you to really focus on what was important for for your customers and then enabling it? Yeah, I think for us, I one of my biggest concerns is one of the initial leadership team to kind of roll this process out was great. Who's these guys are in teachers about the science and it's don't you know, they're going to eat they're going to tell us what to say. It's going to feel scripted and I would I'd my my defense mechanisms that I was excited to go through it, but I wasn't sure because I and one of the things I feel the strength of mine is the art and the science. And you know, one of the very first kickoff the Dave Davis said to us with that was was one of those opening lines was we're here to make sure that you guys have the art in the science, and the fact that showed me he listened right, which shows me, Dave Davis, as I have cell our deficit disorder. If you don't know what that is, I would research it. But it was just a great way to ensure insure adoption by hearing it dropping from him out of the gates right. So to those points. I think you know, we always say we are not a butts and seats company. So if you are looking for just somebody to stand up in the big ten at your sales kickoff that's not command in the message. So, given your perspective and just going through this, what do you think are some key things that other sales leaders need to understand before they go down this path? I'd focus on three things. Rachel, I'm going to embarrass myself here, so those that have kids probably know who else is from frozen and the famous song let it go. I embarrassingly embarrassingly to myself, Tim Kato and John Kapam maybe saying let it go, which I'm not going to do today. So don't ask me in front of a hundred of our employees. And I joke about it. But the point is you have to go. If you come into this transformation with preconceived notions...

...or judgment or walls not being able to be coached, it's not going to work. It won't work not to your discredit, but it's mainly to people and just like we've talked about before, sometimes you got to say no to customers. But the fact is, if you have the ability to let go, the ability to coach, the ability to say, like Caplan says, it's okay not to know, which is okay, not doing about it, and we had gaps and forced managed an amazing job helping us bring those gaps together. The second point I talked about that that we are doing now all the time, which is making us very, very effective, is the art of practice. Practicing often role plays are now part of our every day, everyday culture, and at first people were freaked out by it, like, oh my gosh, is embarrassing. But I'd rather mess up if you and I work together. I'd rather mess him for you, Rachel, then mess up from my clients, because the days, like I mentioned before, the days of practicing on our customers is over. It's not it's unacceptable. Do you think that that practice mindset is, has been, something that's you had to do to make this methodology successful? I think yeah, I think I would. I think I would say. Well, I would't say successful, I think it. I would say yes to drive adoption quicker, because now people are striving, people are instead of you know, six months ago and we would ask, Hey, who wants to roll? They first. We get blank stairs, right, which is really fun and all me right now, right, but now we have people, Hey, can I go first today? Hey, I want to go. No, I want to go, and it is so cool to see that culture of being adopted. So really kind of to understand that when you go down this path is to develop that process that gives people the mechanism to continually practice, perhaps post trading. I mean we always advise that. But I think again, like you said, you don't. You never want to practice in front of your customers. Whether you're doing command of message or not. You shouldn't be practicing in front of customers. But I use I love analogy. Sometimes my analogies make no...

...sense. They make sense of my mind. I like to hopefully I checked it them. Well, but if I think about NFL football team, do they just show up on Sundays? Right? They practice? Well, some of them do. You go talk about those teams. Okay, but Monday through Friday practicing. Baseball teams, they pray, play every day or they don't have time to practice. Know they do. They're in the cage before. They're watching the film pilots. They just don't show up and fly and hit buttons. They go to recurrent training every six months. My father in law was a pilot for last airlines, for your my brother in laws, but I have friend. So what makes ky force special that we don't have to practice you know, you don't just come in at nine to five and eight to four, whatever. You work and check out. So I wouldn't I practice, could not be articulate and stress enough. But the last thing I'd say is which is really helped us, is the importance of enabling frontline managers and reinforcing the importance of what we're doing. Is our new culture. It's expected and as a teathree at a train the trainer, we're inspecting our leaders around the company and in our first run through we had a blast. Fifty eight percent of people passed and it wasn't because people did a bad job, it was because people maybe didn't prepare as well as they should have, which again is great, being great opportunity to get coached and those people. Now we're going through it, the recertification of it, and I think it's a huge Kudo to the comment show daved uncle Jolie, but Tory Andy Thomas in team to say hey, we've invested money with force management and force management. You guys have done a good job of saying we want to be held accountable to a business metric and what is our poses pause positive business outcome that we're going to help you achieve, and so we came up with those results together and you guys are helping Manag justice like we're helping manage you. So that's why those are some of the biggest things I thought have been ridiculously successful for us in our partnership. We love a metric, as you know. Yeah, what do you think that that mindset of really enabling the front line...

...managers? And I know it's been been successful for you now, but was that something that you guys came in knowing you needed to do from the start, or is it something you saw after roll out? I don't I think there's probably different ways to answer that question. From my perspective, I don't know if it was consistent enough. I think you get different answers. I think what force management did in the training and a adoption and the transformation, I think it helped bring to light. You know, I fight you starbucks as an example. We wanted the coffee to taste the same wherever you go. Right. We didn't want to make at a taste like a bud light in Florida. Right. We wanted to be like you know, we wanted to be a consistent menu the clients in they're getting consistent experience that they can count on in a repeatable way. HMM, I think. I think it that ability to enable front line managers, and I've written a lot of content on it. We actually have some other podcasts on enabling your frontline managers is really critical because when you're talking about different offices, different apartments, those managers are your boots on the ground and by enabling them you can really drive the reinforcement of the behaviors that eat that you're looking to improve. Yep, no, exactly. One of the great pieces of advice I got my life. As you are what you allow, and again it's goes back to our leadership. We're not allowing good or JV performance. We want to be an elite sales organization and to go from good to great to elite, the little things have to happen and we're doing the little things. We're inspecting what we inspect. We're not just telling people what to do. Were showing them our leaders or elbow to elbow in the battlefield with with their reps every single day. We do have a lot of other sales leaders listening to this podcasts who might have gone through command of the message or just looking for ways to drive reinforcement of whatever they're doing. Maybe they're doing it with us, maybe they're doing without it. What are the some of the things that you've done to drive reinforcement that you think is really contributed to the stickiness of the methodology and its...

...success? Yeah, I think a couple things. One I'd say, you know, I can mentioned before you, you can't practice enough, and effective practicing meaning you know, for us, you know what it was through the value drivers, through command of message. You can't just do it once. I think I've been through your guys as training eight times now as I've prepped to become a tthree, Uh Huh, the number of times I've spoken to my internal team, when I travel to other offices, the number of times I've spoken about command of the message. It's now in my own blood, you know. So I think you have to you have to make it. You have to consistently practice the things that are going to be most important to help drive it option. But a couple things that I want to hit on the for you know, for specifically people are listening who have been through Comount of the message or command of the sale before. Is Medic and opportunity qualifiers. That is that has been so impactful for us because, you know, we want to know where our gaps are and I think is as great as it is to say yes to a customer, sometimes it's more powerful to say no. And you know, I have a phrase I came up with years ago. Sometimes, I say, my buddies here at work sometimes give you a hard time, but it's when the relationship not the deal. I even created a blogging psycle. Winning the Relationshipcom from that. That really focused on telling customers when you win, it's great, but sometimes when you lose a deal, you still can win that person by how you respond, how you deal with defeat, how you follow up. If you follow up with your customer who who chose a different competitor before they followed up, you win. You should different level service. So that the whole medical opportunity Welfer has been great for us. It just given a structure. It's given us a road map to really identify gaps, find the holes that we have and and sure that we film and a tool that they can use that every deal a yeah, and we've actually put specific work criteria in place for when will do an opportunity qualifier, and you mentioned crm. We're actually that's part of our culture. Now where then, the methodology we're learning through command of the message,...

...communt of sale, we're implementing at our new crm. So our reps they have a choice. You know, there you're kind of forcing it on, but but we're doing it a way that they see the value out of it and we they realize that. Wow, if I follow this road map, we always kind of jokes follow the playbook. How many NFL teams show up on Sunday without a playbook? And play book a reason, so you can learn, teach, repeat it, not just you break the huddle. Hey, you guys go deep and you guys block and see what happens. Probably not going to be successful. That's a great point. How many I knew that you? You have done a lot of small things at K force to really drive reinforcement and communicating even smaller successes. It might not be the giant deal, but hey, doing a great job and discovery with that specific client. How much do you think that those small celebrating those small successes have contributed to the ability to reinforce it throughout the whole company? I think huge and I don't think we've. I think the ore old culture was we would not some people wouldn't want to overcommunicate those like I don't know if I want to bring that up, because not that big a deal and for me, over communicate like even now, when we have a good follow email that ray taught us, or like the structure of that what we wanted to show we listened. I'll send I'll send that email that the repsent and I'll send it to a and I'll copy all the leaders to say, Hey, this is the this is what we're driving adoption. I took a picture of a training we did last week and Texta to Kaplana said Hashtag drive an adoption. I'm not sure you HASHTAG men, but that's all right, done. I'm sure you did. Yeah, but the goal was we wanted to I think small store, small stories told over time and told often in authentic, genuine ways, creates a great, great environment for a great environment to learn, a great opportunity to grow. Yeah, and celebrate those those Quick Win Sutla success, I think. Get back in the huddle, call next play. That's right, that's right. You've mentioned the leadership team. A couple times here and...

I think that one of the things that we look for in a customer that's about to go through command of the message is do they have a strong sales leadership in place? It's going to be able to lead from the front and that is one of the leading indicators of six sess and that ability to let go to your point earlier, Elsa, and really lead from the front, and that's something that you have been able to really do here at k force across the leadership. Yeah, I look back Dave Dunkle, our CEO and chairman, at our kickoff with you guys as we're going through this transformation. Anytime, any time you go through a transformation, sometimes rumor bill starts. Well, what's going on? Right, and what I love that Dave did just an awesome job out of the gate. He said we are all in. I mean all in. If we're not selling, we're not for sale. We are investing in you. We're going to we're going to make make us elite. We're going to invest to make sure that we fix the little things if we met at ourself and and to have that sort of authentic leadership from the front, passionate leadership from the front to me was so inspiring and I have I have a sense of an all respect but ownership to make sure that I owe it to him, out to Kai oute, to Joe Andy and everybody else, my peers, to to hold that level of standard and implement it and drive it in. I mean I can without without that level of support and all in I don't think it would it would not have been a successful as it's been and I think that's it's really important for command of the message and successive comand of the message sort of what we're focusing on. But with any change initial that leading from the front is pivotal success. You're not going to be successful if you don't have the the leadership bought in. So, as we think about taking on a sales transformation or at this sales...

...change initiative, what about companies that might be hesitant to pull the trigger? They're sitting there, they've got low rep productivity, they there deal size is lower than it needs to be, their reps aren't making quota. What would you say to them about taking on this on? I'd say, you know, my first thought of Sarcasm. Do you like the JVM? Do you understand the JV team. No, I mean in all serious I think I would just ask questions. I I think if any company that's struggling with consistent brand issues or messaging or, to the point you the metric shoot talked about earlier, for us it was a great fit. Right. I'm not saying it's going to be great fit for for the Beta be channels that are struggling to get scale with sale per rep increased customer visibility, social media, increased leverage points, little things that just every way you have people promoting your message, this can be a great exercise for them. I mean, honestly, one of the things I was most concerned about was we start going through it. We talked about ways that you guys told us these are the problems we solve and like how the heck do you guys know? And at my first thought was like you know, my walls went up a little bit, but then I thought about it and Tim and team said, Tim Kato said, we're going to call your customers and we're going to interview them, not just interview, we're going to talk to him something, most strategic ones, and then we're going to survey them and we're going to get real results. And I know about you, but the test I like to take, Rachel, are the ones I know the answers. Sure Right, I wasn't you know? I always used to say the Harvard, I mean central Washington, where I went, was the harbor of the West Coast. I'm the only one to say that. Right, ifuse people when I say I went there. But the fact that our customers appreciated the vulnerability and he humility we showed by saying we want to get better and we want we want your feedback and we've hired a third party external company to say let's work together to solve that problem.

It did great, great things for our relationships with the customer specific get a strategic level. The ones we're really were long term customers. And I would just say be ready. I mean, like I mentioned before, those that if you're if you're not ready to be all in, don't commit, you waste your money. You waste your money. And but if you can, if you can swarm force management team with a group of people who are all in or committed to culture, who are committed to change the brand, not just change brand, but just create a more consistent message that you go to market with great things can happen in a great business outcome can happen. That's a great bottom line Casey. Thank you so much for joining us for this podcast. Thank you for your kind words. We appreciate it. We love working with Kve force and thank you to all of you for listening.

In-Stream Audio Search

NEW

Search across all episodes within this podcast

Episodes (165)