Collaborate with Prospects to Increase Win Rates, with Dave Stein and Steve Andersen [Episode 329]

Joining me on this episode of Accelerate! are my guests Dave Stein and Steve Andersen, co-authors of a new book, Beyond the Sales Process: 12 Proven Strategies for a Customer-Driven World. Among the many topics that Dave, Steve, and I discuss are how to (not) control the sale, which activities support the sales process and create a higher probability of success, and what kind of sales behaviors do today’s buyers require from successful salespeople?

Key Takeaways

  • Dave and Steve tell of their varied backgrounds. Each started in music, but found a more sure path in enterprise.
  • Who is Steve’s all-time favorite guitarist, and how did he influence Steve for change?
  • Most sales reps focus on the window of a single sales opportunity. But if the salesperson waits until ‘there’s meat on the table,’ it’s almost always too late for that sale.
  • What kinds of activities have a high probability of setting sales teams up for ongoing success in complex sales?
  • Do customers want to be coerced and controlled? How do you move sales teams off this paradigm?
  • What are some ways to collaborate with a customer, to engage the customer cooperatively, in discovery of need?
  • What traits should you look for, as you hire for sales?
  • What does Andy consider to be a great second question for every rep to ask — and is it on-script?
  • What matters most to customers?
  • What is a ‘value chain’?
  • What is the advantage of being the first vendor to have visioning discussions with a prospect?

More About Dave Stein and Steve Andersen

Dave, what’s your most powerful sales attribute?

Wisdom and experience.

Steve, what’s your most powerful sales attribute?

Credibility, and being able to bring insights and actionable awareness to clients.

Dave, who is your sales role model?

Steve Andersen!

Steve, who is your sales role model?

Dave Stein. People buy Dave Stein because, not just of what he knows, but the person that he is.

Dave, what’s one book that every salesperson should read?

Power Base Selling: Secrets of an Ivy League Street Fighter,

by Jim Holden.

Steve, what’s one book that every salesperson should read?

Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap… And Others Don’t, by Jim Collins.

Dave, what music is on your playlist right now?

Freddie Hubbard, Maynard Ferguson, Wynton Marsalis, Roy Hargrove, Arturo Sandoval — brash, screaming, passionate trumpet playing.

Steve, what music is on your playlist right now?

Jazz, The Blue Note Sessions, some really nice Carolina Beach Music: The Tams, The Showmen, Willy “Tea” Taylor, The Impressions.

Episode Transcript

Andy Paul 0:56

It’s time to accelerate! Hi, I’m your host, Andy Paul. Join me as I host conversations with the leading experts in sales, marketing, sales automation, sales process, leadership, management, training, coaching, any resource that I believe to help you accelerate the growth of your sales, your business and most importantly, you. 

Hello, and welcome to Accelerate. I am looking forward to the show today. Joining me are two guests, Dave Stein and Steve Andersen. They are the co-authors of a new book titled Beyond the Sales Process: 12 Proven Strategies for a Customer-Driven World. Steve is the President of Performance Methods, Inc., and Dave is a sales consultant strategist and for many years the CEO of the ES Research Group. Dave and Steve, welcome to Accelerate.

 

Dave Stein 1:22

Thanks, Andy. Appreciate it. 

 

Steve Andersen

Thank you, Andy.

 

Dave Stein

Nice being here. 

 

Andy Paul 1:26

So maybe one at a time, just take a minute, introduce yourselves. Maybe tell us a little bit how you got your start in sales. 

 

Steve Andersen

Dave, you first?

 

Dave Stein 1:34

So I was a professional trumpet player in New York City. You mentioned that you’re a part time New Yorker. So I grew up in New York and got a degree and did postgraduate work in music. Played trumpet, just pretty much anywhere somebody would pay me to play. And I wrote a blog post about this not too long ago with respect to A, B and C salespeople. The fact that you really can’t get a C player to be a B player. 

But I was a C trumpet player. And I don’t mean the note C, I meant the level C. And realized I would never be an A, and I certainly wouldn’t be a B. So I got out of music and into computer programming and then got into sales, and marketing, and international business development, and strategic partnerships and then became a consultant. And here I am.

 

Andy Paul 2:24

I will say that over the course of 300 plus interviews we’ve done so far for the show, first trumpet player to become a salesman. That’s good. And Steve, how about yourself?3

 

Steve Andersen 2:35

Well, it’s interesting, Andy, because one of the things that drew Dave Stein and Steve Andersen together was a mutual interest in music. And once upon a time, Dave was with a hot tech company based in New York called Data Logics. And I was asked to come in and work to build a sales organization. And Dave and I became fast friends. And when he found out that I had worked my way through college and graduate school playing guitar, then we struck up conversations. 

And I’ll always remember my buddy Dave saying, let’s get in my sports car. We’re going into Manhattan, Town Hall, Carnegie, there’s a concert. And so some of my fondest memories of New York are with Dave Stein sitting in these magnificent concerts enjoying music together. After that 25 years in technology companies, chief sales officer for companies, started Performance Methods 17 years ago. That’s my story.

 

Andy Paul 3:30

So did you guys ever get together and jam?

 

Dave Stein 3:33

We never have! Well, I haven’t played the trumpet in many years. So it’s not anything that Steve or– I’m afraid the long term relationship he and I would have would be immediately over if he heard me play the trumpet.

 

Andy Paul 3:46

Steve, are you in a band or anything?

 

Steve Andersen 3:48

Oh, yeah. As a matter of fact, we were college students looking to make a little extra money, Andy. And so we all read music. We weren’t music majors, but we all read music. So when recording artists would come to town and they needed a band to maybe kick off the show and play behind them, we got that call. And this actually started when I was 15 years old. And so I ended up playing in some places I probably shouldn’t have at that age. 

But the bottom line is it was a remarkable experience. And then one day I heard my all time favorite guitarist. I was 23 years old, and I heard him play face to face in person, not like listening through the wax. Here he is right in front of me. I’m third row. And I just said to myself, I’m never going to be able to do that. 

 

Andy Paul

Who was that?

 

Steve Andersen

John McLaughlin.

 

Andy Paul 4:41

Did he have the dual neck guitar he was playing?

 

Steve Andersen 4:45

He did, Andy, and he was wearing his robe. And he had Mahavishnu Orchestra, Jan Hammer and , and Jerry Goodman, And I sat there and I watched him at White Chapel, Wake Forest University mesmerized. And again, I thought I was pretty good. But I said to myself, never gonna be able to do that. Better find something I can do. And here I am today. 

 

Andy Paul 5:14

I’m surprised they let him play at a conservative religious school like Wake Forest.

 

Steve Andersen5:18

It was quite interesting, and it was quite eye opening in a number of ways.

 

Andy Paul 5:23

Very interesting. All right, so let’s jump into talking about your book. You guys have written this new book called Beyond the Sales Process. So let’s start with that. What does it mean, beyond the sales process?

 

Dave Stein 5:33

Steve, why don’t you jump on this one?

 

Steve Andersen 5:35

Yeah, sure. So Andy, Dave and I collaborated for quite some time before we decided to write a book. And bottom line, we just did not have an interest in writing just another sales book. There’s plenty of those out there, several published even since we published Beyond.

 

Andy Paul 5:55

Several probably since we started talking.

 

Steve Andersen 6:01

And so our feeling was a lot of folks are trying to do the right thing with their sales books. But at the end of the day, some of these tend to say the same things. What Dave had observed and what I was observing in my work at PMI– and we work, Andy, with a lot of very large global companies, most of which would lay claim to the fact that if they aren’t the leader in their industry, they’re one of the leaders. 

The thing that Dave and I both had been observing is that, look, things are different. There was a dotcom meltdown. There was a financial meltdown, whether it’s 2000 or 2008. Things are different in terms of how companies engage with customers. And they better be different, because customers are engaging differently with their suppliers. 

So the book that we wanted to write was a book about how are we going to adjust the way we engage with customers beyond just focusing on this narrow sliver of time when the customer is actually buying. And we couldn’t help but notice your moniker there, zero time selling. Well, the customer doesn’t spend zero time buying. But I must say based on our anecdotal research and coupled with literally working with some of these very large organizations, when you look at a customer and you basically ask them, how much of your time are you going to spend literally buying something from me, your seller? If they work 2,000 hours a year, Andy, it’s never going to be half the time. 1,000 hours? No way. 200 hours, 10% of their time? No way. 

What Dave and I decided, and Dave, you might want to comment on this too, was you know what, at the end of the day, the customer is only buying 1% to 2% of their time with the seller. What are they doing the other 98%? That’s what Beyond the Sales Process is about. It’s about the customer journey, soup to nuts, end to end, before the sale, during the sale and after the sale. Dave?

 

Dave Stein 8:06

Yeah, so I think Steve nailed it as far as a lot of the sales books. And there are some terrific ones out there. I’ve learned a lot from a lot of the experts. But they really do focus on that during the sale, here’s an opportunity. What do you have to do? What kind of plans do you have to put together? What do you to say to the customer? How do you articulate your value? But they’re really mostly focused on winning that single sales opportunity.

And Steve and I contend that if you wait until you find out that there’s the– of course, the phrase we like to use is meat on the table. But to find out that there’s an opportunity there, it’s almost always too late. We’ve even referred to it as potentially a fatal mistake if that’s the way you pursue winning a series of deals that may be in your portfolio of engagements or whatever else. 

So we realized that if we could help salespeople understand that there are very high productive, high return, no guarantees, of course, but high probability of success activities that can be planned and executed before the sale, of course during the sale, but even maybe most importantly, after the sale. That can set that salesperson or that sales team or that sales manager or account executive up for just an ongoing flow of success, not only from that first customer again and again and again, but from you using that past proven value that you’ve delivered to to get the interest and capture mindshare of other companies as well. So the book is expansive in its look at selling. It’s broader, and in some ways deeper, but definitely broader than what you’ll typically see out there. 

 

Andy Paul 9:59

It’s definitely deeper, yeah. It’s really, as Steve prefaced, at least in my reading, geared more towards the larger complex sale to the larger enterprise.

 

Dave Stein 10:13

Yeah, absolutely. And even as Steven I, the two years or more than two years that we took writing it, we realized that this book was not going to be for those on the left side of the bell shaped curve, your first year, second year salesperson who’s never really done this before. This is not sales 101. it’s not a beginning sales book. You need to have some experience. 

But everybody that we’ve heard from who’s read it, the companies that have invested in copies for their sales teams have all come back with lots and lots and lots of changes to their approach, most of it including now activities before the sale and after the sale that will help sustain that salesperson’s growth, the sales team’s growth, but most importantly, the growth between the seller and the buyer or the customer and the supplier. And that’s really where the value of the book is.

 

Andy Paul 11:10

You start off strongly in the introduction by talking about how customers don’t want to be coerced, controlled, or otherwise pushed around. And yet if you call it in Google controlling the sales process, last time I did this was about a year ago, you get about 36 million returns that talk about how to control the sales process. So how do you get people off that mode? To me, that was a great place to start. 

Because it seems to be, to my mind, prevailing almost theology among salespeople and many sales leaders about controlling the sales process, controlling the customer. And really, it starts with these heroic qualities that people put into the job postings of what they want these people to embody. The closer, the extrovert, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. So how do you get people off that paradigm?

 

Steve Andersen 11:59

Yeah, Dave, I’ll take a shot at this first. So Andy, that’s a fantastic observation. And I think you’re right. And in my earliest sales training, control selling was a phrase that was almost used naturally. Well, if we dig into that, and by the way, in our work at PMI, we always interview client customers. And I don’t know that we’ve interviewed 1,000 over the past 17 years or so, but hundreds at least. And quite candidly, Andy, I’ve never talked with a customer that wanted to be controlled, not one. I’ve never heard one customer say, I really want my seller, my supplier, my provider to come in here and control me. Check me against the glass, knock me around a little bit.

 

Andy Paul 12:53

Love the hockey analogies early in the morning.

 

Steve Andersen 12:58

Absolutely. So I’ve never heard that. But what I have heard customers say is there’s a difference between how one organization engages me versus another. And quite candidly, nine of those are in the book. And I would just say that control selling, it probably has a place in the world today. But we’re at the other end, if not 180 degrees, at least 179 from that. Because quite candidly, in high end business to business commerce, going in with an intent to control that customer is probably going to get you tossed. 

 

Andy Paul

It always has. 

 

Steve Andersen

It always has. And I recognize there are people listening that have probably read books with subtitles that talk about controlling the customer. Sorry, but we’re just not buying into it. There may be a place for it somewhere. But what I believe is people that follow the methodology of Beyond the Sales Process are going to be very successful competing against those that are really focused on controlling and manipulating the customer. Dave?

 

Dave Stein 14:05

Yeah, so the whole idea of co-creating value with your customer, collaboration, building real trust– it’s certainly a green kind of thing, becoming a trusted adviser. But based on mutual value exploration, mutual visioning of success for not only the customer, but for you, the supplier. It’s 180 degrees apart from the idea of some very strong experienced, knowledgeable domain expert who can go in and say to the customer, I’ve worked with 20 companies like yours. And they all had between 21 and 27% improvement in their ROI, whatever else it is. And this is the way you need to do things. 

As far as Steve and I are concerned and all the companies we’ve worked with, at the levels that we have been selling and the people that we work with that I coach and that Steve’s folks coach, that’s just not gonna get you anywhere. So this idea of the customer being the most important person in the room, not us, the seller, but the customer being the most important person in the room. And really earning your the right to ask the customer the tough questions, the things that they’re not perhaps readily going to share with somebody they don’t trust. And begin to explore what the alternatives are to them achieving those goals and objectives and how you might work together with them. 

And maybe it’s not a fit. Maybe you wouldn’t work with them, because you just can’t provide them with what they need to get what they need. But again, it goes back to the idea of this value co-creation, collaboration, working, sitting next to the customer at the table as opposed to sitting around the other side of the table as somebody who is your opponent or in some kind of a contentious situation. So as a direct answer to your question, that’s the big difference between what Steve and I put together versus what a lot of folks think is the, perhaps, holy grail these days. And that is, if you can only control the customer and the sales cycle, you’ll make millions.

 

Andy Paul 16:23

Right? So, obviously, the fallacy of that goes back to those pre-internet days. I talk about in my books that the only way you could exercise control is by metering the flow of information, right? Because when you are the sole source of information in pre-internet days, largely, to some degree, the customer can only buy as fast as you’re prepared to sell to them. And unfortunately, you have people that exercise that. But yeah, the tables have turned. 

So you brought up an interesting point about earning the right to engage. And you talked about this in the second strategy, exploring the possibilities, which I wanted to jump into a bit, too. Because you say that great salespeople have this natural irrepressible curiosity. And to me this is really one of the fulcrum points for salespeople and I think where they fail today. Even in the high end, but especially we see this a lot, I think, in the more transactional software service sales and so on is that they were very scripted, very – I don’t want to say necessarily robotic – but a little bit on autopilot. 

So how do you instill in salespeople, or maybe it’s just a matter of hiring the right people, this curiosity. Because to me if you can learn how to ask that one more question, prolonging your curiosity to ask that additional question helps so much. So how do you work with people to develop this habit?

 

Dave Stein 17:39

Well, I’ll just jump in here and say that you made a very brief point there about hiring. I believe strongly that it really starts with hiring. You have customers, a market you’re selling into, and those customers have buying patterns, and history, and methods, and processes. And once you’re able to really understand how your market, how the customers buy, you can begin to figure out what kind of a person, man or woman, would be most effective selling to them, what skills and traits those sellers need in order to be successful. 

And it’s not always a required trait. It depends on the job role. But I do a lot of work in hiring. And curiosity is one of the the top three or top four, in some cases top five traits that someone needs in certain kinds of sales roles to be successful. Especially the more complex sale. Especially when the customer doesn’t know exactly what it is that they need. Especially when you are in early, as Steve and I suggest you should be, then that curiosity really plays a very important part. And because it’s a trait and it’s in your DNA, you could teach somebody how to fake being curious, but you really can’t teach somebody how to be curious. Because you’re either born with that curiosity or not. Steve?

 

Steve Andersen 19:05

Yeah. So I would add, Andy, that the whole idea of curiosity if you kind of peel the onion back on that, what it should really mean is that I want to learn. Now if it means I want to learn, then it means I need to be willing to listen. Here’s the problem as I see it. Most salespeople walk into the room today waiting to talk. 

What do I mean by that? If I’m calling on Andy Paul and I want to do business with you, and I think I’m listening to Andy, but really, I’m waiting to talk. Then what am I thinking about? my curiosity, I believe, is obliterated by the fact that I’m thinking about what I’m going to say next. Thinking about what I’m going to say next and waiting to talk is very different than being curious and asking the customer questions about their organization, their culture, their industry, their value proposition for their customers, for their customers, who they compete with. It’s a very different headset. 

So what I think is hurting a lot of salespeople today is– and use the word robotic. I couldn’t agree more. If you train me in product, what in the world do you think I’m going to talk about? I’m waiting to talk about what? Me, myself, I, my company and my product. And I think that’s where the problem begins assuming we have the right person. And Dave’s comment about right people is really critical, because there’s not enough. There’s simply not enough. And even some of the best sellers that we see and best account managers, we still see them walking into the room waiting to talk. 

So I think the first step is to be prepared to listen. Listen to what? Listen to the customer’s response to great questions that you want to ask them. You want to ask them about their business, about their world, about what matters most to them. That’s when you earn the right to explore possibilities. That’s when you give the customer a reason to engage.

 

Andy Paul 21:09

And it’s also, to my mind, a willingness to ask a question that’s not on your script. It’s to have the ability to respond to what the customer says, as opposed to saying, okay, thank you. And so the next question is.

So I just last night was recording an episode of this podcast with this gentleman. We’re actually listening to recorded calls, outbound calls that reps have made. And we’re pausing and providing coaching for it. And you saw that time after time after time the customer would respond to the question, and there was never the follow up question. And I teach things just as simple as saying, well, geez, that’s interesting. Tell me more about that. It’s one of the great second questions that every rep could ask if they were, as you said, really focused on what the customer was saying instead of waiting to talk, which I think is a great phrase. I love the way you say that.

 

Dave Stein 22:01

What would it mean to your business? If you were able to do what you just said, what impact would that have on your business? And next thing you know, you’re going down a path holding the customer’s hand rather than pushing them first or dragging them behind you. And that’s the whole idea, that collaboration. 

And it does come from being able to have the confidence and the knowledge to be able to ask questions and not have that script either written out in front of you or in your head of, okay, so I have eight questions I have to get the answers to. And I don’t give a darn what happens. I’m not leaving that guy’s office until I have answers to those eight questions. To hell with whatever else they want to say.

 

Andy Paul 22:45

Exactly. Because in some cases, the answers to those eight questions constitute the exit criteria that their sales process has for moving to the next stage of the deal, right? So they can’t go back to their manager and say, well we’re at the next stage. He says, well, did you get the answers to these eight questions? Because those are exit criteria. They’re sort of the tyranny of the process in some cases. 

So then in strategy three, another great section I always enjoyed was you talk about how customers today define value, supplier value. So I ask this question of guests all the time, what is value in sales? And so why don’t you talk a little bit about what you describe in the book.

 

Dave Stein

Steve?

 

Steve Andersen 23:27

Yeah, okay. So if you think about the typical company and how the typical company, Andy, equips salespeople, and I’m thinking about when I was new in sales, the organizations I ran, there is a serious effort to help Steve Andersen, Dave Stein, Andy Paul, the new salesperson, become comfortable with the company they’ve gone to work for and with the products they have to sell. And so the headset that many of us have when we walk into the room with the customer is really one of it being all about me. Whether I’m feeling that way egotistically or it’s subliminal, but I walk into the room and I’m thinking about me and us and the company and what I have to offer. 

Now, if you then translate what the customer is looking for, in many cases, the customer may have no interest whatsoever in your product. Or they may have no interest in doing business with you today. However, they may have great interest in building rapport with people that can offer insight, or a term that Dave and I like to use, actionable awareness. And there’s a difference there, Andy. The difference for us, and this is observed in the book and the case studies would substantiate this– inside the bounds, we can think about data, we’re awash in data, big data, little data, probably too much data. That data doesn’t mean much until it becomes information. We’re awash in TMI, too much information. 

Take that down a level. Now I’ve got insights. Yeah, but how many insights at this very moment are going unacted upon by sellers because they just don’t have the bandwidth, the juice, whatever to take action? So if we can distill this down to actionable awareness, and we believe that comes from actually visioning success with the customer and having the customer say, yeah, if you can potentially help me in this area, I just might take action. 

If that moment the salesperson becomes aware– and by the way, in most situations there’s no RFP on the street yet. So what we think is really critical early in customer engagement is to be in a position after you explore possibilities, to vision success with the customer, to listen to what the customer cares most about, to help them identify what I would call future value targets, where potential value can be created. And at the end of the day, talk about what matters most to the customer. And you ask about the meaning of value. To me the meaning of value is what matters most to the customer and what will cause them to be successful. Dave?

 

Dave Stein 26:13

Yeah, so one of the paths to figuring out what matters most to the customer is learning about their customer, the relationships they have with their customer. What value does our potential customer provide their potential customer or their customers? And that’s not a trick. It’s not a shortcut. It’s not a silver bullet. But when you’ve now immersed yourself in your customer’s business to the point where you really understand the value they provide to their customer, the ability to understand what value you can provide to them becomes so much more clear. 

Because really what companies are in business for is to serve their customers. So if I can help my customers serve his customer or her customer better, then I’m going to be of more potential value to my customer. And that’s one of the pads, but that’s the one that I like to talk about first. Because a lot of salespeople just don’t think about that at all. 

You say to a salesperson, I do a lot of sales coaching. Name three of this particular company’s biggest customers. And they go, huh? Never asked, never thought about that before. So if they don’t even know the names of the companies, it’s going to be very hard for them to understand what value their customer provides to those customers. And so that value chain, it never gets started. The pieces never get welded, the path is never paved. And it becomes very hard to figure out how you are going to capture customer preference in mind share. Because you really don’t know where you’re headed.

 

Andy Paul 27:53

You can’t do the visioning with the customers you’re talking about if you can’t answer that question, what value they provide to their customers. And this is really interesting when you talk about this, because this actionable awareness is really, to me, the synthesis of their data, their information, the insights into this vision that you’re co-creating with them. And that, to me, is like something of an elite strata of sales reps I’ve seen that are able to do that. It’s a very difficult skill.

 

Dave Stein 28:30

It is. And once you’re in there, having those visioning discussions and talking about future potential value in a deeper level, whether you’re driving toward the customer’s customer or just internal challenges that they may have to overcome for their business to run more effectively, whatever it happens to be. But once you’re having those discussions, it becomes very difficult for your opposition, for some other company’s salesperson to get those kinds of conversations going with the customer. Because they tend to only have that with the first person they can identify with and trust and the person has credibility. So once you’re in that elevator that only holds two people, you and the customer, the door may open, but there ain’t nobody else going in that elevator. So that’s a real advantage.

 

Andy Paul 29:20

Absolutely. And I think it was either IDC or Forrester had a study that basically validated that, saying that if you are the first vendor that can create this buying vision for the prospect, they said based on their survey of I think 1000 business decision makers, your odds of winning the deal stands 65%. Well, if you take that compared to most companies are happy if they get a 20% close rate. Well, that’s pretty significant.

 

Dave Stein 29:48

Yeah, it really is. And it takes a different way of looking at your customer. And of course, it’s the before, during and after structure that Steve and I talk so much about. But it takes research, it takes some courage, it takes constant building of knowledge not only about the industry you’re selling into, but about the individual customers that you’re pursuing. 

And it’s a different kind of headset, as Steve likes to use that term, than your typical salesperson who’s got a portfolio of 250 companies they’re pursuing in their territory. And every one of them gets 1/250th of whatever time they have available without any sizing or prioritization or anything like that. And we now know that that is just not the way to be a leader in your industry as far as selling is concerned. It’s just not the way to do it.

 

Andy Paul 30:45

Okay, excellent. Now, gentlemen, we’re going to move into the last segment of the show where I’ve got some standard questions I ask all my guests. And the first one, you can decide who between you’ll answer this one is, in this hypothetical scenario– you can answer collectively. In this hypothetical scenario you guys have just been hired as VP of Sales by a company whose sales have stalled out. And the Board and the CEO are anxious to get things turned around back on track. So what two things could you do your first week on the job that could have the biggest impact in terms of starting off a turnaround? 

 

Dave Stein

Go Steve!

 

Steve Andersen 31:17

Well, so I’ll give you one and then, Dave, maybe you come with another. So Andy, the first thing I would do is the first thing that we do anytime we get engaged by a client. And that is ask questions and attempt– and I’m going to use terms discovery and assessment. Discovery and assessment. And by the way, I’ve been that VP of Sales hired four times in my career. And you always think you know, and then you get in. And you find out very quickly, well, I didn’t turn this rock over, and I didn’t wade out deep enough into the river to turn that rock over. And these things start crawling out. 

In my mind, the first thing is talk to thoughtful people. Not just in the sales organization, services, technology, product development. What’s working? What’s not? And talk to customers. Then when you begin to take action, you’ve got data that you turned into information insight, you’ve got actionable awareness.

 

Andy Paul 32:20

Actionable awareness. Bringing it back to the book, perfect.

 

Dave Stein 32:26

Well, I’m gonna take a look at the sales force. The sales are crashing, they’re not where they need to be. Statistics say anywhere between 20 to 33, maybe even higher percent of salespeople who are in B2B positions today aren’t suited for the job. Which means no matter how much training and coaching and how many tools and whatever else you want to do, they’re never going to be independently driving the number consistently. 

So before I do anything else, I’m going to do an assessment. And I’m not going to fire a third of the sales force that day, but I’m very quickly going to know who isn’t making their number because they just can’t versus who isn’t making their number for external reasons where they may be able to be helped. And I’m going to have a plan to redeploy those folks who will never make it somewhere else in the organization or outside the organization and have a plan to make sure that 80%, 75%, 85% of the people on my team six months from now, a year from now are going to be able to deliver. So that’s a little bit different from Steve’s, but that’s what I’m going to look at first.

 

Andy Paul 33:32

Perfect. I’ve got some great answers. I’ve got some rapid fire questions. You can give me one word answers if you want. So, when you, Dave, and you, Steve, are out selling your services individually, what’s your most powerful sales attribute?

 

Dave Stein 33:47

Mine is wisdom and experience. 

 

Andy Paul

That’s good. Steve, how about you?

 

Steve Andersen 33:53

I would say credibility and being able to bring insights and actionable awareness to clients based on having done it before.

 

Andy Paul 34:02

Got it. Alright, next question. Who’s your sales role model?

 

Dave Stein 34:08

Steve Andersen

 

Steve Andersen 34:11

Dave Stein.

 

Dave Stein 34:12

I’m serious. He really is. This book was 30 years in the waiting here. So yeah, definitely Steve.

 

Steve Andersen 34:21

Well, I’ve got to reciprocate, my friend, and I don’t do this with tongue in cheek. When I think about people I’ve learned things from, Andy, Dave has had an amazing career with so much that he has offered. A lot of people as we say down south here, they keep it hidden under a bushel basket. And that is not the case with my friend Mr. Stein. 

Dave has published so much. His network is amazing. And people buy Dave Stein because not just of what he knows, but the person that he is. So who have I learned the most from throughout my career? It would be the third leg of the stool on this call we’re in.

 

Andy Paul 35:05

Oh, I thought I was the third leg. Okay, so what’s one book other than your own that every salesperson should read?

 

Steve Andersen 35:13

Dave, you first.

 

Dave Stein 35:15

Oh, boy. Well, the one that I got the most out of and helped me most in my career and put more money in my pocket than any other book was Power Base Selling by Jim Holden. And it was written in the 1990s, and it just opened my eyes to everything that was going on, literally under the radar screen within organizations how influence was wielded and yielded and all of that. So I think anybody selling in any kind of a complex environment, Power Base Selling would be something I would always recommend.

 

Andy Paul 35:53

Excellent. Yeah, I haven’t heard of that one. That’s on my list now. Steve, how about you?

 

Steve Andersen 35:56

Yeah, I would have to say Good to Great. And yes, I realize it’s not a sales book, but then maybe it is. 

 

Andy Paul

It doesn’t need to be a sales book. 

 

Steve Andersen

Yeah, because being good is not good enough today. And it’s really hard to be great. But when you’re somewhere in between good plus and great minus, you become different from everybody else. And you have customers saying to you, no one else is engaging me this way. No one else is talking to me this way. And that’s what that book was really about, how companies and individuals do that. That would be my answer.

 

Andy Paul 36:30

Excellent. All right. So here’s this question I didn’t have just for you guys. I ask this to every guest. Last question, what music’s on your playlist these days?

 

Steve Andersen 36:41

I love that question. Go, Dave. And then I’ll come in.

 

Dave Stein 36:44

That’s great. So having been a trumpet player most interested in jazz, Freddie Hubbard, Maynard Ferguson, Wynton Marsalis, Roy Hargrove, Arturo SandovaI. I’m a guy who loves just brash, screaming, passionate trumpet playing. So that’s my playlist. 

 

Andy Paul 37:05

Excellent. All right, Steve?

 

Steve Andersen 37:07

Yeah, so I’m a jazz fan, but the different types of jazz. And in addition to the types of things that we would hear today, I really liked the Blue Note sessions that were recorded in Rudy Van Gelder’s studio. And that’s not the only thing on my playlist, but I have to say that and some really nice music that we would call in this part of the world, Carolina Beach music, which is full of feelings. And people dance to it, and so, man, I’ve got some rock and some beach music and some blue note jazz going just about all the time.

 

Andy Paul 37:44

So name a group for Carolina Beach music.

 

Steve Andersen 37:47

God the Tams, The Showman, Willy T, The Impressions. You want my playlist?

 

Andy Paul 37:57

I haven’t heard that. I’ll have to listen to that.

 

Steve Andersen 38:01

It’s great. You’d like it.

 

Andy Paul 38:02

Carolina Beach music. It’s on my list. All right, well, good. Well, thank you guys for joining me today. My guests have been Dave Stein, Steve Andersen talking about their book, Beyond the Sales Process. So tell folks how they can get in contact with you.

 

Dave Stein 38:14

Well, there’s a website, BeyondTheSalesProcess.com. And any of you listening, send Steve or me a note on LinkedIn, invite us to connect. I’m sure if you tell us a little about you and what you feel we could provide, we’d be delighted to connect with anybody who invited us to. Steve is PerformanceMethods.com. That’s his company. And I work by myself, different from Steve. He’s got a real team and a real company, but I work by myself. And I’m at DaveStein.biz. 

 

Andy Paul 38:47

Okay. Steve, anything else to add?

 

Steve Andersen 38:48

Yeah, just that we would encourage folks to let us hear from you, whether you’re in the market for what we do or not. We’re always interested in getting feedback on the book and again, BeyondTheSalesProcess.com. For me, PerformanceMethods.com. And Andy, we appreciate you hosting us. And I must say, had a laugh or two and a lot of fun doing this with you.

 

Andy Paul 39:10

Appreciate you guys joining me. And remember, friends, thank you for listening to this show. And remember, make it a part of your day every day to deliberately learn something new to help you accelerate your success. And an easy way to do that is to take a minute and subscribe to this podcast, Accelerate.

That way you won’t miss any of my conversations with top business experts like my guests today, Dave Stein and Steve Andersen, who shared his expertise about how to accelerate the growth of your business. So thanks for joining me. Until next time, this is Andy Paul. Good selling, everyone. 

Thanks for listening to the show. If you like what you heard, and want to make sure you don’t miss any upcoming episodes, please subscribe to this podcast on iTunes or stitcher.com. For more information about today’s guest, visit my website at AndyPaul.com.