Correctly Using Data to Manage Sales, with Greg Dalli [Episode 428]

Greg Dalli, Co-Founder of Clarus Designs, joins me on this episode. In today’s show, we discuss the role data has in the modern sales approach, with a few surprising twists.

Key Takeaways

  • Greg became legally blind at age six, and soon realized he would need a different approach to problem solving. After college, he became a business intelligence analyst for a startup. He helped scale the firm from $15Million-$200Million.
  • The purpose of Clarus Designs is to help sales and marketing teams make better decisions, and grow, using data.
  • Greg tells how to find ‘the truth,’ which varies case by case. You start with clean data.
  • Clarus Designs simplifies problems, to focus on what is actionable. Does it matter how many emails it takes, on average, to touch a contact?
  • Clarus Designs helps teams look at metrics in relation to other changes, such as, new customer growth in relation to average sales price. Greg tells how the two metrics correlate.
  • Clarus Designs suggests teams can tie activity metrics to success metrics. It’s not just how many emails they send, but how many people they connect with, as a result.
  • Greg explains how success metrics might be applied usefully, or how they might lead to missing goals.
  • Assuming from last year’s data that 5X pipeline coverage will yields your sales goal does not work. The pipeline will get filled with unqualified leads.
  • The more stressful the situation, the more likely people crave control. They seek control through activity metrics, but activity metrics are not tied to outcomes.
  • Greg contrasts time management with efficiency, or sales dollars per hour of selling time.
  • Asymmetric metric variability represents a skewed distribution, in forecasts. It is easy to overestimate when the deal will close, and underestimate the discount to get the deal.
  • Managing pipeline coverage must assume a significant percentage of the coverage will fall out from no decision.

The Sales Enablement Podcast with Andy Paul was formerly Accelerate! with Andy Paul.

Episode Transcript

Andy Paul  0:35  

Hello and welcome to the Sales Enablement Podcast. Joining me on the show today is Greg Dalli. He’s the co-founder of Clara’s Designs, a consulting firm specializing in corporate growth through efficient scaling to maximize potential. So Greg, welcome to the Sales Enablement Podcast.

 

Greg Dalli  1:14  

Thanks for having me on. I’m really excited.

 

Andy Paul  1:16  

How’d you get your start in business? How did you get your start doing what you’re doing?

 

Greg Dalli  1:26  

Yeah, so I guess it really started when I was six years old, I had some kind of medical issues and over the course of a week kind of went from normal eyesight to being legally blind. And so through that process, kind of like spent a lot of time trying to adapt and cope and and pretty quickly learned that you know, the techniques and tools that people use to solve problems on a daily basis, whether it’s ordering food or crossing the street, we’re not going to work for me and so kind of developed this thought process where I would approach problems assuming that what everyone else is doing was not going to work. So it kind of lent itself. Well, it’s not gonna work. And so, you know, so it lent itself well once I graduated college, I landed at a startup. I was their first business intelligence analyst and kind of thought about scaling and thought about problems, and just ignored all the research out there and all the best practices and kind of went about trying to figure out and doing a lot of testing to figure out what worked and what didn’t. And so that the company ended up doing really well, I think they were around 30 million when I know they’re actually about like, 15 million when I got there. And I think, closer to 100, when I left, three years later, so you know, it worked really well. And I really enjoyed the process of problem solving and growing. And so I wanted to do that for other companies to kind of see if, I was mostly curious at this idea of assuming that, you know, the best practices won’t work and thinking through what to do. Like, objectively If I would work and so my partner and I started clarity designs about a year and a half ago and have been doing that ever since.

 

Andy Paul  3:07  

So what is it you do?

 

Greg Dalli  3:10  

So the idea is that we help sales and marketing teams make better decisions and grow using data. So instead of relying on, you know, experience or what Google does, or things like that, like we focus on looking at your data and and helping you look at it in a way to make better decisions and grow that way.

 

Andy Paul  3:30  

Alright, so you’ve got this. You’ve got the statement on your website that you say we eliminate duplicate and inconsistent data by identifying the source of truth. So what is the truth?

 

Greg Dalli  3:42  

Yeah, so that’s a great question. So I mean, it really, it really varies. case by case, right? I think, you know, you’re gonna have some companies where their source of truth is, it’s going to be based on something like a sales process or marketing process. You know, it really varies, but I think the problem that you run into is you have different departments and different teams kind of quoting different numbers. So a big part of being able to make data driven decisions is, is getting to a common source of truth. That’s kind of something we learned when we started this, we kind of went into it thinking, you know, we’re going to take everyone’s data, do some fancy analysis and it can be a lot of fun. And then we pretty quickly learned like, you don’t normally have clean data. So we kind of have to start there to be able to do that fun stuff.

 

Andy Paul  4:27  

So truth or science, truth is subjective.

 

Greg Dalli  4:31  

Yeah, yeah. I mean, I think that most things, most things in startups are subjective. I think it’s based on whatever your goals are.

 

Andy Paul  4:38  

Right? So as I like to say, truth is a relative value non absolute value. So. So, which it’s true in life in general, right. So. So when you talk about data that you’re helping companies with, so give examples of the data that you’re analyzing to help them make better decisions?

 

Greg Dalli  4:59  

Yes. So, you know, a big, a lot of what we do is trying to kind of simplify what people are looking at and focus on things that are actionable. So an example is, you know, there’s a lot of data points that people are focused on that really are not very actionable. So an example of that is, you see a lot of research around how many touches it takes to get hold of a contact. And so because of that companies are really focused on activity metrics, and how many emails are we sending as a company and as a team, and, you know, how many, how many touches per rep, or per contact does it take to connect with someone and things like that? And, you know, it’s certainly not super easy to track that stuff. It’s kind of labor intensive. But more importantly, it’s not as valuable as people think.

 

Andy Paul  5:51  

There’s the catch, it’s not easy to find the data and once you get it, it doesn’t really mean anything.

 

Greg Dalli  5:59  

Yeah. So you know, interesting note, knowing that it takes, you know, five emails on average, as opposed to seven or eight or three, it’s not really going to change what you do. 

 

Andy Paul  6:10  

Meaning what?

 

Greg Dalli  6:13  

Meaning that if you tell a sales leader, hey, I can tell you with 100% accuracy, it takes seven emails to reach a prospect. You know, their SDRs are still going to be emailing and calling, you know, it’s not like they’re going to say, Okay, well, it’s been seven. So we’re going to stop emailing, because if it’s an average, then you would expect if it’s a normally distributed average, you’d expect half those phone texts anymore. And so it’s, it ends up not being very helpful. And so focusing on you know, are we sending 200 emails, or are we sending you know, are we emailing everyone five or six or seven times it ends up not really changing the business and not really changing how people act on a day to day basis.

 

Andy Paul  6:54  

So how do you control for the variables in the hill, the mess In the email the cache on the subject line, you know, an opening sentence, anything that that has the impact of influencing the prospect whether to either read the email based on subject line or be having read the email take any sort of action.

 

Greg Dalli  7:18  

I mean, for the most part, you don’t really, I mean, you could do that. And you could say, you know, you could get a B test, different subject lines are different messages. But generally, when we talk to companies that are really interested in those types of activity metrics, we tend to tell them to, you know, focus on other things, just because we haven’t found that that is very useful to focus on.

 

Andy Paul  7:42  

Okay, saying it really to sort of buttress your point, which was that whether it’s nine touches or 13 touches you said almost doesn’t really matter. And some of the details about a B testing some of the components on almost seem like they’ve lost relevance as well. So what does matter in those situations?

 

Greg Dalli  8:02  

I mean, what matters is you know, like not focusing on specific metrics but focusing on metrics in relation to other changes. So an example would be not just focusing on new customers, but looking at new customer growth in relation to average average sales, price, sales cycle, things like that. Because what you’ll find is a lot of cases if you show me a company who doubled their number of customers they brought on last quarter, I guarantee you their average selling price decreases by a lot, right? Because the easiest way to do that is to either discount or bring or bring on smaller customers. So I think it’s more about educating companies and educating leaders who don’t necessarily come from a data centric background into how to think about the data that they have and how to use that to manage better.

 

Andy Paul  9:00  

Well, let’s finish up on this point with the one you just talked about, because you’re right, and people are getting increasingly focused on even more granular metrics in their sales process. And it seems to me that the point you made is that we’re getting into a situation where you sort of can’t see the forest for the trees type syndrome, when it comes to these things. Yeah. So what is the answer? So we have frontline managers that, yeah, not just rolling through up and down the chain, you know, people have activity metrics. I mean, especially in the SAS businesses, they thrive on, on and, you know, subsist on activity metrics. So what do you recommend that people do instead? To help shape the process in a way that it produces the outcomes that they want?

 

Greg Dalli  9:52  

Yeah, so I, what we suggest is, you know, if you want to have activity metrics, I think that’s fine. Nothing wrong. With that, but, you know, enforce that alongside some type of success metric. So, meaning that, you know, if you are going to say, you know, you need to send 200 emails a week, you should also have some some goal around like you’re Connect rates, you know, you want to connect with you’re doing that so that you can connect with 20 new people a week or something like that. Mm hmm. So and and that way, you kind of get both because what ends up happening is as soon as as soon as you say, hey, email, email, 200 people, the quality of those emails goes down, the number of people you’re connecting with goes down. And you kind of do what you were saying about losing, losing, losing sight of the big picture, you kind of forget why you’re actually doing that, and that is to connect with people to close deals. So you know, I think having some type of success metric that just isn’t based on volume and how and how many people you can blast emails to, or you know, something that is more effort based, like having a success criteria. I think it is key there.

 

Andy Paul  11:03  

Good. Interesting. I mean, I wonder whether and I think about this as you’re talking is, is whether or not you could have: Well, I guess we’re not, I mean, to answer your own questions, I’m getting ready to post it for you is, so what if you want the opposite extreme? It just had a success metric?

 

Greg Dalli  11:21  

Yeah. So I mean, you could also do that you could also do that. I think it if the success metric is kind of like a volume based and not percentage based, and I think that’s fine, right. Like, saying that your success metric is at 15% success rate or connect rate, for example, like, that’s probably not, there’s probably room for error there, right. Because you could have that connection rate but only connect with people, depending on what your denominator is. Right. So. So yeah, I think that and I mean, I think that inherently there are a lot of success metrics that are that are like that, you know, if you’re an SDR like most more likely than not Your Your goal is number of meetings you don’t I mean, it’s not percent of you know, like a meeting conversion rate or or something like that. But I think the the where the problem lies is you have these end metrics, whether it’s you know, meeting set or dollars clothes that are very kind of volume based, but the secondary metrics and the secondary ways that people are evaluated to get to there are such that you it lends itself to kind of screw you in the long run.

 

Andy Paul  12:32  

You can see that you are the individual.

 

Greg Dalli  12:36  

I mean, both, right. I think that just because you don’t end up hitting your goals, you know, you see this a lot in fact in the way that companies talk about pipeline coverage, right when they say, you know, we need five x pipeline coverage meetings. On the first day of the quarter, we have five x in the pipeline, what our goal is, then we’re going to hit our goal because that’s what happened last quarter, the last year, something like that. And so, the managers are okay, like Let’s fill that pipeline. And then you ultimately, when that’s focused just filling the pipeline, you end up with a lot of steel opportunities or opportunities for the amounts are exaggerated or things like that. And then we’re just plainly unqualified. 

 

Andy Paul  13:14  

If your incentive is I want to get names and logos into my pipeline, then you’ll be less concerned about the quality.

 

Greg Dalli  13:23  

Yeah. And the crazy thing is, the company will miss their quarter. And then they’ll look, they’ll, you know, be data driven and look at the numbers and say, Oh, well, actually, you know, given last quarter, we actually need seven x pipeline coverage in order to hit our goal. So then instead of saying, well, maybe this is this is like not the best way to kind of manage to our goal. So then they’ll go for seven x and then the problem continues.

 

Andy Paul  13:47  

Yeah, why? It sort of breaks down to several steps when one is Yeah, instead of having, yeah, seven x coverage, they could just say, yeah, we need 12 deals.

 

Greg Dalli  14:01  

Yeah, I mean, you know, you run it, you run into problems there as well because, you know, it’s kind of the goal you set, you will tend to close smaller deals if that’s kind of what you’re aiming for. Right? 

 

Andy Paul  14:15  

if you have a quantity based goal that’s supposed to a, a percent coverage, you know, something that’s really driving your work. Why do you think that encourages smaller deals?

 

Greg Dalli  14:26  

Well, I mean, if you’re telling your reps, I just need 10 deals out of you this quarter. I need 12 deals out of you this quarter. If there’s not some regulation around like the types of deals, I would worry that you would end up with 12 small deals.

 

Andy Paul  14:40  

Yeah, no, I meant if you had done the math, you say hey, we divide the number it comes up to 10 deals right? So I see what you mean.

 

Greg Dalli  14:47  

Yes, that would be better.

 

Andy Paul  14:49  

Yeah, I think that I wonder and you tell me is is it seems certainly from the the research I’ve done and and the companies I’ve talked to that You get some a glimmer of a little bit of a pushback about, you know, the strict adherence to activity metrics, because it takes some of the, it takes some, quite frankly, take some of the initiative away from the salespeople. You know, in terms of there’s a way they could do it better. Thus, the coverage ratios don’t necessarily work for John, because John, you know, John just does things differently. And, you know, for him two times coverage is what he needs. Yeah, he’s gonna press to get 70 you know, to work fine for him.

 

Greg Dalli  15:34  

Yeah, totally. I mean,I think what it boils down to is, the more stressful the situation, and I would say startups are fairly stressful in terms of the expectations set. Pressure.

 

Andy Paul  15:47  

Excellent.

 

Greg Dalli  15:49  

Totally. So I think that the more stressful the situation, I think the more likely people are to crave that control. And I think that by having your metrics the activity based on that Where I could just sit down in an hour and bust out 100 emails or find 50 new contacts. But I can’t just sit down for an hour and set five meetings, you know that that’s not really in my control. So I think that, you know, given the stress of the job, I think there’s this natural gravitation towards control. And I think that’s how control is expressed in the sales world, focusing on metrics that’s very correlated with time in terms of the ability to affect that metric.

 

Andy Paul  16:31  

But you’re saying they’re not correlated with outcomes?

 

Greg Dalli  16:35  

No, I mean, not at our experience. I mean, you probably talked to more companies than we do. 

 

Greg Dalli  16:43  

That’s the big problem

 

Andy Paul  16:47  

What I see is that the young talent activity is not necessarily correlated outcomes, unless you put enough numbers behind it, and then ultimately, the numbers begin to run out. Yeah, but the nanoscale?

 

Greg Dalli  17:05  

Yep. Yep. I mean, when I was at my last company, there was this one rep who would email more emails than anyone else. And would one SDR send more emails than anyone else? And, you know, maybe what’s that? 15 meetings a month. And there was another SDR that maybe sent 30 emails a month or 40 emails a month or but, you know, ended up with the same 15 meetings. And I think it’s scary to say, you know, this person has something that works. So we’re okay with some sending averaging, you know, 1.3 emails a day. 

 

Andy Paul  17:44  

Well, I think it raises a whole nother question, which is the one that I think you and I had spoken once on the phone about several months ago is really what is productivity and sales. Because you just raised a great point. So yeah, if you have somebody that’s sending out 1.4 emails per day versus somebody that’s sending 100 per day, and yet they’re closing the same amount of deals, then you have somebody whose productivity is extremely high. But they have unused capacity that they’re not putting to use that they could use to sell even more. And then this is where companies don’t really think about it this way, right? I mean, if you had that kind of sending 1.4 emails per day and was closing, same as somebody sending 100, who let’s say it was also meeting a target. I’d look at that and say the guy 1.4 is like, well, hell, you should be doing a lot more. Because if you just exercise a little bit more of your time, even if you’re just a double what you’re doing, you’re saying 2.8 per day, which is not stressing you out. Theoretically, you would have a marginal increase in your sales, somewhere between two and you know, Two times and zero, but it’d be more.

 

Greg Dalli  19:04  

Maybe I do but I think that, you know, the other way to look at it is that that person is sending so few emails because they’re so targeted and that person is trying to reach the exact right person every time. You don’t I mean, like I think like, you know, I should also make the argument I mean, put it this way, you would never you would never tell the person sending 100 emails a day, but hey, you know, you could probably just work a couple more hours send 200 emails a day, and you’d be golden here.

 

Andy Paul  19:30  

Yeah, you have somebody that’s got a fully loaded hundred emails a day they’re spending, you know, let’s say they work to the industry statistics in terms of they’re spending 35 40% of their time actually selling and then you know, the rest doing whatever they need to do finding content, building their lists on and then you got this other person who’s spending 170 1.4 per day, and not to get too hung up on this example, but by necessary necessity. They’re gonna have, they’re gonna have a lot more free time during that day. So it’s not like for them to send out 2.8 emails or so on is going to require them to stay after work. And this is the thing, I think we get the difference in productivity that managers don’t really focus on, which is, yeah, if you have something like this, it’s really performing at a high rate. They undoubtedly are getting more accomplished with less expenditure of time. Yeah, yes. And so it means there’s more time available for them that if they just did 50% more theoretically, then their incremental return on that would be somewhere between 0 and 50% more. But it would be more of something. And I think that’s the productivity conundrum. I think we have it that we don’t we don’t gauge what people are accomplishing based on the amount of time they’re investing and doing it.

 

Greg Dalli  20:56  

Yeah, well, I think back again to that kind of need for control. I think time is something that’s really hard to quantify. Yeah, I mean it’s very easy for a sales manager to look in Salesforce and see how many emails are sent. I think it’s very hard for them to accurately say, you know, you spent 12 or 15 or 20 hours crafting emails and sending emails.

 

Andy Paul  21:19  

Well, the question I have for you is, so what are you seeing out there in terms of the tools that are coming out? Because I know they’re getting close to being able to capture that information? How much time you’re spending, creating emails, how much time you’re on the phone and so on. And I don’t think that’s I know some people push back saying that’s sort of Big Brother ish that you’re knowing every second but it’s not. It’s not a time motion, time motion study. It’s based on how many hours you invest to get a certain outcome.

 

Greg Dalli  21:52  

Yeah, I mean, I think that he I think that technology will obviously like to continue to get better.

 

Andy Paul  22:29  

So, that’s how we measure productivity in the economy at large. Right, or rate of output per unit of input. 

 

Greg Dalli  22:38  

I don’t know. 

 

Andy Paul  22:42  

Because you know, people have, we’re talking about we’re gonna create more selling time for salespeople, right that if they have a certain output of a revenue for one hour of selling time. Now we can do the math and come. But that for all of them, you know, we start talking about now is let’s, let’s make more selling time for them during the day. You know, get the bureaucratic stuff off their plate, make sure that they don’t have to search for content, all these things we can do to free up selling time. Now that’s great, but what if we could raise that top number numerator and increase the rate of output? per hour?

 

Greg Dalli  23:28  

I mean, yeah, I think that, I see where you’re coming from. 

 

Greg Dalli  23:36  

you know, if, in addition to being able to measure time, we can somehow enforce time spent, then I could definitely see that being valuable. I think, you know, the problem there is that, you know, there’s a lot of a lot of sales tools, right, that will say, you know, we’re going to save, we’re going to save X number of hours a month per per rep, which means that it’s this many more sales, right? And then there’s this inherent assumption that if my Rep spends two less hours per month, you know, generating order forms or prospecting or sending follow up emails that they’re going to be spending those two hours or selling. 

 

Andy Paul  24:12  

I don’t know, not a good assumption.

 

Greg Dalli  24:14  

Yeah. Like, I don’t know if that happened, if that will happen. 

 

Andy Paul  24:30  

One you know, exactly that’s why from an outdoors perspective, I was telling you so I’m not assuming they’ll spend any more hours selling it. How do I get them to increase the output for the units the hours they do invest? Cause I’m with you, I think I think you could theoretically go through and say, yeah, let’s let’s, let’s free up a bunch of time for sales reps, but we don’t ever seem to see that materialize. So if that’s the case, let’s just watch. What can we do to make them more productive for the time they do spend?

 

Greg Dalli  25:04  

Yeah, I mean, I, I worry that we are a while away from being able to do that effectively. I mean, are there any other tools that you’re excited about that you think could help with that?

 

Andy Paul  25:18  

Not to do it completely. I mean, unfortunately, the way to do it is, manually. Yeah. Right now, but there are companies that do it manually. I mean, they probably have systems that support but I mean, effectively, do it, man, because people are the way you’re doing it. You collect the hours that people work on the tasks they work on. Let’s go on to another one that you talked about. That was an interesting term, we talked about asymmetric metric variability. So it seems like a fancy way of saying that when a metric is not estimated correctly, it’s far more likely to be estimated incorrectly in only one direction.

 

Greg Dalli  26:01  

Yeah, so you know, an example would be if you go to the store and you and you get improper change from the cashier, right? How do you know if that cashier is dishonest versus they just aren’t good at giving change? Right? Well, you know that because if they’re just not good at giving change, sometimes you’re going to get too much back, sometimes you’re going to get shorted. But if you always get shorted, meaning that, you know, it’s asymmetric, meaning there’s the returns of that outcome are much more skewed towards one direction. That’s how you kind of know. And so I think that the kind of like, catch all argument, in the world of sales, when it comes to data is, you know, when when, like, number of deals goes down in a particular month, or when rate goes up for a particular month, it goes down. There’s kind of this idea that like, oh, like it’ll all even out in the long run. You know, this is, you know, law law of large numbers like this will all average out, will return. And I think the argument that I would make is that there are some metrics that are not going to return to some, you know, quote unquote normal because there’s a skewed distribution in those outcomes. And I think that, you know, forecasted amounts and forecasting close dates definitely fall into that bucket.

 

Andy Paul  27:15  

Well, let’s see, I sort of take an opposite view of what you were saying is that you think it’s far more likely that or when a rep. overestimates or accidents you think it’s far more likely that ripple overestimate the size of a deal versus underestimate? And my experience has been the opposite. Because reps are sandbags. I mean, t, for decades of experience I’ve had managing sales teams, that’s been sort of the big problem. You know, they’re more likely to be too optimistic about when the deal is going to close. But there also was nice arrangements. More likely to underestimate because, you know, they want to be the hero.

 

Greg Dalli  28:07  

Gotcha. I definitely see that with enterprise reps or reps that I would say have like 10 plus years experience. But what I would say is with younger sales reps or less extreme sales reps, what I see happen a lot is that reps very rarely take into consideration the amount of discounting that will ultimately end up happening to get that deal closed. And that ends up being a huge reason why, you know, an opportunity that’s been at 100K to the last four months closes one day for 60 or 70.

 

Andy Paul  28:42  

Okay, so there’s an experience curve, or an experience discount, if you will. 

 

Greg Dalli  28:51  

Yeah, I mean, any DS is that is that not been as much your experience do you think it’s predominantly sandbagging?

 

Andy Paul  28:58  

I think you may be under but I think the experienced reps are certainly more accurate. Now, whether they sandbag more or less, yeah, I’ve seen it both ways, I guess, a lot of sandbagging, especially in the enterprise space. But yeah, like your thought about the fact that more or less experienced reps may be more prone to overestimating the size of a deal because they won’t understand the negotiation that’s taking place to get the deal closed.

 

Greg Dalli  29:32  

Yeah, and you know, the other thing I would say is, it’s not particularly surprising, but I think that  also is affected by the metrics that the company manages their reps to during the quarter. So companies that really care about pipeline coverage, you’re not gonna get as much sandbagging because reps are pressured to bolster those opportunities because they need a certain, you know, multiple coverage, you know what I mean?

 

Andy Paul  29:57  

I think you serve as a counter against thought was, you know, this. So we’ve got these percentages of coverages we want to have, or, you know, multiples of coverage we want to have multiples of in the pipeline. And whether it’s five or seven or, you know, situation dependent. But then we all see the reports we all see the research done. That’s saying anywhere from 50 to 1 I saw last week, 80% of qualified opportunities and pipelines don’t close or turn into no decision decisions. Which means that the coverage is a myth anyway, because you have that much fallout out of your pipeline to deals that never close, or at least don’t close on that go round. So, you know, they reach some no decision point, then the coverage seems like a bit of a myth anyway.

 

Greg Dalli  30:46  

Yeah, I guess I didn’t come on. You look like you know, I could argue that the coverage does work because it factors in those kinds of stuff that will never close. But I would agree that in general the idea of managing pipeline coverage is probably not the best way to go about managing your teams.

 

Andy Paul  31:05  

So Greg, we’re in the last segment of the show, I’ve got some standard questions I ask all my guests. And the first one is a hypothetical scenario where you, Greg, you’ve just been hired as VP of sales at a company of sales have hit a rough patch or slowed down and the CEO is anxious to hit the reset button, get things back on track. So what two things could you do in your first week on the job that had the biggest impact?

 

Greg Dalli  31:32  

Um, good question, I guess the two things that I would do is I’d want to understand how my managers spend their time. So I’d probably work with them to figure out you know, how they’re, how they’re leading one on ones, what they care about, and where their blind spots are. And then also, and I’d also be interested in figuring out from our customers, what they don’t like about our product and so to do that, I probably end up talking to customer support. In my experience, I think those people kind of have the best idea of what customers don’t like about the product. So I would say meet with customer support and meet with my managers.

 

Andy Paul  33:15  

Yeah. So, okay, that’s interesting. So, all right, you say you’re not very good at sales, but we just have a few rapid fire questions for you about sales. So when you are out selling your own services like Clara’s Designs, what’s your most powerful sales attribute?

 

Greg Dalli  33:35  

Listening? I would say that listening to people’s tones and the way that they speak is probably my best asset. Just because I think of me as being more of an auditory person, I think, being able to hear peers in people’s tones. What is really important to them and what is more like a problem that they’re repeating because that’s something they hear a lot but don’t really believe in it. I think being able to hear what people truly have conviction is, is probably my most powerful tool. 

 

Andy Paul  34:07  

So who’s your direct sales role model or business role model? 

 

Greg Dalli  34:18  

I would say probably a business role model would be my father, I think, you know, he was the first one in his family to go to college. Yeah, you know, growing up kind of looking in the heat or something like that I think of when I think about, you know, wanting to do more with my own life. 

 

Andy Paul  34:34  

So one book, what’s one book you’d recommend every salesperson should read?

 

Greg Dalli  34:40  

Thinking Fast and Slow. I think that, you know, you don’t necessarily need to be an expert in behavioral economics or anything like that. But I think that understanding your own biases, you know, case in point forecasts, and things like that. Understanding your own biases, I think, is a huge reason why successful salespeople do well to understand what they’re good at and what they’re not good at, and they’re honest about that.

 

Andy Paul  35:05  

Okay, so last question: what music is on your playlist?

 

Greg Dalli  35:11  

I mostly read and listen to audiobooks, but when I do listen to music, say probably like blink 182 or Metallica or something like that.

 

Andy Paul  35:52  

So Greg, thanks. Friends, thank you for joining us this time. Remember, make it part of your day every day to deliberately learn something new to help you accelerate your success and easy way to do that. Make sure you don’t miss any of my conversations with top business experts like my guest today, Greg Dalli, who shared his expertise about how to accelerate the growth of your business. And if you enjoy accelerating, then the value we’re delivering them. Please take a quick minute right now to leave your feedback about this podcast on iTunes, Stitcher, wherever you listen, it would be very much appreciated. So thanks again for joining me and 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 for more information about today’s guests, visit my website at AndyPaul.com