Kevin Kruse, Founder and CEO of Leadx.org, host of the Leadx podcast, and author of 15 Secrets Successful People Know About Time Management: The Productivity Habits of 7 Billionaires, 13 Olympic Athletes, 29 Straight-A Students, and 239 Entrepreneurs, joins me for the second time on this episode.
Andy starts with a Vince Lombardi quote in which he connects winning, thoughts, beliefs, words, actions, habits, and character. Character is a word we don’t often consider in sales. The foundation for trust is your character.
Kevin says the single biggest challenge facing sales organizations today is getting through the noise onto people’s schedules. Kevin contrasts cold calls of the past to getting a prospect’s attention today if they have no urgent need.
There is a current pushback against accepting good enough or mediocrity. The buyers and organizations are not making time for innovation. This makes sales harder than before. Provide tremendous value to break through.
Andy says sales is still hard, not harder than before, but different. People didn’t pick up the phone then any more than now. There is too much focus on activities and not enough on serving the customer. Scripting and stacks block authenticity.
AI and machine learning will take over simple interactions. Reps who can connect with people will have greater value to their customers and their own companies. Others will be let go. Be a lifelong learner and invest in skills.
It’s hard to predict the future, but it’s clear that a rep who can connect with a prospect and inspire them to take action will continue to be a valued team member.
Kevin thinks many leaders today manage well but forget to lead. Having fewer employees will require fewer leaders. Managers should be coaches of people, not managers of activities. Kevin talks about Leadx AI research for managers.
Should we be recording every sales conversation for AI to analyze for coaching? The technology exists.
There is an AI app that will listen, transcribe, and provide call coaching in real time, but coaching is not about call tactics. It is about skills, strategies, and improving behaviors. The best reps have high EQ, which is hard to coach.
Andy recommends reading The Coaching Habit and learning its framework of seven questions. Kevin discusses employee engagement, and how a manager can foster it.
80% of knowledge worker jobs are under threat from automation. 80% to 90% of people will have jobs, but many jobs will be minimum wage. Universal Basic Income may be coming as a social safety net, but public funds are insufficient.
Kevin published “51 Tips to Win at Life (Reflections On My 50th Birthday).” Kevin covers two of the tips: purpose and impact. Kevin finds that life is more than money, but the more value (impact) you provide, the more income you will receive.