How Modern Day Ride-Alongs Build Successful Sales Teams, with Antonio Garrido [Episode 780]

Antonio Garrido is CEO of Sandler Training in Miami and author of a new book titled, The 21st-Century Ride-Along: How Sales Leaders Can Develop Their Teams in Real-Time Sales Calls.

Listen and learn why ride-alongs are a powerful yet underutilized development tool in the sales leader’s toolkit. We’ll get specific on how sales managers can plan and execute a successful ride-along, why they’ll need to allow their reps to fail, and how to not fall victim to The Lone Ranger-Syndrome.

 

Episode Transcription

Andy Paul: Antonio Garrido, welcome to the show.

Antonio Garrido: Thanks ever so much for the, uh, for the invitation. I am very happy to be here.

Andy Paul: Well, good. So where are you joining us from? Wherever, actually more accurately. Where are you? Sheltering in place?

Antonio Garrido: Sheltering in place where I live, which is in, uh, in Miami. I know this probably wasn’t the accent that you were probably expecting, but, um, yes, I home is Miami these days.

Andy Paul: Very interesting. So how long have you been there?

Antonio Garrido: So came here to set up the company seven years ago. So I’ve been here for seven years.

Andy Paul: Seven years. Okay. And you said you come from the Northeast of the UK from Manchester.

Antonio Garrido: Originally from Manchester. So Lyft, Lyft, most of my life there, I lived as a very young child, um, in, in Spain, hence the name Antonio Greta, right? It’s not, it’s not a terribly British name, but I lived in the UK for most of my life. And I’m such a, and, and, and, and an old chaps that I’ve been in the UK for ever such a long time, but.

Miami for seven years. It’s and it’s great. I absolutely love it here.

Andy Paul: Oh, good. So you don’t miss the Manchester weather,

Antonio Garrido: Except that, um, uh, we don’t have, we certainly don’t have any hurricanes, uh, in, in, in, in Manchester. And we do have threats of them very often in Miami, but so far we’ve been, we’ve been really fortunate. We’ve, we’ve dodged everyone so far. Um, so yeah, that’s, that’s our biggest, that’s our biggest worry. I think it’s more of a worry, I think then covert.

Andy Paul: Well, yeah, mathematically perhaps though, you know, we’ll see how the, we’ll see how my Florida is going forward and, and how they manage this whole thing. So, um, so, well, thank you for joining us. We’re going to talk about your, your book. You’ve written a book called the 21st century right along. And, um, so what was the impetus for writing this book?

Antonio Garrido: So. This is, this is my second book. Um, and this book, particularly, I originally like lots of people come through. Um, let’s say senior C-suite. Uh, directorship leadership management through a variety of routes. Some people come through the route of accountancy and some people come through the route of manufacturing and I’ve always ever, I always have been, uh, sales and marketing.

That’s the route that I came through. And so that’s always been my, um, my expertise and my experience. And so, um, in, in the organizations that I worked for and then ultimately ran right along, was a very key and integral. Part of the whole, of the sales process. It really was a stamped in, in the DNA of the organizations that I worked for and then run.

And therefore it kind of became stamped into my DNA. It’s my Mo for doing things. And yet. Despite that despite the massive advantages to ride alongs, um, they don’t seem to be as, uh, uh, as, as, as widely used as they should be, that the people are the, either love them or they hate them. And, and I thought the ride along has got a rather bad rap.

And so I wanted to. Set right. Some wrongs. Uh, that was the first, uh, uh, impetus, I think. And also just to make people very much more aware of the, uh, of the power of ride alongs and to consider them. It was interesting when the book came out, the book came out about 15 minutes before the world went into.

Lock down mode, right. Stay at home and shelter. Right. And I thought to myself, I had a genuinely, that was what the timing was like. And I thought to myself for about 15 minutes, I thought this is, is this the unluckiest timing of any book launch in the history of man? And then. Interestingly enough, what happened was I, um, one of my largest clients sent, uh, sent an email to all of the employees and the $17,000 for them and basically said, um, All truffle was banned.

All travel, all travel was to be, was to be halted. Right. Um, and, and this is about six, seven weeks ago. Um, so I was thinking, crikey, is this the worst time to launch a book where sales managers are not going to go into the field and, and, and actually get in a car and travel around and see people and about.

15 minutes after the email came from the CEO to say that all travel is banned, the VP of sales for that organization. It was just, it was as quickly as 15 minutes, Andy wrote an email to all of the sales function and said, This is great news because all of the time that we would book travel and then drive to an airport and then wait for an airplane and then travel on the airplane and then land and then hire a car and then drive to wherever we’re going to go.

And then do all of that in reverse, because ultimately you have to go home. All of that time now, which was unproductive that time we can now use for our ride alongs to get our ride alongs properly embedded, uh, virtually of course, but now let’s use that time to do it better than we ever have. And that was, it was unprompted.

He did it, you know, he and entirely did it on his own. So I had a very bleak, very dark 15 minutes and I thought, Oh no, of course it’s the best time in the world ever to release a book on ride

Andy Paul: Well, I mean, so as I go, I’ll tell you, as I started reading your book and I. Yeah. I knew in advance what I was about, but I started digging into it. It’s like, yeah. I mean, COVID not withstanding, there’s still, the bigger question is, is given the trends in sales. Yes, they’re still field sales forces, but increasingly seeing more and more virtual selling and, and we have to expect to some degree.

Um, more and more of the field teams will be either hybrid or virtual teams going forward. Is that yeah. Find the right along itself is really better thought of a server, a concept rather than actually getting in the car and stopping and going and visiting prospects, which, you know, my career as a manager and as a seller.

Yeah. I mean, I’ve had sellers all over the world, you know, doing ride alongs in Asia and the UK and as well as U S and so on, um, don’t get killed in one in the UK. Um,

Antonio Garrido: You were driving on the wrong side of the road probably.

Andy Paul: no, I wasn’t driving

Antonio Garrido: Oh, right.

Andy Paul: guy that, the guy that worked for me, we were in a hurry to, we were going from, I think, London out to Stevenage, I

Antonio Garrido: Okay. Yeah. I’ll DIY.

Andy Paul: and, um, This really tiny Austin mini and yeah, he was tailgating people in front of us going probably a hundred kilometers an hour and there’s like, know two feet of metal and nothing else between me and the certain deaths. So, um, he had got a great performance review except for his driving, but, um, So, yeah, we really have this question is, is our ride alongs even relevant?

I think it’s, it’s not whether the relevant, it’s just sort of the form is whether we’re doing virtually or physically. We still need to be done.

Antonio Garrido: exactly. Exactly. And if you think about it, you know, we all kind of, when we think of a ride along or a field accompaniment or, you know, whatever language that the individual or the organization uses the principle of the ride along, whether it’s. Face to face actual virtual, you know, the, the, the platform, if you like the mechanism, doesn’t, it doesn’t really matter.

And you can ride along, you know, You can ride along a customer service call, right? So that’s a desk, right? While you’re listening to a call and you, um, or a recording of the call and you are giving somebody some feedback. If you think about, if you think about a pilot in a flight simulator, for example, that’s a ride long word, somebody roleplaying something and, and trying to get better.

And. That’s a ride along too. So the can be real ride alongs and they can be virtual ride alongs and they can be, um, it could be a roleplay ride along. It there’s lots of ways to do it. The leadership can, can, you can ride along in a meeting and I’m in an internal meeting, right. So the CEO can go to an internal meeting and that’s also right.

Andy Paul: but I think, I think the point that that’s really important to, and this is a trend that’s happening already in, in sales with the technology, with conversational intelligence and platforms and so on. Is that, is that we’ve moved from this idea of saying, well, let’s coach things. Based on anecdotal, recall of what happened to let’s coach people based on what actually happens.

And so the, the value of the right along in the physical sense is getting a copy in the car and going visiting prospect’s site. Yeah. I love to do that. If I had a seller that was in trouble and back in the early days of my sales management career, when it was more local territory, I’d say, yeah, yeah, John, let’s, let’s get your keys.

We’re going to go make calls. Right. Um, numbers are down, let’s go make calls. And, but yeah. Now you can start do some of that. Yeah. So through the tools we have, you can do a lot of it. And I think that the, Mmm, you’re just going to see more of that going forward. I think we’re. It’s really experiential. And I saw something online, not that long ago, but some, uh, sales coach, executive sales coach, I was making this point in a LinkedIn post is like, Hey, all you video trainers that have curriculum is you can’t help people cause you’re not there in the moment.

Antonio Garrido: Right,

Andy Paul: Um, no, I don’t think that’s absolutely true, but there, there is no substitute for actually seeing people in action or hearing them in

Antonio Garrido: Yeah, indeed. And you make a good point because what often happens in the book, we do explore, you know, the good and the bad, right. And the good habits and the bad habits or good behaviors about behaviors, but what you just said, and which was, you know, In the past where you have said, Hey, your numbers are down.

Let’s go and spend a few days at the field that that’s typically what prompts a ride along typically. Right. And that’s not what I want to ride along to be. Um, I, you know, exactly, as you said, it should be a very standard part of somebody’s. Um, Emma, I remember, uh, one of the things that we used to talk about when, when I was first learning, how to, you know, how, how, how to do really good ride alongs, cause there’s lots of good habits and bad habits, as you can imagine.

Um, we used to have an expression. Which was, um, it was, it was linked to, you know, we’re, we’re, we’re going to spend some time in the field with somebody that’s struggling to try and help them. And then the person that was quote unquote struggling, they would then very, very much stage manage the day. Right.

Right. And so we used to have an expression, which,

Andy Paul: sales goals.

Antonio Garrido: right. Okay. So, so, um, So in the book we talk about, I think it’s one of the, either in chapter one or chapter two, and I, and I discussed as the world thing, does the queen think that the world smells of paint? Right. So, you know, the nice old lady on the stamps, right?

So, uh, So she’s a very busy lady and everybody knows that she’s, you know, when she’s going to arrive. And typically, um, when the Queen’s is going to arrive, they spruce the place up rather don’t, they, they give everything a fresh liquor paint and they make sure that everything looks lovely for the Queen’s arrival.

And so what often happens is a sales manager will see that somebody’s struggling. They’ll call them up and they’ll say, Hey, you’re only at 80% of your. Numbers at the moment are we come Thursday, I’m going to I’ll come along and ride along with you. Right. And then suddenly that person jumps into action and he puts together a very stage managed day.

Right. And so we’re always, we always used to say to ourselves, it’s the world’s smelling of paint here. Is this all very staged monies, right? Is

Andy Paul: the point is the inverse is the word is just as bad. The one I described is, you know, if somebody is 80% numbers and it’s like, Hey John, grab your keys. Let’s go make calls because to your point. Well, this is a surprise attack. And B is, is you say, let’s go call on company, ABC. Who’ve been calling on it’s like, well, yeah, but does this, does the seller?

And maybe this is part of the problem, you know, he’s not prepared to have that call. Right. And let’s go force it on and let’s go do something that’s forced on the customer, which is counterproductive from sales

Antonio Garrido: Right, indeed. And then we also find, we also find with that one, let’s say we have a sales individual who’s very tenured. Right? So there’s people that come in here a long time, very experienced his numbers are okay. Let’s let’s, let’s just imagine we have that chap. And then the manager says to him, Hey Frank, um, you know, We come Thursday, let’s spend a couple of days together out, you know, you and me going to see some clients, the very tenured guy.

Thanks. What have I done? Why, why am I in trouble? I don’t need, what have I done? And he goes, no, no, nothing. I just, you know, want to spend some time with do, and then they take the tape great affront tattered. And they go, well, um, well, I I’ve been doing this 30 years. I don’t need anybody to come and tell me what to do.

But if you think about. If you think about, we were just talking before, before we posted the record button that I’m a Manchester city funding. You’re a Liverpool fund. Right? So my, uh,

Andy Paul: you, by the way.

Antonio Garrido: yes. Okay, thanks. We’ll get you next year. Right. But, um, so my manager, yeah. Right. There’s a chap called a pet YDL are in yours.

Yours is Juergen Klopp,

Andy Paul: Spaniard for you? Yes.

Antonio Garrido: Right. Yes, indeed. So yoga and clock, right? So, um, uh, or it doesn’t even have to be soccer. Think of any team baseball, football, basketball, any, any Australian Olympic women’s curling. Right. Anything, anything you can think of whatsoever? Um, the coach, right? So you’re going to have a pep Guardiola, right?

They. They see every single game that their players play. Right. So not only do they, not only do they say in the dressing room before, before the game, right before the event, here’s our game plan, right? Here’s our plan for, for this particular. Um, encounter, here’s what we’re going to do. The, the practice that to destruction in advance of the game right there, he’ll do lots of motivational con have lots of motivational conversation.

Then they’ll the game will start and they’ll do lots of, you know, maybe kind of time outs if it’s American football. Right. And they’ll do lots of course corrections. Then at half time, there’ll be of course correction and at the end and the coach is very active in what’s going on in, on the field. Right.

And. And, and, and if a coach ever said to the owner of the team, Hey, listen, I don’t know that I’m going to come to the game on Saturday. I’ll read about it in the sports papers, you know? Right. I’ll read the report in a couple of days. Well, he wouldn’t be very long for this world. Would he? The owner of the team wouldn’t stand for that.

And beyond that, here’s another thing that the pep Guardiola or Juergen Klopp never do, right. Is, uh, is when someone’s about to take a free care or about to do something really important, they don’t say, uh, can we just stop for a second? They put their boots on and run onto the field and actually take control, right.

And kick it that that never happens. And we see that happening all over the place where a sales manager will see a sale. Individuals struggling. Right. And they’ll jump into rescue and saves the day. Right. And so, and again, think about the coach coming back to the Manchester city, Liverpool thing that, um, the, the, the individual that the players on the team, they actually.

Actively want the coach to be there. They actually say, give me feedback, right? Critique, not criticism, but how do I get better boss? Right? That the coaches, there are all the training events, right? He’ll have one on ones with them. They’ll have reviews with them. They’ll work on issues. They’ll see something that happens in the game today on Saturday.

And they’ll be on the training field on Monday, trying to work on any particular weakness. Right. And if you use a sports analogy, the manager is super cool and relaxed, and it’s actually his job to do all of these things and the players welcome it. And that’s just the way the world works. However, coming back to the sales environment, there are lots of sales managers that, that are nervous about doing the drive along.

They don’t think it’s part of their job. They think they can just read monthly reports or look at the sales numbers, which. Frankly what we call lagging indicators. Right. But, but, and don’t get involved in, in paying attention to the leading indicators, which is the right behaviors, attitudes, and techniques of the salesperson, actually during the call, right.

They don’t pay enough attention to the leading. They only pay attention to the lagging. That just reading the sports pages and deciding how to train the team, which is bonkers and the players on the team. Aren’t the slightest bit offended. If the manager says, Hey, listen, stay behind. Let’s work on some other stuff at the end of the right at the end of the session, they’re perfectly okay with it.

But then you get these tenured salespeople who think I don’t need to, uh, I don’t need to bring my boss around with me. What do I need? What do I need that level of oversight for, you know,

Andy Paul: Well, yeah. Okay. So, so many issues that you raised there and I think, and you refer to some book, you know, you compare sports to sales, which is perhaps. A tired cliche some ways, but otherwise I think it’s really appropriate. So first one you say, yeah, sure. Let’s look at, um, a game of soccer and we’ll talk a soccer is, is you and I both love soccer is, is to me the game itself, the match it’s played as like.

Yeah. It’s like, you’re the next to last call before you close an order, right? It’s sort of the decisive moment in the transaction. It could be the, the bake-off presentation. It could be, you know, it’s the sort of the most significant seemingly most significant event. And I say, seemingly, okay. And yeah, generally people will watch that the coaches will watch the game film and see what they did and so on.

But in soccer they pay. If you listen to and believe what you’re reading, it’s actually pay more attention to watching the tape of practice, what takes place during practice. And that’s what dictates, who starts the match and who makes the bench and so on which I draw the comparison to those. Looking at what’s happening in practices.

Um, you know, your initial conversation, a discovery call, a qualification call, you know, an initial presentation or something, things that are perceived by sales managers as sort of being less important. But from an actual standpoint are more decisive than that big meeting upfront in terms of actually getting the order.

Right? Cause if you do a lousy job at discovery, you end up talking to a prospect or qualification, you do it. You’re spending all this wasted time with somebody that’s not going to buy. And so I see this all the time with ride alongs, but also in the virtual ride along is that, you know, managers are paying more attention, listening to calls that they consider as being sort of decisive important as suppose the ones that really make a difference.

Antonio Garrido: Yeah, you make a great point. And so every organization worth its salt has their own sales process. And everybody in the sales team and sales management team, the leadership team in any organization, it should be crystal clear. Well, the sales process for that particular organization looks like, and the reason I make start by saying that you’ll be, you’ll be amazed.

How many, uh, companies that we. Coach and train. And when we asked the sales team to, to write down what their sales process is, if we ask 30 people, we typically get 30 different processes, right? So, first of all, let’s assume let’s just work on the assumption, which I know is a flawed assumption because that’s a whole different conversation for another time on you.

But if we work on the assumption that everybody, everybody is very clear what they are. Sales process looks like. And some of it will, maybe some of it may be some lead lead generation, maybe some development, maybe then as you say, some discovery and quantification, maybe then some, you know, control and close and maybe then some delight and then expand the relationship.

Right. So if you just take that as a 30,000 feet, there’ll be some form of that. What we would like to happen is that the ride alongs are. Quote unquote, the most average days that you could get, which will be a mixture of all of those things over time. Right. So if any particular sales manager. Is spending any time, quote unquote in the field, either virtually or, or physically that they make sure that there is a good spread of stuff, not just closing, closing, closing meetings, so that, so that the individual sales guy just is just in search of the attaboys.

Right. And then again, the world is. Spelling of paint when that’s happening. So we want a good mixture of study at the early stages, the middle stages and, and the end stages. And we also want a good mixture of clients, right? A good mixture of what, what that individual sales professionals, client base looks like some large and some small, it’s gotta be the most average typical day.

And it’s a bit like the. The fi you know, the, the, the, the pilot that goes into the, um, uh, into the flight simulator, right. What they don’t do with the pilot and the flight simulator, they don’t say, Hey, Frank, um, here’s what we’re going to do. We’re going to, um, Takeoff from JFK and we’re going to land in eight hours in London, Heathrow, and then the pilot, doesn’t just taxi in his flight simulator.

Take off, sit there for eight hours, right. And clear, perfect weather. And then London and Heathrow, eight and a half hours. That’s not what happens in a flight simulator. What they want to see in the flight simulator is how does the pilot deal with easy stuff, difficult stuff, right. Very regular stuff and very unexpected stuff.

What does the pilot do when

Andy Paul: all the engines go off. Yeah.

Antonio Garrido: right. The hydraulics go or they get hit by lightning. That’s what they do in the flight simulator. And that’s what they do on the training grant. Coming back to what you were saying right on the training ground. When Peck, Rhodiola and Juergen, Klopp are spending time with the, with the team, they don’t say let’s play a game now let’s play another 90 minutes game.

Now let’s play another 90 minutes. Again. They don’t, they do things in small, small. Packets of feverish activity. Right. And that’s what we want the, the manager to practice with his people when he sees a weakness or when he, or she sees a weakness, practice that in between, give them lots of focus, make sure that that’s an area that’s being developed and then see.

Evidence that things are getting better in reality. And that’s that whole process of what do we need to focus on? Why, where, where, where can we improve it? So, so, so the, the, the actual, the actual ride along if done properly turns into coaching sessions, right. For the, for the, for the individual. And so it needs to be a mixture of things.

Andy Paul: Well,

Antonio Garrido: and go ahead.

Andy Paul: so I’ve got this question that this one, really, this one bugs me and I ask it of a lot of people on the show and, and. It relates to what we’re talking about because you list early in the book, the top six responsibilities of sales leaders supervise slash manage direct reports, recruit new staff, train, develop people, coach their team to higher levels of performance, mentor the best and the brightest, and then sort of the catch all, all the other crap

Antonio Garrido: Yeah. Right. Okay.

Andy Paul: though.

You don’t say crap, but, um,

Antonio Garrido: I do when I don’t

Andy Paul: you’re more, you’re more refined than I

Antonio Garrido: No, no, I do say crap when I’m writing it in the book, all the other stuff.

Andy Paul: each of these are sort of a unique distinct skillset. And so go back to the soccer example again, beg the indulgence of regular listeners. Cause I use this example with some frequency is if you look at the coaching staff of Liverpool, and so we’re going to say, look.

Professional sports teams are designed to extract the best performance out of the men and women that are the players on the team. And as a result, increasingly over time, these staffs, regardless of the sport, but we’ll stick with Docker is there are specialists. That are designed to help their they’re hired on the staff to help people improve performance in one or more dimensions, take a soccer team.

They’ve got a fitness performance coach, like a nutritional health performance coach. They’ve got a skills performance coach livable has a throw in

Antonio Garrido: Yeah, yeah. Right? Yeah. Free kick. There’ll be a free kick. There’ll be a goalie coach.

Andy Paul: So they have a goalkeeper

Antonio Garrido: Right. Of course.

Andy Paul: got none of that in sales, we assume that you, as a sales leader are the Jack of all trades that you know everything about coaching and mentoring and training.

And on top of that, we don’t train them in any of these skills.

Antonio Garrido: This is the issue because,

Andy Paul: how do we expect people? So, I mean, you, you talked about a client with them, 17,000 employees, and I guarantee you they’ve got a VP of sales or CRO. They’ve got some directors of sales. They may have a director of sales enablement. Who’s not trained to train people.

It’s just a job. They give people it’s like, and they’ve usually come up through sales themselves is when a sale’s gonna start acting like they’re managing a performance or based organization and brings train people or bring male specialists, then that know how to get the job done.

Antonio Garrido: right. Well, the world-class the best in class in the world class organizations like Liverpool and Manchester city. Right? They do.

Andy Paul: But not the sales organizations, then there were world class sales. I mean, I always, I like using the example is, is, uh, if you ever watched the show billions about traders, uh, hedge fund traders and so on is, you know, like critical employee, there is the staff shrink the staff psychiatrist

Antonio Garrido: right. Okay.

Andy Paul: because you know, the guys I am down, I’m serving a slump.

You know, this is what I’m going through.

Antonio Garrido: right.

Andy Paul: Why wouldn’t you, if you were on a big, you know, you’re not gonna do a small company, but if, you know, if you’re running a multibillion dollar organization, why aren’t, why don’t you have a, uh, motivation expert as part of the sales management team? Why don’t you have a shrink, why don’t you have somebody understands human performance and how we have to, we don’t do any of that.

So why, why is that the case?

Antonio Garrido: Well, do you know, it’s, it’s a great question. And I often say, and we train, we train and coach people all the way through that whole sales customer service leadership. We, you know, we coach and train all of, all of those. Different distinct areas. And I genuinely believe in, and we may, we may, we may just be about to lose some listeners, right.

So if there’s any way of measuring it, now’s the time to turn the turn, the measurement device on. I actually think that sales management is the hardest role in any organization and I’ve run. Sales teams and I’ve, and I’ve run companies, right? And I’ve been a sales, sales, sales, sales, professional, too. It’s the hardest role because just as you say, they have these six areas to, to operate in and here’s what they do.

What they get very good at is they get very good at managing stuff and they get very good at doing all the other stuff because, because. Because that’s the example that they’ve seen because they know how to manage things and they’re even has it in their title, right. Sales manager. Right. So they think that they have to manage stuff.

Here’s the thing, most of what goes on in the sales professionals had is conceptual, not technical. And so the solution isn’t management, the solution is coaching. And whenever I am, I’m recruiting for my clients. Um, if anybody has had any coaching experience and I’m recruiting for a sales management position, I’ll take that person over, over practically anybody because because management sales management more than anything else, isn’t.

It isn’t goal setting or expectation setting or, or monitoring or supervising or the use of direction or authority. The best sales managers in the world are the best coaches. So come back to pet Rhodiola. Right. So, yeah, he’ll have specialists for things, but what, what pep Guardiola. Cause pep Guardiola.

Isn’t that good? A player, neither is Jurgen Klopp. Neither is tiger. Woods is coach. If tiger woods played golf against tiger woods, his coach, we’re mixing our sports now, but I don’t even know who tiger woods his coach is. Right. But, but, but I’m pretty sure, in fact, I know for sure that the tiger woods would wipe the floor right.

With, with his coach because tiger woods is a significantly better player. Than his coach, but what is his coach? His coach. Raises tigers game by being a terrific coach. And if you can, if you’re a good coach, all of the other things that we’ve talked about, um, are less important because most sales people’s issues, I’m going to say 90% and that isn’t in any way measured or proven, right.

But 90% of sales guys issues, and I’ve been running sales teams and training sales teams for 30 years. Right. Most of the issues are conceptual and therefore at their root requires coaching. The issue then is, well, what do we coach them? And you can’t get what needs to be coached from. A monthly report or a sales report.

The coach has to see it. They have to see the issues for real in real time, combat, not just in a role, play with the manager, but in real time situations. And the only way to, to see that, to know what needs to be coached is to be present when, when they fall off the bike.

Andy Paul: Well, but the, my question was a little, a little different though, right? Because on the sales side, increasingly see sellers. Handling specialized sales roles, SDRs BDRs, AEs, customer success, and so on. So we’ve said, look where these are specialized roles and we’re going to train people and give them the experience.

Hopefully it becomes specialists and we can be better at that. I don’t know. That’s a whole separate conversation about how we do that, but that’s the trend that we’re on.

Antonio Garrido: Yep.

Andy Paul: But then we get to management. It’s still frontline manager, sales, sales manager, or sales leader. Nothing’s changed. I mean, yes, they’re sales enablement departments and sales operations that, but they’ve existed sort of in one form or another, we’re sort of rebranded those, but those people that are directly responsible for those, those performers,

Antonio Garrido: Yeah,

Andy Paul: we haven’t changed at all.

And so I find it. Curious that and wondering the motivation, you know, for big corporations, like I know we’re off track of the ride along, but it sort of plays to it as is. Yeah. We want to specialize our people, but we don’t specialize our manager. We still have the expectation that our VP of sales, that our director of sales, our frontline managers, that they they’re experts in all these things,

Antonio Garrido: Keep it on the eye,

Andy Paul: virtually impossible.

And they can’t all, they can all go out and rely on. Let’s go hire your firm to go coach them because that needs to be integrated into the organization.

Antonio Garrido: right. But so you are, you are exactly right. But I come back to that, that the guy that coaches tiger woods, how to play golf is not as good a golfer as tiger woods. Right. Okay. Because here’s my point. So what he is. Is a great coach as opposed to a great golfer. So, so the guy that’s going to improve the performance of any particular sales speciality, I’m going to argue so long as at the heart, they are a great coach.

They don’t have to be as, as the coach and expert at the thing. Uh, they don’t have to be better at that. Right. So I

Andy Paul: Well, but here, but here’s the point though, they have to be an expert at coaching this is C so, right. So. My here’s my point is we’re expecting you laid out six things that they need to do. We’re expecting to be expert in all those. so my point is,

Antonio Garrido: Yeah.

Andy Paul: uh, the way a sales organization should be staffed at the top is yeah.

Maybe a VP of sales. And then, yeah, I’ve got, instead of having in addition, mate, thanks for frontline managers, I’m a have three specialized coaches. All they do is coaching.

Antonio Garrido: That’s that would be perfect. That

Andy Paul: They don’t, they don’t manage, they just coach that’s their job. Or we have people that, you know, that their job is, is to improve their performance.

You know, I see performance as being different than coaching because these days in sales, so often coaching is really about opportunity coaching, right? It’s not about personal development, skill development. So on it’s about how do we win this deal? Fine great. That that’s coaching, but, and you spell it out.

There’s mentoring the best and the brightest, I think you mentioned should mentor everybody, but why don’t we have, yeah. A staff psychiatrist. I can help people through the ups and downs. Why don’t we have, excuse me, we can certainly, as big companies can certainly afford that, but because that’s why I’m always sort of struck by it’s like, well, what’s the disconnect here because, because they just don’t.

We can’t say they don’t invest in sales, but they really don’t invest in sales. It’s like,

Antonio Garrido: Yeah,

Andy Paul: we’re going to, we’re going to specialize. These roles were, but you know, we’re going to give lip service to training and we’re gonna have lip service. These other things. We’re not really serious about it. I mean, as long as we get, as long as we start hit our numbers, that’s great.

But yeah, somebody coming from a performance professional would look at sales and say, Which, you

Antonio Garrido: yeah. Yeah.

Andy Paul: you, you know, the, for instance, people may, may or may not know if you want to become a professional soccer coach in Europe. There’s this incredibly rigorous licensing process. You have to go through multiple courses, multiple stages, very detailed,

Antonio Garrido: Yeah.

Andy Paul: nothing similar, nothing even close to approaching it from a sales standpoint

Antonio Garrido: No, nothing.

Andy Paul: why not?

It exists. We can do it.

Antonio Garrido: Yeah, let’s start, it let’s start a campaign, but it’s even worse than that because here’s what happened. They go, who, so the old manager goes for whatever reason, retires or moves on. And I think, okay, so now we needed a new manager who should we pick? And then typically they go, well, who’s our best sales guy, Tom.

Right? Tom, you’re the new manager, right. Just because he’s the best sales guy. They think he’s going to be the best manager, which is entirely wrong. Cause imagined. So the best, you know, if you said to. Somebody who’s the best soccer player in the world. And they’ll say Lee and El MSCI, some lunatics will say Christiana, Renaldo, but, but, but what they’re actually, they’re actually answering the wrong question because, because,

Andy Paul: Saudi

Antonio Garrido: are messy.

What’s that. Sorry. Yeah. Right. So Leanna MSCI is not the best soccer player in the world. He’s the best left footed striker, right? It’s not how good would he be in goals? Terrible. Right. Cause he’s five foot four. Right. You know, most girls these days, right. Over seven feet. And you can’t, you can’t coach tall as I’m constantly reminding my clients.

Right. And so. So you ha just, did you say you have, you have these specialists, but imagine if you know that the coach retired and then you go, okay, well let’s get the job. Who’s the best player on the pitch. Lean are massive, right? Your, your now the coach, will he be a good coach? No, but we just assumed that he would only, he may be, but just because he’s a great player, doesn’t mean he’s going to be a great coach and they do the same companies do the same all the time.

They say, let’s look at. But the sales for our new VP of sales are our top sales person. And that’s such a mistake because it’s not based on skill sets, competencies, you know, uh, um, it’s not based on behaviors just based on again, lagging indicators. He may be, we may be the best sales guy in terms of dollars or revenue.

Cause he’s got the easiest clients, right. He’s got the, he’s got the plum account, right. So, Oh gosh, you and I could talk all day on

Andy Paul: I was going to say you pulled, you triggered me on, on this whole topic, so yeah. Aye. I’ve ranted on this long enough. I do want to get back in the time we have left on and not to dismiss the importance of, of the specialized skills needed to coach cause yeah. Where that’s a huge gap that exists in sales and stay tuned.

The show will, we’ll talk more about it, but.

Antonio Garrido: can invite me on again and I’ll tell you how to coach salespeople one day.

Andy Paul: Well, let’s finish off with that because, you know, there’s, we talked early on about, okay, now we’ve got the virtual right along and you lay out on the book, a process for planning the right along and you say, you know, oftentimes the typical problems are there’s no pre-call plan a there’s no agenda necessarily for the call.

Um, sales manager and the seller haven’t served ironed out what role they’re gonna play on the call? Um, yeah, it could be the manager jumping in so on. So when you look at it from a virtual perspective, okay. You have to go through a lot of the same steps, I would think so. So layout Hmm. Yeah, sort of the, you call it a contract, but if you’re not talking about.

A seller or a sales manager just monitoring the call, you know, being silent and just monitoring what you, lot of them do. It’s a great way to listen to what’s going on, or it’s listening to a recorded call, but if you’re actually gonna participate in the call, I said, use it. You call it contract language is, you know, pre-call agreements.

So spell those out for us.

Antonio Garrido: Yeah. So I think the. Coming back to that whole, the whole principle of the sales process. I don’t believe this is a firmly held belief of mine over the years, but I don’t think that any sales person sales professional should go into a call without first. Arranging with themselves in some way, some kind of pre-call plan.

Right? It’s

Andy Paul: Absolutely. A hundred

Antonio Garrido: So I, to the extent that if any of the people that I train, we train a lot of them can’t produce a precall planner for a particular course. Like, there are incredibly serious ramifications. So it’s like, it’s that important? So we need a pre-call plan, which has, you know, before the, before the event, if you like, um, then we need to do the event and then we need to review the event.

Right. So there’s a precall plan. And we do that. We will execute the plan and then we’ll review the plan. But in the pre-call plan, there are certain elements. There, there are certain things as a minimum that we have to have understood not only what our objectives are or what our fallback objectives are and what our agreement looks like and the agenda up front.

And there are lots of things talked about in the book of what should be really well understood before we invest. You know, the time and effort and energy and people to, to, to, to have this meeting. One of the, one of the agreements in that pre-call plan is what role is everybody going to take? Right. So from the selling perspective, is the manager there just to observe that’s, that’s a very credible thing for the manager to do is the manager there.

Um, to actually lead the meeting. And, uh, I’m not a big fan of those, but I recognize that there are some circumstances where that should happen or is it a joint enterprise? Where, where are we going to deal with some stuff up? The, it could be that the meeting is specifically. To deal with customer complaints or customer service issues and, and therefore, maybe somebody else is present.

So let’s agree not only what our objectives are and the prospect for the client’s objectives, but let’s also agree, uh, what role everybody is going to take. So that there’s. There’s no misunderstanding because what, the worst thing we want to do is just because I know the person is involved, that everything, uh, turn, you know, goes passionate.

Right. So, and we call this a, uh, an upfront contract, right. Which is talks about who’s doing what and why and where, and when is that really, really, really understood and make sure that that is understood before the day. Right. And also before the individual event. And then do the thing. Go ahead. Yeah. Yeah.

Andy Paul: is as a subtler at that moment. When you’re having this call and this happens too frequently, whether it’s virtually or physically is your manager’s not there to save you. You know, if you think this is a meeting, we’re going to have a hard conversation about something you need to have that hard conversation you need to.

Take the risk of looking bad in front of your manager, because otherwise, how are you going to improve? How are you going to understand how to have those conversations? It’s not good enough to have your manager jump in and save you.

Antonio Garrido: But that’s what they do, but that’s what they do. Yeah.

Andy Paul: I’ve been on both ends

Antonio Garrido: Yeah. And they shouldn’t, it’s the worst thing they can do. It’s the worst thing they can do.

Andy Paul: Yeah, because, Hey, they may not do it. Right. And, and B you should know the customer better, but John, the point of a ride along is for somebody to see you in action. And so whether it’s you’re on a zoom call or you’re in front of the customer, which these days you’re going to be on a zoom call is yeah.

It’s your meeting and as a manager, then you have to be willing to let someone sync. I mean, I’ve, I worked for a manager that he wouldn’t say a thing. If the meeting was going sideways and I was messing up, which I did on occasion,

Antonio Garrido: Right.

Andy Paul: he didn’t fix it.

Antonio Garrido: Love it. Love it. Love it. But you know,

Andy Paul: had to go. I had to go back and fix it some other time.

Antonio Garrido: Yeah, but you know, they, and, and the best ones do that. In other words, they don’t bail them out. They don’t, they

Andy Paul: people fail. It’s so important.

Antonio Garrido: Yeah. The best way. And do you have children?

Andy Paul: Yeah. Yeah. You, you met, you met one just bit earlier.

Antonio Garrido: Oh, okay. Okay. I wasn’t aware, but so the best way to learn how to not fall off a bike is to fall off a bike.

And because then you learn not what, what to not do to fall off a bike. And the parents. That doesn’t let go of the saddle and let them fall off the bike because they want to save them and protect them and look after them. And it doesn’t do them any favors. Right. Right. And what happens is a lot of, a lot of managers think, well, I get the big books.

I got the big car I know best. And when they see their sales, Professional floundering. We think make way for the, you know, the talent’s arrived and then they jump in and save the day. Right. It’s called the lone ranger syndrome, right. Where they just wanted to see the village is all in distress and there’s bad things about to happen.

And they ride into town, shoot all the bodies and become the hero. And then they ride off into the sunset to do it again, right. Just to save the day. And that’s a terrible salesman. That’s a terrible sales manager, but they, but they do it all the time.

Andy Paul: less generously. We might call that the helicopter parents.

Antonio Garrido: Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah. Right. Okay. Who are just wanted, who wants to like watch over them at every second of the day, but, um, yeah, so, so poor managers jump in, they think it’s an ego play. They do it to stroke their own ego largely. And, and, and, and, and in the military, they have an expression, which is. Leave your stripes at the door.

Right? So, so don’t, we, that’s why we have a pre call plan that basically says what’s my role in this, mr. You know, as the sales professional, what’s your role as a sales manager? Because if that’s not very, very clear, what happens is people start to jump in rescue, take over, take control, which comes back to PAC Rhodiola saying to a Guerra.

Who’s just about to take a free cake, but let me show you how it’s done right in front of me. Uh, 80,000 fans and 4 million people on tele. Right. And so they pep Guardiola wants to do that, but he doesn’t do that. Neither should the sales manager.

Andy Paul: Right, but this is my point about why we need in sales organizations to have professional coaches, not managers, because then when you do a ride along, the thing is when, when you bring your manager on a ride along, and it’s true, whether again, virtual or in person, and you introduced it there on the call, the customer has an understandable expectation that somehow the manager’s going to contribute to this meeting, right?

Why are they here? And you can set the stage all you want. They’re just here to watch. Right. They’re just here to watch, but they carry that manager title. And so the customer, yeah. Assigns more important to them. We’ll look for them. Whereas if we were smart as a profession and said, look, we’re going to have these professional coaches ago.

If you want a meeting with a professional coach and they say, yeah, there’s, they’re here to observe professional coach. No, I don’t work for them. There are,

Antonio Garrido: right, right.

Andy Paul: They work for our company. There’s here to make me better.

Antonio Garrido: Yeah.

Andy Paul: The customer wouldn’t pay any attention to

Antonio Garrido: No. And I do that for my clients all the time. I do that often where I will do a ride along and people look to men. So, you know, because they, they think I’m the senior guy there. So they look to me and I go, I don’t know, Frank, what do you think? Right. And keep deflecting it back to them.

Make it super clear that the other thing is that. If it happens with more frequency. So, so you don’t just see this manager wants every blue moon, right? Maybe once every three years, but you see him quiet. He him or her quite regularly, then they get used to that. They get used to your presence eventually.

It’s when you try and introduce the right lung, that’s never been done. It’s not part of the organization’s DNA. There there is resistance. And the resistance there is resistance all over the place. There’s resistance from the company because they don’t want their manager. They don’t want to lose sight of their manager.

They like seeing from the company, they like seeing the manager in the room. Right. So that they can go and talk to them at any time. Right. There’s resistance from the company because they’re like, why is this guy here? Why, you know, interfering there’s resistance from the sales guys. Like I don’t need this.

And, and so, but if it becomes part of the normal rhythm and DNA of the organization, Then, if it’s your standard emo, then there’s less resistance. There’s only resistance when you introduce it as new, it makes

Andy Paul: Right. Yeah. Yeah, no, I, I, yeah. Yeah. It’s it’s, as you can tell, this is the issue of near and dear that I’m passionate about is, is we are still struggling given all of our technology, getting all the advantages we have to help our sellers perform at higher levels. And, you know, even though we have relatively liked industry data about performance metrics in general, They’re trending in a negative direction and it just shouldn’t be the case.

And I believe that the rural problem starts with how we structured management in a very conventional sense. And we don’t recognize that sales really is more like sports than just the cliche of motivation and being resilient and so on. It’s about how we make people better. And there’s so much, so many lessons we can take from the way.

Sports teams that are performance-based organizations do it, and we’re not there yet. And

Antonio Garrido: I I think, yeah, I think sports and military, right? One of my, yeah, because the military don’t do anything without a pre-call plan or, or, or some kind of campaign plan. They don’t do anything with that. And then without that, then. Run the campaign or try and capture the Hill or whatever it is. And then they instantly review and that’s how they get better in the military, you know, in terms of what’s our plan, what’s our strategy.

Let’s execute it. It’s a very dynamic, uh, an in top gun, right? Not just the movie, but the real place called top gun. Um, they, when you think about what they teach the best. You know, they take the best of the best of the best fighter pilots in the world. So they know how to fly a plane, right. To top gun.

They, they, they know they wouldn’t get there unless they know how to fly a plane with a ratio. What they do is. So when you say to them a top gun, so what is it that you teach these guys? Right? And then they said, well, that world is, is, is filled with Volcker volatility, uncertainty, chaos, confusion, and ambiguity.

We teach them to deal with that by intentionally having a plan. Running the event and then doing the debrief and the debrief. This is the piece that surprises most people. And I’m not suggesting this in a sales environment, but just to, just to understand how the military, the, the, the value that they place on the precall plan.

Running the event and then the debrief they typically in talk on, they debrief every minute in theater and engaged action. Um, they debrief every minute in the air, typically about 45 minutes to 60 minutes per minute. That’s how intense that’s how that’s, how maniacally granular the debriefers. And that’s how you get people to be absolutely, you know, the best of the best of the best world-class um, uh, uh, Or the best.

So, so, so when you think about the ride along, what typically happens, another mistake that typically happens is everybody does the free call plan. Cause intuitively they know that’s the thing to do. And then they do the, they do the event, right? They run the meeting and then the debriefs, like five minutes.

And the debrief is actually where the real magic happens. When, when it’s like comparing what happened to what. Yeah. And it’s 30, 30, it’s 2020  hindsight vision. Right? Knowing now what we know when he said this, you said that what could we have said? Right. The magic’s in the debrief and that’s the piece that sales managers are typically the worst at.

Andy Paul: Yeah, well, again, we’re giving more, more tools these days to be able to do that things. They just have to, they have to use it and that’d be a whole different conversation about, about that. So unfortunately run out of time, but it’s been fascinating talk Antonio. So yeah. How, uh, how can people.

Antonio Garrido: uh, so just send me an email, I guess, would be the best thing to do. Would that be okay if I give my email address that? Okay, so, so it’s Antonio, which is antonio.garrido@sandler.com  I’d love to hear from you.

Andy Paul: Perfect. Right. Well, Antonio, it’s been a lot of fun and we’ll look forward to doing it again.

Antonio Garrido: Thanks very much. I believe it’s been a hoot. Thank you ever so much. Stay safe. Okay. Alright.

Andy Paul: Okay. And tell me to hang on for a few minutes while your files.