How to Get Your Sales Team to Adopt Your CRM Tool, with Timo Rein [Episode 371]

Joining me on this episode is my guest Timo Rein, Co-Founder of Pipedrive, which is one of the leading CRM systems for SMB (Small and Midsized Business).

Key Takeaways

  • After about a decade in sales consultancy, Timo Rein co-founded Pipedrive in 2010, to help salespeople around the world to manage complex sales processes.
  • Timo grew up in the Soviet Union, which collapsed when he was a teen. The fall was hard on his grandparents and parents, whose pensions were lost. Timo was excited to be part of the nation of Estonia, independent again in 1991.
  • Timo looked at the sales management tools available in 2000, and after a costly implementation for a business, found his sales people were still using sticky notes, instead of the CRM.
  • Customers asked him about putting analog-style tracking tools into software, and that started them on the path to creating Pipedrive, as a tool to benefit salespeople.
  • Pipedrive’s model is self-serve SaaS, so anyone in a company can use it. In some cases, management sees this usage, and makes it an enterprise purchase.
  • The look and feel of Pipedrive is unique. It attempts to strike the balance between functionality and simplicity. It is a daily sales productivity tool, not just a reporting tool.
  • What management wants, at the end of the day, is to sell in such a way that the focus is in the right place, most of the time. Pipedrive helps salespeople focus on the right opportunities — more on sales, than on engagements.
  • The intent of Pipedrive is to close deals by the process of moving a contact from prospect to customer, helping you control your activities, to become more successful in sales.
  • You can look at sales productivity mathematically. Performance is measured against results for a given period. Tools are productive if they move you towards results.
  • Instead of focusing on the average sales cycle length (a result), if management saw the sales hours going into the cycle, they could focus on sales hours and actions, (controlled factors), to reduce the sales cycle length.
  • Simplicity of use of the tool is important to getting the salespeople to use it. If it is not being used, it is not helping. If used, it helps performance, but the next step is helping real sales productivity.
  • Business software was once considered difficult and clunky, but is now becoming consumerized. Categories of tools are blending. The more functions one interface can address simply, the better chances it has for adoption.

More About Timo Rein

What’s your most powerful sales attribute?

The process of finding the tool, and getting it up and running, on your own.

Who is your sales role model?

A number of influencers, but anybody who dares to be themselves in sales.

What’s one book that every salesperson should read?

The New Common Denominator of Success, by Albert E.N. Gray.

What music is on your playlist right now?

The Beatles, George Ezra, Thomas Leeb, The Byrds.

Episode Transcript

Andy Paul (AP)

It’s time to Accelerate. 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 will help you accelerate the growth of your sales, your business and most importantly, you. 

Hello and welcome to Accelerate. I am excited to talk with my guest today. Joining me is Timo Rein. He’s the co-founder of Pipedrive, which is one of the leading CRM systems for the SMB, the small midsize marketplace tomorrow. Timo, welcome to Accelerate.

 

Timo Rein (TR)

Hello, everyone. Andy, thanks for inviting me.

 

AP

My pleasure. So, take a minute, maybe introduce yourself, fill out that very sketchy introduction I gave, maybe tell us how you got your start in business?

 

TR

Yeah, absolutely, we built a sell software, which is called Pipedrive, to help people around the world to manage complex sales processes. And started that business about a six years from now, or six years ago, sorry, in 2010, after having done about a decade or 12 years of sales consultants in training business, being one of the three partners there. And before that time, I was just pretty much a student doing professional recruitment work aside. And even before that time, I was really a kid in union. Right about the time it sort of collapsed as well. And yeah, that’s pretty much me going backwards.

 

AP

So, as you mentioned, you grew up as a part of the Soviet Union, in Estonia, which is now an independent country. What was that like? I mean, how did things change for you when the Iron Curtain came down?

 

TR

To be really honest, I think most of the changes affected my parents more or next generation more than me, because when I was about 15, 16 years old, that’s when it happened. And that’s, I think the age, when you are a teenager, you’re kind of getting away from home and you’re learning the life anyway. Right? So, you don’t really recognize what the system is because it’s all new to and then, but my parents, I think they went through a very difficult time. They had lived, worked about 20 odd years, and then suddenly everything, as a system, point of reference changed. And I think even worse, for their parents or my grandparents who had worked like for a whole long time, and then realized that oh my god, now we– for example, the pensions and the retirement period for them became really, really miserable, just because there wasn’t any continuity there, and then the country was starting anew. But other than this it’s been great, being a part of not only building a company, but also being part of a country being built. I don’t know how much I’ve contributed. But I’d seen that from the beginning, when the country regained independence in ‘91. And then what’s it become right now.

 

AP

Well, I mean, you employ a fair number of people in Estonia, so you’re obviously making a contribution. So, what was the impetus to start Pipedrive? What was the drive? What was the hole in the market you were trying to fill, or the pain point you’re trying to solve?

 

TR

Sometimes look back. I don’t think we were very wise, sometimes we referred to the other co-founder and from sales side as to stupid salespeople. I don’t know why, but we kind of think that way when we are in a group of technology people, then it kind of makes sense more. So we just try to be really good in sales, and by the fact I did get into sales not thinking that I should be a salesperson, I didn’t really think that that’s my thing, but I somehow got sucked into this jobs and then later on realized that well, that’s what it is now. So having done sales for about 10 or 12 years in a sales consultant and training business, we had different tools for sales management ourselves, because obviously, when you want to be really professional anywhere, you will have a habit of using some cool, good tools to help you kind of not control but to secure your success, and also get the sort of the effect of repeated success, and take off some of the low, just repeating stuff over and over, when you have a good tool, you can avoid all that. So, we looked at different CRM tools at the time, early 2000, target act, and then dynamic salesforce. And we did actually implement dynamics in a company, which was about I think, 50K US dollars to do for a small company, about 15 to 20 people, that was a whole lot of money. And the problem was that we didn’t notice quite early on that the people don’t actually want to use it, even though the idea was that it’s probably one of the best sales tools around the time. It should help us it’s very functional, but the salespeople like us and other guys, you could see that they wanted to sell but not use the product. And then, instead of, implementing it and fully utilizing that money and getting some return on investment, all that good talk, we actually post it notes in the walls and we did use spreadsheets, forecasts, and these sort of thing. And then we realize that we’re not the only ones we thought. At first, we thought that we are the weird people. But then we noticed that all the customers that came into our office and we asked, “What CRM you use?” And they said, “we have something, but people don’t use it.” And then they noticed that some of the analog world tools that we had, and they said, “Well, that would be cool, we that could really be useful if we could use it if it was a software”, and then we started sort of,  looking at each other’s like, “Hey, what’s going on here?” And I don’t think we were much smarter. We just at one point noticed that we don’t use the tool that we have purchased for about 50K, it cost us a fortune, and we don’t have a tool that we could find on the market. And I think that was the first time we realized that, maybe we should build it, but that was far from us being serious, because we really didn’t have that sort of experience as far as technology, as guys of founders go. So, that was the starting point.

 

AP

That was the starting point. So, when you were saying, “Look, we want to build something.” And this is a question. I’m sort of speaking as a statement. But was it your vision is to build something that the salespeople would use to help them sell more? As opposed to the perspective of most CRM tools that salespeople have it’s a command and control tool for management.

 

TR

Yeah, it kind of goes that way in businesses, is that money and effectiveness starts to drive all these sort of decisions. And quite often, that’s the way it goes in businesses, that you buy things at the accept level, you sort of try to implement that at the mid-level, and then the users would have to try to use things at whatever level they are. And, you can see that, the tools were built that way. And obviously, we felt that the tools we didn’t find—they were not built the way that we thought they should be built for the salespersons benefit. And again, one other thing that we didn’t think very clearly, it was a clear indication that we felt that that’s a really good way to build a business, that we’ve completely sort of neglect or ignore the ultimate decision maker. That we knew so much about in our days of doing enterprise business and consultancy. But we thought that a product like that deserves to be out there and all the salespeople should have a chance to use something that you feel at least that helps you along however much, but you feel that helps you along as you’re using it, rather than you’re using and feel that somebody else gets the benefit, and you just have to do it. So yeah, that was one of the mindsets that we had about it.

 

AP

And has that happened? I mean, is that the way it’s turned out with the product that the usage is being driven by the sales reps?

 

TR

Yeah, maybe oddly a little bit but it’s been great to see one thing, and I think it has to do also with the emergence of SaS businesses as a business model, is that people at one point in enterprises anywhere really, we have gotten so used to it, but have had the chance now to try things out, like free trials and all these sort of things. It was very difficult to do when you had a on premise or downloadable product, but now you had a chance to try things out for about 30 days, or 14 days, or whatever. And then we were thinking that, if people could do that in sales, they would have a chance to quickly evaluate whether this is for them, and whether they could feel the help. And that has happened. So, we’ve been able to serve customers from all around the world since we started and, we’ve been trying to grow with our customers, which is not an easy road. We knew that if we wanted to build a very strong product, it has to take us a number of years, a number of different functions to really blend together in a way that they would be functional from a point of view of a of a manager or executive, but also useful from a point of view of a salesperson. So, that’s quite a challenge.

 

AP

Where are you finding in the adoption of your product that maybe it’s– or get the sense that maybe in the early days that there was a lot of , gorilla update in their adoption, let’s say on the field salespeople, or the inside salespeople, that were buying this for their own account? And then eventually, the sales manager to wake up one day and say that half of sales team had Pipedrive. Do you still see that pattern of adoption taking place, as opposed to somebody buying an enterprise solution?

 

TR

Yeah, we do. And I think it’s mainly because our model largely is self-serve, which means that people who pick it up could be anywhere or anyone in the company, and we do have this sort of pattern in which you have a large company, and people from different areas in this company, they start using it or even in the same team. You have cases when people use it and put it on their own credit card even, sometimes happens, and then the question becomes when the sales manager or a sales executive will be aware of this or be notified, and what they will do about it. So, sometimes we’ve had cases where people just approach us and say, “Hey, it looks like our sales guys really want to use it, and let’s discuss this a little bit.” So, the conversation starts there. And then and sometimes we don’t see this because it’s so self-served, and they sort of make up their minds and get up and run it on their own.

 

AP

So, there’s no shortage of CRM systems for targeting the SMB marketplace. So, what sets Pipedrive apart from the other ones that are out there?

 

TR

I mean, there’s also– which means that the alternative routes my must be from one end to another, and then probably also a number of alternatives which are very similar to each other as well. And I do think that while one answer could be the look and feel of everything while you use the product, which I think is true in any sort of consumer type of product that we make the decision on, sometimes just by how it feels and looks, because most of the products do the same functions anyway. But I think that—and I am throwing a maybe here, maybe there is the ability to strike the balance between a tool being useful or functional, if you will, and then still being simple enough for you to consider this as a day to day productivity tool, instead of just becoming a sort of weekly reporting tool for somebody else. And that is difficult to do, because sales, as you know, it’s not just one thing that you do there, you have to be a master of many different things, you must be a master of communication, you have to be a master of scheduling, and you have to have a lot of your time, and then you have to be a master of the sales battles in your head, in a format of sales pipelines, and target lists, and everything. And then somehow, you need to sort of find a way where you have a tool where you can do all these sort of things. And I think this is where it gets tricky, because you could have all the functionality and then lose the simplicity. Or you could have a very simple tool, which just does lack a little bit of functionality and then you don’t have it either. So maybe this intents to strike that balance, which has worked, at least to some degree, so that we have a pretty good number of people, as our customers– there’s one proof, I think. And the other thing, which I’ve heard from several people in the management seats in different companies is that, what we want at the end of the day is we want to do sales in a way that our focus is in the right place most of the time, it’s going to wander at times, because we’re human beings. And then we think like, “what if that deal comes through?” And then we’re going to get lost a little bit from the basics, but I think the sort of thing that I’ve heard repeated most has been– well, people using Pipedrive that has helped us change the culture in our sales organization for the better, for what we wanted to be, which is, people focusing on what matters most. And I think what connects the people in sales is what the sales opportunities are like, what the sales forecast is like, and we’ve been trying to address in that area more than any other.

 

AP

Yeah, it seems like one of the virtues of product– as I look through to what you’re doing is the simplicity, you talk about the total a focus on them. Let’s say a mission, which is to sell more. Let’s say, as opposed to– I’ll call it an engagement focus, you got all these CRM systems integrating all the social contacts and so on and so forth, into them, but that sort of seemed to get lost. It’s also like, become more top of funnel oriented as opposed to, let’s see the through to completion oriented.

 

TR

Yeah. And that’s my experience in sales. Is that you could had, or you could have– I mean, you could have all the help in the world, all the information intelligence about certain prospects and customers, then you could have people helping you, schedule your things and all these things. But at the end of the day, if you really want to get things moving in sales and move deals towards a close, it requires you to perform. So basically, it’s up to you, whether you actually are able to take the steps and complete them with a prospect and get these agreements. And this becomes simpler than it actually feels like when you entered this job. And there are certain things that you have to do really well in order to be successful, but you have to do it in a repeated basis, basically. So yeah, we probably lose– if you compare the functionality or features of Pipedrive to any other alternative tool, I think we lose, because of having less features, but I do think that you need to strike that balance.

 

AP

Yeah. Well, it’s certainly a case where less can be more for sure. So, you talk about there’s a proven sales methodology that drives Pipedrive, which seems to be very activity based. So, what is that process? And how does it improve outcomes?

 

TR

It’s how you look at sales really. Like I said before, I entered the world of sales with a clear conviction that nobody buys anything from me. So, that’s my starting point. And then, as I went through it, and try to learn and doing different types of sales, well, I got to the point where you can view it from at least two very separate angles. One is that sales is the deal, then you close it, and that’s what sales is about. Or you could view it from the angle of the process, of how you get from A to B or, from prospect to actual customer. And I’ve always noticed that when I do this work, or when I witness somebody else do it, is that all the people who are able to double down on the process and really try to control what they can control, which is just the steps that they take in this process, they will eventually be more successful, even if it’s not like outright obvious from the get go. As you spend more time, the difference will be there. Whereas when you have that focus on the results, it can sometimes get quite ugly, either the customers and prospects have these stories when they can see salespeople approaching them, with dollar signs in their eyes and everything. Or you just you get really sidetracked by, like I mentioned before, by certain really big deals and all these sort of things, and then you want to close, and you think that the closing of the deal is like the everything. So yeah, we’ve tried to design the whole process of sales and Pipedrive is pretty much based on this, and this is all around the process rather than around the result, which is definitely out of your influence and your control in sales, as you know.

 

AP

Yeah, I agree with that 100%. I said that in my books, that’s why I completely focus on control what you can control, don’t worry about the outcomes because you’ll cheat the outcomes if you decide to control, worry about your process and the elements that you can control. So, one key thing that’s really of interest to me, and especially when I talk to people like yourself, that have started companies producing CRM systems and the marketing, there’s always a lot of talk around sales productivity and you make reference to it. And when you’re marketing materials about make– I think the statements make time by increasing sales productivity, to me that’s a phrase that gets tossed around pretty casually. So, what is sales productivity in your mind?

 

TR

Yeah, you can look at it sort of mathematically, which for me, some sort of performance required in order to get the results at the end of the period, whether it’s a day, or week, or month, a quarter. So, productivity in that sense could be defined as anything and everything you do that helps you perform, and helps you become productive, let’s put it that way. Because, what you produce from a world of productivity is the results really, without having that direct control, and when I think about productivity tools, CRMs can be these, they may not be, if they’re not helping you be more productive, something completely different could be a productivity tool. I do remember that when I did door to door sales once, my productivity tool was my sort of gold car, where I just listed the different types of action that I was supposed to be doing, a certain amount of them, and I just kept track of how far along I am as I went through my day, so, that helped me be productive. I knew how much I had to do and how much I had done, and my internal GPS, if you will. And, when you ask this question that openly, what is sales productivity? I think that’s the first thing that comes to mind, obviously. Then you can go a bit deeper and then start talking about hard work and smart work of peace in this productivity, and you could talk about pipeline performance, metrics and everything else, but I would just keep it as is right now.

 

AP

I asked the question because it’s a topic that I’ve written and spoken about. I feel like we as an industry sort of missed the boat, talking about sales productivity, because if you look at an economic measure of productivity, it’s going to be a measure of a unit of output per the investment of a unit of input. And so, we measure it economically, we talked about dollars produced per hour of labor input. And so, when I look at the ultimate measure of productivity for sales, given that you’ve got a fixed amount of time that people can be available to sell, to me it’s a revenue dollar per hour invested of sales time, real selling time. And then you’ll know, since you know what your inventory of hours is in sales hours, you’ll be able to really measure the true productivity of your sales team. But it doesn’t seem like there are any tools out there that really do that. I mean, I’ve worked in environments where we did all that measurement by hand. So, I knew as a VP of sales, exactly how many dollars per hour somebody could produce, and we were selling large, complex million dollars plus systems. But in that case, I could really tell, because we collected time down to the 15-minute increments of what people are working on. It seems like, until we really start focusing on productivity from that perspective, all we’re really talking about is performance, but not true productivity within sales. That seems like that has to come from the CRM vendor, is probably the best tool perhaps for that, in terms of measurement to start.

 

TR

I agree, I do think that that can be done at the very simple level, as you put it, and it can become from a CRM vendor or tool provider, but only can happen if that tool obviously gets used and then you can make sense of what’s going on, like you said, you measured the day in 15-minute increments. So, whatever the tool is that people use, while you measure these sort of things, then you get the data. And if not, then you just don’t have the data. So, I think that a good sales management or CRM tool, whatever you call it, has a pretty good chance of helping people, especially in more managerial or executive positions, figure out what’s the productivity that could be there and what is actually happening.

 

AP

Yeah, because I think if you give me examples, I do this. When I speak to groups, I’ll ask the CEO, “What’s your average length of your sales cycle? They’ll say, “well do 60 days” I say, “Okay, so how many hours of sales time is that?” No clue. No clue whatsoever.

 

TR

Because they didn’t dig in.

 

AP

And I’m like, “Well, how do you measure productivity if you really don’t know the answer to that question? The ultimate productivity”—Now talking about performance, people say , “we’re getting our, our pipeline statistics out of our CRM system. And, this is our average length of our sales cycle, let’s reduce that”, as opposed to saying, “Yeah, in three months we’re only spending five hours at the time, or maybe spending 100 hours at the time.” How do we get that down to 60 and reduce? If we do get that 60, we’re going to reduce those 60 days to 30 days.

 

TR

Yeah. And what you’re referring to is the level in that you actually have some sort of control over, which is your own time, and then your actions within that time.

 

AP

That’s what triggered the thought as you’re talking about, because you can control that.

 

TR

Yeah, in that sense, you can. Adding that sort of a robust framework or tool, which sort of understands that that’s the only thing that you can really do and have an influence on. I mean, that’s the goal for us, is to help people get a better sense of what they have in their hands in terms of time, and how many hours, and what they can really do. But at the same time, building a tool for people in sales is not the easiest job in the world. There are a lot of different challenges that we tackled really well, but I completely agree on the fact that a real productivity has to force us to talk about the action that you can take, and then you can see what’s the difference.

 

AP

Yeah, and back to your original point, that simplicity is the key, because people have to use the tool. That to me is the big barrier of adoption with CRM that everybody talks about, the reason of why it’s not being used is not just because salespeople think it’s sales managers prying into what they’re doing, but it’s also the perceived complexity of using it.

 

TR

True. I think salespeople are probably the most brutal force, but also probably the best force to signal the usefulness of such product and whether you have a productivity tool in there right now, in their hands. And if it’s not being used, it’s probably not the best productivity tool for you, either your business or team or more, at all. But yeah, it gets used, it’s probably helping people be productive. Now, the question is, how much does it help you to figure out the actionable sort of action metrics within yourself?

 

AP

So, our last question about CRM systems is, what do you see the future holds for CRM systems? I mean, how do you see this tool evolving? Because there’s has been an explosion of “sales enablement”, sales enablement technologies, in addition to CRM, let’s say, outside of CRM system, people tend not to lump CRM into the enablement pool. But I think we’re seeing some beginnings of overlap and so on. So, where do you see the future being for CRM?

 

TR

Well, I think some of the things, it’s quite evident from now, which is just great. First of all, there used to be almost like an aura around business software, that when you said business software you referred to something very clunky, and something that was really difficult to use, and all this stuff, and everybody kind of had to do it. But, but nowadays, I think the really good trend there is that all this type of software gets more and more “consumerized”, even if it’s being produced by companies which have been out there for a long time. I think that’s a really good trend. And I think that continues, try to make sure that people in sales actually get a good benefit out of it. It won’t be sort of straightforward, but I believe that trend continues. Then the different barriers, which, some years ago were quite evident that you had different communication tools, and then you have different time management tools, and then you had some other statistical tools or whatever. I think there’s a great chance of these things blending into. I’m not saying one but more or less, I mean, from the perspective of people in sales, they don’t really kind of feel the difference, they probably have a tool in their hand, which helps them carry out the jobs and tasks that they have, and they don’t really know how it’s done. But somehow you can have all the unnecessary tasks and helps you along. So, but from a perspective of people building these tools, I think that’s what happens, either through integrations, or however things are built, the barriers or the borders between different types of tools will be less and less. In order to create a tool which helps salespeople because– that is an area which– I just see that this is where it’s going, because otherwise there’s no way to win the salespeople over.

 

AP

Yeah, I think it presents an interesting challenge to think about, relative to the industry because, on one hand there’s this temptation to say, “Yeah, these tools become more consolidated”, but the more consolidated into one platform, I’d say these multiple tools become– then this whole issue of simplicity starts coming to the fore again, and if you lose the simplicity, then you’re going to lose the adoption, you’re going to lose the usage, you’re not going to get the data that should be coming off and  the benefits of using it. So, I think it’s not an easy question for the industry to really sort of answer is– how do you logically stitch these together in a way that still makes it usable by the salespeople?

 

TR

Now, I do think human beings want to know the future. And then I think we only smart really in retrospect, but we want to see the things ahead and then so– I’ve had a chance to visit one of the professional guitar makers and he had a number of different tools all made by himself, and then he used them and you can see that. I think he had four or five distinct tools that he was always using to make sure that he can get the most quality out of the guitar that he was making. And he had honed them over the years, and it could easily be that you still have few products or tools in your hand if you do sales. I can’t imagine everything melting into absolute one device hardware or software blend. But what has to happen one way or the other is that tools are simple enough to use, so that you don’t have this perception of complexity and— you have it, and then you drop it, because I’m not being paid to use that, I’m being paid to actually talk to people, get them to agree on things and make deals happen. So, I’m not going to use something that I perceived to be complex. So, that’s the first challenge and has to continue, to give them something simple, but then the question becomes which also referred to, is that how can you build things which are perceived to be as simple but then you don’t have the necessary integration pieces so the different tools are brought into one for people in sales to perform the jobs. I mean different tools from different sort of kind of categories like time management and communication. So, quite interesting to me is how all things are pushed forward. So, I believe a lot of nice creations are there.

 

AP

Yeah, I love your story about the guitar maker and the tools that he used that work, because I’m sure there are machine tools or automation, we have some sort of automation solution that he could probably bring to bear in his business, but this is what works for him.

 

TR

Yeah. And the reason I brought this example it’s– we can think of sales that only– there’s only a need for a human being and some super machine which makes that human being also very super, but guitars are made also in factories where everything is taken care of, I’m not saying robots but they’re sort of machinery. But then sales, a lot of these sort of complex sales world where the stakes are high, right? A lot of stakeholders, long sales cycles, and high value of any single deal it’s perfectly made, and I do think that all these sort of negotiations will happen forever and ever between human beings. I mean, that’s where we feel we make the right sort of agreements, then the question is what to use, then you’re free to use anything. So that’s why I said that, guitars could be built in a factory, which means that there might be a very good industrial tool that everybody could use and make these sort of things happen. But then you have these single units of salespeople, and they use their own tools and they decide what works best for them and they have the craft and what comes out is a successful result because sales is– a lot of it is emotional that happens, and it’s done with a high degree of confidence, and somebody else might be doing exactly the right things, but without that sort of confidence and nothing happens, it’s quite interesting to see.

 

AP

Very much so. And now we get the last segment of the show where I post some standard questions to all my guests. First one is a hypothetical scenario where you’re the star. You, Tim, have just been as VP of sales at a company whose sales have stalled out, the CEO and the board are anxious to hit the reset button get things back on track. So, what two things could you do on your first week on the job that could have the biggest impact?

 

TR

Yeah. I would definitely not be the person to go in and say, “Hey guys”, and know it all. He’s a cookie cutter. But if this scenario involves a history of some sort, and performers, also from the company, but people in this company, really in this team, I would try to, first of all, find out what has worked when things worked. And often you get that, the simplest thing you can do is just have interviews with people, and then talk to them, and try to make sense of when things were clicking what normally was made happen, or what were the things that people actually did. And that probably helps you, or helps me at least, to map out the sort of process that people follow and when things work and as certain steps they take that lead to next success and eventually to overall. But I think the problem is that you don’t really know which people have the best indication of future success because that hasn’t happened. I think the question for me would be to realize, was it more that people stopped doing the things that have had gotten them to be successful overall? Or was it more that some of the conditions outside of the control, competitive landscape, or what just changes in the whole economy, in the lives of the of the potential customers or in the product sphere, or, in the marketing of the product, whatever. I mean, just trying to see what happened in the whole big scheme, and then try and make sense that we at least are doing our best first, like we put the performance that is necessary, and then measure these actions, that we actually do it because it’s, I think it’s very easy to sort of get carried away or we have a very difficult situation. We need to change everything. Sometimes that should be the case, but getting back to the basics will be my first thing, to sort of realize what had been the basics that I learned about success, and then trying to see if we can get the people that were able to do it to sort lead the way, and people who maybe were not as able to see if they can join forces and if not, then obviously, also you can have a case, or that you should hire some other people to join and hopefully form a good team with some new blood in there as well. But I think the beautiful thing is that you can get a lot from the people who have done the job and have done a really good job as far as performance. But the trick there is not to look at the results only but also the action that went in, because in different sales, jobs, sometimes it can easily mislead you.

 

AP

Okay, great answer. So now it’s just a few rapid-fire questions. You can give me one-word answers or elaborate, if you wish. So, first of all is when you Timo are out selling Pipedrive, what’s your most powerful sales attribute?

 

TR

Attribute, being—

 

AP

Strength.

 

TR

I would say, if it’s really me, and if it’s me selling by trial, then the most powerful attribute would be the process that we’ve set up for you to find this tool on your own and get it up and running on your own, and us never having a time to meet. That’s kind of tricky.

 

AP

That’s okay. We’ll go with it. So, next question, who’s your sales role model?

 

TR

I’ll just go with no particular person. I do have a number of people that are very good sort of authors and speakers, but I would go with anybody that I’ve seen who dares to be themselves in sales. It’s quite tough to do in the world of sales, but where I’ve seen doing that, first of all admiration and second of all, I’ve quite often seen that done successfully.

 

AP

Interesting. Second person recently that has given that answer like that. So, what’s one book you’d recommend every salesperson read?

 

TR

Like, honestly?

 

AP

Yeah. It doesn’t have to be a sales book, could be any book.

 

TR

No, no, no. I have to go with the one that influenced me most during the most difficult sales cicles that I’ve done, which was a booklet, which was called the Common Denominator of Success by Albert Gray. It was not supposed to be a book. It’s actually a speech from more than 100 years ago. But this booklet, in a very short format, contains so many things that I’ve gotten wrong in sales personally, that I’ve been able to get right again, after reading it. So somehow, less is more in that sort of experience for me.

 

AP

Excellent. Okay, I’ll look that up. Okay, last question for you. And sounds like you’d have an answer because it sounds that you’re a guitar player. What music is on your playlist right now?

 

TR

I can listen to the same old songs over and over. So ever since I first listened to the Beatles, I can still listen to it still on a playlist. But the very recent one, not the very recent one but, George Ezra, one, and a number of different finger-style type of guitarists, like Thomas Lead, jazz players. I added The Bert recently because I found their story and their journey very interesting, to kind of get more knowledge about.

 

AP

Okay, so what type of guitar do you play?

 

TR

I have acoustic, and I also have some kind of traveling electric that I could take and put it in a luggage. Very short version of that, but yeah, because acoustics are six strings, even though I’ve added 12 strings, which I found amazing, but I don’t have it right now.

 

AP

Do you play in a band?

 

TR

I don’t. I just play on my own and try to see if I can take five minutes of my day a week. Sometimes it happens, sometimes it doesn’t. But I’ve been in the sort of, school-type of band or whatever you call it. So that has happened.

 

AP

All right, fair enough. Trusting one demo. Thanks for joining me, tell people how they can find out more about you and about Pipedrive.

 

TR

Andy again, thank you for inviting me, it’s been a pleasure. And you know if you are in sales and if you do feel that you need some kind of tool to help you control your process and make sure you keep your head at what is really the most important thing for you to do next, then go to the website, pipedrive.com and sign up for a trial and see if it works for you. It has worked for a number of different businesses regardless of industries. But it’s also always important for you to see if that’s the case for your business model and your industry.

 

AP

Well, thanks for being on the show. And remember friends, make it a part of your day, every day, to deliberately learn something new to help you accelerate your success. And one easy way to do that is to make this podcast a part of your daily routine, whether you listen to commute, in the gym, or make it part of your morning sales meeting. That way, you won’t miss any of my conversations with top business experts like my guest today, TR, who shared his expertise about how to accelerate the growth of your business. Thanks for joining me. Until next time, this is AP. 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 guests, visit my website at andypaul.com.