Understanding Your Customer Comes First with Pat Morrissey [Episode 747]

Pat Morrissey, SVP and GM at Upland Software, joins me on this episode.


  • Pat Morrissey explains customer revenue optimization in the complex B2B selling world at Altify (Upland Software). Their value proposition is about the intersection of strategy, methodology, and technology.
  • Upland acquired Altify to change from a sales enablement perspective to a strategic value proposition for the head of sales, with capabilities to help activate the revenue team and generate customer outcomes.
  • Rethink your go-to-market model and your methodology. The renewal is at least as important as the first sale. Do we understand what problems the customer wants to solve? Can we articulate how we will solve them?
  • Selling conditions are changing quickly. Instead of working out your strategy to get a customer, consider the customer’s strategy and how you will help them fulfill it. Pat shares a case study of working with Workday.
  • Andy recalls being part of a large team selling mainframe computing. Sales methodology is headed back in the direction of team selling.
  • Do you understand the prospect? What is your customer’s personal win? If you understand the person, you sell from a genuine place for a meaningful win. What’s in it for the customer? Selling is a business of human connections.
  • Have the humility to know what you don’t know. Falsely assuming you know everything destroys your credibility. Act in a way that the customer perceives as persistently relevant. That’s how to become their trusted advisor.
  • In each interaction, get the customer closer to making a decision. In a pipeline review, ask the seller what value their prospect needs next to help them make a decision. Is the seller defensive about the question?
  • Customer revenue optimization is grounded in methodology. What outcome do we expect and what value do we deliver at each step? Do we understand the numbers? Pat shares a customer case.
  • No matter what sales methodology you use, you have to look at the underlying behaviors that are captured and decode which behaviors go with sales results and impact.
  • Coaching helps to develop skills over time. Everyone deserves to be coached. The top performers tend to be those who are most comfortable with the human elements of sales. Better humans are better salespeople.
  • Communication is one of the most important sales attributes. Do your sellers receive coaching on human-to-human communication? Would counseling improve sales numbers? How long is their onboarding?