Use Small Data to Compress Sales Cycles and Increase Conversions, with Mark Ripley [Episode 437]

Mark Ripley, VP of Sales for Insightly, a CRM and project management system, joins me on this episode to unlock the power of small data, rather than big data, to test and measure the efficacy of your sales process.

Key Takeaways

  • Mark sold retail car stereos in college, and fell in love with sales. He got an early start in technology in San Diego. He is now at Insightly, where the goal is to bring CRM to medium and small businesses around the world.
  • In three years, CRMs have grown from 60 to 250, today. Insightly captures market share with its ease of use and simplicity. Insightly is the number one CRM globally for G Suite users, with almost half the market.
  • The CRM market is not saturated. There are many large and small companies not using CRM. What is the big fear many companies have about CRM?
  • Some of Insightly’s best features are the UI, and its integration into other extremely common tools, such as Gmail. Many Insightly activities are accessible through Gmail and Office 365. Ease of use makes adoption simple.
  • Mark notes three values for SMB pain points: sales productivity; organizing all activities for a world-class red carpet customer experience; and data visibility for managing larger sales teams.
  • Insightly CRM can help sales reps get a larger Return on Time (ROT). Automation manages drip campaigns and email logs. They are launching a call transcription feature this year.
  • Performance and productivity vary per market and industry. Activity and skills drive productivity. If you keep effectiveness the same, increasing activity increases productivity, in theory.
  • Mark sees through a customer lens and a salesperson lens. A good CRM provides pre-sale and post-sale service to grow the customer relationship through personal attention.
  • Mark uses the term small data. The smart use of data should yield tangible, digestible, and actionable results in a time-compressed fashion.
  • Accurate forecasting through the CRM is the next ambitious step for Insightly. CRMs will get better at putting more accurate forecasting at the fingertips of managers.
  • Present forecasting methods are tied to the stage of the client along the funnel, which ignores competitors. “You can’t measure probability with a yardstick.” Mark looks at history to predict outcomes.
  • Mark questions the wisdom in incenting forecasting. What problem does Mark see? It’s a very common thing to assume everyone on the team is forecasting the same way, but it is not necessarily so.

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

Episode Transcript

Andy Paul  0:35  

Hello and welcome to the Sales Enablement Podcast. I’m excited to be joined on the show today by Mark Ripley. He’s the VP of Sales for Insightly CRM and project management system. Mark, welcome to the Sales Enablement Podcast.

 

Mark Ripley  1:10  

Thank you so much for having me, Andy. It’s a pleasure.

 

Andy Paul  1:12  

Well, my pleasure. So take a minute to introduce yourself. 

 

Mark Ripley  1:30  

Yeah, back when I started I had a dream of owning my own car audio shop and a passion for it and built my own boxes and speakers and they went a blast doing it. But I fell in love with selling and even in retail. So did that and then got an early start in technology back in San Diego, like you and I were talking about earlier. And so I’ve been selling for, you know, probably 15-20 years and leading sales teams for about 6 or 7 years now. So currently at Insightly, and we’re building a world class sales organization and with with the goal of, you know, bringing CRM and adoption to small, medium sized businesses around the world, at scale, so we have, you know, over half a million customers today, and we’ll anticipate continuing to grow that.

 

Andy Paul  2:20  

So half million users or customers?

 

Mark Ripley  2:23  

So we have about 25,000 paying companies around the world. 

 

Andy Paul  2:36  

So how is it slightly different? There’s a bunch of companies but an explosion of technology into the sales space. And a lot of companies are focused on that sort of small midsize companies space and CRM. I could spend probably the next 20 minutes talking, just naming who they are. So how’s it slightly different? I mean, how do you differentiate yourself from everything else that’s out there?

 

Mark Ripley  2:56  

Yeah, I saw a slide recently that I think three years ago, there were 60 CRMs, depending how you define them, right? And today, there’s well over 200 250, some claim surprised? A few. Right? This is three years. So for us, the reason that we’ve been very fortunate and been so successful with SMB space is really two things. One of the most important things is the ease of use and the simplicity of the tool. You know, our kind of mantra is that the features and capabilities are literally irrelevant if people aren’t using them systematically on a regular basis. And it’s really got to be an enjoyable, wonderful experience. So that we’re really known for being the number one CRM globally for the G Suite users. So we have almost half the market share for G Suite users using CRM, so awesome.

 

Andy Paul  3:49  

And so even though they’re sort of solidly behind prosper, works.

 

Mark Ripley  3:54  

Yep, yep. That’s, there’s a marketing component to that. So it’s not completely organic. We’ve been absolutely organic the whole time and continue to have the number one market share worldwide. So ease of use. And then the other thing is for us in the marketplace, is we do pre sale, so organizations that do pre sale and post sale work. So services based organizations love our tool, because we have a project management element into the tool. So all the presale activity and conversations along with the post sale org activities and conversations all in one central system.

 

Andy Paul  4:32  

And that’s because our success teams then can use this when you say project management’s are really project management or really account management.

 

Mark Ripley  4:41  

It’s more project management, because think about advertising and media manufacturing consulting. Is there also one of our top verticals? Okay, so when they sell a client, that’s when the hard work starts. Sure. So you know, if you’re an advertising and media company and you signed a new client, you’re going to be interacting with that client for years to come and customizing their marketing campaigns to be testing. So there’s a lot of tasks and project management elements to that. And our tool works exceptionally well for that.

 

Andy Paul  5:13  

Okay, well, no, let’s drill down a little bit. So there’s sort of mythology around that basically, you know, everybody that needs some CRM has one, and certainly is not true. Right. I mean, given that certainly given the new entrance you described into the marketplace, there’s gotta be a demand there that it’s what are some of the I mean, needs that are unmet? And, you know, as you said, 200 plus companies over the last few years have piled into space. So what does that unmet need that people still think isn’t being met that’s drawing all these companies into the space?

 

Mark Ripley  5:59  

So two points. One is it was eye opening for me as well, that there’s just literally so many companies out there. And not all of them are small, some are mid mid size and even large that don’t use a unified CRM and use it at all. Yeah, these spreadsheets so they use Google or they use, you know, email, it’s really kind of mind boggling to me because I’ve grown up on CRM, but it’s a big, huge, huge thing. What we find the driver, if someone’s not using CRM is very intimidating. And the big fear is adoption. How am I going to make my folks use this tool? And there’s so many really awful stories of companies trying to use CRM and it’s just not working. And so it gets a bad rap sometimes. So that’s why we just we put so much energy into adoption, usability and making that a wonderful experience.

 

Andy Paul  6:56  

How do you do that?

 

Mark Ripley  6:58  

Okay, well, it’s that that’s a big question. All right, so everything from the UI, which we spend an enormous amount of time on. But a couple things that we’re really famous for is integration into other tools that are extremely common. So I’ll give you an example. So with our tool, you can do a lot of the CRM stuff that you would normally do in a CRM, you can do it right from your Gmail. So if you end up using jMo a lot, and you’re in your email client, man, this is a beautiful experience, you can do a lot of that with it or have to switch applications. 

 

Andy Paul  7:31  

In terms of getting your records into your CRM system.

 

Mark Ripley  7:35  

Yep, exactly. And I’ve been looking things up and attaching things and you know, all that.

 

Andy Paul  7:41  

So, those are things other serums aren’t doing in the same way. I mean that because other people are quite frankly, integrated with Gmail.

 

Mark Ripley  7:49  

Our integration is, by most accounts, the best integration out there of any CRM and we do something very similar with Outlook with Office 365. So we have a really beautiful integration there. So those are two examples. But it’s also about the user interface. He’s like, it’s just not flexible, it’s built a certain way. Our business is changing, and we can’t get the tool to change with us. Right. And, and so you’re talking about ease of use and adoption. That’s something certainly that we’re really well known for is very malleable, very easy to change and bend and flex to support. You know, anybody’s business or most people’s business.

 

Andy Paul  8:47  

Okay, so what sort of value should you have for SMB is saying, Okay, I’m gonna pick that first step getting into CRM. We’ve just been using spreadsheets, we’ve been using whatever previous to this. So what’s the value they should expect to receive from it?

 

Mark Ripley  9:05  

So I would say it’s different for everybody. Right? So it depends on I would say there’s two big pain points/value, that small to medium sized business will get out of it. Maybe three things, right? One, one is certainly sales productivity. So you’re using spreadsheets using email guarantee things are slipping through the cracks, you’re just not optimized. So you pick a CRM that you feel really good about. But that will certainly get you organized and you will generate more revenue out of your prospects and your customers. The second thing that we see a lot of is, again, a lot of our customers are service based. So you know, go back to the advertising and media example. And it’s really tricky once you start to get 10, 20, 50 employees or more, to try to manage all the things that go on with coordinating all these customers. So what ends up happening is a lot of things slip through the cracks, tax gets overlooked, customers end up having a poor experience, and they can leave and that type of thing. So another big value is getting your arms around all of your customer activities and making sure that they have a really world class red carpet experience, so that you can continue to monetize and grow that revenue with them. That’s the second thing. The third thing is, if it’s more than 50 people, you’re really going to as a leadership team, you’re going to struggle in a big way, trying to get visibility into what’s happening in the organization, who’s doing what, where things slip into the cracks? What are the revenues looking like? What’s our forecast looking like? Are we developing enough pipeline to sustain our forecast, all this stuff if you’re a five person shop, you can manage that you don’t need a report says there’s five of you, but if all of a sudden you’re 50 100 500 1000 man it’s very painful. Try to manage the business without some sort of system short way you can get reporting and dashboards out of it.

 

Andy Paul  11:05  

Well, one of the key things about adoption. Getting back to that for a second is that, you know, reps perceive CRM systems as being instruments of command and control, and not something that’s really a sales tool. I’m gonna get very few people that say, CRM as a sales tool. I mean, we think about it as a database, basically. So what isn’t it for when they’re using Insightly? What is in it for the reps that perhaps isn’t there for another CRM system?

 

Mark Ripley  11:38  

Yeah, so it’s a good question, right? And I was a sales rep for a long time and the vast majority of sales reps see a CRM as like sandbags on your ankles slowing you down, right, you got to put all the data in there, it’s gonna just slow you down from actually selling.

 

Andy Paul  11:53  

Well, and that’s one of the justifications though, the thing is, they just really don’t want to have accountability at the detail level, but somewhat understandably so. I mean, but there’s a trade off, right? I mean, I’ll accept accountability. If there’s something for me on the other side. Yeah, if this truly makes my job easier?

 

Mark Ripley  12:12  

Absolutely. So one of the big trends that we see in CRM over the next year and even handful years is, you know, I talk a lot about return on time. Right time is liquid gold for sales reps. So the question, yeah, the question is, every minute, every hour of the day, how can you get the most return on your time. And so CRM can play a big role in that, in helping them generate a higher ROI on their hours and their days by trying to automate a lot of things. So when I say automate, I’ll say it in two categories. One is customer facing. So there’s a lot of mundane things that a sales rep does every day that quite frankly, they don’t need to be doing actively. I’ll give you an example like a drip campaign. And now you have a system that lets you know, the world today, that that person would have to email or mail right, every third, fifth, seventh day manually. Now, automated systems do that. So as a sales rep, I’m basically able to do more in less time. So that’s on the customer side, the second bucket that I was referring to, is how can I automate as much of the logging of information into the CRM without having to manually do it. And so I’ll give you a couple examples, right. So using our Gmail integration, it’ll automatically take all these emails that you’re doing and log it into the system. So you don’t have to manually Click, click, click, click click, or it’s just minimizing all these clicks really starts to add a lot of value in save time. The other thing that we’re going to be launching here in the first half of next year, it’s really exciting and other CRMs do this. It’s completely unique to Insightly. But is where you can record calls. And then the call will automatically get transcribed into the CRM. Okay, so you think about all the time and energy put into transcribing and translating notes right on calls, and it’s like, boom, that recording is already in the CRM transcribed. So start to save a lot of time and also have the benefit of staying organized.

 

Andy Paul  14:28  

Okay, but you’re not adding the dialing function though. All right. So you have a power dialer built into Insightly.

 

Mark Ripley  14:36  

We’re using it on our own internal team today and it’s fantastic.

 

Andy Paul  14:49  

Yeah, you’re sort of talking about he future and what’s happening and I guess one thing that can use the word productivity and return on time and and this is a topic I explore with most of my guess it seems like get to this at one point or another because serve a passion point with me it perhaps is that we talk about reps doing more but it’s it’s not abundantly clear from the data that’s out there that we see from industry research reports and so on that reps really are doing more. And terms of number of reps zero percenter reps meeting quota close rates that we see in certain industries. Okay, well, where is that real connection, you know, that we can really point to and say this is really happening, that the investment of these technologies while absolutely we can’t do without a CRM system, but is it really boosting our productivity? It’s like an open question, because again, I see these research reports and that’s saying, yeah, we’re staying steady. Some say we’re actually productivity performance, let’s say I’ll distinguish the two performances from actually dropping in b2b sales space. You know, where do we turn the corner on this?

 

Mark Ripley  16:10  

Okay, so this is a really thought provoking question. The first thing comes to mind is every industry every company is different. Right? So we talked about, like enterprise versus mid market versus SMB sales. And there’s very different motions there. So anyway, you can go this glided a couple different ways. I would say my initial take on it is fundamentally we know that there’s two things that drive productivity, right, we know its activity, and we know it’s skills. It’s how much stuff you’re doing, and how good you are at it. How good you are at something has training and tools and resources, all kinds of stuff, but at the end of the day, it’s how much stuff you’re doing and how effective you are when you’re doing it.

 

Andy Paul  17:13  

I’m not sure I buy that 100%. But go ahead.

 

Mark Ripley  17:15  

Okay. So if we do buy into that, then activity assuming that we keep the skill set and the effectiveness the same, we keep that variable the same, then in theory, the more stuff you’re doing, then you’ll be more productive. I can point to but I could I also hear what you’re saying, and that

 

Andy Paul  17:36  

So you talked about activities and skills, but if you look at productivity, the definition of productivity is the rate of output for a unit of input. So you know, activities really don’t work. do that because activities don’t by themselves, you’ll again, they don’t relate to outcomes.

 

Mark Ripley  18:04  

What do you do? What if you could do more activity with the same amount of energy? 

 

Andy Paul  18:11  

That’s one of the things we’re getting into in sales is that we’re definitely able to do more things. But I don’t think we’ve made the point yet that across that other than sort of high growth companies, some of which are we have a proclivity to grow anyway, regardless of how the process right but outside of that in the world at large, and sounds like the world that you deal with, because you’re not focused purely on tech businesses as your customers. Is this really making a difference? And as it really says to me productivity is, if we need to measure it in sales just like we measure it in industry. So, you know, we talked about our productivity, right as an economy. It’s that measure, right, but sorry. I mean, how much labor is it taking us to produce one widget or one unit of productive output? Whatever that is? Have you measured it? 

 

Mark Ripley  19:19  

I’m coming up with a couple of examples, in my mind that I have been able to measure the increased output. But I also agree with you that I’ve seen it used, you know, a whole bunch of times where it’s, you know, there’s an assumption there, but is it measured? So I’ll give you one example. And this is a pretty straightforward one. And that is for businesses that get leads, right. Not all businesses do triple for business for businesses that get leads. There is certainly a lot of data around the number of touches and the speed. In which you can react to that lead will drive up propensity for someone to have a conversation because you’re the pipeline

 

Andy Paul  20:07  

Only inside sales MIT study. Yes.

 

Mark Ripley  20:10  

Yeah, exactly. Right. So if you look at technology, like workflow automation, which is built into Insightly and a few other jobs as well, if you get leads, you can automate that frequency, right and also the speed. So that has certainly given an uptick in productivity, as measured by an SD ours ability to generate opportunities, which then close. We personally haven’t seen a drop in close rates when using tools like this. So there’s an example of using a tool to generate more productivity.

 

Andy Paul  20:48  

Yeah, and I wasn’t saying that using the tools causes the close rate, but we’re seeing and again, with somewhat imperfect data, because I don’t think no one loses the terminology in the same way. It is. Is that we don’t have a really good way to gauge whether the tools are helping, meaning we are actually using them in the right way? One, or maybe this is just a generation too soon, and we’re gonna need, you know, the AI, we’re gonna need machine learning or something else to help it get to that level where it needs to be.

 

Mark Ripley  21:25  

I like some of the things you bring up.

 

Andy Paul  21:56  

Well, no, but that’s true, right? And we see that especially in the tech space, more than others. So, that sort of I think the other thing that’s interesting to think about with a lot of the technologies that are coming out in sales and CRM to some degree falls into this is that there’s no conscious decision to say, Okay, well, there’s something in this for the buyer or something for sales, but what’s in it for the buyer? Right, if we’re not able, helping salespeople help the buyer make better, faster, quicker decisions. What are we doing for it just so we can keep track of what’s going on?

 

Mark Ripley  23:02  

Okay, so you’re one of the first people I’ve heard talk about it like this. I also very strongly believe in the area in CRM, right? And when I think about as I’m preparing for this session we’re doing and talking about, the future of CRM, that type of thing. When I think about it, I think about it absolutely from the customer lens, and the sales rep lens, and they’re two different lenses. But the customer lens is equally important. And I would argue it’s something that’s been neglected in the past. And I, maybe I’m being optimistic, but I really see some of the trends in the future to start to focus more and more on that customer experience. Now my take on it is I would look at it into two buckets if you presale and post sale. So the world that we live in software and sales folks, everything happens at a lot of pre-sales, and then we sell something. It’s packaged and it’s gone. Right But the reality of it is there’s a massive, massive world out there. That doesn’t work that way. 

Andy Paul  26:01  

Okay, so yeah, totally, we’re in the era of big data. And data has a lot of influence on increasingly on what’s happening in terms of analytics and so on. Now, somewhere you’re talking about you believe in small data, not big data. So what do you mean about that?

 

Mark Ripley  26:20  

When we talk to customers, and you know, I was gonna say, mid market customers and small businesses, but at the end of the day, they’re even big businesses. The concept of big data is really intimidating, right, they get that it’s a big movement. But in their minds, it requires, you know, an army of data scientists, and all these fancy tools to get out and see if they can make sense of this data. And there’s lots of also tough stories over the years where, by the time they get in there and figure it all out, the business is totally changed. It’s irrelevant. So, for me, I think about data and being a lot smarter and utilize data, but doing it in a very tangible way that’s digestible. It’s actionable. It’s ideally in a time compressed way and compressed fashion. 

 

Andy Paul  28:43  

Yeah, well, I think we’re really talking about focus, right, because I read something not that long ago, but managers can keep in mind the average manager like three statistics, right, that they can really focus on three KPIs or whatever however you want to metrics everyone, label them and beyond. That, yeah, just, it’s hard for them really to focus on or manage. So yeah, big data obviously presents a lot of opportunity. But I think your point is, focus on the ones that really benefit what you’re doing and that you get value from, and focus on those. And so the last question about this before I move to the last segment of the show, as is, what do you see happening with CRM relative to the influx of AI and machine learning? I mean, I know a lot of hype around those, those particular topics, but sort of can’t talk about or talk about CRM without asking about it.

 

Mark Ripley  29:37  

Yeah, you know, it’s funny, so I’ve been here about eight months at Insightly and building out the sales team and so a few months and my CEO and founder is a product guy, right? He’s built the product, that’s his passion and so I start going to the one on ones I’m like, Okay, let’s, you know, set up a rhythm for forecasting and, and he pauses the stops when he says, you know, It’s not going to be too long before I can tell you what your forecast is going to be. And I said, Okay, tell me whatever that is like, honestly, we’re going to build it into the CRM. And we’re going to build accurate forecasting into the CRM and bring it to the masses.

 

Andy Paul  30:14  

I’m like, so you’re opening a topic. It’s been the next half hour on. I was proposing to do that.

 

Mark Ripley  30:22  

So we’re certainly tackling it. It’s not going to come out next month, right? It’s a bigger kind of ambitious thing. But there’s a couple things coming to mind. One is forecasting is typically done really poorly. 

 

Andy Paul  30:39  

Everybody acknowledges that.

 

Mark Ripley  30:43  

And it’s super time consuming from a sales leadership perspective, which is my world. And it’s done pretty bad. And it’s not that hard. I happen to be a data guy. So for me, it speaks to me. But I mean, human beings have put people in space on the moon. I like to be able to create a very systematic way to forecast and put it into a machine and have it pop out shouldn’t be that difficult. So, in my mind, I certainly think that it’s crazy valuable. I certainly think that Insightly and perhaps others will get better at putting more accurate forecasting at the fingertips of people that aren’t necessarily data people.

 

Andy Paul  31:22  

Well isn’t perfect, though, that as an industry, we have to sort of change our idea about what the right paradigm is to use for forecasting. So right now, certainly one of the most prominent methods to use is sort of assigning probabilities based on stage to trapped in the sales process, which to my way of thinking has some inherent fallacies built into it that just can’t be overcome, namely, that a stage of a sales process somehow it’s like to your probability of closing the deal. So, for instance, in the example I always give as let’s say you assign a 75% probability to a deal if it gets to a proposal stage. What if you have four competitors? Do they each have 75% chance of closing the deal?

 

Mark Ripley  32:21  

Right? Add those numbers up four times. 

 

Andy Paul  32:24  

But on the surface, I don’t think everybody has a 75% chance of winning. 

 

Mark Ripley  32:38  

And I completely agree with you and that’s why the end result is always so inaccurate, right? And so I wonder if the percentages agree with you that the stages shouldn’t be tied exclusively to percentages. You could also have an amazing customer that just comes back and it’s the beginning stage of a cycle but you know, you have it.

 

Andy Paul  32:57  

Yeah, if used the other way. I use the phrase like I think I came up with, which was, for us, the probabilities based on stage, which is, you know, your, how far into the sales process you’ve gone. I say that’s like, you can’t measure probability with a yardstick. And that’s essentially what you’re trying to do. 

 

Mark Ripley  33:15  

Yeah, absolutely. So for me, I have found a lot more success in using history. And if you capture the data and measure it in the right way, then you can get incredibly accurate in terms of looking at the leading indicators, or predicting the outcome.

 

Andy Paul  33:40  

Yeah, well, I think certainly the history is there. If you get enough transactions, you look back over the length of time and each stage and stage extra criteria where they melt where they met and thought about it on a project that whether your CEOs is 100% correct. Or whether the forecast generated will be hundred percent correct. It’s gonna be closer, one of the things that’s not factored into it, which again, we’ll have to move on, so I won’t spend a lot of time on it. But we don’t teach people how to forecast. And there’s actually been studies done showing that when people have to do forecasts and not necessarily sales forecasts, but other types of prediction. That actually, they can be taught. A they can be taught how to make overtime how to make more accurate predictions and are given the right incentives to actually get better as well. So have you ever known, I mean, very few organizations tie any of managers bonuses to accuracy of forecasts. But there’s some research that says that as one component of a program if you did that, over time, you would become a learning organization and learn how to forecast more accurately. 

 

Mark Ripley  34:53  

Sure. Setting accurate forecasting. I don’t know the answer. It’s just a thought. But I’d be interested to explore it and maybe try it.

 

Andy Paul  35:13  

Yeah, depending on what the ramifications would be for the organization of managers, sandbagging forecasts?I mean, certainly if it’s a production based like a manufacturer you’re working with. If you chronically underestimate and over perform on your forecasts, and you don’t have availability of product a ship. That’s a problem. Absolutely. Software is less of an issue perhaps, but you still have to issues relative to resources, support and all those other things that come with it. 

 

Mark Ripley  35:57  

I think it’s a very common thing for sales leadership to do is to assume that everyone’s forecasting the same way. In other words, as a sales leader, you know, I’ve taught it, I’ve gotten everyone in the room, I’ve asked tough questions. And then like, a month later, some new person will come in and say, okay, you know, when do we create an op? And we’ll get two totally different answers in the same room, and you’re like, as a sales leader, wow. But it’s something that we can all do a lot better at. And that is just not to assume that everyone in the team is forecasting the same way. And when I say forecasting, meaning like, what’s the amount of the off the stage of your timeline? But I guess my point is, is that I’ve taken it to reinforce constantly and not assume, because then it’ll make your forecasting a lot more accurate if everyone’s beating from the same drum. 

 

Andy Paul  36:54  

I mean, this could be a whole separate episode on the assumptions that sales managers make that are costly. And one of them could be something as simple as yeah, I assume that all of our leads are being followed up.

 

Mark Ripley  37:05  

Right. That’s a good one. 

 

Andy Paul  37:07  

And Mark got some standard questions I ask to all my guests. The first one is a hypothetical scenario. And in this I mean, you probably know the answers very easily. In this scenario you’ve just been hired as VP of sales at a company who solves sales stalled out and CEOs anxious hit the reset button. So what two things would you do your first week on the job that could have the biggest impact?

 

Mark Ripley  37:51  

One is I learned very early on the people in the trenches often have the answers, right? So I’d come up with a handful of thought provoking questions. And I would ask a cross section of the folks on the floor, the same consistent questions and understand them. Things like what’s going wrong, you know, what do we need to fix? Right, just very kind of fundamental questions. I certainly ask the same questions to leadership. There’s a question that I like to ask leadership when trying to fix things that I’m new to and that is, you know, if you could have changed a decision over the last two years, what would it have been? Right? And then you start to unravel that, and it typically is pretty telling. And then the third thing, I’m a big data guy. So I would certainly start to dive in the data and start to put the data in my A framework so that I can understand and diagnose, diagnose, right, exactly what’s going sideways and what that trend looks like. Because that won’t tell you the answers, but it’ll tell you where the problems are and where the opportunities are. So that then you can go dig and figure out the root cause of these things.

 

Andy Paul  39:19  

Okay, good answer. All right. So now we got some rapid fire questions. You can give me one word answers if you want or elaborate. So the first one is when you mark Ripley are outselling, what’s your most powerful sales attribute?

 

Mark Ripley  39:32  

Thought provoking questions.

 

Andy Paul  39:34  

Okay. Who’s your sales role model?

 

Mark Ripley  39:39  

So I’ve had several that were very fortunate that way, but the one the big one for me is a gentleman by the name of Abe Smith, and he’s out here out there. Absolutely fantastic leader.

 

Andy Paul  39:50  

Okay. And what’s one book, every salesperson should read?

 

Mark Ripley  39:58  

So it’s an oldie and maybe not all that innovative, but how to win friends and influence people.

 

Andy Paul  40:57  

Well, Mark, thanks for joining me today on the show. Great to talk with you. So tell people how they can find out more about Insightly and connect with you.

 

Mark Ripley  41:10  

Yeah, so insightly.com, we have a free 14 day trial. And we have a whole wonderful group of sales folks that reach out and try to help you understand how you can use it and get value out of it. So I encourage you to try it, check it out. And we’d love the opportunity. If you want to reach out to me, you can find me on LinkedIn at Mark Ripley, and happy to help if I can.

 

Andy Paul  41:31  

Great. Well, thanks again. And friends, thank you, as always, for spending the time with us today. And remember, 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 make sure you don’t miss any of my conversations with top business experts like my guest today, Mark Ripley, who shared his expertise about how to accelerate the growth of your business. So thanks again for joining me. And until next time, this is Andy Paul. Good selling everyone. Thanks for listening to the show. If you like what you heard, I want to make sure you don’t miss anything. upcoming episodes please subscribe to this podcast on iTunes or Stitcher for more information about today’s guests, visit my website at AndyPaul.com