In this episode, we unlock some of the data-driven secrets that top performers use in their sales coaching sessions.
Duncan Lennox is the CEO of Qstream.
The Sales Enablement Podcast with Andy Paul was formerly Accelerate! with Andy Paul.
Andy Paul 0:35
Hi, 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 to help you accelerate the growth of your sales, your business and most importantly, you. Hello and welcome to the Sales Enablement Podcast. I’m excited to welcome back to the show Duncan Lennox CEO of Q stream. Duncan. How are you doing?
Duncan Lennox 1:05
Great, Andy, thanks for having me back.
Andy Paul 1:07
Oh, my pleasure. My pleasure. So for people that missed your first appearance on the show, briefly introduce yourself and what you do.
Duncan Lennox 1:15
Well, I’m the co-founder and CEO of Q stream. And we’re an enterprise SAAS company in the sales enablement space. Our platform allows large sales forces to measure and manage and drive the capabilities of their sales force. And it’s all based on a decade of neuroscience research that was conducted at Harvard Medical School, into the brain science essentially of how we drive behavior change in people.
Andy Paul 1:44
Yeah, interesting. You won’t have many sales oriented startups that come from that school. So that’s an interesting path.
Duncan Lennox 1:49
It makes us a little bit different.
Andy Paul 1:51
Today we’re gonna start talking about how the Q stream is evolving. And also talking about sales coaching, which sort of the next step in your product evolution as well. And, you know, this is a topic that is getting a lot of play these days, you know, constantly sort of the push pull, I think, for management between all the various demands on their time, especially given sort of the increasing data orientation of their jobs, is, how much time do they have left for coaching? And most of the research seems to show that they really don’t have a lot of time left over. They’re not allocating or prioritizing, making the time leftover for coaching.
Duncan Lennox 2:39
Absolutely, I mean, there’s a lot of great data out there that shows it might be as little as 45 minutes per month, that a sales manager has to spend actually coaching with an individual Rep. And even when they spend that time, as much as two thirds of it gets spent on short term pipeline opportunities. So not the longer term development of the skills of the rep.
Andy Paul 2:58
Yeah, I think some other report that You helped sponsor but sales Management Association. Yeah, had that figure I think it was 36 minutes per month actually was the figure they used for average coaching per individual, per rep by a manager, which and think about that. That’s nine, nine minutes. Nine minutes. Gosh, wasn’t that seven minutes a day? So yeah, basically time time off to say, Hello.
Duncan Lennox 3:21
Absolutely. I mean, it seems crazy, because at the end of the day, sales management is really all about coaching and mentoring. How can we help reps? You know, close more business faster?
Andy Paul 3:30
Yeah. I mean, I, I’ve gone on record and said that if you’re not coaching and your manager, what are you doing? I mean, right. I mean, part of it. And the sort of interesting question I’ve had this conversation with others recently is, is, yeah, sometimes you just have to do the right thing as a manager. I mean, it’s Robin’s position. There’s certainly demand for their time, but increasingly, I think managers have deserves I look, take responsibility for their own success. And sir, push back on some of these requirements. are being laid on them by upper management.
Duncan Lennox 4:02
Yeah, I mean, I think sometimes what happens is they get overwhelmed by, you know, for want of a better word bureaucracy, right, where there’s just other things they have to do in terms of like, you know, whether it’s TPS reports or you know, or, or whatever deal or desk stuff, right, we might, it might end up being and also a lot of it is the inefficiency of the process. I mean, where you’re working with a direct sales force, a lot of it ends up being ride alongs or the equivalent thereof, you know, where you have to spend your time out in the field with your reps. And that’s a good thing. It’s not that that’s a bad thing. Well, that’s very efficient. From a timing point of view. Obviously, you spend a lot of time in cars and on airplanes, and not a lot of time necessarily one on one with the rat, talking about issues and longer term development.
Andy Paul 4:45
Certainly ride-alongs are a perfect vehicle to do that. No pun intended on the vehicle. Yeah, but Yeah, perfect opportunity to do that. But I mean, increasingly, sales come inside and more sales have done virtually, yeah, some of the ride alongs don’t happen quite as much as they used to. So It seemed like from that report with the sales Management Association report on coaching, that sort of the areas that the managers thought were the most important really are the skills assessments and the skills coaching. And more so than the specific deal coaching.
Duncan Lennox 5:16
Yeah, I mean, I think people recognize where the value in coaching is. I don’t think they’re setting out to not do coaching or not do it. Wow. But I think they’re often lacking the information, the data that they need to be able to be effective coaches. I mean, typically, a lot of sales managers, if not all, have been reps themselves, and usually very successful reps. That’s often how they got the sales manager job in the first place by being a rock star rap. So they know how they know how to win deals, they know how to close deals, they’ve gotten a lot of great knowledge and experience to share. What they don’t necessarily have is the data on this rap that I’m talking to today. A lot of them know and not know, where are they weak? Where are they strong? And that’s, I think, always been one of the challenges in coaching. And sometimes in the past, that’s been addressed by trying to get the reps to do some kind of self assessment to give a sense of where they are, you know, that’s not a very pleasant experience for reps to have to go through. And all the data shows that as human beings, we tend to substantially overestimate our skills anyway. So the data you get out of that isn’t even very reliable, even if you can get them to participate.
Andy Paul 6:23
Well, yeah. And I know all sorts of assessment tools claim they can self correct for that. But I think that’s probably not very realistic in the long term. I’d say that’s what they do.
Duncan Lennox 6:32
Yeah, I think it’s a challenge. I think it’s a challenge. And, and that’s why, you know, from our point of view, of course, we take a different approach where we’re gathering a picture a little bit out of time, every day, and that lets us build up a very rich picture over a relatively short period of time. And it also lets us control and manage for those things because it’s gathered every day and you build the picture over time rather than relying on some single self assessment or something of that nature.
Andy Paul 6:57
So if there’s general agreement and increasing concurrency, it’s about Gosh, we need to do more sales coaching, yet at the same time, there seems to be a little impetus to change, right? I mean, so in many organizations and the inertia is too extreme. Sen knows we’re talking about for us are the multiple demands on manager’s time. So what what’s going to be the, you know, the inflection point that’s going to make things change that’s going to have your managers as well as senior level managers are wake up and say, yeah, if we have a choice about where to invest our time and effort to improve our overall sales, productivity, this is where it needs to be in coaching, because I think Jason Jordan talks about cracking the sales management code is, is that you know, the investment in sales management, training sales managers to coach has about the highest ROI you can get in terms of training investments you’d make as an organization.
Duncan Lennox 7:44
Yeah, I mean, I think it’s a few things going on. And and, you know, firstly, it’s, it’s difficult to realize that ROI, ultimately, I think most people would intuitively agree that the value is there, but it’s been difficult to to actually realize that value, particularly at scale, and I think that’s Scale is a big part of the challenge. So it’s relatively easy to do something for a small group of people, but how do you scale it up for a large organization?
Andy Paul 8:08
But we have the contrary evidence on hand, though that by not investing, it’s also not working. Right. So you have, I mean, you quote on your website, the CSO insights stats, everybody was aware of these that, you know, fewer than 50% of sales reps in b2b environments make their quota year after year. So the evidence and yet organizations continue to increase their revenue targets here after too. So we have the evidence that not coaching doesn’t work. So why is this our to say, Okay, well, the choices of things we can make, do invest in to make a difference. Coaching seems like an obvious one.
Duncan Lennox 8:43
Well, part of it, I think, is is I mean, as you talked about inertia, and you know, unfortunately, if the world acted always rationally based on objective evidence, we’d probably have a lot fewer problems that we have in the world, generally speaking, so that may be that may be part of it, but maybe I’m just a cynic because I’m Irish, but I But I think to the to the question you were asking before that that also relates to this is what’s changing or apply. Now, I think you’ve got two curves that are crossing. And so the pain of the problem is growing, right. So I think we’ve seen a lot of sales forces get smaller, I think we’ve seen a lot of sales forces, where reps are being asked to carry larger quota smaller territories, more products. So there’s more and more pressure on productivity per rep, if you wanted to dial it back to that metric. And that’s, that’s crossing a pain threshold that I think is different to where we’ve been before, maybe reaching a critical mass of pain, if you will. The positive curve that’s bending in the opposite direction is the ability to leverage technology to gather the data. So you know, perhaps it’s a you know, it’s becoming a little bit of a cliche, but the rise of mobile devices in the enterprise is creating new ways to capture data and make it easier and more frequent than ever before. So those two things kind of cross each other and suddenly now we can capture more data. About what reps are doing more effectively and without too much pain for the reps. And the need to do something is just becoming just a clarion cry, I think in large sales organizations.
Andy Paul 10:11
So is one of the issues. This is a slight digression, but it’s one of the issues that we fundamentally don’t understand what productivity means in sales.
Duncan Lennox 10:21
I think that is true. I mean, I think there’s a huge issue around that. I think we understand pipeline metrics, funnel metrics, forecasting, but I’m not sure we understand what productivity means in terms of the core selling skills of the rep. You know, I mean, one of the examples that I often give when I’m talking to sales leadership is look at all the time and money and energy you spend in marketing to get leads into the top of the formal or in sales and to move those sales qualified lead through the process and enabling the reps, the tools, the technologies, the training, etc. The reality is, even with inside sales, it still often all comes down to a single tool. three minute conversation that that rep will have with the prospect. And all the data shows that as much as two out of three times they’ll screw it up. So all the pipeline houses in the world are not going to fix that. And we’ve kind of been ignoring, right? Right. So which is the actual capabilities of the reps themselves? And how do we help drive that rather than nibbling around the edges with? Well, let’s give them some magic piece of collateral at the right time, that’s certainly going to make the customer want to buy. And that’s not really how it works.
Andy Paul 11:29
Right? That to me, the where the productivity ties back in though is that jet boils down to your time on the road. These are soft skills on the part of the reps and soft behaviors that they can master, but then ultimately boils down to gosh, how much time do they have to invest with the customer in order to move them from interest to an order or an interest to a decision and that seems to be a data point that no one really pays attention to? Go? Yeah, cuz we spent a lot of time talking about length of sales cycle, but factors, the length of sales cycles, really has very little to do with productivity. I mean, that’s it. That’s it. That’s a duration on the part of the customer.
Duncan Lennox 12:08
Yeah, it’s an elapsed time issue, as opposed to the number of touch points or the amount of minutes that are being spent in those touchpoints. Exactly, exactly. Yeah, absolutely. But I think a lot of that ultimately, also comes back to soft skills. And you know, as you say, in the sandwich shop, the more you the greater the ability, you have to add value in that conversation, the more effective it’s going to be. And if all you’re doing is dropping out your features and benefits, then you’re really not adding any value, you know, just to take the obvious example, and that’s going to, at best, lengthen that elapsed time increase those numbers of touch points and the length of those touch points. and at worst, of course, lead to that conversation getting short circuited and going into the, you know, closed last column, you know, even faster.
Andy Paul 12:50
Right. Well, so bringing it back to coaching a little bit. I mean, one thing that was really interesting, and to me sort of compelling about that report that came out from the Sales Management Association was that That of all the areas of coaching that were sort of identified in the minds that people have surveyed. Fundamentally, they also had a common weight to them. And they all sort of came in with them sort of the same scale. So it’s like everybody thought, all these managers surveyed thought that all the areas of their coaching were sort of of equal importance, which is not really the case at all. Right? Right.
Duncan Lennox 13:22
Well, and I think part of that comes back to the lack of data around coaching and skills and what’s working and what’s not, right. So you’re, you’re kind of almost coming back with an instinctual response. And the instinctual response is, oh, it’s all important, because you don’t have the data to actually show what is actually driving faster sales cycles or better win rates or whatever, as opposed to what we might think it is. And to me, that’s a big part of the overall problem that, you know, while we’ve added technology to other parts of the sales cycle, you know, and other parts of selling and sales management, we’ve not necessarily been able to do that around here. Helping understand the capabilities that people have the skills and knowledge they carry around into three pounds that are between their ears and the impact of that, because you’re right. And not only is it not all equally valuable, but everybody is at a different place on the spectrum or, you know, on the graph in terms of those areas as well. Right. So and, and a big part of what we’ve been trying to do is, is get in capture that data in the first place, because then we can start to look at it. And we can build a picture, particularly with correlating that data around capabilities to actual sales results and see, well, what does the picture of an effective sales rep in our organization look like? You know, what are the skills, the knowledge that seemed to matter based on actual sales outcomes? Because then maybe those are the areas we should focus with everybody else, right.
Andy Paul 14:47
Okay, well, one of your ways to address that and solutions to address those you’ve guys have rolled out this new system called your coaching hub, and tell people a little bit about what that does. So how that plays with what you’re doing with your cue streams. And are we growing those with your coaching club?
Duncan Lennox 15:02
Sure, sure. Well, we started out originally with cue streams around this idea of how do we get behavior change? So how do we not simply train people or anything of that nature, which is the way it’s traditionally done? But ultimately, how do we get the behaviors that we believe they need to be effective. And that’s how we originally started. But in, in, in going through our process, and that’s, that’s based on the neuroscience from Harvard, we realized that we were gathering a lot of data and and a very rich picture about these sales reps who were participating. And maybe we could use that data to start to help coaching be something that’s more data driven, rather than gut driven, that has a bit more of a scalable process to us. And we started a couple of years ago with our manager dashboards where we surface back these coaching opportunities, as we call them, where we’re sifting through the data and coming in to an individual manager and actually saying, Hey, you know, Andy’s doing great. Maybe you just want to send him a thumbs up to let him know he’s doing well. But don’t get really struggling when it comes to positioning against this competitor, do you want to start a coaching dialogue now? And it was relatively simple, quite honestly. But we were surfacing stuff for the first time for clients based on actual data of what their reps knew, as opposed to what a manager might have thought they knew or didn’t know. Right? And actually, that was phenomenal. So we started working with some of our bigger clients in particular, around this capability. And could we take this vision of a data driven coaching and create something more powerful, something more scalable, and that ultimately led to the development of what we call the coaching hub. And what it’s really all about is giving a frontline manager a view of their team that’s got a richer picture of what they know and don’t know their capabilities and where they need help. And we use this baseball card analogy where you get a baseball card for each rep on your team, and you get some summary data of where they’re at right now. That comes out of their participation in the queue stream. We now also have the ability For the manager to periodically capture some observed behavior, so observing confidence, observing and proficiency, put that into the mix as well. And then finally, correlate it all against actual sales metrics to help build out that picture of what seems to be working for reps across the company.
Andy Paul 17:18
Okay, yeah, if we break it back down for the audience, so the listening is, is at the heart of it, as I said, the cue stream system where you have a client that’s developed, I guess you call them q streams, but on their mobile devices, the reps are actually taking tests, they’re being test on their knowledge about certain areas and certain behaviors and so on, right that they might be.
Duncan Lennox 17:39
Yeah, we present them. We present them with scenarios, typical scenarios they might find themselves in, they might be video based, or they might be reading it in text, and then they’re choosing how they should respond. We tell them if a reason why and so on, and they just do that for three minutes every day or every other day on their phone,
Andy Paul 17:55
on the phone. Okay? And so as that is the data that’s that’s being generated, that’s flowing into the And then so when you’re talking about proficiency and engagement and confidence and competencies and so on, it’s based on, gosh, you know, you’ve created content and questions and scenarios, specifically relating to your business, your competitors, your customers, and now you’re being able to report back is, gosh, how engaged are my reps in, in this process in understanding the product in understanding the customer? And that’s reflected in the data that you capture? Yeah, absolutely. Okay. So again, people think about this, this is all this data flowing down. You’ve said you work for large companies that could have thousands of sales reps, you’re getting thousands of touch points generated every week. So in terms of a manager being the coach, now you suddenly have access to this data, I think is really pretty exciting. That is data, right? You’re not just guessing, do you? Does jack know, you know, how we competitively position ourselves against, you know, company XYZ? You’d have to guess direction? Oh,
Duncan Lennox 18:54
absolutely. And it turns out to be just two things that are important about that. One is that it’s based on this clinically proven methodology that we implement. So it’s not just random data, we actually can tell a lot from the data. And secondly, it’s a lot more data than it might at first appear. So it’s three minutes a day for the rep, which sounds like it’s easy and painless, which it is. But because it’s thousands of reps, and they’re doing that over a period of time, we gather a lot of data. The example I usually give is a big pharma client that ran two short q streams, one had 15 scenarios in it, one had 25 scenarios in us. And over a 90 day period, 3000 reps participated in those and that generated over a million data points about those 3000 reps. And that’s a pretty rich picture that we can that we can go through and sift through. And that’s what our engine our coaching hopes does. It’s sift through that data to surface the data that matters to the managers about their individual reps,
Andy Paul 19:49
right. So do they enforce and when your customers are, are putting out the cue strings for the reps. So how do you have an engagement metric which to me seems like You know, it’s sort of a part of the entry fee of being in the job is you’re gonna you’re gonna engage with these things. But it seems like it doesn’t really happen on a 100% basis. So thus this engagement metric.
Duncan Lennox 20:12
Yeah, and Well, it’s interesting. So firstly, we’re very fortunate in that we’ve really fine tuned the model over the years. So we get these very high engagement rates, typically in two streams. So our average daily engagement rate from reps is 94%. So meaning that on a day, when a particular Salesforce gets a scenario, push them 94% of the reps will participate in it that day. And that’s really off the charts compared to any kind of typical metric for engagement with a tool and so forth. In fact, we think probably the CRM itself is the only tool reps that our clients engage with more than on a more regular basis than to strangers. But to your point about engagement Overall, we had this theory A number of years ago that we born out now in data that basically said, we think that engagement in queue stream is probably a pretty good proxy for how engaged to wrap is overall in their job. And the basic idea is, if you think about it, it’s unlikely you’re going to go to the trouble to carve out and think about to stream differently than the rest of your day, particularly when it’s only three minutes. And that’s actually been borne out. We’ve shown correlations, for example, clients that were reps that under engaged in queue stream also underperformed in quota achievement in the same time period. So you can actually identify reps that are maybe checking out a little bit, right and that lead to a manager engagement, maybe they feel they’re not getting a lot of attention from their manager, or that the organization is not investing in them. There’s all kinds of reasons that you can then get a bit proactive about it and turn that rep around and get them reengaged
Andy Paul 21:42
Right now you talk about a dashboard that exists then so the managers get notifications about Yeah, help you while people are engaging their proficiency and the cue streams of scenarios that are being presented. And then the system generates like standard email templates for the coach or to use the manager. A coaching moment suggests even what they could use to coach the language they could use to help coach the rep, right?
Duncan Lennox 22:05
Absolutely. And it could be a way of just engaging with them and getting that dialogue going, whether it’s about a proficiency issue, like an area where they need help around a skill or some knowledge, but it could also be absolutely around engagement and helping them reengage and get re-energized about their job. So it’s amazing. And it continues to be fascinating to me, that we uncover things in the data that are completely, you know, non obvious, based on the idea of people just participating in three minutes a day yet, yet. There’s all these fascinating insights that turn up.
Andy Paul 22:35
Well give us some examples.
Duncan Lennox 22:37
Well, I think for me, the engagement one was probably the biggest one, the idea that it is a proxy overall. Another classic one for us that happened early on is we had an organization come to us that was already a client, where leadership executive leadership was coming to the sales organization on essentially saying, look, we think the sales force is not meeting its numbers on our new product x because they don’t understand Found the product well enough. So they decided to base based on whatever this is, what the time of the day of the week or whatever they happen to see on a particular day, you know, some good instinct that they had. And they came to the enablement organization, the training organization and said, Look, you know, we want you to go, you know, run a training intervention on this product so that they can go sell more of it. So they put together a 12 scenario, q stream, you know, nice questions, they had some video in them, and so forth, and pushed those out to the sales force. And within 30 days, we had a very rich set of data coming back, and we came back to the organization and said, Look, your average proficiency here is like 85%. So we’re not sure what your problem is yet, but we can tell you for sure. It’s not a lack of product knowledge. That is not the problem here. So number one, we’re immediately giving some hard evidence data to the sales organization to go back to executive leadership and say, Look, it’s not a lack of product knowledge. That’s not the challenge here. But As we were sifting through the data, we were able to look at that and say, Look, there is a problem around product knowledge in the southwest, specifically. So that of spending the $2 million that you were going to spend to pull the entire national sales organization in from the field and do an intervention. Don’t do that. Don’t take them out of the field, but spend a quarter million dollars in the southwest and help the folks there that are struggling with some product knowledge. But that wasn’t the fascinating thing. As we went through the data. The fascinating thing turned out to us that we saw a particular part of the organization that a region that was struggling across the board and it jumped out in the data versus the rest of the national sales organization now struggling struggling
Andy Paul 24:44
in terms of their assessments with q stream are struggling in actual quarter performance,
Duncan Lennox 24:48
struggling in this case, struggling in terms of the data we were seeing in queue stream, so their efficiency effectively, but often when you would see a male struggling Of course, you’re going to see a bell curve, so you’re going to see some people who are very Advanced, you’re going to see some people who are struggling a little bit in a particular area, you’ll always that. But normally you would expect that to be fairly randomly distributed around the country, right, just as people are distributed that way. And in this case, we were seeing a very strong negative correlation in a particular region. So everybody in that region was scoring substantially below the national average. And it was very, it literally jumped out in red, you know, in some of our reports short, so we were on a call where we were discussing this with with the sales enablement folks, and quite honestly, we were a little bit nervous about this, but we said to them, Look, the only conclusion we can come to when we look at this data is that you have a sales management problem.
Andy Paul 25:41
Right? Remember the leadership issue? Yes,
Duncan Lennox 25:44
exactly. No sales managers have taken part in this cue stream there was no actual direct data about sales managers at all right so I’m the call goes really quiet for what to me seemed like a long time but was probably only about eight or 10 seconds, and then there’s a voice on the end of that. The line that suddenly says, Well, you’ve just confirmed something we suspected for the last six months. So it turns out this data is reflective of not just simple proficiency of the individual that answered one question or one scenario, but the richness of the picture. And in particular, the trends and comparisons to the organization as a whole can tell us a lot about what’s going on in different parts of the organization.
Andy Paul 26:24
Well, yeah, I think what you measured there as you measured by, I mean, yeah, the critical things, right. I mean, you look at even like the challenger customer, they talk about the importance of buy in, in terms of customer decisions. Look at internally, right, somebody hadn’t bought into the program. And right if they haven’t bought into the, either the marketing messaging or whatever, about that specific product. Yeah, that’s gonna come out in this, this data.
Duncan Lennox 26:45
Absolutely. It’s a game of telephone at the end of the day. So if you end up with a regional VP, and then ultimately a front, run frontline sales manager that isn’t bought into it, that’s going to end up getting reflected in their attitude and in their interactions with their own direct reps, and in the things they think are important or not important and prioritize or not. And ultimately, we saw it, they’re reflected in proficiency. And that actually did correlate in that case to reduced quota performance in that region ultimately, as well. So it flows through all the way.
Andy Paul 27:14
So how do you then integrate? Or do you join in coaching? How do you integrate, you know, you still have to do deal coaching, there’s still opportunity coaching that exists, that isn’t necessarily reflected, because, you know, the cue streams that are put up by an organization, you know, they tend to be fairly standard right there for the entire four fourths or region, as you said, but you know, an individual deal. So how do you blend that and get data capture data about, you know, the effectiveness of deal coaching that your managers are doing, versus what you see through your cue streams?
Duncan Lennox 27:43
Yeah, there’s a lot of opportunity to do that with the new coach and hope as well. I mean, we have a very deep integration with Salesforce. And one of the things that we’re doing in the new coaching hub are triggers in Salesforce that can impact and flow into Q stream instead of the data flowing just from Q stream back into Salesforce. And I’ll give you two examples. feature. One is where you can set up triggers that actually either assign additional content, or in a second case, trigger a coaching interaction, a coaching intervention by a sales manager based on events that are happening in Salesforce. So one of those might be, for example, that we noticed that in Salesforce automatically that Duncan has just moved a deal from stage three to stage four. And it’s a deal in the pharma industry. And the last three deals that Duncan has had that were pharma deals he’s lost at the negotiation stage, okay, so we can trigger either a did automatically assigning cue stream content just to Duncan, that’s going to proactively help Duncan in that area. And or alert Duncan’s manager that, hey, maybe you should have a coaching dialogue with Duncan around negotiation because of the following things. So we’re using what’s actually going on in the sales pipeline, as well as data that we already have about Duncan in the queue to actually drive a specific intervention.
Andy Paul 29:00
Very interesting. Okay. And so then you can set rules on that based on various things that happen that could be stage migration, it could be too lowboys loitering too long on a stage it could be.
Duncan Lennox 29:12
Yeah, absolutely, absolutely. And that’s, that’s where we would work with, you know, the sales enablement and then the sales ops people inside a client around around the kinds of things so we can gather an initial picture or diagnostic from cue stream, take some insights that they have themselves out of their pipeline analysis and close one, close loss analysis, use that to drive some of the triggers, right. And that’s, that drives the content of the coaching interventions. And that allows that to happen at a level of scale. Again, here, that’s difficult to do because the triggers get fired, obviously, automatically. Nobody has to be constantly sifting through the data. The manager doesn’t have to be sifting through the pipeline and forecast reports trying to spot any of these patterns. And we’ll do that for them in this case, okay. So we can help them focus on the part that they can really add value in which is going And having the conversation and having that coaching a lot.
Andy Paul 30:03
Okay, so start. Last question on this, this part of the show is, is this a private conversation? So how’s that all correlated back then to the results? Right. So we’re measuring proficiency. Is that really proficiency? In, you know, answering questions then participating in scenarios, but then how does that relate to actual outcomes in terms of Salesforce overall performance on part of the Salesforce?
Duncan Lennox 30:26
Yeah, well, we can we can drive that all the way through, because one of the things we’ll do that as well is we’ll take our analytics data and we’ll push it into Salesforce at a pretty atomic level a quite a low level, so that we can then inside of Salesforce using our own reports that we have, or reports that the client develops, actually start to correlate proficiency and engagement and competence data that’s coming out of cue stream with actual sales outcome data that’s captured in the CRM itself as well. And that’s one of the really exciting things that we’ve been doing in the last year. For example, one of our reports that will often do with the client isn’t a dashboard widget that managers can use on an ongoing basis that actually correlates pipeline growth with discovery skills. So we’re capturing actual discovery skills proficiency from the stream. So how good are they at the discovery process where their pipeline growth, and that can be a great early warning indicator for a sales manager, for example, we might look at it and we might see that Paul’s pipeline growth is not as good as we want it to be. But that’s okay. Because Paul is relatively new to the organization. But Duncan’s pipeline growth, although it’s higher is not where it needs to be. And he’s been with us for a year, so that should really be a lot better. But we can see that his discovery skill is low. So again, that might prompt additional content, or it might prompt a coaching intervention by the manager.
Andy Paul 31:45
Got it? Got it. Very cool. All right. Well, good, Duncan. We’re just gonna move in the last segment. Sure. I’ve got some standard questions. I asked all my guests and these are rapid fire questions. You can give me a one word answer if you want or you can elaborate if you wish. So First question for you is, in your mind, is it easier to teach a technical, non salesperson how to sell or a salesperson how to sell a technical product?
Duncan Lennox 32:08
The latter, I think, definitely selling skills are much harder to teach, but we can teach anybody domain knowledge and technical knowledge.
Andy Paul 32:16
Okay, interesting. There, we got a lot of work to correlate there. Get these answers then tabulated at the end, but get a lot of mixed opinions on that one. So, so what’s what’s one book that’s not a sales book, maybe not even a business book that you recommend that was influential in your life that you recommend every salesperson should read.
Duncan Lennox 32:38
I love a lesser known book by a guy called George Leonard, and the book is called mastery. And he’s a psychologist. And he’s also like me, a practitioner of a Japanese martial art called Aikido. And he kind of took what he knew from both worlds and put them learned, and he talks about the different kinds of personalities about how people learn things, and He talks about the dabbler versus the hacker and so forth. And ultimately it’s all about, it’s all about mastery and how you can feel like your plateau and at different levels, but it’s really a constant improvement, you just don’t see it. And there’s an inflection point where suddenly it pops to the surface. And I first read that book probably 25 years ago, and it was very influential and useful for me in terms of understanding myself and how I can develop my skills and I think it equally applies to sales as it does to almost anything.
Andy Paul 33:28
So you still have a practitioner or a practitioner of Aikido.
Duncan Lennox 33:32
I don’t have as much time as I wish I did, you know when I was in college to do it, but I certainly try.
Andy Paul 33:38
Okay. So you’re out there with your bamboo sword and competing.
Duncan Lennox 33:44
And well, sometimes sometimes you’ll find me out there for sure. either getting thrown around or throwing other people around.
Andy Paul 33:50
Okay. So if you could change one thing about your business self, what would it be?
Duncan Lennox 33:58
I could change one thing about myself. Business sells. I mean, I think I wish I could. I wish I knew then all the things I know now, and I think that statement will be true at any point in my life.
Andy Paul 34:08
Okay? Like that. Alright, so last question for you Do you have a favorite quotation or words of wisdom that you live by
Duncan Lennox 34:16
you know, my, probably my favorite one will sound a little bit hokey, and there’s lots of lots of little sayings that I like in business and in management and in sales. But at the end of the day, one of the ones that I like the most is a little bit more about just kind of doing a gut check and when you’re having a tough day, and yourself and the quote, I’ll Mangle it a little little bit but it’s something to the effect of everyone you meet today is struggling with baffles you know nothing about behind always.
Andy Paul 34:45
I like that. I like that. Then I are saying
Duncan Lennox 34:49
it’s not it’s not and I forget even who said it or where I read it originally, but we just get so caught up in the day to day all the time and get overwhelmed by all these things that really probably aren’t that important in the grand scheme of things. And we forget when we’re interacting with other people. They’re dealing with all their own internal struggles and their lives as well.
Andy Paul 35:07
Yeah, well, I think it gets down to sort of the heart of sales, which we’ve talked about time and time again, which it’s all about the other person.
Duncan Lennox 35:13
Yeah, exactly. putting yourself in the shoes, that other person is always a way to resolve a situation positively. Excellent.
Andy Paul 35:21
Okay, well, good. Well, Duncan, thanks for joining me on the show today, tell people how they can find out more about Ustream?
Duncan Lennox 35:25
Absolutely. And they can certainly go to Q stream comm and read a lot about us there and get a demo of the product or watch a two minute video and also follow us on Twitter at Ustream or on Facebook or LinkedIn as well.
Andy Paul 35:36
All right. Well, thank you. And thank you for spending time with us and friends. Thanks for joining us today. Remember, make it part of your day every day to deliberately learn something new to help you accelerate your success. An easy way to do that is to join my conversations with top business experts like my guest today, Duncan Linux, who shared his expertise on how to accelerate the growth of your business. And if you enjoy accelerating and the value we’re delivering, please take a minute right now. Leave your feedback about this podcast on iTunes. or wherever you listen to it. So again, thanks for joining me. Until next time, this is Andy Paul. 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 comm for more information about today’s guests, visit my website at Andy Paul calm