DevReady PodcastDevReady Podcast E43 – Leading Sales by Guiding the Customer with Peter Strohkorb

On this episode of the DevReady Podcast, Andrew and Anthony talk to Peter Strohkorb about changing the thinking around sales, client engagement, and b2b marketing.

Peter shares his experiences in sales and talks about how the methods of thinking about sales need to change. Even though the bottom line will ultimately be “top of mind” when it comes to growth, there are other metrics that can measure the success of the sales team, and companies should be using them.

Among those assets are engagement. Peter explains that engaging your client on a personal level—figuring out how they think, and what their problems are—can ultimately guarantee you more work. The reason is that your client will see your value proposition. If you and your sales team haven’t worked through what value you can actually bring to your clients, then you’re not going to get very far.

But most important is probably that you understand what your clients’ problems are, that you understand what solutions they’re talking about. You need to put in the work to understand how you can deliver value to the client and get them to trust you on that. Best case scenario, they accept the proposal, you deliver on time, and they say something good about you to a partner. Referral work is the best work, after all, because their guard is already down. Demonstrate that you have a proven sales model, and give the customer a good experience in the beginning, middle, and end.

Topics Covered:

  • The reward-oriented structure of sales needs to change.
  • We need to rethink selling.
  • Shifting the psychology of hitting monthly targets.
  • Quality of interactions vs. the quantity of sales.
  • You need a proven, structured sales process.
  • Why you need a good sales tagline.
  • You need to be able to articulate the value that you bring.
  • How do you engage the client?
  • Shape your conversation around who your point of contact is.
  • Talk about how you can avoid risk.
  • Creating value for our customers.
  • OneTeam and “Smarketing.”
  • Give the customer a good experience at all points.
  • Referral business is the best kind of business.

Key Quotes:

  • “When something goes right, people take the credit, but when something goes wrong, they blame others.” (1:58)
  • “It’s a push conversation that becomes a pressure conversation.” (4:25)
  • “We need to help our customers make an informed decision to buy from us.” (6:45)
  •  “Every organization needs growth, but we can change how we monitor sales achievements.” (11:00)
  • “The biggest value we can create is when we’re working with our customers one-on-one.” (15:00)
  • “You want a tagline that means something to your customer.” (19:45)
  • “You want a tagline that’s about an experience they can reasonably expect from your business.” (20:30)
  • “In this day and age, values are not enough. You have to have values, but you have to bring value as well.” (23:50)
  • “Challenging their thinking can create a conversation that feels sales-y.” (26:35)
  • “B2b sales is a long, drawn-out process in many cases.” (31:00)
  • “You don’t avoid the question of risk by showing that other people trust you.” (35:45)
  • “Once you send a proposal through, you’ve lost control of the sale.” (38:00)
  • “The worst thing you can do is just send the proposal.” (40:40)
  • “You want your client to feel like they’re being looked after.” (47:15)
  • “You don’t want to help them and have them go somewhere else.” (49:40)