The Customer Experience Podcast
The Customer Experience Podcast

Episode · 6 days ago

206. Becoming A People-Centered Sales Leader w/ Ni Adesokan

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

When you move from being a valued member of a team to the leader of a team, there’s a mindset shift that needs to happen.  

Whether you’re in sports, fitness or sales, a leader understands that making personal connections are just as important as the job. And what got you to be No.1 in the game, isn’t necessarily what’s going to help someone else. It’s about human-centered connections and opening yourself up to change.  

Hear our conversation with Ni Adesokan, Senior Manager, Strategic Brands at Affirm:

  • How to inject being human to automated virtual interactions
  • Why connecting with your team on a personal level changes the game
  • What to do when you get pushback from inbound and outbound sales development
  • Why shifting your mindset going into a leadership position is so important 

More information about Ni Adesokan and today’s topics:

Subscribe, listen, and rate/review the Customer Experience Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon, or Google Podcasts, and find more episodes on our blog.

The single most important thing you can do today is to create and deliver a better experience for your customers. Learn how sales, marketing and customer success experts create internal alignment, achieved desired outcomes and exceed customer expectations in a personal and human way. This is the customer experience podcast. Here's your host, Ethan Butte, making the transition from individual contributor to sales leader, finding success in outbound sales development and in inbound business development. Training and coaching sales reps for better targeting, outreach, qualification and closing. These are among the themes will be exploring with today's guest, whose success is based in his constant pursuit of becoming a better communicator, problem solver and critical thinker today then he was yesterday. He started his career in the fitness industry, spent four and a half years at Carscom, where he built their first ever sales development team, and spent the past two and a half years at a firm where he currently serves as senior manager of strategic brands. He's also featured in the award winning bombomb documentary dear first name, a business case against digital pollution. NEATA Shogun. Welcome to the customer experience podcast. Thank you, eathing. Glad to be here. I definitely love the intro and spot all with the name pronunciation. I got to give an hundred percent of the way. You know that. I really have bereciate it and I'm glad to be here. Awesome. Thank you so much. It's funny, you know, bombamb we do video emails and video messaging and sometimes you have to guess, but in a case like this, where we have this appointment on the calendar, I did my research. I try to honor everybody as the awesome human being that they are. Appreciate you being here and I'll kick it off with the question that we always kick it off with here on the show. Is Neat. When I say customer experience, what does that mean to you? Yeah, I mean customer experience. What that means to me is really the journey that a customer embarks on once they engage or get introduced to your brand. Right, you know, what is the quality of that, of that of that experience look like? What is that? What is that journey look like? Is it something that's consistent again and again? And I feel in a world where you know acquisition. Customer acquisition is something that a lot of folks obviously striving to attain. You know, the quality of that customer experience, the initial one, and ensuring that it's anonymous every single time, really gives one an opportunity to create lifetime value out of these customers when they first engage with you, knowing that the experience was so, so far above what they're used to, or maybe what they're they are accustomed to, that they will get it often and give you your brand because because of those deliverables. It's awesome. I love so much of what you share there, in particular consistency, but then also the outsize role that the earliest human to human touches right like an in, you know, the folks that you lead and managing in some of the roles you've been in. The outsize rule that that early human to human interaction plays on coloring the expectations of what's to come and, and do use your language again, increasing the lifetime value just by kind of raising the hopes, raising the expectation, setting the tone right and getting people off on the right foot. Is Customer experience a term or a concept that you've talked about often, for example, like in leading or coaching your team? That's a great question. To be kind of with you. I'm not sure it's something we focus so much on, probably largely do to the fact that my teams are are you know, they're pursuing, you know, let new business solely right so don't really have the opportunity to have recurrent relationships with people, you know, with prospects really post sign it. So maybe doesn't come up as often, but I do think a lot of folks on our teams they kind of take pride in delivering optimal customer experience, but anyone that they engage with knowing that,...

...you know, the brand in the company that they represent is obviously attached to it, and also just, you know, personal values I believe people possess to ensure that they do their work with with the with the high level of integrity. Yeah, just talk about Um, you know, obviously your team members and again, the roles you've been in. You're using a variety of touch points, but some of them are truly human to human and you just mentioned integrity and I feel like that's one of those things that's difficult to imposer, possible to measure but when you're in contact with a prospect or a customer or someone influencing a purchasing decision, that that human to human moment maybe has an outsize role again in affecting their perception of the brand. Like do you have any thoughts on that? Well, strong feelings about that. So great, great, you as that question. So I think for me, thinking back to like when I actually got my career started in sales, right there's the cars dowcom s NBA years, your list of prospect accounts. Get after it. There's a bunch of notes dates back, you know, years, on the different folks who own these accounts and attempted to break into it in the past. That one thing I remember a sales manager of my Melodi Cook, told me at the time is you read the notes for context and information, but you need to be sure that you're going into these conversations with a high level of optimism, because the people that you're looking to connect with they've never met you before, they've never spoken to you before. So you know you are you are the lone unique person in this possible partnership. Obviously, companies being here what they've always done for the most part, it's kind of been consistent, but you are kind of the the person that's position to completely change their perception of the brand. So for me, going into any call, any conversation, any meeting as a direct cell of myself, if I'm supporting someone on my team, I always going to it knowing, you know, the authenticity that I bring forth as a human is something that I think strongly can impact the way they view they view the brand and obviously myself by as well. So good, great advice earlier in your career for Melanie there. I actually just did, like I do some short self episodes on the podcast to like ten to twenty minutes, and I just did one on one hundred and ninety seven exploring the steam and you basically, for folks listening a that's why you have like a thirty or sixty second back button to hear what he had what he had to share there. But then also I did a kind of a dive into it myself on a very similar theme. That was awesome. Really enjoyed it. For people who aren't familiar, and before we get too much farther, tell us a little bit about a firm. Like who's your ideal customer or customers actually, especially for the team that you're working with. You know you're trying to bring on strategic brands, but then they're serving direct customers. Talk a little bit about what you're doing it a firm like her, your ideal customers and kind of what problems you're solving for them. Absolutely so. At a firm, you know, buy now, Pailad a provider and in the fin tex space, for us, the ideal customer profile are ecommerce and Kennedy, you know, brick and mortar retailers as well, right. And the problem was solving for them is providing and another, another option for their customers to check out right to make payments and the value in our product and technology does a number of things that it obviously provides them that that additional option for their customers to use as a payment and method, firstly. Second of all, it also allows those customers to have a great deal of flexibility when they're making those purchases and even there in the consideration stage. So now now they are able to actually increase the cart sizes, increase the actual order values that they're going into to make purchases on to the value that we deliver. It's essentially spends the gamut the right so we're we're ill being increase your average or the value the the service of a firm in and of itself as one that allows to help you increase your repeat purchase rates. Right now, these people have engaged with a firm that made a purchase with you and because of the quality of that experience the flexibility at affords it's going to increase the likely that they'll come back and make that purchase with you...

...or with, obviously other other retailers that we're we're partnered with. So for us, as a sweet spot, specifically within my segment, our ideal candy profile a merchants that are doing, you know, direct to consumer sales revenue anywhere from, you know, seventy five million a year all the way up to a billion billion dollars a year and in revenue. And you know, those are the the folks that might team are seeking to explow partnership with. Love it. That is quite a range of revenue targets. That's awesome. So so you scaled this team from three s to nine and sorry, midmarket sales team, and then you currently lead, I think, a half dozen senior as. Is that right? Yes, correct, yeah, started spend the mid merchants pregnant. Yeah, so you're obviously trying to build those relationships with those come those e commerce and other merchants who are doing I think you said, seventy five million to a billion bigause know. Yeah, totally. Well, I guess. I guess just to start there. You know, do you split the team like by maybe this is someone up to, you know, to hundred and fifty. How do you have that team organized? Is it geographic? Is it by revenue? Is it by maybe vertical or type of ECOMMERCE business? Great Quest. And so my segment is solely focused on the on the homely lifestyle space, right, and they you know that that really encompasses everything. Only lifestyle is essentially for you and I right now having this conversation, any of the merchants that sell any of the things we can see while we're here and in our workspaces, be it, you know, consumer electronics, obviously, be at furniture out those sporting goods, you know, home workout equipment. So those are the spaces that we live in. And No, we're not, we're not aligned geographically. Are Our company is remote first. So at this point I have, you know, folks that they live in, you know and I in every part of the country and the merchant that they work with. It's not specific to what those what there those revenue numbers are. Thankfully, our REVN operations team does a really, really good job of ensuring like parody across you know, prospect a councils kind of everyone has an equal share or equal opportunity to secure the same types of partnerships based on the volume that the merchant prospects and are in all territories. Do Love It. This is kind of an in the weeds question, but in terms of ravops helping in that way, is that like in terms of distribution, and is that more machine driven or is that human driven or kind of boats like? How do you work it so that the distribution to degree you can I know how much that was done by revops with a suggestion from you. But speaking to that a little bit, I just think it's a really interesting topic. I think a lot of people are still maturing. I know we are still maturing in this space, and it sounds like a really great use of a good revops function. No, absolutely te to answer that to your point. It's a mix of both right. Obviously a piece being automated where, you know, maybe just taking a look at the actual the amounts at least the the the the sales revenue associated with some of these accounts when you look in our reports and sales force and you know, kind of generating it that way, making sure that the kind of evenly distributed. And I think, to your point, a bit of it comes from, you know, feedback from myself and from, you know, he's on the team sharing some additional insights. I think an example of that is the way we measure the value of parties that we look to secure. Right, business that's doing you know, I don't know, a half a billion dollars in revenue purely from the ECOMMERCE website. You know, for us we don't always value the exact same as a business that's doing that in the form of a brick and mortar largely do to the fact that, you know, the conversion rates for the ECOMMERCE partnerships. For one to actually use a firm to check out, we believe a higher it's there, it's present, it's it's physical, it's part of their checkout flow. But then you know, on the stall level there are number of considerations there. That doesn't really allow us to have, you know, consistent measure to be able to say these number of people are going to help for firm and that's country we goodbye. You know,...

...the the training that those teams and retailer is already do. How knowledgeable are their staff about how to kind of inject a firm in their conversations when there working with customer? Secondly, how are they able to to what do they offer in stored that would probably increase the likelihood of someone us in a firm to make those purchases. So that's some of the things I said. We know, we talked through to work with, you know, the REVAN operations team, which understand like well. We certainly see we're coming from here. The volume for this businesses are very much consistent. However, you know there's a bit of an added wait for the e commerce retailers. You know that that maybe doesn't always apply to brick and mortar. Yeah, makes a lot of sense and I feel like I'm seeing something like in a firm logo near check out online more and more often and more and more places. So well, good job to you. And your team. And so, I guess as a leader of a couple of different teams at a firm now, I mean again started mid market and I've got these senior a's. What are some of your you know, what are maybe a couple leadership lessons you picked up along the way, whether you learned in the hard way or you just like heard the advice to first time it adopted it straight away, or things that you just kind of grown into. What are a few key leadership principles or philosophy so that so that your team feels engaged, equipped, motivated inspired, especially in a fully remote posture? Yeah, I mean, I have a have a couple. I think one of them to me is adopting a, you know, as a servant, a servant leadership approach right, which is, you know, I work for you, I'm here to support, I'm here to help you navigate challenges obstacles that you face, and I'm also very open to us finding collaborative ways to kind of find that solution. Now, I obviously started my career at one point as an individual contributor and I had my way of doing things, but I'm also very well knowledgeable that you know, my way isn't always the best way to do it or the right way to do it. And yes, it might work for me, but I should also be open to suggestions from people on things that you know did, that that they've done. It about success within one than anything else. It allows for us as a unit, as an entire team, to kind of grow and learn, you know, from each other. There's no then. The one person doesn't have all of the answers and I think as a collective we're stronger. And, you know, the probably the second and most important one for me as far as learning, you know early, early my in my in my leadership career, is, you know, understanding that people don't care what you know, people don't really care what you say. You know people are always going to care. I remember the way you made them feel. It's paraphrase in my Angelo there with the quote, but it's something I've always anchored on, which is making sure that people understand that you know, I care, I I'm here for them to be supportive, personally and professionally. It's something that I kind of had to I have to learn it at a point earlier in my career, six months into my sales career, Carscom I got promoted into kind of a team lead position. A lot of that to do with the work that I was already doing in my role, the success that I achieved early on and that first stint in that role was really where I kind of had to, you know, I kind of have to really build and shape what my leadership style would look like. And it's not about hey, go do this, a go do that. It's more about, you know, kind of a shared ownership, you know, helping folks feel encouraged and helping inspire them to know that the work that they're doing is far more than just hitting a number. You know, there's a mission at hand. Outside from that, there are, you know, personal goals that folks on to attain. So how do we how do we kind of you know, you know, put all those things together as part of an action plan or goals that they want to get after for I don't know, six months, twelve months, including their personal and professional goals, and those things, I think, have been have been helpful for people to kind of come into work knowing that the work I'm doing here not only is the contributing to me attaining this number, earning this x amount of dollars. It's also...

...putting me in position to, you know, to buy this House that I want to buy in six months or and twelve months. It's put them in position to to go in this vacation I've always wanted or even, you know, the next thing I want to be doing in my career. I need to do this now to get to the next stage, to get to the next stage, and I feel like when you having those conversations with people, they're more human. It's it's far less about what you've done for me lately. It's about, you know, helping folks advance in their personal and professional lives. So much good stuff in there, from, of course, focusing on how you make people feel as the most resonant thing that we have, and that is the essence of employee experience and customer experience, obviously starting with servant leadership and then, of course, closing their sharing insights on to understanding the person personally and professionally, because, especially now, I feel like it's just impossible to peel those two things apart. They are one and the same, and so when we see and treat people that way, I think it makes a big difference. How are you I assume you're doing like one on one sessions. Talk a little bit about your just general cadence with your team you are you doing team meetings, doing a one on ones? Do you have like subsets within the team? Just get just a quick pass on how you're and and I'm asking it in the context of of your philosophy and approach there, which is wonderful. How do you kind of manifest that, you know, on a weekly, monthly, quarterly basis? Absolutely so. On the weekly basis, we're doing a weekly tlame meeting. Typically I have that set for two days, Tuesdays. As far as the kids, because I understand people are just getting into work Monday, last Sunday. One is a manager, you know. You know scheduling. Doesn't meet in to go over XYZ. Give them a chance to kind of get get settled into into work for the week, responsive emails, what have you. And I feeled that also contributes to, you know, what they are now sharing in that Tuesday meeting. You know, you meet with folks on Monday morning, they just turned a computer on two hours ago. There's not a lot of contexts. As not that there's not a whole lot that they're going to be looking to add in that in that meeting in a way of value as it relates to their business. So that's one and it typically in those sessions I'm going over, you know, recent wins obviously leading in like an indicators that we need to be paying attention to as a way to ensure that we're training towards our goal. And he passed out some leadership. But what I actually love about those settings more than any is I probably spend maybe close to fifty percent of that time just catching up with people. How is your weekend? What did you do? You know, what do you have? What do you got going this week? You know. So a lot of it is more as very, very personal as far as what's going on in their lives, and then Indians that I have weekly one on ones with everyone on the team. Very similar. We have a running document that we keep within the calendar invite that basically both of us are able to access at any point. You know, I want to go over this with this person on Tuesday. Let me just put this note in here so that I don't forget when that time comes. So we'll do a similar cadence where we're spending the first first, probably tens with timage, just catching up on what's going in their personal lives, and then I'll turn it over to hear anything that they want to speak to, specifically as relates to work. Then I'll share the things that kind of that I did. I want to impart on them based on my observations and obviously for my leadership team as well. And another piece of it is I have office hours blocked out on my calendar just a one hour a week open zoom at any point dropping as questions, you know, shoot the breeze, talk about what you got going on. So that's also again another open form for folks not to feel pressure to so I come present something it meets, I would just just hop in, a zoom and kind of go about my day working. Bill to trickle in and out throughout the course of that hour as well, so that that's what kind of the meeting cadence looks like for my immediate same currently super thank you so much for walking us through that. In like the share the amount of time you spend talking personally is it really stood out to me? You know, I think so often we do the kind of the personal once around is like a kind of a token gesture on...

...the way into the meeting and that, and then really get to what we're there for. So, and I think that really sets a tone, as of course, to opening up your calendar to anyone. So you've been talking off and on throughout our conversation, including from your first response, about having been an individual contributor, as an AE and a senior AE, and of course you've already mentioned the transition to management while you're at Carscom and of course you've been leading sales team since. Share a little bit for folks, because obviously listeners of this show, whether they're in sales or not, are on both sides of that individual contributor and team leader. You have a lot of individual contributors that think I really want to be a team leader and I want to be that sooner than later, but I don't think they always understand the pros and cons of the different types of roles like well, and I'm sure you've advised people on this as well. So maybe start by giving us a little bit about how that transition went for you and then maybe get a little bit into Um some of the questions or some of the advice you've heard or given around. You know, is this for me or how should I think about it or how can I make a transition smoothly? Yeah, I think so, coming as I guess to start to come. I think one of the things that has really allowed me to you know, to be a stronger leader, stronger manager, was from those times as an individual contributor right when, you know, there's certain things that, I meant, I really like the dismanager did that, and there are certain things where, you know, as it I see, you know, you maybe roll your eyes at the fact that the magic did this. So, having background on that, it was easy for me to clearly identify, like the things that I would not be doing as a leader and the things that I would want to be doing, based on how, you know, previous leaders that have kind of made me feel and in the past. So I guess let's backtrack for a second. The first piece of that question was it was how did the transition go for you? Yeah, yeah, so the transition for me was, you know, it was it was understanding that when things go well, your team gets all the credit. When things go wrong, that all falls on you and, more than anything, understanding that at that point, as a leader, like it just need is not about you. Coincidentally, for me, when I officially became a manager at work in a couple of team the capacities kind of serve in the mix of an icy contributor as well as you know, like an assist assist in the manager role. But my official transition to be in a manager coincide with maybe the actually the week we found out that I was we were having twins. So for me, I givenly remember were my direct at the time was hired me into this role. Says need now double webbing. Now you know that it's never going to be about you ever again, not at home and not at work, and that understanding, I think, is something that that helped me help shape that transition where it's about the logged team. Now it's about people. It's about folks that have to come before you in order to be successful, and that was something that I adopted early on. I think was very, very helpful and my leadership journey awesome. Who you know? I think a lot of people, specially younger in their career, a lot of people think that this is what you need to do in order to like I'm air quoting for people who are listening but we do put video clips up for every episode bombbcom slash podcast, where you can see, by the way, knees background with the Kobe Bryant Mamba Mentality. I believe it's Notre Dame play like a champion today. I think I'll. I got a couple questions about like the philosophy and mindset that that gives you, but or that it reflects. But you know, I'm a recording like if I'm going to advance in my career, that means that I need title changes and I need to lead or manage teams. But of course you and I both know that that's not necessarily true. Talk about that for someone who assumes that that has to be the case, because I'm sure your mate, I assume you're leading and managing people who've been individual contributors their entire career and they're perfectly successful and satisfied and living into their strengths and they don't feel necessarily limited by what they're doing or not doing. Absolutely I mean until your...

...point that you're right and minute it's not something that's for everyone. I think back to my days as in the virtual contributor vivially pre kids, pre know being a parent, I would strive on an annual to like hit my annual quota, maybe October, November of the year. And then what happens after that? You know my life and I would be going, you know, three four week vacation, explore four, five, six different countries and, you know, kind of just just relax for the remainder of the time. Those are some of the benefits of being individual contributed, which is, you know, you could you buckle down if you wanted. You could work forty, fifty hours a week for two, three months and put yourself in a really, really good position to kind of ease back and and and coast based on your deliverables from the extra effort that you put forth. Now, as a manager, completely different ball game. It's about you always being available. It's about you kind of looking at the bigger picture and the fact that you know the decisions that you're making impacts a whole lot more than just you. So there are other the number of considerations for you to have there. Until your point, I've had those costs will people were like, well, I want to see what's next in my career. And one thing that I've always told people, and I find to be true. Is this is you know, if you're unsure, if you know people manager role is what you want to be doing, or if maybe kind of following the funnel into being more of a senior seller or enterprize account executive is something you want to do, I don't think it hurts to consent to continue exploring the role as an individual contribute as a senior seller. Why? I feel like a lot of the skills that you're learning in and you're using as you become as you're working in more of an enterprise, a you roll, the way you communicate pepe, you way you communicate to people, the things that you have to consider, because the sizes of those types of deals and partnerships obviously much higher. Those skills, I feel, are very, very, very transferable to being to being a manager. So, from my perspective, you know, if you want to be a people leader and you maybe get out one run, sure about it. I would say keep working on enhancing your knowledge as a seller, on move into being as a senior seller as possible, and I feel strongly that that transitions into being a people manager roll, if that's the path that one chooses to go, to go into, but to your point. I mean a lot of type people think, you know, being being a people manage it to buy having this grand title right, and I don't think folks consider that coming with with that title also comes a whole lot of responsibility and it's something that, you know, one has to be sure that they can, you know, they can manage before they make that type of that type of a decision, of that that type of a leap, so to speak. That's really good guydance. So I guess I'll stick with where I left off and asking that question, because we're kind of talking about a player, a player coach. Another role you've done, you said, as a team lead, and then, of course, a coach, and we all know it, whatever sport or athletic pursuit we like, you know, a lot of coaches were players and there's some people that are like kind of senior on the team and function as a player coach, formerly or informally. Tell me a little bit about for you, the relationship, just based to get on your background, between sports performance and professional performance or sales performance. How does that all tie together for you? I think their number of metaphors and parallels we could draw, but I'm curious about your take on it. Yeah, I mean for me it's always been just, you know, striving to be the best version of self. Right and tet the appointing is the reason why the play like a champions here. The moma mentality poster, have another one here. You know, ambition, work hard and be kind. So for me, going above and beyond is something that I've always strived for as an individual contributor and then transition into a leadership role. Also understand it as a coach. Right, what's a likelihood that, you know, everyone on your team has that same level of like UN girl, or that same level of fervor where they want to finish a two hundred percent a goal every single quarter for the year? Right, probably slim the nun. Now the folks who do have that desire, you know, obviously I speak that language very, very well, so I know I had to kind of guide to push...

...them towards it. And the folks that don't, ultimately I'm also able to coach them into understanding that, you know, long term, this is what you want to accomplish it. As far as for your career, then these are some things you need to be doing, delivering upon now for that to be able to happen. So I think there's certainly a correlation there. One of the things that I certainly have to shift my mindset around transitioning into being a leader is understanding. You know, you know everyone is not like you. Everyone does not have that same desire to to maybe be number one on the lad aboard. But how can you still coach them to be the best version of their self? And that's what I mean. That's mean to your we're d that's that's what a team is. A big basketball fan, obviously, you know, I watch a watch a lot of MBA and I come out of ten when we whenever we see a team that has four or five, you know, all star players are really, really good players. That's usually the recipe for them to go nowhere, right. So you know that balance and that mix. I believe it is a huge part of what a successful team looks like and it's something that I looked up. Same Body and building and teams that I lead love it. I also watch a lot of basketball and, in particular a lot of NBA, and I got like a bunch of questions, but I'm just saying for our next conversation whether or not that would anyway. In bound out bound, talk about similarities differences, you know, and then we'll maybe start having a little bit of a conversation about digital pollution in the challenge of, you know, reaching out, breaking through, whether in an inbound or outbound motion. But but you've been on both sides of that. Talk about some similarities and differences in that motion in general. Yeah, I mean in bound out bound. So I can say, you know, now bounds other things we can control. Right, we can't control who who out there, as saying, you know, the brand or the company and it's interested in a partnership. Right. Tho, are any things that I like? But then you know, any role that I've been on I've been able to directly affect. Now the outbound piece. Absolutely, those are things that we can we can certainly influence and the way I've always found success when you're looking to break into into into an account or you're looking to reach a stakeholder pride at a brand or a company, is the amount of time that you spend researching understanding their business, their needs and what you believe your product can help them solve. For the amount of time you spend doing that would always show in them in a message that you send out to them and then comes out of ten. If you, I've done no research, the message that you send is going to fall very, very flat. And if you spend the time doing the research, I strongly do see and believe that it it increases the like need of engagement, of you getting a response, even if it's even if it's not the response you desire, even if it's not them same. Yes, I'll take this meeting. The amount of time you spend doing that, I think number one, it shows you're a human shows that you care, it shows that you already spending time on their business without actually earning it, and it is my belief that that is a way to then earn the conversation, because you're coming to the table presenting something that maybe everyone else that's hidden up their inbox is not doing. What do you say when someone says that's doesn't seem very scalable? I don't have time for that. I have my own fear of d you divide. But like what? Well, what's your when you get that sensor, when you even hear that kind of pushback, what do you offer? I mean, it's all about partization. Right. So Do I expect folks to spend thirty minutes doing research on every single account that they own to send a message to probably not. Now, what are your priority one accounts? which are the accounts that you know would deliver the most value to the business, to you, to attaining your quota? Those are the ones that I say by all means, if you need to block out time and your calendar, if you...

...need to just plan that ahead, you should absolutely be able to spend time on your pone accounts doing doing just that, because that's where that's where you're going to drive the biggest impact. Like the last thing you want to do is send out in a generic email to maybe the biggest prospect that count in your book the competitor sends one that's a lot more thorough research that, just like that, you want they've won before you haven't even got started. So I don't believe that. Yeah, I know, I don't. I'm not. I'm not. I don't know. Bide it a rule that there's not enough time to do it. I think there's enough time to do it in a meaningful way. Yeah, I think to it's this. It's that balance of efficiency, like a lot of touches and effectiveness, finding the spots to make the Touchtoo, invest in the touches that are really really going to make a difference. Talk about the value in in all of this, because you know you're working early on in the in the customer relationship we've already established, it's potentially in make or break for the entire relationship, in the entire lifetime. Value you potential? What's the value of facetoface in that? Like, do you mandate your team to have cameras on in all cases? Like, just talk about that a little bit, like, because you are obviously see the value of the human you essentially said that the human being is a primary differentiator, especially in the early stage. Is the customer experience. Talk about how to inject more human into these inner world where so much of what we're seeing as as recipients feels, looks and we just know is automated and it just feels colder. Like how, like, what are some of the things you are doing to be a little bit more human, to make a little bit more connection? No, that's that's a great question. So No, I mean I don't managed. Folks out there have their cameras on. I think typically that the cat instance for folks to kind of mirror whether we're talking to is doing. Say they have their cameras off. Probably they feel more comfortable with the cameras off. So we'll know. Probably will do the same, but I those out of time. We have a camera Zona. We're having these conversations and the piece about being more human, and I think it best need directly ties into a lot of what I shared about. You know why a lot of my team meetings and a lot of my interactions would folks on my team. We spend a nice chunk of our time together catching up on a personal level and I think that's something that it's a big part of. You know what we're when we're having, you know, merchant calls, which is get kind of you know, while we maybe waiting for folks to trickle into the zoom, just getting a better understanding of each other. And I'm kind of like, a personal level, Hey, where you located? You know what's going on your side. You know I've their kids. Don't Kiddos a sick today? How about you? Like? Those are the things that make us more, far more human, and I think I would I don't I don't subscribe to the theory that, you know, you have to be likable to be a good salesperson, but I don't think that it hurts. You know, I feel folks are probably more better able to receive what you're sharing when they like you and just being as candid as possible, being being being transparent with people when you engage with them, so they know that, Hey, I obviously you know the reason we're having this call is is because, you know, we have a solution to provide you, but it's I also believe strongly it's one that's mutually beneficial. And you know, on the other end, folks are probably saying, like this is someone with a quota. Yeah, rightfully so, but we're also humans, right you have deliverables and objectives that you have to you know, you have to attain at your work and saying here, we're not doing anything different as far as our rules are concerned, we're still human at the end of the day. So I'll can we work together to help each other achieve those goals that we have individually, and I think that's been it's been. It's been really helpful to kind of take take that approach in the previous role of mine. It wasn't. It wasn't a zoom world as the CARSCOM calling into rule dealerships as an individual contributor. So it was all over the phone. I can definitely say in that role the Times that I was able to make it out into the market to me with people facetoface, it certainly increased, you know, closed rates because this is this person that you know. For them again, calling to a rule dealership in Virginia, they see Carscom is some ivory tower and some fancy city, but now when they see boots on the ground, like...

...knee is actually here in our office, that makes me that much more relatable to them and I think it certainly helps to increase those clothes rates for sure. Yeah, absolutely, totally agree. Are you because of the value of your accounts? Is Your team getting into the field at all again, like I mean as things seem to be getting better from health and legal and social and cultural perspective, or I'm getting together with people we haven't met before. Is that something that you all do you think are going to be doing more of now? That's a that's a great question. I know that it's something that, as I've there's definitely done in the past before here the firm. I think to your point, obviously, last couple of years probably, you know, wasn't a whole lot of in person meetings going going on. But interestingly, you know, there's a particular account that you know, one of the AIS on my team is working. Ironically, it's they're located in Virginia and in our conversation just the other day where think it's ourselves, based on just the sheer size volume of this type of a partnership, I'm absolutely open to, you know, make making a trip down to go meet folks in person. And some of the businesses that we're looking to secure partnerships with, they there's, you know, kind of still very very much, you know, kind of old school mentality, handshake on a deal without doing a Docu sign. We want to sign on paper and in so for those types of businesses, absolutely think it's value befo us to make that make that visit there, but I would have beat that. I would prefer to do that only when we feel strongly that these conversations are kind of trending positively. That makes sense. Yeah, absolutely. Again, it's prioritization, investing in the right spots. When our team reached out to our production team, it's like hey, we're working on this documentary. Here's kind of like the theme behind it. What was your first daughter first reaction? My first reaction was, I mean, I think this is this is very, very spot on, considering, you know, what I do for work, and so to the thole title of the of the of the documentary, the amount of digital pollution that I myself faced with on a daily basis. So I thought it was, you know, be a great opportunity for me to kind of talk through those things and I found a great deal of joy and seeing that again one of the principles that I've always adopted earlier on, as far as that human piece of it. It. It prevails as far as really the differentiated that allows one to break in and be successful is to be human. And you know, just seeing that be validated in the documentary from obviously other speakers and and everyone else that that participate in the panel was great. was great to hear and great to be a part of it. So, no, I was in the I was like wait, it's pandemic stake. So they can fly out like Oh, we're going to do a documentary, but I was excited to be a part of it and I had a lot of fun doing it, for sure. Awesome for folks listening again, it's called dear first name, which, of course, is a play on bad personalization, where the variable data tesn't go in where it should. Subtitle a distance case against digital pollution. We have full edits by the way. We took your entire interview knee and did like an breakdown. I'll put in the in the blog post at bombbcom slash podcast for this episode, which is going to be episode number two, hundred and six, and for anyone listening. I hate to say any but your socks stole the show. I heard. I heard. Yeah, I thought in a comment out of post. Would you let people know about I saw it as a comment. I was like that's so funny. By wife said the same thing, like those, those socks are exceptional. But for fun fact is those are probably put show favorite socks at the time. My wife actually warm out was those like like maybe that those are my favorite socks, so she bought me another pair. So now I have two pair of them, so good. All right. So if you've enjoyed this time with knee and or you want to dive even deeper into these themes of digital pollution, breaking through, making connection, finding ways to be more human in an increasingly digital, virtual and online employee experience as well as customer experience, I'd point you to episode two hundred and two with Dr Eric Huffman.

He's actually our it director here bombomb but he's also a cyberpsychology and a cyber security expert with a PhD. And that's two hundred and two with Aeric Kufman, and two hundred five with Melissa Gracious, who's a productivity expert and helps people deal with incredible volumes of digital noise and pollution. It's not exclusively a mind over matter situation, but a lot of that helps and she provides a lot of great tips. And episode two thousand and five. Before I let you go, knee first. I've really loved this and I do have a number of other things I just want to talk to you about personally, but for the sake of time and can are both schedules today. It's both of our schedules today. I won't do that, but I would love to give you the opportunity to think or mention someone who's had a positive impact on your life for career. Perhaps I think Melanie Cook was one person's name, but maybe give me another one and and and give an not or a shout out to a company or brand that you personally appreciate for the experience they deliver for you as a customer. Absolutely, I think it definitely a million cook is as you, as you mentioned, being one another person. I mean it's tough, mean they're there's so many leaders that have helped kind of shape me, you know, shape shape, you know, mean to being the type of leader that I am now. One person really sticks out, though, I'd have to say, would be late win who was the director of all our team cars. Thatcom was actually the person who Melanie Cook reported to at the time when I when I joined the team, and the reason for that is, you know, the the person that he is, the values daddy and bodies, you know, the the principles that he set forth and just his commitment to, you know, the the Development, the coaching and the advancement of really everyone that on his team, as well as, you know, a small focus on, you know, minorities that are maybe not getting the same opportunity as others was something that was very, very impactule for me and my career. Interestingly enough, this was a person who I never actually applied for the for my role Carscom when I started. Then there was basically I think I have an all that. I think I had a resume online somewhere and you know, he found it. I think he was impressed by to me and know, you know, fact wool to think. A month later I was in seating a roll and he's someone that to this day we have quarterly zoom meetings with. He's going up to a different company, saying here, but we still meet on a quarterly basis just to catch up, see how the family's doing and and pick his brain all the time. And I would just quickly also throw a shout out to John Clamad, that to who was the chief revenue officer, and then as we pee there at cars as well, with someone who was also very, very imperative to my success in my development as a leader. A brand that I engage with I love. It's going to be generic, even it's starbucks, playing simple. Why? Consistency. I know that I can pull this APP up, I can find the nearest starbucks location, I can make my order. I can walk in within five to ten minutes and it would taste by drake will taste the exact same. Doesn't matter if I am in Amsterdam or if I if I met, I met a shop in Chicago. So for me would be starbucks. I think that they're there. What their brand does for that customer journey is to consistent that I design. Love it. Well done. Really enjoyed this. If other people, if frankly, if someone's listening at this point, they can of the conversation. I assume they enjoyed our time together as I did. How can someone follow up and learn more about you or learn more about a firm? Yeah, absolutely. I can definitely reach out to me on on Linkedin. Just going to lake. You're going into linkedin. Just are to me out of show. Can first on aim and I last sense at ades OK, and you could definitely learn more about me. You want to learn more about a firm partnering with us, to shoot me an email. Knee at a firmcom awesome, easy to do, and I'll link some of that stuff up at bombmbcom slash podcast or I'll have video highlights. You can see these background and you can see his full interview from the documentary. I think it's forty minutes your piece alone. That's which is the length of the whole documentary and it's really, really good stuff and I so appreciate...

...your time. I appreciate who you are and I think you for spending this time with me. Texty. They really appreciated get in the chat with you and hopefully we will be able to connect offline to talk more about NBA and all things sports. Right, all right, all right, I would go it. We have our inbox constantly foam. We constantly have messages coming in. Work emails just went up twe hundred and one. Have Ninety nine plus six hundred and seventy nine on ready mail. We're here to talk about a major problem. My name is Kitpbodner and I'm the chief marketing officer at help spot. I probably get ten to fifteen phone calls a day unwanted, and I probably get fifty a hundred emails a day unwanted. When I think about noise and trying to get that out of my life, I think about it through my most scarce resource was just my time and attention. Is it worth my attention ever here versus like me spending a moment with my son or cooking a meal with my son. The answers almost always know. We also know that the byproduct of that noise is feeling overwhelmed, feeling like there's not enough signal and that you feel discombobulated or confused. That's at least how I feel, so I also tried to protect myself from those feelings as well. Watch the trailer now for dear first name a four part, first of its kind documentary series that explores how digital pollution is eroding our ability to communicate with each other and build trust. Coming this winter.

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