The Customer Experience Podcast
The Customer Experience Podcast

Episode · 2 years ago

51. How To Enable Your Sales Team: Practical Tips for Sales Leaders w/ Joe Caprio

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Let’s drill into sales enablement.

Not just the important question of how we can best prepare our salespeople, but I’m talking here about how we set them up to serve our customers successfully? Sales isn’t about quotas; it’s about pursuing our clients’ success.

Which is why it’s completely apt that my guest on this episode of The Customer Experience Podcast was a customer who was absolutely delighted with Chorus.ai before becoming their VP of Sales. I recently talked with Joe Caprio, VP of Sales at Chorus, about sales best practices, sales enablement (and sales readiness), sales training, and more

Joe and I discussed the true impact of sales engagement and how you can execute on the strategies Joe has implemented. Stay tuned in for:

  1. How to make your rookie BDRs as good as your veterans in half the time
  2. What it’s like to be your own ideal customer
  3. Time to productivity, productivity per person
  4. The dreaded Monday lecture

Bonus: Joe reveals what he wishes marketing knew about sales.

That was the biggest Aha for me. was like the number one way to enable your sales team is to get that tribal knowledge out of your veterans brains and distribute it into the rookies brains as fast and it's powerful. You're listening to the customer experience podcast, a podcast dedicated to helping today's growing businesses restore a personal human touch throughout the customer life cycle. Get ready to hear how sales, marketing and customers success experts surprise and delight and never lose sign of their customers humanity. Here's your host, Ethan Butte. From sales enablement to sales readiness. How do we best prepare our sales people? How do we set them up not just for success against quota, but to best serve our customers? That's the topic on this episode of the PODCAST. Our guest is spent fifteen years in a variety of sales roles in Boston and San Francisco, bicoastal before becoming vp of sales for chorus. He was a delighted chorus customer and the privilege of spending some time with him at an outreach unleash event a couple months back and I'm excited to reconnect with him here today. Joe Caprio, welcome to the customer experience podcast even thank you so much for having me. I could return all the same compliments to you that it really enjoyable time every time we've spoke, so I'm thrilled to be here. Cool. Let's start with where we always start on the show, which is your thoughts or your definition or characteristics of customer experience. How do you think about it? Sure, customer experience for me, I think, is really really morphed and started to encompass the entire journey. So I think a lot of us are now thinking about the customer experience from the first brand impression they get all the way through, you know, the sales cycle, right into deployment and making sure you're deeply embedded and being used properly and expanding and renewing. Because he earned it, and so I really think of customer experiences just every single customer facing asset and employee, your team marching to the same tune with the unified message and mission to help your customers succeed in their business, not just with your tech. It's a great, great answer. You covered a lot of really important elements there. When you mentioned Brandon, so this brand experience, customer experience, I'm hearing you synonymously. It's end to end, it's start to finish, an impact and renewed impact. It's your people and your assets. You just really covered a lot of ground there and you're right on. I agree with you. For those who are who aren't familiar, can share a little bit about course. You know who are your ideal customers? Who are you serving? How are you serving those folks? Sure, yeah, I mean are our target customers to be really gross a our, you know, high growth, rapidly scaling, Bob Sales Teams. We work with some really cutting in technology like bombomb. We also work with some like massive hundred million dollars funded or publicly trading companies like data robot Klavo. We in able them specifically their sales enablement and training programs to get their reps field ready faster. So we support qualtrix university and they'll be sales academy. And essentially we're an intelligence product that joins your sales meetings, captures what happened, what worked or didn't work, and then turn that into inspection points for managers, like activity reminders for reps and, ultimately, like the best training program that you can ever put your people through is giving them an ability to listen to your top performers and learn from how they go to market. So we are in intelligence platform and a training platform for rapid growth tech. It's great. It really changed the way our sales management works with and trains our salespeople and we get great feedback from everyone that uses it in a variety of ways. So love what you all are up to. One of the fun things when I met you, one of them, one of my favorite things that's stuck with me right away, was that you were a course customer before you became the VP of sales. What was it about the company or the product or the customer experience they were delivering for you as a customer? Like, what made you say I gotta join this team? Yeah, I tell the story a...

...lot, as you could imagine, right. But yeah, I was a customers. I ran. I ran the training and enablement program at a company called inside squared back in Boston, and you know, we had a skill gap. We we lacked consistency of message and we would hire folks right out of college and try to get them, you know, ready to sell bi which is really complicated, intense product and you need to be a little more World League than folks that are right out of college. And so we had a skill gap. I bought chorus, I deployed into my sales team and then I used it for the last year that I was at inside square and I cut my ramp time in half. Real talk, I got my ram time in half. I increased my win rate while doing that. So I was getting people to a higher wind rate and less time. I improved consistency of messaging. I got handoffs figured out so that are a team. was, you know, enabling our customer team with the right you know needs from a customer. And it worked. And so my wife kind of makes fun of me where she said, you know, you stayed inside squared for six years and when you finally left, you went and took like ten different interviews, but I knew you were going to chorus the whole time because in the last year you come home every day and you're like Oh, the other cool thing that course does for me. So, you know, a lot of people tell the story, but it's real with me, like I was a very, very happy customer of the software and I just I just love what we do. Love Enablement, I love training. My dolphamine doesn't come from close and deals and comes from enabling do salespeople to learn how to close deals, and so I love the mission that we're on right now of helping our customers support their sellers with better training and enablement. It's really good that you mentioned something there and you used worldly as as a phrase. To phrase that that I've been thinking and using. It is I think about our own team members and variety of positions, not just in sales. Is Like, how do we raise the business acumen right as we start to go up market and work with more sophisticated people with more at stake? And so just close that gap for me a little bit, like how did you use chorus at insight squared to make those folks more worldly? Like what were you looking for or listening for and then feeding back to them? Like how do you raise up the business acumen of these of these young folks who have obviously had an important job, a complex sale maybe? How did you do that and how to how did the tech help you do that? Yeah, you know, it's really funny. I'm a really good friend named Mark Cossa glow WHO's the head of sales that outreach, and I think about the first time that I bought that product and what it did for my sales team. It really enabled my rookie bedrs to send the emails that my veteran bedrs were sending, and so folks that had a year or a year and a half in the seat had figured out what work and what resonated and what the prospects like to talk about. And then every new hire that I had would try to figure it out on their own and by taking the templates from a veteran Bedr and giving them to the rookie Bedr. They still might not be great on the phone yet, but man, those emails were tight. You start to play that out on the rest of your sales and support motion and it's like your veterans have figured out a way to really nail this this project, and the faster you can get your rookies to pick up what's working and what's not working, the fast you can get them to mimic the veterans and see you start really thinking about like what a the tendkey skills that a person seller or supporter needs at your company and how can I create really powerful lists of good examples of those skills? So it's no longer lecture and role play, is actually watching real interactions that you know, moments that made an impact, and then copying that down in your own skill set. That was the biggest Aha for me. was like the number one way to enable your sales team is to get that tribal knowledge out of your veterans brains and distribute it into the rookies brains as fast and it's powerful, so good. And so it's like the game tape, you know, like we're going back. This is a game from one thousand nine hundred and ninety six, and you could yeah, anyway, can't cheat the man in the glass, yeah, Luch in the mirror, right, or two thousand and sixty year over. Yeah. So you are hardcore about buy your persona, which I really respect the way you go at it. You know you're focusing for a bit on Biz ops and vops, sales...

...enablement. Talk about your approach to buy your persona. Like what is that? Why does it matter to you so much? I mean, I think it's implied, but I'd love to hear your own words. And then what are you doing practically to really steep yourself in who your buyer is, in how they live and work and think, yeah, so I don't care about your features, I really don't. I don't care about your technology and I don't care about your reference customers. I care about how I should use your product your service. I care about the actual teams that I can develop, the changes I can make. And so when I when I hire and train sales people or even customers success people, it's like, no one cares about your features and they want a demo, but they really want to know how they're going to go out and do their job better or more effectively. And so I really need to understand my target buyer. Let's I can trick them or sell to them, but so I can understand what they're actually trying to accomplish and then I can highlight the areas of my product or service that can support their mission. And so my big thing about about really knowing your buyer. It's not just like you know, where do they hang out and what types of mediums can you communicate through? Right, it's not that, it's what are they really trying to accomplish and how can you support them to make them more successful in their careers? Because ultimately, right they're successful in their career, they're a high performer for their companys. That is the best way to service your customers, just to make your purse, your buy or persona really successful in their function. And then, know you asked about how do I yea the research piece right. It's one thing to just sit down in a room and we all we've all talked with fifteen or thirty or fifty of them, and so we just start making up some persona. You go a little bit farther than that. I do. So the first thing I do is I'm going to pitch. I use my product that I I drill down on certain people. You know, we record all the calls and then they listen to what the prospects and the customers say to us and I sort that by roll. And so went ahead of enablement leverages chorus to train their sales team. What are they talking about? What are they asking for when ahead of sales uses course to inspect and enforce methodology or process? What are they talking about? What they care about when an executive team builds these listen parties where they're going in there and trying to mind the calls for incite into what the customers need. What do they care about, what do they think it about? And so that that's one thing they do is I really listened intently to our recorded calls. The other thing that I do is I actually send all of my ics to school, and so we sell a lot to sales enablement. So I send every ice at my company to sales enablement academy as run by Mesha McPherson from Humblegrid Sale. She's affiliated with Mad Cameron from from Sassi sales management. She runs a twoday workshop. And so if you have a like a new one, their career sales enablement leader, you send them to Nisha School. She's a twenty year sales enablement veteran and she'll teach your sales enablement person how to run sales enablement. And so I send all of my a's and all my CSMS, I send them to her school. They could actually understand what it takes to do sales enablement. So when they're doing these calls are not pitching features and when the customer success team is doing their calls they're not just promising the road map, they're actually in line with what there their end user supposed to accomplish because they were educated on it and get the role. When I was at inside squared, we sold a lot to rebops and we sold, you know, reporting by data, and so I would send my reps to the sales wars and get them salesforth certified. And so every time I take a new GIG, when I'm trying to figure out is who's the buyer or what are they trying to accomplish and how can I get my people to really understand that role in that world, because it's different, they've never done it before. I love it. It's a huge value add, obviously for your team members, because who doesn't want to learn and grow in a variety of ways, but it's also huge value add to the customer because you can just get there faster. So good. So you've mentioned sales enablement a couple of times. You've also mentioned to me sales readiness. Talk about give just a lightweight definition of sales enablement and or a lightweight definition of sales readiness. What's to someone like me is a little bit a step away from all of this in a data you're obviously steeping yourself and your team in sales enablement, you know, for the for the more ignorant among us, myself, in any of the listeners that fit my criteria here. You...

...know, what's the difference between those two and and what is the nuance or evolution that sales readiness brings? Yeah, I think it really comes down to the company that you work for. This is an emerging category. I think back to like the like, you know, the Sales Force Admin and how over the last decade that's kind of transformed itself into like global, worldwide vp of operations and strategy, and you've kind of seen that that role really morph and take shape. And it's because we moved our sales teams inside and started buying these inside sales so you know, text acct and so that captures a lot of data. And as we started to do that, more and more these companies realized if I could have somebody on staff that could harness that data and help us make better decisions, we'd be a better company for it. And so the sales ops roll has really kind of expanded and grown in importance and I think now the next frontier of efficiency is how do I get my humans skilled quickly, you know, and inappropriately, and so I think a lot of companies now are starting to invest in enablement and ready sooner and they're building bigger teams and they're really doing it with like a metro ricks or data drive an approach. So they're tying the coaching initiatives to behavior change, the revenue improvement, and I think what we're seeing now is just kind of there isn't standard, and so when I was in inside squared, I did sales enablement, but my title was VP of inside sales, and so I really think you're kind of just looking at a like a role that hasn't really been fleshed out. But the ultimate goal, ear is what does it take for a seller to be productive, autonomous, reliable, consistent, and what are all the things that come into that, like do they understand their text act? They have their territory to do the right activities? Is that are their gaps in your process where technology or training can support it? And then what are the skills that they have to have? And the enablement and readiness function at your company needs to have a really detailed list of those items that are a seller needs and they have to have a plan to get them there quickly. And the ultimate measurement here is time to productivity and productivity per person, and the mantra is to go out there and improve those two steps. Love it. So you mean you've built and trained a number of teams and I would just love a drive by on you know, I feel like that's a little bit of a look at the president into the future. But you know, as you think about situations you've either walked into or heard about, you know what are some common errors? Not Situations where you know you just have a bad manager, this not investing in their people. I mean that's the obvious stuff. But like, what are some tweaks that like like a solid performing team? Think you just make a few tweaks or look at a couple different things that they could maybe see some outsize jumps relative to the effort. Yeah, I think it's about repeatable, scalable behaviors and all too often you've got the head of the department, typically head of sales, who knows how to sell really well, and it's kind of like hey, everyone gather around. So I can, you know, dispel my gospel to you, and it's like you know, you're training like soccer, tease and Playtoh, right, like the world is changed, the way people interact and consume information is changed, you're still standing up there lecturing at people. And so I think it really comes down to you some technology and like build some repeatable processes where, you know, a weekly film review or like Reps Pea, like peer reviewing one another, or you know, building out like libraries and calls where new hires can go on like self serve the information leverage in elms, right, and so it's about doing things on a regular basis within ten just building a structured program like, let's get away from like the Monday lecture from sales, and then the other two big categories you can started to drone on in this. Know, this is great. Yeah, the other the other two things I hear a lot are not having a stated opinion, right, and so if you hire folks and then they succeed or fail based on how good they are at sales, you're kind of doing yourself at this service. The best companies that I've worked with have a very defined point of view on all things, like what is our mission, what is our pitch? What is the talk track. What is our methodology? What do you own the crm?...

Like? What emails, what customer face and content do we send to people? And having it all really, really locked down in a way that it's consumable, it's bite size and it's where the reps needed. So like, for example, I leverage Guru to put my knowledge base for my sellers inside of sales or some inside a gmail, inside about reach and everywhere in my seller might go. They have access to the information like when they need it, where they need it. So that's a big, big piece. And then the final piece of the frontline manager. Like this happens all too often. Right, you're the top sellers, you get promoted to manager and then you revert to what you know and and so they go work deals, right, they take over deals and maybe they give some like advice and passing right after a call. But these frontline managers were not on board in the right way, they were not training the right way. They never been coaches or teachers of their life. They're just good. I sees. They get promoted to management and you don't go invest in them again, you don't send them back to school, you don't tell them they have a new job right and they revert to what they know. They just go coach deals again. You really have to invest in this layer of frontline managers because otherwise, again it's the head of sales with the head of enablement kind of screaming up to the reps how to do it, but no one's out there after reinforcing it and making sure that reps understood it. Yeah, it's so good to hear you say that. I've seen that happen a number of times. It even happened to me in a different role like this, this situation where the top performer, or a really good performer now is it becomes the managers responsible for five or ten or fifty other people, but it's a completely front job. PT Job has little to no relationship. I mean, the one thing I prided myself on in that transition myself. So I try not to ask people to do things that I'm not willing or able to do myself. Obviously helps that they've been in that seat. They've been there before. They can coach to it. They know what to listen to when they're listening to the recordings and and what to feedback. But the whole rest of the job isn't the same job at all. It's not even close. It's not even close. Like they say, the best, the best players, don't always make the best coaches. This is no different. Right, the best spellers do not always make the best managers. It's a different personality, it's a different set of responsibilities and you could do it right. You're a high performer. You can probably learn new things, but not if we don't tell you to right, right, and it's give this thing I've experienced with maybe an upandcoming, solid performing employee, whether it be a salesperson or another one. Is it they maybe think that that is what they should do. Like that is the next logical step. I should. You know, I'm killing my numbers. I'm have been at the worst I've performed in the past twelve months is a hundred and twenty percent of quota. My next step is I should become a sales manager. But a lot of times maybe you shouldn't. To your point, I'm not a really on a lot of really honest conversations with with ICS and my team over the years and a lot of times I'm giving him advice to leave the company if that's what's right for them. And they think the only path for them is to now mage and SNB team. Right. Well, maybe the right for them is go be an enterprise seller and and to do that they might have to leave your organ and so I'm really invested in what's right, invest for the people that I work with, because these relationships mattered to me. And so now I don't think management is always the next step. I think that there are some other things you might do when you're selling career before you try to go down that path. I think we owe to the people that we work with. You know, no one's going to retire at bomb bomb or at course, like no one's going to retire here, right, and so let's let's give them the life that they want and you know, believe it or not, of the reward you more, and then you might think it's great. I always ask this question of people who are so steeped in their area of expertise as you are, because you know, one of my goals on the podcast is to create better alignment and more open conversations, specifically across marketing, sales cs, but really throughout the organization. Is there anything that you wish more marketers or customer success professionals understood about sales, the practice of sales or anything like that. Is there really like if you could be in a room of marketers and or a room of customer success or customer service professionals? We are a few things that you wish more of them new or understood about what you and your team are trying to do...

...every day. Don't you get me in trouble. You can. The first thing I would probably say so much. I appreciate them and rely on them and we're a team and I will not throw stones here. Oh, I think there's a I think there's a bit of a misunderstanding a lot of times with with folks that it not run sales teams and they may say this program makes a ton of sense or this decision is really obvious. Why don't they just do it? And I think that there's a bit of a lack of understanding how challenging, challenging it can be to change the behavior of an entire team of people who were probably interviewed, tested to make sure they have the personality profile. That is not easy to change. And so we hire sellers because they're headstrong, determined and they take have a short memory when it comes to failure and they're confident and they had conviction in their beliefs and then we say hey, I sent them a memo. Why aren't you doing it my way now? And it's really not effective. And so I think the one thing that other departments could do when working with sales is just think about that a little bit and let's think about how many times you have to tell someone something before they really learn it all the different ways you can support and enrich and enable them to do that, versus just saying well, we announced it at the Monday meeting, so what's wrong now? Great, I love it. Yeah, it was the fourth bullet play in that email with eighteen bullet points and I don't know how you missed that. Yeah, right, but just to be clear, for cannon, for Natalie, I'm absolutely in love with working with you folks. That wouldn't change it that. I think we have a great relationship. That's good. I just yeah, even they're just, you know, they're we're off in our corners sometimes, as good as we are about working across across teams. I think what you offered there was really was really helpful. This has been great. It's loaded with fast facts and useful information if you are trying to build a team or improve sales enablement. I encourage you to listen to summer all of this episode again or check out the overview that I'm going to put up at bombombcom slash podcast. And before I let you go this afternoon, Joe, I would love to know a couple things from you. First, I love to give you a chance to think or mention someone who's had a positive impact on your life or career and a chance for you to give a shout out to a company that you really appreciate, a respect for the way that they deliver and experience for you as a customer. Got It. I want to thank Fred show mover from insight squared. I was in manufacturing sales when I met him about a decade ago and I joined his company as in playing number nine, and he took a shot on me and he gave me opportunities that maybe my resume didn't warrant, and I know I earned it. I know I worked really, really hard for him. I got some good results for him, but I wouldn't be where I was today if it weren't for him. He's one of the more caring and oil and he's a personal friend of mine and he came to our wedding and he cooked dinner for us the night before, for a hundred and fifty of our guests, and it really meant a lot to me and work friends for life. So that's now one person. That said, he sounds like an awesome guy in a great chef apparently, and it really ties back to what you were saying before, right like you weren't going to retire it insight squared, but you know, the time and investment trust that he putting you in, the opportunity he put in front of you is just obviously a lifelong value and benefit. So good. How about a company that you really that's top of mine for you got it. So I met my wife at insight squared. She ran event marketing while I ran the sales team, and US problem solving together is where we really got to know each other other. And I'll promote her new company. I don't know if people have heard of it or not, that she works at a company called a WS or Amazon, and the one thing that I will say about a ws has she came home during her on boarding and on a daily basis commented just how customer obsessed, customer centric they are and they preach it all the way through, and she said it's at a point now where if there are two people in a room at and Amazon debating or trying to work their way through a through a hot topic, at some point somebody in the room will always say will what's best for the customer, and that's the trump card and that's what they go with. And so they live it and they really really subscribe to it and no BASOS sustainments for talking about it all the time. The customer obsession...

...and customer first behavior is really important to me and I really think they exemplify it. Really do so good in this this link between the employee experience, where it's very obvious that this is a real value. It's not lip service. Is what begets an excellent customer experience. Joe, this has been awesome. If someone wants to follow up with you or connect with you or with chorus, where would you send anyone? Yeah, I mean I'm Joe Cap Software. On twitter I'm Joe Caprio and Linkedin I'm Joe AD Corus. Not Ai. Check our stuff out. We do some good content. We just release the state of conversation intelligence. It's on our website. We took like three hundred of our most famous customers and five million of their sales calls and we started to analyze them to find benchmarks of like, you know, what does it take a winn a deal or lose a deal, and how many questions are your top sellers at skiing and and then you can actually slice and dice the analysis free based on your ICEP or your, you know, target audience or whatever, and it's really, really powerful. So that to go to for USCOM and look for the State of conversation intelligence report or hit me on any one of the channels. Like we all we all live in the same places here. So awesome. Thank you so much for your time. I have two new items on the top of my to do list this afternoon. One is to go follow you on twitter. We're already connected on Linkedin, and I need to go check out that report and share with some folks that I work with. Excellent you can. Thank you so much, man. I really, really do love talk to you that. I Love Your Company, so thanks for having me. Thank you so much. You're listening to the customer experience podcast. No matter your role in delivering value and serving customers, you're interesting. Some of your most important and valuable messages to faceless digital communication. You can do better. rehumanize the experience by getting face to face through simple personal videos. Learn more and get started free at bomb bombcom. You've been listening to the customer experience podcast. To ensure that you never miss an episode, subscribe to the show in your favorite podcast player or visit bomb bombcom. Thank you so much for listening. Until next time,.

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