Episode Thumbnail
Episode 89  |  30:03 min

[Replay] Tim Riesterer: Speak to the deciding journey, not your sales process

Episode 89  |  30:03 min  |  06.28.2021

[Replay] Tim Riesterer: Speak to the deciding journey, not your sales process

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This is a podcast episode titled, [Replay] Tim Riesterer: Speak to the deciding journey, not your sales process. The summary for this episode is: <p>The way you articulate your sales messaging matters. Tim Riester joins the show to discuss how research on decision-making psychology can elevate your customer conversations. Tim, Chief Strategy Officer of Corporate Visions, has studied the neuroscience and cognitive psychology behind how people make choices. In this episode, you'll learn how the science behind messages can help you successfully frame your strategies.</p><p><br></p><p>Key Takeaways:</p><p>06:37 - Tips for A Sales Rep Trying to Empathize with the Customer</p><p>08:02 - Data Breakout: Creating Your Value with Powerful Messaging</p><p>11:21 - The Way You Approach A Prospect vs. Expanding an Existing Customer</p><p>17:57 - Measuring the Impact of Different Messaging Strategies</p><p>27:55 - Tim Describes Sales in One Word</p><p>28:27 - Micro Action: Rallying Your Sales Teams Around New Initiatives</p><p><br></p><p>Want to explore Revenue Intelligence for your org? It starts here: <a href="https://www.gong.io/revenue-intelligence/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">https://www.gong.io/revenue-intelligence/</a></p><p>Connect with Devin Reed: <a href="https://www.linkedin.com/in/devinreed/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">https://www.linkedin.com/in/devinreed/</a></p><p>Connect with Sheena Badani: <a href="https://www.linkedin.com/in/sheenabadani/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">https://www.linkedin.com/in/sheenabadani/</a></p><p>Connect with Tim Riesterer: <a href="https://www.linkedin.com/in/tim-riesterer/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">https://www.linkedin.com/in/tim-riesterer/</a></p>
Takeaway 1 | 01:22 MIN
Tips for A Sales Rep Trying to Empathize with the Customer
Takeaway 2 | 01:12 MIN
Data Breakout: Creating Your Value with Powerful Messaging
Takeaway 3 | 01:22 MIN
The Way You Approach A Prospect vs. Expanding an Existing Customer
Takeaway 4 | 01:09 MIN
Measuring the Impact of Different Messaging Strategies
Takeaway 5 | 00:12 MIN
Tim Describes Sales in One Word
Takeaway 6 | 01:03 MIN
Micro Action: Rallying Your Sales Teams Around New Initiatives

The way you articulate your sales messaging matters. Tim Riester joins the show to discuss how research on decision-making psychology can elevate your customer conversations. Tim, Chief Strategy Officer of Corporate Visions, has studied the neuroscience and cognitive psychology behind how people make choices. In this episode, you'll learn how the science behind messages can help you successfully frame your strategies.


Guest Thumbnail
Tim Riesterer
Chief Strategy Officer
As part of Corporate Visions, Tim helps companies develop, deploy and deliver customer conversations that win! He will help when you want to develop more compelling messages that break through the status quo and differentiate from your competitors; deploy those messages in powerful self-service and sales-directed customer conversation tools that are more remarkable and memorable than everyone else’s content; and finally, enable your salespeople to deliver this content with skills training for creating, elevating, capturing and expanding value in your customer conversations.
Connect with Tim

Devin Reed: Welcome to the show. You are now part of Reveal: The Revenue Intelligence Podcast, powered by Gong. We're your hosts, Devin Reed.

Sheena Badani: And I'm Sheena Badani. Revenue intelligence is a new way of operating based on customer reality instead of opinions, making data- driven decisions based on facts instead of opinions or guesswork.

Devin Reed: And it's made up of three success pillars, people success, deal success and strategy success. You know, the things all revenue teams need and care about. Every week we interview senior revenue professionals and they share their stories and insights on how they leverage revenue intelligence to drive success and win their market.

Sheena Badani: You'll hear how modern go- to- market teams win as a team, close revenue with critical deal insight and execute their strategic initiatives, plus all the challenges that come along with it.

Devin Reed: Devin and Sheena here back for another episode. Sheena, we love data and facts and numbers on the show. That's kind of our thing.

Sheena Badani: Yeah, we do.

Devin Reed: And I do my best not to track our podcast numbers too much. I don't want to get too crazy checking it day to day, hour to hour, which is tempting, but Reveal did hit a milestone this week. Do you want to share what it is?

Sheena Badani: Yeah. So after only four episodes, we have over 1000 individuals who have tuned in to Reveal.

Devin Reed: Wow. That is fantastic. We lined up the timing here. I couldn't resist the sound effects. I promised our sound guy, Dan, that we would find a way to fit it in. But seriously big thank you to our listeners. We made this podcast to provide guidance to senior executives, aspiring revenue leaders. And it seems like we're really on to something and I'm enjoying the ride.

Sheena Badani: Me too. And while we're on this topic of numbers and stats, we had Tim Riesterer of Corporate Visions on our show who is super, super research oriented.

Devin Reed: The most.

Sheena Badani: He knows how to poke holes in any survey or research that has been put out there and has conducted a ton of his own research through Corporate Visions as well.

Devin Reed: He's like Gong Lab's older sibling. They've been in the research game for a long time. I think that's a big reason why we have that partnership is we both love that data- first approach.

Sheena Badani: And with that, we welcome Tim Riesterer of Corporate Visions. Today we're joined by Tim Riesterer, who's the Chief Strategy Officer at Corporate Visions. You're also an author of multiple books. Pleasure to have you here at the Gong Office today.

Tim Riesterer: Thanks, Sheena. I'm glad to be here. You and the neon. Yes.

Sheena Badani: And the neon. We do have an amazing purple and pink Gong neon sign in the office for those of you who are trying to envision what the neon is.

Tim Riesterer: Right. What I was referring to. Yeah.

Devin Reed: Yeah.

Sheena Badani: So tell us a little bit more about your title, Chief Strategy Officer. How would you describe that in three words?

Tim Riesterer: You picked the most abstract possible title and ask for three words.

Sheena Badani: You picked the title.

Tim Riesterer: Well, because it encompasses like, I always say I'm in charge of everything, but responsible for nothing. But that's way more than three words, so maybe three words are like anything I want it to be.

Sheena Badani: Okay.

Tim Riesterer: I mean, seriously, it's a rolling title in a company our size, but really it looks at let's make sure that we are on the edge of what we need to be in terms of the next, in the areas that we work in, do the research behind that to find things that will put us in a unique position, and then productize that and get that into the market. So all that rolls up under a chief strategy title.

Sheena Badani: Perfect. So maybe taking a step back from that Corporate Visions. For those who are not familiar, could you give us a little overview of what Corporate Visions is all about?

Tim Riesterer: Yeah. The name doesn't tell you. It could mean anything like my title actually, but what it really is, is a company that is focused on improving customer conversations. And the idea there is that customer conversations are the differentiation anymore. Like the last bastion of differentiation is a salesperson with their lips moving. When all products and services sound alike, look alike, smell alike, read alike at some point somebody's got to move their lips and tell an amazing story and articulate value in a way that somebody believes it and do that better than the other person. And so we focus on that moment of truth, the customer conversation. And so how we do that then is really look at the customer conversation as the sum of three parts, a great message or story deployed in the necessary content, assets and tools, and then the skills to use that said story and content assets in a way that makes the difference. So messages, content, and skills.

Sheena Badani: It looks like you have a background in marketing. How did you get into this field in general?

Tim Riesterer: I backed into it. As a journalism major, I had an option or an opportunity to join a corporation to be what was not called then, but is called now a corporate journalist. So for three years, I rode with salespeople to customer sites. So this was in the healthcare industry. I'd ride with salespeople to the hospitals. I'd sometimes gown up and I'd interview doctors, radiologists, hospital administrators, and talk about why they chose this equipment and what it meant to them. Well, I started to hear very quickly that they didn't seem to recite all the features and benefits of the equipment. They started talking about their mission and the impact they were having. And it dawned on me as I'm in the field with salespeople that we want as companies to make our customers live in our story, but they live in their own story. And what we really need to do as companies is go join them in their story and help their story be better.

Devin Reed: Right.

Tim Riesterer: And so bringing that back from the field as a recognition that frankly marketing content and messaging and sales conversations were too company and product centric. So as a journalist out there talking to customers, like a light bulb went off that said, there's got to be a better way. I'm not going to even blame salespeople. I'm going to blame companies and product management because they make the product, the hero of the story. They make the company and the brand, the hero of the story. And it's all the literature and all the promo on their new product, they can't help, but become sort of company and product centric. And so it should be customer centric and really make the customer a hero. And so this has to change back inside the organization and they have to be more than say they're customer centric. They literally have to live in and join the customer in their story.

Sheena Badani: What recommendations do you have for a rep who is trying to empathize and get in the shoes of the customer and live that story? What can they specifically be doing to understand that customer's reality?

Tim Riesterer: Well, it's interesting during a sales cycle, too, because if you're in a so- called sales cycle or now some people say the buyer's journey, we've reframed the whole thing to think of it as a deciding journey, that really the customer's on a deciding journey. They're trying to answer questions for themselves. And the salesperson can think about how to help the customer by thinking about what question the customer's asking themselves. So when you're initially talking to a customer, even though they're talking to you does not mean that they want to do something different.

Devin Reed: Right.

Tim Riesterer: In fact, that's what they're actually trying to figure out. You think because they accepted a meeting with you that this is a live deal. And the reality is they're literally trying to figure out if they're missing anything.

Devin Reed: Right.

Tim Riesterer: And so if you start answering questions about why you and not somebody else, psychologically, they're like, what, not so fast. But they might not tell you that. They'll answer your questions and you continue to think you have a deal. And then that's why we see pipelines end up in 60, 70% no decisions, status quo because the sales person thought they had an active deal cycle and it turned out they didn't. There are questions that they must answer. And your job is actually to facilitate the answers to those questions. And they sound different than your usual sales process, which says, I'm doing discovery now. And you think the customer is in gathering information phase and really the customer is going, should I be doing anything different? And the psychology of that changes the message and the dialogue.

Devin Reed: Hey, everybody. In every episode, we have a data breakout, a quick sidebar to look at the data. Most prospects, either don't recognize or can't articulate the root challenges they struggle with on a daily basis. So even if you sell a truly remarkable product, your buyers probably won't recognize the real value you offer to their organization. That's why you need to create your value with a powerful and persuasive message. In fact, Forrester Research found that 74% of executive buyers will give their business to a company that can create and deliver on a compelling vision compared to vendors that are more straightforward and respond to a specific request. This isn't about touting your product's features hoping that your buyer chooses you over your competition. That approach only puts you at a value parody with similar solutions and it forces a competitive bake- off. While customer acquisition is all about challenging the status of switching to your solution, customer retention and expansion requires you to reinforce your position as their status quo. In fact, research shows that using a provocative challenging message, when you're trying to renew or expand business with your customers will increase the likelihood that they'll shop around by at least 10 or 16%. Okay. Back to the interview.

Sheena Badani: You talk about the science of messaging. What does that mean? And how do you actually measure messaging and if it's working and if it's resonating?

Tim Riesterer: So the way I really think about it is that it's the decision science. So we're studying neuroscience, behavioral economics, and social or cognitive psychology. And these are the invisible forces that shape how humans make decisions. And so if you can help marketing and sales understand how they can facilitate decision- making, they can be more effective. And so it's not really the science of the message as much it's the science of the decision. And then you can frame your messaging to, again, in this case, answer that why change question or later on, maybe they have to answer the why now question or very late, you have to answer the why should I pay this much question? So as the questions change, the psychology changes because you're in a different context in the journey. So the science comes in with understanding, what are they thinking at that moment? What is that question? And then as a result of that question, what do you need to do to respond to it? There's 40 years of neuroscience and cognitive psychology behind how people frame value and how they make choices.

Devin Reed: You guys have published a lot of research. I'm curious if you have one that sticks out as maybe your favorite or that's maybe just been most surprising.

Tim Riesterer: Yeah. I love them all because usually they're counterintuitive.

Devin Reed: Those are the best ones.

Tim Riesterer: Yeah. We always talk about this great intentions, wrong instincts. It's like, nobody's purposefully doing things wrong. They have good intentions because it feels right. And then when we're able to show that that's the exact wrong way to do it, it's like you have the right intentions, but the wrong instincts. I would say the most recent one. It was my favorite because it surprised me, but it didn't surprise the scientists we work with. We work with Dr. Zak Tormala out of Stanford in the States. And we work with Dr. Nick Lee over at Warwick Business School in the UK. And we did some research because people were asking us," Hey, is acquisition messaging, the way you approach a prospect the same when you're trying to expand an existing customer? Should we use the same process, the same motion, the same approach, the same words?" And we're like," We don't see why not."

Devin Reed: Right.

Tim Riesterer: Well, when we went out and studied it, we discovered that in fact, it's different and it's 180 degrees different that the psychology of an existing customer, so it makes sense now when I say it, is 180 degrees different than a prospect. When you have a prospect, your job is to displace the incumbent to disrupt their status quo bias. So we learn how to do that through provocation and insights and all these things. You go do that to an existing customer, our research showed that they have the exact opposite reaction. They aren't as likely to renew. They aren't as likely to pay more. They aren't as likely to buy the next thing. In fact, it throws the discussion open to, gee, if I have to change that much, if it's also new, why don't I look at everybody?

Devin Reed: Sure.

Tim Riesterer: And so it turns out don't disrupt status quo bias when you're the status quo bias. So we were like, oh my goodness, because everybody's been down this path of provocation- based selling and the scientists were so nonplussed, they were like," Yeah, you only proved what 40 years of social science has said is that status quo bias is a thing." But it's now enabled us to write a brand new book for B2B because people didn't know that. Everything that's out there is about DemandGen. And how do you get people to move and do this and do that. And it turns out there's a whole other conversation that needs to be had in renewals, upsells, price increases. And we even studied apologies and forgiveness.

Sheena Badani: It's so much easier to expand an existing customer versus acquiring a new customer. It's the same effort in terms of the messaging that we invest in a new customer versus expansion. So I think that's really interesting and probably overlooked by a lot of folks.

Tim Riesterer: Well, what we find is that people are just using the same messaging. Like they're building a product launch if you will and they build one message, but if in one case you're trying to disrupt and the other case you're trying to defend, reinforce and build on there actually needs to be an entirely different spin. So when you launch a product, you should have a message for the disruption and one for the... I always say, in the morning, the salesperson might have to be a disruptor. In the afternoon, they got to be a defender. But they're representing the same product, so you've got to equip them for both conversations.

Devin Reed: For the sales leaders who are listening and are working on their expansion sales, what's the name of this book?

Tim Riesterer: Yeah. It's called The Expansion Sale.

Devin Reed: Well done.

Tim Riesterer: So, we weren't really too clear. No, thank you for promoting it there. It's literally The Expansion Sale. And it comes out in January from McGraw Hill. And there's a website, expansionsale. com and they can see and read a little bit about it, the testimonials and the videos. And it's research- backed. So, that's what we always really love about it. There's data. So yeah, we're pretty excited about that.

Devin Reed: We're a no sponsor, no ads show, but I'm allowing the promo, because I'm sitting here like, I wonder what's in this book. Like, where can I find the answers? So I'll be checking that out for sure.

Tim Riesterer: All right. Appreciate it.

Sheena Badani: You work with companies across different sizes, right? You're working with Fortune 1000 type of companies, you're working with high growth companies. Is there anything you can tell us in terms of the differences you've seen of who may be doing what better? If I'm at a high growth company, what can I be learning from more established companies in regards to messaging and positioning?

Tim Riesterer: That's a great question because there's a lot of assumptions about what might be different among company size or inside of verticals or geographies.

Sheena Badani: Sure.

Tim Riesterer: And the thing we've learned, because we focus on decision science- based content, as opposed to let's say best practices. Decision science travels really well because everybody's engaging humans and the human decision- making process. And it turns out that's true all over the globe. It's true by vertical and it's true by company size. But if we've seen anything is like a lot of the high growth companies, to be honest, they are more on the acquisition side and they're usually a little bit smaller and they're sometimes trying to either crack into a market or go in where there's a big company that's not doing that thing very well. So they really need that very pointy, distinct point of view, where people are willing to take the risk on a smaller company and try something different. So the why change story, and why do it now is really important to those smaller high growth companies. Whereas the big companies, 70 to 80% of their number in any given year is going to come from their existing customers. And when we've gone into those companies, we'll find ironically that 70 to 80% of their spend is on new logos. And they're just hoping and trusting that good service will make their customers stay and grow. And so what we're finding is really great uptake for this expansion discussion with the bigger companies, because especially as more and more big companies are trying to find recurring revenue stream subscriptions or contracts, things that have to renew and things that have that motion, everybody's got... They know what they need to do in the market and they recognize what their mission is. And we've got something to tell them.

Sheena Badani: Any tips on rolling out new messaging, new stories to the field? How can companies make that effective?

Tim Riesterer: Yeah. The bottom line is that you need to see a level of observable practice and demonstrated proficiency, just to expect that if you sent it out, they're going to use it and do it well. And so the most successful companies that we see are people that roll out a new product and a new message and push that out to the field and we'll work with them to help frame the message and give them a little training like, oh, here's how you tell it in a disruptive style. Here's how you tell it in a reinforcer style. And then they must submit themselves telling that story, like record it, submit it, and against a rubric, our consultants or their managers will review that. And we have clients doing pass/ fail, and you're supposed to certify on your new product message. And so observable practice, demonstrated proficiency, and then detailed coaching and feedback. And then based on the gaps in that we've got little videos we can send to remediate the specific areas of where they tell the story poorly. For companies thinking about distinguishing themselves with their story, they need to make sure people are owning that story. And that's the difference between those who are succeeding and failing with it right now, because everybody can put out a new message, but adoption and performance is not automatic.

Sheena Badani: How are you measuring whether a new strategic message that you're putting out into the field was successful or not? Are you kind of looking at pre, post revenue and are you taking out a pilot group and testing it with them first and seeing what the impact is? How are you measuring the success of that?

Tim Riesterer: It's actually some of both, but it really, even if it's a pilot group, it's still a little bit of before and a little bit after. So we're working with a client right now who has got a team that's dedicated just to cross sell and upsell. That's all they do is they take existing accounts and try to sell them a couple extra things. And that team's results have been declining the last three years. So they've got some good before. And so we're helping them build a message around some of the core upsell add- on type products. And we're going to do that in a region. We're going to take 17 of these people who have that role, and we're going to give them a new message and we're going to teach them on how to tell that story. And they're going to practice and certify on it. And then we're going to look at their performance and we can look at what they were doing before, because the trajectory has been down and we ought to be able to see pipeline go up. We ought to be able to see deal size go up, penetration rates go up. That's the beauty of doing programs that are tied to these strategic initiatives. They have metrics inherently. When you have learning paths, generalized skills training, everybody's like, what's the ROI on that? It's going to be abstract.

Devin Reed: Right.

Tim Riesterer: But if you stand up a program on this price increase and on this issue, on that issue and the next issue, those are tied to things that you can literally watch the meter. You're going to know. Right?

Devin Reed: Right.

Sheena Badani: That's right.

Tim Riesterer: I think that's exciting. That's where we should all want to be.

Devin Reed: One of our themes is like the unanswered questions, right? They plague sales teams everywhere. And instead of the maybe unanswered questions that plague your sales team, what are the unanswered questions you're looking to solve with your current research, if you're able to share?

Tim Riesterer: Yeah. So our current research, the one that's literally happening now, as we speak is which type of visual will have the greatest impact in remote online meetings. So as more companies move to inside sales, that means a lot more phone and web meetings, well, it turns out that even outside sellers on average, 50% of their sales touches are remote. So here we are in an online meeting environment. It just is phone calls and web conferences. And a lot of things that have been taught to salespeople have been around stand and deliver type techniques, like when you're in the room, but here you are sitting behind a box. And so whatever shows up on your screen can destroy, utterly destroy everything you're trying to do. And what we find is in a room, you could put a slide up because you're standing there and you don't have to change a slide for minutes, but you need to change the slide every five, 10, 15 seconds, give or take. There needs to be something happening, whether you're annotating on that slide, or you're animating building something on that slide. So we're going to test like, how do the visuals have to move? What types of visuals get the best response? We'll test simple whiteboard visuals versus traditional stock photography and bullets against really vivid imagery with cool animation. So we've got multiple types of imagery. And what we're going to do is take the same exact story, same voiceover, record it, and the only thing that's going to change is the visual. And we'll put people in the different test groups and we'll see how intensely they respond to the story they saw. We don't want people to be guessing, and we want to have a definitive answer and help people figure that out and be more success.

Sheena Badani: Do you have any early hypothesis on what's going to come-

Devin Reed: You beat me to that.

Sheena Badani: I'm really eager to see this-

Tim Riesterer: I mean, my personal, like even when I keynote, I will put an easel pad up and I'll ask for an IMAG camera and I will do an entire keynote with flip charts and markers because I'm a big believer in simple and concrete. The decision- making part of our brain is very simple and concrete. And many times our PowerPoint slides take abstract, complicated topics and only make them more abstract and complicated. So whatever it's going to be, it's going to be something that makes abstract, complicated, simple, and concrete. So we know the voice is going to be PowerPoint. So now it's going to be a question of what type of PowerPoint. So we know it's going to have to be dynamic. We know that it's going to have to convey certain things. So we have like the three Cs. It has to have context for urgency. No one moves to something else if they don't believe their current context is at risk.

Devin Reed: Sure.

Tim Riesterer: Then you have to have contrast for value. Nobody sees value unless they can compare it to what they're doing today and what you're talking about. And if there isn't enough contrast, nobody takes the risk of moving to get the same thing. So whatever the visual is, you have to have clear contrast. And then concrete. It has to look like it's doable, very simple, concrete visual that helps the person who's watching go, I could retell and I could probably redraw that story if I just had that slide. So context, contrast, and concrete, we know those three things are essential.

Sheena Badani: We've touched on this new era of selling, which is primarily remote. And along with that comes a ton of data and analytics that can be run now on sales. Do you think this is a positive thing for the industry? Is it negative, neutral, an opportunity? How do you view it?

Tim Riesterer: Because I'm a science guy, I think this is important. It used to be organizations were very dependent on what sort of magic or voodoo was going on out in the field. Right? And you had no way of knowing. And then we put CRM out there. And then what you realize is nobody put anything in the CRM until they had to.

Devin Reed: Right.

Tim Riesterer: So what I find, well, I believe it's better. I know some salespeople would say it's not, but I think if you think on the whole, for the organization, it's better. Now that said, I think there's maybe some good data and some bad data. Some data can make you lazy. Other data can make you better.

Devin Reed: Can you give an example?

Tim Riesterer: Well, I mean, so let's say if you get some predictive or intentional type data that this person should be in the market, looking for something, you might be too assumptive when you call them.

Devin Reed: Sure.

Tim Riesterer: One, then creeping them out or two, being lazy in doing the work you should be doing because you think they're already in the market and just kind of lose like good practices in the way they should tell their story and engage the story, or find out who is, or isn't using your messaging.

Devin Reed: Sure.

Tim Riesterer: And then be able to show them with performance metrics that it makes a difference because we haven't been able to make sales adoption a science. And I think that has to happen. So that's where the good news is. We're really excited about that. I just think that we don't want to assume that the data one, will require less capable sellers. Oh, we have all this data.

Devin Reed: Right.

Tim Riesterer: It should be a slam dunk.

Devin Reed: Right.

Sheena Badani: Right.

Tim Riesterer: So not only do we maybe not get the assumptive seller, now, we have everybody saying selling should be easy. I think the sellers that remain are going to have to be better at their craft. And this will help if used wisely. I always say they used to have to be product experts, but now sellers can't be product experts because your website is up to date, faster and more complete than you ever can be. And then I'm like, sellers then could win by being process experts. But now customers are disrupting the process. They're coming in and get the information all over the place. And then I always said it was the proposition. Even the story now, a lot of companies are putting out pretty good messaging. So the difference we feel, like the pinnacle this is going to is the person who can facilitate the decision, the person who can make meaning for the customer. And you do that by being able to help them answer the question. So we've kind of, of course, because it's our opinion, moved on from product and process and proposition to persuasion and decision science, facilitating the questions and answering those questions, literally enabling the buyer. And that's a mad skill set to have.

Sheena Badani: Gartner has put out some research on that front as well. We're overwhelmed with data and the role of the best sales folks now is to help guide that decision- making process.

Tim Riesterer: Yeah. We'd like to think we always knew that because guiding decision- making means helping them answer their questions, like literally facilitating the answer to questions. And what we know is it's not one big question, should I buy or not buy. It's why should I change? Why should I do it now? Why should I pick you, not everybody else? Why should I pay that much?

Devin Reed: Right. Right.

Tim Riesterer: And then on the customer side, it's why should I stay with you? Why should I do more with you? Why should I forgive you? Exactly. We couldn't agree more with where Gartner's research has gotten to. And it sort of feels like it reinforces this idea that they're struggling to make decisions, they lack the confidence, but it is a series of decisions. So this is what you need to master is the ability to engage and help them answer those questions.

Sheena Badani: What do you think the number one thing sales executives should think about in 2020?

Tim Riesterer: I think sales leaders have a tendency to kind of try look for a magic bullet.

Sheena Badani: Yes.

Tim Riesterer: Like this year, this is what we're going to do. And everybody's going to go through this and that's going to make the difference. And I think that is complete hogwash. There's different sellers and different territories require and have different needs. For example, don't teach this whole group to negotiate if they can't even fill their pipeline. Do something for that cohort who can't fill their pipeline. And yeah, there's a cohort over here who close deals, but they're unscrupulous discounters, give them what they need. But there's somebody over here, who's entire territory is dependent on renewals. They don't need any prospecting training or provocative selling training.

Devin Reed: Sure. Sure.

Tim Riesterer: They need to figure out how to be great at renewals. So situational content and situational skills training is available. KPIs are available through all the tools that are out there. Now you need to take a more diligent approach to looking at your team and their territories and saying, here's what they need this year. I'd recommend managers look at their team of 10, because that's usually what they manage and figure out based on their KPIs, where do they fall? And then make sure they get what they need because the totality of your number is going to be based on those people, getting better at the thing they're weak at, not just giving them all the same thing and hoping for the best. It's not a silver bullet. The beauty is we have the data and the technology to deploy and really the content chunked anymore that can help people where they need the help.

Devin Reed: Well, last question for you. Describe sales in one word. I love that, if you didn't hear that, everyone takes a deep sigh at the end before they answer this question.

Tim Riesterer: Psychologists, being able to really understand and empathize with what's going on and then be able to come back with something meaningful and relevant that they can do for them. So, yep. I stick with my word. That's my final answer. A psychologist.

Devin Reed: Excepted.

Sheena Badani: That's great.

Devin Reed: Well, Tim, thank you for making some time for us during Dreamforce week. You absolutely brought it and it was a pleasure having you.

Tim Riesterer: Thanks. Appreciate it. And yeah, me and what, 130, 000 friends here in San Francisco this week.

Devin Reed: Just a few.

Tim Riesterer: So thanks for this little moment together.

Devin Reed: You're absolutely welcome.

Sheena Badani: Thanks so much.

Devin Reed: Every week we bring you a micro action. It can be as simple as something to think about or an action you can put into play today. The sales kickoff season is right around the corner, which means rallying your sales and go- to- market teams around new initiatives, like new sales messaging for products, competitive talk tracks and pricing changes. And that comes with a wave of training for your frontline people. Consider this, how are you equipping your sales team to handle the new conversations across all their selling scenarios? To do this, put your content into context. After you develop sales messaging that matches your strategic needs and selling scenarios, deploy them as sales enablement content. Provide your team with assets that align with the conversations they encounter regularly. Whether that's handling objections from cold prospects or selling more licenses to an existing customer, there are a predictable set of conversations all your sellers experience. You can start by giving them specific campaign, coaching and customer- facing content to help them on several fronts. This will increase your adoption rates of the new messaging because it reinforces the new behavior long after the initial introduction. Did you like today's episode? Subscribe now so next week's episode will be waiting for you on Monday.

Sheena Badani: And if you really liked the podcast, please leave a review. Five star reviews go a long way to help get the word out there.

Devin Reed: And if you're not ready to give a five, check out another episode and see if we've won you over by then.

Sheena Badani: And if you have any feedback or you want us to interview one of your favorite revenue leaders, just email us at reveal @ gong. io.

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