Coach The Sale EP23 - Life As An In-House Sales Coach

Many times on the show we've spoken to external sales coaches and trainers but this episode is a little different, Rob Cucurull joins us to discuss life as an internal sales coach at SAP Concur.

It's great to be able to interview Rob, he shares his experiences of what it's like to be a full time coach within an organization, helping staff develop, supporting them, and helping them become better salespeople.

In the episode we cover:

  • What the sales function at SAP Concur looks like
  • We dive deep into sales coaching at SAP Concur
  • Rob shares examples the the results coaching has led to, and why.
  • What does a typical one-to-one sales coaching session looks like
  • Rob shares the advice that he would give somebody just starting out delivering coaching as part of a wider sales role

Thanks to Rob for sharing his insights.


Robert Cucurull on LinkedIn

Subscribe To The Podcast On:  iTunes | Pocket Casts | Spotify | Stitcher | TuneIn | Overcast

New call-to-action


Matt: Rob, welcome to the podcast. How are you doing?

Rob: I'm doing fantastic, Matt. Thanks so much for having me on.

Matt: I'm pleased that you said yes to this. I'm pleased that you reached out to me on LinkedIn, and we were able to get this in the diary. I'm really looking forward to it. One of the things I've always wanted to do with the podcast is speak to people like you, who are coaching teams within a business. You're in their day to day working with sales reps. So, I'm really, really pleased you're on the show.

Matt: Why don't we just kick off in the usual way? Give us a bit of an introduction about you, the company that you work for. Give us all a bit of an introduction into, Robin, your story.

Rob: Yeah. My story is a, I originally grew up in the suburbs of Boston and ended up going to college, had a great college experience down at UCF, University of Central Florida. So, went down there and knowing nobody, and really had a great time in school. Then after college, finished there in the late '90s and took a few years off, didn't want to go to work right away, but ended up becoming an actor and a model, and did that for about four years, and then got into sales in the early 2000s.

Rob: So, I've got about close to 20 years sales experience. I've been a rep, been a manager, been a director, been a VP. Latter part of my career now is to be a little bit of service and to give back and to share my trials, tribulations, successes and failures with newer MDRs, newer sales reps, just to help them have the best chances at a successful career in sales.

Matt: Fantastic. I think if I'd have chosen the ideal guest to have on the show, it would be someone with a background like yours. I mean maybe not the model and actor, but maybe everything else. I think you're an absolute perfect fit, and I know people are going to love what you've got to share as well. So, let's get straight to it, and tell us a bit about Concur, part of SAP, I understand. Tell us a little bit about the company that you work for and perhaps a little bit of an elevator pitch, or maybe the problems that you solve over there at Concur.

Rob: Yeah. So, Concur was acquired by SAP 2016, and Concur is a full service spend management solution. So, invoice expense and travel. Most folks throughout the world use us for our travel platform. It's just a very easy to use. It's a mobile solution where you could have an app on your phone, take pictures of receipts when you go out on a big business trip, and then just have everything imported into an expense report. So literally, it's already done for you by the time you'd get back home. Most people know us for that, but we really do full-service wonderful solution on all things finance. So, we deal with CFOs, controllers, finance leaders on a day-to-day basis, and help them just really save time, scale their business, give them visibility into their real-time spend and just really help them do as much with their finances as possible, and then put that back into the business to help them scale. So that's what Concur does. It's a fantastic company.

Matt: So, do you guys then have relationships with travel agents or flights? Can people book through Concur, book their travel arrangements through Concur? Or is it more about simplifying the receipts, the invoicing? What do people get when they use Concur?

Rob: Yeah. So, the loaded answer is all of that. We have direct customers that can book travel through Concur. Then we also have what's an indirect customer that would be an in-house travel agent for a big company or a mid-sized company. They're able to use our solution that way as well.

Matt: Okay. So, tell us a little bit more about the sales team. What does the sales function look like at Concur? Give us a sense of the size, the level of experience. Just give us a sense of what the sales team looks like that?

Rob: Yeah. I'm one of two sales coaches here in North America. One's back in Seattle. I cover Minneapolis all the way over to the East Coast for market development. The Minneapolis office here is our biggest hub at scale. There's roughly 120 plus MDRs here on the floor. Then there's also regional sales reps, marketing, and then client sales representatives here in the office here in Minneapolis, which is the biggest hub, biggest office of the Concur side of the business in the US.

Matt: You mentioned already that you're an in-house coach there. What does that look like day to day? What are you involved in when it comes to coaching? From our conversations previously, I understand that you don't necessarily hold a quota as such, but you are there to manage and support the existing sales function. Is that right?

Rob: That's correct. That's correct. I do support the floor. So inbound reps, all our MDRs, some folks call them SDRs, MDRs, all our reps on the inbound side that handle small business, mid-market size businesses and all the way up to national size accounts, I don't cover the enterprise side. So, everything below the enterprise side.

Matt: Now, that's an interesting function given the size of the business that you have an in-house team. Give us an example of maybe how coaching has moved the needle for the sales team at Concur. What kind of results, what kind of stats can you share with us to show that having that in-house function is really moving the needle for the business?

Rob: Yeah. So, on a day-to-day basis, we get in and I'll do live on-the-fly coaching sessions where I'll listen in to the floor's calls, walk around, try and help people in real time, in mid-sentence, mid-conversation to see if I can help them get a win or help them close a meeting if they're on the newer side, if they're newer MDRs. Then also, all the way up to coaching reps that have been on the floor, had been in seat for quite a few months. Really, the goal here is to take... You always have your top performers and then a few people at the bottom. Then the goal here really is just to help move the middle as far to the top as possible on a daily basis. So a lot of one-on-one coaching sessions, private coaching sessions and running trainings for groups, getting them involved with actual regional sales reps and just trying to get everybody on the same page through collaboration.

Matt: Then the guys that you're working there, the MDRs, are they typically new hires out of college or what kind of ages are we talking about? What's the sort of demographic like within the MDRs?

Rob: Yeah. So, great question. MDRs here, literally, can range from right out of college. One of our best reps is literally just walked right in off of graduating here at the University of Minnesota. He's actually number one in the stack rank because I don't even believe he's maybe a day older to 23 or 24. He's pacing right now at 200% to goal. That's a great story for me because, and actually for all of the sales leadership here in the building and probably org wide because it's eliminated and eradicated any possibility for excuses for any of the other rep.

Rob: So, you're talking about a range from, literally, right out of school. They could sign a DocuSign, an offer letter right out of school. Then we have reps who are close to my age. I'm 42, going on 43, and we have reps that are just about my age or close to it.

Matt: So, one of the big things I think that often comes up in conversations with sales leaders is that sales coaching itself, the work you're doing day to day, it's very time consuming. It's nice if you've got some in-house function, like you and your colleague. They're going out working with the teams. What do you say to the people though who think that coaching really isn't worth the effort if most of the team are performing okay? Would you agree with something like that? If not, why wouldn't you?

Rob: Yeah. I say it's always going to be worth the effort when I'm lucky enough sometimes to see results in coaching, whether it's a one-on-one session, whether it's a training. I'll just say to my MDRs. I'll say, "Listen," if it's in a group training, one group training recently," I said, "listen, I know we've thrown a ton at you in the last four, six weeks systems for efficiencies, learning the CRM, your LDAs, your talk track, your pitch, the first eight seconds of your open, the ask in the end. I really, really want to challenge you, and I really invite you to just have a conversation with a person on a very human level. Try and actually not try and schedule a meeting with these people. Just try to have a really, really high-impact conversation, one-on-one conversation with another human being. Forget they're a CFO, forget they're a controller, forget they're anything, and just talk to them like people, and just try and have a compelling conversation with them."

Rob: I think the rest, if you can find that, which is that's when someone gets really good at their job... But I just invite the newer folks to do that so that they can just be themselves, and so that authenticity resonates. It comes right through the phone because the BS detector for people on the other end of the phone, they get 10 calls a day, maybe 50 to 100 sales calls a week. I want them to be able to say, "You know what? I know you've gotten 100 calls this week. I get them, too, and they suck. I'm the person you actually want to take the call from. And here's why. I'm the one that called you out of the 100 this week. This is the reason why I really, really think you should talk to us for a few minutes and just have a quick conversation."

Matt: Excellent. So, let's move on then to get a bit more granular. I want to delve a little bit deeper and try and pick your brains on some of the specifics about what you guys do over there at Concur. Give us a sense of some of the more granular or tactical ideas that you guys use when you're working with reps, be they new reps or experienced reps. Give us an idea of some of the tactics, some of the actions that you guys go through when you're coaching teams.

Rob: Yes. So, we have some pretty big influences here. Some of it is fanatical prospecting. A lot of Jeb Blount's teachings. We're really big on Jeb here. So, a lot of it would be a five-step framework. The anatomy of a phone call, the infrastructure of a call, so that you can get the muscle memory down to have an effective sales call and have it be... duplicate it over and over again. Something that's scalable and repeatable. So, how strong is your open, how strong is that first eight seconds, like riding a bull, right? Can you stay on that bull for eight seconds without getting hung up on?

Rob: Some people don't have a problem with that. Some people don't have a problem with an open at all. Then a lot of it... I'm a huge Chris Voss fan. We'll teach the open, state your open, state your intention, differentiate, give a because statement, like "The reason I'm calling is because" because there's been studies that say just actually using the word because actually increases your chances slightly and people actually listen to that. Then what is your ask when you come back in, your open and the ask, I think, are the most two important parts of the actual pitch or the actual infrastructure of the conversation. Is it a compelling ask?

Rob: Then, we use LDAs, so that's a ledge, disrupt and ask. So, you can feel that person's about to kick you off that phone or kick you off the call. What is the disrupt? I teach my MDRs to pick one good one because there's a lot of ones that you can use. The one I always used to fall back on in case I ever forgot was, "That's exactly why I'm calling you." If you can hear somebody about to hang up on you, that's exactly why I'm calling you. So, to know your LDAs, to be comfortable with exchanging punches, so to speak, on the phone with a prospect, and just getting them to submit, really. If you're able to just box your way through a call very, very respectfully and very tactfully or tactically, I think that's what I teach, that's what we teach. We're big teachers of that. Being an interesting while keeping the prospect interested.

Rob: Then I usually leverage the reasonable versus unreasonable proposition which is, "Matt, you're the prospect. You seem like a very reasonable person. Having said what we've said today and all the value that would resonate with your business, would it be unreasonable for us to talk today just for a few minutes about how we may be able to help you save 80% of your time and help you maybe get into your 2021 growth strategy a couple of quarters early, and help you be ahead of schedule so that when you do sit down with your board or your stakeholders, your shareholders, that meeting has zero anxiety or very close to zero anxiety for you because you're ahead of schedule?" That's the impact that we're trying to train here on the bigger picture side of things.

Matt: Awesome. In terms of the how, you mentioned that you do one-to-one coaching, you do group coaching. What would a typical one-to-one session look like? The reason I ask is because people listening to this, they may be new to coaching or they may be experienced in looking for new ideas. Give me a sense of what a typical one-to-one coaching session with one of your MDRs might look like. I'm really interested in the specifics about how you actually get the most out of that person in that session.

Rob: Yeah. So, it'll all first start by listening to the calls by the MDR and bringing in maybe a win, a loss, and then a call that I think what we call is that different kind of a no. So, maybe a call that they didn't turn a meeting on or they didn't get the meeting on, but everything was executed perfectly, where they were able to uncover pain, uncover information, really, really have a good conversation, but maybe they just caught the person. Usually, we catch people at the wrong time. So it's just can we live to fight another day and get some meat on that conversation so we can schedule that as a high-value task. So, maybe the next time we call them, if we do catch them at a right time, we're able to schedule that meeting.

Rob: But in a typical one-on-one coaching session, I'll listen to the calls, I'll let them listen to their own calls. You'll be surprised once they listen to their own calls and hear themselves, they can almost self-diagnose and self re-engineer themselves. Then what I'll go in and do and say is, "Right here, you had an open, you let it go. Right here, the person gave you a little bit of an in, like hitting the hole in football. You could see a little window and you just hit that hole at full speed and try and run up the field as far as you can kind of a thing."

Rob: So, really just trying to show them when they have that ever so slight crease in a call, where someone's leaving that door open and that they are showing interest, to just pounce on that, provide a ton of value, ask a very, very compelling, open-ended question, like, "If we're able to save you... If an invoice comes into your company, what does that look like? Or if we're able to save you 80% of your time or 80% of your finance team's time, your whole staff, if we're able to put 10 to 15 hours back under their calendar every week, what would that actually mean to you?" Then we just shut up and stop, and just have them a very good loaded, compelling, open-ended question. Like, "What would that mean to you?"

Rob: Then I try to just teach them passion and emotion. Get passionate with what you're saying because we really can do a lot of really good things for the people that we talk to on the phone and find an emotional connection with them, and do some emotional selling and try to find a common chord that when's the last time you took a vacation prospect? You deserve it. We know that at the end of the month, you probably work in 15, 20-hour days for that last week of the month trying to close out the books. Do you want to work like that? Do you want to work on your heels? Or do you want to be running your business, or do you want your business to be running you?

Rob: I think if we can get everybody to be comfortable enough to have those conversations, to really just have those really blunt conversations at a high level, very professionally with a high-touch point, I really think that's where we're doing the best for our MDRs to help them right away. So they go back right onto the sales floor and go from scheduling zero to two meetings a day, and then go from four to five right away. Boom. Just like that.

Matt: Love it. You've also mentioned that the fact that you're listening to calls back. Do reps typically, when they first start the process, do they feel quite uneasy? Or does it vary? The sort of the stereotype is that most people don't like listening back to their own calls. What's been your experience listening back to calls with the rep in the room and giving them feedback?

Rob: Yeah. No, most people don't. I think it's just one of those idiosyncratic things in our head that we hear ourselves on a recording. We're like, "Whoa, I sound terrible." It's awkward. There is that awkwardness. Some worse than others. But I think that when you do play a callback for someone, most of the time, they're able to hear where they maybe could have went in with more impact or where they believe they basically just missed a spot, where they had a clear open and they could have went in and really drove home a certain point or a certain area of the business that had value, or simply just should have just asked for the meeting and said, "Hey, I have your email address as such and such. Would you be against me sending an invite over this afternoon? Would you have a few minutes or tomorrow morning? That kind of a thing. Most of them, when they hear the calls with a little bit of direction for me, it's a right away kind of a thing. It's that aha moment.

Matt: Yeah. It's funny, isn't it how when reps listened back to their calls, they just intuitively or instinctively get a sense of where they probably could have done a bit better, where maybe they get a little bit awkward and they go, "If only I'd said it." In a lot of cases, they do know what they wanted to say, what they should say, but in the moment in the call, they just get caught up and lose focus. It's funny, isn't it how reps just intuitively do seem to know, a lot of the time, what is the right thing to say even if they don't say it in the moment.

Rob: 100%. Almost all of them can identify where they could have picked a spot better or where they could have pounced on the opportunity to drive home the actual ask and the tie-down the meeting. Almost all of them know exactly when they're hearing it. Then a lot of it comes back like, "Dang, I should have said this. I should have said that. I knew I could've said this." They know right away which is really helpful to us during the coaching because then we just highlight that, and then put that into an action item and moving forward something to work on to get back on the phone to just try and work on that aspect of their craft.

Matt: So, let's pivot for a second and look at books. I know that you're a keen reader. I'm an avid reader of all sorts of different business books, nonfiction books. Give us an idea, if you've got any ideas. You mentioned Chris Voss. Obviously, I'm a huge fan of Chris Voss's work. I love Never Split the Difference. It's probably my favorite business book of all time. Give us a sense of some of the books that have had an impact on you and what type of an impact they've had.

Rob: Chris is right at the top of my list, and this is the reason why. I think we have a lot in common aside from he's the lead FBI hostage negotiation instructor. Other than that, I don't know how to do that. I wouldn't feel comfortable with pitching somebody as if their life depended on it. I really think that, that would give me more anxiety that I could deal with. He's a blue collar guy. I'm a blue collar kid. I really appreciate the fact that Chris is really like a nonacademic type of a cat. He was an old SWAT team cop in New York City. The FBI negotiation team walked into the Harvard School of negotiation and just really just mopped the floor with them, which was interesting. I found that fascinating because they removed logic from negotiation, which all these high academic people were using logic, where Chris wasn't able to use logic when he was dealing with very dangerous and very bad people on the phone, where he couldn't really make those mistakes.

Rob: So, I follow The Black Swan Group. I ingest as much of Chris's content via YouTube and watch his videos and watch his seminars. He runs the company with his wife and his son, which I think is really, really respectable and commendable. I really liked Jeb. I really lean back on... I've read a phenomenal book... It's one of Grant Cardone's old books called Sell Or Be Sold, which is a phenomenal read.

Rob: Then, I also lean back on my education a lot. I still have my psychology books. There's two courses in school that really, I found fascinating. I was a psychology major, and then switched to communication. The only course I liked it in high school was psychology. So, I stuck with that and all the way through college. There was a class called communication and human relations, and then personality theory. So, I lean back group dynamics for working in a group and how to leverage the paradigm of personalities, whether it's introvert, extrovert analytic, pragmatic. I really still use all that stuff. I really think it's really transferrable to my day to day and helping people scale, and get really good on the phone and just good at their job, and continue to get myself better.

Rob: Yeah. So, combination of those folks and leaning back on my old... My old college textbooks are still a value to me, which I don't think a lot of people could probably still say, which is cool.

Matt: Yeah, that's good. I think one of the things that brings together so many of the people I've spoken to on the podcast, and one of the reasons why I enjoyed doing the podcast so much is that they all share a curiosity. They haven't reached a peak and gone right. That's me. I'm done, I've done it now. Now, I'm just going to go and continue to do what I do. There's that constant curiosity, that willingness to learn. I think that's really, if I could simplify the essence of most of the guests I've had on the show, it would be that they do have a continual curiosity, and then they just apply that to the work that they do, which just happens to be sales. Ultimately, they're very curious characters.

Rob: 100%. Curiosity storytelling, there's a huge preaching from us now. We invite everyone to be as curious as possible to really, really think about the day in the life of, right? It's almost like I invite all of my new reps, I invite some of my peers sometimes who asked me questions about how they would approach coaching a certain person that, that really has a lot of talent but it's just maybe just taking a couple of steps back for whatever reason. It's really to just almost try and ingest as much information on your audience and try and find content or information that will allow you almost to walk the shoes like a day in the life of.

Rob: So, we sell to finance leaders. So, I challenge all of my folks to really find that any information on the day in the life of the CFO, the day in the life of a controller of a mid-market sized company or a large-sized company, they're doing really, really high numbers and high volumes, that could really benefit from subtle tweaks and loops to their process. It could really turn into five, six, seven figures very quickly. I invite them to really almost watch documentaries or watch video or just ingest information on what their day to day looks like, so that they could speak their language and really just understand what's going on and really to who they're speaking to, and to mimic them and mirror them in any way to help give them the best chances at, not only just selling to these people, but to just really have really, really good conversation with them.

Rob: I think the biggest thing, too, is the unsell, right? So, we spend so much time just hitting our head against the wall, trying to close people. Sometimes it's just, we come in too hot. We're coming in too hot. Too much salesy stuff, too much pitch, too much wording, just too much. She's talking too much. I think a lot of times, we need to shut up and we need to really unsell the prospect. We need to just ask them questions about, "What does this mean to you? What would it look like to you? What is your day to day like? What do you do? That kind of a thing. Then take a step back to where they... If you can get them to talk about themselves, which most people will do, if you ask them the right questions, then you're really just talking into another human being on the phone.

Rob: Then, if you come back to that place in the conversation, if you're really at the essence, so that hallmark of the conversation to where you say, "What were we talking about again? Were you actually going to pitch me something?" That's the real sweet nectar of the god's part of the conversation that we all try to attain to get to.

Matt: I love that. I'll tell you another thing that I think is useful that links into what you've said is for SDRs or for anybody working in sales is to listen to podcasts that are geared towards their target audience. So, in the example you've given, podcasts that are geared towards CFOs, ones that involve interviews with CFOs, gives you a real sense of some of the language, especially if you're quite new to a sector, give you a good sense of the language that they use and often some of the challenges that they face. I guess, the events as well. Although it's not as efficient, just going to events where CFOs in that example would be gives you that opportunity to understand some of the challenges that they face and the language they use, so that you don't feel like an outsider when you're talking to these people.

Rob: Exactly. The great thing is this, too, is I put sales calls or demos from the actual regional sales reps on calendar. A lot of them are friends of mine that have moved up from the MDR role, and they allow the MDRs to come in and shadow a sales call, like a true web demo or they're sharing a screen and all that. It's funny, there's so much potency in that to give to an MDR. There's really good stories that I took away from how sometimes businesses are running at a dangerous type of a business model or they're really working with a broken process until we meet them, and we're able to just get everything at an optimal level.

Rob: There was a story when we were sitting in on a web demo, where there was a company, and they had multiple locations within one major metropolis, one major city here in the US. Just think about that we're in this paperless and we're moving this paperless, automation, saving these people tons of time, and just literally getting them to remove... If they have to do an expense report to just eradicate all that downtime of processing paper and all that stuff.

Rob: There was this one company that had somebody driving around on a motorcycle with paper checks, company checks, invoices and receipts in a duffle bag. Going from location to location with hard copy, personal information, proprietary information, financial information, and actual currency in a duffel bag. This is like some bad, I don't know, Dwayne Johnson movie or something, I don't know, that we would watch at the end of the month on Netflix or something. It's amazing until you have these conversations some of the time, that when you do talk to prospects how actually bad they need you and they need your services. So, it's incredible.

Matt: It's good for the different levels within the organization to be exposed to those conversation, so that they can learn that not all prospects are just waiting for a paperless system, that in some cases they're dealing with a re-antiquated model with very out of date systems. That only comes through sharing that information across the organization, sharing those demos across teams. It's brilliant. Sounds awesome.

Matt: So, we're running short on time, Rob. I'm just curious, do you have any examples, you've shared a few already, but do you have any other examples of times when coaching that either you've developed or delivered, or colleagues have delivered, that's had a really clear impact on a particular individual? I'm always looking for nice stories, good stories about how coaching has impacted on individuals. Do you have any examples that you can share?

Rob: Yeah. I have a few fairly recent ones here because I was prepared for that one, so I wanted to give you some good ones. So, yeah, I would say we had a new training class come on probably end of the year, Q4 of last year. Really sharp group. I had just done a one-on-one session with one of my MDRs and just really trying to get him sharp on LDA. So, the ledge, disrupt, ask. You didn't have a problem with going in very directly stating his intention of the call, his open was nice and clean and direct, and he was able to build value.

Rob: This was at the very beginning stages. We're talking first three, four weeks, he was in seat. The LDAs were just rattling him, or objections, in general. So, someone would object and he would just get thrown off course, and get a little bit of vertigo. I just sat in the room, and we just went over some strategies. Really, this to me, and the best analogy that I use for LDAs or objections is, is this is like verbal MMA. This is boxing, this is prize fighting. But you're just doing it on the phone with your vernacular, with your words. I just got him really comfortable. I said, "This isn't personal. This is business. These people don't know you. The LDAs, by way, most, most parts are reflex, but it's really not a big deal. The worst thing they say is no. I just want you to get the muscle memory down to where you could just come back and counter punch. So if they punch, you counter punch, and you go on with the analogy there." He was able to take that, and it resonated immediately.

Rob: Later on that week, he was on the phone with somebody. He was on the phone with the prospect. The prospect and him had a standoff. I think the call was a good 12, 15 minutes. That's a long, long prospecting call in the MDR world. Usually, it means it's either a really good call, and you're really building value, and you're setting up a sales executive with a phenomenal, phenomenal meeting that should go flawlessly. He was literally, just trading blows with this gentleman. He was saying, "No, I don't have time. No, I don't have time. We went over the time rebuttal and LDAs." Then he went back and he just sat in, and finally, he said... The prospect said to my rep, he said, "Call me back in six months." He just sat in there and exchange blows and until he submitted. He turns the call from "I don't have time, call me back in six months" to getting the call on calendar that same day.

Rob: That is the golden standard. That is like the pink unicorn or the golden unicorn of coaching is when you can get somebody. It's probably happened maybe five to 10 times a year where you can turn someone from a six-month LDA or objection to get them to flip back to a same day meeting to get on calendar, which is pretty phenomenal.

Matt: I love that. You've said you've got a couple of other examples, so give us one more.

Rob: Yeah. So, another one recently. I had a rep come in. She had been a part of a finance team, so she had literally been a finance leader. So, she came right in with a lot of great industry experience from the other side, from the financial world, and she had just lost track. She just had veered off course. Her confidence was low a little bit. We went in, and we just did real intense one-on-one session. We really just ripped away, right down to the foundation, everything. The talk track, the open, the value, the because statement, the ask, then we went in and we really practice LDAs.

Rob: But then I really went back and I said, "I actually really think that you're very coachable, but I really think that the only issue here is it just would be muscle memory and repetition. That would fix the confidence problem. I really want to challenge you right now to really find you in this whole situation. I want you to actually really do some real self-reflection. What would you actually say to this? What would you actually say to, let's say, a family member of yours or a friend of yours? What would be the actual verbiage, the vernacular, the tone, the pace? How faster do you talk to somebody that you knew real well? What would that sound like?"

Rob: I listened. I said, "See, it sounds completely different." So, we went back in, we changed the pace, we changed her tone, we changed all of... We tweaked the verbiage around and her pitch and her talk track and all that good stuff. Then in the end, she walked out of that session, she'd got on the phone, and the first call, she scheduled a meeting. I don't think she had in about a week. She was just had lost a little bit of a morale. Not too bad, but she had just lost that gusto. She went back right on the phone and she scheduled a meeting on that very first call. I just found that to be completely rewarding.

Matt: Kudos to you, and kudos to the rap. That's so good to hear. It's not uncommon as well to have somebody who, like you alluded to, right at the top of the interview, over try on this professional sounding sales call. That sounds like every other sales call that happens, but when you just lower that and just speak as a person to another person, it makes so much difference. It's great to hear that in that example. It turned out really well.

Rob: Yeah, it was great. It was a good win for everyone. I hope to continue to have more like that.

Matt: Awesome. So, we're running up on time, Rob. Just one last question for you before we head away. What advice would you give to somebody who's just starting out delivering coaching as part of their wider role? So, maybe they're not necessarily a dedicated internal coach, but they're somebody managing a team. They want to get involved with coaching, but they're a little bit new to it, a little bit green. What advice would you give to somebody just starting out?

Rob: Yeah. The greatest advice I would give to someone starting out in coaching would be that there is a slight difference between coaching and managing. It's different. My biggest piece of advice would be to... The acronym we use here is KISS. It's Keep It Stupid Simple. So, when you're coaching someone for the first time, it's like take them out for sushi. Don't take them to the all-you-can-eat buffet. So, you want to give them one bite at a time, pieces of critical information, and really do a hard stop at a very small amount of... something that's going to take up their bandwidth, and then just build upon that. Use one small building block of good coaching, what you think is the most critical to that particular rep and start with that. Then just slowly but surely, just add as you go.

Rob: As their bandwidth increases, and the whole game to them slows down a little bit, and they were able to process more information, give them just more as they can ingest and take on as they go because in the beginning, they're going to be quite all over the place and inundated and just completely overwhelmed. So, my biggest bit of advice would be to keep it stupid simple.

Thanks for listening to another episode of Coach The Sale. For show notes, sales coaching resources and more, visit

Popular Posts

Winning With Remote Sales In a Downturn

Your practical guide to succeeding with Remote Sales in challenging times.

remote sales mock shadow-trans Request A Copy

The SaaS Sales Coaching Blueprint

In this book, you'll discover the keys to coaching a successful SaaS sales team in under 90 minutes a week.

4 The SaaS Sales Coaching Blueprint - Mockup cropped Request a copy