Your sales methodology is irrelevant, that's the view of Kevin Dorsey, VP of Inside Sales at PatientPop, a rapidly growing platform that helps doctors increase the visibility of their practices with digital marketing.
Kevin has put out some thought provoking content on LinkedIn, inspired by his frustrations having been on the receiving end of terrible sales demos. His view is that practice and repetition are the key to mastery, inspired in part by the book The Talent Code.
He doesn't hold back on calling out poor practice, and shares experiences leading and managing a sales team in a rapidly growing company.
In the episode we cover two main topics:
First, we discuss selling to VPs of sales and other senior sales leaders, the challenges and opportunities, knowing your numbers, and the importance of understanding the mindset, and often times inexperience, of your buyer.
Second, we focus on Kevin's thoughts on what's wrong with blindly following a sales methodology, he outlines what Sales Coaching at PatientPop looks like, the role that the book The Talent Code has had on his approach, and shares both strategy and tactics for improving performance when coaching sales teams.
The Talent Code on Amazon
Matt: Kevin Dorsey, welcome to the podcast. How are you doing?
Kevin: I'm good my man, I'm good. It's the last day of the month, so we're cranking away here right now. Tons of energy, so I'm loving life per usual.
Matt: Excellent, excellent. I'm absolutely thrilled that you're on the podcast. Most people will know a little bit about you from a lot of the content that you put out, which gets huge traction. For those of us who maybe have not heard of you before, who are you? Give us a little bit of background. What's your background when it comes to sales?
Kevin: Let's see, who am I? I mean that's deep. I'm Kevin Dorsey, almost everyone calls me KD. I am a son, a brother, a husband, and a father. I have two daughters, a Lilly and Louisa, those are my little gangsters at home. And yeah, I mean sales is something I've been doing since early college. I chose to get into sales because I felt it was the most secure job you could have. And not because like the tenure of sales reps were long, but I just always knew companies were hiring for sales people. So I was like, "Well, I'll always be able to find a job if I know how to sell." So that's what kind of started my journey into this crazy world that we call selling.
Matt: Excellent, so you're currently VP of Inside Sales at Patientpop, is that right?
Kevin: Yes sir.
Matt: Okay, so who are Patientpop? What is the product? Give us a bit of background on where you are right now.
Kevin: For sure, so Patientpop is a practice growth platform. So in a nutshell, we help good doctors get found by the patients that are looking for them, right? So most doctors, they spend 10 years in school, they're not taught how to run a business, they're not taught how to market that business. And so there are a lot of really good doctors who don't get the patient volume that they want or the right types of patients, simply because they don't know how to market their practice.
Kevin: That's where Patientpop comes in. So we help handle their SEO, their paid ads, their website, their web profiles. We make it easier for them to get found, so they can focus on the things that they do, which is being a great doctor. And so Patientpop has been on a massive growth path, I think we're at just over 50 mil now. We're closing in on 70, we're going to get to 100 in the next year or so. We're flying right now, it's a fun time to be here.
Matt: Excellent, fantastic. So I'm curious to know when you're selling into doctors, your guys must get gatekeepers all the time. Am I right? Or have you guys got ways around this?
Kevin: I mean, I'm not a big believer in ways around gatekeepers, I think so many people still have this archaic view of what a gatekeeper is. That they're not sharp, that they don't understand that you can trick them. They've been handling cold calls from salespeople for years. They can pick it up, they understand and so all this effort going into going around, I like to work with and through like, dude, let's make them love us.
Kevin: Why not have a fun relationship with the person who's answering the phone and building value with them to then get to that next level. I think we're going to talk about it a little bit into how to sell to a VP and working from the bottom up is actually a very important aspect of that.
Matt: Yeah, we definitely will. Before we get into that, I want to just ask, what's the sales team makeup like at Patientpop? Who is the patient? Who's selling?
Kevin: Yeah, so we have about 30 field reps, about 35, 40 inside closers and 35 or so SDRs right now. And all of those numbers will continue to go up as we scale.
Matt: Okay, so I had one question before we get into a bit more detail. You've been at the company what? Since October of last year, around then?
Matt: So with your background and the companies that you've worked at, you must have had a lot of opportunities. Why did you choose to take your talents to Patientpop?
Kevin: A few of I think big reasons, one, the size of the market and the opportunity, right? This is a big space to play in. There are well over 300, 400,000 private practices and providers in this country. So it gives a big pool to play in. The product generates a true ROI for the people that we're selling to. It's measurable and it helps them. I do like to help people through what I'm selling.
Kevin: This is something that doctors don't know how to do on their own. So I really like that and then just culturally, the culture of Patientpop is what I look for, where it is fast growing, but it's supportive. It's like comradery is there. We do a lot of things for the team and that's it, man. And I've been loving it, I have enjoyed coming in every single day since I've started. It's been a great ride so far.
Matt: Great, so let's just outline where we're going to go in the episode. I see this as being a two parter if you like. The first part is going to be all about selling at a senior level, VPs of sales. And then I want to pivot later in the conversation and talk a little bit more about coaching. Something I know that you are extremely passionate about.
Matt: So let's just start with with selling, itself. One of the articles that sort of, I became first aware of you was the one that's how to really sell to a VP of sales, which absolutely caught my attention. What was it that led you to write the article, that got so much traction?
Kevin: Because I was pissed off at how people were trying to sell to me. So I was sitting, I was actually on vacation, I was up in Tahoe, I was at Lake Tahoe with my family and we found out, my wife accidentally booked an extra day, so had an extra day up there. But I had a couple of demos scheduled on that day. So I was sitting out on the patio overlooking the mountains, going through just another awful demo. Can I swear on this by the way? Is that allowed?
Kevin: Okay, so I was going through a really shitty demo and it was just frustrating because no one ever made it easy to buy. You go through these demos and then I have to go through all the work to figure out if it's worth it, figure out if it solves a problem, figure out what my ROI will be. I have to then sell it up to my superiors and get budget... It was so much work.
Kevin: I was like, "God dammit, if someone just did this, it would make my life easier as..." So I wrote it kind of in a little of a rage, right? Like... I'm going to write this and just put it out there just because I needed to get it out. And then it really resonated with people.
Matt: So one of the things that the article really focuses on is the importance of knowing numbers, the importance of the sales professional knowing the numbers when they're talking to prospects. How important, from your side, is it for reps to know some of those key metrics? Why is that so important?
Kevin: Because you need to be able to quantify the impact of what you're doing, right? If nothing changes, nothing changes, right? And so if you're selling something and nothing's going to change, how can you get that person to buy? And oftentimes if you're a great seller, what you're trying to actually get is can you get the buyer or the prospect to become aware of something they weren't aware of? And if you can put a number to that, that's even better. But most sales people don't know what it's like to buy a product.
Kevin: Salespeople aren't sold to and so they don't understand what it's like to get a cold call or to get a cold email or try to get budget approval. So when you tell me the contract's going to be $100,000, what do you think I have to do as the buyer? I have to prove internally and to myself that, that 100 grand is going to make me back that money and then some. And if you're making me do that work without you involved, either I'm not going to get it right or I'm not going to do it because I don't have the time to.
Matt: So in the article as well, you also give a couple of key metrics that you think are absolutely key and I want to just run through those. These are things that, from your perspective, the rep must absolutely know. They must know the metrics I care about as a buyer. How much is one customer worth to me? The metrics that will improve by implementing the product. And lastly, the impact on revenue. So from your side, what are the metrics that you care about, Kevin? What are the ones that are your things that are keeping you up at night?
Kevin: So as a leader, I think it changes, and this is where some people have actually taken the article like too literal and people are asking those questions up front. First of all, I don't personally believe you can ask those questions upfront. You haven't earned that right, right. So if you're sitting here and I'm going through a discovery section and it's AE, I have no relationship with. And one of the first three questions you ask me is what my average customer value is. It's going to push up all sorts of walls because you haven't earned that trust yet.
Kevin: That needs to be sprinkled in throughout the demonstration as you've earned trust and value. But for me, obviously like I'm looking at close rate, pipeline generation, sales cycle, average contract value, speed to ramp, access rates, DM conversion rate. I have 30 something metrics that I look at that I believe have an impact on my org and it's the job of the salesperson, who's selling to me to understand what metrics their product actually affects. And then that's where you focus with me. Like that where you have to focus with me, is what is it your product affects?
Kevin: Because this is where also people get wrong. They ask a question like that. What are the key metrics that I track? And then I give answers that have nothing to do with their product and now what? You're like, what are the key metric? Say you're selling a, I don't know, a prospecting software and you're like, "So what are the key metrics you're tracking this year?" And I go, "God dammit, I'm tracking close rate. I'm tracking ACV, I'm tracking time to ramp." And their product doesn't do anything about those. Now what do they do?
Matt: What should they do? Get off the call?
Kevin: You have to ask... Well no, at that point, yes, get off the call because I'm probably already frustrated. But you need to ask questions that your product actually solves. So let's use the prospecting software for example, and say, as opposed to asking, "What are the key metrics?" Ask a question like, "Hey, how many touches on average does it take for your SDRs to book an appointment?" "Well, shit, I don't know." "Oh, okay. That's something that we're going to have to dive into." The average conversion rate when a rep gets a prospect on the phone is roughly 20 to 30%.
Kevin: Do you know where yours are right now? So if I know it, I can tell them and you say, "Okay, cool, we're going to show you how we can probably get that from 20% to 35% relatively simply. And that's going to be our goal here." You can focus on that one metric and show that it'll have a big enough impact to pay for your product. But you need to ask questions that involve your product. Don't just ask the general KPI question because I'm going to say some shit that doesn't even matter to you.
Matt: So that brings up an interesting question about how do you ask questions of the prospect that potentially may lead them to feeling on the spot or under-prepared or you're shining a light on what they don't know about their own business? There must be a fine line to tread there between making them seem stupid frankly and asking questions that actually give you answers that you as a sales rep can use.
Kevin: So this is in your market, if you know most of the people don't have answers to the questions, then you preface it. So you say, "Hey, how are you measuring blank? Is it like this? Is it like this?" Or, "Hey, I know a lot of VPs, they actually haven't found a great way to measure it or they're so busy, this isn't something they get to keep eyes on. Where do you fall in that spectrum?" So as long as you make them feel they're not alone in not knowing it, they're more likely to share it. You follow me there?
Kevin: You can't just call someone out and say, "Hey, how are you measuring this?" They go, "Well I don't." Now it feels off, but if you know your market, more often than not, is not measuring that thing or isn't keeping track of it, then you lump it into like the greater... or sorry, the greater world to say, "Hey, if you're not measuring it, don't feel bad man. Like I talk to VPs all day. Most of them aren't and they're really surprised when they start to measure it. How much of an impact it has. Are you able to or are you kind of with most VPs right now?"
Matt: Yeah, that makes perfect sense. I like that, that's a really nice way of doing it. One of the things that you talk about as well, one of the metrics, and I definitely get what you're saying in terms of don't follow these as a sort of, as a list that you must follow. But one of the metrics is LTV and that's not necessarily going to be something people are going to either know or want to volunteer up front. But let's say the rep builds the trust, they get that relationship going. How important is it for you as a rep or as a manager to know what the LTV is of your prospect?
Kevin: For me as a leader? Or as a-
Matt: In terms of the advice that you would give somebody who is engaging in sales calls, how important is it for them to know the LTV?
Kevin: It depends on what they're selling and who that process, like who they're selling to. But it's very important because if you're going to try to prove what the return is on it, having that LTV number is there. Because also too, this is what sales reps don't understand either, is buyers oftentimes, especially early buyers, they've never been taught how to buy. No one taught me how to do this, how to run an analysis to see if something's going to be worth it. More often than not, it's just like, "Do I have the budget or not?" That's how a lot of buyers operate.
Kevin: So they don't always even do the steps necessary to prove it's worthwhile. So if you're selling a product that is whatever, $10,000 a month, we'll just make it easy and you very easily showed that I can get 10 extra customers per year using the product and a customer is worth $30,000 to me, that's a $10,000 to $300,000 ratio. That works well. So now you're empowering the buyer to walk into finance and go, "Yo, no brainer you guys, look what I got. This is going to cost $10,000, I'm pretty sure it can get us $300,000 in customer value even conservatively $200,000. Where can I go find this money?"
Matt: And how do you build up the trust to the point where the prospect believes that this case is accurate. Because you mentioned in the article, don't throw out ridiculous numbers of a 300% increase. How do you build that that trust in the prospect, so that they buy into it and do feel like they can take it to say a board or C-suite and have confidence that this is an accurate number?
Kevin: So this is where the demo, that's what the demo's for. The demo is to show and get agreement on how your product will do those things. That's where most reps just go wrong, is they show what the product will do "Hey, we're going to get you more or we're going to make this easier." It doesn't show how it's going to do it. And then the last part that's missing often is proof that it actually does that. But if you go through a demo and at the end of it, before you ever ask me about price, you just say, "Hey, so do you think this will provide a lift in whatever area we were talking about? "
Kevin: If I don't say yes to that, there's nothing there. You should never talk pricing with someone who doesn't believe your product will do what you said it will do. So you build trust by actually showing how the product will do the thing you said it will do. And then you're asking your check in questions, your buy in questions like, "Hey, would this make it easier? Would we get more? Right now you told me your reps are sending 10 emails a day. What do you think will happen if they're sending 50 a day? What do you think will happen there?" Now you're getting those engagement questions. So you build trust by asking good questions throughout, but then also showing me that your product does what you said it will.
Matt: And then if you get anything other than an enthusiastic yes to a buy in, then you know you've got to go back a few steps and do some more groundwork.
Kevin: Exactly, back up and do it again. If they say, "Ah yeah, I think so." They're not sold, it's like, "Hey, let's back up here. Where are you still unsure?" What part of this is they're like, "Ah, I don't think this is going to help my reps or I don't think this is going to help my team or I don't think this is going to help me. Which part didn't jump at you?" Not every person should buy every type of product. There are tools out there that won't help me and that's fine. That's perfectly fine.
Kevin: And if you identify it then, and this is what sales reps also forget, if you can come to an agreement that your product will not help the person you're talking to and you guys both agree to that. Now you can actually say, "Hey, well I appreciate the time. If anyone comes into your mind that you think this would help, would you mind ever pointing them in my direction?" You say, "Hey, I could do that for you if..." You get what I'm saying? Now you can actually get a referral out of someone who didn't buy versus only trying to get referrals from people that did.
Matt: And where do other stakeholders fit into this kind of approach? Because you're going to have different stakeholders, especially if you're selling to large enterprises or senior buyers, they're going to be of the stakeholders. The way we've kind of positioned it now is that you're the sort of lone wolf, getting the information, taking it to the board. But what about where, as a rep, do you want to encourage other stake holders into that process early on?
Kevin: Yes and no. So this is actually where a lot of people go wrong selling to the enterprise. Have you read the book Challenger Customer? Not the Challenger Sale, but The Challenger Customer?
Matt: I haven't but I will.
Kevin: Okay, so go grab that, for everyone who's listening to this, everyone knows about The Challenger Sale. I think half the people that say they've read it, didn't actually read it because people don't actually know what it means to be a challenger seller. Challenger Customer is better than The Challenger Sale. It was their follow up book, I was just showing this to some of my managers last night. The Challenger Sale has like 600 I think, some reviews on Amazon. Their followup book has 78 reviews and it's written by the same people. It's their followup book and it has like 70 reviews.
Kevin: It's better because what it talks about is the 4.7 decision makers that are involved in a deal nowadays. And it broke down just through like reports, showing that actually the way we've been taught to sell to multiple stakeholders is wrong. What people have been taught to do is, okay, sell finance for finance reasons, sell legal for legal reasons, sell sales for sales reasons, and sell marketing for marketing reasons. Sell each stakeholder on how it will impact them and they've actually shown that, that's what causes deals to stall out or get undercut in price because no one can actually agree to the overall problem it solves.
Matt: That resonates hugely with an interview I've recently done with Andy Paul, where he was talking about find that single reason. What's that unifying reason that brings all of these people together? And don't treat the sale as this linear process that has to be done in a series of steps. It's completely nonlinear.
Kevin: Right, it's nonlinear and now, if you have your key stakeholder, you're empowering them to help the sales process. Does your product still need to be secure? Yes, it absolutely needs to be secure. Does your product need to meet legal guidelines? Yes, it does. Does it need to be affordable? Yes, it does. But if everyone is agreeing like, well, what this is actually solving is this. That's what allows people to move forward.
Kevin: It's what keeps deals moving forward and when it starts to get off track, as a salesperson, as a true challenger seller, you say, "Hey, hold on you guys, we're starting to talk about something that is outside of what we're actually trying to solve. We're worried about this feature over here, which is a great feature, that has nothing to do with what we're actually trying to solve here." But then making it easy for the buyer to go through it. If you know your product and you know your market well, you know what questions finance is going to ask them. Have that shit ready.
Kevin: You know what they're going to ask them. You know what legal's going to ask. You know what the stakeholders are going to ask. That's what your followup proposal contains. The followup proposal is for the people you didn't talk to and that's where sales reps get wrong, is they write the proposal for the person they did talk to. They don't need the proposal, you just talked to them. The proposal is for everyone else. Make sure there's a finance page and a marketing page and a HR page, whatever, that answers the questions that you know they're going to ask.
Matt: I love it, I love it. Right, we've got one eye on the time. You've been very generous so far. I've only got you for a little bit longer. I want to pivot onto coaching because I know that's something that you are very passionate about. You are the person who initially, through your article turned me on to The Talent Code, the book, The Talent Code by Daniel Coyle and what a book that is. I would recommend everybody goes and reads it, almost regardless of your role within a business. It's a book that everybody should read.
Matt: First question, you talk about in one of your LinkedIn articles, you talk about your sales methodology is wrong and it's very much about the idea that it's not about the methodology, it's about execution. Similar question to before. What led you to write that article?
Kevin: I guess similar answer before, frustration. Most of my articles are semi-rant, semi-educational. It's me just getting it out of my own head. But then hopefully people can learn from it. It's like I get tired of seeing people talking about, "Oh you should be a spin seller, a gap seller, a Sandler seller, a challenger seller, a snap seller, a medic seller." Everyone's got this... okay, that's cool. Does your team actually do it?
Kevin: Because this is me questioning my own self. I do believe in coaching. I do believe in sales and I'm always trying to get better at it. But if my team isn't doing it, it doesn't fucking matter. I believe that mirrors the way every sales org is in this country. Is there's so much time spent on what to do and very little time spent on how to actually get people to do it.
Matt: And that's where The Talent Code comes in because it's looking at what do high performers do and how are they coached? And what I thought we could do is maybe break down the sort of the three core components of the model and then maybe apply that to sales. So we've got at the start with The Talent Code, you've got this concept of deep practice. If you're going to get good at anything be it athletics, be it juggling, be it sales, whatever it is, there is deep practice involved, which often takes time.
Matt: Then you have ignition, so something or someone sparks an interest, a motivating factor in an individual that leads them to want to do more of that deep practice. And then in the very best performers, they also have a master coach alongside them, to help pull out that deep practice and that ignition and reinforce both of those. Is that basically your kind of, your model for coaching? How deep have you gone on this book as it relates to your own practice?
Kevin: Very deep and it spurred me to get into, like Talent Code is really good, but it's more anecdotal. It led me to getting into the true science of learning, like how information is absorbed, how it can be recalled quicker. Whether most, and this is schools in general and I also think most sales training and coaching, people actually don't learn. They just learn how to regurgitate. They didn't actually learn it, they just learned how to say it back to you when they got tested on it.
Kevin: But then the moment they're no longer in a testing environment, they can't recall it and so they fall back on either bad habits or whatever else they want to do. So we, I just sat down with my enablement team yesterday, I don't know what day it is, Friday.? No, today's Wednesday. Yeah, yesterday, last day of the month, it feels like a Friday. So I sat down with them, I was like, "We need to revamp our onboarding. They need to be doing the things with feedback for three to four hours a day. Not learning it for three, four hours a day, doing it for three to four hours a day."
Kevin: And so over the course of really last year as I was going into like the science of learning, like understanding what the forgetting curve is, understanding how forced failure benefits, understanding how real life situationals has to be put in. How you have to move forward, then come back or adding all those things into our onboarding, chunking, all those. That's how we do our onboarding here. And then the coaching ever stops. My managers spend 60, 70% of their time coaching reps, role-plays, call reviews, like deal setups.
Kevin: Like I don't like doing deal reviews. I like to do deal preps, okay, 15 minutes before the call, okay, what will we say if they do this? What will they say if they do this? Okay, spit that back at me real quick. You give me the price and I go, "Oh shit, that's way too high." What are you going to say? That's how you deal prep. And you get a little bit of that pseudo practice beforehand. So yeah, it's implemented all through our onboarding and our ongoing coaching.
Matt: That reminds me, that example reminds me of the deep practice concept within the book. A way that people might be able to make more sense of this is the idea of altitude training. If you're doing athletics. The person is training at altitude because they're not able to take in as much oxygen as they would as if they were at normal normal level. And deep practice in the book is about doing what you should be doing, but making it that little bit harder, so that when the time comes, you're ready for all eventualities, you're ready to be able to perform. And what you were saying there really seems to resonate with that concept of deep practice.
Kevin: Yeah and it's not even always about harder, it's about differently. So in the book it talks about blindfolding a ballerina, that doesn't necessarily make it harder to do something, it makes it different or the orchestra, where they made them play the music slower than they normally would-
Matt: And out of order as well.
Kevin: Right out of order, right, so things like that. So our onboarding, we were just talking about this. I want it to be less linear. It needs to be a little, not like Helter Skelter, but like we're going to go from this to this and then back to that and then throw this in and then come back to that. Because that's what forces the brain to try to hold onto that information better because they have to recall it. If you know what's coming next, sometimes you don't even pay attention.
Kevin: You're kind of like, "All right, cool, I know this is next and we forget about it." So it's doing things differently. We've done speed training. Make them say the script or the objections as fast as you possibly can for three minutes straight. You want someone to memorize the script, make them say it as fast as they can, as fast as they can for three to five minutes straight. Not only will they almost pass out from lack of oxygen, but they're not going to have to think about those words any more. It's going to be ingrained. So it's things like that that we put throughout all of this.
Matt: And how do you deal with reps who engage in those types of activities and don't do them well? They make mistakes, naturally mistakes are part of learning. That's very much a part of the book as well. But how do you, as a coach or as a mentor, help people through that process of getting it wrong consistently and slowly starting to get it wrong less?
Kevin: It's, I think you mentioned, it's setting the expectation. We tell people their first day, we don't expect perfection. In fact, we are trying to make you fail because that's how you're going to learn. We're not here to make you feel good necessarily about what you're doing right now. We're here to make you good at it. So don't get worried if the feedback that we're giving is mostly, "Hey, fix this, tweak this." Because we're here to get good at this.
Kevin: And so that's how we do it. But we encourage people. Like if someone does something well too, we recognize it. We really work on this hard. My managers know I'm all about this. I like to recognize the behavior more than the result. So if someone does something good, I like to recognize what they did as good. Like, "Wow, Liz absolutely, this demo was amazing." And people will say, "Well, did it close?" And it's like, that's not the point. This demo was amazing. It did all the things that we needed it to do and that's how it worked.
Matt: So as a coach, are you looking at opportunities to stretch reps as well? You're looking to take them slightly out of their comfort zone, but not so far out that they are helpless?
Matt: How do you do that? For somebody who maybe is new to sales leadership or sales coaching, how can you effectively start to do things like that?
Kevin: Well, I think it's outlining, it's knowing where they need to be pushed and where they don't. If you don't know where they're struggling, you can't help them. So that's why I think call score cards are so important. It's knowing where to focus. Most, I think, managers push people in areas they don't need to be pushed in that they're not ready for it yet. That's like trying to, I don't... I think sports analogies are overused sometimes. Like say I'm a basketball player, that's like I can't shoot a layup, but my coach is trying to teach me a fade away jumper. You know what I'm saying?
Kevin: And that's what a lot of managers do, is they push them when they still don't have the fundamentals down. You can push someone on the fundamentals. In fact, most greats at anything they did, they're just so good at the fundamentals. They did the basics till their fingers bled. They played the same chord until their wrist cramped up, to get the fundamentals down. That's where you push people. You don't have, like fundamental... sales is hard enough as is. Most people can't do the fundamentals, you just need to push them there.
Matt: So one of the other parts of the book, which I think is really important when it comes to coaching, Kevin, is clear and precise instructions. How do you, as a coach, develop your own skill of being able to give feedback in a really clear and precise way?
Kevin: One is knowing what type of feedback. So that's again, back to the call scorecard of having a unified feedback methodology of here's what we're looking for in every call. So that managers, reps can give similar feedback. But it was actually, again, just talking with my own team here, making sure the feedback is short, directive and punchy. Here's, I think Keenan and Steve Richard did a great webinar on this. It's still out in the web somewhere about the coaching framework. First you observe, you acknowledge what they did.
Kevin: So this was a change for me a couple of years ago I made was, I used to say, "Oh, you didn't do this." We're just saying this is what you did do. You skipped this question versus you didn't ask this question. So you say, "Here's what you did, oh, you skipped this question. The impact of that, because you skipped this question. This is what it up down the road." And then the correction, "Here's what I'd like you to do. Let's do it again." If you follow that framework, it keep feedback very short, very impactful and very powerful to the person you're talking to.
Kevin: And that's it and also too, the stop and go method. So like if someone's role playing with you and they mess up, you stop right there. You stop, you say, "Ah, hold up, hold up, pause. We missed the..." See I still fall back on this, "You skipped this question. Go back, let's do it again real quick," and keep going. You don't let it continue. You need the feedback to be immediate, after the action. And that helps keep the feedback shorter as well because if you wait till the end of the role play or the end of whatever else you were doing, the feedback tends to be much longer or there tends to be way too much of it and they can't absorb it all.
Matt: Yeah and that definitely feeds into that idea of deep practice. That sense of pausing, repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat and then move on after that, I think that's, yeah, it's completely aligned with deep practice. So last question, just before you go, you've talked already about getting your reps to do scripts incredibly quickly over and over again. Have you got one other exercise or drill or something that you've used, any part of the process with any of your reps that you would be generous enough to share with our listeners? Anything that you've used consistently, which always seems to generate a good outcome in your reps?
Kevin: Oh man, if I had some that always generated a good outcome in my reps, shit, man. Let's see here, if I could give one outside of high repetition, truthfully, I mean, it's not sexy, but I think it's what most people don't do, is the repetitions are too low when it comes to practice. If you look at, say it's an AE, especially if it's an enterprise AE, how many demos do enterprise AEs run per month? Maybe 10, maybe.
Kevin: Right, maybe 10, all right. So if they're only running 10 a month, that means in a year, they're only going to run 120 demos. And if that's the only time that they're running those demos, that's only 120 times of doing that thing. That is going to take forever for them to get good at. If they were role playing and practicing every single week.
Kevin: Getting 100 repetitions in a month, who's going to be better? So if that's what works, is the repetition and people just seem to forget this. If you look at any sport, any hobby, music, art, everyone knows like, "Wow, you got to do it forever to get good." But then we've created this facade of the natural sales person and they don't think they have to do anything to be good because they're natural.
Matt: Yeah and that leads to a culture where those people tend to stick with it, others tend to go off to other roles in other businesses.
Kevin: Yeah, anyone that played high school sports or high school music, you were dedicating 10 to 20 hours a week to practice for your high school sports. And now you have a career that can make you multiple high six figures and you don't practice. It's by far and away my most frustrating thing with this entire industry, is this idea that people don't need to get better when they were willing to put in 20 hours a week for years to earn that nice little letter on their Letterman's jacket.
Matt: I love it. What a place to end the interview. Kevin, you've been extremely generous with your time. I want to say thank you once again for taking part in the podcast. Just quickly, how can people find out more about you and your insights and your thoughts on sales?
Kevin: You can go find me on LinkedIn, I don't have Snapchat or Twitter or any of that stuff. Find me on LinkedIn. That's where I post. I try to respond to messages and comments as much as I can. So hit me up there and I will be in touch.
Matt: Cheers, Kevin. Thank you so much for your time.
Kevin: All right, thank you.