THE #1 SECRET TO GETTING AWAY FROM THE FEATURE BATTLE
Boy We've got a good one for you today another top sales rep. so continuing this series, I had posted on linked in asking for the best sales people that you knew. And what's good about this as you get pretty much here, the whole career. All in one episode and some of the key distinctions that I try and pull out mindset background career strategy working with managers, and following great managers from company to company. not focusing solely on the product features and functions and getting into talking about what the client and the prospect care about. Finding problems, building up real deals that distinction between an order taker and a sales person I think you're really going to like this as well as somebody who has a lot of energy and a passion for the profession. and. It's great that somebody finds the. So early in their career right out of college and I know the company that she I went to, and I worked for a manager who came out of there, and the company has kind of a meat grinder boiler room, style reputation not that they weren't selling a great product into a B. Two B. Market. But they were doing it with kind of. Internal high pressure metrics driven and they were dominant in the space and that kind of worked I'll I'll some up that part of the story at the end? Before we get in make sure you're checking out our friends over at co video video emails, real distinction that you can have in your communication with both clients and prospects. Definitely recommend it for maybe not the first one but sequential emails as a way of getting away from the touching base shaking. See how things are going it's a way of. Them wanting to talk with you away of not only just sharing who you are and what you're up to in what's new at your company, but to allow them to kind of see who you are as a person. So let's get it into the interview. I'll summit up at the end. Here we go. Hey Michelle. Thanks for coming on the show today as a way to getting started tell us about yourself. Great to meet you so yeah, Michelle Bovi I live in Boston and I've been in sales for about ten years now and I absolutely love what I do. It's You know most people say you know they work just to make money for their family I work because Julie of what I do every single day. So excited to be here. And that's about it. Cool. You started off in such an easy job at parametric, commit such a alley. Yeah. Such an easy easy job there. Yes. Always. Friendly people. Exactly. So it's it was actually the best thing ever I remember interviewing. Coming out of college and I interviewed for software biomedical and Pharma cells jobs a new one to do sales because I love people love to talk to strangers. Everyone's been telling me some says it like basically middle school you're gonNA do sale someday. So I kind of had my heart set on that and then I went to interview at P.. C., for software only software company I interviewed for and they told me if you start with us, you will be in Las Vegas on Monday at our sales kickoff and I with is twenty one almost two years old coming out of. College I said I've never been to vegas I am so in took that job, not knowing anything about software or T. C. but it was the best decision ever was there for five years promoted four times in five years in they taught me everything I need to know but they were hard on us and that was kind of my favorite thing because I'm competitive and you're not the best of the best there they let you know in you'll be gone but it was I loved it cut throat but but very good and that's why they had so much success over the years. because. I worked with a lot of people who came out of there. And it fits. A certain sale very well I mean they had it down to a science. At. But what was it like selling to that persona because you probably didn't talk to cad engineers in college right now so yes funny. You say that I actually remember sitting down day one saying what his cat and look. With cad E. stood for computer aided design. And I went home. So I was kind of a little dirty in college with a studying like I like to get as and I went home and I made flash cards and I looked up what cadman basically what every detail in Cadman so that when I talk to people, I could actually sound a little bit intelligent but selling to the mechanical engineers and everybody in engineering. The tough thing to do my dad thankfully and brother are in nineteen engineering. So I got some help there but I took a different approach I actually went out and said while I cannot learn every single day about feature and function. Of An engineering tool and go to engineers about that because they're going to always know more than I do. The they've been in the Career Fifteen, twenty years I took the approach to go and actually learn about their companies and learned go read annual reports go read about the person that I'm talking to have more conversations in ask questions. So my big thing was I had you know fifteen questions always tonight, they would always start with Ted meaning t for telling. Me explained to me described to me very open ended questions so that I could just get a ton of stuff I break down everything and then when I went back to the next time, it was a very much. Oh, when you said before instead of talking about, you know the most technical detail to do his catt software. So I took that approach but. In where'd you get that? Did they teach you that or did you figure that out on your own They did teach a little bit of that They were very big on force management training medic, or mid pick training. They'd yeah they Thomas all of that. But at the same time I kind of always say in sales, you have to put yourself in their shoes and what I mean by that is the same way that I go shopping for car. I don't want someone selling me a coop like a two door car when I knew I, want an suv I love twenty two inch wheels like I know what I want right I. Don't want want to come in just pitch to me of coop when that's not even in my mind what I want it's the same thing talking to clients you can't just pitch feature function when you don't understand anything about what they want so ask. Oh, what are you looking for in a car? What do you want in a car? The same thing same approach when when selling softwares really walking in the door with credibility especially when I was twenty two years old and one of the only females in that job I knew I had to stand out. So it was all about reading about my customers studying a pretty funny. Still. To this day, actually even flash cards. So learn new technology at my new companies well. Data analytics is not as simple as you think, there's actually a ton about you know key terms you need to know in every day trying to get better. Yeah. That's I mean certainly, PT was a technical product share. Of. At. Now how long did say inside very long did you Know. So there's about forty of inside sales and. Outside basically in outside sales they called me overland. In under a year. So about ten months I was promoted. Three of us were promoted out of the forty ish. The young was one of them and it was cutthroat. It was awesome. I love it like bringing on i. like the competition I liked how they were very much performance driven so. They would stack ring people every day and that just made me want to do more and more each day. I loved it. But yeah, I was I was out in the field within about ten months in nat for me went from having a job in inside sales to really seeing where my career could go the second I was in and outside sales. I knew this was the career for me. I was like I get to meet people every day New People everyday get to go to lunches to dinners. It was fantastic I was on a plane I think for about two years straight getting to go to cities I've never been I'm just living out of a suitcase but it was Absolutely worth every second of it. Fantastic company to work for and they're still doing. Great. and. Where's the competitiveness come from? Is that Lacrosse and basketball and soccer yet a I still to this day amid may I have to admit I'm in my early thirties now and I still play if Kobe wasn't happening soccer six times a week in basketball few times as well too. So from not working, that's that's honestly all idea but I love sports I, love anything competitive it's if it's a card game if it's a drinking game if it's anything competitive you for me, it's sometimes friends don't live to play them with me because they know I can't take anything just normal I have to win. Yeah. Is it the fun of winning or the hatred of losing. I'd say. A little bit of both but it's more. It's more the hatred of losing times I have to say. Something about it. It's just it's how I grew up. I've been since I was a little kid and you know with grades in schools I'd get mad if it was a b plus. Minus a same way with sports. So just everything that I do I like to do really well and sports especially. Watching sports, playing sports. It's my favorite I think it definitely is a strength to have those policies in sales sometimes. P always asking me if you don't love sports play sports can still be good at sales in the question is yes. Oh, there are so many different ways you can be great at sales. I. Just think that for sure helps the competitive drive. The work work ethic is essentially as hard as you work your compensation is reflective of that. At and Sports is game and sales is a game and you win or you lose exactly right and and the other thing is you have a coach and sports. And teammates. Exactly Some feedback. Exactly. Yeah we're in. It's. It's funny because people think sale houses, Sales Rep, and you go out the door and sell, but it's not like you're selling knives door to door right like. Might have done in high school kind of thing you have a team rate I have a team of reps and engineers in customer success in services and product managers marketing. We have a team that go out together. It really is a team sport led by our leaders who are constantly giving you feedback to get better i. always tell people if you feel like you're not getting better every single day than you need to go move and do something else because I think this career is all about development in getting better every single day. And then you want to sell another hard product right APP dynamics. That's I did. Yes. So APP dynamics. So it's actually funny the people I worked with at P. see a lot of them went to companies. Some of them may Oh boss actually went to act. And he brought me there I remember on the plane to boot camp. It was I was on the plane got hired on like a Friday in the you're going to boot camp on Monday and same exact thing how I look at what cad was I had to look at. Them for dummies. So I actually read on the plane out to San Francisco Sunday night like a twenty page document. I was APM for dummies application performance monitoring I was looking up everything. I could ever know about it in just making flash cards studying so that when I went to boot Camp I wouldn't be too embarrassed That that to me was game changing. Company I've worked for just spectacularly was even PTC on steroids everyone. There was sharp still there Super Super Smart Intelligent people great character. In just the best of the best and if if they hold people to very high standards in if you don't have those, you know you won't get in and you won't last but I love that right? I? Won't be the new. England patriots of the NFL bill ballot check holds his team to Berry is standards and that was APP dynamics. Actually may leader in New England was very much like that and we all respected in because he expected the best from us every single day. And how is that transition going from selling to mechanical engineers to probably architects infrastructure people. Exactly, so you have to learn about what they care about every single day rate, but what I always stay in sales is. What's transferable is that? Every single company you go to whether I'm selling at P. T. C. or APP D. are now thought spot one thing stays the same and that is learning about the people you sell to bring him value and not just learning about the feature and function ins and outs of your tool. You have engineer at your side to help you do that. But really what's GonNa make people actually want to meet with you is showing them that you know everything about their business and you found a problem that they need to solve. Hopefully, technology can solve that problem. But. If you know, you have to start by reading annual reports learning about the people you sell to what they care about rightly whether it's mechanical engineer or an architect, you have to understand what they're paying problems are every single day and not what feature to just go pitch to them. and. What kept you focused on that because most collies don't do that they teach you about the product. I'll tell you why certain people have strengths and weaknesses. Mice. Strength is understanding of business and people by weakness in sophomore sales is kind of understanding the INS and outs of technology. Other, people are fantastic at understanding twenty levels deep about a database I go to levels deep about a database. I don't need to be talking widgets that's not solving a massive problem for the company. Would I've realizes how do you do big deals in massive deals with these companies? You solve big problems for them. You don't check a box on a function of a database. You solve a problem because they want to improve their NPS score with their clients. They WANNA have whatever it is but whatever the ROI is back to their business that they're trying to improve focus. On that and if you focus on that, that's also way more relatable to other companies. So you start telling that story if you're working with a CVS or the Hartford or whoever it is, you tell that story about how you help the retailer Insurance Company and go to the next retail insurance company telling that story, and then you start to do more and more deals instead of telling the next retail company Oh i I saw this little database, a technology they. Scale and you're not going to be super successful over and over again. About the feature function. So really just focusing on the big business problems that you know these people care about. and. Did. You get leads there or was it a lot of outbound? Her has never worked at a company where people just hand you deals. We do have BDR's. Fantastic that will help us cold Carl essentially and marketing who will throw events and do stuff like that. Hopefully, we'll get somebody viewing white paper maybe. Never that they're contacting US asking for a Demo I've seen in my career that probably five times it's more of you know we're in different time I. Like a are picking up the phone and cold calling people thought was dead it's not you still have to do that especially with the competition nowadays most companies or start ups I like to go out there and work at companies where they haven't heard of US rate. I like the thrill of me going to somebody saying you know, hey, have you heard of us in they say no, it's I love that because. Michael thing is I don't want to just manage accounts where they just keep coming back in purchasing from. US year after year like it sounds great. But to me, there's no thrill in that I WANNA go out and solve problems for companies, and that's how you make your name in the industry is when I go to the next I just came through thoughts now and I can go to the people I've. Sold to in the past where they say Michelle has solved massive problems for us with APP dynamics. Of course, I'll take her call versus I sold them a widget that does one thing and that's fine people like to do that. I like to solve problems for these companies so that they can keep calling me over and over in in in having a great relationship for the next twenty years hopefully with them. and. Brought thought spot. Sure. So just like people from. DC. When do after you together. The same exact thing from APP dynamics when people started to even want to go do it again and there's still people have APP d today they're still killing it in. Still. The Best Company I've ever worked at they were fantastic. A lot of people did leave and WanNa go do that new startup mentality again. So there is about three companies that everybody went to. But did leave bought spot being one of them and I go to companies. Yes. Because of technology always look into the tech a read reviews I talk to pass clients of mine that are very technical to understand it but I really follow people you got work with people that you love people that you trust people that every day you wake up and want to do better for those people in our CIERO are basically our whole leadership team here is why came here for sure I trust them they. They really care about the people that worked for them more than anything. It sounds weird because we're in sales you think just care about money and bring accompanied. IPO, which is very important. But they care about the people that they're developing. They want to change their lives and I felt that from our leadership team into me, it was an absolute no brainer to come follow them here. So I came to the. Fore the people since then the technology what I realized his been, it's almost back when people only knew of horses and now the cars being invented it's the same thing with dot spot in analytics. It's almost like people had no idea that what we do out there and once they see it and hear of it. They're you know they're blown away essentially, but it's almost the future of analytics in it's finally here. And again, you're selling to a completely different persona, right? Back. Bring on the challenge each time like I said. Wasn't matter who it is that we sell to, but you have to be consistent. The same thing day one we got here we learned about our clients. That's the first thing we did. We said before we pick up a phone before we email anybody do anything I have a I have a Rolodex of people I didn't pick up the phone and call them. I still have not called all of them yet. Don't tell me yet CIERO that but. I between us. Between a shirt the whole thing is though go do your research go read about them go read their annual reports like I said, talk to people at the company understand what they're going through as a digital transformation in data go learn everything you know before you go actually pitch them your product you got to be patient essentially an who cares about this in your customer spaces a CFO is that operations as it? So it's it's pretty funny. I'd say it's everyone but. I'll kind of explain why but we are essentially analytics for the business user. So there's analytics for the technical users. There's a lot of. Technologies out there that are for the analysts who make dashboards every single day we more focused on who the business users that do not know how to query and are not super technical rights almost like me, right how do I consume all this data? That's who we sold to the CIO and the chief data officer typically care about it, and then ahead of architect who wants to connect to their cloud data warehouse in instantly searched their data. In consumer data rate is as simple as search in Google. Those are the typical people that actually care and but really anybody we sell to HR to procurement to marketing to the business to not it's. It's really any group with a use case where they have been taunted data and they want to get the most granular level of that data and they wanna do really fast and they don't WanNa wait five days for dashboard. They want instantly as fast as you would search on Google or Yelp or Nino ordering newburgh. Just ask you get that data back in your personal lives. We give it to you that fast in your business life well. But who do you start with within a target prospect? Sure. I would. I would typically go try to go right to a CIO or do, and that's day. One. Ultimately. You're probably going to be bounce down to somebody on their team. Maybe you go for somebody in data analytic sets a little bit. You know maybe director level or something like that in insurance like if you look at certain version. To someone in charge of claims, we help specifically with claims use case. So it's honestly you can sell to the business you can sell to it. It's almost the beauty of working here. You could spend your whole year in five accounts at this company because you can. So to everybody, you don't have to sell to it. You can honestly sell to anyone in the company at any level. As long as they have, they need to consume and they WANNA ask questions to it and they want to get in instances almost like ad hoc. Analytics you can sell to them so. It's really anyone but ultimately, cio and chief data officer. and. Have you been only there seven months? Have you gotten your feet underneath you? Did you feel at home yet? Yes, for sure I'd say we've changed so much in the past six months it's crazy retirement. We've. Come. Out like. We now concert cloud data warehouses. We now have a thoughts about cloud offering we basically. Just in the last few months have even changed our pricing options, all different pricing that we can offer people and we've also landed a lot more big customer. So it's just every day things change and I love it. It's part of the fun and part of the thrill is you know when I even was at other companies in PD like if something came out in the product it. Might be six months right? This stays something has changed in two days. Something new is out. So it's just asked paste and always changing in they're keeping up with what our customers are saying in requesting and were adopting to it. So it's been yeah. I feel at home and I've got a great team just took over Canada a month ago as well. So yeah, I'm I'm learning. To speak a little French Tim. So yeah. Trying to do is to individual contributor or are you I'm a leader. So I I lead I was into individual contributor at P., T., C. A.. Inside sales to outside sales did that for years went to APP dynamics outside sales became an RFID regional director of New England there did that event came to thoughts spot and have a New England upstate New York in all of Canada. So M- leading an outside sales team of reps who cover accounts basically. Large enterprise accounts. And what do you look for in Reps? Will. This is fun. I. Intelligence is number one for me. But when I say intelligence I, don't mean just book smart I mean emotional intelligence being able to have a conversation with human common sense street smarts because people buy from people they like if you can't have a conversation with them. It's usually not going to go very far have to stand out from the other hundred sales reps that are contacting the CIO right? You can't sound robotic. You can't be boring I want somebody who's GonNa come in and make me remember them right so. On top of that intelligence though you have to be smart I also like somebody who's coach -able rate wig in a field where every day we should get better just like myself I welcome feedback Bi directionally from anybody all the time. We have to get better every day. So you need somebody who's coach -able and willing to get better every day and then character just making sure they're a great person in that. So those are the three things that I typically look for in. Apt. Next kind of put us made sure that whenever we hire somebody that was you know those were the requirements the really for me it's like this person handle conversation with anybody whether they're talking to an engineer, a cio you know an end user anybody right? Any background. Just, being able to adapt to conversations with people your human can you be human with the people you're selling to? At, and how was your transition into leadership because it's a different job? So different. Yes. It was tough because you know just being transparent I was I think the youngest leader and the only female at the time. So since then there's actually been a lot of females promoted when it was acting you mix which was really great to see but it was tough it first right like. Day One when you come in in your new leader in instantly, everyone knows how wow she's young and she's a female it's kind of like intimidating rate but you have to find how you can help each person. The biggest thing about being a leader is you don't just coach everybody the same you have to find out the strengths and weaknesses while motivates each individual. You might help one person with just one small tiny thing but the other. With a broad set of capabilities, so you just really have to. Just like you learn about your clients before you sell to them, you'll learn about your people before coach them learn what they're good at ask them what they're good at ask them where they think they need help observe for the first thirty sixty whatever however many days it is before you start coaching them. So it's all about individual learning before you actually start coaching, but it's been fantastic and it's a lot of fun I enjoy being leader and you get to talk to more clients every day. So that's the other for me. The more people I talk to the happier em. So I like I like leading a bigger team scrape. And what was the adjustment like because you go from that winning the hunting and the Because that's a very different feeling than doing it with people start. Yes I mean it's Just to say, I, I have not stopped hunting I have actually Pequoima list tonight that I'm GonNa to. My team get to. If anything, it feels even better right like I'm helping change reps lives on my team if they're not having a scanning to you in E B economic buyer and they need help doing that challenge me to me it's like I'll go do it at night I'll go try to get in the door for you and Then once we do, it's together we're going to go win this deal so we still do it but yet it's it's a lot different. You're not talking to clients one hundred percent of the time, but you are talking to people one hundred percent of the time. It's just internal people and external people. So as long as you care about people in general helping clients helping you know internal employees as well. You'RE GONNA love being leader. How during the interview process do you determine other than talking to them that e.? Q.. A I think it's more than Ecu, the empathy, but the ability to like you described the Ted. Thing and understanding what they're going through outward mindset is kind of what I call. Share. People don't have it. Fake during the interview right Getting interviewed. I. Interview. More people than anyone I feel like maybe that's because I know in Boston offer sales is just most people. I feel like everyone does software here Africa companies but I'd I interview a ton of people like some people will just go talk to because they've narrowed it down resumes and they've talked to other people about them and they have to people that are going to interview I. Mean I've interviewed fifteen people for one and sometimes it might sound crazy. But I also have I mean I have an excel sheet where the people I've interviewed. I've thought of if they don't work here in D maybe they'll work at thought spot maybe they'll work you know. In this role, this relic iced interview people, Yoon if they're not for the job today, maybe for the future but to get to that question an e q i There's certain questions I usually start with tell me about yourself kind of can you did for me? Simple, questions like that I. Kinda WanNa see people smile if they're happy. You know if they're talking to me like a person. On top of that I usually ask someone to explain a complex thing in simple tournament Good question that usually can understand if if they're intelligent or not. But to get to really their E. Q. I will ask them questions about sales they've done. Tell me about a champion that you built in why their champion to tell me about another one you did and I really liked to understand the people aspect of selling because like we said many times in this in this conversation, featuring function will only get you so far. But having champions to get deals done is reporting and I asked a ton of questions around champions and what problems they solved for them just to see if these really are. People that have helped them bring the the deal over the line. As opposed to just servicing them, you know servicing Ma'am all you need. To POC quote. I WANNA know these people they've sold to and how well they know them like tell me about this person, right like what are they? What are they like? What do they do for fun rate an understanding if this person actually gets to know them or if they're just taking orders and you know servicing the business Louis you said versus actually solving a problem getting to know these people and a lot of my clients are my friends to this day. I'm talking to one tonight when I go for a walk. Giving him a call just to catch up in a not selling spotted on you need will throw it in there a little bit Ka. It's more of just to catch up in these a very good friend of mine and we keep in touch after that's what I'm looking for. I'm looking for somebody who has the ability to connect with people on a level unlike the average salesperson. He's been a fun conversation Where can people go to follow in connect with you? Share. So I say linked in that's the best way to get a hold of me. Michelle both the E and you'll see me at thought spot if you look it up. But yeah, that's that's the best way to get in touch with me. I don't I have face moving on just don't you don't. Friends Make Fun of me 'cause I'll go out to dinner in on Lincoln sending messages at all times Mike it's the best thing ever. I. Love. Yet. That's really it. I loved that interview. Let me summit up kind of from my perspective. What I saw was the great mindset the competitiveness of the desire to win. The youthful energy that we have when we just get out of college. And money motivation and the ability to put yourself in the other person's place. Now, some of those things usually take long time for us to learn some of us, pick it up quicker than others, their skills they're not easy there counter intuitive and a lot of cases. But when when it all comes together, it becomes magic and what I also heard in the interview was that Mafia career strategy meaning that you followed and great managers took you with you to better and better opportunities or different opportunities that have a better upside for you or at least give you that option and this is a strategy that I've seen a lot of people work and it's hard because it has to be a good manager because you don't WanNa follow a bad manager from company to company, and if the good manager is in good, they're not to go to good companies. Because our career when we work in be to be you know accompanies important the managers super important the territory, the comp land, the product trying to get all of those things to come together. At the right time. So timings in there. So it is kind of like being a enterpreneur and a lot of ways a lot of things have to click for to really work. And that that's hard to do. But what ends up happening is if you make it a snowball versus as you know trial and error snowball means like every time you roll the snowball down the hill, it gets bigger and bigger this compounding instead of a cyclical circadian. Rhythm meaning that you just repeat the same groundhog day over and over again. So I, think what you should take out of this interview and maybe listen to it a couple times is understanding. Those questions that that putting yourself from the client's place finding a problem talking about what they care about? And then matching that up with how to justify it from a business standpoint now. I these are pretty much covered the two courses that I have. You know the magic course of start the conversation get the meeting where you can dissect out how to talk to a stranger and build up curiosity to interest interest urgency urgency action. These are talents. These are very. Advanced selling skills. It's not a template. It's not again mick how to subject line. It's a sequence of steps of starting where the client is building up to where you want them to be. But even when you get into a company, I've got some great episodes coming your way. even in when you have a great champion, you have to guide them nobody sends them to you know change the company school how to spend the company's money school that doesn't happen. It's up to us the lead them through that process, and if we don't know what it is and Yeah Yeah I looked at these sales methodologies and one of steps is asked them what the processes day don't know. What's your process for determining What you're GonNa do this weekend a lot of it is. Reactive people don't think that way people don't think about the little steps that have to take place they think about their job they're really good at their job. They're not good at our job. Our job is guiding them, and that's where winning the complex sale comes in and what we're doing in that course people doing the largest most complex deals in the company's history and not being in the reactive checking in see how it's going relying on the client to figure out how their company buys. You have to know how you company buys how their company is they all by the same way. Everybody's all will this work in Germany will this work in Israel I go other companies there. Yes. Other people there. Yes, it will work. Do you have to modify it slightly author new government things in that place probably. But. He got to identify them and are you gonNA fall into traps probably but the key is to fall into a trap no more than once not every deal and that's what I hear for managers people who've been doing this twenty thirty years you know Brian, we lose no-decision. That Sarah big competition and I'm like Oh really how long has that been pretty much And you haven't figured this out. You know why you don't figure it out because you're not digging in you're not having an emotional attachment to finding out why and how to prevent it winning the complex sale will help you do that. These are skills. If you wanted to learn how to play the guitar, you could go on Youtube and try it yourself and that would be good. What happens if you had a coach what happens have you had a community of Qatar players who were trying to all develop that skill all at once that would. Escalate it right. That's pretty much how we learn. We learn from others we learn from examples we learn from others, mistakes that's a genius sales. Hey if you like the podcast, do me just one favor, I don't need a review or anything just give me a little thumbs up a little comment a little share. When you see my stuff on Lincoln, I'd appreciate that. tell a friend about the show. Make sure you check out the other two PODCASTS, sales, questions, brutally honest answers, and the BB revenue leadership show will see you next time.