Show cover of Decoding Sales

Decoding Sales

A podcast where an engineer (Alex Allain, CTO @ U.S. Digital Response) and salesperson (Peter Ahn, Tech sales coach) demystify what it means to build meaningful business relationships in the modern age. 

Tracks

Episode 33: Micro-negotiations in everyday life
Every day you're presented with moments where you can decide whether to take what's offered, or you can negotiate. Most of us take what's offered because it's comfortable and easy, but are you leaving something on the table? Peter and Alex share expert strategy for mastering negotiations with vendors, sales staff, contractors, and even friends. Learn to build stronger relationships, reach win-win outcomes and secure fairer deals for everyone, while also sharpening your your negotiation chops for those big ticket items. Learn actionable tactics, powerful phrases, and the key mindset to build your negotiation skill in everyday life and never feel taken advantage of again.This episode is sponsored by our friends at Salesroom who are building a video conferencing platform specifically for AE's and their buyers to build strong relationships in the virtual world. Built from the ground up specifically for sales interactions with video note-taking, real-time transcription and question detection, and AI-based recommendations, every feature of the platform is meant to help build rapport and trust. Go to salesroom.com to get access!
48:56 2/15/23
Episode 32: BANT and MEDDIC
BANT and MEDDIC are two popular sales methodologies. Learn what each of them are for, how to apply them, and how they help you create a more effective sales process.This episode is sponsored by our friends at Salesroom who are building a video conferencing platform specifically for AE's and their buyers to build strong relationships in the virtual world. Built from the ground up specifically for sales interactions with video note-taking, real-time transcription and question detection, and AI-based recommendations, every feature of the platform is meant to help build rapport and trust. Go to salesroom.com to get access!
38:11 12/12/22
Episode 31: Cold outreach - love or hate?
 Sales and marketing teams need to be able to reach out to prospects cold. But prospects hate getting bombarded by irrelevant messages. What do you do with this necessary channel for building awareness for your company? Peter and Alex debate what makes cold outreach emails bad, what makes them effective, and look for common ground on what you should do if you want to make cold outreach emails that prospects don't hate.For more on outbound and how to be successful with cold outreach and cold calling, visit Belal Batrawy's #deathtofluff resource hub 
22:51 10/3/22
Episode 30: Recession-proof sales
High inflation, negative GDP - possible recession? It doesn't matter what you call it, it matters what you DO. In this episode:👀 Peter shares his view of the state of play and how sales teams should be reacting🎯 How a recessionary environment forces you to up your game and what you need to do differently🎱 How to forecast and adjust your quotas in the face of uncertainty 🤝What to do when a customer wants to renegotiate a contract due to layoffs or lost business
39:06 8/15/22
Episode 29: Decoding Subtle Cues
* How body language and subtle cues can tell you if a deal is on track - or not* How to take the initiative when you get clues that the conversation is going off-track* Cues to look for in a virtual sales environment* How to recreate casual "lobby moments" during a virtual callThis is our first video episode! Find it on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rzNtJUyjKoAThis episode is sponsored by our friends at Salesroom who are building a video conferencing platform specifically for AE's and their buyers to build strong relationships in the virtual world. Built from the ground up specifically for sales interactions with video note-taking, real-time transcription and question detection, and AI-based recommendations, every feature of the platform is meant to help build rapport and trust. Go to salesroom.com to get early access!
49:47 7/29/22
Episode 28: Dealing with the competition
Competition is a fact of life and business; in this episode, learn how to sell and win against your competitors.* How to understand what the competition is saying about your weaknesses - and turn it to your favor* Why understanding technology trends is crucial to winning deals against competitors* How to credibly undermine the competition - without seeming petty* Why and when it's OK to lose some deals* How to stay authentic when you're trying to beat the other guysThis episode is sponsored by our friends at Salesroom who are building a video conferencing platform specifically for AE's and their buyers to build strong relationships in the virtual world. Built from the ground up specifically for sales interactions with video note-taking, real-time transcription and question detection, and AI-based recommendations, every feature of the platform is meant to help build rapport and trust. Salesroom is opening up access to their beta program. Go to salesroom.com to get early access!Enjoying Decoding Sales? Leave us a rating or review in your favorite podcasting app!
36:52 5/31/22
Episode 27: Virtual Sales is Here to Stay
Virtual-first selling is here to stay--what does the future hold?How virtual-first and in-person sales will merge into a hybrid sales processWhen to stay virtual and when and how to leverage face-to-faceHow virtual sales unlocks access to high level prospectsKeeping a prospect's attention in a high-distraction selling environmentBuyer-friendly tactics made possible by the freedom of virtual callsPrevious episodes mentionedFuture of Sales post-COVID - https://www.buzzsprout.com/1260710/episodes/8597153This episode is sponsored by our friends at Salesroom who are building a video conferencing platform, specifically for AE's and their buyers to build strong relationships in the virtual world. Built from the ground up specifically for sales interactions with video note-taking, real-time transcription and question detection, and AI-based recommendations, every feature of the platform is meant to help build rapport and trust. Salesroom is opening up access to their beta program. Go to salesroom.com to get early access!Enjoying Decoding Sales? Leave us a rating or review in your favorite podcasting app!
27:56 4/1/22
Episode 26: Selling over Zoom
Zoom fatigue, everyone has it because it's taken over our lives. But what makes a seller successful over Zoom?- Zoom etiquette for dealmakers.- Peter's stack rank of Zoom backgrounds (including the weirdest Zoom background he's ever seen).- How tools like Zoom and Slack work together to change the game.- Tips for successful - non-embarrassing - demoing over Zoom.Plus we try out publishing automated transcripts for the first time!Enjoying Decoding Sales? Leave us a rating or review in your favorite podcasting app!
24:38 2/28/22
Episode 25: Modern Outbound Sales
If you build it, will they come? Maybe not. How do you build a modern outbound sales motion that brings in new customers?- Peter's moment of insight about the modern sales motion- How to go beyond cold prospecting- ...and how to do cold outreach without being obnoxious- Why you shouldn't think of inbound and outbound as completely independent- Peter's pep talk for a new rep doing outbound for the first timeFor more on outbound and how to be successful with cold prospecting, visit Belal Batrawy's #deathtofluff resource hub 
32:18 2/14/22
Episode 24: How to scale your sales org
💸 How do you organize your sales team to scale?🔗 The importance of aligning your product roadmap and sales org design.📞 How do you share knowledge across sales teams and offices?📍 The ways sales teams can specialize and how to tell it's time to specialize?
25:31 11/30/21
Episode 23: Accelerating your sales using modern tools
How to navigate the modern sales tools suite to accelerate sales🛫 What tools do you need beyond your CRM?🤼 How to close deals faster by bringing data out of Salesforce and into your workflows🌎 How to pull in publicly available data to make your sales data more useful🔮What the future of sales tools might look likeThanks to our episode sponsor, Momentum. Momentum is a no code deal collaboration platform to automate sales workflows. With pre-assembled recipes that seamlessly operationalize sales motions, revenue teams close deals faster, with better accountability and collaboration along the way. Check them out at https://momentum.io or on Product Hunt.
32:07 11/10/21
Episode 22: Effectively managing a sales team
🛤 Career tracks in sales vs engineering.🏁 The importance of staying in the trenches to be a sales leader.💲 Setting and managing the sales team's quota.💸 How to manage + raise quotas as a team grows.😰 How to tell if your sales leader is mismanaging the team.
28:42 10/26/21
Episode 21: How to debug a broken sales process
What to do when you aren't making the sales.❓ The first question to ask when debugging the process. 🎎 How to figure out the right buyer persona for your product.🪓 How to tell you should fire your sales leader.🔬 The importance of being hands-on when sales isn't working.
30:59 9/28/21
Episode 20: Rookie Mistakes
What rookie salespeople get wrong - and how to avoid them.Key mindset shifts for new salespeople - and how to know you're making themKey rites of passageHow new salespeople throw away leads too quicklyHow to get feedback and support as a founderResources and linksEpisode on the price Episode on the first sales hireEpisode on sales mythsPeter's article on how the best salespeople are technologists The Authentic Sales episode covers the striplining conceptEpisode on It Takes a Village
34:00 9/8/21
Episode 19: Emails that get results
How to write emails that get results - and when to switch to other channels.    - How do you know when an email you're writing is too long    - How Peter uses the "phone test" to tell if his email is going to get a response    - When - and how - to switch to text messages, phone or Slack (and how to handle it gracefully when your outreach is rejected)    - Why response speed is an underrated asset in sales    - How to frame powerful questions that get responses    - The one type of conversation you never want to have over email - and what to do instead
32:45 8/24/21
Episode 18: Sales Myths
Facts and myths about salespeople What really motivates salespeople (it's not just the number!)What shapes customer perceptions of sales (it's not the average sales person)Peter confesses that as a professional sales leader, he doesn't know how to play golf (and why golf isn't an essential sales skill)Peter explains what's replaced the importance of the rolodex in modern salesHow Peter flips the tactics of normal salespeople to break through and win deals against traditional sales processesOne thing Peter says is 100% true of salespeople (hint - it involves a number!)Resources and linksEpisode on Building Client Relationships Episode on sales as a team sport - It Takes a Village Episode on Call Leadership Alec Baldwin clip from Glengarry Glen Ross Ben Affleck clip from Boiler RoomThe Market for LemonsBANT (Budget, Authority, Need, Timeline)
41:47 7/30/21
Episode 17: Sales and Legal
Signing a deal is a legally binding agreement - and legal negotiations can kill deals. Learn the ins-and-outs of navigating the landmines separating you from the prize: how to avoid complex legal negotiations in the first place When you have to negotiate, where to give - and where to hold firmThe key things to never write into a contract - and what to do insteadHow to balance the sales and legal roles during end-of-deal negotiationsResources mentioned:Call Leadership Episode Authentic Sales and sales as relationship building 
30:54 7/23/21
Episode 16: End of Quarter Rush
Peter relives some end of quarter moments and discuss what it's like to experience that final inning rush. What does it feel like to manage the end of quarter close?How to prepare for the end of the quarter ... at the start of the quarterHow Peter manages the stress of both the buyer and his sales team at quarter endWhat are the typical last-minute holdups on deals...and how to unstick themAre quarters the right model for tracking sales?
36:20 7/1/21
Episode 15: Early Adopters
Learn to catalyze revenue growth through your early customer community. How your first customers differ from later customersThe formula for finding and winning those customers (and avoiding the wrong first customers)The formula for creating systems to turn your first customers into referral enginesThe incentives that drive individual buyers to choose innovative products
40:36 6/17/21
Episode 14: Future of Sales after COVID
Peter shares his experiences adapting to COVID, and How COVID upended and accelerated the traditional sales processThe new profile of the ideal salespersonWhat happens when things return to normal, what's changed for good, and what opportunities are opening upLet us know - how have you seen sales change and where do you see it going post-COVID?
30:15 5/27/21
Episode 13: Peter's Journey
 How Peter got his start in salesThe two key ingredients to advancing to sales leadershipHow Peter thinks about finding the right companyOvercoming stereotypes and how Peter flipped the script to turn perceived weaknesses into strengths
55:08 4/29/21
Episode 12: CRM 101
How to pick and set up your first CRM tool.What CRM does Peter recommend?How to quickly set up your CRM so you can get back to sellingCommon pitfalls setting up a CRMBeyond CRMs - what other tools do you need?As a bonus - what will the next wave of successful sales tools look like?
38:10 4/19/21
Episode 11: It Takes a Village
How engineering and product contribute to closing dealsHow NBCUniversal took a leap of faith on the Dropbox's team and visionHow a team-oriented approach build trust when selling a roadmap and visionWhen to pull in the CEO...and a story of Peter pulling in his CEO at just the wrong timeSales as the eyes and ears of the organizationThe pitfalls of a team based approach when not everyone's on the same page
30:40 3/15/21
Episode 10: Sales Compensation
How sales comp is structured - including real talk about numbersHow do you set a quota?More sophisticated bonus structures - how to incentivize business value beyond deal priceHow to change quotas as the business changes, without burning our your sales teamThe best compensation plans Peter has seen ... and the worstHow to negotiate sales compensation in the hiring processEnjoying Decoding Sales? Leave us a rating or review in your favorite podcasting app!
35:58 3/1/21
Episode 9: The First Sales Hire
📅 When to hire your first salesperson - and how to find them. ❗ Mistakes technical founders make in hiring and evaluation. ⚙ Why your first sales hire need to think like a technologist. 🤝 What you should NEVER compromise on. 🚀 How to sell them on your company before you've taken off. 💰 And finally - how much to pay them. Enjoying Decoding Sales? Leave us a rating or review in your favorite podcasting app!
36:20 2/16/21
Episode 8: Effective Demos
Find out how CEOs blow their demos - while thinking the call went great.How to prepare for a demo without sounding scripted.How Peter handles curveball questions during a demo.Why feature dumping doesn't work - and what to do instead.How to handle a distracted prospect.Getting meaningful feedback at the end of a demo.When demos aren't the right tool, and what to do instead.Enjoying Decoding Sales? Leave us a rating or review in your favorite podcasting app!
31:03 2/8/21
Episode 7: The Price
In this episode Alex and Peter break down potential pricing models and how to think about conveying your price if you're a startup.  Topics covered include:Different pricing models to explore in SaaSPositioning your price and different negotiation levers you can employ to get a deal doneHow to think about discounting and the discounting boundaries based on company size & deal timelinesAs always, feel free to email us at podcasters@decodingsalespodcast.com with any feedback.  If you'd like to do some reading on price, visit Peter's blog post on "Conveying why the price is the price"
46:30 1/25/21
Episode 6: How to Keep the Deal from Falling Apart
In this episode Alex and Peter discuss how to structure effective proof of concepts to help get the deal done while keeping the prospect accountable to specific milestones. Topics include:The collaborative aspects of setting up a mutual proof of concept structureHow to establish tangible success criteria for the evaluation periodWhat milestones to track throughout the POC periodHow to determine which prospects need a formal POC structure How to hold prospects accountable to meeting POC milestonesShare this episode on Twitter or LinkedIn and reach out to us at podcasters@decodingsalespodcast.com for a copy of a real proof of concept template!
38:54 12/31/20
Episode 5: Winning Deals Through Relationships
In this episode Peter and Alex discuss how client dinners and meals outside of the regular cadence of emails & calls, can positively impact deal progress. Topics covered include:When to offer client dinners & meals How to make these engagements productive and fun at the same timeThe importance of conveying your authentic self and culture during client mealsIf you have feedback about this episode and any future episode topics you'd like to see covered, please email us at podcasters@decodingsalespodcast.com!
24:29 12/3/20
Episode 4: Negotiation Curveballs
In this episode Peter and Alex discuss how to handle unexpected obstacles that come about during a high stakes negotiation.  Topics covered include:How to handle prospects asking for additional discounts when they've agreed to a floor alreadyThe ability to think aloud during a negotiation call while using common language to bridge differencesWays to ensure the deal does not get delayed and that you can still pin down a realistic close date, even when curveballs are thrown at youFeel free to email us at podcasters@decodingsalespodcast.com with any feedback on this episode and future episode topics you'd like to see covered! 
22:17 11/23/20