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"Where's the Talent in Your Tech Stack?" with Troy Kanter

The Selling Excellence Podcast: Episode 8

On this episode of the podcast, Troy and Tim make a profound plea to all sales leaders: think about talent as a part of your tech stack. Everyone talks about talent but very few think about it as a part of the tools that you buy to drive sales effectiveness. Listen and learn how this addition to your tech stack drives outsized growth.

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Episode Transcript

Speaker A: Hey, welcome to the selling excellence podcast for business executives. We
all know b two b selling isn’t getting any easier. And what’s worse, it’s getting more
expensive. Hello, I’m Tim Geiser to your host and partner at Octusiq, a selling
excellence as a service company. Our goal today is to give you insights on how you can
turn your sales for course into a company asset.

Speaker B: We hope you enjoy.

Speaker C: In June, you’re going to be speaking with one of our clients, phenon people,
on stage. And you’re going to be talking about something that’s rather, I guess, another
new term. And that’s what you call you should have a talent in the tech stack.

Every single conversation about effectiveness of their salesforce
goes to talent, Troy says

Tell me, Troy, what do you mean by talent in the tech?

Speaker B: It’s, you know, this theme that people what’s in your sales tech stack? And
we can go back and visit what’s in the majority of sales, right.

Speaker C: But we all know what they are.

Speaker B: It’s their CRM, marketing automation and deal analytics. At last count, it’s
actually approaching a couple thousand companies now that are offering some point
solution around how to run one particular tiny little aspect of your salesforce a little bit
better and try to plug it into your CRM. Yet when you talk to heads of sales and you talk
to ceos, every single conversation about the effectiveness of their salesforce goes to

Speaker C: It does.

Speaker B: I don’t have the right people. I don’t have enough of the right people. This
great resignation that is occurring right now is killing me. I can’t get applicant flow. The
people that I do have, the complexities of the market that I’m now facing, I’m not sure
that they have the right skills. They used to be able to win, but my win rates are
dropping. How do I get them ready? Those are the defining issues of salesforce
effectiveness. And that’s 90% of the angst that I hear from corporate leaders when I talk
with them about their salesforce and the future of their salesforce. Yet no one has talent
in their tech stack. It’s maddening. All the capital that is being applied to automating all
these different functions of selling, yet the single most important one that everyone
wants to talk about that’s getting in the way of everything is talent and capabilities, but
none of it exists in the tech stack. And that’s what we’ve done. And it’s not just about
technology. It’s about really deep, appropriate, innovative, insightful measurement of the
knowledge, skills and abilities. So there’s this great rich ip and analytics. The
technology is just, a way, it’s a vessel to carry it and to make it scalable and to plug it
into the CRM. So that as a leader, whether I’m running the salesforce or running the
organization, I understand the moment in time capabilities of every single one of my

sellers. At the individual level, at the team level, at the BU level, at the enterprise level. I
know what are the strengths of my salesforce. Benchmarked against all of my peers
and competitors are benchmarked against world class. I know the business acumen of
them, I know what the natural attributes of them are. And then all of a sudden now that I
can measure it and monitor it, I can make them better every single quarter, whether
they’re hitting their numbers or not. I know that they’re bigger, faster and stronger on
day 91 than they were on day one of the queue. And that’s the panacea of how you
quickly as possible shrink the gap on making your people better, making your
salesforce better. And so that’s our thesis. It’s like, let’s go solve the number one issue.
Because if you get the right people in the right spot with a plan that you know is
working every single quarter, it’s amazing how much everything else just works better
when you got the right people and the right leaders.

You need to invest in sales talent, not technology. Once you get the
talent, once you get reps,

Speaker C: So I just came back from the CRO summit and as I was looking at my
notes, and these are senior executives taking over a big role of both sales and
marketing and mid sized companies, the number one thing out of their mouth was
talent. Just like you said, manager talent, selling talent. Yet everybody that had
sponsored that event, everybody was a point solution. Why has everybody got such a
big miss on this? How come these providers aren’t doing this?

Speaker B: Because every year selling gets more complicated. Ceos get more insecure
about the quality and efficacy of their selling motion. And every year capital is chasing
trying to solve that and capital is free flowing right now. And so it’s easy to stand up a

piece of technology that offers something innovative. But again, the solve is always the
foundation is about the quality of the people. A salesforce is nothing but a collection of
human beings. It’s like, can you ensure that your collection of human beings is better
than your competitors? You start with the best raw materials, then start spending a
bunch of money on training and development and automating 15 different phases of
selling, then you’re going to get a great return on that stuff. But spending money on that
stuff without starting at the foundation, you’ll never ever get a legitimate return on your
invested capital.

Speaker C: I know you all too well, but what’s so awesome about whenever we talk
about this, you get fired up. It is. You get going, I mean, you’re like a southern preacher
about this. but how do we get that message across? Question answered by talent in the
tech stack. Because the way in which people think about it is technology, but you got to
get talent into it, which tends to be a soft thing. But not anymore. Right. With all of the
historical psychology work that’s been done and then the platforms that can be built to
house it, it’s now in there, right?

Speaker B: Yeah. We’re in an entirely different place in the history of selling. Again, like
you said, the tech to deliver this and the embedded AI and analytics is at a place it’s
never, ever been, obviously. And then all of the deep research that we’ve done and a
couple of other people have done it, really being able to measure the things that matter.

Speaker B: And do it quickly and do it in a way that’s meaningful, meaningful to the rep,
let alone meaningful to the organization that even the individual Sellers are like, this is
making me better.

Speaker C: Right.

Speaker B: I can do my job better. I’ve never had, I don’t know how many reps I’ve had.
I could probably count on one hand that said, man, I really started selling better when I
put my CRM in.

Speaker C: No one says that.

Speaker B: right. But it’s like, this is about getting the right person in the right seat and
getting them better every single quarter.

Speaker C: And getting them better. The key people to do that are the managers. You
open, their eyes to the talent that they have or the talent that they can recruit or the
talent potential that is in their teams. That’s where some magic happens, don’t you

Speaker B: nothing’s more important than the sales manager. Yet, as frustrated as I get
about the lack of investment in talent and the lack of people actually treating it like a
business process, like one of the most important parts. Once you get the talent, once
you get your reps, right, it’s like part of this selling supply chain. That sales manager is
one of the single least invested in job families in the corporate world. They’re battlefield
tested. They get plugged into this job. These aren’t natural gms. these are people that
have these unique gifts of interacting with human beings and persuading people to do
stuff. But you’ve got to teach them the number one skill. The number one gap that is
missing, that is incredibly trainable is teaching them on how to do deep deal coaching,
teaching them how to give meaningful feedback real time. And when you can solve for
that, solve for talent, then solve for deal coaching and the readiness to deliver
meaningful deal coaching. And when you deliver great deal coaching, it’s amazing what
gets cleaned up all of a sudden. Rep productivity dramatically accelerates because all

of our data shows real time deal coaching is the single greatest growth and
development. You can get so much more effective than three days worth of sales
training. The next thing is it shrinks your cycle times because you’re helping your rep
figure out the next best move to make. It increases your margin because you’re not just
getting the deal done, but you’re getting it done at the target price point. All of a sudden.
Now you can make a legitimate forecast because you know how to clean up the funnel
and sales operations just flows. And again, it’s magical what happens when you can
teach those sales managers how to do deep, rich feedback and deal coaching.

Speaker C: What’s interesting about what you’re saying is that, this conversation started
out as you should have talent in your tech stack. It’s almost like you should have your
talent and managers in the tech stack. It’s a one two punch and it’s missing in most of
how people think about it.

Speaker B: Today, for every hundred enterprise salesforces, one or two are thinking
about this.

Speaker C: Yeah.

Speaker B: And all hundred are talking about it, but no one’s actually doing anything
about it. And again, and this isn’t a knock on the training department or the HR
department, because sometimes they’ll be like, okay, well, that’s HR. And it’s like, no,
it’s not. They’re there to help support, but they’ve never run a sales force. It’s like you’ve
got to figure out how, sales talent, sales management, talent sales management
motions are embedded into the way you sell. It’s part of your go to market strategy and
you have to own it.

Speaker C: And in this modern age, where technology has gotten to where it is with the
AI, now you can put in the tech stack like you’ve never been.

Speaker B: Able to do before.

Speaker C: So let’s do that.

Speaker B: If you can measure it, you can manage it.

Speaker C: Excellent. Talent in the tech stack, talent both seller and manager.

Speaker B: In the tech stack, you’ll sell more and spend less.

Speaker C: That is a good combination.

Speaker B: Right on. Thanks for the time.

Speaker C: Thank you.

Tim Geyser: How to turn your sales organization into company asset

Speaker A: thank you so much for listening to this episode of the selling excellence
podcast for business executives.

Speaker C: I hope you’ve gained some insight on.

Speaker A: How to help turn your sales organization into a company asset versus a
pain in the asset. Don’t forget to subscribe to the sales Excellence podcast wherever
you get your podcast. And for more information about Octusiq or to schedule a
discovery call, visit our website at. Until next time, this is Tim Geyser, your host and
partner at Octusiq, here to help you sell more and grow your company.

Speaker C: Ahura Media production.

AuctusIQ means smart growth.

“Auctus” is Latin for growth. “IQ” means smarts. Combined, AuctusIQ means smart growth. AuctusIQ is a sales data and science company. Our mission is to provide the right data, on a technology platform that allows you to put talent in your tech stack. Doing this solves your three biggest challenges: selecting and retaining exceptional talent, coaching to ensure readiness to meet or beat quota, and most importantly making sure everything you do is tied to winning more deals.

If you’re looking for a proven way to energize your sales force, let’s talk.

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