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Decoding Sales

Peter & Alex

Business, Entrepreneurship, Sales, Virtual Selling, Enterprise Sales, Software Sales

5 โ€ข 19 Ratings

Overview

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. 

33 Episodes

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!

Transcribed - Published: 15 February 2023

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!

Transcribed - Published: 12 December 2022

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

Transcribed - Published: 3 October 2022

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: ๐Ÿ‘€ Peter shares his view of the state of play and how sales teams should be reacting ๐ŸŽฏ How a recessionary environment forces you to up your game and what you need to do differently ๐ŸŽฑ How to forecast and adjust your quotas in the face of uncertainty ๐ŸคWhat to do when a customer wants to renegotiate a contract due to layoffs or lost business

Transcribed - Published: 15 August 2022

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 call This is our first video episode! Find it on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rzNtJUyjKoA 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 early access!

Transcribed - Published: 29 July 2022

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 guys 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. 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!

Transcribed - Published: 31 May 2022

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!

Transcribed - Published: 1 April 2022

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!

Transcribed - Published: 28 February 2022

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 time For more on outbound and how to be successful with cold prospecting, visit Belal Batrawy's #deathtofluff resource hub

Transcribed - Published: 14 February 2022

Episode 24: How to scale your sales org

๐Ÿ’ธ How do you organize your sales team to scale? ๐Ÿ”— The importance of aligning your product roadmap and sales org design. ๐Ÿ“ž How do you share knowledge across sales teams and offices? ๐Ÿ“ The ways sales teams can specialize and how to tell it's time to specialize?

Transcribed - Published: 30 November 2021

Episode 23: Accelerating your sales using modern tools

How to navigate the modern sales tools suite to accelerate sales ๐Ÿ›ซ What tools do you need beyond your CRM? ๐Ÿคผ How to close deals faster by bringing data out of Salesforce and into your workflows ๐ŸŒŽ How to pull in publicly available data to make your sales data more useful ๐Ÿ”ฎWhat the future of sales tools might look like Thanks 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.

Transcribed - Published: 10 November 2021

Episode 22: Effectively managing a sales team

๐Ÿ›ค Career tracks in sales vs engineering. ๐Ÿ The importance of staying in the trenches to be a sales leader. ๐Ÿ’ฒ Setting and managing the sales team's quota. ๐Ÿ’ธ How to manage + raise quotas as a team grows. ๐Ÿ˜ฐ How to tell if your sales leader is mismanaging the team.

Transcribed - Published: 26 October 2021

Episode 21: How to debug a broken sales process

What to do when you aren't making the sales. โ“ The first question to ask when debugging the process. ๐ŸŽŽ How to figure out the right buyer persona for your product. ๐Ÿช“ How to tell you should fire your sales leader. ๐Ÿ”ฌ The importance of being hands-on when sales isn't working.

Transcribed - Published: 28 September 2021

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 founder Resources 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

Transcribed - Published: 8 September 2021

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

Transcribed - Published: 24 August 2021

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)

Transcribed - Published: 30 July 2021

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

Transcribed - Published: 23 July 2021

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?

Transcribed - Published: 1 July 2021

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

Transcribed - Published: 17 June 2021

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?

Transcribed - Published: 27 May 2021

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

Transcribed - Published: 29 April 2021

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?

Transcribed - Published: 19 April 2021

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

Transcribed - Published: 15 March 2021

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!

Transcribed - Published: 1 March 2021

Episode 9: The First Sales Hire

๐Ÿ“… When to hire your first salesperson - and how to find them. โ— Mistakes technical founders make in hiring and evaluation. โš™ Why your first sales hire need to think like a technologist. ๐Ÿค What you should NEVER compromise on. ๐Ÿš€ How to sell them on your company before you've taken off. ๐Ÿ’ฐ And finally - how much to pay them. Enjoying Decoding Sales? Leave us a rating or review in your favorite podcasting app!

Transcribed - Published: 16 February 2021

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!

Transcribed - Published: 8 February 2021

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 [email protected] 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"

Transcribed - Published: 25 January 2021

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 [email protected] for a copy of a real proof of concept template!

Transcribed - Published: 31 December 2020

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 [email protected]!

Transcribed - Published: 3 December 2020

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 [email protected] with any feedback on this episode and future episode topics you'd like to see covered!

Transcribed - Published: 23 November 2020

Episode 3: Call Leadership

In this episode Peter & Alex discuss what it means to effectively lead business calls and conversations. Key learnings include:How to start strong with a powerful introHow to give the floor to the other person on the callThe importance of laying out a roadmap for the callEmploying "bridge phrases" to naturally jump from topic to topicSetting up tangible next steps and ownership for those next stepsFeel free to email us at [email protected] with any feedback on this episode and future episode topics you'd like to see covered!

Transcribed - Published: 23 November 2020

Episode 2: Navigating Stakeholders

In this episode Alex and Peter discuss what it means to effectively find the right person to champion a business deal. An org chart is oftentimes not enough to map out an impactful strategy to navigate stakeholders. Tune-in to this episode for some tips around how to mobilize your prospect and perhaps even more importantly, how to also cut your losses and move on from ineffective deal sponsors. Feel free to email us at [email protected] with any feedback on this episode and future episode topics you'd like to see covered!

Transcribed - Published: 22 November 2020

Episode 1: Authentic Sales

In this pilot episode, co-hosts Alex Allain and Peter Ahn demystify sales and discuss what it means to facilitate authentic sales conversations and methodologies. While Peter is a career salesperson, Alex's unique perspective as an engineer sheds light on how modern sales techniques can be broadly applicable to any human engagement. Feel free to email us at [email protected] with any feedback on this kickoff episode and future episode topics you'd like to see covered!

Transcribed - Published: 17 November 2020

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