Optimising Sales With Tiffani Bova
Sales Strategies for Consulting Businesses
A salesperson spends 66% of their time on non-selling activities, and 54% miss their quota. A shocking number, right? If you are one of those sellers who only use a CRM platform to input information, schedule appointments, and enter deals, you might be part of that percentage.
Tiffani Bova, a global evangelist for Salesforce, is here to help. During our interview, she explains how you can get some output to become a smarter seller and use the system to tell you who are the 10 best people most likely to do business with you.
Welcome to the Accelerate Sales Podcast. Great to have you here. If it's your first time and you love what you hear, please subscribe. If you're a regular, I love those reviews, in particular an iTunes review. That would be great. We will do a full transcription and there’ll be links in the show notes, but if you want to take notes, please do. There’s plenty of information to consume with today’s wonderful guest.
You're going to learn three key things today. One is 68% of a sellers’ time is in non sales activities. How do we get to remove that? The second is how you optimized your sales. This is coming from someone who has the experience to tell you that. And the third thing is how to become a student in your profession. In this case sales as your profession.
As I said, this person comes from an amazing background. They are a global evangelist for Salesforce, a Wall Street Journal Top Selling Author and they are also on the top 50 global thinkers list. This is a list where, as the guest talks about it, are some pretty amazing people and she’s done an amazing job to get into that and she says she’s just starting. She’s writing for magazines including HBR, Forbes, she’s been featured in lots of tv shows, and she’s a wonderful guest. What I’ll do now is hand you over Tiffani Bova.
Welcome Tiffani Bova, who is both an evangelist at Salesforce, also in the Wall Street Journal and also in the top 50 thinkers in the world, which we're going to talk more about in a moment, Tiffany. Fantastic to have you here at the Accelerate Sales Podcast.
Thank you for having me.
Yeah. Well look, why don't we just quickly cover off what is the Thinkers50? It sounds like a very exclusive club that you're in. So tell us a little bit more about that.
Yeah, so it's the Thinkers50 list, and as it would say, there's 50, and I am number 50. So I'm really glad I'm not number 51 because I made the list, but it's a list every two years that comes out from the Thinkers50 group out of the UK, on the top management thinkers around the globe, and it's got people like the authors of Blue Ocean Strategy and Seth Godin, and Adam Grant, Dan Pink, and so it's really about those that have put out bodies of work that have really helped businesses transform, and my book Growth IQ, was the way that I made it to the list a couple of years ago, and we're just about coming up to the list again in November, so hopefully I make it and I'm not number 51.
Excellent. Well, you've got to start somewhere and you might as well start there.
That's right, there's nowhere else to go, but up.
Exactly. So, who's a perfect or an ideal client for you?
Somebody who does not think they're an expert, because somebody who thinks they're an expert is not open to new ideas. The expert is always there to tell you why whatever new idea you have is not going to work. So I like a beginner's mind from clients and from leaders that are open to the possibilities of what you can do, and what is really possible now with all the changes in technology and opportunities we have coming out of the last 18 months, but those kinds of customers and leaders are the best for me, right? Curious, open, listen, learn, have conversations about what we could possibly do together.
And with the pace of change, and like you said, definitely with COVID, do you think people are more open than what they were... So let's say, 18 months ago?
Oh, I'd say both individuals and companies that had not made digital investments pre-pandemic, have found themselves flat-footed, and so they were forced to make some of those investments. So, I'm thrilled to see that they've been made, but I wonder if it hadn't happened if they would've made them anyway. And I think they either would have kept kicking the can down the road, as we like to say, and putting it off year after year and saying "We'll get to it at some point, we don't really need it."
Now, all of a sudden they've realised that regardless of what they might've thought, in pretty much every industry, this kind of digital investment is really necessary, but digital transformation to me is twofold, digital is packed and transformation is human... There are people and processes. And so if you don't have both, it doesn't really work. Throwing technology, bad processes does not make the processes better.
So, I think it's sort of this dual track of being able to understand what you might've been doing that's no longer going to work going forward, because expectations have changed over the last 18 months. And then second, what can you do from a technology, people and process perspective to really amplify those things that you're now going to do differently, and only at that point, do you get the flywheel effect of what you can leverage from a tech perspective?
Yeah, and look, I think I was very fortunate, I left Coca Cola in 2011, and really I've been living in COVID times for the last 10 years for me personally. I live in Australia and work with all of you in North America. And for me, a lot of the technology that we've got now, isn't... Well, to me, it's just what I was already using, right? So I think a lot of people have come in and started to use it now, but a lot of it is not breaking through that next step. What do you see... Being an evangelist for Salesforce, what do you see is the things that are really going to come in and I suppose leap frog where we are at the moment?
That's a great question because, having been an individual quota bearing sales rep at the beginning of my career, using an Excel spreadsheet, a little bit of bubblegum and a post-it note, and a Rolodex to me was literally a Rolodex on a table and I would spin it and see where it landed is who I'd call, that was the sophistication of my CRM system. And then I graduated to a single user version of Act! And then goldmine. This is before Salesforce, sort of the mid 90s. Salesforce showed up at the end of the nineties, 1999. But ultimately I'd say to you that unfortunately many have used the CRM technology as a glorified Rolodex and scheduler, and a place in which you could enter deals because if it's not in Salesforce, you don't get paid kind of attitude.
And it's absolutely been kind of this input mechanism, meaning sales had to input information about a call or a meeting or a demo or an RFP, right? It was a place to capture. And I think salespeople have always viewed it as a way in which management can measure every second of every minute of every day of every week of every month of every quarter.
And we really have to change that to being viewed as an output mechanism, meaning if sales is going to input all this data and data being captured from other systems, second party and third party data, whatever it might be, what's the output that the CRM system is actually delivering to you or whatever technology, right? The output of "Should I call 100 people today, and 10 call me back and two will close?" Play that numbers game? Or do I let the system tell me who are the 10 best, most likely to do something with me if I call. Oh, by the way, with this particular set of content or offer or price or demo or whatever it might be, that output is what's valuable to sellers.
Sellers don't wake up every day and go "My God, I can't believe that today's the day, I didn't get data entered." Said no sales person ever. Secondarily, a customer has never woken up and gone "Oh my God, what a great day. It's the day I get to go from stage two to stage three in the sales process." They also don't say that. So we have to find a way to balance those two things, right? Management and productivity input, and then the output of what can all this data actually help a seller spend more time selling because statistically, 66% of a seller's time is spent on non-selling activities. So there's a huge, huge need for improvement there. Now imagine that 66% of a seller's time is spent on non-selling activities yet over the last 20 years, CRM has drastically improved from the single user version of Act! I was doing this in 1995, yet 66% of the time is spent on non-selling, and 54% of sellers will miss quota.
And that number, by the way, of missing quotas remained flat, if not gone down over the last couple of years. And that 66% of non-selling time... Well, minus is COVID, it's a little hard, right? Because the last 18 months have been so unusual, so pre COVID. So if we can improve the amount of time selling, I'm going to naturally think in my terrible state school math, that probably quota attainment will go up. So I feel like that input-output around technology is a great way to make sure that if you're a leader listening or an individual contributor that, are you spending too much time on input, you're not getting output?
And if you're not getting output, what can you do? Back to your question, is my long way around it, because it isn't just about AI or machine learning or video or voice or VR or AR or predictive analytics, it's not about that. It's about the output, right? It's about the output of making me a smarter seller and showing up with more insights when I sit in front of a customer, whether virtually or in a face-to-face, that's what it's all about, that's what sellers want. They don't want 12 technology tools, they want that. They want value that will help them be better at that moment of truth, right? When they are with a customer.
And how far off is that? Let's say I run a consulting business, I'm doing $1000,000 turnover, I'm doing most of the sales myself, right? When am I going to get to that next step? Or when's it going to come to me? Because I must admit, for most of my clients that I work with, I say there's two key things you need, you need the sales tool, no doubt, but you also need a virtual assistant or a sales admin person to cut off as much as that 66 as you talked about before, but ideally I don't want to throw labour at it, right? There's risk, there's, et cetera. I want to make sure that the technology side's taking more of the labour components. So, when's that coming, Tiffani? I'd love to know.
So that's the million dollar question. I would be remiss if I didn't say most of what I just described is already here. We now have voice enabled in the CRM instead of this, right? We have video integrated in, we have the ability to record calls. And not from a "I want to hear what you said." but more from a coaching like, "You had a 30 minute call with the customer, Tiffani and 24 minutes of it, you were talking. So, let's coach you on asking better questions and listening." So those kinds of things. But I'm not sure... And I'd love to hear your opinion, Paul, I'm not sure so much of this is, is the technology ready? As much as are the sellers themselves ready?
Because I think... Going back to what I was just saying, I think the attitude in a lot of sellers is that technology is used to measure me, and to see what I'm doing all the time, and it's about "Did you call on your people? Did you send out 10 quotes? Did you... It's all about productivity metrics, instead of starting to weave in other kinds of metrics, number one, but number two, letting the technology... If you are still running a sales team or you are a seller who's being asked to call 100 people a day, what a shame.
I was calling 100 people a day in 1995. We're a little bit later than 1995, it's been, I don't know, 25 years, really? Or would you much rather say "Call these 10 people." Now, your manager might say "Well, hold on a second. If I don't have you calling 100 people, I don't think I can see pipe on the other side of that. If you're just going to call these 10, how do I know that those 10..." So there's a lot of behaviour change that has to happen, uncomfortableness in the leadership and management to start to trust the technology, to take over more and more of that, and also something as simple as a forecast or pipeline review meeting.
Pre-Salesforce deployment, or pre-CRM or pre-pipeline management tool deployment. Meeting with your manager to talk about your pipeline post. If you're meeting with your manager and the conversation is exactly the same, shame on your manager, because that data and information should be in the system. Now what the manager should be looking for is, what is different? What's happening? What little things can I... "Oh, I noticed that we pulled that report and Tiffani's talking too much in calls. No surprise, but Tiffani's talking too much in calls, so we need to coach her on how to do that differently." That's what you want the time to be, not to review a deal and information that's already in the CRM, because the sales person will go "Why am I spending all this time entering it if you're not looking at it, and you're having the same kind of meeting with me you had before this?"
So a lot of this... Back to your original question, Paul, is, this isn't a technology problem, this is a people process problem. This is a culture management, not the way we do things here, your very first question, sales leaders who go "I know everything, this is how I do it, this is the mechanics of how I run it." And then I start asking probing questions around "Talk me through how you run a pipeline meeting." Or "What's the output, your top three outputs out of CRM?" And they don't know what I mean, and so I'll describe it, and then they'll say "Yeah, well, how many calls my team made." Okay, that's your most insightful piece of data out of a $1000,000 CRM system, okay. So let's back up, right?
And so that's why I think that adoption of technology is low. I think the integration between multiple tools is weak and there's a lot of room for improvement there. And then also freeing up salespeople to have a little bit more autonomy in what they do every day, and not be so wedded to the productivity metrics of 25 years ago. And really honestly, it's 100 years or more that some of those are from.
Spot on, and one of my old sales directors had a great saying, he said "Picture yourself in your car, Paul. So how big is your rear vision mirror versus your windscreen?" And I'm like "Of course windscreen's infinitely bigger." He's like "Yes, that's how you should be looking at your sales. Don't spend all the time in the rear vision mirror looking at what happened, all right? Take that analysis, but look at predictive, what are you going to do about it?" And I think that links very much to your point. And I must admit, I find that a lot of people... Because most of my clients leave corporate, they're used to the big sales tools, et cetera, and they still run their small business that way. I'm like "No, no, no." Like you said, you've got to use it to work out where your best time is spent. So use the data to then make better decisions, and also combine that with the person as well.
So look, I'm all for that, and I think I was very fortunate to work at the Coke company where that was ingrained in us. I think we had 150 sales systems globally, and I worked on global projects of implementation, but I think that's where they really got the benefit out of platforms like Salesforce to do that. Now, I know that we talked briefly at the start about your book, which is Growth IQ, and you said that it's helped you get to number 50 and now it's going to help you to climb even higher in the thinkers list. But you talk about 10 key elements in there, one of them is about sales optimization. What do you mean by sales optimization?
So before I answer that question, I just want to respond to something you said, and you said the rear view mirror and the windshield, right? Let's flip that on its head. What if it were the data is the windshield. Where you focus is the mirror, the small mirror, right? Because the windshield is "Oh, I could do so many things." But if we can say that the data is everything that's coming in on that windshield, and you need to be really focused on the smaller mirror, right? It's not about looking back, but think about it from a pure size perspective that, instead of focusing on the mass, like to let technology help you be really focused... It's kind of like flipping the funnel, you want to stick thousands of really bad leads in so that out the end you get less deals or do you flip that on its side and go "I want to be less deals coming in, closing more and more frequently on the other side." So just something I wanted to say on that, right?
I was told that in the nineties. So I think I will now quote you moving forward, if that's okay with you?
I'll take it. But this is what I mean, right? This is what I mean, that I think that... I don't disagree with it, I get the analogy and the visual of that, I totally agree not to look backwards. Let the system and technology look backwards, let it look for the patterns and the things you should be focused on, but we are very focused on your time. If 66% of it is wasted on non-selling activities, and 50% of you are going to miss quota, we clearly have a focus problem, right? And we have a time problem. But we don't really, if we can use the technology. Okay, so now fast forward, sorry back to your question about Growth IQ, it was my way of capturing 15 years of being a seller, an individual contributor, and then leading sales, marketing, and customer service teams.
And then I was a research fellow at Gartner, which is the world's largest advisory and consulting firm in the world for tech companies, really transformed selling organisations. So it's really a combination of 25 years of being in and around the art of selling, and doing it myself, and helping companies grow. And there were 10 paths to growth, and one of them was optimised sales. And that was my way of having the conversation we've been actually having. 66% of your time is spent on non-selling activities, and half of your sales reps are going to miss quota. I think we can optimise how we sell. And I started out with a fun story that, demos, solution selling, getting to the top of your selling within your teams and making it to the club. I'm going to ask you a question, Paul, do you know what year those things were invented? I'm just going to pick those three.
I'm just guessing in the 60s
So it was in the late 1800s literally, literally. So it was a guy by the name of Watson who went on to form... Launch IBM, but he worked for NCR and started solution selling of cash registers. If you just walk in and try to sell cash register, people can't imagine what it means. So he invited them into a showroom to show them how to enter, the drawer would be secure, and that you'd get a tape of how much was sold and low and behold, couldn't keep them on the shelves. And then it was the solution of solving theft and not being... Keeping good books, and so that was the solution sale. And then if you're going to be really good at your craft, we're going to create a club for those that are high achievers. So, we've been doing it the way we've been doing it now for over 100 years.
So that was really the foundation of what we can do differently now that we have technology that they didn't have back then, right? And it started with, when I would meet with executives and they were having a growth stall or a quota would start to soften, it was either, 10% quota over quota growth, then it was six, then it was four, then it was two, right? So all of a sudden it's softening or they're flat to negative growth, that's what I call a stall in this particular context of the book. I would hear these three things. We're going to hire more salespeople, we're going to spend more marketing dollars, we're going to cut costs. Those were the three levers they would pull, especially if they were trying to repair where that growth engine in quota, because it's very hard to correct yourself if you're starting to see a softness in quota, unless you cut costs, right? Reduce the price, run promos, hire more salespeople, or dump more money into marketing, so you could fill the funnel, close more deals.
And I believe there was more than those three. And so it was "What can you do with the people you have now, with the systems you have now, to optimise them, to get not only more productivity, but get smarter around the way you organise? Should you be inside, outside vertical? Is it by product? Do you have solutions engineers on top of it? Are you selling through? In with channels?" There are so many things you have to ask yourself and answer, that unfortunately, you face something I call the seller's dilemma. As a leader, how do you transform a selling organisation, while at the same time hit numbers? And if you transform and pivot too much there, that might take a year to show itself, but you won't have your job because you've missed quota so many times they're like "We need a new leader."
So the sales leaders are trapped by the hit number, transform. And so, it's really important... And if you're a small selling organisation, you're sort of... You are not the only person, and then you've got sellers underneath you, you find it very difficult to make the time. And so, this is really about "What are you doing now from a people process perspective? Can you automate some of that? Can you use technology to help you? Do you have the right training and the right people in the right roles?" Just every day, spending half an hour or an hour asking yourself those questions and starting to improve those things one at a time slowly. Six months or 12 months from now, you'll see yourself in a very different selling organisation. So, that was kind of the Genesis of optimised sales was, it's not about hiring more or spending more marketing dollars or cutting costs, it's like, how do you improve what you already have? Because you've already made these investments, but they're just not optimised.
Yeah, really well said and I think for me, for the people I work with, sometimes I just don't know what they don't know. Like you said, 25 years, I have about the same amount of experience, 18 of those were at Coca Cola, and the way that we were trained and the skills that we were given were exceptional. I'm still using tools now that were introduced to me in the 1990s where people just haven't had exposure to them. They're like "That's fantastic." I'm like "Yeah, that was 1990." It wasn't 1800s hundreds like Mr. Watson, but it was still some time ago.
So I do think that... I see a lot of people say that "I struggle with sales." And I'm like "Yeah, because you haven't actually got the tools." Like you said, the tools, the technology, the automation in place to make it easy, right? It is easier these days, if you let the tools do it, but I just don't think people do. And for you, that mindset shift of thinking it's someone watching you, big brother watching you to "No, this is actually for your best interests." What are some ways that companies can help with that transition?
Great question. Once again, if you're an individual contributor, you might be completely nodding your head, listening to this or watching this podcast right? And going "Yes, yes, yes. My manager doesn't do that. We still have the same pipeline." You have very little ability to make that kind of change. And I understand it gets a little frustrating, but the only thing as a seller, an individual seller, you can control... You can't control your comp plan, you can't control the products and services you sell, you can't control the pricing, you almost can't control the technology you use. Most of those things are decided for you, but the one thing you can control is how you show up at that moment of truth in front of a customer, that you can control. So it's, be prepared, be knowledgeable, right? Be understanding, personalised, using technology to help you be more insightful, that's what you can control.
So if you have the ability to use technology differently within your company, regardless of what others are doing, that's what you should do. Get a little uncomfortable, stretch yourself, trust the technology. Don't throw it all out the window and say "I'm going to go for it 100%." Because you still have to hit numbers as well, right? But if you challenge yourself to try new things and not feel so "I know how to do it, and I know what works for me, and it's not using technology." You have to sort of put that behind you, because if you didn't do it 18 months ago, you for sure have to do it now, because the game is so different and it's not anything to do with Salesforce or... It has everything to do with the actual customer expectations.
In April of 2020, McKenzie did a study about what customers thought about sellers, both when they've sold face-to-face, and if they thought sellers were able to add value, be insightful, and all of those things in a virtual way. Initially in April of 2020, it was absolutely upside down, absolutely not, we don't think so, I'm looking for face-to-face, I don't think this virtual thing is going to work out. Low and behold, they did it again three months later, and three months later... And by the time we got into October, November... I commend all of you because you turned it around. All of a sudden now they felt like they valued that virtual relationship actually more so. Could be because they weren't able to do face-to-face, but it's because all the sellers stepped up to actually be better at how to be engaging in short video conversations or... You don't always want, as a customer, an hour lunch or a dinner or a trade show. You do want those quick 15 minute value based conversations, and you guys did it, so that's great news.
Now the question is, how do you keep that momentum going as meetings start to come back face to face? And how do you balance that? When do you do face-to-face versus when do you rely on virtual? And you may get a mandate from management of what that is, but you personally should set that up and say "Look, I don't think it's time for me to meet with them face to face, and here's the reasons." That kind of intelligence will come from the system once again, if you start to use it. So there's the individual responsibility to make that commitment to yourself and your clients. From a management perspective, this is where you have an opportunity on the metrics, the productivity metrics, and the things that you actually track, to put a combination of those that are really prescriptive, and then letting sellers be much more autonomous on what they do and how they do it based on their own personal experience.
For example, I'd rather call someone than send an email. So you can't tell me to email 100 people, because that's just not how I communicate. And then if you give me a canned one, it doesn't sound like me, and then it kind of falls flat and I don't feel comfortable doing it. Those kinds of things, that's where management can start to let go of some of that perceived control that they think they have over sellers, right? Because then what happens is salespeople sandbag. You're not getting the reality anyway. So if you can give some autonomy, you may actually get a better return on those sellers' time. If you start to trust the fact they're going to do what's best for your customer, for your company and obviously for themselves in their quota retirement. So that's what I'd say, because it's two sides to the same coin.
Yeah, and look, obviously, everyone, you've got to go and listen... Oh, go and buy Growth IQ. And if it's only, only for the nine, I can't wait to look at the other 10, Tiffani, so just one quick question, before we go into the rapid fire, and that's about... Everyone's talking about how people now do a lot more... Buyers do a lot more research, they like, know and trust you from what you're putting out in the world a lot more right? And I know you're bringing in LinkedIn, and we run a community on the same thing, so I think that's it, but what does a seller need to do now to get better information on the buyer, right? Because yes, they're doing their research, they're in from the content you're putting out, but what about us? What are the three key things that a seller should be doing? Whether it's with technology or without in today's world, that wasn't happening five years ago.
So, we just put out a new body of work... Salesforce did, called How To Sell and I put out a blog on it, did some stuff on Twitter on it as well. And for those of you who have been selling for some time, you're going to be like "Oh, that's so rudimentary." And here's what I'd tell you, that if we've learned anything over the last 18 months is getting back to basics. Field sellers have been field sellers probably for so long, they forgot what it was like if they graduated from inside the field, they may have never sold inside and only sold in the field. It's a little bit different of a perspective if you will. So getting back to basics on writing compelling and good emails, do you do a quick two minute video that you send out to clients on LinkedIn? Do a video message instead of a text message? Do you invite them to something that you think would be really interesting to them that has nothing to do with you, right?
So getting back to the basics of what it means to be engaged and selling has shifted. The second thing I'd say is, become a student of your profession. And what I mean by that is, if you're selling into a particular vertical, what newsletters, podcasts, books, magazines are you reading in that vertical on a regular basis? First eight years of my selling career, I sold into the legal profession. I came out of college with a pre-law degree. I was a paralegal, so I understood the mechanics of it. And then I had to go and take a class on accounting 101, because I was selling $1000,000 projects to a CFO. And they were asking me questions... I didn't even not even understand what they were asking.
The difference between Contra revenue, and what's whip? And what's this? I didn't know. I didn't need to become an accountant, I just needed to understand what they were asking, so I could go get the answer and then... Or connect them with the right person to give them the answer or give them the answer. So becoming a student of your profession is the next one. The third is, I'd say your network... And this is not my statement, is your net worth. Literally building that network, nurturing that network, sharing really good content. One of my superpowers is aggregating multiple points of view and creating a story that I can share in situations like this or when I'm on a main stage or in my book. And so what is your superpower? Whatever that might be, and double down there, because that's what will separate you from the rest.
And I bet if I reached back into my Roledex, and back 20 years and went to an old client and said "Hey, would you do something for me?" I bet you they'd say yes, because I always put the customer first. I knew and I trusted deals would come to me either in this situation or they might show up later when they leave that company and go to another company, but I made investments on that network. So those would probably be the three, regardless of if you're early in your sales career or you've been in it for a while, you work for a small company or a large company, those really wouldn't change for me.
Yeah, I think that's brilliant, and just as a quick example on LinkedIn, so now, I always send an email connection request first saying that "Would you like to connect?" Then you connect. But then I send a little three minute video of my story, right? So it's what I would say to someone if I was speaking individually, right? But what you can do now is use the technology where you get your templates in the platform, it's all there. It might take you 15 seconds to do that, but it's based on the principles that have been around in sales forever and a day, so I think that's a great mix of those two worlds. But before we go into the rapid fire section, Tiffani, because I could talk to you forever, but we need to move to that section, I'd like to talk to all of you about... Ask you just a simple question.
Do you think you've got the sales system to double your business through referrals? Most of us rely on referrals, there's about 90%, but as we mentioned before, you may not have the systems. Well, I've got a pulse check that you can take. It's non critical questions that you can answer in about three minutes. And with those answers, I'll then have a call with you and we'll work through a specific plan, not a sales call, but a specific plan on how we can help you get to those benchmarks. So you're ready for the rapid fire questions, Tiffani?
I'm ready to go.
Let's go. So-
Let me hold on.
Nicely done. So firstly, what are some daily sales habits to make you successful?
Consuming content? Whether it's 15, 20 minutes, half an hour just consuming content.
Least they've got our podcast. You can listen at two and a half speed. Now, that's something that's great.
So you just need to listen to the podcast really quickly?
Correct. I think for you it might be at two, but anyway, we'll see how we go. So the next is, an essential bit of technology, obviously we talk about Salesforce, but what also is essential for you to accelerate your sales?
That's a tough one in a rapid fire because it's so dependent on what you do in your selling role, because even CRM might not work for you. You might be a field seller who... It's face to face always. So, I think understanding where you spend your time during the day and then figure out what's the most time you're spending, and is there a way for you to automate that in some way, whatever that technology might be. Like, even the example Paul just gave, right? A thank you that it's automated, it's already in there so you don't need to record every time, but if you're spending time, two hours a day doing that and writing custom this and that, what if you created three or four and you can automate it? So I'd say the first thing is to understand where you spend your time all day and look for those big buckets of things you might be able to eliminate, so you could spend more time selling.
Yeah, I love it. So I know you put a lot of wonderful content. I follow you on LinkedIn. What about for you? What are some of the sources for you to learn new content about how to accelerate sales?
I'd say I am absolutely a student of my profession. I consume a lot of content through the course of the day, right? Whether it's Twitter, whether it's LinkedIn, whether it's podcasts, whether it's magazine articles, whether it's books, I am consuming all the time. And it has everything to do with informing different points of view, because it isn't this way, it isn't everything I said is 100% correct. It's pieces and parts of it that resonate with me, and also what I'm interested in at the moment, I will dig deep into. Whether it's to have a conversation with someone, reach out to my network... Once again, podcast, newsletter, a book, whatever it might be. So I am absolutely a carnivore of content.
All right. Excellent. Well, the next question is a little bit different, but how do you give back?
That's a great question. I'm going to answer this one... In my twenties, I didn't know what I wanted to do. In my thirties it was all about how much money I could make, and how much quickly I could move up. Remember I'm in sales, so just put that in context, how much I could move up from a career perspective. In my forties, I needed a break, I kind of had to figure out what I wanted to do, which was... My entire decade was at Gartner, learning my superpowers. In my fifties, I made the decision to come and work at Salesforce, absolutely, simply for that very question. How can I give back to a community that has been so amazing to me over the last 25 years?
So I do it by speaking at colleges, I'm about to launch a new community, so keep your eyes out over the next couple of weeks on that, around this sort of give back, and anything I can do from a time, for the next generation of sellers and women in technology and women in sales, I think it's important to see what you want to be. So, that's how I do it.
Brilliant. Well, the last question is, out of all the enormous wisdom that you shared today, what's one key action we can take to 10X our sales?
I'm going to say what I've said a couple of times, and this is it, this sentence, become a student of your profession, period.
And that might mean everything I said, right? Seller's dilemma, running meetings differently, investing yourself and your time, learning new things, new conversation, it's all of that... Remember you can control how you show up. The more and more you become a student of your profession, the more interesting you are when you show up.
Brilliant. Well, look, it's been an absolute pleasure having you on. People can go and find out more about your LinkedIn. So we'll put all of those links in the show notes and obviously Growth IQ, it's on Amazon and I highly recommend getting it. And just a quick question, is it on audio as well?
It is. It's translated in nine languages, it's on audio, and it's sold at your local bookstores as well as Amazon.
Brilliant. Fantastic. Well, once again, absolute pleasure having you on. Thanks, Tiffani.
Thank you for having me.
I hope you enjoy that amazing interview with Tiffani as much as I did. You can tell why she’s an evangelist for sales, but just for the sales industry. I really loved the fact that you got to combine the technology with the people side of it. I’m a huge fan of the relationship building power by technology, that’s going to make you succeed in sales moving forward. What you learned from Tiffani, please share it on socials. She’s prolific on LinkedIn so please share it there and mention her and all her network will get to see your thoughts on what you learned from this podcast.
There is a full transcription, as I said, and also a link to her book Growth IQ and other assets that Tiffani’s got in the show notes. Also, If you have 1, 10 or 100 people that you think will benefit from this show, please be a sales hero and share it with them. I know Tiffani has many wonderful thoughts in here, why not get others to listen to, so please share it. If you wanna know if you have the sales system to double your revenue through referrals just go to Paulhigginsmentoring.com/pulse. Also check out past shows, in particular some of the solo shows that I do for 10 minutes each week. Please take action to accelerate your sales.
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About Tiffani Bova
Tiffani Bova is the global growth evangelist at Salesforce and the author of the Wall Street Journal bestselling book GROWTH IQ: Get Smarter About the Choices that Will Make or Break Your Business. Bova has been named to the latest Thinkers50’s list of the world’s top management thinkers and is a welcomed guest on Bloomberg, BNN, Cheddar, MSNBC, and Yahoo Finance, among others. She also contributes her thinking to publications including Harvard Business Review, Forbes, Entrepreneur, Diginomica, Quora, Thrive, Rotman School of Management and Duke Dialogue Review. She is a change maker who’s thought-provoking and forward-thinking insights have made her a frequent guest on a variety of industry-leading podcasts and live broadcasts.
As host of What’s Next! with Tiffani Bova, an iTunes’ all-time business and management bestseller and a top sales podcast according to Top Sales Magazine, Bova has interviewed a growing number of exceptional humans including Arianna Huffington, Chester Elton, Dan Pink, Ginger Hardage, Bonin Bough, Mark Victor Hansen, Seth Godin and Tom Peters.
Bova is a top Twitter influencer in Business Growth, Customer Experience, Digital Transformation, the Future of Work, and Sales. She was named one of Inc. Magazine’s 37 Sales Experts You Need to Follow on Twitter, a LinkedIn Top Sales Expert to follow in 2018, 2019 and 2020, a Top 100 Women in Tech, a Brand Quarterly Magazine Top 50 Marketing Thought Leader, and one of the most Powerful and Influential Women in California according to the National Diversity Council.
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