Re-thinking AI.

Humans can only do so much with data and decision-making. No matter how good the data is, or the human. 

Therefore are we getting swept along by too much hype and hyperbole in the world of AI? Do we, therefore, need to re-think it?

Daniel Hulme, CEO of Satalia, believes we do. Daniels's pedigree in this space speaks for itself: Having received a Master's and Doctorate in AI at UCL, Daniel is also UCL's Computer Science Entrepreneur in Residence and a lecturer at LSE's Marshall Institute, focused on using AI to solve business and social problems. Daniel Hulme (PhD) is a leading expert in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and emerging technologies and is the CEO of Satalia. Satalia is an award-winning company acquired by WPP in 2021 that provides AI products and solutions. Daniel is also the Chief AI Officer for WPP and helps define, identify, curate and promote AI capability and new opportunities for the benefit of the wider group and society.

In this episode, Daniel shares his insight into why both business and society need to re-think AI and what it can, and should do for us, whilst not losing sight of the ethical questions it can create.  

Daniel wants AI to be understood as Cool and not Creepy.

Daniel shares his take on what he believes the 6 categories of AI can be broken down as thus :

Passive Automation

Generative AI

Humanisation of AI

Machine Learning

Complex Decision Making

The Extension of yourself

Daniel breaks down each one before we deep dive into complex decision-making, as this has the most day-to-day application. Daniel shares re-world examples too.  Followed by a blend of generative AI and the Humanisation of AI.

We then end with a discussion on the metaverse, which leads us to Daniel's vision for society and how he is trying to build it. It's mind-blowing.

You can connect with Daniel here https://www.linkedin.com/in/danielhulme/ to learn more about how he and his team can help you.

If we look up what the word ecosystem means, we find this from The National Geographic Society: "An ecosystem is a geographic area where plants, animals, and other organisms, as well as weather and landscape, work together to form a bubble of life."

Work together is the key point here. 

How can B2B sales work together, not only internally, but across the ecosystem that supports the "bubble of life" that is the mutual client. 

Enter Cassandra Gholston who wanted to do exactly this, as a field seller, but could not find way to do it at scale and with the right people across her territory. Therefore, Cassandra founded PartnerTap back in 2017. 

Research is saying that "by 2025, nearly ⅓ of total global sales will come from partner ecosystems" and that "60% of business executives say a partner ecosystem is the most effective way to address, and even lead, disruption." This is where technology platforms such as PartnerTap allow your sellers, to connect and collaborate with their alliances or sales partners - this creates a much more compelling offer to market. It also starts to look at how, by partnering through the ecosystem, we can solve for the client total business, not just a particular aspect.

In this episode Cassandra breaks down what this means for B2B sales and the decade of the ecosystem :

We chat about :

Channel vs Alliance vs Co-Sell vs Ecosystem?

Every company is trying to solve one challenge, yet, when speaking clients, we learn about mulitple challenges to to solved.,

Technically, how does this work around the data sharing aspect?

The need for 3rd party validation - we are going to come to the table together to solve the total business challenge for you.

Culturally, behaviourally, what needs to change?

How social selling can support this.

How this creates a much richer solution set, but the modern seller needs to be partner friendly.

How do you sell this internally as well as bring the alliance partner into the fold?

How do you then go to market, together?

And more.

My thanks to Cassandra for her time and insight.

Follow Cassandra on LinkedIn: (1) Cassandra Gholston | LinkedIn

Learn more about PartnerTap : The leading enterprise ecosystem platform | PartnerTap

How are you leveraging your ecosystem?

 

As always, thank you for listening.

 

 

 

 

 

Organisations are grappling with building a culture in a hybrid world, which enables them to achieve their vision, mission statement, purpose etc. For the most part it is focussed on doing right by clients, people & the environment. 

But how?

How is that then embodied across the different business units, where we all have different stakeholders, short term goals and KPIS - and by short term, typically these are 12 month cycles. 

Yet, in sales teams, these can be even shorter cycles, to quarters and even months, driven by revenue. 

Given that the average tenure of a seller is 18months, how does this marry up with the "insert year" vision. 

This got me thinking, does a sales culture matter? 

Thanks to Graham Smith, he introduced me to the brilliant Daniel Strode.

Dan, has recently published "The Culture Advantage - Empowering your people to drive innovation". He also talks about Web3.0, blockchain, Defi and NFT Strategies; he is the Group Director of Culture & Strategy, Global Human Resources at Banco Santander, where he is responsible for embedding The Santander Way, the common corporate culture of Banco Santander across 32 countries and with more than 202,000 colleagues globally.

Therefore, who better, to help answer this question. 

We chat about :

Culture is what you do when no one is looking.

The impact that the right culture can have on sales. And your clients.

The importance of having fun.

Why Lego's story is a lesson for all to learn from.

How you can create innovation by reframing what your clients/customers do.

How to manage the tension created between short term goals and kpi's and the long term needed to build the right culture. 

Why the right leadership behaviour is critical.

Why your people are your most powerful aspect in all of this. 

We end on the future of NFTs, and their role in building client/customer relationships - it's fascinating.

You can follow Dan on LinkedIn Dan Strode | LinkedIn

Learn more at www.danielstrode.com 

Buy his book Daniel Strode – The Culture Advantage 

My thanks to Graham Smith Graham Smith CIPD F.ISP | LinkedIn for the introduction.

Thank you Dan for an enlightening and thought provoking discussion. I hope the tree planting went well!

And, as always, my thanks to you, the listeners, let us know what you think in the comments!

 

Are you listening?

Ironic the title of this episode, as you will hear, the audio on my side is not ideal, I did try to clean it up. The key thing is that today's guest Dr Jillian Ney, is crystal clear, and that is what it counts!

Are you listening? I mean really listening?

Social listening is nothing new, the question is should we be looking at it more closely through a sales & marketing lense?

Jillian is a digital anthropologist and the founder of The Social Intelligence Lab (The SI Lab) - a global community for professionals working with social and internet data. She is also the UK’s first “Dr. of Social Media.”  is an advocate of what is more widely known as ‘social listening’ she is on a mission to advance the value of social and internet data more broadly as a source of insight, not just social media. In addition, she promotes the improvement of practices and standards in the analysis of digital conversations, and supports professionals working in this space. She does this through The SI Lab by sharing content, hosting events and providing training. She also supports the growth of the sector via The SI Lab Jobs, and helps people find the right tools and technology through the SI Lab Directory."

In this episode, we cover off :

Jillian sharing her new framework approach :

- Real Time Analysis

- Decision Intelligence

- Insights

Taking an always on approach.

The question is what matters the most.

These are as much data governance discussions.

Breaking the perception of what social media is at a board level.

What can B2B learn from what B2C are doing in this space.

How do you know what behavioural trends to follow.

So much data is, you just need to know, where and how to look.

Attribution.

We cover a lot more too, this is a great listen for anyone who is considering how you might use social listening as part of your go to market.

Connect with Jillian here :(1) Dr Jillian Ney | LinkedIn

The Social Intelligence Lab : Home - The Social Intelligence Lab (thesilab.com)

As always, thank you for listening - (and apologies for my audio sounding like I am under water!)

 

 

 

In an online world, what is intent, and, more importantly, what is the data?  Intent is always a hot topic of debate - just because someone visits your website, downloads something or attends an event, does this mean that person is a "hot lead" and ready to buy?

In this episode, I am joined by the brilliant Kerry Cunningham from 6sense.  Kerry has lived in this world before intent data was even a thing. His passion lies on helping sales & marketing functions align better, and his approach is :

 

"I rarely accept things in the business world as they are. I tend to see things as they should be and then get to work figuring stuff out. Over the last 5+ years, my focus for has been on driving the buying groups revolution in B2B, helping organizations transform from outmoded, ineffective lead-based demand gen practices to modern, buying team and opportunity-centric processes that unlock next-level performance.

I also bring a unique combination of academic and real-world expertise in a variety of disciplines, including demand marketing, ABM, marketing operations, sales prospecting, messaging, organizational design and management, cross-cultural organizational design and change management, employee selection and retention, and performance management. "

 

As you will hear in this episode, Kerry does not hold back, so buckle up sales & marketing :

Hear how Kerry describes how, in the past, the best you can be at lead gen, was truly awful.

Why he realised that we were looking at things the wrong way.

What is intent data?

Is it relevant to B2B?

1st Party Data to 3rd Party Data to Anonymous data - why it all matters.

Leads are also a form of intent, but you are looking at them the wrong way.

A prospect vs someone with personal interest.

Why the way sales & marketing are incentivised goes against the best interest of the business.

What buying signals you should be listening for.

It's the combination of signals that hold the key to unlocking all of this.

And much, much more.

Kerry tackles this head-on, with some hard truths, which, if we are honest with ourselves, we could all be doing better.

He also ends with some practical advice you can start doing today with the marketing data you already have access to, just look at it through a different lense.

Follow Kerry on LinkedIn - https://www.linkedin.com/in/kerrycunningham/

Learn more about what 6sense can do for you and your business https://6sense.com/

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you google "what is RevOps" this is what you find, in the round :

"Revenue operations (RevOps) is the strategic integration of sales, marketing and service departments to provide a better end-to-end view to administration and management, while leaving day-to-day processes within the departments. The holistic approach of revenue ops is designed to break down silos between departments."

It is an idea, business unit or function that has been around in SaaS sales for a number of years. Some might argue that is an evolution of sales enablement, sales operations to what we now have today, revenue operations.

There is a narrative playing out on LinkedIn that Professional Service firms, Lawyers and Accountants, should adopt a rev ops mindset and approach to sales, bd & marketing. 

"But we can't even get people to use CRM, let alone think about how we might integrate all of this, under one budget and business unit that doesn't exits" I hear you think.

Well. just because it would seem we can't, does that mean we shouldn't try?

Today's guest, Ron Latz, and I, got into this debate, more broadly, on LinkedIn about sales and selling more broadly, which was started based on a post about rev ops in law firms, hence here we are, debating this further.

Ron is VP for Sales & Customer Success at Mockingbird Marketing. He describes what he and the team do as :

"My goal is to help growth-minded attorneys and law firms drive more qualified consultations and increase retained clients. Most agencies in the legal marketing arena are wrong or misguided, at best, and have brainwashed the industry to believe that vanity metrics like clicks, calls, and 'leads' are the guiding indictators that will put them on the path to success.

At Mockingbird, we show you a very different and much better way. If you want to start accurately measuring your marketing effectiveness, learn how to put systems and processes in place to improve productivity and efficiency, and better serve your clients, come talk with us. Even if we're not aligned to help you reach your goals, I can promise you that you'll look at marketing your practice with a fresh and new perspective. "

 

In this episode we chat through :

Where is the US law firm market around the world of sales and technology?

What is the challenge with adoption?

Does it matter where they are on the growth curve to consider this?

Client expectations are changing.

Are lawyers / accountants even sales people?

What is Rev Ops and is it even relevant to professional services?

What does this mean for BD? Should this be their role?

Professional Services, don't know what they don't about all of this technology, so why should they care?

For those that do have the technology, is it being deployed and used in the way that it was intended?

Do professional services firms need to start thinking like Amazon? or is this just a cliché.

Is the change in mindset just too hard?

What small things can you do today with the technology you already have?

 

If you would like to connect with Ron to learn more about how he and the team can help you with your rev ops strategy, you can find him here on LinkedIn - (5) Ron Latz | LinkedIn 

 

Let us know what you think?

 

Thank you to Ron for his time and insight, and, as ever, thank you for listening. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Most people aren't "taught" sales at school, university or college. If you are like me, I fell into and lived and died by the sword. My late Father, David, was in software sales back in the day, and that provided the family with a comfortable lifestyle - hence it was the first job I took after university in London, telesales for a property company. We were never taught in the sense of a curriculum, you learned on the job. Some fell by the way side, others succeeded.

I then moved into recruitment, that (in)famous Alec Baldwin scene from Glenngarry Glen Ross was more or less our training manual. 

Put that coffee down.

Yes of course as the world of sales has matured, there are many disciples of different sales processes that are taught to sales teams - SPIN, TAS, BANT and The Challenger Sale. But these are all taught in flight as it were. 

None of this is taught when we are students. And still isn't, not in the main anyway.

Here is what my guest on this episode wants to change, however with a twist that will resonate with the 21st-century student.

Greg Smith is passionate about "self enablement" and supporting those that are at university/college and entering the workforce. His vision is to enable them to begin their sales coaching journey whilst still learning - and then, more importantly, support their sales learning journey throughout their entire career. 

Greg describes himself as "Sales and Marketing professional with over 10 years experience in Business Development and Sales Enablement within the SaaS industry. Successfully created, designed, marketed and sold the worlds first “sales practice field”. Acknowledged as a thought- leader and frequently invited to speak at industry events such as AA-ISP, Sales 3.0 and Sales Enablement Society. Possess the experience and awareness to identify problems and the prowess and tenacity to work through to a solution."

He is currently Product Manager, Digital Platforms at Imparta, which  "is a global leader in performance improvement for customer-facing teams, including sales and account management, customer success, and customer experience. Imparta's 3D Advantage® methodology is based on more than 20 years of research and experience with leading global organisations. It powers a complete, modular, award-winning curriculum that covers the entire customer Buying Cycle from initial need to renewal, and every role from early tenure to Chief Revenue Officer across a wide range of industries."

From here Greg founded Mixdeck - it's like Spotify for sales training! Home | MixDeck 

In this episode, we chat about all that he is doing and his vision of Mixdeck.

Why Greg created Mixdeck?

How it works.

The reaction that he is getting from the education sector.

What are the challenges faced with sales enablement generally.

What opportunity does this present for employers?

I throw him a curveball around the metaverse, because, why not.

and more.

We need to be talking more about this and how we can, dare I say it, make sales a profession, or even, make sales great again - it is a wonderful profession, it serves me well, and continues to do so. I believe many others in sales would agree.

Greg is on a mission to do just this.

To learn about how Mixdeck can support your sales career, sign up here : Home | MixDeck

If you would like to contribute your content to Mixdeck, pro-bono, get in touch with Greg here : (2) Greg Smith | LinkedIn

As ever, thank you for taking the time to listen.

 

 

 

 

 

"Death of a Salesman is a 1949 stage play written by American playwright Arthur Miller. The play premiered on Broadway in February 1949, running for 742 performances. It is a two-act tragedy set in 1940s New York told through a montage of memories, dreams, and arguments of the protagonist Willy Loman, a travelling salesman who is disappointed with his life, and appears to be slipping into senility. The play contains a variety of themes, such as the American Dream, the anatomy of truth, and infidelity. It explores the psychological chaos of the protagonist, and the capitalist society's impact on his life. It won the 1949 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and Tony Award for Best Play. It is considered by some critics to be one of the greatest plays of the 20th century" - wikipedia.

I always thought it apt as a title for the podcast, based on the underlying narrative and perception sales has had through the ages. Fast forward to today, in the modern era of sales and varying iterations, roles, and supporting functions in sales, we find ourselves at a tipping point.

What is the role of sales? If we are to believe the research, the stats range from 44% to 72% of buyers would prefer a salesperson free buying process. 

Note the word, would - none of this research is saying this is happening today, it is, if they could not have a salesperson in the buying process, they would prefer it.

Today's guest is none other than the brilliant Brent Adamson. Brent describes himself as "Researcher, author, presenter, and thinker with a passion for “productive disruption.”

He is the Global Head of Research at Ecosystems. Ecosystems is the leading software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform for collaborative customer value management.

Prior to this, Brent forged his career at CEB, now Gartner. He is the co-author of the Challenger Sale & Challenger Customer. 

Brent authored a brilliant piece in HBR titled "Traditional Sales & Marketing are Becoming Obsolete". You can listen to that episode where I chat with Jenna from Smart Technologies about what they have done to ensure it isn't. 

This leads us to this episode.

We could have chatted for hours on this, but we keep it to c. 45mins.

We cover :

What is selling in an ecosystem today and why sales leaders have to start thinking about it.

We take a look back in time to try and understand why we have got to where we are today.

Are we blurring what a sales process is vs what a sales cadence is?

We take a closer look at some of the stats that buyers are saying in that they would prefer a seller-free process.

And what might this mean for both the seller and the buyer?

We consider the statement "Buyer Centric", and ask the question, are we?

We wrap it up where Brent offers some brilliant questions you can ask your clients & prospects as well as start doing something called "Post Sales Discovery".

Brent is a brilliant raconteur and a razor-sharp mind when it comes to all things sales.

Follow Brent on LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/brentadamson/

Learn more about Ecosystems https://ecosystems.us/ and even join their Slack group https://ecosystems.us/customer-value-community/ 

The aforementioned HBR article https://hbr.org/2022/02/traditional-b2b-sales-and-marketing-are-becoming-obsolete 

As ever, thank you for tuning in.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to Improvise

Welcome to the 100th Episode of this podcast. And what a guest we have for this one.

I met Neil Mullarkey on a coaching course called "Enrich your Pitch" where Neil took us through how one can use the art of improvisation in a business context.

Let's be honest, things don't always go as we plan and prospects and clients can throw you a curve ball from time to time - the key is how you handle that in real-time. 

Neil's pedigree speaks for itself, just look at his Wikipedia page :

"In the mid-1980s, he teamed up with Mike Myers as 'Mullarkey and Myers'. They would perform sketches based on their shared love of cartoons, B-movies and bad TV. They played around the burgeoning London pub circuit, particularly at the George IV in Chiswick, where they often shared the bill with the young Hugh Grant, then plying his trade in the Jockeys of Norfolk revue. As their fame increased, Mullarkey and Myers toured the UK, ending in a sold-out season at the Edinburgh Festival.

The two appeared as 'The Sound Asleep Club' on TV-am's 'Wide Awake Club', a children's TV show hosted at the time by Tommy Boyd. Mike eventually returned to Toronto, but Mullarkey would briefly join him to revive 'Mullarkey and Myers' in Canada. Later still, he appeared in Myers' début in Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery, as the Customs Officer who freaks Austin out with his Swedish-made penis pump. (He also appeared again in Goldmember and helped Mike Myers with uncredited rewrites of So I Married An Axe Murderer."

That's just the intro.

He has performed with Eddie Izzard, and Dawn French to name but a few comedic greats.

As a founding member of The Comedy Store Players, he is regularly performing on the UK comedy circuit.

In this episode, Neil takes us through his 5 step framework on how to use improvisation skills in a business context. 

That's all you're getting.

Tune in to and put this into practice.

Learn more about how Neil here :

https://neilmullarkey.com/

Linkedin : https://www.linkedin.com/in/neilmullarkey/

Twitter : https://twitter.com/NeilMullarkey

For UK folk and anyone visiting who wants to see improv in action: https://comedystoreplayers.com/

As always, my heartfelt thanks to all of my guests for agreeing to be on this show, and you, my listeners - without which this would be for nothing!

 

 

 

I spent 7 years in out and out sales roles, before making the move into Professional Services Business Development, joining PwC in Jan 2009. This launched my career to where I am today - along this journey, I have met some incredibly talented BD professionals.

In this episode, I am joined by the brilliant Dominic de Mariveles. I met Dominic when I joined Berwin Leighton Paisner as was, now BCLP, in Oct 2011. 

The approach Dominic takes to driving a BD culture in both his teams and the fee earners is a pragmatic yet robust one.

He not only believes but has proved, with a straightforward, no-frills approach to BD, that you can achieve double-digit revenue growth in 5 years.

We discuss :

What is Business Development in a Professional Services capacity?

Where has it got to today?

Why do we believe it is so varied in how it is executed?

Why is Professional Services "sales" so different to Corporate "sales". Or is it?

If we were to start a new BD function today, what would that look like?

The challenges for both small and large firms.

Do we have the right skills for where we need to be in 5 years?

How technology focussed should we be?

Why this has to be led from the top - if not, you will fail.

Be bold and brave.

I always learn something new when I speak to Dominic, and no doubt so will you.

If you believe Dominic can help you and you want to learn more - connect with him on LinkedIn, be sure to mention this podcast: https://www.linkedin.com/in/dominicdemariveles/

 

As ever, my continued thanks to all of my guests, and you, our listeners. 

 

 

 

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