Podcast

Learning From Failure – Rich Van Doorn

“Failure is important. The reality is that a winner has to be somebody who is willing to fail. That’s all it comes down to….You can’t win without being at risk of failure.” explains Rich Van Doorn, Chief Revenue Officer & President at AVASO Technology Solutions. As a manager for multiple sales reps, Rich explains that it is always difficult to watch his people fail. However, while ignorance (or the lack of knowledge about a given topic) is easily remedied, stupidity is a more difficult problem to solve, as this quality suggests a lack of drive and an unwillingness to learn.

This outlook on failure as a learning tool aligns well with Rich’s personal beliefs about success. Rich explains that the key contributors to his own success were perseverance, mentorship, and personal marketing. It was these traits that ultimately propelled Rich to his current role as CRO at AVASO, a global IT outsourcing provider that serves a total of 190 countries! Rich urges listeners to consider not only how to market for a given product, but also how to market themselves as competent and valuable assets for their companies.

Tune into this week’s episode of Sales Lead Dog to learn more about Rich’s journey from salesperson to sales leader. From the importance of long-term sales relationships to lessons about failure to (of course!) the pros and cons of CRMs, Rich Van Doorn and host Christopher Smith explore what it takes to make the sales process not only efficient, but also human. 

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Transcript:

Fri, 2/26 12:58PM • 57:59 

SUMMARY KEYWORDS 
deal, people, sales, finding, company, relationship, spreadsheets, fail, sales team, business, correlate, elements, important, organization, ignorant, customers, linkedin, failure, country, problem 

SPEAKERS 
Rich Van Doorn, Christopher Smith 

Intro 
Welcome to the Sales Lead Dog Podcast hosted by CRM technology and sales process expert Christopher Smith, talking with sales leaders that have separated themselves from the rest of the pack. Listen to find out how the best of the best achieve success with their team and CRM technology. And remember, unless you are the lead dog, the view never changes. 

 Christopher Smith   
Welcome to Sales Lead Dog. Today, we have joining us Rich Van Doorn. Welcome to Sales Lead Dog.  

 Rich Van Doorn   
It’s my pleasure.  

 Christopher Smith   
Rich, tell us about yourself and your company. 

 Rich Van Doorn   
So, like I said, I’m Rich Van Doorn, I am the President and Global Chief Revenue Officer for AVASO Technology Solutions. We are a global IT outsourcing provider, we do global IT outsourcing, mostly in the partner space, oh in about 190 countries today. So we, as you can imagine, are quite busy. So we we are experiencing a wonderful thing in the scenario we find ourselves in right now, so we don’t get to just experience COVID in, in the US, we get to experience it on a global basis so we’re, we, we turn wrenches and fix computers and servers in laptops, desktops networks, all around the world right now so that’s, that’s our claim to fame. 

 Christopher Smith   
Yeah, it’s pretty amazing, 190 countries. That, it’s kind of mind boggling to think about that number.  

 Rich Van Doorn   
It keeps us busy, that’s for sure. 

 Christopher Smith   
Oh, I can only imagine. 

 Rich Van Doorn   
Waiting, I’m waiting for the pope to call, because we’re not quite in Vatican City. 

 Christopher Smith   
That’s high on the priority list. 

 Rich Van Doorn   
It’s on the list. Someday, someday. 

 Christopher Smith   
We just need an in. 

 Rich Van Doorn
I’m trying to get in there, so.

 Christopher Smith   
I’ll see what I can do. I’ll makes some calls. Rich, what do you think back over your career, what are the three things that have really contributed to your success? 

 Rich Van Doorn   
Well, a lot of perseverance. So I think, you know, there’s a lot of doors that have been closed but there’s a lot of doors that have been opened too. And my, my grandfather would say it’s the stick to it-iveness right. So, you know, there’s a lot of folks today that I don’t think have the fortitude to kind of stick with it, they get a door closed and they figure that that’s it, oh I gotta try something else. And I think that the next one will be finding people that you can lean on and finding a good mentor. I’ve been very blessed to have some very good people guide me along the way. And finding those people that can lead you down the right path. And the ones that are actually interested in your success without having something in it for themselves, I think that’s pretty special and pretty rare. And then, you know, beyond that, you know I think it’s, it’s, it’s actually realizing that, you know, marketing isn’t just about what you’re, you know, who you’re working for, it’s about finding a way to market yourself, right and we, we forget that we’re a product. And we always think that what we have to market is, is you know something else in front of us. And that we’ve got to be careful and recognize that we’re one of those things. And, and, you know, finding those opportunities for us to, to effectively market ourselves is something that’s pretty important. 

 Christopher Smith   
You know, I think that’s pretty rare, too, when I’m, when we’re posting for a position and I’m reviewing resumes, there’s a lot of people that don’t understand that. 

 Rich Van Doorn   
Oh, absolutely. Absolutely. The thing again as a guy who reviews a lot of resumes and actually is posting for positions on a regular basis, I get some stuff that I just you know you realize it’s, it’s, it’s you know you could probably find a better way to kind of position yourself in such a way that that would actually have made this a little more appealing, maybe got your foot through the door. But, you know, the way I look at it, it’s, it’s just not enough to make it to the next stage, and that’s unfortunate. 

 Christopher Smith   
It is. Mentorship comes up a lot when I ask people that question. For the mentors that you’ve had, did you approach them or did they approach you? 

 Rich Van Doorn   
It’s been both ways, actually, and in, in some cases, I’ve had some people that have come to me and said, you know, “Listen Rich, you’re, you’re a nice guy, you’re a talented guy I want, you know, would you consider letting me open a door for you?” In other cases, it’s taken some humbling myself and saying, and approaching people that I didn’t know if they would do it, and saying, you know, “Would you be willing? You know I really admire you, you’re somebody that I look up to. You’re in a role that I’d like to be in someday. Would you consider being somebody that would would guide me on my path, at least you know review my resume, open a door for me, tell me how to ship my career?” And sometimes they’ve said, you know, “I’m too busy,” “I’m not interested.” In other cases, they said, “Absolutely. I’m honored that you would even consider asking me to do something like this.” And it’s been an absolute absolute blessing and honor, when they’ve done that for me. 

 Christopher Smith   
Yeah. If someone who’s gonna approach you to say, “Hey Rich, I’d like you to be my mentor,” what’s the wrong way to do that? Arrogantly. I mean, and you’ve got some people that almost that have done it in the past where it’s almost an expectation. And, and, you know, I think that it really depends on on whether it’s, it’s, if they treat it as it’s, that’s you’re somehow obligated to do that. And, you know, I think, in some cases, if there’s, if there’s a relationship, if there’s something else there where, where there’s an in for you to do that, out of the blue is sometimes hard because, you know, especially in the roles that a lot of us fill, and I had to recognize that coming up also, is having somebody completely that you have zero relationship, zero connection with all of a sudden send you a message and say, “Hey listen, would you?” That’s awfully hard to do. I, and I have in the past, but it takes a very intriguing proposition to get my attention, right, because even on things like our connection, LinkedIn, I see 100, 200 requests a day at this point. And I ignore 199. Right, pay attention to one. And unfortunately, that’s just because of the volume of activity I see. And it just, it’s got to be something that catches your attention that’s worth you carving out that chunk of time. So it’s got to be something that makes the most sense that says, this person is worth truly investing my time in. They’re going to take advantage of it, they’re going to make use of that time, they’re going to consume that, and it’s not going to be a waste for me. They’re going to actually do something with it and make something of themselves. Yeah, you know it’s, it’s funny you bring that up because I get bombarded as well. And it’s usually by people trying to sell something, and when I look at those messages, it’s clear to me that there’s a gap in understanding around how you engage with people like that that you don’t know. And that’s very strong gap. And it, I think it correlates to what you’re saying too about trying to sell yourself for providing something of of value or just the way you position it, if you’re going right in for that ask or the or kind of arrogant or whatever, it’s skip on to the next one. What, you know, when you guys are approaching customers and through your sales process and all that, are you guys leveraging LinkedIn for, to engage with prospects? 

 Rich Van Doorn   
We do, but a lot of our lot of our effort is literally come from word of mouth. I mean we, you see me on LinkedIn a lot talking to folks, but our business have also has been, or I consider us a young company, we were founded in 2012. So, I mean from the companies that I’ve come from, we’re, we’re a baby, right.  

 Christopher Smith   
Right.  

 Rich Van Doorn   
But we have had exponential growth. We’ve grown,100% or greater growth rate for the last 7, 8, 9 years, right, which is insane growth, right. 

 Christopher Smith   
It really is. 

 Rich Van Doorn   
And it’s all partner driven. 95, 98% of our growth is all through partners. So we, from a direct business perspective, we don’t tend to grow that way. And in the partner, gamespace, a lot of times we deal with things like channel conflict, right, so you’ll see the same deal show up in different areas. But the benefit for me is it keeps my cost of sales down. So, so I don’t have to invest with hundreds of sales reps, I can, I can still have efficiency in my sales team. Now, the benefit of that is, is, you know, with the efficiency, what I can do is, is I can, I can take the benefit of positive word of mouth, so if I do well on one deal, I can get positive word of mouth another deal. And, and again we I work in a very small industry. Right. In the grand scheme of things. You think of IT outsourcing, it’s a multi, multi-billion dollar industry. But in the end, it’s a very, very small world. Right, and, and so when reps transfer organizations, they go from one spot to another, it’s, it’s very, very small. And, and for us, if you mess up in one spot, you mess up everywhere. That, that word gets around very very fast. But if you succeed well, that also gets around very very fast. And so we’re very very big on making sure that it’s very high quality effort, that we don’t mess up on our delivery structure, that we’re very, very focused. And so word of mouth for us becomes something that is incredibly important in making sure that we get that referral, that we get that next, that next lead, so to speak right, so. So sometimes that, that becomes more critical for us in the partner space. The next necessary, the next ad then the next, you know, view on LinkedIn, because of how we sell.  

 Christopher Smith   
Right.  

 Rich Van Doorn   
And that becomes more critical. 

 Christopher Smith   
And so you talked, you mentioned referrals in there, getting that next referral. Is that baked into your sales process, that ask for a referral? 

 Rich Van Doorn   
It is, and it’s becoming more and more critical to what we do, right, is is you know, we’ve got, we did well in this one here, and sometimes it’s not just a, it’s just a, you know, can you talk to the procurement, can you talk to somebody else. It’s can you talk to the next sales guy in your team. Right. So, so it’s it’s the cross talk within various organizations. Can you introduce us to the next guy that’s solutioning your next deal, you know, the next person that’s going to put together the technical piece of this? And that’s and that’s where we start to see real value in finding out who’s actually shaping the next deal that’s coming across, because it’s not always the people you think it is. But I think that’s pretty critical as well is is a lot of sales folks don’t understand who’s truly the real decision-maker and who’s making the decision. So who to go after, when you’re trying to get a referral. We think it’s procurement, we think it’s finance, but, but the people who are really making decisions aren’t often who you think they are. And, and when you find out who it is, you can tune that dial pretty fast and hone in on it, and then the business really starts coming in. And that’s where you can really start driving exponential value in your organization. 

 Christopher Smith   
That’s crazy. How did you get your start in sales? 

 Rich Van Doorn   
I fell into it. So I didn’t, I didn’t plan on it. I mean, I think everybody’s got a creative story, you know, you know, kids and a lemonade stands and whatnot. I mean, you always hear this type of stuff, and you know, yeah my mom dragged me into, you know her, her title company as a kid. So I mean, but but the reality is, is, is when I started in IT, my plan was I was going to be a technical guy. You know I put on a jumpsuit, I crawled under buildings through black widow spiders, and I was drilling holes and soldering cables and, you know, doing you know Banyan vines and Novell networks and and all that type of stuff. I didn’t intend to be a sales guy, but you know, I fell through that, you know, I was, I led from there to, you know, data centers and programming and leading IT teams, and I fell from there into solutioning deals and engagements and then from there into some sales management and then became a chief of staff for a sales team and then I fell into this role, which I absolutely love. And I love what I do and the teams I get to work with and the company I get to work for. So would I have thought that I would be where I’m at today, doing what I’m doing as a 20-year-old kid? Not on your life. Was sure as heck wasn’t my plan, I thought I was going to be, you know, one of the guys with the big beards and you know the plaid shirts that you slipped a pizza box under the door, who never saw the light of day, but instead, I get to work with a lot of really great people, and, and, and sell the stuff that keeps everybody, everybody going. 

 Christopher Smith   
That’s cool. When you think about a sales team and building out a sales team, what is that one thing or or group of skills that really differentiates, differentiates the top salespeople from everybody else? 

 Rich Van Doorn   
Relationship and the ability to form solid relationships and the ability to shut up and listen. I think, you know, the other things granddad said is, you know, you got two ears and one mouth, and you know God gave you them in proportion for a reason. 

 Christopher Smith   
I like your granddad, he’s got some great sayings. 

 Rich Van Doorn   
So, you know, and that was that was something that’s that’s pretty important, right, and we have a lot of folks that want to talk and they don’t want to listen to what the client has to say. And then we have a lot of folks that also would rather dictate what the client must have and don’t really understand what the client needs.  

 Christopher Smith   
Yep.  

 Rich Van Doorn   
And too often, we have a product that we want to push. And it has nothing to do with what the client needs to solve the problem.  

Christopher Smith   
Right.   

Rich Van Doorn   
And, and oftentimes, we talk about the inability to be, or we talk about this, this, this, this concept of the only product on my shelf is what the company has given me. And there’s, there’s nothing else that I can do in order to solve what the client has in front of them. And, and, as a sales guy in some ways, sometimes the best answer that you have is it’s not me. I don’t have your product.  

 Christopher Smith   
Right.  

 Rich Van Doorn   
Right. But I can tell you who does.  

 Christopher Smith   
Right.  

 Rich Van Doorn   
And that’s so hard for a sales guy to say, 

 Christopher Smith   
Oh yeah. 

 Rich Van Doorn   
You know, is to give up the sale. Sometimes we hold on a little too tight and, and that’s where the relationship side of the house comes into play is, is the ability to say, based on the relationship, I will give up the sale, because I care about you enough and your success that I’m willing to let it go. And we don’t do that enough. And I think a client values that a little bit more, because they’ll respect you when all is said and done. 

 Christopher Smith   
Oh, I believe, and you’re building a long-term relationship with that act, not just a short-term transactional relationship. 

 Rich Van Doorn   
And that’s important, and that’s and that’s and that’s and that’s. You know, many times I think we’re in it for the sprint, not the marathon. And that’s, and that’s what it comes down to is, is I would rather, I would rather be in for the marathon than a sprint because in the end, the marathon is where the company itself makes more money, the sprint is great, it puts quick money in your pocket. And it’s a great win and everybody claps their hands and you know, yay go team, and you know you’ve got a pat on the back. But in the end, is it really a win-win for everybody? I know that’s business word bingo, and everybody loves that great term, but is it really, truly, everybody wins in that, in that particular case? Are you willing to give up a sale for the relationship? And that will really tell me whether or not you are in it for the customer. And the customer recognizes that as well, very fast, as a matter. 

 Christopher Smith   
Yeah. You betcha. What was the hardest part of your transition from a salesperson to a sales leader? What was the toughest part for you? 

 Rich Van Doorn   
Toughest part from the transition from a salesperson to a sales leader? Not doing it all myself, and not trying to tell somebody how they needed to do their deal. And I think that’s, I think it’d be said almost on any type of leadership position is letting somebody make their own mistake but also recognizing that there are more than one way to do something. And I mean that’s true for any type of leadership role. You know, I think the challenge that we run into, and I talked to this about not just new leaders but old leaders all the time, is there’re probably 20 ways to get the same job done. I mean black and white only really holds true on so many things. I mean finance is always pretty much black and white. But I mean numbers, numbers are always on or off right So, but, but in the end, how you get to one and zero is, is, you know, there’s there’s several different flavors. And just because you shape a deal differently than I would shape a deal doesn’t necessarily mean that I’m right and you’re wrong, as long as it ends up with the result that delights the customer. And, and that’s that’s always hard to give somebody enough space to be able to be creative and and to guide them from a distance, but still let them be successful, but also to let them fail. I think watching somebody fail and knowing that they’re probably going to fail, that’s hard. It’s hard as a parent, but it’s hard as a leader as well, especially if you care about your people, I think it’s easier if you really don’t, don’t care about them at all. It’s easy to sit back with a coke and a popcorn and watch somebody fail and joke about it with your buddies, but if you care about your people, watching somebody fail is tough. And you don’t want your people to fail. And that’s, and you know you want people to succeed because you want to celebrate their success. But, but, but, you know, I mean it’s, that’s that’s always tough is, is sitting back and not saying you know that’s not how I would do it, I would have done it this way. But but yeah I mean initially when you first do it, it’s, it’s very difficult to stop and step back and say, you know, well, why don’t you do it this way, or why don’t you do it that way. 

 Christopher Smith   
Talking about failure expanding on that, is there one deal from your career where you just you thought you had it, and then it just fell apart and you lost it?  

 Rich Van Doorn   
Oh sure. I wonder you want one or 20. You know, I mean it’s, it’s, it’s, it I mean it happens, I could probably list off several. But yeah, I mean of course, the deals where I’ve been notified that you know yeah you’ve won the deal, it’s, it’s a done deal. And it’s come, and we’re getting ready to sign it, and it’s been swooped out from underneath me. Of course, I mean it happens, and the longer you’re in the industry, the longer you, you play the game, the more it’s going to happen. It just, it just happens and it’s something happens with a relationship, somebody, you know, take somebody out on a golf course and happens to have a better relationship than you do with somebody at a different level or a higher level, knows the CFO, knows a CEO, knows so and so that writes a checkbook and the next thing you know the deal gets sucked out from underneath you. I had a deal here in Georgia where I’m at, you know where, where we were notified of the win, told we had the best price, told that we were all done, we’re ready, we’re excited, we celebrated, we went out to dinner. We did all of our stuff. And the next thing I know, and that was on a Friday, and on Monday, we were told that we lost it. And we lost it simply because somebody signed something else, took somebody else out over the weekend, and the deal went the other way come Monday. And it’s no failure that my team couldn’t have done anything better than what they did. And it just is sometimes stuff just happens. And you can’t kick their butts, I couldn’t kick my own butt, you know my leader couldn’t kick my butt. There’s just nothing you can do about it, and it’s, it stinks, it’s disheartening. It’s discouraging. But, you know, you learn. And then you also learn the type of people that you want to work with, and the type of people that you want to surround yourself with, and I think that’s important too. You know, I always tell my people, one of the benefits of working where I work now is, is I always tell them I will always pick you first. Right, and surround yourself with good quality people. And, and it’s one of things I like is, is pick good people, support good people, and if you treat them right, they will, they will take care of your customers. And that will always happen. 

 Christopher Smith   
I believe that too. How do, how should a good sales leader use failure as a learning opportunity? 

 Rich Van Doorn   
You know, I think there’s always an opportunity for lessons learned, but the lessons learned have got to be effective. You know, I think some of them get turned into fingerpointing. And that’s not, that’s ineffective. I think if it, if it turns into a blame game, and not something that turns into how do we avoid this in the future, how do we introduce a process, how do we get better at identifying this as we’re, as it’s occurring. That, you know if it doesn’t, if it doesn’t end up with something to that effect and it ends up with, you know, who’s going to get the axe, who’s gonna get fired today, you know, who’s gonna, who’s gonna you know end up with, you know, holding the, the big bag of stuff at the end, you know I think that that’s, it’s an effective. And listen, you know, whatever methodology you talk about, you know, you know, fail forward, fail fast, whatever the, the terminology is of the, of the moment. Whatever, whatever a piece of that is that you want to grab, grab on to, failure is important. You know, the reality is, is, is a winner has to be somebody who is willing to fail. That that’s all it comes down to, right. And that’s, that’s all it is, and people need to understand that is it you can’t win without being at risk of failure. And that’s, that’s, that’s it’s part and parcel to it. But, but the other piece of this is, is if we’re failing because we’re making stupid mistakes, that’s a problem. And I will tell my people, you can ask anybody that works for me directly, ignorance carries such a bad connotation. Right. I can deal with ignorant. Ignorant means you don’t know any better, right. When somebody says that you’re ignorant, ignorant is like one of those words that exists in your heart, it makes you feel awful.  

 Christopher Smith   
Right. 

 Rich Van Doorn   
Right, you know, but but ignorance is really not a bad word. Ignorant basically means you just don’t know any better. Right, stupid, stupid carries, it means you know better, but you just did it anyhow. So, so that’s it, that’s the problem. Ignorant, I don’t have a problem. Stupid, I really have a problem with it. I don’t mind have ignorant people near me, because I can fix ignorant. It’s hard to fix stupid.  Right? And so, and so you know if it’s the issue is ignorance, we can fix that. We can fix people that have a problem but they don’t have the knowledge. But if we, if the problem is is we have people that have the knowledge, but they choose to ignore the issue, that’s something where we have to fix, we have to take care of that. Right. And so if we’re failing because of stupidity, then that’s, that’s, that’s something that’s, that’s, that’s not really fixable. Well it’s fixable in a hard way, a way that we don’t want to fix or you don’t have to deal with, right. But, but, but, but those are the things that we need to identify, but. But again, I mean, in the end, what we have to identify is stuff that is not a blame game, but it’s stuff that is easily repairable, that is something that is identifiable that we can we can fix or process, that we can, we can identify early on that, that makes the next deal better so we aren’t replicating the same thing twice, because if we do it two times, that puts us in a stupid category and we don’t want to be stupid people. 

 Christopher Smith   
Right.  Let’s continue this conversation after I ask my next question.  

 Rich Van Doorn   
Sure. 

 Christopher Smith   
CRM, do you love it, or do you hate it? 

 Rich Van Doorn   
I love it, I love it, actually. Well, you listen when, for me, I’m a, I’m a data head. Alright, that bottom line, and I have to be. I, as a partner lead organization. Again, I don’t have a ton of sales reps, I don’t want 100 sales reps. I’ve managed organizations with the 200 sales reps, 300 sales reps. And, and a lot of direct business, inside teams, you know, taking inbound calls, outbound call. I’ve seen it, okay. And so all the nightmares around that. I would rather you know manage the, you call them special operations troops, okay. So, and have a smaller team, but managing a larger volume of deals. I’ll manage, my team will manage 300, 400, 500 deals a quarter. Right, so I need to I need to have a general idea of what’s happening in, in those, in those deals. I need to know, are the customers getting responded to? You know, is, is, you know, when, when, when bids are coming in, are they being responded to in a timely fashion? Does, you know, does the, you know, are we, are we, is a response to this a quality response? Is it competitive, is it, I mean all this stuff that comes around it. You know, are we getting smarter on the next bid? How’s it correlate, you know, how’s the finance correlate? So I mean that in its interaction with the various systems is incredibly critical for us as an organization. 

 Christopher Smith   
How do you, when you lose a deal, how are you tracking that failure, the components that lead to I don’t, I don’t like the word failure, it’s, it’s a loss.  

 Rich Van Doorn   
Yeah. 

 Christopher Smith   
But what components of around that loss are you tracking so you don’t venture into stupid? 

 Rich Van Doorn   
Well, probably not enough elements yet. I wish we were tracking more, and that’s part of what we identify. So we usually have our sales operations team go back and start to identify that as part of our loss analysis is, you know, are we tracking the right elements on failure? You know, are there other pieces that we do have to track on that? So, I mean, was it was the loss in, in the solution, did we not identify the appropriate technical elements, was there pricing loss, was it a relationship element, you know? And then often what we’ll find as, as we go back and do the analysis, is, is there an element that we completely missed? Is there something that we’re not tracking against that we do need to evaluate going forward and incorporate in our review on the front side of the deal so that we’re now evaluating that as we’re doing our deal evaluation, starting our qualification process from the front end. So, you know, is there something that we haven’t considered, you know maybe it’s, you know, deals that we start on Tuesday are bad, you know, and so we don’t start deals on Tuesday. Now deals on Wednesday are more successful for us, you know. And sometimes you end up with, with you know screwy analysis like that, because, you know, the system can tell you things like, you know, like that as you go through and you start getting your AI analysis through the system. 

 Christopher Smith   
I love that you’re doing that quarterly, I think that’s so important. And I love that you’re incorporating that feedback loop into your technology, because again, if you’re not capturing it, you can’t measure it, and you can’t improve. So I love that you guys are doing that. What, we’re almost out of time, but I want to squeeze in one more question. What has been your biggest struggle with CRM over the years? 

 Rich Van Doorn   
Integration, honestly. And it, there’s so many disparate systems that organizations use, and they don’t always talk together. And there’s always a data element that you need that sits somewhere else or somebody’s created a spreadsheet or somebody has something that sits outside the system somewhere else, where if I just had that one more piece of information the system would probably tell me something else that’s critical.  

 Christopher Smith   
Right.  

 Rich Van Doorn   
Because again, I think the more the more the system begins to learn about how you conduct business, the smarter it makes me as a CRO, the smarter it makes my sales leaders underneath me, the more responsive it makes us to our customers. I mean, in the end, the CRM needs to talk with all the elements: finance, sales, services, the whole, the whole piece, they need to be able, because they’re all correlated, they’re all interrelated. And there’s elements of all of those that need to be able to function. And that’s literally what it comes down to, and it all has relevance to what I need in order to manage the business. 

 Christopher Smith   
I love that you said integrations, because I, I just two days ago, I was listening to a call of, I think there are about 40 sales leaders, all you know meeting to talk about different issues and do experience shares, and one person brought up, “Hey, I am new in this role. They have this CRM, but it can’t integrate with anything else we’re using. And it’s killing us.” And it I cringe when I hear that, because to me, I think a critical element that gets missed a lot of times when CRMs are being selected, you know people focus on the shiny lights and the whistles and the sounds and whatever, whatever grabs their eye, and they don’t take that step back to say, hey wait, this has to fit. It’s part of our whole ecosystem of technology, and it’s got to fit and work with everything. Otherwise, it has no value. 

 Rich Van Doorn   
100%  

 Christopher Smith   
And that happens all the time, so. 

 Rich Van Doorn   
We forget that and what we end up doing is we replace technology with people, and it’s hard to run efficient teams if you’ve got to keep adding bodies to it. It’s great if you want to be a people shot right, and, and keep adding resources, but it’s also hard to move fast. You know, and I tell people all the time I hate spreadsheets, stop sending me spreadsheets. I want, I want to be able to, if you show me a number, I want to be able to click on the number in the same platform that I’m already in, can drill into that number right then and there from the record that I’m on. I don’t want to go into six more, six more different platforms or spreadsheets or emails or anything like that. Leave me where I’m at right there. And let me get to what I want to get to. 

 Christopher Smith   
Yeah, I think there’s a great way to measure how well your, your technology is supporting your sales process. Count the spreadsheets that are being used, you know and, and if you’re finding any kind of number of, oh, we’ve got this spreadsheet for that, you’ve got serious issues that need to be addressed. 

 Rich Van Doorn   
Absolutely. Yeah. 

 Christopher Smith   
We are coming up on the, the end of our episode here, Rich. I really appreciate you coming on and listening to you. If people want to reach out and connect with you and learn more about your company, what’s the best way to do that? 

 Rich Van Doorn   
So, you know, obviously I’m on LinkedIn, so you get me on my LinkedIn profile, I’m happy to connect with folks out there and it’s probably the fastest way to connect with me. So you can meet on there. Obviously on our website, which I believe you guys will link on this as well.  

 Christopher Smith   
Right. 

 Rich Van Doorn   
So certainly those are probably the easiest way to get to me, most efficient way to not end up in my spam filter. But, so those are probably the easiest way to connect either through my LinkedIn profile or to the company website. 

 Christopher Smith   
Yeah. One quick question that I still am just focused on, 190 countries? 

 Rich Van Doorn   
Yes. 

 Christopher Smith   
What, is their one just big problem with being in so many different countries, is there one thing that comes to mind? 

 Rich Van Doorn   
Well listen there’s always similar problems in the country. But you know what’s, I think what’s, what’s interesting is is everybody thinks that their country has a unique issue. Right. So everybody says, “Yeah, but my country’s got, it’s so much different.” But in the end, the problems are really the same. It’s just, it’s just, it’s just you have to deal with different governments, you know, to get into the country. But for us, you know I think what’s, what’s very interesting, is our ability to hop in and to look at it. We don’t subcontract, you know we don’t we don’t deal with, you know, five layers of different companies below us to get the job done, which is an incredible opportunity for the people that we work with. And I think that that is, when you talk about a view into the companies that we support, just the ability to see the assets under your control from a process perspective, to know that you actually do have a single global process in each of those countries. And, you know, from a quality control, from just a holistic view, from a speed of response, it’s, it’s, it’s a fantastic view for any organization. But, you know, another one of those things is we tell our companies all the time, “Yes, you’re, you’re unique, just like everybody else.” So it’s pretty interesting, so. 

 Christopher Smith   
I, thank you for sticking around, I had to ask that question, because I just, it’s amazing. The story of your company is amazing. So, thank you for coming on Sales Lead Dog. I really appreciate it. 

 Rich Van Doorn   
It’s my pleasure. 

 Outro 
As we end this discussion on Sales Lead Dog, be sure to subscribe to catch all our episodes on social media. Follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram. Watch the videos on YouTube, and you can also find our episodes on our website at Empellorcrm.com/salesleaddog. Sales Lead Dog is supported by Empellor CRM, delivering objectively better CRM for business guaranteed. 

Quotes

            • “A winner has to be somebody who is willing to fail.” (28:12)
            • “Marketing isn’t just about who you’re working for, it’s about finding a way to market yourself. We forget that we’re a product, and we always think that what we have to market is something else in front of us, and we’ve gotta be careful and recognize that we’re one of those things.” (6:50-7:10)
            • “A lot of sales folks don’t understand who’s truly the real decision maker….so who to go after when you’re trying to get a referral. We think it’s procurement, we think it’s finance, but the people who are really making the decisions aren’t often who you think they are. And when you find out who it is, you can tune the dial pretty fast and hone in on it, and then the business really starts coming in. And that’s where you can really start driving exponential value in your organization.” (15:35-16:10)
            • “One of the things my grandad said is, ‘You got two ears and one mouth, and God gave you them in proportion for a reason.’” (18:30-18:35)
            • “Are you willing to give up a sale for the relationship? And that’ll really tell me whether or not you are in it for the customer.” (21:18-21:29)
            • “Failure is important. The reality is that a winner has to be somebody who is willing to fail. That’s all it comes down to….You can’t win without being at risk of failure.” (28:12-28:29)

Links

https://www.avasotech.com/
https://www.linkedin.com/in/rvandoorn/
https://www.linkedin.com/company/avaso-technology-solutions/ 

Empellor CRM Website
Empellor CRM LinkedIn

Podcast production and show notes provided by FIRESIDE Marketing