In today’s episode, host Chris Smith talks to Scott Vince, Executive Vice President Sales and Marketing of Capricorn Diversified Systems, an international company providing an array of technological services to big-name clients such as Microsoft, Costco, Domino’s Pizza, and General Motors.
Scott begins by reflecting on some key moments in his career: the people who most inspired him and his feelings upon closing his first major sale. When asked what he wished he had known when he started his first job in sales, Scott replies, “The ability to listen is a critical component in any sales situation[…] to have empathy for the people that you’re trying to listen to so you can understand and reiterate that into some kind of solution for them.”
With a wealth of experience in sales coaching in sales training in leadership roles, Scott shares advice for people starting out in sales and for those who are looking to step into a sales leadership role. Perseverance, managing your time and building your relationships, and managing them correctly are all important attributes for a successful salesperson. But what makes a leader stand out in a salesforce? Selflessness. Seeing someone go above and beyond to offer sales coaching recommendations to a member of their team.
Watch or listen to this episode:
Mon, 11/16 3:46PM • 31:07
sales, sales team, organization, crm, ability, leadership role, understand, critical, people, successful, technology, salesperson, success, scott, relationships, business, critical component, manage, client, chris
Scott Vince, Intro/Outro, Christopher Smith
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 00:28
Welcome to Sales Lead Dog. Today, for episode number one, we have an absolutely wonderful guest, Scott Vince. Scott, why don’t you go ahead and introduce yourself and tell us about your role and your company?
Scott Vince 00:40
Thanks, Chris. I’m really excited to be the number one guest. I’m the number one podcast for Empellor I’m excited to be along. And my company, Capricorn Diversified Systems has been around 26 years and I’m the Vice President of Sales and Marketing. And we are provider of technical everything, if you will, or the operative word is diversified. We plan, deploy, and manage and refresh technology is our tagline. So when we do that all over North America and have had clients all over the world,
Christopher Smith 01:13
And you’ve worked with some pretty, some names everyone would recognize, can you do a little bit namedropping for us?
Scott Vince 01:19
Well, certainly. So we’ve done work, we actually moved Microsoft’s offices from Southfield, Michigan to downtown Detroit. We move the Detroit Red Wings and the Detroit Pistons into the new Little Caesar’s Arena in downtown Detroit. And then we’ve done work with Costco, ancillary Costco work across the US and Canada and even went to Taiwan to do some work for them. One of our largest accounts is Domino’s Pizza. They take us all over North America, and General Motors, we provide all the technology for the dealers in the GM world.
Christopher Smith 01:56
Yeah, so some pretty recognizable names, some big, big projects. So that’s awesome. Thinking about, thinking back over your career, tell us about the person who’s had the most impact on your success.
Scott Vince 02:12
Um, well outside of my business partner, and he and I have been together for 26 years. In fact, we work with one another in the past prior to that, and then connected our stars and align them to a successful business. But prior to that, obviously, growing up, my father taught me work ethic, and that was had a huge influence on my ability to, to put my nose to the grindstone and feel good about moving it forward. And then my mother, on the other hand, was a social machine, she knew everything about everybody within the first five minutes of a conversation. And so those social skills certainly came in handy and I inherited those from her.
Christopher Smith 02:58
Especially in a sales career, those are valuable. What are the top three things that you think have helped you the most in your career?
Scott Vince 03:08
I think, perseverance, the ability to just use that work, work ethic and not be distracted or discouraged by failure. And I think that that’s certainly one of the biggest advantages. I think the other thing is, certainly being in a position to have that relationship, build relationships with people, and have that personal relationship with individuals, and manage those relationships to success. And then, again, I think the important part is just getting up in the morning and having that that ability to go after the next deal and the next deal after that and forget about the ones that you’ve, you’ve lost.
Christopher Smith 04:03
Think of back to when you were starting your career in sales. What do you wish you were taught when you got that first job?
Scott Vince 04:12
I think the ability to listen is a critical component in any sales organization sales situation. It’s hard because you know, with those social skills, you hear yourself talk, but I think it’s critical to have the ability to listen and understand and have empathy for the people that you’re trying to sell something to. So you can certainly understand and really, really reiterate that in a solution for them. Yeah.
Christopher Smith 04:43
Do you remember the first big sale you ever closed? And and what the feeling you had, do you remember that feeling?
Scott Vince 04:50
Yeah, one of the largest sales that we closed was with a large advertising agency and they were they had worked specifically with Chrysler Corporation when Chrysler Corporation was Chrysler Corporation. So now I see a very large organization 1200 employees, and we refreshed all their technology and their software systems, put support people in place, and it was about a three and a half million dollar check that we picked up from them for that deal over a three year period of time. And that was great. The feeling was incredible. But I remember driving away from that when and thinking oh, my gosh, where’s the next from?
Christopher Smith 05:40
Oh, yeah, we did it. Then it’s like, oh, crap. We did it.
Scott Vince 05:43
No, we got to do it again. Yeah, well, first of all, we had to do this right. You had to make sure it was successful, which it was, thank god. Yeah. So is that the feeling like oh, my gosh, we want now we got to actually pull it off. And then, then the second a reaction was, Oh, my gosh, we got to fill the bucket again. We got it. Yeah.
Christopher Smith 06:02
What is your best advice for someone getting started in a sales career?
Scott Vince 06:07
Again, I look, I look back at perseverance. And the other thing is being organized and managing your time, that’s critical and, and having the right approach to sales. You know, building your list, building your prospect list and managing those effectively. That’s critical. If you don’t know, you have to build those relationships and to build those relationships, you got to continue to, to understand who they are and follow up. So that that’s a critical component of it.
Christopher Smith 06:41
Yeah. That. Transitioning to your role as a sales leader, you know, for those people that are already in sales and having success, and now they’re thinking about, you know, maybe I want to become a sales leader, what advice would you give to that person who’s thinking about transition into a leadership role?
Scott Vince 07:02
I think the selling certainly is going to be telling in terms of your success, and a sales situation. But more importantly, it’s the ability to synergize your efforts with your team. So you have peers, I suspect that you’re working with as a salesperson, and making sure that you’re bringing forth some suggestion recommendations in something that you may not be getting paid for, but something that you feel that is going to help them lead to a path of success. So those are the folks that you want to have move into a leadership role. And I think that that creates great leaders.
Christopher Smith 07:41
Okay, great. Tell me about your decision to pursue a sales leadership role.
Scott Vince 07:48
Well, it’s interesting, it was a bit of a leap of faith. I was in a conference, downtown Detroit at Cobo Hall and was a salesperson for a small sales organization and was approached at a gathering of another company, which was invited to out of the blue and they’d asked if, if I wanted to start their computer sales organization, they were a Office products dealer. And I said, certainly, and I went in with the understanding that I was going to be managing that new endeavor. And again, it was a leap of faith, it was kind of stretching my ability. I think that’s the true with any leadership position, you need to make sure you stretch your ability.
Christopher Smith 08:28
Yeah. What are some of the common mistakes you think people that are transitioning from a sales role to a sales leadership role? What are the mistakes that are commonly made?
Scott Vince 08:40
I think having faith and confidence in your team and having them be able to fail, I mean, understanding that everybody’s not gonna win, and everybody’s not going to do the right thing. And there’s going to be a failure, and you’re going to have to tolerate that. And that’s how people learn. So it’s having patience and the ability to understand failure and just make it a learning situation, rather than chastising situation.
Christopher Smith 09:05
Right. What’s the first thing someone’s stepping into that sales leadership role, what’s the first thing they should do?
Scott Vince 09:12
Well, I think it’s a really clear get a clear understanding of the personal behavior of their team, understanding what motivates their team. And so everybody has different hot buttons, different motivations, and that’s true of the client. And it’s true with the sales team. So as a sales manager or leader, you need to understand that those that buttons, understand their personal drivers, and work towards making sure that you fulfill those requirements as best you can as a leadership role.
Christopher Smith 09:41
Right. Thinking about your role as a sales leader is there something you used to believe that you now know is wrong?
Scott Vince 09:52
Well, again, I think get back to that, talking more than listening, I felt that you know, you you needed to present your wares. knew that it was the best solution set. But in some instances it’s not. And being flexible and being nimble in terms of, you know what the client’s needs or requirements are and understanding those clearly. So I think I felt confident with the products that I was selling but oversold it, I had a sales manager once that I was doing a presentation on a new software application. And the client was getting all kinds of buying signs, and I didn’t hear it because I wasn’t listening. You end up kicking the plug out of the wall of equipment that I was demonstrating. I was pissed at him. But he was said, Well, Chris, you’re good. All you can do is unsell it is. So I said, Okay, well, I’m good now. And that was a huge learning lesson, you know, so you certainly can can oversell something,
Christopher Smith 10:46
Right. Do you think people underestimate how hard it is to be a sales leader?
Scott Vince 10:53
Oh, gosh, yes. I mean, it’s hard enough being a salesperson, you have to have a thick skin. And certainly understand that you’re going to get knocked down that you’re not going to win every deal. And it’s tough. I mean, it really, that part of it is tough. But you know, in a leadership role, you’re going to see that in your your sales team and you got to be uplifting, you got to you got to make sure when they do fail, that you are able to lift them up and send them on the road to success. So that makes it even tougher. So you’re right.
Christopher Smith 11:20
It’s often tempting, I know, with the different groups that we work with as customers that you know, people lead a sales leadership role, it’s very tempting for them sometimes to think like, well, I can do more in this organization, I should take on more responsibility. A common one is for them to take on, hey, I want to own marketing, as well as sales. Now I know you have that role. For someone that is considering, you know, following in your path where you have both sales and marketing, what advice do you have for them to not overextend themselves or to take on more than they can handle?
Scott Vince 12:00
Well, and having the confidence to delegate, again, back to the sales leadership, responsibility that you have is to make sure you’re not overstepping your bounds and not inserting yourself in every opportunity, but making sure you delegate those responsibilities. And to be clear, in my marketing position, I certainly am not an expert in that. So I hire people to do that. So we work with a number of different manufacturers, we have market development funds that come through those relationships, and we rely on them to put our programs together for us, and manage that role and responsibility. So it’s the ability to delegate and have confidence that those those people have expertise that they that you can rely on to get the job done.
Christopher Smith 12:44
Right. What are the signs that you look for that it’s time for someone to move up into a new role, maybe a leadership role in your organization.
Scott Vince 12:54
But again, we talked about that, Chris, and that if you see someone helping, unsolicited, someone else, that’s a critical component of leadership and in your ability to, to be selfless in bringing those around you up. And you can see it in how some of the sales reps help one another. And there are some that are more helpful than others, some of them protect their patch, and some that are willing to share. So that’s, I think that’s the key component to finding a great leader.
Christopher Smith 13:28
Do you, are there any things you do to try to cultivate those management candidates?
Scott Vince 13:33
Um, give them a lot of rope. I mean, certainly, in make sure that you have visibility on what they’re doing. And a lot of it has to do with the tools that we use, because you can set up some metrics to measure, you know what they’re doing, certainly from a sales perspective, but those metrics only go so far. But certainly that is a yardstick to understand how they’re helping others. And then the reactions. So part of that is personal relationship you have with your sales team. So you understand again, their motivators, and, and then just listening to them, you know, again, listening more than talking with them.
Christopher Smith 14:09
Thinking about what you do, expanding on what the listening, you’ve just talked about, do you have a method or advice for someone on teaching their team on how to ask the great questions of second, third-level questions that are so important in getting that deep understanding?
Scott Vince 14:26
Well, so open ended questions. And a great deal of that is you can only remember so much. So it’s documenting. And so you have to have the ability to recall conversations and information about a client or again, a sales person. So you can clearly understand you know, what their dog’s name is, and what their cat’s name is, and what their kids name and what school they go to. And some of those things will open up a conversation where it becomes a personal conversation, but it leads to more in depth discussion around what motivates them and what they’re having issues with or what they’re adding successes with?
Christopher Smith 15:02
Yep. Preparation. It’s important
Scott Vince 15:05
Christopher Smith 15:10
Beyond just sales, your overall sales, are there other measures for success that you utilize for yourself and your team?
Scott Vince 15:19
I think they’re their professional relationships. I mean, most sales, people have networks that they connect with outside of the business. And those networks are critical to success. So when you’re to cultivate more opportunity, those personal relationships or clubs or memberships that they belong to, on their own without being solicited to join those members memberships or have those relationships are critical, and then mining that information to building opportunities. It’s critical.
Christopher Smith 15:58
What do you do to control first impressions in your sales process with you, with your team, your company, your business?
Scott Vince 16:05
Well, again, it has to do with marketing and how you present yourself. The professional approach, years ago, I, I was went through a number of different sales, training programs. And you know, it’s simple things, right? Like, if you think it’s silly, but polishing your shoes and having your your and Mooney used to wear a tie, having it straight and just simple things that show a professional approach to how you’re doing business. And it seems simple, but it’s not. And you have to remind your sales team to, to create and embody that professional approach, right?
Christopher Smith 16:48
Thinking about success habits, those things that people have to be doing every day, what are those daily habits you want your sales team to have?
Scott Vince 16:59
Again, it seems simple, but you have to be on time or early. That’s a critical component. It certainly shows your enthusiasm for anything being responsive, so that you’re answering questions to clients or, or me as their manager or boss. If it’s a timely response, that’s critical to me, and I think it shows that you care. And it’s again, it seems it seems simple, but it’s it’s that timing. That’s that’s, that’s critical and important for a successful salesperson.
Christopher Smith 17:38
You’ve had a long career in sales, Scott. When you’re sitting around with your friends and, you know, peers in the business, and you’re all telling the funny stories, crazy things that happen, what’s your just crazy sales story you’d like to share?
Scott Vince 17:54
Chris, there are there are a zillion of them. You can again imagine from client interactions to to salespeople or technical resources that we’ve had in the past. And some of them I can’t repeat because they’re just crazy. We you know, a couple of them one, we had an engineer that that was saying, well, to the customer, why did you buy this thing, this is not, this is not what I would have bought, if I were you and you’re like you want to hit him, but you’re standing in front of the customer and your technician that’s you know, but doesn’t know any better because, like holy cow. I remember a time when my business partner, I were leaving a pretty high level meeting with the CEO and we’re recalling the meaning and in getting our head around it. And we were 50 minutes into a drive back to the office and went the complete opposite way of where we were supposed to be going. So here, you know, 50 miles north on I-94 instead of 50 miles west on I-96 and had no idea we finally woke up from the conversation, said where the heck are we? So yeah, there’s there’s many but that one is, is certainly repeatable. There’s no question.
Christopher Smith 19:09
Oh, my that’s a long way to go wrong.
Scott Vince 19:12
Yeah, yeah, a little out of the way needless to say.
Christopher Smith 19:16
Rejection is always a big part are dealing with rejections. Always a big part of sales and trying to cultivate or teach a team to deal with that. Can you think about the back of your career, the deal that you lost that hurt the most?
Scott Vince 19:33
Well, there were many. I remember a school system I had a actually a really good relationship with the chief financial officer and we were in the process of $800,000 deal. We were selling new printing technology to the district and it was on the edge of approval. They had a special board meeting scheduled for us to present our proposal and vote to the affirmative on it, and my contact, got a new job. So he left. So they filled in with a new person. And that new person wasn’t necessarily on board with the opportunity. So we got shot down. It was it was very unfortunate. I remember, I remember that one distinctly because I drove the wrong way on Eight Mile Road, go leaving the the opportunity just was just disgusted by it. But I think the key to that ,Chris, is anticipating your next question, you got to pull yourself up by the bootstraps, you’ve got to, you got to go back after the next day on you got to you got to brush it off. And there’s been many of those, it’s, my analogy is, you know, quarterback throwing a pick six and coming back and throwing a touchdown on the next series of plays, or, you know, a pitcher, throwing up the homerun ball and then having to come back and strike out three in a row, it’s it, you just got to get back on the horse. And it’s critical to do that. And you’re always going to have opportunities that are lost, you’re going to always have doors that are closed in your face. And you got to have again, a thick skin and the ability to to understand that the next one is going to be a success. And you got to act on that approach.
Christopher Smith 21:17
Yeah. Is that what you tell your team? You know when they’re dealing with rejection?
Scott Vince 21:22
Yeah. And you got to stay positive. I mean, you know, one of our early mantras was positive approach gets positive results. And to this day, it’s it’s still that mantra, you’ve got to feel positive about. I had a meeting this afternoon with a very large facilities furniture company. And when they they’ve been very successful, I met with the owner. And then I asked him, What do you think about in the middle of a pandemic, that your business is going to be like, because they’re not building offices anymore, a lot of people aren’t working in offices anymore. And this guy from beginning of time he worked in a, I remember his office 20 years ago when I first started working with him, he was in a basement in the back of a building. And now he’s built his own office. And he’s done unbelievable things and very successful. And he was always positive. And today, he was incredibly positive. He said, “No, we’re gonna come through this. And I’m hiring people, because I want to build my team. And I know that we’re going to read, we work our office where there’s going to be less people working in the office, but we’re going to be successful.” And you know, that is a true attribute to a successful organization.
Christopher Smith 22:32
I couldn’t agree more. Transitioning now to talk about technology, a lot of the things we’ve talked about are connected to how you leverage CRM in organization. So let’s just start with a very basic CRM question. When it comes to CRM, do you love it? Or do you hate it?
Scott Vince 22:54
I not only do I love it, I think it’s a critical, I keep saying critical, but it’s the cornerstone of any successful sales organization. If you don’t have, from as a salesperson, if you don’t have the appropriate records, and then you’re able to manage your funnel and your account list and your prospects and in a manner that is organized, you’re not going to be successful. And as a manager, you need to have the ability to see those metrics and understand how your team is doing. And that’s the only possible way to do that. You can’t do it any other way. I mean, in the old days, it was spreadsheets and, and tablets of paper and, you know, sales meetings that you would try to glean from the organization. But a CRM application is critical to any organization my opinion.
Christopher Smith 23:46
Yeah. It’s amazing to me how much today, even today, when we go into a company that we started as the first thing, one of the first things we ask about are show me your spreadsheets, and how many companies are so reliant on spreadsheets to give them the information they need, because their CRM can’t do it.
Scott Vince 24:03
Christopher Smith 24:04
Scott Vince 24:05
It is crazy.
Christopher Smith 24:07
Yeah, what is, what do you think the biggest struggle companies have with leveraging CRM technology to support their sales process?
Scott Vince 24:17
I think it’s so credos to Empellor in their ability to your ability to have trained and pulled our team into the the 21st century and understanding our business and our unique asp ects on how we work prospects, what type of accounts we’re working with, but more importantly, how we approach them. And your ability to train the sales organization and our administrative team and our managers to be able to use the application and use those tools to their best ability. If you don’t have, aren’t committed to that you’re going to you’re not going to make a great investment with, so use the tool set the way it’s meant to. And the only way to do that is have a professional organization. Again, I mentioned our marketing capabilities, we defer to the experts. You’re the experts in our CRM application and our ability to succeed with that toolset.
Christopher Smith 25:20
Yeah, I’ll add one more thing to that, Scott. I think one of the things that made your implementation so successful is the commitment that you established, you and your business partner established from day one, and made it very clear, you communicated that throughout the organization. That to me is one of the absolutely key differentiators between the CRM implementations that succeed versus ones that fail is that, that support from the top.
Scott Vince 25:53
And I couldn’t agree more. And we we took, we were totally committed to it, because we were going to make the investment and the only way to make the investment pay off to get an ROI on it, is to fully commit ourselves to it. And that’s true with anything. I mean, even if it’s Microsoft 365, or, you know, you pick your pick your toolset, you know, if you’re using good we even trained on how to how to best use the simple tools like Microsoft words and Excel spreadsheets that our sales team is using. We have a quoting application that’s pretty comprehensive for some of the products that we sell, and we need to train them on how to use it. So if you if you’re gonna commit to the expense to put that toolset in place, you need to commit to the implementation team to get it operational, and it’s in the most effective way possible.
Christopher Smith 26:41
What do you think those in the technology leadership roles, the CIO CTOs out there? What do you think they can do to better support the sales team and in the sales process?
Scott Vince 26:53
Well, you know, it’s interesting, it’s, it’s a difficult thing in terms of training, the leadership within an organization that nothing gets done without something being sold. So I don’t care if you’re selling widgets, or cars or balloons, you don’t have a successful organization till you’re selling something. So the sales team is a critical piece of that. And the the CIO of an organization has to support the toolset, in order to make that successful. I’ve got a project right now we’re working with a hospital that’s using their tool set is health management. And they can’t live without it. And so the CIO is certainly ensconced in making sure that that application is up and running. And that same thing is true with any tool set, especially the sales tool set. And, you know, the CRM application and having that available, in all ways, forms or fashions, is something that they they have to understand and will understand. Given the sales organization’s ability to sell something.
Christopher Smith 28:04
We put a huge focus on user adoption, as you know. Thinking about that for CRM, what are your keys to getting the sales team engaged in using CRM?
Scott Vince 28:17
It’s interesting, Chris. And I think you you have to crawl, walk, run, a lot of the sales team are not technically savvy, necessarily, even though we’re a technical organization. They’re a sales mindset. But showing them how they can be more successful, creating efficiencies and their ability to manage their patch, if you will, and understand how that tool set can be lead to their success and create more time and energy towards that success. I think that’s easy once once they see that once, and here’s where we talked about before, there’s certain sales organization sales people in our organization, they get it and use it to its nth degree. And having them share that success with others that are may not be is is part and parcel to a successful CRM implementation.
Christopher Smith 29:08
Yeah, I actually that’s one of our recommendations for for the companies that we’re working with, as you know, is to identify those early adopters, those super users and leverage the heck out of them to role model and mentor those that are struggling and having a bit of difficulty understanding or leveraging that technology. So yeah, I couldn’t agree more.
Scott Vince 29:30
Christopher Smith 29:30
Well, Scott, we are coming up on the end of our time together. Greatly, greatly appreciate you coming on Sales Lead Dog love having you on here. And for those of you listening, if you have the chance to work with Scott at Capricorn Diversified Systems, I highly recommended it. Scott’s one of the best people you could ever meet and work with. Scott, if people want to get in touch with you, what’s the best way for them to connect with you?
Scott Vince 30:00
Certainly our website at CDSonline.com or certainly email me at [email protected] Great way to get ahold of me.
Christopher Smith 30:12
It’s great and you’re on LinkedIn as well?
Scott Vince 30:14
Christopher Smith 30:15
Awesome. Well, thank you again for being on Sales Lead Dog. It’s been great talking with you and I look forward to our continued relationship together.
Scott Vince 30:25
Thank you, Chris. Really, really appreciate our partnership and certainly am pleased to be your number one guest. Thank you.
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.
- “The ability to listen is a critical component in any sales situation.”
- “Have empathy for the people that you’re trying to listen to so you can understand and reiterate that into some kind of solution for them.”
- “Some protect their patch and some are willing to share.”