Sales Is A Give And Get – Skip Miller


“Yeses are great. Nos are great. Maybes will kill you,” says Skip Miller, Founder and President of M3 Learning, a sales management training and coaching program that helps start-ups build their sales process to meet sales goals. Skip shares his philosophy on sales training — which revolves around data, forecasting, and good use of CRM. His number one takeaway? If you want to optimize your time, you need to know how to measure customer engagement — and the best way to do that is to stay in control, and ask them to give as much as they get.

Skip and Chris talk about common CRM pitfalls, the tools you can use for how to measure customer engagement, and all the reasons your sales managers should be jumping in long before your deals are ready to close. If you’re looking for an inspiring and unique sales philosophy to shake up your team, tune into this episode!

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Fri, 12/18 1:01PM • 43:44 

crm, stage, sales, deals, buyer, customer, coaching, problem, buy, people, crm implementations, process, salesperson, sales team, sales cycles, l3, line, skip, company, vp 

Speakers of Discussion about how to measure customer engagement

Skip Miller, Christopher Smith 

 Christopher Smith  05:34 
Welcome to Sales Lead Dog Podcast. Today we have a very exciting guest, someone who came highly recommended to me that you have to have this person on the show. Skip Miller, welcome to Sales Lead Dog Podcast. 

 Skip Miller  05:48 
Oh, it’s a pleasure being here. Thank you for taking the time to have us on. 

 Christopher Smith  05:51 
Skip, tell me a little bit about yourself and M3 Learning. 

 Skip Miller  05:58 
Sure. Born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, so if there’s any Indians or Browns fans listening, you get extra credit points. Were the Salesperson, Sales Manager, VP of Sales, moved to California, did a couple of turnarounds, that type of stuff is either VP of Sales or as President. About 20 some odd years ago, the company I was with wanted me to transfer back to the East coast, and although it’s a great place, I kind of like California and so I decided to do my own thing and within the first couple of months I got a couple of good contracts, a couple of good customers, and what we do is sales and sales management training and, and coaching. So our job is to make salespeople and managers better at the point of attack. So we’re quite tactical where you how you start a call, how do you end the call, how do you not lose control, how do you walk people through stages of a sales process. You know, I leave the strategy to others and you know really dive into the tactics, because for me, as a VP of Sales, I mean, I’d send my people to these training classes which is great and they put all this stuff on the wall and they coach themselves and stuff and so on, and three weeks later they were following none of it. So, you know, that kind of drove me crazy. So we’re definitely into management coaching, make sure managers really implement stuff and that the salespeople can get better as well. So that’s what we’ve been doing. Being in Silicon Valley, a lot of our customers are high-tech customers, so we kind of know those from the small startups all the way up to Google and Zoom and Tableau and stuff, but that’s kind of what we do. 

 Christopher Smith  07:26 
Yep. If I’m a sales leader, and I’m having problems or who are the, what type of sales leaders, whoever should be reaching out to you to say, “Skip, come help me?” 

 Skip Miller  07:40 
Let’s see. The ones typically in Silicon Valley, the ones who did to be like 20, 30, 50 million, and they figure that you know what got us to where we’re at is not good enough to get us over the 100 million dollar hump. So we got to change our processes, we got to change our things, you know, we can’t really scale with what we’re doing right now. You know, if you’re a billion dollar plus company, I guess we can kind of help, but we much prefer the, the ones who were on a rocket ship. We started with Zoom when there were three people, we started with Tableau when there were 20 people. And those are just kind of fun to help build their process, help them do the right things and and that type of stuff, so if you’re a sales leader right now looking at ’21, going well we’re gonna have to grow 20%, 30% and we’re not gonna be able to hire that many people, so we got to make our managers and our salespeople smarter, that’s kind of the people we kind of go after. 

 Christopher Smith  08:28 
That’s awesome. Those are some pretty big names everyone should know. You know, so that’s pretty cool. 

 Skip Miller  08:36 
They’re fun, they’re fun people. 

 Christopher Smith  08:37 
Oh yeah, that’s awesome. Tell me about your approach to coaching and how you engage with a sales team. 

 Skip Miller  08:47 
Buyers buying a process. And we got to match that. So as you all probably know that when you implement CRM, we want to put sales stages in there and sales activities by stage, which is great. But what are you asking the customer to do? So, if you’re that through stage one, stage two, stage three, or whatever, and you’ve done the great presentation, you’ve done the demo, you’ve done the trial, you you’ve done the whatever it may be, and you really haven’t engaged the customer, and having them do things, we call them “give gets” or, or “homework assignments,” right, then you’re just giving, giving, giving. And it is the philosophy of, “If I do what the customer tells me to do, and I do it well, I’ll get the order,” for the low hanging fruit maybe, but that doesn’t really work. So, we believe buyers want to be led, but they want to be led to a buy process, so the best CRM implementations and things we see is okay in stage one. What do we want to do, what do we want the buyer to do, what’s some good exit criterias? And you can’t do them all, although it would be really kind of fun, but then you go to stage two. And with that kind of approach, you really start leveraging your managers, because now the managers can get engaged early as opposed to just trying to get deals over the finish line. 

 Christopher Smith  10:05 
Right, right. So that’s a critical component then to, is you need those sales managers, engaging in those earlier stages, not waiting for stuff to come to them, is that correct? 

 Skip Miller  10:17 
So I’ll ask a group of sales managers in five, six days whatever sales process, “Where do you get most involved?” And they’ll say, “Well stage four or five, getting deals across the finish line.” And I’ll say, “What about stage two?” Well, here’s my imitation of a sales manager coaching in stage two: “How’s tt going?” “Good.” “Do need anything?” “No.” “Call me if you need me.” “Okay.” “I got to go close deals, so call me if need me.” That’s not coaching, right? But yet we put a roadmap together and say what are the activities in stage one and what are the activities of stage two, the stage two to three activities are huge, and stage four or five it’s get the order. I mean, so, if you’re not coaching to all the stuff that has to get done. For example, we believe that early in the process, there’s two value propositions. I am on a mission to destroy the term “decision-maker,” because I think there’s two, we call them one below the line, which is the person who’s going to use your stuff and, you know, your really wants to get the best competitive value and is really enamored with the features and stuff. And the above the line buyer, the fiscal buyer, the one who says you know what, I got a $30 million problem and I could see, if I buy this this is gonna make a dent in at least a third of it. I mean, and how much does it cost? Five grand a month, really? I mean, so there’s two value props. We have a tendency to go below the line, because they want to talk about us, we want to talk about us, we’re all talking about us. And then maybe near the end, we go to the above the line buyer and go, “What do you think about us?” which is not what they want to talk about. I got five brothers and sisters, and before COVID, we got together, there was like 50, 60 of us, we all get together. There were so many people. We had a kid table and an adult table, and the kids loved it because they got to speak kid talk, the adults love it, they didn’t have to speak to talk. So take that analogy and if I’m a salesperson talking to all the below the line buyers, when I get a chance to go to the executive suite, the above the line buyers, I’m going to give them an executive overview of the below line stuff, which is not what they want to hear. So where’s management coaching in stage two, to go after those both value props? So, I mean that type of stuff is what you really want to capture and manage to. And stage management, which CRM, definitely supports. 

 Christopher Smith  12:34 
Oh yeah, totally, totally. And what I love about what you’re saying is you’re really requiring the customer to engage with you by giving them stuff to do, and asking them to commit to stuff. That’s a totally different approach, you know, in terms of, you’re gonna find out how committed they are right away. 

 Skip Miller  12:55 
I got, I got without a doubt, I got a deal we just started right now. And I said to the sales VP I said, “Do me a favor, you’re probably putting your slideshow together for the 2021 Executive meeting, you want to send me a copy of those slides so I can just let you know what your visions are, what your things are so I know if we can help?” Well, the problem is I have to go through 79 slides now, so I mean, but those type of things, even if something as simple as, “Chris we have a meeting tomorrow. Here’s the five things we’re to talk about. Could you circle star highlight the ones that are really important to you, so I can make sure we maximize your time.” If they don’t even respond to that, what’s that telling you? Where’s management coaching to those tests, because if they don’t respond to those, and all of a sudden next week that deal goes into stage four, and it’s going to close by the end of the month, it’s not going to close, it just didn’t have enough energy. So you really want to capture in those activity levels that you know you, you probably have seen great successful CRM implementations that capture that data.  

 Christopher Smith  13:00 

 Skip Miller  13:56 
Rather than just a checking the box of all the sales activities that were done.  

 Christopher Smith  13:59 
Right, right. “Did you do this, did you do that,?” But that doesn’t really give you that insight of how to measure customer engagement . That, which to me that’s a very, you really, the most typical measure of that is what’s your best guess for probability this is going to close. 

 Skip Miller  14:19 
Exactly right. And we’re seeing more and more, you know CRM output being customer facing. Here’s our stages, John, we’re here, let’s go here and here’s what we need done. So we’re seeing more and more customer facing roadmaps, closed plans. We call them trip tickets from, you know the the American Automobile Association, just to give these little series of maps called a trip tick, you know it’s a roadmap. Why aren’t your roadmaps customer facing? We have a friend who quit his job at Stripe, he opened up his own you know software company, and he’s out there putting these customer facing roadmaps together in an app and selling them, because that’s the trick. If you’re not working with your customer, you’re working at them, that’s not what you really want a good CRM installation to be doing. 

 Christopher Smith  15:05 
Oh, it’s so true that, you know, we, when we approach and connect with a prospect, to me, if I can’t be their partner, a true partner and really helping them transform their business, I’m not going to be successful. You know, and I want, I want 100% success rate. I have to have that. 

 Skip Miller  15:22 
It, you know, it comes back in your reputation.  

 Christopher Smith  15:25 
Oh, exactly. Exactly. 

 Skip Miller  15:26 
If I, if I train a whole bunch of people and managers and a year later they go, “Yeah we had Skip, we learned some tips and tricks.” Well tricks is what you learn in circuses, and we don’t want to do that. And I don’t want to have a bunch of tip, you’re paying me too much money to learn some tips. We want a great process and the goal, like CRM, what’s the goal? Shorten sales cycles, get better than a 40, 50% accuracy rate increase average sales prices. If I can manage 20 to 25% of a typical company’s cost, is in sales, sales or marketing, so that’s a quarter, we live with 50% forecast accuracy. So that’s telling you 10 to 15% of a company’s assets are being thrown away, because we’re not doing a good job working with our customers early in the process. That’s a lot of money, man. 

 Christopher Smith  15:44 
Oh it is. It really is, especially you know you’re talking about if you’re trying to get from 30 million to 100 million, and you can’t trust your forecasts, your donor with one arm tied behind your back, 

 Skip Miller  16:28 
I’ll ask a sales VP, I’ll say, this is January 1. A 90-day forecast. Let’s say you’ve got 100 deals in your funnel, 100 deals. At the end of 90 days, those 100, not ones that left and ones that came back in, those 100. How many came in, and I get, “That’s a good question. Um, you know, 40, 30,” and “You’re okay with that?” “No, but that’s just what we’re conditioned to.” We’ve got customers who have 60, 70, 80% forecast accuracy. And here’s the biggest issue: of the 100, that they won 25 or 30, that’s fine 40, they, they lost 25 or 30, but 25, 30 of them are maybe’s. Yes is a great, no is a great, maybes will kill you. You got ten deals in your funnel, you win eight, congrats. You got ten deals in your funnel, you lose eight, congrats, you know you doing something wrong and you can fix it. You got ten deals your funnel, eight maybe’s, they’re gonna slip to the next month, they’re gonna slip in the next month, they could prevent new stuff from coming in, because you’re believing that they’re coming in. We walk, we looked at a customer, typical sales price $60 grand. They had two deals in their funnel. One was 321 days, not only counting that, one was 346 days. The guy’s dead. I mean, 346 days in the funnel. I mean, “No, no, no, I talked to him a couple months ago,” It’s got, we got to get better at managing this stuff earlier like you see really great installations do. 

 Christopher Smith  17:58 
Yes, exactly. Exactly. Let’s talk about the losses a little bit, that this is one of my personal pet peeves around CRM. One of the questions we ask when we’re doing an implementation, “When does a deal get into your CRM?” And more often than not, I hear “Well, we put in the deals that we think are most likely to close.” And they’re not capturing anything around you know this whole other portion of their pipeline.  

 Skip Miller  18:30 

 Christopher Smith  18:31 
They have no insight into, they’re not collecting any data on, and so they have no idea what happens, so that’s one problem. The other problem is the ones we lose we’re not really capturing why we lost, we’re not doing any, anything that could support a retrospective. When you’re dealing with your with your customers, you know, how do you coach them in those areas? 

 Skip Miller  18:56 
So, we all know why we won. “We did an excellent job, we qualified them well, blah blah blah. Really we lost is because, you know, they were stupid. They had an inside person. The other company with 50% discount.” No. The reason you lost it is because you got out-sold period. If you’re okay, say this is a live deal in stage two, if you lose it in stage five, you got out-sold, and that’s okay, sometimes you do. But, but the issue was, you got to go back and look at what you’re doing in stage two and stage three to find out why you lost it. You didn’t lose in stage four or five, you lost it way earlier than that. And that’s what’s great about a CRM, so we coach managers to sit back and say, you’ve got a whole bunch of maybe’s slipping. Or you’re losing, how much energy did the deal really have early? I am a huge fan of energy, I believe that sales is like a roller coaster, right, you get up there you get up there you get to the top, and then the deal goes south, it goes dark, it goes and goes, we have names for it right. Well, it wasn’t that last stage four to stage five push to get you over the edge, it was what happened back in stage two.  

 Christopher Smith  20:04 

 Skip Miller  20:05 
Only a good buy sales process that’s got good input and stuff and so on that tells me what the give-gets are from a customer standpoint. And nine times out of ten, Chris, what happens is we go in and look at stage two, and it’s do discovery. Okay. What does that mean, like a presentation? Well, a presentation’s a one-way form of communication. What what things did you require, did you require access to the to this, the senior level executive, the ATL buyer to ask them what their 3, 6, 9 months plans were? Did you ask them when they’re going to make a decision? Did you ask them? No, you didn’t do any of that. So that’s what we see on those maybe’s and losses is all the customer facing stuff that didn’t happen in stage two, that didn’t get that roller coaster over the hill.  

 Christopher Smith  20:48 
Right, right. And if you’re capturing that stuff into CRM, you’re getting that insight, where you can go back and do those retrospectives and try to look for patterns and and say, “Hey look, I’m seeing, you know these deals that we’re losing. We’re not hitting the mark in stage two like you’re saying, we’re not doing these things, these other ones that we’re winning, we’re doing these, and it’s working, the ones we’re losing we’re not doing those. Let’s start doing what’s working.” 

 Skip Miller  21:15 
So the typical argument, right Chris, is, “Well, I’m not going to tell my salespeople what to do. I mean they’re really good salespeople” and stuff. And here’s what happens. Okay, they get to stage two, and they know if they put a lot of stuff in there, they’re going to get managed, so they don’t do anything there, and all of a sudden the deal’s now on stage five. And hey, I’m happy it’s stage five, we can close it make the number, and I really don’t care how they got there, they got there. And, you know, that’s really a big fallacy. What do you guys do when a customer comes to you and says, you know, we’ve got a lot of deals that are constantly in stage two, and then go to stage five, what do you guys tell them that they’ve got to do? 

 Christopher Smith  21:54 
What do you hear back, what do people say to you? 

 Skip Miller  21:57 
Oh, without a doubt people sit back and go, “Well, we got to tell them what to do, they don’t like being told what to do.” If you don’t implement standards and process standards, you’re never going to get above 30% forecast accuracy. And, and that’s a cultural issue. Hey guys, part of your job is documentation. I’m sorry, because you don’t own the account. The company does. So if you can’t document where we’re at in stage two or three, so we can help you with good coaching, you’re a lone wolf. We don’t really kind of like hiring lone wolves, so if you don’t want to play with everybody, so we can create leverage, jeez, have a good time being an independent rep, because there’s no room for you here. I mean, you got to draw some lines, I think. 

 Christopher Smith  22:37 
Yeah, I love that, I love that. A question I always ask the sales leaders we have on, the CRO’s, the VP of sales, is, you know, getting user adoption is so critical to success of a CRM project. And, you know, you have to give a why to your sales team, you know, that explains this is why CRM is important. This is why we need you to do this, that gets them to buy in, and the why, you know has to be done from different ways. You just summarized one of the key elements there. To me, that is a key, key part of why sales teams need to use CRM. Are there other reasons that you think, you know, that should be part of the why statement that you’re giving to your sales team about CRM? 

 Skip Miller  23:27 
Sure, a couple. Okay, the devil is always in the details. Right. I want to know who’s in control of the sale. So if a salesperson is just doing, doing, doing, doing, right, the buyer is in control. Right, buyers are always neutral. If you’re not in control, someone else is. And that could be do nothing, spread the money elsewhere, a competitor. Anybody who prevents you from getting your order is competition. So that’s an issue. I can dive into my CRM and see what were the give gets, what were the things that the customer is supposed to give us, right. “Hi,” you know, “did the customer actually send us a couple slides that we asked for to give us their 2021, you know, initiatives?” “No, no, they didn’t.” “Well did you ask?” “No, we didn’t.” Well there’s a good coaching opportunity for us there, or isn’t there. Because we’re not just going to constantly do what the customer says to do. That’s a big one. Another big one, without a doubt, early in the process, is where the salesperson sits back and says, “This person is my champion. This person’s my guy, right, and I’m gonna follow him.” Well, he’s typically what we call a below the line buyer, who’s a very nice person, but he’s the one who’s got budget money. Our definition of a more senior level CEO C suite buyer is they could rob Peter to pay Paul, they could take the money from here and go there. And that’s the kind of buyer we will also want as our champion, because they’re sitting back going, “Well, heck, for another 20% we can get it to do this and this, let’s go.” Our below line buyer’s like, “No, no I only have a budget for this, it could alredy do that.” So I can watch early in the process, who you’ve contacted, and what you said, and that’s good material to coach, as opposed to, “Hey, what’s our next step?” “Well, well John wants a proposal by Friday.” “Okay, let’s go give it to him.” Well, stop, who’s in control of that? We’re just doing what they’re telling us to do.  

 Christopher Smith  25:14 

 Skip Miller  25:15 
That’s a bad thing. So that’s why you get so many maybe’s in the funnel and low forecast accuracies. 

 Christopher Smith  25:19 
Right. I love that, I love that, that’s great advice. The, 

 Skip Miller  25:25 
We had, we had a client implement a CRM system, and they had in their deals, something called L1, L2, L3. Okay, L1 was purely subjective, level one, why do they want to do business with us? “Oh they hate what they have now.” Okay, good. L2. “Well, they’ve got this kind of a problem.” Well that’s good, you know pain point problem. L3, L3 was always numbers. We believe in asking, “What’s the size of the problem?” because all of a sudden the person says you know what I got $30 million problem here. You know, I’ve got a 10% market share problem, you know we committed $50 million to this expecting $50 million in revenue, and we’re probably gonna get $30, so I’m sure $20. If you can get numbers that’s L3, and you can track that in a CRM. Any deal over $100K, you’re not L3 by stage two, what are you doing, what are you doing? You’re just showing up and throwing up. That type of stuff is what managers need to coach to. 

 Christopher Smith  26:20 
Yeah, That’s awesome. That’s awesome. The, I hear this a lot, where one of the questions we ask early on with us is like, why do you want CRM? What do, you know, what’s driving this? And a lot of sales leaders think CRM is going to solve their problems in with sales. What’s your answer to that, or what’s-? 

 Skip Miller  26:47 
Chris, I thought I thought when my twin daughters turned 16 by buying them a car, that was going to solve my problem by driving them around town. Well, enter a whole new set of problems, because their driving habits were interesting. My one daughter, within a year, came home and there was a little dent in the car. And I said, “Alex what’s that?” She goes, “Well Dad, I parked the car at the mall, and as I was driving in the light post moved.” Okay, good, haven’t heard that one before. Wow. Geez light post move, okay.  

 Christopher Smith  27:18 
It jumped. 

 Skip Miller  27:19 
Yeah, yeah jumped, it jumped right in front of me. Yeah. So, you enter a whole new set of problems by not, I talked to somebody the other day they got a 50 sales person organization, and they don’t have CRM, my jaw hit the ground. I’m like, how are you tracking activity levels, how are you going to forecast correctly. I use an abacus, you mean, jeez. So, what we see, different levels that implementation of CRM, of course, but the best ones keep it simple. They first, manual, manual, put together their process, and then automate it. They don’t try to think of an automated system, it’s got to give them process to Dotto. No, no, manually put together what you want, scotch tape it, and then let technology implement what your process is. Don’t expect CRM to be the new process, you’re not using the tool for what it is.  

 Christopher Smith  27:23 

 Skip Miller  28:13 
And that’s got to be a good implementation. Guys, get your, get your leaders together, what do we do in stage one, what do we do in stage two, what do we do in stage three? You know, and not heavy, heavy, just 80/20 it. And then automate that, rather than implement CRM, and we’ll figure out our process later. Jeez, that’s going to give you a whole different set of problems. 

 Christopher Smith  28:34 
Oh yeah, yeah, the worst, not the worst, but one of the worst ones I’ve seen is this, the admin. of the CEO would send out a spreadsheet every Monday, saying “Hey guys, give me your pipeline.” And she’d collect it throughout the week, and then would send out, “Here’s the pipeline” on Friday. Well, it’s already, I mean it’s, it’s worthless. 

 Skip Miller  28:55 
See, I love that because it’s a shell game. So if I’m a sales robot, and week one, and I put account ABC in, and they all fell through, by the next week, I’m just gonna put it out DEF in because no one’s going to ask you about account ABC. It’s like, whoa, what was under that shell. Yeah, there’s so many places to hide as a mediocre or bad sales rep in that process, that test. So if I’m an A player. I know, I was using this thing, I’m not going to put it. As you said earlier, if something like technology is not mutually beneficial, the reps won’t do it.  

 Christopher Smith  29:29 

 Skip Miller  29:29 
The rep’s got to figure out what’s in it for me. And that’s got to be planned before you implement CRM, because if it’s not mutually beneficial, I’ll find a way around it. 

 Christopher Smith  29:38 
Oh exactly, and that’s a big part of it is really finding that that way, that you know if CRM is done right, you’re giving a tool, a really powerful tool to your sales team. You know, it’s not a weight that’s going to drag them down. This is something that’s a tool that’s going to help them drive business and make more money, because bottom line, that’s what they want. They want to make more money, I want to buy a bigger house or have that better car or whatever. 

 Skip Miller  30:02 
Exactly right. Yeah. My wife and I are both pretty good bicyclists, and we bought ourselves pretty cheap bikes to really learn how to do a good job riding, and I’ve rode bikes from a kid. But, but really good road biking, we wanted to figure that out so we bought mediocre bikes, and for a year or two kind of did that, went on you know trips around the world on bikes. And then we bought ourselves good bikes, because we knew what to expect from those bikes.  

 Christopher Smith  30:24 

 Skip Miller  30:24 
Same with CRM, put together a process together that you think in 2021 is really acceptable for you, and automate that. Don’t try to just buy the expensive bike, you’re not gonna be able to use it, you’re going to get frustrated with all the tools. 

 Christopher Smith  30:38 
Oh yeah, you’re gonna throw a whole lot of money at something you think is going to fix all your problems, and, 

 Skip Miller  30:45 
Why do I buy CRM? Why do I buy CRM? My forecast accuracy is terrible, it’s all hook and crook and crystal ball, my sales cycles are too long, and I don’t know where in my sales process I can shorten it. I think if I, you know, close the deals faster by giving them a discount by the end of the month, they’ll shorten the sales cycle, when your real problem’s really stage two, three, and then, “Well, we don’t really conform to a sales process. I mean, yeah, I get it but you know we don’t want stages isn’t really our game.” We’ve got companies who would sell $100 a month, you know, MRR. The sales cycles are 31 days, we’ve got them down to nine, and they use CRM to track that effectively, And we got companies who sell million dollar stuff. So please don’t tell me you don’t you don’t have a process and you don’t have, you know, forecast accuracy issues. That’s what CRM, a good CRM implementation’s going to fix for you and take that 25% asset of a company, and start it making you money, as opposed to being a sinkhole where we just keep throwing, you know, quotas down there and you know only 40% of my sales people are making making their number. Well, that’s what our industry is. Oh stop it. 

 Christopher Smith  31:51 
Right, right, yeah I don’t buy into that, it’s, you know our tagline is, “Objectively better CRM for business,” and that objectively part is, it’s all about metrics around your process, you know if you’re not measuring, like how long are a deal spending in each stage? You know, and tracking that, how are you going to get better? 

 Skip Miller  32:11 
As a sales leader, and I was a VP of sales of a couple of companies, I have a sign on my desk, “If you can’t measure it, why do it?”  

 Christopher Smith  32:18 

 Skip Miller  32:18 
I mean, I want to know where I start and where I win and how I win. I want to know how I can score seven points or 50 points, because I know where to put my assets. I like the 7.1 much better. But if I could take the same energy and get 50 points, I mean, geez. I may not like it that much but five times, six times, ten times better, let’s go. So yeah, so metrics are important, and most companies we see with CRMs don’t have those exit criteria metrics. Oh, I love the weighted average, but since day two it’s 30%, it’s in stage four it’s you know 90%, stop it. That’s a shell game. Alright, if it’s in stage two and all the metrics are following. That’s an 80 percenter, it’s in stage two, and because the customer’s giving getting, just because they took a presentation, they took a demo, they took a proposal doesn’t increase their odds of winning if you’ve been doing all the work. 

 Christopher Smith  33:10 
Yeah, I, that is another one of my, hit on one of my other personal pet peeves. People that are like they, it’s the percentage tied to the stage. I hate that. 

 Skip Miller  33:20 
It’s a shell game, it’s a shell game. 

 Christopher Smith  33:22 
Yeah, that to me is like, guys that that’s not telling me anything. I just- 

 Skip Miller  33:27 
The weighted average. All it’s got to do is weigh you down and get you out of a job that’s all it’s going to do, because you’re taking all the risk. The salesperson said, “Hey, I said it was a 30 percenter. You’re the one who took my total, times that by .3, and counted that as revenue. Why did you do that?” No. Is it coming in or not, I want to know. 

 Christopher Smith  33:46 
Yeah, that’s what should be driving, how engaged is that customer how, you know, in those early stages. That’s where you’re measuring your, the value pipeline. 

 Skip Miller  33:54 
To the point. Yep, yep, yep. Exactly right. 

 Christopher Smith  33:57 
I love that. I love that. So, if people want to get in touch with you, Skip, what’s the best way for them to reach out and connect with you and learn more about M3 Learning? 

 Skip Miller  34:06 
Sure M3 learning stands for Miller and his three kids, M3learning.com, we’ve got a number of books, “ProActive Selling,” “Selling Above and Below the Line,” my newest book just came out called “Outbounding,” which is interesting. You know, a lot of the inbound leads are drying up and sales reps are saying, well I’m gonna have to outbound to get some business, you know 20% of my quota. Well I go, “Well, how’s outbounding average now?” And they go, “Well I sent a guy an email a week or so ago, I’m still waiting to hear back.” And that’s your outbounding? So, I had, I hate writing books, but I had to write the book, because too many people in the last 10 years have been following up on inbound, following inbounds. They think that’s sales, which it is, but following up on an inbound lead and following up on an outbound lead is very different. And no one’s teaching those skill sets,  

 Christopher Smith  34:54 

 Skip Miller  34:54 
So I came up with “Outbounding,” it’s been doing very well, but that’s a skill set that you should also coach to. So that books on Amazon and stuff, but M3Learning.com, or have them just [email protected], send me an email, happy to help. And if you guys want any questions answered or anything else like that, “Skip I had this one question” I’ll pick up the phone, I mean, for me to talk to you for 10, 15 minutes about a question that’s fun. You know, that’s, that’s kind of the enjoyable part of the job. 

 Christopher Smith  35:20 
Oh yeah, yeah I’m the same way with CRM. I tell people, everyone I meet, “You want to talk about CRM? Call me anytime.” 

 Skip Miller  35:26 

 Christopher Smith  35:26 
You want to talk about sales process, call me anytime. I love to talk about that stuff, so. Skip, I love your energy, I absolutely love that you came on the show. It’s, this has been terrific talking with you and getting to meet you finally. So thank you again for, for being on Sales Lead Dog. 

 Skip Miller  35:42 
Well your reputation is so stunning. It’s just far, you know your list of customers, I’ve done some homework on your company and stuff, I mean, you really make sure that people use your stuff, or really use it well or you don’t want to do business with them, so. And that’s, that’s a great reputation to have, so it’s been an honor being on your show. 

Christopher Smith  35:59 
Thank you, Skip. 

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. 


  • “I am on a mission to destroy the term ‘decision-maker.’” (6:02-6:05)
  • “Yeses are great. Nos are great. Maybes will kill you.” (12:06-12:10)


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