AJ O'Connell Posts

Pipedrive’s Big Sales Interview: Richard Harris

Pipedrive's Big Sales Interview: Richard Harris

This is the final part of our series: Pipedrive’s Big Sales Interview. If you haven’t already, you can read part three, part two, or part one

Richard Harris was born to sell.

When he was growing up, both his parents were salespeople: his father sold insurance, and his mother sold local advertising for cable news affiliates. Harris began his own sales career at the age of 11, buying Jolly Ranchers from a high schooler, marking them up and selling the candy to his classmates.

Now a sales trainer and consultant, Harris has moved far beyond Jolly Ranchers, but he still loves sales the way he did when he was turning that first profit in middle school. He thrives on the human interaction that comes with selling.

“Sales is the ultimate human relationship,” he says. “You go through every emotion: excitement, joy, anger, frustration, you’re pissed off, you’re thrilled. It gives you every single emotion. It covers all of them.”

Harris is the latest subject of Pipedrive’s Big Sales Interview, a series of in-depth discussions with thought leaders in the sales industry. The Big Sales Interview is a far-ranging conversation that takes readers beyond each thought leader’s latest book or sales philosophy; and even beyond sales. We ask each leader about their personal history in the sales industry, the mistakes they’ve made, and their favorite sales books.

Harris had a lot to say about respect and honesty. We talked about why reps must earn the right to ask their prospects questions and how to use a respect contract to protect both prospect and rep. We also talked about the tension that exists between the sales leaders of Generation X and their millennial reps, and how to mitigate those problems. (more…)

Pipedrive’s Big Sales Interview: Max Altschuler

Big Sales Interview Max AltschulerThis is part three of our four part series: Pipedrive’s Big Sales Interview. Read part two and part one

Max Altschuler, the founder of Sales Hacker, is literally writing the book on millennials in the sales workforce. His newest book Career Hacking for Millennials is due out next March.

Altschuler, whose first book, Hacking Sales: The Playbook for Building a High-Velocity Sales Machine, was published in 2015, is a millennial himself. He bears many of the hallmarks of that generation’s workforce: he’s a serial entrepreneur, he’s not afraid to leave a job when he’s done with it, and he’s driven by his passions (a portion of the proceeds from Hacking Sales support Muttville Senior Dog Rescue).

So it’s no surprise that Altschuler, the latest subject of Pipedrive’s Big Sales Interview, has a lot to say about his generation, and other generations’ misconceptions about millennials.

The Big Sales Interview is an in-depth discussion with a thought leader in the sales industry. These conversations go beyond each thought leader’s latest book or sales philosophy. Altschuler spoke to us about his personal history in sales and entrepreneurship, the lessons he’s learned as an entrepreneur, and the ways sales organizations can keep their millennial workers happy and productive.


Pipedrive’s Big Sales Interview: Mark Hunter

Mark Hunter Big Sales InterviewThis is part two of our four part series: Pipedrive’s Big Sales Interview. Read part one

Mark Hunter is more than a sales trainer; he is a sales evangelist.

Hunter, known in the sales training world as The Sales Hunter, truly loves selling. He gives high-energy talks about connecting with customers, speaks lovingly of prospecting, and every week releases short videos intended to help struggling salespeople become top performers.  Selling at a discount is anathema to him. Hunter believes that all salespeople can close deals at full price — if they are passionate about the relationships that they create with their prospects and serving the needs of their customers. (more…)

Pipedrive’s Big Sales Interview: Andrea Waltz

“Yes” may be the word that all salespeople want to hear, but Andrea Waltz knows that to a salesperson, the word “no” is just as important, maybe even more so. She is one half of the two-person team behind the best-selling sales book Go for No!, which encourages salespeople to push for a “no” rather than avoiding it.

Waltz —  who got her start at LensCrafters and who now runs her business Courage Crafters with her partner, husband, and co-author Richard Fenton — has spent years training sales departments at some of the U.S.’s largest companies to chase “nos” in order to get more “yeses.”


What Will Matter In Sales In 2017? 8 Sales Experts Weigh In

Pipedrive end of year wrap up: Sales in 2017

Nothing beats a good, old-fashioned end of year sales wrap-up.

And today, Pipedrive is honored to bring together eight renowned sales leaders and to share their insights on the state of the sales industry with our customers and friends. We asked each expert what they thought was most notable in the wonderful world of sales in 2016 and what they expect to see more of in 2017.

The consensus? Despite the proliferation of technology aimed at helping salespeople do their jobs, more and more sales organizations are returning to the building blocks of sales:

  1. Conversations with prospects
  2. Building long-term relationships with customers
  3. Managers coaching sales reps in person

That doesn’t mean sales technology will be abandoned in 2017. Many of the experts we spoke with hoped to see more technology used in sales next year, including:

  1. Social selling
  2. Sales enablement
  3. Artificial intelligence (AI)
  4. SMS text messages

Whatever the technology, our experts caution that even the best sales tech must be backed by a solid sales strategy and can never be used to replace building good relationships between reps and prospects.

This is good news for salespeople (who won’t be replaced by robots) and for customers (who likely prefer talking to a person rather than an AI assistant). It’s also potentially good news for sales organizations, as our experts predict organizations that prioritize communication will be successful.

But it may not be as great for the creators of sales tech, who face increasing competition in an evolving and crowded marketplace.

Read on to see what the experts have to say about the sales industry in 2016, and what we can expect to see in sales in 2017. (more…)