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Episode 5: Mary Grothe

B2B Tonight Transcript

Ryan O'Hara:

Hello, people. Welcome to B2B Tonight. Rishi, you look like a man in rough shape right now.

Rishi Mathur:

I can't get my hair together. You know how long this has taken me to put down? This comb doesn't work, nothing works. On top of that, I'm injured.

Ryan O'Hara:

I'm not even talking about the hair, dude. I'm talking about your basketball skills. So, there's been a lot of people online that have been talking since we posted the Sales and Musical video about your dribbling skills and your basketball skills. I think we both know that you don't really have any. In fact, one time Rishi-

Rishi Mathur:

Careful. What, what, what?

Ryan O'Hara:

We were playing basketball once and I remember, he made an amazing layup shot and I was like, "Yeah, but you don't play defense." Then the next play he just swats the ball out of my hand instantly and embarrassed me in front of everybody in the playground. We were playing with eight-year-olds and 11-year-olds, apparently.

Rishi Mathur:

And they all said, "Boo, this man who looks like Zac Efron."

Ryan O'Hara:

Oh, that's bad. I don't look like Zac Efron. So, Rishi, we actually had some people last show ask us if we could do a performance read for you on the show, and I thought it would be pretty cool.

Rishi Mathur:

Who asked?

Ryan O'Hara:

The people, the fans, the watchers of B2B Tonight, they asked us if we could do a performance review for you and do a 90-day review. I thought what would be cooler than doing that on the show? So, we actually filmed, went behind the scenes, and recorded our Zoom where we did our 90-day performance review. Let's see how it went.

Ryan O'Hara:

All right, Rishi. We are doing your 90-day performance review. What is it exactly that you did this past quarter? What were some of your achievements?

Rishi Mathur:

Well, here's the thing, Ryan. It's not about my achievements. It's about who I am as a person and what I accomplished internally. I've grown. I used to be 5'3". Now I'm 5'5". I don't know if you've noticed that. That's growth.

Ryan O'Hara:

You made four e-books this quarter that we wanted people to download as a lead magnet.

Rishi Mathur:

There's two and a half, but yes.

Ryan O'Hara:

No one downloaded them. One of the e-books you wrote was about you playing chess with your dad.

Rishi Mathur:

Right. That's strategy. I'm telling you, if you don't know strategy, stay out of it. Plus, did you know that my dad downloaded the e-book?

Ryan O'Hara:

That's almost a whole month of work that's gone that we paid for.

Rishi Mathur:

I will tell you this. From the lack of work I do around here, I will make up for it in joy and happiness.

Ryan O'Hara:

I don't think that's going to happen. This literally is like the biggest piece of trash I've ever seen for a review. It says here that you got into a screaming match with someone in customer support here. What's up with that?

Rishi Mathur:

That was a yelling competition... you, and then he goes... you back, and it was just fun.

Ryan O'Hara:

They had to go to HR. They were really upset.

Rishi Mathur:

Okay, maybe I misread their tone. I thought we were having fun.

Ryan O'Hara:

Rishi, how is your leg? Didn't you sprain your ankle?

Rishi Mathur:

Yeah, no, it's good.

Ryan O'Hara:

Are you going to be able to collect unemployment with your leg right now, if we were to...

Rishi Mathur:

Wait, am I being let go?

Ryan O'Hara:

Rishi, there's a problem where you get distracted, you don't get a lot of stuff done. You don't have focus on-

Rishi Mathur:

Hello? Hey, what's up, man?

Ryan O'Hara:

Are you serious?

Rishi Mathur:

I'm on the phone. Dude, that's amazing. It's Jake Houston.

Ryan O'Hara:

Jake Houston.

Rishi Mathur:

Yeah. I got you. Anything you need, I got you. I'll see you later, man. Bye.

Ryan O'Hara:

That was Jake Houston? We've been trying to break into that account for a year.

Rishi Mathur:

Yeah, he's my high school buddy.

Ryan O'Hara:

What?

Rishi Mathur:

Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Ryan O'Hara:

So, anyway, Rishi, looking at the review, it seems like we're actually probably good to just do a normal 1% cost of living raise and keep you around.

Rishi Mathur:

Amazing.

Ryan O'Hara:

All righty.

Rishi Mathur:

Look at that.

Ryan O'Hara:

Look at that. Let's set some goals for next quarter.

Rishi Mathur:

Yeah.

Rishi Mathur:

Wait, you recorded that? I thought it was a private conversation between me and you.

Ryan O'Hara:

Nevermind, I'm not even going to do this now. We've got a really cool show today. Rishi, who's our guest today?

Rishi Mathur:

Ooh, our guest today is Mary Grothe. Have you ever heard of her?

Ryan O'Hara:

I have, because if you remember, if we flash back, maybe when we do editing on this we can flashback, we actually made a call out on live and asked Mary to come on the show. This was the video.

Ryan O'Hara:

Hello. I'm Ryan O'Hara. This is Rishi Mathur over here. He might actually be on the other side, and pointing doesn't make any sense, because we're probably only going to show one of us at a time. Mary, we are here live on B2B Tonight. A lot of people are watching it. And we want to ask you to be a guest on here. You were requested by a couple people in chat, and we want to get you on the show. So, we thought it would be cool to ask you on the show live, and then when we post this, we'll put it on LinkedIn and tag you. I've heard a lot of cool things, and we just saw your post that you're working on a book on the BQ method. Kind of makes me want to eat barbecue while learning about the BQ method. I don't know about you, Rishi. Is that how you feel?

Rishi Mathur:

Well, I'm starving now. I'm actually going to hop off to go eat.

Ryan O'Hara:

Nope. No, you're not. Nope. How dare you? How dare you? You will not do that. Stay here, please. Anyway, Mary, if you'd like to be on, I'm going to tag you on this video. All you have to do is DM me on LinkedIn, and we'll set you up to do something sometime in June. Pretty excited about it.

Rishi Mathur:

Fantastic video.

Ryan O'Hara:

I know. It's almost like we stopped for a second, showed the video, and then came back, but we didn't. We're just continuing the recording, and acting like we didn't. Isn't that cool? Hollywood special effects, everybody. So, we ended up getting Mary on, and you people that are watching this asking us to have Mary on the program, we're really excited about it. Before we jump in-

Rishi Mathur:

Why don't you tell the people who don't know her who she is.

Ryan O'Hara:

So, Mary actually worked at Paychex and built an empire there. If you don't know who Paychex is, whew, check the news. They are growing like crazy. They're a billion dollar unicorn. They're a finance company. And she helped them break into mid-market there, and just basically climbed up. And Mary can tell her story when we have her on. We're really excited about this because we're actually in the process of shifting a lot of our strategy toward going toward mid-market, so I'm like a child that's quietly pretending to do stuff for your viewers, but I'm really doing it for myself. I don't know if the whisper came through, but that's how it went. Anyway-

Rishi Mathur:

I heard it.

Ryan O'Hara:

So, let's jump in with Mary. Let's say hi to Mary.

Rishi Mathur:

All right. So, without further delay, I want to introduce our next guest, or our only guest, Mary Grothe, everybody.

Ryan O'Hara:

Hi, Mary. Whoa. How did you get on this Zoom? Who told you about it?

Mary Grothe:

Super weird. I woke up one morning, and I had a notification that these two random guys were publicly calling me out on LinkedIn saying that you heard my name from, I guess, somebody that watched your show and said I should be on, and I can't say no to that.

Ryan O'Hara:

The fans asked for you in chat, actually. That's how it happened. We said, "Who should we have on?" And a bunch of people suggested you. So, shout out to people-

Rishi Mathur:

Yeah, we got a list of just your name from all the people that attended.

Ryan O'Hara:

Yeah. The masses wanted you. So, we promised we'd deliver. I actually think it would be really cool to start with talking to people if they're not familiar with you, Mary, like, who are you? What's your story?

Mary Grothe:

Yeah. I'd love to share it. It's a fun story, and a lot of my audience has heard this before, so let me give you the not-10-minute version, okay? This one, I was 22, I didn't have a college degree, any experience, but I found a job ad in this super weird old thing called a newspaper, but it had an advertisement for a job to go in as an administrative assistant for a Fortune 1000 payroll and HR company. Well, I had grown up in the performing arts, so I had no idea what any of that meant, but I showed up for the interview, they hired me. I did two years as a sales admin, and I happened to be supporting the number one mid-market sales team in the country. So, during that time, I got what felt like an MBA in sales studying underneath that manager and the team, and within two years, I earned a spot on the team, became the number one rep, sold millions, broke records, got to train other reps and managers, and then went off to pursue my entrepreneurial dreams.

Ryan O'Hara:

Look at you now. You're on a show with two people that literally one of us has messy hair and the other one needs a haircut but can't because of a quarantine.

Mary Grothe:

I've really made it.

Rishi Mathur:

This is the peak of everyone's career right here.

Ryan O'Hara:

This is everything everyone wants to do. But honestly, we're super excited to have you on. I've heard really nice things about you, and one of the things that I think I want to focus on for content tonight with people is breaking into mid-market, because you seem to... That was your sweet spot for stuff. When you were an admin, what were some of those things that you were doing for the sales team that helped prep you for breaking into the mid-market?

Mary Grothe:

Well, one, the complexity of it. We were selling a combined technology and service, and there were a lot of moving parts. So, the complexity behind the work that they were doing. I, one, got to manage Salesforce, so I know, I know, you guys are super jealous. I actually got to manage eight people's Salesforce, which means I did all their data entry for them and cleaned up all their outdated tasks and opportunities. But really, I started to learn there are multiple decision makers and influencers and buyers and people on this decision team, and I got to see some of the complexities there.

Mary Grothe:

Additionally, I did get the opportunity to go out into the field with them. I also, once a deal was sold, acted as a liaison between the point person and the customer in our implementation team, and I was exposed to, again, the word complexities. In the mid-market, there are a lot of moving parts in these deals. And so, what it helped me with is my IQ, and that's one of the three components that I think are wicked important to be a number one rep. IQ. I started to learn the terminology inside and out. I started to understand the technology inside and out, the lingo, how the buyers were buying, what their criterion requirements were. But that was a blessing, to be exposed to that for two years before I went into the role.

Ryan O'Hara:

So, navigating these deals, we're actually... I joked with people in the introduction that we're quietly trying to figure out how to sell better in the mid-market, too, and learn some of these things. I think a lot of people don't realize that it's very complicated compared to doing the transactional sale that you might do when you're targeting startups and small businesses. In mid-market, it's not just about selling your solution or your service. It's about showing the institutional impact it'll have on the entire company. How do you do that? What do you do? What's your navigation like? If someone came to you, like one of your clients right now, and said, "Hey, we're trying to figure this out," what do you do? What do you tell them?

Mary Grothe:

Yeah. It's easy to explain this by using a specific example. Is that a good approach? Can I do that? Okay.

Rishi Mathur:

Yeah.

Mary Grothe:

So, I had a prospective client. They had 35 restaurants. They employed nearly 3,000 people. And they also had a property management company. Downtown Denver, beautiful spot. They had a conglomerate of all these restaurants with shared ownership, and they are like the biggest names in restaurants in Downtown Denver. So, very exciting to a salesperson to potentially earn their business, because then I can walk around and say, "Hey, we do payroll for fill-in-the-blank, these great big restaurant names." Well, prospecting started. I always loved going straight to the top. And I had been prospecting their CFO, Matt, for about a year. And Matt did the typical brush-off, and if I did catch him, he, of course, answered his phone, weird, odd, in the middle of a meeting. I'm like, who answers their phone in the middle of a meeting? That is not the truth. But, I built a relationship with him over time, and he was very clear that they had a gaping hole in their head of HR. And as soon as that position was filled, he would be fine making an introduction.

Mary Grothe:

So, time passed, where I was building a relationship with him through a multi-touch prospecting cadence, bringing value to him in conversation. When that role was filled, I saw on LinkedIn that they had a new hire, and I immediately called Matt and said, "Is this the time? I saw that you have a new VP of HR." "Yes." So, I go to meet with the VP of HR. This is a true mid-market deal with a lot of complexities. And the only way that I could've been successful in this sale is by understanding the buyer's buying criteria, and that is rule number one: in the mid-market, they all buy differently. When you sell in transactional or small business or a consumer sale, you see a lot of trends in buying patterns. In the mid-market, holy smokes, they all buy for very unique reasons. Even if you master the day in the life of your buyer and your buyer personas, and you really understand, "Okay, if it's a 1,000-employee company, in manufacturing, and they also have a distribution center, and they have a CFO, then they're most likely experiencing fill-in-the-blank." There are so many nuances even further than that.

Mary Grothe:

So, what I did in the first meeting with Amy is we sat down and I just had her talk, and I asked a lot of really great in depth questions, and I helped her logically start to solve some of her very complex problems. And so, being a complex problem solver and a critical thinker in the mid-market sale is essential to success. And so, I was able to help navigate, but also, very importantly during that time, bringing in emotional intelligence. I emotionally connected with Amy, because people buy emotionally. And so, I aligned with her, with where she was in her stage of her career, her background, honoring her as a high performing VP of HR who's also a wife and a mother, and really loving her for who she was and what she was trying to accomplish.

Mary Grothe:

Then, the two of us navigated the journey together. There were so many people on that buying team. We had department heads. We had restaurant owners. We had chefs. We had front-of-house, back-of-house. We had accounting professionals. We had executive-level people that throughout the three-month sales process, we probably had four or five meetings per month. And through the complexities of navigating that, we got every single person's buying criteria, we custom built the solution, held their hand through it, demoed all of it, and took them to a close.

Rishi Mathur:

So, wait, Mary, quick question. What are some of the questions you ask to figure out their buying criteria?

Mary Grothe:

Yeah. A lot. The kind of questions that you can ask. So, out of the gate, you want to understand the problem that you're solving, and that will get you to some of the criteria. So, one, why are we here? And you don't need to ask the question in that manner, because you may have some background information that's really teeing you up for the conversation, but you've got to gain a perspective of why they're bringing you in at this time, what has changed in their environment where they are finally ready to solve this problem. How long has it been a problem, what have they done in the past to try to address or fix the problem, what worked, what didn't work, who does the problem impact across the organization, internal stakeholders, external stakeholders, what is the magnitude of the problem?

Mary Grothe:

And once you have that and truly can start to identify how much the problem is costing them, then the two of you can start to come to a conclusion on when the problem needs to be solved, and it's really just a temperature check. Let's say the problem is costing them $30,000 a month. Every month they don't do something, are they willing to throw away another $30,000 because this situation is broken? But when you're really digging in at that level to understand personal and professional matters of how the problem is affecting everybody, then the buyer becomes emotional and agrees and aligns and says, "Okay, we need to solve this problem, how do we do that?" And that's when you transition into that solution presentation step of the sales process.

Ryan O'Hara:

So, one of the things that happens is you're obviously selling to a ton of different departments. On this case, it was a restaurant group, so it's probably touching a lot of people and a lot of employees and impacting a lot of stuff. How do you set up a pitch for that? Let's say you got the meeting, you broke in finally, you have all these stakeholders involved. The pitch you do for one person has to fit for all these other people in different departments, or you're going to have to do 90 different pitches to different departments. What's a better approach? Is it better to do these pitches for each person individually? Is it better to show how it works with all the different departments?

Mary Grothe:

Unfortunately, you have to do 90 different pitches to 90 different departments if you want your message to be heard, but there is a very tactful way of doing that and a strategic way of doing that so it doesn't sound like it sounds, like 90 meetings. The situation is this. As human beings, we have a radio station that plays in our head. It's WII-FM. It stands for, what's in it for me? And if you have, let's say... I think at most, in one meeting, I probably had 10 or 12 people sitting around the table. 10 or 12 people, they are all unique, individual human beings with their own set of buying criteria, because the product and service that I sold meant something different to every single one of those, and the salesperson that's able to crack the code in the mid-market and speak to 10 to 12 people uniquely in one meeting without it looking like they're speaking uniquely to 10 to 12 people in one meeting is the rep that wins.

Mary Grothe:

And the way that you do that is by getting one-on-one meeting with them ahead of time. So, before I ever ventured into a solution presentation step, I would do key stakeholder meetings, is what I called them. And if I didn't have those people in a group discovery meeting, then I would say, "Whoever's not able to attend, I do need to meet with them one-on-one," whether that's 15 to 20 minutes, but just to understand what their criteria is. I need their list of requirements. I need to understand what's working well with the current situation and where their area for opportunity is. That way, when we all come together to sit down to watch a demo, I'm able to satisfy every person's need. Nobody said no to that. Yes, it was a lot of extra meetings. I also had one of the highest close rates in the entire company and one of the highest average revenue per sales. So, good things come when you do the extra work on the front end.

Rishi Mathur:

So, by the way, B2B Tonight sponsored by WII-FM, what's in it for me? Oh my God, how great.

Ryan O'Hara:

Rishi, that's your radio station. That's all I was thinking of. That's a great line. So, you're working and navigating these deals, you get into these meetings. Do you change from account to account, or do you have a consistent thing that you knew what worked for Paychex and works for your clients you work with now?

Mary Grothe:

Ask the question again so I understand better.

Ryan O'Hara:

Yeah, so if I work with this restaurant group, and then you have another big account coming in, how different is your pitch for one account versus the other? Is it based on feedback you found in discovery, or is it something more like, "I'm going to show them this way this is how to do it?"

Mary Grothe:

I had a pretty set standard whiteboard that I would do to just help clue people in as to what we were trying to accomplish, and some of the main competitive differentiators, but outside of that, it was very specific. And again, I believe that that's why I won as often as I won, because I had prospects saying things to me like, "You just get us. You just understand. You're really down to earth. You really understand what we're trying to accomplish. I just felt like the other salespeople were just nodding and saying, 'Oh, yeah, yeah, we can do that,' whereas you opened your laptop and you said, 'Let me specifically show you how we accomplish that and solve the problem. Does that work for you? Do we need to come up with a workaround? Do we get creative?'"

Mary Grothe:

Another thing is, when you're really honest and customized with each of these prospects and speaking to them like human beings and not a canned sales pitch presentation, they walk away again, something so important, with that emotional connection that they feel that you are emotionally invested in solving their problems, and that helps them walk away with confidence that their life might be better because you are in it. So, what are you doing to stand apart and be different? A customized pitch or presentation is one of the easiest ways to accomplish that. Even little things like before I did the demo, I would configure this site, so I could custom upload their company name and their logo.

Mary Grothe:

Also, if I knew it was a restaurant, they had more variable work hour employees than a law firm who's all full-time salary. So, I would make sure that my demo account had employees set up that looked like theirs. And I would rename my departments really quick to front of the house, back of house, so when I demoed the solution, it's like, "Whoa, this thing was built for restaurants." Well, no, it really wasn't, but I went in there and I did the customization and configured it that way because it could once you buy it. But when you make things come to life like that, when you are specific like that... and by the way, I built a presentation, my own slide deck, and oh, man, some sales managers and marketing managers are about to fly to Denver and kill me for saying this, but I wanted to win, and the deck that was supplied to us was so generic, and I'm thinking, "This isn't going to resonate with half of my buyers. Why am I going to show this to them?"

Mary Grothe:

So, I just did a little [inaudible 00:20:15] and I made my own, and I used all the prospect's language, it was completely customized. I put their pictures in it. I brought humor into it. It was all about them. They saw their name, their logos, their pictures, their everything up on the big screen when we were all sitting together. When you can customize your presentation, the emotional buy-in that you're going to create from that, people will want to buy from you.

Rishi Mathur:

Quick question. Now, did you guys ask for trials, or did you guys avoid them? Do trials work for the mid-market?

Mary Grothe:

For the product and service I was selling, trials were not allowed. However, we did have month-to-month agreements, and so the client could cancel at any time, and so that's how we would approach it. Often times, they asked for what's referred to as a sandbox version that they could login and play around with before making their purchase decision. I believe the company has that now. Back in yesteryear when I was selling, back then, we didn't have that luxury, even though a couple of our competitors did, so we just had to sell around that. But I think it is really helpful. Look, here's what they're looking for. They're looking for assurance they're not making a bad decision. The buyer is smart today, and there are a lot of technology companies out there especially that are giving those free trials, and I think that's brilliant. The buyer takes themselves through the buying process further and faster than ever before, and reliance upon salespeople to do that heavy lift for them is shifting.

Mary Grothe:

And so, what are you doing to enable your buyer to make the decision to choose you? And proof of concept, that's all they're looking to do. Can you solve their problem? That's it. If you can, and it's a fair price that we can both agree on, you're going to get the sale. So, anything that the company can do to offer that I think is very powerful. I didn't have that luxury, but that's okay.

Ryan O'Hara:

Mary, when you guys... So, you couldn't do trials then, but you probably have clients that you can sell with now that will do trials and stuff. How do you make sure that you're not just throwing the ball in the prospect's court, like on that case? Obviously trials are great because you don't want to close a customer that's a bad fit. That's an important aspect of it. But, how do you something where... What's a rep's engagement when they give a trial, you think, like from the clients you work with today?

Mary Grothe:

Yeah. So, it really just depends, and I'm going to break this down potentially a little bit more granular than you want, but if you look at-

Ryan O'Hara:

We want the deets here, all right? B2B Tonight is subtitled The Deets. That's what we're trying to go for here.

Mary Grothe:

The Deets, brought to you by WII-FM.

Ryan O'Hara:

Yes, yes.

Rishi Mathur:

That's exactly right.

Ryan O'Hara:

Nice. Good recall.

Mary Grothe:

So, if you've got a sales organization that has multiple roles built in it, so you've got an upfront team, a top-of-funnel team, where they are working at... On the buyer's journeys, if you segment the buyer's journey through awareness, consideration stage, and decision stage. Through awareness, they're getting them to engage in the product. If your step to get them between awareness and consideration is a free trial, so if that's part of your top-of-funnel strategy, what we have found is that a lot of corporations loosely manage that. In fact, I have a friend who's out in Texas that took over an organization that had an extremely low conversion rate from free trials to paid, and I know that that's a common problem. And she went in and saw there was no structure around, "What do we do when they sign..." People weren't even getting contacted while they were in the free trial, or if they were, it was some canned email message that automatically goes out three days into the subscription or into the trial. It's not personalized. The sales team is not taking the time.

Mary Grothe:

So, there's two sides of this, and I think there's two sides of this argument with most corporations. One, are you going for volume, or are you going for quality? If you go for volume knowing it's a numbers game and the serious buyers are going to convert, and you're going to get your paid customers, then I've seen this technique be, let's just massively hire and fill out these BDR teams and top-of-funnel teams to get as many free trials as we can, and those that convert, great. But if you're a company who's looking for a very high conversation rate, meaning you want to be lean, you want to be masterful in the approach, you want to see the highest conversion rates in your industry between top-of-funnel to middle-of-funnel to bottom-of-funnel, and you're working the buyer through awareness to consideration to decision step, then you've got to treat these free trials with a lot of love and care.

Mary Grothe:

And it think what it takes is the salesperson who's responsible for that free trial customer to intimately get to know them and understand what problem they're trying to solve. And I'm coming back to that, what problem are you trying to solve? Do you know how many salespeople will run into the sales manager's office, "Oh, I got into their... whatever. Discovery meeting went so well. This is totally going to convert." "Great. What problem are you solving?" "Well, they're just really excited because they love the feature..." "No. What problem are you solving?" "Well, they're super unhappy with their current..." "What problem are you solving?" They can't answer the question. The buyer is emotionally invested in solving their problem. If you are not aligned with them on that, you're really hurting your chances of winning, and winning might be better achieved by chance than you running the show.

Mary Grothe:

So, from a salesperson perspective, you've got to get in on that. You've got to research them, get on LinkedIn, which is like God's gift to salespeople, and research them and understand every facet of them, their organization. Come to conclusions about who they might be and what problems they might have, and then create conversations with them that are powerful, purposeful, meaningful, where you sound like a human being, get in there, solve their problem with them, and make sure you get that conversion to a paid subscription.

Rishi Mathur:

So, what makes a good sales deck in that case? Because you said to customize it, obviously research. Do you put humor? Do you put personal information by yourself? Do you put yourself into things? What would you do to make a great sales deck?

Mary Grothe:

Well, it depends on the buyer. Have either of you studied DISC?

Ryan O'Hara:

Rishi, I'm sure, at Rutgers played a lot of Ultimate Frisbee. That's probably the closest thing. Are you talking about DISC, like DISC personality test?

Mary Grothe:

Yes.

Ryan O'Hara:

Yes, yes.

Rishi Mathur:

Wait, did you not go to a college that played Ultimate Frisbee?

Ryan O'Hara:

No, I just wanted to verbally attack you in front of our legion of people watching this. So, I saw the dig. I like Ultimate Frisbee. I'm pretty good at defense, but it drops... Anyway, it doesn't matter. DISC. It's a personality test that people take. Go ahead. I'll let you go.

Mary Grothe:

Yeah, so you have to know your buyer, and on the DISC scale, if you have a high driver, they don't want their time wasted, they're super high urgency. Most executives are somewhat of a D, a DI, or a DC, and that dominant driver is looking for the bottom line, how do you make our lives better, get to it. They don't need details. They just want to know the answer. What are we going to get by working with you? How does it impact, affect our business? And they may want a little bit of social proof, what other executives like me have you worked with, what outcomes did they receive, just to give them a little bit of certainty, but they don't need to die in statistics and numbers and check all these references, and... okay.

Mary Grothe:

If you have a D, your sales deck is going to be super short, and it's going to be to the point, and you may have a slide of humor and commonality, but quite honestly, the D has a little bit of ego. And so, it's going to be about them. I would not put a picture of myself in a presentation for a D. I would put a picture of them in a celebratory moment, whether it was a work anniversary or ribbon cutting for a new location, or growth of expansion, or an award that they won, or if they were featured in Forbes, or whatever. It would be about them that I would pull in.

Mary Grothe:

If it were an I, who's an influencer, and they're super talkative and chatty, they're more relationship-based. The I and the S are more about relationships. The I, though, has a little ego, they love talking about themselves. Again, they would prefer to see a picture of themselves. I see that finger pointing happening. I would definitely still make it all about the I. With an I, they're big storytellers, so this is where I would love to bring in more of that story, more emotion. The presentation can be a little bit longer. I doesn't really have a great sense for time. They run over in a lot of meetings because they can't stop talking.

Mary Grothe:

The S is a go along to get along. They're a team player. They're friendly. They're all about the team. They're all about the team. It's hard for them to drive a decision forward if they don't know how it's going to impact or affect everybody around them, and they want everybody to be happy as a result of this decision. And so, typically, they're not in a decision maker role. They're more of an end user or an influencer and a great part of that team. Every team needs an Ser, too. They are the glue. But, for a presentation that you've got a few end users or influencers or more on the S side, this is where you can also take advantage of that. Because they care more about the team and other people, they'll care more about you than an I will. You could put pictures of yourself, and they would appreciate some humor, because they don't like to talk. And so, this is good, because you can do a lot of the talking, but they're very relationship-based.

Mary Grothe:

The last one is C. It's all about analytical thinker. Don't even bother putting pictures in the presentation. You put statistics, put numbers, put data, put testimonials, put things that they care about. Put screenshots of technology. These people are very, very data-driven, and in fact, they don't emote, and that's a running joke that I have in the class that I teach on this subject, that Cs don't emote. Funny story, real quick, I was teaching this to a small sales team of 20 people, and I made the comment that Cs don't emote, and there was a C in the class. She was actually a sales engineer who was in the training, and she rose her hand and she said, "Well, funny story. I dated my husband for six months. I was so head over heels for him. I knew I wanted to marry him. And at six months, we almost broke up because he didn't even know if I liked him." Cs don't emote. Cs don't outwardly express emotion. They don't talk a lot. They certainly don't talk with their hands like I am right now.

Mary Grothe:

And so, with the C, it's just really difficult to try to bring relationship and warm and fuzzies. They really don't care. Get to the data. Get to the details. So, now the million-dollar mid-market question is, what if you have one of each in the room? Well, you've got to play to the masses. There's a way that you can put in a little bit that speaks to everybody, but ultimately, you got to know who your main audience is, and that's the person that's going to be signing this. Or, if you know that you have an end user... So, this is why discovery is so important, people, and this is why the mid-market sale is so complex. If, during your discovery, you know you have a CEO and CFO that are dominant drivers, one's a DI, one's a DC, they're super no details, straight to the point... The DC is a little more detail, but they want results, but the person that has the greatest influence is their end user who has worked there for 30 years who will quite if they change systems.

Mary Grothe:

And so, even though this CEO and CFO really are looking to save money, go to a better system, they know that if Susan isn't happy with the technology and what's going to happen, and she doesn't love the company, they're not going to move forward with it. So, you have to uncover those things in discovery because then if I'm in that presentation, I know my CEO and CFO are really there for Susan. And so, then, my love is going to Susan, and that presentation is going to be more tailored to Susan, and the CEO and CFO are probably going to pick up very quickly on what I'm doing and realizing, "Well, that's a really smart salesperson, because she understands that Susan's really calling the shots here."

Ryan O'Hara:

So, one of the things that I... I'll talk about something that I thought was always interesting, and then we can go into this a little bit. Obviously you need to figure out some DISC stuff. There's things you can actually do when you research a prospect to figure out what their personality type might be. A lot of it can be looking at how they write stuff on LinkedIn with their certain profile information. There's things that you might be able to see... You can use tools like the Crystal Knows or one of those guys and look at what they're doing on that end.

Ryan O'Hara:

One interesting part... Of course a whole weed whacker gang of motorcycles just drives by while I'm talking, so now it sounds crazy. I'm not in a bike gang. It's just people driving by. One thing that I actually was looking at and noticing, there's this guy named Bruce Lewolt, that is the CEO of JOYai, and he used to profile criminals for the FBI. He did training for the FBI on how they'd find the Unibomber and stuff, and he started applying some of that logic to looking at LinkedIn profiles to tell what personality someone is. And he might be selling to an engineer, for example. If you're selling to an engineer, you want to think about what they're building. If you're selling to a... That's not titled. That's an archetype, or a personality trait. He might be selling to a politician, which is just someone that wants to please people, and there's different ways that you can do that.

Ryan O'Hara:

Look for these things when you're reading when you're reading about your prospects. Before you get into a meeting with someone, add all those people in LinkedIn, read what they posted, look at where they worked. True story with Bruce. I was at a booth next to him at a conference for a whole week, for three days. It was at the Leadership Conference in Chicago. And on the first day, he told us about this stuff, and my mind was blown. The third day, I came in, he's like, "I'm going to look at your LinkedIn profile and see if I can figure out." He looked at my LinkedIn Profile. He knew when my parents got divorced. He knew how happy I was in a job and when I started to get unhappy in a job. He knew all these things from language on my LinkedIn about how I wrote about stuff. So, if you look and research the people that you're getting into meetings with, you're going to be in a much better place to tailor that presentation toward them.

Ryan O'Hara:

So, the DISC part's part of it. What else makes a good sales presentation when you're just like... Obviously you don't want to just slide deck. You want to try and make it a little bit more interactive and stuff. How do you wedge that in when you're selling to the mid-market?

Mary Grothe:

Always list the prospect's words up on the screen. One of the techniques that I use during discovery is writing down quotes from people. And then-

Ryan O'Hara:

Wait, can you repeat that tip? That's awesome. Say that again. That's a great-

Mary Grothe:

I put the prospect's words on the screen. So, what they tell me during discovery, I write it down with quotations and put who said it, and then it ends up... So, I had one executive that told me they wanted to be voted into a best company to work for in Orange County. They said, "Our goal with this entire project is to create employee engagement and have a culture where we are voted as one of the top companies to work for," something like that. One of the best workplaces. And that was important to him. It was one tiny little comment. It took up 1/100th of our time together in the sales process. But when we came back to do the sales presentation, that was on the front page. And it had their company voted as top company to work for for 2020.

Mary Grothe:

The reason why that's so powerful is, the buyer, when they can start to visualize, that's when you know they're emotionally connecting to an outcome that you might be able to provide them. But, I would also, when I would get to list of requirements, I would put in people's quotes. Here's what happens. Just as when you say someone's name, when I say Ryan, you perk up, and it's emotional to you because it's your name and it connections and it feels important. Just like when you say someone's title, they're like, "Oh, CEO. Well, I'm a CEO." And there's a lot behind being a CEO, and a lot of accomplishments and ego and whatnot that go behind that, and it's a prideful thing, like I just heard that. When they see that you took the time to listen to them to the extent that you wrote down what they said verbatim and it shows up in your problem statements of the problem that you're going to solve, the emotional connection that's created also, here's what happens.

Mary Grothe:

When you put up a generic slide with bullet points that your marketing department, and this is not a negative thing with marketing, because we create these for our clients too, there's messaging that should be set standard across the different verticals or types of companies, the different ICPs and personas that you serve, and it should be there. But the salesperson needs to take it upon themselves to edit the line items. You can leave some of the canned pieces in there if they're important and relevant and will resonate with the buyer, but you need to add in line items that the prospect is going to go, "Oh my gosh, we need to do this. They just get us. They understand." When they see their words on the screen, the emotional connection will be unlike anything else.

Ryan O'Hara:

Mary, do you also... So, you said you can use some of the stock stuff you might have. Maybe one way to do that, if you're listening to this, is when you're putting together a deck for someone, maybe you have one slide that's what you hear from other customers in the other industry, and then one that's just... Like, this is what we normally hear from people that are like you, and then the next slide is like, this is what I heard literally from people here that work here. Maybe it's not a bad way to do it, right?

Mary Grothe:

It's not. You can even reverse those and say, "Here's what we heard from your team here. I want to normalize this a little bit for you. We've worked with hundreds of companies in your industry. Here's what a couple of those companies have said. As you can see, there's a lot of similarities to your current challenges. And here's how we solved it for them," giving social proof and validation, "and here's how we anticipate solving it for you," and then being very specific by line item.

Rishi Mathur:

Interesting. So, quick question. How do you know when you're ready to sell to the mid-market?

Ryan O'Hara:

Existential question.

Mary Grothe:

Everybody's going to be different with their own internal cues of what they want in a sales role. The mid-market sale is not for everybody. I like complexity. I'm one of those people that if I don't have enough chaos in my life and complexity, I go create chaos. I can't be quiet and calm and sit around and take vacations and stop working and put my feet up. I'm not wired that way. And so, I need to be in a type of sales role that will keep me on my feet and be complex and make me work hard. If I'm not fulfilled by challenging work, then I go find other work to do. Not everybody is that way. For goodness sakes, there are brilliant salespeople out there that are masterful in their transactional sale, and that is a gift to them because they are wired that way, and they are wonderful that way. And they should be in that profession and stay that course. For what I would say is, if you're feeling like you're not challenge enough, if you're feeling like you want to sell bigger ticket deals, if you're feeling like your current sales role, you're getting bored, it's unfulfilling, you have more horsepower, you want to go tackle something bigger, I think the mid-market sale might be for you.

Mary Grothe:

Here's what I love about the mid-market. It so beautifully fits between small business transactional and then monster elephant enterprise. It's still big and complex, and depending on the product and service set that you're selling, you might get great ancillary attachment and actually sell some pretty decent-sized deals, but there's good movement in the mid-market. Other things I like about the mid-market, is you have a lot of acquisitions, you have a lot of people that are growing, you have movement with the companies, and you also have a lot of executives that will change jobs every 18 to 36 months. You do right by them one time, they're going to take you with them. And so, the mid-market is really the gift that keeps on giving when you start building those relationships. But you've got to be cut out for this. You want to be challenged in your sales role, a mid-market might be a better fit for you.

Ryan O'Hara:

So, do you come into contact with people that come to you and say, "Mary, please help me sell to mid-market?" I don't know why they have that accent, but they do. Whatever it is. They come to you and say, "Hey, help me sell to mid-market." Do you ever look at people and you're like, "I don't really know if you fit there"? Is that something that ever comes up, where you're like, "I'm not sure if..." Or is it more... Is targeting mid-market a go-to-market strategy, or is it more of something that you have the right product and it fits mid-market, or you can make any product fit into the mid-market? I'm sorry, that was a complex question. Do you want me to rephrase that?

Mary Grothe:

So, now Mary will answer Ryan's eight questions in one. First, I think the accent was Italian, and I cannot reciprocate because I have not watched enough of The Godfather, so I don't have enough hours underneath me to do that well. Number two... I already forgot what numbers two through seven were.

Rishi Mathur:

Mary, I think that was a Scottish accent from Ryan.

Mary Grothe:

Oh, perfect. Even better.

Ryan O'Hara:

Listen to the debate. Listen to the debate happening here. This is what B2B Tonight is about.

Mary Grothe:

I don't think that was Scottish. Are you serious?

Rishi Mathur:

I've seen Shrek many times.

Ryan O'Hara:

I don't know what it was, but let me rephrase it to be easier. Is it something where if you're a company, should you be like, "Yeah, I should go after mid-market," or is it something where it's like, not everyone should go after mid-market? I'm talking as a company. If I'm somebody listening to this and I'm a VP of sales and I'm like, "Man, maybe we should be going after mid-market more," is it for everybody or some products don't fit?

Mary Grothe:

Oh my gosh. Some products don't fit. I have had so many CEOs and VPs of sales come to us and say, "We've really mastered small business, and now we want to go a little up market." And I'm like, "Great, so what have you done to advance or change your product and service set to meet the needs of the mid-market?" Silence. Crickets. "And what development are you bringing forth with your sales team to advance their skills to be mid-market sellers?" Silence. Crickets. "What's your recruiting strategy and roadmap when you determine that from a talent and development standpoint the DNA of your current salespeople, they are wired to be masterful in small business transactional sales, and they don't have what it takes to be a mid-market seller, what is your recruiting roadmap?" Silence and crickets.

Mary Grothe:

Just because you've proven yourself in one market... Same with enterprise. Do you know how many enterprise players there are out there that have mastered enterprise, and then they try to come down market and sell into the mid-market, and it's square peg, round hole. Their systems aren't priced correctly for mid-market. They're too configurable. They're too customizable. Mid-market can't afford to employ a full-time person that needs to serve on the team to be that technologies administrator to avoid $300 an hour service calls or technology implementation calls and whatnot. Sometimes you just need to stay in the market that you're in. What I see being done very well is when somebody wants to transfer into a different market segment, is to come up with a new offering and a new team, because it really is a different skillset to sell small business, mid-market, and enterprise.

Ryan O'Hara:

Yeah. I think it's actually... It's a good point. I do want to give you a chance... So, you're kind of coming up with your own method for mid-market that you call the BQ method, right? Is that what you're calling it?

Mary Grothe:

Yes, and it's all about the behavioral quotient.

Ryan O'Hara:

All right. Give us the skinny. I know some of this stuff you talked about earlier, probably crumbs of that, if it's a cookie crumb for that. But it's all about trying to do stuff that's tailored toward being able to succeed in the mid-market, right?

Mary Grothe:

Yeah. Here's how it came about. When I was selling nearly a million a year and breaking records, the VP of sales of that $300 million division said, "How do we replicate this?" I said, "I don't know." I was so young. I had no idea what I was even doing. So, what we decided, let's start by mapping out the process. So, we wrote out the process, wrote a great playbook, and that helps some people, if they're able to adopt it and do things a little bit different. But then we noticed that there was still a pretty big gap, so he said, "Let me have you go out and start training." And so, he flew me across the country. It was an amazing time in my life to travel at a young age, and I got to train. So, physically train. So, not just have someone read a playbook. So, we were training, we were doing role playing, getting more situational. We saw a small lift from that, but we still had a gap. And he said, "Okay, I'm going to just have the new hires fly to Denver after they do their two weeks of corporate, and we're going to put them out in the field with you."

Mary Grothe:

Two to three days in the field with Mary, most of these people couldn't hang through the first day. They were exhausted. And really, the construct of my day was, I was waking up between 4:45 and 5:00 a.m., I was in the office by 6:00. I did my administrative work between 6:00 a.m. and 7:00 a.m.. I did my telemarketing between 7:00 to about 8:30, got all my executives first, and then some of my VP director levels between 8:00 and 8:30 when they first came into the office, and then I headed out for my first meeting since I was outside sales. So, I ran my meetings at 9:00, 11:00, 1:00, and 3:00, and in between my meetings, I brought my telemarketing list. So, I would do calls from my car, or I would do cold drop-ins for referral partners or prospects or clients that were in the area where I was. I came back to the office at about 4:30 when most other people were leaving for the day, and I knocked out all of my administrative to-dos between 4:30 till about 6:30 p.m., maybe 7:00 p.m. Everything was done at the end of every day. All emails responded to, all voicemails, all proposals sent out, all paperwork was done, and the CRM was updated. Every day, I started fresh.

Mary Grothe:

Well, that's BQ. That's the behavioral quotient. Those are all the actions. But it's not just about the actions alone, because I felt like I had endless energy to do it. So, what happened was, they're flying these reps out. Reps can't hang. I start to realize there's something a little bit different about me. But back then, I couldn't really put my finger on what it was. When I started Sales BQ two and a half years ago, I wanted to bring something new to the market. I didn't want to just regurgitate old methodologies and foundational principles that have lived in the world of sales training forever. I wanted to really dissect, what was it that I was doing so differently?

Mary Grothe:

And then, I was able to come up with the BQ Wheel. And this is the BQ Wheel. At the very top, if you can imagine this, is how you think. It's your mental mindset. I realized that a big piece of my success was my mental preparedness and how I dissected information. When a piece of information enters my mind, we as human beings, we create a story around it, and it's either positive or negative. So, that's the second piece of the wheel, is how you feel. It's your emotional state. How you think is going to trigger your emotional state. It's positive, negative, neutral, but positive emotions give you that passion and that energy and that excitement that fuel your actions, and that's the third part, how you act. So, how you think, fuels how you feel, and then that fuels how you act, which dictates your performance, and that's the fourth part of the wheel. And that's the behavioral quotient.

Mary Grothe:

So, when you think about every day that you go to tackle your sales career, which by the way, sales is hard, but it's also super rewarding when you're really committed to doing a great job. So, it's all starting with the data and the facts and information that enter your mind every day all throughout the day. What do you do with that information? Do you have a positive response, a negative response, neutral? You want to feel positive emotion and encouragement and excitement and energy, and then your actions, you're going to be on it. You're going to make that 51st call, even though your manager's only asking for 50. You're going to print off your call list in your car and do calls rather than surf the internet or go to a Starbucks. You're just going to put forth the extra action, and hello, seed planting. The seeds you plant today reap your harvest, and that's your performance. You're doing all that work. You're going to get results.

Rishi Mathur:

You're mute. You're mute right now.

Ryan O'Hara:

I wasn't saying anything anyway. I was dubbing your... Oh, damn, that's embarrassing. Well, now that I'm not muted, we're getting up to time, Mary, on stuff. We've got to wrap up in a second. One thing that was kind of cool that made us actually want to have you on here is you're writing a book, and we want to make sure that... It's untitled, but it's going to be tackling a lot of the stuff that you talked about here. If you want to add Mary on LinkedIn, it's probably a good spot to find out when the book's coming out, right?

Mary Grothe:

Yeah. It's going to be a great spot. I've been really fortunate to get aligned with the author, Jeffrey Gitomer, and he is mentoring me through the process, and it's brilliant. I absolutely adore him. I have found a new friend, and he's guiding me through it. So, I think I have a title, but I got to keep that quiet for now, and I'm-

Ryan O'Hara:

If you actually had a book, this is a placeholder, Outwitting Bears, but if you actually had a book here, I think it would probably be a similar title to this. This would attract the sales audience. Just so you know, as a marketing expert, that's my opinion.

Mary Grothe:

That's perfect. That's perfect. I'm really open to some title suggestions, maybe not from you, but some other people.

Rishi Mathur:

WII-FM is my suggestion.

Mary Grothe:

WII-FM.

Rishi Mathur:

I don't understand why we don't just cover our papers with that, WII-FM.

Ryan O'Hara:

You've got to make a playlist on Spotify, just broadcast that out to people, and call it that. That's such a good name.

Mary Grothe:

Yeah. You said it, though, follow me on LinkedIn. Let's connect. I only have like 16,000-ish followers, so I still have room before LinkedIn blocks me from accepting people. So, get in early while it's hot. But I will be posting a lot about the journey of writing this book, and then I'll make sure that you get on for the pre-sale, so that when it launches, we get a lot of press.

Rishi Mathur:

To be honest, Mary, if you over-exceed the amount of followers you want, just dump some to me. I'll make sure to take care of them, and you can reopen again.

Ryan O'Hara:

Rishi, you can't even take care of yourself.

Mary Grothe:

Amazing.

Ryan O'Hara:

You aren't going to take care of those followers.

Rishi Mathur:

Okay. We will take care of those followers as a team.

Ryan O'Hara:

Mary, you've been great. Thank you. And if anyone has any questions for Mary, we'll do a post on the LeadIQ LinkedIn page and tag her, and you can ask questions in the comments, and jump in and ask her some stuff that's following up with this. Thank you very much for being on, Mary. Rishi, I'm thrilled that we're leaving a meeting and I don't see you anymore. This is so exciting. Thank you very much, Mary. You've been great.

Mary Grothe:

Thank you.

Ryan O'Hara:

Take it easy.

Rishi Mathur:

Take care.