Wesleyne Greer and her team at Transformed Sales offers sales leaders the skills to create high-performing teams. Her sales leadership coaching system offers coaching strategies that improve sales team performance, mentors developing sellers, and offers ongoing best-practice reinforcement. Wesleyne and her team helps sales leaders lead and develop teams which excel in the industry to cultivate long-term, mutually beneficial business relationships.
In addition, Transformed Sales management training improves sales leaders’ capability of holding productive conversations with internal sales team members, which creates a collaborative, dynamic environment in which sellers feel supported. In improving coaching efficiency with internal sales team players and leveraging cutting-edge sales technology, Transformed Sales helps businesses develop and build the culture needed to generate high-performing teams.
In this episode
Wesleyne Greer of Transformed Sales argues that hiring the person with the best sales skills will always win out over the sales person who has the most industry experience. It's easier to learn a new product than it is to learn how to sell. Wesleyne observes that a great salesperson can't overcome a poor product but you can't save a poor salesperson with a great product either. Wesleyne offers a 3 step solution to finding the right salespeople for your company. Listen to the end for a special gift she's offering our listeners.
A glimpse of what you'll hear
01:43 Businesses are making the mistake of prioritizing industry experience over sales expertise
03:19 Despite promises, it's rare when a salesperson can bring their book of business with them to their new employer
04:07 Win by teaching your product to a strong salesperson
05:20 A great salesforce cannot overcome a mediocre product. And a mediocre salesforce can fall short of the potential of a great product.
6:44 Strong sales skills will outperform industry knowledge every day
10:24 The 3 steps you must follow to hire the right salespeople
12:50 Learn about Wesleyne. Email Wesleyne at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Taz Sadhukhan 0:04
Welcome to the Best Kept Secret videocast and podcast rom centricity. If you're a B2B service professional, use our five step process to go from the grind of chasing every sale. to keeping your pipeline full with prospects knocking on your door to buy from you. We give you the freedom of time and a life outside of your business. Each episode features an executive from a B2B services company sharing their provocative perspective on an opportunity that many of their clients are missing out on. It's how we teach our clients to get executive decision makers to buy without being salesy or spammy. Here's our host, the co founder and CEO of Centricity, Jay Kingley.
Jay Kingley 0:43
I'm Jay Kingley, co founder and CEO of Centricity and host of the Best Kept Secret podcast. I am so pleased today to welcome one of the best people that I know in the sales arena, Wesleyne Greer. Wesleyne, thanks for coming on today.
Wesleyne Greer 0:59
Thanks so much for having me.
Jay Kingley 1:01
Perfect. So Wesleyne is the founder and CEO of Transformed Sales, where she coaches and consults to transform underperforming sales managers into confident sales leaders with an objective to get more repeatable sales. I think that's something we could all align on. And she is based in Houston, Texas. So Wesleyne, let me get right to it, you know, one of the big issues that everybody is having in this economy, but I think it's a particular challenge to those in sales leadership positions, is hiring and recruiting. And when you look at that issue, what are you seeing that so many sales managers are getting wrong?
Wesleyne Greer 1:45
So many sales managers are so focused on having somebody who has industry experience that they completely forget about the need for sales skills, and they think that that person that has industry experience, they're an I like to call them Industry Insider, they were going to are going to come and bring their book of business with them. But what really happens is they bring all their baggage, all of their bad habits, all of the things that they did at their previous company, and they're so unwilling to change. So when you as a company instituted a new process or system, they don't follow along. And you as a business owner, as a sales manager will find that that book of business that was promised to you, it doesn't exist. And it's really not that good. Because the business doesn't follow them. They didn't actually love the salesperson, they just liked the company or the product that they sold.
Jay Kingley 2:43
You know, as seen earlier in my career, I was a partner in a large consulting firm, and I had a great client base, people that would always pick up the phone and talk to me whenever I called. And then along with a colleague, we went off into the startup, which was focused on selling to those same executives. And I was shocked at the change between how they used to pick up the phone when I was with Company X. And now that I was with a new company, they really couldn't be bothered. And what an eye opening experience and you find that that is more common than not common?
Wesleyne Greer 3:24
Absolutely. That happens more often than not just because, again, yes, you do build the rapport and the relationship. But once a company is embedded, and they're doing business, they're in the purchasing system, they've been with that company for five or 10 years, the cost of change is so high that they're like, Yeah, I liked you. Let's go play golf. But that's it, I'm not gonna give you any business.
Jay Kingley 3:48
Right to true to true. So when you're bringing on new people, of course, you know, your point is, not only aren't you bringing on necessarily the book of business they used to have, you're also hiring their habits, some of which might be good, some of which not so good. So given the challenges, how should a sales manager be thinking about the hiring process.
Wesleyne Greer 4:14
So if your product is really as good as you claim it to be, if it's as good as you tell all of the customers and everyone out there, then you should be able to teach that product knowledge to a strong sales person, hire somebody who has strong sales skills, sales DNA, not the industry knowledge, because again, you can teach them that you built this product, you know, this product, so you should be able to teach them everything they need to know about the technical aspects of the product, but those strong sales skills that sales DNA, that's something that is very, very hard to teach.
Jay Kingley 4:52
So I think we're seeing you bring up another excellent point that I think is often overlooked by not so much the sales executive, but the people that are running the company like the CEO, which is, I have got the mediocre product and service. So rather than I just hire great salespeople, and they'll convince everybody to buy what is truly mediocre. So give me a little bit more on that challenge. And is that a reasonable expectation for a CEO have?
Wesleyne Greer 5:29
So, you know, you're gonna open up a whole another can of worms here today. Because if you really do have a mediocre product, and a lot of times what happens is you have these made, it's more so than mediocre salespeople that can't sell your product, right? And so what happens is, instead of saying, hey, let's get better salespeople, you go and start reengineering or retooling or redoing the product, and you don't really realize that the salesperson is the one that's mediocre. They're not picking up the phone and calling people they're not qualifying, right? They're not I mean, they're not doing so many things. And again, as a CEO, you think that let's go re engineer a product, let's go hire more salespeople. But no, the salespeople that you have, you need to upskill them and up level them because you've already invested something in them. And so to go and rehire and add more people to the salesforce, the cost of that is much, much more than just getting the people that you have and leveling them all up.
Jay Kingley 6:31
Outstanding. So that sort of leads to I think, what the next obvious question is, at least for me, which is if we do what you're saying, and you bring in great salespeople, not necessarily people that have sold in your particular industry for vertical, what benefits from making that shift in thinking, do you find that companies are able to achieve?
Wesleyne Greer 6:54
So I actually want to start with a story here, I worked with a company and at that company, we hired two salespeople at the same time, we hired an industry insider, and then we hired somebody who literally came from insurance sales, right. And if you know anything about insurance sales, you know that they're typically 100% commission. So the sales manager I was working with, he thought that the industry insider with 10 years of experience was going to outperform the insurance sales rep. But what we found was the insurance sale rep sales rep had stronger sales DNA, and he was hungry, and he knew how to go prospect new for new business. So within six months, that person was at the top of the sales leaderboard, because again, they had strong sales skills. So someone who has strong sales skills will outperform that veteran, that industry insider any single day, because a strong sales skills are do a few things for you. They like me to hunt for business, that you know how to nurture a relationship, you know how to handle objections, and you know how to close where as the industry insider in the veteran, all they know how to do really is build relationships. That's all they know how to do. They know how to work on their charm, they know how to say, Okay, let's go hunting, or let's go to dinner, but they really don't know how to sell. And that's the problem they don't know how to sell.
Jay Kingley 8:17
And I think in today's age, executives are so busy on the client side, that to go in and say, Hey, let's just build a relationship. And then we can talk about adding value later, you have to really lead with the value you can bring to your customers.
Wesleyne Greer 8:37
Absolutely, you start there. Another little scenario I like to use is if you're selling based on relationship, think about your cousin or your friend that's selling the multi level marketing stuff. You love them, right? They're your friends, they're your family. So of course you love that relationship. But when they ask you to buy, you say no thank you with a smile, right? Whereas the person who maybe you don't like them, but they come to you, and they say, Hey, you can buy this Tesla or this expensive car for $10,000. And they tell you all the reasons why you're going to be like, I don't care if I like you're not, here's $10,000 Give me the car done. Right. And that's the difference between strong sales skills and relationship selling.
Jay Kingley 9:25
You raise such a great point. That's such a misconception out there, which is we're always hearing that sales is based on know like and trust. And yes, I have to know you. Yes, I have to trust you. But like you, that depends on whether we want to hang out with you or not, has nothing to do with doing business. Instead, I want to understand what is the value proposition? How does it help me achieve my objectives? And do I trust you and your organization to deliver? Right? Okay, we'll have dinner if I don't, I'll say Thanks for helping all the best. Very, very insightful there, Wesleyne. Alright, so you've made, I think, an incredibly compelling case that you need to really shift your thinking on how any sales manager needs to hire the salespeople underneath, go away from the experience in a particular vertical or a particular client at target market. And instead, look for people who really have that skills and knowledge. So that's awesome. But then I'm sitting here saying, Well, how do I do that? So how would you tell a prospective client Wesleyne? What steps do they need to take?
Wesleyne Greer 10:40
So I'm gonna turn everything that you know about hiring salespeople, I'm just gonna turn it completely upside down. So the first thing that I'm going to tell you is, don't look at the resumes. So as soon as people apply, what we want to do is we want to look at their resume. So we want to say, Oh, they've done this, or they've done that, or they have this experience, don't do that, what you should do is start with a sales specific assessment. So every single person that applies for that position, you send them an assessment, don't even look at their resume, send them the assessment, and with a sale specific assessment that gives you the person sales DNA, that it will tell you, this person is good, they have the sales DNA, then you look at their resume. And again, when we're using assessments, they shouldn't be behavioral based. They shouldn't be personality based, because again, behaviors, personalities, those things, don't equivocate to sales. Just because you're a dominant person doesn't mean that you're going to be able to go out there and ask questions and knock down doors. So again, number one is a sales specific assessment and give it to everyone. And then use that assessment to determine whose resume you'll look at. And then when you do bring those people into interview, make them present something to you. Don't make them present anything about your company, they don't know anything about your company. Ask them to prepare a five minute presentation on a topic they are passionate about. And you will find out so much in that five to seven minutes that they're presenting, you'll see how tenacious they are. You'll see what they're passionate about. You'll see their preparation skills, their delivery skills, because again, those are the things that are important in sales, being able to present to a roomful of people that you don't know about something that you're passionate about. So I would say those are the three things that are important to find that top notch, salesperson.
Jay Kingley 12:29
Wow, those are some real pearls of wisdom that we would all be well advised to adopt Wesleyne, I want to shift gears a little bit. And I think everyone wants to know, who are you? And what is your story. So let me start with in addition to hiring, and I know that you're, you know, you work with sales managers, turning them into sales leaders, you've got a particular focus in STEM, science, technology, engineering, manufacturing, and I get that right. Yeah, okay. Yeah. But tell me, what are the pain points? What are the issues that you tend to help sales leaders in the STEM verticals?
Wesleyne Greer 13:11
So one of the biggest issues that I help them with is one they're not hitting quota, right. And so when you're not hitting quota, there are so many different things that you that could be the problem. It could be hiring, which we talked all about. But also it's your sales team, building your sales team up. So I work with sales leaders and business owners, and we essentially take everybody on your team. And we allow them, help them empower them to achieve their quota every single month. And so we work through the seven step sales leadership blueprint to uplevel everyone on the team. And along with that sales leadership blueprint, I'm working with the manager, right, because an underperforming sales team is a direct reflection of underperforming sales manager. So once the sales manager realizes that at least 50% of their time should be spent coaching the people on their team and not in the weeds. That's how you build an organization that you're hitting your revenue targets each and every month. And then also, since I am a chemist by trade, I have a very process oriented brain. And so because of that I work with a lot of companies on their sales process. And so what a sales process is, it is an actionable thing. And in that it is literally a framework, a roadmap for that superstar salesperson that we just hired. So they actually know how to perform, how to come in and get to the top 50% of the leaderboard in the first six months.
Jay Kingley 14:47
That is awesome. I just want to say one of the reasons that I've always liked Wesleyne is our background as a chemist, because I'm an old chemical engineer, so I couldn't quite get into the chemistry to the Incredible level that a chemist does, but just enough that I could work with them and try to translate what they did in to a real manufacturing process. So yay better things through better living, as my old employer used to say, okay, Wesleyne, you've really impressed. But I want to get a little bit better idea. There are a lot of people out there that do sales, coaching, sales training, what distinguishes you from all the rest?
Wesleyne Greer 15:30
One thing that I really like to hang my hat on is the fact that I have worked as a chemist in the lab. At work as an individual contributor, I was at salesperson who was sent to Germany for two weeks to train on product knowledge, and then sent home and said, Go sell. What do you mean go sell? And literally, within my first year of sales, when I was a baby sales reps, what I call myself, I turned the territory that only produced $50,000 into a half a million dollar generating territory with no tools with nothing. And I went all the way up to becoming an international sales manager, where I was able to help equip everyone on my team to really hit quota. So the thing that really distinguishes me is I've walked a mile in your shoes. I've been the salesperson who had no clue. I've been the sales manager who was like, I was a really good salesperson. But what about these 10? People? Like, they're not like me, they're not listening to me, what am I supposed to do? And I had to figure it out. And because I figured out how, as a new sales manager, as a struggling sales manager to take my team to excellence, that's what I incorporate into my practice every single day.
Jay Kingley 16:42
Outstanding. And that leads me to my last real question for you today, as soon as you gave us a good idea of how a bench chemists got into sales. But what and by the way, I encourage everyone connect with Wesleyne on LinkedIn, you get a sense of her resume. But I want to understand what were the if you will milestone events, professionally, personally, that got you from doing sales for this chemical company, to running your own sales coaching and consulting firm.
Wesleyne Greer 17:18
So there was a point in my career where I literally traveled for four weeks straight. I was in California, I was in New York, I was in Scotland, I was in London, I mean, literally all over the world. And at the end of the four weeks, I had a board meeting. And at that board meeting, I had to present what the team did for the entire year. And let them know, Hey, this is what we've done. And these are our goals for the next year. And after I presented they said, that's all you've done. That's it. And I was like, oh, yeah, I'm so done with this. I was like, I'm so done with this. I bet I think at that point in the year, I'd spend probably 100 nights in a hotel, I'd flown like 100. I mean, it was crazy what I've done. And so at that point, I said, You know what, I don't want to do this anymore. I really want to be able to do what I love. And what I loved was mentoring and coaching and working alongside sales managers and sales teams, and really helping to empower them and have that light bulb turn off. And what I didn't love was sitting in board meetings and getting beat over the head until two goals with hit more. Okay, were increasing the quota 20% 50%. Like all I was so done with that. So that's why a couple years ago, I started my own business because I realized right then and there and literally two weeks to the date. In that meeting, I was like, Okay, I've started my business.
Jay Kingley 18:42
Well, Leslie, and what a great story. And walking the mile in somebody's shoes, empathy. And understanding is so critical to working with others. And you certainly have that in spades. And I'm sure there's a lot of our listeners who are struggling with the types of sales issues that we've talked about today. So what's the best way for them to reach out and contact you.
Wesleyne Greer 19:06
Um, the best way to reach out to me is LinkedIn. And in the connection request, just let me know that you heard me on the Best Kept Secret podcast. So I know where to make that connection.
Jay Kingley 19:17
Super. And we will put Wesley's LinkedIn link into our show notes. So make it really easy for everybody to reach out. Now. Wesleyne before we say goodbye. I really hate to do this, as they say sorry, not sorry. I'm gonna put you on the spot. I love the listeners. And I am all about adding value to listeners. And you certainly added tremendous value through the content and perspective that you provided but I want a little bit more. So could you possibly give a gift to any listener that reaches out to you through LinkedIn and tells you that they heard about you through the podcast?
Wesleyne Greer 20:01
Yes, absolutely. I have a checklist. I call it my P3. So it's people plus process equals profit. And what that does for you as a sales manager as a business owner, it gives you the framework to hire the right people build the process internally that leads to profitability. So again, you reach out to me on LinkedIn say, I heard you on this podcast, please send me the free gift.
Jay Kingley 20:28
Fabulous Wesleyne, you have been wonderful. You have really taught me a lot. And I'm sure taught everybody who's listening a lot about how to think about sales and how it's probably not how many of us have historically thought you need to sell. So thank you so much for coming. Thanks, everybody, for listening. Until next time, Let's all make it happen.
Taz Sadhukhan 20:53
Wondering how much longer you have to grind and chase after every lead conversation and client. Would you like clients to knock on your door so you no longer have to pitch follow up and spam decision makers. While centricity is the tipping point program uses a proven five step process that will help you get in front of the decision makers you need by spending less time on doing all of the things you hate. It's not cold calling cold email, cold outreach on LinkedIn or any other social media platform, or spending money on ads, but it has a 35 times higher ROI than any of those things, leveraging your expertise and insights that your prospects in network value. The best part even though you'll see results in 90 days, you get to work with the Centricity team for an entire year to make sure you have all the pieces in place and working so you can start having freedom of time and a life outside of your business. So email time@Centricityb2b.com to schedule an 18 minute call to learn more