Gregg has been in leadership roles with some of the most well-known companies in the industry including Citrix, BlackBerry, Bell Mobility, Siebel and Delrina. A passionate advocate for “informed selling” and sales professionalism, Gregg credits his success to having been mentored and coached by some great people that took the time to help him on his journey. 

Gregg, his wife of 29 years and two sons live in Burlington, Ontario, Canada

 WHAT YOU WILL LEARN IN THIS EPISODE:

  • Inspiration stories of Jim Estill  (EMJ Data Systems) and  William Tatham (Janna Systems)
  • Gregg’s most memorable sales failure
  • The role of the coach and mentor in his sales career
  • Why there’s no such thing as ‘natural’ salesperson

SHOW NOTES

[00:20] Intro

[00:51] Welcome Gregg

[01:10] Business success stories that inspire Gregg

[02:52] Bringing Syrian refugees to Canada

[03:15] Officer, Order of Canada

 [06:30] Commitment and passion

[07:30] How he got into sales

[08:15] Moving to Waterloo

[09:05] Getting the first sales job

[10:55] No such thing as “natural” sales reps

[11:15] Confidence

[11:32] Asking customers questions and listening

[11:48] Don’t out-sell competitors; out-question them

[12:35] A favorite failed deal

[13:28] Comforting remarks from his former sales manager

[14:24] Keeping in perspective winning and losing

[15:41] How storytelling helps sales

[17:25] The type of story prospects want to hear

[19:05] Using storytelling to overcome objections

[21:06] Providing a solution

[23:00] Challenges facing today’s sales leaders

[23:30] Technology and mobility

[28:35] Contact info

[29:40] Outro

 

SHOW TRANSCRIPT

Gregg Jorritsma:             00:00                When you start a story, typically you can see a physical change in how people in the room are seated and how they’re looking at your changes. I always explain that as when you start telling a story, people are preconditioned and hard-wired to listen and they drop their critical thinking barrier.

Automated Voice:         00:23                This is the storytelling for sales podcast, a show about leveraging the power of storytelling to ignite your sales performance and grow your business.

Ed Bilat :                       00:33                Hello, this is Ed Bilat, and today we’ll have a deep and introspective show for you with a great sales leader and my distinguished guest, Gregg Jorritsma, senior director of sales and marketing at On-Ramp solutions is joining us from Toronto, Canada. Gregg Jorritsma. Welcome to the show.

Gregg Jorritsma:             00:52                Well, thank you very much for having me. I’m thrilled to be here, and I  appreciate the invitation to be part of this. It’s a great opportunity. I’m happy to take part.

Ed Bilat :                       01:01                I’m really excited that you could join us today and would love to jump right to the interview but before we do this, I will ask you our traditional question, what business success story inspires you and why?

Gregg Jorritsma:             01:13                That’s a great place to start actually. Because I think a lot of this is about identifying someone and seeing something in somebody that you want to emulate and make part of your life.

Gregg Jorritsma:             01:24                I’ve always been of the mind that there are no Roy Hobbs out there. There are no natural salespeople, none that I’ve ever met anyway. I think everyone that is achieving success in sales at some point in their career, mostly early in their careers, had somebody see something in them and really take the effort to sort of mentor them and coach them. I have had the great benefit of having some wonderful people coach me and mentor me over the years, and there are a couple that really stand out above more so than some of the others. A couple I would refer to are both William Tatham and Bill Tatham from Janice systems and now NexJ Health but also Jim Estill. Jim Estill founded EMJ distribution in Guelph when he was just out of university. He started the business by selling printer supplies out of the trunk of his car.

Gregg Jorritsma:             02:17                He built that business up to probably just shy of $1 billion before one of the big boys Cynics acquired the company.

Ed Bilat :                       02:27                Okay. That’s not a bad position.

Gregg Jorritsma:             02:30 Yes. That’s not bad stuff. But I think what really resonates with me about Jim Estill is he’s always had this sort of a philosophy of being more than just a business guy, but being involved in his community and giving back. A  few years ago, anD I think it was 2015, he actually reached into his own pocket. Now it’s reported he spent about a $1.5 million and brought 50 Syrian refugee families to Canada and set them up in Guelph.

Ed Bilat :                       02:58                Oh, this is very recent.

Gregg Jorritsma:             03:02                When I first read about that, I mean it didn’t surprise me at all since he was always that type of person that really was not interested in doing good business, but also setting an example. and when he did this, it was just amazing to read about.

Gregg Jorritsma:             03:15                Recently he’s been inducted into the… As an officer of the order of Canada and he’s just such a humble man. I’ve known him for about 20 years. First obviously as a customer selling product Tmj, and then later he has become a friend and a mentor and a real business hero for me. In my mind, I think he is the type of person that you look at and go, Jeez! I hope my kids all grow up to be like him.

Ed Bilat :                       03:42 Wow! Well, I know you have two boys, so that’s a really good example.

Gregg Jorritsma:             03:46                Yeah, exactly. I think one of the things that really says it all about Jim is after Cynics and Siebel thing, he recently became the owner of Danby appliances in Guelph. One of the first things he did was change the company motto to ” Do the right thing”. I think that just exemplifies Jim in every way that is possible. He is the type of person that always does the right thing, I think, in my opinion, and he said, you know, in conversations with him,  he’s told me,  it’s caused me make some mistakes, and it costs me money, but overall it has served me well and it makes sleeping at night and doing the right thing is, it just makes sense for him. So I’ve always admired that and kind of look for him for inspiration and guidance from time to time.

Ed Bilat :                       04:30                That’s a wonderful story. Wonderful story and a wonderful source of inspiration for you and the kids. So what you’re saying that you can be successful and then you can do the right thing at the same time?

Gregg Jorritsma:             04:42 Yeah, I think especially in today’s environment, there is so much emphasis on profit, profit, profit, stock market reports, stock tickers and everything else that it’s easy to get distracted from doing what’s right. I really admire him for that. The other business hero that really comes to mind is a gentleman I worked for a couple of times in the late nineties was Bill Tatham. He founded Janice systems, which was a CRM company and he believed in it and was passionate about it to the point where, he confided in me one time that the sheriffs were at the door to take the house at one point, but he believed in what he was doing and was going to make it right.

Gregg Jorritsma:             05:25                He did. He turned it around and grew that company substantially in the late nineties when companies like Siebel and Clarify and where the dominant players, this little company out of Toronto came out and grew its business by focusing exclusively on the vertical segment of financial services. One of our strategies was focused on the teaching within the book about crossing the puzzles,so we focus exclusively on financial services and despite the fact we were a fraction of the revenue play that companies like Siebel and stuff were, we were winning on Wall Street with Goldman Sachs and Wells Fargo and All state and eventually the big stock players, a Siebel and stuff came knocking and had to buy the company because they needed the roster, they needed the customer roster. I think it’s still $1.4 billion. I think it’s still one of the top five or six acquisitions of the Canadian company to date.

Gregg Jorritsma:             06:23                What I’ve learned from him more than anything and working in that environment is, if you’re committed to something and passionate about it and have the discipline more than anything to stick with it. In those early days as we were chasing around trying to find revenue and customers. It would’ve been easy to avert our focus away from financial services and just take some opportunistic count. But his vision was to focus on financial services. There were opportunities that we bypassed that we probably could have won, but it was really important that we dominated with financial services and as it turned out, that was absolutely the right move to make so that more than anything is, if you believe in it and you’re willing to be disciplined about it, you can achieve something is what I really learned from that.

Ed Bilat :                       07:13 I really love it. Those are great two stories you mentioned. Let’s turn the spotlight back at you. Obviously, you have been in sales for orals for many years. I mean Bell, Siebel, Citrix, Round One, SOTI, Blackberry and now On- Ramp Solutions. How did you even get into the sales?

Gregg Jorritsma:             07:33                Actually completely by accident.

Gregg Jorritsma:             07:36                What happened?

Gregg Jorritsma:             07:39                In the late…in about 1988, I had finished college, and I had a summer job last the previous couple summers on an order desk for a chemical supply company. I didn’t even consider it a sales role really. I was just answering the phone and taking orders for various electroplating chemicals, most of which I had no idea emphasis on profit, profit, profit, stock market reports, stock tickers and everything else that it’s easy to get distracted from doing what’s right. I really admire him for that. The other business hero that really comes to mind is a gentleman I worked for a couple of times in the late nineties was Bill Tatham. He founded Janice systems, which was a CRM company and he believed in it and was passionate about it to the point where, he confided in me one time that the sheriffs were at the door to take the house at one point, but he believed in what he was doing and was going to make it right.

Gregg Jorritsma:             05:25                He did. He turned it around and grew that company substantially in the late nineties when companies like Siebel and Clarify and where the dominant players, this little company out of Toronto came out and grew its business by focusing exclusively on the vertical segment of financial services. One of our strategies was focused on the teaching within the book about crossing the puzzles,so we focus exclusively on financial services and despite the fact we were a fraction of the revenue play that companies like Siebel and stuff were, we were winning on Wall Street with Goldman Sachs and Wells Fargo and All state and eventually the big stock players, a Siebel and stuff came knocking and had to buy the company because they needed the roster, they needed the customer roster. I think it’s still $1.4 billion. I think it’s still one of the top five or six acquisitions of the Canadian company to date.

Gregg Jorritsma:             06:23                What I’ve learned from him more than anything and working in that environment is, if you’re committed to something and passionate about it and have the discipline more than anything to stick with it. In those early days as we were chasing around trying to find revenue and customers. It would’ve been easy to avert our focus away from financial services and just take some opportunistic count. But his vision was to focus on financial services. There were opportunities that we bypassed that we probably could have won, but it was really important that we dominated with financial services and as it turned out, that was absolutely the right move to make so that more than anything is, if you believe in it and you’re willing to be disciplined about it, you can achieve something is what I really learned from that.

Ed Bilat :                       07:13                I really love it. Those are great two stories you mentioned. Let’s turn the spotlight back at you. Obviously, you have been in sales for orals for many years. I mean Bell, Siebel, Citrix, Round One, SOTI, Blackberry and now On- Ramp Solutions. How did you even get into the sales?

Gregg Jorritsma:             07:33                Actually completely by accident.

Gregg Jorritsma:             07:36                What happened?

Gregg Jorritsma:             07:39                In the late…in about 1988, I had finished college and I had a summer job last the previous couple summers on an order desk for a chemical supply company. I didn’t even consider it a sales role really. I was just answering the phone and taking orders for various electroplating chemicals, most of which I had no idea what they were or what they would be used for.

Ed Bilat :                       08:00                So that’s not even the farmer, you know, it’s definitely and, but not a farmer either, right?

Greg Jorritsma:             08:07                Not at all. Once the summer ended, I had recently become engaged to my now wife of 29 years. We were young and stupid and we decided to quit our jobs and just move out of Toronto to Waterloo, no jobs, no prospect, nothing.

Gregg Jorritsma:             08:24                Why would you do that?

Gregg Jorritsma:             08:26                Well, it was the start of what was going to be our marriage and our life together. We just figured, well, let’s just throw. Looking back, there’s a saying that goes, it’s not youth that is wasted on the young, it’s fearlessness.

Ed Bilat :                       08:42                That’s interesting. I can resonate with that. Yeah, absolutely.

Gregg Jorritsma:             08:45                I remember being so fearless back then. We had no responsibilities. We had no kids, we had no bills, we had no mortgage or anything. It wasn’t an easy decision to make but was one that, you don’t have all the baggage that you do later on in life to make.

Ed Bilat :                       09:00                Sure.

Gregg Jorritsma:             09:01                So we moved and of course back then there was no internet or anything. A few days later I read an ad on a local paper about a new company in town called Desktronics and saw that they were hiring inside sales reps and I thought, well, that was my title at the Chemical Company. Who knows? I applied and I was called in for an interview a few days later. It was 1989 so there was no internet research or anything I could do about the company before I went to the interview.

Gregg Jorritsma:             09:25                I just put on my best face and best clothes and went for the interview.

Ed Bilat :                       09:29                And let’s show up.

Gregg Jorritsma:             09:30                Yeah. So I met initially with the director of inside sales and we talked for about 5 to 10 minutes. And to this day I still don’t know what it was that I did or said, but she immediately told me,” Well, you’re way to qualified for this role. Would you be interested in talking to the director of channel sales a better role?” At this point in my life, I didn’t even know what channel sales was. I didn’t know what the company did, but I said,” Sure, I’m keen. Why not?”

Gregg Jorritsma:             09:58                I met with the director channel sales and about 30 minutes later I was offered a job on the channel sales team.

Ed Bilat :                       10:04                Right on the spot?

Gregg Jorritsma:             10:05                Yeah. I was thrilled and terrified all at the same time. I showed up on a Monday and I remember sitting in the lobby waiting for them come and get me. And I remember looking at the poster of the product and thinking, oh, what is that and what does this company do?

Gregg Jorritsma:             10:20                Yeah, we’ll do, they’ll do, what do they actually do here?

Gregg Jorritsma:             10:23                I absolutely had no idea it was even a software company on my first day. I was in that role for about three years with the company until a proceeding, got into some different financial issues and ended up selling the company but I learned how they were selling a see source code application generator, a very technical product for programming and was successful and really got my introduction into software and sales as a whole and I immediately just loved it.

Ed Bilat :                       10:51                Would you say it was like a natural fit for your abilities?

Gregg Jorritsma:             10:55                As I said, I don’t think there’s a natural sales rep. I think there’s always more that you can learn and certainly nobody comes in with the answer to every sales problem. Thinking back to that time, I think it was something that I was excited about on a daily basis and I felt I had some success with early on in, in the role. In so many times with salespeople, it’s really about confidence. Do you have confidence in what you’re selling? Do you know it can make a difference? If you have that confidence, there’s a lot of intellectual curiosity goes with that confidence that drives you to learn more and become more capable. I’ve always found the ability to just ask questions to potential customers and listen to what they’re saying can really fuel your imagination as to what kind of solution and what kind of place you can play in that role.

Ed Bilat :                       11:43                Yeah, that’s an interesting point. I’ve read somewhere actually today they say, “Don’t, outsell your competition. You should out question them.”

Gregg Jorritsma:             11:52                Yeah, yeah, absolutely.

Ed Bilat :                       11:54                And this has to do with your success. So obviously, do you have any particular failures like early sales failures? What’s your favorite sales failure?

Gregg Jorritsma:             12:02                Well, of course, every sale I’ve ever been involved with, I closed.

Ed Bilat :                       12:05                I’m sure, from day one?

Gregg Jorritsma:             12:12                Yeah. Actually, I’ve never lost a deal, of course, there are always different things that come up and things you could’ve done right or wrong. But I think one of the most significant sales disappointments I’ve ever had really led to a real epiphany moment with a great manager I had at the time, this was the early nineties and it was the last day of a quarter and we were driving, we had hit the number, but we were driving for over achievement.

Gregg Jorritsma:             12:40                Right. And I had a deal working and it was going to be there, it was going to come in. And I remember, you know, I was on the phone to the prospect right up till the deadline, right up til the end of the day, only to have the customer in the end, take a last-minute bid from one of the companies that I thought had already been eliminated from the process.

Ed Bilat :                       13:00                Oh, what a surprise, huh?

Gregg Jorritsma:             13:02                Yes. Apparently, they came in with some last minute cheat, low ball offer and won. And I remember sitting at my desk and it was maybe about 05:30 by now and I was really upset. I was really disappointed. My sales manager had to walk by and said, you know… asked me. He could see I was visibly upset.

Ed Bilat :                       13:19, Of course, you could feel this, right?

Gregg Jorritsma:             13:23                Absolutely, I’d promised I was going to get it.

Gregg Jorritsma:             13:24                So, and he said, he came up to me and he put his hand on my shoulder and said, “Hey, it happens. Did you do everything you could do? “And I said, yeah, “And it didn’t go your way.” No. He told me,” You can’t beat yourself up about it.” This is what has always stuck with me. He said, “We are selling software here. We’re not curing cancer. Nobody dies because you didn’t close the sale. Now put your head up, go home, be with your family. Your family is more important than any sale would ever be.” And another little tidbit he offered a few days later, in the months that always stuck with me too is,” You’re no good to me here as a salesperson if you don’t have a life outside of the office.”That’s sort of always stuck with me. So over the years in conversations with many reps I’ve worked with and had on my team and staff, I’ve always emphasized, take the work seriously.

Gregg Jorritsma:             14:12                Don’t take yourself too seriously. And remember we’re selling software, we’re not doing brain surgery, we’re not curing cancer. Nobody dies if it doesn’t work out. And for me it has always been a way of keeping in perspective, winning and losing in the marketplace. When we, when we don’t cure cancer either. We’re selling software, and we want them to choose ours, but nobody dies if they don’t.

Ed Bilat :                       14:38                That’s right. And that gives you an attitude and perspective, right? So just when you’re looking at this, this is not the end of the world. It eliminates stress. So your team is more excited, more motivated and they don’t feel punished if they’ve done everything they could and the sale just didn’t go your way. So what?

Gregg Jorritsma:             14:59                Yes absolutely, it happens to everybody. One of the things that I’ve learned over the years and when I talk about there’s no Roy Hobbs or natural salesperson out there.

Gregg Jorritsma:             15:11                You’re asking for rejection, and you make your living day after day being rejected. And so you have to have a perspective. And a more holistic view of what’s going on in the world, I think to really make the value in the conversations you have with your prospective clients and coworkers.

Ed Bilat :                       15:28                That’s right. Absolutely. So speaking of your team in the leadership positions in the… You’ve done everything from a market manager to channel sales manager, director, VP, all these years. How do you think storytelling could be used to motivate your sales team and drive success in terms of reaching or even surpassing quarters and objectives?

Gregg Jorritsma:             15:49                I think there are so many different things that storytelling really allows you to do. I find it’s often the best place to start a conversation and build a connection to a person you are engaging with. I’ve obviously met people that I’ve tried to convey things to and sometimes the pushback as well. I don’t feel comfortable, or I’m not sure I can actually tell a story and everything.

Gregg Jorritsma:             16:10                When that comes up I often talk about, okay, so have you ever been to a social event or a cocktail party or anything like that? Well of course they have. When you met someone new there, what did you talk about it? Oh, well, you know, we had a couple of swell and then I’ve talked about work or my family or whatever. You told a story, right? And Oh yeah, I guess so. And a sales rep comes to me and says, I don’t really know how to build a story or how do I craft a story or structure, and I’ll talk to them about their last sale. Whose company? They’ll tell me. What did they do? What problem were they struggling with? How did our solutions solve their problem?

Gregg Jorritsma:             16:52                What kind of results are they having today and quickly they … I guess that’s not hard at all. I think if you’re not really cautious or told about or understand the value of storytelling to a prospect, there’s intimidation; I think to it that you won’t be believed or they’ll dismiss your story. Is that a hand or it’s just a fabrication? And so I think just getting people to the point where you tell stories every day, all the time to everybody. Now put yourself in the prospect’s shoes and think about what story would they like to hear. Most often it’s a story about a similar company, a similar type of business that was wrestling with a problem cause they probably have a similar problem, how they chose your product, how you built it up, how you deployed it and what kind of results they’re getting.

Gregg Jorritsma:             17:44                The inherent thing in storytelling is that we’re hardwired to both tell and listen to a story right from childhood. As a parent, you read stories to your kids and early on they start with, once upon a time, and they typically add happily ever after.

Ed Bilat :                       18:02                That’s right.

Gregg Jorritsma:             18:02                That’s what a customer wants to hear. I think when you start a story, typically you can see a physical change in how people in the room are seated and you know how they’re looking at your changes. I always explain that as when you start telling a story, people are preconditioned and hardwired to listen and they drop their critical thinking barriers. If you think about when you go to a movie today a ridiculous movie, a Scifi movie and you know, you suspend your critical thinking to enjoy the story. That’s exactly the power and transformative engagement that can happen when you start telling a story on business B, and it’s been hugely valuable throughout my career.

Gregg Jorritsma:             18:50                I was lucky enough, as I said, early on, to have some mentors that really taught me the value of being able to tell us a story.

Ed Bilat :                       18:56                Yeah, absolutely. I love your response because you’re hitting two very important points. One is the actual story, and there is a formula behind it and the second one is the way how you can use storytelling to overcome objections. So instead of saying like, what do you mean you don’t have a budget? What do you mean you’re not the decision maker? So like all you do, you acknowledged an objection. And by the way, an objection is actually is a good thing. And it’s an indication that they will have a conversation with you. Because otherwise they will just go away and there will be no for the talk. So if a person objects to you, that means there is an interest and how do you work with that objection.?

Ed Bilat :                       19:40                I think you hit on some very important points. Instead of telling them, we have the best in the world, we’re going to take care of you well-done millions of times, and we’re going to do a good job. You tell them, listen, I appreciate what you’re saying. Two months ago we’ve been working with the company X-Y-Z, and they essentially told us the same thing. There is no budget for that type of project. Then you tell the story, and then you demonstrate the end results, and this is the way the customer will see that, hey, if that worked for somebody else, maybe that could work for me. That’s where the magic happens.

Gregg Jorritsma:             20:19                As you speak about a budget and things like that. One of the stories from a Siebel Day, actually it was the success we had with one of the biggest auto manufacturers in the world. We had won the deal, and it was some months later, and we were having lunch with the decision maker, and I was with the CEO and Bill Tatham, and he asked them, why did we win the deal? I thought the answer was not only fascinating, but it has been a real source of inspiration over the years.

Ed Bilat :                       20:47                Interesting. Tell me more.

Gregg Jorritsma:             20:49                The guy told me that of all the vendors, we brought in seven vendors, and of all the vendors, you guys were the only one that didn’t ask what the budget was.

Gregg Jorritsma:             21:01                The answer was, or the response from Mr Tatham was that, the reason we didn’t ask about budget was because our only concern was finding a solution that worked for you, our thinking is always that if we provide the right solution, if the budget doesn’t fit, you’ll either find the money or you’ll decide that you don’t need that much solution.

Ed Bilat :                       21:25                So it doesn’t matter what the budget is, right?

Gregg Jorritsma:             21:27                Yeah. So over the years, what that is evolved to is when I have those type of budget discussions is, are you looking for exactly this or are you willing to compromise and do without something so it fits a budget? Is your goal to solve the business problem completely or is it to hit the budget number? When you put that to them, that creates a whole different set of parameters for them.

Gregg Jorritsma:             21:53                Even if they’re not the decision maker in most cases, they’re probably not. You’re probably talking to the project manager or someone who is in a technical role or whatever and they’re obviously very concerned about budget and price because their bosses told them,” Okay, you’ve got this much money and go fix the solution and go find the solution.” Getting back into what does that person want to be able to tell, what story does that person want to tell to his boss? In that circumstance it was, we’re going to give you the story that says we can solve all your business problems and this, this and this but it’s going to cost you an extra percentage so you can decide if you want to spend the extra money to get everything resolved or settle for something that isn’t quite…spend that amount of money and still not have exactly what you want.

Ed Bilat :                       22:42                I love how you’ve positioned this and it does make sense though in this case isn’t budget is irrelevant. This is what we’re trying to achieve. This is the task at hand. We are going to help you adjust to that. I think that’s an excellent story. Thank you so much for sharing this. Obviously, you’ve been in new sales situations over the years, you’ve seen a lot of great leaders. What challenges do you see facing many of today’s sales leaders? What’s happening today?

Gregg Jorritsma:             23:09                Well, certainly the world has changed since I started. As for the third or fourth time I’ll mention the Internet didn’t exist when I started so checking your research on a customer and really preparing yourself for a meeting was a lot more difficult when I started. I think there are two problems that are really relevant today.

Gregg Jorritsma:             23:27                The first one is technology and mobility. I think it has created a real challenge for sales leaders because you’re going to have sales reps working from home offices, working in remote locations or they’re on the road, and they have access to all the tools and communication and everything else. But I think quite often because of that convenience of technology; sales managers miss out on a couple of things. And one is, I think it’s imperative and what I do all the time is make sure that I’m bringing the group together, let’s say quarterly sales meetings so that they have the opportunity to meet with the other sales reps on their team and have social interaction.

Ed Bilat :                       24:12                See them face to face. Right?

Gregg Jorritsma:             24:13                Yeah. It creates real trust relationships. The other thing is when I reflect on some of the great learning that I’ve been exposed to over the years, most often it’s been completely informal. I talk with one of the senior sales guys while we’re getting coffee in the kitchen or were downstairs having a smoke years ago [crosstalk] or whatever.

Gregg Jorritsma:             24:43                I think what often goes missing in today’s day, and age is the sense that it’s really important to bring together the group collectively on a regular basis. Then the second thing around that is, I think it’s really important the sales managers also go out to those regions and work one on one with them. Go on a few sales calls every quarter or whatever. Just have that one to one sort of interaction with their team. It offers so much exposure to their lives and who they are as people that it really gives you a great insight into how to build and how to support that person. A favorite line of mine is fair and same or not the same terms are not synonymous. The idea that what works for one person, if I give this other person the same thing, they should be successful isn’t the way the world works anymore.

Gregg Jorritsma:             25:35                People learn differently. People have different behavior practices and different requirements. You need to be flexible and understand that your objective as a sales leader is to give each individual on your team what they need to have an equal opportunity at success. Now for some that might be almost a completely hands-off relationship with the person that they know what they’re doing, they’re just gone, and they do. It might require to talk to you periodically get some coaching, another, it’s all over the board, but if you’re not receptive to the idea that you need to support different people on the team in different ways and you’re not willing to go out and naturally spend that time with them one on one, I think that becomes a real issue in today’s world. The other one that I think is an age-old problem is the use of a CRM. In my experience over the years, too many CRMs lean way too heavily on what management wants from data as opposed to building something that is supportive and it guides the sales rep through the sales process. The best deployments are ones where the sales rep actually loves using the CRM and doesn’t see it as a burden and a chore to do.

Ed Bilat :                       26:54                Right. Like as of as a punishment or like a big brother watch, right?

Gregg Jorritsma:             27:00                Yes, exactly and if they feel that way about the CRM, what happens is the data you’re getting in is minimal. It’s incomplete; it’s not what you ultimately set out to get. I always tell people that a sales CRM should drive the sales rep through each stage of the sales cycle and give them specific tasks and chores that need to be accomplished in each stage before you can check off and move it to [crosstalk.]

Ed Bilat :                       27:25                It’s a tool. It’s a useful tool which will also help the sale.

Gregg Jorritsma:             27:31                It’s a roadmap.

Ed Bilat :                       27:33                This is just like something I feel out on Friday afternoon, so management is not going to punish me on Monday morning.

Gregg Jorritsma:             27:40                When you get to that level, the sales reps want to use it and want to be involved in it. When a sales rep starts to struggle as everyone does periodically, it gives them a basis to go back and say,” Okay, I got to get back to doing that, and I got to do this.” Then from a new hire perspective, it gives them a roadmap as to what others have done here and how they were successful. I think there’s a real balance between building the CRM so that you get the data out of you want as a management group but also making it a supportive and consultive tool for the sales reps that are working day today.

Ed Bilat :                       28:15                That’s a wonderful suggestion. Both of them. I liked them so far. Any of our podcast listeners, sales leaders, please listen up to these two. We’ll make sure to summarize them, so we are getting towards the end of our podcast. It’s been a wonderful,  combination of wisdom and practical experience. Gregg, before we disconnect, what’s the best way to connect with you for our listeners?

Gregg Jorritsma:             28:41                Sure. I’m on LinkedIn, I’ve got all my contact information, unlike almost everybody else. I have an email address and a phone number on my LinkedIn profile.

Ed Bilat :                       28:49                Oh well you’re very brave.

Gregg Jorritsma:             28:52                I’m always holding the talking to you. The other thing, the other party, one of the other pieces of advice I received early on, and I’ve always kept to, I always share with people, when someone wants to talk to you, you learn nothing by saying no. Whether somebody’s calling for a job, would you be interested in that job about this as well? If I say no, even if I’m not particularly looking or interested, I say no, I’ll never know anything about it so always say yes. Always be willing to have a discussion and listen and learn.

Ed Bilat :                       29:22                That’s right, and you will know, or you’ll never know where at thou could take you. Wonderful.Thank you so much, Gregg. I really, really appreciate it, so we’ll make sure to include your contact information. It’s been wonderful to have you on the show today.

Gregg Jorritsma:             29:37                Thank you very much. I really enjoyed it.

Ed Bilat :                       29:40                Thank you. Bye for now.

Automated Voice:         29:42                 That does it for this episode of storytelling for sales; you’ll find show notes and links and our webpage storytellingsales.com you can subscribe to the podcast on Itunes or wherever you get your podcasts. Thanks for listening.

LINKS

On-Ramp Solutions

Danby Appliances

NexJ Systems

Wall Street

Siebel

Wells Fargo

Citrix

BlackBerry

SOTI

Goldman Sachs

Roy Hobbs

Jim Estill

William Tatham

Bill Tatham

Connect with Gregg Jorritsma on LinkedIn