For my next guest, I chatted with John Waid from Corporate Culture Consulting. We talk, as you guessed it, about corporate culture and sales teams.
Enjoy part 1 of the 3-part mini-series.
In Part 1, John and I talk about:
- The three values of Corporate Culture
- Stop making models
- Who is running the sales team?
- Introducing Reinventing Ralph
- Values and behaviors as indicators of success
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John Waid is the Founder and CEO of C3 – Corporate Culture Consulting, a firm specializing in aligning an organization’s culture with its strategic goals.
He has worked in sales and marketing at Pfizer, PepsiCo, Nestle, and Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery. During these experiences, he developed a heightened awareness of the indispensable role people’s attitudes play in implementing effective processes and procedures.
He is an author, speaker, facilitator and thought leader in the area of Corporate Culture and its positive impact on people and companies. He was born in Mexico City, has lived in 5 countries and speaks fluent Spanish, Portuguese and English. He is an author, keynote speaker, blogger, soccer fan, wine enthusiast and proud dad. He currently makes his home in Atlanta.
Best Selling Author of Reinventing Ralph, about culture-driven sales
Some of John’s Published Content:
E131 – Transcript
Jason: All right. Welcome to the sales experience podcast. My name is Jason Cutter. On today’s episode, I have John Waid, his company is called corporate culture consulting and his focus is summed up with the question that’s on his LinkedIn page. If you check it out, the link will be at the end, but what are non-predictable or toxic behaviors costing you, which I’m super excited to talk about this whole intersection. Yeah, I won’t cheat and get into it too quickly. John, welcome to the sales experience podcast.
John: I’m glad to be here. Nice to be on here, Jason.
Jason: Yeah, I’m really looking forward to this. This is going to be a fun topic for me. Your goal is to help companies with their corporate culture and specifically sales teams, sales culture, all of that. So let’s start there. You know, I was going to ask, how do you define corporate culture? But you can start with that and then run with it. You know, let’s just dive into the corporate culture and sales side.
John: Okay. Corporate culture is very easily defined. It’s three values and some behaviors. That’s how I’d define it. So the values are things that obviously you value and you think are important. And then the driving behaviors behind it. So the three values that I worked on, and I just wrote a book about a year ago and it’s called reinventing Ralph. And it’s a little story for salespeople about culture-driven selling and culture-driven selling is basically, there are so many process models out there right now, value selling, spin selling, integrity selling, challenger model. And companies are spending billions of dollars on these models and nobody’s implementing them. And so because they’re, they tend to be, they’re good models. What’s not being talked about. And the big secret here is that you need to start with culture because if you don’t start with culture, then your processes and systems don’t have any behaviors and values to be penned on. So how are you going to expect somebody to do a process when they don’t even know how they’re supposed to behave? And I’m sure you’ve seen situations where you’ve gotten into companies and you go, how does this Salesforce even be work? Because everybody’s behaving like they want to. Some people are selling more than others. Some people are, you know, cold calling. Some people aren’t. Some people are, you know, everybody’s got their own behavior and it’s chaos. Have you ever seen that?
Jason: The general term that I use, to sum up exactly what you described is the prisoners are running the prison, right? That’s literally how I feel most sales organizations are run. And if you’re listening to this and you run a sales organization, and you’re slightly offended by that, it’s probably still true, but it could be you. Right? And again, this show is for salespeople, managers, leaders, owners, um, you know, and the ones I know that you probably work with that I work with are open to it. And they go, yes, I know that things are out of control. I don’t have the culture built. You know, I’ve even seen ones like you where they’re throwing those different processes and systems at them and trying to find that magical solution in the latest thing. Like, okay, maybe the challenger sale, we’ll fix it. Let’s, let’s try that. Or let’s try this other new thing, this new tool. But it’s bigger that right. It’s much bigger than that.
John: It is. And it’s normal to start off with strategy and then you go once the strategy doesn’t work, you go work on the process and once you, the process doesn’t work. It kind of dawned on me that you got to work on the people.
Jason: Yeah. Well, and that’s the fundamental thing, right? It’s the people. And then obviously it always in my experience, comes from the top down.
John: It does. You know? That’s how you should sweep the stairs, right?
Jason: Yeah. From the top down. Okay, so we’ve got the prisoners running the prison, everyone’s doing different things. Where do you see things going from there? What’s the best solution? Or even like a place to start. So for that owner, who’s now offended or mad, but honestly realizes that maybe you and I are right, where should they start? What could they do? Like what’s something they can take away?
John: They shouldn’t be offended or mad that they’re just normal people. So if you’re normal, you’re don’t get offended or mad. We all start off not really knowing because it’s our conscious behavior is only 12% of our behavior. So 88% comes from the subconscious. And we tend to start with what? And then we go to how, and then we go to why if you’ve ever seen the video from the assignments in there. So the why is the culture, the how is the structure or the process and the, what is the strategy? If you go to another, the wise, the leader, the how is the coach and the why and the what is the manager. So you need to start with why. You need to start with leadership. You need to start with culture. And the idea is in sales cultures, the best way to do it is just to start off with three values.
John: So in the book reinventing, Ralph Ralph is a salesman who’s in trouble. He’s having financial problems. He’s not making his quota. He’s about to get fired. His personal life is also in turmoil. He’s, his wife’s not happy. His, his kids aren’t happy. So Rawson trouble. And he discovers three transcendent values that, uh, help him to be a better salesman and also to be a better person. So the first one is, I call it the cat values. So the first one is curiosity. So why would a salesperson need curiosity?
Jason: Well, I mean, I will say that’s one of the biggest things, but they’ve got to know about themselves. They got to know about the prospects, they got to ask questions, they got to figure out how they can help that other person, at least in my opinion, right?
John: So basically what Ralph learns throughout the book is that curiosity is open questions, right? That starts with who, what, where, when, why, and how. And he figures out that as an adult he asks only close questions because adults tend to ask closed questions. Children tend to ask open questions. And you know, the favorite of children is the why. And we forget about that as adults. So we either ask close questions or make statements. So you need to change an attitude and a mindset and adults to start asking open questions as a phase of curiosity. And then the other thing that the adults don’t do naturally, they don’t do it as we don’t listen. So, and three of the obstacles to listening are we tend to multitask. So we don’t listen. We tend to daydream so we don’t listen. And then we also tend to interrupt so we don’t listen. So asking open questions and listening are two main things that Ralph learns from the consultant that he deals with. And the whole premise of the book is that they meet for breakfast every morning. So culture eats strategy for breakfast. So they eat at a breakfast place, you know, six or seven times and try to help Ralph out with his sales skills. So the second one is countability. Is accountability important for salespeople? Why do you have to be accountable?
Jason: Well, anybody needs to be or if they have something they want to accomplish, they got to have some accountability. You know, we are all human. We have our own limits, we have our own filters, we get in our own way. And also like fundamentally we all have a limited amount of willpower each day or in general. And it’s about how you spend it.
John: Right, right, right. So obviously in sales, accountability is really important. So some of the main topics around accountability are, do you prepare for your sales calls and do you prepare in writing before you go out on your sales calls? Do you close your sales calls? Do you get the money? Do you collect the money? You know all those things that are, but you need to be accountable for. Do you make your quota? Do you do all the things that accountability calls for? Do you wake up, do you do your calls? Do you do your cold calls? Do you do a lot of life, in general, is showing up?
Jason: Yup. Well, and putting in the effort, right? I mean that’s where you know, a strong correlation, especially with salespeople is like a professional athlete would be right. They don’t just show up and they’re amazing. Like that maybe what you see on the field, which I think is a lot of what salespeople think. They see somebody show up on the field or show up on the court, they don’t realize that’s five, 10, 15%. I mean, I think that’s 5% of the hours spent a week for like a football player because that, you know, a couple of hours on that given day is nothing relative to all of the effort prepping and then debriefing afterward and you know, looking at what happened, preparing for the next event. And so, but salespeople don’t do that. They think either they’re just going to rely on their kind of talents they have and charisma and hopefully, that’ll be enough or that, or, they’ll just, you know, go into it and they don’t think there needs to be that prep. Right?
John: Right, right. Well, I’ve done, I’ve been doing sales training now for 15 years. Sales behavior training for managers, leaders, coaches, and also for salespeople. And it only took me 15 years to become an overnight success. And I’m still learning, so because you have to do all these behaviors on purpose. So we’ve got the cap, so put your sales cap on, right? So the first one is curiosity. The second one is accountability. And the third one is you have to care about people and you have to have good people skills. Yeah. So people skills are really important. And Ralph learns he gets into some fights in the book. He fights with his boss. I’m sure. No, but no salesperson on this listening to this or sales managers ever fought with their boss. Exactly, exactly. It’s, it’s never our fault. It’s always somebody else’s fault. So Ralph gets beat up a little bit in the book. It’s a fun little book to read. It’s, it takes about an hour and a half if you’re a slow reader and about an hour. And that’s my nephew. Kids with me. It’s a, I thought it was written at a fourth-grade level. He said it’s written at a second-grade level. Uncle Jack to which I said you can go through this to yourself.
Jason: So like if we’re talking about managers, owners of companies, knowing that and dealing with the people and the accountability as well as the curiosity. How does that play into the culture?
John: So if you, culture on a very basic level is aligned values and behaviors, and it’s as simple as that. You’ve got three values. I just gave you three values. You can decide what three values you guys stand for as a Salesforce. If you have the values. Then if I see a fails rep that didn’t find this all their calls or whatever, I can just send the word accountability and they go, Oh yeah, I needed to finish my calls. I said, well when are you going to do that? How about right now I uh, worked for free to lay when I was 18. And you’ll see that in the book and the Frito lay a lady that was my boss cause I was doing summer routes. She said to me, John, she said you have to finish your route every day. And I said, well what if it’s two in the morning?
John: She said, what part of finishing your route didn’t you understand? So some days I finished my route at three and three 30 in the morning at Bunny’s bottom bar and Greenville, South Carolina to a glass of water because I couldn’t have a beer and some peanuts that the lady gave me at the bar as I was putting the potato chips on the clip strip at three in the morning because that’s when I finished my truck broke down. So you know, that’s if you just do the values and the behaviors, now you have things that you can hold people accountable for. Right now, everybody, the prisoners are running the prison and it’s because the warden hasn’t set the values and behaviors. He wants it as a prison. And if you set the values and behaviors, you can hold people accountable and if you hold people accountable, then you’ve got the very basic level of the management level.
Jason: Thanks for tuning into the sales experience podcast and listening to part one of my conversations with John Waid. You can find the show notes and links for John on the website, cutterconsultinggroup.com/podcast as well as a transcript of this conversation. Make sure to come back for part two and part three in the days to come.