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March 4

Eric Brakebill Jones on How Sales is Evolving

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I grew up in a small town in Monterey County with my parents and two older sisters all choosing a career in teaching. I knew that wasn't my route. After graduating with a double degree in psychology and Spanish I followed the psychology path for a few years but high recidivism and a model where I didn't get compensated for all I put in to the job didn't fit me. Luckily I had a seasoned businessman uncle that guided me through the beginnings of a career in sales and business. Years later this is what I can show for myself:

I've exceeded annual quota 13 of my 16 years in sales. Nationally recognized sales entrepreneur in Yahoo! Finance and Digital Journal.

Award winning leadership oriented sales professional - background features more than 15+ years of exceptional performance in progressively responsible roles in sales and sales leadership. Multi methodology model expert (Challenger, Sandler, Miller Heiman, etc) but especially appreciate the power of mastering the psychology of sales.

Specialties: Sales Process, Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), Collaboration Software, Enterprise Class Video and Collaboration, Account Based Marketing, Channel Sales Software, Personalization, and Rescue Dog Network.

I was the number one performer while working at Salesforce, experiencing 4 startups that were acquired by Cisco, Experian, McDonald's, and AOL. I've hired and fired and exceeded annual quotas up to $2.5M. I'm an Enterprise seller with zero copy-paste component in my sales process.

I also know all sides of the business having created a successful one spanning 3 years. I have experience effectively displacing legacy systems and maintaining Forrester quadrant leader status.

This gives me pride and assists in interview processes but most important are authenticity, humility, and respect. No one likes a big ego selling them a business sales solution for 6-9 months.

My passion is to help address your business needs. I thrive on showing businesses how they can maximize their results and achieve quantum leaps, easier and faster than ever before.

This is what I bring to the table. Extra tidbits:

  • I've traveled to 40 countries
  • I motorcycled through China, Vietnam, and Australia alone after getting my motorcycle license 24 hours before getting on the plane
  • I fell down an 8 story chimney
  • I was 4th in the state of California for the 1500 meters
  • I'm an amateur stand-up comedian and was an amateur hip hop freestyle artist
  • I've gone on 4 bicycle tours with my father totaling 6,000 miles. I lived in Juneau Alaska to work
  • I lived in Costa during high school living with a Costa Rican family and going to Costa Rican
  • high school
  • I lived in Spain in college attending a Spanish university.

[Podcast Transcript Using Artificial Intelligence]

Umar Hameed 0:06
Are you ready to become awesomer? Hello everyone, this is Umar Hameed, your host and welcome to the No Limits Selling Podcast, where industry leaders share their tips, strategies and advice on how to make you better, stronger, faster. Get ready for another episode.

Umar Hameed 0:35
Hello everyone! Today I have the privilege of having Eric Jones here, and he is the big enchilada at sales, finish it for me...

Eric Brakebill Jones 0:44
Sales is Evolving.

Umar Hameed 0:46
Always and his iteration and it gets better and better. Welcome to the program.

Eric Brakebill Jones 0:50
Thank you. Thank you for having me here.

Umar Hameed 0:52
So Eric, from your point of view, how is sales evolving in this day and age right now, we're kind of sequestered at home is COVID times and pretty soon we'll be hearing our kids tell their kids, "You got it easy. I was growing up in COVID time!"

Eric Brakebill Jones 1:08
Yeah! It's changed in a lot of respects, right? I mean, internally, where if, let's say you're a new hire, and I've been there, where I got hired two days before COVID starting. So I knew two people out of 800, and so...

Eric Brakebill Jones 1:27
Right.

Eric Brakebill Jones 1:28
...ramping was, you know, ramping your 30...60...90 was quite different. You're you're having one on ones over video-conferencing but that's that's about it, you're really kind of, you know, that they want someone that doesn't need a lot of hand holding, doesn't need a lot of nurturing in their, in their 30...60...90 in the ramp, or in their job in general. But in terms of technology we're using, you know, there's a reason why all these companies are IPO and blowing up collaboration companies from Slack to Zoom info to, you know, Zoom meetings, to to video in general. And it's, it's harder to to stick out, whether you're prospecting for a sale, whether you're looking for a job, whether you're trying to distinguish your brand in the market, you're you're having to get creative. And there's a lot of options out there. There's the you know, there's there's that there's a ton from from you know, that the options where it's just, you know, plug and play like a Vidyard or Wistia or Vimeo or something like that, to people that are getting really creative with using their own cameras, and getting, you know, where the technical aptitude is, is what is required.

Umar Hameed 2:52
I sent you out an invitation to be on the podcast using Bombbomb, and it was a video of me saying, you know, "Hey, come on my show." So it just makes you more warmer and you get a sense of who you're going to be interacting with before you have to actually agree to something and I'm getting a lot more Yes's in my sales endeavors as well as in podcasting because I use video.

Eric Brakebill Jones 3:13
Yeah, so how are you using video?

Umar Hameed 3:15
I'm interested. So primarily what I use is probably three ways I don't know the third way yet, but I'll come up with it by the time I get there. One is a product called Bombbomb, and what they do is when you send an email, it embeds a video inside that email and it shows a little gift so there's movement in the email, and I get to basically make my case. And it could be as simple as "Hey, Eric, my name is Umar, and I help sales teams become more effective. I'm going to help your salespeople increase their sales by 20%, set up a 15-minute call. And let me show you how I can do it. Click on the link below." Piece of cake!

Eric Brakebill Jones 3:50
That's great. And have you noticed it's changed engagement.

Umar Hameed 3:54
It's gone up significantly because you know, reading a paragraph or two is different than just clicking on a video and seeing a 32nd video, you also get the demeanor of the person, the tone of voice, "Hey, that guy sounds like he knows what he's talking about. I should take a few minutes." Also the second way is just doing a lot of videos on Vimeo, on YouTube just sharing ideas with the world at large. And then the third way is doing I just did a webinar, which is pretty much just a video on seven ways to overcome anxiety, and people attended, they got to see me, I got to capture the video so it's something that's evergreen that can use again. So we live in amazing times.

Eric Brakebill Jones 4:35
So you have two different things, anxiety practice, is that something that's...

Umar Hameed 4:40
So the main thing I do is, I'm an expert at changing human behavior and is very much,for salespeople, you know, how do you get them to overcome the fear and pick up the phone? It's all internal belief stuff. And then the other side of the practice is just people coming in saying, you know, hey, I run a company but it takes me too long to make decisions. We figure out, "Oh, you've got this need to be liked, let's change the beliefs around that." And all of a sudden, they can make decisions faster. They always knew, but another part of their psyche was slowing them down, basically saying, you know, "What will they think of you? Shouldn't you give them another three months?" you know, all that human stuff, humans haven't changed, technology has changed, we are still the same, and Shakespeare should be dead and buried... it's not, because the same kind of stuff that was going on then Elizabethan times is going on today and instead of like, people fighting, nights fighting, we've got people dissing each other on Facebook.

Eric Brakebill Jones 5:34
Yeah, you know, I always people ask me, what's my, what's my go to sales book? Or what are my top five sales books and I say, "Hey, company culture changes." I mean, look at COVID, right now, technology changes, but psychology doesn't really change that much, or it changes over...

Umar Hameed 5:52
At all!

Eric Brakebill Jones 5:53
...hundred of yours. And so the psychology of sales is, is those those kinds of books are the ones that I really, I try to go after. Because that's, that's something that doesn't change and I get a lot of value from that. So this is interesting, because it's podcast hosts...

Umar Hameed 6:10
Your co-hosts!

Eric Brakebill Jones 6:12
I'm asking you, like I'm on my podcast a little bit. But, um, but what do you what do you seen in the in terms of engagement, that one that your podcast, but you have a guest or the ones where you you're just by yourself, and you're, you're giving some counsels, advising people on how to...

Umar Hameed 6:33
So generally more engagement when I do a solo, this is what we're doing?

Eric Brakebill Jones 6:38
Agree!

Umar Hameed 6:38
the more traction when I have another guest, because a lot of people have a following like we had Joan Lunden on the show from "Good Morning America Fame," and that show is going to go out next week, and she's got a massive following. So that's going to do an uptick on downloads and listenership and reach new audiences.

Eric Brakebill Jones 6:57
That's great! And how to usually distribute or promote afterwards?

Umar Hameed 7:00
So very poorly, so on LinkedIn, the email lists nothing heroic.

Eric Brakebill Jones 7:07
Okay, got it...got it. Great! Well, I'm always curious to ask other podcast hosts, how they're going about their business.

Umar Hameed 7:16
So let me ask you, sales is changing, and what's an effective way from your point of view to use video to deepen relationships and close more business?

Eric Brakebill Jones 7:26
Yeah! So...so first, it starts with, you hear about video, right? And you start hearing that there's there's more engagement, and that it might be worthwhile to check out to evaluate, right? That's the first stage and if you're an account executive, under director of sales, you might need to ask permission to use video because, you know, there's, they might not want that to be part of...

Umar Hameed 8:00
My advice is do not listen to them. You want to do it, do it! Ask the forgiveness much better than asking for permission.

Eric Brakebill Jones 8:06
That I agree, agree. So let's just say they...

Umar Hameed 8:09
Get fired, be proud, go do it!

Eric Brakebill Jones 8:12
Right! to the options, right. And then there's, there's the Vidyard, there's the Bombbomb, there's there's, you know, Vimeo and whatnot. And, you know, they do the job, right, and they make it really easy to do. What we bring to the table is a more sophisticated approach with, with actual professional cameras, where we, where the, the quality of the video is substantially higher. And and so that first impression, is we're counting on that first impression. And what I what about experience in sales and 16+ years in sales? Is that is that that that first impression, that first call that first email, they see if it resonates? You know, they might delete it, they might delete that, that voicemail, but if something resonated, maybe the second time they're going to pick up so it's about first impressions, I think and in noticing the difference of a high quality video, I'm not doing justice today, I'm just using my Logitech video cam

Umar Hameed 9:23
Looks pretty good still!

Eric Brakebill Jones 9:25
You can't really see the difference too much but but that high quality, that level of quality and shows shows a different caliber professionalism. And I think that as video progressively becomes more of a commodity, you're going to you're going to need these kind of distinguishing traits. It's like cold calling and emailing right now. I want at one point email was, you know,

Umar Hameed 9:56
The dominant form of communication!

Eric Brakebill Jones 9:58
Yeah! It was You know, brand new, and all you have to do is read an email and then and then there's mass emailing email campaigns. And now you really have to be personalized, and really put a lot of thought into how you personalize your emails, I think that's really happened with with video. And so we're trying to take it to that level, where the quality of the video and also what we do is we teach, you know, video etiquette, how to be, how to be natural how to maybe you know, as it relates to what you're teaching, teach out, take out some of the anxiety that comes with being on video. Those kinds of things, we also add into to our package, so we let them know the options available. And we're not we're not necessarily pointing them towards our solution, but if they want to go towards a different solution, still, well, we'll tell them how to set it up. And then you know, what works in terms of engagement, you know, in terms of your mannerisms, your gestures, your your, your, your presence on the video. So that's what we're really trying to do. And then a level pass as podcasting, right? Podcasting isn't as popular as using video, but it's, it's increasingly, I mean, it's exploding and growth just just as video is. And podcasting is great for a lot of things, right? I mean for increasing your brand. I mean in you know growing your brand, online for networking. You know, you could join as many clubs as you want. But I've learned more from the guests I've had on my shows from Dale to pre John Barrows to Jay McBain from Forrester, then I probably have from, you know, from from reading reading sales book or something like that. So it allows you to to extend your network to learn from the greatest, get those you know those insight gyms. And if you're within a company, and you're doing a podcast, become a thought leader within your within your company, and to be known as a resource that people can go to. If they have questions about you know, any any product sales document.

Umar Hameed 12:27
Podcasting has been going on for a while is exploded and if you want to open the door to talk with a hard to reach executive, inviting them to a podcast is probably the easiest way to do it.

Umar Hameed 12:39
Yeah.

Umar Hameed 12:40
And so

Eric Brakebill Jones 12:41
Well, I haven't been turned on yet.

Umar Hameed 12:43
And so it's good there, and the trick needs to be is you need to have the person you're interviewing, least in my opinion, that if you can help them get an insight into their thoughts, then you make a friend and then you kind of move up in stature pretty quickly. If you're just going to ask the same old questions that they've answered a hundred times in the podcast they've done then it's just like, "Hahh, thank you for the interview." But if you help them get an insight, he makes interesting podcasting but too it builds relationships.

Eric Brakebill Jones 13:13
Exactly. Yeah. And I think that that was part of a I think that's part of my niches. I try to ask questions that that haven't been asked internet wide on a search for at least a couple on each episode. And so...

Umar Hameed 13:26
Why don't you ask me what's my favorite color?

Eric Brakebill Jones 13:30
Before I feel like it was a failed episode.

Umar Hameed 13:32
Right! Brilliant. I was just teasing, I said before our episode, you asked me what my favorite color was. I'd never been asked that.,that was amazing. So what do you do with the podcast, you, you do the podcast, how do you leverage that podcast to get a build a bigger audience? How are you doing that?

Eric Brakebill Jones 13:49
Yeah, so what I'll do is I have currently on LinkedIn, I have a LinkedIn page for my podcast, and I have getting close to 500 followers. I have a blog newsletter I send out and and I and i also in writing posts on LinkedIn to to promote it. But I you know I that it's it's, it's an area where I could I could probably use a lot of growth in promoting it to get to the next level. I use a platform called anchor that distributes the podcast to eight, eight different platforms. And that certainly helps got me five five star reviews on Apple podcasts. But you know, I...I probably could use a lot of help in that area.

Umar Hameed 14:42
Brilliant! Certainly, depending on who you're interviewing a could be press release, a press release might come out depending on who it is like the Joan Lunden thing, we'll probably do a press release. Not that they care about us but they care about her and we're in there and it gets carried it helps everybody that I do a podcast with I was interviewed twice today, is I send them an invitation, you know, anytime you're releasing any episode, let me know, I'll send it out on my network as well. And if we can stay together, we've got the ability to go out to hundreds of 1000s of people, all of us. So it's very much a cooperative landscape if you want it to be.

Eric Brakebill Jones 15:18
It really is. And I think that's part that's part of why I get a lot of YES's. My podcast is called Sales Intersection and it's the intersection of sales and impact, sales and meaning, money and meaning or money and impact. And so my first season was more is on the spectrum, more sales, less meaning in my second season is going to be more meaning less sales, and more underrepresented, people, women, older, older women, older people, you know, the people from the LGBT community, so on and so forth. And anyway, I think, telling people my story, and telling people that that I'm legitimately, I legitimately started a podcast because I wanted to talk about sales and meaning, not not doing this podcast for sales and meaning so I could, I could boost revenue in the fourth quarter 22%. But that that was the sole reason that by itself is is unique. And that's why I got the story and Yahoo, and digital journal. And people people have been there, they've they've been there in the very beginning, when they're starting something on their own, and they can empathize with you. And yeah, they'll give you a shot.

Umar Hameed 16:36
Absolutely! Right now, if you were trying to get to the Senior VP at Adobe, getting a meeting with that person, how would you orchestrate that, so our listeners can go, you know, not that VP, but I got another VP that can use that strategy to get a face to face over Zoom or whatever, so what would be your strategy, how would you recommend landing that meeting?

Eric Brakebill Jones 17:00
Sure it would be very similar as it would be if I was selling for a company, CEO of Adobe, I would I would probably listen to three of his podcasts, I would look at his last 10 Twitter posts, I would look at his last 10, you know, articles comments on on LinkedIn, I would use my network to see if anyone knows him or her. And I would I would try to try to get to what is his focus right now? What are they trying to accomplish? Are they are they going after maybe a certain client, or maybe they're they're trying to be, you know, go after bars, show social causes something to that effect. So I would, I would present I would position my my podcast in such a way that would attract what you know what they're looking for, and promote what what they're trying to go after. And then try to try to attract fans. And write some posts that would get people that are interested in that too to attend.

Umar Hameed 18:16
Napoleon Bonaparte was one of the greatest generals in history. And one of the things he would do better than anyone else is study, all the maps know the terrain go out on the forefront where the battle was, knowing the lay of the land was critical to him winning his battles, and kind of that's what you describe is like, "Hey, if you've got a target in mind, figure out what they've been doing, what podcasts what twitter, what LinkedIn, and the better you know them, the more relevant you can be." So words to live by, is you just can wing it. If you want to be a professional salesperson and land those appointments, you need to put in the work and the trick is not to go after 10,000 people and hoping the best it's like go after 20 that could actually make your year if any one of them came on board.

Eric Brakebill Jones 19:00
Just so you know, after this podcast, I'm gonna write down,,,this was the day I was compared to Napoleon.

Umar Hameed 19:08
You are short, and that was what was going for. I can't see how tall you aren't just kidding. Thank you so much for being on the show today. Before we depart on video, what would be the three pieces of advice you'd give people when they're looking for the equipment they need to be an effective salesperson in this day and age?

Eric Brakebill Jones 19:24
Well, I would I would branch out I would, I would join a lot of different communities. A lot of times in corporate environment or even startups you get siloed to where you're you're you're just doing the work that's needed, that's that's being asked for by your boss. You're trying to get your 50 dials in or you're you know you're trying to hit your number by the end of the quarter. But it's important to I mean, the spectrum of guests I've had on season one and their their insights and their background and the way they look at sales, it's so good different, I learned so many different things. So if you can't do a podcast and try to reach out to, to a variety of people, but to I would join a lot of organizations right now I'm part of a community called Quad Meets and by no means am I, you know, founder or associated with it, and then the other way than being a member and it, it, it it randomly picks for people every meeting to meet in a Zoom meeting for 30 minutes and you network and maybe you can help each other maybe well, but you learn for each other, right? And so I think you know, and the third one would be is, read as much as you can professional development is the theme here with all three but read you know, read as many of the sales books as you can I don't you know, subscribe to one particular sales methodology, I think the I I know most of them,but it's important to know when to pivot when to use which one and where.

Umar Hameed 21:07
Brilliant! Thank you so much for being on the show. It was a joy having you on.

Eric Brakebill Jones 21:12
Yeah! Great. Thank you Umar. And when will just so I know when will this be airing or how are you going to be distributing this?

Umar Hameed 21:21
So it's going to go on Podbean probably sometime in February but we will give you a heads up before he goes out.

Eric Brakebill Jones 21:27
Okay fantastic! Well, I've enjoyed the conversation and and I'm gonna check out Bombbomb that sounds like that sounds like a great idea for my for my email efforts.

Umar Hameed 21:45
If you enjoyed this episode, please go to iTunes and leave a five-star rating. And if you're looking for more tools, go to my website at nolimitsselling.com. I've got a free mind training course there, that's going to teach you some insights from the world of Neuro-Linguistic Programming and that is the fastest way to get better results.


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