June 14

Josh Johnsen on The Importance of Building A Company’s Structure

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Experienced Executive Vice President Of Sales with a demonstrated history of working in the computer software industry. Strong sales professional skilled in Negotiation, ADP Payroll, Coaching, Enterprise Software, and Sales.

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[Podcast Transcript Using Artificial Intelligence]

Umar Hameed 0:01
Are you ready to become awesomer? Hello everyone! My name is Umar Hameed, I'm your host on The No Limits Selling Podcast, where industry leaders share their tips, strategies and advice on how you can become better, stronger, faster. Just before we get started, I've got a question for you, do you have a negative voice inside your head? We all do, right? I'm gonna help you remove that voice and under 30 days guaranteed, not only remove it, but transform it. So instead of the voice that sabotages you, there's one that propels you to much higher levels of performance and success. There's a link in the show notes, click on it to find out more. All right! Let's get started.

Umar Hameed 0:41
Hey, everyone, welcome to another episode of The No Limits Selling Podcast. And today is an ultra special day for two reasons. Number one, the app Mindset Boosters just got released on the Apple Store today and Android's coming in a couple of days. And what the app does is it lets you decide how you want to act and feel in any situation is designed for salespeople. So in a day where you're not feeling the magic, all you need to do is go in and say, "I want to feel unstoppable," and six minutes later, we're going to show you how to change your mindset so you're unstoppable. It's going to hopefully add value to salespeople. Because the reality is for the average salesperson they have a few days a year where they're on frickin' fire, where everybody they talked to says yes, then they got days that they are just an average days where they're good, a ton of those, then they got more than we should bad days where it's like, had a fight with the wife, just don't feel like it, I'm gonna pretend I'm working but I'm not. And the app is designed to give people the mindset shift they need so those average days become days on fire. And we reduce those non-productive days to a bear one or two as opposed to 10 or 20 realties. Anyway, super exciting there. And number two, a year ago today, I sold my house and got rid of all the possessions and it's been a year of travel where we've gone to Greece, Portugal, Dubai, Canada, Costa Rica, and Pakistan. And so special day here today. And the third thing is we get to talk to Josh Johnsen. He is the CRO at AdvancedMD. Josh, welcome to the program.

Josh Johnsen 2:16
Thank you great to be here. It sounds like some exciting travel for you.

Umar Hameed 2:19
It was brilliant. And one of the nice things is no matter where in the world you go, people are kind, generous, want to go out of their way to help you. And if it was if I was emperor of the world, which could happen one day, I would make sure everybody travels because when you travel, two things happen. Number one, you realize everyone's like us. And two is when you get back to your country, wherever it is, you will kiss the ground you walk upon and really appreciate what you have is. So Josh, one of the things that leaders do is when tough circumstances happen, we just rebound and figure out how to make it better next time. And you and I were doing an interview in Florida and the internet connection went dead in the middle of it but it was like, Hey, that was a good rehearsal, we're gonna do it again and we just keep moving on. And what people do that are not that way inclined, they focus on what went wrong and are stuck there. And when that happens, part of your energy, your psychic energy, your thoughts is still trapped. For us it was last week. But for other people, it was like 25 years ago, somebody wronged me, and we've still got mental energy tied up there. Let all that stuff go be in the present moment. And so Josh, tell us about AdvancedMD, and then we'll talk about what you do there.

Josh Johnsen 3:30
Yeah. So AdvancedMD, we've been around for 24-25 years, 26 years now we started in 1998 first cloud based technology that enables independent physician practices to bill to handle all the clinical that takes place in the practice, as well as offer additional tools, such as patient tools, help you run your business better. So that's what we deal we help close to 60,000 physicians nationwide with those components.

Umar Hameed 3:59
So let's go back to because I didn't realize you were like one of the first people to come out in the cloud space. So you're going to doctors who tend to be at least my hypothesis is very, very conservative when it comes to technology. And it's like, "You want me to do what?"

Josh Johnsen 4:13
Yeah.

Umar Hameed 4:13
So what was that like? And how did you overcome that bridge to get them to really realize this is a benefit for you, not a limitation?

Josh Johnsen 4:20
Yeah, it's a great question. I think in the early days, there were challenges. Everyone's skeptical, of course of going away from your software that's built in versus using something on the Cloud. But what we found over time, of course, is physicians, they start to adopt and the snowball starts rolling. They have loved things like technology that enables them to provide care for their patients, wherever they are, whether it's virtual, or whether they're documenting everything on an iPad or a smartphone of some sort. So they're smart, they're very educated, they start to adjust. In the early days as well, there was government stimulus money to get people to adopt...

Umar Hameed 4:54
Nice.

Josh Johnsen 4:55
...or with the electronic health record of some sorts so that helped. But now today, it is a pretty simple sale to be honest with you. It's more about, you know, we tell a 95% first pass claims guarantee. So it's more about getting them paid, enabling them to do their job and be that whole back office do the things they don't have to worry about.

Umar Hameed 5:14
Brilliant. Because God knows. What's kind of interesting with COVID coming in.

Josh Johnsen 5:19
Yeah.

Umar Hameed 5:19
People were forced to go virtual. So let me take a step back. I've got this kickass amazing workshop called Success Mindset. And we really, in you know, half a day teach people how to master this and become fearless. And so I did this, one of my coaching clients was there and he said, "You know, Umar, you should really make that virtual," and the initial reaction was, "No, I have to be there. I'm so special. And is that is that connection?" And then I thought about it overnight, number one, my reaction to it. And by the morning, it was like, "Yeah, that would make a lot more sense." So COVID has forced doctors and the world to go virtual reality is it actually makes it better customer experience.

Josh Johnsen 5:58
Yeah. It's interesting. We before COVID hit years before we started working on a product telemedicine, which is not new to doctors per say, but offering that solution COVID hit, world turned upside down, healthcare was, obviously doctors were stressed patients still wanted to be seen, but now provide an avenue for patients to connect with their doctors via telemedicine webinar technology still have that same virtual appointment. It really is interesting, because we see so many practices now adopting that model of having both inpatient as well as a telemedicine appointment. So it's important to adjust and COVID has taught us a lot of things and learning to adjust is one of them. That's for sure.

Umar Hameed 6:43
So you have about 100 salespeople in your organization?

Josh Johnsen 6:47
Yeah, we have 110 quarter carrying sales reps about 170, roughly in the entire sales organization that make up different parts of the business.

Umar Hameed 6:55
So how are you getting them to this probably a version of what you guys are doing, that's going to be the next phase of reality? Do you have any thoughts on what that could look like? And how are you prepping your sales reps so when it comes, they don't go, "I hate change." We've always done it this way," it's like, how do you keep the mindset that's open and flexible and agile?

Josh Johnsen 7:16
Yeah. We've always bought into the philosophy, there's a book that is called "What Got You Here Won't Get You There" we've always bought on that philosophy. So it's not changed for our reps we've always talked about, if we try to do the exact same thing year over year and expect different results, it's the definition of insanity. So we've already conditioned the organization, our salespeople on learning to grow, develop, we always talk about they have to get more productive, which is increasing their personal production, as well as different ways to grow the business. But it's not a change for us, because our reps have been conditioned, since coming into the organization to understand that philosophy.

Umar Hameed 7:53
So yeah, things are flexible. So in the past, it was like, "Hey, Doc, I'm gonna come in, I'm gonna bring lunch for the entire staff. Can I have like 10 minutes of your time?" That was the old model, is that the new model again, after COVID or has everything gone kind of virtual, which makes things more efficient? What's going on in the where the rubber meets the road?

Josh Johnsen 8:11
Yeah, that's a great question. If you're talking about the SMB space, most appointments did happen virtually to begin with so that was not a new change.

Umar Hameed 8:19
Nice.

Josh Johnsen 8:19
Where the radical shift is, when you get into some of the larger accounts or enterprise space, they do love the on sides, they love the hand holding, but we've seen a small shift to where they'll weed through multiple competitors getting down to their top one or two, before that onsite, even occurs.

Umar Hameed 8:36
Oh, nice.

Josh Johnsen 8:36
I believe this change the market significantly, and those that can adjust to it, they'll succeed those that can't that we left behind.

Umar Hameed 8:44
So one of the toughest decisions is getting sales reps to join your organization. Because a lot of times, you know, people, I look really pretty in my resume. And then you see the ugly truth when they actually arrive at your doorstep. So tell me about how you recruit, and then we'll go into the sales process itself but that's the most important step is how do you get the right people to come into the organization?

Josh Johnsen 9:07
Absolutely, absolutely. So number one, I think you have to define your culture, you have to know what your culture is. And then you look for those traits or personality traits that align with your culture. So very quickly, we've defined our sales organization as a high performance, which means that people exceeding plan is the expectation. We've had a great history of success, we're on nine straight years of just continuous growth and exceeding our bookings targets. So we set that expectation of high performance, high performance, then you start to gear the questions and what you're trying to uncover around effort based and where they can relate on effort and how they measure themselves versus just end results. Because that results can sometimes be a little bit deceiving. It's how you got those results. They could be a part of a industry or product that was such a fad that it sold so quickly. So you start looking at the behaviors, the skills sets, there are traits that are all effort-focused and you start to weed out those that don't have that skill set, we always talk about my former leader once said, pushing a rock uphill, those that can grind out those that have that, that never say die that determination. So culture is defined, and we know what we're looking for from a skill set. We do multiple levels of interviews from leaders to managers to, if needed myself as well. But we just look and assess those, those characteristics, those traits based on what we're looking for, then once they come on board, your attention turns completely to the onboarding, drinking the Kool Aid, feeling good about where they're at, we have a very high retention rate among our sales reps comparative to what sales is, in general, or last five years, we're running at just under 80%. But we have this philosophy to when they come on board, it's we grow together, it's how...

Umar Hameed 10:51
Nice.

Josh Johnsen 10:51
...do we grow in your career, and it's different for every single person. One person could want to grow from a promotion, title, perspective, or compensation or sentence or just different roles. So we've created that avenue where every single person can buy into we grow together, although it means something different for me and for you. The theory and concepts still buys into this imagery of putting a flag at the top of the hill with a group getting there together, people helping each other ascend that [garbled].

Umar Hameed 11:18
Absolutely. And in our previous conversation, one of the things we were talking about is when you get a sales rep that comes into your organization, and then they because the culture is such that they can put up their hand without fear that, "I'm I think I'm in the wrong spot." Could you retell that story of someone that actually came up and said, "I think I'm in the wrong spot," and how you manage that?

Josh Johnsen 11:38
Yeah, for sure. So there's, I can tell you dozens of stories like that, because it's important to get the person to where they want to go. Within our organization, we have multiple roles, whether it's a client sales role, which is more managing accounts, territory-driven, versus a hunter role, which is all just bringing in new logo, business, or specialty roles or partner roles, nonetheless, We had an associate nine years ago, come in absolutely doing fantastic. He was a hunter and doing just so well, making every single month. And we have this philosophy of give and take feedback, transparency, radical transparency, we want the facts and the truth and bring solutions, all those kind of mantras. But nonetheless, he came to us and said, "Hey, listen, this client sales role, I believe is perfect my DNA, here's why." And he was very successful rep in the hunter roll. So naturally, we transition them into client sales. And here he is nine plus years later, one of our top five sales associates of all time in terms of total revenue sold. So it's about knowing where they want to get to, and creating that path that allows them to get there versus such a dictator type role of do it this way, or you're gone, we facilitate their growth within the organization. Our average tenure has grown significantly, that proves that theory out.

Umar Hameed 12:53
So Josh, you know, in our short interactions together, the one thing that comes across is, you know what you want, and you're going to do what it takes to go get there in a very caring, ethical way. And that kind of reveals, like, you know, you've got a good healthy ego. So how do you keep your ego in check that you don't let the ego run the show, and you're more connected with the people that you lead?

Josh Johnsen 13:18
Yeah, so to me, it's several things I make sure every single day that I connect to everybody in the sales organization. Relationships have always been a driver for me, those long term relationships are important. But how you really keep your ego in check is the philosophy of give and take feedback. No matter what position you're in the organization, whether you're the top or your entry level, if you can buy into and accept the philosophy of give and take feedback. It means when you see something that needs to be corrected you in a very professional way, one on one, give that feedback, you don't become a tyrant yell at someone in front of a group. But the same has to apply if there's something you have to be open to feedback as well, no matter what position you're in, which I truly believe allows us to keep our egos in check and really focus on the good of the business.

Umar Hameed 14:05
Brilliant. Because one of the things we were talking about was radical truth, like how do you convey that and the culture of the organization and informs how a tool is used. And there's some organizations where they buy into the radical truth, but they don't use it as a tool to help people grow in the organization to be better. They use it as you're screwing up, and I'm going to tell you exactly what you're doing. And it's almost like weaponized. So how do you maintain your culture as you guys are growing, it's really easy to get the culture to dilute or get distorted. So how do you stay true to the culture and so what are the checks and balances to make sure that's happening?

Josh Johnsen 14:46
Yeah, so it's not just one simple answer. There's multiple things that you must do to be able to progress the culture going forward. So a few of those things, number one is every six months from an entire business perspective, all 700+ AdvanceMD employees, we complete an eNPS survey employee net promoter scores...

Umar Hameed 15:04
Nice.

Josh Johnsen 15:04
...which allows you to gauge the engagement of your employees as well as ask them 12 questions that are important such as, "Do I have the tools to succeed at work?" So then you're getting these scores that print out and show you, "Okay, here's what the majority is saying." So every six months, we have this incredible focus. But it's not just taking the survey, immediately upon taking the survey that we then meet with the entire organ sales organization, say, "Here's where we're in tie, here's opportunities for us to develop. If you have any, you know, agreement or disagreement this, please make sure you state your opinion, so to speak." And then we look at those top two or three items that were progressing forward and trying to fix. For example, in the past, we said, "We don't have the tools to succeed, we need XYZ," we then meet with the group, figure out what tools are needed and start to find those solutions. That's one, option. Number two is, every, every six months, every associate has a one on one with our VP of Sales, just to get a gut check, "How are things going? How are you feeling in support there, how's your leader doing?" All the leaders know, and they're open to this. So that's another avenue that allows...

Umar Hameed 15:04
Nice.

Josh Johnsen 15:04
...them individual, we also will do company wide and group roundtables to make sure that we're staying out of it. But we always have the philosophy bring solutions. If someone wants to come into my office to complain, say, "Josh, I wish we had blah, blah, blah," it's bring solutions or this bothers me bring solutions. It gets them critical thinking that allows them to be a part of the solution, versus creating an avenue where someone can just moan and complain about everything that occurs. Now on top of that, as well. It's it's about your culture, as well. So it's the knowing your people, the milestone events, the things that occur, their spouses, name, their kids, their family, building, that connection allows both parties to be able to feel comfortable to each other. That's a very important thing for us is we value the spouses, significant others lovers, the best friends, that's something that we really take very seriously. And we do activities and events that include spouses. And that's how we build on that culture.

Umar Hameed 17:01
Brilliant. So you've got 100 salespeople, how often do you have sales conferences for your team? And trainings and that kind of stuff to keep them at the peak of their performance?

Josh Johnsen 17:11
You have two great question. So it's once again, multiple levers, multiple layers is what we do have our kickoff to every year, which we do a big kickoff bringing every single person in, we have spoken up by teams, which they have team meetings each week, they have their channel meetings each week, there's a set Thursday training. And we also do brown bags during lunch, which allows them to hear best practices. There's also an intensive training program where they can do certifications and pass off...

Umar Hameed 17:39
Nice.

Josh Johnsen 17:40
...their skills, there's leadership training programs, so you have to be careful, because you can over train and take away from the core of bring in new business. So some of those things like brown bags are optional. Here's the competitive intelligence, here's the what this topic is going to be, here's what they're they're talking about. And it's optional for people to come. But it starts from day one with a detailed training program from day one. And then there, they get into that. And we also have go as you, you know, your own pace training programs as well. But nonetheless, there's multiple layers to a great training program, from the top of the company, to the organization to the team, to the individual, as well as how can you develop in your career, and we press push that as well. We even have book clubs that allow us to read books together and, and grow as an organization on that perspective.

Umar Hameed 18:27
Brilliant. So for you, Josh, as you go on your journey, there's probably limitations you have with things you come across. So what are you currently working on and how do you stay ahead of the curve and learn and improve?

Josh Johnsen 18:40
Yeah. So I'll give you an example of when I first came to AdvancedMD, we just had a few simple roles. There's over 40 roles today. And so it's always trying to you can't be afraid of making a decision and trying something out and failing and then getting back up on the horse again and trying to figure out different ways to do it. So oftentimes, someone will pilot something, and it won't work, and then they'll abandon it. My philosophy is you piloted it didn't work, why didn't it work, we drill down to see why, and continue to read develop that. So some of the things we're working on today is just our structure, how we're structured. And where we have synergies, we made a decision to bring two teams together last year, that was more of a partnership relationship, and it's had incredible results. We've been doing that for the last five months now. Now we look at how we can get different synergies between the different teams, channels, and organization in general. And then next is we have two large projects we're working on that are tools that will help our reps be more successful when it comes to the mundane part of working with a CRM or creating estimates and so forth to some of the things that were on our NPS survey.

Umar Hameed 19:51
Love it. So Josh, what makes you happy?

Josh Johnsen 19:55
You know, as I mentioned before, I'm driven by my, my, I believe everyone has a triangle in their life, and you have to have balance. So for me, I, my triangle, my three very important parts of my life are number one is my faith and my family, very religious father of five, I have a grandchild, my family is my world. And so that's one of... Thank you, that's one of the very important parts that can't ever be sacrificed is my spouse of 25 years, my children, my family. Number two, my career and development in my career is also important, I need a means to support that family, obviously. So there's a balance there. And then the third thing for me is my personal exercise and sports, my sports teams. And so what keeps me happy is making sure that I'm giving the adequate attention, does important things, but there's no doubt, my number one priority is my faith and my family and their inner tied together.

Umar Hameed 20:49
Yes.

Josh Johnsen 20:49
That's what I work hard to support this family. And when I leave the office, my family has 100% of my undivided attention. I do not miss my kids sporting events, I do not miss their choir event, they do not miss those things. Because my supportive my kids, and my spouse or my drivers.

Umar Hameed 21:08
Oh, love it.

Josh Johnsen 21:08
I have had in my office a frame that says remember your why. And in this frame is a picture of my entire family. And when days get tough, I look at that. So I'm working for not just myself, but to support and teach those kids very valuable lessons.

Umar Hameed 21:26
Love it. What's a mind hack that you'd like to share with sales leaders that allows them to be more effective in their personal life or professionally?

Josh Johnsen 21:34
Yeah. So I think the balance is important but you have to have you have to have your guiding principles, you have to have something that becomes executable and measurable. And that's where I think sales leaders often fail. So I believe it's very important no matter what you're doing, when you're developing your playbook, you look at a system of checks and balances of when it goes bad. We have an execution model, "Did we run it and hype it?" "Did we do all the research?" "Did we not roll it out properly?" "What are the expectations too high too low." And so my advice to sales leaders is always have something that you can benchmark or measure and make sure it's it's it's repeatable. I have this right here that I keep this guy that calls the execution model. Number one, training hype, number two set expectations, number three, measure inspect, number four post results, and number five recognition. And if it's not working, where in those five steps, is it broken, it's a circle. You've got to say, "Okay, we didn't set expectations, clearly, we've got to go back to the drawing board," and that'd be my guiding, my guiding principles for leaders is how that (garbled) mantra.

Umar Hameed 22:43
So two take a picture of that, send it to me and I'll do two things. One, I'll put it on my desk, which will be really useful. And two, I'll put it in the show notes so people listening to this can take a look at it as well. Josh, thank you so much for being on the show. I learned a lot and love your passion and drive to build a kickass amazing organization while maintaining a connection with family and faith.

Josh Johnsen 23:03
Thank you. My pleasure is great to meet you as well. I look forward to future interactions.

Umar Hameed 23:12
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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