Mary Grothe is a former #1 MidMarket B2B SaaS Sales Rep who after selling millions in revenue and breaking multiple records, formed Sales BQ®, an outsourced RevOps firm of fractional VPs of Sales, Sales Ops, and CMO's who serve companies across the nation by profitably rebuilding their sales & marketing departments and growing their revenue by focusing on BQ, the behavioral quotient, and proven inbound + outbound strategies.
MORE ON MARY
Mary began her professional career at age 22, working with a Fortune 1000 Payroll/HR company. Starting at just $13/hour in an admin role, she quickly acquired the skills, education, and training required to advance into mid-market sales. Mary found her sales success by listening to her clients and always solving their needs; putting their agenda before hers. Even in times when her sales approach was the direct inverse of what corporate was enforcing, she knew in her heart what was right, leveraging emotional, intellectual, and behavioral intelligence. With multiple TOP 10 finishes and millions in revenue sold, she left to pursue a journey understanding the Human Behavior Intelligence that drives high growth sales and is now dedicating her professional career to helping companies drive growth.
KEYNOTES WITH MARY
Mary Grothe can speak to various topics that fall under
executive leadership, sales success, motivational, and spiritual keynotes. Your attendees will thank you for booking Mary on the main stage or breakout session. She captures their attention immediately and keeps them engaged throughout. Mary has sat through dozens of poorly constructed sessions with nonengaging speakers and non-relevant topics with no actionable takeaways. She knows what NOT to do. She ensures your audience is engaged, participatory, and is able to implement several key takeaways immediately following the event. She conducts extensive pre-training interviews with your key stakeholders to learn your business inside and out, learn the key sales and revenue challenges that need attention, and delivers an easy-to-follow session that your attendees will rave about because it’s relevant to them, their market, their buyer, their competition, their product or service, and what they hope to achieve in the next coming months.
[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 0:40
Hey everyone! Another episode of the No Limits Selling Podcast. And today I have the privilege of having Mary Grothe here with me, she comes from the House of Revenue, which is like a kick-ass perfect name for a firm that helps organizations grow their revenue. Mary, welcome to the program.
Mary Grothe 0:57
Thank you for having me.
Umar Hameed 0:59
So we're gonna go deep into compensation in a minute, but before we get started, why don't you tell people who you are, what you do and what makes you amazing?
Mary Grothe 1:10
I'm a former number one rep, a sales rep for a Fortune 1000 Payroll/HR company called paychecks, I had two different stints there, worked there for a total of eight years built my knowledge of sales and how to build a high performing sales career. With those kinds of numbers that I produced, I had an opportunity to train and coach other reps and managers which I loved. That led me to in 2017, starting a firm called Sales BQ, which was recently rebranded as House of Revenue. Our first year and a half or so our mission was to help build sales departments for small businesses and really help them achieve peak performance without that CEO having to go through a vicious cycle of turnover of reps who didn't perform, which is expensive to a small business. We evolved, we acknowledged about a year and a half into our work that if we didn't have a say in our clients marketing, customer success and revenue operations, in addition to sales, we were going to continue to hit ceilings. As soon as we doubled in size and began to take that over for our clients, we created a full scale offer where we go on contract for a company typically between two and 20 million. We have bigger clients than that, but we go on contract for six to 18 months, we attach ourselves to them with a VP of Marketing, VP of Revenue, who oversees sales customer success, or RevOps Analyst, our marketing team, we go in, we audit produce the gap, identify the roadmap to success, and then we not only build a strategy, but we also stick around to do the work. We are typically 2x in MRR for companies within about 10 months in 2020, nine full service clients, 100% success rate, really excited to be working with about 13 companies so far this year. Now you wonder the fun part, I have a...
Umar Hameed 2:55
Mary Grothe 2:56
...beautiful son named Becca, he's four years old. And then I have my husband, we just celebrated eight years of dating, not married, but eight years of dating just a week ago.
Umar Hameed 3:06
Congratulations on both fronts. And before we did this call, it must have been a couple of months ago, we were just chatting about having you on the show. And as we were ending that conversation, you know, it's gonna be great to have you on the show, and you're amazing, I'm amazing, too by the way, in case you were wondering, I asked, guess it was we built up enough rapport, and I'm not sure what the question was, but it was one that got you to stop. And then you told me the story about your son, who was four at the time, and what did you relay what was going on when he was four, because you were busy building an empire at that time.
Mary Grothe 3:40
I was. I, he was actually 18 months or maybe 20 months old when I started the company. And I had a completely wrong idea of how I was supposed to do it as a wife, a mom and now as CEO. I set out on a path for two and a half years of scaling my firm. I did heads down, 20 hours of work sometimes in a single day, I was working myself into the ground 100-hour work weeks, traveling every single week, I was a monster scaling our firm. And I thought that, that's what the world told me to do, you want to be a CEO, you want to be an entrepreneur, you want to be successful, you have to give it everything you have. And when COVID happened, it was such a blessing for us because we actually lost 60% of our revenue in a three day span, I did not know when the bleeding was going to stop. This was in March of 2020 as with many other entrepreneurs and business owners who thought what the heck is happening right now. And in that moment, I grieved...
Umar Hameed 4:42
Mary Grothe 4:43
...a terrible, terrible loss because I thought I have given up and sacrificed my, my the last two and a half years as a wife, as a mom, and really even to myself with any self-care. I was completely neglecting my own well being to scale this company at all costs, and I thought, if everything I built in two and a half years can come crashing down in three days, was it worth it? And I'm sitting on the floor, on my living room, and I look over at my son who was three at the time, and I'm looking at him and realizing, I don't even recognize this kid, I was seeing this maturity in him that I hadn't even stopped to see, and it was a big call out for me because I had entered into this season with him where he didn't want anything to do with me. And like, I couldn't sit next to him at the dinner table, I couldn't brush his teeth, I couldn't lay down for bed, I couldn't read storytime, I couldn't play with his trains, which is his favorite toy, and I just chalked it up to it's a phase. While it wasn't a phase, and now I was lying to myself, my son didn't know his mother. And he had a very close relationship with my husband. And then I look over at my husband, and I realize what a saint, he's been allowing me to do this, but I have not been a great wife, I haven't been present. And so in that moment, I was very upset, very emotional, and I realized I had done this wrong. And that's where I made a commitment that I was going to rebuild this company, and I was going to rebuild my life, and I did just that. So fast forward a year, and I rebuilt my home life, I have been able to work on our marriage in a way that we're at an incredible spot today. My son and I are inseparable. Not only do I get to play with the trains, but I get to like build all the track and layouts and read my own lines. But it was a it was a lot of work over the last year I committed to a 9am to 4pm work schedule, not 5am to 11pm at night. And I've been able to restore that. So over the last year, also our company was the biggest, the most profitable and getting the best results for our clients we've ever had.
Umar Hameed 6:51
Brilliant. And that's a great journey to have, and sometimes it takes the universe or God or COVID to smack you on the side of the head to say figure things out, because in our culture, it's tough man is twice as hard for women. But in our culture, we have this you know, do you want to build a company? Or do you want to have a relationship with your family? And the reality is, and this is a truth do your listeners and viewers, is that true leaders make shit up, I mean, a lot of stuff does not exist till they envision it and and what you envisioned through divine act was, "Wait a minute, I can build, have a great company and have a great relationship with my family, because I get to decide what I want to build," and that's a powerful thing when you realize that you get to create the life that you want. So tell me about other people that you've met and you've shared the story with that don't quite know how to make that work for them, because all about belief, right? what they believe is possible. Do you have one of those interactions you can share?
Mary Grothe 7:51
Yes. Step number one, like you said, is to believe that it can be done, and then you have to map it out, and you have to choose it. So I am working with a female executive right now on this who was very convicted by my story and saying, "Oh, my gosh, I'm missing out on the life of my kids." And she has three kids, whereas I just have the one. And the acknowledgment was exactly as you just said, it was an awareness point to say, "I thought this was how it's supposed to be if I'm going to be an executive and be successful in my career, I can't have it all as a wife and a mom, if I want to be that amazing wife and mom, I should choose to be at home," but that's not what I've chosen. And so in that conversation, the steps were easy to follow wine, you have to envision it, you have to believe that that life even exists of that future life where you have condensed work hours that you can be present at the times that matter times of day and that can shift week by week basis of activity, so envision it. When you just have to even say like, "Because that's for me, that was my biggest hang up before COVID, I would knew I was struggling with this problem." And I had a female executive friend of mine say, "Why don't you just go into the office at nine and create time for your son in the mornings?" And I looked at her and I laughed in her face, "Do you not know who I am? I can't work a nine to four work a day, that's impossible." I'm scaling a company, it doesn't work that way I laughed in her face because I didn't believe that it was possible. Now COVID helped me believe it was possible because I had 60% of our work taken away, so anyway, I had a lot more time. But with that with this executive that I'm working with now, it's when you have to envision it and believe it to how do you get there? Well, one thing that we found to be successful is making a timesheet of where time is spent every single day. Oftentimes, executives, especially high powered, talented executives will have struggle, challenges with delegating, and they want to take on more than they should or that they need to. And so it's being able to make a list chart of everything you do on any given day, week, month or quarter and saying, "What are these need to stay with me? What are these can be taught to another team member, where do I struggle with delegating?" And then the last thing is getting control of the calendar. So after you make those decisions, then it is time blocking, the first thing I did is I blocked out every single day, I am not allowed to be have a meeting booked on my calendar by anyone in my company, any client, any prospect any anyone before 9am, it's blocked out, you can't no one has access to put time on my calendar. And same thing after 4pm...
Umar Hameed 10:23
Mary Grothe 10:24
...commitment and you have to put it into action, then the last part would be finding an accountability partner, is to share the stream of vision with somebody that when that work does, creep back in, when the excitement and growth of in your role or your company's happening, who's going to hold you accountable and have a tough conversation if you get out of order with what you've committed to.
Umar Hameed 10:43
Which is brilliant advice, people think it's impossible to do. I was interviewing another CEO, and he said, "By the way, you know, I run this company, I have two of the companies that I run, I'm writing my fourth book, I'm a triathlete, and I turn my business phone off every day at five o'clock, because I decided that I wanted to live and I'm just super, super efficient in what I do in the time that I have, that I get everything done. And I think it's, we get caught up in the trap, this is the way it's supposed to be done. And if I'm truly dedicated, I need to put in these hours." And the other component of it that you know, we don't need to go down, but pretty much you know, if you decided to focus on family a little bit more, it's almost like a sign of weakness, but if a guy did it, it's like, "Oh my God, he cares about his family," so there's like this double standard that a society puts, but I think for women themselves, they put more pressure on themselves than anyone else.
Mary Grothe 11:36
Yeah, I would agree and you just can't listen to that crap. That's what I would just say right there, I have decided to not listen to the noise and not listen to what people believe are the discrepancies in women and men and whatnot. I saw a tweet the other day that had a female founder on there. And actually, I take that back, I saw it on LinkedIn, and she has a gorgeous photo, and it's a brilliant shot, and then it says, "I am a female founder," with the word female with a line crossed through it. And she says, "You know, what, how about I'm just a founder, how about I'm like everyone else. And I'm going to tackle this and know if that's the right way that's right for me, right for my family, I'm going to write the rules on how this can be done and remove these barriers." And I thought that that was really neat, and I'm like, you know, what she's portraying here is a clear transformation, because she has made it through and risen above to say that she doesn't have those barriers anymore. And you're exactly right. in society, there's a lot of pressure that we as women put on ourselves, there's the thought the man can go, "Oh, how awesome that he's going to join the basketball game and see his kid play and not be on the road this week," whereas for women, it's like, "What do you mean, you're not there? What do you mean, you didn't drive your kids there?" And so it's very different, but I think that is starting to shift and change and the encouragement is the empowerment of women to go build this life. And the last thing I'll say on this is, on this topic is I had I was on a big name podcast, I told that same story, I had more men reaching out to me than women, saying that they were convicted and hearing the message. And realize that even though I was speaking to women, they realized how out of balance their lives were, and that their priorities were out of whack. And I had multiple messages come in from very big name CEOs in our community, saying, "That's exactly what I needed to hear. And I'm really thankful that you shared it." So I also want to call that out that men hear this message...
Umar Hameed 13:33
Mary Grothe 13:33
...as well and say, "I'm out of alignment," so I'm gonna just put all parents in the category. Make the life with your kids, and your business.
Umar Hameed 13:41
Mary Grothe 13:42
Umar Hameed 13:43
Yeah. And it's not just kids, it's just our relationship with life ourselves, like need to decide what's important. So let's kind of flip over to like the revenue side of things. One of the things that you guys have is a 12-month template for your clients. Walk us through that, what's step one on that journey?
Mary Grothe 14:01
Yeah. Oh, well, we scale companies and the CEOs we typically work with who would love this template, or those that have tried to solve the problem in the past and they have focused on silo strategy fixes, like, "Well, we brought in a sales trainer or we revamped our sales recruiting strategy, or we hired a marketing agency or fill in the blank," "Oh, we, we brought in a new executive to help solve this problem and it didn't work." So typically, the CEOs and executives that will enjoy this template in the process the most are those that are really ready to scale and just have not been able to crack the code. This 12-month program shows...
Umar Hameed 14:40
Mary Grothe 14:41
...at its purest, what marketing and sales alignment is, and I couple customer success with sales. And marketing should flow all the way from the first touch point of the customer through the sales funnel through customer success and retention to create great ambassadors and any hope. So it's one holistic revenue strategy, and I think a lot of corporations have struggled with that being a buzzword, but how do they actually implement it. So the 12-month template starts with the audit process, auditing how every single revenue department is performing, and then identifying the gaps between the current state and the desired future state. From there, it's breaking out in bite-sized pieces away, just start building the infrastructure, the systems, and the processes that will truly align the marketing and sales efforts in one funnel. And that is a combination of data, people and process, you have infrastructure, but you have the humans that are going to be executing with a layer of technology and automation between that tie it together. And so this format, this template walks them through month by month in a bite-size way, and to hopefully highlight things that maybe they didn't acknowledge or think about should be a part of the process. You can't build a house overnight, or name his house or revenue, the thought here is you have to build a strong foundation first. You then have to build the right infrastructure, walls, wiring drywall, you name it before you can have people living in the house. So you've got to think about it in that way, and that's what the template does is it just walks through in a methodical process.
Umar Hameed 16:13
Brilliant. So let's go back to that audit, because a lot of times companies, this is my hallucination is a lot of times companies go, "Okay, the problems over here, and we need to go fix that," but they don't take the time to, A, is it a problem? And if it is what's really causing it? How does this impact the other departments? How are they all playing together? A that's difficult for them to do, and you can address whether that's a true statement or not. And then two, I don't think they have the skill set to really look with an unbiased eye on what's really going on.
Mary Grothe 16:46
Yeah, we like to say opinions are valuable but data is priceless. CEOs are often very opinionated. They are they're smart, they are great visionaries, they have these companies are typically treated like their babies. They also look at people who said yes to them early on, like their executive team or any co-founders, they look at some of those people indebted to them. Like they said yes to me so I need to say yes to them forever, which are coaching out of the gate is a CEO has to be in the right mindset to scale, they may want to scale their company, but being ready is very different. So in that audit process, here's what we usually find, so yes, we work with bigger companies, we work with full teams but at the end of the day, the CEO is our client. Here's what we find, there's a reason why the company is not growing, and you can typically trace that back to the CEO for a decision or a belief system that they have around a certain item or, for example, the team who got you to this point may not be the team that takes you to the next point, but some CEOs are paralyzed in acknowledging that fact and thinking that they may need to turn that role in their COO position or that they may need to find a new VP of Sales or shift their function within the company. The second component is that same acknowledgement that they may have some subconscious unwillingness to change with their processes. So they may have some passion points about the way things are done in their company. And so there are some times sacred cows that aren't able to be discussed, but yet those sacred cows may be significantly holding them back. So we find that CEOs who are unwilling to change certain components, they are having to build systems around those, and that's band aiding, and that is not setting them on the stage for scale, so it's very difficult another thing that we identify in the audit. The last part, so we have people and processes, we have data, we usually see a gaping hole with the way that founders and CEOs are capturing and measuring data. In fact, one of our clients, hopefully you like the story, changed the name of their lead sources every year for the last three years, do you know what that does for year over year reporting? You can't see any trends...
Umar Hameed 19:02
Mary Grothe 19:03
...if you're have, where the business is coming from. And if you're calling an employee referral, one thing one year, and then you call it, you know, an inbound through internal and internal referrals, so that you change the name of it, and you also change the definition of it, you have very, very messy data, to the point that that's something that you have to look through in an audit to say, "Do we even have the correct data that's telling us a story? Or do we need to start capturing the right data and metrics today and have that clear line into what the data is telling us?"
Umar Hameed 19:34
So three things come up. So number one, sometimes the CEO needs to be changed, the person that hard you may not be the person that can grow that company to the next level, and they may be another position. Have you come across that and how do you have that conversation?
Mary Grothe 19:51
We do come across it. We have some really brave CEOs that acknowledge that and so we build the executive team around them that allows them to stay in that position, but we lessen their role, and we get it a little bit more concentrated on visionary or areas. So we actually have a couple of clients right now, where that decision has been made. And we've been able to map out where they can say in a function and now some of them have actually started the process for management buyouts, and actually stepping away and structuring that. But we do typically work with earlier stage companies that are maybe within their first two to three years of being around. So we have a lot of passionate CEO is not ready to...
Umar Hameed 20:30
Mary Grothe 20:30
...step out of that role, but they're willing to address like to be coached, what do I need to do? Where are my gaps, where are my shortcomings? And we have some pretty powerful relationships with our CEOs that are just willing to be on the course to become better. And we love that option as well.
Umar Hameed 20:45
Brilliant. Question two, sometimes, you know, this hyper-growth for organizations, things have to be changed processes, data, all that kind of stuff, which the CEO is like, you know, this is what we've needed. But the culture of the organization and the people, this is the way we've always done it, why are we changing, and that comes into, like a cultural shift. How do you address that?
Mary Grothe 21:09
Yeah. So it's about, I remember reading a book called Who Moved My Cheese, early in my sales career working for a Fortune 1000 company, they had a huge re-org, and a lot of shifts that occurred. And so to prepare for that they sent everyone in the company, a copy of that book, Who Moved My Cheese, to help all of us identify that change can be very uncomfortable. And if we don't acknowledge the benefits,
Umar Hameed 21:35
Mary Grothe 21:35
and the why behind it, we may be resistance, resistant, and through that resistance can actually hinder the process significantly. So I would say for the companies that we get to work for, it is about ensuring everyone understands the why behind it. Additionally, whenever we're doing our audit process, and we deep dives, we meet with every key stakeholder, and the people who whose lives we are about to change, because we can pull some pretty unbelievable information from them on how the organization can improve in the specific processes that they have. So that's a way to create buy in, and it reduces friction, because then people understand the why behind it. And if camaraderie and encouragement and collaboration and excitement is built through the process, people actually will push through that...
Umar Hameed 21:36
Mary Grothe 21:55
...change component pretty fast, because they're looking at the angle and they're in a positive emotion set versus a negative emotion set. And so that's just something that has to be accomplished in that audit step of the process before any recommendation could be well received.
Umar Hameed 22:38
Brilliant. Now, here's the third and final question. Data is data and data is dead and data is totally useless, unless you can analyze the data and get some insights. So A, you know you this is your bread and butter, but B, how do you train your clients to get the insights, you can show them, but how do you show them that way of thinking that can bring out insights that can help them accelerate their growth?
Mary Grothe 23:03
It has to be aligning the data set to the outcome that's currently occurring so that they can see the correlation between the data set and the outcome it's producing. Typically, once we connect those dots, the awareness sets in. And that's typically what's been missing in the past. So when we can bring forth an interpretation of their current data, and show them because this is the way that it is, this is what's happening as a result, then the light bulb goes off in, "Oh, I didn't realize that this was as a result of this." And so that's when in the recommendations we can say, "If we make these few adjustments, then this is the anticipated outcome is this more agreeable and desirable, if so, here's the path to make that happen." But I think a lot of times people could be adverse to initial reactions, if they don't understand the positive implication, and the outcome that will be a result of it, it was just drawing that and putting it together and showing them. Now sometimes there are more technical founders that can digest that a little bit more but typically, the CEOs profile that you see are very visionary, big picture high driver, and so sometimes they just have that attention to lack of attention to detail. And that additional interpretation of the data truly helps them align with that grand vision.
Umar Hameed 24:16
Brilliant. So Mary, you are an expert at what you do. And what is one mind hack you could share with our viewers and listeners, a simple little mental trick that gives you more productivity or makes you awesome, or is this something you'd like to share with our audience?
Mary Grothe 24:31
Oh, yeah. Energy management. We all have internal clocks, and they're different. We also have tasks that give us energy and we have tasks that are energy draining. When I figured this out as a high performing executive, everything changed for me. Here's the change that I made, I acknowledged that in this season of life that I'm in I'm quite the morning person. Rather than setting an alarm and sleeping through that alarm, so meaning if I woke up 30 minutes before the alarm, I'd say," I have 30 minutes left and sleeping to that," I just wake up when I naturally wake up the alarm is a safety net. So I set the alarm for the last acceptable time, I can wake up and still be productive for my day. But my body has been trained that when I naturally roll over and wake up anytime between 4:30 and 5:30am, I just get up, all of a sudden, I have more energy, because I've completed a run cycle. Then I've acknowledged that for me, if I do the energy draining tasks, when I have the most energy, they don't affect me, and they get done. So I have carved out quiet time in the mornings to do all of my administrative work as well as writing, I am not somebody who enjoys writing. And so all the blogs, social media posts and other things that I need to do for a content strategy, I have to do it in the morning and same with the administrative work or building proposals and whatnot. That is the only time that I have attention to do that, where I can sustain and pull through on energy. Then I've made it a point for things like recording a podcast or doing a speaking engagement, I typically try to book those before 2:00pm because that is where I can have the most energy, I'm bringing my best self forward, and it seems to be much easier in life giving. I noticed if I do those types of engagements later in the afternoon, I'm actually tired, I'm drained, and I'm not giving my best performance which which is has a negative implication. So with, with that I have built my calendar to put the most energy draining activities in the morning when or early part of the day when I have the most energy and to put the life-giving things that excite me on a really great like one on ones with my team members. Like I love talking to my team, and I get to hear from them, it brightens up my day. I put those in the afternoon, because I have energy for that, and it's so life giving that even though I might be in a lower energy mood...
Umar Hameed 26:50
Mary Grothe 26:51
...that brings me energy. So it's a little bit of shift on that I have also learned that to prioritize, so time blocking in the calendar. So not just energy management, but you have to time block these items and preserve your time and make sure that the rocks are scheduled first then you can fill in with the pebbles, the sand and the water, and then you will never run out of time in the day to get things done that you need to do. So that is my biggest hack for people like me an executive with a very busy schedule and a huge load.
Umar Hameed 27:20
Brilliant. Mary, it was a joy having you on the program. Thank you so much for sharing your wisdom.
Mary Grothe 27:26
Thank you for having me.
Umar Hameed 27:32
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.