I met Matt McDarby at a Sales Hacker conference a few years back and have been a big fan of his content on LinkedIn ever since. When I saw that he released a book, I knew I had to check it out. If you are a Sales Leader or want to become a Sales Leader, I highly recommend you check out “The Cadence of Excellence”.
I think he sets the tone of the book perfectly with the line “We need to shift from a culture of reporting the news to a culture of making the news”. I love this, it’s part of the reason why I started Noted Analytics because I felt like all too often, CRM is used to “report” the news rather than help “make” it. So it’s no wonder sales managers fall into that same trap.
Every time I read a book, I try and take away 2 things that I can start doing on a daily basis. Here are my takeaways from “The Cadence of Excellence“:
Early-stage deal coaching
It’s easy to get drawn into the late-stage opportunities as a manager but by that point, there isn’t too much you can do, maybe the only thing left is discounting. Early-stage coaching has the biggest impact on opportunities. Not only does it help your team spend time on the right accounts, and reinforce your sales processes, it empowers reps to be independent, see the deal to it’s close and not rely on a manager to parachute in and have to “save the day”.
The Second point is Coaching Inception. It’s not what the book calls it but it reminded me of that movie Inception with Leonardo DiCaprio. The background here is that people value what they request over what is freely given to them. So as a manager, you have to guide your reps to the path you want them to follow. An effective way to do that is to approach each coaching session with the following questions mapped out:
What conclusion(s) do I want this salesperson to draw?
What questions will I ask to lead to that conclusion?
What action do I want the salesperson to take that represents progress?
Again, my 2 takeaways are to focus on coaching early opportunities and approach each of these coaching sessions like Leonardo DiCaprio, no, I mean to plan for the conclusion I want my rep to draw. And actually, that last tip works for customer meetings as well. As Matt said in the book, coaching is selling, it’s fundamentally about influence.
As always, I welcome any comments on the above points, other takeaways from The Cadence of Excellence, or other suggestions on sales books to check out.