In this episode of Selling in the Cloud, our guest is Dave Kennett. Dave is the CEO and Founder of Replayz, which offers on-demand sales tune-ups for Inside Account Executives from the world's best inside sales reps.
Dave was also named one of our 75 Cloud Revenue Influencers to Follow in 2021.
He joins Intricately CEO Michael Pollack and VP of Marketing Sarah E. Brown for a discussion on how cloud sellers can increase their Average Selling Price (ASP), common mistakes made in compensation structure, and much more.
Sarah E. Brown [00:00:09] Hello, everyone, and welcome to Selling in the Cloud, a podcast about the business of cloud sales and marketing, brought to you by Intricately, the authoritative source of digital product adoption, usage, and spend data for sales and marketing teams. I'm Sarah E. Brown and I'm here with Michael Pollack, and we are your co-hosts. Michael, welcome to the show.
Michael Pollack [00:00:40] Sarah, it's wonderful to be here.
Sarah E. Brown [00:00:42] In this episode, we're speaking with Dave Kennett, CEO of Replayz. He's a leading expert in everything related to sales coaching and sales process. We're going to chat with him today about how he helps teams win. Shall we dive in?
Michael Pollack [00:00:53] Let's do it.
Sarah E. Brown [00:00:54] Dave, welcome to the show. Great to have you with us.
Dave Kennett [00:00:56] Thanks. Great to be here, Sarah.
Sarah E. Brown [00:00:58] Can you give us a brief introduction and share who you are and a background of how you got to be where you are today at Replayz?
Dave Kennett [00:01:03] Sure. I'm Dave Kennett, CEO and founder of Replayz. And I started off in tech, like, 24 years ago, specifically in Seattle. And then, when I sort of track the journey over the last couple of decades... it started in the tech startup world. Loved it, went into big business for a decade and really enjoyed that. Brands like WW Granger, so when the industrial side and then Auto Trader, helping move that organization from print to digital. And then back into startup land the last 10 years or so, and would often come in as Head of Sales and for better or for worse, really try and grow the company. And that's where we landed on where we are today with Replayz. Obviously, I can get into that a little bit more, but does that kind of answer that the Dave Kennett, sort of one and a half minute background question?
Sarah E. Brown [00:01:57] I love it. And talk a bit about Replayz what you're working on.
Dave Kennett [00:02:00] Yeah, for sure. I mean, you know, as a sales leader myself for inside and outside sales, I always found that although I wanted to build a coaching culture that would be a 10 out of 10, it never was. And that's on me, right? Too many things slipped throughout the week given demands and pressures on me and the pressures I would put on my directors and my sales team. So I was looking specifically one tenant or hallmark of an awesome coaching culture is ensuring that calls are being reviewed. And I was looking for an organization that can help us with that and it didn't exist. And if you really look at the best performing sales organizations out there, they're getting call reviews from either their sales leader or enablement or professional coach a few times a month. And most organizations are doing it like literally one and a half to three months, a rep will get a call review. And I was looking around for companies that could help us. They didn't exist. Hence, I started Replayz. We're an outsourced call coaching company for high growth tech teams.
Michael Pollack [00:03:02] I would just chime in here to say that we're an incredibly happy customer so I can vouch for the Replayz value add and the enormous impact they have as a business, but I guess maybe to unpack for our audience a little bit here, Dave, it's interesting.... I'm old enough that early in my career as a salesperson, I would be on Y cords with people. So I'd be doing a call and someone would be listening with me and like, you'd put the phone call on mute and then you get like real-time feedback and be like, Oh my God, I'm doing it totally wrong. All that kind of stuff. And as we move to digital, it's become harder in some ways, easier in other ways. But I guess I'd ask you, the need for coaching clearly hasn't gone away. It's probably bigger than ever. Can you talk a little bit about how Replayz does it differently than other folks? Like the big distinction or kind of the process and the methodology? Because I think you do have a unique approach here, and I do think it is worth kind of highlighting that.
Dave Kennett [00:03:52] Yeah, there's a few things there. One is, it starts with the leader, right? And so one of the things we see with all of these Series A, Series B organizations, almost every single one is they're moving at such a fast pace and they're hiring at such a fast pace and investing in their growth that they don't actually, when they hire a new sales manager, often that sales manager was an individual contributor before and hadn't actually coached much before. And thus they're, you know, an inexperienced coach. Or they may be somewhat experienced, but they don't have a framework to coach to. And that is a differentiator for us. We'll actually coach the coach. And we do it with our Replayz framework, which is our 100 best practices. We are at the point now where we've been doing this for only a couple of years, but we've reviewed thousands of sales calls at every stage that you can imagine, whether it's an emerging market sort of small SMB call, mid-market, right up to enterprise and strategic – and high growth organizations like Outreach.IO is an awesome customer, Intricately, and many, many... IBM, right up to IBM. And why I mentioned all those things isn't to name drop. It's to say we get smarter every single time we coach another team because we learn we have access to the win rate data, of all the reps, so we can see what works and what doesn't, and what the best frameworks are for actually navigating through a discovery call with a five million dollar deal versus a $5,000 deal. And that's what's informed our Replayz best practices. So what our customers get is a plan and a solution to help the coaches really leave behind a coaching organization where we coach the coaches, a plan for the AEs and SDRs, and actual CS teams as well, where they can improve win rate and improve deal flow and not only velocity, but average deal size. But we do that through a tried, tested, and true framework that's supplied and then we check in with the executives and give them a framework. So I'm certainly not doing this to be salesy, but I wanted to be thorough in how I answered your question about like, how are we different? And that's how we're different.
Sarah E. Brown [00:06:03] So for folks who are listening, without sharing all of your secrets, because there's a huge value, it sounds like in the ongoing relationship. But can you share one tip or a couple of tips for having sales calls be, let's say, higher value ASP or selling at a higher value ASP, something that reps can do right away to be better at that?
Dave Kennett [00:06:20] Yeah, two things. One is do a better discovery and two is to include customer stories. So doing a better discovery, what does that really mean? It means, you know, so we did an executive check in recently with one of our larger customers. It was a brand that all of you would know, and it's a seller that's been selling for 15 years. And our coach said to their sales leader, Hey, I just reviewed so-and-so's call. And there were only two discovery questions in their half hour discovery call. Wouldn't expect that right? But and that's not beating up on that person, because guess what? There's a lot of folks guilty of that, and I've done it at times before, too in the past where I haven't been as thorough as possible. Usually, a lack of discovery equates to either A. Not even getting the deal done, or B. A smaller deal size. So take the time to do the discovery, ask the questions that matter, which is really uncovering pain points and then going deep in those pain points. Because at the end of a sales call, if someone's saying to you, Yeah, no, not interested, what have you got to go back to them with if you haven't actually uncovered their needs? Nothing, right? Whereas if you've actually uncovered something and say, OK, I respect the fact you're not moving forward, but I have to ask, you shared with me a few minutes ago that you haven't hit target on your whole team in the last three months. We talked about a key reason for that being X, Y, Z. We solved for X, Y, Z. So it's not us. Like, what is the plan? We challenged them in a respectful way. But if we didn't do discovery, we couldn't do that. And then the other is customer stories... really use social proof. We see reps all the time saying, Oh yeah, we've got a great case study on that, I'll send it to you. Well, that prospect's not gonna open that case study, right, like nine out of 10 won't anyway, I would bet. We've all been highly paid sales reps to be great communicators. Let's use those muscles to navigate through a very impactful customer story that speaks to the pain point of the prospect we're talking to and just share a customer journey that has been a real win for our customer so that prospect can see themselves in our customers' shoe.
Michael Pollack [00:08:17] I think that guidance is incredibly right. It makes a lot of sense. I guess I'd ask you as somebody who functions almost like a sales whisperer of sorts in that you work with sales leaders and individual contributors as well, right? As part of kind of the folks are coaching. I guess what are some of the habits that you see out of world class sales organizations, right? The obvious one you already alluded to is they invest in, utilize, and continue to coach. But I'm curious for you, given that you now have kind of this macro anecdotal data you're collecting of like, Oh wow, this is a big company. And maybe their sales org is borderline dysfunctional, but their products are amazing, so they grow in spite of it. What are the observations or habits or things you see that if you said, Hey, I can judge a sales organization just based on looking at these two or three habits, or if I had to give a sales organization a few pointers, what would they be? Where would you point towards?
Dave Kennett [00:09:09] To unpack that, there's two different directions I'm going to go. One is, it always comes down to the leadership. If you get a leader that is respected and that is going to value their team and can roll up their sleeves, but also know how to lead a team through high growth. That's number one. Number two, hiring the right people on the team, right? I know that sounds basic, but so many people get that wrong. We are in a crazy time right now where it's tough to get great talent. I just did a post on this on LinkedIn last week. Thankfully, I get to talk to CEOs like yourself, Mike, like almost every day of high growth tech companies. And I've heard three stories in the last week and a half of reps who started with a company and bounced in the first two weeks because they got a higher payroll somewhere else. So I understand how tough it is to get great talent, but one of the key threads is hiring someone who's a good fit for that specific sales motion, i.e., your transactional seller might not be a great enterprise seller. And even though people think you can reverse engineer, sometimes you can't. So an enterprise seller might not be a great transactional seller. And I think comp has a lot to do with it. I see the best sales reps are going to stick around not only if they have great leadership and good product market fit, as you mentioned, but if the comp is designed correctly. And by correctly, I mean, in a way that's going to motivate the heck out of them. We've got 20 plus awesome coaches. They do the coaching day-to-day, amazing senior leaders who have been doing this for years. And one of the differentiators is we don't have full-time coaches. We have coaches who are VPs or directors or sales managers elsewhere. So they've actually got street cred and they've sold something this week in their day job. And one of the common threads that they'll be looking for is, does a sales professional, let's call them sales professional, not a rep, is do they actually navigate effectively through discovery and really make the call about the prospect, not about themselves. And a telltale sign of an organization that we know probably isn't maximizing their potential is when there's less than two minutes of discovery, less than five minutes of discovery, and there's a slide show that happens in the first three minutes and the slideshow stays on the whole time and they just feature dump. That's when we know, hey, there's lots of opportunity for development.
Sarah E. Brown [00:11:36] Something we hear a lot from our customers at Intricately is how valuable it is on the marketing side to have access to Intricately's product adoption, usage, and spend data because they can share that with the sales team. That's actually before the call, right? So they're doing better discovery. What are things before the call, besides getting access to data, that can help reps really crush it once they're on the call?
Dave Kennett [00:11:56] Looking at LinkedIn profiles of the people you're about to meet and looking at the commonalities you might have; points of connection. I think it's just respectful. Quite frankly, I think it's disrespectful not to. Listen, to jump on a call and be like, Hey, where you're from and not actually be like, Hey, I see you're from L.A. You know, so that's number one. I know it's a no brainer for most people listening to this. And number two, if it was an SDR-generated lead, talk to that SDR. Make sure you've got all the data that they have because just quickly looking at SDR notes and then having the poor prospect have to repeat all that again, it erodes trust right off the bat. The prospect's, like, I'm not repeating myself, like this is inefficient. It's disrespectful of my time, and time is like this one commodity that is so precious. And if we waste that in the first few minutes of a call, we're eroding trust with a prospect that's never met us before. I think then the obvious things, like doing the research on their website look at Google, Google News. See if there's any press releases that have recently come out, how to look at where they're at from a funding perspective and take the time to really know what they do and then have a hypothesis of need in terms of OK, if I'm talking to a CFO at this size of company, I'm going to look at my database of customers. I'm going to say it probably matches up with these three organizations. You know, my guess is normally when I talked to someone in this role at this kind of company, there's three things that keep him up at night or one of three things. So I might start that call by saying, Hey, typically with a CFO, a company of your size, we find that one of these three things, or two or three, keep you up at night. Is that the case? And I'll tell you right away like A and B, no, but C, oh yeah, it drives me crazy. Well, what a great place to start the discovery, right? And so having a hypothesis of need, but then also bringing in your customer stories with you; pinging the customer success team and being like, Hey, I'm talking to a CFO at this company. I see we've got these three customers who love us, and can I use them as a reference in terms of why they love us? And can you walk me through how they're using it? A lot of that is super involved for a transactional type call, so I would recommend that if you're a $3-7K ACV, I just do the first few superficial things. But if it's an enterprise motion call, absolutely. I'd be doing all of those things
Sarah E. Brown [00:14:06] Well as a follow up, how can marketing and customer success teams, particularly at cloud companies, because I know you work with many of the industry's best, how can they better support their sales teams to be better at their jobs?
Dave Kennett [00:14:16] I think there's two aspects I would look at there. One is, you know, when you're around the executive table and you're doing your forecast for the next year, and we're talking about what percentage of leads are going to come inbound versus outbound generated and the sales team is expected to have and actually having the funnel laid out, you know, so month over month or quarter over quarter. What is the inbound lead flow expected to be driving your conversion rates right through to hopefully equate to and reverse engineer to the dollar figure that you need and the amount of pipeline that you need. So I think alignment around the exact table around that alone is massive, right? A shared accountability of, where are the leads going to come from? What's the pipe generation that's required? And a marketing leader and the great marketing leaders I know do this, they're just up as late at night worried about that pipe generation and accountability on their side of the pipe generation as their sales leaders, right? And so that's sort of at the executive level. I think in terms of enablement, I think coming back to customer stories, it's huge really enabling them with excellent case studies. And then I think it's incumbent upon enablement in the sales leaders to ensure that the sales professionals know how to actually communicate those stories in less than a minute. Not five minutes, not four minutes, and not ten seconds, right? But you know, at Replayz, we've got what we call the "what", the "so what" in the customer story, which is a basic one minute framework of how to tell an effective customer story, you know, something along those lines. So those are some of the ways in which – I think also, buyer personas – helping them understand use case by buyer persona. What's important to the CMO versus the Director of Marketing versus the CFO and what keeps them up at night? And how do we match those needs and pain to what's being solved? I mean, all the typical things there, but I think it's important.
Michael Pollack [00:16:06] I'd love to ask you, Dave, having the opportunity to look across lots of customers, lots of sellers. Can you talk a little bit about data, right? Data in a couple of different ways. Data that you find successful sellers rely on not just individuals, but perhaps the organization. I hear a lot of what you're saying really around, to some extent, the art of sales. Can you talk a little bit about the science, right, around the data that successful organizations put to bear for this podcast for our audience? Got a lot of folks that are dealing on the data side of kind of whatever, but particularly the data side of sales. I think that be relevant here.
Dave Kennett [00:16:39] I think step one is to align on a few key metrics. Period. End of story, right? It's like, if you've got 10 things you're tracking, you're not going to make that a priority for anyone. If everything's a priority, nothing's a priority. I think the executive really thinking on OK for account executives, what are the two metrics that we're really going to ask that they care about? What are we going to incentivize them to care about? What are we going to put in the spotlight every day? Is it pipeline generation? Is it win rate? Is it both? For an SDR, is it number of passed leads, or is it number of sales qualified leads that go through, or is it number of closed deals from the leads that go through for marketing? Is it empty wells or is it how many of those empty wells ended up, you know, do we move the dial to the conversion perspective? I think that's number one is defining key metrics by role and then I think, you know, specifically just being data driven is key. Really looking at and I hate to use the factory analogy, but you know, it really helps. It's understanding as you follow the journey of a prospect from MQL to close. What are the stages we care about? And then holding the team accountable to those stages. So if an SDR is meant to take that MQL and convert it to an SAL and then it goes to three or four key stages to that account executive in the process, I think really ensuring there's tight alignment around those stages, it's not wishy washy because what we see is sales leaders not being able to effectively run pipeline review calls because the team doesn't respect the stage process that's been laid out, and that's on the leader, not on the rep, because the leader needs to make clear, Hey, give me what your commit is for this quarter, we're three weeks to go. How many have you got at stage three, stage four, stage five? Everyone better be aligned on what those stages actually mean. And then I think inspecting that data is the next thing. Your sales leaders, daily, looking at seeing what are the trends? Where in the factory are we broken? Working with marketing and the rest of the team to figure out how they fix that and then aligning sales comp and leadership comp, whether it's marketing or to those actual successes, two or three metrics that matter. And that would be my big diatribe on that.
Sarah E. Brown [00:19:00] One quick follow up to the compensation and incentives question. What's the biggest pitfall or mistake you see enterprise sales teams making when it comes to setting up their comp for their teams?
Dave Kennett [00:19:10] They make it too wishy washy. And by that, I mean, they'll make too many things matter. It's like, decide what you care about. Is it ARR, you know, is it net-new? And if so, stop paying a rep for three years on a deal they closed, right? Like, that's just going to make them fat and not motivated. So ensuring that if net-new is what you care about, really, really aligning around net-new, pay for over-performance or else you're going to lose your rep and they're going to go to someone who does, and have a rep target. Don't just give them the normal targets on day one. That sounds logical, but a lot of companies missed that, and I used to miss that when I was a new leader. And it creates the sense of fairness and trust and the ability to be reasonable with your new reps right off the bat. And I think paying, you know, younger reps who are just out of school, giving them a large percentage of their pay monthly versus an annual or quarterly, because I remember what I felt like when I was out of school. Student loans, lots of debt, not making, you know, I'm the least paid person in the organization, so at least pay my commission monthly, you know, and then for the strategic larger deals and the more strategic reps, I think having a semblance of quarterly plus some sort of annual component to entice people from a longevity perspective to actually stay longer. Those are a few of the things I would recommend.
Sarah E. Brown [00:20:36] You gave so much great advice during this episode. For folks who want to learn more about you and your work, where should we direct them to?
Dave Kennett [00:20:42] Either hit me up by email, dave [at] Replayz dot com, or I'd love to connect with you on LinkedIn. So please feel free to hit me up on LinkedIn, DM me, and love to have a chat anytime. And also we've got to Replayz Masterclass. So Replayz Masterclass dot com. There's ten hours of video footage there of live demos that are being deconstructed by people like Scott Parker, Sam McKenna, Scott Leach, Josh Braun and Dave Kennett. Putting myself in with those people – you like how I did that there? And also in there, I've got four hours of our actual video best practices, and we're going to give half price to anyone that's listening today, to anyone that signs up there. So we will – actually we'll just create a code for it. The code will be Intricately and you'll get half price.
Sarah E. Brown [00:21:23] Perfect. I'm sure our listeners will appreciate that. Well thank you so much, Dave.
Dave Kennett [00:21:26] Thank you. It's been a pleasure.
Michael Pollack [00:21:27] Dave, we appreciate it. That is awesome. And just to call out to all the listeners, I can't say enough great things about Dave and the team at Replayz, and the approach they're taking to sales. Again, thinking back to that time, I used to spend on a Y cord and it being absolutely revolutionary in terms of changing my ability and improving my ability to sell. I'd say Replayz is packaged that into something better and much more efficient and scalable. So Dave, thank you for joining us today and for everyone listening, definitely check it out. It's worth it.
Dave Kennett [00:21:55] Thanks, Mike. Thanks, Sarah. Great to be here.
Michael Pollack [00:21:57] Well, that's it for us. This episode may be over, but we can continue the conversation on Twitter with the hashtag Selling in the Cloud. On Twitter, I'm @MRPollack.
Sarah E. Brown [00:22:07] And I'm @SEBMarketing.
Michael Pollack [00:22:08] Thank you to everyone for joining us for this episode of Selling in the Cloud, brought to you by Intricately, the authoritative source of digital product adoption, usage, and spend data for cloud sales and marketing teams. If you like the show, head on over to iTunes, or wherever you listen to podcasts, and please give us a review. We appreciate it. Until next time.