This is our first installment in a series of interviews we’re calling: #SmarkLife [Interviews]. We invite successful founders, executives, and marketing and sales leaders across various industries to answer our questions on sales and marketing topics plus a few fun bonus questions.
Our first guest is Scott Peterson, Founder and CEO of Carver Peterson Consulting. Scott had worked for over 13 years at Aerotek before leaving to start Carver Peterson in 2014 to help clients build better talent and sales leaderships strategies to scale growth.
We had the opportunity to pick his brain and to discuss Inbound Sales. This is what we asked.
“Sales enablement” seems to be a buzz term that is back again. In your own words, what is sales enablement and how is it relevant today?
The key to success in sales is establishing a process that is repeatable, measurable and sustainable. Sales enablement provides the right tools, resources, information and training to build a sales team that is consistent. We believe that to create consistent results, a sales team needs to know what is expected of them, as well as a clear understanding of the business, what they are selling, who they are selling to and the value your product or service adds.
Part of the Carver Peterson model is teaching managers and sales teams how to position people within a company to win and create clear expectations about the organization. If you can get your people to operate more effectively, it can completely change the success trajectory for a business. We teach businesses how to do just that, and the results for our customers have been pretty substantial with boosts in revenue ranging from 50 – 85%. The goal is to operate as efficiently and effectively as possible, so that the results can easily be replicated.
Scott, you wrote a couple articles about millennials entering the workforce. What kind of impact is this having on the way companies lead and manage their sales force?
By 2030, millennials will make up 75% of the entire workforce, which means it’s critical for businesses to start understanding what is important to them. A common misconception is that millennials are looking predominantly for work-life balance, but what we have found is this generation wants to do meaningful and purposeful work that has a positive impact.
A great book that talks about this in more detail is “Exponential Organizations,” by Michael S. Malone. One of the biggest factors in attracting and retaining the top talent in the marketplace is the purpose of the organization. Millennials want to work for the company who is changing the way we work and live for the better.
Because of this notion, it’s extremely important for businesses to have a clear vision, mission and purpose that they articulate to and reinforce with their staff and customers. Also, the core values of the organization need to live rather than just hang on the wall.
The selling environment is changing. Can you highlight some of the trends you’re seeing and, if applicable, discuss the changing relationship between sales and marketing?
Today’s selling landscape is especially complex because for the first time the worlds of technology and relationships have completely intersected. More now than ever, sales is fueled by relationships and the customer experience, both of which are influenced greatly by technology—and it’s impacting the way we do business.
Technology gives us a global platform for locating, selecting and comparing service providers. We can read reviews to learn more about the customer experience and make more educated buying decisions. But the factor that drives people’s choices more than anything is trust, which is why relationships, introductions and connections are still an essential part of the sales process.
Technology like LinkedIn and other social media platforms make it easy to build a network of mutual connections. All salespeople should take full advantage of these platforms by connecting with prospects and asking for introductions from mutual connections. With a qualified introduction there is an automatic transfer of trust that cuts through many layers of the sales cycle. We call this process relationship based selling and you can read more about it on our blog here.
Let’s talk about Carver Peterson. Prior to you beginning this venture, you spent more than a few years in management and operations roles with Aerotek, a well-known staffing agency. Can you tell our readers about the opportunity and purpose that led you to Carver Peterson? (What’s the void in the market you address?)
Before starting Carver Peterson Consulting, I spent over 13 years working at Aerotek in sales, management and leadership roles. Understanding how to motivate my team, how to hire the right people and how to drive them to successfully reaching their goals quickly became something I was passionate about, and carried it with me when I founded Carver Peterson, something I’ve coined as “Valuing differences through understanding strengths.” As a result, the offices I led were consistently amongst the top performing, with the highest retention, and most diverse experience, backgrounds and strengths. But like the millennials in the workplace today, I was looking for a bigger professional purpose. In fact, it had been digging at me for years.
Once I wrapped my head around the impact I could have in the marketplace, I knew I could apply my skills in a much bigger way and reach more people. Combine that with an entrepreneurial spirit that runs through my veins, and confidence in my experience, strengths and personal and professional relationships, I took the leap and started Carver Peterson in late 2014. Now, I feel aligned with my passion purpose, and it drives me every day. It has been the most challenging, yet rewarding, year of my professional career and I know that I’ve found my path.
Carver Peterson was founded in Chicago to help our clients drive revenue and maximize profitability through improving sales efficiency, effectiveness and engagement. We take a strength-based leadership approach to capitalize on the competitive advantages of an organization, while empowering employees to exceed expectations every day. We’ve worked with a variety of businesses across different industries and our results consistently show improved employee engagement, increased bottom line and a stronger workplace culture.