The J. David Group

Customer Conversations (Part 3): Making the Customer the Hero of the Story with Pattie Grimm

In this episode of “Customer Conversations, you’ll hear Pattie Grimm, former Senior Director of Sales Enablement Center of Excellence at VMware. You’ll hear how Pattie solved a business challenge at VMware through technology, her process for evaluating and selecting sales enablement tools, and the importance of co-creating solutions with customers. Pattie emphasizes the need for salespeople to understand the customer’s needs and make them the hero of the story. The conversation highlights the importance of understanding the customer’s needs and co-creating solutions with them, as well as the need for salespeople to have a personal touch.

Time stamps below along with the full transcript here.

Business Challenge and Technology Solution [00:02:32] Patty shares how she solved a business challenge of reinventing sales methodology and process at VMware through technology.

Eliminating Non-Working Tools [00:04:19] Patty talks about how they eliminated a ton of non-working tools used by the sales team at VMware.

Mapping Customer Buying Cycle [00:06:50] Patty explains how they mapped their sales process to the customer’s buying cycle and used technology to make it easy for sellers to find what they needed.

Starting with the Business Problem [00:08:34] Patty explains how she starts with the business problem she is trying to solve by going out to the field and asking the salespeople and sales teams what challenges they have and what they need.

Referrals and Research [00:09:34] Patty talks about how she goes a lot on referrals and people she knows and trusts when evaluating different tools and technologies. She also mentions doing her own research by going to their website and looking up their customers and value proposition.

Breaking Through to Buyers [00:14:53] Patty shares what really works and resonates with her when a sales rep breaks through to her, including bringing new customer intelligence or insights, building a relationship first, and asking insightful questions.

Co-creating a Sales Methodology [00:15:43] Patty discusses the process of co-creating a new sales methodology with her team and stakeholders, including socializing and vetting it with RVPS, key leaders, and sales operations.

Blending Sales Frameworks [00:20:02] Patty talks about blending her sales leadership framework with the company’s model, incorporating their thinking into the existing model, and socializing it with key stakeholders.

Championing the Project [00:23:30] Patty was the champion of the project, with an executive sponsor and buy-in from the executive leadership team. Barbara was her wise advisor, providing feedback and coaching her gently.

Coaching and Sales Methodology [00:24:23] Patty discusses the importance of coaching and sales methodology in enabling sales teams to be more effective.

Selling in a SaaS World [00:25:14] Patty talks about the challenges of selling in a SaaS world and the importance of ensuring customers consume what they buy.

Making Customers the Hero [00:28:13] Patty explains why she wants her sales teams to be the heroes of the story and how it benefits her in the long run.

The Decision Making Process [00:33:33] Patty discusses the decision-making process for choosing technology partners and shares an example of a successful program at Microsoft.

Co-Creating Solutions with Customers [00:35:45] Patty talks about the benefits of co-creating solutions with customers and how it builds buy-in and ownership.

Challenges with IP and Subscription Models [00:38:37] Patty explains the challenges with intellectual property and subscription models when evaluating vendors and how it was a deciding factor in choosing Barbara’s solution.

Business Challenges vs Pain Points [00:42:26] Patty and J discuss the importance of focusing on business challenges instead of pain points during the sales process.

Importance of Articulating Future State [00:43:26] J and Patty talk about the significance of sales reps being able to articulate the future state of a product or service during the sales process.

Full Life Cycle Customer Engagement [00:47:51] Patty shares her experience of managing the full life cycle of customer engagement, from awareness to consideration to post-sale, and the importance of a smooth handoff between teams.

Three Sales Principles [00:51:20] Patty shares three sales principles that she has built into every program she has ever run or every methodology she has ever put in place or system or tools.

Co-create with the Customer [00:52:08] Patty talks about the importance of making the customer the hero of the story and solving their business problem, not yours.

Rapid Fire Five [00:54:35] J Webb asks Patty five quick questions, including what motivates her, her most preferred way to learn new information, and her favorite thing to do when she isn’t working.

Goodbye [00:58:11] J Webb thanks the audience for listening and asks Patty how people can get in touch with her.

Contact information [00:58:21] Patty shares her contact information and invites people to reach out to her through LinkedIn or email.

Closing remarks [00:58:53] J Webb and Patty say their final goodbyes and the podcast episode ends.

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