The Insight Track with Ian Moyse: Overcoming Sales Obstacles

June 12, 2019

Staying ahead of the curve has always been important to Ian Moyse. It led to his developing an early passion for technology, and has fueled his perpetual curiosity about what’s next in the world of sales.

As a result, Moyse has honed a keen intuition for the discipline, and his influence runs deep. He holds leadership positions across several different organizations and associations, and serves as EMEA Sales Director for Natterbox, a provider of cloud telephony solutions.

As part of our “Insight Track” series, which captures and shares unique viewpoints from some of today’s top experts and pioneers in the field, we picked Moyse’s brain about managing teams, adapting to the new era of sales, prioritizing tasks, hiring and retaining quality talent, and more.

Read on to find his thoughtful takes on some of the most pertinent topics for sales pros.

As part of our “Insight Track” series, which captures and shares unique viewpoints from some of today’s top experts and pioneers in the field, we picked Moyse’s brain about managing teams, adapting to the new era of sales, prioritizing tasks, hiring and retaining quality talent, and more.

Read on to find his thoughtful takes on some of the most pertinent topics for sales pros.

Ian Moyse Weighs in on Sales Leadership

What does your role as Sales Director at Natterbox entail?

Providing sales leadership to the colleagues in my team and defining sales strategy and cadence to achieve the sales goals. My role is to help each member of my team to achieve their goals, to develop and improve as salespeople, and to enjoy their role. I view my role as one to remove sales obstacles, be this through improving process, providing coaching and guidance, joint calls and visits with my sales people, or through providing information that helps them be successful.

How has your passion for computing and technology helped shape your career in sales?

Doing what you’re interested in and passionate about makes selling a lot easier. I cannot imagine selling a product or service that you did not believe in or care about. I started as a programmer and have always maintained a vested interest in technology and how it can be used to make things better. Working in tech today is even more interesting as we have all the new fast-moving exciting tech that is disrupting and digitising the status quo; cloud, IOT, AI, Big Data, Drones, VR, and more.

What are the biggest changes in sales, compared to five or 10 years ago, that professionals in the field must come to grips with?

Opening the door is harder than ever before; going in cold is a hard, hard option in today’s information-rich world. Customers are more resistant as we all are, we all filter out noise from emails, phone calls and pre-scan whether to reply or pickup. How many times have you had a phone ring, glanced at the screen number and due to a withheld number or one you don’t recognise, allowed voicemail to pre-screen for you?

We all live in a world where tech has changed our behaviours. For sales, you no longer get to sit in front of someone and explain your wares without them already having had immediate access to so much about your product, your company, and you personally through the ability to Google anywhere at any time and find out not only what you present online, but what others have shared or said about you.

Your personal brand is increasingly becoming important as a salesperson, it goes before you and it goes with you through your career. People still buy from people, but who you are is now more visible to the greater masses.  Social selling has become a thing and in the early stage of initial engagement the methodologies have changed. Once you have real-world engagement, prior skills of research, rapport, questioning/listening, etc. all remain relevant.

Do your habits and tendencies as a sales professional ever cross over into your personal and social life? Any amusing examples to share?

As your sales skills and approaches become habitual they become more natural to you and your prospect/client. Through this, of course, they cannot help but become a part of you. You don’t simply switch it on, so often you will find that sales phrase or approach sneaking into your personal life. This can be when you’re buying something, you ask questions that lead you to getting the discount or a better deal. And with your family and kids it’s always easy to fall into the “Help me understand why you feel that way,” or “If they were both the same price, which would you prefer” type things. You have to be careful, as when spotted they can lead you into interesting person discussions...

Sales managers are constantly being pulled in many different directions. What methods and approaches have worked for you to juggle and prioritize? How have you made time for training and mentoring others?

I always try to prioritise what affects my team and their customer engagement at that time. To them any delay from me affects their day and ability to deliver the targets I put upon them. Customer-facing and activities that directly and immediately affect revenue outcomes come first. I then focus on those periphery activities. I spend a lot of the time working in JIT mode (Just in time) to achieve this. So for example, a presentation for an event or a blog may be delivered hours before it’s needed due to this prioritisation focus.

For me coaching and mentoring should be ongoing things that are happening at every engagement, leading by example. When you help a team member edit a proposal do it in redline so they can see what you have added or changed and learn from it, for example.  All in all, it requires hard work and long hours, there’s no getting away from that.

For traditional sellers who may not be as familiar with digital selling, what are some simple first steps to grow more comfortable with the approach?

Do what you should do in sales, ‘Listen.’ Social selling is a methodology that does not require you to be a social media expert, but to apply some common sense and selling skills to using a new toolset. Research the people you are engaging with, look them up on Linkedin, Twitter; who do they know that you also know? Who do they follow and engage with online? Whose content do they share? What’s it about?  Listen and glean any insights on how you can better engage. Do you have content you can share relevant to the person’s interest? Can you add a comment that adds value and gets you noticed?

Make sure your own profile looks good also. Use an appropriate professional image and fine tune it regularly. It’s your public calling card.

From your view, which effective sales tactic is most overlooked or underutilized in the profession today?

For me and from my experience of working with salespeople and recruiting, the skill still underutilised is questioning and researching. The basic fundamental skill I know, but so many of the salespeople I interview (including those 20 years in) have not come informed about the organisation and people they are meeting, offer no relevant insights based on this information, and do not ask good questions.

It’s a basic skill, but for me the most important at every stage of a customer engagement. Kipling’s friends stay strong in today’s world. How often have I been told by a prospective customer, you asked a lot more questions of us than anyone else did? Of course it means we get a lot more answers and know better how to help the client and to win their business.

What advice would you give a new sales rep who’s just breaking into the field?

Constantly learn from good examples around you. Get a sales mentor and learn good approaches and make them habitual. Practise making good processes a habit and they will become easier. Focus on the basics and do them very well repeatedly. I too often see someone wanting to learn what they view as clever skills such as negotiation. Step back and master questioning, listening, researching and building value. Do the basics very well and often and you will outsell a far more experienced salesperson. Read and read more on sales and take what works for you. Read a sales book and get two or three small things from it that help you become better and it was worth the read as those go with you day-on-day, month-on-month, etc. Finally, be persistent and resilient, take a loss as a learning exercise, and ask the customer why you lost as you want to learn.

What is your advice on hiring and retaining top sales talent? And keeping them motivated?

Hiring top sales talent is a hard one due to the finding part. Whether direct finds, through advertising or through recruitment agencies I have tended to find a lacklustre mix of candidates. Those who have many years selling, but have not adapted or remained fresh by learning the new buyer dynamic and new selling skills to complement the old.

I also find sales people often are average at the basics, they do not shine and make the hiring decision an easy one. I want a salesperson to give me confidence on how they will behave and perform in the new role; past performance is an indicator but not as strong as many believe. The best candidates for me come through or come with a personal reference I can take from someone I know, not someone they choose.

Retaining good sales talent I believe comes from a mix of ELY (Earning, Learning, Yearning). Are they earning what they want to earn or can see they will be and are confident in this? Are they learning new things and feel they are developing and getting value from working with you? Do they enjoy their work days and have more positive than niggles? If they are highly positive on these three, barring personal circumstances changing, you should have a good consistent chance of ongoing retention.

Stay One Step Ahead with Powerful Insights

Moyse doesn’t just talk the talk. He’s been walking the walk for years, and leading the way through his foresight and attentiveness. At Natterbox, he considers it his job to help other salespeople overcome obstacles and find new levels of success; we are very grateful that he was willing to do the same for our insight-hungry audience.

Make sure to follow Moyse on LinkedIn to keep up with his outstanding content, and subscribe to the LinkedIn Sales Solutions blog so you never miss out on an opportunity to learn from the industry’s best and brightest.