By Matt Heinz, President of Heinz Marketing

Late in 2015 we started producing a radio program called Sales Pipeline Radio, which currently runs every Thursday at 11:30 a.m. Pacific.  It’s just 30 minutes long, fast-paced and full of actionable advice, best practices and more for B2B sales & marketing professionals.

We’ve already featured some great guests and have a line up of awesome content and special guests coming up. Our very first guest was Funnelholic author and Topo co-founder Craig Rosenberg.  Next we had Mike Weinberg, incredible writer, speaker, author, followed by Conrad Bayer, CEO & Founder of Tellwise.  Recent Guests: Jim KeenanJoanne BlackAaron RossJosiane FeigonMeagen Eisenberg, and Trish Bertuzzi.

We cover a wide range of topics, with a focus on sales development and inside sales priorities heading into and throughout the year. We’ll publish similar highlights here for upcoming episodes.  You can listen to full recordings of past shows at and subscribe on iTunes.

About our guest:  Jeb Blount is a long time sales trainer, prospector and the best-selling author of eight books including Sales EQFanatical ProspectingPeople Follow YouPeople Buy You. He is a Sales Acceleration specialist who helps organizations reach peak performance fast by optimizing talent, leveraging training to cultivate high-performance sales culture, developing leadership and coaching skills, and applying more effective organizational design.

When Matt asked how the salesforce looks today he suprised us with his answer, “It looks the same as it did three years ago, five years ago – the things sales people are doing are the same things they did then.  But, there are more ways to fill your pipleline and channels – more opportunities than ever before. Older salespeople are benefitting, but can be overwhelmed with the addition of so many places to interupt the day of prospects and connect.”

Channels are being clogged, though, because they are so readily available. Matt asked, “How do you break through using these tools?”

Jeb tells us, “It’s always been hard to break through, even when we had email and door knocking, before social became core channels. Prior to that – doors, phones and networking events.”

Listen to this – the story of Richard from the UK and how he was persistent until he got through. He KNEW Jeb was a buyer, he KNEW. It’s a great success story of knowing your target market and not giving up.

Through his companies – Sales Gravy, Channel EQ, and Innovate Knowledge – he advises many of the world’s leading organizations and their executives on the impact of emotional intelligence and interpersonal skills on sales, leadership, customer experience, channel development, and strategic account management. Under Jeb’s leadership Sales Gravy has become a global leader in sales acceleration solutions including sales recruitment and staffing, sales on-boarding automation, custom sales training curriculum development and delivery, sales coaching, and online learning. As a business leader Jeb has more than 25 years of experience with Fortune 500, SMBs and start-ups.

He has been named one of the top 50 Most Influential Sales and Marketing Leaders (Top Sales Magazine), a Top 30 Social Selling Influencer (Forbes), a Top 10 Sales Experts to Follow on Twitter (Evan Carmichael), a Top 100 Most Innovative Sales Blogger (iSEEIT), a Top 20 must read author (Yes Magazine & Huffington Post), and the most downloaded sales podcaster in iTunes history; among many other accolades. His flagship website,, is the most visited sales specific website on the planet.

Matt:  Thanks, everyone, for joining us today on Sales Pipeline Radio. Very excited to be here with you again, as we are every Thursday at 2:30 eastern, 11:30 pacific. If you are new to Sales Pipeline Radio, welcome. Thanks very much for joining us. We’re glad you’re here. If you’re with us for multiple times, thank you very much for coming back.

If you wanna check out our past episodes, what we’ve been up to on Sales Pipeline Radio, we are interviewing some of the best and brightest in the sales and marketing world, giving you tips, advice, best practices, the latest on what’s working to help engage and convert prospects into closed business and B to B. You can find us on You can find all the past episodes on Make sure you don’t miss a single episode moving forward, even if you can’t join us live on the Lead Management Radio Network. You can also check out all of the episodes on our podcast at GooglePlay and the iTunes store.

And with us today, I am really excited. I am impressed that we were actually able to lock this guy down, because he is one of the hardest working men or women, he’s one of the hardest working guys in sales today. Very excited to have Jeb Blount join us today. Jeb is a long time sales trainer, influencer, speaker, writer, the author of books such as: People Love You, People Follow You, People Buy You. There’s a theme here we’re gonna talk about. Fanatical Prospecting and the new book, Sales EQ: How Ultra High Performers Leverage Sales-Specific Emotional Intelligence to Close the Complex Deal. We have so much fodder to talk about here. Really excited to have him. Jeb Blount, thanks so much for joining us today.

Jeb:  Thanks for having me on, Matt. It’s nice to be here with you. I’ve been waiting for this for a long time.

Matt:  Well, man, I am just tickled that you found time because every time I see a Facebook post or every time you check in with the sales group online, you’re into something. You’re in a new city. You’re at a sales kickoff somewhere. You’re speaking to broad groups. I think that access to sales reps on a regular basis, to me, it tells me that you’re keeping on the pulse of what’s happening, what’s working, what’s not working, and what’s needed in the sales industry. Maybe just give us a little report from the field, the reps you’re talking to so far this year, the sales kickoffs you’re seeing. What does selling look like in 2017 so far? What do we need to know?

Jeb:  It looks crazy. This is probably going to blow your mind, but it looks exactly the same as it did 3 years ago, 5 years ago, 10 years ago. The things that sales people are dealing with, just the average sales person, it’s the same stuff. We have a much different world that we live in. I hear a lot of people say, and I think this is good blog fodder, sales is harder than it’s ever been. I hear people who’ve never been in sales very long who say the same thing, but honestly sales is easier than it’s ever been because there are more channels, more ways to fill your pipeline, more ways to become the Silver Surfer, if you want to say that, but there’s more opportunities for sales people than ever before, and the reality, I think, is that new sales people don’t recognize how broad the field is and how open the doors are to them getting in and seeing people and filling their pipeline up.

I think that older sales people, people who’ve been around for a long time, they see it, but it’s a little bit overwhelming because there’s just so many different avenues to connect with prospects and customers. The issues that sales people are facing, being able to have a conversation, the right message, being able to advance their deals to ask for the next step to close, to prospect, to pick up the phone, to interrupt someone in their day, no matter how you do that. All of those issues, those are common to sales people and the same issues that sales people have been dealing with since 1920, it’s the everyday grind of being in sales that hasn’t really changed that much. Just the playing field has shift a little bit.

Matt:  I’m glad to hear you say that. I think in a lot of ways sales really has become a lot easier. I think about my dad, who sold tractor equipment for 35 years, and he sold in a very different environment where he did not have resources like Linked In. He did not have database management tools that put someone’s phone number in the palm of his hand on a computer that was also his phone that he could take with him anywhere. All kinds of things to make it easier to sell, but some of those advantages also make it a lot harder. Right? You’ve got a lot more people clogging those channels. You’ve got a lot of people, even if they have bad messages, they are clogging the attention of the decision makers you’re trying to reach. Even if you’re coming in with a good approach, even if you as a sales rep are bringing value to the conversation, it can be increasingly difficult to break through, to get your point across.

What is your … Maybe this goes back a little bit to what you wrote about in your previous book, Fanatical Prospecting, who do reps today, whether you’re in inside sale or field sales, how do you break through, using some of these greater tools, but still build pipeline for yourself?

Jeb:  Let’s be clear. It’s always been hard to break through, always. It’s never been easy to break through. I mean, when we had email, and going out and knocking on doors and the telephone as our options. Go back 10 years ago before social really became one of the core channels, when we go back before that, we had the phone and knocking on doors and going to networking events. That was what we had before that. It’s always been hard to capture the attention of prospects, especially the best prospects, because everybody’s trying to capture their attention. Today, we’re inundated by information that comes from every possible format, and we have all these devices that we’re looking at all the time.

The hardest thing to deal with is the attention span of every human being on the earth, except for people maybe in third-world countries has diminished and deteriorated because we just have so many things coming at us. As a sales person, I think today, more than anything, you need to be succinct, you need to be precise, and you need to be relevant, and you need to persistent. I’ll give you a real quick story that happened just this morning. Guy named Richard from a company called Refract, it’s a coaching and training platform, and they’re interested in doing business with us because we’re a big coaching and training company, and called me this morning and got me on my telephone. This cat has sent me one of the best prospecting emails I’ve ever read, and I wrote him back and told him that back in October.

Think about this. This was October, the guy first started talking with me. Now, you mentioned in the preview that I’m on the road all the time. Honestly, I haven’t even been home since December. I’m on the road all the time. When I’m home and I’m in my office, I’m in the studio today, I answer the telephone. This cat has called me, I bet he’s left me 20 voice mail messages. He got me on the phone a couple of times, and I passed him off to people on my team. “Hey, go meet with them. Go meet with them.” My people on my team weren’t really helpful for him. Today, my phone rings. He’s on the phone, and I go, “Well, you caught me at a good time. I’ve got time. Go!”

I was coaching him a little bit because he started telling me the whole story about how he got there and I said, Richard, “Here’s the deal, you’ve got me for a few minutes. Be relevant. Tell me specifically how you think you can help me and why we should be talking,” and he got a clue. This guy’s really, really smart. He got a clue, and then, the honed in on exactly what was relevant to me, and we signed a contract literally 5 minutes before we got on the telephone. We signed a contract with me and his company. Now, this is months of his work being persistent.

Most sales people will give up way before that. They will give up light years before that. If I just go back to the mid-90s when I was carrying a briefcase and selling, I mean, sometimes I’d have to call people 20, 30 times in order to get their attention. It’s just what I had to do, and I know that everybody feels like in their world it’s unique. I just want to make sure that people get this. It is hard. It is not easy. There’s not fairy dust. There’s no magic pill. There’s no easy button that you can push to make this happen. This guy, Richard, selling for his company did a brilliant job. Oh, by the way, he’s in the UK, and I’m in Georgia. He did a brilliant job of being consistent and working and being persistent and having a cadence until he got through because he knew that I was a buyer who needed his service, and he was right. Once he got my attention, and we got talking, I couldn’t help not buy from him because his product’s that good.

Matt:  That is such a great story with such great lessons. We’re talking today with Jeb Blount, who is a featured author, speaker, sales trainer, the author of Fanatical Prospecting, the new book, Sales EQ, which we’re going to spend some time talking about here. Also, I want to ask you about outbound. Jeb, you are one of the world’s top 30 social selling influencers according to Forbes magazine, but you also were the co-producer highly successful outbound conference. I think you and some of your fellow presenters there, including Mike Weinberg and Anthony Iannarino, and Mark Hunter have been talking a lot about inbound versus outbound, a lot about social selling versus more traditional prospecting. As someone who is a proponent of prospecting, fanatical prospect, who is a proponent of outbound and also a social selling influencer, how do you balance those different approaches together? How do you make sense of that if I’m trying to figure out how to build my pipeline.

Jeb:  I think that’s the key. I think the use of the word is balance, so inbound and outbound go together phenomenally well. The world will know this, but we just put up one of your courses. I was going through the videos, and I was watching about what you were teaching people about content marketing and why that’s important. You have amazing resources on your website, by the way, Matt. I now that you’ve got a loyal audience here, but if you’re not reading Matt’s blog, you need to go read the blog because the information you have on there about content marketing and inbound marketing are beautiful and they’re practical. I love the way that you talk about it because you aren’t telling people, “This is the only way. Sit back and wait for people to call you.” You’re saying, “This is one of the mechanisms, this is one of the systems that you have to employ in order to build a vibrant and high-velocity pipeline.

I’ve got the same message. My message is, “Look, if you’re a sales representative, some of your leads are going to come from inbound. It would be hypocritical for me as an expert because I sell books, and I sell training programs, and I have a big website, and I have a blog, and I have a huge social presence, to say that you should only do outbound. You should do both. Problem that I’ve found and one of the reasons why we think that the outbound conference resonated so well, and it was hugely successful, as soon as you said that, I got a big grin on my face because it blew my mind how successful it was. We had so much fun doing it, is that their sales people are, in some ways, starving. These are, like you said, in the field sales people.

They’re starving for someone to tell them the truth, and truth is that you can’t post on Linked In, you hang out on Twitter or Instagram of Facebook and wait for your marketing department to deliver all your leads. You can’t do that. You have to be part of the system. By the way, you may find this interesting, Matt, that the number 1 role that hires me and my company for fanatical prospecting is the CMO. We have marketers who hire us to come in and their number 1 message, usually the first sentence on the phone is, “I need someone to come in and teach my sales people that I cannot be the only source for their leads. There’s no way I’ll ever be able to provide them enough.

It’s marketers who are invested in inbound marketing, invested in concept-marketing, investing in filling the pipeline, but realize that they’re only part of the system. Inbound and outbound go together really, really well, but any time you become one-sided, any time when you say, the only thing you need to do is Linked In or the only thing you need to do is this or the rest of the morons are walking around the world telling people that this is dead or that is dead or this is dead. They’re all wrong. It’s balance and it’s moderation and it’s looking at every channel that you have and leveraging all those channels based on your unique situation, by the way. For example, if you’re a brand new sales rep, and you just walked into a territory, you better, by God, pick up the phone and knock on doors, and send smoke signals, and you better get used to cold calling because that’s what you’re going to have to do.

If you’re like your dad, you’ve been selling tractors and capital equipment for 35 years and you’ve been in the same territory, you’re going to be a lot more relationship-driven and referral-driven. You’re going to have a good clue of when buying windows come up, of when equipment needs to be replaced, so you’re going to shift probably more to referrals and more inbound and relationships than a brand new rep. My message, and I’m glad that you asked me, and the reason, I think, resonates is that it’s not lying to people. It’s not pandering to their fears. It’s just telling people the truth about what you have to do in today’s marketplace to keep your pipeline full, and like you, Matt, I believe in this and I believe that content marketing is massively important for companies to employ and, done the right way, with the sales team that’s doing outbound, you’ll kill it. You’ll absolutely control your market place, and you’ll gain market share faster than your competitors will.

Matt:  Yeah, I agree. Boy, if only you get a little passionate about this stuff, Jeb, we’d be in a lot better shape. There’s so many people that talk about how these things are dead. Cold calling is dead, all these things dead. When I hear people say something’s dead, I think 2 things. One, they’re trying to sell me the alternative, which is mostly the case, and two, when I hear someone say that it’s dead, what I really hear is that it’s hard. People don’t … You aren’t trying find something that’s easier, to find something that’s going to work faster, and oftentimes, there’s just no shortcuts.

You’ve got to put in the work. You got to do the work to get this done. We’re talking today with Jeb Blount who is the author of Sales EQ, which we’re going to talk about here in a little bit. Want to make sure you have a chance to check him out. he has a ton of great new sources, a ton of great content. check him out at That is gravy as it sounds, like biscuits and gravy, We’ll be right back. we got to pay some bills. Back with more with Jeb Blount. We’ll talk a little more about ales EQ and how to master emotional intelligence to close more deals. This is Matt Heinz in Sales Pipeline Radio.

Paul:  All right, let’s bring back Matt, but before he jumps in with his guest, I have a quick question, can you tell us a little bit quickly between, there’s a Modern Marketer’s Field Guide I can get for free and then there’s a Modern Marketer’s workshop? How do those two work together here?

Matt:  The key there is the modern market, right? I think both with the field guide as well as with our workshop, I think there’s an awful lot of marketers that still act and operate as the arts and crafts department. There’s nothing wrong with arts and crafts. I want marketers to be focused on metrics you can buy a beer with, right? I think B to B marketers need to have the same metrics a sales team does. A sales team focuses on sales. The marketing team should be focused on sales, so there’s a lot of marketing that has to happen that is not directly sales-driven, but that mindset that they’re work towards pipeline creation and closed deals, that is essence of modern marketing, so with our book and our workshops and a lot of our content [inaudible 00:16:20] as Jeb mentioned, you’ll find on blog. It’s really focused on helping marketers, not only understand and embrace that, but also operationalize it in their efforts.

Paul:  Okay, well, maybe Jeb will tell us more and how all that works together here.

Matt:  I’m just so thankful we’ve got Jeb for the time we have today. There’s so many more question we could be asking. I’m going to short change myself on this too. We usually talk about what’s coming up on sales pipeline radio. We have an amazing guest come up in the next several weeks, yada, yada, yada. You can find them all on or subscribe to the podcast, but let’s get back to Jeb. We’ve only got about 10 more minutes or so to wrap things up on the show today. Jeb, I want to talk about the new book, Sales EQ. You can find this book on You can find information about it on Help our listeners understand. What exactly is sales-specific emotional intelligence. What is that and how do you leverage that in a sales environment?

Jeb:  We start looking at modern sales and we look at where buyers have come from and where they are today. One thing that I think we can all agree on as a marketing standpoint is that customer experience has become a really important part of your entire your entire marketing paradigm. In fact, in some cases, we would call customer experience, if we were to rank things, delivering a better customer experience is, in fact, one of your core marketing channels. The same thing happens in sales. We know through empirical data that the buyer’s emotional experience of going through the process with a sales person increases the probability that the person’s going to buy from the seller of more than just about anything else that you have. It’s more important than prices, your features, your benefits, any of those things is the emotional experience drives that.

What sales people think emotional intelligence describe is how people manage that emotional experience inside the context of a commercial conversation. If you think about human relationships, there is no relationship in your entire life that is like a commercial relationship between a seller and a buyer. It’s a finite period of time. It’s highly emotionally charged. Each person is trying to get an outcome that they desire, and each person is afraid that they may lose something, which could include their losing face or being treated poorly or not getting the deal, so you’ve got this crazy, crazy emotional stew that commercial relationships between buyers and sellers operate in. What we know to be true is that the sellers who have the acuity to manage their own emotions and understand their own emotions while managing the emotions of their buyers have a higher probability of getting the outcome that they desire.

The people that are really, really good at this, take a look at your sales organization, they’re in the top 1-5% of your sales organization, and I call them, for no other reason than it was the term that I came up with, but I call them ultra-performers. These are the people that are beyond the credo principle. They’re beyond the top 20%. They’re the people at the top of the chain, and what they do very, very well is they manage that buyer’s emotional experience. Instead of the buyer buying your products or services or prices or features and benefits, they’re buying that particular seller. They’re buying that relationship, and that’s how those seller are creating deep competitive differentiation.

Matt:  You talk about complex selling and there’s a fair amount of literature, including yours on mastering the complex sell. If you’re interesting in modern reading on that, your book Sales EQ is great for that. Mastering the Complex Sale by Jeff Thull is good. The challenger content is good on this as well. It seems to be the marketing response to a lot of the complex selling work has been account-based marketing or ABM as it’s called. What’s your prospective on the account-based marketing movement? Is that a good complement to some of the work you’re doing around Sales EQ and the complex selling strategies?

Jeb:  No offense to marketers, but account-based marketing is not new. Account-based marketing has been around forever. When I was carrying a briefcase in 1992 when we were selling complex deals, we had account-based marketing. You would work with our marketing department, you would typically identify your top 100 best customers, you would understand who the stakeholders are in this particular account, and then, you would develop a marketing plan that would be reaching out over a long period of time, that would be basically creating familiarity, creating messaging, sometimes doing really, from a pull strategy stand-point, pulling those particular stakeholders, and getting them to seek more information. All of that was true then, and all of that is true now. The difference now between then is that most of that was done via snail mail and today, it’s done digitally and there are so many different places that you can reach those stake holders. Account-based marketing and strategic selling and working in the complex deal. Account-based marketing works best, in my opinion, with longer cycle deals because in a lot of cases, your goal is to get in very early.

For example, where the model the challenger has that fails for me is that their whole idea is that you’re getting in long after the person has been down what they call they buyer’s journey, and reality is, and you know this and I know this, is that the seller who’s in at the very beginning, who in essence, in some ways in where account-based marketing really works well is teaching the buyer how to buy, right? In that paradigm, the seller and the marketing department are tied at the hip, and they’re identifying particular accounts and identifying long out, so buying windows that are far out into the future and they’re beginning the process of both creating familiarity, so moving the seller and moving the company and the brand into the buyer and stakeholder’s familiarity bubble. Cruising through account-based marketing focus, I think you have a winning strategy and you have a powerful strategy that works.

Where it breaks down is where marketing and sales aren’t aligned, so marketing is going down an ABM strategy or an ABM process, but they haven’t lined that up to what the strategic sellers or the account executives, they’re going after the complex deals they’re actually doing. So, you have the same problem. The account executive is getting in the deal way too late, sometimes because marketing pulled them in, sometimes because the buyers are seeking the safety to reduce their risk by getting some other opinions, but the reality is that ABM and strategic selling or complex sales works best, really own the process when they’re totally aligned and when you’re building a strategic … This is, by the way, tied to fanatical prospecting as well. You’re creating a strategic profiting plan that is integrated with ABM, you can’t lose in those situations. You won’t get them all, but you’ll be able to go after your complex accounts, your dream accounts, and you’ll be able to do it in a very systematic way. The reality in the real world is that that’s a unicorn and it happens maybe 1-2% of the time. In most cases, it’s complete chaos, and no one’s aligned and no one is doing it very well.

Even, when you go back to the 90s and this is what we did, account-based marketing was what we did. Even then, most of the sales people failed because they weren’t communicating with marketing, they weren’t choosing the right accounts to focus on, so a lot of resources were wasted marketing into the wrong accounts. Again, today, because it’s digital, you can afford to have some fudge room. You can afford to waste some resources and time on the wrong account, but it’s much better as an organization, marketing and sales, if you’re disciplined and you’re making the right decisions on where to place those resources.

Matt:  I’d agree with you. I think alignment is a key part of this and if we were to take ABM off the table, whether it’s a new thing or an existing thing or it’s just lipstick on a pic, whatever we want to call it, I think if there’s any residual impact that it has on the frothiness it’s at least had within the marketing community, hopefully, it’s an embrace of revenue responsibility. Hopefully, it’s an understanding that your job as marketers is not to create leads or cliques or retweets or open rates. Your job is to create sales, and alignment around objectives, alignment around definitions, alignment around the entire buying process together is key. In the couple of minutes we have before we wrap up here, Jeb, and I want to thank you again for joining us today. Jeb Blount, author of Sales EQ, highly encourage you to check out the book they have Amazon, learn more about Jeb, and read more of his stuff, and sign up for his newsletter, his amazing content at

You mentioned that you get a lot of calls from CMOs that want to help their sales team be better. I love that it’s coming from CMOs, but my fear is that sometimes CMOs think that they’re fine and that sales is the problem. Then, there’s finger pointing back and forth. Quickly in the last couple of minutes we have, what are a couple of best practice or action items that both CMOs as well as CROs and VPs of sales can follow to lead the alignment that you’re talking about?

Jeb:  Yeah, first of all, I don’t think that ABM is lipstick on a pig. I think it’s real and I think it works. I think we’re calling ABM a lot of stuff that’s not ABM. ABM is very specific to a particular account where the messaging and everything that you’re doing is relevant based on the strategy to move the sales person into that account, so your final question, to me that’s where marketing really plays. Marketing should be doing things that generates leads and creating leads. Marketing should be creating collateral and material that supports sales people. I spend a good bit of my time in marketing. When I was in the corporate world, I was a liaison from the field to help marketing understand what sales people need, so just spending time with your sales people, understanding when they’re actually talking to a customer, what’s the process, and really what’s the thought design around that.

From a CSO standpoint, from the sales standpoint, just quit whining about the leads. For God’s sake, if I’m a sales person and if I’m the CMO, I know why CMOs call me because they’re just tired of it. If you are in sales, and you run the sales in the organization, hear me. Stop whining about the leads. It’s not the marketing department’s job to give you leads. It is your job to run the pipeline. The pipe is life and sales organization owns the pipeline, period. If you don’t have enough leads, go out and make your own leads. The marketing department, if you see the sales organization busting their rear end and going out there and building pipes and building leads, then that ought to be a message to you that it’s time for you that it’s time for you to pour the gravy on. Just keep on working, keep on driving the leads into the system, everybody working together.

I have no sympathy for sales organizations that whine to marketing departments about not having enough leads. You just won’t find it on … I’m absolutely Teflon when it comes to that. It’s your responsibility in sales to fill the pipeline, period.

Matt:  Awesome. Pour the gravy from the founder and author of, Jeb Blount. Jeb, I want to thank you again so much. Paul, I think we may have set a new world record for number of words in our time. We got two fast talkers here today, but a lot of good information. If you want to replay, if we went just way too fast, which is entirely possible, and you want to hear a replay of our episode today, you’ll definitely find that up on early next week. You’ll also find it via our podcast at the iTunes store and Google Play. You’ll find a transcript of this conversation with Jeb up on our blog at in about a week as well. I want to thank Jeb again very much. Go check him out at Learn a little more about Sales EQ. Get a copy of the book. For my great producer, Paul, thanks again so much for joining us. My name’s Matt Heinz. This has been Sales Pipeline Radio.