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Facebook Live: Why Marketing is Content and Sales is Context w/ John Barrows

Author kaitlin.lutz Category Account-Based Marketing, Uncategorized

If you haven’t heard about John Barrows, you’ve probably been impacted by his sales insight. John is a no bullcrap kind of guy, and we love him for it.

John is going to be featured on the Family Feud-style keynote at #FlipMyFunnel 2018 in Boston.

We wanted to take a second before the conference and interview John about his thoughts and advice on ABM, the future of AI in marketing and sales, how to make the most of events, and more. Check out John’s Facebook Live interview here and the transcript below!

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Nikki Nixon: All right, we are live. Today on our #FlipMyFunnel Facebook Live, we have John Barrows, which is a new face to #FlipMyFunnel, but certainly not a new face in the sales industry, so we’re definitely excited to have you here and have you as part of our event coming up on August 8. We’ll actually be in John’s backyard in Boston, so we’re pretty excited about that too.

John Barrows: Very excited about that.

Nikki Nixon: So John Barrows is the owner of J Barrows Sales Training. He also has a new partner in crime, Morgan Ingram, who a lot of our audience knows pretty well, too. They are working on educating the sales industry and really just bringing sincerity back to sales. Is that how you would describe it?

John Barrows: Yeah. Actually, it’s funny.. I went through a Gary Vaynerchuk 4D session where you can go to his office, Vayner Media, in New York City, and sit down and get exposed to all the content that their heads of each department give to their top-tier accounts, and you get it all in one day, and then you have Gary come in at the end for two hours to do Q and A, which was super fun.

Nikki Nixon: That’s so cool.

John Barrows: Yeah, it was a very fun experience. I recommend any small business trying to get off the ground. It’s 10 grand a day. It’s worth it. I was part of the second class, though. So I don’t know if Gary comes into every class anymore, so I just wanted to forewarn you on that. But the point is, is that one of the exercises is to go through the why. Right? Why … we’ve heard that before. The why of why you do the business, right? And why you do what you do because that’s super important. If you don’t have that, what are you doing?

John Barrows: And it really got me thinking about why we’re doing what we’re doing, the sincerity factor here. I ultimately came up with sales done right, because I genuinely believe that when sales is done right, it’s the greatest profession in the world. When done wrong, it’s the worst.

John Barrows: So we’re just trying to help kids do it right, because people take too many shortcuts, and sales has such a bad perception, and it’s because we’re the least educated in our profession. It’s the default profession, and we’re forced to do some unnatural things, like hit monthly quota and those type of things, which forces bad actions, especially if you’re not being educated the right way, so we’re just trying to level up everybody here and do sales the right way.

Nikki Nixon: As a recipient of a lot of sales messaging, I’m appreciative that you’re doing that. So, what was really fascinating to me was that you got your start in marketing, and I’ve always known you as someone in sales, so I didn’t even realize that until I started to look back at your history. So, tell us a little bit about that. How did you get your start in marketing, and how did you transition over to sales?

From Marketing to Sales

John Barrows: Yeah, I mean, sales wasn’t even really an option when I was in college. I mean, now there’s over 4,000 colleges in the US. Now you can get your degree in sales in about 70 of them.

John Barrows: Only two or three years ago, there was down to like 20, so it’s starting to do this, but now, looking back, it fascinates me that it’s the number-one profession on the planet, but yet none of us are actually taught how to do it. Like I said earlier, it’s usually the default profession, and that’s kind of what happened with me/ I went to school, I went to the University of Maryland. One of the main reasons I went is because they didn’t force me to declare my major when I was 18 years old.

John Barrows: I always find that just mind-blowing, that you’re going to ask an 18-year-old kid what they want to do for the rest of their life and force them as a freshman to define their major. Are you kidding me?

John Barrows: It’s absurd. So one of the reasons I went to Maryland was because I didn’t have to declare until my junior year. So my first major was actually art. I was like, “I’m going to be an artist,” and I got in to realize that, first of all, I wasn’t very good. I mean, I was okay, but compared to the kids that were art majors, I was like, “Whoa.” The level of talent, from an artistic standpoint … and then second of all, I realized, obviously, I’m not going to make any money doing this.

John Barrows: My dad’s an engineer, so I figured, “Oh, engineering. I’m good with math.” Wrong. Calculus kicked my ass. Then I got into biology, because I like nature and stuff like that. Whoa, nope, bio kicked my ass. I kind of stumbled into business, and then stumbled into marketing. I thought business was cool. I get this. And also marketing, I could incorporate some of my creative abilities and that type of thing, so I figured marketing was probably the best fit.

John Barrows: And so I got into that. I liked it, but I honestly just drank my way through four years of college, and I was … I did well, but I did not take it as, “Ooh, this is going to be the most serious part of my life.” And then I got out of college and I was looking for a job. Black & Decker is in Towson, Maryland, and they recruit heavily out of University of Maryland. And DeWalt was there. Black & Decker owns DeWalt, and they were doing interviews, and it was under the umbrella of sales, but it was really event marketing.

John Barrows: So we drove around in Dodge Ram pickup trucks giving away free tools and putting on events. But that got me into sales in a very gradual way, because I wasn’t selling anything. I was giving stuff away and telling people, “Oh, if you like it, go buy it there,” but then I got promoted to run DeWalt at Home Depot. So now it was kind of sales, because I was taking … Home Depot had to buy DeWalt power tools, but I had to take the $10,000 order and turn it into a $50,000 order by running a promotional, end caps, those types of things. So it was selling, but still it wasn’t sales sales, hardcore, nobody knows you, sales.

John Barrows: And then I moved, and then I did that for a year and a half, and then I moved up to Xerox, and that’s where I got my true sales education. Selling copiers is probably one of the least attractive sales on the planet. Talk about a commodity, right? And I sold to the government, too, so I couldn’t even negotiate on price. My price was my price. So that’s really where I got my formal sales education and really started to fall in love with sales as a profession.

John Barrows: That’s when I learned relationship selling, because my territory, there was four reps in my territory in three years, and nobody trusted any Xerox reps in there. And so I learned very quickly there was no way I was just going to walk in there and just be like, “Hey, you want to buy a copier? Blah blah blah.” It was 100% I had to earn the trust of these people. I had to earn it back, because what Xerox and the reps had done before me. I couldn’t sell anything immediately. It was all about rapport and adding value and all that stuff. So that’s really where I learned that, and it’s funny because copier sales reps, if you ever find somebody who’s in copier sales or who was in copier sales, ask them how long they were in copier sales, because there’s a two-year threshold in copier sales reps. You’re either in and out in less than two years, because you’re like, “Oh, I don’t like this,” or you’re in it for the rest of your life. Once you get in territory and you have those relationships, then it’s about renewals and your life becomes a little easier, but you’ve got to get through those two years, and if not, you’re out.

Nikki Nixon: Yeah, I think that’s a pretty accurate assessment. So, we do have a good bit of marketers, so I want to speak to them a little bit for a minute.

Marketing is Content, Sales is Context

Nikki Nixon: I thought it was interesting that you got your start in event marketing. And I know that you and Morgan kind of travel the globe right now, going to a lot of different events, so you’ve seen events then, you’ve seen events now. What role do you think that that plays in the account-based approach that a lot of organizations are adopting today?

John Barrows: So, how are events incorporated into the ABM. Yeah, I mean, with everything, I think it’s part of the story. So I think that too many people are trying these days, sales and marketing together, they’re trying to send that one email or make that one phone call that gets the client to engage and have that meeting or whatever it is, and it’s just not the case anymore. I mean, Trish Bertuzzi from the Bridge Group came out with a recent report of how many touches, I think it’s up to 9 or 10 or something, of how many times it takes to get engaged with somebody. To get somebody to say, “Sure, let’s have this conversation.” And so I think events are a great way to be part of the story, but the problem is that most sales and marketers, it’s like, “Hey, come to the event. Come to the event.” And it’s a broad-based marketing message that is, “Hey, we’re having this cool event. You should go, and here’s all the wonderful things about the event, and the event and the event and the event,” but it’s never personalized to that person.

John Barrows: So using events from an account-based marketing standpoint, what I would do, personally, and you’ll hear me talk a lot about this, about context content, right? Here’s my whole framework of sales and marketing, and I’ll talk about Gary V again because I stole it from him. He talks about content is king, content is king. And he says, “Fine. If the content is king, then context is God.” And that to me is marketing versus sales. Marketing is content, sales is context. If we as sales professionals are not putting any context around the content, then we’re no different than marketing and I have no idea why we’re getting paid to do what we do.

“Fine. If the content is king, then context is God.” And that to me is marketing versus sales. – John Barrows

John Barrows: Another post that I wrote was “Let Sales Sell and Let Marketing Market.” And we’re doing a little bit too much of this. Marketing is pretending like they’re sales, and everybody knows what a marketing email looks like, okay? You can try to be as personalized as you want to be, but unless it’s literally, “Hey, John, I saw you recently tweeted about that,” or, “I saw on your LinkedIn profile,” something specific not just that you’re the CEO of X, Y … company. But unless you’re actually doing some homework, it’s blatantly obvious that it’s a template. Okay? So stop pretending that it isn’t. My recommendation’s probably going to piss off some marketers here, and I apologize for this, but please take your sales reps’ names off of the marketing emails that are going out to their customers, okay? My point is this, is, say you, Nikki, say Jay Barrows Consulting or Training sends you 10 emails. We’ve got this event coming up, we’ve got all these different things, right?

John Barrows: And they’re obviously marketing emails, okay? But they have my name on them, or they have Morgan’s name on them. So they have Morgan Ingram. Morgan Ingram. “Oh, hi, Nikki. I’d love to have you come to this …” And then Morgan one day decides to look at your company and do some research on you, and actually send you a very thoughtful, tailored email or make a call. He’s already in the spam folder. So have it come from your VP or marketing. Have it come from your CEO. But don’t have it come from your sales rep. But, put your sales rep on the list, and I say that so that the sales rep actually gets the marketing emails that their customers are getting. And then, what the sales rep should do, from an account-based marketing standpoint, say it’s an event. Hey, we’ve got this great event coming up. Marketing, marketing, marketing. Now, ABM’s select group of clients, very high-quality, very high-value, Morgan gets that email and knows that you got the email too, okay? Now Morgan takes that, forwards it to you, puts his context on top of it and says, “Hey Nikki. I know you probably got this marketing email about this event that we’re having here coming up. The reason I think you specifically should go to this event is because … context, content.”

John Barrows: So now marketing says, “Hey John, here’s all of your customers, in your territory, in your account base that are going to this event. Do you want to have a special side event with just your customers, inviting just your customers to maybe a lunch and learn or something like that. Or maybe is there something at that event that you could specifically say to them, “Hey we want you to go to this part of this event, not just the whole thing and not just go to our booth” or something like that. You know what I mean?

John Barrows: That’s the type of thing where now we can be strategic, now the sales rep can be thoughtful. Maybe sales gets the names and they’re all names of people who aren’t really executives. How can I work with marketing now to get the executives to go to this event because we have some of their people there, which is okay, but how can we actually get maybe two or three of the top executives from these. Now let’s strategize around that.

Quality is King

Nikki Nixon: It’s super fascinating to me how the conversation a lot of times with marketers, when they’re thinking about whether or not they want to engage in an event or not is, “How many people are going to show up? How many leads am I going to get?” Those are common questions even today. We’ve been at this for three years and even today those are common questions. But what’s really interesting is when it’s all said and done and everyone is sitting around in a room determining the success of the event, nobody talks about how many people were in the room. They talk about the conversations.

John Barrows: How good they felt. Like, “Oh that was a great event!” Why?

Nikki Nixon: And when they’re determining whether or not they’re going to renew or continue to invest in that event, they’re not looking at how many attendees attended that event. They’re looking at strictly the ROI and the right people in the room. So I think what you said, and I love that you said that because it’s something that I have just been thinking about a lot lately is it’s great that you have a ton of people in the room, but that’s where it starts, with your ROI.

Nikki Nixon: If you’re not getting the right butts in the seats, you’re never going to reach the ROI goal.

John Barrows: That’s account-based marketing. I’d rather have 10 people show up to the event who are all like super engaged than a thousand people show who are kind of like all just there to get the tchotchkes at the booth, you know what I mean? So, just again, this I’ll steal from Gary, I’d rather have 10 people following me on Twitter and if I tweet something they all do something, versus 10,000 people and when I tweet something nothing happens.

John Barrows: So you’ll appreciate this from a marketing standpoint, when I went off on my own this was about five or six years ago I was like, well I’ve got to focus on my brand now that’s it’s my brand and it was amazing how many people I got who were reaching out to me saying, “Hey John, why don’t you give me your twitter handle and we’ll get you 10,000 Twitter followers in a couple of weeks if we turn this bot on and then here Instagram we can get your Instagram followers up to a billion.” I’m like, why the hell do I want 10,000 random ass people following me on Twitter? What, so I can say I have 10,000 people following me on Twitter? I’m like, that’s a no, I’m good.

John Barrows: So my mindset from a social standpoint was being very quality oriented. So I committed to myself, especially now that it was my brand, I’m like, you know what, every single tweet, every single post, every single thing I write I want to be super high value and make sure that people can walk away with something and being very tactical on almost everything I put out there. And it was a pain, yes, because I had to really think and not just retweet and share stuff but really think about what I did. And my following grew but it grew very slowly compared to how some other people get their following overnight. But, you’ll appreciate this, we looked at the stats, I only have for instance around 20,000 people following me on my email, but when we send our weekly email out with blog, it’s a 48% click-through rate.

…when we send our weekly email out with blog, it’s a 48% click-through rate. – John Barrows

John Barrows: You know what I mean? And that number is bananas compared to the average, 5-10 percent if you get on a mass broad email type of thing.

John Barrows: And if you get five or 10 you’re psyched. We get 40%. Like when I post something on LinkedIn, I’ve got 250,000 followers on LinkedIn, if I post something on it the engagement is huge. People always are commenting and going back and forth and that type of stuff and that’s the type of environment that we want to create with, whether it’s a trade show, whether it’s a tweet, whether it’s an email, whether it’s a conversation, it’s all about the quality of those participants and that’s why … you know content marketing is funny to me. I have a marketing background, I have a very healthy respect for marketing, I was a VP of Sales and Marketing. But we’ve got to stop spamming people. We went a little overboard with our content marketing approach. You know what I mean? And we just went crazy with all the content, the email, the content, the sharing and all that other stuff. And it was like, “Whoa, okay let’s ratchet this back a little bit.” Now account-based marketing, maybe we should do that. Which is interesting because marketing is now getting much more tailored and targeted and sales is actually where marketing was probably five to eight years ago with SalesLoft, outreach, you know what I mean? With those tools, now sales reps are like, “Oh look at me, now I have a tool.”

John Barrows: Now that’s the danger for sales reps because now marketing is actually getting far better at that messaging and sales reps are getting worse. Sales reps are taking templates and putting them into SalesLoft and pressing play and blasting out to a million people where marketing is now listening and using artificial intelligence to learn about your social footprint and serving up content at the right spots. When you log into Google, all of a sudden that ad comes up, it was something about that you heard about, you know what I mean? So sales rep are in a dangerous spot right now if they continue down this path of trying to over-automate what they’re doing. That’s why I go back to context and content. You know if sales reps aren’t paying attention to putting context around that content, they’re going to get replaced by marketing and they should be by the way.

The Future of AI in Marketing and Sales

Nikki Nixon: Yeah, that’s a good segway into my next question because something that we’ve heard a lot. All the AI in the world cannot replace those conversations. Something that we heard from talking with sellers is that there is a challenge between them wanting to be personal and their managers holding them accountable to these activity metrics, emails and dials and things like that, so they’re like, okay well how do I balance not making my manager mad at me because I’m not doing those dials and emails and doing the personalization that I know that my audience expects, or that my prospects expect?

John Barrows: I think we’re in a transitional phase right now between sales and marketing, in general. And I think it’s a generational thing and it’s a technology thing. I’m going to speak to the generational thing.

John Barrows: So I’m 42. When I grew up in sales, it was a volume game, it was a boiler room, make a hundred dials, make your ears bleed, read a script and go, go, go, present, present, present, and it was numbers. I was outsourced IT services, and we sold the BSMB market here in Boston and I knew my equation cold, it was 400 dials a week, got me eight meetings a month, got me four proposals, got me two pieces of closed business an average size of $3,500 and that was it. I knew that equation and it worked. So I just made 400 dials a week. I went to those eight meetings and I did my thing.

John Barrows: So now the problem here is this is that now we’re managers, we’re the leaders, Gen-Xers are the leaders, right now, the decision makers. We talked about sales not having a good education, sales managers are even worse because usually sales managers are promoted because they were a really good sales rep.

John Barrows: Now they’re being told to tell everybody else how to do what they do and a lot of those managers look at it and say, “Well I don’t know how I do what I do, I’m just really good at what I do.” So it’s really hard to coach on quality. Even though it’s the number one thing that managers should do is coaching. Most managers are absolutely horrendous at coaching. Specifically, when it comes to the quality oriented type of things.

John Barrows: What I can do though as a manager is I can hold you accountable for making 50 dials a day and that is a very specific number that I can smack you over the head with and measure you on and I can go, “Hey, why didn’t you make your 50 dials?” And now I feel like I’m a good manager because I’m managing towards a very object number, right? So even though everybody understands quality is the issue, we’re still stuck in this quantity mindset because again, my generation that’s how we grew up and that’s what we’re used to.

John Barrows: You know what I mean? I hear executives saying, “Why are the phones so quiet?” A lot of it is just perception. You know what I mean? You walk through an inside sales organization 20 years ago and it was ahh, yeah, rah and that’s what I remember. Now you walk through inside sales organizations and a few people are on the phones it’s like, “Holy shit look at that kid, he’s on the phone.”

John Barrows: But it doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re not doing work. You know what I mean? They’re researching, they’re retweeting, they’re sharing, they’re connecting, they’re whatever but there’s a perception of, “Why aren’t you on the phones?” So that’s why I think we’re in this weird transition. So the answer, at least my answer to this is really going back to account-based marketing but taking a very detailed look at that ICP, right? So that ideal customer profile and tiering out your accounts, not just for the ideal customer profile, but I tier out my accounts based on tier one, tier two, and tier three characteristics. And not just the basic stuff, not just like what industries are they in and how many employees do they have, that’s something that you can run off a ZoomInfo or whatever.

John Barrows: It’s like the nuanced stuff, like what’s the makeup of the department for instance that you’re selling it to. So, for instance, ABM, if you’re selling ABM stuff, what’s the difference from selling into that one generalist marketer who kind of juggles all the different balls versus the marketing department that has five or six different specifically segmented roles. One of those could be a tier one for you and the other could be a tier two for you. Competition, there are certain competitors that each one of us goes up against that are like “Damn it, that competitor. If they’re happy with that competitor of ours, is going to be hard for us to unsheathe them.” But we should think that we’ve got a great story to tell there instead, right?

How to Tier Accounts and Personalize Away

John Barrows: Technology, like there are certain technologies that if you’re using those technologies I have a fantastic story to tell and my solution fits perfectly in there. So, tiering up and really looking at what are the twenty different nuance characteristics that you can apply to that ICP and then figuring out what’s a tier one characteristic look like, what do tier two characteristics look like, and what’s a tier three characteristic look like?

John Barrows: Or if you want to make it simple, tier ones and tier twos. But then what you do is now this dictates your approach. Tier ones, that’s the quality approach, those are the ones you sit down. I recommend everybody have a list of top twenty-five. Like, here’s your top twenty-five accounts, call them your hit list, these are the ones that you follow on social media. These are the ones that you engage with. These are the ones you write very thoughtful, research-oriented emails, and make very direct phone calls to and think out that story. Whereas the tier two’s are more of a targeted in a quantity approach. So, tier ones are the quality approach, tier twos are the quantity approach but targeted. So, not just blast out a million emails, but I want to be able to run a list of, I want to be able to run a report in Salesforce for instance that says, I want to see every V.P. of Sales in the SAS industry that uses Salesforce under twenty-five million. That list, that might only be a list of twenty or thirty people in my territory.

John Barrows: But I can come up with five or six different messages that speak to V.P.’s of Sales in the SAS industry that use Salesforce because my value to a V.P. of Sales in the SAS industry in Sales Force is different than my value is to a V.P. of Sales in the manufacturing industry that uses Microsoft Dynamics. And I can come up with five or six different messages that speak that language compared to that language. And then I can run a cadence where I send out fifty emails at a time to that persona. I make fifty phone calls at a time to that persona, but it’s part of a story and that’s how I get my volume up there. Then the tier three’s that’s templates, that’s marketing, that’s okay blast out a million things if you want. So, tier one, tier two, tier three – tailored, targeted, templated.

So, tier one, tier two, tier three – tailored, targeted, templated. – John Barrows

Nikki Nixon: Awesome, that’s great advice because I think sometimes it’s hard to know how do you prioritize your activities. I think even sales reps today, and it’s probably part of sales leadership as well, in terms of them dictating it, but sometimes they’re just given a cadence, and they’re like just go do this string of activities, and by the way, meet your quota while you’re at it.

Nikki Nixon: That’s kind of how it’s being communicated sometimes.

John Barrows: It’s brutal. And the other thing about those tools, by the way, the sales laws and the outreaches, when used the right way, holy shit, I wish I had one of those things when I was growing when I was really in sales. And also, the analysis of those cadences, not every sales rep does that. No sales rep ever looks at hey, let me take this cadence, let me run it through, and after the course of a month, let me actually go back and look at that cadence and compare it to another one, right?

John Barrows: And that’s why I say sales are in danger because marketing does do that.

John Barrows: You know what I mean, marketing is very meticulous at, let’s do the same email to a group of people and just change the subject line, or just change the call to action, or just change this, and then let’s spit test that, and then refine, refine, refine. Sales reps don’t do that, they should.

John Barrows: But they’re not educated on how to, or why it matters, or whatever ’cause it’s still a volume game.

John Barrows: So, it’s again, you’ve got to wake up in sales here and realize that they were using people to figure out automated processes before the machines would take them over. Did you ever see the movie Hidden Figures? The analogy is there were these women at NASA, right, who were called actually, they were called computers.

John Barrows: And they did data entry on and data calculations, and then put these cards in, and then all of the sudden this big IBM computer came in to run these calculations, and they could have just been like okay. They were going to get replaced by this, but one of the heads of that team decided to go pick up the manual and learn how to actually maintain the IBM system. Then they were the only ones who could actually make the machine work, so evolved.

John Barrows: And that’s what our sales reps are doing. Because right now we’re doing a lot of manual processes as sales reps that all of the sudden technology is going to start to say okay, we can do that one too. Thanks for figuring that one out sales reps. Now we can do it through automation and we don’t need you anymore. So, manufacturing whereas we used to think like oh I’m the only one who can put this widget in the way I put it in there’s TLC in this widget placing shit, right? And then, all of the sudden, yeah, okay never mind we don’t need you. It’s like oh crap.

Nikki Nixon: Yeah, and I think that’s where Sales Ops is coming into play as well. Sellers don’t have time to do this analysis, but if we can bring someone in and their job and I think it kind of plays into the specialization that’s happened in sales, but if we can bring someone in and they can tell us which templates are more effective or which cadences are more effective then we can fine-tune the whole team and we can actually scale the whole thing. So, I think that’s been a really interesting evolution as well.

Getting the Most from Conferences

Nikki Nixon: So, I think we are almost out of time, but I saved probably the best question for last. So, #FlipMyFunnel is in your backyard, we’re really excited about it, we’re excited to have you there. I think the game show that you guys are doing with Matt Heinz is going to be really fun. I actually haven’t told you this yet, but we’re going to use the ABM survey data as the material for the game show. But, what are you most excited about, with having it in your backyard, and being there, and that sort of thing?

John Barrows: Yeah, I actually, to be very frank, that game show is what I’m looking forward to the most. You know, I’ve been to enough speaking engagements, and events, and stuff like that, and they’re all great don’t get me wrong, but they always kind of follow a very similar format. Some people are tactical, some people are visionary, whatever, and it’s cool. I love this concept of Family Feud, and going at it with each other, and having sales marketing really debated out. Especially with characters like Trish and that type of thing.

John Barrows: So, I’m looking forward to that, because I think we’re going to have a blast. But, you know I think it’s really just staying, using this as an opportunity to try to stay connected with how aggressive marketing is getting and how much better they are getting. So I can continue to try to open sales reps eyes to what’s happening.

John Barrows: So, my whole thing right now is I want to go to these conferences. I want to hear what artificial intelligence is doing. I want to hear what marketing is doing because I just feel like, and I’ve said this when I did a presentation at Dreamforce. They asked me to come and speak about artificial intelligence, I was like okay, I don’t know what the hell I’m talking about but sure. If you’re going to pay for my ticket, I’ll show up, but, and before I actually really started to dive into AI, I was freaking out, I was like we’re all screwed, like Sky Net’s here, we’re all done for, see you later. But then as I started learning more and more about it and where we are right now, my conclusion is this at least right now: I think artificial intelligence is going to make good sales reps great reps, and great reps incredible, and average sales reps irrelevant. And so, my hope is, is that I can stay up to date with marketing and artificial intelligence and how tailored those messages are getting and some of the things that they’re doing through the communication. Because I’ve got to imagine there’s going to be a bunch of presenters there who are going to be talking about some really cool innovative new stuff.

I think artificial intelligence is going to make good sales reps great reps, and great reps incredible, and average sales reps irrelevant. – John Barrows

John Barrows: Because for the sales reps that care, those are the ones that I care about. I don’t care about the sales reps that are pushing buttons, and just looking for a paycheck, and just trying to get commissions. I really could care less about those sales reps, I wish they would all go away quite honestly.

John Barrows: But for the sales reps who truly want to make a difference, they truly want to elevate the profession, and care about engaging, and making sure that the client gets the right solution, and all that other stuff. For those sales reps, I feel it’s almost my duty to figure out how to communicate with them and help them stay one step ahead of where marketing is going. So, that we don’t all get wiped out, because I do believe that there is a reckoning coming in sales and it’s not that these sales reps are going to get fired by the way.

John Barrows: I just think they’re all going to turn into salaried reps and they’re all going to roll up under marketing and operations. They’re not going to be sales. So, if you want to make fifty grand a year pushing buttons, and doing this, and showing up at nine o’clock, and leaving at four o’clock, okay, that’s cool, good for you. But, if you actually want to be in this profession and make a difference, there’s a lot of difference to be made if you do it right. And I’m just like I said, like we started this, I’m just trying to help kids do it right.

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