Sales Hustle is now Sales Transformation
April 8, 2022

#282 S2 Episode 151 - Level Up Sales Discovery with Design Thinking with Justin Jones

Sales Transformation excitedly brings you Justin Jones, co-founder of Somersault Innovation. Together with Ashley Welch, who was also a guest of the show, they help companies close transformational deals with the customer-centric approach and the methods of design thinking. Justin will be sharing his professional journey and his side of the story on how design thinking works.


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QUOTES

Justin: “I think what's so great about design for me personally, and then maybe for a seller, is that it is so human centered. Like it's problem solving for human beings, it sort of honors humanity and all of us.”

Justin: “What's so cool about design is it helps us in a really realistic and practical way, stay fresh and frosty, and diverge more, and like really get deep and wide in the organization and have fun doing that.”

Collin: “The biggest thing is like really just reviewing all the time, because even if you're at the top of your game, like you're still gonna miss things sometimes and you won't know that unless you're really just reviewing.”

Justin: “I think, you know, what we're looking for, which I think is what every seller is looking for with their customer is energy.”

Learn more about Somersault Innovation in the link below:

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/somersaultinnovation/
Website: https://www.somersaultinnovation.com/

Connect With Collin on LinkedIn

Want to Start, Grow or Monetize Your Podcast? Book a Free Strategy Call HERE!


Sales Transformation excitedly brings you Justin Jones, co-founder of Somersault Innovation. Together with Ashley Welch, who was also a guest of the show, they help companies close transformational deals with the customer-centric approach and the methods of design thinking. Justin will be sharing his professional journey and his side of the story on how design thinking works.

 

Join Our Free Podcast Community HERE!

Want to solve a leaky sales funnel? Get Signup for your Free RevenueGrid trial HERE! 

Want Your Reps Hitting Quota in 2022? Get Your Wingman Free Trial HERE!

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Justin’s career before Somersault Innovation
  • The Somersault Origins
  • What the heck is Design Thinking?
  • How Design Thinking benefits sales

QUOTES

Justin: “I think what's so great about design for me personally, and then maybe for a seller, is that it is so human centered. Like it's problem solving for human beings, it sort of honors humanity and all of us.”

Justin: “What's so cool about design is it helps us in a really realistic and practical way, stay fresh and frosty, and diverge more, and like really get deep and wide in the organization and have fun doing that.”

Collin: “The biggest thing is like really just reviewing all the time, because even if you're at the top of your game, like you're still gonna miss things sometimes and you won't know that unless you're really just reviewing.”

Justin: “I think, you know, what we're looking for, which I think is what every seller is looking for with their customer is energy.”

Learn more about Somersault Innovation in the link below: 

Learn more about Design Thinking by grabbing a copy of Justin and Ashley’s book: Naked Sales: How Design Thinking Reveals Customer Motives and Drives Revenue at Amazon now!

Connect With Collin on LinkedIn 

Want to Start, Grow or Monetize Your Podcast? Book a Free Strategy Call HERE!

Looking to start your own Podcats? Book a FREE strategy call. 🚀

Transcript

[00:00:00] In the world of sales, you either sink or swim or break through to the next level. My name's Colin Mitchell. And this is sales transformation, a new kind of sales show designed to bring you through the epic life-changing moments of elite sellers. So you can experience your own sales transformation.

[00:00:29] Hey, before we start today's episode, I wanted to bring you in on the best kept secret in B2B sales. If you're serious about social selling and your only strategy is cold DMS through LinkedIn, you're missing the mark big time. Learn how I fully manage revenue-generating podcasts can change your life and your pipeline@salescast.com.

[00:00:55] All right. Welcome to another episode of sales transformation. I'm very excited today to have Justin Jones on a he's the co-founder of her over at somersault innovation. Uh, Justin and Ashley, they help enterprise. Sales pros knocked down transformational deals with customers using the mindset and methods of design thinking we had Ashley on, and this has been a long time coming to have Justin on.

[00:01:21] So I'm very excited to get your version of the story and learn a little bit more about, um, the work that you guys are doing over there. So welcome to the show. Yeah. Thanks, Colin. Thanks for having me. Yeah. So take us back. Like, where did your journey start before, before somersault, before. Writing the book.

[00:01:39] Um, give us a little bit of context, and then we can dig in from there. Yeah, well, um, you know, I've, I've gone sideways through a lot of different doors in my career. Um, I'm a problem solver. I think clean it comes right down to it. I think all sellers are fundamentally. And, um, you know, my background is in, I used to teach, uh, leaders and organizations how to design.

[00:02:04] And facilitate complex problem solving motions. So we used to teach meeting design and facilitation and, uh, came across, uh, design thinking, which just sort of adds that extra creative and, um, with Ashley, the inspiration for, Hey, this is. Powerful stuff like who are the change makers out there that need this, this it's sellers.

[00:02:30] Um, and that was the, the inspiration for the launch of somersault back in 2015. And that's what we've been working on ever since. Yeah. And so before you came across design thinking, right. And, and teaching this to sellers, right. Um, what were you primarily doing? Like what sort of w what, what methods were you using to teach, you know, you know, sales leaders and things like that to.

[00:02:59] Problem-solve and, and, and do things like this of nature with, without design thinking, like, take me to like, before design thinking and then we can kind of segue into like, yeah, sure. So it was with any kind of business leaders, you know, within and beyond sales, it was, you know, how do we collaborate to solve things that no one function or one part of our organization.

[00:03:22] Can pull off. And so I kind of laugh thinking about, you know, we used to talk about and market, you know, the design and facilitation of high stakes meetings and air quotes, like high stakes meetings. And, you know, that resonated, you know, people certainly think of their own sort of like what's our strategy, you know, offsite as a high stakes meeting.

[00:03:45] And I laugh about that now because for a second, Like every meeting we have with customers, high stakes, like things are going to progress, you know, we're going to get the next step or we're not. Um, but those are the kinds of things that I was doing, working with senior level business leaders, um, thinking about, you know, how are we moving our business forward in our.

[00:04:08] And then tell me about when you guys started to, you know, implement design thinking and, and where was your, what was like your aha moment? Yeah. So great about design for me personally, and then maybe for a seller is that it is so human centered, like it's problem solving for human beings. It sort of honors the humanity in all of us.

[00:04:34] And, you know, for those of us in sales, like at the end of the day, it's, it's a people to people business. It is all about trust. And so, you know, design really. Not only honors that, but helps us hack into that and stay true to that sort of noble aspect of the sales profession. Um, in a way that some of the problem solving frameworks that we were using, didn't quite pull out all the way.

[00:05:03] Um, When we get to show up as our, as ourselves for the people that we really are, um, it just doesn't get any better than that. Like that's when we're at our creative best, that's where we can knock down crazy, you know, transformational, um, topics for breakfast.

[00:05:25] And then did. Was before. And so that when you guys decided to start somersault, uh, what, tell me, talk to me about like some of the early days. Yeah. I'll give you the origin story. So, you know, we had this idea, like, God, it would be so cool if we could put this in the hands of sales professionals imagine, right.

[00:05:46] The difference that it would make. And that's really all we had was that idea. And we met, um, an SVP. He was at Salesforce at the time. Really nice guy named willin asked us he's since gone on to be the CRO of several different, um, successful organizations. We just met for coffee, you know, in San Francisco.

[00:06:09] Nice sunny day. And Ashley and I were telling him like, these are some great stories about how designers approach, problem solving. What do you think? Is there a, there, there. And Will's like very fast thinker, fast talker. And I remember him being uncharacteristically quiet, which gave me like a little inner panic attack.

[00:06:34] And then he started telling stories about how, you know, some of the biggest deals at Salesforce were going down and. The stories we were telling were the same story. And even though some of these top sales professionals, maybe they didn't realize, you know, some of the methods they were using were a can to what designers do, how they approach it.

[00:06:54] The language was there, the intention was there. And so that's when we knew we had something. And, um, a few weeks after that, we piloted our first program with Salesforce and the rest, as they say. Dot.dot. Yeah. Yeah. And in the pilot is the first, the first story in the book, right? Uh, well, yeah. Uh, we got to Satchin the Greyhound story.

[00:07:20] He was a few cohorts down the road, so we got a little better by the time we got to Satchin, but it let us see him. Yeah. What do you, what do you, I'm curious about that. So what did you learn from say like the first pilot, you know, couple of co. To. And what did you learn in that timeframe? That improved? Um, the process?

[00:07:41] Yeah, that's an interesting question. Um, I think one of the things that we learned was that we're onto something and that we could be more conflict. We saw real energy, like people getting excited about doing. Among other things, kick ass discovery, you know, with their customers and really getting creative, like crazy about the kinds of things that they wanted to do with their customers, which was really energizing.

[00:08:08] And then, um, I think the other aspect of our learning curve is, you know, we're, we're really trying to serve a tough audience, you know, in sales we have, uh, we can get jaded, like we've been to countless. Enablement iterations. We have a very strong sniff test. And, you know, your moment to sort of prove your credit is pretty tight.

[00:08:35] And so I think just refining the language that we use being like really tight, really focused and coming out, you know, blazing with like, here's the practical application. This is shit you can do, like right now with your customer. Here we go. I think that our earlier, you know, clients helped us, you know, Be sharper.

[00:09:02] Yeah. Yeah. And, and so I want to just, maybe for people who are listening to me, they're like at this point, like what the heck is design thinking? They're like, sounds awesome. But give me an example of like, you know, a sales discovery. Ran in a more traditional way versus a discovery ran, you know, with the design thinking sort of framework.

[00:09:25] Yeah. Yeah. So that takes me to like, what's the problem we're solving here. Like, is there really a problem in how we sell? And when you think about sales transformation, I think what's changed, uh, for some time now is the sheer complexity. Of the problems that we can solve, right. When we sell, like, it is crazy, the kinds of things that we can knock down.

[00:09:50] They're so complicated and they're so nuanced per customer, per their tech stack per all of these variables, it touches the entire organization, or if we're doing our jobs right. It should like, it can, and it should. Right. And there's a huge mismatch between like the potential that we could knock down and how we think about an execute sales.

[00:10:14] Like we're still super linear. Like we have a sales process and discovery happens at the front, right? It's like a chapter or a page and we turn the page and then it's time to like, get into our product, talk to. Yeah. Once that box is checked. Exactly. We non I've done discovery, but what most people don't realize is discovery continues.

[00:10:36] That's right. Like it it's never finished. Like even when you're like pitching or negotiating over price. Like, you're still learning about what's really important to your customer. Like there's still, like there are retention issues. There are post-sale things that you can solve for in the way that you sell.

[00:10:51] I can go on and on, but we do, you know, um, we've heard a couple of expressions about, uh, to describe this. Uh, we get happy ears. Like we, we hear the things that we want to hear. Like you said, we check the box and we turn the page into solving or, um, an SDR recently, like just a couple of weeks ago said we get commissioned breath.

[00:11:16] That was awesome. So, um, and we shut down, you know, potential, right. We narrow the deal unintentionally, you know, and we're trying to knock down our number for the week or the quarter, you know? So we have that rhythm that we have to solve for always. But, um, there's so much more out there that we could be, or even discovery becomes this sort of just scripted talk track of particular.

[00:11:44] I don't know, band questions that you need to ask and then check those boxes and move on where, you know, with, you know, the work that you guys are teaching it's, it's, it's much more creative. It's much more collaborative than that. And something that really stood out. It was you were talking to when you did these initial cohorts, right.

[00:12:01] Is that, um, People were really excited to do this work right. And sellers, I think typically get pinned as not very creative people. Yeah. I know even myself as a, like, you know, been in sales over 10 years and I never really thought of myself as a very creative person. Um, and when you can really flex that muscle or tap into that creativity and have a little bit more autonomous of, you know, a little bit of, uh, uh, In your sales process, that's when you're going to do your best.

[00:12:30] Yeah. Yeah. I think, you know, we're, we're in the business of predictable revenue. Like that's what our hiring companies want. And it's really hard not to get on that train, which is kind of a numbing and dumbing down train. Like that's the risk that we all run into. And I think, you know, I'm, I'm eventually trying to bring us around to like, what's design thinking.

[00:12:53] Why should we bother. Uh, I think that's, what's so cool about design is it helps us in a really. Realistic and practical way, stay fresh and frosty and, and diverge more and like really get deep and wide in the organization and, and have fun doing that because it's fascinating what customer businesses are trying to.

[00:13:15] To achieve. Like it it's really interesting, but, uh, we've got a break sort of the pattern of our thinking, right? Like you said, I've been doing this for 10 years or whatever that number is. We get into that rhythm and we miss really important things and, and it, and as soon as we start missing them, like your customers are human beings too.

[00:13:38] And they feel that, you know, when we're, when we're just staying on the band or the med pick side of the corner, You can smell that from miles away, but when someone really shows up, like you were just showing me your water bottle and it was massive, like it looked like a bowling ball and I couldn't really make out like what it probably needs design thinking to create that yeah.

[00:14:02] That thing. And so, and then you told me something interesting about, you know, how you're managing your day, which is pretty cool, right? Like if it's a hack that you've come up with, Um, that's just something about you as a person, which is kind of cool. And so designers are always watching for that, that element of.

[00:14:22] Uniqueness. Right. That makes life worth living. Interesting. Yeah. And what's interesting is, you know, for sellers, right? A lot of times let's say they might be assigned a certain segment of accounts or they might be assigned to a certain geographical area or a certain sector. Right. And a lot of times they can get into that habit of treating each discovery the same, right?

[00:14:47] Like, oh, I've, I've talked to, you know, a CMO of this size company in this industry a hundred times. I know exactly what problems they have. Right. And they go into those, um, calls with a lot of assumptions, right. Thinking that they're going to have the same problems that the other person just like them.

[00:15:08] That they closed, you know, a month ago, two months ago. Um, and it leaves, it, it leaves you very vulnerable to missing things or not going deeper or not asking better questions. Um, and I would say even the big, biggest thing is like really just reviewing all the time. Right. Because even if you're at the top of your game, like you're still gonna miss things sometimes.

[00:15:31] And you won't know that unless you're really just reviewing. You know, those, those calls yourself regularly. Yeah. And I, I was I'm listening to you, Colin, I want to be careful here and, and, and sort of championed the both hands and the both hand, meaning like band has helpful. There's a reason that we use med pick.

[00:15:51] Um, and it's good to sort of develop experience. And, and a lot of times, you know, because of what we sell in the conversations that we're in, we are solving similar problems. Right. So there is, there's a lot of realism there that the catch, where it gets really interesting is that invisible boundary where we give ourselves over to those situations.

[00:16:16] And then we miss. Like we miss what the unique thing is for that customer. Or we show up in a way with that individual and we don't have like an authentic interaction. Right. So it's, it's um, how do we do both of those things? Like, yes, you're going to have to think critically about my deal and use something like a medical.

[00:16:39] Um, to really help me be strategic because that's valuable. But then in the way that I think generatively about how I engage and how I'm going after getting deep and wider one customer stakeholder at a time, or, you know, one meeting at a time, how am I showing up where I'm getting every last drop of goodness and I'm creating.

[00:17:03] Unstoppable momentum. And that's where I think design really compliments that desire to close it down and be sharp and focused in with this divergence. And let's go wide. Let's really get the whole thing out here to work with. Um, so tell me, we talked a little bit about, you know, kind of the early days.

[00:17:26] Tell me about some of the more current things that you guys are working on. Tell me a little bit, you know, maybe some of the more recent success stories that maybe weren't in having, you know, weren't in the book or, um, just that you're currently working on. Well, I think a recent success that we feel great about it.

[00:17:45] We're big fans of folks at sales loft. I mean, they're, they're selling sales and really cool technology that helps enable sales organizations and they're, they're doing great. They're growing. Um, and they're just a wonderful culture and, and a group of people. And, uh, we got to work with. You know, for enterprise account teams.

[00:18:10] And I think that's really our sweet spot, you know, it's the complexity and, and they're really polishing their capacity to go after these large strategic enterprise deals. And I'm really proud of the four accountings we worked with and we saw some significant gains in pipe and revenue and, um, and we really just helped account teams.

[00:18:34] Um, and. Like there. I mean, they, they realize that their accountings are the secret sauce. Like when they leverage value managers, solution engineers, the SDR, like there's so many resources they have to bear. Um, they can bring to bear on in these, uh, these big accounts. And, uh, when all of those things are firing together, I mean, they're just an unstoppable force and it was really great to, to capitalize that and see them when.

[00:19:06] And what, so when you engage with, uh, you know, say a team, what, what, what does that, what length of time are you typically spending with them? And. What's kind of the first things that you do when you start, you know, doing work with them. Yeah. So I, you know, first thing we wanted to do is just change the way they're thinking about the account, right.

[00:19:30] Uh, because in most cases, these were existing accounts and, uh, You know, we're trying to break their patterns of thinking and help them see more. So we, we got them all and this was in the midst of pandemic. So it was a virtual, a workshop on a whiteboard. And, um, and we had them go and look at some of the usual suspect, things that we all know to look at the the, the podcasts that executives are putting out, um, to look at, you know, what are the big things?

[00:20:01] What are the big bets, the priorities going on? And it was a really cool exercise to do as a team because we had then come back and sort of become the persona of a different executive and tell the team, what are you thinking about and how are you feeling about where the company is going? And it sort of took something that they're already doing and kicked it up a notch because they were really thinking.

[00:20:28] From the perspective of the customer and they were connecting dots in some new ways. And of course, that's just energizing when you see new possibilities go. And the other big pivot was to have them think about. You know, if we're going to go learn some things in our discovery about this customer, that may be the decision makers that will ultimately engage with don't know, where can we learn that?

[00:20:54] And in design it's end-users like, who are the employees who actually do the work or who were the customers who buy from them and how can we get next to them? And their experiences so that when we do have time with decision makers, we are riveting. We know their language, we know things that maybe they don't know, and like we're already oriented so much to how they create value.

[00:21:20] Like we get it. That was really fun. And they got energized about. And they did some excellent work. Um, in that I'm picturing, there's gotta be like this moment. Um, that's gotta be really rewarding when you're doing work with these folks where, where they finally get it, right. Because to break somebody.

[00:21:41] Kind of old way of thinking or the way that they're thinking based on their experiences or how they've worked the account in the past, or, you know, all of this information that they've built up to break that down and open them up to a new way of thinking. I would assume could be challenging at times, but there's gotta be like this moment where they're like, yes, they're getting it.

[00:22:02] Yeah, totally. Yeah. And I think, you know what we're looking for. Which I think is what every seller is looking for with their customer is energy. And when we see that genuine energy kick, you know, or show up in, in an AAE or in a team, um, then they start thinking of, Hey, and we could also do this. Then we know we've turned the corner.

[00:22:26] Like whatever that corner is, we've turned it. And they're already thinking more generatively. They're thinking about different ways of approaching the customer than they had before. And they're lit up and what's so cool is that the customer will feel that that's going to show up the next time they interact in your six with the customer, interact with them.

[00:22:47] And you cannot fake that. That is competitive proof because your competition is showing up with their talk track.

[00:23:03] Well, this has been, this has been great, Justin. Uh, thank you so much for coming on. It's been a, it's been a long time coming. One I've been, I've been looking forward to and, uh, have definitely enjoyed, enjoyed this chat. And I know there's a ton of value here for the list. Um, where, what are we going to include in the show notes?

[00:23:21] How can people learn more or get into your world? Yeah, please check us out@somersaultinnovation.com. Um, I'm excited. You said it's okay to shamelessly plug. So we're gonna, uh, this quarter, we're gonna launch, uh, an online learning program called customer centric discovery. Because as we thought about like how, where do, where have we best served all of our clients?

[00:23:45] Like what they consistently walk away with is they tell us like you help us crush discovery. So we're trying to bottle that and really focus. Um, what we've learned makes a difference and provide that online. That's going to be launching toward the end of Q2. So stay tuned. Great. Is there a, is there a wait list or anything like that for at the moment?

[00:24:08] Oh, that's such an upgrade idea. Thank you. We should start now, like, you know, sign up for a demo when, uh, when it's available. Um, that's so cool now. But Santa for a discovery. Yeah, exactly. Thank you. Yeah. Thank you so much. We'll include the link there in the show notes so that you can make sure you are up to date when that, um, is live.

[00:24:32] And thanks again. If you enjoyed today's episode, please write us a review, share the show with your friends. It really does help us out. And we're always listening for your feedback. You can go to sales, transformation.fm, drop us a voice DM, and we will get back. Hey, you stuck around that tells me you're serious about your own sales transformation.

[00:24:52] If you're tired of doing things the old way and want to get started in your journey with other people on the same path, head over to sales, cast.community, and crush your numbers on your loadable. Yeah. It's free sales cast.community. Send me a DM with your best pitch and mention this ad. And I might even give you free access to our best templates.