AI For BDR Selection With Gregg Frederick
Imagine being able to pick candidates for your sales team and knowing what they're going to sell within 80% accuracy before you even hire them. BDR selection is just one of the areas that AI can vastly improve in sales. The way things are going right now, businesses are set to increase their selling power and efficiency in the coming years. Chad Burmeister touches on this with Gregg Frederick, the Chief Development Officer at G3 Development Group. Gregg also talks about the directions AI is heading in business and in sales and the contribution of G3 to that flow.
Listen to the podcast here:
AI For BDR Selection With Gregg Frederick
I am on the line with Gregg Frederick. He is the Chief Development Officer from a company called G3 Development Group. They help with sales leadership and sales coaching among other things. I'm going to let him tell you a little bit more about it. Gregg, welcome to the show.
Thanks, Chad. I appreciate you having me on.
I love the background. You've got some cool posters there. #Emerge. “The only limit to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today.” Getting on this call, I was exposing a few of those little doubts that we all have.
We do a lot of mindset training. I like to have that in the background to keep our clients aware that we all have our doubts. 2020 has certainly proven that to be true.
There were lots of curve balls this 2020. Gregg was the speaker at the Sales 3.0 event in Orlando in March 10th or 11th. That was his very last in-person live in front of the audience talk. Jeffrey Hayzlett, who I spoke with on C-Suite. He was on a podcast with me. That was his last in-person presentation as well. He tried to go board the cruise ship across the street from the event. They boarded him and then they say, “Sorry, we've decided we're not going to do cruise ships anymore.” He went across the street with the group of people that were supposed to get on the cruise and the hotel said, “Sorry, you need to go self quarantine for fourteen days.” He wasn't invited to even stay at a hotel. What an interesting year that's for sure.
It’s probably fortunate for him that he didn't get on that cruise ship. Who knows if he would have been stuck out in the ocean or in a port somewhere for three months or whatever?
People have been down there for a while and paying $100 a day and Wi-Fi fees. You've been doing this for years. Talk to us a little bit about the organization. How did it come into being? What's your primary focus there? What are you helping companies do?
First of all, I started G3 several years ago. I was the Director of Sales and Business Development for a company called Giant Bicycle. They are a $2 billion bicycle company and the world's largest bicycle company. I had been working there for eighteen years and traveling 150,000 miles a year on an airplane. I was getting a little old when I had my third son who was eight years in age difference from my older two. I had an office in Taiwan and in LA, and I was based in Orlando. I couldn't see myself doing that for much longer. Through the years, I've had a bunch of people that I did business with asking me, "If you ever leave Giant and start your own thing, we'd love to come on board.” When I made that decision, I made those calls. That's a big leap when you have three kids and a wife to support, but they jumped on board. Here I am seven years later and has been able to work with amazing athletes, executives, and sales organizations. They've all been hugely successful. We've been able to replicate our strategies and it's been a good thing.
Similar story, we launched ScaleX in 2017. I'd done my own company fifteen years prior to that. I was too young. I had never managed a person in my life. Taking P&L responsibility, I was like, “I know how to sell. I can do this.” We got to $448,000 in one year, and yet I couldn't figure out the cashflow game. I always wanted to make the next bigger bet to try to grow faster and bigger. I still play that game. Similar situation, December 2017, I went to a Sales 3.0 Conference. That was my first day of the new company in Philadelphia. Gerhard said, “Chad, why don't you stand up and tell everyone what you've done?” I was like, “I left Corporate America and this is day one of the rest of my life.” At the time, it felt like there was a little weight on my shoulders. At the time, I've had 22 or maybe 25 years of selling experience and management. There's a point where you know what your core nature is. If you're built to be an entrepreneur, you have to follow the magnet, follow the energy.
I think part of that for me was my wife owns her own business and I've helped her over the years with that. That entrepreneurial spirit is also what helped me be successful in sales within that corporate environment. I figured it's all on my shoulders now. I personally liked that responsibility. Part of my passion is having that responsibility and that's what drives me.
Things are shortchanging now. TOPO had a conference and they said that companies are looking at three things headed into 2021, flexibility, agility and speed, and then time to market. I look at the acronym. I'm like, “FAST, they need to be fast and pivot.” Traditionally it’s, “What do we do in five years out?” Arrow Electronics has this whole thing with five years out. If you're looking five years out, you're looking too far ahead. Hayzlett mentioned it on a podcast and I've heard that's the theme, 60 to 90 days out and do faster projects. When I was with WebEx many years ago, it was fast fail. Go to market, try something for 90 days. If it doesn't work, throw it out and try something else. Are you seeing that in the customers that you're working with?
Absolutely. We do a lot of strategic sales plannings with our clients. We pivoted ourselves. We pivot our strategies with our clients. We used to do 1, 3, 5-year strategies and now some clients are month to month. Back in April, May, I saw business increased for me because people were calling like, “Now, what do we do? How do we pivot? How do we downsize and grow? How do we preserve revenue? How do we preserve costs?” Phones were ringing off the hook for these 1, 3, 5-month strategy sessions. I know coming out of the last recession, one of our keys to success that we had at Giant was being able to first downsize, then we were focused on the six-month to one-year goals strategizing.
Rich Blakeman is our CRO now. He started as Head of Strategy for 60 days. He's now assumed the position of CRO. He was the former head of Miller Heiman sales for eight years. It's quite fabulous having someone like that. We talked to customers and prospects every day. He came up with the term “pipeline before people.” I was like, "That's perfect.” It happens that we provide pipeline as a service, so it's fitting. I think that's right. We're seeing customers that have traditionally ramped up a team quickly, then you got to hire a manager, buy the CRM, and sales enablement. Where there are turnkey technologies that you can flip the light switch, and pipeline starts coming in.
One of our clients, we've worked on that exactly. Their goal was to downsize sales a little bit through 2020. Their sales have almost doubled in 2020, so they didn't have to downsize people. They started capital investment on AI type stuff on pipeline building, lead gen, customer reduction, closing costs, and things like that. They have been implementing as many solutions while they have the opportunity to, so when things somewhat get back to normal, they're going to leap frog their competition. They're set up for long-term success.
It's interesting on C-Suite, the CEO of a company called D’Artagnan like the three musketeers. It's a food company that normally serves 80% into high-end restaurants across America, $152 million a year. They lost 80% of sales in the restaurants. Yet they're still going to finish the year at $150 million because they completely launched an eCommerce strategy. They built the ability for people to buy this good food. They still need to eat. They figured out, "If I can't sell it to you at the restaurant, let me give you our high-end stuff at your house.” To be able to do that at the drop of a hat is amazing. A lot of the questions by other CEOs was, “What are you going to do when the market comes back and the 80% comes back? Are you going to turn off the eCommerce channel?” No. They're going to all of a sudden go and become probably a $220 million company overnight. It is interesting looking back on a year like this. I was calling it the lost year for awhile. At the same time, you've got to you play the hand you're dealt. You say, "Some of the best things in life can come from some of the toughest times in life.” I think that what's occurred in 2020.
Back to my original story, when I launched G3, we got all these clients came on board. My original goal was to build the backend of the business for the first six months to a year. I have a couple of clients on the side, then we got busy. It's like, how do you turn down that business when you're starting a business? We never built the backend of our business. Now we've evolved and we're starting to build the backend of our business to match the frontend of the business. It's been a catch-22. Some of our businesses slowed down. For me personally, the training, speeches, and things like that have slowed down, but I've been able to take advantage of the time to build the backend of our business and create some new partnerships to propel us forward.
One thing I've seen in companies like yours, and I signed up for one on building a brand. It's called Brand of Stories. Normally they sell $5,000, $10,000, $15,000 either help you do it, or you do it yourself, or we'll do the whole thing for you. Instead, he shifted it over to a masterclass and he sold out for $600 a ten-pack in October, and then another ten-pack in November. He still makes $6,000, $8,000. He can now impact ten people at a time instead of the normal 1 or 2. I look at that like that's perfect because I'm going to get 90% of the business value, maybe 80% of what I would have normally gotten from him doing the whole project.
He can now impact more people like me, rather than just me. It's definitely an interesting world where you have to figure out those pivots. To your point on the backend, a lot of smart people are doing that. Let's dig in a little bit to AI for sales. AI can be a bad word in some languages. It's almost like a four-letter word, “Stay away. I don't like that word.” People think it's going to cause them lose their job. If all you do is go to the internet, do some research and email blast, maybe your job is at risk. The hole is bigger than sum of its parts. The opportunity involved of deploying AI, I've seen it firsthand. When you use it effectively, it makes you as a seller better, and you as a VP of sales better. Have you seen any examples of that? AI is a big term. Automation is a more appropriate term for the level of AI that we're at now.
You need the best performers in your sales team to perform like rock stars with the best technology available while preserving costs.
You hear machine learning and AI used interchangeably. Where AI is headed for us at G3, we've invested in a company called Perception Predict. They're being run by Jonathan Whistman. He's The Sales Boss.
I've met with Perception Predict a couple of times. They have a quote in AI for Sales book because I met him at a Sales 3.0 Conference.
We've partnered with them in their product. It's a twenty-minute assessment that accurately predicts within 80% of what someone can sell based on the role. They match up 400 different traits they have in their assessment. They create a fingerprint for your sales organization. It's unique to your sales organization of what it takes to be successful based on your KPIs. What you can then do, and this is where I see all of this coming together in a hurry, based on the economic conditions that we're seeing, is right now there's a ton of people looking for jobs. The talent pool is very vast.
Combine that with companies cutting back budgets. They are trying to do more with less. You then put together something like what Perception Predict is doing, where you can assess pre-hiring. You can assess candidates based on how successful they will be in your sales organization, then you're hiring rockstars. The reason I wanted to partner with them is that perfect storm of the things I mentioned are coming together. Imagine being able to pick candidates and knowing what they're going to sell within 80% accuracy before you even hire them. That ROI is unbelievable.
It's interesting because if you can get the right people on the bus, and then put them in the right roles that map up to their skillset. I'm starting to see Jordan, for example, is the best cold calling machine I've ever had. I worked with them at Connect And Sell. Now he's working for me again at ScaleX. I would rather have Jordan on the phone at 1500 dial a day clip than someone else that does 1500 dials in a month. You got to make sure Jordan is in mental tune with the world. Otherwise, that 1500 dial a day, you have one bad day and you blew a month worth of prospecting. It's very important to hire the right people, get the right people on the bus, and use the right technologies.
Let's go in another direction. You were talking about Perception Predict. You were talking about leveraging AI to find the right people and get the right people on the bus. We were talking about how you can leverage technologies. Once you find that right person like Jordan who does 1,500 dials a day, and then you find someone else who's good at writing emails. Instead of having everyone on a team write their own emails, let's have the right person write emails, the right person writes social, the right person does phone conversations. It seems to me that that's where things will be headed. It’s like a manufacturing production line. You don't have one person go, “I'm going to build the hood of the car, and then I'm going to do the tire.” Everybody has specialized positions. Are you seeing your customers get into role specialties like that?
It's interesting because before Perception, we're a strengths-based training organization. Typically, what we would get called in to do is assess using Gallup StrengthsFinder, assess the sales team. That breaks the sales team down into four different groups. We then provide engagement strategies and also motivational strategies based on each individual strengths. Person A is motivated by something completely different than person B. We train managers on how to motivate their individual employees, but also looking at it as a collective, how to motivate the team. We build those strategies into our development process. Before, that was always post. Somebody would call and say, “We're having an engagement issue. Sales aren't growing where we need them to grow.” We would come in and do a strengths assessment.
Part of our package is to identify the right role for the person. We would go through job descriptions or job duties and align those based on people's strengths after they were already there. What I like about the perception product is now we can come in, prehire assess people, get the right people on the bus, and make sure they're set up for success. We also have the strength side of things that we can come in, round up the team, and drive that high performance. To answer your question with AI, there are many tools with what you guys do and all these other organizations are doing. Looking forward to 2021 and beyond, everybody is going to be cutting costs and doing more with less. You need rockstars on the team. You need your rockstars to perform like rockstars with the best information and the best technology available while preserving costs.
You need your best performers to perform like rockstars with the right technology. That's exactly well put. A lot of the customers that we're finding are Founders and CEOs of one-man shows. They go out and they do talking in front of crowds, or they’re motivational speakers and things. They can't traditionally go hire a $5,000 to $7,000 a month individual to do prospecting. Their skill is training people on high-end skillsets, yet they don't have top of funnel prospecting prowess. At $500 a month though, they can afford a social outreach strategy that comes with templates and cadences around when and what to say and how to say it.
I don't know if you've ever met Arjun Sen through a C-Suite Network. He was the CMO from Papa John's Pizza and, and now he runs a company called Zen Mango. He can go in to CVS and help them figure out the corner of health and happiness. He helped architect that in a room with twenty people, executives. He was Tiger Woods's personal PR guy for two years during Tiger Woods’s pivot in life. Arjun launched with the social outreach program. He called the other day and he said, “Chad, your product got me a meeting with someone who would have never heard of me and I would have never heard of him. Because the automation helped me connect, I have now got the best prospect that I could've ever imagined.”
He owns 200 pizza places across America. He’s like, “This is exactly in the sweet spot.” It's all because he's powered with an automation, AI powered platform that cost him $500 a month that he would never have otherwise done. Think of a virtual assistant for email and social. You can voicemail drop. We had a customer that did 1,000 voicemail drops in three days to heads of procurement about a month within COVID. They needed to buy masks. There was a feeling that everyone's about ready to go back to work. "What do we do?” Her customer, Bella Canvas, converted their line from apparel over to masks. They voicemail drop and she got call after call from heads of procurement. The secret sauce is you could voicemail drop server to server to connection, and get your message out across the country at scale at will. Flexibility, agility, speed, and time to market. The FAST is what we're calling that.
In Harvard Business Review or all the periodicals websites, everything is agility right now. It’s pivoting and moving at speed. That capital investment is going to be cut for many organizations. Doing it effectively and efficiently will be the key for long-term success for a lot of companies.
We've been around for a few years. I have no desire to sell the company. As The CEO of WebEx used to say, "We're not for sale, but we can be bought.” I'm in that place where I can already see VCs, PEs knocking on the door like, "You're the agility guys. You're the speed to market guys.” “Yeah, we are.”
That’s a good spot to be in.
When you set out on a mission to achieve that, and then the world lines up into that new philosophy, it's an interesting time. For people who have a challenge with finding the right people or aligning the right people to the right roles, and the things that you do, what's a good fit for a customer. I heard you say managers and probably VPs are involved. You probably wouldn't work with a company like me with 5 or 10 people in the company. Where do you find that G3 that can add the most value? What's a perfect fit for you guys?
We're not a large enterprise company, as much as I'd love to say we are, eventually we'd like to be, we're an SMB type company. Even with five people we've worked with those. I'd say that's almost as important because if you have five employees, every employee has to pull their weight. You better make sure everybody's aligned to the right strategy, to the right goals, to the right roles, and make sure they're engaged. If one person is off, that's 20% of your workforce that's not engaged. We take that perspective of every single person counts on your team. You want everybody engaged. We typically work with SMBs for sure.
It could be 5 employees, 50 employees, 500 employees. Is that the sweet spot range?
Yes. We get calls from places like some of the smaller groups within Intel. Some of the larger organizations or enterprise organizations will come work with management teams or C-Suite teams, particularly on the strength side. We'll come in and do strengths assessments, and make sure the board members are properly working together hand-in-hand, strategizing properly, and looking for any deficiencies in the C-Suite or the board members, so that they can get somebody to round out their team. Strengths-based stuff, individuals don't have to be necessarily rounded out, but the teams do. The best teams are rounded out.
AI is here to stay. Gregg's company helps you leverage AI to find, hire and bring on the right people on the bus, in the first place. In this market now more than ever, why spend three months ramping somebody up, spending the $5,000, $10,000 on recruiting costs that it takes to hire that person up to $20,000, $30,000. They then stay for a year. They're not happy and you're not happy. This is a perfect time to do a reset. Push the reset button, wipe off the whiteboard clean, and bring on people that fit in the roles that they're built for. They'll be happier. You'll be happier. Gregg's company G3 can help you do it. Gregg, thanks for being on the show. It's been a pleasure talking with you and I hope to be able to see you at a live event at some point in the not too distant future.
We'll grab a beer in-person somewhere. I look forward to seeing you and everybody else out there at a live event soon.
Thanks for joining. We'll catch you on the next one. For now, Gregg Frederick, you can find him at G3. Peace and cheers. We are out.
About Gregg Frederick, MBA, CSE
“Planting seeds of emergence” is my motto. As a Certified Sales Executive, Gallup strengths trainer, and certified Peak Performance Mindset trainer with an MBA in Global Leadership Development, my goal is to leave every client interaction knowing I purposely made an impact that not only brings immediate value to the client, but continues to develop over time.
As a Principal Consultant\Owner of G3 Development Group, I’ve had the pleasure of consulting and training some of the most well-known firms, sales organizations, trade associations, and C-Suite executives. I’ve also had the pleasure of helping people find their purpose through goal setting as a featured motivational speaker and coach at the Impact Purpose Destiny and Championship Life Live multi-day training seminars.
Prior to G3 Development Group, I was the Director of Sales, Retail and Business Development for a $2bn bicycle brand, where I utilized my 15 years of sales experience and Gallup strengths mapping to motivate and coach the sales staff to grow sales 42% in 3 years. Combining my educational background with my success in global sales management, I create strategies that develop, train and coach organizations to deliver a transformative employee and customer engagement experience.
I obtained my Certified Sales Executive (CSE) designation through Sales and Marketing Executives International (SMEI). Certification is granted to applicants who have passed the highest levels of experience, professional references and testing based on worldwide standards established by SMEI.