Avoid Sales Tool Overload! With Ryan O'Gorman
With the wealth of sales tools out there that are just waiting to be picked up, you have to remember that you must be the one using the tools, not the other way around. "Sales tool overload" is real, and if you're not careful, you might be led down a path where you're not choosing in the best interest of your sales team. Ryan O'Gorman, an Account Executive at Zoom Video Communications, sits down with Chad Burmeister. Ryan shares advice on how to sift through the thousands of digital sales tools out there available at your fingertips. Heed Ryan's words, and you'll be picking the best sales tools for your team in no time.
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Avoid Sales Tool Overload! With Ryan O'Gorman
Ryan O'Gorman, An Early Zoom Video Account Executive, Shares Ideas On How To Sift Through The Thousands Of Available Sales Technologies Available Today
I have a special guest, Ryan O'Gorman from Zoom Video. He's an Account Executive and he's going to share his thoughts and perspective on AI for sales. He may have a few shocking statements that he's going to make. Prepare for the ride. We're going to dive in. Ryan, welcome to the show. Thank you for having me. I appreciate it.It’s great that you're here. If you're not familiar with The Sales Expert Channel, it's the only place you can go for free educational and inspirational content for global sales experts. There are over 70 sales experts on all different topics from digital sales to everything that you can think of. Hundreds of talks are available on demand. Check it out. I'm so excited to be part of the channel and for our interview. If you haven't heard of ScaleX, we launched a book at the end of 2019, AI For Sales: How AI Is Changing Sales. We were put out on United Airlines and there is an interview filmed in New York City on AI for sales through the C-Suite Network. Check it out. It's nineteen minutes of questions and answers around what is AI for sales and how does it work. You can check it out on Best Seller TV by C-Suite Network. Let's get started. Our topic is there are many sales tools that you can choose from. Often, the word AI is overused. Where do you start? What do you do? That's what we're going to cover. Before we start, let's understand who is it I'm talking to, what company do you work for? For the sake of it, where were you born?
My name is Ryan O’Gorman. I was early on at Zoom. I'm on sabbatical now. I was born right here in Los Gatos, California, the Silicon Valley.
Let's go back a little way. Before Zoom, IPO and sabbatical, what did you study in college?
I was on a scholarship. I played football in college and my major was Criminal Justice. It’s completely and utterly useless in my world now. It was about finishing the degree and getting it done.
Thinking back even before that, oftentimes our passions are born when we're 5 or 6 years old. My nephew is turning five and he's already got a passion for golf. When he does a slow-motion backswing, he looks like Tiger Woods. He hits it right down the middle of the fairway every time. What would you say was your passion when you were younger?
I wish it would have been golf had I listened to my dad because he knows, “What other sport can you play until you're 75 and still get paid?” I wanted to be a professional athlete without a doubt. That was my goal. I trained and played every sport that I possibly could. I was a four-letter athlete in high school. It helped keep me on track and got me to college. I want to go to the next level in football but it's a tight market. It was a great experience. I learned a lot that transfers over into business. In general, for somebody like me, it was a great outlet. I always loved playing sports. It never changed. Now I'm playing golf and I probably wish I had a swing like your nephew. I’m not quite there yet.
At RingCentral when I ran the sales development and business development team there with a team of over 100 people, Josh Bordner was one of the players on the team. He was the captain of the football team at Boston College. I noticed he went to the President's Club every single year that I ran the team. He had a unique competitive advantage because he was so committed that he knew that the repetitions were important in sales. When they gave him a tool that let him talk to as many people as he wanted to in a day, most people were doing 125 dials.
Josh would come with 1,200 to 1,500 dials in a day, while everyone else was sitting at 125 or in some cases even 50. He then learned some other secret sauce moves like, “Our VP of sales is going be in your area next week. Can we stop by and see you?” That was the CIO of eBay. He said, “Sure.” Belmont was right down the street from eBay. It was a good tactic. He didn't share that for quite some time. That was one of the tricks that got him to President's Club many years in a row. I respect and appreciate athletes like yourself.
That is insane, 1,200 to 1,500 calls. I would love to talk to him.
Thinking of artificial intelligence, it’s the term that is often overused in sales. How do you define it? If you were to hone in on it, what is it?
The definition is ever-changing because of the nature of artificial intelligence. The definition is something that can process tons of different information coming in from humans and from anywhere else. Take that information to guide you or make a decision for you. I definitely agree with you about the overuse but more or less, it's machine learning mixed with data science, mixed with the ability to take all of that data that it's getting and do something with it.
I've attended a lot of non-sales related AI shows. It's interesting that one of the most basic definitions of AI or use cases is spotting something unique and different. If you have a series of zeros and then there's a one, “Let's figure out what that is.” A lot of the early use cases for AI even though it's basic are, “Let me look at a data set.” Let's say it's 1,000 customers and two of those customers spend $1 million a year with Zoom Video. Maybe I can find more companies that have those similar characteristics to those two out of 1,000 and go after more of them. A lot of times, people think of AI for sales as this big, complex and scary thing when in fact it can be very simple and yet very powerful.
It's a buzzword. For example, Roomba, the vacuum. That would have been considered AI years ago, but now it's just a vacuum because we're moving forward. I feel like the term is ever-changing.
I heard there's a new one that my brother and sister have. They're like, “You don't have the new one?” “What the heck? What's the difference?” “It does a different pattern. It's a smart vacuum.”
It's smarter. There's a buzzword for you. Everything is smart, like a smart toaster.
There’s a program in the Alexa. There's a custom skill you can do now. In the Alexa app I programmed, “What is the best technology that can help you increase pipeline?” It says, “ScaleX.ai, of course.”
If you want to have some fun with your wife or your family, you can record a bunch of your voice and phrases and it will use your voice. I've done that a few times with some accents.
AI is here to stay. I read that there’s a $40 million investment healthcare with Apple and with Google. It's such a multibillion-dollar. I go back to when the internet first hit the market and I thought, “How can I make money on this thing called the internet?” I remember sitting in the backyard in Los Angeles, California with a friend of mine. This was in the late ‘90s, and then companies like eBay, PayPal and all those came out. They went from low teens up to multiple hundreds of dollars. I think we're at the precipice of something with AI that’s going to make a lot of money.
I've never heard anybody make that comparison but that's dead on. It's the future. It's here. It's a little scary at some point. You started to sit down to comprehend what it all means. It's going to be game-changing for health and wellness, science, medicine, everything. It's going to make people's lives a lot better if done properly. I'm sure there will be some stumbles along the way, but you're absolutely right. It's the next level up. That's a great comparison.
Thinking back to your time at Zoom or even in your day-to-day when you're reaching out to people, are you using AI in the sales motion anywhere or did you at Zoom?
Absolutely. I was always trying. Something my dad had always told me was like, “You might not ever be the smartest guy in the room, but you can outwork them.” A little bit about my history, in my almost four-year tenure at Zoom, I never missed a quarter. Even when I took a month off for that paternity leave, I never missed a quarter. I always was in a 115 to 150 range, somewhere in there, over goal. My whole thing was to try to be ahead of the curve. Work smarter, not harder. That is the idea with AI. It's going to do so much more than that. I use a ton of tools. We can talk about those individual tools and which ones were great and which ones need room for growth. I started the small business division with Zoom. I was the second guy hired there for that division. They then got moved up to mid-market. They brought them all together and it's just a startup. Everything was changing and growing. You’ve got to be moving, grooving and stay malleable.
What's your favorite tool that maybe others haven't heard of yet?
You want to be a different sales guy. We can all show up, be honest, forthcoming, do what we say we're going to do, and have a great product depending on the company we work for. We can care. We can all do that. Those are the things that are in our control, but how do you set yourself apart from every other guy or gal that's out there knocking on the same door as you are? I did that and I used a technology called OneMob. It's an application. I don't know if you're familiar with it. It was a baby. They were a Zoom customer. Because I was in those small and medium area, I got to do deal with a lot of startups. I got to see a lot of those. I got a pulse on what's hot right now in tech, in the bay, all over and every different vertical you can think of.OneMob is awesome because it allows somebody like me to whip up a little Zoom commercial personalized for the client within 15, 30 seconds and then send it to them. We package it up real nice with Zoom logo in the corner and everything. There was a lot of settings that you could use. You have auto send-outs, follow-ups and things like that. You tie in with Outreach, which is huge. It then told you when they viewed it, how long they watched your video for, and the AI component being what did they think that meant? If you had a 30-second video, at what point did somebody need to get you? As in YouTube, you have to watch a video for so long before the creator is going to get paid for it. It was something like that.It would condense the data for you and make it easy for you to understand like, “This is working.” I'd see videos that I would make out for customers or put in a mask, a blast and try to make it as custom as possible that you could with sending out a mass email. That's a skill in itself, but then getting that data back and saying, “This one worked.” It was awesome. Culturally, we're not quite there yet because people are still scared to click a video at work especially if you don't know this person. The response that I received was great. It's like, “Do you want to read a diatribe with an email or would you rather be knocked out with a fifteen-second video tailored for you where I'm talking to you directly or you can watch it on your phone anywhere or on any device.”
I went on a ski trip and the founder of Vidyard was there. His name is Michael Litt and he was talking about a very similar type of program. Vidyard lets you capture recording and send it out. The analytics on the backend, you're exactly right. When someone clicks, how long do they view? I did a similar thing where I did a voicemail drop to 59 series-A funded startups. They received funding. The voicemail dropped and sounded very personal because I was able to say, “Chad Burmeister, CEO of ScaleX. Congrats on your recent funding round. I've been tracking your company for a bit. My company has now helped over 100 different seed round series As and Bs help them get to their next round of funding and help them with their growth strategy, etc.” I got at least 6 or 7 callbacks in the first ten minutes of doing 59 voicemail drop. Vidyard and OneMob, I know that Mario Martinez is a big fan of them. Mario being with Vengreso and teams. It’s a pretty cool technology. There are many tools that are out there. Does your company bring them to you? Did you encourage a seller to go out and find them on their own? How did you do it? What do you recommend?
It's going to be different. If you're working for a massive company that's established like EMC or Oracle or whatever, one of these pipe hitters that's been around forever. Things change a little bit slower. This is coming from being at Zoom when we were very small, to it exploding and my experience is there. I can talk about my experiences at other tech companies before, but Zoom did it right. It’s a great company all the way around. One of the things was they weren't afraid to spend a little money to help their sales team or any of their teams for that matter. As they get bigger, I'm sure that will change. They'll tighten up and there will be things that they can't do.As individuals, when I started there, we could bring in whatever we wanted to the network. As long as we ran it by IT, it was cool. If you wanted to pay for something out of your pocket. We had a bunch of people using a bunch of different tools and then we could make a suggestion. Zoom is the type of place where they listened. They had their finger on the pulse of their company and their people. That was good. It was initially, but then what happens is it gets a little out of control and you're overwhelmed. It came to a point where there were many different tools that they were either testing or encouraged to use. As a new person walking in, I could definitely see how that would be like, “This is a lot.”Even for me, being there and growing with them. Salesforce alone is overwhelming. It could be for somebody, based on what your company chooses to put in there with it. Let alone you throw in 5, 6, 7, you throw in Chorus, OneMob, Outreach. It's like, “Oh my gosh.” Each one of those tools alone, there were plenty more like data lake. You started throwing these. It becomes a lot to handle and you don't know or you might not know. In any org that I go to or work for no matter what, I was in finance for fifteen years before I came back to tech, what I always would do is identify the top performer at the company. I try to either get them to mentor me or be check on the dogs to the point of annoyance.I'm a big guy, so I hovered around asking a lot of questions. I want to see what they do and why they're successful. Ninety percent of the times, people are willing to share their secret sauce, especially if they're a good company employee and they want the company to do well. I don't think anybody ever has shunned me for that. That might not necessarily translate to all these tools. Some people might not want to get in and crank out a fifteen-second little commercial. I like it. That's for me and my personality. It fits for me, but it does not for everyone. It's overwhelming and that's a great idea to have something analyzing what's going on there and being able to tell you like, “This is what you should use.”I think what you need to do is find what best suits your personality and your sales style. Always be open and be coachable. That's something from sports that comes along with you. If you're trying something and it's not working for you after a certain amount of time, you have to abandon and move onto the next. Try everything, stay coachable, stay malleable and figure out what works for you as fast as possible. I know that's a vague answer but every sales individual who's coming into their own would understand what that means and what that looks like.
I love that answer because finding someone who's already been successful, if I go back to Webex 2005, there was a guy named Rick Johnson who was on the team. He sold more of the training technology than anyone else in the company. He happened to sit one cube over from me. I overhear him to the point where I said, “I'll give you 30 points on the deal. Can you run it for me?” When you can give someone a split, that was not a bad way to incentivize the person. At times you have 50% or 70% split. After you hear a couple of full ways through the presentation, you record it. Now you have a method to the madness. Nowadays, when you take a Zoom Video link, you convert it into text and you can analyze the text. You can start to see who's talking more, how many questions are asked, and how many people come into the meetings. There's a lot that you can do with the analysis of a sales conversation.
Let's say we're in a call and you're the client. Human beings are human lie detectors. FBI people are trained to do this. As a salesperson, you're trained to read people. The longer you hone your skill and try to master your craft, you get good at it. People are always going to slip through the cracks. There's always somebody that's better than you at beating that game. Imagine having artificial intelligence built into a meeting that's analyzing your facial structure. It’s reading your temperature and everything telling me when I'm asking sales questions or closing questions or digging. It's analyzing your movements and everything. It’s telling me if you're being honest and forthcoming, and things like that. That's going to happen. That's happening right now.
I remember Prince Shapiro and Dave Berman were at one of those companies many years ago between Webex and RingCentral and Zoom and developing that technology. I can only imagine that was a few years ago. In this world that continues to get better and better. I heard from that hostage negotiator, I'm drawing a blank on his name, but he wrote a book. He was an FBI hostage negotiator. One of the things that he said is, “If you hear your customer say, ‘That's right,’ instead of, ‘You’re right,’ then that means they're in agreement. If they say, ‘You're right,’ then they're telling you, ‘I don't agree, but let's move on to the next topic.’”
I studied the creator of profiler, one of the FBI’s serial killer profiler and he taught a class on how that translated to business and the ability to read people and put yourself in their shoes because that’s the thing you have to do.
Never Split The Difference is the name of the book. That's exactly what he teaches, being in their perspective, “I know you're here. You want to get out of here. You want your $100,000 in a bank account and you don't want anyone to get hurt. I hear you.” He did a four hour in one of those where he said, “I know you're there.” He kept soothingly saying that over and over again. I heard this on a webinar. It was a three-minute video recording. The guy said, “If you end, you can either end on an up note or a down note or even keel.” Most successful people in sales are even tonality. Late-night talk show, FM DJ, I think is what they said. What happens is if someone comes in and they're like, “I don't like the color of your shirt,” and that's a down tone, then normally, you're going to go, “Why not?” You're going to go on an up tone. If you come in with another down tone, it's going to flip the script and that aggressor is going to end on an up tone.
That's what I love about sales. That’s what keeps me in. We're playing chess against each other, whether we know it or not. You know it but whether they're on board with it or not. One of the things that have helped me is I started in mortgage right back before the crash like 2004 or 2005 when I graduated. It was hardcore sales. When I got into tech, I was like, “This is nice. Free lunch. What's that?” You heard the saying, “There's no such thing as a free lunch.” I've tried to hone my craft and one of the things within the past years of breakthrough is trying to put myself in that chair on the other side because we both know why we're here.You know that I want to sell you something. Sometimes you want it. Sometimes you don't know that you need it. Trying to empathize and think about all the things that are going through their head. Who are they talking to? What boards did they get coming down on them? Which is one of their principles? I love that challenge and that has been super helpful for me to try to back off, don’t be about the deal, forget about myself and be of service to the client. That has helped me go from doing well to the next level and being unforgettable to your clients for those referrals and the name drops for them coming back to your business.
Is AI overused in sales these days?
Yeah, it’s such a buzzword. AI, to me, if you look up the actual definition, there’s data science which is number crunching as far as the way I verbalize it. There’s machine learning and then the combination of the two with the ability to read humans and the human patterns interaction and compile that data. It then has to make a decision for you. If it’s bringing it back to you and saying, “Here it all is,” that doesn’t help me. It’s not necessarily a terrible thing, but people say, “AI this, AI that. I’m like, “What does it do for you?” It doesn’t do anything. It doesn’t make decisions. It doesn’t tell you who has to go through my database and Salesforce, pull out all my close deals and say, “These are the guys that you need to call right now based on the month that it is. It’s raining outside. They had spaghetti for lunch on Tuesday. You need to call them because those days they close.” That’s what I think about AI is and I don’t think that we’re there. I'm sure we're getting there, but it bothers me.
I talk to Dr. Joël Le Bon. He's at Johns Hopkins University and he runs the only MBA program for salespeople. It's not an undergrad, it's postgrad. When he wrote the foreword of the book and then the conclusion of the book, he read it twice. He's probably the only human on the planet who's read my book twice from cover to cover. He articulated that there are two forms of AI for sales. There's augmentation and there's assistance. I think what you're talking about the frustrating part is an assistant would say, “Here are the two people in Salesforce you should reach out to. Let me go ahead and execute that email on your behalf.” What I'm hearing from a lot of experts in this industry is, do you want someone or a computer to be able to do all that? Probably not because then you're obsolete as a seller.What is more important is the AI augmentation. That is to your point, “Here are the six things that I noticed in all the data. This person is back from vacation and this is their personality type. This is exactly what you should say in this tone.” If it can equip you, I look at it as the Iron Man suit. If you can put the Iron Man suit on and give you the augmentation to make you better, that's where we as sellers are going to kill it with AI. Dr. Howard Dover sent me something that said that SDR and BDR role grew 500% in five years. It's just starting to peel people off the top. It went down for the first time in a quarter, the number of SDRs and BDRs being fired because now you can give artificial intelligence augmentation to a quota-carrying sales rep. I don't need that entry-level SDR hunter anymore.
It's a real thing to think about because the reality of it is that's where it's going, to augmentation. Jobs are going to become obsolete, but you roll with it. Depending upon your thoughts about AI, if you're not like Elon Musk, doom and gloom train about it, creating robots, taking over whatever. The reality is you're always going to want a human to have that last choice. I definitely would not want it to make calls for me. The reality of it is there is already software out there and applications that can mimic your voice. If I put enough time into it, I'm sure you've seen the Deepfake videos. It's so crazy. I watched Joe Rogan tell that he saw President Obama and it was none of them. We're entering into a new age. That's why I thought the comparison to the internet was great.We haven't even talked about AI with nanotechnology. It's very exciting. Is it overused right now? Yeah. It's a buzzword and a marketing gimmick. It's on everything. I can’t remember what I bought from Home Depot with an electronic AI. It was an artificially intelligent charging station. I'm like, “First of all, I just needed to charge my phone. I don't need it to be intelligent and I'm paying more for that AI.” I try to educate people and get educated as well. I’m not going to be the smartest guy in the room, but I can go down and harass the engineers on the fifth floor and then annoy them for awhile, digging around, asking questions and I dig around online. Our access to data in this day and age is exponential. I love to try to consume as much as I possibly can.
This has been an amazing conversation. I think there are definitely some takeaways that we'll be publishing in bits and pieces throughout the internet for days and weeks to come. From an application software perspective, what do you think is broken? What needs to be overhauled?
The Salesforce. God bless it. It's an undeniably game-changing company. I don't want to come off as anything bad. I can't even imagine what it takes to make the change there because of how massive they are. Many people rely on them and how they can't have downtime and all that. There's a lot, in my opinion, that needs to be done.
I wonder if someone could invent something because Salesforce does have many knobs and levers you could pull. Why not build the app that sits on top of it because there are many apps on AppExchange. Let's build the AI-powered CRM sitting on top of that as a system of record.
I've said that exact same thing. I talked to Dave Berman who I consider a mentor and I loved working for him. He pushed me hard. I grew under him a lot. He goes, “Do you want to make $1 million? Do you want to be filthy rich? You invent that.” That's exactly what we talked about and it's so true. Somewhere out there, it's being done right now.
A colleague of mine, the guy that used to work for me, Shannon Johnson, built an app called Productio. It's a workflow machine, especially for small and medium business. I've got to hit certain metrics to hit my number, which means let's go from bookings to pipeline upstream to all the activities. His app will automate those through text messages. “Have you done this yet this week?” There's another one called Profit.co that does KPI's and OKRs that automate some of those things.
From back when I was in a management role, we always focus so much on the individual salesman, but what about rolling up? We can be predictive, forecasting and helping small to mid-market company grow. A lot of times mid-level managers get left in the dust. They're sitting there and the executive suite is busy trying to grow the company from what they say and they're left in the ether. I see mid-level marketing in the Silicon Valley would be a phenomenal place to attack in terms of education, arming those people with tools, because dealing with 15, 20 salespeople on your team, depending on the size of your company is like herding cats. Many different personalities, it’s so tough. There’s a huge area of opportunity to help companies level up there. I’ve not seen anything. They’re usually handed a narrative and they’ve got to push that down. They do their best to intermediate between their individual guys.
Rob Jeppsen is the CEO of Xvoyant. It's a company out of Utah and they've built an application that plugs into Salesforce and it's for sales coaching conversations. If you think about it, every Salesforce deployment has a stage, discovery, solution, demo, ROI, etc. Ninety-eight percent of all Salesforce deployments have that. It chips with the product. However, only 5% have a sales coaching process built into the CRM. There's this huge opportunity for people to implement a sales coaching methodology and process.
Would that work with Chorus as well?
Yeah, it leverages Chorus. It's pretty advanced. Ryan, I appreciate you taking the time on the show. Thanks, everybody, for joining us.
Thank you so much. It was a pleasure to be on. I wish you nothing but great luck.
- Zoom Video
- The Sales Expert Channel
- AI For Sales: How AI Is Changing Sales
- Best Seller TV - video
- Never Split The Difference
About Ryan O'Gorman
Closing Specialist | Sales Program Management | Relationship ManagementResults-oriented, an ambitious professional with a consistent track record of exceeding revenue goals. Demonstrated ability to incorporate innovative sales techniques, systems, processes, and procedures to enhance business practices, increase productivity, and boost revenues in a highly competitive market. Tenacious in building new business, securing customer loyalty, and forging strong relationships with external and internal business partners.