537: Roadmap to Achieving Sales Success | Wayne Moloney

Podcast Cover Image: Roadmap to Achieving Sales Success Featuring Wayne Moloney
Podcast Cover Image: Roadmap to Achieving Sales Success Featuring Wayne Moloney

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What does your roadmap to achieving sales success look like?

Let’s find out on this week’s episode of the Conquer Local Podcast as we chat with Wayne Moloney, an Australian Business Growth Specialist.

Wayne has four decades of global experience in a wide range of businesses from regions like Australia, Asia, and Europe and has assisted them in achieving revenue and profit. After leaving his corporate career, Wayne spent over 15 years helping B2B organizations across Asia-pacific to tackle their business growth challenges by adopting sound sales and business strategies in training their Sales teams and applying LEAN principles for sustainable sales success.

He is the co-author of the award-winning, best-selling B2B Sales Novel, The Wentworth Prospect, and is the author of his second book titled, Your Roadmap to Achieving Sales Success.

Tune in to learn more about Wayne, his experience, and the archetypes he developed.

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Roadmap to Achieving Sales Success


George: This is the Conquer Local podcast, a show about billion-dollar sales leaders, marketers leading local economic growth, and entrepreneurs that have created their dream organizations. They wanna share their secrets, giving you the distilled version of their extraordinary feats. Our hope is with the tangible takeaways from each episode, you can rewire, rework, and reimagine your business. I’m George Leith, and on this episode, we welcome Wayne Moloney. Wayne is an Australian business growth specialist with a global background spanning four decades. He’s helped a diverse range of businesses in Australia, Asia, and Europe to achieve their revenue and profit goals. Since leaving his corporate career, Wayne has spent over 15 years helping B2B organizations across the Asia-Pac tackle their business growth challenges through the development and implementation of sound sales and business strategies, developing sales teams, and applying lean principles for sustainable sales success. Wayne is the co-author of an award-winning, bestselling B2B sales novel, “The Wentworth Prospect.” Wayne is also the author of a second book entitled, “Your Roadmap to Achieving Sales Success.” We’ll dig into both of these books and see what Wayne is all about. Coming up next on the Conquer Local podcast.

George: Wayne Moloney, joining us all the way from beautiful Sydney, Australia. And Wayne, we always love talking to our friends down under. I know it’s the middle of winter there right now, so we won’t even get into the whole weather thing. Let’s just talk about sales ’cause I know that’s one of your favorite subjects. Wayne, in the intro, I talked about your books, “The Wentworth Prospect” and “Your Roadmap to Achieving Sales Success,” but let’s talk about the book that you co-authored, which everything that we’ve researched looks like this is where it all started for Wayne Moloney when that global brand started getting built.

Wayne: Yeah. Look, I had written a couple of books, but I’d always wanted to write a book on strategic selling. And I’m really looking forward to chatting with you about this, George, because I love the style of your podcast. But when we started looking at strategic selling, I’ve done a lot of work over the years with a good friend of mine, John Smibert. And John had developed a strategic selling process and methodology called Edvance, and I saw that as being something that would make a great book. And I approached John and said, “Look, let’s do this. Let’s get something out there on strategy.” And he said, “Yeah, but why don’t we write it as a novel?” And that sort of took me back a little bit at first because I’d never thought of writing the book as a novel myself. And John and I sat down over, you know, probably numerous cups of coffee, and we brainstormed this. And we thought that if we write it as a novel, we can approach things and teach things a hell of a lot differently to what the traditional textbook, handbook style of sales book or sales manual if you like, as I like to refer to them. So we approached that, and we started out. Very quickly, George realized that we might be damn good sales consultants, but we weren’t great novelists. So we had quite a few false starts on that, and it took us a little while to really get going. And yeah, that was where we worked into it.

George: Well, Wayne, the minute that I was researching and getting up to speed on you after the team found you out there and brought you onto the radar, I was thinking about that novel approach. And, you know, the first thought came to my mind was Patrick Lencioni’s “Five Dysfunctions of a Team.” You know, one of the best business management books out there, but it’s written as a fable and a novel. And then I started thinking about an episode that we have from about three years ago with Carson Heady from Microsoft, where he wrote the book “Salesman on Fire.” And I’m like, this is a brilliant concept because you can do a lot more than if you’re in a factual environment to paint out some of those stories and those scenarios.

Wayne: Exactly. When you mentioned that, a good friend of ours, Tony Hughes, wrote a book called “The Joshua Principle,” approached in a similar manner. But I go back to my engineering days, and I read a book through that period called “The Goal” by a guy called Eli Goldratt. And that was the same. It was about lean manufacturing, but it was written as a story. And of course, you know, you’ve got the evergreen “E-Myth” by Michael Gerber, which is done the same way. So the more we thought about it, the more we realized that we could do so much more by telling a story around complex B2B sales. And we could by just saying, “Here’s the methodology.” You know, you go step to step to step. We wanted to put a lot more into it than that, George.

George: You know, if you would’ve told me 25 years ago or 30 years ago, when I started in sales, that I would be talking to former engineers in the sales business, you know, it just wasn’t something that was considered back in the day. But you bring rigor to the conversation. You know, engineers are process and line it all up. And, you know, sometimes salespeople are, I don’t know if you have this in Australia, but I’ve been called a cowboy a few times. And I don’t ride a lot of horses now. I used to, but not anymore. And it’s that idea of, you know, cowboys just figure out a way to stay alive and be cowboys. And engineers in the sales business, though, is really changing the game. Are we aligned on that?

Wayne: Yeah, absolutely. Look, I, like probably I’d say 90% of salespeople, I didn’t actually enter my career thinking I was going to be a salesperson. I went and studied engineering. I was a trainee engineer. And really through fate, I ended up into or leaving engineering. I had a disagreement as a young, I guess, rather brash and cocky guy in my youth and had a disagreement with the managing director of the owner of the small company I was with. And he suggested it might be better if I found a different career path. And I’ve been forever thankful for that. And through a good friend of mine, his dad introduced me to sales. And that was it. That was where it started. And I guess, you know, my cockiness went through to being insisting on being called a sales engineer in my early days because back then, I still didn’t have the, I guess, the respect for salespeople that I’ve got now. And I very quickly learned that it’s a great career and, you know, if you approach it the right way, I applied my engineering skills and, you know, I’ve applied that right through. I learned lean process and lean manufacturing. And I very quickly learned that that could be applied into sales, and I’ve done that right throughout my career.

George: Well, I have a question around that, is, you know, we bring folks on like you that have been, you know, had a great career, and you’ve built a hell of a business, and you’ve worked with organizations. How did you go through that journey where you moved up, you worked globally in a few continents helping businesses? And how did you really dial in this formula for helping B2B organizations achieve business growth?

Wayne: Yeah, that’s a good question, George. I mentioned lean. And I actually started applying lean into all areas of business, whether it was in my sales career, or whether it was in my general management managing director career in business. I always had a business development focus. But if you look at lean, there’s three basic principles to lean. It’s adding value, it’s reducing waste, and it’s continual improvement. And when I sat back and started to look at how I was approaching selling, I was actually doing exactly that. I was always looking at the outcome for the client. That just because of my background in engineering, I always look for a positive outcome. Reducing waste became fairly obvious. And then that continual improvement, that continual review of how I approach something. And these days it’s referred to as win-loss reviews, but I always looked at the end of a sales process or a sales I was going through with a client or a prospect and analyzed that at the end, and then said, “How could I improve that?” And I’ve applied that to businesses I’ve run, to sales teams I’ve run. So I’ve always taken that approach of process, adding value at each step of the way. And one of the things that used to amuse me, you know, I’d get, even in my positions in management, I would get calls from salespeople saying, “Oh, I’m just checking in.” Well, you know, what was the purpose of that call? Where was there any value being added? All they were doing was wasting my time because they didn’t have a process, and they didn’t have a purpose for that call. So that was my approach right throughout my 40-plus years of sales and business management, is always taking that lean approach. And I’ve done that to every business I’ve worked with. And it’s really interesting that, when you apply a process, I remember I took over a company in Hong Kong. And when I went in there as the managing director, I inherited a pipeline of 200% of target, which obviously I was quite excited about. Until I sat down with each of the people and said, “Okay, how did you qualify those?” Every person had a different way of qualifying. So I put forward the approach that I take in qualifying, had them all go back out and requalify, and we dropped down to 80% of target. What then happened is we closed 90% of 80%. And we then never missed target again for the rest of the time I was with that organization because we had a uniform, collaborative approach to qualification. That was all about value, and it was all about getting rid of the waste. And the waste in that pipeline was opportunities that weren’t real. So we worked through that. It’s pretty simple, George, you know? It’s a matter of just doing the right thing by the client and getting focus on your approach.

George: Well, and, you know, having, I’m sure you had some sort of a rubric that you put in place, and you continued to iterate on it to get it right, and maybe take the guesswork out of building out a pipeline. And I’m sure those were three of the items. One thing I wanted to ask about, and I’m fascinated by these two components: the advocates and the change agents. And you call these archetypes. I’d love to have you educate me on this because I think there’s something here that I can learn a lot about.

Wayne: Okay. Look, just on writing the book, I failed to mention one guy that was really important, a guy called Jeff Clulow. He’s the third author, if you like. Jeff’s been a good friend of mine for many years who I’ve ridden motorcycles with and had a great deal of fun with. And he comes out of an advertising and copywriting background. And he’s a very good novelist, so we engaged. When John and I found out that we weren’t, we engaged him and we brought him in. And we started, in writing the book, looking at the politics, the personalities, and what happens that you can’t directly control. And we realized that you could actually break these down. If you go back to Carl Jung, he broke down 12 archetypes, or defined 12 archetypes, from a psychological perspective. That was too many, so we looked at it and we broke it down to six types of people that we believed you could encounter in a sale. And we put those into two groups. We put them into those that we saw as our change agents, those people that had the power, the politics to be able to influence a change within their organization. And we then looked at advocates. And advocates were people that could be helpful or, in fact, against you in a sale, but all of those people we needed to look at. In the change agents, we had the inquisitor. And that was the person that focused on interrogating your proposal. I think we’ve all come across them. You know, quite often, they’re the financial controller. We looked at the sage. The sage was the person that was powerful in being able to communicate within the organization. And they would communicate ideas. And then we had the champion. And the champion was the person that every salesperson had to go to. They were interested in getting the job done. They had the power, they had the influence, and they were able to bring people together to be able to get decisions made and things happening. On the other hand, the advocates that we spoke about, we had the mercenary. And that was the person that was only interested in things for their own purpose. And we had the accomplice. And the accomplice is someone that might be able to help you, but doesn’t have that power. And we had the messenger. And the messenger was the person that probably does most of the gossiping around the water cooler or the coffee machine. And each of those people are important in developing a complex sale. You need to get to your champion, but it’s how do you utilize or minimize the influence on the others that are involved in it? And that’s why writing a story was so powerful. Because we could actually bring out each of those personalities, and we could bring out how Sue, our champion, our hero, sorry, our hero in the book, was able to work with her team to build the relationships with the change agents and also utilize the messenger and the accomplice, but minimize the impact of the mercenary and those that were against her in the sale.

George: You know what, I’m just sitting here because I’m working on a deal right now with some of our team, and every one of those archetypes were in a boardroom yesterday that I was in a meeting with. And, you know, one of the things that we’ve been working on recently on these complex sales, and then you talk about it as well in the book, is having a map. And mapping those folks out and starting to really understand their org chart on their side. Who’s in the team? Who are the people? Because you’re right. Like, one of those individuals could scuttle the entire deal if down the road, you know, you’re just about to get the proof of concept across the line, now we’re gonna ink the deal, and we forget about that mercenary that’s been lurking in the background just trying to figure out a way to get rid of this thing ’cause it doesn’t serve their purpose.

Wayne: Absolutely. You’re absolutely spot on. We talk about people mapping and identifying… We’ve just built a simple quadrant. Along the horizontal, we have relationship. And on the vertical, we have influence. So in the bottom left-hand corner, you’ve got low relationship, low influence. If you’ve got people there that have got a low influence, you’re not really focused on improving the relationship. But the objective is with the most important people, the champions and the change agents, is to move them into that top right-hand quadrant, where you know they’ve got high influence, but you then need to build a high, strong relationship. And, you know, it’s cliche, but it’s that relationship of trust and respect, and you need to move up there. And that person needs to help you build a collaborative environment within the organization. And, you know, collaboration doesn’t mean that everyone gets what they want. But, you know, to have a collaborative relationship, it means that everyone can accept the final decision. So, you know, not necessarily everyone getting 100%, but everyone getting a decision that they’re comfortable with, they can live with going forward.

George: And I find it fascinating that applying lean principles, and I thought lean was what I was aspiring to do when I was losing weight years ago, not, you know, the way that you… You know, being a salesperson, I was never exposed to it. And then I end up at a software company. And we had a lot of people that have that discipline and have studied on it. And so I’ve been exposed to it, but I find it just fascinating when I speak to sales experts like yourself that came from the engineering space. You know, Mark Roberge, one of the more famous ones, on his sales acceleration formula. And then he’s got the HubSpot brand behind him where, you know, everybody knows how well that went. But just by applying some of those components. In fact, we had Mark just recently here at our Conquer Local Connect, and we’ve had him as an alumni, as a guest on the show. And your book, like, “The Wentworth Project” should be required reading by every salesperson. I’m just telling you right now.

Wayne: Yeah. Well, I appreciate that. And by the same token, I believe that things like Michael Gerber’s “E-Myth” should be essential reading to anyone going out and starting their own business. You know, Eli Goldratt’s “The Goal.” It just goes across so many areas of business. And that’s one of the things that I’ve always worked at, is being able to get collaboration between departments and organizations or companies that I’ve run. And, you know, books like that just help so much. And the other thing is it gets people reading a novel because the novel in itself is enjoyable. You know, it may not be a best seller like, you know, Brown or Falode or any of those guys, but it’s an enjoyable read. And that gets people who don’t normally sit down and read textbooks or handbooks get involved.

George: No, I 100% agree. And the other thing that I like is sometimes, it’s not all the time, and I’m sure we’re gonna be like-minded on this, but sometimes the audiobook, if the author is actually good at reading and good at articulating the story, those can be very, very fascinating as well. So let’s talk about your second book, “The Roadmap to Achieving Sales Success.”

Wayne: Yeah.

George: You wrote that thing back in 2018. If you could rewrite it, is there anything you missed out in the book? I love asking that question of authors.

Wayne: Yeah. Look, I wrote that book more for, I had so much information on sales that I just wanted to document it. And as I was doing that, I thought, “Okay, there’s a book here.” But one of the things that really frustrates me in sales, George, is everyone looking for that silver bullet. You know, if you go onto LinkedIn and, you know, we talk about the snake oil salesman back in, you know, in the ’20s and that, and we’ve got snake oil salesman on LinkedIn now saying, you know, “Do this and you don’t have to do anything else. You’re gonna close the deal.” You know, I’m calling BS on that one. People are forgetting the fundamentals of sales. And I wrote that book to take people back to all of the fundamentals that still work. Yep, take new technology and adopt it and adapt it to how you sell. But that’s what I would do different. I would spend a little bit more time in there on talking about how to adopt and adapt the technology without missing the fundamentals. And the other thing that I would really include now, and especially after I’ve, you know, been involved in writing “The Wentworth Prospect,” is I’d include a chapter on storytelling. You know, a once-upon-a-time chapter. Because I look back over my career and, you know, storytelling’s the new black in sales. You know, you looked on LinkedIn and everyone’s talking about storytelling. But I’ve been doing, you know, I’ve been talking about stories and using those anecdotes right throughout my career. And I would have a chapter in there on storytelling, definitely. And even on the technology side, getting salespeople whose companies don’t have the technology to make sure they look for technology that will help them as an individual. And that may be even as simple as a free CRM that they could use themselves. So I guess the answer is technology and storytelling are the two areas I’d include now.

George: Well, and I agree 100%, but I wanna interrogate something that you said there because I think there’s a bigger discussion here. I’m reading a lot, and I’m feeling a lot when I work with organizations that a new skill set if they don’t have it today, and that is the ability to adapt and the ability to learn. And if you’re dealing with an organization where they’ve never, they’ve been doing the same thing forever, they’ve never had to adapt, they’ve never had to learn new things, it’s like a fricking brick wall. I’m sure you’ve ran into that.

Wayne: Look, I’m working with a client at the moment, and it’s more on a general management than sales side of things, and the resistance to change in the organization is killing it at the moment. And in fact, I sat down and I had a serious meeting with the managing director, owner of the business yesterday and said, “Look, unless you are prepared to make some really hard decisions here, which may mean some collateral damage among the people that have been with you for a while, you’re not gonna change the business, you know?” Old ways don’t open new doors. So you’ve got to make changes, and you’ve got to adapt. And, you know, I was only reading yesterday on LinkedIn a friend of mine wrote about seeing a survey where 80% of people responded that they like change. I’ve never seen that sort of stat before. People do not like change. And that’s when I was talking about collaboration. You know, you need to get a consensus as you build collaboration. And that consensus, as I said, is not about 100% agreement, but living with something that you’re able to, you know, to accept.

George: Well, and the reason that they’re answering 80% on adaptability is that they’ve read that, you know, IQ, yeah, you’ve gotta have an IQ. EQ, you gotta be a human and understand emotion. But the adaptability quotient is now something that people are measuring for in that scorecard as well. So it’s, you know, are you smart enough? Do you understand people enough? Because we’re in the people business. And then let’s measure you on how good you are at adapting. And now we’ll get rid of that fake news on the 80%.

Wayne: Yeah. And, you know, like any survey, it all depends. You know, you ask a question and the, you know, the answer is always it all depends because you can’t go in and put all of the situation around it. And, you know, I think I actually referred to collaboration when I meant consensus earlier as well, but, you know, that’s it. You’ve gotta get that consensus. And, you know, a good manager understands how to build consensus within an organization. And that’s be it a sales manager, be it a project manager on a sales team, the sales leader. You’ve got to build consensus around that. And that’s the only way to do it. And people need to learn to adapt. And it’s really difficult, George. It’s something that, especially people that have been within an organization for a long time. I look at startups, and I’ve been involved in a number of them over the years. The people that are there when the company starts, the people you need for that startup, are not going to be the people you need to take it through the seven stages, as I define it, of success of an organization.

George: No, 100%. And we appreciate you sharing all of this with us, Wayne. If people wanna learn more about you and your organization and the books, I’m sure there’s a portal there that we can get more Wayne Moloney.

Wayne: Yeah. Look, there’s waynemoloney.com. And that’s M-O-L-O-N-E-Y. We’ve got the books backed by a website, which goes into more in-depth of the process and methodology that we use. And that’s Edvance, E-D-V-A-N-C-E, dot sale. And of course, LinkedIn, George. You know, as long as people back it up with a bit of an intro when they ask me to connect with them, I will definitely do that and engage with them. But if I just get one of these random ones, unfortunately, there’s so many coming through. Very few of them get a response, mate.

George: Come on, Wayne. I love those, where it’s like, hey, how are you doing? I wanna connect with you. And the very next thing is buy my shit.

Wayne: Yeah, I know. I got one yesterday from some guy saying he heard me on a podcast that I’d never heard of.

George: Well, maybe at some point you did a podcast one day with that folk. Maybe it’s a deep fake, Wayne. It could be a deep fake. Well, Wayne, I appreciate you joining us. And, you know, there’s a lot there in this episode. There’s a lot in the books. I’m a big fan, and it’s great having you on the show. And appreciate all of the knowledge bombs that you were dropping in the last 20 minutes or so. Thanks for doing that.

Wayne: Thanks, George. Been a pleasure, mate. Looking forward to hearing this and more of your great podcast.

George: Have a great day. Appreciate your time.

Wayne: Thank you. Cheers.


George: What a great episode from Wayne. I always love learning when it comes to improving the way that we can build sales organizations and better communicate with customers. Here’s your takeaway. I think you already know what I’m gonna talk about. The archetypes. I had to frigging Google it to make sure that I was ready for the episode. But here’s what we’re looking at. Six types of people that you could encounter in sales. And then they’ve divided them into two groups. And God, it’s simple, but I just love it when we get a formula like this that’s simple because we can start working immediately with it. We’ve got the change agents, and you’ve got the inquisitor, who is the person that asks a lot of questions. Usually has a spreadsheet somewhere around them at any one point in time. Very detail oriented. Then you have this concept of a sage. And the sage, we need to look for the sage. They’re the communicator. They’re the person that can influence in the organization. And they usually have their fingers in a lot of different pies. Sage, very important. The champion. They’re the one that’s running around, saying, “We need to do this.” Or, they might sometimes be the person that says, “We’re not doing it because I’m the champion, and I know what I wanna do.” So you need to find that champion and you need to keep them on side. Then the advocates. And they’re either with you, or they’re the reason you’re not getting the commission check. The mercenary. It’s all about me. Just ask me. The accomplice. I’m working with the mercenary, so it’s all about the mercenary, and I’m helping them. And then the messenger. So all three of these, actually, mercenary, I don’t mind them, ’cause if I can get them on side, they’re gonna be sneaky, and they’re gonna run around and figure out ways to get the deal done. So mercenary can actually be a positive thing, too. The accomplice piece, they’re in there building that consensus. Really important piece. And then the messenger, well, they’re not just gossiping around the water cooler. They’re whispering in all sorts of people’s different ears. And they’re saying, “I think that’s a really good idea if they happen to be in the meeting, or they happen to be involved.” These archetypes, you know, when I was listening to Wayne explain them to me and when I’ve done the previous research in the book, I’m just like, this stuff is brilliant. When you start thinking about that level of influence that they might have and how connected you are to them in the relationship that you have with either the prospect or the customer. That is your key takeaway, although there were a plethora of items that you could take and put to use from this episode. So thanks to Wayne Moloney for joining us. If you liked Wayne’s episode discussing achieving success in sales, let’s continue the conversation. Check out these two episodes: 231, The Man Who Eats, Lives, and Breathes Sales. I was mentioning it earlier in the podcast. Carson Heady from Microsoft. What a great episode that was. Go back and have a listen to that. Or episode 521 from season five, The Future of Customer Experience with Steven Van Belleghem. Please subscribe and leave us a review. And thanks for joining us this week on the Conquer Local podcast. My name is George Leith. I’ll see you when I see you.

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