welcome to the read method inside a podcast everyone, its episode, 38.
It’s a very excited and anticipated episode with a very special guest with me.
Live tonight all the way from the west coast, San Francisco.
We will be talking tonight about how to maximize productivity and sales by incorporating technology and for a guy, like myself, who’s been in the automotive sales and retail space for many years, as well as outdoor sales or outside sales.
I’m very intrigued to talk to our special guest tonight, as I traveled extensively across North America in parts of Canada selling advertising.
So when I realized what our special guests had created, I wish I had known him about a few years ago when I was traveling.
So here we go in little.
The good news is, it didn’t exist a few years ago.
It’s it’s! It’s really.
I didn’t start the companies of 2012, so you didn’t miss much.
I didn’t miss much well cool in this episode.
F3 method inside a podcast.
We want to focus our attention on how to maximize productivity and sales by incorporating technology as a Sales, Professional intrapreneur and a go-getter always looking for ways to increase productivity sales and, ultimately, profitability and satisfaction in our daily lives.
Tonight’s guests can certainly put you on the right track towards increasing productivity and profitability in your sales career or in your business ventures, and as we share some of the innovative ideas that he has to maximize one’s success and our special guest tonight is the founder and Ceo of Badger Maps, which is the number-one planner of four field salespeople after receiving an MBA from Stanford he, his career, has been in the field sale with companies such as IBM autonomy and Google, and this I found really really mind-blowing.
He became Google’s top enterprise performing sales person in the world in 2009 and in 2012 he founded badger maps to help feel sales reps become more successful.
He has been selected as one of the top 40 most inspiring leaders in sales, lead management and tonight for episode.
39, I am pumped to be joined by Steven Venson and welcome to the show Steven, hey everyone.
I’m really excited to be here.
This is fantastic.
What amazed it so so tell us about badger Maps Steve and, like I can’t wait to get into this and to find out more about your company sure so badger maps.
What we do is we’ve built a solution for field sales, people outside sales, people to build them routes, help them understand their territory.
Do a bunch of busy work for them in an auto way in an automated way, so they don’t have to do it by hand.
We help them figure out which customers and prospects to focus their time on and generally be more organized and save a bunch of time spend less time behind the wheel, spend more time selling a bunch of productivity stuff, a bunch of accuracy stuff just make it like Making their day easier, better, more productive, the the part that caught my attention when I was checking out the information about badger maps and the benefits was the time the amount of time one could save yeah because we all could use more of that.
So what led or inspired you after being with such a company as Google, in a top performing the role as you were in the world number one sales guy in the world to take on the intrapreneurs of world to create badger maps? Well, I mean I can tell you every oh, my my mom thought it was a crazy idea.
I do my you have such a good job.
Why would don’t leave that you just keep doing that [ Laughter, ] yeah, so you know some.
I was folk.
My my whole career was in field sales, and this is a problem that I knew really well, and you know I I I had lived the problems and challenges that field salespeople have and working at Google.
I gotten the opportunity to do some work with solutions with surrounding the Google Maps API and at the time mobile was really coming into its own, like if you you know, think 2011/2012 mobile devices were really getting like.
You know fast enough strong enough to run real software, so it’s no longer the that there’s still a bunch of blackberries around, but you know androids and iPhones are marching down the march down the path and getting faster and stronger and also at that time, Internet connectivity Was was getting stronger? You know it was all if you remember 2009, if you ran a Google Maps search, it might take five minutes or something to run a good.
You know you get your directions just because the internet was so slow.
If you did it on your computer with Wi-Fi, it would take two seconds, but well not even two seconds to milliseconds but but on, but because of the delay with with connectivity to the devices, you really couldn’t run great software around this time.
All those trends were coming together: the speed of the internet on the devices the devices themselves were getting fast enough and strong enough and the Google Maps API had matured enough that I could see those three things combined.
Could you could build a solution that would really solve a bunch of problems that the old salespeople had around building routes, organizing their time in the field, I mean nobody’s more mobile than a field sales person right, they’re, literally on the road they’re more a field during Outside salespeople, they are outside the office they’re in the field, and so they really needed some of these problems.
They have solved on their mobile device.
So it was, you know, building a map based solution where they could put all their prospects and customers on a map.
Organize them filter them by who they should be paying attention to and who they should be spending their time with who they should focus on and then be able to quickly and easily build routes and organize their time in the field figure out how to minimize mileage.
Behind the wheel and and maximize time in front of the right customers, they it was it’s actually it wasn’t a terribly complex.
You know it’s not a terribly complex software problem to solve.
You know it’s not rocket science or putting people on the moon or anything.
It’s an app on the phone, but it was just with with the the capabilities that we had in place at that time, it really became possible to solve these guys problems.
Well, there’s a lot of details and based on all the capabilities you just mentioned.
There’s a lot of thought that obviously went into it and time management you know map in distance, most valuable clients.
I like it and, like I said I wish you know I might check it out after this to see.
You know how I can benefit, because I do a lot of meetings myself.
Even even though I work in an automotive in the automotive retail space, I’m on the road a lot I choose to go out and meet clients myself, so I’m Gary.
I think that saves me anything that has a potential of saving me ten hours a week or yeah.
You raise me three four hours a week.
I I’m a fan of that.
So what and as crazy as that sounds like people really do you know a field sales person spends a ton of time, organizing their time, trying to figure out who they’re gon na see and then actually planning out and draw and doing the driving around.
And if you can make that whole, but the planning process more effective there and then and then reduce their routing, you know their their routing time, the time they’re actually spending driving around, because you’ve made it efficient, and that’s that’s not to mention the time focusing on The right customers, if you’re focused on the right people, you do way way better and it’s hard it’s hard to know who to focus on given where you’re gon na be on the map.
Right and that’s a badger makes her makes really easy.
It’s like well over the next week.
Where am I gon na go? How am I gon na get there and then and then you know once I’m on the way being optimized once I know.
Oh, these are the 30 people I’m gon na see in the next week really optimizing that across the days is what you you just you save so much time and effort.
So a field sales rep based on I’m hearing kid decide who does more quality time with and less with while they develop those accounts.
You know if you know you need more time with one account and if you spend an extra 10 minutes you can make potentially close the deal or make the sale.
No, it’s very it’s very good.
So, who does badger maps benefit most so ultimately, when you thought about this, is it just field sales reps or who does it benefit most? So it’s it’s a great question, and and most software platforms in the sales space are actually sales management tools, pretending to be software tools for field sales, for salespeople, right, they’re, actually, tools to manage salespeople or they’re built for reporting to management, whereas in the retail automotive Space for sure and in every industry – and this this really was actually you know we.
It is it’s great for a team, because you know the whole team is gon na perform better when they have this they’re gon na sell more stuff.
But it’s not a it’s.
It’s built to enable that field salesperson, it’s, but it’s built to save them time, save them effort, automate automate processes for them make them better.
The average the field sales person spends about thirty five, forty percent of their time.
I think it’s actually thirty.
Five to forty five percent of their time actually selling, depending on industry and the rest of the time, they’re driving around they’re planning, they’re, doing busy work, they’re filling out TPS reports, they’re not that they’re not actually selling, and what this does is is try to push That up to a you, know, give them 20 more twenty more percentage points of their time on on the actual selling and and and so all of the things that we’ve built are really geared towards making the salesperson more effective, giving them the tools that they really Need when they’re on the road and we’re planning to be on the road, so these soundings where the benefit comes in is yes there’s? Ultimately, the goal is to sell, but if you have more time to develop those relationships, because you can spend twenty percent more time really hone in on the relationship with your potential that even adds to the value proposition of what this does.
Because you don’t have to be as rushed a you know and miss steps you can literally, you know harness great relationships by the amount of time you have so that I see as a very very cool benefit.
So what is you know? And I always ask this question: what is ultimately the problem that you were attempting to solve because obviously you were out selling and you have – you must have had this aha moment or month or a year where you say if this you know, if I could have Done this differently, I could have actually been this more successful yeah.
So it’s it’s a matter of helping people see given where they’re gon na be over the course of the week and a lot of reps know.
Oh well, I have an appointment on Wednesday at 10:00 a.
with this person and then at 3:00 p.
I have an appointment with this person.
So – and I – and I kind of I know, I’m driving over here so who’s important that I that has kind of do for a meeting along the way.
Who is an illusion that I could maybe hit before that first 10:00 a.
meeting who’s important right around them.
That I could hit right after who’s on the way to the next meeting that I could hit on the way.
What what prospects could I drop by? If I don’t have any important customers in that area, I don’t want to just sit on my hands in Starbucks.
I want to be selling and or maybe a meeting and then then, when I’ve got when I went after that three o’clock, how am I gon na? Which way am I gon na, come home? You know or power back to the office.
Who could I hit? That’s important, whom I do to see, and sometimes your three o’clock cancels and it’s like.
Well, okay, you know it’s it’s noon and my three o’clock just cancelled I’m out here in this area.
How do I read change my schedule around to to be productive? For the rest of the day, given that the you know that I’ve had a bump in the road who should I be focused on in the first place, so those are the those are the the problems we’ve set out to solve.
In the end we ended up.
We just keep focusing on this, this person that the the field salesperson the outside salesperson and we look for more problems that they have to solve.
We found they have a problem with lead generation, and so we’ve we’ve we’ve partnered with data companies.
So we can surface the information leads for them on the map as they’re going about their day.
So, let’s just say useful.
You sell things to dentist offices and, and and you we know where all the dentists offices are, so you as a salesperson, might know where a lot of them are.
But we know where we, then we you can see where your customers are on the map and then you can bring in debt Badger data to show you where the other dentist offices are and so depending on the industry that can be really useful to.
And it’s not, you know, and we have you know if it’s if it’s got four walls, we kind of we’ve got data providers that will tell us where what what that is yeah say you go for how long we are Google for about four years.
So three things that you learned at Google is this: is such an iconic company that we’re all connected to every day of our lives, I’m not sure, there’s a child or a human being in the world? That’s not familiar with Google, it’s an entity so in working at Google.
You know what stuck with you or what are the three things that you would have taken away from such a company.
Well, I guess there’s there’s things in different dimensions.
So, first of all, in terms of company culture, they the the way it feels and – and the experience of actually working at Google is a isn’t – is an amazing one, and I’ve really tried to imitate a lot of the things culturally, that they do.
A lot of processes that they have a lot of the HR, a lot of cultural things that they do I’ve tried to imitate it badger maps, because I think they just did they they.
They really approached a lot of things from a different angle and and really did a fantastic job.
You know in a even just stepping back and recognizing that culture and the way you treat employees is extremely important.
I think that’s something that’s lost on a lot of industries and Google really in the in the tech space.
I think it’s for its rippled through the whole tech space.
I mean at this point one of the reasons why it’s such a good space to be an employee and in technology is because of you know: Google, Google just changed just everyone.
Everyone with it was hiring and in tech, had to compete with the way Google was doing things and they did such a good job of making Google an amazing place to work.
So that’s, I guess that’s one.
That’s that’s one thing.
The that I learned from them was the importance of culture and the importance of taking care of your employees and creating a great experience for them, and that’s actually probably the biggest thing today with companies that are trying to write a success formula or an operations manual, Is you know Richard Branson will tell you, take care for your employees and they will take care of the company? That’s why I is able to have 300 plus companies.
You know, there’s a culture and Google, with tens of thousands of employees is no different, because how do you physically manage that many people you, you literally, have to depend on? You know a culture like you say, or a system whereby they can be wherever in the world and still being productive.
So that’s extremely important.
So having been involved yourself in outside sales, calling accounts knocking on doors for so long, is there a method or style that you feel works most for outside sales people to utilize I mean, I guess it really depends on the industry and and badger works in a Variety of industries – you know I, like I said I spent the last two months out in the field myself using our product, wouldn’t putting it to the test a little bit.
But but you know what I was doing was meeting with customers the whole time, and so it was.
It was almost asleep people who are already using the product and customers of ours and and kind of get any know how they’re using the product to understand their industry better and really.
What I was looking for was besides just deepening relationships and getting know people and their industries better.
I was looking for problems to solve.
You know there.
There are a lot of things in common between med device, salesperson, a pharmaceutical salesperson, a beer salesperson, a auto part salesperson all these industries, if they’re in field sales, they have a lot of similar problems that we can solve with a platform like this, and so I’m Kind of I’ve been we’ve added a lot of buttons over the years of different problems that we can are solving at this point, but I’m looking to add more, and so I was kind of going around looking to understand what that, where their challenges are, where they’re Sticking points are where they’re wasting, maybe 5 % of their time, and and you know what in doing something that we could just do automatically for them.
So, having had this experience at Google for four years developed an amazing software company, a culture if you were to go back to outside sales tomorrow, is there something that you know now that you would ultimately do differently? Well, uh we’re gon na! Do it this time? Now I’ve built up, but now I’ve built a really useful product for field salespeople, so yeah I would definitely.
I would definitely use my product, but let’s say available right because you’ve done a lot of research to build the product right and you’ve made a lot of discoveries.
But if the product wasn’t available right, what would easier something that you now know that you would have done different? Well, I think I think in general, one of the biggest things that’s changed since I left the sales role and started the company in 2012.
Is that there’s been a proliferation of technology in the sales span and those in the marketing space? So there’s a lot of stuff that is out there that you can leverage today that really was either in its infancy when, when I was doing it or or or or didn’t exist at all, so I would, if I were doing it today, I’d be looking to Leverage my time and my efforts with with technology with with systems and automation, I guess you know when you’re a salesperson, you’re, really running your own small business in a lot of ways and yeah and I think I’ve I think, I’ve.
You know obviously running a company of this size.
I’ve learned a lot about managing people and learned a lot about business, and I think I would be able to apply a lot of those learnings to those too about how to you know kind of harness.
The strength of others and and just you know, build up build a team work with people better, be a better leader.
I’ve learned a lot in the last six years, that about leadership and in sales a lot of times you you are you’re you’re in a leadership role: you’re not and sometimes, if you’re leading, don’t even report to you or maybe they’re customers or prospects, but you’re still You’re leading a conversation you’re leading their relationship and and and so there’s a lot of leadership and sales.
I think you know I would be.
I would look to apply for that.
I’ve learned in this role that I skills and abilities.
I didn’t have emotional intelligence that I didn’t have when I was younger and in the sales role.
So is there something that you know now or you would do today that others may think may be crazy.
You mean, besides, besides leaving a well-paying job, to go and start a company bugging you about exactly well what I mean the craziest thing I’ve done lately is for sure this.
This trip that I just got back from this past.
I just got back on Sunday from this two-month skip and I live in Chicago Boston, South Carolina, Georgia, Minnesota, Texas and then out west and and hit every little.
You know I probably hit 50 little cities around.
You know on on that path.
That’s just like the skeleton, the outline and it took me about two months.
I guess I was on the road for seven weeks, so that was – and I would recommend to any leader of a business to do that, get out get out in front of your customers.
Talk with them understand their problems, understand what you could do more for them.
I learned so much by doing that, understanding understand their businesses, their industries, you know doing tours of their factories.
That sort of thing it’s so valuable.
So that’s the craziest thing now that you actually went out in the field and you touched and felt and met, and I think the biggest thing that jumped out of me is is the power of processes and sales that you know a sales manager can can figure Out and build on top of a platform – and you know I I continued – I would run into people who were using our product to to build a process for their team, for example, labeling all their accounts, ABCD accounts and then in badger.
You know it’s, you can track when you, when you had your last interaction with them and then being able to say well.
Okay, show me all my accounts.
That are a accounts I haven’t seen in 30 days.
Show me only B accounts that I haven’t seen in 60 days.
Show me all my C accounts I haven’t seen in 90 days.
Show me all my deep, don’t show me my DV accounts just me and then and then now that I’ve got this group and maybe there’s you know 40 companies in that batch.
Well, that’s them, plus these other ones.
That I know are important and coming up right now.
That’s who I’m gon na see in the next week I’m gon na see you know this bottom quartile in the southwest of the city on Monday and this group on Tuesday, in this group on Wednesday and in planning that out in advance, and actually you know, setting Appointments with them and kind of really scheduling it out that that extra effort around organization can just pay so many dividends, and there are, there are companies that I ran into that were they were executing this populous process so cleanly and – and that’s just one of 10 Processes, right was just an example, but they would be.
I found companies were actually executing a process like that, so cleanly and then the next day I would run into another company that just desperately needed a process like that and they – and I was like oh here’s – how you could do that like this, like this, like This and you know, here’s a guy that I can introduce.
You just been running this process that and they can tell you how they’ve been running it and how it’s worked for them and they’re in a different industries.
You know you, you sell beer and they sell.
They sell a lot of parts, so you know they’re gon na be happy to talk with you but they’re.
You know they’re in the same town here and they’ll.
Tell you how they’re doing it right and and so putting people together like that, was a lot of fun and just figuring out what one biggest learnings is.
Definitely you can run strategic plays and processes and sales that as a Sales Leader, can you can roll out across your team and can pay so many dividends.
So, as a as a founder and CEO of your own company, you still do a little bit of the grunt work for sure.
I think you got a lead from the front right, I mean it.
Would it’s if and and frankly I think I think that CEOs need to be part sales guy they sales girl they need to.
They need to be in in front of their customers, then, to be, you know, selling to their customers being managing relationships with customers, because that’s that’s a key constituency of your organization, your employees, your investors, your customers, know your management team.
These four constituencies – you really have to be in constant touch with, and it’s very easy for, CEOs – and I think, especially in my in my space technology space, it’s very easy for CEOs to not hand off attention to their customers, not get in front of them enough And you can end up steering the ship in their own direction.
If you, if you don’t focus on on on your customers, our customers and great a great culture with the employees and leadership yeah, so tell our audience, uh Stephen.
How we could find you – and you know where what Bajor is doing out there in this space right now? How would you get find your product and get attorneys well getting? You can get a hold on me on LinkedIn, I’m Steve Benson, just search Steve, Benson badger.
I guess you can find the company just Google badger maps and you know badger like the animal and and yeah if people are interested in learning about badger.
You know just just mention the name of the podcast here.
You know the reed method and and mentioned the reed method and and and we’ll one of the sales reps all sitting around an email that have them give you two months free just for just for enduring listening to me for the last half two months, free of The badger subscription for listening to podcast that will be your promo code, yeah, exactly that’s and you can.
If you want to email me, I’m Steve at badger, mapping, calm and you can’t I’m an email or or LinkedIn or whatever.
I just I’ve come out with some.
Some cool training videos lately just talking through different field sales skill sets they’re there on our youtube channel.
If you just go to our youtube, just google badger maps YouTube and there’s a bunch of there’s.
There’s, like, I think, like seven videos, now training different areas like how to overcome objections, how to deal with this and that that you run into fields run it problems that all field sales people face and I’ve tried to address them.
Well, that’s good! Well Steven! This has been amazing.
I thank you so much for for a guy.
That’s just been back from a two-month long trip for taking the time to join us tonight.
On the show, it’s been ever sowed 38 of the reed method inside of podcast, where we’ve had Steve Benson from Badger Maps, join us to talk about how to maximize productivity and sales and profitability daily sales career in sales and your business.
So any last word last word Steven now this has been a great time.
I mean I enjoyed being here and I really appreciate you having me well, I appreciate you taking the time Jody a business tool and they will folks you can check out Steve Henson on LinkedIn, it’s badge of maps he’s on Facebook and Twitter.
There’s a Twitter account as well or badge of mapping calm, and I look forward to catching up with you on your next trip when you’re, when you’re close to Toronto I’ll come over the border this time ever electronic some across the border.
This time, up too far from Niagara Falls excellent excellent.
Thank you very much, my friend and have a good evening.
Thanks, take care.
Okay, it went into the read method inside a podcast, it’s episode, 38, and that was Steve Benson of badger maps and we just finished a really cool episode on how to maximize productivity and sales by incorporating math and technology and Steve is the founder and CEO of Badger maps you can check out the episodes on soundcloud itunes, google play stitcher platforms and please send your comment and feedback to insider at the reed method.
Calm, that’s insider! At the reed method, calm, where I see those comments download the podcast you can download on iTunes, SoundCloud or wherever you get your your podcast and don’t forget two months: free off badger mapping by using promo code, the reed method, insider or the reed method.
Rather, when you sign up for your badger map and try it out, this is an amazing tool and I’m gon na definitely sign up to check it out myself to save time and who doesn’t want to save some time out there, especially as busy salespeople.
So until next time, thank you very much for joining us tonight on the reed method.
Podcast, it’s been episode 38 and coming up actually right after this is episode 39, where we are going to be joined by another West coaster.
Out of he’s, probably actually he’s in BC today, but he’s from Calgary as well, and we’re definitely gon na talk about the future of the automotive sales industry in North America.
Looking forward to that episode coming up next on the reed method, insider podcast.
Until next time see you .