Jill Fratianne: Modern Sales in a Digital World

In this episode, we talk with Jill Fratianne from HubSpot about a modern sales strategy in a completely digital world.

Jill talks to us through the consulting mindset. She shares the 80/20 rule when it comes to questions and listening to your potential customers.
Jill also tackles a few sales myths as well as helps you jump over some of the hurdles you may be facing in a digital world sales process.

👉🏻 About Sprocket Talk

At Sprocket Talk, our mission is to help you navigate the HubSpot tool. We will help you get 100% ROI across the Marketing Hub, the Sales Hub, the Service Hub and yes, even the HubSpot CMS. Our videos will educate AND entertain.


About the Expert

Jill Fratianne

After many years of professional music training, touring & performing, and a Masters Degree from Northwestern University, I dove headfirst, without much prior knowledge or direction, into the world of business. The Journey has been a roller coaster ride. It's been challenging, rewarding, exhausting, exhilarating, lucrative, and has introduced me to more inspiring people and experiences than I can count. I feel it's still just the beginning.

Currently, she works for a company called HubSpot, a software company that is an authority on internet and Inbound marketing. My role is Channel Account Manger where I coach marketing agencies and companies of all shapes and sizes to win in business and the internet.  I have seen thousands of business, business owners, employees, and people with no marketing background what-so-ever transformed by an internet age where the smart, coachable, and creative individuals hold the keys to success. 


Full Transcript

George Thomas 0:08
Ready to spend 15 minutes with the experts you admire these strategy sessions from thought leaders brought directly to your ears. Welcome to the sprocket talk 15 minute strategy podcast where every week George B Thomas uncovers the challenges that sales, marketing and service professionals face and of course, the strategies to help them overcome their biggest hurdles. So sit back and set your sights on growth with these bite sized conversations filled with your strategy gold. Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the 15 minute strategy podcast Rocketeers, it's your boy George B. Thomas. And we're back with Yes, another episode of the 15 minute strategy podcast where we try to deliver you some strategy. Well, of course in 15 minutes today, we're going to talk about sales but before I dive into the deep end of the pool, Jill, welcome to the sprocket talk 15 minute strategy podcast. Why don't you let the sprocket tears The viewers the listeners know who you are what you do. Where you do it?

Jill Fratianne 1:00
Thank you for having me, George. I'm Jill aka Julie fret. Don't try to say Jill Brody Jani. I am a channel account manager at HubSpot, which is a fancy term for partner sales. And I do it from home in Portsmouth, New Hampshire and our offices in Cambridge. Yeah, being able to work from home is amazing. Trust me, I love it. But today, I do want to dive into the sales side of things. So Jill, when you think about a modern day sales rep in this digital world that most of us live in, what are some of the foundational pieces that we need to understand so that we can carry on a conversation today,

number one, you're no longer in sales, you may carry a quota and your company may. They may rely on you being a person that is revenue generating, but you are no longer in sales. You are to be helping people you are to be listening. You are to be consultative, no matter what it is you're selling, that's a foundational it's just a change. You're no longer in sales. The other thing that I would say for modern day selling is you have to really connect with people on a personal level, whether or not it's a personalized email, or personalized video. I mean, partly why we're on here today is I'm such a raging fan of yours. Because you really put yourself out there. You know, like you just you put yourself out there, you make these amazing videos, you know more about my product problems than I do. I watch your videos about how people are finding value in HubSpot. So I think you have to really connect with people. And I think you have to be uniquely yourself right in sales. We do have scripts, and we have to memorize talking points, not because we're robots, I know sometimes we get that confused, but we do have to memorize our language. We have to memorize our products. But then you have to find a way to be genuinely yourself and then people connect with you.

George Thomas 2:50
I love that the first thing that I want to pick out for the sprocket tears is at the very beginning, Joe you talked about it's almost a mind shift set shift of it's not really about about sales, it is about generating revenue. It is about consulting and being human and being authentic. And to be honest, in the episodes that we've done thus far, the word consulting has really not come up that much. So when you think of sales, and this kind of consulting mindset, where do you lean into? What do you think of what should the sprockets ears be embracing if they want to move from what might be old school sales to this consultative model,

Jill Fratianne 3:26
a consultative model really, is just that you have to really, really care about your prospects and your customers goals. You have to really care. You know, if you're selling marketing services, it's actually not about marketing. It's about what is really important to them, what's going to make their business grow and it has to be a part of you, you know, and if it's not, it's going to come across in it's not and also something that's really interesting, the consultative sale. You don't have to be the expert on everything. In fact, the best and top sales reps, I knew I started off the world of sales and insurance, which is commission only sales. And it is brutal. But the guys that were really, really successful had no ego and kept experts around them. Right. And they were an expert in listening to what the client really needed and pulling in people who match that, you know, I find that a lot of times like, I think about our product now at HubSpot, when we started, we were a marketing software, right very kind of one dimensional. Now, we are in CRM, we're in services. I mean, it's so big that one human, including myself, who sticks at it all day, like you can't know the intricacies of everything and how it applies to someone's business. So I have to constantly rely on you know, pulling in a manager or a sales manager or a partner or someone else who's going to be able to help them so like, the real key is being able to listen to what they need, talk less, you know, go by the 8020 rule, make sure that they're talking more, make sure that you're answering the right questions, and you're getting to the heart of why you're having a conversation today. That's like The heart of a consultative sales process. And then once you know, what brought them to you, what really matters if their business grows like, do they have to let people go? if nothing changes this year? That's a really difficult thing for business owner to have to do. So you have to, like, get to that in order to understand Okay, well, what solution? Are we going to architect that's going to help you?

George Thomas 5:20
So when you got started with this kind of framework, this model because I know this is exactly what you do you consult folks where there's some hurdles or some mistakes that you made at the beginning that you would want to warn the sprocket tears of like, Look, as you start to shift your mindset as you shift gears, make sure you watch out that you don't do these things or that you do do these things. I make mistakes every single day.

Jill Fratianne 5:46
constantly making mistakes and I think knowing that it's okay, I think one of the best things you can do is record your calls and listen to what you're doing because one of the things that I've had a challenge with as my career has progressed Highlight. No so many things I like know all the things people start talking. And I start assuming things. People start talking and I want to start prescribing things before it's like really listen to them. And as you, you know, it's like, it's it's challenging because I've been down the road, and I'm so blessed to have been down. So like thousands and thousands of business calls I've had over 10, working at HubSpot for 10 years, and I started listening to my calls and I'm like, Oh my gosh, I'm like chatting McGee on this thing. Like, where's my consultation sale? Where's like, pause. So I think, and I grew up, I actually went to school for music will undergrad and masters. And I rely on a lot of that training. And when I wanted to be the best violist I could be, the hardest thing to do is to record yourself and listen, because when you record yourself, you can't mess up. I apply that same principle to my sales calls. Now my manager and I we have we have this really cool technology that we've partnered with With a gong, that actually, you know, records our calls and gives you transcripts and tells it gives you a heat map on like, you're talking. And I'll just even look at the heat map, even sometimes when I don't have enough time, and I'll go, Oh, my gosh, I was talking the whole time. I know it was a demo, and people want to just like see features and stuff, but like, people are disengaged on an internet call, if you're talking the whole time, they're gonna be checking slack. And we check in the text messages. Like, I don't know if that helps, but I make mistakes all day. And I think the, you know, that's the best way to overcome it.

George Thomas 7:32
So that absolutely helps. As a matter of fact, I think that's magical advice, because there's a couple of things in there. First of all, sprocket tears, this is probably the rewind section, rewind and listen to that. The fact that you can have voice heat maps to quickly see Oh, I talked to more than them. I need to talk less and the understanding that what Joe's talking about is that it's about discovering what they need, not you presenting how smart you are, right because you're You're smart, but you can only be smart when you're not assuming that they're actually the same as somebody that you've helped historically before. And so you've got to stop. Listen and let them talk. I love that part. So, Joe, here's the thing. You're we're sitting here, we're listening. We're recording our costs, which, by the way, a funny little story. My wife once asked me, Why do you listen to yourself? Why do you listen to your podcast? Why do you watch all your videos? And I want to just take in a sports analogy, a great football player, a great basketball player, they will watch the tapes over and over Look at this. Yeah, there you go. Number 40. They'll look at the tapes over and over again. And you as a modern day sales rep as a marketer as somebody anybody listening to this that is trying to drive that revenue. If you want to become the best you that you can become watch those tapes, listen to those recordings. So and and the the name of the software can Joe was Gong Gong yeah You may want to check that out you or if you have something else, like these zoom calls, we can record those. We can watch those back. So Joe, what are some myths? Because you started out it's interesting, I wanted to dive a little bit deeper, but I wanted to wait for a second, you started out about like, you're not in sales anymore, right? You're this person. What are some myths about sales, especially digital sales, or if you're selling in kind of a SAS, or, you know, membership model or things like that, that you've seen people have run to run into that have kind of just flubbed their whole system up because this is what they thought it had to be.

Jill Fratianne 9:36
So the Miss exists because sometimes they're true. Right? But, you know, this is hard, like when you're on the receiving end, it can you can real Lee sometimes feel someone's quota on you when they're badgering you to buy. Okay, and the art of it comes into play. When they don't I feel that they feel like it's time to get started today. Not because it's my quota, not because it's, you know, whatever now, month end and quarter end and year end like these are natural things that businesses evaluate. So I actually don't think there's an issue of being like, well, it's your end like, what do you like? But if it's about them, right, like every business has reevaluate themselves every quarter. Did you evaluate yourself this quarter? You know, year end is coming up? Do you need to spend money for your accountant? Do you need to save it for next year? Like what are you doing about your goals when it's about their goals? And then what it is like when you asked when someone's going to get started today, like are you ready to get started today that can be a non a myth. Is that that like, depending on how it's delivered, it could come across as very salesy. But when you ask someone if they're ready to get sales started today, and they say, No, you're going to hear the stuff that you miss. Like No, actually, like, you know, we've got all this other stuff going on, and I don't have Time to do it. And that's when you go Okay, like I missed something like you said your goal was you needed to hit this revenue by next quarter what is changing until we get there? So one of the misses like, it's hard, you know, if it's tough saying, oh, the Miss exists in sales, I said this morning to my husband, I was laughing because my husband has a small business and I looked at them and I was you said something about, I was like, your beliefs aren't weak, you're weak, you know, like Alex Baldwin started laughing like, so they just because they're real, and a revenue generating role is not for the faint of heart. It is hard, you know, and sometimes people look at the sales guys that make it all this money, you know, and the myth is that like, somehow it comes out of nowhere. I'll tell you right now like you can get lucky once in a while but uh, consistently well run career is an orchestrated masterful thing. And it is not for the faint of heart. So Sometimes it misses like all these sales guys. Oh, you know, they're all about money. And it's like, believe me, if you're all about money, you aren't lasting in sales for 10 years. I mean, it has to be important. But it is brutal, right? It is a brutal, brutal, it can be very brutal. There's a lot of change that you have to endure, there's a lot of change I've had to have had to go through over the last 10 years. So I don't know if that helps dispel any of the myths but like, the biggest one is like you know, salespeople just being pushy, because they want a sale. And you know, what, if you don't want to be the salesperson, don't be pushy, just because you want a sale, do the right thing. And the karma, if you're doing all of your sales activities will come come back to you in the end.

George Thomas 12:39
I love that do the right thing. The karma will come every time. Yeah. And what I hear too is it's about consistent hard work. consistent. Hard work is what pays off. And consulting is hard work because it's forcing you to come out of what the normal of you just say this then you say this and then you asked them if they want to buy versus what we've done. About On this episode, the word that I want to pull out and really kind of my last question as we start to close up this 15 minute strategy podcast, I should have named it the 55 minutes strategy podcast, I swear. But as we wrap this up, the word that I want to pull out that I heard you kind of dancing around and talking about was because you talked about goals. And you talked about, you know, them being able to understand almost where they're going, but there was this urgency, like how do you get in this modern day sales roller or even revenue generating role? How do you connect the urgency of what they need to do with the place that they're trying to get to?

Jill Fratianne 13:39
So it comes back there was a saying that I said to one of my partners and I need to write it down. You know, we don't shock and awe people until they feel, listen, they feel like they've been listened to and heard. And if you listen and hear people, and you really get to their business fears like you cannot be a business owner. And not have fear of not making payroll or not making your goals or wanting to be better than you were before or even if it's a lifestyle business, that's okay. It's like I want to keep my lifestyle. Right. If you don't get to what drives people, you will never have urgency. You won't. You won't have natural urgency, you'll have discounted urgency. You'll have like, Oh, well try it urgency. So you will not have man like you're right. We need to do this for stuff isn't going to change.

George Thomas 14:31
I love that you the urgency when done right. It's the buy in. It's the buy in that you need. It makes the thing that you're selling sticky. It makes you the expert even though you've had to pull experts around you in jail. This has been amazing if the sprocket tears want to connect with you. If they want to learn more, just chat or maybe even meet you at inbound next year. Where do you want to send them?

Jill Fratianne 14:52
That'd be great. So I am I'm on LinkedIn. I'm on Twitter at the spicy lagoon. I have a business Facebook page is like one of my goals to make it a little bit better. I also have a website Joe Freddie Adi calm. I go by pigeon, you know, Facebook text message, I communicate on all the things. I love it. She says

George Thomas 15:11
I'm on all the things sprocket tears. Remember, be quiet, listen more, talk less be authentic. And remember you're not in sales. You're just helping your company generate more revenue work on those things. And we'll see you in the next episode. Did you enjoy this episode of the 15 minute strategy podcast, we'd love to know. leave a rating and written review wherever you listen to your favorite shows and keep that learning going by visiting sprocket talk comm sign up for your free membership and in that membership area, you can find bundled episodes where we combine like strategies to help you grow better make the world better and share this episode with your friends and co workers who may be battling this same obstacle. You can always reach out to George B. Thomas on Twitter with questions or guest suggestions or just to talk about your favorite Marvel superhero and go out into the world and leverage this strategy for your success. We'll see you in the next episode of the 15 minute strategy podcast.