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The Power of a Process for Coaching

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Coaching plays a crucial role in developing high-performing sales teams and driving consistent revenue growth. Daniel Mullins, Head of Sales at Boodle AI, shares his experience and insights into the importance of effective coaching practices for fostering a supportive and successful sales environment. 

With over a decade of experience in sales leadership, Daniel has built high-performing teams and driven partnerships across various industries. As a co-founder of DJM Coaching, his passion lies in empowering sales professionals to unlock their potential through practical coaching frameworks.

What you'll learn:

  • How can sales leaders implement coaching frameworks that foster positive feedback and support improvement?
  • What strategies can help sales teams build effective peer-to-peer learning models to accelerate growth?
  • How can preparation and live feedback enhance the coaching process, ensuring sustainable performance?

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Sales leaders: What are the challenges you are faced with? Would you like some ideas on how to solve them? Hamish will shortly be releasing our first "Listener questions" episode and we want to hear from you! What's the burning question you want an answer to? What do you think of the show? Whatever your questions, comment on social media or email us at the address below, and we will possibly add your questions to future episodes. 

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[0:00] And it's worked up and down the chain. I've worked with people that are more experienced than me. But with this framework, it removes that kind of like emotion from it. And it's more strictly about what is going on that call and what can we improve on.

[0:15] Welcome to the Full Funnel Freedom podcast. If you are listening to this, you are likely leading a team responsible for generating revenue. Purpose of Full Funnel Freedom is to support people like yourself self and keep your funnels consistently, reliably full. Welcome to the Full Funnel Freedom Podcast. I'm your host, Hamish Knox. Today, I am delighted to have Daniel Mullins, Head of Sales at Boodle AI, as my guest today to talk about coaching. Daniel is a seasoned sales professional with over a decade of experience driving revenue growth and and developing high-performing teams. Daniel has consulted with executive teams to create forged partnerships across industries and establish successful sales channels across the Atlantic. With a passion for coaching and entrepreneurship, Daniel co-founded Aisling Watches and DJM Coaching. Daniel, welcome to Full Funnel Freedom. Thank you for having me. Yeah, it's a pleasure, Hamish. And we just discovered off-air that both of us are Manchester United fans. Hopefully that doesn't cause most of the audience to turn off, but we'll leave the sports aside for today. Daniel, I've given the audience the 30,000-foot view of who you are and your career. Tell us your story. Take us back to the beginning and get us up to the present day. Yeah, so as you can tell, I've not got a Canadian or an American accent. I'm from England.

[1:38] But yeah I started I came out to the United States studying soccer and business finance in 2009 and then quickly went back to England started my first role in sales with a company called Zero a bullish competitor to the old dog which is QuickBooks and Intuit and that's really where I started to really find my mojo you know live in sports out of university left a hole for sure right as an athlete before a student unfortunately i didn't figure that one out but i am i figured out when i was into to to the workforce and started if it was zero came to the united states back in i had to start with college started with uh a mortgage company and this is old school dialing hamish so i would go in the morning the printer would stick up spell my 50 sheets of paper which my leads i would call through them hand calling them no automated dialing at this at this moment in time. I sound a lot older than I am, I'm not. And then after the 50 leads I would flip those pages over and I would go again and I would go again and I would go again all through those. So it was old school dialing and that's really got the juices going. So ever since then I've been in the SaaS world selling data, creating partnerships and helping a business create a franchise model.

[2:54] And then I landed myself fortunately Unfortunately, we're in the hands of Boodle, where we've been supporting nonprofits for a couple of years. And now we are wrangling the monster, which is AI for businesses. So, yeah, that's kind of a 90-second shoot. And now I've got a wonderful family and living here in Denver, Colorado.

[3:15] Beautiful. Well, thank you for the deeper dive into your story. And a big fan of Xero as well. I've been using that for a while. So that really helps as well. So Daniel, you are passionate about coaching. You are a passionate coach. You and I have chatted about that off air. You've started a coaching company. So where does this passion for coaching come from? Because that's not something that every seller gets into, right? They just want to do their own thing. Like you said, you've developed a passion for coaching. Where does that come from? Yeah, I think it's twofold, Hamish. I think one is I've had great mentors throughout my sales careers, really have. And they've took the time out of their personal time and professional time to really help me and guide me as an individual. And I think what really stuck to me is they didn't just take an interest in how I was professionally, but it was personally as well. And I think that really stuck with me. And then the blend of that with sports is I've been coaching the youngers, the children, and some kind of just-before-college athletes in soccer.

[4:18] So giving back a little bit, I love the mentality of passing the ladder down.

[4:23] And you know what? The byproduct of it, Hamish, is practicing the fundamentals consistently, no matter how skilled I thought I was or was, was um but doing the small touches in soccer and i'm doing the reps in in for for sales right of getting the get on the phones and i'm picking that up so yeah i think that's what really developed it within me and i'm i'll yeah i like to like to give back i love that idea it's it's this idea of success through your own efforts or success through others yeah that's really the demarcator between a successful rep and a successful sales leader and you've got that you know but you've You've had the success as a rep and you've got that mentality of like, how can I broaden this? How can I support it? You know, I, I, I started the, the, the minor soccer association in my, uh, in my community, uh, when I was 16 as one of the coaches. So love the, love that resonation. And yeah, seeing the little, the youngers, you know, kicking their first ball and then they finally get it. And then as they move all the way up is really gratifying. So love that you've got that experience in your background as well. Curious a lot of good coaching is not from the hip it's not you know it's not like my tummy thinks that you're not doing very well and you know here's what my tummy thinks that I should tell you it follows a process so what what sort of processes or formats have you used or developed yourself to make

[5:47] that coaching more you do much more effective in the in the sales world.

[5:51] Yeah yeah so taking the passion i have through sports and you know other kind of like my previous history it sparked into and formed into a process with the help of a previous guest i was actually wolf wentes from the maestro group he uh provided me with a really good framework that i've applied and that's the framework of likes and wishes so uh instead of coming you know a lot of coaches when they're coaching a call they'll be so excited to give that feedback like oh i found that one thing that was just you know like if you change this you're better right and and it's same with a sale right if they tell you that kind of like i've got a pain like oh i can solve it so just you know take right breathe and and dig more so i think i'm the approach of likes and wishes allows you to come from a collaborated standpoint so you can understand what i wish you could do different and what you liked about the call so the company takes the edge off things as well right it's not way you could you could you should do this or that was bad it's i think this could be done better and i really wish that you could have you know done this possibly so i think that takes the edge off it i prefer it hamish when i'm when we you do a pre-preparation for the for let's say you're in a coaching meeting right and you've got your 20 minutes before 50 minutes before you can listen to the call that is that's in a question and then you can listen to it again in the moment and i like to pause it as i'm going through it and then ask the question of of, okay, what sort of question can we ask at this point? Or what do we think about this element here?

[7:21] So live coaching is my preferred way of doing it, as well as doing some pre-preparation before to know you've got your questions right.

[7:27] And then providing the feedback at the end. And I like it where the sales rep will go first. Because what you don't want to happen is that you give this wonderful feedback and they go, that's what I was going to say. Right?

[7:39] So I prefer that method as well. And I think it creates a real good conversation and the confidence of which you've created bullet points, actionable items when you come out that meeting so they can then go and deploy it. But that's been my framework. It's been successful and it's worked up and down the chain. I've worked with people that are more experienced than me, but with this framework, it removes that kind of like emotion from it and it's more strictly about what is going on that call and what can we improve on.

[8:08] Brilliant. Thank you for giving us the download of that system. And I definitely want to unpack it. I also want to highlight something that you talked about earlier about like when the seller goes out to the buyer and the buyer's like, I have a problem. The seller goes, I can solve that. The buyer's like, yeah, you and everybody else. So cut your price. Um, so, so leaders who are listening, take that coaching from Daniel and give that to your teams is don't jump on the first pain grenade because you're likely going to get blown up. Uh, so, so Daniel, I want to start unpacking this a bit with this idea of preparation, because I know as a leader, and I know when I was a seller, my leaders thought preparation happened to other people so tell me about the importance and what you've discovered because i got to believe that you didn't used to prepare then you learn a model and now you do prepare so compare and contrast daniel the coach before and daniel the coach after with preparation yeah so i started coaching before tools like gong and others were coming out where the you know record is there so you can go back I can reflect on calls. So I was doing the old school plug-in headset, dual headset, and you've got to be quiet.

[9:24] Maybe you're writing notes on a piece of paper next to them. It's quite a fun time, you know, reflecting on that, to be fair.

[9:30] But technology has come a long way, right? So in that moment, that's rapid fire. You've got to really provide some feedback. Then you've got to write your kind of notes down for post-call, kind of debrief, and it feels stressful, right? In a moment, you're on a call. your coach is trying to point you in the right direction and you can't say to the person at the end of the phone one second i just need to uh you know recorrect myself here so.

[9:55] Hold on a sec let me let my boss coach me i'll come back to you in a second not gonna happen uh so you know present day we now have tools where we can uh clip calls we can uh look for coaching points coaching moments we can share them so the preparation becomes a lot easier. And for my team, we would do weekly coaching sessions, if not two or three times a day. And as we started to progress, what you can then do is start to kind of like departmentalize the call. So now you're not just thinking about the call in general, you're thinking about, okay, how do we open that call? How do we make them feel? Did we provide the next steps at the beginning of the call? Did we bookend the call? Maybe at the end of the call, are we asking the right questions and closing it out right and so you can start departmentalizing it and really dig it into some of the more complex structure the call but making it just much more simple so yeah preparation is easier and and less stressful for the sales rep for sure yeah it's it's good that that you're highlighting this because again a lot of sales leaders we got lots of stuff on the go right we're running between things and sometimes we just hear something and we kind of like ah.

[11:07] I don't want Daniel to say it that way. And then all of a sudden, we're actually taking our emotions out on you as opposed to actually having a coaching moment. So that fact of like stepping back, preparing, and that ties into my next question because what I heard was you listen to the call before the coaching session and then you're listening to it again. Why? Yeah. I think I'm, one, in case the person didn't listen to the call and they're lying to you, right? That's the one. So I cover that base. um but i also find it helpful to kind of hit see their reaction and for them to see my reaction as like your physical cues um of things that are going on and you can just tell right if someone's made a mistake and they're hunching over and they're like you know you can just you can it's written all over their face and i like the pausing as well because if there's a if there's a uh if there's a big bind signal or if there's a real opportunity to ask a second layer third layer a question, we can pause in that moment and we can start to, to, uh, dig deeper or we can, we can hypotheticalize it, right? Okay. What question could you have asked here at this point? And it's easy to do that in the moment, then play. And when you play, then you see the reaction.

[12:18] That was, that was the prime opportunity. So yeah, I like that one. It's a few things it covers and, uh, but yeah. So, and also what I just heard in that scenario is, When you see your rep is beating themselves up, right? When you see that the body language is like, oh man, I missed that.

[12:36] What I'm hearing is you're not going into like, you messed up. It was like, okay, tell me how you're feeling. And then like it's them telling you and you're just the conduit for them to discover it themselves. Am I accurate on that?

[12:50] Absolutely. Yeah, yeah. And there's just no need to kind of, you know, coaching is difficult. It's you're really exposing yourself, right? And it's hard. Hard um listening listening back to yourself amy should be doing plenty of podcasts you know but at the beginning i bet it wasn't too this you know as easy as now and it's uh so even just that process can be stressful people and so there's no need to uh bring people down and you know to kind of like poke at where where they maybe feel uncomfortable yeah it it kills their motivation too right because if they see us as you know the stick instead of the support yeah then then eventually they're going to start looking for another job because they don't want to get beat up every day. They're getting beat up already by their buyers. They don't need us to be the beating them up as well. So the empathy that you're highlighting of coaching is really, really critical because sales, you lose more than you win or you hear no more than you hear yes. And we have to be able to support our people. people so when we look at this likes and wishes uh this model and and this framework of what did you like about that call or what do you like about that moment we just listened to and then bringing in the wishing because again this is where it's sensitive because the person might have thought that they just crushed it and you're like maybe not so much so walk us through that scenario where I'm your seller, and I've been like, man, that was awesome. And you're like, eh, maybe not.

[14:18] You know, the old analogy of the sandwich, the SHIT sandwich, yeah. This is building upon that, right? So it's, you know, you're taking the positives of like, I really like this piece of it, but also I wish you could have done this differently. And it's not saying that they didn't, what they think was right wasn't wrong. You're just saying this is how you can improve it. And it's the same with, I'll bring it back to soccer, right? right someone uh scores a goal well i wish you're going to put it across the keeper so that way if the the keeper then pushes it out you've got on ringing you know on running teammate who can then put it into the net that's not a bad shot but i wish you could have done this differently so you know and for questions right like you know that's a great question but i wish you'd have framed it in this way or i wish you'd have asked this question in this moment and i think that would have opened up this opportunity so yeah it just comes off as just just being really supportive and an understanding of the call and in the moment, yeah. Yeah, that's fair, because we're reacting in real time as sellers, right? Like we're taking in the information and we can't be like, hold on, let me check the guidebook. Like what are we supposed to say? We got to respond in real time. And this is something that both leaders and sellers, I find mess up. There is no the way.

[15:29] There's a way so the way that i get to the mountaintop the way that you get to the mountaintop are going to be very different however we can both get to the same mountaintop we both scored the goal yeah you put it across the keeper i put it in the upper corner it's still a goal yeah however.

[15:43] Your way might have been more effective because if the keeper did punch it out yeah there's another opportunity so it's another way to get to the mountaintop exactly our sellers these multiple multiple paths is really, really crucial. However, when I think of, you know, all these multiple paths in these different ways, what have you noticed or what do you do when a seller is just not implementing, right? Because that can get frustrating as a leader. You've coached me three times on the same topic and I just ain't doing it. So what does that conversation sound like? Yeah, yeah. I think I've come across this a few times and I used to have files of great recordings of individuals on my teams because one of the most powerful ways to learn is peer-to-peer right it's you know how many times i honestly hamish how many times i've told a kid and the soccer coach go back to soccer coaching yeah is hey okay so touch it you know step back this way or put your head over the ball or knee over the ball and the parents like i've told that kid 100 times right so it's the same thing right i could tell my my sales rep hey this is where you should do it this This is the question you should ask and maybe just not getting through. Maybe they don't believe in me or my process or what it may be, but as soon as they hear a peer, use it and execute it and it comes with something great. Maybe it's a conversion. Maybe it's the conversion to the next call.

[17:06] They listen. I don't know. But it's a phenomenon. But yeah, so I like to bring in peers. I like to show examples. And I also like to lead by example. And that's maybe because of my own or jumping on the phone and trying that question out or trying that piece out. So seeing is believing. Yeah, amen, brother. I have said to some leaders, sometimes Uncle Hamish has to come in and say the same thing for nine months before it actually resonates. Now, this recording, like this was available to the sellers that they could just access like, hey, here's a recording of, you know, Hamish doing a really awesome intro on the call or something like that? Yeah, I used to save them in files in various different ways from Google companies. But yeah, I used to save them. I used to tag them, style them, whatever it may be in different tools and just provide them to them. Obviously, asking that individual for their consent and, you know, it was a really good way of doing it out of the calling script, like out of peak calling time as well. So you don't have to go and sit with John and wait for him to get that perfect golf shot off the tee, right? You can just show him the recording of, hey, here's the perfect technique. He hits it straight down the fairway. Well, I got to believe that that also reduced your time to self-sufficiency when you brought new reps in because you're like, hey, Hamish, welcome aboard. Here's a repository.

[18:21] Go listen. Is that your experience? Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. I'm categorizing them by types of call rights from discovery to, you know, first to second close, possibly, or even onboarding, you know, cold calling. There's so many steps to that. Right. So, yeah, been prepared in the structure of how you're kind of like, you know, storing those those clips can be really important and save you a lot of time when you're onboarding teams, especially fresh reps. Right. There's a lot of people who come out of college and are fired up for that sales job. But if they're taught If they're misdirected or they lose that energy And lose that kind of sizzle Then it can quickly burn out And they'll start looking for jobs.

[19:01] Very true. Well, it's that hire and forget model, right? Daniel, welcome aboard. Go sell stuff. Here's a phone. And, you know, the printers spit out your 50 pages. Go. Just go do that. It's like, I don't know. Hi, I'm Daniel. Like, what do you want me to say? Right? And then, yeah, that motivation, that desire, that fire inside just burns out. And that's a failure as a leader, right? That's on us, not on them. Absolutely. So, Daniel, when we're also thinking about coaching, what else in terms of, so we've done the prep, we've done the in the moment, the wishes and the likes, reps gone out and done it. Okay, great. What happens next? Is it an event or is this something that we're circling back on with each member of our team?

[19:40] I had a Google Doc which had a tab for every single coaching session. So I just basically duplicate it right and pull across the previous bullet points of what we're trying to accomplish. Accomplish and then when you're listening to that next call you're looking for those elements right so you'll usually leave the call like three things probably not try to try not to go to more than three things um right and just not trick too complex especially someone's green and then i would reflect back on them on the conversation okay did we hit this one did we hit this one no okay we're still working on that one let's leave that for the next time let's focus on that but certainly three things to leave was a real key thing and also reflect on them don't like just like an employee you don't bring them in and forget them you also don't provide feedback and forget it you want to keep keep going back to that yeah i think that's been a key element is and it's consistency um consistency of of trying to adapt and trying to experiment like just as a business experience or marketing campaigns a salesperson must experiment with their messaging with how they approach things so constantly evolving uh a rolling stone gathers no moss is the saying right and certainly the uh the kind of the uh emphasis i try to put on when i'm when on coaching. Yeah, that's really critical from my experience is that if it's just like it's coach and forget.

[20:52] Then the rep doesn't feel supported. We end up getting frustrated because it's like, why aren't you doing that thing? It's like, well, cause he said it to me once. Right. Right. And then I went back and I went back on the phones and I had people saying no to me all of a sudden and I totally forgot. So, you know, Hey boss, help me out. Right. So yeah, it's gotta be that ongoing circle. And I love that idea of having the document where you just keep moving it forward. Hey, what are we listening to? Because then that also removes that again, Again, that my tummy element of it, right? Where the rep's like, oh yeah, we did talk about that. Oh yeah, I didn't do that. Okay, here's what I'm going to do next. Is that fairly accurate? Absolutely. Yeah, and I feel like there's nothing worse than having a conversation and it feels like they're not listening to you. And that's what it feels like with coaching when you're not coming back on your points, your feedbacks, like, okay, did you really care about those feedback points? Or are you just saying that in the moment to get the job done? Are you ticking boxes or not?

[21:43] Right, right, on both sides, right? Is the coach ticking a box and is the seller just kind of yada yada-ing it away way so that their boss leaves them alone and they can go back to continuing to fail exactly exactly so daniel uh dude i've i love all of our conversations i've loved them since we first got connected and and we could nerd out about this stuff all day however both of you and you and i have a lot on the go so i got a few last questions for you to wrap up our conversation today uh question number one and you've already shared a bit of your story uh you know from when you graduated uni all the way up to where you are now i also got to believe you got a lot of scar tissue, and some bumps and bruises along the way. So if you could go back and coach younger Daniel, go back as far as you like and say, hey, younger Daniel, here's where you're going to be in the future. You're also going to have a lot of scar tissue, bumps and bruises. What would you coach younger Daniel to say or do differently to arrive at the same place with a little less scar tissue, maybe some fewer bumps and bruises?

[22:36] Yeah, I'd say this is twofold, Hamish. Number one is find a mentor early.

[22:42] And a mentor doesn't have to be a mentor of a label, right? It can just be somebody that you ask that, hey, do you mind if I just run a few things by you every so often? I really admire what you've done in sales. I respect it. Whatever it may be, stroke their ego a little bit if you want to. But they don't have to be a sales coach themselves. It could just be someone that you appreciate their style. I would say, find someone that matches your style as well. There's a different style to selling and so find one that matches you. But also, don't be afraid to take advantage of that. It has helped me so much. I cannot and will not stop harping on that. The second is, and it's a term I've learnt recently but it's something I've always tried to do, and it's tried to be long-term greedy. Sales is a very difficult and unforgiving environment at times and and and if you if you set um too short of goals and too ambitious you will feel like a failure so having having long-term goals because the reality of it is that a lot of the work you do prospecting doesn't pay off that day usually right you maybe get a dopamine drop of yeah i'll meet with you but that's just one step that's a very tiny step in the long process of sales so i think being long-term greedy short-term greedy creating Great and long-term goals is really important to keep morale, spirits, but also keep focused on the initiatives and goals you've set yourself.

[24:09] But yes, find a mentor if you do not have one. They are wonderful.

[24:14] Brilliant advice thank you for sharing that with us today uh curious what have you read watched listened to whether recently or in your past that you would recommend to sales leaders listening around the world check out as well to further their own development as a professional yeah one that's really blown me away recently is the uh science of sales um by david hoffold uh amazing really really good book i never split the difference by chris voss i think everyone's read that one right um another one that's where fish out and this really helps me form a team because i got them all to read it um was gap selling by keen i love that book love the mentality love the uh kind of future future state present state that sort of stuff and uh wonderful books i'll be remissed if i didn't mention that very cool thank you for sharing those with us and we'll certainly put links in the show notes for those and so the last question i got for you daniel you've already shared some incredible ideas and insights around coaching and building holding up the repository of recordings

[25:10] to support our current and new team members. What else do you have as a final thought, a closing bit of wisdom, or something to plug? The floor is yours. Well, I would be remiss if I didn't plug Boodlebox. We've been working for this company for a couple of years now, and we've really built a great platform to help individuals collaborate better with generative AI. As a salesperson, I appreciate more time in my day. That's what my boss asked me. What can I do for you today? Please give me more time.

[25:38] So cutting out admin tasks, being more efficient, being more effective with how you are messaging individuals and really leveraging generative AI for the better. Boodlebox is a great place to bring all the models in one place so you can collaborate but also perform better as a sales individual. So yeah, check us out,

[25:57] Love it. That's a great way to go out. Daniel, thanks for being a guest on Full Funnel Freedom today. Thank you, Hamish. It's been absolutely brilliant. Thanks for listening to today's episode of the Full Funnel Freedom podcast. You can continue to support us by leaving us a review and a rating, sharing this episode with a couple of sales leaders in your network who you care about. I'd love to connect with you. I'm easy to find, Hamish Knox on LinkedIn. Also, if you'd like a free 15-minute call with me, go to forward slash howtosandler. Until we connect on the next episode, go create full funnel freedom.

[26:36] Music.